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

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, June 30, 2019

When Jairus heard that his beloved daughter had died, he faced one final test of faith. He was forced to look death right in the face. Imagine the chaos and confusion in his home when he and Jesus arrived. I see Jairus’ wife collapsing into his arms, crying, “Where have you been? It’s too late. Our precious daughter is gone?”

As was the custom of that day, paid professional mourners were weeping and wailing at the scene. Yet when Jesus saw it all, He said to the gathering, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping” (Mark 5:39). What was the reaction? The next verse says, “They ridiculed Him.”

This scene illustrates what the Lord asks of us all. We are to walk straight into our place of confusion, with death, terror and mockery staring you down, and obey this word: “Be not afraid, only believe!”

We don’t know whether Jairus’ faith held strong or if his heart was crushed with fear. We only know that all were astounded by what took place next. Jesus took the dead girl by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, arise. Immediately the girl arose and walked” (Mark 5:41-42).

We are reminded that Jesus’ words time and time again – in face of hopelessness and death, when all possibilities are over and nothing can be done: “Do not be afraid. Only believe” is echoed in our ears.

We must stand on God’s Word – in spite of all pain and grief, in spite of all weakness of flesh, as Jairus did.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, June 23, 2019

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?”

Paul’s trust is not self-confidence, but confidence in the sufficiency of God’s Spirit, who empowers life and ministry in the reality of the New Covenant. The Letter kills means that the external code of the Old Covenant produces spiritual death, because, the Old shows us our need, but is powerless to meet the need.

Only the Spirit gives life. The advantage of the New Covenant is that it is an inward power bearing the Spirit of God Himself; thus enabling us to keep God’s Law. We need to recognize the ability and the power to minister God’s Word comes from God and God alone.

We must preach, under the anointing of our Lord with a sincere heart and let the out-come be in God’s hands. However, be prepared for both negative and positive responses to your godly life and your preaching/witnessing.

Follow the example of those willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel. Live your life in godliness and blamelessness by the power of God. Ask God to give you a deep love for His people.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, June 16, 2019

It has been 22 years since my father exited from this world into eternity and I can say without a hesitation that very few days goes by that something reminds me of him. He was a hard working man all his life … he was dedicated to my mother and my brother and me. While my brother and I were growing up, we had less than many of the people we knew, but we never lacked for food, a warm bed and shoes on our feet. However, I do admit that many times I had to wear my brother’s hand-me-downs and he is a year younger, but bigger, while he got the new clothes and as a kid this did bother me at times.

Why do I say all of this about my father, of whom I loved and still do dearly, because as a child of God I have a heavenly Father who loves me even more and is with me every moment of every day and He has promised me that He will never leave me, but instead will keep drawing me closer and closer to Him as I strive to get closer to Him.

As a child I depended on my father, but now as an adult I now depend on my heavenly Father. He has faithfully provided for me for over 50 years; when I needed nourishment … it was there. When I needed a roof over my head … I stayed warm and dry. When I needed health in my body … I was made whole. When the world all around me appeared to be falling apart … I had His peace and on …………

Happy Heavenly Father’s Day to all!

You are loved, Pastor Don