2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Sometimes we neglect reading our Bibles because we do not see the value in it. There are times when we don’t understand what we are reading, or how it applies to the daily struggles we are facing. It is not uncommon when talking with a struggling Christian, to share a promise from the Word, only to see them stiffen up and comment on how they don’t think that will help. In this passage, Paul addresses the true value of the Word of God. He uses a word that all business men will appreciate; profitable. He is saying the Words of God are of great value for our lives and for our daily living; they provide doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction.

The word doctrine means teaching. Paul says one of the great benefits of the Word of God is that it reveals who God is, and what He is like. We live in a fallen world that has been greatly affected by sin. When we look at God through the filter of our circumstances, we develop a skewed view of what He is like. It is only through His Word that we can truly understand God, and begin to understand why we are experiencing the trials we face. The word “reproof” means to rebuke or reprimand. None of us likes to be reprimanded, but we all realize there are times when we get off track and need a little rebuke. Like road signs warning us the bridge is out, or the lane we are in is ending. The words of God will show us what we are doing wrong, in order to keep us from ruining our life, family, relationships and witness. The Bible goes a step further than reproof, and also promises to correct us. Did you ever receive a test in school that had been corrected, only to find it covered in red ink, showing you what you did wrong, but without giving any instruction on how to fix it? That is not correction. Instead of just showing us what we are doing wrong, the Bible will also reveal what things are pleasing to God, and instruct us in how to do them. Paul calls this, instruction in righteousness.

Our Christian growth and our effectiveness in ministering to others, is directly connected to the time we spend in the Word of God. A well-worn Bible is a good sign when it is accompanied with well-worn shoes from living out the teaching of the Word. Let’s commit ourselves to the daily reading of the Word, so we can become a people fit for our Master’s use.

Pastor Jim


Memorial Stone 

Psalm 145:4
“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”

When God divided the Jordan River, enabling Israel to cross into the Promised Land, He instructed Joshua to memorialize the event by building a simple altar. Twelve men, one from each tribe, carried a large stone out of the dry riverbed and placed it in the area of Gilgal. One by one, as these stones were piled atop one another, a rudimentary altar was formed. This altar was not a place to sacrifice, but a place to remember. Joshua instructed the people that these stones would serve two purposes. First, they were to be a reminder of the mighty works of God, and second they were a teaching tool that one generation should praise His works to another. Joshua declared,

“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’… that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty…” Joshua 4:21-24

Other altars were built throughout the land, in places like Hebron, Bethel, Beersheba, Shechem and Ophrah. Each one, serving the purpose of remembering the works of God, and instructing the next generation in the ways of God. It seems to me, there has been a resurgence in our culture of parental involvement in the lives of their children. The “old school” approach, of mom doing the parenting, and dad serving as provider, seems to have been replaced by an increased effort by both parents being more involved in raising the kids. Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, soccer leagues, club volleyball, cheer-leading camps, all serve as a way for parents to be more involved in passing things on to their children. It is great to see a dad in the yard teaching his son to throw a ball or properly run the mower, but it is critical that we don’t stop there. As parents, the primary responsibility of passing the things of God on to the next generation, rests with us. While there is value in teaching our kids to fish, hunt, surf, read, study, and work, it is also critical that we teach our children how to walk with Jesus. Our kids are going to learn what relationship with God looks like by watching ours. If we take the time to daily abide in Christ, to trust Him when things get confusing, and to serve Him with our time, talents and treasures, our children will learn to do the same. Keep in mind, your life serves as an example, whether you like it or not. Let’s be sure we are a good example to those who we love the most.

Pastor Jim

Psalm 145

  1. The psalmist speaks of the unsearchable greatness of God. Make a list of things that He has done that are great.
  2. Go through this Psalm and list all the ways God is described.
  3. Verse 5 speaks of meditating on His splendor. Do that now.


The Proper Order 

1 Chronicles 15:13
“For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”

This was David’s second attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to its new home in Jerusalem. The first time was an utter failure, resulting in death. This time, David wanted to be sure to do things right, so he consulted the Word of God. Because God designed the Tabernacle, He is also the one who wrote the instructions for how things were to operate. When David and Israel chose to look into the Word of God, they found the proper way to move the ark. What had once been a disaster, became a time of rejoicing; and the same will be true of us.

The New Testament refers to God as the “Author of life.” He designed us, and His Word serves as the instruction manual for a successful life. You might look at you life and see it is in need of repair; remember, the secret is to “consult Him for the proper order.” Dating, marriage, finances, kids, work or whatever else you might be struggling with, you will find the proper order when you consult the Word of God and do things His way.

Remember, God’s ways bring life.

Pastor Jim


Horses And Mules 

Psalms 32:8-9
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.”

I am not a farmer, and do not have a lot of experience with either horses or mules. With my limited knowledge, I have observed, that bits are used in horses for an entirely different reason, than they are used in mules. Horses want to run free; they must be broken, and the harness and bit are to keep them from running off on their own. Mules are stubborn; they are not known for running off, but for standing still. The bit and harness are used on the mule to get them going. While I do not have a lot of familiarity with horses and mules, I have spent lots of time with Christians.  It seems to me, we are by nature, a lot like either the horse or the mule. Some of us have the tendency to run ahead. We are the self-reliant; the ones who are constantly thinking we can handle things, and forgetting our need to cling to the Lord. Others of us, are more mule-like. We are the ones who tend to sit back, always aware of our own weaknesses. Those weaknesses keep us from venturing out into what God would have us do.

The instruction the Lord gives David is for all of us. It does not matter what your natural tendencies are, we must learn not to trust in self, but to look to the Lord. God does not want to lead us as if we were a domesticated animal. Instead, He wants to lead us with His eye. That can mean one of two things. First, it can mean He is giving us signals with His eyes. My wife does that periodically. If we are in a group of people and she wants to talk to me, she may signal me with her eyes. The key is, I must be looking carefully at her to get it. God wants our eyes on Him. If we are going to be led by the Lord, our eyes must be fixed upon Him.

Second, the writer to the Hebrews stated,

” . . .looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

I think the illustration can mean something else as well. Guiding us with His eyes is only possible when we look at things through His eyes. I can remember sitting with some friends in the mountains on a clear night. The stars were so bright and vivid that our attention was drawn up. One of my friends is an amateur astronomer, so he began to explain the various constellations to us. I was having a very difficult time locating the beginning point of one of them, so he stood next to me and pointed up. I looked at the stars through His eyes and was able to see what he saw. To be guided with His eye,  is to look at things through God’s eyes. We do that by becoming familiar with His Word. We will only know what God thinks, when we spend time reading what He has to say. It has become all too common in our world, for us to imagine what God wants based upon personal experience, instead of looking into His Word, and seeing life through His eyes. Instead of looking at life through the eyes of culture, experience, trial, pain, sorrow, ambition, fear, want or worry, lets look at things through the eyes of God, and allow Him to lead us.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 32

  1. How does David describe the blessed life?
  2. What are the physical effects of un-confessed sin?
  3. What is significant about the fact that God wants to guide us with His eyes?
  4. Why are we warned against being like mule or horse?