SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 15, 2019

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”
Psalm 30:11-12
 
God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world to be the Savior for all mankind.  The first application of His work of redemption happens in the area of our sin and its consequences.  Our sin has brought upon us the verdict of guilty with the penalty of eternal punishment.  The most wonderful news is that Jesus bore our penalty and paid our eternal debt on the Cross of Calvary.  Hallelujah! As others have declared, “To have anything more than or above burning in hell for eternity is more than I deserve.” There is more good news! Jesus declared that He came to bring us life, and that more abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus transforms lives and blesses them with all the benefits of His grace, including peace and joy now.  This salvation is not just “pie in the sky by-and-by,” but it is His life in us now!  Hallelujah!
 
Dr. Simpson wrote for September 7 in Days of Heaven on Earth some helpful encouragement toward experiencing those blessings of God’s grace now.

“The secret of joy is not to wait until you feel happy, but to rise, by an act of faith, out of the depression which is dragging you down, and begin to praise God as an act of choice.  This is the meaning of such passages as these: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice’; ‘I do rejoice; yes, and I will rejoice.’ ‘Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (testings).’ In all these cases there is an evident struggle with sadness and then the triumphs of faith and praise.

     “Now, this is what is meant – in part, at least – by the sacrifice of praise.  A sacrifice is that which costs us something. And when a man or woman has some cherished grudge or wrong and is harboring it, nursing it, dwelling on it, rolling it as a sweet morsel under the tongue, and quite determined to enjoy a miserable time in selfish morbidness and grumbling, it costs us no little sacrifice to throw off the morbid spell, to refuse the suggestions of injury, neglect and the remembrance of unkindness, to rise out of the mood of self-commiseration in wholesome and holy determination, and say, ‘I will rejoice in the Lord’; I will ‘count it all joy.’”
 
Jesus gives us reason to rejoice!
     Pastor Doug
 

 

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 8, 2019
Grandparents Day
 

“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.”  Psalm 107:1, 2

 
Jesus certainly taught that our “religion” must impact the way we always live and everywhere we go.  Jesus taught that true believers are “salt and light.” He said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Christians must influence the world in which they live, or they have no value at all.  It should not be difficult to understand that we must live our faith 24/7 in order to fulfill our true destiny.  Phil Robertson identifies a lie that is killing the church and robbing America of its soul in The Theft of America’s Soul.  The lie is that church participation and day-to-day life should be kept separate.
 
     “In this book I’ve outlined the lies the evil one has used to steal, kill, and destroy the soul of America.  Of all the lies, perhaps the worst is the one he’s peddled to the church, the one we’ve bought hook, line, and sinker: church is an activity we attend two hours a week, and our faith is to be expressed there, not out in the world.  Why is this lie the worst of the lot?  Because we, the people of God, should know better.
     “Jesus never meant for His message to be contained within a building or confined to a service.  He came to seek and save the lost, and where were the lost?  They were out in the streets.  The lost were the everyday businessmen, the fishermen, the women working at home.  The lost were the children running through the streets.  The lost were the beggars, the crippled, and the leprous. They were the tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners.  So, although Jesus preached from time to time in the synagogue, he spent most of His time spreading the good news where the people were – in the world.  In fact, Jesus was among the people so much that religious teachers of the day took issue with it.  They asked why He spent so much time with tax collectors and sinners.  They called Him a drunkard because he attended parties where sinners were.  They watched as He spent time with women – women with bad reputations at that.  Time and time again, they took issue with just how in the world Jesus was.  But as Jesus went, He wasn’t compartmentalizing His faith.  He was out there preaching.  And what was He preaching?  Freedom.” (Page 161,)
 
On page 159, Phil wrote: “As much as it pains me to say it, I think the answer is plain.  The church has forgotten its purpose, forgotten that we’re supposed to be carrying the truth of the Almighty out to the world.  Instead, we’ve hidden our message under a bushel.  We’ve kept our message locked up in a two-hour Sunday morning service and gone along with the rest of the world during the other 166 hours of the week.
     “The people of God – the very mouthpieces of Christ himself – have forgotten the essence of true worship.  Is it any wonder we’ve lost so much ground in America?”
 
Let’s live according to our faith 24/7!
     Pastor Doug
 

 

 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – SEPTEMBER 1, 2019
 

 “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

 

One of the most comforting natures, characteristics of God is the reality that He is loving and kind.  It really is part of who He is. He is merciful, and His mercy will endure forever.  Everyone of us should be given comfort and hope by knowing this basic fact about God’s personality.  We can declare with great assurance that He loves us with a perfect, complete, and full love.  We can always sing, “Yes, Jesus loves me; yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.”
 
Do we all understand what His mercy will do for us?  When we are young children, we naturally measure how good and kind someone is by what he or she does for us.  If a person gives us something we want or enjoy, we automatically interpret that to indicate the person is loving and cares for us. In fact, the more we “get what we want” either in terms of things or activities, we naturally think that we are being treated mercifully.  It requires parents and “trainers” to give many, many explanations to convince us that sometimes “no” is an answer that is most loving and merciful.  Mercy must often set standards and limits that we really don’t want!
 
Have any of us “grown up” enough to understand that it is good for us that we don’t always “get our own way!”  It should be true of loving parents that they often “put up fences” for their children’s own good.  It is especially true of the God of perfect love that He also “puts up fences” for all His children.  He does it because He is merciful.
 
With this correct perspective, many expressions in the Bible can be better understood.  Read Psalm 119:121-128.  “I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors.  Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the proud oppress me. My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation and Your righteous word.  Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes.  I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies.  It is time for You to act, O Lord, for they have regarded Your law as void.  Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.”
 
One of the most loving and merciful things God can do for us is to teach us where He has set “the fences” for our good!
     Pastor Doug
 

 

 
 
 

 

Sunday School Rally Day

AUGUST 25, 2019

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that  he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24

 
A friend of ours, Vernon Bauer, has related that one of his professors in seminary normally introduced his classes by explaining the sufficiency of the Bible.  He would say, “If you or a small group of people were lost on an island and totally isolated from everyone and everything in the world, if you had a Bible you could learn how to live and exist.  The Bible is the only book that any of us really need to know how to live.” This has been believed, taught and recorded in the church’s creeds.  For example, the A.D. 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith states: “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” The sufficiency of Scripture means that the Bible is an adequate guide for all matters of faith and conduct.  Scripture gives us every truth we need for life and godliness.
 
The question is whether we (true believers) still accept this.  Dr. John MacArthur has written: “But is the Bible, in and of itself, sufficient to furnish us with a complete worldview?  Many Christians these days seem to imagine that the Bible is neither modern enough nor sophisticated enough to equip people to live in the twenty-first century.  Church growth experts tell pastors they must look beyond the Bible for principles of leadership and success gleaned from the modern business world.  Psychologists claim the Bible too simplistic to help people with complex emotional and psychological issues.  In every quarter of the evangelical movement today the Scriptures are being set aside in favor of novel philosophies, scientific theories, experimental behavioral and counseling techniques, political correctness, and other similar fads of modern opinion.  People who claim to be evangelicals have jumped on almost every novel bandwagon of secular opinion since the middle of the nineteenth century.
     “Observing the current trends in the church, one would think opinion polls, rather than Scripture, determines truth for Christians.  (One Christian pollster recently issued a series of shrill warnings in the form of a book and a series of press releases, saying that the church would soon cease to exist completely if church leaders do not heed modern opinion polls and change the very nature of the church in order to keep in step with the times.  That point of view is flatly contrary to the principle of Matthew 16:18, where we are told that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the true church.)  Obviously, many who call themselves evangelicals operate with something other than a biblical worldview.”
 
One of the great passages of the Bible that express its sufficiency is found at Psalm 119:97-104.  The Bible will make you wiser than your enemies, give you more understanding than your teachers, and make you understand more than all the ancient philosophers!  The Psalmist ends this section by declaring that he “hates every false way.” Let us declare by word and deed, “Oh, how I love Your law!”
     Pastor Doug
 

 

 
 

 

Ministry Fair Sunday    SUNDAY – AUGUST 18, 2019

“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which God has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God…the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth…
which He purchased with His own blood.”  Acts 20:28; I Timothy 3:15
 
I have written and spoken on many occasions during the past forty-seven years about the importance and significance of the church to the heart of God.  I think Paul’s words to the Ephesians are sufficient to express how deeply He feels about the church. “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (5:29) The church is not the plan of man, but rather it is God’s will and design.  To reject or oppose the church is to reject The Lord Himself!  A. B. Simpson wrote the following for August 14 in Days of Heaven Upon Earth about Psalm 105:15.
 
     “I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in my hands living wires, with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others, to the hurt of their own souls and bodies.
     “You may often wonder, perhaps, why your sickness is not healed, your spirit filled with the joy of the Holy Ghost, or your life blessed and prosperous.  It may be that some dart which you have flung with angry voice, or in an idle hour of thoughtless gossip, is pursuing you on its way, as it describes the circle which always brings back to the source from which it came every shaft of bitterness, and every idle and evil word.
     “Let us remember that when we persecute or hurt the children of God, we are but persecuting Him, and hurting ourselves far more.
     “Lord, make me as sensitive to the feelings and rights of others as I have often been to my own, and let me live and love like Thee.”
 
I want to love the church as much as Jesus does!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – AUGUST 11, 2019

“He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.”   Psalm 107:20-22
 
There should be little or no doubt about the Lord’s goodness to the “children of men.” It is not just the grace for salvation that we receive through the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the daily, normal needs in our physical lives that demonstrate His goodness to us. God sends rain and snow to the earth from heaven to “…water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” (Isaiah 55:10)  James declared, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights….” (1:17)  We must acknowledge that we are ever indebted to God, and we should offer up sacrifices of thanksgiving.
 
It is also important to realize that we should offer sacrifices with all of our being and not just with our lips.  God has asked us to bring to Him our tithes, 10% of our intake, and other offerings as well.  We are to honor God with the “firstfruits of our labor.”       I read the following devotion by A. B. Simpson while in Kentucky.
 
     “Beloved, are you ministering to Christ?  Are you doing it with your hands?  Are you doing it with your substance and with what you have?  Is He getting the best of what is most real to you?  Has He a place set at your table?  And when He does not come and fill the chair, is it free to His representative, His poor and humble children?  Your words and wishes are cheap if they do not find expression in your actual gifts.  Even Mary did not put Him off with the incense of her heart, but laid her costliest gifts at His feet.
     “Ye busy women, who work so hard to dress your children and furnish your houses and tables, what have your hands earned for the Master, what have you done or sacrificed for Jesus? ‘Can you afford it’ was asked of a noble woman, as she promised a costly offering for the Master’s work. ‘No,’ was her noble reply, ‘but I can sacrifice it.’  Let us today look around us and see, what we do and give more to the loving Savior, who gave up His whole life for us.”
 
Those words challenge my heart to love Jesus more and to give Him a clear and unmistakable gift that is sacrificial!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – AUGUST 4,  2019

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free –

and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”  I Corinthians 12:13

 
People can be heard declaring that they “believe in Jesus” but they have “given up on the church.” It usually indicates that they don’t attend nor participate in the life of any particular congregation.  They might “float” from place to place, but usually they just don’t belong to a church.  Of course, this is totally contrary to what the Bible teaches.  It clearly teaches that all believers are made a part of the church, the real church by the Holy Spirit.  It is not an option to believe in Jesus and not participate in the life of the church.  Every believer is a member of the Body of Christ.  What every believer must do is discover the role, the part of the church’s ministry and activities in which they will participate.
 
Dr. A. B. Simpson wrote about a believer’s participation in the church’s work in Days of Heaven on Earth for July 29 the following.

“Christ’s Church is overrun with captains.  It is in great need of a few more privates.  A few rivers run into the sea, but a larger number run into other rivers.  We cannot all be pioneers, but we can all be helpers.  No man is fitted to go in first place until he has learned well how to go second. “A spirit of self-importance is fatal to all work for Christ. The biggest enemy of true spiritual power is spiritual self-consciousness.  Joshua had to die to human plans and strategy before Jericho could fall. “God often has to test His chosen servants by putting them into a subordinate place before He can bring them to the front. Joseph had to learn to serve in the kitchen and to suffer in prison before he could rise to the throne.  As soon as he was ready for the throne, the throne was waiting for Joseph.  God has more places than accepted candidates.  Let us not be afraid to go into the training class and even take the lowest place, for we shall soon move up if we really deserve to.

     “Lord, use me so that Thou shalt be glorified and I shall be hidden from myself and others.”
 
It might cost each of us to serve, but it will definitely be worth it all!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 28, 2019

“Restore us, O God; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved… Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.  Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!”  (Psalm 80:7, 18b-19)
 
One of the best known revivals in church history is the Welsh Revival that happened in the first decade of the twentieth century.  Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrote in Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival some very helpful descriptions.

 

“The turn of the twentieth century was marked by an unusual concern for spiritual matters.  Believers throughout the world were moved to pray for revival.  In November 1904, the Spirit of God began to stir in an extraordinary way in the hearts of believers throughout the principality of Wales.  What transpired over the next several months was nothing short of supernatural.
 
Bend the Church, and save the world!” was the cry that rang out through villages and towns, in the churches, and in the hearts of men, women, children, and young people throughout all of Wales.
 
“Evan Roberts was one human instrument that God used in this season of revival.  The fire of God burned in the heart of this twenty-six-year-old coal miner who had little formal education.  Everywhere he went, Evan Roberts delivered a message that was simple, straightforward, and timeless. It became known as ‘The Four Points.’ Did God’s people desire an outpouring of His Spirit?  Then four conditions must be observed:
       Confess all known sin.
       Put away all doubtful things and forgive everyone.
       Obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
       Publicly confess Christ as your Savior.”
 
The results of the Welsh Revival included 100,000 new converts within five months.  Five years later, 80 percent of those who professed Christ were still going on in their faith.  Modern evangelistic crusades (including Billy Graham’s ministry) have 10 percent or less after only one year continuing in their walk with the Lord.  I hope you can see the definite need for a revival in the church.  Let’s pray, Bend the Church, save the world!”
 
Seeking revival,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY — JULY 21, 2019

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,

holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.   Romans 12:1
 
Welcome to Needmore Bible Church!  We are glad you are here!
 
The Bible says that as believers in Jesus come together, that we are the temple of God, the house of His Spirit.  Let’s consider the significance of having our holy God living inside of us.  C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:  
 
“That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good.  Others hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or—if they think there is not—at least they hope to deserve approval from good men.  But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him.  He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of the greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”
 
Some people might ask, “How much can I sin and still be saved?”  They forget that salvation means, “Being set free from the power and consequences of sin so that I can live the holy life God created me to live.” So, they are essentially asking, “How much can I sin and still not sin?”  It’s an oxymoron.  It would be the same as asking a spouse, “How much can I be unfaithful and still be faithful?”  It doesn’t make sense.
 
At the same time we should remember that we do not become good first in order to earn God’s love, but instead God loves us first so that He desires to save us and make us good.  May we worship God, not only through music, but also through lives dedicated to living His way.
 
Your brother,
     Aaron Meredith
 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – JULY 14, 2019

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth,

Your salvation among all nations.”  Psalm 67:1
 
We have a huge responsibility to put forth an effort to rescue people from the eternal fire of hell.  The prophet Ezekiel wrote, “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman…; therefore you shall hear a word from my mouth and warn them for Me.  When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.  Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” (33:7-9.)  The great man of wisdom, Solomon wrote, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.  If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?  He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?  And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)
 
People are lost in sin and heading for a dark eternity unless they turn to Christ for salvation!  We must tell them!
 
     “The core motivations for missions are changing.  Once people preached and responded to the gospel out of fear of hell or because of the lostness of humanity.  These motivations have waned in the postmodern context.  Motivation for missions is frequently defined by postmodern Christians as ‘giving glory to God’ or ‘an overflowing of thankfulness.’
     “This quotation from The Changing Face of World Missions should not be construed as incipient universalism, for the author would repudiate such.  Rather, he advocates going along with the contemporary change in motivation from ‘the fear of hell’ to the ‘glory of God.’ My contention is that neither hell nor God’s glory are, properly speaking, motivations.  They are outcomes of the basic motivations of love for God and love for people… Other-love in terms of ‘holistic’ concern for health, education, and justice is OK, we’re told by advocates, but other-love in terms of a rescue from a bad ending – well, that’s so offensive to the postmodern that we mustn’t even mention it, let alone emphasize it.
     “The way I read Scripture, however, is that God so loved people that He gave His one and only Son… to do what?  Save them from perishing (hell), we read.  I believe the increasing shift among evangelicals to de-emphasize hell could prove the demise of New Testament-style mission.  And thus the death of multitudes who would, as a consequence, never hear the Good News of redemption.”
 
We must remember that people are lost, and we must tell “them of Jesus, the Mighty to save!”  This is the very reason we are a missions-minded church!
     Pastor Doug
 
 

 

 
 
 
SUNDAY – JULY 7, 2019
 
“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God
is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:10-12
 
While it is true that Christ came into the world to “save sinners,” it is also true that He taught by word and deed how we are to live if we name Him as our Savior.  The New Testament by using words such as “walk,” “follow,” and “live” teaches us that our faith must impact our behavior.  Paul wrote a summary of this in Colossians, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (3:15)  Jesus doesn’t just give us a new religion, but He gives us a new way of life.  Jesus will be a part of our entire life, not just our spiritual or religious life.  Jesus must be Lord, and we dare not separate Him from any area of our existence.
 
Certainly when we go to church, Jesus will be with us, but He is also with us when we go to work, and to the store, and to school, and every other place we might be involved in.  A Christian cannot separate himself or herself from following Jesus based on where or what he or she is doing.
 
The truth is this world needs Christian farmers, mechanics, doctors, lawyers, teachers, bankers, waiters, carpenters, and even politicians.  Franklin Graham wrote the following in one of his mailings to his supporters.
 
     “Recently, the New York Times reported that politicians have been making changes to U.S. House of Representative traditions, including some committee chairmen intentionally omitting the words “so help me God” from the swearing-in oath.  Is there no longer room for God in the U.S. Congress?
      “One representative from Tennessee said, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque—but not in Congress.”  What he and other leaders of the House are suggesting is just what communism did in Eastern Europe and is still doing in places around the world like Cuba.  Communism only allows worship inside approved churches.  We need more of God in this country, not less!”
 
Come on, Christians, let’s go into the world as “salt” and “light” and be a witness of God wherever we go!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
SUNDAY – JUNE 30, 2019
 
“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God
is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:10-12
 
This week our nation will be celebrating its “birthday,” the day of independence from the rule of the British monarchy.  We commonly refer to the day as “The Fourth of July” or “Independence Day!”  I believe we need to state rather firmly that we may be “independent” from foreign rule, but we must always be dependent on God.  Our motto must become our practice, “In God We Trust.”  I believe that we are engaged in a great cultural conflict over this idea.  This might be a somewhat lengthy “bulletin” message, but I feel it is necessary.  The following is from The American Patriot’s Bible.
 
     “Mitchell Paige was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s most prestigious military honor, for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.  On October 26, 1942, after all of the other Marines in his platoon were killed or wounded, for hours Paige operated four machine guns, single-handedly stopping an entire Japanese regiment.  Had that position fallen and the Japanese regained the airfield the Marines had taken, it is possible that the outcome of World War II may have significantly changed.
     “In the years to come, Paige was repeatedly asked why he would be willing to put his life on the line for his country.  He said that the answers took him back to a Pennsylvania three-room country school where children were so steeped in the traditions of America that they literally felt themselves a part of a glorious heritage – where the teacher opened the school day with a Bible verse and the Pledge of Allegiance, and where they memorized all the great documents that established the bedrock of America, such as the Gettysburg Address

“His response went this way: ‘My undying love of country, and my strong loyalty to the Marines fighting by my side, gave me no choice but to fight on unswervingly throughout my battles, utilizing my God-given ability to make use of what I had been taught and learned.’ “When Paige left home to walk the two-hundred miles to the nearest Marine recruiting station in 1936, his mother packed him a lunch in which she included the note: ‘Trust in the Lord, son, and He will guide you always.’ He said those words remained forever in his mind, and whenever fear would overtake him, he was comforted by them. “Paige said, ‘I will never forget sitting in a foxhole, bloody, burned, and injured the morning after our all-night, fierce, hand-to-hand battle against an overwhelming Japanese force on Guadalcanal.  I was alone except for hundreds of dead bodies of the enemy surrounding me.  I emptied my pack looking for something to stop the bleeding from a bayonet wound and out fell my small Bible. Picking it up in my dirty, bloody hands, I could scarcely believe it when providentially it opened at Proverbs 3 and there were my mother’s words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

     “Mitchell Paige was a true servant and patriot of America…and America is proud to have had thousands of valiant soldiers cut from the same cloth.”
 
Famous statesman, lawyer, and orator, Daniel Webster wrote, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to proper; 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.”
 
Fellow Christian citizens, we have a moral obligation to teach the generation behind us the importance of our godly, biblical and Christian heritage.  If we fail, it will be lost!
 
Trusting in the Lord,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 23, 2019   Luncheon in Honor of Fathers

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 first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?”  Romans 8:14-17
 
Recently Cathy and I visited Hobby Lobby and enjoyed reading many of the wall plaques, picture frames and signs.  One of the frames was designed to put in two pictures of a soldier, and it had these words on the frame: “We don’t give honor to men because of what they have received; we give honor to men because of what they have given.”  A. B. Simpson wrote a devotional for June 19 in Days of Heaven Upon Earth about this very subject.
 
     “The Christian men (women) of the world have it in their power, by a very little sacrifice, to add millions to the treasury of the Lord.  Beloved brethren, have you found the joy of sacrifice for Jesus?  Have you given up something that you might give it to Him?  Are you giving your substance to Jesus?  He will take it, and He will give you multiplied more.  I should rather be connected with a work founded on great sacrifice than on enormous endowments.  The reason God loved the place where His ancient temple rose in majesty was because there Abraham offered his son and David his treasure.  The reason redemption is so dear to the Father and the heavenly world is because its foundation-stone is the Cross of Calvary.  And the Christian life that is dearest to the heart of God, and will rise to the highest glory and usefulness, is the one whose foundation principle is sacrifice and self-renunciation.  This is why the Master teaches us to give, because giving means loving, and love is but another name for life.”
 
The Apostle Paul was giving instructions to a group of church leaders gathered in Miletus and said, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  (Acts 20:35)
 
Blessed,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

 

Father’s Day

SUNDAY – JUNE 16, 2019

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.   ROMANS 8:14-17
 
Why do we call God “Father.”?  After all He is the divine, Creator, Sustainer of the universe, and He is holy, wholly other than us. We call Him “Father” because He has chosen to reveal Himself in that manner, and actually He within us causes us to cry out, “Abba, Father.”  He wants us to know Him as our Heavenly Father both in understanding His character and nature and in our relationship with Him.  Do you know God as your “Father”?
 
Edgar Guest wrote the following poem during a much more home-and-family-centered time.
 
ONLY A DAD
 
Only a dad with a tired face, Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice To see him come and to hear his voice.
 

Only a dad with a brood of four, One of ten million men or more,

Plodding along in the daily strife, Bearing the whips and scorns of life,

With never a whimper of pain or hate, For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud, Merely one of the surging crowd,

Toiling, striving from day to day, Facing whatever may come his way,

Silent whenever the harsh condemn, And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all, To smooth the way for his children small,

Doing with courage stern and grim The deeds that his father did for him.

This is the line that for him I pen: Only a dad, but the best of men.
 
 
I’ll never forget our conversation.  “Dad, how can I possibly repay you?” I asked.  “You can’t, and I don’t expect you to,” he said. “Just do for your family what I have done for you.  Pass it on,” was his advice and challenge to me.
 
A grateful son and blessed father,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – JUNE 9, 2019
 
“In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”   Philippians 4:6b

 

Good morning!  It is a pleasure to worship God together with you today!
             As we prepare to worship God, let’s think back to all the miracles God did for the Israelites to bring them out of Egypt.  He sent the ten plagues, led them with the cloud of fire, split the Red Sea, and faithfully gave them manna as food every day.  But the Israelites wanted more.  Here’s what they said:
 
“If only we had meat to eat!  We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”  (Numbers 11:4-6)
 
That does not sound very thankful.  I doubt they ate as slaves in Egypt as well as they were remembering.  And I know they had turned the miraculous manna into the mundane. How obnoxious they must have been in God’s sight considering all He was doing for them.
 
I believe the Israelites would have done well to have lived by the truth in Philippians 4:6 above.  It’s quite all right to present our requests to God, but we are to do it with thanksgiving, and not complaining.  As you come to God today, may you do it with a thankful heart.
 
Your brother,
     Aaron Meredith
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – JUNE 2, 2019

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
And who is sufficient for these things?”  II Corinthians 2:14-16
 
For every believer it should be certain that our desire in life is to be like Jesus.  The Bible clearly states that it is our Heavenly Father’s plan that all of His children will be “conformed to the image of His Son.” Many of us have sung hymns like “O to Be Like Thee!” and “I Would Be like Jesus” and “More Like the Master.” Albert B. Simpson wrote the following for May 2 in Days of Heaven Upon Earth.
 
    “How these words help us! (He was referring to II Corinthians 2:14.) Think of them when people rasp you, when the devil pricks you with his fiery darts, when your sensitive, self-willed spirit chafes or frets.  Let a gentle voice be heard above the strife, whispering, ‘Keep sweet, keep sweet!’ And, if you will but heed it quickly, you will be saved from a thousand falls and kept in perfect peace.
     “True, we cannot keep ourselves sweet, but God will keep us if He sees that it is our fixed, determined purpose to be kept sweet, and to refuse to fret or bear a grudge or retaliate. The trouble is, we may at times enjoy a little irritation and morbidness.  We want to cherish the little grudge, and sympathize with our hurt feelings and nurse our little grievance.
     “God will give us all the love we really want and honestly choose.  We can have our grievance, or we can have the peace that passeth all understanding; but we cannot have both!
     “There is a balm for a thousand heartaches, and a heaven of peace and power in these two little words – keep sweet.”
 
Brothers and sisters, true holiness is the Lord Jesus living in us and we being conformed to His image!
 
More like the Master, is my daily prayer!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

Memorial Day Weekend

SUNDAY – MAY 26, 2019

“No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength….Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.”  (Psalm 33:16-17, 20-22)
 
A very good principle to guide us from generation to generation can be expressed by the word-picture, “passing the baton.”  Imagine yourself part of a relay race in which the runner before you has just completed their “lap” in the best time that they have ever done it.  They hold out the “baton” to you and expect you to grab it and run the same “course” that they have just finished.  They expect you to run it as fast as you possibly can in order to pass that “baton” on to the next runner in the race.  The understanding is that the “team” can only win as each of the successive runners complete the “course” with the “baton” just as the others have done. This concept is also true about succeeding generations who have been blessed and benefited by what the previous generations have accomplished and passed on to each of us.
 
Abraham Lincoln understood this principle and expressed in his not-to-be-forgotten words of the Gettysburg Address.  He ended his brief address with the following words.
     “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  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—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
 
Brothers and sisters, we have received much from those who have lived before us and have sacrificed greatly for our benefit.  Please consider how you will “run your course” in this race of life!
 
Running with Jesus for life,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MAY 19, 2019

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.”  Psalm 67:1, 2
 
Some thoughts, ideas or experiences are so wonderful and overwhelming that a desire grows within us to tell others about them. Some things are just “too good” to keep to ourselves.  Even the most shy and timid become motivated to share when they are overcome with joy and wonder.  The human mind and heart is simply wired this way by their Creator, and for a very good reason!
 
     “From Genesis 3 through Revelation 22, the overarching theme of Scripture is redemption.  And the astonishing thing, after we recover from the shock of this unveiling of God’s character and his own incredible actions in providing that redemption, is his plan for distributing that redemption.  He has chosen from the beginning to mediate that redemption through humans.  So much so that he chose to become human himself to provide the redemption.  And then he created the most resilient and powerful human organization –  the church – to partner with him in distributing that redemption.
“Thus God’s daring and incredible plan is to do His work in this world through mere mortals.  Fallen, broken mortals are declared partners with the Creator.  And when He transforms our finitude by the infinities of His own presence and power, what glory shines on Him!
     “Is it too much to say the evangelistic purpose of the church is paramount? …In summary, we hold that position because redemption is the theme of Scripture and the meaning of Christ’s incarnation.  God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, and then His strategy was to commission all His other sons and daughters to complete the task He began at Calvary.  All the other purposes of the church will be accomplished so much better in heaven, but this one can be accomplished only on earth!  Thus I conclude this must be the paramount purpose of the church-on-earth.  But even for those who cannot accept such an evaluation, surely it must be one of the chief purposes of the church.  It is very sad that few congregations treat it that way.”
 
The above quote is taken from Robertson McQuilkin’s The Five Smooth Stones, on pages 111 and 112, where he introduces his unit on the missionary responsibility of the local church congregation.  Suffice it to be said that there are millions of individual human beings that are not familiar with God’s plan of redemption, so therefore they are outside of it.  They are lost and have no hope without God or His Son!  God has chosen us to go and tell them!
 
Let’s do it!  Let’s roll!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

Mother’s Day     MAY 12, 2019

“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.
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
 
Our homes are designed by God to be a source of blessing to us and our nation.  God wants us to enjoy our families and know that they are a blessing from Him.  Love and laughter, joy and peace should come to us in our homes!  Real worship can start in our homes!  The following poem was written before 1935 by Edgar A. Guest and reflects some of the joy that can be ours in our home.

REAL SINGING

You can talk about your music, and your operatic airs,

And your phonographic record that Caruso’s tenor bears;

But there isn’t any music that such wondrous joy can bring

Like the concert when the kiddies and their mother start to sing.

 

When the supper time is over, then the mother starts to play

Some simple little ditty, and our concert is under way.

And I’m happier and richer than a millionaire or king

When I listen to the kiddies and their mother as they sing.

 

There’s a sweetness most appealing in the trilling of their notes:

It is innocence that’s pouring from their little baby throats;

And I gaze at them enraptured, for my joy’s a real thing

Every evening when the kiddies and their mother start to sing.

Perhaps you all are not very musical, and so you don’t actually sing in your home, but you all can have a song in your hearts. You certainly can understand the gist of the poem and decide to find your own family a source of “music” for you to enjoy!
 
Love my family!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MAY 5, 2019

“Behold!  My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!  I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.  He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.  A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.  He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.”  Isaiah 42:1-4
 
What a wonderful description of the Lord’s Anointed One, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!  The gospel writer, Matthew, confirmed that this applies to Jesus in Chapter 12:15-21.  We know that Jesus is the most beautiful gentleman that has ever graced this earth.  Those of us who love Jesus and are following Him want to be like Him!
 
     “Nature’s harshness has melted away, and she is now beaming with the smile of spring, and everything around us whispers of the gentleness of God.  This beautiful fruit is in lovely harmony with the gentle month (i.e. May) of which it is the keynote.  May the Holy Spirit lead us, beloved, these days, into His sweetness, quietness, and gentleness, subduing every coarse, rude, harsh, and unholy habit, and making us like Him, of whom it is said, ‘He shall not strive, nor cry, nor cause His voice to be heard in the streets.’
 
     “The man who is truly filled with Jesus will always be a gentleman.  The woman, who is baptized of the Holy Ghost, will have the instincts of a perfect lady, although low born and little bred in the schools of earthly refinement.  Beloved, let us receive and reflect the gentleness of Christ, the spirit of the holy babe, until the world will say of us, as the polished and infidel Chesterfield once said of the saintly Fenelon, ‘If I had remained in his house another day, I should have had to become a Christian.’
 
     “Lord, help us to-day, to so yield to the gentle Dove-Spirit, that our lives shall be as His life.”
 
Mr. A. B. Simpson wrote the above challenge for his May 1st entry in Days of Heaven Upon Earth.  Each of us must seek to be filled with Christ’s Spirit until we are transformed into His likeness!
 
More like the Master I would ever be!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – APRIL 28, 2019
 
“Whom have I in heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail;
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever….It is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”  Psalm 73:25, 26, 28
 
What was the highest thought in your mind as you prepared and travelled to church this morning?  Did you come with any expectation from God?  Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a great preacher from the last century wrote the following on page 72 in his book, Revival.
 
     “And, therefore, I bring it finally to this point.  There is nothing vital in the religion and in the worship of such people (i.e.
who dislike anything that searches them).  They expect nothing, and they get nothing, and nothing happens to them.  They go to God’s house, not with the idea of meeting with God, not with the idea of waiting upon Him, it never crosses their minds, or enters into their hearts that something may happen in a service.  No, we always do this on Sunday morning.  It is our custom.  It is our habit.  It is a right thing to do.  But the idea that God may suddenly visit His people, and descend upon them, the whole thrill of being in the presence of God, and sensing His nearness, and His power, never even enters their imaginations.  The whole thing is formal; it is this smug contentment. . . .Ah, yes, but there is no conception that God may suddenly meet with them, and that something tremendous may happen.  We must examine ourselves.  Do we go to God’s house expecting something to happen?  Or do we go just to listen to a sermon, and to sing our hymns, and to meet with one another?  How often does this vital idea enter into our minds that we are in the presence of the living God, and the Holy Spirit is in the Church, that we may feel the touch of His power?  How much do we think in terms of coming together to meet with God, and to worship Him, and to stand before Him, and to listen to Him?  Is there not this appalling danger that we are just content because we have correct beliefs?  And we have lost the life, the vital thing, the power, the thing that really makes worship worship, which is in Spirit and truth.”
 
Jesus promised that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled and satisfied.  It’s very likely that each of us will experience as much of God’s presence today that we yearn for and seek!
 
I want to “see” Jesus!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
EASTER SUNDAY     April 21, 2019
 
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”  I Corinthians 15:1-4
 
There is a common experience for people living in our nation that is now very prominent compared to the experience of people living more than fifty years ago.  The increasing obsolescence of products, machinery and technologies has made us keenly aware of the need to “dispose” of those items being replaced by the “new” ones.  There are two products that we often must “get rid of” in this age that actually creates us difficulties and added expense.  When you purchase new tires for your vehicle, you will be asked by the retailer “Do you want us to get rid of your old tires?  There will be a ‘disposal’ fee if you don’t take them with you.” The other items are the large electronic devices like computers and televisions.  We are often caused to think about how we can move them out of our homes and dispose of them when we buy newer, updated equipment to replace them.  A familiar old saying is “Out with the old, and in with the new.”
 
In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God provides for both sides of this experience.  He offers us “new life” which is actually meant to replace the old.  God is not interested in just trying to “improve” our old selves; He wants to make us “brand-new” creations.  His design is to “dispose” of the old man with its sin and corruption.  His plan is to cause us to be “born again” and start a whole new life.  As you consider the Gospel, you should recognize that there are two dynamics that compose the “whole” gospel.  There are the cross and the empty tomb.  There are the death of Christ for our sins and His resurrection to provide us with the new life. Through the cross, our sin and old man are crucified and taken away.  They are disposed of at the cross!  Hallelujah!  But our new life comes through His resurrection from the grave, sin and death!  Hallelujah!
 
This is what Paul expressed when he wrote to the Philippians. “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…” (3:8-9).  Paul knew that He needed to “discard” the old in order to replace it with the new!  Then he declared, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection!” (3:10).
 
Every one of us must come to the Cross and there have our old life “done away with.” After the old is gone, we can receive the new life and power of His resurrection!  Hallelujah!
 
Easter celebrates the whole Gospel!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
PALM SUNDAY     April 14, 2019
 
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever….I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation….This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:1, 21, 23-24
 
The Bible has ascribed to us, human beings, the likeness of sheep.  Even Jesus looked at a multitude, and “He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)  Great crowds of people many times respond just like sheep.  Whatever or whoever get their attention becomes what or whom they follow rather blindly.
 
This week the church commemorates what is commonly referred to as Holy Week.  Believers around the world will be reminded of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, His celebration of the Passover meal with His disciples, His betrayal and arrest which led to His crucifixion, and ultimately His victory over sin and death through His physical resurrection.
 
As Jesus was presented to the multitudes by Pilate, the Bible records, “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.” (Matthew 27:20)  Some of these folks were the same people who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of salvation.  They heralded Jesus as the King who had come as the “Son of David” “in the name of the Lord.” They were changed by the influence of those who hated and rejected Jesus.  They behaved like sheep being led by false shepherds.
 
The interesting question might be, “Who led these sheep on Palm Sunday to worship and recognize Jesus as The King?” The Bible does not record the effort of any individual or group to influence the crowd that way.  Could it be that the evidence was just so overwhelming that the multitude could not help but recognize who Jesus is?  Could it be that at that moment God Himself was showing the masses who Jesus is?  In whatever way you and I come to recognize the true identity of our King, we must stand firm on our commitment to receive Jesus for who He is.  We must not act like sheep and end up being led to the opposite conclusion!
 
He’s my King!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – APRIL 7, 2019

“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”  Psalm 62:5-8
 
While Jesus walked in the flesh on the earth, His true identity was being revealed, but many never gained that knowledge.  He asked His disciples, “’Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’  So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’  He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (Matthew 16:13-15.)  In response to that direct personal question, Peter gave the proper answer by identifying Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus then commended Peter for the correct answer but also indicated that the only way that he could have known that was through revelation given by the Father in heaven.
 
There are certainly several lessons to be learned from that interchange, none the least of which is that every person must be able to identify Who Jesus is, especially in their own individual life.  It is not enough just to be able to repeat the factual truth of Jesus’ identity, but it is necessary for a personal acknowledgment and acceptance of Who Jesus is.  In other words, the question might be asked, “Who is Jesus to you?  Who is Jesus in your mind and heart?  Who do you accept Him as on your behalf?”  These questions move into the issue of faith and your spiritual life.  The basic question must move out of purely intellectual and academic exercises.
 
Mr. A. B. Simpson explained faith and expectation in his following devotion.  “When we believe for a blessing, we must take the attitude of faith, and begin to act and pray as if we had our blessing.  We must treat God as if He had given our request.  We must lean our weight over upon Him for the thing we have claimed, and just take for granted that He gives it, and is going to continue to give it.  This is the attitude of trust….So when we take Christ as a Savior, as a Sanctifier, as a Healer, or as a Deliverer, He expects us to fall into the attitude of recognizing Him in the capacity that we have claimed, and expect Him to be to us all that we have trusted Him for.”
 
Who are you trusting Jesus to be for you?
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY – MARCH 31, 2019
 
A Place of Vulnerability
 
“Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how
the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear
and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.”  Joshua 5:1
 

Good morning and welcome to Needmore Bible Church!

As I was reading in my Hang Times this past week, I was struck by the sequence of events in Joshua 4-5, especially concerning when the Israelites circumcised themselves in relation to crossing the Jordan River.  You see, when you circumcise ALL the fighting men in a nation, it tended to leave you pretty vulnerable (in Genesis 34:25 only two brothers were able to kill a whole city because it’s men were healing from circumcision).  So, it’s somewhat surprising that God waited until after the Israelites crossed the Jordan to have them circumcised.  If they had done it beforehand, the Jordan River would have been a natural defense between them and the enemy.  Now, the only defense they had were their leather tents! Well, I should say the “only human defense.”  They actually had a greater defense than any person could see: the fear of the LORD!  When their enemy heard that God had dried up the Jordan River at flood stage so that the Israelites could cross over, the hearts of the enemy “melted in fear.”  Even though Israel was sitting there for several days completely vulnerable, no one attacked them because God was on their side!
A lot of times in life we tend to shirk away from places of vulnerability, from anything outside our comfort zone.  But do you know what?  The only way to walk on water is to step out of the boat!  The only way we will see God work in our lives is to follow Him into areas of vulnerability.  If we can do a task ourselves, God will let us.  But if we follow God and try to do something that we can’t do ourselves, then we will see God dry up rivers, melt the hearts of the enemy, fling hailstones at them in battle, and even stop the sun in the sky!
 
As the song “Oceans” says,
                                                       You call me out upon the waters
                                                       The great unknown where feet may fail
                                                      And there I find You in the mystery
                                                      In oceans deep my faith will stand
Your brother,
     Aaron Meredith
 
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MARCH 24, 2019

“For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked life from You, and You gave it to him – length of days forever and ever.  His glory is great in Your salvation;
honor and majesty You have placed upon him.  For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.”  Psalm 21:3-6
 
There is a large segment of the Christian church that has spoken of the “deeper life.”  This teaching has found acceptance in “holiness churches,” “Pentecostal churches,” and other churches that have emphasized the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. Whatever your particular theological “slant” might be, it should be clear that many, many Christians seem to live below the level of blessing that Christ died to secure.  As we learned on Wednesday evening, many of our hymns express this idea of the “deeper life.”  Barney Warren wrote: “I have found His grace is all complete; He supplieth every need.  While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet, I am free, yes, free indeed.”  Louisa Snead wrote: “Yes, ‘tis sweet to trust in Jesus, Just from sin and self to cease, Just from Jesus simply taking Life and rest, and joy and peace.”  Those who have experienced these things have tasted of the “deeper life.”
 
Mr. A. B. Simpson wrote: “…the moment you step from under the shadow of Sinai, throw yourself upon the simple grace of Christ and His free and absolute gift of righteousness, and take Him to be to you what He has pledged Himself to be, your righteousness of thought and feeling, and to keep you in spite of everything, that ever can be against you, in His perfect will and peace, the struggle is practically over.  Beloved, do you really know and believe that this is the very promise of the Gospel, the very essence of the new covenant, that Christ pledges Himself to put His law in your heart, and to cause you to walk in His statutes, and to keep His judgments and do them?  Do you know that this is the oath which He swore unto Abraham, that He would grant unto us.  ‘That we being delivered from the hands of our enemies, and from all that hate us, might serve Him without fear, in righteousness and holiness before Him all the days of our life.’  He has sworn to do this for you, and He is faithful, that promised. Trust Him ever.”
 
There is an experience of “full salvation” already provided for us by our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is only for us to appropriate those blessings in our lives by faith!
 
I’m Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MARCH 17, 2019

“Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.  I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.”  Psalm 85:7-9
 
It should be clear to us that God wants to revive us so that His glory may be revealed to this world.  He desires to bless His people with “good things” so that all may see the goodness and glory of His character.  The last two verses of Psalm 85 are “Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase.  Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway” (verses 12 and 13).  God desires this so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to secure those blessings for us.  Jesus accomplished the Father’s desire by going to the cross and rising on the third day from the grave.  In this manner Jesus defeated the foes that attempt to assail us and cause us to miss the blessings God has planned for us.
 
Back on March 5th, I enjoyed the devotion in Days of Heaven Upon Earth written by A. B. Simpson.  I want you to be reminded of what Jesus did on the cross for each of us.
“Christ has overcome for us every one of our four terrible foes: Sin, Sickness, Sorrow, Satan.  He has borne our sin, and we may lay all, even including our sinfulness itself, on Him.  He has borne our sickness, and we may detach ourselves from our old infirmities and rise into His glorious life and strength.  He has borne our sorrows, and we should not even carry a care, but rejoice evermore and even glory in tribulations.  And He has conquered Satan for us, too, and left him nailed to the cross, spoiled and dishonored, a shadow of himself.  And now we need only claim His full atonement and assert our victory, and so [overcome] him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony (Revelation 12:11).
 
“Beloved, are we overcoming sin?  Are we overcoming sickness?  Are we overcoming sorrow?  Are we overcoming Satan?”
                  Fear not, though the strife be long;
                  Faint not, though the foe be strong;
                  Trust thy glorious Captain’s power;
                  Watch with Him one little hour,
                  Hear Him calling, “Follow Me,
                  I have overcome for thee.”
 
Lord, send revival that we might overcome!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MARCH 10, 2019

“Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.  I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.”  Psalm 85:7-9
 
The Bible gives us a clear understanding that God is One who “speaks.”  From the first chapter of Genesis, the Bible records the fact that “God said,” and it was so.  It happened just as God spoke.  In the very last chapter of the Revelation, the Lord is “speaking.”  In that chapter the Spirit (Who is God) says, “Come!”  Throughout all of the Scripture, the testimony is that our God is communicating to His creation.  He does not remain silent and unheard.  He always wants to reveal His way and truth to all, but especially to those who are His.  It is necessary for people to “hear” the voice of God in order to come to faith and be saved.  But that is not the end of His “speaking” to His children.  He will continue to “speak” to those who believe throughout all of life in order to help us walk in communion with Him.  His “voice” will guide us into His paths of righteousness.
 
Certainly revival will be a time of believers “hearing from God.”  We will “hear what the Lord will speak” so that we stay away from “folly” and the paths of sin.  We must “listen” carefully and obey the “voice” of our God.  His speaking will often bring “conviction” to our hearts!  We must respond in faith to that conviction!
 
     “If a revival is to come – greater, deeper, broader than any that has yet been – one great part of its power will be in the conviction it will bring.  Many of us will be convicted of the sin and shame of all the carnal ease, and comfort, and self-indulgence in which we have been living – while the dying, perishing world that has been given into our charge was waiting for us, and the infinite love that had entrusted itself to us was mourning that we were so slow to go and tell of it.  The conviction of sin must be greater, deeper, and broader than we have known it.  Judgment will have to begin at the house of God.  The great deep will have to be broken up. The formality and worldliness, the selfishness and self-confidence and self-complacency of much of our Christianity will have to be revealed in the light of the actual life, worship, devotion, and self-sacrifice in the power of the Spirit to which God has called us.”  Andrew Murray, Revival, pages 68 and 69.
 
Longing and praying for revival,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – MARCH 3, 2019

“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, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.”  Psalm 85:4-7
 
Most of us know very well that there are only two states of mankind.  There are those who are saved, and there are those who are lost.  All of humanity falls into either one or the other, saved or lost.  A good knowledge of the Scriptures will convince us of this absolute division.  We will live with the awareness that the whole world is divided and everyone we meet will either be saved or lost.
 
The Bible also teaches us that there are two “classes” of Christians, those who are saved.  Here is what Andrew Murray wrote about these two classes in his book, Revival.
     “Everywhere in Scripture you will find God speaking of these two levels.  The difference can be seen simply in that which we see around us – between a healthy and a sick man.  Both are living men, with all the attributes that make up a man.  But the one is able to fulfill his duty as a man, and to do so joyfully and successfully; while the other, because he is not well and lacks the needed strength, finds the performance of a duty a burden, if not an impossibility.
     “Scripture divides Christians into carnal and spiritual – those who remain babes when they ought to be men, and those who have gone on unto perfection or maturity; those who walk after the flesh and those who walk after the Spirit; those who live under the law and its bondage and those who live as under grace, and the liberty and joy it gives.  These illustrate the two possible states of a believer – living either a feeble, sickly life, or a healthy, vigorous one.  Once we see this, every command to live up to the privileges of our state, every promise about the full salvation that the Holy Spirit can work, every warning about yielding to self and the flesh becomes a call to us to decide which of the two types of living shall be ours.” (Pages 107-108.)
 
There should be no doubt what God’s will is for each of our lives.  I also hope that you might know that my goal as a “spiritual father” and pastor is to do the same as written by the Apostle Paul to the Colossians.  “Him (i.e. Jesus Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”  (1:28)
 
Helping believers to “grow up” in Christ,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 24, 2019

“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, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.”  Psalm 85:4-7
 
I know that “church” should be a blessing to those who attend.  There ought to be some benefit that comes from focusing on God and His Word, and then offering worship to Him along with the others who are in attendance.  I believe that there are many who attend and would say that they are “blessed” and “benefitted.”  There is another perspective, however, that Christians, believers are called by the Lord to understand and respond to.  Andrew Murray, a South African pastor and missionary who lived in the middle of the nineteenth century wrote:
     “To the church of Christ has been given the unspeakable honor and privilege of building the house of God.  Yes, believers themselves are that house, ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit’ in which the nations can be gathered in to worship Him.  The first work of Solomon’s reign of peace was to build the temple.  The first work Israel was to do when brought out of exile to Jerusalem was to restore the house of God.  The first object for which the church exists is to build the house of God throughout the world that ‘every creature’ – these are Christ’s words – may know the good tidings that God loves him.  God has asked His people to make sure there is meat in His house that His servants may be supported and free to go and call all nations into His house.  God has asked every believer, without exception, with his whole heart and strength, out of love to God and his neighbor, to give himself to help building God’s house.”
 
The question we should be asking ourselves is “What am I doing to help ‘Build the house of God’?”  God expects something from each of us when we “come to church.”  He will indeed bless us, but He also seeks to receive from us!
 
     “A great deal is often spoken about the lack of interest in missions, but it does not go to the root of the matter.  Its terrible evil consists in that the heart is not devoted to God, that the spiritual life is diseased and feeble, and that religion is centered in self. Until the sin is known and mourned over, publicly confessed and condemned, and men are ready to be led by the Holy Spirit to a life entirely devoted to God and His service, prayer for revival will not avail.” (Andrew Murray in Revival, page 14.)
 
Asking, “What can I give Him?”
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 17, 2019

“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, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.”  Psalm 85:4-7
 
The subject of revival is being presented to us for several weeks in order to inform and inspire the believers at Needmore Bible Church so that it might become an object of desire and prayer.  Revival is a biblical, real and historic experience of the church. Those who have experienced it, studied and understood it almost unanimously declare how important another revival is at this time in history.  Although revival primarily impacts the church, its influence always goes beyond the church and bears very positive results in the community at large.
 
Many of the Christian leaders since the reformation have preached and written on the topic of revival, and Andrew Murray is no exception.  He believed and prayed for revival just as many other spiritual giants had done.  He wrote the following in Revival: A Timeless Call to a Deeper Devotion to Jesus Christ.
    “What we need to pray and labor for, first of all, is that the church of true believers may be revived.  What the world needs above everything is not more men and women of the ordinary type of Christians, but better people.  We need Christians who are stronger in faith and holier in life, intensely devoted to Christ and His service, and ready to sacrifice all for the salvation of souls.  When God’s Spirit is poured out upon the church, and men and women, who are now struggling on in feebleness, are clothed with the garments of praise and the power of the Spirit, the world will soon share the blessing.  These revived believers will be ready to give themselves to God’s work at home or abroad; their word and witness will be in power.  Nominal Christians will be judged by the power of the revived ones’ example, and will confess that God is with them.  And the world will, in increased numbers and the burning fervor of the messengers of a quickened church, share in the blessing.  A revival among believers is the great need of our day.  A revived church is the only hope of a dying world.” (Page 18.)
 
Andrew Murray lived and ministered mostly in South Africa during the middle of the nineteenth century.  If the world needed a revived church then, it most certainly needs one now!  Indeed, let’s pray and labor for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church in 2019.
 
Desiring revival,
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 10, 2019
 
“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, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.”   Psalm 85:4-7
 
You might have heard the word “revival” spoken in our fellowship over the past several weeks.  Several individuals have stated, “We need a revival!”  This word has probably caused different reactions in the minds and hearts of different people.  Some are very familiar with the word, and some are not.  Some are enthused and encouraged while others are confused and concerned.  A “revival” is both biblical and historical.  God has acted in special ways in the midst of His people and caused “new life” to manifest in His congregation.  It is not easy to fully explain or understand the full meaning and significance of “revival,” but when God causes His people to be revived wonderful and miraculous things happen in their lives.  Over the next few weeks, we will give our attention and efforts to understand the best we can and at the same time perhaps experience “revival” at Needmore Bible Church.
 
D. Martin Lloyd-Jones was a pastor in London and one of the greatest 20th-century expositors to grace the church. The following comes from a series of sermons he delivered in 1959.
     “The essence of a revival is that the Holy Spirit comes down upon a number of people together, upon a whole church, upon a number of churches, districts, or perhaps a whole country.  That is what is meant by revival.  It is, if you like, a visitation of the Holy Spirit, or another term that has often been used is this – an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  And the terms are interesting because you see what the people are conscious of is that it is as if something has suddenly come down upon them.  The Spirit of God has descended into their midst; God has come down and is amongst them: a baptism, an outpouring, a visitation.  And the effect of that is that they immediately become aware of His presence and of His power in a manner that they have never known before.  I am talking about Christian people, about church members gathered together as they have done so many times before.  Suddenly they are aware of His presence, they are aware of the majesty and the awe of God.  The Holy Spirit literally seems to be presiding over the meeting and taking charge of it, and manifesting His power and guiding them, and leading them, and directing them.  That is the essence of revival.”
 
Lord, send the old-time power…the Pentecostal Power!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 3, 2019

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8
 
The promise of God is “fruitfulness” in the life of every person who trusts in Him and “walks” in His way.  Psalm 1:2 and 3 declare, “…His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not whither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”  Jesus promised the “woman at the well” “…whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.  But the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)  God wants us to “tap in” to the source of life that He provides.
 
From Days of Heaven Upon Earth, we read the following that A. B. Simpson wrote for February 1.
“In the life overflowing in service for others, we find the deep fountain of life running over the spring and finding vent in rivers of living water that go out to bless and save the world around us.  It is beautiful to notice that as the blessing grows unselfish it grows larger.  The water in the heart is only a well, but when reaching out to the needs of others it is not only a river, but a delta of many rivers overflowing in majestic blessing.  This overflowing love is connected with the Person and work of the Holy Spirit which was to be poured out upon the disciples after Jesus was glorified.
     “This is the true secret of power for service, the heart filled and satisfied with Jesus, and so baptized with the Holy Ghost that it is impelled by the fullness of its joy and love to impart to others what it has so abundantly received; and yet each new ministry only makes room for a new filling and a deeper receiving of the life which grows by giving.”
 
Simpson finished by sharing this short poem:
                                                                                            Letting go is twice possessing,                                                                                         Would you double every blessing,                                                                                                             Pass it on.
Fill us all, Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit.
Let your love and power flow through us!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY –  JANUARY 27, 2019

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world…and God hath chosen the weak things…and the base things…
and the things which are despised…, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’”  I Corinthians 1:27-31
 
It has been proclaimed often at Needmore Bible Church that the Christian life is a miracle.  It is an exchange of human sin and failure for the righteousness, power and life of Jesus Christ.  The believer’s life is in reality the living presence of Christ within them. Christ is the source of the necessary power to live as His follower in this world.  The “secret” of a victorious, overcoming Christian life is to be totally “leaning” on Jesus Christ.  The closer we are to Jesus, the more we will experience His life within us.
 
A. B. Simpson wrote the following for his devotional Days of Heaven Upon Earth:
“’Lovest thou me?’ the Master asks of each disciple.  He expects our first and highest love for Himself, personally, and He has a right to it.  More than all our service, more than all our work to build up a cause, He desires our personal devotion to Him.  Mary’s gift was precious because it was personal.  Ye have the poor with you always; but me ye have not always (Mark 14:7), was His tender suggestion of a danger which defeats His purpose – our being more occupied with the work of Christ than with Christ Himself. “We need the love of Christ in order to fit us for His work.  Nothing else will give it its true aim and center; nothing else will sustain us amid its pressures.
     “When Jesus was about to send Simon to take care of His flock, He did not ask him, ‘Lovest thou my sheep and lambs?’  He asked, ‘Lovest thou Me?’  Mere love for people will not enable us to be true to them; but love for Christ will give us a reflected love for others that will enable us to touch them for Him and to bless them as our direct touch never could.”
 
Let our prayer be that expressed by the hymn writer: “More love to The, O Christ, More love to Thee!  Hear Thou the prayer I make On bended knee.  This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee, More love to Thee, More love to Thee!”
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 13, 2019

“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
 
There should be little doubt in any of our minds that love is a major theme of the Bible, and especially of the New Testament.  It was because of His love that God sent His Son into the world to secure our eternal salvation.  It was because of love that Jesus willingly laid down His life on the cross for us.  It is love that Jesus said would define His followers.  It is love that the Apostle Paul wrote is the greatest mark of spiritual maturity.  It is love that the Apostle John said indicates we are born of God and we know God.  As believers and adherents of New Testament Christianity, love must be one of our greatest interests and pursuits in our lives.
 
From Days of Heaven Upon Earth, A. B. Simpson’s classic devotional comes the following:
“Some one has said that the most spiritual people are the easiest to get along with.  When one has a little of the Holy Ghost it is like ‘a little learning, a dangerous thing’; but a full baptism of the Holy Spirit, and a really disciplined, stablished and tested spiritual life, makes one simple, tender, tolerant, considerate of others, and like a little child. “James and John, in their early zeal, wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans.  But John, the aged, allowed Demetrius to exclude him from the church, and suffered in Patmos for the kingdom and with the patience of Jesus.  And aged Paul was willing to take back even Mark, whom he had refused as a companion in his early ministry, and to acknowledge that he was profitable to him for ministry. “I want the love that cannot help but love;       Loving, like God, for the very sake of love.       A spring so full that it must overflow,       A fountain flowing from the throne above.
     “Now abideth faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.”
 
I want to love Jesus and others better, more completely!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 

SUNDAY –  JANUARY 6, 2019

“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
 
I know that many Christians struggle with “finding God’s will” for their lives.  Many of us wanted or still want to know what God has planned for our future.  Often we agonize and even sometimes we worry whether or not we have made the right choices in major life decisions.  Have we gone to the right school or university?  Did we study the right subjects?  Did we marry the right person?  Have we wasted years working in a field that was not part of God’s plan for us?  This “search” and “questioning” can cause us unnecessary angst.
 
There is a repeated theme throughout the Bible that God ALWAYS leads His people.  He doesn’t always show the end of the journey, but He guides His children step-by-step.  Psalm 23 is extremely foundational: “The Lord is my shepherd…HE LEADS ME in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (vv. 1 & 3.)  Believers should take the advice of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and HE SHALL DIRECT YOUR paths.” The declaration of Psalm 37:23-24 is amazing: “The STEPS OF A GOOD MAN ARE ORDERED BY THE LORD, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him WITH HIS HAND.”  God delights in guiding us on our journey, and we can trust Him to be with us personally, intimately all along the way!
 
This great Bible truth has been expressed by hymn writers in the church.  Fanny Crosby wrote, “All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?  Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my guide?”  Joseph Gilmore wrote, “He leadeth me! O blessed thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!  What-e’er I do, where-e’er I be, Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.”
 
Stop fretting and worrying so much.  Trust in the One who has declared that He will guide you all the way!
 
My hand is in His,
     Pastor Doug