Pastor’s Pen

 

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Look For Your Cloud’s Silver Lining

Romans 8:28 says : And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
 
This passage in Romans may be difficult to understand, for , whenever we have a problem we seldom think about it bringing any good. God’s plan for us is to bless us in all circumstances. We read in the book of James that tribulation produces patience and all of us could certainly use a little more patience. But, non of us desire tribulation to gain it.
 
One of the best illustrations of how this occurs is a true story told to me by a friend in another church. As he was on his was to work one day, he had a flat tire on his old truck. The weather was hot and he didn’t want to be late to work. So as quickly as he could, he changed the tire. It took about twenty minutes before he was on his way again. About two miles up the road was a very busy intersection. When he got to the intersection, the flashing lights told him that something bad had happened. As he worked his way around the twisted wreckage, a policeman told him there were fatalities and it happened about twenty minutes earlier. The flat tire, though it was an inconvenience, had stopped him from being at the intersection when someone had run a red light.
 
The next time you have something happen that brings undesirable consequences, remember this passage in Romans. I certainly have not enjoyed this recent battle with pemphegus. But, I have noticed that my patience has certainly increased just as it says in James 1:2-3. So while we may not be desirous of problems and tribulations, take time when dealing with them to see God’s silver lining in your cloud.
Patiently yours,
Bro. Gene


Tithing

TITHING
1.And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
3. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4. For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
 
Luke 21:1-4

Tithing is for those who desire to follow the Lord’s teaching concerning giving. In the Old Testament, it was required that ten percent of one’s income should be given to the storehouse of God. But, we find, in the time of David and Solomon, that people gave much more. In the Book of Acts, people gave of their substance, many times all they had.

The widow we read about in this passage, gave all she had. As we look at giving, we see a number of truths. Out of the abundance of the heart is where the true sacrifice comes. We must first realize God already has ownership of everything. Yet, He trusts us to use what He gives us in a proper way. It is said by many that ten percent of the church gives ninety percent of the money.

I’m a firm believer that giving is an act of worship. Numerous times throughout the Scripture we find people giving sacrificially to build the House of God. And, they even gave to rebuild a destroyed wall, as in the case of Nehemiah. I would encourage all of us to give. If we fail to give with a cheerful heart, our gifts will lose their value.

When we speak of giving to God, we should not overlook the giving of our time. All giving is a personal matter between the giver and his Lord. Before we get too far into this new year, have a conversation with God and follow His leadership in the giving of money and of time.

Praising God for the greatest gift ever given, His Son,
Jesus Christ!
Bro. Gene


A Sure Way To Get Through A Bad Day

A SURE WAY TO GET THROUGH A BAD DAY   22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.                                Lamentations 3:22-23
 
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it looked as if there was no way out?  Most of us would have to say yes, because it is a natural part of being human.  We don’t have to feel this way, for there is an answer… put all of your trust in God!  Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations about God’s faithfulness.  We all, as Christians, have experienced God’s faithfulness in our lives.  Our problems are never too great for God to handle, but we must trust Him with our situation. 
 
As of late, it seems as if I have had to trust God’s faithfulness more than ever.  The good news is that He has once again proved that He is faithful.  God does not bring calamities into our lives, but He can certainly lead us through them.  I know I have worn the pulpit out preaching the message of prayer and reading the Word of God, and our difficulties in life are much of the reason.
 
You can come to God easier when you are in fellowship with Him than when you only call unto Him when you are in difficulty.  God enjoys fellowship with all believers and that is one of the reasons that we can always see His faithfulness.
 
Often we take for granted His day by day mercies and we are less than grateful for them.  When you call 911, you have faith that there will be a quick response.  When you are close to God, you know He also will respond quickly.  It may be that our problems will not be solved quickly, but, He will be with us instantly when we call for Him.  His presence makes any situation bearable.  Please join me in a renewed effort to protect our individual relationship with God.  I think we all will be surprised at the great difference it will make.                                   
 
     Trusting in God’s faithfulness,    
                                      Bro. Gene  


NO NEED TO WORRY WHEN YOU SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD

   NO NEED TO WORRY WHEN YOU SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD      

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:28-34)
 What will the year 2019 bring?  If you are trusting in anyone but God, who knows? But as the scripture says in Matthew 6, if you “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” there will be nothing to worry about.  We may not be rich or famous or free from life’s hard knocks, but we will be taken care of by God.
 Too many times we are seeking favor in the world, and not thinking about what it means to have favor with God.  If you have read Psalm 103, you know what God’s plans are for you.
The scripture is the place to look to find what God will do for us.  He has plans for all of us, if we will seek Him first.  If we have a bucket list of worry items, this will keep us from knowing His great provisions. 
 Ninety-nine percent of all the things we worry about never happen.  Worry is a colossal waste of time and energy. Trusting God does not mean that we are to sit idly by, doing nothing.  The proverbs say, “If we don’t work, we don’t eat.”  But, if you have lost your job, God knows it and He will provide a way for you to make it.  I know about God’s provisions, for He has always provided all of my needs.
 In the year 2019, join me in learning to trust Him with all of our hearts.  Be ready for God’s blessings to overtake you when you least expect it.  And remember, though God is seldom early, He is never late.  
                                    Trusting in God,   
                                     Brother Gene 


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