New Testament: Matthew 12- Unforgivable

2015/01/img_1323.jpgMatthew 12:31-32
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”Read More

Old Testament:
Genesis 23- Foreigner
Genesis 24- Finding A Wife

The Coming One

New Testament: Matthew 11- The Coming one

2015/01/img_1319.jpgMatthew 11:3
“Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

The circumstances of life often cause us to question God. It is hard sometimes to reconcile what we are going through with who God is; compassionate… Read More

Old Testament:
Genesis 21- The Battle Won
Genesis 22- Instead Of Me

The Twelve

Matthew 10:2-4
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.”

2015/01/img_1316.jpgThese twelve ordinary men were chosen, empowered, and sent by Jesus into the world with the simple message of salvation. As a result, their lives have transformed the world.

John Foxe records the plight of many of them:

Phillip labored in Asia and was scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified.
Matthew served the Lord in North Africa and was speared to death.

Andrew served in Asia and was crucified.

Peter’s ministry, to some degree, is recorded in the book of Acts. He is said to have been crucified upside down.

Bartholomew spread the Gospel through India, and was beaten and crucified.

Thomas preached in India and was speared to death.

Simon the zealot is thought to have taken the Gospel to Britain, where he was crucified.

John lived to be an aged man. He faced great persecution, but is thought to have died a natural death.

Their brief time on planet earth forever changed the course of human history. D.L. Moody said, “the world is yet to see what God can do through a life completely surrendered to Him.” Oh, that we would follow the example of the twelve, and live lives committed to Christ.

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
Genesis 19- You’re Kidding
Genesis 20- Turning Around

Be Of Good Cheer

Matthew 9:2
Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.’”

2015/01/img_1309.jpgThis chapter introduces us to a man who is facing one of life’s greatest challenges; that of a terrible physical disorder. Being a paralytic would mean he not only missed out on much of the experiences of life that we take for granted, but also, he would be totally dependant upon others. He was not even capable of getting to this home on his own.

I find it interesting and exciting that Jesus says to this man, “Be of good cheer.” With such a difficult trial, what could he possibly have to be happy about? Maybe you feel that way. Maybe the darkness of what you are facing is stealing away your joy. What could you possibly have to be happy about?

I pray these few statements from Jesus will help to restore your faith, hope, and joy this morning.

“ Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

Matthew 9:22 “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘ Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour.”

Matthew 14:27 “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘ Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’”

Mark 10:49 “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’”

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Take time to reflect today on Jesus the Savior, the Healer, the Protector, the Planner and the Peace Giver.

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
Genesis 17- Change
Genesis 18- Impossible

Why Are You Afraid?

Matthew 8:26
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

2015/01/img_1307.jpgOut on the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of a great tempest, we find the disciples fearing for their lives. When they cry out to Jesus for help, He responds with a question. “Why are you afraid?” Naturally, they had much reason to fear. The storm was great, many in the boat were unaccustomed to the sea and it’s ways, and fear has a way of spreading from one to another. To make matters worse, when they looked to Jesus, He seemed to not care about their plight. He was sleeping while they were suffering. It seems they had reason to fear. On the other hand, they had been traveling with Jesus. They lived through the chapter we just read. They saw Him cleanse the leper and heal the crowds. If they had only looked back at what Jesus had done, they would have had great comfort for what they were facing.

Perhaps this morning would be a good time to reflect on the works of God. Think through the pages of Scripture at His mighty deeds in the lives of others. Then think through your life, of all the ways He has been faithful to you.

“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
Genesis 15- Agents Of Shield
Genesis 16- God Who Sees

Removing The Speck

Matthew 7:5
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1303.jpgOften, when we know of a Christian friend who is stumbling in their walk with Jesus, we are not sure what to do. They may have gotten involved in an ungodly activity or into a bad relationship, or simply stopped investing into their relationship with Christ. We want to help, but at the same time we fear that saying something will be construed as “judging them.” Jesus gives us, in this passage, a keen insight into how to deal with one another in the body. When you see something amiss in my relationship with Christ, the first place you should look is inward. Is there anything out of place in your relationship with Christ? What you find must be removed. The Biblical way of dealing with personal sin is found in 1John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive . . . and to cleanse…” Once you have “removed the plank,” it is time to look outward to see how you can help me “remove the speck.”

Too often, we neglect helping one another out of fear of judging them. It is important to remember, the Bible exhorts us to do all we can to help one another make it to the end of the race, where we will be welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus.

Galatians 6:1
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”

Galatians 6:2
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Hebrews 12:12
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, . . .”

Let’s go out today seeking to do all we can to help one another reach the end of our faith and the salvation of our souls.

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
Genesis 13- Moving Forward
Genesis 14- Meeting Melchizedek

Treasures In Heaven

Matthew 6:21
” For Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1301.jpgThe longer I live, the more I have come to realize, so much in life is passing. Things I once coveted and had to have, are bundled up and given to the Salvation Army. That “new car smell” has been replaced with “what’s that smell?” Even relationships that were once so close, have grown distant. The words of Christ shout a deafening cry,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew, Chapter 6, not only exhorts us to lay up heavenly treasures, it also sheds light on the spiritual activities that will help us do it. We are told to give, pray, fast and let go.

One of the great struggles we face is how to live for eternity, while living in time. We know, while God could cause manna to appear on our front lawn every morning, He has chosen to call us to “till the ground.” In other words, we all have to work for a living. We need the tangibles like cash, food, housing, etc. How do we balance living here with storing up treasures in heaven. I think one of the keys is found in Verse 33.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

When we decide to no longer worry, to no longer be consumed with the things of this life, and instead, put our full confidence in Jehovah, as our provider, we will be able to put Him first. When that happens, we will see  He is, in fact, able to meet our every need.

Today, whether you go to work, school, or stay at home, put Jesus in first place. Seek to please Him with every step, and watch as He uses the details of your day as opportunities to store up treasures in heaven.

Pastor Jim

Old Testament
Genesis 11- United
Genesis 12- Famine In The Land