Posted by Tom on
October 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm under Pastor's Pen
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecc 11:4)
Ever feel like you are stuck where you are at? I think it is fair to say that we all have at various times. Scripture tells us to sow to the Spirit (Gal 6:8). Yet, sowing to the Spirit takes work. Sowing takes work! You must find the right soil, you must use the right seed, you must attend to the soil first, you must scatter the seed, and you must again tend to the soil. Then you cannot stop, the soil and seed need watering. The whole process requires constant attention.
We are called to sow to the Spirit. Obviously this is a concept somewhat removed from us, but we can get the point if we try. Sowing requires labor. Are we laboring to see produce from the Spirit? What kind of soil are we sowing our seed in? He will not bring forth fruit from all soil. What kind of seed are we sowing with? He will not bring forth fruit from all seed. We must be ever mindful that the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit. The soil and the seed must be holy.
We can then begin to seek holy pursuits and holy nourishment, but what about the wind and the storms? Certainly we must be mindful of the right conditions to sow? No, that is an easy trick of the devil. If we can be fooled into thinking that we must be at our best, or even in some cycle of growth to sow rightly, we may never sow anything at all. Like the old hymn says, "Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream, all the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him."
Dear friends, our original language tells us to "sow into the Spirit." We must go into what leads us into the Spirit. Seek the fruit of the Spirit, for that fruit contains seeds that you can sow rightly. Do not be afraid of the winds or storms of your life, sow freely and the Spirit will give you harvest!
Posted by Tom on
September 28, 2012 at 11:47 am under Pastor's Pen
The seven sons of Sceva were Jewish exorcists. They witnessed the success the apostle Paul had in casting out demons in Jesus name. First we should stop and realize that there is something about the name Jesus that demands obedience. "Christ" is a title and "Lord" is a position, but Jesus is "His name." A name is more than a way to call a person. In God's design, a name identified who that person was by their position, authority, qualities and attributes. It was at that name that demons fled. It was also that name that got the demon's attention. When the seven sons of Sceva tried to exorcize a demon using Jesus’ name to cast them out, there was a disconnect. The demon replied, “I recognize (Greek: know well) Jesus, and I know (Greek: perceive) about Paul, but who are you?” God did not allow the name of Jesus to pour forth its power for the seven sons of Sceva. He restrained it. How often does He restrain it as vulgar men use it in all sorts of profane ways! But for Paul, that name meant power and authority. What about us? How do we use the name of Jesus? Has Jesus become a mere name like “Sam” or “John?” Do you think of who Jesus is when we use that name? Do you entrust that name with all that Jesus is and all that He has done? Jesus literally means “YHWH is Salvation.” YHWH is the unspeakable name of God to the Jews. Sometimes we say Yahweh or Jehovah. It is the name of the most high God. “Jesus” speaks of both purpose and power. Use His name if you bear His name in your salvation, and use it as it is, with reverence and power!
Posted by Tom on
September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am under Pastor's Pen
"So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. And on the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and roused him, saying, "Get up quickly." And his chains fell off his hands." (Act 12:5-7)
What a wonderful statement and reality, "but prayer for him was being made." Herod had just killed James and found approval from the Jews. Peter was next. He was on death row so to speak. But the church was making fervent prayer. Peter was locked up in chains. But the church was making fervent prayer. Peter was being kept under guard. But the church was making fervent prayer. Do you get the message? When the church comes together and makes fervent prayer, God is pleased to demonstrate Himself.
Let's be in fervent prayer that God would do a mighty work in our midst.
Posted by Tom on
September 14, 2012 at 11:54 am under Pastor's Pen
“But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:15,16)
Ananias was afraid to go to Saul of Tarsus in Damascus just after Saul had been blinded by Jesus along the way. Yet, the Lord comforts Ananias with the above statement (Acts 9:15). Saul (Paul) had been chosen with a purpose in mind. He was blind for three days, but his eyes were opened to the truth. Scripture gives us evidence that Paul struggled with his eyesight for the rest of his days, but isn’t it amazing how God opened the eyes of his heart?!
Yet Paul had a burden. How he longed for his fellow countrymen of the flesh (Romans 9:3), and yet his ministry was to the Gentiles. Along the way he had occasion to teach kings and sons of Israel, but his ministry to the Gentiles was massive.
Isn’t it just like God to call us into His service by afflicting us, but inso doing making us fit for ministry?! Isn’t it just like God to make the mission of our ministry outside of our comfort zone?!
Paul met with many obstacles along the way, but God was faithful. God will remove obstacles that are contrary to His plan. He Himself will move them out of the way. In the mean time, half blinded, challenging ministry, and facing the obstacles of life and men, we like Paul must press on depending on His sufficient grace…it is all we need (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)
Posted by Tom on
June 20, 2012 at 11:37 am under Pastor's Pen
Matthew chapter 6 is a great chapter to read and pray through regarding everyday life. Do you think that your focus has strayed from what God would have for you? Are you focusing on other people with judgment? Are you focusing on your physical needs and concerns? Are you focusing on what other people think about you? All of these things are addressed in Matthew 6. As you read you will find your focus directed off of these things and onto God’s glory, forgiveness, God’s provision, and an ambition to please God instead of others. If you find yourself needing an adjustment (who doesn’t?) please consider reading through Matthew 6 today.