The Second Sunday in Advent

DECEMBER 10, 2017

 

“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord,
    for His love endures forever.’”  2 Chronicles 20:21

 

In my hang time with God this past week, I was listening about David organizing duties for priests and Levites.  1 Chronicles 23:30 describes some of those practices when it says that they were to stand every morning and every evening to thank and praise the Lord.  When I heard that verse, I thought, “What a wonderful practice.”  Think about how healthy it would be for us mentally and spiritually if twice a day we had the habit of thanking and praising God!

That’s what we are here to do this morning. Let us stand as a congregation to praise the Lord and to thank Him for what He has done.  At this time of year we specifically thank Him for stepping into our world in such a humble way, for coming not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.  We often travel during the holidays to be with those we love.  Jesus took that to a whole new level, and I am grateful!

The phrase, “Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever,” reverberates throughout the Bible.  May we join in that chorus this morning (and this evening) and thank Him for His love!

 

Your brother,
     Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

The First Sunday in Advent

DECEMBER 3, 2017

 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place- of which you may say,

‘It is desolate, without man and without beast- .…, ‘the voice of joy and the voice of gladness,

the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:

‘Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever’-

and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”  Jeremiah 33:10-11

 

There are definitely times when God calls His people to make sacrifices that are unique and perhaps costly to us.  He is pleased when we gather to worship Him and to declare thanksgivings and shout praises.  These are good, but the highest “sacrifice” in which God delights is the giving of our lives to serve Him in all that we do.  The prophet Micah asked and answered the question about sacrifice and worship.  “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God?  Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:6-8).  The greatest sacrifice is to walk daily with our God!

 

Mr. Tozer wrote about the Holy Spirit in The Pursuit of Man, pages 135-136.  “The Holy Spirit is a living Person and should be treated as a person.  We must never think of Him as a blind energy nor as an impersonal force.  He hears and sees and feels as any person does.  He speaks and hears us speak.

     We can please Him or grieve Him or silence Him as we can any other person.  He will respond to our timid effort to know Him and will always meet us over half the way.

     However wonderful the crisis experience of being filled with the Spirit, we should remember that it is only a means toward something greater: the greater thing is a lifelong walk in the Spirit, indwelt, directed, taught and empowered by His mighty Person.”

 

This is the type of “sacrifice” with which God is pleased.  To literally walk with Him all our days and to do His bidding in our lives!

 

Surrendering to be a living sacrifice,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – NOVEMBER 26, 2017

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!  Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!

Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works!  Glory in His holy name;

let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:1-4

 
Many of us have been on this earth long enough to recognize the rapidity of passing time.  We are now entering the “best time of the year” for many people, while at the same time we ask, “How did it get here so fast?”  I suppose we will never have a legitimate answer for what is actually a rhetorical question.  One thing about this “time of the year” that has been proclaimed in song, sentiment and poem is that it is supposed to be “merry and bright.”  One line most of us recognize is “’Tis the season to be jolly,” yet unfortunately there are many mixed emotions during this holiday time.  Studies report that there is a rise in depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide.  Certainly God wants us to know that He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to save us and deliver us from the enemy who wants to “steal, kill, and destroy.”  We agree with God and we want people to experience the true joy of this Christmas time.

 

The prophet, Zephaniah wrote, “The Lord thy God in the mist of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love.” (3:17)  Tozer wrote about this verse: “This is but one verse among thousands which serve to form our rational picture of what God is like, and they tell us plainly that God feels something like our love, like our joy, and what He feels makes Him act very much as we would in a similar situation; He rejoices over His loved ones with joy and singing.

     “Here is emotion on as high a plane as it can ever be seen, emotion flowing out of the heart of God Himself.  Feeling, then, is not the degenerate son of unbelief that is often painted by some of our Bible teachers.  Our ability to feel is one of the marks of our divine origin.  We need not be afraid of either tears or laughter.” (Page 110-111, The Pursuit of Man)

 

Christmas is a time to be restored to our “divine origins.”  It is a time for God to work within us and bring healing and cleansing to our souls, our emotions.  It is time for God’s pure joy to be restored to us, His children!

 

A “Merry Christmas”-er!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

SUNDAY – NOVEMBER 19, 2017

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in singing, rejoice, and sing praises.

Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm,

with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.”  Psalm 98:4-6

 

The Bible record and human history teaches clearly that God is good. There are certainly some experiences that we don’t enjoy or think very productive in our lives, yet we breathe clean air, drink water from an abundant supply, and eat enough food to sustain us (and in many instances, far more than is necessary for mere existence).  It should to be evident to all of us, especially in this wonderfully blessed land, that we have bountiful resources available to most of us.  Of all the people groups in this world, we have the most reasons to be thankful!

 

Why do we frequently behave and speak in a way that demonstrates a lack of gratitude?  In spite of our supply of material resources, too often we are not grateful.  It is not just that we don’t say “Thank You!” enough, we actually have ungrateful hearts!  There could be several causes for our lack of thankfulness, but there is one very basic cause that we need to consider. The following will help to present this “basic” stumbling block to gratefulness.  It is taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

 

     “I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me.  God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him.  I should never say, ‘Lord, this causes me such heartache.’  To talk that way makes me a stumbling block.  When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance.  He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses.  He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness.  Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world.”

 

Too many Christians do not like themselves!  We too often “wish” we were taller, were not as heavy (or big-boned), had more hair, had different colored eyes, able to run faster, think faster, and the list goes on and on.  If our self-pity is not in that area, we might “wish” we had different parents or we were born in a different place.  We must remember that we are not products of “mere chance,” but rather we are God’s creations, made and placed exactly where He planned!  Let’s rid ourselves of all self-pity!

 

With great gratitude,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – NOVEMBER 12, 2017

“Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.  Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!  For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us,

and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.”  Psalm 67:3-7

 

Each generation must discover that our God is awesome, gracious, and the only true deity who provides and protects us as we live in this world.  Unfortunately we do not always learn as quickly and as easily as we could.  Many of us end up learning “the hard way.” This should not happen.  In fact, God has established clearly the responsibility of each generation to “teach” the next generation about His greatness and goodness.  All of us are supposed to be beneficiaries of the people who have lived before us.  Especially those of the household of faith!

 

Think about Psalm 48:12-14.  “Walk about Zion, and go all around her.  Count her towers; mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following.  For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

 

Read carefully Psalm 71:17-18.  “O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works.  Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”

 

There are many, many other passages, but perhaps none as clear as Psalm 78:2-8.  “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.  For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

 

All of us must listen and learn, and then we must declare and teach the next generation!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5, 2017
 
“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith,
I am glad and rejoice with you all.”   Philippians 2:17  (Paul)

 

Good morning and welcome to Needmore Bible Church where we are worshiping the Lamb that was slain!  He is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!

 

          Today we are honoring and praying for our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted around the world for the Name of Jesus.

          In the Jewish sacrificial system, there were several kinds of offerings, often involving the death of an animal for the sins of humans.  Sometimes along with these offerings, they would pour a “drink offering,” such as in the case of the offering in Leviticus 23:9-14.  In this case, along with a burnt offering of a lamb, they would also pour wine on it as a drink offering.

          If you picture the pouring of wine on a sacrifice, you can see how appropriate it was for Paul to use the drink offering as a metaphor for the outpouring of his own blood as a result of persecution for the Name of Jesus.  His faithfulness to Christ and his willingness to suffer and have his blood spilt was an act of worship which brought glory to the Lamb who was also slain for the sins of the world.

          As we worship God today and seek to bring Him glory, let us remember and pray for those who through their faithfulness are worshipping God by becoming a drink offering for Him.

          I am humbled by their commitment.

          Your brother,

               Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – OCTOBER 29, 2017

 “And they (i.e. the high and chief priests) agreed with him (i.e. Gamaliel), and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  So they

(i.e. the apostles) departed from the presence from the council, rejoicing that they were counted

worthy to suffer shame for His (i.e. Jesus’) name. 
And daily in the temple, and in every house,
they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”  (Acts 5:40-42)

 

Look at the face of an individual who just received and A+ on a returned term paper, or a new position at work with a raise in their income, or a young man whose girlfriend just said “yes” to his proposal of marriage.  Observe the appearance of the team members who just won the state championship.  Imagine the “glow” on the face of the mother and father who just held their totally healthy newborn for the first time.  Can you picture the look on the face of the young driver who was given just a warning instead of her first speeding ticket?  There are many circumstances in our lives that produce an inner sense of release, fulfillment, and JOY!   Those who know Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living within should experience the same joy everyday of their lives!  The following comes from Mr. Tozer’s Born After Midnight, p. 13.

 

     “One distinguishing mark of those first Christians was a supernatural radiance that shined out from within them.  The sun had come up in their hearts, and its warmth and light made unnecessary any secondary sources of assurance.

     “They had the inner witness.  They knew with an immediate awareness that required no jockeying of evidence to give them a feeling of certainty.  Great power and great grace marked their lives, enabling them to rejoice to suffer shame for the name of Jesus.

     “It is obvious that the average evangelical Christian today is without this radiance.  The efforts of some of our teachers to cheer up our drooping spirits are futile because those same teachers reject the very phenomenon that would naturally produce joy, namely, the inner witness…: ‘He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself’ (I John 5:10).”

 

Let’s not pretend to be happy if we are not, but let’s all seek the inner witness so that He might produce a radiance in our lives!

 

Hungry for His Presence,
    Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

AWANA  SUNDAY

OCTOBER 22, 2017  

 “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God….For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”   Psalm 84:1-2, 10

 

Jesus told the “woman at the well” that “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” (See John 4)  He used these words to answer her question about the correct or proper place to worship God.  Some had said it was on the mountain in Samaria, and others said it was definitely in Jerusalem.  Jesus’ answer indicates that worship has little to do with “location” or “style,” but it has everything to do with what is in the heart of the people who are worshipping. There must be some spiritual vitality in an individual’s heart, or there cannot be “true” worship!  The only way that we can have spiritual vitality is through the Holy Spirit’s presence within us.  Mr. A.W. Tozer wrote about this truth in Whatever Happened to Worship, page 65.

 

     “We find much of spiritual astonishment and wonder in the book of Acts.  You will always find these elements present when the Holy Spirit directs believing men and women.

     “On the other hand, you will not find astonished wonder among men and women when the Holy Spirit is not present.

     “Engineers can do many great things in their fields, but no mere human force or direction can work the mysteries of God among men.

     “If there is no wonder, no experience of mystery, our efforts to worship will be futile.  There will be no worship without the Spirit.”

 

Brothers and sisters, we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when we gather to worship.  We must be open to following His leading in our individual lives.  We cannot ignore Him, quench Him, resist Him and yet worship God acceptably. Come on; let’s worship God in the Spirit, Who is life and truth.

 

Your fellow worshiper and pilgrim,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – OCTOBER 15, 2017

 “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing… Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”  Psalm 100:1-2; 4-5

 

Most of us are more comfortable when we can comprehend and explain what is happening in our lives.  It is reassuring when we can count or measure our experiences in a manner and quantity that is understandable in our rational mind.  Everything else exists in the area of the mysterious, and we seem to have a natural tendency to shy away from such areas.  If we have much knowledge about the nature of God, it should be clear that He cannot always be measured or counted in simple terms.  It should also be obvious that our experience of God’s Presence will eventually “spill over” into the mysterious.  This might cause some of us uneasiness and even some alarm.  This could be the reason why many Christians like to keep our “religion” and “church” within the realm of the understandable and measurable.  If this is the case, we might be missing something that God wants to do in our fellowship and shared worship times.

 

     “The essence of true religion is spontaneity, the sovereign moving of the Holy Spirit upon and in the free spirit of redeemed men. This has through the years been the hallmark of spiritual excellency, the evidence of reality in a world of unreality.

     “When religion loses its sovereign character and becomes mere form, this spontaneity is lost also, and in its place come precedent, propriety, system- and the file-card mentality.

     “Back of the card-file mentality is the belief that spirituality can be organized.  Then is introduced into religion those ideas which never belong there- numbers, statistics, the law of averages, and other such natural human things.

     “And creeping death always follows.”  (Tozer, Of God and Men, p. 79.)

 

I think that Mr. Tozer was concerned that many Christians allowed “precedent, propriety and system” to hold them back from open expression during corporate worship.  I know that many people have commented to me after a time of worship that they “felt like shouting” but they “contained” themselves.  Perhaps it was not “self-containment” as much as it has been the quenching or repressing of the Spirit within!

 

Dear Lord, set us free from our reason and fears!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

COMMUNION SUNDAY

OCTOBER 8, 2017

 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.  It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing- life forevermore.”  Psalm 133:1-3

 

There is no real possibility of a “Lone-Ranger” Christian.  The Bible clearly teaches us that all believers have a bond between them that is supernatural in its origin and nature.  Paul wrote, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…and have been made to drink into one Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:13)  The Holy Spirit makes every believer a “member of the body of Christ” and “members one of another.” (See Ephesians 4:25.)  We might not always live in the real experience of that relationship; nevertheless it is a reality because God makes it a reality.  Paul wrote to encourage believers to practice caring for each other as members of the same body.  Throughout the Bible, the word “discord” is always presented in a negative manner and always carries God’s displeasure on those who foster that discord.  Proverbs records that God hates certain things, and in that list are “a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” (6:16-19)  God works to make sure there is “no schism” in His body and so should we. (See I Corinthians 12:24-25.)  Our faith is most encouraged and strengthened when we walk with those of like-minded faith and are committed to one another in genuine Christian love.

 

Our Lord Jesus spoke the following words in the Upper Room during their celebration of the Passover (what we now remember in our Communion service): “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)  The Apostle John later recorded, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love his brother abides in death.”  This confirms the fact that God gives the blessing of life evermore in the midst of a loving fellowship and not where hate and bitterness prevail.

 
We are encouraged to “put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:14)  Let’s set our hearts on seeing Jesus make Needmore Bible Church a fellowship of grace, mercy and love.  Let’s cry out to the Lord and ask Him to fill our hearts with His great and wonderful love!

 

In His love,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – OCTOBER 1, 2017

 “Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark came to rest.  They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting….  Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps….  Oh, give thanks to the Lord!  Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!  Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works!”   I Chronicles 6:31, 32a; 15:28; 16:8, 9)

 

     Worship is a “big deal” to God and His people.  It always has been and always will be.  From thousands of years ago throughout eternity, God’s people must respond to Him with sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving in worship of His great majesty. From Noah’s altar of sacrifices after the flood recorded in Genesis to the living creatures around the throne in heaven as recorded in Revelation, worship is a foundational, elementary activity.  Why do so many Christians struggle with what ought to be one of the first activities they think about each day?  We are made for worship!

 

     “I believe a local church exists to do corporately what each Christian believer should be doing individually— and that is to worship God….

     “We are saved to worship God.  All that Christ has done for us in the past and all that He is doing now leads to this one end.  If we are denying this truth and if we are saying that worship is not really important, we can blame our attitudes for the great wave of arrested development in our Christian fellowships.

     “Why should the church of Jesus Christ be a spiritual school where hardly anyone ever graduates from the first grade?”

 

     Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote those words on pages 93 and 94 in Whatever Happened to Worship?  Many of us are seeking a fresh out-pouring of God’s Spirit to renew spontaneity in response to the sovereign moving of the Spirit upon and in the free spirit of redeemed believers.  We desire our times of worship to be fresh and rewarding rather than stale and draining.  We want to move from dutiful repetition to free obedience and celebration of God’s leading in our lives.  Pray with us that the shackles binding us will be broken off and the oppression of “duty” will be lifted away!  Let’s seek to worship God “in spirit and in truth!”

 

His worshiper,
   Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2017

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him…. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly…. Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.                              Do you believe this?’”  

John 3:36; 10:10; 11:25, 26

 

You and I are not called to serve a “dead” religion, but rather a living Savior! And we are not to serve him in the “deadness” of a sinful member of Adam’s race, but rather we are to serve Him in newness of life!  The only way that we can know this life is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is declared in the Gospel of John that we are to “…believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we (you) may have life in His name!” (20:31)  The ultimate question is not about how good or bad we are, but it is a question of whether or not we are alive!  God has planned that we might “pass from death to life” and live from now through eternity.  Are you alive in Christ?

 

     “There are religious persons who have the name of Christ but whose spirit is the spirit of Adam. They belong to the old order which perishes, not to the new order of life in Christ Jesus. The point is not that they are good or bad, but that they are dead.  Their direction is wrong; they are on their way to the grave, not on their way out of it.

     “It is not that I plant, but what I plant that matters.  A man could plant glass beads for a lifetime and have nothing to show for his trouble….

     “Christ makes the difference between death and life, always and everywhere.  He is the Prince of Life, and whatever He touches lives.  The fabled Midas had a magic power which made everything he touched turn to gold.  It is not fable, but wondrously true and real, that the power to give life belongs to Christ.  Nothing He touches can ever die, and whatever is dead has only to be touched by Him, and it lives again forever.”

 

What Mr. Tozer wrote in A Word in Season is certainly true. Our plea is for Jesus to touch each one of us in a very real way today!  When He does, we shall live!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting… And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.”  Acts 2:1, 16-17(a)

 

We have sung on many occasions, “Holy Spirit, Thou art welcome in this place. Holy Spirit, Thou art welcome in this place. Omnipotent Father of mercy and grace, Thou art welcome in this place.” The question that we must ask ourselves is whether or not we really have extended a warm invitation to God’s Presence to manifest Himself in the midst of our fellowship. There are several reasons why we might not really mean what we have sung.

 

     “Pentecost did not come and go; Pentecost came and stayed.  Chronologically the day may be found on the historic calendar; dynamically it remains with us still in all its fullness of power….

     “Our insensibility to the presence of the Spirit is one of the greatest losses our unbelief and preoccupation have cost us. We have made Him a tenet in our creed, we have enclosed Him in a religious word, but we have known Him very little in personal experience.

     “Satan has hindered us all he could by raising conflicting opinions about the Spirit, by making Him a topic of hot and uncharitable debate between Christians.  In the meanwhile, our hearts crave Him, and we hardly know what the craving means.

     “It would help us if we could remember that the Spirit is Himself God, the very true Nature of the Godhead subsisting in a form that can impart Himself to our consciousness….It is His light upon the face of Christ which enables us to know Him.”

 

Mr. Tozer’s words from his early ministry should challenge us to examine our hearts and minds in order to rid anything that would hinder the manifestation of the Spirit’s presence with us this morning.  We must want His presence; we must seek His presence; we need His presence!

Come, Holy Spirit!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 10, 2017

 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”   Psalm 34:1-3

 
   We have been thinking about “revival” and worship over the past few weeks.  It is difficult to describe all that will happen when God’s Spirit moves in a manner that is “out of the ordinary.” All believers will be caused to reckon with God concerning their sin and indifference to the mission of the Gospel. The following comes from Aiden Wilson Tozer’s God Tells the Man Who Cares on pages 179 and 180.
 
     “At this hour in world history the state of religion is such that the Church is in grave danger of losing the spiritual treasures of God’s wisdom.  Her gold is being turned to copper and her diamonds to glass.  The religion of Cain is now in the ascendency- and marching under the banner of the cross.
     “Even among those who make a great noise about believing the Bible, that Bible has virtually no practical influence left.  Fiction, films, fun, frolic, religious entertainment, Hollywood ideals, big business techniques and cheap, worldly philosophies now overrun the sanctuary.  The grieved Holy Spirit broods over the chaos, but no light breaks forth. ‘Revivals’ come without rousing the hostility of organized sin and pass without raising the moral level of the community or purifying the lives of professing Christians.  Why?
     “Could it be that too many of God’s true children…are sinning against God by guilty silence?  When those whose eyes are opened by the touch of Christ become vocal and active, God may begin to fight again on the side of truth.”

 

   We must seek our Lord’s forgiveness for our “silence” and non-involvement in spreading His glory throughout our world.  When we are finally filled with His Spirit and He moves again in Pentecostal power, we will experience extraordinary blessings, deliverances and healings.
 
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill this place and these people again!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 3, 2017

 

“The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.  And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’…the twenty four elders fall before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things,

and by Your will they exist and were created.’”  (Revelation 4:8, 10-11)

 

     We have renewed our conversation about revival.  We must discover what it is and why we need it now.  We must also realize that it has something to do with each of us personally and intimately.  Revival must begin within each of us.  There must be a renewed sense of our spiritually needy condition and how we are going to approach our thrice-holy God.  In Tozer’s book, The Attributes of God, he writes about this fact that God is holy, and by our own nature we are not.  The following is from pages 171 and 172.
     “We come into the presence of God with tainted souls.  We come with our own concept of morality, having learned it from books, from the newspaper and from school.  We come to God dirty…and do nothing about it!
     “If we come to God dirty, but trembling and shocked and awestruck in His presence, if we knelt at His feet and cried with Isaiah, ‘I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5), then I could understand.  But we skip into His awful presence.  We’re dirty, but we have a book called Seven Steps to Salvation that gives us seven verses to get us out of our problems.  And each year we have more Christians, more people going to church, more church buildings, more money – and less spirituality and less holiness.  We’re forgetting ‘holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).  I tell you this: I want God to be what God is: the impeccably holy, unapproachable Holy Thing, the All-Holy One.  I want Him to be and remain THE HOLY.”

 

     There is no other like our God.  He is alone in His position, nature and character.  None is holy like He is holy.  We must restore God to the place in our worship that He will occupy when we see Him in heaven!  Revival will begin when we clearly see God in His glory and holiness.
 
I want to experience revival!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
SUNDAY – AUGUST 27, 2017
 
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.
If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 6:1

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”   Matthew 6:19-20

 

     Recently I was in a church building that was no longer being used by the church that built it.  It had some fascinating architecture, so I was looking around admiring the different wood work and stained-glass windows.  As I was doing so, I noticed at the bottom of the windows were little signs saying, “In memory of so-and-so,” and “Donated by so-and-so.”  It caused me to pause and reflect.  Here were beautiful stained-glass windows, which I’m sure were a sacrificial gift from these families who probably thought they would stand as a lasting memorial to their loved ones, and the building was not even being used by their church anymore.  Most likely, none of the current occupants even knew who those people were.

     It probably stuck out to me because I had just read the verses above in my devotions.  Several times throughout Matthew 6 Jesus warns about doing things for God and not for humans: give in secret and not in a showy way, pray in secret and not in a hypocritical way before others, fast in secret instead of publicly showing others how “devoted” you are to God.  In short, do things to be seen and rewarded by God in heaven instead of seen and rewarded by people on earth.

     That’s hard because we like it when people see how good we are.  But one way we can worship God is by valuing His approval so much that we don’t care if others see how good we are.  Instead, we are living and performing only for an audience of One, our Father in heaven, and we are quite content if our biggest Christian acts are only seen by Him.
 
Your brother,
     Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – AUGUST 20, 2017

 

“Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease.  Will You be angry with us forever?

Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?  Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?

Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation.”  Psalm 85:4-7

 

During the past several years, you may have heard the word “revival” mentioned more than once.  It has been stated frequently that “revival” is the great need of the church.  We have had Life Action Ministries here on two different occasions with the intention that NBC might experience “revival.”  Some of us have prayed on various occasions that God would refresh and renew us by sending an out-pouring of His Spirit on all of us.  All of this is merely an expression of a desire for God to do “again” at Needmore what He did in Jerusalem.  Is this possible?  Consider what Dr. Oswald Smith, perhaps the greatest missionary-pastor of the modern era while leading the People’s Church in Toronto, wrote 84 years ago.

     “God has declared that in the ‘last days’ He would pour out of His Spirit.  That promise was partially fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, but it remains for us to see the final and complete fulfillment.  Let me again remind you that this is still the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.  Have we, then, Scripture to warrant that hope of another great outpouring of the Spirit of God as we enter the ‘last hours’ of the last days of this age?  I believe we have.  It is my deep, deep conviction that God is waiting to pour out His Spirit once again, and that wherever He can find a people to meet His conditions, He will give flood-tides of mighty revival.  And this, the outpourings of the Holy Spirit, is, I am convinced, the greatest need of the hour.

     “But is this outpouring for a select few?  Is it only for spiritual leaders, and for men alone?  By no means.  Thank God, His Word is absolutely clear and conclusive. ‘I will pour out of My Spirit,’ He declares, ‘upon all flesh.’ Yes!  Upon old flesh and young flesh, upon rich flesh and poor flesh, upon high flesh and low flesh – ‘all flesh.’
 
     “All may claim a part.  It is to be a great universal outpouring for all peoples everywhere.  Any one may have it, any church expect it.  This is the solution of all problems.  Not money, but the outpoured Spirit.  Not how to get the attention of the people, but how to secure the operation of the Holy Ghost.  Not better preaching, but Holy Ghost preaching. ‘I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.’  This, my brethren, is the greatest need of the hour.” (The Work God Blesses, pages 11-12.)

 

This must become our aim, our passion, and our cry to God!

     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – AUGUST 13, 2017

 

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”   Ephesians 3:14-19

 

Recently the Lord has reminded us that the knowledge and understanding of spiritual truth must be given to us by God through His Spirit.  Paul wrote that “the natural man,” that is the unconverted person operating only by his or her own natural logic and intellect cannot “receive the things of the Spirit.”  Simply stated, any person can know the things of God, salvation, eternal life and all spiritual truth only by the revelation and illumination of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, no person can “participate” in salvation and the life of God without the power of the Holy Spirit. This is certainly true of the love of God. We cannot comprehend it, receive it, nor experience it except by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Read the following and allow Mr. Tozer’s words to give you better understanding of this truth.

 

     “The human heart can love the human Jesus as it can love the human Lincoln, but the spiritual love of Jesus is something altogether different from and infinitely superior to the purest love the human heart can know.

     “Indeed it is not possible to love Jesus rightly except by the Holy Spirit.  Only the Third Person of the Trinity can love the Second Person in a manner pleasing to the Father.  The spiritual love of Jesus is nothing else but the Spirit in us loving Christ the Eternal Son.

     “Christ, after the flesh, receives a great deal of fawning attention…, but love that is not the outflow of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not true spiritual love and cannot be acceptable to God.  We do Christ no honor when we do no more than give Him the best of our human love… He is not rightly loved until… the Spirit within us does the loving.” (The Next Chapter After the Last, Pages 31-32.)
 
Jesus told His disciples that those who have His “commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21.)  Let’s open our hearts to His Spirit so we can receive His love and give it right back to Him!

 

When we do, a miracle will happen, and “we will see God!”

     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – AUGUST 6, 2017

 

“I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.  In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”   Psalm 138:2, 3

 

I realize that it is not pleasant to continually hear about everything that is wrong.  It seems that our culture has decided that it is best to “not be so critical” and be more tolerant of other opinions.  It also seems that as a result of that attitude and the prevailing philosophy of relativism very few ideas are ever thought to be wrong.  It is almost as if everything is right.  We must be careful, though, according to God’s Word. We do not want to be guilty of Isaiah’s charge, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  There remains a clear distinction between “right and wrong.”

 

That this is not a new problem should be obvious since Isaiah proclaimed the Lord’s message nearly 3,000 years ago.  Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote the following over 60 years ago.

     “Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus.  They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God….This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality.  But in sober fact, it indicates no such thing.  It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit.

     “Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality.  Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural.  Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be.

     “’Try the spirits’ is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church (I John 4:1).  We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine….To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world.” (The Set of the Sail, p. 25)

 

Let us stand for the Truth lest we fall for anything!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 30, 2017

 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”   Psalm 334:1-3

                                                                                        

   We are all recipients and beneficiaries of God’s amazing grace.  He has acted toward us in “pleasant” and good ways so that we ought to desire to know Him as closely and personally as we can. While Moses was in the desert shepherding sheep, he encountered a strange phenomenon.  He saw a bush that was on fire, but it was not being consumed.  Moses told himself that he would investigate this strange occurrence in order to understand what was happening. When God saw the intent of Moses, He spoke to Moses and said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (See Exodus 3:1-5.) God continued to identify Himself to Moses and then to announce that He was going to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt.

 

   Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come to church and have an encounter with God similar to that?  Wouldn’t it be grand to be reminded that we are standing on “holy ground” when we come close to the Presence of God?  In the end to hear that God is actually on our side and His desire is to “deliver” us from all evil would be truly amazing!  I hope you realize that this is our ultimate purpose when we “come to church.”  This can only become reality in the power of God’s Spirit!

 

   Mr. Tozer wrote: “Mankind has succeeded quite well in reducing God to a pitiful nothing!  The God of the modern context is no God at all.  He is simply a glorified chairman of the board, a kind of big businessman dealing in souls. The God portrayed in much of our church life today commands very little respect.

     “We must get back to the Bible and to the ministrations of God’s Spirit to regain a high and holy concept of God.  Oh, this awesome, terrible God!…

     “To know the Creator and the God of all the universe is to revere Him.  It is to bow down before Him in wonder and awesome fear!” (p. 80, Men Who Met God)

 

Let’s magnify the Lord in our worship,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – JULY 23, 2017
 
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 
21 
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”   Job 1:20-21

 

Welcome to NBC!  Let us witness by worshiping God today!

 

   Have you ever considered that your very act of worshiping God today is a witness to those around you?

   God deserves our worship, but He does not force it upon us. There will be a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11), but right now God will not make you worship Him.  He leaves that choice to you.

   Therefore, when you choose to come to worship God, especially when you are going through the trials of life, it is a witness to others. When people see your hope in God, even in the dark times when you might not be able to see God, they stand back and say, “Wow, there really might be something to this whole Jesus thing.”

   I’ve recently been reading an autobiography about a missionary named John Paton who went and lived among cannibals to share the gospel with them.  After serving those people for years, befriending them, taking care of them when they were ill, and believing to have converted many of them, they turned on him and began seeking his life.  He fled to another part of the island, but his enemies were pursuing him and trying to unite all the tribes against him.  During the midst of this danger, he and some others went and held worship services at three different locations.  He wrote these words about that time:

   “Thereafter, at great risk, we had Worship at three of the nearest and most friendly villages.  Amidst all our perils and trials we preached the Gospel to about one hundred and sixteen persons.  It was verily a sowing time of tears; but, despite all that followed, who shall say that it was vain!  Twenty years have passed, and now when I am writing this, there is a Church of God singing the praises of Jesus in that very district of Tanna.”

   As I read that I thought, what a lasting effect it is for Non-Christians to see Christians who are still worshiping even though they are facing dire circumstances!  Who might come to Jesus because they are seeing you worship today?

 

Your brother,
     Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – JULY 16, 2017
 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;…More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”    (Psalm 19:7, 10)

 

How much confidence do you have in the Bible? How much do you love the Bible? How much does the Bible influence your thinking and way of life? Part of the story of David and Goliath involves Goliath’s sword. That sword was taken as a spoil of that battle and it ended up in the possession of Ahimelech the priest. David came to the priest and asked for a spear or sword because he had no weapon with him. Ahimelech offered Goliath’s sword and David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.” (See I Samuel 21:7-9.) Dr. F. B. Meyer wrote a little homily in which he compared Goliath’s sword to the Sword of the Lord, the Bible (See Judges 7:18 and Hebrews 4:12).

 

“What David said of the sword of Goliath we may say of Holy Scripture- the sword of the Spirit- ‘There is none like that.’
 
There is no book like the Bible for those convinced of sin. – The Word of God assures the sinner of God’s love in Christ, whilst it refuses to condone a single sin, or excuse one shortcoming. The Bible is as stern as conscience herself against sin, but as pitiful as the heart of God to the sinner. It, moreover, discloses the method by which the just God becomes the justifier of those who believe.
 
There is no book like the Bible for the sorrowful. – It tells of the Comforter; it reminds us that in all our sorrow God also is sad; it points to the perfect plan according to which God is working out our blessedness; it insists that all things are working together for good; it opens the vision of the blessed future, where all the grief and tears of men shall be put away for ever.
 
There is no book like the Bible for the dying. – ‘Read to me,’ said Sir Walter Scott, on his dying bed, to his friend. ‘What shall I read?’ ‘There is only one book for a dying man,’ was the answer; ‘read to me from the Bible.’ The book which tells of the Lord, who died and rose again; of the mansions which He has gone to prepare; of the reunion of the saints; of fountains of the water of life- is the only pillow on which the dying head can rest softly.
 

“In these days of debate and doubt there is no such evidence for the Divine authority of the Bible as that which accrues from its perpetual use, whether in our own life, or in the conviction of the ungodly.”

 
“The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me!” Those words are more than just a line from a children’s song, they are the declaration of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They reflect the reason we are called the Needmore BIBLE Church. It is also the reason we are having a VBS, a Vacation BIBLE School for the children. The Bible is at the center of our thinking and teaching! We will continue to stand firm on this foundation of our faith!

 

Let’s stand on the promises of God!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 9, 2017
 

“I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; a perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me.” (Psalm 101:1, 3, 4, and 6)

 

There is a very prevalent philosophy in our present day culture that is called relativism. It promotes the idea that there are few, if any, absolutes. At one time, a certain action might be the proper thing to do, and the next time it would be wrong. This idea has created a large “gray area” for our culture and many Christians find it very difficult to tell anyone that what they are doing is wrong. It is frequently suggested that we must choose the lesser of two evils. This causes many to conclude that there really isn’t any “right or wrong” that we should be committed to or “force” on others.

Think about these couplets. Up and down. In and out. Light and darkness. Right and left. It ought to be apparent to all of us that some things are mutually exclusive. This entire world operates in a manner that is consistent with the fact that mutually opposites exist. Certainly this better be true in our minds as we drive on the right side of the road here in the United States! This is especially true according to the revelation of God in the Bible. God has declared that there are ways that might seem right to a man, but the end of those ways is death. (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)
 
In Jesus, Our Man in Glory, A. W. Tozer wrote the following.
“People remark how favored the church is in this country. It does not have to face persecution and rejection. If the truth were known, our freedom from persecution is because we have taken the easy, the popular way.
 

“If we would love righteousness until it became an overpowering passion, if we would renounce everything that is evil, our day of popularity and pleasantness would quickly end. The world would soon turn on us.

“We are too nice! We are too tolerant! We are too anxious to be popular! We are too quick to make excuses for sin in its many forms! If I could stir Christians around me to love God and hate sin, even to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, I would rejoice….Vance Havner used to remark that too many are running for something when they are to be standing for something. God’s people should be willing to stand!” (pp. 66-67)

 

Let’s stand up for Jesus!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
SUNDAY – JULY 2, 2017
National Birthday Sunday
 

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. Save, Lord! May the king answer us when we call.”    Psalm 20:7-9

 

Our National Anthem was written by Francis Scott Key after he had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British navy in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory. His line, “Blest with vic-t’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!” expresses his personal faith. He once wrote, “The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness, ‘a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his paths.’ He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation.”
 
Most of our Founders would have agreed with Mr. Key’s sentiments as stated in that quotation. Mr. Daniel Webster, one of our early national politicians wrote the following: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
 
Remember the promise that God gave to the nation of Israel because it can teach us some important principles. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) Any revival that might affect our nation must begin with the Church seeking God!

 

Let’s build on the sure foundation of God’s Word!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
SUNDAY – JUNE 25, 2017
Gideon Sunday

 

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”    Psalm 119:9-16

 

Christians around the world must recognize that our faith is a “Bible-based” faith. The revelation of God’s truth is clearly found in the written record as it has been inspired by God, preserved by God, and passed on to us by God. Though often doubted by men, questioned by “learned” men, and directly assaulted by unbelievers, the Bible remains God’s special revelation and message to every person who will receive it in faith. The Bible has been and must continue to be our very “foundation” upon which we build our lives of faith and practice. The old hymn states, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!” Another “newer” hymn follows.

 

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted ’Mid the raging storms of time; Its pages burn with the truth eternal, And they glow with a light sublime.

Refrain:
The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation, For the Bible stands.


The Bible stands like a mountain tow’ring Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted, And destroy it they never can.

The Bible stands and it will forever, When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given, All its precepts I will obey.

The Bible stands every test we give it, For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it, And to prove and to make it mine.

 

Many of us have been blessed to grow up in this nation when our culture was definitely based on the Bible. The influence of its truth permeated every area of our lives. Think about the following quote from Fisher Ames (1758-1808), one of the Founders and politician who helped formulate the Bill of Rights.

“We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools….We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons….We’re spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text of our schools….The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other man-made book.”

 

Let’s build on the sure foundation of God’s Word!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – JUNE 18, 2017
Father’s Day
 

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…

Beloved, now we are children of God.”    I John 3:1a, 2a

 
God has been revealed and known by several titles. He has been called creator, judge, friend, counselor, law-giver, among others. Perhaps the one that He wants us to know the best is Father. Certainly we understand that Jesus most frequently used this title for God, and used stories of a father’s role and responsibility when teaching us about God. It should also be evident to us that when Jesus described God as our Heavenly Father, He emphasized the truth that God loves us as a father is supposed to love us. Indeed, God loves us perfectly as our Heavenly Father.
 
John wrote in his first epistle, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”   (I John 4:7, 8)
 
From the Christ Through the Bible Commentary we read: “God is not justice. God is not wisdom. God is not power. God has all these attributes, but none of them is great enough to constitute His essence. But love is His very nature, and in love all other attributes find their completeness.”
 
I have a great desire for all people to know God as their loving Father in heaven. Many of us have already been blessed with this truth, and we live in its reality, but many continue to struggle through emptiness and brokenness because of a lack of the Father’s love in their hearts. Let’s pray that the hurting will be touched with a full knowledge and understanding of God’s fatherly love for them.
 
May our fathers here become reflections of our Father in heaven!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 11, 2017

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…”    Ephesians 1:17-19a
 
God is relentless in His effort to teach His children. When you have “heard” a lesson from Him, it is very likely that you will hear it several more times over a period of time. God is a great teacher, and He clearly knows that “repetition is one of the main keys to remembering.”
 
Last Sunday’s sermon communicated that God has a plan to cause you to grow and become better in the process. I said that He will “take you in at the bottom and take you out at the top.” His will includes a lifelong learning and growing experience for all of us. Then on Tuesday morning, I read some writing of A. W. Tozer as part of my morning devotions. The following comes from his work, Jesus, Author of our Faith, pages 93 and 94.
 
“When the wonder of regeneration has taken place in our lives, then comes the lifetime of preparation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“God has told us that heaven and the glories of the heavenly kingdom are more than humans can ever dream or imagine. It will be neither an exhibition of the commonplace nor a democracy for the spiritually mediocre.
“Why should we try to be detractors of God’s gracious and rewarding plan of discipleship? God has high plans for all of His redeemed ones. It is inherent in His infinite being that His motives are love and goodness. His plans for us come out of His eternal and creative wisdom and power.
“Beyond that is His knowledge and regard for the astonishing potential that lies resident in human nature, long asleep in sin, but awakened by the Holy Spirit in regeneration.”
 
Each of us must allow Him to make us new by “transforming us from glory to glory.” (I Cor. 3:18)
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 4, 2017
Graduate Recognition Sunday
 

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…”     Ephesians 1:17-19a

 

This is the time of year when thousands of people are being recognized for completing certain prescribed courses of study and they graduate “from” or “out of” specific institutions of education. It is fitting and proper that recognition be given and those graduating can experience a sense of accomplishment. In a larger view of life, however, the proper title for these “graduation programs” is rightly named “commencement services.” The official course of study is over, but on the other hand, the “real learning” has just begun. In many ways, “real living” and “real work” will now begin.

There is only one “graduation” that will be final. At that graduation each person will come into “full” knowledge and understanding. Those who pass through this final graduation will actually be perfected or glorified. This graduation is the end of this earthly life when death opens a door into eternal life. For multitudes this final graduation will not occur for many decades, for others it will happen much sooner.

Every human being faces this final graduation beyond which there will be no more courses to complete.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he described people who were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (II Timothy 3:7) For these who never come to know “the truth,” “they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifested to all.” (II Timothy 3:9) When they face the final graduation, they will fail. They will enter into an eternal existence of darkness and death. They will exist forever without ever “living” as God intends for all of us to live.

The good news is that Jesus declared that you and I can know “the truth.” He is the truth. The gospel of salvation is the truth. The gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is the truth. Jesus said that knowing this truth would “set us free.” Those who know this truth will be set free from folly, eternal darkness, and eternal death.

Each of us must seek and know this truth so we can graduate to heaven one day!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 28, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

“The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice. …For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved. …Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”    Psalm 21:1, 7, 13

 

As believers living in this nation of liberty, we owe a debt of gratitude to the God who has blessed us and the multitudes of individuals who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom. Certainly it is fitting for us to say “Thank you,” but it is more appropriate that we also bear present responsibility to maintain our citizen-liberties. At Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln challenged us by saying, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…” In the movie, Saving Private Ryan, with his dying breath, Captain Miller looks at Private Ryan and says, “Earn this.” We can never repay those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom as citizens of the United States, but we can best respect what they did for us by living responsibly and morally each day.

 

Memorial Day by Edgar A. Guest

The finest tribute we can pay Unto our hero dead to-day,

Is not a rose wreath, white and red, In memory of the blood they shed;

It is to stand beside each mound, Each couch of consecrated ground,

And pledge ourselves as warriors true Unto the work they died to do.

 

Into God’s valleys where they lie At rest, beneath the open sky,

Triumphant now, o’er every foe, As living tributes let us go.

No wreath of rose or immortelles Or spoken word or tolling bells

Will do to-day, unless we give Our pledge that liberty shall live.

 

Our hearts must be the roses red We place above our hero dead;

To-day beside their graves we must Renew allegiance to their trust;

Must bare our heads and humbly say We hold the Flag as dear as they,

And stand, as once they stood, to die To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

 

The finest tribute we can pay Unto our hero dead to-day

Is not of speech or roses red, But living, throbbing hearts instead

That shall renew the pledge they sealed With death upon the battlefield:

That freedom’s flag shall bear no stain And free men wear no tyrant’s chain.

 

A very grateful Christian citizen,
      Pastor Doug
 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 21, 2017

Mothers & Others Dinner

 

“I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises. I will behave wisely in a perfect way.

Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”    Psalm 101:1-2

 

It is extremely important that believers know and understand the significance of the home. The lowest foundation or “footer” that the home is built on is marriage. God created “male and female” in order to establish the foundation of the family and every other social institution. The strength of the family is directly related to the strength of the relationship of “mother and father.” God’s plan is for a man and a woman to “become one” spiritually and lead the family in His ways. When marriage fails, the family fails, and the extended social institutions become weaker. Every effort to “redefine” marriage and change the “footer” for the family attacks the integrity of all other social institutions.

Psalm 101, a Psalm of David, expresses the importance of parents’ behavior in the home. David lists several “wrong” things that he planned to eliminate from his home. In verses 3 through 7 we discover the list includes: “nothing wicked,” “those who fall away,” “a perverse heart,” “whoever secretly slanders,” “a haughty look and proud heart,” “he who works deceit,” and “he who tells lies.” David repeated that these things or people would not “dwell in his house.” David planned to make his home a citadel of goodness, a haven of righteousness in which his family could live safely.

The final verse, verse 8 of Psalm 101, declares the result of his effort to eliminate the wicked and unrighteous from his family’s life. “Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.” David understood that the way to produce righteousness in the land, the nation is to raise a righteous family in a righteous home!

Our prayer is for all the households represented in our congregation to experience the presence of our holy God and His salvation. May God bless mothers and fathers, grandparents, and all the children that are a part of each household’s posterity.
 
Let me declare to you, “It takes righteous families to make a righteous village!”
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 14, 2017

Mother’s Day

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house. Your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!”     Psalm 128:3-6

 

In recent years, there has been a message propagated in this world that the “family” is not essential. The desire to declare that “it takes a village to raise a family” has given rise to the thought that the institution of father/mother/children may not be necessary at all. There is a very popular philosophy that children will thrive best when there is a strong “government system,” including education, health, and welfare. It seems that the majority of people, at least in our country, want to invest more resources and effort in the government system in order to promote the well-being of the next generations. They believe this is the way to preserve our society.

 

Bible believers should easily recognize the importance of the family and the value of the home to the larger community. The very first institution that God created was marriage and the resultant family and home. In essence, God was “laying the foundation” for all community and national life. It wasn’t by chance that the “family” was created first in the order of social structures. It is clear throughout the biblical record that God is in the “family business.” Even when He came to this earth in order to become Emmanuel, that is God with us, He entered a family before He began His public ministry.

 
Notice the verses from Psalm 128 printed above. The emphasis is on the home and family. There are words like “house” and “table” that create an image of our own homes. The promise of God’s blessings on the home are described with the words fruitful, all around, and blessed. Then there is this spoken “wish” or prayer, “may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.” It can be understood that the “good of Jerusalem” was to be produced by the families that enjoy the blessings of God on them. The family’s good was not derived from Jerusalem’s blessing; rather it was the other way around. Jerusalem would be as good as the family and home were good!

 

Let me declare to you, “It takes a good family to raise a good village!”
      Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY — MAY 7th, 2017
 

Welcome, brothers and sisters!  How good it is to gather together to worship our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

                                                                                                                                                                       Hebrews 10:39

 
May the verse above be our rallying cry this morning as we remind each other that we serve the risen Lord Jesus. He conquered sin and shame on the cross. He conquered Satan and death when He rose from the grave. He is the King of kings, the true and living God. His hair is as white as snow. His eyes are like blazing fire. His feet like bronze glowing in a fiery furnace. His voice like the sound of rushing water. He is coming again because the victory belongs to Him.
Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us a key to standing strong in our faith in Jesus. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and to good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  As children of God in a world that hates God, we need each other. We are the Body of Christ, but only together. Ecclessiastes 4:12 says it this way, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  We want to be here for you! And we need you to be here for us! Here are some ways you can get connected and be able to find and give support:
 
  1. Sunday School – These meet at 9:00 AM, and we have them for all ages. Come study the Bible and meet some fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
  2. HX25 – That’s from Hebrews chapter X (Roman numeral for 10) verse 25. These are small groups that normally meet on Sunday evenings. Some meet in homes; some at the church.
  3. Ministry opportunities – There’s no better way to stand strong than to march out in battle against sin and Satan together.
 
If you want more details about any of these, just send me an e-mail at ajaxmeredith@gmail.com or give me a call at (240) 500-6824.

 

Let’s stand together in our faith!
      Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – APRIL 30, 2017
 

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”   Psalm 5:11-12

 

There is a pattern of behavior in people who are confronted with God’s presence. The Bible records that God first reveals Himself and “speaks” to an individual or group. In response to the Word that God “speaks” to them, they worship. The form has been varied such as they “fell on their faces,” they “feared and trembled,” they “removed their shoes,” they “shouted,” or they “offered a sacrifice.” In spite of the form of worship, it seems that most people are able to recognize that the responses are honest, sincere, and genuine worship. This is what we are seeking to experience at Needmore Bible Church.  We might call it real worship.  W. Tozer has written about real worship. 
“As soon as God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts we say ‘Abba’- and we are worshiping, but probably not in the full New Testament sense of the word.

“God wants to cultivate within us the adoration and admiration of which He is worthy. He wants to reveal to each of us the blessed element of spiritual fascination in true worship. He wants to teach us the wonder of being filled with moral excitement in our worship, entranced with the knowledge of who God is. He wants us to be astonished at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and splendor of Almighty God!

“There can be no human substitute for this kind of worship and for this kind of Spirit-given response to the God who is our Creator and Redeemer and Lord.” (p.26, Whatever Happened to Worship?)
 
Let’s pray that we will “hear” God speak to us. In true humility, may we respond with worship that will glorify our God and express our gratitude for His great mercies!
      Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – APRIL 23, 2017
The First Day of the Week – Resurrection Day

 

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.”    John 14:16-19
 
 
Wow, these are some of the most powerful promises for those who accept and confess their faith in the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus promises to give us a “presence” of Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Believers are assured that the Holy Spirit not only lives “around us,” but He actually lives within us. This is a great mystery and miracle of the Christian life, a life that is imparted to us from God Himself. Although we have certain choices to make and certain responsibilities to commit to, the essence of the Christian life is that it is not “our” life, or our efforts that make us Christian, but it is God’s life infused into our being.
 
Oswald Chambers wrote clearly about this truth in the following words in which he refers to this life of God as eternal life. “Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of
God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.” He went on to write later, “Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to ‘let go.’ But any effort to ‘hang on’ to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.”
 
Chambers makes a conclusion, “The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house. He invades all of it. And once I decide that my ‘old man’ (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all He reveals to me.”
 
Let our heart cry be for light from God. Let us walk in that light and enjoy the Holy Spirit’s Presence.
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

RESURRECTION (EASTER)

SUNDAY April 16, 2017

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”    John 11:25-26
 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an historical event of great significance. It changed the world in the first century and continued to impact all of human history. It particularly impacts the history of individual humans who believe in the fact of His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus marks Him as the Lord, as the God of heaven and earth who has conquered death. It moves Him into a separate and distinct category that no other god or religious leader can come close to. When you see with eyes of faith that Jesus was raised physically and triumphantly, He becomes God in a “new light.” Tozer made the following observation about the typical way that many modern “believers” see Jesus (God) as a mere Sunday School tale.

“The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.” (From Worship: The Missing Jewel, pages 22-23.)
 
The resurrection is a powerful example of God “breaking over” any rules or limits that we have tried to set for Him. The God we serve is the God of the impossible! He is the mighty, holy, awesome, and as the “old-timers” would have said, terrible Potentate of the universe. The very thought of who He really is and what He really is like might send shivers up and down our spines. That’s why John the Revelator wrote, “And when I saw Him (that is the resurrected and living Lord Jesus Christ), I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
 
May our hearts be open to experience His Presence!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

PALM SUNDAY April 9, 2017

Passion (Holy) Week: The Way to the Cross
 
“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…”    I Peter 2:24
 
I have been asking God to open our understanding of the Cross of Calvary during this season of the year. The Cross stands at the center of history as an extremely significant event. There have been countless sermons and multitudes of books written about the Cross. This past Thursday, the Elders and Deacons read the following entitled “The Collision of God and Sin” from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest.
 
“The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross- He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a rightstanding relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God.
 
“The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus- He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating ‘God was manifested in the flesh…’ from ‘…He made Him to be sin for us…’ (I Timothy 3:16; II Corinthians 5:21). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both.
 
“The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience. The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there.
 
“The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.”
 
Let’s survey the Cross of Christ again!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – APRIL 2, 2017

Lent: The Season of the Gospel

 

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” Galatians 2:20

 

All the religions of the world have a common notion about what is necessary for one to please God. All of them explain that it is necessary for each person to “do good,” produce some extraordinarily pious character, or do a religious act that will appease God’s demand for righteousness. All the world’s religions put the responsibility on human effort to satisfy God. The dilemma is that all humans find themselves broken, weak and incapable of living up to the standard of the holy God that created us. That dilemma is caused by sin. Sin keeps everyone of us from being able to please God sufficiently to make it to heaven.

No amount of personal piety or religious ritual can bridge the gap of sin. Christianity is the only “religion” in the world that declares God has provided the “way” for all of us to make it to heaven and be pleasing to God. God sent His Son into this world to provide the way of salvation. It is by His death on The Cross that Jesus provided the way of salvation. There is no other way. This is what caused Paul to declare, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14) This is also why Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn, Near the Cross.

 

Jesus, keep me near the cross- There a precious fountain,

Free to all, a healing stream, Flows from Cal-v’ry’s mountain.

Near the cross, a trembling soul, Love and mercy found me;

There the Bright and Morning Star Sheds its beams around me.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God, Bring its scenes before me;

Help me walk from day to day With its shadows o’er me.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait, Hoping, trusting ever,

Till I reach the golden strand, Just beyond the river.

In the cross, in the cross Be my glory ever,

Till my raptured soul shall find Rest beyond the river.
 

 

Let’s look to The Cross!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 26, 2017

Lent: The Season of the Gospel

 

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” Galatians 2:20

 

The following is from A. W. Tozer’s The Old Cross and the NewHere is a succinct yet full explanation of how the power of the Gospel changes lives. Read it carefully and pray with me that God would produce new life in all of us this season of the cross and empty tomb, of death and resurrection.

 

“God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross….

“What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life?

“Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

“Having done this, let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen savior, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power.

“The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to new life along with Christ.”

 

That’s how the Gospel works in our lives. Let’s look to The Cross and beyond!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – MARCH 19, 2017
 
“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15
 
A frequently asked question among Christian disciples has been “If (so and so) wouldn’t have obeyed, would the work of God still have been accomplished?” Obviously this is a hypothetical question that we cannot answer with total certainty. We do know that God is going to accomplish His will and work in spite of human failure because He is sovereign. Yet it appears throughout the Bible that God depends on willing human servants to do His work. It also appears that He often goes to great lengths to get that person’s attention, and then reminds him or her that they must do what He has told him or her to do. God clearly expects us to be obedient to His leading. It is true that God’s work advances most when each of us is responding in obedience to the Lord’s leading.

 

Dr. Jonathan Goforth’s wife, Rosalind wrote a wonderful account of their missionary work in China, Climbing. She has written about many wonderful answers to prayer as God provided for them and strengthened them to carry out the work of sharing Christ to many thousands in that land who had never before heard about Jesus. Following is an account of financial gifts they received on the field in China.
 

“Most donations were quite small. Some were touching. Of the many hundreds of letters and donations received, I may take space to mention but two.

“A postal order for three shillings, from London, England, came accompanied only by a torn slip of paper on which was written in a shaking hand:

“’From an old woman on an old age pension, to help make Jesus known.’

“The other I shall mention was from a little boy in Winnipeg. His mother wrote that one morning the boy came and emptied his money box in her lap saying, ‘Mother, I dreamed last night I was fighting with those terrible heathen bandits in Manchuria. I want you to send this to Dr. Goforth to help tell about Jesus.’ He then ran off to school. A moment later he appeared, saying: ‘Mother, don’t delay, but send the money off at once.  I don’t want the Lord to tell me to do it the second time.’
 
Give us willing and obedient hearts!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – MARCH 12, 2017
 
“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15
 

There are certain “qualities” or “characteristics” of life that God has made available to us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We could compile an impressive list that most people would admire and desire to be part of their own individual lives. Let’s just take what I would call the “big three.” They begin the list of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul lists in Galatians 5:22 and 23. They are love, joy and peace. These should be manifest in the believer’s life who is walking in the Spirit of Christ. They are all wonderful, admirable and desirable, but I just want to draw your attention to the second in my list of the “big three.” It is JOY! Jesus told His disciples that He had joy and then told them how they could have His joy in their own lives. (See John 15:11.) It seems to be rather clear that God wants His children to have joy in their lives, and yet many Christians live in a manner that does not reflect the presence of real joy within.

I’m going to share a key principle for experiencing the joy that God wants us all to know. That key is knowing the will of God for you and then doing it. There can be no greater joy than realizing that you have done the Father’s will! Recently the leadership of NBC read the following from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest.”

“Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing….Have you received a ministry from the Lord? If so, you must be faithful to it —to consider your life valuable only for the purpose of fulfilling that ministry. Knowing that you have done what Jesus sent you to do, think how satisfying it will be to hear Him say to you, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21)….The call is to be faithful to the ministry you received when you were in true fellowship with Him. This does not imply that there is a whole series of differing ministries marked out for you. It does mean that you must be sensitive to what God has called you to do, and this may sometimes require ignoring demands for service in other areas.”

 

Give us Your joy in the fulfillment of Your will!
      Pastor Doug
 

 

 

 
 
 
MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – MARCH 5, 2017

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

 

I realize that traditional thinking about “going to church” and belonging to a “local church” has almost disappeared from our culture. It is not uncommon to hear individuals express their belief in and commitment to Jesus Christ, but their disdain for “church.” Either they have been hurt or they’re frustrated about how irrelevant belonging to a local church is in their thinking. I want to be clear that I have never been more in love with or more committed to the local church to which I belong than I am today. Mr. A. W. Tozer has written about the local church congregation as “Cells of the Same Body.”

 
“Church members may by necessity be scattered over the surface of the earth and separated…but in every true member of the Church is the homing instinct and the longing of the sheep for the fold and the Shepherd.
 
“Give a few real Christians half a chance, and they will get together and organize and plan regular meetings for prayer and worship. They will hear the Scriptures expounded, break bread together in one form or another according to their light, and try as far as possible to spread the saving gospel to the lost world.
 
“Such groups are cells in the Body of Christ, and each one is a true Church, a real part of the greater Church. It is in and through these cells that the Spirit does His work on earth. Whoever scorns the local church scorns the Body of Christ.”
 
I pray for each of us to be more committed than ever to “our” church because we believe that it is in actuality Christ’s Church. We belong to His Body, and together we are doing His work. Our prayer must be that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign supreme in all our activities at Needmore Bible Church.
 
Make us Your Church, Lord Jesus!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 

 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 26, 2017

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

One of the amazing facts of the Christian life is that you and I become the actual instrument of God’s hands in doing His work on this earth. God is certainly able to do anything that He chooses, but He has clearly limited some of His activity in this world to our obedience and willing service. For instance, God could praise Himself, or He could cause the “rocks to cry out,” but His plan is for you and me to praise Him in this world. One very important and extremely critical area of ministry is telling the world about Jesus and the gospel of His redemption provided for lost people. Read the following from G. Christian Weiss in his book, God’s Plan, Man’s Need, Our Mission.

 

“Are we gripped by the realization that we are the only ones who can proclaim the gospel of Christ to a lost world? Are we fully conscious of this? Does this awareness seize and haunt us?
 
“God’s great plan of salvation ordained that not even Jesus Himself should remain on earth after His resurrection to preach the gospel to the world. His part was to provide atonement for the sins of men. He alone could do that, but it was not His lot to stay and proclaim the message of reconciliation to the world. That is our task and ours alone. We alone can perform this sacred mission.
 

“Even the angels of heaven are not ordained to evangelize the world. They could never be ‘witnesses’ of His saving grace, since they never experienced redeeming grace and power. How then could they bear witness to the power of the gospel?

“When Jesus expounded the plan of redemption from the Scriptures to His disciples, He said, ‘Ye are witnesses of these things’ (Luke 24:48). He meant, ‘You alone are witnesses.’ When He gave His final commission to them, just prior to His ascension into heaven, He said, ‘Ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth’ (Acts 1:8).”

 

Make us Your instruments, Lord!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 19, 2017

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

 
Throughout the history of the church, and very frequently on the mission field, the church has experienced “out-
pourings” of the Holy Spirit that have resulted in revival. This is something that we have been praying for to happen here and throughout the many ministries and missions that we partner with. The following report was written by Helen Roseveare in her book Living Sacrifice, and it is an account of God’s work in Zaire on the continent of Africa in the early 1950’s.
 
“For ten days, a strange stirring had begun among the local workmen, and the Holy Spirit began a work of conviction in many hearts. Different ones confessed to thefts and returned stolen property. Others confessed to bitterness against white employers, and to jealousies regarding their possessions, and they sought forgiveness. Others again spoke of idleness, wasting their employers’ time, discontent at working conditions: and they began working harder with a better spirit.
 
“Then suddenly, on Friday evening, at the weekly fellowship meeting, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the one hundred folk gathered in the Bible school hall. It was indeed a mighty, unforgettable awakening. Initially, there was a repercussion of shock and fear, as all over the hall, people were being shaken by the power of the Spirit, under the grip of conviction of sin, or else in a surge of irrepressible joy and release. Was this truly of God, or had some other spirit come among us?
 
“As we heard the confessions of sin of those deeply convicted by the Spirit, and then how they claimed the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for cleansing and forgiveness: as we saw their faces change and light up with a great inner joy, we knew the movement was truly of God. No other spirit would glorify the Lord Jesus, or convict men of sin, and lead them to the cross for forgiveness. Men and women were under a deep constraint to see sin as very sinful, no longer making excuses for their ‘weaknesses and failures.’ Coldness of heart, petty jealousies, loss of temper, lack of desire for the things of God, impatience, irritability: all were called sin and confessed in order to be cleansed and forgiven.
 
“Each individual entered into a new relationship with God. They became filled with joy. They sang. The singing was out of this world, filled with the joy of revival. Days and nights merged. Everything else was laid aside throughout that first weekend and the following week. God cleansed and revived His church. The joy was infectious, the singing vital and pulsating with life. There was a sense of abandonment in love for God. Some, of course, resisted: some remained outside, cynical and hard.”

 

Lord, send revival again!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 12, 2017

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”   Mark 16:15

 

It is a joy to be a part of the church purchased by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. His church is a universal church that will be filled with saints from every nation of the world. Missions is the world-wide endeavor of His world-wide church. That endeavor will culminate when the church is called home to be with the Lord forever. Since we do not know the time that God has planned for the culmination, we must remain busy doing the church’s work. The following from Tozer’s Echoes from Eden gives us a portrait of the “good ol’ gospel ship” sailing through this world’s seas.

 

“God Almighty does not bellow to the wide universe and have it come back as an empty echo through His holy ears. He has told us that His word going forth from His mouth does not ever return void and without results. God’s word is always powerful, and it needs no one to run around apologizing for it and thinking up clever ways to defend it.

“The gospel ship, the ark of God, is not a ghost ship floating idly on the sea. It is fully manned with a faithful crew, the winds of the Holy Spirit in her sail, passengers who are free men and women, bound for a free port in a holy land!

“Throughout this troubled old world, God has His saints, and He knows them. They are washed in His blood, born of His Spirit. They are begotten of the Word of Truth, saved by the miracle of redemption. He will call them all home when the time comes.”

 

Let’s do all we can to call others to get in the gospel ship and join us on this great voyage!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MISSIONS MONTH EXTENDED
SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 5, 2017
 

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

 

The past two messages I have shared in the bulletin have dealt with our motivation for serving the Lord. It is important to be obedient to God’s call and follow the leading of His Spirit, but we do this in response to His wonderful redeeming love for us. We love and serve Him because He first loved us! We must always keep these truths in their proper order. God is more interested in our willful and surrendered obedience than He is in our actual accomplishments. We must get and keep our hearts right in order for our service to be pleasing to Him and beneficial to the spread of the gospel. Following is the way that Mr. A. W. Tozer explains it.
 
“God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.
 
“God will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the total scheme of things. We cannot buy God’s favor with crowds or converts or new missionaries sent out or Bibles distributed. All these things can be accomplished without the help of the Holy Spirit….”  Unfortunately there have been many “great works” done for God by mere human effort. There is no lasting fruit in the spiritual realm when “work” is done that way. We do not want to build “sand castles” that will be washed away by the passing of time. We want to be a part of the work of God that produces eternal fruit, fruit that brings honor and glory to our Blessed Redeemer!
 
May each of us be surrendered servants of our Lord!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 29, 2017

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.”   Mark 4:37-39

When we are facing the wind and the waves, the question Satan always tempts us to ask is the same one that the disciples asked: “Teacher, don’t you care?” It’s nothing new. We can see the same root of doubt in his conversation with Eve in the garden at the very beginning. “God is holding out on you. So much goodness is right within your grasp, but God is keeping it from you. He doesn’t care about you.”  During these temptations we must diligently fight to keep the faith and to hold on to the true hope we have in Jesus!
 
In the song “It Is Well,” Kristene Dimarco sings,
 
“Far be it from me to not believe

Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me

Will be thrown into the sea.”

“So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His name!”

Your presence here this morning is an act of faith. Your decision to worship God through songs, offerings, and the study of His Word is an act of faith. And you can be reassured that the waves and the wind still know His name! He is in control, and He cares for you! So, let go and trust in Him!

 

Your brother,
      Pastor Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

SUNDAY – JANUARY 22, 2017

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

Have you ever asked why some people would “leave all” and go to some foreign country to serve the Lord by preaching the gospel to the lost? Have you ever considered yielding yourself to the service of the Lord without thought of the cost? Is it right that Christians should want to please God and one day hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”? Perhaps some answers to these questions are found in Helen Roseveare’s book, Living Sacrifice.  I believe that the following excerpt from her book is the most balanced and concise explanation of salvation and a life of service.

“It was many years later before I gave in to the promptings of the Spirit, to realize that God had so loved me that He had given His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer death on the cross for my redemption- to save me from my sins, to take upon Himself my punishment and all that I deserved.
 

“’A full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world’ was made by Christ at Calvary, because He loved us.

“The mystery of that great sacrifice still stirs my soul to its depths. That the Son of God could so love me that He would give Himself for me, still stirs a sense of awed wonder.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.

Cecil F. Alexander

“The well-known words of childhood hymns became more precious, more meaningful, as one sought to enter into an understanding of the Mystery.

“If He so loved me that He was willing to die for me, whatever could I do for Him even to begin to show my heart’s longing to thank Him? ‘A full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice’ –sufficient, sufficient for the sin of the whole world. So no more could be offered. The only possible acceptable sacrifice was complete. Christ has sacrificed Himself, once for all, once for all time, once for all people, once for all sin. No further sacrifice was needed or possible. God had shown Himself satisfied by the perfect offering when He brought back the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, raising Him to life again that first Easter morning. I could add nothing to the efficacy of His sacrifice: I could do nothing to save myself from the penalty of my sins. He had done it all.

“Yet there was a striving in my inner being to do something to express my heart’s response to His great love for me. His Spirit in me stirred that unrest, planting in my heart the desire to respond to an insistent demand made upon me by that ‘one oblation of Himself once offered.’”

Gratefully saved; gratefully serving!
      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 

 

MISSIONS MONTH

JANUARY 15, 2017

 
“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15
 

I read a very interesting devotional on Wednesday in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for his Highest.  The title of the reading is “What my Obedience to God Costs Other People.” I want to share a few lines with you from that day’s reading.

 
“If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins…We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.
 

“When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself, and we say, ‘I will never accept anything from anyone.’ But we must, or disobey God….

“…because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to God.”

In the great missionary enterprise of the church, this notion of one person’s obedience to God costing others something is especially true. We are all connected to God’s plan of reaching this world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. When our brothers and sisters are called to “go” to the field, they become dependent on the rest of us to make that possible. We must become partners in sharing the “cost” of making it possible for our brothers and sisters to be obedient to God’s call.
 
We are committed to partnering with fellow believers who we know God has called to a specific place in world evangelization. When we know that they must be obedient to that call, we will share the cost! It is our great privilege to share the cost! We must all work together and see what God can do!
 
A cost-sharer,

      Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 
JANUARY 8, 2017
 

“And He said to them, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Mark 16:15

 
What about this “world” or “global” missions effort? Do you understand the heart of God and His desire that “all might be saved?” The theme of the Bible story is that all of earth’s people might be saved and become a member of God’s family. Even when God called one man, Abraham, in order to create one nation, Israel, He did it in order that all the people of the earth might be blessed. God has always had eyes that looked beyond just one people group or one nation. The sad fact is that the people whom He has blessed with the truth of His universal love have many times been slow to share it with the world. God’s own people have frequently begrudged the inclusion of other ethnicities in God’s great scheme of redemption.
 
When Jesus began His ministry in Nazareth, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He first announced that Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah was fulfilled in Him. The people were excited until He went on to say, “But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” (Luke 4:25-27) Jesus had told them clearly that some in Israel would not receive Him, while many gentiles would be blessed because they would receive the grace of God. Jesus was pointing to “outsiders” as being more receptive to the gospel than God’s own people were.
 
The next verse in the record states, “So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath.” (Luke 4:28) It is obvious from the story that the reaction was improper. It was totally out of sync with God’s heart. They were too self-centered!
 
Let’s make sure that we are in accord with God’s love for the whole world.  Let’s rejoice that there are many sheep around the world for whom the Good Shepherd has died.  Let’s take the gospel to the world!
      Pastor Doug

 

 
 

 

 

New Year’s Day
JANUARY 1, 2017
 

“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

Then their eyes were opened, and they knew Him.” Luke 24:30, 31a
 

 

Today we are celebrating one of the church ordinances that we believe is based on the Bible. Historically the church defined an ordinance or “sacrament” as something that Jesus did himself and also told His disciples to continue doing. Baptism is clearly something that Jesus did and later told His disciples to continue practicing; therefore we believe it is one of the church’s ordinances. It is abundantly clear that Jesus participated in the Last Supper and instructed His followers to continue the practice of Communion. Acts 20:7 records the practice continued: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…” In I Corinthians 11:17-34, the Apostle Paul wrote the most complete set of instructions concerning “taking communion.”

 

While this is true, we must be careful to prevent the celebration of Communion from becoming empty ritual. It must not become “just something we do” because it is written in the Bible. We want this celebration to be alive with the very Presence of our Lord! We want the Holy Spirit to use it to impart life to everyone who participates in faith!

 

The following is from A. W. Tozer’s Tragedy in the Church: the Missing Gifts, the tenth chapter entitled The Presence of Christ: Meaning of the Communion.  It is very appropriate for us today!

 

“He (Horatius Bonar) wrote this about the Lord’s Supper:
 

Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face; Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

Here grasp with firmer hand th’eternal grace, And all my weariness upon Thee lean.

 

Here would I feed upon the bread of God, Here drink with Thee the royal wine of heaven;

Here would I lay aside each earthly load, Here taste afresh the calm of sins forgiven.

 

This is the hour of banquet and of song; This is the heavenly table spread for me;

Here let me feast, and feasting, still prolong The brief bright hour of fellowship with Thee.

 

Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear; The feast, though not the love, is past and gone;

The bread and wine removed, but Thou art here, Nearer than ever; still my Shield and Sun.

 

Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness; Mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood;

Here is my robe, my refuge, my peace, Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God.

 

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by, Yet passing, points to the glad feast above,

Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy, The Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.
 

 

“So, my brethren, the Lord’s table, the communion, is not as a picture hung on the wall or a chain around the neck reminding us of Him. It is a celebration of His person- a celebration in which we gladly join because we remember Him, testifying to each other and to the world of His conquering and sacrificial death- until He comes!”
 
Let’s celebrate!
      Pastor Doug