Search

Category

Minister’s Message

What is your favorite translation of the Bible?

After I counted over 23 different translations of the Bible on my bookshelves, I said that I had a favorite but I failed to tell which one was my favorite. As it turns out, my favorite translation of the Bible is the person in whom God’s Word is written. It could be you.

When I see your heart go into a home, a store or a town and I see your hands reach out to touch, to bless the children, to do right by people; I see your life go where the Bible may not go. That’s the way God does it. God reaches people through the life (heart) of Jesus and through our lives (hearts). Paul called it the aroma and fragrance of Christ. Jesus called it the salt of the earth and the light of the world. You are God’s advertisement; We are living epistles. A true Christian is a beautiful translation of the gospel and the best translation of the Bible. Its power is the life of a Christian. What kind of translation are you? What message do people receive who read your life? The only experience that many people will ever have of God is in your life

Mission

We have received a mission from God for today. We are capable and this mission defines who we are. THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT or urgent. We must not forget nor fail. The future of the world depends on it. Jesus expressed it this way: “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Make the environment around you tasty! Let your good works be seen by the world! When your mission is accomplished, God will be glorified. Can you think of any better thing to do with your life today? I can’t.

Joe

Survival Plan

There is a growing movement in the country these past few years called “survivalists”. Participants emphasize storing food, guns and supplies to be able to survive a coming collapse of our country. It reminds me of the fear and hysteria in the weeks before “Y2K”. The apostle Peter, though, gave us a much better survival plan for Christians in 1 Peter 1:13-19:

1. Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

3. Be holy in all you do.

4. If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth, knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Joe

Irony of Prayer

In schools…

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

Its scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
Amen

Is all this not ironic?

Joe

Self-Identity

Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? The answer to this question is called your self-identity and our self-identity and is very important. I hope that our congregational self identity might be unified. How we see ourselves probably reflects our sense of unity. Our yearly goal and theme (Belong) surely is connected to our collective self identity. “We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord. And we pray that our unity may one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

I would be interested in knowing how each one of us would answer the question, “How do you see yourself?” What would you answer if someone asked you, “Who are you?” Would you write your answer on an index card and put it in a box on my desk?

Joe

Three things

There are three things God has never seen:

1. A person that has not sinned

2. A sinner He does not love

3. A sinner He cannot save

Voice of condemnation awakens us as well: “You aren’t good enough” “You’ll never improve” “You failed – again”

These are the voices in our world. They are also the voices in our heads. Who is this morality patrolman who issues a citation at every stumble? Who reminds us of every mistake? Does he ever shut up? Satan never shuts up. The apostle John calls him the Accuser. In fact he makes a career out of accusing. Unlike the Holy Spirit, Satan’s condemnation brings no repentance or resolve, only regret. Christ offers unending intercession on your behalf. He trumps the devil’s guilt with words of grace that leaves Satan speechless.

“…the kindness of God is meant to lead us to repentance.” (Romans 2:4b). Let’s listen to God’s voice.

Joe

Forgiveness

Last Sunday, after the end of our assembly, a visitor asked me an interesting question: “Will God forgive me for killing a person?” I know the answer and when I answered “Yes”, I noticed the tears that began to flow from his eyes. It was as if he felt unworthy of forgiveness so he described how many times he stabbed the victim. When I explained that I was guilty of the crucifixion of the best man who ever lived, I sensed that he understood and promised that he would be back at the next church meeting. We have a great message to share with folks, don’t we? Our message is certainly good news called “the gospel”! Believe it, share it and thank God for it.

Joe

Following Jesus Isn’t for Wimps

By Reginald Smith, Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in TODAY

Scripture Reading — Luke 12:1-3

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. — Luke 12:1

Jesus used an ordinary baking ingredient (yeast) to picture the power of sin in people’s lives. It was Passover, and thousands of Jews were traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate this great feast commemorating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. As part of their preparation for this event, people removed all of the yeast from their homes (see Exodus 12:14-20).

Jesus knew how to use current events to make a point. With people paying so much attention to yeast, he pointed out that the sin of hypocrisy could be just as penetrating as yeast in bread, working its way to affect every inch of life.

In this way Jesus warned his disciples against being hypocrites in their service to God. Discipleship was and is serious business. There is no such thing as being “on the fringe” or neutral. We can easily find ourselves not living our real identity in the one true Savior.

True discipleship will involve suffering and self-denial. Choosing to do the will of God becomes more important than rejection or popularity. Discipleship means making people a priority rather than rituals and traditions. Loving your enemies pleases Jesus more than loving only your friends and family. Following Jesus means caring for the needy rather than giving priority to the rich, influential, and powerful. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow him if we would truly be his disciples. Can we do that?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help us to truly be your disciples. Please take hypocrisy out of our lives so that we may follow your ways. Amen.

Do you belong?

Do you feel like you belong? Do you fit in with a special group? Are you lonely? Are you a part of a family? Do you join in with the conversations that go on around you? Do you ever feel rejected by others? In order to feel that you belong, do you need to be told that you are loved? Or appreciated? Or needed? Or important? If you don’t feel like you belong, is there anything you can do to change that? Can you spot a person around you that doesn’t feel like they belong? If you do detect such a person, have you ever asked them if it were true? Do you care if someone feels that way? Have you ever reached out to such a person? How would you reach out to include this person? Can you feel their pain or loneliness? Please think about all this and share with me your thoughts.

Joe

WordPress.com.

Up ↑