House Of Prayer 

Isaiah 56:7
“For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Isaiah foresaw a day when people from all nations would be adopted into the family of God. He saw salvation reaching beyond the borders of Israel to the uttermost parts of the earth. Seven hundred years later Jesus entered into the temple and saw the outer courts turned into a marketplace. Instead of people being encouraged to to come to God they were being hindered. The religious leaders for the sake of financial gain and status among the people were actually keeping people from the Lord. At some point a sign was placed on the entrance of the temple warning Gentiles not to enter under the threat of death. When Jesus saw the actions of the leaders He was outraged. He began to overturn the tables and drive out those who were buying and selling. It was at that point that He quoted from this passage,

“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

It is worth noting that Jesus was enraged when people stood in the way of others coming to God. We know it is the desire of God for all men everywhere to be saved. We know that a person is saved when they put trust in Christ as their savior and we know that people come to trust Christ through the witness of others. We should be seeking to live lives that properly represent Christ so that others will be drawn to Him rather than repelled from Him.



Holier Than Thou

Isaiah 65:5
“Who say, ‘Keep to yourself,
Do not come near me,
For I am holier than you!'”

“Holier than thou” is defined by a modern dictionary as, “having a superior attitude or view of one’s self.” It is most commonly used as an accusation against a Christian who calls out sinful behavior. Have you ever been accused of being ‘holier than thou’? If you have, it was probably because you attempted to share Christ with someone. This verse is often coupled with Jesus’ command not to judge lest we be judged, and is used as a defense mechanism by those who are involved in ungodly practices. I think it is worth noting, this statement was actually first used by unbelievers who claimed they were holy enough on their own, and did not need a savior. In fact, anyone who refuses Christ and the cross, is essentially claiming to be ‘holier than thou’.

The fact is, the cross declares, universally, that all of mankind is not holy on their own. As Jesus pleaded with God in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39), we realize salvation is not possible apart from the cross. It is there, and there alone, where sin can be pardoned. If we do not see our need for Christ as our Savior, we are confused about who God is, and who we are. If we truly examined the God of Scripture, we would find He is holy and just, and must judge sin. If we truly examine ourselves, we will find that we are sinners in need of salvation.

Instead of ignoring sin and thinking you are fine the way you are, take your sin before the cross and allow Jesus to wash you and make you new.

Pastor Jim



Job 33:24
“Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’. . .”

Jesus explained to the religious leaders, that while they searched the Scriptures thinking they would find life, in reality, the Scriptures testify of Jesus. In other words, we should be able to see Jesus throughout the Bible. Sometimes, He is subtly behind the scenes, other times, He is front and center, and cannot be missed. Here, in the testimony of Elihu, we see a wonderful prediction of the work of Christ. Elihu points out, the real problem with mankind is that we are sinners and as such, are under a curse, and headed for what he calls the pit. The solution presented by this young man is that God Himself will provide a ransom for fallen men.

As the pages of Scripture continue to unfold, it will be very clear that the ransom of which he spoke, is nothing short of God sending His own Son. Jesus declared that his reason for coming was to seek and save lost men by becoming a ransom for them. It was on the cross where Jesus paid the debt we owed God, with His own life. He paid a debt that He did not owe, so that we could have a future we did not deserve.

This ransom is sufficient enough to provide atonement for all mankind. There is no person who will come to Christ and be rejected. The New Testament records the testimonies of religious men and common men, as well as murders, prostitutes and idol worshippers, all coming to Christ, being received, forgiven, transformed and sent forth as messengers to the world, telling  of the wonderful work of Christ. What a joy to know that God has paid our ransom. The debt of sin has been settled, and all mankind can now come to trust in Christ and be forgiven.

This is the message given to the church to declare in the world. Take a few minutes to pray for an opportunity today to tell someone about the grace and love of God, who has paid their debt so they can be forgiven.

Pastor Jim



The Innocent 

Job 4:7
“Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?”

While Job was suffering the physical and emotion pain brought on from his trials, three friends arrived to offer their condolences, and seek to bring him answers. Eliphaz was first to speak. It seems he could not comprehend a situation where people did not deserve the suffering they were experiencing. This causes him to ask a very important question, has anyone ever died who was truly innocent?

The Bible teaches that there are none who are completely righteous, each and every person is a sinner and has practiced sin. It is humorous how some people take offense to that. They become upset when they are told they are sinners, even though all the evidence supports the Bible’s claim. A few years ago I was in West Africa on a short term mission trip. I, and another man, began to witness to a group of young men. When the conversation turned to talk about their need for a Savior, one of the young men declared that he was not a sinner. Surprised a bit by his statement, I paused to think about how to respond, while the gentlemen with me simply turned to one of his friends and asked if they thought their friend was a sinner. They all broke out in laughter. Apparently, in their minds he was the biggest sinner of them all.

The reality is, no one is innocent. We are born sinners, and we prove it everyday of our lives by the way we treat others, and ignore the ways of God. Because of our sinful nature, we find ourselves under the judgment of God, facing eternity apart from Him. It is here, where Eliphaz’ question finds its answer. There is One who perished being innocent. That One, is the sinless Son of God, who died on behalf of the guilty. Jesus lived a life without sin, in order to die a death that would pay the price for sin. At His death, even His accusers admitted He had done nothing wrong. His death was in our place, the innocent for the guilty, that He may offer us eternal life.
The solution to our sin problem is found in receiving Jesus Christ. If you want your sins forgiven, and the free gift of eternal life, then invite Jesus to forgive you of sin, to become your Savior and Lord. Take a moment to pray:

“Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner, I ask you to forgive me of my sin, and become my Lord. I pray you would help me leave my old ways behind, and follow after You.”

If you prayed that prayer, let us know so we can help you follow Jesus.

Pastor Jim


Much Love?

Luke 7:40
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”

IMG_1492The event which occurs in the house of Simon the Pharisee stands out to me as one of the most fascinating in the New Testament. No miraculous healing takes place: the deaf do not hear, the blind do not see, nor are the dead raised. Yet this story is both priceless and timeless in the truth it reveals. It is the story of two people and their view of Jesus. Simon was a religious man that showed interest in Jesus. He valued Jesus more than many of his contemporaries.

While other religious leaders were plotting the death of Jesus, Simon was opening his home to Him. He was willing to invite Jesus in, dine with Him, and listen to what He had to say. Then there is the woman. She is quite different from Simon. She is described simply as a sinner. In all probability, she was a prostitute. When she entered the house she did what was customary for the host to do, she washed the feet of Jesus, but  in a very unorthodox way. Instead of a bucket of water and a towel, she used her tears and her hair. It seems she came to Jesus with the purpose of anointing Him with perfume. As she approached Him, she became overwhelmed with emotion, and began to express worship with reckless abandonment. Those who looked on were shocked, both by the behavior of this woman, and by the reaction of Jesus. In response to this Jesus said,

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

This woman’s unrestrained worship flowed out because she knew what Christ had done for her. She knew she was a sinner and desperately in need of the Savior. She placed the highest value upon Jesus, and gave all that she had. Simon was no less in need of Christ than this young woman. His sins, though different, were no less. He was as desperately in need of a Savior as she, but his religious activities blinded him of his need.

How about you? Have you seen your need for the Savior? Do you understand that He has forgiven you of a debt greater than you could ever pay? How do you respond to this? Do you come to Him prepared to worship? Are you willing to give all you have and all you are, to show your love to Him, for all He has done for you? After all, Jesus said the greatest of all commandments was to love Him.

To understand His love for us, we do not need to sin more, we simply need to understand that we are sinners. Take time right now to worship Him, and when you gather for public worship, come prepared to give of all that you are.

Pastor Jim