Show Appreciation for the Church Elders

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12 Brothers, we ask you to show your appreciation for those who work among you, set an example for you in the Lord, and instruct you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard, loving them because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
 – 1 Thess. 5:12-13 IVS
We are instructed to pray for and respect those that are in leadership positions and have authority over us. This is true in the natural and spiritual areas of our lives. It is God that has lifted them up or has allowed them to be lifted up to those positions. God can use these people, be they good or evil, to accomplish His plans and purposes. As long as their instructions to us do not violate man’s law or the Word of God, we should follow their directives.  So, it is imperative for us to pray for and support our pastoral staffs as long as they hold to Biblical principles. Our support should not only be financial, but we should support them with our time and our presence at the activities they have planned for the church.  Love them, pray for them and  be there for them when they need someone. The leaders of the church are worthy of double honor.
 
 17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” — 1 Timothy 5:17, 18

God has raised them up and if they are no longer worthy of that position, He is their judge and He will bring them down. We should live in peace, not only with the leaders of our congregation, but also with our brothers and sisters in our church, our community and throughout the world.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-18-2018

In God Alone

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3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.— Psalm 60:3

 
There are times in all of our lives when we feel like David in this Psalm. We feel like we are broken down and unable to function. It is as if everything we have held on to is being shaken and stripped away from us. God allows us to go through these hard times to develop our faith. We are often confused by the things God allows, although we should not be. When we meditate on God’s Word, we are reminded that the answer is always the same. We don’t need things, we need Jesus. We need to learn to pray a new way. If we want peace, then we have to do what God has called us to do. We should be asking God, not so much for things, but for His presence to be magnified in our life and our lifestyle. We cannot accomplish this alone, We need the Holy Spirit every second of every day. When we get our priorities straight, we will arrive at the same conclusion that David did in this Psalm.  We are unable to do anything of value with God’s help. It is He who tramples our foes and does mighty things for us.  Or, as Jesus put it, “you can do nothing without me”.   But with His help, Paul reassures us that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
Post 09-26-2016

As You Go!

even-smaller-bug-light119 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. — Mark 5:19, 20 NLT

Do you remember the joy and the excitement that came into your life when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior?  Some of us felt great burdens lifted from us and immediately experienced freedom from some of our old habits.  Others just felt a peace that they had never had before.   Either way, most of us suddenly felt a great desire to tell somebody about what had just happened. Our lives were changed for the better.  It was the beginning of a journey with Jesus.  That journey has and will continue to take us through experiences and situations that will try us.   Each of these experiences will be an opportunity for us to grow closer to the Lord or a temptation for us to become bitter.  That choice is up to us.   If we choose correctly, we will find that we always come through those times a little stronger than we were before.  Our initial joy will be increased becaused of the victories that we have over these situations.  Those victories comes from Jesus ​Christ, just as our salvation came from His actions at Calvary.  Each of these experiences of overcoming temptation and suffering is another story we can use to tell people about Jesus.  They aren’t just for our benefit, they are to be shared so that others will come to know Jesus.  They are to be shared with those around us where we are right now.  It is not necessary to change your vocation.  When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to do tell others “as you go”.

 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. ​ — Matt. 10:7. 8 NIV
Post 02-21-2016

Planting and Watering

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:5-9 (NIV)
​Paul continues to teach that it is the message, the Good News, that is important. Paul and Apollos are only servants of Jesus Christ carrying out His command to “go and make disciples”. It is also a message to us that each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise that gift and use it to further God’s work and His Kingdom here on earth. We are all members of one body and each of us has a part in the Kingdom and the church. We will be rewarded in heaven for the works that we do here on earth. But if we refuse to use the gift that God has given us to benefit the body, then the whole body is injured and unable to function in the way God has planned for His church. He will call someone else to fill that position and we will lose our earthly blessing and our heavenly reward for that particular task. We are co-workers, planting and teaching, but God is the One who gives the increase. We are responsible for being and doing, we are not responsible for the results. That is God’s part and He will not fail.
10 As the rain and the snow​ come down from heaven,​ and do not return to it
without watering the earth​ and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:​ It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire​ and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)

Post 05-04-2015