SUNDAY—JULY 22, 2018

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”   Colossians 4:12

 
Good morning and welcome to our Sunday worship service! As you wait for the service to start, would you join with me in prayer for others?  Together as the temple of God, we will be a house of prayer!  Pick 1-3 people to pray for and use these prayers from the Bible as a guide.
 
Colossians 1:9-12
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
 
Ephesians 3:15-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
 
Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
 
Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 15, 2018

“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”

                                                                          Isaiah 56:7

 

Good morning!  Today we join together as building blocks of God’s holy temple to worship Him!

     You are probably familiar with the verse above.  It’s one of the verses that Jesus quoted when He ransacked the temple.  The temple had gotten bogged down with the “business” of the temple and had forgotten it’s number 1

priority: to be a place of prayer where all people can connect with God.

     Today as we gather together I am reminded that we who are trusting in Jesus are God’s temple!  Through His blood He cleansed us so that we ourselves could become a holy and proper house for God Himself.  Through His saving work on the cross, He tore down the veil to the bricks-and-mortar Holy of holies so that God’s Spirit could explode into us as a world-wide-web Holy of holies.  Ephesians 2:19-22 says that we who have become God’s people are “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.  In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”  We are the building blocks that are being united together to make the temple of the Lord.

 

So, according to the Transitive Property (which I learned in Mrs. Dickerhoff’s Geometry class),

              if ALL BELIEVERS = GOD’S TEMPLE,

   and GOD’S TEMPLE is A HOUSE OF PRAYER,

  then ALL BELIEVERS are A HOUSE OF PRAYER.

 

Let’s make that true in our lives this morning and this week!
     Your brother,
          Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 8, 2018

“Don’t just pretend that you love others.  Really love them. Hate what is wrong.

Stand on the side of the good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Be glad for all God is planning for you.

Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.”  Romans 12:9-12, NLT

 

Two essential character traits of God are love and goodness. Because He is good and He loves us perfectly, we can trust that when we walk in and experience His will, we will be blessed. God will neither purposefully withhold good things from us nor curse us with pain and suffering needlessly.  Why then do we often seem to live below the blessings of God?  The answer is sin and Satan.  They are “against” us just as certainly as God is for us.  The safest way to live and walk is in total surrender to God’s ways and plans for us.  Mr. Tozer has warned us about “compromise” in Jesus, Our Man in Glory, page 68.

     “The way to spiritual power and favor with God is to be willing to put away the weak compromises and the tempting evils to which we are prone to cling.  There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates.

     “Even if your wife loves it, turn away from it.  Even if your husband loves it, turn away from it.  Even if it is accepted in the whole social class and system of which you are a part, turn away from it.  Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by our whole generation, turn away from it if it is evil and wrong and an offense to our holy and righteous Savior….

     “Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment.  If he or she will not pay the price of being joyfully led by the Holy Spirit of God, if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges and clubs.”
 
Tozer also wrote in God Tells the Man Who Cares: “We need revival!  We need revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day.  We are too much influenced by the world and too little controlled by the Spirit.” (Pages 159 and 160.)
 
Oh, Lord, lead us to the life of full blessing!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 1, 2018

“Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands before you whole.  This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’  Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:10-12)

 

There must be no doubt in our minds about the centrality of Jesus Christ in our preaching and faith.  After all, it is “all about Jesus.”  Paul wrote to the Colossians about this truth and concluded, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)  There is only one, unique Son of God who came into this world to save sinners.  His name is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

     “In our world are dozens of different kinds of Christianities.  Certainly many of them do not seem to be busy and joyful in proclaiming the unique glories of Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God.  Some brands of Christianity will tell you very quickly that they are just trying to do a little bit of good on behalf of neglected causes.  Others will affirm that we can do more good by joining in the ‘contemporary dialogue’ than by continuing to proclaim the ‘old, old story of the cross.’

    “But we stand with the early Christian apostles.  We believe that every Christian proclamation should be to the glory and the praise of the One whom God raised up after He had loosed the pains of death….Peter considered it important to affirm that the risen Christ is now exalted at the right hand of God.  He said that fact was the reason for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

     “In Jesus’ death for our sins, God is offering far more than escape from a much-deserved hell.  God is promising us an amazing future, an eternal future….I often wonder if we are making it plain enough to our generation that there will be no other revelation from God except as He speaks it through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Tozer, A. W., Jesus, Our Man in Glory, pages 4, 5 and 18.)

 

Our goal at Needmore Bible Church is to give Jesus Christ central billing.  Jesus gets the headlines, and all the lines, in this ministry.  Jesus must be our focus if we have any hope of going to heaven!
 
Jesus is my Lord and Savior!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 24, 2018

 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed….Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  Psalm 107:1-2a, 8-9

 
Are you enjoying what Jesus has done for you and provided for you through His death on the Cross and His resurrection. Jesus literally “went through hell” in order to provide heaven for you, and He expects that when you receive the benefits of His salvific work, you will enjoy it.  The Apostle Paul asked, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32.)  In Jesus Is Victor on pages 49 and 50, A. W. Tozer wrote: “God holds no mental reservations about any of us when we become His children by faith.  When He forgives us, He trusts us as though we had never sinned. When Satan comes around to taunt me about my past sins, I remind him that everything that had been charged against me came from him, and now everything I have – forgiveness and peace and freedom – I have freely received from my Lord Jesus Christ!
     “He has said to us, ‘Whatever your need, just come to the throne of grace.  Anything you need, you may have!’  Why not believe and exercise the dominion He has given you?”
 
In another of his works, Rut, Rot or Revival, on page 19, Mr. Tozer wrote, “We are compared with what we could be, not just what we should be…Anything we ought to be we can be.  Anything that God has declared that we should be we can be.”
 
The sad reality often seems to be that many believers live below the potential of what God’s grace makes available to us. Too many times, Christians behave as if their souls are in the doldrums.  Remember that Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18.)
 
Let’s walk with our King and be a blessing!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day   JUNE 17, 2018

“Or what man is there among you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,

how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:9-11.

 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”   I John 3:1a

 

The Bible establishes truth to guide us in understanding how to live.  One of the “biggies” in establishing truth is the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments.  The first four commandments guide us to worship the One and only True God there is. (See Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6; 45:5-6.)  This is the most basic and most important relationship that all people must enter and live in.  Without a vital relationship with the Heavenly Father, a person is lost forever.
 
The Bible also establishes “guidelines” how we are to live with other human beings.  We are not alone on this earth and God has given us priorities for our human relationships.  The fifth through the tenth commandments teach us how to live with other people.  The fifth and seventh commandments reveal the sanctity of the home, composed of family and marriage.  It is interesting to note that the sixth commandment reveals the sanctity of life itself with the words, “Thou shalt not murder.” But it is just as important to realize that human life is “sandwiched” between commandments about parent-child and husband-wife commands!  God’s design is that human life is propagated through marriage, family and the home.  From God’s perspective, life as He created it to be exists properly only when family and home are held in high esteem.
 
Our civilization is under threat of extinction.  The forces that are attacking the very life that God created in the beginning are working to disrupt and destroy the family!  Our enemies are champions for abortion and homosexual relations, the two greatest, open threats to God’s design for marriage and families.
 
God is calling believers to stand up for the truth He has established in His Word!  You and I, especially believing men, must become champions for biblical marriage and family!
 
Championing God’s truth,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 10, 2018

“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 evermore.”  Psalm 133:1-3

 

Have you ever thought about what church could be like?  Most of us have been in church enough to come back again and again with the same expectation.  Some social interaction, some music with singing, a sermon by a preacher, maybe a testimony or baptism or infant dedication will be the activities. But have you ever thought about what church would be like if the manifestation of God’s Presence showed up?  Psalm 133 gives the possibility that as believers gather, someone just like the high priest, Aaron, could be anointed to “enter” the Presence in the Holy of Holies.  In the book of Hebrews, we are encouraged, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus… let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19, 22a)  Church will become the most transformative place on this earth when the congregation really enters the Presence and beholds the Shekinah, the glory of God!
 
Even though we might believe theologically that God is omnipresent, everywhere at once, we must know and believe that there is a Presence of God that is special in church.  Church must become identified as the place where God’s people “enter into the Holiest” and actually encounter the living God.
 
What will happen then?  David wrote in Psalm 16, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (v.11)  When God’s people move into the real Presence, all our lives will be changed for the better.  We will be saved, delivered, set free, made whole and healed by His Presence.  We will be encouraged, strengthened, and equipped to live holy lives in this world.  Our witness will be set ablaze. Sinners will be converted, and the name of our Lord will be glorified!
 
I want church like that!  Do you, too!?  It will happen when we come prepared and believing that God is going to “show up.”  Oh, let our congregation become a house of refuge and healing!
 
Serving the Lord’s church,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

GRADUATION SUNDAY JUNE 3, 2018

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:25

 

It’s great to have you here to join together in worship and mutual encouragement!

             Today we are honoring our graduates, and since graduating often involves college, Nick and Heather Smartt (who are missionaries our church supports and are involved in college campus ministry) are here as guest speakers.  We are having a lunch after the service to give a chance for you to catch up with Nick and Heather and to celebrate our graduates.  We hope you can stick around!
             To help us as we prepare to focus on worshipping God in our service, I would like to share with you my #1 tip that I give to those graduating high school: Find a solid Christian group and get involved with them.  In my experience, whether or not you follow that advice will make or break you spiritually.
             The verse above is the basis for the name of our HX25 small group ministry at NBC: Hebrews (H) 10 (X) : 25.  It reminds us of the importance of gathering together and encouraging each other.  We need each other.  God is a God of relationships: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in perfect unity. Since we are created in God’s image, we are people who need relationships.  We need each other.
             Elsewhere in the Bible, the Church (all Christians) is referred to as the Body of Christ.  Imagine a finger severed from the body.  How long would it remain a living finger?  In the same way, we need to be connected to the corporate Body of Christ to remain spiritually alive.
             So, graduates, as you are about to move on to the next stage in your life, which often means moving away, let me encourage you that your #1 priority should be to find a group of solid Christians and get connected.  Find a Christian group on campus (like Disciples Makers, who Nick and Heather work with) AND find a local Bible-believing church.  Avoid the temptation on Sunday mornings of going to Bedside Baptist Church or Pillow Presbyterian (sleeping in), and instead go get connected to a church with believers of all ages.  Ask them if you can get plugged into a ministry.  Encourage them and let them encourage you.
 
Congratulations, graduates!
     Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend

SUNDAY- MAY 27, 2018

“’If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,’ let Israel now say- ‘If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,

when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us…’

Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.

Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 124:1-3, 6-8

 

It has been said to us at many different times and in many different venues, but the message has been the same.  Do you recognize what “others” have done for you, and are you grateful?  Then live in a manner that honors the sacrifices they have made for the possibility of your present condition.  You can’t “pay them back,” but you can honor their sacrifices on your behalf.  Lincoln said it at Gettysburg, “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.”  Edgar A. Guest said it in his poem entitled Memorial Day.

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.

 

And Saving Private Ryan immortalized the idea in the scene of Captain Miller’s death with Private Ryan crouched over him. With his last breath, Captain Miller barely whispers to Ryan, “Earn this.”  From the movie it is clear that those two words sounded in Ryan’s mind throughout the rest of his lifetime.  He looked at his aging wife and begged her, “Tell me I’ve been a good man.”  He knew the only way to “earn this” and pay Captain Miller back was to live a life of integrity and responsibility.
 
The New Testament writers addressed believers who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ about the same idea. Christ has paid the full price for our redemption, but that does not mean we are free to just do as we please.  Apostle Peter wrote, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men- as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.” (I Peter 2:15)  Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use your liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
 
We have been highly favored and blessed by our God.  We cannot “pay Him back” for all He has done for us, but we can live to honor Him!  We should!  We must!
 
A grateful Christian citizen,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 20, 2018

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!

There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord

shall not lack any good thing.”  Psalm 34:8-10

“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.  And walking

in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”  Acts 9:31

 

I have often stated that the Christian life is miraculous and mysterious.  It is not meant to be understood by this world or to be explained by the expert minds of this world.  The Christian life is a work of God that places it in a category beyond natural, into the realm of the supernatural.  It is not only inexplicable by human logic and in the scientific world, but it appears at times contradictory to our natural understanding.  Once a person is saved and his/her eyes have been opened to God’s truth, the Christian life becomes a delight.
 
Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote on pages 164 and 165 in I Call It Heresy, “The true Christian fears God with a trembling reverence and yet he is not afraid of God at all.  He draws nigh to God with full assurance of faith and victory and yet at the same time is trembling with holy awe and fear.
     “To fear and yet draw near- this is the attitude of faith and love and yet the holy contradiction classifies him as a fanatic, too!
     “Today, as in all the centuries, true Christians are an enigma to the world, a thorn in the flesh of Adam, a puzzle to angels, the delight of God and a habitation of the Holy Spirit.
     “Our fellowship ought to take in all of the true children of God, regardless of who and where and what, if they are washed in the blood, born of the Spirit, walking with God the Father, begotten unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and rejoicing in the salvation to be revealed!”
 
Our goal is not to eliminate the mystery.  We are not going to try to be more acceptable and amenable to the world.  We are going to pursue holiness and seek to live in godliness and righteousness.  If we become known as fanatics to the world, so be it!  Hallelujah!
More like the Master is my daily prayer!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

Mother’s Day    May 13, 2018

 “Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.  When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.  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.”  (Psalm 128:1-4.)
 
Marriage and the home were the very first “institutions” that God created.  In the first chapter of Genesis, God’s instructions to the first couple are recorded.  Those instructions include being “fruitful” and “multiplying.”  God obviously had His mind on the home and family.  He also declared that the male and female were to have dominion and subdue the natural world from which they would receive the sustenance for their home.  God established the home and family as the “building blocks” for all society.  It seems that the success of any society can only be as strong as the “building blocks” are. In other words, strong homes and families make for a stable culture, society or nation.
 
As much as God loves marriage and the family, the devil hates it.  It should be very clear to all of us that our enemy has been working against the biblical model for the family.  You and I must stand firm on our conviction that our homes are the most important responsibility that God has given us.  Our goal as parents is to raise a new generation of people who will love our God and live to serve Him.  I know Jesus’ question was “What will it profit a man if he gains the world, but loses his soul?” Perhaps we can ask a similar question about our homes.  “What will it profit a man (and woman) if he (she) gains the whole world, but loses his (her) family/children?”
 
In Psalm 127, we are told “Unless the Lord builds the house (family), they labor in vain who build it.” (v. 1a.)  It is imperative that every parent rededicate himself (herself) to assuming the responsibility to lead his (her) family spiritually.  Our nation, our culture, and our world needs a spiritual revival in families.  As goes the home, so goes the world!
 
Let’s cry out to our Heavenly Father for His blessings in establishing and stabilizing our homes!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 6, 2018

“For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth;

the heights of the hills are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”   Psalm 95:3-6

 

The Christian life is a miraculous and mysterious life.  All of our experience in the life of faith comes from and “returns” to God.  The Apostle Paul called it “this mystery” “…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)  Another place Paul wrote “…that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)  God initiates the work of faith within us, and He continues to “work” that life of faith in us until the end.  In a sense, the Christian life is merely giving back to God what He has been giving to us.  Some authors use the illustration of a mirror.  They state that our Christian life is a “reflection” of God’s grace that shines on and in us.  This seems true especially of worship.  We can only worship because He has placed His Spirit within us, and He worships through us as we come before God.  It is almost as if God is worshiping Himself through us.  It is my opinion that this is the “highest form” or the “deepest level” of worship there can be.
 
In his work Whatever Happened to Worship, Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote the following on pages 44 and 45.
     “Men and women continue to try to persuade themselves that there are many forms and ways that seem right in worship. But God in His revelation has told us that He is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. God takes the matter of worship out of the hands of men and puts it in the hands of the Holy Spirit.
     “It is impossible for any of us to worship God without the impartation of the Holy Spirit.  It is the operation of the Spirit of God within us that enables us to worship God acceptably through that Person we call Jesus Christ, who is Himself God. So worship originates with God and comes back to us and is reflected from us, as a mirror.  God accepts no other kind of worship.”
 
Let’s come today to offer true worship to our God.  Let us yield all of ourselves to the Holy Spirit and pray that He will lead us in that true worship!
 
Seeking to be a true worshiper,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY- APRIL 29, 2018

“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus
and put no confidence in the flesh.”  Philippians 3:3
 
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as

rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”  Philippians 3:7-8

 

Good morning!  As we gather together to worship our God, may we each think about this question, “How much is Jesus worth to me?”

       There are two parables that I’ve always balked at.  One is about a man who finds treasure in a field, sells all that he has, and buys the field.  The other is about a merchant of fine pearls who finds a pearl of great value, sells all he has, and buys it.  They are both in Matthew 13.  I balk at them because as a husband and father, they seem so irresponsible. How are these people going to feed their families?  What if their donkey breaks down, and they have to take it to the mechanic, and they no longer have any emergency savings because they were playing pirate and finding treasure?

       These people are not making wise decisions at all UNLESS… well, unless the treasure really is worth a lot, much more than what he already had.  Then the decision was a no-brainer.  And unless the merchant really knows his pearls and is so confident that he can sell that pearl at another location for a ton more than what he just bought it for.  In that case he is making the deal of a lifetime.

       Have you realized the worth of having Jesus in your life?  Have you realized the greatness of having the hope of our citizenship in heaven, of the value of being completely free from sin and shame, or the supreme awesomeness of having the God of the universe living inside of you?  Are those treasures worth giving up everything you have?

       Let us live lives that reflect the confidence and contentment we have because we have access to the greatest Treasure in all the earth!

 
Your brother,
     Aaron Meredith

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – APRIL 22, 2018

     “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.  Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted.  Let not the slanderer be established in the earth; let evil hunt the violent man to over throw him.  I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.”

Psalm 140:7, 8, 11-13.

 

Here are two quick ideas.  The first is based on Matthew 16:18, “…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  The church is supposed to be on the offensive against the enemy.  The church is to be attacking places where Satan has bound people in his prison of sin and slavery.  The church is called to set them free, and we can because the promise is that hell does not have strong enough “gates” to keep us out!  We can defeat the enemy!
 
The second idea is that the world needs us, the church.  Without the witness and power of the church, there is no hope for those who live in bondage.  It is the church that God has appointed to be “salt and light” in a lost and dying world.  We are commanded by our Lord to “let our light shine before men.”  Without our light, the world would be in total darkness.  The world needs us!
 
     “Many Christians spend a lot of time and energy in making excuses, because they have never broken through into a real offensive for God by the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit!
     “I contend that the church has a right to rejoice and that this is not a time in the world’s history for Christian believers to settle for a defensive holding action!” (Tozer, I Call it Heresy, page 30.)
     “We Christians must stop apologizing for our moral position and start making our voices heard, exposing sin as the enemy of the human race and setting forth righteousness and true holiness as the only worthy pursuits for moral beings.
     “I have no doubt that historians will conclude that we of the twentieth century had intelligence enough to create a great civilization but not the moral wisdom to preserve it.” (Tozer, The Tozer Pulpit, Vol. I, page 113.)
 
I pray that we will be strengthened and emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit!  Rise up, church of the Lord Jesus Christ!  Let us go forth into battle and claim the victory in Jesus’ holy name!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – APRIL 15, 2018

 “Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your word.

I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.  I hate and abhor lying, but I love Your law.

Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments.

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.”  Psalm 119:161-165

 

When our congregation was choosing a name for our church, someone said, “Well, we believe the Bible, so Bible ought to be in it.” As a result, Bible became “our middle name.”  Our statement of faith declares that we believe the Bible is God’s Holy Word, and our church verse is II Timothy 3:16.  We endeavor to work alongside other ministries and mission organizations that also believe the Bible.  One such mission is Heralds of Hope.  Their motto is “All the Word to All the World,” and their statement of faith includes the following Article 2: “We believe that the Bible is the Self-revelation of God
to mankind for this age; that it is fully inspired by the Holy Spirit; that it is inerrant in its original records, authoritative in its decrees, universal and timeless in its message, and the standard by which all shall be judged.”  In our official documents, we give high value and importance to the Bible, but what about our individual and personal lives?
 
Voice of the Martyrs recently shared the story of an Indian woman named Poonam.  “When Poonam left Hinduism in 2012 and placed her faith in Christ, her Bible immediately became her most prized possession.  The young Indian wife and mother of three secretly read God’s Word in her home each day, growing in her understanding of God’s love for her.  But she feared her husband would find out about her new faith, and he soon did.
     “After overhearing her praying a Christian prayer one day, he found her Bible and angrily tore it to pieces.  ‘From today on you stop reading the Bible, and as long as you live in this house you better not pray!’ he threatened.
     “When Poonam refused to stop praying to Jesus, her husband beat her and eventually kicked her out of the house, refusing to let her see their young sons and daughter.  Following Jesus cost her everything.”
 
After some time when she was living with relatives, her prayers were answered when VOM found her.  VOM gave her a new Bible, and she burst into tears.  Over more time God answered her prayers, and she was restored to her husband and children.  He has not yet accepted Christ personally, but he attends church with Poonam and permits her to live as a Christian.
 
     “Poonam reads and studies God’s Word using her new Bible, but she refuses to give up the tattered, torn Bible that her husband tried to destroy.  It is, after all, how she first learned about Jesus.
     “’My Bible is everything to me,’ Poonam said.   ‘It is the living Word of God.  Without it, I can’t live.’”
 
May we all grow in our love and devotion for the Bible, God’s Holy Word!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – APRIL 8, 2018

“I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You.  I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name or Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”  Psalm 138:1, 2

 

There are many wonderful truths spoken in this building, not just by the “preacher” but also by many of God’s people who gather here for fellowship, study, prayer and worship.  During the Good Friday service, one of our brothers said, “I love the name of this church, Needmore Bible.  We do need more Bible.”  He went on to explain that believers need a daily input of God’s Word no matter how often they have already heard or read the Bible.  Certainly this is a very important truth for Christians.  The Bible is critical to a successful life of faith.  One of our goals in ministry is to inspire Christians to “think biblically” and to walk in the precepts that are revealed in the Bible.  Many of us “love the name” because it reminds us that the Bible must become a focus for our faith-life.
 
Many of our folks use Facebook as a means of social interaction. Frequently there are inspirational messages posted by members of our fellowship.  Just this week, one of our sisters printed the following scripture. “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21.)  It should be obvious to us that God wants us to make His Word the focus, the center piece of our lives.  He knows that the truth revealed in His Word is the best way to live, and He expects our choices and behavior to be guided by His Word.
 
Just after this passage of scripture, it is written, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28.)  Twice in the same book, the wisest man on earth wrote, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25.)  God has made it abundantly clear that His way leads to righteousness and life!  He has also warned that any way contrary to His will lead to death!
 
God’s Word must become a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path!”
 
A Bible-believer,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

Easter Sunday  –  April 1, 2018

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.  Even so, Amen.  ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’  Revelation 1:7, 8

 
We have declared that the life of a Christian is a miraculous work of God.  The Bible records many miracles that Jesus performed while on the earth and supports the principle that Christianity without miracles is not true, biblical Christianity.  All of the miracles point to and are contingent on the “greatest” miracle of all.  Jesus had declared that if His body were “destroyed,” He would raise it up from that destruction.  Jesus predicted His own bodily resurrection.  Indeed, His resurrection is the pinnacle of the gospel narratives and indicates that because He was raised from the dead, we should believe that everything else is possible for God and us.  In essence, the resurrection is the fountainhead for the miraculous life of the Christian.

 

     “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 it 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 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 a new life along with Christ.” (Tozer, The Old Cross and the New, page 4.)
 
While predicting His own resurrection, Jesus made a promise to His disciples, “Because I live, you shall live also!” (John 14:19.) Today we are celebrating not only an historical event, but we are celebrating the ongoing results of that event.  We live new lives today because Jesus was raised from the dead!  Hallelujah!
 
You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

PALM SUNDAY  –  March 25, 2018

 “The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  The King of Israel!’  Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’”  John 12:12-15

 
Palm Sunday is the day that we commemorate The King appearing in the city of Jerusalem just as Zechariah had prophesized.  Of course, there was a great deal of fanfare, and “all the city was moved.”  But did the “city” actually embrace the rule of The King?  Probably most of us recognize that the answer is no.  Even though The King was present, the people did not yield to His rule and reign.  The same question must be asked in our day as well.  Have we submitted to the kingship of The King?

 

     “At this hour in world history the state of religion is such that the Church is in grave danger of losing this priceless treasure [wisdom].  Her gold is being turned into copper and her diamonds to glass….

     “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.”  (Tozer, A. W., God Tells the Man Who Cares, pages 179-180.)
 
Let each of us open our hearts in willful obedience to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ.  We ought to praise and worship Him because of who He is, yet it is far better to obey than to give Him sacrifices!
 
Waiting on The King!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 18, 2018

“Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength.  Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him.  Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”  I Chronicles 16:28-29
 
It’s that time of the year when Spring and Easter are just ahead of us.  There is always much excitement about “going to church” during this season.  It seems the whole world directs its attention to the Church’s celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  There are usually more people in church during this season than the rest of the year, and that is quite alright.  It appears as if God is doing the stirring of people’s hearts and He is drawing their attention to what He has accomplished through His Son’s death and resurrection.  As God’s people gather, we expect the Holy Spirit to be present with us, and when He is with us He will lead us to worship!
 
     “We are brought to God and to faith and to salvation that we might worship and adore Him.  We do not come to God that we might be automatic Christians, cookie-cutter Christians, Christians stamped out with a die.
     “God has provided His salvation that we might be, individually and personally, vibrant children of God, loving God with all our hearts and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness.
     “This does not mean, and I am not saying, that we must all worship alike.  The Holy Spirit does not operate by anyone’s preconceived idea or formula, but this I know: when the Holy Spirit of God comes among us with His anointing, we will become a worshiping people.” (Tozer, A. W., Whatever Happened to Worship, page 14.)
 
Certainly it is our desire during this special season to experience encounters with the manifest Presence of the living God. We expect that people will experience real worship, even if they have never genuinely worshiped before, this year they will enter something new in their “church-going.”  Let’s open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to anoint us for true worship.  May the name of our great Lord be glorified by a fully worshiping congregation of God’s people.
 
A worshiping believer,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 11, 2018

“…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  Ephesians 1: 19-23
 
Communion, The Lord’s Supper is a common practice of Christian believers throughout history and around the entire world.  It is a celebration of what Jesus has done for us on the Cross as well as recognition that everyone connected to the Cross is also connected to each other. The true Church is universal in nature and “she” is what Christ shed His blood to purchase.  She has become His Bride, and He has no greater delight than seeing the Church be filled with His glory on earth.  All believers “eat the same bread” and “drink the same cup.”
 
     “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.”
 
Mr. Tozer wrote the preceding paragraphs in God Tells the Man Who Cares.  I frequently and continually pray that we each will discover a great love for the Church and will find great blessing and joy in participating in the life of Needmore Bible Church.
 
A member of His Church,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 4, 2018

“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 evermore.”  Psalm 133:1-3

 

It is wonderful to have so many people accept responsibility here at Needmore Bible Church and then have them faithfully serve God and all of us through dedicated and excellent work. While it is true that we need each of those who make a contribution to the work (and the examples are far too numerous to list at this time), it is more important to know that the ultimate work, the “real” and eternal work is done by God and not by man.  The church must be understood as more than a “human” or “social” institution.  There is a supernatural dynamic at work in the church, or else it is not a “true” church at all.  A. B. Simpson wrote on page 29 of In Step With the Spirit: “The Church was never intended to be a natural and intellectual organization, but a supernatural instrumentality wholly dependent upon the power of God.”
 
The Church is divine in its origin and also in its efficacy.  She will make the greatest impact when consecrated believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and they are determined to work together to be “…a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21, 22) “The Church is found wherever the Holy Spirit has drawn together a few persons who trust Christ for their salvation, worship God in spirit and have no dealings with the world and the flesh.” (Tozer, p. 25, God Tells the Man Who Cares)
 
It is our utmost desire to be a part of His Church here at NBC. We want to be “real” and “true” in our efforts of serving the Lord Jesus Christ and the world that He has placed us in.  The two needed elements are born-again, Spirit-filled Christians and the power of His Presence in our midst.  Without either one of these we cannot be more than a mere earthly organization.  We cry out in full surrender, “Lord Jesus, take us completely and make us wholly Thine.  Anoint us with Your Spirit and use us for Thy glory!”
 
A member of His Church,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 25, 2018

“Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said,

‘Moses, Moses!’ and he said, ‘Here I am.’  Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place.

Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’”  Exodus 3:3-5

 

When people encounter the living God and He speaks to them, the place becomes “holy ground.”  It is the presence of God and His word that sanctifies the place.  The entire Bible record from beginning to its conclusion proclaims that God “speaks” to people.  He is not a silent Sovereign.  God communicates with people because of His great love for them.  He does not want to be hidden and unknown, so He speaks.  The world certainly does not understand a “speaking” God, and they might even call it “mental illness,” but we absolutely affirm that our God “speaks” with us!  God speaks through the Bible, by His Spirit, and through our conscience.  In Faith Beyond Reason on pages 82 and 83, Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote about God speaking through our conscience.

 

     “It can be fatal to silence the inner voice, the voice of human conscience.  Some silence it, for instance, when that voice speaks in outraged protest at the human habit of lying.  It may plead eloquently against the habit of dishonesty, or take a person to task for jealousy or for some other sin.

     It is always perilous to resist conscience, to ignore the inner voice.  Let the Lord talk to your inner spirit, to your innermost being.  Within you is a conscience that cannot lean on anybody, that cannot share the blame with anybody – a conscience that singles you out, isolates you and says, ‘You are the man!’ ‘You are the woman!’  It is the voice that makes you want to lower your head and tiptoe away while no one is watching.

     “I am grateful for the human conscience.  If there was no conscience and no voice of God in the world, we would all become beasts in very short order… If that voice is speaking to you – that inner preacher who does not preach to a crowd but only to the lone individual soul – respond!”
 
Our God is speaking!  We must be willing to listen to hear what He is saying to each of us.  When we hear His “voice” we must be willing to do as He tells us!
 
Listening,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 18, 2018

“If You, O LORD, kept a record of our sins…who could stand?  But with You there is forgiveness…

My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning…

Put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love, and with Him is full redemption.”  Psalm 130:3-7

 

The God we serve is a super-natural God.  That means that He is “above” or “superior” to nature.  He has created nature, rules over it, and even works through the very nature He created.  Yet, we must always remember that our God is the Sovereign Supreme over the entire universe.  And you and I must be open and aware of the supernatural works that God will do in our lives.  We must expect the miraculous because the “real” Christian life is given to us in supernatural ways.  All of our experience from being born-again to worshiping God falls into the realm of supernatural and miraculous!
 
Mr. Tozer reminded us about this truth when he wrote about our new birth.  “In our day, we send reason ahead on its short little legs, and faith never follows.  Nobody marvels, because the whole business can be explained.  I have always claimed that a believing Christian is a miracle, and at the precise moment that you can fully explain him, you have a Christian no longer!

     “I have read the efforts of William James to psychologize the wonders of God’s workings in the human life and experience.  But the genuine child of God is someone who cannot be explained by human reasoning.

     “In this relationship with Jesus Christ through the new birth, something takes place by the ministry of the Spirit of God which psychology cannot explain.  This is why I must contend that faith is the highest kind of reason after all, for faith goes straight into the presence of God.”  (Faith Beyond Reason, p. 40)
 
We were also reminded on Thursday in Seek God for the City that worship must take us beyond our own logical rationale.  “We know what it is to be impressed by our own religious performance.  We can say all the correct words, yet leave our hearts far behind.  Our worship routines are so well-rehearsed that they have become predictable and safe.  We are among those who have approached You without heart or humility.  Please break through our pride.  Gather our wayward hearts.  Surprise us with Your supremacy.  Stun us with how dangerous You are.  Ravish us with the brilliance of Your beauty so that the cloud of clever religious pride evaporates in the radiance of Your glory.” (P. 8)
 
Our God is an awesome God!  Let’s approach Him as if He is awesome!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 11, 2018

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  Psalm 107:1-2; 8-9   “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”  Psalm 29:2

 
When we gather on Sunday morning at 10:00, it is for the purpose of worshiping our God.  We label the time as a “worship service.”  It is a thousands-of-years-old tradition that is recorded in the Bible.  There have certainly been different rituals and practices over those years, but the fact that God’s people have worshiped God in corporate settings is a very well established fact.  You and I are gathered here today to join the millions of people around the world and down through history to worship.  It is possible that in spite of the clear call to worship, there are many, many folks who never really worship in the “worship service.”

 

Mr. A. W. Tozer gave much effort to call the church to genuine worship.  He knew that our God is certainly worthy of genuine worship and when Christians gather their attentions must be focused on God rather than on our individual concerns.  He was often criticized for his stern and serious approach to worship.

     “One man wrote an article as an expose of me.  He said that I claimed that religious entertainment was wrong, and he said, ‘Don’t you know that every time you sing a hymn, it’s entertainment?’ Every time you sing a hymn?  I don’t know how that fellow ever finds the way home at night.  He ought to have a seeing-eye dog and a man with a white cane to take him home!

     “When you raise your eyes to God and sing, ‘Break thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,’ is that entertainment – or is it worship?  Isn’t there a difference between worship and entertainment? The church that can’t worship must be entertained.  And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment.  That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today – the heresy of religious entertainment.” (Success and the Christian, pp. 6-7)

     “I hope that we will remove from our hearts every ugly thing and every unbeautiful thing and every dead thing and every unholy thing that might prevent us from worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in the beauty of holiness.  Now I am quite sure that this kind of thing is not popular.  The world does not want to hear it, and the half-saved churches of the evangelical fold do not want to hear it either.” (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #10, Toronto, 1962)

 

We must not care what man thinks of all this. We must care what God thinks of our attempts to worship Him!
I want to be a “true worshiper!”
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 4, 2018

 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has become His counselor?  Or who has given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Amen.”  Romans 11:33-36

 
Oh, how much we need to be in prayer that God will minister to all of us through His Spirit when we gather for fellowship and worship.  If the Spirit of the Lord is not present and at work in our gatherings, then we are just having a “social” event.  We certainly all want God to be at work when we come together as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We want God to be at work convincing all who come and share with us that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And when He is with us, He will work!

 

On pages 25 and 26 of Echoes From Eden, Mr. Tozer Wrote some very important truth about the working of the Holy Spirit.

     “The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also called the Spirit of Truth, has not come into this world to fool around.  He will be found wherever the Lord’s people meet, and in confirming the Word and the Person of Jesus Christ, He will demand moral action!

     “It is for that reason that when a man goes to a gospel meeting he never knows when the last shred of excuse will be stripped from his naked, trembling conscience forever.  Men may joke and play – even about sacred and spiritual matters – but the Spirit of God is in dead earnest!

     “God is still speaking in this lost world, and one of His voices is the presence of the Holy Spirit, convicting a lost human race of such weighty matters as sin, righteousness and judgment.  While the Holy Spirit continues His ministries, we know that this lost world is not yet a forsaken world.”

 
This is our highest desire and our hope that God will not “leave us like orphans.”  He will come to us and dwell in our midst.  Let’s gather with expectation that many people will be convinced that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill this place!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 28, 2018

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has become His counselor?  Or who has given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Amen.”  Romans 11:33-36

 
An expression that has often been used by new adherents to Christianity or by new church attendees is “I’ve found religion.”  That is a possibility for human beings.  A person can “find religion.”  A person can encounter religious life and can then observe and study and learn about it to the point of deciding whether or not to join in.  The reason a person can “find religion” is because religion is created by other human beings.  It is planned and organized practices that are done in response to awareness that there is a God.  Even though a person can “find religion,” it must be clearly stated that a person cannot “find God.”  The truth is that God must find man!

 

In the passage above it is stated that God’s judgments and ways are beyond the ability of the human mind to “discover” them.  They are unsearchable, meaning that the human intellect cannot find them by going in search of God’s essence, His thoughts or ways.  Isaiah reported this truth with the following words: “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.  ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (55:8-9).  This hyperbolic expression indicates that God and His mind, His thought processes are beyond the sphere of human reasoning.  A human being cannot comprehend, cannot find God using his or her natural cerebrations.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9).

 

There is good news though for those who wish to “find God” and to “know” Him.  Paul wrote after his statement that human eyes, ears, and imaginations cannot understand God in all His ways, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit!” (I Corinthians 2:10).  Mankind cannot find God, and God knows that, so He has chosen to reveal, to make known His truth to those who will receive it through the enlightenment of His Spirit.  A. W. Tozer wrote, “The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth.  The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it.”  Only the Holy Spirit can give “sight” to human eyes and minds in order to know God and His truth.  We are praying and believing that God is going to give revelation and spiritual sight to folks now in darkness.

 

I saw the Light, no more in darkness, no more in night!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 21, 2018

“I said, ‘O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations.  Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.  They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed.  But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.  The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You.’”  Psalm 102:24-28

 
The longer a person lives, the tendency is to become more and more comfortable with the familiar old “paths,” but yet everything seems to keep changing.  Like rolling down a hill, things seem to change more and more frequently the closer to the bottom we get.  The rapidity of change and change’s far-reaching effect can cause people to become fearful and frantic.  One might easily think that there is no real hope for the future and those folks who will attempt to live in it. In spite of this common experience for mankind, there remains a truth that some “things” will not change!  There are sure and solid foundations that we can build our lives on that will remain immoveable.  In Jesus, Author of our Faith on pages 142 and 143, Mr. Aiden Wilson Tozer has written the following.

 

     “The Scriptures are open and plain.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord.  He is our High Priest, alive and ministering for us today. His person, His power and His grace are the same, without change, yesterday, today and forever!

     “He is the same Lord because He is the same God.  He is the same, never having changed in substance, in power, in wisdom, in love, in mercy.  In His divine person, Jesus Christ has never known correction or change.  He feels now as He has always felt about everyone and everything.

     “Jesus will not yield to those who charge that He is an absentee, that He is far away and unavailable.  Our faith tells us that Jesus Christ is close at hand, that He is a living force in our lives today.  He is the Holy Spirit of God fulfilling His promises moment by moment.

     “We…must stand together in our faith.  Our Lord is as powerful now, as real now, as near to us now, as loving now as He ever was when He walked among the men and women on the shores of Galilee.”

 
This is the foundation of truth that we must build our lives on.  Apart from God there is nothing else to stand on but the “quicksand” of this world!
 
I’m standing on The Rock!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 14, 2018

 “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!  Sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.  For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”  Psalm 96:1-6

 
Have you ever thought about how much of the stuff you have in your life you could live without?  Do a mental exercise and just begin to imagine certain “items” taken from your life.  Imagine living without each particular item. Have you ever reached a place where you thought that you just couldn’t live without “that!”?  Well, what is “it” that is essential for you to live?  What is the most basic foundation that if you have it, you could live?  Is it possible that “God” is really all that you need?  In Tozer Speaks to Students on pages 164 and 166, he wrote about the “sufficiency” of God.

 

     “The error that everything new is good and everything old is bad takes place in the realm of practice and worship and religious activity generally. This is a view…that can lead, of course, to great rebellion against the truth….

     “We will never be where we ought to be until we go back to those old paths and learn to find God.  Then we will cease to be bored with God… We will center our affections upon God and Christ… and become specialists and experts in the realm of the spiritual life.

     “It is amazing how little outside stimulus we need if we have that inward stimulus.  It is amazing how much God will meet our needs.  It will not be God and something else.  It will be God everything.

     “And then, wisely, we will gear into our time…and in a moment we will become…alert to the needs of the world around us… At the same time, our great anchor will be God above… God will be enough.”

 
We serve the one and only true and living God.  He has made us for Himself, and we will never be complete until we are complete in Him.  He is more than able to save every one of us to the uttermost!
 
Satisfied in Jesus!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 7, 2018

      “Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered.  For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man…Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?…At this also my heart trembles, and leaps from its place.  Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that comes from His mouth.  He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth.  After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain them when His voice is heard.  God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.  For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength… From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north.  By the breath of God ice is given, and broad waters are frozen… And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth.  He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy.”  (Verses from Job 36:26-37:13.)
 
Do you remember who the God we serve is?  Do you remember that He is the sovereign Creator who controls His creation and directs it according to His will?  Do you remember that He is supernatural, not contained or constrained by nature?  He is above it and is free to “break in upon it” anytime He chooses.  Those times that He does we label miraculous!  We serve the one and only supernatural God who performs the miraculous for His own glory and the benefit of His children.  Hallelujah!
 
The prophet Isaiah describes our God very well in His prophecy as recorded in the 40th chapter.  The entire section sounds very similar to the description recorded in Job.  Here are some verses to read.  “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?…Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales;…All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.  To whom then will you liken God?  Or what likeness will you compare Him?…Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…”

But here comes the good news for those who love and trust the true and living God!  “Have you not known?  Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary, His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:28-31)

 
Remember our faith is in the supernatural Creator, God!  Let’s live by this faith!
     Pastor Doug