Fully Charged 

Micah 3:8
“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, aneed of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

Two things caused Micah to stand out from the false prophets who filled the pulpits of ancient Israel. First, he had received a message from God and second he was energized by the Spirit of God. These are as necessary today as they have ever been. If we want to effectively serve the Lord, we need a message from God and the power to deliver it. The question to ask is, where will I find these things?

Micah’s message came from two places. First, it was found in the pages of God’s Word. He could scan the scrolls and see what was being proclaimed in the pulpits and practiced by the people, were a violation to God’s written Word. Second, his message came by direct revelation, requiring him to learn to hear the voice of God. We will not hear new messages from God, but we do need to learn to sit quietly and hear Him apply His Word to our lives and circumstances. Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice (John 10:27).

Under the old covenant, God was very selective as to who received the power of the Spirit. Certain individuals, for limited times, were filled with the Spirit. We know both Samson and Saul had the Spirit for a while, and then it was taken from them. In contrast, Joel promised, under the new covenant, the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh without distinction (Joel 2:28). The Spirit is received when you trust Christ for Salvation, but there remains a need for the continual filling with the Spirit of God. Jesus explained that we would receive the Spirit when we ask with persistence.

It is important that we see the need to be used by God to deliver His message to the world. Paul declared that people cannot hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14). Its also critical that we take the time to ask God to give us a message, an opportunity, and the gifting of the Spirit to share Christ with others.

Pastor Jim


Locked Up

Jeremiah 32:2
“For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.”

Judah was on the brink of disaster with the armies of Babylon were camped outside the city walls. Food, water and morale, were at risk of running out, and the only hope for the nation was locked away in a prison cell. The people were neglecting the one thing that could ensure victory over the enemy they were facing. That victory would be found in obeying the Word of God, spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.

Times have changed and circumstances differ, but we do the same thing today. When faced with a problem, trial, temptation or personal struggle, we often look everywhere else, before we resort to the promises of God. We think money, medicine, counsel, or some other natural thing, will provide us with deliverance. We neglect to go to the pages of God’s Word where we meet the Lord face to face.

Part of the reason Judah ignored the Jeremiah’s message was they did not like, nor want to hear, what he declared. His message was one that involved surrender, and God dealing with personal and national sin. He told them the secret to victory was in surrender to Babylon. Rather than accepting the ways of God, they chose to silence the Word of God.

Again, this is common today. Many who refuse to seek counsel from the Word, do so because they already know what God will say. His message will include a solution to the problem, but the solution will involve dealing with the sin that caused the problem.

If you are facing difficulty, don’t run away from the Word of God, instead run toward it. Open the pages of your Bible and allow God to speak into your life. Some of what He declares may be hard to handle, but in the end, He will always lead us in triumph through Christ.

Pastor Jim



Ezra 7:11
“Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the Lord...”

Webster’s dictionary defines an adjective as, “a modifier of a noun to denote the quality of the thing named… or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.” I wonder what adjectives would be used in a biography of my life. Would I be described as tall or short, grumpy or friendly, rich or poor? It fascinates me that when Ezra’s life was all summed up, he was described as a priest, a scribe, and an expert in the Word of the Lord.

A priest was more than his vocation, it described him as a man who spent time in the presence of God. As a scribe, he was one who transcribed the Scriptures (Tradition holds that Ezra was involved in developing the Old Testament canon). Being an expert in the Word, was the result of spending day after day getting in the Word of God.

When all is said and done, these are the adjectives we should seek to have describe our lives. Take time today to get in the Word and spend time with Christ.

Pastor Jim


The Temple 

1 Kings 6:11-13
“Then the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying: ‘Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.’”

Four hundred and eighty years after entering the promised land the Tabernacle was replaced with the Temple. The Temple was an elaborate structure, sitting above the city of David, on what had been the threshing floor of Ornan. This forty five foot tall building was the prize of Israel, and could be seen from miles away. The inside of the Temple was even more glorious than its exterior. The floor, walls, and ceiling, were made of intricately carved cedar and overlaid in gold. The rooms were decorated with tapestries and furnishings designed by God, and built by he finest craftsmen of the time. It is no wonder the whole nation gathered to celebrate when the Temple was finally completed.

As magnificent as his building must have been, it was important that Solomon remember its real purpose. Sometime in the midst of the building project, he heard the voice of God reminding him that the building is just a building if the people don’t walk with the Lord.

“. . . walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments..”

By way of application, the same is true of us today. Church attendance, Bible reading, and Christian service, are only activities if we wander from the Lord. At the heart of Christianity is the need to simply read the Bible and do what it says. The driving force behind that should be a desire to please God by doing what He says.

As time went on, the Temple continued to stand as a landmark for the nation, long after the king and people had wandered from God. They would eventually come to a time where the Word of God was completely forgotten, while the priests still diligently practiced their rituals.

Religious exercise has its place, but should never replace getting alone with God and His Word and simply doing what it says.

Pastor Jim


What Went Wrong?

2 Samuel 6:16

“Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”

Looking back on the history of Israel, there are certain days that stand out above others. The day Abraham received the covenant, the day Israel was set free from Egypt, and the day Joshua led the nation across the Jordan. These are but a few of the nation’s highlights. I don’t think it a stretch to add the day the Ark of the covenant was delivered to Jerusalem. This was a day of national celebration, including music, dancing, feasting and sacrifice. It seems the whole city turned out for this festive celebration. There was, no doubt, a buzz of excitement in the air as people celebrated the goodness of God, and made public confessions of faith. It is with this as a backdrop,that we read these awful words, “Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”

Michal did not always feel this way. She was the princess, a daughter of Saul, who met David when he was a worship leader and a captain in the Israeli army. She let her feelings for him be known, and he risked his life on the battlefield to prove himself worthy of her hand in marriage. Their wedding day would be like a storybook romance, as the princess and the hero were married in the palace of the king. Sadly, the romance did not last. 

Webster defines the word despised as, “to look down on with contempt or aversion or to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.” The Hebrew word is used to describe the way Goliath viewed David. This couple, who had once been madly in love with one another, now hated each other with a passion and could not stand the sight of one another. The exchange they shared is beyond cruel. David takes a shot at her family, while Michal accuses him of flaunting himself before the young women. What happened? What could ruin such an amazing love story? 

While I am sure there are many variables, one thing stands out for sure. Long before this event, David allowed the culture, rather than the Word of God, to influence the way he treated his wife. Culturally, it was expected for a king to have many wives. This was a sign of prestige and power. Biblically, it was commanded that an Israeli king have only one wife. David chose a worldly pattern for marriage. 

Today, it is not only uncommon, but illegal, to have more than one spouse, but the world’s model of marriage is still equally as destructive. It seems, today, marriage is looked at as unnecessary, temporary, and designed to bring personal satisfaction or happiness. As a result, many Christians are choosing not to marry, while behaving as a married couple. Others, are tossing in the towel, because they are no longer happy or satisfied. It is time we look beyond the world, and into the Word for the model of marriage. We will find that God has given specific tools which will ensure we forever remain “satisfied with the wife of our youth.”

For a deeper look at marriage, read Ephesians 5:21-33, 1Peter 3:1-12 and 1Corinthians 7.

Pastor Jim 

The Sword 

1 Samuel 21:9

“So the priest said, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.’And David said, ‘There is none like it; give it to me.’”

Saul’s rage forced David to flee for his life. He left home and family in such a hurry that he took almost nothing with him. When he arrived in Nob, he immediately searched for both food and weapons. Since he arrived at the home of the priest, and not a military compound, weapons were hard to come by.  The only available sword was the one David had taken from Goliath, and it probably sat in a display case. 

I find it interesting, this is not the first time David had handled someone else’s sword. On the day he went to battle against Goliath, Saul tried to suit David in his armor. Because of David’s size, the armor was much too big for him, and he went to battle with a sling and some stones. Now after years of growth and training David, is fit to handle the sword of a giant. 

While this passage is certainly not about the importance of the word of God, I think we can see an important spiritual principle tucked away in the text; the more we grow, the more apt we will be to handle the sword. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us, 

Hebrews 5:14

“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

The more familiar we become with the scriptures, the more useful they will become in our everyday lives. As you read your bible, you will find its truths apply to the situations you face daily. A promise tucked away in the psalms, may become the guiding light you need to deal with a difficult family situation. A truth from the Gospel, will give you insight into how to help counsel a friend. We need to become more familiar with the Word, so we are more prepared for the battles. 

Pastor Jim 

By The Word

1 Samuel 3:21
“Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”

Long before Jerusalem was established as the capital of Israel, Shiloh was the ancient location of the Tabernacle. It was at Shiloh, where the High Priest would meet with the LORD on the Day of Atonement. It was there, where the glory of the LORD would fill the Holiest place like a cloud.

Samuel was a prophet, not a priest. He served at the Tabernacle, but never entered the Holy place. It was not for Him to pass through the veil and meet with the LORD. Yet, we read, the LORD appeared to Samuel in Shiloh, “by the Word of the Lord.” Samuel could meet daily with the Lord. Whatever circumstance he might be facing, he could have an encounter with God and receive direction for life. He could hear God speak to his private life, family life, and ministry. Imagine young Samuel sitting down with scroll in hand and receiving direction from the LORD.

The same can be true of you and me. If we will, daily, take time to look into our Bibles, we will find that God speaks to our lives. This happens in a number of ways. First,as you commit to reading through portions of the Word, you will find God knew in advance what you were going to face, and speaks specifically to your circumstances. Second, there are times when we need to investigate specifically what the Bible has to say about certain subjects. You might be facing a problem with someone who has hurt your feelings and you are not sure how to react. In those times, we need to look through the Word to see what God says about forgiveness, and how to treat those who wrong us. Finally, this happens when the Word of God is being taught. The Bible is like a Sword in the hands of the Holy Spirit, who will strike our hearts with what we most need to hear. Coming into Bible study with an expectation to hear from God and obey, is the best way to ensure that God speaks to you.

Samuel had learned early in life,  when God spoke he was to respond, “Here I am LORD.” Let’s be sure we are responsive to the Word of the LORD by committing ourselves to obeying Him.

Pastor Jim


The Value Of A Verse

Acts 23:11
“But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.’”

Unknown-1.jpegWebster defines a trial as, “A test of faith through subjection to suffering or temptation.” Paul’s current situation may be the text book case of a trial. He came to Jerusalem with the goal of sharing Christ with his friends and countrymen, spent his time preparing to share with them, but before he ever spoke a word, he found himself under attack. After his unjust arrest, he had two opportunities to share the Gospel; both times he was cut short, as the people become enraged with him. To make matters worse, his Christian friends had warned him not to go to Jerusalem in the first place. They said he would be beaten, arrested and perhaps killed. Paul believed the trip was the Lord and ignored their warnings.  Now, incarcerated and facing the threat of death, it would be natural to feel as though he had failed the Lord and his situation was hopeless.

I love the fact that while facing this great trial, the Lord spoke to Him. The voices surrounding him said  he was a blasphemer and he was going to die, and perhaps a voice within, saying he had failed. However, one voice cried out louder than all the rest. It was the voice of Jesus, providing Paul with a promise that would carry him through all the trials of the next few years. Prison in Rome, the threat of death, a late night escape, forgotten in Caesarea, ship wrecked on an island, and being bitten by a poisonous viper, could not shatter the strength given from these few simple words uttered by Christ. No matter how bad things became, he was promised safe passage and opportunity in Rome.

The Word of God is like that. A timely promise from God is able to sustain us though whatever difficulties we are facing. I have had times that seemed hopeless, and all I had to sustain me was a simple truth from the Word of God. As time continued, I found that no force on earth could shake the foundation given by the promise of God. No matter what you are facing, get in the Word and allow Jesus to whisper His great and precious promises, and strengthen you from within.

Mark 13:31
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

Pastor Jim



Acts 17:11
“. . . more fair-minded. . . “

Paul and his companions were traveling throughout Greece. They had been in Philippi, Thessalonica, and would soon be in Athens. These were all very prominent cities. Philippi was the foremost city in the region of Macedonia, and Athens remained the scholastic capital of the Empire. Berea, on the other hand, was a small town, which in the large scale of things, was pretty insignificant. No one would be impressed with someone from Berea. They were not known for their universities, trade, or monuments.

While the world may not have been particularly impressed with the Bereans, Scripture certainly was. Luke takes the time to write concerning the character of these Christians. He speaks of their fair-mindedness; the King James uses the word, noble. These folks were considered nobility by the Apostles.

What is it that caught the attention of the Apostles? It was the fact that they were open to the Word of God, trusted it as the final authority on who God was and how to please Him. We read that they received the Word with readiness. This means, when their Bibles were open, they were expecting to hear from God. I imagine a scene where they have Bibles open in one hand and notepad and pen the other. They knew the Bible to be the Word of God, and anticipated that God wanted to instruct them when it was taught.

We also read, they searched the Scripture to determine if the Apostles’ teaching was true. The real authority in their lives was the Word of God. Too often, Christians will allow the church or church leaders, to be their authority and will believe anything  declared from a pulpit. The Bereans only accepted what was taught if it was consistent with the teachings of Scripture. This saved them from being caught up in the wild winds of false doctrine that could sweep through the church. Other Christians will allow culture to be their final authority and behave consistent with the world in which they live. Their practices are no different than the unbelievers that surround them; never taking time to look into the Word of God and examine what their marriage, family life, work attitude, recreational activities, and speech should be like. When we live like that, we are far from the nobility found in the Bereans.

Let’s determine that the Word of God becomes the final authority for our lives and our living. Search It daily and live accordingly. May it be said of each of us, the we are “more fair-minded.”

Pastor Jim


A Place To Stand

Joshua 21:45
“Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”

A lot of my childhood was spent on the ocean. From as far back as I can remember, my dad had a boat and we would spend the summers taking vacations to Catalina Island. It was a great way to grow up. We would spend day after day on the boat, fishing, swimming, diving and exploring. When the vacation finally came to an end and we made the 27 mile journey back to the mainland, I experienced an interesting sensation. After so much time rocking back and forth on the boat, the ground seemed especially solid.

Life can seem like a journey at sea. We seem to get hit by unexpected waves, and the ground we are standing on is moving. If we are going to get through turbulent times, we need to have some solid ground to stand on.

After a lifetime of following the Lord through some very turbulent waters, Joshua confidently exclaimed that not a single promise of God had ever failed him. No matter what the obstacle, Joshua had learned by experience,  the promises of God are like a solid rock upon which he could stand.

I have found, for every experience of life, there is a promise to cling to. When facing the challenges of life, it is vital that the child of God look into the Word, find the appropriate promises, and then hide in them, like a bunker from the storms of life.

Some of the promises which have been particularly encouraging to me include:

2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Philippians 4:7
“. . . and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 13:5
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

Isaiah 54:17
“‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me’, says the Lord

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

2 Corinthians 3:5-6
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

In response to this blog a good friend sent me the following note.

“When I was diagnosed with an illness, a close friend gave me a list of “promise” verses. Honestly, at the time, I read through them and tucked them away, but that was about it. In the last 3 years, I can’t tell you how many times I pulled out that list and allowed the Word of God to comfort, strengthen and encourage me.

To your list I would add Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 61:1-4, Psalm 55:22 and so many more.”

Praying His Word will be like a safe harbor, and like solid ground, in the midst of the storms of life.

Pastor Jim