Minister's Corner

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Why Do I Do That?

Friday, July 12, 2019

I've always found it interesting that I will search high and low to find scriptures that justify my condemning comments, actions, or ways toward others. I will say things like, "Jesus cleansed the temple" or "He told them like it was" and then I sit back and feel good about myself. I will even pat my own back or some brother or sister will say "tell'em like it is brother!" 

I personally must remember that I am not Jesus.  That I was called to be a blessing to others. "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary {blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.} For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil." 1 Peter 3:8-12.

I woefully forget that Jesus knew what was in a person's heart  (an ability that I do not possess) and how to handle the situation gracefully.  He even spoke words like, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34. Even when they did awful things to Him and didn't ask for forgiveness for their sins. He still offered it!  Amazing Grace!!  Something I must learn.

Jesus seemed to be aggravated mostly with the religious folks of His day and mainly because of their actions toward the people of their day. The very people He came to save!  Is it possible that is why He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 
Matthew 7:21. I wonder if I am that person at times.

I forget words like, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." 
John 3:17.

Let's all work together to be tactful, gracious and kind in our words, actions, and social media postings. Let's also do what we can to bring them to Jesus, the Savior of the world. 

I Give Up!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Giving up is not normally in our vocabulary as Christians.  The Corinthians were encouraged by Paul to stick with working effectively for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).  Paul also motivates Christians in the Colossians letter to remain faithful (Colossians 1:23) and not move away or give up in order to be holy and blameless in Christ.  Again there is a word of instruction to hold onto Christ in order to be a fellow partaker of all of the rich blessings found only in Him (Hebrews 3:14). The message given over and over is don’t give up on Christ because it will be detrimental to your soul!

 However, I want you to consider giving up but for a totally different reason and in doing so it will be a blessing to your life as a Christian.  Consider a quote by a man named Rupertus Meldenius (aka Peter Meiderlin), “In matters of faith, UNITY; in matters of opinion, LIBERTY; in all things, CHARITY” which was adopted by our restoration leaders during the restoration movement.  You might remember that I couldn’t remember this exact quote recently in a Bible Study class. The idea is this, we stand firm on matters of faith but when there are matters of opinion, we have a right to liberty (or freedom) but we must always use love.  We must never be a stumbling block to our brethren. Forfeiting our freedom for the sake of others expresses a selfless way of thinking which is a wonderful characteristic of a Christian (Philippians 2:4).

I love a statement that I heard Dan Winkler used once, “keep your fingers on the pulse of one another’s sensitivities” (not an exact quote) in order not to be a “stumbling block” in the faith.  You see, there are times when we must let go of our “freedom” to be a greater blessing to others and “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” – Ephesians 4:3 

 So, “GIVE UP” for the sake of others!


For the Love of UNITY

Friday, June 07, 2019

I want to continue a discussion that we had in our Wednesday Bible study recently from 1 Corinthians chapter 9.  Paul uses himself as a personal example of self-denial  by stating he could have been paid by the church for service in ministry.  However, he chose to give up his personal liberty by not accepting compensation and decided to work so that he wouldn’t be a stumbling block to others (He mentions this same concept in 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9). As he discusses with the Corinthian Christians whether it is ok to eat meat that had previously been offered to idols (8:9-13) he employs a radical idea and that is to give up a personal liberty for the LOVE OF UNITY.

This liberty that Paul could have enjoyed (being paid for ministry) could potentially cause a brother to sin.  He didn’t want to be a stumbling block to others by eating meat offered to idols (a liberty the Corinthians could have enjoyed) but would be placing a stumbling block in a brothers path.  A freedom that Paul ultimately says is not worth participating in because the stakes are too high. He never wanted to lose a brother or sister or cause them to stumble!  The stronger response spiritually is to forfeit a personal liberty for the LOVE of UNITY.

There is a much bigger picture here to consider than eating meat offered to idols. Paul was very concerned over the church dividing (1:10-11). The concern in chapter 8:9-13 was one of many issues confronting the church at Corinth and a reason for causing division.  Quick question...Do we really desire to “win” souls or arguments? Is it about getting what “I” want with no “HIGHER way” option only my way?  Do we only desire the ultimatums we establish and the lines we draw in the sand?  Remember Paul’s ultimatum?  GIVE UP your liberty, freedoms, and personal agenda for a greater cause….UNITY!

Think about the direction the church at Corinthian was heading in by being selfish over opinions and issues and it wasn’t a good one. They were going to split the fellowship, sever friendships, and divide the church which would have created more skeptics. The church would have an ugly cloud covering their influence in the community which wouldn’t have been beneficial to the Lord!  The beautiful blessing for the Corinthians is they took Paul’s advice and the church was blessed as a result (read 2 Corinthians). It takes a stronger person spiritually to submit, be humble, and penitent in the presence of brethren and before God.

Paul had one thing on his mind and that was to NEVER be a hindrance to the Gospel of Christ by letting his personal preferences keep the weaker brethren from running the race of faith and winning the ultimate prize which is eternal life with God. Let’s be determined to do the same for the LOVE of UNITY. 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” — 1 Corinthians 15:58

If Jesus Came ...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in or would you rush about?

And I wonder... if the Savior spent a day or two with you
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they stay away until His visit ends?

Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sign with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that you would do
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

~ Author Unknown

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.


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