Were you ever caught unprepared for something? That is a terrible feeling, isn’t it? I’ve learned the hard way that it always pays huge dividends to be prepared.
Noah worked a very long time to “prepare” the Ark that God had instructed him to build. Noah was to cover the ark with pitch (Genesis 6:14). The Greek word for pitch is kaphar which means, “atonement.” I’m sure Noah was mocked and ridiculed very much by neighbors and acquaintances as the months and years passed by. However, just as God had said, the rains did eventually arrive and those who were once mocking Noah now wanted him to open the door to let them in. However, Noah did not have the authority to open the door.
Jesus told us that as it was in Noah’s day, so shall it be prior to His return (Matthew 24:7). Friends, we are living in those days now. The Lord Jesus will return for His church soon, just as He said. How do we become prepared for Jesus’ return? “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement (Romans 5:10,11).
Noah’s ark is a type or symbol of the church. Are you really prepared for Jesus’ return? Are you encouraging others to be prepared? Now is the time to prepare. Just as the rain fell in Noah’s day, Jesus is returning for His church. May we all be prepared!
July 16, 2018
“Wait for the Lord; be of good courage, be strong and take heart and wait, I say, for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
David encourages us to “wait on the lord and to be of good courage.” That word wait means “to bind together, to expect.” When we are bound together with the Lord we will be courageous in the difficult times and expectantly watch for God’s hand to move.
Every child of God faces difficulties from time to time. Sometimes, when we’re living through difficult days, it seems as though they will never end. The Lord Jesus warned us that we would experience difficult days. “In the world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Have you ever noticed why many of God’s people mentioned in the Bible are remembered so well? When you think of David, what comes to your mind? Probably Goliath, correct? When you think of Daniel, what comes to your mind? Probably the lions’ den, right? In the midst of great difficulty these and others received strength and courage through their relationship with God. You and I can do the same.
We also can be victorious in life through an intimate relationship with Jesus. He will strengthen our hearts. May we be people of great courage, and may our faith in God conquer our fears.
July 2, 2018
What a week we experienced at Vacation Bible School this year! Every helper and teacher certainly witnessed and experienced the powerful presence of God. I thank and praise God for the great team of adults and youth who were so very faithful and committed to the ministry of V.B.S.
One of the highlights for me happened Friday at Camp Harmony. I had the opportunity to speak with the older group of V.B.S. students about the plan of salvation. They were very attentive. Another highlight for me was during the Sunday morning worship service at Maple Spring following the week of V.B.S. Many of the V.B.S. students sang some of the songs they learned during the week. They sang with joy and excitement!
I heard many positive comments about V.B.S. this year from parents and other family members. The presence of God was certainly evident every day.
I want to thank you for your prayers and support. I pray that you will also sense the presence of God with you this day.
June 25, 2018
“The church without power is a factory for hypocrites,”………..Samuel M. Shoemaker
Wow! What a powerful presence of God we experienced yesterday during the 10:35 service at Maple Spring. The consecration service for all the VBS teachers and helpers this week, the receiving & welcoming of eight new members, the water baptism service of three young adults, the special music, “The Potter’s Hand,” and certainly the Holy Spirit spoke to each of us during the preached word, “Membership Matters.”
It’s very exciting to be a part of the church of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God reads, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Many find it easier to go to church than to be the church. What about you? Do you know and experience the resurrection of Christ in your life? Do you know what gifts and talents God has given to you? If you do know, are you actively involved and using them in the life and ministry of your local church?
Be a part of what God is doing in the earth today. Help fulfill the Great Commission. You will be glad that you did!
June 18 , 2018
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in Heaven’……..” Jesus Christ
“It is sobering to recall that fathers bear the title that God Himself has chosen as a picture of His relationship to His people,”…………Dr. Billy Graham
Our Loving God is not, “the man upstairs,” or “the big guy in the sky,” He is our Heavenly Father.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning,” (James 1:17).
No matter what your experience or relationship has been like with your earthly father, you can rejoice in the truth today that our Heavenly Father is watching out for you. He sits real high, but He looks real low.
“His eye is on the sparrow and I know He’s watching me.”
Recently I heard a small child ask, “Who made God?” “Where did He come from?” An adult answered her, “No one made God, He always has existed.” We all know that answer is correct but it takes child like faith to believe and accept that, doesn’t it? He has originated and established wonderful blessings and gifts for you and me.
I don’t know what trial, question or fear you are facing today, but I do know that you and I can place our trust in our Heavenly Father, He will provide for you and protect you as you continue to trust in Him.
Have child like faith in Him. You will be glad that you did.
June 11, 2018
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments,” (Psalm 111:10).
I saw a bumper sticker recently that read, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
I believe most of us can relate to that comment. God’s Word states that His people perish or suffer from the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In that same passage God says, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me.”
The Bible also states in Daniel 12:4 that in the last day man’s “knowledge” would increase. Just think of how much knowledge mankind has gained just over the last 50 years. But are we really coming to the knowledge of the truth? Have we really learned that God can be trusted and that He will never leave us and that He will always be faithful to His children? Are we understanding the meaning and purpose of life?
Someone once said, “There are ten things I wish I had learned before I was twenty-one.”
- That being a Christian is really important.
- That my life’s vocation would be what it is.
- That my health after 30 would depend to a great degree on what I ate before I was 21.
- That I really am a trustee of my money and possessions.
- That being neatly and sensibly dressed is an asset.
- That habits are difficult to break after you turn 21.
- That worthwhile things require time, patience and work.
- That the world gives a person just about what he deserves.
- That a thorough education brings not only better wages, but the best of everything.
- That absolute truthfulness in everything is invaluable.
- And one more extra thought: That my parents weren’t “Old Fogies” after all.
June 4, 2018
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
As I purchased some groceries a few days ago, the cashier said to me, “That will be $37.25 please.” I replied, “You don’t hear that word (please) too often anymore.” She replied, “You’re right. And you don’t hear “thank you” too often either.”
It is God’s will or desire for you and me to be thankful to Him. Even in the midst of changing and difficult circumstances, we can find reasons to thank God. As I was waiting for my lunch recently, I noticed that three of the six people at a nearby table had some kind of physical ailment. One person was on oxygen, one had to use crutches, and another had to wear special hearing devices. I thanked God for my health as I was waiting for my order.
So many times we all go to God with a list of our needs and concerns. There’s nothing really wrong with that. We are to pray for one another (James 5:16). However, our Heavenly Father already knows about our needs. His desire is to have intimate fellowship with us through prayer.
I don’t know what problems you are facing today. We all have them. But as you deal with your problems, take some time to pause and thank God for His blessings in your life. It could very well be that as you are still before God that He will lead you to the answers to your problems today.
May 29, 2018
Memorial Day is an official holiday in most states of the U. S. After W. W. I., the day was set aside to honor veterans of all American wars, and then the custom was extended to pay homage to both military people as well as civilians. On Memorial Day we mourn the loss, remember their lives and are thankful for their service.
God has given us memorials as well. He has taken a great deal of effort to give us memorials of His love, promises and His word. For example, the rainbow was given to help us remember God’s promises.
And the sacraments of Holy Communion were given to us to help us remember Jesus’ love for us.
Often times Jesus became angry with His disciples for not remembering His word and promises.
- “Do you still not understand? Don’t remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? (Matthew 16:9).
- “Remember the word I said unto you,” (John 15:20).
- “Remember Lot’s wife,” (Luke 17:32).
Take some time this week to reflect and remember what God has done for you. Your burdens will seem lighter and your day brighter.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving me made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” (I Timothy 2:1-4)
Election Day will soon be upon us. Are you registered to vote? Do you plan on going to your local precinct to vote? It is predicted that much less than half of all registered voters will exercise their right and privilege to vote. Why is that? We’ve all heard the many excuses why some don’t bother to vote. Some of those excuses are, “Why should I?” “They’re all crooked anyway?” “The weather was too bad.” “My vote won’t make a difference.” “I’m just too busy and don’t have the time.”
Friends, the truth is your vote does make a difference. The truth is you do have time to vote. The truth is that it does matter if you get involved or not. It does matter if you do pray for our leaders.
On the eve of his inauguration George Washington said, “Integrity and firmness are all that I can promise.” Recently I was in a local business establishment inquiring about a product. The owner asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a Pastor. He responded by saying, “I want to ask you a question. How do people seem to be to you these days, better or worse? I find here that there are very few people with integrity.”
People of integrity stand out to that business owner. How you live your life, your attitude and your conduct also stands out to others. Someone recently said, “I used to say that civilization was going to the dogs. But I quit saying that out of respect for the dogs.”
Get involved, vote and pray. Take a stand for righteousness at every opportunity. Show someone the Way. You can make a difference if you try.
May 7, 2018
Abraham Lincoln once said, “All I am and ever hope to be I owe to my mother.”
A Godly mother has much influence in the home. She helps to give her children identity, heritage and purpose. Godly mothers plant seeds that blossom later in life. This is what Apostle Paul said about Timothy’s mother, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also,” (2Timothy 1:5).
Mothers are irreplaceable. In most households, disaster strikes when Mom is not around. The family needs her wisdom and guidance. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13. May we pray for all mothers of our congregation. Thank God for them. Ask God to bless them with wisdom, strength and courage to be the mother God created them to be.
Perhaps your mother has passed on to her eternal home? I pray that you will be able to recall fond memories of the time you had with her in this life. And if you are a mother, grandmother or someone’s “other mother,” I pray that you will sense God’s love for you this week. You are here “for such a time as this!”