Palm Sunday       APRIL 5, 2020

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.  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… You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.  Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.”
Psalm 118:22-24, 28-29
 
The parade that happened in Jerusalem at the beginning of the week of Passover was unusual.  It was impressive in its own way, but certainly it has been surpassed in worldly terms such as size, music, pageantry and flamboyance thousands of times before and thousands of times since.  Kings and soldiers returning from wars have caused much more impressive parades.  Even athletic teams returning from championships have been given more elaborate recognition.  One man on the back of a donkey’s colt with no band playing music doesn’t seem like much of a parade in comparison, but it has been recorded in history as having greater significance than all the other parades combined.  This was a parade for the King of kings!  He was coming to bring victory in an unusual manner as well.  He was coming to die!  Only people who have the real, genuine faith of heaven can understand what Palm Sunday means to us.  The following from Tozer’s God Tells the Man Who Cares, pages 105 and 106, can only be understood by those whose faith gives them a heavenly, eternal perspective.
 
     “Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering.  Help me to remember that I am a prophet – not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet.  Let me never become a slave to crowds.  Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity.  Save me from bondage to things.  Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world.  Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. . ..
     “And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt.  Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could.  I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.”
 
Let every one of us kneel down before our great King and worship Him as our Lord and Savior!
 
He’s my King,
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 29, 2020

“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
 
The Bible portrays the people of God as men and women of faith.  The Scriptures say, “The just shall live by faith.”  Jesus taught His followers about faith and declared its power by saying that whatever we have faith for, believe God for it will be given to us.  Ira Sankey wrote, “Faith is the victory!  Faith is the victory!  O glorious victory that overcomes the world!” The following is from our daily reading in Streams in the Desert for Thursday, March 26, 2020.  The readings are based on Genesis 13:14-15, “Look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it.”
 
     “No instinct can be put in you by the Holy Ghost but He purposes to fulfill.  Let your faith then rise and soar away and claim all the land you can discover.”
 
     “All you can apprehend in the vision of faith is your own. Look as far as you can, for it is all yours.  All that you long to be as a Christian, all that you long to do for God, are within the possibilities of faith.  Then come, still closer, and with your Bible before you, and your soul open to all the influences of the Spirit, let your whole being receive the baptism of His presence; and as He opens your understanding to see all His fullness, believe He has it all for you.  Accept for yourself all the promises of His Word, all the desires He awakens within you, all the possibilities of what you may be as a follower of Jesus. All the land you see is given to you.

     “The actual provisions of His grace come from the inner vision.  He who puts the instinct in the bosom of yonder bird to cross the continent in search of summer sunshine in the southern clime is too good to deceive it, and just as surely as He has put the instinct in its breast, so has He also put the balmy breezes and the vernal sunshine yonder to meet it when it arrives.

     “He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope, will not deceive or fail us when we press forward to its realization.”
 
Brothers and sisters, have faith in God!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 22, 2020

“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves, therefore watch!”
Acts 20:29-31(a)
 
I so appreciate the promises of God, like “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) A great man of God declared, “God’s work, done in God’s way, shall never lack God’s supply.” (Hudson Taylor) The context of the promise in Philippians does describe very plainly “God’s way” for doing God’s work.  It seems to me that there are too many people who call themselves “Christian” yet do not follow “God’s way.” Now to be sure, it is not me who has any right or authority to tell you what “God’s way” is for you.  It is certain, however, that each of us must know God’s Word and listen clearly to His voice lest we stray from His “way” in our own personal choices.  Tozer wrote about discerning the voice of God in these matters in The Price of Neglect, on pages 6 and 7.

 

     “Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity.  A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world – and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition.  And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking….

     “The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy.  They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership.  There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing.  Let such as these arise and be heard.  Who knows but the Lord may come to His people and leave a blessing behind Him?”
 
Our prayer must be for God to lead us in His way in all we do.  He will surely supply all our needs!
 
Following and trusting,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 15, 2020

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  John 7:37-39
 
Can you believe what Jesus told His disciples and us about the Holy Spirit?  Can you move up in faith and not fear what might happen to you if the Holy Spirit should fill you?  There are many who are simply ignorant and fearful of the biblical teaching about the necessity for believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Bible clearly teaches all we need to know for us to receive this blessing from the Lord.  John the Baptist predicted that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit.  We need to pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives and in our congregation!  Andrew Murray wrote a small book, The Full Blessing of Pentecost, over 150 years ago.  It is still relevant today!

 

     “In our days there is an increasing acknowledgment of the lack of power in the Church of the Lord.  In spite of all the multiplication of the means of grace, there is neither the power of the divine salvation in believers, nor the power for conversion in preaching, nor the power in the conflict of the Church with worldliness and unbelief and unrighteousness that, according to God’s Word, we are bound to look for.  The complaint is made with justice.  Would that the expression of it became so strong that the children of God, driven by a keen sense of need, may be led to cast themselves upon the great truth which the Word of God teaches – namely, that it is only when faith in the full Pentecostal blessing and of the full enjoyment of it are found in the Christian Church that the members of it shall again find their strength and be able to do their first works.”
 
We must press on.  We must seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit and then allow God to do His work in and through our lives.  Listen carefully and then do whatever the Lord tells you to do.  We will experience great blessings from the Lord!
 
Holy Spirit, fill me now!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

MARCH 8, 2020

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  II Peter 1:2-4

 
Wow!  The Bible teaches us that God makes absolutely everything available for us that we might be enabled to live as children of God.  We do not need to live as slaves to the devil or sin. We can actually exist in this world and experience the life that Jesus declared that He came into this world to give us.  He said, “The devil steals, kills and destroys, but I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” God wants all His children to enjoy the blessings of His household. He wants us to live as children of the Heavenly King.
 
The question might be, “When do I get to experience this abundant life?” “Does it all happen at once?” “Does it all happen at the moment I get/got saved?” Careful thought and some biblical understanding will lead us to understand that the abundant life is totally available upon our entrance into His grace, but we do not realize or experience it all at once. From the Bible, we gain the understanding that we grow in our life of grace, and hence that life becomes more real in our experience.  The Bible teaches us that we begin as “babes in Christ,” but we must not stay there.  Especially if you want to “know” more of the blessings of His household, you must grow!
 
Think of these words from II Peter 3:17-18. “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but (there it is, my favorite word) grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” You see?  Growing is even the antidote to wavering, or falling, or being led astray.  God wants us to grow in order to become more and more convinced that our faith is valid. Growth will bring us into fuller assurance of all that we have in Jesus. The greater our assurance, the greater our experience of His blessings in this life.
 
Let’s press on!  Let’s grow!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 1, 2020

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  II Peter 1:2-4
 
The Prince of Preachers as he was called, Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote the following about his experience of God’s divine power that is sufficient to help us with all!
 
     “The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work.  I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, then swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, ‘MY grace is sufficient for thee’; and I said, ‘I should think it is, Lord,’ and burst out laughing.  I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then.  It seemed to make unbelief so absurd.  It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, ‘Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.  Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, ‘Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.’ Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, ‘I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,’ but the earth might say, ‘Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.’ Oh, brethren, be great believers!  Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.”
 
We know that faith is the key to heaven.  The Bible declares that we are saved by Grace through faith.  We are told that if we believe (have faith) on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved!  The Bible also declares that the righteous will live by faith.  Do you get that?  We do not have faith in order just to go to heaven, but we have faith to enable us to live here and now.  By faith we can walk in the blessings of God’s sufficient grace throughout our whole lives.
 
Lord, help our unbelief and increase our faith!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 23, 2020

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.  Amen.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  II Corinthians 13:14

 
How significant is the Day of Pentecost and the “birthday of the Church” in human history?  How critical do you think it is to you personally?  Most Christians would probably say that it is important, perhaps even “very important.” In reality, most of us live most of our lives, the hours and days of our lives, with little or no thought about Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, or the Church.  I shared the first two sentences of the following statement from A. W. Tozer during Bible study this past Wednesday evening.  I know it is necessary for all of us to have a proper assessment of the value of the Church.  Read Tozer’s statement about the Divine origin and sustenance of the Church that he wrote in Paths to Power on pages 7 and 8.
 
     “The greatest event in history was the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to live and die for mankind.  The next greatest event was the going forth of the Church to embody the life of Christ and to spread the knowledge of His salvation throughout the earth.
     “It was not an easy task which the Church faced when she came down from that upper room….Left to herself the Church would have perished as a thousand abortive sects had done before her, and would have left nothing for a future generation to remember.
     “That the Church did not so perish was due entirely to the miraculous element within her.  That element was supplied by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to empower her for her task.  For the Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. And she accomplished within a few brief years such prodigies of moral conquest as to leave us wholly without an explanation – apart from God.”
 
Revival would be a return to recognizing the impossible task for any human agency of “converting” this world’s peoples to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the absolute necessity of God’s power, the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the mission that Jesus gave to the Church. We need God if NBC is going to do the Lord’s work!  My prayer: “Empower us for our work, Holy Spirit, even as You empowered the early Church.  Amen.”
 
Come, o come and fill me now!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 16, 2020

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying,

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”  Zechariah 4:6
 
I referred to this verse in last week’s bulletin’s message in which I was attempting to impress every reader with the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in our ministry.  We need Him because without Him we cannot accomplish anything of eternal significance.  We also need to “desire” His presence.  We must love the Holy Spirit and trust Him by faith to do His work in our lives and ministries.  The following from A. W. Tozer’s The Counselor on pages 38 and 39 not only challenge me, but the message also causes me fear.  Fear that we could “miss out” on the Holy Spirit’s ministry at NBC!  May it never be so!
 
     “It is possible to run a church and all of its activity without the Holy Spirit.  You can organize it, get a board together, call a pastor, form a choir, launch a Sunday school and a ladies’ aid society.  You get it all organized – and the organization part is not bad.  I’m for it.  But I’m warning about getting organized, getting a pastor and turning the crank – some people think that’s all there is to it, you know.
 
     “The Holy Spirit can be absent, and the pastor goes on turning the crank, and nobody finds it out for years and years. What a tragedy, my brethren, what a tragedy that this can happen in a Christian church!  But it doesn’t have to be that way! ‘He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches’ (Revelation 3:22)…
 
     “If you could increase the attendance of your church until there is no more room, if you could provide everything they have in churches that men want and love and value, and yet you didn’t have the Holy Spirit, you might as well have nothing at all. ‘For it is “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” saith the LORD of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6)…. It is by the Spirit that God works His mighty works.”
 
What a horrible thought!  We could go on doing “church” and not have the Holy Spirit!  Brothers and sisters, let’s cry out to our Lord and ask Him to be sure to fill us with His Holy Spirit!  Not a year, not a month, not a week, not a day, not a minute nor a second without the Holy Spirit!
 
Fill me with Your hallowed Presence!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 9, 2020

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:13-14
 
Not only is Christianity by its nature supernatural and miraculous, it is totally dependent on God’s power.  If God doesn’t do the “work” of Christianity through the power of the Holy Spirit, then it is not biblical nor genuine.  We must recognize that we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to accomplish any fruit or increase in the Kingdom of God.  It is terribly tempting to lean on our own power and abilities to do “church,” but it is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts!” (Zechariah 4:6)  I think what Mr. A. W. Tozer wrote a half-century ago is extremely relevant in our culture today!  The following is from How to be Filled with the Spirit, pages 29 and 30.
 
     “Our trouble is that we are trying to confirm the truth of Christianity by an appeal to external evidence.  We are saying…’Here is a great stateman who believes the Bible.  Therefore, the Bible must be true.’ We quote Daniel Webster, or Roger Bacon.  We write books to show some scientist believed in Christianity: therefore, Christianity must be true.  We are all the way out on the wrong track, brother!  That is not New Testament Christianity at all.  That is a pitiful, whimpering, drooling appeal to the flesh.  That never was the testimony of the New Testament, never the way God did things – never!  You might satisfy the intellects of men by external evidences, and Christ did, I say, point to external evidence when He was here on earth.  But He said, ‘I am sending you something better.  I am taking Christian apologetics out of the realm of logic and putting it into the realm of life.  I am proving My deity, and My proof will not be an appeal to a general or a prime minister.  The proof lies in an invisible, unseen but powerful energy that visits the human soul when the gospel is preached – the Holy Ghost!”
 
Brothers and sisters in Christ at NBC, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us and use us for God’s work.  Only what God does through us will have eternal fruit!
 
Hover o’er me, Holy Spirit; Come, O come and fill me now!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 2, 2020

“Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!  Tremble before Him, all the earth.”  Psalm 96:7-9
 
The majority who come to Needmore Bible Church on Sunday mornings, come with a very strong intention to worship God.  It is certainly true that some come for various reasons, such as a sense of obligation or the desire to raise our children “right,” but the bottom line is that we really do want to give glory to our Creator.  We want to give something to Him more than we want to “impress” any other of the people here with us.  If that is to happen, we must prepare and concentrate on that purpose as we gather, share, give, read, pray, sing and listen to God’s Word.  I think that the following will help each of us to worship better than we might generally do it. The words come from Tozer on Worship and Entertainment on pages 10 and 11.
 
     “I have been thinking recently about how important my thoughts are.  I don’t have to do wrong to get under blistering conviction and repent.  I can lose the fellowship of God and sense of His presence and a sense of spirituality by just thinking wrong.  God has been saying to me, ‘I dwell in your thoughts.  Make your thoughts a sanctuary in which I can dwell.  See to it.’ You can’t do anything with your heart – that is too deep – but you can control your thoughts…

     “Your theology is your foundation.  The superstructure is your spiritual experience built on that foundation.  But the high bell towers where the carillons are – those are your thoughts.  And if you keep those thoughts pure the chimes can be heard ringing out ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ on the morning air.

     “Make your thoughts a sanctuary God can inhabit, and don’t let any of the rest of your life dishonor God.  See to it that not a foot of ground is unholy.  See to it that every hour and every place is given over to God, and you will worship Him, and He will accept it.”
 
It is necessary to prepare our minds with thoughts about God and heavenly themes.  We need to set our minds on things above, and not on things beneath.  Our worship will become pure, and God will respond with manifest blessings on our gathering.
 
Desiring to worship God in spirit and in truth,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 26, 2020

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

I noticed in a book I had read several years ago that I wrote a question in the margin, “Why do we have so much difficulty with folks who say they believe the Bible, yet they don’t think biblically?” Our church theme verses are II Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The only reasons for not thinking biblically is a rejection of the Bible as truth or a neglect of reading and studying the Bible.  We must do all we can to saturate our minds with the truth of God’s Word!
 
Robertson McQuilkin wrote The Five Smooth Stones to present what he considered the five essential principles for Biblical ministry.  The first unit is entitled The Bible: Making It the Functional Authority.  The following comes from that unit on page four.
     “How does one make this God-breathed-out book the actual functioning authority?  Those who deny most vigorously the inspiration and authority of Scripture may, in fact, actually revere it as a constitutional monarch, celebrating the glory of the monarch while true authority is vested elsewhere.  Often the actual authority is a tradition or system of traditions handed down (e.g. denominations).  For many it’s the opposite- the latest innovation exploding across the contemporary scene.  It may be the mind-set of a therapeutic society for doing church, or the dictums of cultural anthropology for doing mission. Probably, whatever else the functioning authority may be, there’s the ever-present stealth takeover of postmodern ways of seeing or feeling.  And thus in one way or another the full authority of Scripture – designed to determine what we are to think, what we are not to think, how we are not to behave, and how we are to behave (2 Tim. 3:16) – has eroded, and we are no longer well equipped and qualified to do God’s work in God’s way.”
 
Let’s pledge our allegiance not only to our Lord but also to His Word!  May His Word truly guide us in all that we do!
 
I Stand Alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 19, 2020

“I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will meditate on Your precepts,and   contemplate Your ways.  I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”  Psalm 119:14-16
 
Sometimes it has been said tongue in cheek, “Bible is our middle name,” but it is certain that the Bible is the foundation upon which we desire to build our ministry at NBC.  When a person becomes so identified with an item or activity, like hunting for instance, it is said that “hunting is his middle name.” We should want our identity to become synonymous with “Bible.” Yes, we purposely chose the word “Bible” to be a part of our name.  It is important that we are constantly reminded that the Bible is our defining and authoritative document on which we build our ministry.  Each of us must also build our lives on that same foundation!
 
Mr. A. W. Tozer often wrote about the importance and centrality of the Bible in the Christian life.  In Men Who Met God, on page 47, Tozer wrote the following information.
 

     “I remember James M. Gray, the noted Bible teacher, telling of a Christian brother, a Michigan farmer, whose spiritual life had suddenly blossomed until there was an overflowing of God’s presence.  Many in the man’s community recognized the change in his life and personality and sought spiritual counsel from him.  Dr. Gray had opportunity to ask the man about the transformation of his spiritual life and witness.

     “’Dr. Gray, I began to devote myself to the Scriptures for my own need,’ the man humbly explained. ‘Something happened when God opened my spiritual understanding as I studied the book of Ephesians.  I cannot really explain what the Lord is doing for me and through me, but it has come through prayerful meditation in the Word of God.’

     “None of us can expect to get the rich, transforming blessings from God apart from the Scriptures…

     “Too many of us ministers and Sunday school teachers are content to reach for a commentary on the Scriptures.  What we need most is to search the Scriptures for ourselves.”
 
We recommend the Bible to all that we have opportunity to interact with.  It is the “best book,” and the only one that can transform our lives into the image and likeness of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
 
I’m reading The Book!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 12, 2020

“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
 
Revival has been a theme of Bible studies, prayer meetings and sermons at Needmore Bible Church for many years.  It is a theme that we must not forget, least we become cold and ineffective in the ministry that our Lord has called us to.  Most of us are “looking for” a genuine manifestation of God’s Presence and power in our midst.  Most of us really are not interested in just going through the empty rituals of a dead religion.  Most of us truly long for an experience of a “living faith” and vital encounters with the Living God that we claim to serve.  This is what revival really is.  It is the “revitalization” or the “making alive again” of the real experience of God’s Presence and power in our fellowship.  Many of us want revival!
 
From Robert Coleman’s book, The Coming World Revival, we get the following account of an 18th Century revival in colonial America.

     “Jonathan Edwards, renowned pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, might be cited as one witness to the reality and power of revival.  Describing the effect of a great outpouring of the Spirit in his parish in 1735, he said: ‘As the number of true saints multiplied…the town seemed to be full of the presence of God.  It never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then.  There were remarkable tokens of God’s presence in almost every house.  It was a time of joy in families on account of salvation being brought unto them… On whatever occasions persons met together, Christ was heard of and seen in the midst of them… The Spirit of God began to be so wonderfully poured out in a general way through the town, people had soon done with their old quarrels, back-bitings, and intermeddling with other men’s matters.  The tavern was soon left empty.  Every day seemed in many respects like a Sabbath day.’

     “Edwards noted, too, that ‘there were many instances of persons who came from abroad on visits’ to the town, who ‘partook of that shower of divine blessing,’ and as these visitors ‘went home rejoicing,’ soon ‘the same work began to prevail in several other towns in the country.”
 
The great need of our congregation and country is revival!  Will you pray with many of us that God will give His church a new outpouring of His Spirit?
 
Seeking and waiting for revival,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 5, 2020

 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:

so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”  I Corinthians 12:12-13, 27
 
Have you read the Book of Acts and been struck by the activities that happened in the life of the church?  Have you been amazed by the power that was obvious in the church that caused Her to impact the world at that time?  People of their day declared, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6)  Do you believe that what is recorded in Acts should later be recorded of our congregation’s life and ministry?  Will you believe that it can be?!
 
     “The eternal promises of Jesus Christ to His believing people are of such inestimable value that those who are truly Christian today are not to be designated as marginal or second-class Christians because of the passing of time and of generations gone before.

     “We are Christians because God has perpetuated the church and keeps it going by doing the same things within individual lives generation after generation since Pentecost.

     “Do we believe as truth and claim it as we should that the true church as it meets in the Name to worship the Presence finds Christ still giving Himself in the life of the fellowship?

     “It is not the form that makes the church or its service.  The Presence and the Name – these make the church.

     “Wherever people are gathered together in the Name, there is also the Presence.  So it is that the Presence and the Name constitute the true assembly of believers, and it is recognized by God in heaven.

     “In my estimation this brings to light a most wonderful truth!  In the Body of Christ there are no insignificant congregations. Each has His Name, and each is honored by His Presence.”
 
In the above portion from Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, pages 47 and 48, Mr. A. W. Tozer reminded Christians that God wants to do today in the life of each congregation the same that He did in those recorded in the Book of Acts.  God has not changed.  If we seem to fall short of those blessings once enjoyed in the ministry of His church, it can only be because of some failure or misunderstanding on our part.  We must be seeking to rectify our wrongs and remove any and all barriers to the full blessings of His real Presence in our congregation.
 
Committed to that seeking,
     Pastor Doug