The Fifth Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 26, 2023

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 14:11


The “first principle” of the Kingdom is humility.  Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount characteristics of Kingdom living which was begun with the Beatitudes.  The first one is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  None of us can enter the Kingdom except by humbling ourselves and “kneeling” before the Great King and Savior of our souls.  The following comes from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith, the March 22nd entry.


     “Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it.  Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely.  Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them. Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honour to give it to them.

     “Come, dear reader, take a lowly place.  Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee.  Perhaps the sigh breaks out, ‘I fear I am not humble.’ It may be that this is the language of true humility.  Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride.  We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be.  Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us a taste of His favour.  It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds us in this humility and opportunity for pouring in more grace.  Let us go down that we may rise.  Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich.  Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled, but may be exalted by the grace of God.”


The wise man wrote, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:18, 19.)  Let’s humble ourselves before the Mighty Hand of God and wait for His deliverance!
I am the least of the saints!
     Pastor Doug





The Fourth Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 19, 2023

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24-25


E. Stanley Jones has written in Victorious Living about assurances or evidences that we are actually born-again. Obviously, there are certain characteristics that should be evident in the life of those who profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  I think his explanation about church “membership” is as sensible as it is biblical.  The following excerpt is from Week 10 on Sunday.

     “’Don’t you think I should belong to some church?’ asked a lady who had just entered the new life.  Was her instinct for  corporate fellowship right?  It was.

     “The spiritual life cannot be lived in isolation.  Life is intensely personal; it is also intensely corporate, and you cannot separate them.  If you should wipe out the church today, you would have to put something like it in its place tomorrow.  For there must be a corporate expression of the spiritual life as well as an individual.  Even to separate the social and the personal life in this way is wrong.  For the social life is the personal in its larger relationships.

     “The idea that it is your duty to support the church seems to me to be all wrong.  The church is not founded upon a duty imposed on you from without.  It is founded on the facts of life.  Your very inner nature demands it.  American evangelist D. L. Moody, in answer to a man who said he did not need the church, quietly pulled a coal from the hearth and separated it, and together they watched it die.  It was a legitimate answer.

     “I am quite sure that I should not have survived as a young Christian had I not had the corporate life of the church to hold me up. When I rejoiced, they rejoiced with me.  When I was weak, they strengthened me, and once when I fell – a rather bad fall – they gathered around me by prayer and love and without blame or censure they lovingly lifted me back to my feet again.

     “I know the stupidities and the inanities and the irrelevancies and the formalities of the church.  Yes, I know them all.  But nevertheless, the church is the mother of my spirit, and we love our mothers in spite of weakness and wrinkles.  My word, then, to you is that, as you begin this new life you begin it as a member of the church family.”


May the Holy Spirit awaken us to the very real value of the church of Jesus Christ.  May His presence empower “our church” to be a real living body of faith and love.  May His power in our midst “birth,” nurture, strengthen and equip     believers!  Amen!
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God!
     Pastor Doug





The Third Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 12, 2023

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:57


E. Stanley Jones entitled his writing for Tuesday of Week 10 in Victorious Living “The Spirit of Non-expectancy.” I think this is so important as a challenge for all of us that I present it here in its entirety.


     “Yesterday we said that the chief characteristic of modern Christianity is not victorious living.  This would not be so serious if we expected something else; if we were pushing upon the gates of abundant life to have them open.  But many have settled down to a spirit of non-expectancy.  They do not expect anything beyond spiritually muddling through.  This is serious!

     “I have watched what the awful power of fatalism can do when it falls upon a civilization.  Have I not seen these lovely people of the East paralyzed at the center by a strange fatalism that makes them turn over their hands in helpless resignation?  Across the world that danger is at our doors.  It has slowly crept into many a heart, and we are resigned to moral and spiritual defeat- we take it for granted, in fact.  Doctor Elwood Worcester of Boston, who has labored for years in clinics for people troubled in body and soul, can say these astonishing words: ‘Most Christians do not expect their religion to do them any great or immediate good.’  When one tells them that this condition of moral and spiritual defeat need not last for a single hour, that we can find victory and adequacy and buoyancy in living, they look at you as one who announces strange doctrine.  For they have become naturalized in defeat.

     “Mathias Alexander tells the story of a little girl who was permanently lopsided and who was brought to him for treatment.  After working with her for some time, he managed to get her to stand quite straight.  Then he asked her to walk across to her mother.  She walked perfectly straight for the first time in her life and then, bursting into tears, threw herself into her mother’s arms, crying, ‘Oh, Mummy, I’m all crooked.’  We too think of being spiritually straight and upstanding and adequate as something strange and unnatural.”


May the Holy Spirit awaken us to the very real possibility of victorious living!  Let’s pray: “O, Christ, we know we cannot live unless, first of all, we desire to live.  We do desire to live – to live fully and adequately.  Your pressure awakens us.  Open our eyes!  Amen.
I know that faith is the victory that overcomes the world!
     Pastor Doug





The Second Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 5, 2023

“And we have known the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,

and God in him.”  I John 4:16


I really appreciate the expression about Sundays in This Love Changes Everything Prayer Journal.  The author identifies each    Sunday as “Sunday Oasis.”  The fellowship of believers who gather to worship the Lord will find refreshing there.  We should    especially get a “fresh dose” of God’s love as He pours it out on His people.  During this season of Lent we are being reminded about God’s love for us and how it affects our daily lives.  The Bible teaches that genuine love is a characteristic of believers.  E. Stanly Jones has written about “assurances” that are given to us who have been born again.  The following comes from Thursday of Week 8 in Victorious Living.


     “There is another source of assurance that the New Life is within us.  We will be conscious of the impulse to share something, yes, to share Christ.

     “Life manifests not merely in a desire for more life for itself but also for more life for others.  The two sides of religion are love to God and love to humanity, and the moment we touch God, we will have an impulse to touch people.  If, therefore, we are not sure of our love to God, we may be assured of it, if we find our love to people increase.

     “The moment I arose from my knees after surrendering myself to Christ, I wanted to put my arms around the world and share this with everybody.  There was an almost irresistible impulse to give this precious fact.  I felt that everyone should know it and experience it; I feel that way still.

     “It may be that you have no such overwhelming impulse; it may be very feeble; it may be just the timid peeping of buds through the yet partly frozen ground of your reserves, and yet it is there.  Act on it today.

     “You may be rebuffed as I was rebuffed, when the next day I spoke to my companion in the law library of what had      happened: ‘What?  I’ll knock that out of you in two weeks.’  He didn’t; he only knocked it deeper.  It is the very life of God within you when you have an impulse to share!  Take its assurance!”


Jones ended the writing with a prayer which included: “O Christ, your love is conquering me, for I would conquer others for you.”  Each of us should say a hearty “AMEN!”
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me!
     Pastor Doug





The First Sunday in Lent


“And we have known the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,

and God in him.”  I John 4:16


Most of us can quote John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  So often when we talk about how much God loves us, we point back to something He has done in the past.  We tend to use the “past tense” of love when we speak about it.  I want to move your thoughts from the past into the present.  It is certainly true that there are historical events that are behind us in which God has demonstrated His love, but He loves us NOW as much as He loved us then.  Past actions are intended to prove to us that He loves us presently, in this very moment.  I want you not only to believe and know that God loves you, I want you to also experience His love for you RIGHT NOW!


This is a reason I want to encourage you to use the Lent Prayer Journal.  I urge you to read the Bible verses for each day and think about what God is saying to you through His Word.  Actually “reflect” on God’s Truth and then write down some of your own thoughts in your own words.  This exercise in your “devotional life” will draw you closer to the reality of God in your life.  My prayer is that you and I will have a deeper, greater sense of God’s love.


Each week has a theme that is at the top of each page.  Here they are!

This Love Is Real  (Week 1)

This Love Changes Everything!  (Week 2)

This Love Changes Our Love for Others  (Week 3)

This Love Changes Our Priorities  (Week 4)

This Love Changes Each Today  (Week 5)

This Love Changes Every Tomorrow  (Week 6)

Christ’s Life-Giving, Life-Changing Love  (Holy Week)


This will take us to our Easter Sunday celebration of His Resurrection!  Hallelujah!  We have always needed God’s love in our own hearts and lives!  The world we live in certainly needs God’s love NOW very desperately!  Let’s pray and seek our God for a fresh wind of His Spirit and His LOVE!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me!
     Pastor Doug






“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you;

but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  Luke 24:49


Before Jesus ascended into heaven after the resurrection, He met with His disciples to give them a final instruction concerning the ministry that lay ahead of them.  Luke wrote in Acts 1, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” (v. 4)  Jesus then explained, “You have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (v. 5)  The Promise was that God would send the Holy Spirit in a “new” way so that every believer would be “filled with the Spirit.”  It is recorded in the Second Chapter of Acts that God did send the   Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost “…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:4)  If that great work of God that is recorded in Acts was contingent on the believers being filled with the Holy Spirit then, it remains the same today!  We must be filled with the Holy Spirit!


Corrie Ten Boom wrote a little book, Marching Orders for the End Battle, in which she wrote the following.  “In the Acts of the Apostles we see that the kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ, was built through the work of the Holy Spirit, His fruit and His gifts.  The Word of God shows us that there is no substitute for the gifts of the Spirit.  They were not only for that time, but also for today.  The Good Shepherd will give to His own a life which reveals His Spirit and power.  For this equipment is necessary for the life of the Church, in her battle against the powers of darkness now, as in those days.”  She writes on the same page 35, “The first Christian church, which was brought to life in an unusual way through the creating power of the Holy Spirit, needed gifts of the Spirit to be built up.  How much more do we need the gifts of the Spirit in this time in our churches and groups, where life is so often absent!  One appeals to tradition and habits and refuses to acknowledge the truth which the Bible teaches us: ‘The Spirit of God alone can give life to the soul’ (2 Cor. 3:6)  But this Spirit does not reveal Himself apart from the gifts of grace.  The ‘letter’, as the apostle writes, that is to say, pious human effort to understand and grasp the Word of God, cannot be a substitute for these. Only the Spirit can give light.  Only He can touch the heart.  Only He can lead us to repentance, humility and reconciliation.  The Spirit alone makes us understand the signs of the times, and He shows us that we have to stand in the gap for a world that is doomed to destruction.”


The Bill and Gloria Gaither song says in the refrain (chorus) what we need to pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, I need You; Come, sweet Spirit, I pray.  Come in Your strength and Your power; Come in Your own gentle way.”
Let’s open our hearts and lives to the Spirit’s fullness!
     Pastor Doug






“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their

trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14, 15


It is obvious from observation and reports in the media that our country is filled with much hatred and bitterness.  There are large numbers of people behaving in unkind and harsh ways toward their fellow man.  A line from a pop song of the 60’s was “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.”  The song included phrases like “it’s just what there’s too little of,” and “no, not just for some, but for everyone.”  I believe that true love is found only in God.  He is the “source” and “example” of what true love is.  If the world is ever going to experience God’s true love, then certainly it must be found in the church of Jesus Christ!  It begins with us, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!  We must be the instrument of God through which His true love is manifested to the world.


The following was written by E. Stanley Jones in the 1930’s in Victorious Living.  (This was taken from the Sunday reading of Week 6.)

     “Take resentment.  Whether you have wronged your brother as shown in Matthew 5:23-24 (in coming to the altar you remember that someone has something against you) or in Matthew 18:15 (someone has sinned against you); in either case you are to go and be reconciled.  Whether sinned against or sinning, the Christian is under obligations to take the initiative in settling the dispute.

     “But you say, ‘I can’t forgive.’  Then may I say it very quietly, but very solemnly: You can never, never be forgiven.  ‘But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins’ (Matt. 6:15).  Do you not remember that in the Lord’s Prayer we pray, ‘Forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’?  So if you do not forgive, you ask not to be forgiven.  In refusing forgiveness to others you have broken down the bridge over which you yourself must pass, namely, forgiveness.”


Mr. Jones wrote the following prayer in conclusion: “O Christ, you who did hang on the cross, tortured in every nerve, yet did pray for your enemies, ‘Lord, forgive them,’ help me this day, now, to forgive those who have wronged me in a lesser way.  In your name.  Amen.”
The change necessary in our country must begin in us, God’s children!
     Pastor Doug






“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8


One very important idea that Jesus taught about God the Father is that He is interested in our individual, personal lives.  Jesus wants us to know that we can trust our Heavenly Father.  He wants us to learn to petition our Father through prayer and to      believe that He will answer us!  Jesus taught that even imperfect earthly fathers give the proper and necessary items to their   children.  Examples were given, among which was the following: “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will he give him a stone?”  He concluded this section of the Sermon on the Mount by saying, “…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (See Matthew 7:9-11)  Repeatedly throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus encouraged people to pray in faith expecting an answer from God the Father.


While it is true that we must have faith, our confidence in answered prayer is not in ourselves.  We don’t receive answers because we are “super spiritual” and superior to others offering prayers also.  We don’t receive answers because we “deserve” them through our extraordinary “good works” that we have accomplished.  Our confidence cannot rest in our oratorical abilities that cause us to think we “pray better” than others.  There are no special rituals we need to learn in order to receive answers from our Heavenly Father.  Answers to pray come to people because of the character and nature of God Himself!  Our confidence and faith for prayer must be fixed on Him and never on ourselves!


Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote about “prayer-confidence” for the final day of January in Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. He began, “Friends may be unfaithful, but the Lord will not turn away from the gracious soul; on the contrary, He will hear all its desires.”  The next paragraph he began, “Our wisdom is to look unto the Lord, and not to quarrel with men or women.”  People may forget us or deliberately reject us in our times of need, but God never will.  He loves and cares for us!  Read the final paragraph of that day’s devotion.

     “Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Himself to hear us.  If we can each speak of Him as ‘My God,’ we may with absolute certainty say, ‘My God will hear me.’ Come, then, O bleeding heart, and let thy sorrows tell themselves out to the Lord thy God!  I will bow the knee in secret, and inwardly whisper, ‘My God will hear me.'”
We can all pray with confidence because of who our Heavenly Father is!
     Pastor Doug






“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”                      I Timothy 2:3-5


I have met a few people over the years who indicated to me that “it didn’t take with me like it did with you.”  Most of these were people who grew up in the same setting as I did, and some even went to the same church as I did.  They expressed the belief that for one reason or another, they just couldn’t get saved.  I want to be very explicit with you to tell you that you can get saved.  God wants you to be saved, and it is certain that everything God wants He makes a possibility!


E. Stanley Jones wrote about “God’s Search for Me” and based it on the 15th chapter of Luke. He wrote, “we must accept the thought that God is in a persistent, redemptive search for us. It seems too good to be true.  My answer is that it is too good not to be true.”  Mr. Jones goes on to apply the content of the parables in Luke 15 to God’s search for every lost soul.

     “But here Jesus flings back the curtains and lets us see the God of the shepherd-heart who seeks and seeks the lost sheep until it is found.  And then the woman who sweeps the house for the lost coin.  So, says Jesus, God will sweep the universe with the broom of redeeming grace, until each lost soul is found.  For as the king’s image is stamped upon the coin so is the Divine image stamped upon the human soul, lost though it may be amid the dust of degradation.”


The final paragraph Jones explains that the son who “went into the far country” was so loved by the Father, that “…this lad got hold of his father’s outreaching love, and it led him back to the father’s bosom.  The Hound of Heaven relentlessly pursuing us down the years!”  (Jones, Victorious Living, Week 4, Tuesday.)


The next day, E. Stanley Jones addresses the issue of the possibility that “some souls are incapable of finding God by their very mental and spiritual makeup.”  He declares: “Everyone has a capacity to love God.  Everyone who is willing to pay the price of finding can find God.  Remember this: No one is constitutionally incapable of finding God.  If we do not find God, the cause is not in our constitution, but in our consent!”


Each of us must turn our eyes toward Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I rejoice that He sought me, and He bought me!
     Pastor Doug





“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear… The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge… The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”  Psalm 46:1-2a, 7, 11


Throughout history people who have trusted in the power of God to help them have discovered that He is indeed real.  God will not forsake us to the enemy and his schemes to harm us, but He will demonstrate His real interest and intervention in our lives.  You actually can trust Him!  The question to answer: Do you trust Him?


Charles Spurgeon wrote about Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”  His writing is entered for January 16 in his Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.

     “Why do I not call on His name?  Why do I run to this neighbor and that, when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down, and devise schemes, and invent plans?  Why not at once roll myself and my burden upon the Lord?  Straightforward is the best runner – why do I not run at once to the living God?  In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal shall to make it sure.

     “I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word ‘Whosoever’ is a very wide and comprehensive one.  Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God.  I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise.

     “My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine.  He who makes the promise will find out ways and means of keeping it.  It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels.  I am His servant, not His solicitor.  I call upon Him, and He will deliver me!”


I urge you to trust Him so much that when you are in need, the first thing you will do is call upon the Lord!
I rejoice that He has heard my cry, and He answered me!
     Pastor Doug






“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  I Corinthians 15:17-20


E. Stanley Jones was a missionary who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ among many nations and religions, but worked most extensively among the Buddhists of India who viewed life as a “bubble.” As a Christian, Jones viewed life more like an “egg” than a “bubble.”  Following is a demonstration of the difference between the two views.  The material is taken from Jones’ Victorious Living, Wednesday’s entry of the first week.


     “Is life a bubble, or is it an egg?  I must make my choice.  On the one hand, experts tell us that the universe is slowly running down and that one day it will end in ash, carrying with it all things and all life to its final doom.  Death shall reign.  On the other hand, some tell us that the universe is being renewed by a silent and saving bombardment of life-giving rays, so that the last word is not being spoken by death, but by life.  Life shall reign!  One says the universe is a bubble; the other says it is an egg.

     “On the one hand, they tell us that man is made up of elements that can be purchased for a few cents, so that life is only mucus and misery.  On the other hand, some tell us that humanity is made in the image of the Divine, that we have infinite possibilities of growth and development before us.  One says humanity is a bundle of futilities; the other says we are a bundle of possibilities.

     “Some say prayer is an auto-suggesting of oneself into illusory states of mind, that nothing comes back save the echo of one’s own voice.  Others say that in prayer actual communication takes place, that I link myself with the resources of God, so that my powers and faculties are heightened and life is strengthened and purified at its center.  One says prayer is futile; the other says it is fertile.”


The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that life is all about God!  Life is negatively impacted by unbelief and rejection of God!  But life is fully lived and enjoyed through Jesus Christ and a vital relationship with the God of the universe.  God is the source and Savior of Life!


I am alive in Jesus Christ!
     Pastor Doug






“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”  II Corinthians 1:19-20


We have received many “gifts” from different people throughout our lifetimes. Often these gifts have been in the form of a promise. “In the Spring, I’m going to take you to a Pirates home baseball game.” That’s just a simple example of “promise-gifts” that some of us may have received.  In my birthday card from my daughter back in August, she wrote, “I have tickets to a For King & Country concert on December 2nd; if you will go, I’ll take you.”  That was a “promise-gift” that I gladly accepted and received in fulfillment on December 2nd, 2022.  Can you think of any gift that you have received of that nature?  This is an exciting and encouraging type of gift.  They give us “something to look forward to” and a hope of something good coming into our lives.


God has given many, many promises in His Word, and according to the verses from II Corinthians at the top of this page, Jesus Christ is the guarantor of His promises.  “The promises of God are YES in Him!”  What wonderful “gifts” God has given to us in His Word!  Charles Spurgeon wrote the following in his Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith for January 3rd.


     “No promise is of private interpretation: it belongs not to one saint, but to all believers.  If, my brother, thou canst in faith lie down upon a promise, and take thy rest thereon, it is thine…. All the promises of God are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus; and as He is ours, every promise is ours if we will but lie down upon it in restful faith.”

     “Come, weary one, use thy Lord’s words as thy pillows.  Lie down in peace.  Dream only of Him.  Jesus is thy ladder of light.  See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God; and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion, and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee.”


I pray that you will experience many of God’s “promise-gifts” throughout this New Year.  The most wonderful “promise-gift” is our Home in Heaven!  Hallelujah!
I’m standing on the promises of God!
     Pastor Doug






New Year’s Day

“But what things were gain to me, these I counted loss for Christ.

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,

for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ!”  Philippians 3:7, 8


There are times when people seem to make certain types of promises to themselves and others about changes they are going to make.  The beginning of a new year is one such time when folks “swear” that they are “turning over a new leaf.” We call these    decisions New Year’s Resolutions.  There are always good intentions behind these “promises” made, and most of them involve “giving up” certain things or behaviors that have questionable benefit.  The effectiveness of this practice seems to bear little fruit in the grand scheme of life.  Let’s be clear about one principle.  The principle of “letting go” of things and practices that we ought not to hold on to.  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have probably heard that it is necessary “to give up” certain negative, sinful, and worldly “things” in order to follow the Lord Jesus more closely.  There are many illustrations in the Bible of this truth. The more one loves Jesus and seeks His Kingdom, the more obvious it becomes that certain activities will be forsaken and “left  behind.”


The important motivation is that we “weed out” those detrimental things for the Lord!  We get rid of certain things because we want to walk closer to Jesus.  Make no mistake about the fact that Jesus sees all that you “have left” for Him.  He notices and appreciates that your love for Him has cost you something, and you willingly relinquished even valuable things for His sake.  He will bless you for it!  I love the following paragraph from Cowman’s Springs in the Valley on December 28.


     “Is it too much to hope that when we see our blessed Lord in glory, when the trials and the toils and the sacrifices are all at an end – Is it too much to desire that He would say something like this to us: ‘Thy love to me was wonderful.’?  I tell you it will make the toils of the road and all the renunciations and willing sacrifices of life seem as nothing to have some such words of commendation from the lips of our Savior, and to hear Him say to the one who has sought to be faithful at all cost: ‘Well done.  You were  never popular on earth, and nobody knew much about you.  The life you lived to My glory in the uninspiring sphere of duty seemed to be wasted, and its sacrifice to be worthless by those who knew it; but your love to Me was wonderful!  Men said you made mistakes and were narrowminded and did not catch the spirit of the age.  Men thought you were a fanatic and a fool, and called you so; men crucified you as they crucified Me, but your love to Me was wonderful!’”
He gave everything because He loves us!  Can we count it too much to sacrifice for Him because we love Him?
He deserves my all!
     Pastor Doug