SUNDAY –  JANUARY 20, 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



“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



“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