Who’s on First?

  • Have you ever wondered why there is so much order in the universe?  For example the stars and moon are arranged in space; there is order in the seasons of the year; there is order in all biological life; there is order in science; there is order in marriage and family for the roles husbands, wives, and children play; there is order in church worship and government ; and there is order in God’s laws. 
  • It’s as if God wants to tell us something. What is it? Well for one thing the order we perceive and read about in the Bible teaches us God is highly organized and wants us to live orderly lives according to his plan. He also wants us to trust in his promises for things he is doing and will do, so we may have hope. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jer 29:11). 
  • God also wants you to know that since his fixed order won’t change, neither will his promises or his love for you. “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar– the LORD of hosts is his name: 36 “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.” (Jer 31:35-36). 
  • Now let’s get down to the most basic thing about order you and I need to understand. God is God. We are not God. Reject any humanististic teaching that says you are a god. No my friend, you are God’s creation and his handiwork created for his glory. The first allegiance you must have is to the Lord, not yourself or anyone else. In the Bible Rev 2:4 says Christ is your first love, and you must not abandon him. 
  • Someone once taught me the order in a man’s life should be your soul, then your wife, then your life. Don’t put your wife above God. Some wives might like that, but not a godly wife. Don’t put your hobbies and sports above God. Go to church on Sunday, because it is the Lord’s Day. It isn’t a day to attend your kids’ sporting events or go on some recreational activity like golf. Sunday is a day for corporate worship. Don’t put your job above your wife and family. Your job concerns your life and is third in order, not first or second. Many men make that mistake and lose the trust of their wives. And never ever abandon your wife and family. Your are there to love, protect, and provide for them. Many families these days are not comprised of both husband and wife. Living together with someone is not the same as or an acceptable substitute for marriage. Living together is not teaching your children or you about God’s order in marriage and family. 
  • Some people say Christianity is just a bunch of do’s and don’t. The way I see it is God’s laws and his order are like a fence for our protection and bring glory to his name. We are not free agents.  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and are not our own. So many people these days believe a person has to make their own decisions and has a right to do so. Well God does teach us we must decide. But if you choose any other way than his, you will suffer much pain and regret. Why not trust the one who planned it all and sustains us all?
  • If you are one who started out well but drifted away from God, come back. He will welcome you, just like the prodigal son’s father welcomed him. Israel drifted from God but returned. “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities (Jer 31:21).  It is never too late and is always the right thing to do to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Master of your life. 
  • I say all this because I love you, even if we have never met. I have many friends I haven’t met yet but one day will in heaven. These are not just words but point to Jesus who is vital for your life.  “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” (Deu 32:47). I want you to know God’s peace and experience his great love. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luk 2:14). 
  • If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life.  May the Lord bless you richly today!

One Another

  • One of the great things about Christmas is to hear from family and friends you haven’t seen or heard from in a long time. It’s all connected!  All those people who influenced us to be who we are now.  How nice it is to have such memories.
  • As Christians we look forward to heaven, when everyone who is in Christ will be together in community forever.  Imagine that!  And what’s more Jesus, who is what connects us to God and one another, will be there front and center!
  • The words “one another” occur a lot in the Bible: 

Love one another (John 13:34)

Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)

Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)

Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)

Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Be likeminded towards one another (Romans 15:5)

Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

Admonish one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16) 

Greet one another (Romans 16:16) 

Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)

Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)

Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13)

Be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)

Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15, 25)

Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19)

Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5)

Consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)

Look to the interests of one another (Philippians 2:4)

Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)

Teach one another (Colossians 3:16)

Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)

Stir up [provoke, stimulate] one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)

Show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)

Employ the gifts that God has given us for the benefit of one another (1 Peter 4:10) 

Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another (1 Peter 5:5)

Pray for one another (James 5:16)

Confess your faults to one another (James 5:16)

Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9) 

Stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13) 

If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you’ll be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:15) 

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other (Galatians 5:26) 

Do not slander one another (James 4:11) 

Don’t grumble against each other (James 5:9)

So this Christmas, love one another as Christ loves you. , and treat your fellow believers as your family, for that is what they are…the family of God.  Merry Christmas!

Pastor Greg

Pour Your Heart Out to God

  • Do you have a friend you can pour your heart out to?  Do you have someone in your life who loves you unconditionally and actually knows your heart?  Do you have someone in your life who takes all the time it takes to get to know your concerns?  Do you have someone in your life who has the wisdom and power to act for your good?
  • If you are a Christian, the answer is YES!  You have the Lord. “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psa 62:8).
  • As you get older and as things change in your life, many loved ones precede you in death.  You may move away for former friends and just not have anyone left.  In my life I have my older brother, and I am so grateful for him.  My brother and I have both lost our wives.My brother does  his best for me, and I do my best for him. But even he has his limitations as to what he can do about my problems and concerns.  Pro 18:24 teaches us “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Do you know who it is?  Of course it is Jesus.  
  • Jesus has all the power and all the wisdom and all the unconditional love and patience to help you through all your concerns, so you no longer have to be concerned about your life.  Your only concern should be to stay in daily contact and walk in obedience to the Lord’s commands. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty had of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1Pe 5:6-7).
  • Doing this requires faith.  Just say to the Lord Jesus, I know you died for me, and I have trusted in you as my Savior and commit myself to follow you as my Lord.  I know that you love me and gave yourself not only for me, but for all those who place their trust in you.  I know that you are coming again, and that you want me to bear witness to you.  You are concerned about me and about all the Father has given you to save.  Help me to give you my problems and my fears. Take them and bring peace and resolution in my life.  Sustain me.  Provide a way for me.  Help me remember I am yours and you are mine.  Help me understand what it means to be in Christ.  You know me better than I know myself.  Thank you for hearing my prayer.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!
  • If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life.  May the Lord bless you richly today!

Christmas is About Love!

I see more impatience during the holidays every year. Are we really so overwhelmed by the whole thing that we can no longer enjoy it? Have we lost the essence of the season in all the busyness of creating perfection? Shopping…baking…wrapping… decorating…social obligations… juggling bills to pay for all the trappings…frayed nerves… exhaustion…worrying…and even wishing it was over already… This is not what Christmas is really about. I am praying we all step back and look at the choices we make and teach our children and be an example to others that love is the greatest gift of all. If you have that, you have all you need. God bless us all!

Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.
(Ephesians 4:2)

Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.
(Proverbs 15:18)

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.
(Romans 12:12)

I waited patiently for the Lord’s help;
then he listened to me and heard my cry.
(Psalm 40:1)

The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—
And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
(Lamentations 3:25-27)

Everything About You Matters to God

  • One of the things about being a truck driver is you often have to deliver or pick up a load at a location where you have never been before.  Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night and/or on a weekend or holiday when most families are gathered around or asleep at home.  Whoever you are there are times when you feel disconnected from your loved ones and may even wonder whether anything you do on a daily basis matters very much. 
  • The great thing about being a Christian truck driver is to know the Lord is always near and you are never alone.  Even the darkness is as light to him.  “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psa 139:11-12).  
  • What the Lord wants from us is our devotion to him.  He sees your heart and if it’s really for him. If it is, everything you think, say, and do is significant. For it is then the Lord can really use you to reach the world.  “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luk 6:45). 
  • Remember light overcomes darkness, not the other way around. You can light a match in a very large pitch black room, and that single flame will not be extinguished by the darkness but give it’s light. So it is with God’s light. “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” (Joh 16:33). So, if you are a Christian, make it your aim to please him with your heart, so you can  experience his peace and so he can guide you to do those things he has planned for you to do.
  • If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life.  May the Lord bless you richly today!

Pastor Greg

INTRODUCTIONS TO THE BIBLE (CONTINUE) (NEW TESTAMENT)

TITUS

TITUS–was another friend and helper of Paul. He had traveled with Paul on some of his missionary journeys. Now he was working as the leader of the church on Crete. This letter is much like the two letters to Timothy. Paul wanted to teach Titus how to be a good leader of the church. He told him how God’s people should behave and what his own responsibilities were.

PHILEMON

PHILEMON–was a leader of the church at Colosse and a friend of Paul. Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, had stolen money from Philemon and had run away to Rome. While he was there he met Paul and became a Christian. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon with this letter. He begged Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to treat him as a brother in Christ instead of a runaway slave.

INTRODUCTI–ONS TO THE BIBLE (CONTINUE) (NEW TESTAMENT)

I TIMOTHY

I TIMOTHY–Timothy was a young friend of Paul who became a Christian on Paul’s first missionary journey. He went with Paul on his second missionary journey and from then on he helped Paul in his work. At that time Paul wrote this letter, Timothy was working as the teacher and leader of the church at Ephesus. Timothy was young to have the important job of leading a church. Paul wrote to give him help and advice for his work. This letter teaches how people in the church should act and what kind of leaders a church should have.

II TIMOTHY

II TIMOTHY– when Paul wrote this second letter to Timothy, he was a prisoner in Rome again. He knew that there was no chance of getting out and that he would be killed soon. He wanted to encourage Timothy because Timothy would have to continue Paul’s missionary work after Paul’s death. Paul gave Timothy more instructions on how to lead a church. He told him to resist false teachers and to be faithful to true Christian teachings.