Pastor’s Pen

 

dividerbar 

Christmas Is A Miracle

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”  Luke 2:11
 
It’s that time of year again when our minds go back to years gone by. We think of families and friends. Yes, and even sorrows. Many will not experience joy because they have not realized the true meaning of Christmas.
 
The prince of this world, Satan, will project sadness into every heart he can. And, yet, this is a time of God’s promise becoming a reality. Remember, that man is born in sin. And a blood sacrifice had to be made as an atonement for sin. The love God offers is beyond human comprehension. For He allowed His only Son, Jesus, to become flesh and dwell among us, and yet His Son knew no sin. Jesus, born of a virgin would become sin for us. And, as we place our lives under His control we are freed of our sin debt.
 
The true meaning of Christmas is the arrival of Jesus who would die for our sins. As our thoughts go to a manger in Bethlehem of Judea we realize God’s promise has become reality. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, let us love one another and let us show our love to God by worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. Without Jesus there would be no Christmas. Nor would there be any joy. As we read the Christmas story from the second chapter of Luke, let us respond with thanksgiving and great joy.
 
May this Christmas be the most beautiful Christmas of your life as you reflect on God’s unchangeable love.
 
Merry Christmas to each one of you!
 
                                               Your humble servant,
                                                       Bro. Gene


How Good Is Your Word?

How Good Is Your Word? And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 2nd Samuel 9:7
 
King David was a man of his word. Many in his day marveled at his care for one of Saul’s descendants. Several things led King David to this loyalty.
 
First, he recognized that Saul was God’s anointed one. And, even when Saul attempted to take David’s life, David refused to do any harm to Saul.
 
Second, Saul’s son, Jonathan, was David’s best friend. He was like a brother to David. When David heard of the death of Saul and of Jonathan, he grieved sorely. King David would not have been obligated to Saul’s family in the eyes of other people, but David felt an obligation because of his relationship with Jonathan and his respect for God’s anointed. He and Jonathan were in agreement to take care of one another. Jonathan had warned David of Saul’s desire to kill him. Jonathan’s actions had save David’s life.
 
David’s integrity in what he had told Jonathan made his decision to take care of Saul’s descendants necessary in order to keep his word. Many people today allow the situation to dictate their actions rather than what they promised.
 
God expects us to be truthful in all of our promises. When we promise God to follow His ways and do His will, He expects no less.
 
Mephibosheth was Saul’s grandson, Jonathan’s son. David’s loyalty to him was from his loyalty to his father and grandfather. It was a surprise to Mephibosheth that David would treat him as one of his own sons. Mephibosheth’s place at the King’s table was secure. His inheritance was protected.
 
If we are to expect God’s blessings on our lives, then we need to be people who will keep their word. Even though others may not know or would ever find out about a promise we made, God always knows.
 
In a world of lies, God’s people need to be trustworthy. Let each of us examine our own hearts and ask ourselves this question, “Have I kept my word?”                                                                                                  
 
                                                                                                 Following God’s direction,                                                                                                                     Bro. Gene


Don’t complain! PRAY!!

1 Timothy 2:1-2

Don’t Complain! PRAY!!

         It is very easy to look and see problems all around us, but not so easy to do something about them.

         Paul in his instructions to a young minister was very pro-active. It would do well for us to heed his words. We may seem small and insignificant in the course of all that happens around us. But, this simply is not true.

         The greatest power in the universe, even above the universe, is God. And, He has enabled us to go directly to Him in prayer. If you find it hard to believe that prayer does anything, pray, and watch. We often say we need to pray about a matter, but, do we actually pray about it?

         Those in authority over us may or may not respond to our wishes. But, they have to respond to God’s authority. In James 4, we read, “We have not because we ask not or ask amiss.” It seems that the logical thing for us to do, is pray. Whether or not we like what those in authority are doing, it is our responsibility as believers to pray for them.  God does hear our prayers and He can change anything or anybody. For, He is in control!

         Let us utilize the greatest power known to man and pray for those in authority. If it looks hopeless, remember God is our present hope in times of trouble.

  Prayerfully,

  Bro. Gene



Do You Want to See Peace?

DO YOU WANT TO SEE PEACE?
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matthew 5:43-44
If we want to see peace in our lives, in our families, and in our world, we have to be willing to do some things Jesus told us to do. We know that we cannot have peace when all we do is argue. We must learn to submit ourselves one to another in Christian love.
As the people of God go, so goes the world. For Jesus has said we are to be the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14). But, if we have the same anger issues that everyone else has, how can we peace?
God has given example after example of what a submissive nature should be like. If you want a real challenge, read the sixth chapter of Matthew, and put the principles Jesus spoke of in your life.
Too many Christians are known as Christians in name only. But, Jesus said if we loved Him, we would keep His commandments. In reality, this is more than any of us can do on our own. But under the direction of the Holy Spirit, it can be accomplished. Submission to Jesus first as Lord of our lives, then dependence on the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be able to accomplish real peace.
One day after the second coming of Christ, when Jesus establishes His millennial kingdom, there WILL be true peace. Scripture teaches that then the Lion will lie down with the Lamb. With all the evil we face today, this may be impossible for our world to obtain now. But, certainly, the harder we work at it, the better off we, and all those we come into contact with, will be.
Striving For A Peaceful Life,
Bro. Gene


DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ENCOURAGER?

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:29-32
We do not know what is happening in the lives of others we see everyday. This is a great reason to practice encouragement. It might be that someone is struggling with life and in desperate need of an encouraging word from God.
Jesus said, “If you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” This warning should be heeded by us all. If we speak a word of discouragement by not being sensitive, we can do great harm. Thoughtless teasing may prove to be totally inappropriate. Rather than to take a chance of causing further discouragement, would it not be better to think before you speak? And encourage others, like this passage from Ephesians, by speaking kind words.
It may be that sometime soon you could be the one who needs encouragement. Practicing an encouraging spirit is an important part of being a member of the Christian family.
Please consider this passage as you encounter fellow believers and nonbelievers as well. This will be pleasing to our Lord.

Watching my words,
Bro. Gene



Understanding God’s Promises

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28
 
We all desire to receive a promise from God. God’s Word is full of His promises to His people. This verse from Paul’s Letter to the Romans is one of the greatest of God’s promises.
 
As we look at the promises of God, we must realize that all of them are conditional. Unfortunately, many times, we take only the promise and fail to receive the conditions. For example, this promise is often quoted as “All things work together for good”, but the condition is where the power is found. Every situation in life will, indeed, work for good IF we meet the conditions. The first condition is a basic requirement of Christianity, love the Lord. The second requirement is the revelation of God’s purpose for our lives.
 
Sadly, many people never realize their true calling after salvation. This is why circumstances don’t turn out “for Good” often times in our lives. Your question may be “How can I know what I’m called to do?” Answer… ask God, pray with an open Bible, and the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit will reveal what God has called you to do. We don’t automatically know what God expects, we must ask Him. Your situation in life may not look good. But, if you operate in the calling God has given you, true good will follow.
 
Loving God means seeking to please Him in all we do. When we please God, He blesses us. Take time to examine this promise. Do you truly love the Lord? Are you operating in His calling? If so, look for your circumstances to produce good.
 
Standing on His Promises,
Bro. Gene


God’s Word…What Does It Mean To You?

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
I remember my life before God’s Word became a part of it. I read God’s Word from time to time and believed it was true. But, I had never attempted to live my life following it’s instruction. And, oh my! What a difference it makes.
Through His Word, I have learned what He expects of me day by day. When someone moves away from God, the first thing they do is abandon His Word. They abandon His Word because it brings conviction of sin and a plan to correct our actions. God’s Word is not only a history book, nor a literature book. It is not a book of poetry nor is it a book of letters. It is a living entity!
So here is a practical way to make God’s Word a part of your life. Start by reading the greatest love story ever told in the Gospel according to John. This will help you to understand the deep love Jesus has for you. Read a Psalm or Proverb everyday to give you a form of praise and a course for daily action. As you progress in reading God’s Word through the other Gospels and the Old Testament Prophets it will become a part of your identity as a Christian.
So, how about beginning right now, today, to make prayer and the study of God’s Word a part of everyday?
Reading it and Heeding it,
Bro. Gene


He Is There Even When You Don’t Feel Him

With God all promises are kept. God says He will be with you and He means it. We need to remember, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” But Jesus said, ”I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10;10)

The Holy Spirit is God… that means the promise is being kept. Jesus said, “I’ll be with you always” and He meant it. Sometimes life is far more difficult than we are able to deal with. But there is never a time when the Holly Spirit can’t take care of us.

I wish I could say that I always remember this, but often times my humanity stops short of the reality of His promise. I trust Him because He is trustworthy. He has proved this over and over.

So what is the answer to this dilemma? To trust Him with all our ability, knowing that He is with us in all of our situations.

Thank you for your prayers, and your words of encouragement. That is what makes a church family so great. We must never lose sight of the fact that we are God’s family on earth. Our lives are to be examples for those who are without God.

Praising Him for His Presence,

Bro. Gene



God So Loved The World

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Bro. Gene is still having problems with his eyes. He asked that I thank you for all the prayers you have prayed for his eyesight and he also asked for your continued prayers. His eyes are healing but not as quickly as he would like. He has started on a stronger steroid eye drop medication which causes great discomfort when being administered. Please continue to pray for complete healing of his eyes so he can continue to read the Word of God and preach the Gospel.

I just finished watching Billy Graham’s funeral. It was beautiful. His children talked about what a man of God he was. Franklin said that the Billy Graham we saw in the pulpit was the same Billy Graham they saw at home. Ann, his daughter, promised her dad she would continue to preach the Gospel. Ruth, another daughter, told of how she had not listened to her families’ advice and married a man whom they didn’t approve. She said as she was driving home after leaving this man, she was wondering how the family would accept her. Would they be disappointed in her? She said as she drove up the drive Billy was standing there. He met her, hugged her and told her, “Welcome home.” Ruth said he gave her unconditional love. Ann also said after Billy’s health failed, she would read the Bible to him. Billy Graham loved the Word of God. He believed it, preached it, and lived by it.

Dear God,

Help us to be a better servant for you. Help us to get our hearts right. Help us to have pure hearts. Give us the desire to live according to your standards for our lives. Give us the strength and courage to stand up for our Christian beliefs and to be a positive witness for Christ. Burden our hearts for the lost. May we never pass up an opportunity to tell the gospel to those who need You as Lord and Savior. And thank You for sending Billy Graham into the world during our lifetime. It is amazing to see how much You used him to spread the Gospel around the world. In Jesus name. Amen

Ann



God Is Still Saying The Same Thing

And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:

Exodus 20:1-5

The words God spoke to Moses in his day are the same words God is speaking to us today. While the people in the days of Moses were held in bondage physically, today people are held in bondage due to sin. But JESUS came to deliver us out of bondage.

We need to realize that God is not a God that will share His deity with any other gods. We have choices to make daily and many times we choose other things over God. It is so easy to forget the time of bondage and our desires take control of our actions.

In Egypt, the bondage was harsh. The sin bondage is very harsh also. In fact, many people are never delivered from it and perish in bondage. Unlike the deliverance from Egypt, God gives us a choice. We can accept the deliverance offered by Jesus, or continue to be held in bondage by sin. Some of the people who were physically delivered from Egypt complained and wished they were still in Egypt. Many who are delivered from sin by the blood of Jesus cannot stay away from the gods of pleasure that sin offers.

It comes down to this. We are either a member of the family of God or we are not. We cannot have a part-time God, in Jesus.

He is our Lord and Savior or He is not. We need to examine our loyalty to God. Do we trust Him completely and follow only Him?

Or are we guilty of dividing our loyalty?

Revival means turning around and heading the way we need to go. The message is the same, who will you choose Jesus or worldly gods?

Praying for revival,

Bro. Gene