church

Psalms Trilogy

Psalms 22, 23 & 24 form a trilogy within the word of God. Psalm 22 is the story of a man who is dying on a cross, while Psalm 24 speaks of One who will “ascend to the hill of the Lord and stand in His Holy Place”. These are obvious pictures of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who both died for us, rose again and ascended into glory. We were not there 2,000-years ago at the cross – Our sin was there but we were not. Also, it is nice to know that our sins are paid and that someday we will ascend into glory, but we are not there yet! So, where are we? We are stuck here between death and eternity on a sin ridden planet, walking through “the valley of the shadow of death”. We need someone to get us from here to there. First, we need a Savior (Psalm 22). Then we need a Shepherd, a Shepherd who will guide and protect us. We need a Shepherd who will care for us on this side of eternity until the day that He takes us to His home in glory. We need Psalm 23, because this is where we live.  

Trials

Pastor was out this week, Todays service was with Rob.

The Most Loving Act

Last week we looked at 7 doctrines of salvation: Forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, redemption, sanctification, newness of life and finally adoption as sons of the living God. All 7 are the work of God. “For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, it is a gift from God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8). All these happen instantly the moment we believe and ask God to come into our life. But, what is next? Now that we are “saved” what are we saved for? What does God want us, who have received such a gift, want us to do? The last thing that Jesus said to His disciples as He was taken by a cloud into Heaven was, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Notice that this instruction was given to all of His disciples – Not just those who might change their job titles and become pastors or evangelists. Everyone who is a child of God, everyone who has received His most precious gift of salvation is called to share that salvation with others. Therefore, GO! 

Salvation

Before moving to Arizona from California, Sandi and I spent 20 years in State Prisons preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were evangelists and our number one topic was salvation. The definition of salvation is “the act of being saved”. Questions are immediately brought to mind such as: What am I being saved from? Why do I need to be saved? Will this salvation bring me closer to God? Or, why do I need to be closer to God? If I do need to be closer to God how much is this going to cost me and how will this change my life? And, if it does change my life, what will my life look like after salvation? Finally, is it really possible for me to ever be a child of God, a child of the Creator of all things? The answer to these questions and many more will be the subject of today’s message as we look briefly into 7 doctrinal subjects: Forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, redemption, sanctification, newness of life and finally, adoption. These 7 subjects are an outline to the very word of God and the reasons for our salvation. Believe it or not, our Bible is really concerned about one thing – God loves us so much that His number one will for our life is that we should be “saved” (SALVATION).

Sabbath

From the Pastor’s Desk
The concept of Rest is as old as creation itself. For on the 7th day God rested. Because Adam was created on day 6, we can only assume that when his Creator rested, so did he. God and man were in complete harmony but then sin, through disobedience entered. Man found himself naked and afraid. The God with whom he once walked, cursed the very “ground” causing man to “toil and to sweat”. Man, now had to “work” just to eat. Although it was God’s desire to let man understand the reprocussion of sin, it has never been God’s plan to leave man eternally in that state. So, God allowed man one day per week to “Rest” – One day to be free of the curse. For 4,000-years man kept the 7th day as holy and as that day of Rest. God even made it a law! Then came the Messiah who “fulfilled the law” and the dispute amongst men began – Do we follow the law or do we follow the new teaching which leads to eternal life? The answer is “keep both”. Today we will see how God has placed in Him, His Son, Rest for Your Souls
both salvation and “Rest”.
Pastor Basye

Wade Hammond

I will not be singing or preaching this morning but I have good news for everyone. The good news is, our friends Wade and Kathy Hammond will be sharing the Gospel with us through song. God has gifted Wade with a wonderful voice and in 2015 he was named “Country Western Gospel Singer of the Year”. For some reason, they like spending their winters here in Arizona and I am glad that they do as each year we are the benefactors. Wade is more than just music, there is a story that accompanies each and every song. Weaved amongst the notes and the lyrics are stories and experiences that are common to all of us. Make no mistake, Kathy is in complete control. With one movement of her finger, Wade and all the music can be silenced. She, like our Sandi, is in control of the sound. After the service we will have the opportunity to visit with Wade and Kathy and purchase his CD’s and other items. Together, they are a wonderful pair. So today, kick back and enjoy our yearly visit from our good friends. Welcome once again, Wade and Kathy Hammond.

Biblical Warning Part 2

As we continue on our series “Wokeness or Righteousness” we will leave the topic of sexual sin that is entering many of our churches today. Rather, today, we will focus on a new topic – The Sanctity of Life. Man is made in the image of God! Therefore, God takes a very dim view of murder. Murder by Biblical definition is the “shedding of innocent blood”. There is no blood more innocent than that of the unborn baby. Strangely, the woke Christian believes that God is on their side. They ask, how could a loving God deny a woman her “right to choose”? Not only do these woke Christians feel convinced of their position, they further rationalize that God created man and gave him the “right to choose”. What they fail to comprehend is that God did indeed create us to choose. He gave us the right to choose but that choice is between good and evil. God even came down from heaven to pay for all of our wrong choices. Wokeness erases all of God’s Commandments and reduces them to man’s decisions. The Bible clearly tells us that “Woe to them who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

Biblical Warning

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is under attack world wide. The “Truths” that were once the foundation of our great nation and even all of what we term western culture are rapidly declining. Simply put, Chrisitanity as we know it, is on its way out and the world has “Woke Up”. Although most people attribute this “Wokeness” to a political agenda, nothing could be further from the truth. This Wokeness comes to the church in guise of compassion, and social justice.  However, those things that our Bible calls sin are rapidly being replaced by an attitude of acceptance. Obediance to the Word of God has been replaced with “Inclusion”. Christianity is NOT inclusive of sin. God clearly loves the sinner and He even sent His Son into the world to save the sinner. However, the church will disappear when this incusiveness of sin erases the desire to eradicate sin. Sin is our mortal enemy and Wokeness is the antithesis or direct opposite righteousness. Where did this come from? What are we going to do about it? These will be the subject matters of today’s message.

Relationships

Jesus Born King

Bethlehem - The Star

Unfortunately, people get most of their Christmas doctrine from Christmas cards. True, the Christ was born in a place meant for animals. The three wisemen presenting gifts while shepherds watch on, is a myth, not scripture. There was no little drummer boy nor choirs of angels singing. Even so, this inaccuracy does not erase the miraculous event of that night. 

God became Man – “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. His name was Jesus, which translates as “Savior” but His title was Emmanuel or “God with us”. Shepherds did come and angels praised God, however, the wise men did not show up until Mary and Joseph were established in a “house”. Jesus was not born in a manger, He was born in a place where animals are kept and a manger is a feeding trough for animals, this was baby Jesus’ crib. Also, this birth is the way that God wanted it! This earth and the people in it did not need another “Royal”, it needed humility and love. Jesus was that bundle of love that was born as the Servant of all mankind. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” – To US!

The Virgin Birth

Our current series is “Walk to Bethlehem”. This walk began in the Garden with the pronouncement by God that He would solve the problem of sin through the “Seed of the Woman”. Man’s seed or blood was “flawed”. So, last week we followed the blood of innocent animals throughout scripture. God used that blood to “cover or atone” for man’s sin. Eventually, at the birth of Jesus, man’s blood or seed would be replaced by God’s seed into a virgin named Mary. Thus, this week we will follow the development of that virgin birth throughout the Holy Scripture which culminate at the birth of our Savior. It was not the actions of the woman that brought sin into our world. God holds man accountable! Romans 5:12 clearly tells us that “sin entered through Adam”. It is interesting to note that by the second generation of man, murder was already being committed as Cain slew Able. When the third son, Seth, was born, God made it very clear that he was born in the image of Adam – A fallen man. Humanity’s only hope would come through the plan of God and through the seed of the Woman – A virgin who “knew not a man”.

The Blood of the Covenant Part 1

When man sinned in the Garden, they found themselves “naked” before a Holy God. They attempted to cover that nakedness with “fig leaves” to cover or atone for their sin. Before leaving Eden, God replaced those fig leaves and provided Adam and Eve with the “skins of animals”. Some innocent animal had to die and give up its “blood” to atone for the sin of man. Until the promise of God to send the “One” into the world who would “bruise” or crush the head of the serpent (satan), God would allow the blood of innocent animals as a covering or atonement for their sins. When God brought the children of Israel out from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, He instituted a “Feast of Remembrance” called “Passover”. At Passover, a “lamb” was slain to cover or atone for their sins and they were told to recount or remember their delivery from the bondage of Egypt. At the last Passover (Last Supper), Jesus proclaimed that He was that Lamb and that we, the church, should remember Him. We call this the “Lord’s Supper” or simply “Communion”. Our sins are no longer covered or atoned – Our sins are paid by the Blood of the real Lamb, Jesus Christ 

Gentleness & Self-Control

All of the Fruits of the Spirit culminate in the final two, Gentleness and Self-Control. The reason God wants us to grow fruits in our lives is to express Him. As we walk in the Spirit and others observe our behavior, they should see a gentle, self-controlled person. Even in today’s world, these are characteristics that attract souls to the Gospel of Christ and those souls will one day live with us in eternity. The most humble and self-controlled man to ever walk the face of this planet was Jesus of Nazareth. The best example of both gentleness and self-control are seen by us as we view Jesus on the Cross. Gentleness is simply power under control and Jesus could have called down legions of angels for assistance. Rather, He used His amazing power to save us by remaining on the Cross and thereby paying our price for our sins. To accomplish this, Jesus exercised the most amazing feat of self-control by not using His Omnipotence to crush his oppressors. Believe it or not, God wants us to copy Him and Ephesians 5:1 says this explicitly – “Therefore be imitators of God”. 

Thankfulness to God appears in multiple verses

Thankfulness to God appears in multiple verses throughout both the Old and New Testaments. God, the true author of scripture, has placed a heavy importance on the act of being thankful and living a thankful life. God is not vain but rather, He desires us to be thankful to Him which will keep our focus of life positive. Jesus prayed to the Father saying, “My joy would be fulfilled in themselves (us)”. This is not to say that our God does not understand many of our sufferings. Even in Ecclesiastes, God tells us that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh” – “a time to mourn and a time to dance”. However, the concept of thankfulness to God is laced throughout all scriptures, making it obvious that God wants us to refocus on His eternal goodness and not on the things of this earth. This week many of us will sit with friends and family sharing a meal and possibly sharing a testimony. My prayer for everyone is that this time will be spent in thankfulness to the very God who loves us so much that He even sent His Son into this world to die so that we might spend eternity with Him.

Veteran's Day 2023

Ask not what your God (Country) can do for you, ask what you can do for your God (County). Next Saturday is Veteran’s Day – A day set aside in our society when we remember all those who put on uniforms and swore allegiance to defend our great country. But, today is Sunday, a day when we typically gather to worship the God of creation. There is an amazing similarity between the role of the veteran and the God that we serve. Both have stood in the gap and have been willing to die for YOU. Jesus, as we all know did in fact pay the ultimate price that we might experience true freedom. While the veteran assures our liberty and protects our freedom in this physical world, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross assures us of eternal freedom from the ravages of sin. The world in which we live today is rising once again against our values and even our Christian faith. The Bible tells us that in these days there will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6). These wars will be fought by those who serve – The Veteran. The ultimate war, the war for our very soul has already been fought and won by the Veteran of all Vets, the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Relationships with God and Others

The title of today’s message is “Relationships”. We are all created as social beings and our Creator has put a need for others into our very existence. Included in that need, is a relationship which can only be filled spiritually. This need can only be filled by the Omnipotent God who created us. Thus, all of us have a need to believe in something more than ourselves. Unfortunately, the fulfillment of that need is most often hijacked by the enemy of our souls. Even among many Christians, that need is often filled by things other than the God who created us. One of the scariest verses of the entire Bible is given to us in Matthew 7:21: “I never knew you, depart from me”. Above all things, our Savior has placed the need for Him in our lives. When that relationship with Him is filled, other relationships will more easily fall into their proper place. Today, Pastor Don will deal with the subject of relationships – Relationships that begin with Christ, flow to the family and into our personal relationships with others. Welcome to the pulpit Pastor Don. 

Israel and the Church

As we were nearing our completion on the “Fruits of the Spirit”, terrorists brutely attacked the Nation of Israel. So, last week I attempted to expound on Biblical reasons for such hatred and the Parallel between the Church and Israel. Israel is rapidly approaching a horrific time of judgement called “a Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. The true church is rapidly approaching a time referred to as “the Rapture”. Today, I would like to look at a story concerning Jesus and a withered fig tree. Jesus saw a fig tree that had no fruit and He cursed it. For 2,000 years scholars have asked the question: “Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?” The answer is simple – It had no fruitToday, I ask the question: Is the Church becoming fruitless? If so, can we learn a lesson from the cursing of the fruitless tree? Someday Israel will have fruit on its tree but it will take the horrors of the Great Tribulation to wake them up. Jesus is also looking at us and He wants to wake us up. I find it sad that 5 of the 7 churches were not found worthy to be kept from the hour of trial that is coming against the whole world. Rather, only “One Church”, the Church found with Fruit will be kept from that Trial.

Israel in Prophesy

4,000 years ago, God called a man named Abram (Abraham) to the Land of Canaan (currently Israel). God gave (promised) that land to Abraham and to his descendants (nation of Israel). God said, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you” (Genesis 12:1-3). God chose Israel as His representative to all mankind but repeatedly Israel failed as all men do. Therefore, God removed Israel from this land 3 times and He brought them back 3 times. God used the horrors of the Holocaust and WWII to massively re-establish His people in the Land of Promise and they will never be taken from the land ever again. In fact, the number one proof for the existence of God can be found in one word – Israel. Unfortunately, Israel rejected God’s Son as their Messiah and for that reason, a time is coming upon them called “A time of Jacob’s Trouble”. All Old Testament and New Testament prophecies point forward to this time of Great Tribulation. In the end, true Israel will accept Jesus as their Messiah and serve God for eternity here on earth. What we are seeing in our news today is a prelude of that which is soon to come.

 

Faithful Faithfulness

Today, as we continue on our series, “The Fruits of the Spirit”, we arrive at the Fruit of Faithfulness. The root of Faithfulness is Faith – Faith in God. Habakkuk 2:4 states that “the just shall LIVE by faith and our very salvation depends on accepting God’s amazing grace through “faith”. Fatih by definition is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1). When we walk faithfully with God (full of faith) we become “proof” or evidence of His existence. As He fills us with His Holy Spirit we are then given the gift of faithfulness and people see us (the believers) in a different light than those of the world. Faithfulness will shape us in the way in which we live. The faithful will submit all of their ways to God and the byproduct is a life of unfailing service to others. This quality, this fruit produced by the Spirit, is essential in our quest to be with God eternally. In fact, as the true church of Jesus Christ, we are described as the called, the chosen and the (Revelation 17:14). The faithful believer longs for the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant;…Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ (Matthew 25:23)

Kindness & Goodness

Today we will look at two Fruits of the Spirit that are often confused as one: Kindness and Goodness. However, the two are not interchangeable. Both are characteristics of the God we serve, and both are characteristics that we, as believers, should strive to develop in our Christian walk. Jesus in His famous Sermon on the Mount copmmands us to “be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect”. “Perfect” in this scripture is referring to both Kindness and Goodness. If we are to be Christ like as the term “Christian” implies, these two attributes must show in our lives. Actually, Kindness in Hebrew is defined as “loyalty to covenant” which translates to us as “do what you say” and “keep your promises”. Keeping one’s word is in fact an act of Kindness. Goodness however, takes one additional gigantic step from Kindness. Goodness in the Bible involves not only keeping your word but also, loving to keep your word. Kindness and Goodness are a great pair as Kindness requires a faithful external response.  Goodness requires an inward conviction and both are related to the Hebrew concept of “Hesed” or God’s unconditional love.

Be Patient with all

It has been said that patience is a virtue. A virtue is a behavior showing high moral standards. The Apostle Paul lists this high moral standard of patience as a Fruit of the Spirit. The patience that we will be discussing this morning is not self-willed but rather, a product of the Spirit of God who dwells in you, the believer. Having said that, each of us must freely allow the Spirit to develop this behavior in us. As with love, joy and peace, patience stands out as a glowing personality trait being something that people desire. By definition, patience is “waiting without complaining”. I would like to add one additional thought to this definition – Patience is waiting with discomfort, without complaining. As we look at this fruit of patience today, let us compare our patience to the patience of Jesus. Imagine all the waiting with discomfort Jesus must have experienced with His followers who constantly misunderstood and misapplied His teachings. Imageine the patience of Christ as they hung Him on a Cross while He prayed, “Father forgive them”. The problem is THE INCREDIBLE we are told to imitate Him! Today, let’s work on understanding this virtue of patience.

Know Jesus, Know Peace

Peace is knowing that while we were once sinners facing the penalty of eternal death, we can now have peace knowing that Jesus’ death on the cross has reconciled us back to our Creator (Colossians I : 19-20). When Jesus first appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He stood in their midst and said, “peace be with you”. Earlier, before His death, He had told them that He would give them “peace not as the world gives” but it would be a peace that would “not let our hearts be troubled” (John 14:27). The Apostle Paul referred to this peace of which Jesus spoke as a peace that “surpasses all understanding” and a peace that would “guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. This peace is attained by having full confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is a product and a reassurance of His presence in us by His Holy Spirit. This peace is lasting and is a free gift from the One who defeated death and removed the penalty of sin from all who believe in Him. Just as joy did not depend on happenings, peace does not change with circumstances of chaos. God’s peace is permanent – God’s peace is secure. Today let’s talk real peace.

The Joy of The Lord

Just as true love (Agape) does not depend on reciprocal love, joy does not rely on favorable circumstances. Joy is not happiness – Happiness depends on happenings while joy is the result of knowing that Jesus is in control of your entire life. Joy is a product that is developed in all true believers through the power of the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is conforming us into the likeness of Christ, who, “For the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). If we are to be Christ-like, then we should understand the words of James when he said “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2-4). How many times do you stop to thank God when your tire goes flat or you catch a severe cold or worse? Did you know that failure to be joyful is actually a sin? Indeed, joy is a Fruit of the Spirit and anything not of the Spirit is of the flesh – Anything of the flesh is a sin. We cannot conjure up true joy, however, we can pursue the things of God and earnestly seek first His Kingdom. Step back in every situation and realize that God is in control. Today’s Fruit is Joy.

Fruits of the Spirit - First is Love

Approximately every two years I find the necessity to speak on the attributes that God desires to see in His believers. He has listed them   for us in Galatians 5:22 and today we will begin with that scripture. God calls these attributes “the Fruits of the Spirit”. These fruits are not something that we can conjure up on our own but rather, can be developed in us as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit who indwells every true believer. This list of nine fruits which grow out of our relationship with Christ, begins with “LOVE”. Thus, as we begin our new series, we will focus on what has been called “the Crown Jewel” – LOVE. Everything written, everything prophesized (even judgement) has its foundation in the love of God. This love that God has for His creation runs through scripture like a velvet chain. It was love in the Garden and it will be love that will see mankind united with Christ in the end of all things. Guess what? – God wants us to share this same love  that He has shown to us with others. Today,  we will look at true love, the love of God and   how we might apply it, not only to ourselves   but to those around us.

 
 

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

This great land of ours, including the entire world, is headed for the greatest disaster ever known to man. Jesus said of this “day” that unless those days were shortened no flesh would survive. It will be horrible and catastrophic! In such a time, where should the children of God be found? That question has been answered many times in the word of God. God has shown His people that the victory of such an existential, overwhelming global threat can only come from our Creator. The word “salvation” is used in the Old Testament to exhibit how God has a way of moving things around and changing emanate disaster into a glorious victory. Today, Rob Hooper will walk us through one of God’s recorded miracles – The story of King Jehosaphat, King of Judah. We all need to pay close attention to today’s message and forget about the political party to which we belong. There is but one way to move from annihilation to victory. It will not come through anything of this world. It will only come through our faith in the only One who can save us – Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God's Scheduled Appointments Part - 2

Last week’s message was “God’s scheduled appointments” and we spoke on four of these appointments that both our Bible and human history have recorded. The first three were all kept by a man named Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was the Passover Lamb (fulfilling Passover). His death made us sinless in the eyes of God (fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread) and at His resurrection He became the First Fruits of all who will never die (fulfilling the Festival of First Fruits). Fifty days after His resurrection, God kept another scheduled appointment. He sent His Holy Spirit and gave power to the church – Thus, completing four of seven appointments. It has been 2,000 years and God has three more appointments to complete His plan of redemption for mankind. In the end God will show up announcing (Feast of Trumpets) His final Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and establish His Kingdom with mankind (Feast of Tabernacles). Today, we will look at the road of grace that will take us to that final glorious day. God has kept four appointments – Do you think He will keep the remaining three?

God's Scheduled Appointments

Last week we ended by saying that “through the seed of Abraham all nations will be blessed”. That seed of Abraham was developed through the Nation Israel. God allowed this Nation Israel to grow while in slavery in Egypt for 400 years. Then, when the TIME was just right, God sent a deliverer, Moses, to lead His people out of that slavery and into the Land of Promise. The night before they left Egypt, God sent the “angel of death” who passed through the land. Any household not having the “blood of the Lamb” on its doorpost would suffer the death of the first-born son. This event was called the Passover and was the picture of the beginning for God’s timetable. That timetable would extend from the sacrifice of the true Lamb of God (Jesus), to exactly the right time when the sins of man were paid. God’s timetable did not stop there. Fifty days later, at exactly the right TIME, God sent His Holy Spirit to guide and to comfort those who have put their faith in the true Lamb. Only through the acceptance of the true Passover Lamb will mankind live eternally and be blessed through the seed of Abraham.

Did You Know God has a Time table?

Did you know that God has a timetable? God says in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. And, from the countdown of sin in the Garden, God has ordained a 7,000-year period of time to resolve that issue of “sin”. This timetable unfolds as we work through the contents of the Bible. We are rapidly approaching 6,000-years of human history. Scripture then tells us that the last 1,000 years will be a millennial reign of Christ. We are living on the threshold of a major shift in God’s timetable. Time from the Garden to the reign of Christ is all recorded in human history except for the final days in which we now live. However, we can look backwards onto our history and realize that not only did God make a timetable – He kept it! Today, we begin a mini-series on God’s timetable. As we proceed with this series, as we look to the mountain of fulfilled scriptures and the reality that God is right on time, our faith will increase. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, we are ” looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

CONDEMNATION TO GLORY.

The seventh Chapter of Romans paints a picture of man who is controlled by the flesh (sin) – Who, by his own remission cannot be righteous. Paul asks at the end of Chapter 7, “Who will deliver me from this body of death” – The answer is, “Jesus Christ our Lord”. Chapter 8 then begins by saying, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”. The 8th Chapter of Romans will take us from condemnation to a love of God that is so wonderfully omnipotent that we simply cannot comprehend such a love. Keep in mind, nothing has changed – We are still the same sinful flesh that we were in Chapter 7. However, our acceptance of what Christ did on the cross made us a child of God. “We received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out Abba “Father. That sonship with God through Jesus Christ is a bond stronger than “life or death” and it can never be broken nor can “anything separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Today we study the 8th Chapter of Romans. Hang on to your seats as the Apostle Paul brings us from CONDEMNATION TO GLORY.

Struggling with Sin, or Practicing?

How many of us who are in Christ are struggling with a sin or sins that we though were long since gone. The Apostle Paul, the man who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, shared this same experience – One of struggling with sin. He said that in his flesh, “nothing good dwells”. And, many times his flesh caused him to do evil (wrong) rather than good. Paul’s desire was to always do good but the sin that lived within him caused him to do that which he did not desire to do. Paul calls himself a “wretched man” and asked, “who will deliver me from this body of death?” The answer is of course “Jesus, our Lord”. When we come to Christ, He comes to us. He places His Spirit in our hearts. However, we are still made of sinful flesh and there is a war ongoing between the flesh and the spirit. The problem with many believers is that they do not feed or walk with the Spirit that is within them. Rather, it is the flesh that gets fed. Recognizing those times that we spend feeding the flesh and ignoring the Spirit will identify the struggle that is within us. And, this will be the subject of today’s lesson – Are we  struggling with sin or are we practicing sin? 

Submit Yourselves to God

The author of our Bible (God) is well aware of our frailty and our appetite for sin. He even admits that sin seems good for a season (Hebrews 11:25-26). But, that season can and will eventually separate us from God. God would rather that we not sin at all! When we do, all He wants us to do is ask His forgiveness – Then, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. The Apostle Paul found sin to the point of apostasy (falling away) in the early church. I wonder what he would say about the churches of today. So many people are comfortable with church on Sunday and possibly a mid-week study. The rest of the time, the same people make worldly decisions without even consulting the God they claim to serve. To God this is idolatry and all are guilty! James 4:7 -8 gives us the solution to our frailty. James tells us 2 things that we can do: (1) Submit to God, (2) Resist the devil and he will flee from us. And, the end result is that God will draw near to you. Sounds simple and it is! So, today we search for additional scriptural tools that we might use to combat the sin so readily found both in church and in our daily lives.

God and Our American Flag

No one really knows who designed our American Flag – We all grew up thinking that Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag. However, only God knows for sure. Rather than attempting endless endeavors to establish our flags beginning, I find it very interesting how the number and colors of our flag are representative of the God we serve and His relationship to the people He loves. Our nation was founded on the principles and statutes of the Christian/Judeo faith. As such, our flag should represent that which is most meaningful to us as Christians – And it does! Simply put, “Old Glory” has all this and more. The original 13 stars represent 6 plus 7. Six is the number of man and seven is the number for God. Blue is of course the color of heaven and blue forms  the backdrop of the stars. We must note: There are now 50 stars/states and 50 is the number for the Jubilee or new beginning. Isaiah writes “By His stripes we are healed” and that healing washed our souls white as snow with the precious red blood of our Savior. Again, there are 13 total stripes. So, who really designed our first flag? I believe it  was God Himself.

I Would Rather Stand With God

Believe it or not, “sin” came to us from the eternal realm. God did not create sin but rather God created beings with the ability to choose. God created the angel lucifer who was both beautiful and “perfect in all his ways” (Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14). Then, using God’s gift to choose, he chose to be “like God”. This was the same proposal given to Adam and Eve Just do what God told you not to do and you shall “be like God”. Neither man or Satan has yet achieved “Godhood” but 6,000 years later they are still attempting. Today, satanism is on the rise and is even being offered as extracurricular studies in our public schools. The killing of unborn babies is being politically labeled as “women’s right to choose”. Perverted sexuality is being taught and displayed as normal behavior and children are presented with the option to change their very gender. Sadly, many pastors and churches worldwide are adopting many of these demonic social issues. The Bible warns us that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. The churches today need to return to the true and living ‘God and once again choose to DO what He tells us to do – Anything else is “sin”.

Our Heavenly Father

Today is Father’s Day – A day when we reflect on that man in our life that we call “Dad”. I know as we breach the subject of a father, there are some who have not had a good relationship with their earthly father. I also know that there are many of us who have memories of a father who loved us and cared for us and who was always there for us. However, no matter what your relationship was or is with your earthly father, all of us have a Heavenly Father who loves us with a love that we cannot even comprehend. Did you know that our Heavenly Father’s number one concern is that we should not perish (because of sin) but that all would come to the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. Even when we walk away from our Heavenly Father, He is always there with open arms to take us back. Today, we will look at a parable told by Jesus concerning a son who strayed from his father only to return to a father who never strayed from the son. The story is dubbed as the “Prodigal Son” but in reality it is the story of the steadfast, enduring love of our Heavenly Father. Today, we contemplate the love of our    Heavenly Father.

 
 

Are You Buildiong God's Temple?

After 70 years in captivity, a small group of Jews returned to the land of Israel to rebuild the temple which had been decimated by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. At first the people went right to work rebuilding the Temple of God. But then, apathy, discouragement and local resistance convinced them to build their own houses and the work on the House of God came to an end. After 15 years, God sent the Prophet Haggai to tell these people who were living in their “paneled houses”, while God’s House (The Temple) lay in ruin, to get back to work. His message was simple – “Consider Your Ways”. Haggai pointed out that the people needed to spend more time on the building of God’s Temple and less time on their own supposed needs. The Temple of God today is no longer a building. Today, God’s Temple resides in the hearts of the believers. We do not need wood or stone to build a physical temple yet many of our temples are in need of repair. God wants for us to continually be building and rebuilding that temple (Our walk with God). His message today for us is the same as it was in the days of Haggai – “Consider Your Ways”. 

 
 

Suffering Servant Isaiha 53

Chapters 42, 49 and 50, of Isaiah paint a picture of a Servant who will “establish justice”, be a “Light to the Gentiles” and be endowed with “God given wisdom”. However, when the reader arrives at the 53rd chapter, this Servant will be displayed as the “Suffering Servant”. Why? Why would this Servant suffer? Isaiah tells us that his life would be “blameless” and be full of “truth”. Yet, he would be led to prison like a common criminal and to death as a “Lamb to the slaughter”. He would be “unattractive, wounded and bruised” and be a Man of “Great Sorrow”. This Man was indeed a Servant of God, yet in Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah says that, “He was smitten” (killed) by God and in verse 10 Isaiah also states that it “pleased” God to bruise Him. Again, we must ask why? Why would God do this to His blameless Servant? The answer is “LOVE”. God loves us so much that He, Himself, in the person of the Son, paid the price for the “inequity” of us all. He “bore the sins of many” and through Him we have “peace” with our Creator. With tears in our eyes we look to this Servant of God who paid our    price for OUR SINS and our TRANSGRESSIONS.
 

Memorial Day 2023

Tomorrow is “Memorial Day” and on that day we remember those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our “Freedoms”. The Bible teaches that “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). But, today is also Pentecost, the day in which we celebrate the birth of the “Church”. “We preach Christ, crucified”. The death of One man on a Cross, 2,000 years ago, has touched the lives of billions of people throughout history. No other single event is as important, or as impactful, as the moment that Christ, the Son of God, died for the sins of the world. The Church would have never been, had not that Man died on the Cross. This nation would have never been, had not that Man died on Cross. The lives of billions of people would never have been changed, had not that Man died on a Cross. The central theme of all Christianity is the death and resurrection of that Man who died on a Cross. Today and tomorrow, we will remember all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, those who died for our nation. And, as we do, we will also remember the sacrifice through whom “the world might be  saved” by that Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Micah 7:7 A warning we may need

We have been studying the last chapter of the Book of Micah for our Wednesday night Bible study. Micah was telling the people of his day that they were about to be conquered and carried away as captives to the land of Assyria. When Micah looked out at his country, Israel, he saw evil openly displayed with “both hands”. God brought judgement against Israel in the year 722 BC. The same evil that was present in the days of Micah are now present in our world today. Because of that evil, this world will soon go into the worst judgement of man’s history. In Micah’s day, there was no way out, there was no rapture. However, in Micah 7:7, the prophet proclaims, “Therefore I will look to the LORD”. In our day and age, many Christians think that God will come and take them away in the Rapture simply because they darken the door of a church on Sunday mornings. Truthfully, in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 Jesus visited 7 churches – Only one church was found worthy to be raptured. Christians wake up! Our only hope today is the same as Micah’s hope – We need to “Look to the Lord and wait for the God of our salvation”.

Mothers Day

Have you ever wondered why we are who we are? Most of us, if not all, can trace who we are back to the cradle. It is the hand that rocks the cradle who has been the influencer and the developer of our lives. Today we celebrate “Mother’s Day”, a day set aside to honor that #1 woman in all of our lives who influenced us to become who we are. To explain this wonderful phenomena I have chosen to speak from the Book of Ruth – The story of two mothers. In this story, Ruth is a picture of a Gentile bride who has turned to the God of Abraham, Isaaic and Jacob. She came into this faith by watching the life of her mother-in-law, Naomi, as she endured severe hardship through famine and even the loss of her husband and two sons. Naomi’s faith was an inspiration to her two daughter-in-laws whom she referred to as her own daughters. Because of Naomi’s inspiration Ruth accepted both her people and her God. Ruth would marry and become the great-grandmother of Israel’s most famous king, King David. Her name appears in the lineage of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Naomi gave to Ruth the greatest gift of all – The true and living God.

Agape Love

If I were to give one word to describe Christianity, that word would be LOVE. If I were to give one word to describe the entire contents of the Bible, that word would be LOVE. If I were to give one word to describe the Creator and Savior of the world, that word would be LOVE. Unfortunately, the word LOVE has been stolen and reformed in such a way that even most Christians do not understand the full scope and its true meaning. Imagine however, a love so deep that it requires nothing in return. A love so rich in mercy and grace that you and I can only scratch the surface of its importance to every living cell on earth. This is the type of love that God has for His most valued creation – US – Mankind. The Bible declares that while we were yet sinners, rebels against our Creator, while we wanted nothing to do with Him who created us, He died for us.That death was a separation in the Triune Godhead. The Son separated Himself from the Father and the Holy Spirit. As Jesus, the Son of God, hung on the cross the entire sins of mankind were placed upon Him. He cried out to the Father, “why have You forsaken Me?” The answer to His disparity is LOVE.

If You Love Me Keep My Commandments

It is important for myself to have someone capable of stepping into my place as pastor/teacher whenever the occassion may arise. Pastor Don is that person. Sometimes I simply cannot be there on a Sunday or a Wednesday night and I need help. I know that I can count on Don to cover even with only a short notice – Giving him very little time to prepare. I have also noticed that Don has a pastoral heart and he is there to pray for and to help others as well. He has been teaching our Sunday morning Bible Study for several years but he gets very little time at the pulpit. This morning Pastor Don will be delivering the Sunday morning message from the pulpit. It is my understanding that he has chosen the topic of “The Greatest Commandment”. One day a lawyer asked Jesus a question. The answer that Jesus gave was amazing. Listen today as Pastor Don explains this amazing answer. 

What Does it Mean to be Baptised?

What does it mean to be baptized? – Why do we get baptized? And, who  should be baptized? These three questions will be answered today. First, baptism is a public statement of faith in the presence of friends/family stating that you have chosen to follow Christ and He has saved you from the consequences of your sin. However, baptism is not salvation. Secondly, the reason we should get baptized is because Jesus commanded all believers to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, this was Jesus’ final command to His followers as he ascended into Heaven. Finally, to answer the question of who should be baptized, I first need to ask another question: Are you saved? And, have you given your life to Jesus Christ? If yes, then refer to question number two and get baptized, because Jesus clearly told every believer to be baptized. It should be noted every believer in the New Testament was baptized (with the exception of the thief on the cross). With this in mind join us this morning as we totally immerse into the water those who have chosen to witness their faith publicly in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Easter

Easter is the annual celebration of the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Easter means that our greatest enemy, death, has been conquered. Because He lives, we have confidence in tomorrow. Because He lives, we have no need to fear or even to worry. We know that He is our First Fruits and that which He accomplished will one day be accomplished in us. We, who were once “poor in spirit”, will now possess the Kingdom of Heaven. The “meek” will inherit the earth. All the promises that were made by Jesus of Nazareth will now come to fruition. Our Savior did not just die in our place that we might not be condemned. Rather, our Savior moved us from death to life. Easter is God’s proclamation emancipation – The slaves to sin have been set free – Love is stronger than death and death no longer has any meaning in the believer’s life. We, who believe in Him, are not like those who have no hope. We know  that one day we will all experience the same resurrection that we speak of when we use the term “don’t die dead”.
       Because He Lives We Can Face Tomorrow!

Hand Writing on the Wall

The most important day of all human history is the day that our sins   were paid and mankind was reconciled to his Creator. So important is this day that God saw fit to place it as the centerpiece of His Word. There, in the center of the Bible, in Psalm 118, God wrote, “This is the Day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it”. This day was proclaimed in the Book of Exodus and the author (God) was very specific. Four days prior to that day (10 Nissan), the people were to select a lamb. They were to keep that lamb until the 14th day of Nissan and then sacrifice it at twilight. In the year of our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem on Sunday, the 10th of Nisan (we call this day Palm Sunday). On that day, the people proclaimed Jesus as their Messiah. Little did they know that they were actually selecting the ultimate “Passover Lamb”. Four days later, on the 14th day of Nisan, Jesus, the Passover Lamb, was slain on the Cross at Calvary. By the way, four days from Sunday is Thursday, not Friday. Palm Sunday begins what  we call “Passover Week”. 

Pastor Bob will now walk us through this amazing week.

ISRAEL IN PHROPHESY

When God called Abram (Abraham) from the City of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the Land of Canaan, He made a very straight forward statement. God said, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you”. So many professing Christians today who claim to have accepted the Jewish Messiah into their life have forgotten where they stand regarding the Nation Israel. Abraham’s seed is the Nation Israel. The promise of His blessings flowed from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and then to his 12 sons who became the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Christians be careful! Make no mistake, we are called to support Israel. Today, we once again welcome Dr. and Pastor Richard Hill and his wife Oanh. These two have dedicated theirs lives to blessing the Jewish community with the greatest blessing ever given to mankind – The
Gospel – The Good News that their Messiah came – Their Messiah died for their sins – Their Messiah who is also our Messiah wants to spend eternity with all of His creation. Our job as Christians is to support  Israel and stand behind those who do.
               Shalom

Church Ordinences

There are many rituals, sacraments or ordinances that are observed within the Christian Church. Most of these are based on denominational doctrines, although every denomination will claim some scriptural basis for the ritual. However, there are only two such ordinances that were commanded by Jesus and these are: Communion and Baptism. Here in the First Southern Baptist, we only follow the commands of our Savior and therefore only keep these two ordinances. Communion came to us at the end of what is commonly called “The Last Supper”. Jesus, knowing that He was going to the cross, instructed His followers to “do this in remembrance of Me”. Baptism on the other hand was a common way of declaring one’s allegiance to God and John the Baptist actually baptized Jesus. As Jesus ascended into Heaven, He said to His followers, “Go into all the world baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. There are variations between denominations of
how we are to take Communion and/or how to Baptize. Today we look to God’s word for guidance as we study these two ordinances, Communion and Baptism.

Be Filled With the Spirit

Sandi and I spent the first 20 years of our marriage serving as evangelist. We held services in the same California Prisons where I had come to know and grow in the Lord. God had called us to return to those prisons to tell the inmates of his love and grace. We encountered so many broken lives each week and had the privilege to lead many to souls to Jesus. It was an amazing time in our life. Lately I have been feeling the urge to rekindle that spark of evangelism right here in our Yucca Church. It is not easy to evangelize in an established church setting as it was in prison many years ago. I know that most people in this church already know the Lord, Jesus Christ as savior.  But, are you on fire for the Lord? – Is your heart’s desire to see others come to Salvation? – Are you a servant of Christ? – If so, let us pray for revival and be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. My job now as paster, is to “raise up the saints for ministry”. The ministry is simple, be filled with the Holy Spirit then people will be drawn to the spirit within you and then and only then will they be open to your sharing our Lord Jesus Christ.

Understanding the Gift of Salvation

As we continue defining our “Statement of Faith” we come to number 5 and 6 on the back of our weekly Bulletin. I am including these two together as I feel that one flows from the other and therefore can be better understood as one statement. Number 5 basically states that “man” was originally created in the image of God but “man” fell into sin and is now lost. Number 6 expands the idea that “man” cannot fix this on his own but only through the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can we be healed. We will look at the concept of “original sin” and why each one of us is in need of a Savior. We will come to an understanding that there is absolutely nothing that we, ourselves, can add to God’s free gift. There is no good deed good enough or works big enough that can add to our salvation. In this study today, we will come to understand all of man’s desperate needs of a Savior from the sin that is decaying both our spirit and our body. Today we will
deal with “Whys” – “Howcomes” – And the “Why Me”. To all these         questions God has the ansers – Lets look at  Salvation.

O' Hades Where is Your Sting

Last week we learned that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. He
went to the Cross and the man part of Jesus died on the Cross and paid man’s penalty for sins. This week we will learn the same man’s (Jesus) body was raised from the grave and that same man’s body ascended into heaven and that same man’s body now sits st the right hand of the Father and is man’s High Priest and advocate. Yes, Jesus is still 100% God and 100% man but it is important to understand that it is a man’s resurrected body in heaven which is sitting at the Father’s right hand. Jesus is our “First Fruit”, proving that we, who have put our faithin Him, will also live with Him in eternity in heaven. Our earthly body will be changed into a heavenly body and in a twinkling of an eye, death will be swallowed up in victory. Our body which is now an earthly body is full of “corruption”. Our Bible tells us that corruption must take on incorruption in order to dwell in heaven. This is an amazing miracle that will only happen to those people who have placed
their faith in God’s only plan of redemption.
Hallelujah, Amen!

The Trinity

Columbia River

The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. Yet, the concept of a triunal God is taught from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible teaches that God, one God, exists eternally in three persons – Father- Son – Holy Spirit. When the Apostle John explained the person of Jesus, he wrote: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. This statement begs the question – How can a person be with
another person and even be the person with whom you are with? The answer is of course that the Word and God are One yet they are separate. In multiple verses, the Bible explains this relationship in the concept of Father and Son. Jesus said to His diciples “When you have seen Me (Son) you have seen the Father”. The Bible also teaches that there is a third person of the Trinity – The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that person of the God Head who indwells the believer and converts a worldly heart into a temple of the true and living God. Today, we will
look closely at the God we serve, understanding that He exists in eternity as three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

war is coming

Civial War

A war is coming – This war was prophesied by Ezekiel 600 years before the birth of Christ. Ezekiel said that this war will come in “the Latter Days” of man’s history. A coalition of nations led by a man called Gog from the land of Magog will bring a surprise attack upon the Nation Israel. God will intervene to protect His people and the attacking army will be utterly destroyed. Ezekiel tells us that God will do this to let the world know that “He is God”. The land of Magog is modern day Russia and the coalition of nations that will accompany Russia will amaze you. All of them are current day haters of Israel. We are living in a time when war with Russia could happen at any time and many people believe that this war could trigger the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel’s war will happen – God’s prophecies will come to pass – And, we who believe in God’s word are now able to see this developing before our very eyes. If we are still here to see Russia marching against Israel, come on down to the church, the Rapture should soon be upon us. We are most definitely living in exciting times.

Rapture of the Church

Pastor’s Desk – Jesus said to His followers, “In My Father’s house are many mansions;…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”. In ancient Israel a statement like this was spoken to the “would be bride”. The groom was going away to prepare a place for his wife to live in His Father’s house. When that room was finished and at a time of His choosing, the groom would stand before the bride’s house and “call her out” to go to be with him. Every Jewish person in that room at the Last Supper understood what Jesus was saying to them. He was going away – But, He was coming back – To take them to His Father’s house. Believers refer to this future event as the “Rapture of the Church”. The day will come when Jesus will return and call His Bride and we will then go with Him to His Father’s House. This glorious event is the next Biblical Prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Until then, the Church is to continue looking for    the “Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing    of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”.

 

 

The Signs of the End are Starting to show. Even in a Country who Matured to be a Safe Place to Live, is Now Reverting Back to Lawlessness. 

We are living in the last of the last days. All end time prophecy is connected through the Nation Israel. And, the Book of Daniel is the hub in the wheel of all prophecy. Daniel was given direct information concerning the timeline of when and how this end time scenario will unfold. God spoke through the angel Gabriel and told Daniel that 70 weeks of years were dedicated to Israel until all sins, transgressions and even prophecies will be resolved. Beginning in the year of 445 BC and counting forward, God used 69 of these 7 year periods (483 years). Precisely at the end of the 483 years, Jesus entered Jerusalem and then died on the cross for the sins of mankind. The Church was born and became God’s visible witness to His grace and mercy and Israel has remained scattered throughout the known world. However, God is not done with Israel – There still remains 7 more years dedicated for Israel. 


From the Garden to Bethlehem

Palmetto tree

Today we come to the second part of our three part series – “From the Garden to Bethlehem”. God said in the Garden that He would put enmity between satan’s seed and the seed of the woman. “He shall bruise your head and you (satan) will bruise His heel”. The “He” in this promise became known throughout Old Testament scripture as “The One” or “The Messiah”. Last week we followed scriptures that showed us the path of the Messiah. This Messiah however, would only come through the seed of the woman. He could not come through the seed of a man. Like it or not guys, it was a man who sinned back in the Garden and God said that the “One” must come through the seed of the woman. The enemy knows this and he has attempted to destroy that seed for 6,000 years. Today we will trace that seed through  the Old Testament scriptures. Both the seed of the  woman and the anointed One, the Messiah, all come together in that little town of Bethlehem.

 

The Birth of Jesus Should not Have Been a Surprise

Garden and Pond

The Savior that was announced to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus should not have been a surprise to the Jewish Nation to whom He was born. This baby was the promised Messiah. He was originally promised to all mankind in Genesis 3:15 at the Garden and specifically promised to the Tribe of Judah throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Today we begin a new mini series that will begin at the Garden and will culminate at the tiny town of Bethlehem. It must have been a great shock to the “Wise Men” when they came to Jerusalem and discovered that no one could tell them directions to the child. “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews”, they ask. Even King Herod and his advisors did not know of His coming – Only that He was to be born in Bethlehem. Today we will look to the myriad of scriptures of which every Jew in Israel should have been familiar. We will begin with the promise of God in the Garden to send “One” into the world who would “crush” the head of satan, to the prophecy of Micah who actually pinpointed that location as Bethlehem. The promises of God are etched in stone. What God promises will come to pass. This promise was of a Savior for you and for me. Today we begin to follow this Savior from the Garden to Bethlehem.

 

Fruits of the Spirit

Fruit Found in Florida

A fruit is a thing that grows from a thing. The fruits of the Spirit are attitudes/behaviors that grow in a believers life when he/she remains in the Vine of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Growth in the Spirit takes time. Growth develops as our walk with Christ develops. Moment by moment, day by day, we as believers are given the choice to either follow the leading of the Spirit or the leading of the flesh. The way of the flesh is eventual death and the Bible tells us that those who “practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God”. Today, as we review the wonderful “Fruits of the Spirit”, we need to continually ask ourselves “am I following the leading of the Spirit or the leading of the flesh”. If your decision brings you peace, joy and comfort, you have chosen wisely. If your decision brings you pride, glory and no comfort you have chosen the flesh. Keep in mind that our natural state of being is to always choose the flesh. However, true growth comes from the Vine of Christ and His Vine produces fruits of:

  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

 

Gratitude Or Thankfulness

Silver Falls

Gratitude toward God is the first true sign or proof of a changed life. Gratitude or thankfulness also accompanies true prayer. It is impossible to relate to God in any other fashion other than that of thankfulness. Thankfulness recognizes the awesomeness of God and His supremacy over our very lives. This recognition should always be the first part of our prayers. When Jesus was asked by His disciples on how they should pray, He said, “Our Father who is in Heaven Hallowed (Holy) is Your name. Then, secondary to God’s attributes should always be our recognition for that which He has done in our lives, past, present and future. Also, there are many benefits for thankfulness to God. The Apostle Paul encourages us to approach God with “Thanksgiving” and when we do, God gives us “peace which surpasses all understanding. As we celebrate our day of Thanksgiving, remember He is always there for us through good or bad – Have a Blessed and Thankful Thanksgiving Day!

Pastor Wayne

 

Life or Death

Cross By Esteban Zárate - Flickr: 100_0314, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18961631

 

Life or death is the ultimate cosmic battle. God, who is life and the giver of life, breathed the breath of life into man and he “became a living soul”. Through the temptation of satan and man’s lust, death entered the world. Our Bible is basically a love story of God’s plan to redeem us from death and bring us back to the Life that He gave.  Our enemy, the devil, is still here to temp us, to deceive us and to kill, steal and destroy us. This devil twists the blessings of God in such a way that man continues to choose his way over the “One” who is the giver of life. Thus, natural man continually chooses death and every year on October 31st, natural man celebrates “death” which gives glory to satan the co-author of death. Sadly, Christians participate equally with a Christ rejecting world on this day. Believers be careful and be aware, satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. What seems cute and sometimes comical is in reality the celebration of death not life. Tomorrow is Halloween,  Christians need to be praying not celebrating. Choose Life NOT Death!        

Pastor Wayne            


Consider your ways

Rattle Snake
Sunset

 

The small group of Jews that chose to return the land of Israel after 70 years were enthusiastic God-fearing believers. Their goal was to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. In the first two years they worked hard and completed the foundation. Then, obstacles arose and enemies in the area applied pressure and the building project came to a halt. The people became spiritually lethargic and said, “The time has not come that the “LORD’S” house should be built.” and, for the next 14 years little or nothing was done on the temple. Then God sent prophet Haggai with a very strong message “Consider Your ways”. They wanted the blessings of God but did not want to “DO” – Rebuild the Temple of God. Today, God’s temple is not made of brick and mortar, but his Temple resides in our hearts. God’s message is still the same. “Consider your ways”. Much of the church today has become spiritually lethargic and our Temple often in need of repair. However, the command from God is the same. Today as it was in the days of Haggai – “Consider your ways”.

                                                                                                                                                                Pastor Wayne