SUNDAY – JUNE 26, 2022

“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.”  John 7:37, 38

 

God knows that this world can often seem like parched ground to us.  Even believers can have those times when they seem to be passing through “desert places.” At the end of Hosea, the nation of Israel was called to “return to the Lord”, and God would do wonderful things for them.  God said, “I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.” (14:4)  Then God declared, “I will be like dew to Israel.” (14:5)  This reflects God’s desire to “refresh” His people and      continually make them like a “watered garden.”  God has no delight in our miserable “desert” experiences.

 

Here is what W. Mallis wrote about Hosea 14:5: “Hosea leads us to the source of the dew-drenched life.  It is from Him that this priceless gift comes.  Those who spend much time with the Master come forth with the dew of blessing upon their lives.

     “The dew falls in the still night when all nature is hushed to rest.  What is true in nature often holds true in spiritual things; in this we have the key reason why so many of God’s people are living dewless lives.  They are restless, anxious, impatient, fussy, busy, with no time at all to be still before the Lord.

     “The finer things are being sacrificed for the coarser, the things of value for the worthless.

     “In Job 38:28 the question is asked, ‘Who hath begotten the drops of dew?’ It is one of God’s secrets.  It comes quietly, and yet works so mightily.  We cannot produce it, but we may     receive it and live, moment by moment, in that atmosphere where the Holy Spirit may continually drench us with His  presence.”

 

Robert Murray McCheyne wrote: “God feeds the wildflowers on the lonely mountainside without the help of any man, and they are as fresh and lovely as those that are daily watched over in our gardens.  So God can feed His own planted ones without the help of man, by the sweet falling dew of His Spirit.”

 

I am praying for the “times of refreshing” to come from the Lord and bless each of us as we seek His presence in our lives!
 
I am refreshed by the Lord!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Father’s Day   JUNE 19, 2022

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”  I John 3:1a

 

Why do we call God “Father”?  After all He is the divine Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and He is holy, holy, holy!  He is completely different than we are, and yet we call Him “Father!”  We call Him “Father” because He has chosen to reveal Himself in that manner.  It is His Spirit within us that actually causes us to cry out, “Abba, Father.”  He wants us to know Him as our Heavenly Father in understanding His character, His care for us, and our relationship with Him.  Do you know God as your personal and   loving “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.”  That was his advice and challenge to me.
 
A grateful son and blessed father,
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JUNE 12, 2022

“Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them,    and I will love them…  All those who love me will do what I say.  My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them.”  John 14:21, 23

 

For several years in the ministry of the Released-time Bible Program we used a song entitled, “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E!” The main line in the little tune was “Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” This is certainly a biblical idea.  James wrote about faith without visible, active expressions as being a “dead faith.” (See James 2:18)  John wrote about love that is only real when demonstrated by actually giving food and clothing to the hungry and destitute. (See I John 3:17-18)  Both of those biblical authors would help us to actually put action to our words.  They have encouraged us to do more than just talk about our faith and love.  Jesus has taught the very same principle during His ministry and even gave us an example to follow.

 

Andrew Murray wrote: “What does Jesus say about obedience?” ‘Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me’ (John 14:21). ‘If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love’ (John 15:10).  In faith we can trust Christ to enable us to live such a life of love and obedience.

     “No father can teach his children unless they are obedient, and no teacher can impart knowledge to a child who will not listen. No general can lead his soldiers to victory without prompt obedience.  Allow God to teach you that a life of faith is a life of obedience.  Just as Christ was obedient to the Father, so we also need obedience for a life in the love of God.

     “Maybe you think it impossible to be obedient, but think about these words and pray that God, through His Spirit, will teach you to live in obedience to Him.”

 

Through the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God gave the promise of a New Covenant with His people.  In Jeremiah 31:33 we read, “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” In Jeremiah 32:40, God adds, “so that they will never turn away from Me.” In Ezekiel 36:27, God says, “And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” God calls us to a life of obedience and then promises to give us the grace to be able to do it!  Believe and obey!
 
I am thankful for the whole gospel!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY –  JUNE 5, 2022

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

so are the children of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed,

but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”  Psalm 127:3-5

 

The Bible gives us some very clear thoughts about children and their usefulness in the life of believers.  In the verses written above, we learn that children are “given” to us by God.  They are not merely the product of biological processes, but they are uniquely   created by God and placed in the household of His choosing.  The children then become the “responsibility” of the parents to      provide for and to protect so they can “grow up” safely in this world.  If the children are “trained up in the fear and admonition of the Lord,” those children become an “asset” to the family.  They add “strength” to the household and actually become part of the “weaponry” of the family to “stand against the wiles of the Devil.”  They are called “arrows” which are offensive instruments in the “war” against “powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies.”

 

We must not “lose” our children!  We must nurture them in “the faith once delivered to the saints.”  We must equip them to “know the voice of truth” and recognize the lies of our enemy when they are confronted by them.  Our children are very precious treasures that we must “guard” with great concern.  We know that “Kids Matter to God” as the AWANA motto states.  They must also matter to us!

 

Three times in the book of Proverbs, an important truth is recorded.  Proverbs 17:25 states, “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.” According to the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, a child who rejects God and walks in the path of foolishness brings distress to his parents.  Paul wrote to his spiritual son, Timothy, “God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (See I Timothy 2:3-7.)  All who are lost and without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are foolish.  These people cannot know and understand the way that God has designated for people to live.  They do not know the truth of God, and hence live as fools!  Our great responsibility is to share the gospel with our children and teach them the truth of God as found only in the Bible!  If we fail to do this, our hearts will be broken and our arsenal against the devil is greatly diminished!
 
I’m for the salvation of all our children!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend   —   SUNDAY – MAY 29, 2022

“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 completes the “course” with the “baton” just as the others have done.  This concept is also true about succeeding generations who have been blessed and benefitted by what the previous generations have    accomplished and passed on to each of us.

 

Abraham Lincoln understood this principle and expressed it 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 cannot 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 22, 2022

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in     secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”  Psalm 139:13-16

 

There is a very basic and foundational truth taught in the Bible about human existence.  All human beings are a unique creation of God with “a plan” for their existence.  People are not “accidents” or “freaks of nature.” Each person has been “fashioned” individually by God, hence we each have many unique characteristics that identify us as us.  In the present age scientists are able to examine our DNA, the basic building blocks for our physical body, the blueprint for the person that God has created.  No other person has the identical DNA that we have.  Each of us has a set of individual fingerprints and even a “voiceprint” that makes us different from every other created human being. This created uniqueness makes us one-of-a-kind persons.  It also means that we are special and important. We have value even as we are being “fashioned” and “woven together” in our mother’s womb.  God “sees” the days He has planned for us even before we are born and begin to breathe air on our own.  Each of us is highly valued by God, and we should highly value each other!  We must treat human life with high regard and the utmost respect.

 

The following poem was written by Alva Romanes near the beginning of the last century, over 100 years ago, yet seems so relevant and appropriate for today.

 

I am not the brood of the dust and sod,

Nor a shuttled thread in the loom of fate;

But the child Divine of the living God,

With eternity for my life’s estate.

I am not a sport of a cosmic night,

Nor a thing of chance that has grown to man,

But a deathless soul on my upward flight,

And my Father’s heir in His wondrous plan.

 

Indeed you are special and your life matters!
My life matters too!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 15, 2022

“And I also say to you that…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!

 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,

and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:18, 19

 

It is impossible to read the New Testament and not gain some understanding of the church and its mission in this world. You cannot find Scripture to teach that the church will be weak and ineffective on the earth.  The Lord Jesus came to earth to redeem all of God’s children, to save them from the powers of darkness, and to “call out” all those who believe and call on His name.  The church is God’s plan and His project; He has not chosen any “backup” or “replacement” for His “flock.” The Lord Jesus has loved the church so much “…He purchased it with His own blood.” (See Acts 20:28)

 

God has designed and provided all the necessary resources for the church to be the most powerful influence in this world.  God thinks that the church should be in the business of impacting the world around causing positive changes and hastening the presence of God’s kingdom on earth.  It might be asked by some why the church doesn’t appear to be doing its ‘job” as well as what’s      recorded in the Book of Acts.  The answers to that question might take different forms, but one important and basic answer is that the church prays too little!  Often as we do practice prayer, it is not Spirit-born nor Spirit-empowered.  Mr. R. Arthur Mathews wrote the following in his book Born for Battle.

 

     “We would be inclined to shrink (I would) from the public exposure of our inner prayer life.  That could be because there is so little room for God’s longings in the cluttered prayer chamber of our hearts.  We are not in the habit of visiting this hallowed place often enough.  Nor do we stay long enough to generate any fervor.

     “The casualness of our attitude towards this most important part of Christian living, together with the shallowness of our desires, are enough reason to avoid the exposure of our prayer life.

     “The sleeping pill is the enemy of this kind of praying.  Uninvolved Christianity has little inclination for the sacrifice of time and convenience demanded.  Consequently the church, like the ’ram caught by his horns,’ has lost its attack power, and this at a time when the devil is deploying his forces for a grand assault.

     “But for those willing to commit themselves to Christ for this kind of warfare, enlistment could well be the watershed of their lives.  On one side are half-developed values, wrong    priorities, and a frustrated casting around for spiritual shortcuts to exorcise a sense of failure.  But over the watershed, new standards are discovered – new touchstones.  We learn how few things are really essential and how essential those few things really are.  One of these is ‘my prayer.’” (From pages 98 to 102.)

 

Let’s pray better more frequently!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Mother’s Day   —   MAY 8, 2022

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.  She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”  Proverbs 31:26-28

 

Most of us know the tremendous value of a mother to her family.  We should also recognize how important her role is in our church and community.  Mothers can make a very powerful spiritual impact on their households that will influence generations to come. Let’s pray for and also encourage the mothers in our congregation.

 

The following was given to me by my wife before she departed for her mission trip to Africa.  I am sure she heard just about every one of these sayings from her mother.

 

My mother taught me about WEATHER. “Your room looks like a tornado hit it.”

My mother taught me about RELIGION. “You better pray that comes out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week.”

My mother taught me about OSMOSIS. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about the CIRCLE OF LIFE. “I brought you into this world; I can take you out.”

My mother taught me about ENVY. “There are millions of less fortunate children in the world who don’t have wonderful      parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about RECEIVING. “You are going to get it when we get home.”

My mother taught me about GENEALOGY. “Shut that door.  Were you born in a barn?”

My mother taught me about JUSTICE. “One day you’ll have kids of your own.  I hope they turn out just like you.”

My mother taught me about LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

My mother taught me about STAMINA. “You’ll sit there until your spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about IRONY. “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

 

We are thankful indeed for many wonderful lessons of life that our mothers have taught us.  We are most grateful for teaching us about the love of Jesus!
 
I am a very blessed and grateful son!
      Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – MAY 1, 2022

“The Lord is my shepherd… He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.”  Psalm 23:1, 3b

 

A well-known and frequently memorized passage of scripture is 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 will direct your path.” These words certainly offer us wise counsel that we all should follow.  It does require faith, though, that God’s way for you will be the best you could possibly choose for yourself.  You actually must abandon your own natural wisdom and throw yourself totally into the hands of God.  S. D. Gordon wrote the following about this whole idea.

 

     “Someone has said very pertinently, ‘There was no rudder to Noah’s ark.’ It was hardly necessary.  He had obeyed God and now was shut in, with God only to steer his ark; for he was on God’s errand.  The man who could endure what he must have endured for more than a century, while preaching the Word amidst a hostile people, did not have any fears as to where he was going.  The fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the deluge must have confirmed a faith already strong.

      “It is a delightful experience when we really believe that God is steering our little bark over life’s tempestuous sea.  Only supreme and absolute abandonment to the will of God will give perfect rest of soul.  It is this that enlarges the soul.  Fenelon says: ‘If there be anything that is capable of setting the soul in a large place it is absolute abandonment to God.  It diffuses in the soul a peace that flows like a river and the righteousness which is as the waves of the sea’ (Isaiah 48:18).  If there be anything that can render the soul calm, dissipate its scruples, dispel its fears, sweeten its sufferings by the anointing of love, impart strength to all its actions, and spread abroad the joy of the Holy Ghost in its countenance and words, it is this simple and childlike repose in the arms of God.

     “God could give to Abraham, because he had made such a wide opening into his life.  God can give only into an open hand.  This hand was opened wide.  This door swung clear back.  God had a free swing, and He used it.  He could, and He did.  He always does.  Let this be your rule: ‘Give all He asks; then take all He gives!’ And the cup will be spilling joyously over the brim!”

 

The fair and important warning has been issued!  It is this: Beware of every hesitation to abandon to God!  You can trust both His hand (i.e. His power to do) and His heart (i.e. His power to care)!  He will never fail you!
 
I am fully abandoned!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY –  APRIL 24, 2022

“Therefore I…do not cease…making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation…that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…!”       Ephesians 1:15-21

 

The following comes from the April 18th reading in Springs in the Valley compiled by Mrs. Charles (Lettie) Cowman, founders of the Oriental Mission Society, now OMS International.  This was not written necessarily for the day after Easter, but the message absolutely flows out of the message of our Lord’s resurrection.

 

     “We are profoundly impressed with the unlimited resources of the God of the Bible.  He never does anything small.  When He makes an ocean, He makes it so deep that no man can fathom it.  When He makes a mountain, He makes it so large that no one can measure or weigh it.  When He makes flowers, He scatters multiplied millions of them where there is no one to admire them but Himself.  When He makes grace, He makes it without sides or bottom and leaves the top off. Instead of giving salvation with a medicine dropper, He pours it forth like a river.

     “When God sets out to do a thing for us, He does it with a prodigality of love-prompted abundance that fairly staggers one who reckons things by the coldly calculating standards of earth.

     “Whatever blessing is in our cup it is sure to run over.  With Him the calf is always the fatted calf; the robe is always the best robe; the joy is unspeakable; the peace passeth understanding; the grace is so abundant that the recipient has all-sufficiency for all things, and abounds to every good work.

     “There is no grudging in God’s benevolence; He does not measure out His goodness as the apothecary counts his drops and measures his drams, slowly and exactly, drop by drop.  God’s way is always characterized by multitudinous and overflowing bounty, like that in nature which is so profuse in beauty and life that every drop of the ocean, ever square inch of the forest glade, every molecule of water, teems with marvels and defies research and investigation of man.  Well may we cry with the apostle, ‘I have all, and abound!’

 

It is recorded in John 10:10, Jesus came into this world that we “might have life and have it abundantly.”  He rose victoriously from the grave to open the fountain of God’s abundance for all of us!  Hallelujah!
 
I’m drinking at the streams of living water!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

EASTER SUNDAY    —    April 17, 2022

“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.  Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God,

and having   received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”

Acts 2:32, 33.

 

Easter is not the “best” name for this day on which the church commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The name “Easter” is found at Acts 12:4 in the King James Version of the Bible, but it has been corrected in later versions with the word “Passover,” the accurate translation of the Greek manuscript.  Easter was a secular word applied to the resurrection celebration.  The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection was first associated with Passover, but the Bible reveals the church worshiped on the “first day” of the week and began to celebrate the resurrection every Sunday.  The proper designation of Christian worship on Sunday is “The Lord’s Day,” because His resurrection proves Jesus is Lord!  Every Sunday that we gather to worship our God, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, we are in essence celebrating His resurrection!  Every Sunday should have as much excitement as we have on Easter Sunday. 

 

     “A little lad was gazing intently at the picture in the art store window: the store was displaying a notable picture of the crucifixion.  A gentleman approached, stopped, and looked.  The boy, seeing his interest, said: ‘That’s Jesus.’ The man made no reply, and the lad continued: ‘Them’s Roman soldiers.’ And after a moment: ‘They killed Him.’

     “’Where did you learn that?’ asked the man.

     “’In the Mission Sunday School,’ was the reply.

     “The man turned and walked thoughtfully away.  He had not gone far when he heard a youthful voice calling: ‘Say, Mister,’ and quickly the little lad caught up with him. ‘Say, Mister,’ he repeated, ‘I wanted to tell you that He rose again.’

     “That message, which was nearly forgotten by the boy, is the message which has been coming down through the ages.  It is the Easter message – the story of the eternal triumph of life over death; the promise and pledge of man’s immortality.

“The grave to Him was not a terminus!

     “This is the day of glad tidings!  Go quickly, and tell the message! ‘He is risen!’ Hallelujah!  Christ is risen!  Hades could not hold Him!  Corruption could not devour Him! ‘I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of death and Hades.’ Blessed be God!  Jesus lives to die no more!  Go quickly, and tell everywhere the glad news!”  (Taken from Springs in the Valley.)

 

All the time everywhere!  We must shout it to this lost and dying world!  Especially every Sunday, the Lord’s Day, we must proclaim that Jesus Christ is alive forevermore!
 
Because He lives, I will live also!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

PALM SUNDAY   —   April 10, 2022

“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna!  Blessed is He

who comes in the name of The Lord!  The King of Israel!’”  John 12:12, 13

 

On several occasions during His ministry, Jesus Christ of Nazareth made a statement about “His hour.” During the beginning of WWII, Winston Churchill spoke to the House of Commons in England and attempted to encourage the British nation to prepare for battle against Nazi Germany.  He made a statement that they could possibly be annihilated, but they should fight nobly so that a thousand years from that time, men would say of them, “It was their finest hour!”  When Jesus spoke of His hour, it would be best to understand that He was talking about “His finest hour!”

 

At the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, when His mother asked Him to do something about the lack of wine at the feast, Jesus asked, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?  My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4)  Jesus did perform His first recorded miracle by turning six waterpots filled with water into wine.  So in one sense, He did have some sort of an hour that could be heralded, yet He was clearly saying that it was not His “finest hour.”

 

Later there were opponents of Jesus and His ministry who wanted to both stop and destroy Him.  John recorded, “Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” (John 7:30)  Later in Jerusalem, men again sought to remove Him from the public. “These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.” (John 8:20)

 

After His Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus announced, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (John 12:23)  At the beginning of Holy Week Jesus said, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this Hour’?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)  It is recorded “…before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father.” (John 13:1)  On the night before His crucifixion, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come.” (John 17:1)  It becomes clear that His “finest hour” was the appointed time for Him to fulfill the Father’s plan to save the world.  Jesus’ finest hour happened when He bore the sins of the world in His body on the Cross!  He died and was buried!  On the first day of the week, He rose victoriously over sin, the Devil, and death!  Those three days were His finest hour!  Hallelujah!
 
I am rejoicing in Jesus’ finest hour!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – APRIL 3, 2022

“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 3:17-19

 

Paul’s prayer for the believers at Ephesus included their experience of God’s love in a manner beyond intellectual understanding. The Bible is very clear about the fact that God has a special love for people that is greater than any other love found in this universe. The Bible teaches that God’s love has been expressed and demonstrated far beyond any other.  Paul wrote to the Romans, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (5:8)  The Apostle John wrote, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (3:16)  Most of us have heard stories of God’s love, but have each of us come to “know” that love in a personal way?  God has no greater desire than for each of us to be the recipient of His love within our own heart.

 

On Thursday, many of us read a devotion written by Andrew Murray entitled “To Him the Honor.” It included some very positive and powerful statements about God’s love beginning with the Scripture from Revelation 1:5, “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood.” Murray gave a challenge to believers about the demanding difficulty of following and serving the Lord in this world.  Then he wrote: “But Christ says that His yoke is easy and His burden light.  Love makes everything easy.  Do not think of your love for Him; rather think of His great love for you, which He gives through the Holy Spirit.  Think of it by day and by night; mull it over, until you have the assurance, His love for me is indescribably great.  It is through the love of Christ on the cross that people are drawn closer.

     “Here in His love you have the answer to that which enables you to find fulfillment in fellowship with the crucified Jesus.  The answer lies in the continual guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in your heart.  Think of the everlasting love that longs to take possession of you and to fill you with unspeakable joy.”

 

God has gone to great lengths to demonstrate His love for each one of us.  He has also made it possible for each one of us to experience His love in our own life.  Open your heart to Him and let Him love you!
 
One of His loved children!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 27, 2022

“The poor and needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues fail for thirst.  I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.  I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”  Isaiah 41:17-18

 

Spring is the time when we observe the return of “green” all around us.  It seems as if “new life” appears before our very eyes.  It is also the season when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave.  Spring is a time of the year that helps to point us to the life-giving power of our God.  I pray that you will be encouraged to believe for “new life” in your world!  God has spoken to His people throughout the ages, and He has most frequently given promises of hope and a good future.

 

Back in January, I read the following that Lettie Cowman recorded in her Springs in the Valley.

     “Over in Canada there lived an Irish saint called ‘Holy Ann.’ She lived to be one hundred years old.  When she was a young girl, she was working in a family for very small wages under a very cruel master and mistress.  They made her carry water for a mile up a steep hill.  At one time there had been a well dug there; it had gone dry, but it stood there year after year.  One night she was very tired, and she fell on her knees and cried to God; and while on her knees she read these words: ‘I will open…fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make…the dry land springs of water.’ (Just a few verses later in the same passage she read,) ‘Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons.’ These words struck Holy Ann, and she produced her cause before the Lord. She told Him how badly they needed the water and how hard it was for her to carry the water up the steep hill; then she lay down and fell asleep.  She had pleaded her cause and brought forth her strong reasons.  The next morning early she was seen to take a bucket and start for the well.  Someone asked her where she was going, and she replied, ‘I am going to draw water from the well.’ ‘Why, it is dry,’ was the answer.  But that did not stop Holy Ann.  She knew whom she had believed, and on she went; and, lo and behold, there in the well was eighty-three feet of pure, cold water, and she told me that the well never did run dry!  That is the way the Lord can fulfill His promises. ‘Produce your cause…bring forth your strong reasons,’ and see Him work on your behalf.”

 

Our God is the God of miracles.  There is nothing too difficult for Him, and He has promised to not withhold any good thing from His children.  Let’s believe that we are going to see “new life” spring forth in our midst!

 

I am a child of the Best Heavenly Father!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 20, 2022

“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…, you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  II Peter 1:2, 3a, 4b

 

In our daily devotions from Andrew Murray’s Daily in His Presence, we have been reading and learning what the work of Christ on the Cross has accomplished for us.  Murray has been emphasizing that the Cross does more than just cancel our sin debt, as great as that is, the Cross has a continuing impact on our lives as believers.  There is a “continuing” work that gives us the power to live as Christ lived.  We can actually be “Christian” in our actions and behavior.  He repeatedly states that we are joined to Christ in His death on the Cross, and therefore are dead to sin.  Sin no longer has power over those who have died with and in Christ!  He states that our union with Christ also connects us with His life that He now lives which has been demonstrated by His resurrection.     Murray’s conclusion: “By the power of the Holy Spirit we can lead a life of righteousness, obedience, and sanctification.”

 

Cathy and I were shopping in the Christmas Tree Shoppe this past week.  They have changed the manner in which customers      approach the checkout counters.  There is a large and very obvious sign that states: Wait here until a green light is turned on, or the cashier says, “Next!”  I suppose that all of us have been frustrated by slow lines which seem to happen most frequently when we are in a hurry.  We should still “wait here” until the cashier is ready for us.  There was a couple behind us that I noticed seemed to be in a hurry and pushed their cart to the counter even before the customer before them had finished having their purchases completely bagged.  I thought that the couple was a bit rude.  Then I noticed part of a word on the lady’s shirt.  I could see “SAV…” That was all, but I thought to myself it might be a witness-wear T-shirt.  I was a little saddened because I observed behavior that spoke louder than the T-shirt.

 

About an hour later, Cathy and I were leaving another store, and I clearly saw the same couple, and I was able to see the entire message on the lady’s shirt. “Saved by Grace” was written boldly across the front of her shirt.  Then I wondered if she thought “Saved by Grace” was an excuse for bad behavior.  It reminded me of the old bumper sticker (that I never liked) which read “Just forgiven, Not perfect.”  In my mind that was used as an excuse for acts of road-rage.

 

I write all of this just to challenge all of us that God has made it altogether possible for His children to behave as if we do  belong to His family!
 
I want to honor my Father!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 13, 2022

“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.”  Colossians 3:17

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Corinthians 10:31

 

In the hymn we used to sing regularly in church, we would declare, “What a wondrous blessing!  I am saved from the awful gulf of sin.” Yes, there is unspeakable joy when we come to a full realization and personal experience of the salvation that Jesus Christ has purchased for us on Calvary.  The hymn writer went on to say, “It is like a great o’er-flowing well springing up within my soul.” If this is true in your life, do you tell others about it?  Can they tell by looking at you and listening to your conversation that you are saved, and you belong to the One who saved you?  There ought to be an intimation, a mark or sign that you belong to Jesus!

 

In one of Lettie Cowman’s devotions, she communicated about the “impress” that the presence of Jesus makes on us.  He    impacts our lives with a “new spell; some unexplained, mysterious miracle.”  She wrote: “Stradivari of Cremona is said to have marked every one of the priceless violins which he made, with the name of Jesus, and so well-known did this become that his work is still called “Stradivarius del Gesu.”

     “If our lives might become equally well known because of that sacred mark by which He said that all men shall know, there would be more people who, like the blind beggar, would come to Him that they might receive their sight, and who, too, would worship Him.”

 

We must surrender all our life to Him to be used for His glory!  We will not call attention to ourselves, but we will have a “mark” on our lives that will clearly identify us as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!  Let the people rejoice!  O come to the Father thro’ Jesus, the Son, and give Him the glory – great things He hath done!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – MARCH 6, 2022

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to   observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:18-20

 

Throughout the centuries since the church was birthed in Jerusalem by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the saints of God have been used to bring life, freedom, wholeness, and the love of God to multitudes of lost, broken, and bound people.  Sin and the devil have brought a “whole lot of hurt” to this world, but Jesus and the church have brought miracles of salvation to as many as “will call on the name of the Lord!”  On many occasions Christians have faced what seemed to be insurmountable opposition when giving the type of compassionate help that can make a real and eternal change in broken lives.  Often there have been sacrifices made by Christians that might have seemed wasted and fruitless, nevertheless the Church has pressed on.  In the end God has been glorified, and the devil has been horrified!  We certainly are committed to carrying out the great commission that the Lord has given to us as long as the earth stands, and we have breath.

 

Many great works have been organized into mission agencies which have been led by some of God’s faithful heroes.  Two of those faithful heroes were Charles and Lettie Cowman, a husband-and-wife team who worked to spread the gospel throughout Japan and parts of China from 1901 through 1917.  That work, originally called the Oriental Missionary Society, has expanded to reach into many other countries of the world and has established hundreds of thousands of churches.  The work continues even until today and is most frequently known as OMS International.  There are many reasons for the work’s continued “success” including prayer, the blessing of God, and the continued support of many, many faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Recently, I read a quote by Reverend Charles E. Cowman. “God has guided the heroes and saints of all ages to do things which the common sense of the community has regarded as ridiculous and mad.  Have you ever taken any risks for Christ?” Another great missionary statesman, William Carey said, “Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.” I say “Amen” to both of these quotes!  God is still calling His people to do extraordinary things to take the gospel to “the ends of the earth!”
 
Here I am, Lord.  Send me!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

MISSIONS  SUNDAY   February 27, 2022

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:18-20

 

We have titled our weekend of services with an emphasis on missions “Obeying The Last Command!” God continues His work in this world through His people.  Those people are the ekklesia, the “called-out ones.” We know that group as the church.  We have been taught by Jesus that the church, those called-out people are to be enabled, empowered by the Holy Spirit to fill the world with the witness of the gospel.  Because the power is given to the church to accomplish His plan, He had no difficulty giving us the command to make disciples of all nations.

 

The Lord has an expectation that we will be faithful to obey His command, and in the process, we will seek to be filled and used by the Holy Spirit.  Our first response in seeking to fulfill that command is to seek all of the Holy Spirit as possible.  We must know that God “has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.” (Galatians 4:6)  Andrew Murray wrote the following about this verse and about the Holy Spirit living in us.

 

     “I can rely on the Spirit of God to manifest the life of Christ in me.  The Spirit will bring into fulfillment all that which Christ has said concerning His remaining in me and I in Him.  Through the Spirit, Christ’s indwelling becomes an experiential reality, forming and manifesting in me the mind and disposition of the Savior.

     “Furthermore, the Spirit of God equips me for God’s service.  As the Spirit that sanctifies, He will reveal Christ to me as my sanctification.  The Spirit will enable me to overcome the world and its entanglements, and bear witness to the wonder and possibilities of Christ’s life in me. He will fill me with love for God’s people; with love for those who dislike or ignore me; and with love for those who do not yet know Christ, so that I shall pray for them and be ready to help them.  He will give me love for the whole world and fill me with enthusiasm for those activities that bring the gospel to all humankind.

 

The more that we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, the more we will do to obey His last command.  The Holy Spirit will cause and help us to be the Lord’s witness to “the ends of the earth!”
 
I want more of Him!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 20, 2022

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.   Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to   observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:18-20

 

During this month, we are spending time praying and pondering the real task of the church, world evangelization and fulfilling the Great Commission.  From a totally human perspective, evangelizing the world is a very daunting task.  In fact, it would be easy to conclude that it is an impossible task, but you and I will look at this responsibility from God’s perspective as revealed in the Bible. God has always had His heart set on saving the whole world.  You know the verses!  “For God so loved the world (that’s the whole, entire population of the human race!) that He gave His only begotten Son….” Paul wrote, “God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved…” Finally John saw the finished work in heaven, “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation…” God obviously plans for the Great Commission to actually be accomplished before the “end of the world” as we now know it.

 

How does God plan for it to be done?  Acts 1:8 reveals the answer: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” God has planned that His people will be enabled with His own power through the Holy Spirit to fill the entire earth with witnesses of Jesus Christ.  God is planning that you and I will work together as His church to accomplish this great task!  He has already provided His part and continues to do His work throughout the world wherever His people go.  The only part that hasn’t been fulfilled until this very day is our part!  God is still calling, equipping, and sending willing and obedient workers to the work.

 

In the prophet Isaiah’s day, God asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah heard and responded, “Here am I!  Send me.” And then God said to Isaiah, “Go, and tell this people.” He was willing and obedient!  God continues to ask the same question.  The only thing needed is people responding like Isaiah.

 

That is all that can be asked of any of us.  We are asked to be willing and obedient to the Lord’s call and His leading in our lives.  If we each say “Yes” to what He asks of us, the Great Commission will be accomplished!
 
I’m saying “Yes” to the will of God!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 13, 2022

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:18-20

 

As I was reading, praying, and thinking about what to write for this week’s bulletin (February 13, 2022) during our Missions Month, with special plans for an emphasis on our congregation’s role in fulfilling the Great Commission, a FedEx truck was driven to the front of the church building.  I was in my office, and there was no one else in the entire building.  I heard a knock on the church’s office door, so I got up from my desk to speak to the driver of the truck.  He had an envelope that was addressed to me, Pastor Doug Poffenberger, Needmore Bible Church.  He asked me to give him my signature and asked me to state my last name for him.  He thanked me and left.  I came into my office and thought about what I might have ordered, so I opened the envelope with anticipation, and I was caught a bit off guard.  It was an official letter, a copy of a will, and a check written to Needmore Bible Church.

 

I think that wills reveal what was the core of the person’s mind and heart, especially this will that was written and notarized just 10 days before the person’s passing.  After several distributions to family and individuals, there were three specific requests for funds to be given to mission works in three different foreign countries.  I will not give the details of those.  I will share though about the distribution of remaining funds in 25% increments, including #3 that I write in the following paragraph.

 

“25% to Needmore Bible Church, 6939 Great Cove Road, Needmore, PA 17238, for their Missions Account for the projects of Dr. Michael and Cheryl Gayle in Togo, West Africa.  Please thank the Ladies’ Group, especially Bonnie Gordon, for their prayers and support during my fight with cancer.”

 

A check was included in the amount of $6,673.74 which we will send to Dr. Michael and Cheryl Gayle’s account with the mission organization, ABWE.  I am humbled and challenged by the reading of Melissa Swaim’s will.  In addition to all this she included twice the following statement to specific people: “I want you to join me in Heaven, but…only you can make that decision.  I love you and pray that you choose to follow Jesus Christ as your Savior.  Remember, you can’t live like the world lives and call yourself a follower of Jesus.”  Wow!  What an experience reading her will!  Even in her death she was working to fulfill the Great Commission!
 
Let’s work together to share Jesus with the world!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY – FEBRUARY 6, 2022

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:18-20

 

We have designated the month of February as Missions Month here at NBC.  We want each of us to be reminded of our Lord’s plan for His church and to allow Him to make us a Great-Commission church.  We want to see the world as He sees it… a world of people lost in sin, walking in darkness, and living under the power of Satan.  We know the world must hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ so that it might be rescued, saved, and be given the hope of eternal life.  The following was written by my wife, Cathy, back in 2014 for our Advent devotional, and I just recently found it in my documents.

 

       After Jesus lifted me out of the “slimy pit” and rescued me, my family began visiting churches in the Fulton County area.  I was unimpressed after each visit until I heard the Word expounded from the pulpit one Sunday morning at NBC.  The rest is history – the Fraker Clan soon became members.

       But there was another factor present, and my heart was deeply touched through a piece of paper entitled, “My Faith Promise to share Christ worldwide.”  Missions!!  God had laid a burden on my baby Christian heart for missions, and here was a church that actively pursued missions!

       As I think back over the last 17 years, I thank God for the vision He has given the NBC family for missions.  As this little “church in the wildwood” continues to serve our Soon Coming King, I pray that we never lose our passion for His Word and its purifying message (John 17:17).  I also pray that we never lag in the work of His commission to His bride in Matthew 28 and that the body at NBC continues to go, give, and pray faithfully just as it has done in the past.

       Let us be Faith-Promise Givers following the example of God the Father as He gave His only Son to redeem us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).  As we worship Jesus during this Christmas (now we’ll call it a world-harvest season) season, let us never forget His promises to us and His desire to save “whoever” will believe in Him.  Let us continue to live out God’s Great Commission because of His great faithfulness to us.  “Share the Gospel.  Study the Word.  Really!”
 
To the world for the Lord!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 30, 2022

“And He said unto them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly,  it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”  Mark 16:15-18

 

That passage above is called the Great Commission.  It is great for several reasons.  It is to be the first, or primary task of the church in this world.  It is also great because of its extent.  God has challenged the church to “ends-of-the-earth” thinking, which involves geography and time.  The Great Commission will finally end when Christ returns and gathers all of God’s children to their final home.  Another reason why we should be knowledgeable of the Great Commission is because of when and how many times Jesus stated it.  The Great Commission was among the last words of Jesus.  It is largely accepted that a person’s “last words” reveal the true burden of his or her heart.  Do you know on how many occasions after His resurrection Jesus gave what is called the “Great Commission”?  The following is from Robertson McQuilkin’s The Five Smooth Stones, pages 117 and 118.

 

  1.  On the night of the Resurrection, Christ appeared among the disciples in the upper room and said, “As the Father         has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21 NIV). With that same heart of love the Father had in sending Me, Jesus       said, “I am sending you and with that same heart of love I want you to go.”
  2.  Next we meet them up north in Galilee where He announced, “All authority is given Me in heaven and earth, go           therefore and disciple the nations” (Matt. 28:18-19).
  3.  Then we find them back in Jerusalem, again in the upper room where He explains to them about His intention of           world evangelism, showing them from the Old Testament how “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be                       preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:47-48             NIV).
  4.  From there, He led them out toward Mount Olivet where He was to be separated from them; they were still thinking       about Kingdom restoration. He told them that wasn’t their concern and they weren’t ready for what was to be their       concern, so they should wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit would come on them.  When that happened, He               said,  “You will receive power…and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to           the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).
  5.  The most famous Great Commission of all is found in Mark 16:15, but the writer doesn’t give enough context to               know if it was on one of the other four occasions or on yet a fifth: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to           every creature” (NKJV). Four or five times He gave the command!

 

         “Go!  Go!  Go!  That’s the mandate of the church.”
 
Let’s be a Great Commission church!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 23, 2022

“…Suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’ And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.  But Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’  When they had lifted their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”  Matthew 17:5-8

 

If we heard someone say that Jesus must be “first in our lives,” most of us would nod in agreement.  The fact is that most of us don’t know how to do that in a practical way.  We might think or ask, “How can I take care of my daily responsibilities and still make Jesus the center of my life?” The following comes from Lettie Cowman’s Springs in the Valley, the January 17th reading with no notation of who wrote it.

 

     “We have to get our eyes off others before we can have the full vision of Jesus.  Moses and Elias had to pass to make possible the vision of Jesus only.  In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah says, I saw the Lord.  His eyes and hopes had been upon the mighty and victorious earthly leader, and with his death all these hopes had sunk in despair.  But the stars come out when the lights of earth fade.  It was when Isaiah’s true vision and life began.

     “It is not enough to see Jesus along with other things and persons. What we need is to have Him fill all our vision, all our sky, all our heart, all our plans, and all our future.  What He wants from us is ‘first love,’ that is, the supreme place; and He cannot really be anything to us satisfactorily until He is everything.  He is able to fill every capacity of our being and without displacing any rightful affection or occupation, yet so blend with all, so control all, so become the very essence of all thought and all delight that we can truly say, ‘For me to live is Christ,’ for ‘the love of Christ constraineth me,’ shuts me up and in from everything else as a pent-up torrent in its narrow course, to live not unto myself but ‘unto Him that loved me, and gave Himself for me.’

     “Holy Spirit, bring us our transfiguration, take us apart to our Mount of vision, let Moses and Elias pass, and let us see no man save Jesus only.”

 

Our worship, our service, and our lives must become Christ-centered!
 
I’m waiting and watching!
     Pastor Doug

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 16, 2022

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Matthew 16:19-20

 

I can confidently say that there is power in prayer.  James wrote, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (See James 5:16.)  Many years ago John Wesley said that nothing is done in the Kingdom of God except by prayer.  Certainly those of you reading this little article must agree with the idea that the Christian life includes praying as an essential expression of our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.  Now think about how important and powerful prayer becomes when it is shared within a fellowship of believers.  When prayer becomes a part of our corporate, united spiritual life, God will respond in incredible and miraculous ways!

 

Cathy and I had the privilege of meeting and hearing a great stalwart of the faith, Richard Owen Roberts, a number of years ago.  It was at a conference entitled “Heart-Cry for Revival.”  At the meeting we acquired some of Brother Roberts’ written material on the subject of “fervent revival prayer!”  Here is a portion from that material.

 

     “The very heart of the biblical teaching on prayer is fervency and consistency.  When men are so earnest that they cannot live without the desired blessing, God is pleased with their attitude and takes delight in their petitions.

     “Half-hearted praying doesn’t even produce half-hearted results.  It is worse than nothing.  In fact, it is an affront against a gracious God.  God Himself is earnest.  He deals earnestly with people and requires people to deal earnestly with Him.

     “Secret prayer for revival is absolutely essential.  Men must begin with prayer for revival of their own souls.  They must wrestle with God in their own closets for this needed blessing.  When it comes, there will come with it a burden for a larger awakening affecting the whole church.  This prayer for revival must go on unceasingly.  It must shape and affect all of life.  It must become a burden of major proportions. It is a duty and a privilege not to be abandoned.

     Prayer for revival must also become a major part of the prayer life of the local church.  It ought to find its way into the public services of worship.  It ought to dominate the prayer meetings of the congregation.”

 

Now for a moment, just imagine what will happen when all of us who are part of NBC begin to pray fervently for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and a fresh touch of God’s grace and power on all of us! Miracles! Salvation! Deliverance! Healing! New life!
 
I’m praying, waiting, and watching!
     Pastor Doug

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

SUNDAY  –  JANUARY 9, 2022

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 6:33, 34

 

Last Sunday, I preached a message on the passage that contains these verses.  The theme of the passage is about trusting the Lord to take care of us each and every day of our lives.  On Monday, the very next day, I read the following from Mrs. Cowman’s Springs in the Valley.  It is from the writings of a man named Bob Burdette.

 

     “There are two golden days in the week, upon which, and about which, I never worry – two care-free days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.

     “One of these days is Yesterday; yesterday, with its cares and frets, all its pains and aches, all its faults, mistakes and blunders, has passed forever beyond my recall.  I cannot undo an act that I wrought; nor unsay a word that I said.  All that it holds of my life, of wrong, of regret and sorrow, is in the hands of the Mighty Love that can bring honey out of the rock and sweetest waters out of the bitterest desert.  Save for the beautiful memories – sweet and tender – that linger like the perfume of roses is the heart of the day that is gone, I have nothing to do with Yesterday.  It was mine!  It is God’s!

     “And the other day that I do not worry about is Tomorrow; tomorrow, with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its perils, its large promise and poor performance, its failures and mistakes, is as far beyond my mastery as its dead sister, Yesterday.  It is a day of God’s.  Its sun will rise in roseate splendor, or behind a mask of weeping clouds, but it will rise.

     “Until then, the same Love and Patience that held Yesterday holds Tomorrow.  Save for the star of hope that gleams forever on the brow of Tomorrow, shining with tender promise into the heart of Today, I have no possession in that unborn day of grace.  All else is in the safe keeping of the Infinite Love that is higher than the stars, wider than the skies, deeper than the seas.  Tomorrow is God’s day!  It will be mine!

    “There is left for myself, then, but one day in the week – Today.  Any man can fight the battles of Today!  Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day!  Any man can resist the temptations of Today!  O, friends, it is when we willfully add the burdens of those two awful eternities – Yesterday and Tomorrow – such burdens as only the Mighty God can sustain – that we break down.  It isn’t the experience of Today that drives men mad.  It is the remorse for something that happened Yesterday; the dread of what Tomorrow may disclose.

     “These are God’s days!  Leave them with Him!

     “Therefore, I think and I do, and I journey but one day at a time!  That is the easy way.  That is Man’s Day.  Dutifully I run my course and work my appointed task on that Day of ours.  God, the All-Mighty and All-Loving, takes care of Yesterday and Tomorrow.”
 
God is with us each day!
     Pastor Doug
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

SUNDAY – JANUARY 2, 2022

“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 96:8,9

 

Worship and prayer are often very closely related.  In a broad sense, you cannot do one without the other.  We might be confronted suddenly and need to pray without time to “enter into worship.” It is unfortunately certain that thousands go to a time of worship without the slightest thought of whispering a prayer.  Yet the truth is that if we want to pray effectively, we must worship the God that we are crying out to.  It is also true that we cannot worship fully and reverently without seeking God in prayer.  The disappointing consequence of our lack of worship and prayer is based on our lack of time spent in the company of God.  Both worship and prayer require focus and attention given to God!

 

Andrew Murray’s introduction to the month of January’s devotions in “Daily in His Presence” states:

     “…We are too focused on our human limitations, on our own weakness and sinfulness, and not enough on God’s greatness, holiness, love, and omnipotence.  The thoughts and feelings that fill our hearts and minds influence our prayer (and worship).

     “If we dwell upon our own needs and desires, our own efforts, and our own faith, we shall soon find that there is no real power in our prayers (or worship).  It is essential that we see prayer (and worship) in the light of God; the deep interest He takes in us, the great love with which He desires to answer prayer, the omnipotence of His power, and the magnitude of His strengthening grace.

     “As with all else, in prayer (and worship) God must be first.  Prayer (or worship), to be effective, needs to first be approached in the light of heaven and the infinite glory of the living God.  It is when, by His marvelous grace, we have been lifted up into His fellowship and love that He bestows upon us the blessings we need.  The first thing, then, must be to bow in lowly reverence before God, offering Him our adoration and worship.”

 

Murray concludes: “We need to take time to adore God and secure some sense of His presence. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Then adore Him. God is in the temple: Let all who appear before Him do so in awe. Prostrate yourself before Him with deepest reverence. Own Him alone as your God and Savior, and praise His name forever.”
 
I am waiting and watching!
     Pastor Doug