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Tue, Aug 11.20

  Beaver Creek Christian Church : A nondenominational fellowship of believers in Ashe County, West Jefferson, NC Minister's Minute: Minister's Blog - Posted Every Tuesday - Friday

 

Praying Purposefully

Ephesians 8:16; Various

Praying Purposefully

Ephesians 8:16 Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Have you ever thought your prayers aren’t reaching God? Perhaps you feel like your prayers can’t even break through the ceiling of the room your praying in let alone reach the throne of God.

I recently had someone who told me that they have trouble staying awake when they say their prayers at night. I’ve had someone else confess that they feel their prayer life is stuck in a rut. And then someone else told me that they stopped praying because it “wasn’t doing them much good.”

The problem isn’t that God isn’t listening. It’s often that we pray colorless and lackluster prayers because we are not praying purposefully. That’s because we look as prayer as somewhat of a requirement. We feel like it’s something we have to do and so we kind of go on autopilot, sending empty prayers up to heaven that have no meaning. We’ve heard other people’s prayers and we’ve learned to imitate them. But what we imitate isn’t right because we don’t have the proper connection. We get stuck in a pattern of recited prayers instead of what it’s supposed to be.

We often think we have to pray before bed, before a meal, or when we are at church. But when we pray do we really mean it? Are we truly thankful for the food? Do we really thankful for the day… what does that mean anyway?

When the disciples heard Jesus pray they wanted to learn to pray like him. “Teach us to pray like you!” They said. That’s because Jesus talked to God in a very personal manner. God desires to have a relationship with us.

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray by giving them a model. Unfortunately many people have tried to use it more like a recipe by reciting the prayer instead of understanding what it’s about. The prayer is about personal communication with God that involves praise and adoration, thanksgiving, acknowledgement or blessings, request for others, request for ourselves, confession and repentance, and a submissive heart that is open to God. Praying is really how we connect with God.

When we start to pray with the purpose of connecting with God we should start praying intentionally and as a result, we will see things start to happen! Our prayer life changes for the better. And we grow in our faith.

Ephesians 6:18 - “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” –

Matthew 21:22 - “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Do you really believe that? When you ask God for help or for him to bring things into your life, do you really believe with all your heart that he will take care of things and act in the best interest for you? God has your best interest at heart, so trust that he knows what is best for your life and his plan will prevail

1 Peter 5:7 - “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Think about prayer as a text message to God. What do you really want to communicate to him? What are you really thankful for? What mighty acts has he done in your life? Think of how blessed you actually are and realize that things could actually be a lot worse. Thank God for those things. Tell him how much you appreciate what you have and ask him kindly to help you in difficult situations.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Trust God no matter what the circumstances are that you are going through. Send your prayers to heaven and mean it when you say that you trust God.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father in heaven, We truly thank you tonight for the blessings you have given to us. We thank you for the rain that waters the plants and fills our cisterns. We praise you that we are going to get the opportunity to worship and meet together this Sunday at church. And we thank you for getting us through these hard times with the Coronavirus outbreak. But most of all, Lord, we thank you for redeeming our lives with the blood of your Son. Because of Jesus we can have the kind of relationship with you that makes our prayers personal and meaningful. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Here is one more verse for you tonight. Psalm 9:10 states, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Here is another good verse to memorize for our challenge this month. Let’s memorize 4 new verses by June 31th.

I found this app called Verses that helps you memorize the scriptures. Perhaps it would be a good tool for you and your family especially if you find it hard to memorize things. It uses games and repetition to help you learn. It’s free for the first month if you want to check it out.

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 21, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

On Whose Heart Is Jesus Knocking

Revelation 3:20; Matthew 24:42-51; Various

On Whose Heart Is Jesus Knocking

Revelation 3:20; Matthew 24:42-51; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Last night we talked about memorizing scripture and maybe one of them that you already know by heart is Revelation 3:20. It goes like this, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (NASB).

This is a very good verse. It is an invitation to fellowship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately the verse is very often used to talk about evangelism and about the non-believer hoping up the door to his heart and letting Jesus come in. But this verse is not about accepting Jesus Christ. It’s much, much more.

This verse comes from the last letter that Jesus is sending to the 7 churches of Asia. It is the church of Laodicea, the lukewarm church. These letters to the churches are actually to Christians who really a wake-up call to be ready because Jesus says these things are soon to happen. Some of the churches got a fairly good report, some need a little work, but the Christians of Laodicea really need to wake up because the Lord is about to throw them up… they are intolerable. They think they are rich but Jesus says they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. In other words they are dirty, stinky, and disgusting. But Jesus reminds them that he still loves them. He says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.”

We think that the person inside the house or heart is the owner of the home. This home is his castle. They are in change. They make the decisions. They decide who come in or not. But what if this isn’t the case.

The picture Jesus is painting is actually more like the parable in Matthew 24 and 25. Since these are Christians that Jesus is talking to then the master of the house is actually Jesus, who has been away. He is now returning to HIS home to be greeted by his servant who should have been ready, waiting, and faithful to tend to his Master’s business.

Read Matthew 24:42-51

So who will Jesus find inside his home, our heart. Will he find a servant who eagerly throws open the door and brings his Master in so they can dine together and fellowship and talk about all the servant has done while the Master was away. Or will he find the wicked servant who has barred the door so his Master won’t find out that he has eaten the master’s food and drank the master’s wine and neglected the master’s business and affairs. “…When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:8).

Each of the letters to the seven churches ends with Jesus saying, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The Greek word λέγω (lego’) helps us to know that this is more than just hearing… it’s perceiving the word. This Greek word literally means bringing a discussion to the close… Jesus gets the last word. That’s because Jesus is the Word. He expects us to hear, receive, and respond to his message.

Jesus wants us to be ready when he comes. So are you ready, waiting, faithful, and eagerly expecting the Master? Are you the bride waiting for the Bridegroom to return?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord and Master, Father of All, We know that we are just servants tending to your business in your home. Help us to be faithfully and eagerly working for you. We want to be found as faithful, watching and waiting servants when Jesus returns. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This verse is a really good one. It would be good to memorize Revelation 3:20. Maybe you can make it one to memorize in our challenge to memorize 4 new verses by June 30th.

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 20, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Importance of Memorizing Scripture

Psalm 119:11; Various

The Importance of Memorizing Scripture

Psalm 119:11; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Quick, without looking, say the first memory verse that comes to mind. Was it John 3:16; Romans 8:28; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; John 3:36; Romans 3:23 or 6:23? Most likely these were verses we learned as a child growing up in Sunday School or youth group.

One of the verse that came to my mind was Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The word hidden in the Hebrew is tsaphan (tsaw-fan’) which can be interpreted as treasured, stored, concealed, or even kept secret. It really means to secure for private use. For most of us it is the idea of memorizing God’s word so that we can recall it in a time of need.

The scriptures are important to “hide” in you heart because you don’t know when you will need use it. We are blessed today to pick up a Bible and we have so many choices of translations. There are so many Bible tools and devotionals that are available too. But you may not always have that.

P.O.W.’s who were taken captive in Vietnam did not have the Bible. But they shared memory verse with each other by tapping them out in code to each other at night. The were amazed how they could recall verses they memorized at church camp, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, or youth groups.

So why don’t we put that kind of emphasis on memorizing the Bible today? We very seldom challenge the kids in at church to memorize the scriptures anymore. And as far as trying to get adults to memorize the scriptures is crazy… it’s like pulling teeth. And yet we know the power and the value of the scriptures. So why don’t we want to memorize God’s word?

There are other plenty of places in the Bible that emphasis the importance on memorization and meditation of the word:

Colossians 3:16- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 1:1-2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Matthew 4:4 -But Jesus answered Satan, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So I want to challenge you this next month to memorize 4 new verses that you didn’t know before. Make it a fun event and challenge your friends and family to memorize it too. Let’s set a date of June 31 to memorize 4 verses… 4 verses in 5 weeks… you can do it. It’s important… very important.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Your word is a gift to us. And we are blessed to have it so readily available. It’s not that way in other parts of the world and we don’t know if we will always have the kind of access to it that we have now in the future. Lord, help us to memorize, hide, treasure, store up your word for a time when we will really need it. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 19, 20/ PREACHER/ Ministers Minute/

God Wants To Do Something New

Isaiah 43:18-19; Romans 12:2

God Wants To Do Something New

Isaiah 43:18-19

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

When it comes to my faith I sometimes feel stuck in a rut. I have done the same old same old so long that I have worn a path so deep that I can’t get out. I’m tired of the same old thing but at the same time I am too comfortable to try something new. That usually leads to trouble.

God however sees the big picture. He knows what he’s doing and he knows what the best thing for us. He works in and around us to put all the pieces into place. We may be stuck in a rut but He never is. His will unfolds for us in a new and exciting way everyday. The reason that we often get in a rut is because we don’t know his will and his way.

Isaiah foretold what was going to happen because the Jews were stuck in a rut. He foretold about their exile but then he also told about how God was working even through all that sorrow and grief to bring about something good. He said, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Is. 43:18-19

God was already looking ahead to the time of the Messiah. He was promising a road out for those who feel stuck in the dessert and refreshing streams of cool water to those who feel like they are in a wasteland. In other words, He is promising to help those who are stuck in a rut to get out. He is doing something new.

God’s way is always new and refreshing for those who are open to his will. Unfortunately we sometimes get too comfortable in our ways to want something new. New involves change. New involves something different. New requires us to trust God. And new is not always comfortable for people. New sometimes comes through great pain and loss. But our “new” always comes with new and exciting opportunities and great blessings.

My rut recently has been the frustrations of the limitations and loss of freedoms that have come because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. I thought I was handling it well, adapting with Drive-in Church, FACEBOOK LIVE broadcast, and nightly phone tree calls to the congregation. But I must admit that it is wearing on me a bit too. I feel my wheels spinning and the frustration building.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel cheated. Life isn’t fair. People are stupid. Situations are unbearable. People come and go in our lives, careers change, kids grow up and move off, and life happens. Our culture and society changes faster than we can keep up.

But it still helps to keep this truth in mind. God’s isn’t done with you yet. He still has purpose and meaning for your life. And he will lift you out of the rut.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are the one who knows all, sees all, and is in all. We praise you sending springs of flowing water into our season of draught. We thank you for making a way for us to get out of our rut. And thank you for making all things new. We look forward to the new heaven and new earth where you sit on the throne and we can be with you and worship you continually. Thank you for Jesus who made this all possible. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 18, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Angels Can't Evangelize

Acts 10:1-8

Angels Can’t Evangelize

Acts 10: 1-8

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study. As I studied for this week’s sermon I made an interesting notation about angels. Last night I talked about angel greetings. And tonight I want to talk about something that we can do that angels cannot do. This doesn’t have anything to do with angel wings, appearing to people, or even going to and from the presence of God. This one thing is simply to evangelize. I had never really thought of this before this week but I believe I have the proof right here.

Let’s read Acts 10:1-8.

Angels are messengers from God. Surely they could tell people about Jesus…I bet they have an interesting perspective on the Son of God. And as many angels as God probably has he could send them all over the world and tell about Jesus to every living being. The world would surely be won to Jesus overnight… wouldn’t it? I don’t think so.

The angels did evangelize or share the message of Jesus on at least one occasions. They appeared to a bunch of shepherds outside of Bethlehem on the night the baby was born. Their message was fantastic and got those shepherds moving. This is what they said:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

As thrilling as that message must have been it still wasn’t evangelism. It didn’t win anyone to Jesus. The shepherds had been sharing the story of the coming Messiah around their campfires for generations. They were wondering when this would happen. The angel’s message wasn’t meant to win them to Christ but to invite them to Jesus’ birthday party! The angels weren’t the evangelist, the shepherds were! The shepherds went to see Jesus and then they told everyone they met about the Messiah… the good news. The word gospel means good news.

The angel of the Lord that appeared to Cornelius in a dream was not an evangelist either. The angel didn’t try to win him to Jesus… Jesus wasn’t even mentioned. The angel never told Cornelius about the need to be saved from sins. He never told Cornelius about the horrible death Jesus died for him. He never said, “Repent and Be Baptized!” The angel never talked about the blessings of abundant life in Jesus or about having eternal life with Jesus in heaven. He never even said, “Look me up when you get to heaven.” The angel just told Cornelius to send for Peter.

Peter was the one to bring the good news message to Cornelius and his household. Peter was the one to baptize everyone there. Peter is the one who got to share the joy of Jesus and being a follower of the Messiah. Because sharing our faith is what we are supposed to do.

Angels can’t do it. They were created by God to be messengers. You might say they are like God’s personal assistants. They weren’t given freewill. They weren’t put on earth. They didn’t sin by eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. They don’t know what it is like to be a sinner in a need of a savior. They can’t tell what it is like to have Jesus living in their heart and to have the presence of the Holy spirit in their lives. Angels can’t be we can.

Think about the joy and privilege that we have in sharing Jesus Christ with others. We can do what angels cannot. Perhaps if we thought more about the joy and privilege we have in sharing Jesus we would be less inclined to complain about the chore of evangelism.

When it comes to the joy of telling others about Jesus I can’t help but think about a woman in our congregation. Many of the people of BCCC know Billie Baldwin and love her. She has been a big part of the work and evangelism at BCCC since she was a young one. She is now 96 years old and in the care of her daughter. The years may have taken some of the wind out of her sails but you can still see the gleam in her eyes when she talks about the Jesus and His church.

I met Billie when she was 90 years old and I knew right away that she was a powerful evangelist even now in her old age. I remember going to her house to visit her on her 92. I ask her what she wanted for her birthday and I will never forget her reply, “I just want to win one more person to Jesus!” Wouldn’t it be great if we all had that kind of excitement about sharing the good news message of Jesus Christ with others.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for the privilege of wearing the name of Jesus and we thank you for lavishing us with your love as your children. I thank you for the testimony of our good sister, Billie Baldwin, and I ask your blessings on her today. I ask, Father, that you will spark that kind of love and joy in us as we share our faith with others as faithful witnesses in Christ. Thank you for Jesus and the gift of life that we have in him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our study in Revelation at 6pm. Don't forget that we also have Sunday School at 10:00am with Richard Smartnick and Worship Service tomorrow at 11:00am. We also want to invite you to Drive-In Service if you can come. Good night and God bless you.

May 16, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Angel Greeting

Hebrews 13:2; Luke 1:5-25; Various

Angel Greeting

Hebrews 13:2; Luke 1:5-25; Various

A friend of mine got into a discussion with on angels one time. He swore up and down that he saw an angel. At first I was skeptical but I finally relented that maybe he had. I ask what the angel said to him and he said, “Hey John, how are you doing.” I couldn’t hold it together and I started to laugh… that made him a bit angry and he ask me what I thought was so funny. “Nothing,” I replied, “It’s just an interesting greeting.

To be honest, I too believe that I have encountered angels at different times in my life. The scriptures tell us in Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” And I believe it. I believe when I was about 12 years old, an angel played basketball with me at a time when I really needed some help. I was feeling down and was actually thinking of ways to poison myself. The person or “angel” seemed interested in my life and talked about having faith in God to see me through.

That person greeted me with a simple line, “That’s a nice basketball. Do you want to play?” Not much of an angelic greeting either. It doesn’t resinate with the angelic greetings in the Bible. But whether my angel was divine or just a good hearted person who knew a young man needed encouragement I will never know. But either way that “being” helped me through a hard moment in my life.

So how do angels usually greet people. I guess with what they need most. Zachariah’s angel greeted him in the holy place at the altar of incense. His angel greeted him with “your prayers have been heard.” It was fitting that he angel should answer him on duty because incenses represents prayer. Zachariah thought that his answer came rather late because his prayer was to have a son and now he and his wife were old. But what reassurance there is in hearing, “your prayers have been heard.”

Gideon was another person whose angel greeted him with an unusual greeting. He was hiding in a winepress threshing grain so that the Midianites wouldn’t take his crops. The angel appeared to him and said, “Greetings, Mighty Warrior, The Lord is with you!” Gideon must have almost choked with laughter. He replied that his clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and he is the least in my family. But God took a man who was the weakest in his family and from the weakest clan and the weakest tribe and turned him into a might warrior for God.

My favorite angel greeting comes from Mary’s encounter with Gabriel. He simply approached her saying “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled by the greeting because she was just a humble peasant girl from Nazareth. But God often uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary and so Mary replied to the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” And Mary became the mother of our Lord and Savior.

Yes, I believe in angels. So how would an angel of the Lord greet you? What would your reaction be?

But angels are just messengers. The messenger can never be as great as the one who sent the message. The message comes from God. Don’t ever get so fascinated with angelic beings that you worship the created rather than the creator. Angelic beings are not as awesome and as wonder as our God who sends them.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending messengers who encourage us and lift us up. Whether they be heavenly beings or human beings, you messengers bring peace and blessings to those who believe. But as cool as angelic beings are they will never be greater than the Holy One who sends his greetings to us. Thank you, Lord for bring peace and comfort, and joy to our lives, In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 16, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Hungry Hearts

John 6:27, 32, 33, 35; Various

Hungry Heart

John 6:27, 32, 33, 35; Various

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional. Join with me in singing this old children’s classic. “I Know An Old Lady” was a children’s rhyme written by Rose Bonne and put to music by Alan Mills. Burl Ives made the son famous when he sang it on his album, Folk Songs, Dramatic and Humorous in 1953.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider;

That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her!

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;

How absurd to swallow a bird!

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;

Imagine that! She swallowed a cat!

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady that swallowed a dog;

She was a hog, to swallow a dog!

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider;

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat;

She just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider;

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow;

I don't know how she swallowed a cow!

She swallowed the cow to catch the goat,

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider;

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;

I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse;

...She's dead, of course!

You may ask why I would sing this ridiculous song about an old lady with an eating disorder. Well, I have to admit to you that I have an eating disorder too. I am afraid to tell you that I have almost never experienced a time when I had little or no appetite. That maybe somewhat obvious to those who look at me. It is expressed in my weight problem because I have seldom passed up a meal or the opportunity to eat.

When I was a child I would tell my mom or dad that I was hungry. My dad would say, “What’s new?” or my mother would say, “I don’t know a time when you weren’t hungry.” I could eat and then moments later eat again and again.

My appetite has got me into trouble on a number of occasions. On one occasion I was supposed to go to a young girl’s house to talk to her and her parents about her getting baptized. It was supper time and I thought this would be a fairly quick event. So I ate down my supper of pork chops, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes and drove to her house. We had a very nice talk and made our plans for her to be baptized at church on the following Sunday.

The young girl was from Ghana, Africa. Here and her family were here on an educational sabbatical from the mission field. As I was getting ready to leave her father asked me to stay for supper. I made my apologies but I could see the disappointment on his face. His daughter took me aside and told me that it was considered and insult not to accept an invitation to dinner in her country. So I changed my mind and her father was pleased.

We sat down to eat the meal of baked fish and Ugali, which is kind of a starchy, cornmeal much that is a very common side dish in Ghana. Being the guest of honor I was given the opportunity to eat the eyes from the fish. Luckily, the father wasn’t insulted when I declined because that meant he could eat them. We had a good time and I must admit that I ate a significant amount to make my host well pleased. That would later come back to haunt me with a significant belly ache… For some reason, baked fish and Ugali doesn’t go well with pork chops and sauerkraut.

Being sick and tired of being sick and tired brought me to the point of trying to manage my appetite and my weight problem. At a weight watchers meeting I learned that control is important. Instead of eating to fill myself up I needed to learn when to be satisfied and stop before I am too full. As I did, I began lose weight and feel better about myself.

Another thing is learning what your body is hungry for instead of just shoving stuff in you throat-hole until your stomach is full and still not being satisfied. Learning what your body is hungry for is a real discipline that takes work and practice.

It’s like that in life too. Learning what your life is hungry for and going after the right things is hard. It’s a discipline that takes a lot of work. We often find that we are not satisfied because we try to fill the hole in our life with everything else than what we really need. But the Bible gives us some very good clues:

Ezekiel 7:19 says, “‘They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin.”

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied“ (Mt 5:6).

1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”

Psalm 107:8-7 - “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

If you truly want to be satisfied then focus on God and his word. They are the only things that really satisfy without all the side effects and problems that come from feasting on the wrong things.

You will not be satisfied with money. You will not be satisfied with a promotion at work. You will not be satisfied by dating supermodels or by finding a trophy wife. You will not be satisfied by drugs, alcohol, or any other kind of substance. You will not even find that you are satisfied by food. Nothing can fill that hole but Jesus.

Jesus said in John 6, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval… Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jn 6:27, 32, 33, 35.

Do you have a hungry heart for God?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord Almighty, You have everything we need to sustain us. Thank you providing for us, protecting us, guiding us, and showing us your way to satisfaction.Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ who paid the price for our sins. Help us to always hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Satisfy us with your richest of fare. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 13, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Singing Songs of Joy

Psalm 98

Issac Watts - “Joy To The World”

05-12-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional. (Sing Joy To The World).

Here we sit in the middle of May waiting out this government enforced shut-down of our society for the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak with me singing “Joy to the World.” There are many stories and conspiracy theories about persecution of Christians who break the Emergency Order. It sounds like an Orwellian science fiction movie come true. But I’m not going to start bashing the government or spouting conspiracy theories to you. Instead, I want to share a story with you that is stranger than fiction. A story about Joy in singing.

Read Psalm 98.

The story is about “The Father of English Hymnody.” This is the story of the man who wrote many of the beloved hymns we like to sing today: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed, At The Cross, Come We That Love The Lord, We’re Marching To Zion, and some six hundred more. This is the story of a man who was so moved by Psalm 98 that he wrote one of our most beloved Christmas hymns, “Joy to the World.”

The man that I am talking about tonight is Issac Watts who was born in July 17, 1674 to Isaac Watts, Sr. and his wife Sarah. He was born and raised in Southampton, England as was the oldest of nine children. As a child, Issac loved books. He was very smart and even made an acrostic rhyme of his name at age seven which shared his belief in God and the gospel message’s impact on his own life.

The Watt’s family were “Dissenters”. That is to say that they were Christians who didn’t believe in joining the State Church and conforming to government regulations on worship. Instead, Dissenters established their own independent congregations. Dissenters were often persecuted bitterly and imprisoned on trumpt up charges. Issac’s father had even spent time in prison for his beliefs. Often Dissenters were ridiculed and shunned by their families and friends.

Issac grew up to be an upstanding and smart young boy. He learned Latin at four, Greek at nine, French at ten, and Hebrew at thirteen. A doctor noticed Issac’s aptitude and offered him a university education. But Issac turned him down because he was a Dissenter and Dissenters were not allowed to go to State Universities. Issac Watts instead attended the Nonconformist Academy under the care of Thomas Lowe until he was twenty years of age.

Issac had a love for music. But he grew frustrated by the “heartless” singing of repetitious psalms in the church. At this time, the singing of the Psalms of David were the only accepted songs in the churches. It is reported that he was sharing his frustration with his father one day when his father simply said, “Well then, young man, why don’t you give us something to sing better.” And so Issac wrote his first hymn which was skeptically taken to be sung at the Above Bar Church where he and his family were members. The hymn was so well received that they ask him for another one. For two and a half years, Issac continued to write songs for his little congregation to sing. He published his hymnal, “Hymns and Spiritual Songs” in 1707 which included the bulk of the hymns he had written in Southampton.

Watts moved to London where he was ordained in the ministry and preached his first sermon at age 24. He became the senior pastor of Independent Chapel which he remained at until his death in 1749.

Issac Watts changed the way churches sing songs. He wanted to change the way people sang. Most of the Psalms were sung in a grim, ponderous manner while he wanted to bring The New Testament light and life to the hymns. He wanted the folks to sing the good news message of Jesus Christ in joy. For this he has become know as “the Father of English Hymnody”.

Let’s pray together. PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Thank you for the victory that you have won. You have conquered death and sin for us through your Son, Jesus Christ. Please help us to sing praise to you, O God, even in difficult times. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 12, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

JONAH'S ANGER

Jonah 3:10-4:4

Jonah’s Anger

05-11-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

Have you ever been angry? Have you ever been angry with God? If you’re going to be angry with God you better have a good reason. Let’s talk about this!

Jonah was a prophet from Israel. God gave Jonah a special task. He was told to go to Nineveh which was in what would later be called Babylon and and preach destruction to them for their evil ways. The story goes that Jonah, instead of going to Nineveh, fled on a ship heading to Tarshish. It is assumed he doesn’t want to preach to these evil people.

Of course, this is the story of Jonah and the whale. So you know how God sent a storm that was about to destroy the ship Jonah was on. You probably remember how Jonah told the sailors to throw him over board and when they did the storm stopped. You also remember how Jonah was swallowed by a large fish or a whale. And after spending three days and nights in that belly of the whale praying to God for repentance that the beast spit him up on dry land.

Jonah then went through the evil city of Nineveh preaching that God was going to destroy the city. The people actually responded to the message and began to repent…. every living creature was covered with sackcloth and everyone prayed and fasted. And then Jonah, in chapter 4, or this book by His name, got upset. Let’s read this together.

When God saw what they (the people of Nineveh) did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 3:10-4:4)

In chapter 4 we finally see the real reason why the prophet did not want to heed God’s call to preach to Nineveh. He was angry because God changed his mind and relented from disaster. That was what Jonah was afraid of… that God would save these evil people that Jonah considered his enemies and heathens.

Before this God gave no indication that he was going to changed His mind. He never mentions what would happen if the people actually repented. Jonah hoped that the people would be destroyed in some firework show like that of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord just chose not to reveal explicitly the full scope of the future impact of Jonah’s ministry until it came to pass.

Jonah could not see the future with certainty, but he could know what would happen if the Ninevites were to repent in response to his preaching. So could anyone else who knew God’s character. The Lord is holy, yes, but He is also slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and eager to forgive iniquity (Ex. 34:6–7; Micah 7:18).

Jonah never wanted to go to Nineveh in the first place because he did not want to see the Ninevites turn from their sin. He ran not because he was afraid of preaching in a foreign land but because he was afraid God’s Word might change the hearts and minds of Israel’s hated enemies. So, when the people did rend their hearts and garments, Jonah grew angry at the Lord for being merciful and acting according to what He had revealed about His character (Jonah 4:1–3). Jonah’s anger was irrational—he was mad at God for being God.

Let’s not be quick to judge Jonah here. We want to say that he isn’t compassionate and that he loved his vine more than people. But instead of judging him, Let’s take a close and scrutinizing look at our own hearts. Let’s consider how often we expect the Lord to forgive us but then do not want to see our enemies pardoned. We are too much like Jonah, hoping God will crush our enemies instead of saving them. We like to read the Psalms about God rescuing us from our enemies.

But the Lord takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Ez 18:32), neither should we. May our longing always be for the repentance and restoration of God’s foes and ours.


Let’s pray together. PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being a gracious and compassionate God. Thank you for being slow to anger and abounding in love. Thank you for stilling your hand of wrath and sending Jesus as our random for sin. Help me to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 11, 20/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

A Walk With God

Deuteronomy 5:33; Various

A WALK WITH GOD

05-09-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

This week we have had a prayer walk at Beaver Creek Christian Church. What a lovely day it was on Thursday to get out and walk and pray and just let the Lord minister to you. I really enjoyed it.

Deuteronomy 5:33 says, “You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.”

Have you ever wondered why there are so many verse in the Bible that talk about walking with God? It takes my mind back to the Garden of Eden when God walked with man in the Garden in the cool of the evening. It also reminds me of Enoch, a descendant of Seth, who “walked with God”. Enoch’s relationship was so close to God that he did not die… God took him to be with him.

A walk is comfortable and quiet. It’s a good place time to talk and share. It’s personal and yet it’s non-threatening. Not to mention that walking is good for you. Being outdoors and seeing the beauty of creation refreshes us and allows us to see things a bit more clearly. It’s no wonder God invites us to walk with him in our faith so that we grow closer to Him.

Walking also reminds me of that wonderful day after Jesus had risen from the dead. Two disciples were walking down the road to Emmaus talking about the death and reports of the resurrection of Jesus (Lk 24:13-15). Then a man came up to them and starting talking to them about these things too. He assured Cleopas and the other disciple about what the Scriptures said about the Messiah rising from the dead. The disciples invited the man to join him to stay and eat with them. The man came in and took the loaf blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. It was Jesus. Can you imagine the joy and excitement it would be to walk with Jesus and have him teach you personally? The two men said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Walking with God is so important. Did you know that Henry Ford, the inventor of mass produced automobiles said, “Those who walk with God, always reach their destination.” British Evangelist and author, Leonard Ravenhill said, “Smart men walked on the moon, daring men walked on the ocean floor, but wise men walk with God.” And the American evangelist and publisher, Dwight L Moody once said, “If I walk with the world, I can’t walk with God.”

But in case you’re not convinced about walking with the Lord, let me throw out a few more scriptures to help you understand:

Micah 6:8 - “He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you— to act with justice, to treasure the LORD’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.”

Galatians 5:16 -But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

1 John 2:6 - “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.”

Colossians 2 - Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.

Isaiah 2:5 - …come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Psalm 56:13 - For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.


Let’s pray together. PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for wanting to be with us and walk with us. We thank you for taking a personal interest in our lives. Help me to stay in step with you Holy Spirit. Give us instruction and insight so that we can live according to your will. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Please remember the Prayer walk around the church which will be up all weekend so you might have a chance to participate in it. If not, you can download it on our website and set one up for your family at home. Good night and God bless you as you walk with Him.

May 9, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

A "Frompy Day"

Psalm 147:7-9; Proverbs 16:15; Matthew 5:44-45

A FROMPY DAY

05-08-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

I want to read three scripture verse to you and then have a little rambling chat today:

Psalm 147:7-9 - Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain

    and makes grass grow on the hills.

He provides food for the cattle

    and for the young ravens when they call.

Proverbs 16:15 (Amplified)

In the light of the king’s countenance is life, and his favor is as a cloud bringing the spring rain.

Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Today has turned into a frompy day. I’m wearing my frompy, oversized, $2 sweater because it is cozy and warm on this frompy day. What is a frompy day you might ask? It’s a day when you aren’t really happy and yet you aren’t sad. It’s not a bad day but it’s also not necessarily great. Well it’s not quite a grumpy day and it’s not quite a romping day and so it is frompy… not to be confused with frumpy… except my sweater which might be considered frumpy instead of frompy. A friend of mine would say this day is fair to middlin’.

This frompy day started out with a mild headache and leg cramps. And then the weather soured a bit… it’s not raining hard but with that kind of non-committal type of drizzle, steady but unsure. It’s supposed to get colder and may even turn to snow but we aren’t really sure what will happen. I’m wondering whether to bring the plants in or let them tough it out.

It would be good napping weather if there wasn’t a nagging feeling that something needs to be done. It’s not just that all three of the smoke detectors in the house decided to need their batteries changed on exactly the same day… you know… that annoying little chirp that you can’t quite place. That just adds to this frompy day… should I change them or let them beep.

You might say that you have never heard of the word frompy before and that’s okay because you probably haven’t. I think my mom made it up… or else it was one of those words that just came to be because there is no other description for this kind of a day. I doubt any newscaster or weather person has ever described or forecasted a frompy day. Frompy days just happen. Or perhaps I’m just rambling on about nothing. You decide.

You won’t find the frompy day described in the Bible either. But it is interesting to read about rain in the Bible. A hard rain is often a symbolic description of God’s wrath where a gentle watering rain is symbolic of God’s blessings. When you're living in desert-like places, a rainy day is a good day. But hard rains, even in the dessert bring about floods, landslides, and mud. Frompy is somewhere between God’s blessings and his wrath. God blesses us in surprising ways, ways that don't always seem like blessing. He sends the rain of difficulty, not because he doesn't love us, but because he does, and he’s calling us beyond ourselves to find new and deeper hope in him. But sometimes rain is just rain... plain and simple.

You might mistake a frompy day for depression but I must admit, I’m not feeling depressed or sad. In fact, I am just comfortable in this moment. A frompy day doesn’t need a cure because it calls us chill. Just relax and let God minister to you. Some of you won’t get what I am rambling about tonight…. but some will. I just know that my faith should not be influenced by the circumstances of the day but rather my faith should be a powerful influence on this day’s circumstances. 


PRAYER THOUGHT: “Oh Lord My God, Thank you for showers of blessings that come everyday. Thank you even for the frompy days in which we find comfort in you. And we should Father, for you delight in all our moments when we center in on you. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Please remember the Prayer walk around the church… we had several who came out this morning to walk and pray before the weather got too frompy. We’re going to keep it up all weekend so we hope you have a chance to participate in it. Good night and God bless you.

May 8, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Reciting the Bible as a Prayer

Psalm 23

Reciting The Bible As A Prayer

05-07-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional. Today is National Day of Prayer an I am out on the Prayer Walk here at the church. We put this prayer walk together for people to come out and walk the parking lot and to pray at the different stations. There are 7 different stations designed to give you a fun way to connect with God and let God connect with you.

I’m here at stop #6. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite things to do in prayer and that it to recite scripture and pray that scripture. Psalms 119:11 says, “I have hidden…or treasured… your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” So it is important for us to hide or memorize the scripture. After all, we don’t know if we will always have God’s word. Now is the time to commit it to memory.

So I have chosen tonight to try to recite from memory the 23rd Psalm. I was required to memorize this verse when I was a preschooler. I wish we would spend more time today teaching kids to memorize the Word of God. But unfortunately it is not a priority in our current society.

The 23rd Psalm goes like this:

The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside the quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death

I will fear no evil

For thou are with me

Thy Rod, and Thy staff they comfort me

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

Thou annoints my head with oil,

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The point of these six verse is to give us comfort knowing and resting in God’s care and provision. In John 10, Jesus shares with us that he is the good shepherd who takes care of his flock and has not lost one of the sheep in his care. I always get the picture in my head of Jesus carrying that little lamb. I like that picture because I am that little lamb tucked in the arms of my loving Lord and Savior.

Memorizing that scripture is just a part of the story. We want to pray that scripture. So thank God for his care and protection. Let’s also ask him to be with us…. especially as we walk though the valley of the Shadow of death with this Covid-19 crisis. Let’s think for a minute about dwelling in the house of the Lord forever and ever. Let’s praise him for abundant and eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

PRAYER THOUGHT: “Dear God, our shepherd and Lord, We thank you for your provisions, your guidance, your care, and protection. We thank you for leading us in the path of righteousness. Help us, Father God in this time of crisis. Keep us safe. In Jesus name, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. And don’t forget the Prayer walk around the church, We’re going to keep it up all weekend for those who haven’t had a chance to walk it and to pray. Good night and God bless you.

May 7, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

In Preparation for National Day of Prayer

Various Scripture

THE POWER OF PRAYER

05-06-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional. Tomorrow is National Day of Prayer. And so tomorrow we are going to have something fun to do here at the church. We are offering a special National Day of Prayer Walk in which we have 7 stations of prayer set up for you to go to pray about different things. These stations are set up right now and will be ready for you to come anytime tomorrow and walk the prayer coarse at your leisure. The great thing is that we are not meeting so all you have to do is maintain social distancing with anyone else who is here. We hope you will come… the weather is supposed to be nice.

So tonight, in preparation for National Day of prayer I thought I might share the Prayer acrostic and some scripture verses that go along with each part. The Acrostic is P-R-A-Y or Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. Some of the biggest “prayer blockers” are when we make prayer about us and our list of wants and needs. This method of prayer brings the focus back to God and helps us to pray effectively.

Praises - adoration / thanksgiving

Matthew 6:9 - “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,…”

Psalm 103:1-5 - Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:34 -Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Repent - contrition/asking for forgiveness

Psalm 51:1-4 - ”Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge." (Psalm 51:1-4)

James 5:6 - “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Matthew 6:12 - “…And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…”

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 53:10-12 - Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Luke 3:8 - “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…”

Ask - request / petitions / supplication / intercession

Philippians 4:6 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2 - “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

Ephesians 6:18 - “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—"

Matthew 6:11 - “Give us today our daily bread.”

Matthew 7:7-8 -“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Luke 18:7,8 - “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

John 14:13-14 - “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

Psalm 37:4 -Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Yield - Faith and Righteousness - (Listen)

…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (Ja 5:16)

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)

SHEMA - De 6:4,5 - “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Mt 11:15; 13:9,43; Mk 4:9,23; Lk 8:8; 14:35; Re 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22; 13:9)

James 4:7-8 - Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

2 Chronicles 30:8 - Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

Job 22:21 - “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.”

Hebrews 12:9 - Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

Deuteronomy 10:12 - And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

PRAYER THOUGHT: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever, AMEN!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. And don’t forget the Prayer walk around the church all day tomorrow. Good night and God bless you.

May 6, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The "Brute Beast"

Psalm 73; Philippians 4:8

The Brute Beast

05-05-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

About 10 years ago, I went to the doctors office and the doctor kept asking me weird questions. How was I sleeping? How was my eating? Did I feel stressed out? Were things all right with my work? How was my marriage? Any trouble with family? What do you do for fun? When was the last time you really relaxed? When was the last time you were really, really happy? What was the occasion?

After a few more of these questions I looked the doctor in the eye and asked what was going on. Why was he asking me all these questions? He looked at me and asked me if I was feeling depressed or sad. “Well,” I said, “I’m not planning on going into the woods alone and never coming back, If that’s what you mean.” He asked me a few more questions like this and then he offered me a mild anti-depressant to “take the edge off my stress.” I thanked him and assured him that if I needed it I would call him first.

The truth is that depression can slip up on you all of a sudden. I’m not talking about clinical depression but a real since of frustration, sadness, and gloom. It can cover you like a dark cloud. It can cause your personality to change without you ever knowing it. And it can block your spiritual walk with the Lord. The questions the doctor was asking me was to figure out how deep my depression really was.

It is interesting to me to see in Psalm 73 how the depression that Asaph was feeling had converted him into a “Brute Beast.” He was depressed because it seemed like the unrighteous were living well why the godly were struggling to make ends meet… that sounds familiar! In fact, Asaph states that he was on a slippery path where he almost fell. Let’s read Psalm 73 together.

There are a lot of people who have told me how depressed they have been feeling lately. The news is grim and full of fear. People feel lost because they are stuck in their own house trying to figure out ways to keep themselves and their families busy. The find themselves arguing with their spouse or their kids. Just today I had a person ask me to pray with them because they felt depressed. It’s easy to see how that “brute monster” can get a foothold in these trying times… but how do you get rid of it?

Look at verses 23 -28, God is always holding your right hand. He guides, counsels, shows you visions of glory, and comforts you. I love how Asaph says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

We defeat the “brute beast” that we have become by drawing close to God. Challenge yourself “Be Still and know that I Am God.” Read your Bible and ask God to speak to you. Sit and listen to Christian music for a time without doing anything else. Start a gratitude journal listing 5 to 10 blessings each day. Memorize a verse or two that means something to you… start with verse 26!

Use you talents and abilities to praise the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether your talent is sewing, photography, music, or collecting stamps… find a way to use it to glorify God. Last night I sat down with my guitar and sang a new song to God. It’s funny because I don’t remember what I sang or even the chords… but it was to my God and Savior. And I felt so much better afterwards. The “Brute Beast” was gone.

But if these methods don’t work for you please seek help. Call your doctor and set up an appointment. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and talk their ears off. Call your preacher or a trusted Christian friend and ask them to pray with you and for you. If you have too go outside and scream a good one… but only if nothing else works!

Allow me to pray for you tonight:

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, I want to pray tonight for all those people out there that are feeling like the “brute beast”. Forgive us father for treating others poorly because of the way we are feeling inside. Send good Christian people into our lives that will encourage us. Help us to draw close to you Father God because you hold our right hand. Help us to remember that always. In the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior, We pray, AMEN!

One of my favorite verse to help change my “stinkin’ thinkin’” and help me overcome the “brute beast” is Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” When your mind dwells on these kinds of things it is hard for the “brute beast” to win.

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 5, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Way of Escape / No Excuses

1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 1:6-10; Matthew 11:28; Various

The Way of Escape / No Excuses

05-04-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

Have you ever been to an escape room? An escape room is where you pay money for you and your friends to be locked in a room full of clues, trying to find the combination that will let you escape. You only have a set time to get all the clues or you lose... sometimes in dramatic ways. Tonight we are going to talk about an escape, not from an escape room, but from temptation.

We have spent the last few sessions talking about 1 Corinthians 10:13 and how it is an encouragement to us to resist temptation. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

There are four promises in this verse to help us overcome temptation. 1. We’re all in this together, there is help available from your brothers and sisters in Christ who have overcome temptation and are good mentors to help you overcome too. We have accountability partners! 2. God is faithful. He is always available for you to help you. He has even given Christians his Spirit to live in us as a Paraclete… a counselor and encourager. 3. He doesn’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can overcome. He trust us to resist this so that we can build a resistance or immunity to sin. 4. God has provided a way out, an escape hatch so that we can endure and persevere over temptation and sin.

However, Christians should note that Paul's words are actually a sharp two-edged sword that rebukes as well as assures. If God does not allow any temptation greater than the believer can withstand, and if he has given us the support group of the church, and if he provides a way of escape, then surely as Christians we do not ever have a valid excuse for succumbing to sin! That means it is up to us to really put the tools that God has given to us to work in order to resist temptation when it comes our way.

No of course no believer ever avoids sin entirely. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and the nature of our flesh is to desire the forbidden fruit. 1 John 1:6-10 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” God knows we are all objects of sin by nature. But he has given us his Son who forgives our sins and purifies us from all unrighteousness when we confess our sin to him.

I love that God gives us an escape plan for temptation. But this isn’t that God is removing you from the temptation or that there is some kind of formula to make us magically stronger. The escape is often a reminder that God is with you so that you can bear up under it. That is so we can build endurance.

When I was younger I was haunted by impure thoughts that would spring into my head at the most unusual times. But the interesting thing was that all of a sudden I would hear a hymn or Christian song playing in my head. Sometimes I started humming it or even singing it. There were other times when a memory verse would spring to mind. Now that I am older I find it absolutely amazing that when I am feeling tempted my accountability partner will call at that exact time.

Your escape hatch maybe different from mine. A fellow Christian had been in an accident a few years ago that damaged her back. She was in so much pain and her doctor had cut down on her medication. She had tried prayer, meditation, reading her Bible, and keeping her mind busy… but nothing seemed to help. She was in so much pain she had actually decided to buy some illegal drugs from a friend of a friend of a friend. Just as she was about to meet the “friend” her preacher drove up. He rolled his window down and talked to her saying that it was funny because she had just been on his mind. He told her that he suddenly had the urge to pray for her and now her she was driving by him. She was practically in tears as she thanked the preacher for his prayers and concern. She drove home with a renewed strength and courage.

The escape that we are talking about is not so much an escape from something but rather an escape to someone… that someone is Jesus. Jesus is the one who wants to fellowship with you. Jesus is the one that forgives. Jesus is the one that purifies us from sin. Jesus is the one who faithful and just to be there for us. He is the Rock that we should escape to when temptation comes our way. That is why he puts songs and hymns and memory verse in our heads. That is why he sends preachers, accountability partners, and fellow believers our way. It is because Jesus wants us to escape to Him.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord of All, I thank you for this incredible day that you have given to us. Thank you for friends and accountability partners. I thank you for Jesus, who purifies me from sin and all unrighteousness. I thank you for providing a way of escape to you. Help me to resist the temptations that come my way. It is in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior, that I pray, AMEN!

Remember what Jesus says in Matthew 28:11, ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus will give you rest by taking your burden on him. Follow the escape plan and run to Jesus for rest.

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 4, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Building Immunity to Sin

I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:28; various

Building Immunity to Sin

05-02-2020

Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.

The other night we were talking about resisting temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 helps us out by sharing 4 promises that come with temptation. The first is that we’re all in this together and so we can help each other out. The second is that God is faithful, He will always be there for you. The third is that God won’t allow you to tempted beyond what you can handle. And the fourth is that God will provide a way of escape.

Tonight I want to talk to you about the third promise. That God won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. God allows us to be tempted so that we can build endurance a little at a time. As we get good at resisting the small stuff it makes it easier to resist the bigger stuff.

It’s kind of like what I read in an article the other day. A doctor was saying refuting the claims of the stay at home article by stating that we need exposure viruses and bacteria to build immunity. He said if we isolate ourselves, spray everything with disinfectant, wear mask and gloves, and use tons of hand sanitizer we will actually lessen our immunity and make ourselves more susceptible to a variety of illnesses. Exposure helps us grow stronger.

From what I understand 1 Corinthians 10:13 is one of the favorite verses in China. It is not easy to be a Christian in China. There is much persecution of Christians, restrictions of things we take for granted, and someone always trying to keep and eye on you. There must be a lot of temptation to abandon the faith with that kind of pressure.

Some people twist this verse to fit their own needs. Have you ever heard someone say, “God will not give me more than I can handle?” I hate to say it but the Bible doesn’t back that up. God is trying to help you build up your immunity to sin by allowing you to be tempted in small doses.

Another one of my favorite verse in the Bible is Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.” In the surrounding passage Paul is trying to show his readers that we can be over-comers and victors of present suffering by focusing on our future in and with Christ. He states in this passage that nothing can seperate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus Our Lord. In fact, in verse 37, he says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

This doesn’t mean that nothing bad is going to happen to you. It doesn’t mean that you won’t go through hardships and trouble. It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be tempted with something that seems too hard to resist. It doesn’t even mean that God is going to make everything come up peaches and cream and give you some rose-colored glasses to make everything look pretty. Bad things happen and they always will until our Savior comes back.

Through perseverance, persistence, and hope we learn to endure and in the end God builds us up. We find that our faith is stronger, our hope is greater, a love for God and others is deeper, and our immunity to fall into sin is built up higher.

I do have to stop here to ask you good-hearted and well-meaning Christians to stop quoting this verse to people who are going through difficult times. No one wants to hear “All things work for good” when they are grieving from a loss of a child, or when they are given the diagnosis of cancer, or when they get laid off from a career they invested in their whole life. Listen my friends, hold that promise in your heart as you pray for them. In the meantime, just be there for them. Be a Paraclete: a comforter, an encourager, a helper, a friend. But don’t offer platitudes that sting like salt in an open wound. Let’s pray.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father in Heaven, I thank you for your promises and rest in them. Thank you that nothing on this earth can separate me from your love in Christ. I thank you for giving Jesus, your Son, as a ransom for my sin. Help me to resist the temptations that come my way. And thank for showing me that even bad situations can become good in the long run. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that I pray, AMEN!

Remember 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our continued Bible Study from Revelation. Tomorrow night we will be talking about the Glorified Jesus. Good night and God bless you.

May 2, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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