From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, October 13, 2019

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)

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. This text testifies to this, describing the actual process of the inspiration (in-breathing of life):

  1. It is the Word of the Holy Spirit – it is the inspiration of God and translated it means “God-breathed.” This describes the source of the whole Bible’s derivation as transcendent of human inspiration. 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 his 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 writers 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 he precise terminology) were planned by the Holy Spirit, who deployed the respective authors of the Bible books to write, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”.

What does all this mean … Every word in the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God!

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, October 6, 2019

“If you love me, you will keep my commands.” It was Jesus final night with the disciples and He knew His time was short. They had just finished supper and He wanted to impart to them one last teaching while on earth. He led them on a walk and along the way He gave them this analogy:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. (John 15:1-5)

What a lovely image summing up our relationship to the Son and the Father. Jesus is the vine and we are branches extending from Him; He is the source of all life flowing into us. Overseeing all of this life-flow is our heavenly Father, the gardener who tends to our growth. Could there be any more serene image of our life in Christ?

Christ is telling us He is more than a mere life source to us–He’s the life source. Other vines may appear to promise life but none contain true life as He does. Some Christians seek life from other vines, sources that destroy life and aren’t legitimate for any Christian. Others seek life from sources that seem good and legitimate–ambition and drive, success and comfort–but these vines in themselves are lifeless. They can’t produce true life. Jesus wants us grafted firmly into Him so that we may drink deeply of His abundant life every day.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Welcome to Anderson’s & Girls Orchards

One of the more interesting chapters can be found in Matthew 13 where Jesus speaks of several parables and during the chapter He gives us a reason for the parables as a means of teaching “kingdom” truths. These parables clearly relate to different time frames. Some impact the present, teaching 1) the need for kingdom people to have hearing ears; 2) the breadth of the kingdom’s spread; and 3) the cost of the kingdom’s acquisition.

Others relate to the future, teaching 1) the final disposing of the fruit of the Adversary’s hindrance and 2) the final disposition of the mixed in-gathering from kingdom outreach. In mixing these two aspects of the “kingdom,” Jesus helps us appreciate the kingdoms as both present and prospective.

The message of the kingdom is two-edged and relates to two frames of time; first, God, in Christ, is now recovering man from his double loss – relationship with God and of ruler-ship under God. He promised this at man’s fall, illustrated it in the patriarchs and Israel’s history, and now the King has come to begin fully bringing it about.

The kingdom is being realized presently, in partial and personal ways, as it is spread through all the earth by the Holy Spirit’s power in the church. Second, the kingdom will be realized finally in consummate and conclusive ways only at the return of Jesus Christ and by his reign over all the Earth. What we experience of His triumph now, n part, will then be fully manifested.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, September 22, 2019

“And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the Faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.'” Acts 14:21-22.

Paul not only taught the joy and peace of the kingdom of God, its power, and its present authority to cause the believer to triumph over evil. He also taught that “kingdom people” experience trial, suffering, and not always an “instant victory”. Triumph and victory may characterize the attitude of each citizen of the kingdom of God, and Holy Spirit-empowered authority is given to be applied to realize results.

Yet, God did not promise life without struggle. The “dominion” being recovered through the presence of the King within us and ministered by the Holy Spirit’s power through us is never taught by the apostles as preempting all suffering.

This text reminds us that victory only comes through battle, and triumph only follows trial. Only a weak view of the truth of the kingdom of God pretends otherwise. Another weak view surrenders to negative circumstances on the proposition that we are predestined to problems and therefore should merely tolerate them. The Bible teaches that suffering, trial, and all order of human difficulty are unavoidable; but God’s Word also teaches that they may all be overcome.

The presence of the King and the power of His kingdom in our life make us neither invulnerable nor immune to life’s struggles. But they do bring the promise of victory; provision in need, strength for the day, and healing, comfort, and saving help.

You are loved, Pastor Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

Sunday, September 15, 2019

As you know, we are in Uganda ministering, and revival is on my heart, so i will speak on it for a moment. Revival fires wane for various reasons. Sometimes the purposes of God have been fulfilled as believers have been quickened to evangelism and new outreaches have been birthed and carried out. Other times, genuine revival can be shut short and the fire of the Holy Spirit quenched through unrealized compromise. True spiritual fires dwindle:

  1. When we allow the excitement of crowds and miracles to dull our ears to hearing the foundational truths of the Holy Spirit’s counsel
  2. When we look to the visitation of the Spirit to shore up weaknesses in the local fellowship rather than correct problems
  3. When we allow an attitude of pride and showmanship to distort the simplicity of God’s workings, and the visitation is reduced to a cleverly publicized event
  4. When we fail to maintain the balance of the pastoral needs of the congregation, substituting the sheer energy of the meetings for shepherd care and faithful feeding of the sheep
  5. When we neglect to make disciples who would have multiplied the effectiveness of the revival
  6. When we allow breakdown of authority and unity in the leadership team through prayerlessness, weariness, or functioning outside the boundaries of individuals gifting
  7. When we look to “professionals” to further the growth of the church instead of fostering the release of ministries that have bonded to the life and value system of the congregation
  8. When we lose the focus and object of loving worship by using “worship” as a means of stimulating desires responses in people
  9. When we allow the “busyness and excitement” of revival to take priority over vigilance in humble prayer and intercession
  10. When we see revival as a way to advance a private local “kingdom”, rather than to benefit the whole body of Christ.

You are loved, Pastor Don

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