Godly Home 

2 Timothy 1:5
When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”

Timothy is one of the stars of the New Testament. His story has all the makings of a blockbuster hit. When we are first introduced to him, he is a teenager described as “being well spoken of in all the churches.” We know that his commitment to Christ struck a chord with the apostle Paul, who invited him to join the ministry team and take the Gospel to the unreached people of the ancient world. While traveling with some of the greatest saints of all time, Timothy rose to the top and became Paul’s most trusted ally and closest friend. By the time his story comes to a close, he is pastoring one of the most influential churches the world has ever known, in the bustling city of Ephesus. We know his success in following and serving Christ had much to do with a teenage decision to surrender to Jesus and the influence of Paul, but we also find that he was greatly impacted at home.

From the few scattered pieces recorded about Timothy’s home life, we can surmise that he grew up in a family with an unbelieving father and a committed mother. Since we know that his mom was Jewish, and as such, was forbidden to marry a gentile, we know that her past included a time of having wandered from the Lord. Rather than letting her past define her present, Eunice determined to raise her son around the things of the Lord. Along with the assistance of her mother, Lois, they raised Timothy on a healthy diet of the Word of God. It is not a stretch to conclude, he was actually taught to read and write using the Word of God as his textbook. With such a godly foundation having been laid, it is no wonder this young man became one of the great saints of all time.

Perhaps you are in a less than ideal family situation. Perhaps you are even the cause of much of the struggle. Instead of letting the past write your future, take the time to surrender all to Christ, and make your home a place where others will be instructed in the ways of God. It is not too late to allow God to use your life to influence others for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Pastor Jim

 

I’ve Been Redeemed

Ruth 4:6
“And the close relative said, ‘I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.’”

In addition to being a beautiful and timeless love story, Ruth is also a picture of redemption. Ruth was a descendant of Moab and as such was born under a curse (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). Naomi and her family had left Israel and dwelt among the Moabites and, no doubt, returned to the land with the stigma of being a backslider. Perhaps some thought the loss of her family was the judgment of God for leaving Israel. These two woman are a picture of all of us. We are born in sin, and prove it daily with our actions. Paul declared,

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—” Romans 5:12

In this seemingly hopeless state, God raised up a redeemer for Naomi and Ruth. A near kinsman, named Boaz, would marry Ruth and take on the responsibility of her and Naomi. In the same way, in our hopeless state, the Son of God took on the role of redeemer. Jesus told a story that expressed the redemptive nature of God. He spoke of a man who found a treasure in a field. In order to obtain the treasure, he had to purchase the entire field. The meaning is obvious, God sees you as a precious treasure of such value, He would pay the price of His own Son to purchase you. The work of redemption accomplished by Christ, is sufficient to pay for the sins of the world. Those who will respond by faith, will be the recipients of redemption and eternal life.

Will you trust Christ today for salvation? Will you put away a life of self- seeking and begin to seek the One who loves you and died for you? If so pray along with me “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I invite you to come into my life, wash away my sin and help me live for You. Amen”

If you prayed that prayer and want further help in following Christ, contact us at ccvb.net

In grace,
Pastor Jim

 

This Is Not The End

Ruth 1:5
“Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

To say that Naomi had been through some difficult times is a colossal understatement. Because of a severe famine throughout Israel, she and Elimelech made the difficult decision to leave their homeland, family and friends, in search of a better life. The road that promised a better life actually led to heartache. Naomi watched as her husband died, and shortly thereafter, each of her two sons died. Widowed, heartbroken and left with nothing, she decided to make her way back to Israel. After such grievous trials, it would be easy to concede, this was the end for her.

As the story unfolds, we begin to realize God had not deserted Naomi. In fact, He had a wonderful future in mind for her. A future that involved the restoration of a family and the redemption of mankind.

As Naomi made her way back to Israel, Ruth, her daughter-in-law, insisted on returning with her. Naomi’s influence led Ruth to make a decision to follow the Lord. This decision would change the course of human history. As the story continues, Ruth will meet Boaz, fall in love, marry, have children, then grandchildren, and David will be introduced to the world.

When all seemed lost, God had a future for Naomi that included the salvation of souls. Whatever you may be facing, remember, this is not the end. The Psalmist declared,

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.” 
Psalm 42:5

Pastor Jim

 

Likeness

Genesis 5:1
“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_0274.jpgThe Bible teaches that man was originally created in the image of God. Since God is eternal, man was created to live forever. Since God is triune: Father, Son and Spirit, man was also created as a triune being: spirit, soul and body. Since God is holy, man was originally created without sin, placed in a perfect environment, and enjoyed sweet communion with God. Tragically, we read man’s condition did not last long. Within a few verses of the narrative, we find the first man and woman giving into the tempter and sin entering the world. The effects of this sin were both immediate and far reaching. Immediately they were changed, knew their sin, and were separated from God. The far reaching aspect of their sin is seen, here, in Chapter 5.

Genesis 5:3
“And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”

Man, who was created in the image of God, begot children that were created in his fallen image. The story of the Bible is now the story of redemption. God will do whatever is necessary to restore fallen men to relationship with Himself. The final step in His plan included the cross, where salvation was made possible, and sending the Holy Spirit to draw us to God.

Although we all bear the traits of fallen men, we can all be restored to God through simple faith in Christ.

Pastor Jim

 

Finding Grace

Genesis 6:8
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1290.jpgThe story of the flood is a story of judgment and redemption. Mankind had turned its back on God. Moses is careful to describe the condition of the world at that time;

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

People were living in open defiance of God. The line between the godly and the ungodly had become so blurred that the sons of God were marrying the daughters of men. The men of renown, the leaders of the ancient world, wanted nothing to do with the things of God. There was open demonic activity taking place among men. Jesus described a scene of such spiritual apathy that even Noah’s preaching of coming judgment, did not deter the people from their sinful lives. They continued on, as though they would never have to give an account to the God who created them. After 100 years of warning, the sky suddenly became dark, the rain began to fall, the earth began to rumble and split open. The judgment of God broke forth on the very people He had created to for fellowship. In the midst of this we read,

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8
As much as this is a story of God judging sin, it is also a story of God redeeming man. Noah was the recipient of the grace of God, which rescued him from wrath. Nothing has changed. God is still Holy and will forever judge sin. He is also gracious, providing a way for sin to be forgiven, and men to be delivered. We receive the grace of God when we choose to accept the pardon for sin He has provided through the death of Christ upon the cross. When we receive Christ, all our sins are washed away and we are rescued from wrath.

We see in Noah a picture of how this grace affects a man. We read that Noah “walked with God.” Walking with God is a common idiom found throughout the Bible. It is used to illustrate a person who is living a life that is well pleasing to the Lord. We read of three distinct things about Noah’s walk. First, he obeyed the Lord. Four times we read that “Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him”. Not all that was commanded seemed to make sense. Instead of arguing, rationalizing, complaining or disobeying, Noah did as the Lord commanded. Second, we read that Noah’s faith impacted his family. Unlike Lot, Noah lived out his walk with God for others to see, and won his family members to the Lord. Too often our best Christianity happens at church, and we fail to live for Christ within the home. Finally, we read that upon exiting the ark, Noah offered sacrifice to the Lord. He realized that salvation was not based upon his good work, and he accepted the pardon that God provided.

Jesus told us, the times leading up to His return would be like the days of Noah. With evil increasing we must walk with the Lord all the more.

Pastor Jim