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