April 18, 2019
Because He Lives, you and I also have a quality of life which can only be obtained because of the Resurrection. Each Easter, I’m sure that you all visit that tomb with Mary Magdalene on the day that the stone had been rolled away and join her as she runs to tell the disciples. Mark 16:1-4 1 “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4* But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away--for it was very large.” As you continue reading this passage, you will notice how the Angel said, “Go tell the disciples, and Peter.....” Significantly, Peter was the only disciple called by name. After betraying Jesus 3 times, it’s very touching to see how quickly forgiveness was given. You and I fret over trivialities much less consequential, and yet it’s possible here to see grace extended to one who had truly wronged Jesus. The power of the resurrection was spontaneous, and so it is today. Let’s embrace the monumental love gift provided us by the costly blood of Jesus everyday throughout the year. And always be ready to pay it forward to those you meet as you continue to walk as He walked. Happy Easter!
April 12, 2019
When my dad left this Earth for glory, there was only one thing left behind and that was his will, which he had finalized the week before. This document contained a description of his possessions which he left to me and my brothers simply because we were his children. We had done nothing to deserve these things, but now they became ours. Often we speak about our inheritance that we have in Christ Jesus. And the case is the same, we don’t deserve the “Eternal Package” of blessing, but it’s ours if we will take possession of it and receive it. As we study scripture we find this inheritance to be precious and very costly. Joshua 18:1-3 has some interesting things to say about inheritance. “The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance. So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? “ We could ask ourselves the same question, “How long will I wait before I receive what God has given me?” In John 5, a certain lame man had waited 38 years when Jesus came on the scene. That’s a long time to wait! Jesus simply asked him if he wanted to be well, and his reply seemed like an excuse for not already having possession of this healing. We’ve all acted like him at some time or other......waiting for somebody to come along…..the healing evangelist, the prophet with a word just for us…..or a miracle worker at a crusade. But Jesus put the responsibility on the sick man when he said, “ “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” What am I saying? The death of Jesus has occurred and He left His kids a will or inheritance. But don’t wait on everybody else to help you, be assertive and do what Hebrews 4:16 says. “ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Your inheritance is waiting for you to receive it!
April 5, 2019
Many times we quote from the book of Esther 4:14. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” As the body of Christ we believe that each of us is strategically placed for a certain period of time in a certain place. The NIV brings another thought into play when it describes Queen Esther’s role in the palace of Shushan.”And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" As Christians, each of us has a royal position! 1 Peter 2:9 , “You are a royal priesthood, a chosen generation…..” And position is everything in the arena of influence. The journey of life will cause your arena of influence to change from time to time, but your position of royalty in Christ Jesus is a constant. So, wherever life takes us, we should always be aware that the Creator of the Universe is working on a big plan in which we are like pieces of a puzzle. Every season brings us new opportunities to shine light into darkness and bring hope where hopelessness has prevailed. Let’s challenge ourselves to be ready with the Gospel message of good news wherever we are!
March 30, 2019
Isaiah 54:2 Recently, I’ve pondered this verse with renewed interest. The NLT translation, which is Susan’s favorite, stirs her into imagining big plans to remodel and add on to our house, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, this passage also speaks vision for us on a personal level and also as a congregation. When it’s considered as a blueprint for the future, it’s very exciting, causing us to reach forward and move ahead with faith for every situation. NKJV says it like this, 2“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.” We should be continually “spreading out”…..in other words, adding new people to our church. “Spare no expense” can have a double meaning for us at church. It can be simply purchasing what’s necessary for growth, but also, there will be a personal cost. Growth is a time for stretching and commitment. Living things always grow and change. Join me in speaking life to Liberty Church according to Ezekiel 37:4-6. What is God saying to you personally? If you’re not sure, take some time and listen for His voice. As His sheep, it’s His voice that you will hear, and He delights in His time with you. Remember in Genesis, God was daily available to Adam and Eve. Nothing’s changed. You’ll never get a recording or voice message. He’s always there. Maybe He’ll tell you to build an addition to your house and spare no expense or broaden your horizons at church!
March 22, 2019
The season of spring inspires us to “paint a new view” outside our windows. It’s the time for planting and growing. As believers, we should be cultivating and planting in the soil of our hearts everyday. Jesus had something to say about this very most important truth. Mt 13:3 “Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow...” Jesus, the master teacher of all times used natural illustrations to make His spiritual lessons relevant to His people. Folks of all ages understand the illustration He used of a farmer planting or sowing seeds, so He had a captive audience. Susan’s dad was a passionate gardener or farmer, and his favorite time of year was the springtime because it was the sowing season. From my own experience in the garden, I can tell you this is the most enjoyable part of the whole growing process for me.....putting the seed in the ground. For believers to grow, the planting of seed, the Word of God, into our hearts is necessary. But how do we plant the Word in our hearts? It’s simple, you just believe it and say it. Every seed is labeled with a genetic code to reproduce after its own kind, naturally speaking, and God’s Word could be considered a spiritual seed bag containing whatever you need. Whatever you want to grow must be planted, so believe it and say it and it will take root in your heart producing its fruit in your life. With springtime all around, imagine that as seeds are planted in the ground, we should daily be planting the seed of God’s Word in our hearts which will produce a harvest of blessing!