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