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When a Loved One Sins

Friday, May 03, 2019

“But his sons (Samuel’s) did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.” - 1Samuel 8:3

We all have loved ones and people that we care about who have taken a different path; a path of SIN.  This cuts to the core and then some because we know what their outcome will be if they do not change direction. Eli was a priest and leader in ancient Israel. God chose him to mentor Israel’s great prophet Samuel. However, he also had loved ones that took the wrong path. Walking the correct path is a choice. Our free will was given in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” - Gen 2. 16-17

It’s hard for us when a loved one sins, especially members of our own family (personal or church).  In our loyalty, we sometimes either overlook sinful behavior or try to justify it. Sometimes our own moral code gets compromised. When we do this, we not only injure ourselves spiritually but take ourselves out of the place where we can be effective in helping them.  We may say we don’t want to judgmental or unloving and want to keep the relationship. Or we may let go of our fear and love for God and turn to tolerance. Neither of these paths is a godly one.

We are strongly challenged to stay strong when a loved one falls away, especially when they self-identify as believers with a “slightly different” theology or “progressive views” on a matter. We are always to love but He tells us to pray as well!  Pray without ceasing.  This is where we find our peace, receive our wisdom for the situation, and can be effective in changing things.

It’s heartbreaking and painful to live in this kind of a circumstance, but God has strength and wisdom for it. He can also change things if we take our hands off, pray with faith, and love as He directs.  This is a hard one but, God’s Word gives us the strength we need to endure and teaches us how to pray for the situation. We can be assured that in Him we can be at peace knowing that He has things in His hands always.


Salvation, the Gift of God

Friday, April 19, 2019

(John 3:16, James 1:17)

We are saved by the amazing Grace of God.  We will not be saved without it.  Eph. 2:8, Eph. 2:4-5

We are saved by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We will not be saved without it.  Heb. 2:9, 2 Cor. 5:15

We are saved by FAITH (belief and trust) in Jesus Christ.  We will not be saved without it.  Heb. 10:39, Rom. 3:22

We are saved by CONFESSING the name of Christ before men.  We will not be saved without it.  1 Tim. 6:12, Rom. 10:9

We are saved by REPENTING of our sinsWe will not be saved without it.  Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19

We are saved by BEING BAPTIZED for Forgiveness of our sinsWe will not be saved without it.  Acts 2:47, Acts 22:16

We are saved by Being IN the church  (The body of Christ).  We will not be saved without it.  Acts 2:47, Eph.1:22,23

We are saved by Being CREATED in Christ Jesus for good works.  We will not be saved without it.  Eph. 2:10, James 1;22

We are saved by Being OBEDIENT to God.  We will not be saved without it.  Romans 6:17, 18, 1 Peter 1:13,14

We are saved by Being FAITHFUL unto death.  We will not be saved without it.  Rev. 2:10b, Acts 11;23

We can never do anything to deserve or earn our salvation.  Which of God’s commands can we ignore and still be saved?  Rev. 14:12.


Faithful Instructions

Friday, April 05, 2019

There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time, his throat became very dry.  About that time, he saw a little shack in the distance.

He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note.  The note read: "Pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it. If you do this, you will get all the water you need".

Now the man had a choice to make. If he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked, he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work, he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or, he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die.

After thinking about it, the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle.  At first, nothing happened, and he got a little scared. But, he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out that he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find.

Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed.
Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler. The man refilled the jug and added to the note:  Please prime the pump, believe me it works!

We have the same choice to make.  Do we hold on to what we have because we don't believe there are better things in store for us, and settle for immediate satisfaction? Or do we trust God and give up all that we have to get what God has promised us? I think the choice is obvious. We need to pour in all the water, and trust God with everything. Then, once we have experienced what God has to offer - "the living water", we need to tell other

people, Go ahead prime the pump.  Believe me, It works!!!"

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will directs your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6


Characteristics of the Early Church

Friday, March 29, 2019

There are many identifiable characteristics found in the first century church that made them such a special group of people which are also seen here as well.

One of these characteristics is GENEROSITY.   Luke shares in Acts 2:44-45, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”   We read also about this in Acts 4:32-37. This trait made the early church a strong and close-knit family by responding beautifully to meeting one another’s needs. This wasn’t command at this time and was simply an appropriate response from the heart to those in need.

This trait was taught and shared by Jesus, witnessed and displayed by the apostles, and ultimately embraced and practiced by the early church.  Generosity is a CHARACTERISTIC that permeates throughout the church and is a beautiful quality learned by watching the faithful response of generous people who meet the needs of their spiritual family.

** Jesus went about doing good and helping those in need (Acts 10:38), taught by our Lord (Acts 20:35), remembering those in need was a common practice in the early church (Galatians 2:10), taught by the apostles (Galatians 6:10), Paul taught this expression of faith to a young preacher (1 Timothy 6:18-19), expressed by the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 14:16), taught by Paul as an enduring quality (2 Thessalonians 3:13)**

I write about this because I have witnessed GENEROSITY first hand as a recipient by so many of you over the course of this last year. You have been so generous with me and my family in so many ways and we are grateful for each generous act given out of love.

Recently, we have received financial gifts in response to our adoption process. One was given by some children and another was given by a family. I mention these because they are generous acts of kindness like we find in the scriptures about the early church and, equally important, they were responses from the heart to help meet an important need.

These gifts of love were taught by the faithful example of parents who then passed this wonderful trait down to their children. It is ultimately lived out and witnessed by grandchildren who are now following in their grandparents’ and parents’ footsteps. What a beautiful sacrifice of love!

This is one of the many great qualities that makes this church such a wonderful spiritual family!  We are indeed grateful for help meeting a major need and loving us like family!!  “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”2 Timothy 2:1-2

A Promise to Keep

Friday, March 22, 2019

I watched an episode from the TV series, “Gunsmoke”, which happened to be episode 21 from season 20 entitled “I HAVE PROMISES TO KEEP.”  The show originally aired on March 3, 1975 – I was 3 years old then, and 44 years later this episode made me think about my responsibility as a Christian.  This particular show is a great episode about a preacher who wants to build a church for native Americans on a small reserve but is met with bigotry from the citizens of a nearby town.  

As I was watching this show, Festus is having a discussion with the old preacher after having faced so much difficulty about building the church on the reserve.  Festus says something to the preacher about how he should be memorizing scripture instead of trying to build a church and help people. The preacher’s response is priceless.  He tells Festus, “

That particular thought resonates in my mind and is certainly a common thought throughout the New

Testament.  Please don’t think that I DON’T value the importance of knowing God’s word and committing it to the heart. However, understand that I am saying that if we memorize, quote, and even share God’s word but never lift a finger to do the good it prescribes, then our efforts would appear meaningless.  The old

adage, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is so very true.

Jesus was one who, “went about doing good” (
Acts 10:38). As disciples of Jesus we are told to also “do good to all men” and “not grow weary” while doing so (Galatians 6:9-10).  James admonishes to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22).  Our Lord says, “Everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and DOES them, I will liken to a wise man…” (Matthew 7:24).

I believe the old preacher gave some pretty good advice and we would do well to follow it!!


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