From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The absolute authority of the Bible over our lives is based in our conviction that this Book does not merely contain the Word of God, but that it IS the Word of God in its sum and in its parts. Our text for the promise of God, this week (2nd Timothy 3:16-17) testifies to this, describing the actual process of this Holy Spirit inspiration:

  1. It is the word of the Holy Spirit which literally means God breathed. This describes the source of the whole Bible. The Bible is NOT the product of elevated human consciousness or enlightened human intellect, BUT is directly breathed from God Himself.
  2. 2nd Peter 1:20-21 elaborates this truth and adds that none of what was given was merely the private opinion of the writer and that each writer involved in the production of the Holy Scriptures was moved by the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that the writer were merely robots, seized upon by God’s power to write automatically without their conscious participation. God does not override those gifts of intellect and sensitivity that He has given His creatures.
  3. 1st Corinthians 2:10-13 expands on this process by which the revelation of the Holy Scriptures was given. Verse 13 says that even the words used in the giving of the Bible (not just the ideas, but the precise terminology) were planned by the Holy Spirit, who deployed the respective authors of the Bible Books to write, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (literally, matching spiritual words to spiritual ideas).

This biblical view of the Bible’s derivation is called the plenary verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, meaning every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Suppose one of your children was injured and crying out for your help. As his parent, would you immediately rush to his aid or would you stop to analyze the quality of his trust in you? You would run to his side without hesitation, of course, motivated by love and concern.

What kind of earthly father would leave a child bleeding and hurt simply because the child didn’t voice some kind of faith in him? And the same can be said of our heavenly Father. He will never leave one of his children to suffer alone or shut his ear to their cry simply because their faith in him may be weak.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself.” (2nd Timothy 2:13)

My faith, your faith, all faith must rest on the kindness and concern of our heavenly Father; we are commanded to glory in His love and everlasting kindness.

God loves His children so much that He hears before they call. That is why David prayed, “Hear my voice according to Your loving kindness; O Lord, revive me according to Your justice” (Psalm 119:149)

So many Christians have difficulty grasping the great love of God for them. He loves you and comes to your rescue even when your faith is weak, when you don’t deserve any answer from Him – all because of His tenderness and compassion.

Great peace will flood your life when you become convinced that God deeply loves you. He will rescue you and intervene in every situation of your life. Weak faith or not, nothing can hinder His pure love for you!

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, August 25, 2019

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3) Jesus and his disciples are passing through Samaria. They stop at a town called Sychar. The disciples go into town to get food for their bodies. But Jesus stays behind, outside at a well, to care for someone’s soul.

A woman came to the well to draw water. For this woman, it was not a moment of rest and relaxation. It was work. This hard work was made even harder by the men she had known and now she was living with a man who was not her husband. He was just one more man in a line of men, leading her to feel less human and less loved … a lost soul.

The question is, how do we restore a soul? The body can be healed. A surgeon can cut your flesh, open your chest, and reach in and actually touch your beating heart. But your soul, now that’s a different matter. Cares and hurts of just living cut deeper than any surgeon’s knife. They touch our soul; thus making us restless and weary and longing for restoration. Such matters in life can only be handled with the hand of God.

Jesus in a conversation with the woman at the well offers her living water. However, this water does not come from a well. It comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. God’s love flows into the world in Jesus. His death for our sin is God’s gift of life. His love is a life-giving stream. Jesus comes and restores this woman and sh becomes a child of God.

He still comes. This Jesus, who is our shepherd, comes to us with this living stream of water and restores us with our Father in heaven. It makes no difference how broken we are … how much we have gone through … what He touches is made new. Can we hear an Amen?

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This past week I was impressed by reading once again, 2nd Corinthians 3:5-8 and from that reading I want to share some thoughts. We who believe in the truthfulness of God’s Word need to be aware that does not guarantee that we will minister that truth in the Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:15 describes growth and maturity in the body of Christ as being related to our “speaking the truth in love.”

Paul in his writings warns of the danger of God’s Word being ministered literally but not life-givingly. We need not wonder if this is possible, since the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Life are the same – the Holy Spirit. Blending both will always reveal three things: 1) A faithfulness to “keep straight” … “rightly dividing the word of truth” means putting forward the truth, faithfully and forthrightly. 2) A constant presence of love, even in the most demanding declarations of correction or judgment. Urgency may attend our message and passion infuses our delivery; but anger, impatience, and irritation are not of the life-giving Spirit, however literally accurate the interpretation of the Bible or preaching thereof may be. 3) An expectation of signs to follow the preaching of God’s Word. Jesus promised this, and the early church tested its beginnings. Paul described it as normative in his ministry and the Book of Hebrews endorsed this as a part of the “so great salvation” we have been provided.

These “signs” and “wonders” not only is to verify Christ’s living presence where His gospel is preached, but also is to warn us against drifting from the new life to which we have all been called.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, August 11, 2019

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,'” (Matthew 2:1&2). Repentance is a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.

The first call of the kingdom is to repentance. The implications of biblicl repentance are three fold: 1) renunciation and reversal, 2) submission and teach ability, and 3) continual shape ability. There is no birth into the kingdom without hearing the call to salvation, renouncing one’s sin, and turning from sin toward Christ the Savior (Acts 3:19).

There is no growth in the kingdom without obedience to Jesus’ commandments and a childlike responsiveness as a disciple of Jesus, yielding to the teaching of God’s Word (James 1:21-25).

There is no lifelong increase of fruit as a citizen of the kingdom without a willingness to accept the Holy Spirit’s correction and guidance (Ephesians 4:30).

The New Testament records 137 references to “the kingdom,” and over 100 of these are during Jesus’ ministry, as His entire teaching and approach as Messiah – the Savior-King – center on this theme. Jesus offers the blessing of God’s rule, now available to bring life to every human experience, as well as deliverance from the dominance of either flesh or the Devil.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

August 4, 2019

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had encircled for seven days.” Hebrews 11:30

Every generation of Christians must check themselves to discern whether their mission and actions are God-honoring. We continually have to ask, “Are we still serving the Lord and or neighbor faithfully and sacrificially? Or have we drifted into a ‘bless me’ mentality?”

Christ knew exactly where the masses’ hearts were when they began following Him. “You want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs” (John 6:26). Why does Jesus refer to “miraculous signs” here? Think about what a sign does. It points to something; it isn’t the thing itself. When a road sign reads, “Denver 60 miles,” we know we’re not in Denver yet, but we’re on the way. In the same way, Jesus was letting the disciples know that the loaves and fishes weren’t the point. They revealed the loving care of the heavenly Father. His miracles are signs of His care for us.

Do you look for God in our midst or do we merely seek his provisions? Let’s be honest, often when we pray we want an answer not, today, this hour. That’s an unfortunate trait of our world’s “have it all now” culture. In a spiritual sense, we lack a tremendous value that the Greatest Generation held dear: to know that by faith we’ll eventually see great blessings.

For the Christian, knowing God isn’t about being “blessing now.” The Lord won’t bend to our lusts to give us everything we want, when we want it. His desire is to have a relationship with us – an ongoing, long-term relationship that bears lasting fruit. So His blessings aren’t the end-all of the relationship; they’re signs of His faithfulness and compassion – traits that any of us would covet in a relationship. Christ miracles were evidence of those beautiful traits.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, July 28, 2019

“And do no be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

To “renew” is “to renovate,” implying a restoration to freshness or to an original state. We are not to remain in the accepted pattern of an age whose god is the Devil. On the contrary, we are to be transformed by a renewed mind committed to the ideals of the kingdom of God. It intimates the potential of redemption’s power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and a recovery of many potentialities of the human mind and soul as designed before the Fall.

The “mind” constitutes the intellect or understanding, but also includes all that is described in the world “mind-set,” that is, the feelings and the will. Thus, being “transformed” by the renewal of the mind indicates a literal “change in the form or formulas of thought or being.”

This describes redemption’s provision of power to instill godliness in us – a power that transform; 1) our thoughts, which lead to formulating, 2) our purposes, which proceed to dictate our actions; and, 3) our actions become character-determining habits, shaping the life and setting the course for the future.

The path to godly living is not complicated, nor is it energized by the flesh, but it dos call the believer to willingly submit to the Father’s provision and ways.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, July 21, 2019

There are thousands of “very powerful” passage’s in God’s Word and one of them comes from Philippians 3:10: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” This verse sums put Paul’s primary pursuit in life: to know Christ.

From a prison cell in Rome, Paul pens this personal letter in which he comes to terms with an accomplished past and a confirming present. After his past as a persecutor of God’s people and through his “superior” religious activeness as a Pharisee, Paul came to the liberating conclusion that all is rubbish compared to knowing the Lord! (Verse 8).

Freed from the stagnation of yesterday’s victories and the emotional paralysis of yesterday’s mistakes, Paul knew that the only thing that ultimately counted was knowing the Lord and being obedient to His will.

Not only was his past subsumed by this singular passion, his present imprisonment could not snatch from him the joy of knowing Christ. Prison chains could not keep him from pursuing God, nor dull his effectiveness in ministry (1:12-14). Paul’s desire to know Christ sprang from no other motive but to enjoy Him. He wanted Christ for Christ’s sake, not his own. He was a lover of God, not a user of God. And whether he moved in Christ’s resurrection power or was stretched to his last ounce of endurance, it mattered little. For Paul, it was all a part of the most fulfilling journey of all: truly knowing God. Let us be busy Growing to knowing!

Your are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I want to begin today with words that can enrich your life, regardless of where you are spiritually and they come from one of the most challenging books in the Word of God.

“But now, thus says the Lord, who crated you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel; Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)

The book of Isaiah is filled with tremendous promises of God’s desire and ability to redeem and restore His people. Even though they walked away from God and His ways, yet the Lord in His gracious mercy brought His people back to Himself and healed them.

If you or a loved one has walked away from God or feel broken or needy, know that the Lord desires deeply to restore you to a relationship with Himself. Today is not a time of grieving, but a time to take that “broken or needy” situation to the Lord and then begin to praise Him because you have His promise to restore. You have His promise to protect you and to be drawn closer to Him. You have that promise that you are His.

Receive these verses as a promise for you today, inviting you into the loving arms of Jesus.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Oh how I love the Book of Romans. When we apply it to our lives, we become a powerful force and the Devil begins to sweat every morning when we get out of bed. Today let us consider these two verses: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

Oh what great power and promise we have in God’s Word. Here in these two verses is the most foundational lesson in the importance and power of faith’s confession found anywhere in the Bible. This principle is established at the very beginning of our life in Christ.

Just as salvation (God’s righteous working in our behalf) is appropriated by our heart belief and our spoken confession, so is His continuing working in our lives is advanced by the same means. It should be noted that the word “confess” has the connotation of “a biding public declaration by which a legal relation is contractually established.” Thus, as our words “contract” from our side the salvation God has fully provided from His Son’s saving work and power, so we have a principle for all of life.

Beginning in the spirit of saving faith, let us grow in active faith – believing in God’s mighty power for all our needs. So let us speak with our lips what our hearts received and believe of the many promises in His Word. Let us accept God’s “contracts” for all our need by endowing them with our confessed belief – just as when we were saved.

You are loved, Pastor Don