Thursday, March 1, 2007

How To Forgive?

One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in
the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things
were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when
he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him.

He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness
he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger,
resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find,
knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree
to seek the one he knew would always be there. And with tears in his
eyes, he prayed:

"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told
me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you have told
me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is
not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me
and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this
one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so
deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you teach me to do
this one thing I cannot do - Teach me To Forgive."

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt
something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner
of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt.

He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been
was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and
saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus
hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a
torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw
the suffering and pain on His precious face As their eyes met, the
man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked? The man answered - "yes, Lord."
"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?" The man
answered - " yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more. "Have you
ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked? And the
man answered - "yes, Lord." "Have you ever sworn, using my Father's
name in vain?" The man, crying now, answered - "yes, Lord."

As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"? The man's crying became
uncontrollable, for he could only answer - "yes, Lord."

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt
something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the
blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and
there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.

Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."

It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but
when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is. Read
the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Christians have a Choice about Commitment
Matt. 6:19-24

A man may do some service to two masters, but he can devote himself to the service of no more than one. God requires the whole heart, and will not share it with the world. When two masters oppose each other, no man can serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world.

Several years ago Elton Trueblood wrote a book titled "The company of the Committed." This Quaker author & philosopher explained how Christians should commit to Jesus Christ every phase of their lives.

Commitment represents one of the key experiences of every Christian. It is not a one-time happening. Commitment should come every day.

Probably no area of existence demands daily choice for the Christian more than the area of materialism. Worldly ambition represents a strong fascination. Jesus helped His followers by talking to them about the choice of the Master & the choice of materialism.


Jesus began His discussion with the presentation of two alternatives:

On one hand, Jesus warned about treasures on earth. However, He din not prevent His followers from saving money. Jesus spoke about storing treasures "for ourselves." He warned about being possessed by Possessions.

On the other hand, Jesus spoke about treasure in heaven. Treasures in heaven are people won to Christ, kindnesses shown to others, and other works for the Lord. To be a committed Christian, one must choose to invest in treasures in heaven.


Anytime a person faces a choice about a matter, the, element of security should be considered. The treasures on earth are so insecure. In Jesus' day materialism was represented primarily in three areas: 1. Clothing, 2. Food, 3 Gold or Silver. Jesus depicted how insecure the treasures on earth were. 1. Moths can ruin clothing. 2. Food can be destroyed by rot & animals. 3. Gold & Sliver can be stolen by intruders.

After considering the insecurity of the treasures on earth, listen to Jesus' statements about the security of treasures in heaven.


Jesus elaborated on the idea of how a person puts possessions where his or her heart is. Actually, how a Christian spends money shows the spiritual condition of that person.

Jesus moves from the demonstration of a person's values by possessions to the illustration of a single eye and the single service. The single eye means a healthy eye; the evil eye represents a diseased eye. The good eye brings proper vision; the bad eye affects the whole personality. Jesus insisted we keep the spiritual eye, or values, clear and undistorted so that we might be able to see and do God's will.


Jesus gave a picture of a slave and a slave owner. "No one can serve two masters." He said. Anyone who divided allegiance between God and mammon has already given commitment to mammon. God can only be served with an entire and exclusive devotion.

Every person is confronted by commitment. People choose whether to be committed to Christ or the materialism. Oddly enough, some people choose mammon. Others choose to commit to Christ, and enjoy thrill and relevancy of being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Don't you think we need to help others understand what commitment is?

You can start today by saying "Lord Jesus come into my heart today and help me become committed to you!!"

I pray that you would enjoy the day the Lord has made and come to the Lord’s house next time the doors are open!!

In Christ Love: Pastor Jim

Monday, January 1, 2007

Celebrate the Light!

Students in a science class had good answers when they were asked what light is. "If we didn't have light we couldn't see", something that makes us happy" Grandpa likes to sit in the sun. It makes him feel good." But they missed the answer I was seeking, so I put a pot of ivy into a dark closet for a few days.
On the third day I brought the ivy back into the light. "It's all droopy! Said one pupil. "It looks sick!" said another, But I knew I had made my point when one student exclaimed: "Living things need light to live." Children have such insights. In reality they became my teacher.
We need the Light of God to live, too. "God is light, in him there is no darkness at all" {1 John1:5}
Knowing this is truly something that makes you happy, like the student said. Sitting in the presence of the Son makes one feel good, like the student's grandpa.
Walking in the light of Jesus enables the believer to see by faith, and that leads to a victorious life. "But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" {1 John 1:7}
Sin, on the contrary, breeds in darkness. Most crimes are committed in the dark. Suicides increase in gloomy weather. Cabin fever occurs in a long dreary winter.
Without light, life cannot exist, physically or spiritually. How we need the "Light" of a risen Savior.

Christians Are the Lower Lights "Matt.5:14-16"

Dwight Moody used to tell of a ship that crashed on the rocks near Cleveland, Ohio, because the lower lights of a lighthouse had gone out. Moody's song evangelist, Philip Bliss, was so moved by it that he wrote the song "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning."

1. Christians Are Not the Main Light.
A. They are like John the Baptist was:

John 1:6 (NIV) There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. {[9] Or This was the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world}
B. Jesus is not only the Main Light; He lit us up as well.
C. His light brought us out of darkness safe into the harbor.

Ephe 5:8 (NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Ephe 5:13 (NIV) But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Colo 1:12 (NIV) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you {[12] Some manuscripts us}to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

2. Christians Are to Keep the Lower Lights Burning.
A. It's a tremendous responsibility.

1The 5:5 (NIV) You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

Phil 2:15 (NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
B. It is so men can see {Matt.5:16}
1. What if our light has gone out?
2. What if it is burning faintly?
3. "Brighten the corner where you are... Someone far from harbor, you could guide across the bar."
C. No matter the cost, keep the light burning!
1. Not all appreciate the John 1:9 (NIV) The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. {[9] Or this was the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world}
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

John 3:19 (NIV) this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." {[21] Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.}
2. Sometimes lighthouse keepers paid with their lives. A long list of martyrs, beginning with Jesus, died letting their light shine!
Conclusion: Bliss, the author of this grand song, was killed in a train wreck, along with his wife, while traveling to Chicago for a meeting at Moody Tabernacle. He was only 38. But his light was brightly clear while he lived – and still does, whenever his song is sung.
Let’s not be like "Lava Lamp Believers"
Lava Lamps have made a comeback in recent years. Many of today's versions are more creative than when they first introduced some forty years ago. They do have one thing in common, though. None of them is very adequate as a source of light. They were called lamps, but they were not lamps.
Unfortunately, many Christians aren’t much better than lava lamps; they don't really want the whole Light of God, just enough so they can go by the name of the Genuine Light yet remain in the shadows.
Let’s be the Light that Jesus wants us to be!! This year!!
Yours truly in Jesus Christ, Pastor Jim