Wednesday, January 28, 2015


(Acts 20:35) … ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I would like to propose to you a new way of living and to wake up in the morning.  It has the potential of changing your life and to make life more meaningful and enjoyable.  It will put a smile upon your face throughout the day and which won’t wear out even when you crawl into the sheets at night.  You’ll have to give up something in exchange for it.  But once you do you won’t want to go back.  It’s all summed up in one word…YOU!
The Bible says in the last days people will be lovers of themselves. (2 Tim 3:2).  That reflects the core of problem in the world today…selfishness.  Me first…it’s all about me…what’s in it for me…and the like.  The problem with selfishness is it causes friction in relationships.  When you put yourself first it rubs people the wrong way.  People don’t like it when they are not honored and respected and when people cut in on them and do not consider their feelings.  Selfishness also causes personal unhappiness.  A person has gotten their way but at other’s expense.  They are king of the hill but they had to knock everyone else off on their way up.  Now they’re on top of the world but there’s no one to share life with.  
Isn’t there a better way to live?  Yes there is, and it’s when you finally realize it’s not about yourself but it’s about God and others.  It’s when you wake up and pray the prayer “Not as I will, but as You will” (Mat 26:39).  That you realize “For to me, to live is Christ (Phil 1:21).  That the greatest commandment is to love God with all your being (Mat 22:36-37).  Then when you have that figured out you then switch over to the next most important thing in life…people!  That God loves people and wants to help them and that He wants to touch their lives and that He wants to use you to do it.   It’s the second greatest commandment…after loving God is to love your neighbor as yourself (Mat 22:39).  
Did you know that the verse which says “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is not found in the four gospels?  It’s like it was meant to stand out boldly as Luke, the writer of Acts, showcased it from the lips of the apostle Paul.  It’s meant for you and me to know that the best way to happiness is when our eyes are off ourselves and our problems and are on the Lord and serving others.  Someone put it this way: 
JOY is spelled J.O.Y.:  Jesus first – Others second – Yourself last.  Don’t you love it?  So true!
Okay, so let’s practice.  Tomorrow morning you wake up and instead of thinking about yourself and your agenda, you will say one word out loud…YOU!  Then get up and work toward that word all day long.  Like John the Baptist said… (John 3:30) He must increase, but I must decrease.  Hopefully we will see each other out there serving others with J.O.Y.!!  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


(Luke 5:12-13)  And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.
Leprosy is typical of sin in the Bible because sin is filthy and repulsive.  Let’s compare the two from Leviticus 13 and with a little help from commentator Warren Wiersbe: 
IT IS DEEPER THAN THE SKIN (v. 3):. Sinners cannot be changed by shallow surface remedies; they need to have their hearts changed. See Jer. 17:9, Rom. 7:18, Ps. 51:5, and Job 14:4.
IT SPREADS (v. 7): Leprosy was not an isolated sore on one part of the body; it had a way of spreading and defiling the whole body. Sin also spreads: it begins with a thought, then follows a desire, then an act, then the terrible results (James 1:13-15). Read 2 Sam. 11 about David. 
IT DEFILES (vv. 44-46): Anyone who touched a leper was defiled. This is the tragedy of sin: it defiles the mind, the heart, the body, and all that it touches. One sinner can defile a whole household; think of Achan (Josh. 7). 
IT ISOLATES (v. 46): “He shall dwell alone!” What sad words. Sin always isolates people. It takes them away from family, friends, and, ultimately, from God. When Christ was made sin for us He cried, “Why have You forsaken me?” Sin separates people from God——and this is what hell is.
IT DESTINES THINGS FOR THE FIRE (v. 52): Any garment that was found defiled with leprosy was burned. There is only one place for sin, and that is in the fires of judgment. Jesus described hell as a place where the fire never burns out (Mark 9:43-48).  
But good news! Leviticus 14 gives forth the possibility of God healing this incurable disease.  And that’s what Jesus came to do.  He died on the cross to heal us of that dreadful sickness of sin that we are born with and would die with hopelessly if it were not for His sacrifice.  
Are you covered with spots today?  Then say this prayer today and be cleansed.  If you are willing, then He is too!  
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Saturday, January 17, 2015


So many Christians today have questions about tithing.  But what does the Bible say?:
- Tithing means giving a tenth of your income to the Lord and for His kingdom work.  Tithe means tenth in Hebrew: (Gen 28:22)…of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
- Tithing is found in the Bible even before the Law of Moses: (Gen 14:20)… And he (Abraham) gave him (Melchizedek) a tithe of all.
- The Jews were to tithe according to the Law of Moses to supply the needs of the priests, Temple, poor and needy, etc.:  (Lev 27:30) And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. (see also Deu 14:28-29)
- God will bless us financially if we tithe:  (Mal 3:10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
- We will hurt financially if we refuse to tithe:  (Mal 3:8-9) “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. (see also Haggai 1:2-11)
- The New Testament teaches us to give generously: (2 Cor 9:6) But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  
- We are also to give cheerfully: (2 Cor 9:7) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.   
- Our giving should be organized and consistent and not off and on: (1 Cor 16:2) On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.  
- Even those without much means are encouraged to give: (Mark 12:44) for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
- Give to your local church before you give to outside ministries:  (Mal 3:10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse… (1 Tim 5:18) For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
- We are not under law but under grace.  But if the law says 10% what would grace say?

Thursday, January 1, 2015


(1 Sam 14:6) Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us…
Do you ever feel life has become dull and unchallenging?  I mean you have the normal busyness and responsibilities but even within that you might be suffering boredom and even have an itch to do something more meaningful.  God has put in each of our hearts the need for adventure and if we don’t have that then life can easily seem uninteresting and even dismal.  That’s the way Jonathan felt until he linked up with God and took A VENTURE OF FAITH.  Great things happened that day that changed the course of events.  And great things will happen when we too partner with the Lord and take A VENTURE OF FAITH.   

The Philistines just wouldn’t leave Israel alone.  They were back harassing God’s people and Saul and his army were just unsure how to deal with them.  We see the king with men around him but he lacks the wisdom and boldness to lead them into battle.  It was his son Jonathan who stepped out and attacked the garrison of the Philistines and it was Saul who took the credit!  (James 1:5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally…

Jonathan was a guy that just couldn’t sit around and do nothing.  He stepped out in faith and faced the Philistines head on.  He knew he and his armor bearer were outnumbered but he figured that God was big enough and could save them with a large or a small army.  (Rom 8:31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

When Jonathan said it “may be that the Lord will work for us” he was talking about possibilities instead of impossibilities.  (Mat 19:26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Jonathan said it “may be” instead of “maybe”.  That is faith over doubt!  He was willing to take a risk which emboldened his soul against the prospect of failure.  (James 1:6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

Saul had taken a rash oath that no one should eat until the Philistines were taken care of.  Jonathan hadn’t heard of his father’s oath so he took of some honey which gave him the energy he needed.  His father heard of it and sought to slay him but the people interceded for him and saved his life. There’s always someone who will try to censure you and criticize you for that step of faith you are taking.  They are usually jealous because it’s the step of faith they should have taken a long time ago.  (Pro 14:30)…envy is rottenness to the bones.  
Tired of life being blah?  Have you been afraid to step out in faith?  You need a change!  The Lord may be calling you to take A VENTURE OF FAITH for Him.  Let’s watch what God will do and the thrill that lies ahead as we follow God’s leading into the future!  


It's the new year and it's time to get into the Word! Want to know where to start? Take the pastor Louie challenge and start from the beginning and read through the whole Bible in a year. This program averages three chapters a day at the rate of  about twelve minutes a day. Just think of it...this time next year you would have read through the whole Bible. Print out the handy guide and keep it in the flyleaf of your Bible.  Or just go to our church webpage and view the reading for that day on your computer or personal device.   

This year let's get the spiritual muscle that we're going to need for all that lies ahead in 2015!

1 John 2:14 ...I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you.  And you have overcome the wicked one.