The Virgin Birth December 8, 2013
Pastor Don’s Thoughts
During the Christmas season, I often watch programs concerning the birth of Jesus. Most often the program will try to discredit the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin, by claiming that she could have simply been a young unmarried women. It is true that the Hebrew word used for “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14, can mean either virgin or young maiden, it is not good enough to leave your search there.
The Greek word used in Matthew 1:22 is specifically used for the word “virgin”, which helps to interpret to Isaiah’s prophecy.
Finally, the fact that the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah and Matthew to use these words conclusively proves that God was speaking of a “virgin”.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There is no writer, speaker or program that can dare claim to be God-breathed, so Christians have no need to give weight to any attack on scripture. No matter how much authority someone claims to have, if they speak or teach anything against the gospel, they are in great danger.
Galatians 1:6-8 (NIV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
We have this instruction from the scripture:
1 Peter 2:12 (NIV) Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Love, Pastor Don
God’s Power In Your Life November 21, 2013
Often times, there is a disconnect between a Christians faith, and their relationship with the bible, their church, or even other Christians. These disconnects should be of concern for the professing Christian not being concerned, but it is not unusual for the very opposite to be the case. Instead of a strong desire to have a vital relationship, they are content with simply “being saved”. There many reasons for this disconnect, and one of them is that they do not feel the power of God in their lives, and eventually God has no real impact on their lives. It would do them good to read about and practice what a biblical Christian should be.
James 1:19-25 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
Faith, hope, and love can only happen, when a person puts them selves in a situation that actually lets them do what they have read or heard. You do not need to have faith until you have to rely on God. You don’t have to hope for anything that you can provide for yourself. You can’t love unless you truly desire it. Love is a scary thing, because it often requires you to forgive someone else.
Failure to these, refuses the power of God, and indicates a self-deception, and dis-content is the obvious symptom. If you want to feel God’s presence in your life, and bring hunger for His Word and people, start doing what He tells you to do. Then you will feel God’s power.
God Sent You To Me October 14, 2013
God sent him/her to me, you are a Godsend, God knew that I needed you. Have you ever heard someone say that? Maybe you have said it before. Think about it for a minute. What did you mean when you said that. If you are like me, you probably meant that your life is easier because God sent this person into your life, right? At the Marriage retreat it occurred to me that if God sent Deb to me to make my life easier, He may have sent me to make her life harder. I know that this is a weird thought. Some of you are saying to yourself, “Me and mine are a perfect balance. We bless each other.” If you are that perfect couple, which I doubt, you can skip the rest of my thoughts.
Only Deb and I know how much she has had to sacrifice for my sake. Did God send me to her? Did He know things about her that she needed to experience through me, in order to glorify Him. My heart surgery could have been for her spiritual benefit. Most of you already know that I believe in living in community, mainly because we can learn things about ourselves that need to change, in order to glorify God. Think about the people around you that get on your last nerve. Is there a problem with them or you? Think about the people that you are usually rude, short tempered or intolerant with. God may have given them to you. Is it possible that we can be so self-seeking that we cannot conceive that those around us are there to draw us closer to God whether we like it or not? Whether we like them or not? If that is so, many of us are not glorifying God in our lives. Many of us are missing the point altogether.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the
testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance
must finish its work so that you may be mature and
complete, not lacking anything.
I love the book of James. God sent it to me. Sometimes, it gets on my last nerve.
Love – Pastor Don
When Deb and I went to Gettysburg, PA, we learned that it is the site of one of the worst battles ever fought on American soil. Over 60,000 men died during a 3-day battle. I was overwhelmed by this fact and began to think about the greatness of our country. What I decided was that we are not a great nation because we have always agreed with one another, but that we have remained unified no matter how much we have disagreed.
I believe that the American church could take a lesson from the American secular. The church seems to have no will to remain unified, even though we have so much in common. We prefer to separate and fight amongst ourselves. It is little wonder that un-saved people say that they don’t know which “religion” is correct, when they are actually talking abut Christian denominations. Because of the great division of the church, we have elevated even the faiths that call upon false gods.
Maybe we should learn this simple truth, prayed by Jesus, so long ago; John 17:20-21″ My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Love – Pastor Don
Are you born again? I was talking about this yesterday and as always, I became pretty excited. Jesus told Nicodemus that a person must be born again. Nicodemus was quite confused and asked how could a person be born two times. When Jesus tells him that a person must be born of water a Spirit he give Nicodemus a simple illustration. Many Christians want to debate the being born of water part of Jesus’ statement. Neither he or Nicodemus seems to have any mis-understanding about that.
Instead, Jesus tells Nicodemus about being born of the Spirit. I love this. Jesus compares being led by the Spirit to blowing wind. I like to use the illustration of a leaf blown by the wind. It appears to be so free and light. Sometimes it flutters gently through the air and sometimes it moves so quickly. It may rise. I may fall. A leaf flying through the air is actually completely under the influence of the wind. Notice what Jesus says, “so it is with everyone born of the Spirit”. The early church was a great example of this. They would have dreams a act upon them. People would show up and they would leave with them. Situations would arise and they would accept them as being from God. Are you born again? Do you follow the Spirit like they did? Are you willing to allow God to move you from one thing to the next? Jesus said it; “You must be born again”.
Love, Pastor Don
I am 55 years old today. I got saved 26 years ago this month. God began to convict me 5 years earlier while Deb was pregnant with MaryHelen. Until that time, I was quite the confidant atheist, but having a baby was an act of God I could not dismiss. Shortly after Samantha was born, I got
saved. One of the first Christian albums I bought was the Resurrection Band’s, Awaiting Your Reply. The song Broken Promises has been my heart’s cry every since. They were then and continue to be
today, my life’s story:
Broken promises Broken by me and not You Jesus, break me Lord, snap my stubborn heart in two
Lonely hours, so many wasted talents That I’ve sown But now I’m ready to follow You, Jesus My dear Lord, I’m coming home Lord, I want You to change me Rearrange me Lord, I want You to mold me I just want You to hold me Sweet Savior, just love me Your thoughts are so high above me I confess that I need You I really know that I need You I need You.
Love, Pastor Don