Thursday, February 28, 2013
Evangelist Len Turner tells the story of being asked to speak at a large assisted living facility in Alabama. Just before the service of over 500 attendees began, they rolled into the room a sweet lady and placed her down front. As the service began, this lovely lady became very animated as she was raising and waving her hand in worship of the Lord. As the Quartet sang, this lady talked back to them. When Bro. Len stood and began to preach, she continued to talk back to him saying things like, ‘that’s right’, ‘listen to this sweet boy’, and more. Finally Bro. Len decided to converse directly with this older saint. To her he said, “You seem to be having a good time today.” “Yes sir I am,” was her quick response. He continued, “You seem to really have a deep love for the Lord.” “Oh I do,” she answered. Then Bro. Len said, “Ma’am do you know who I am?” She said, “No honey I don’t, but if you’ll go down the hall to the front desk, they have a nice lady there who can tell you who you are.
This story reminds me that many times the children of God forget who and whose we are and how we became a part of God’s family.
Consider this: The desire of mankind is to be reconciled to God and the desire of God is to have mankind reconciled to Him. Most people readily admit that ‘if there is a God’, they want to know Him. Well, there is a God – His name is Jehovah and yes, we can know Him.
However, because HE is God, in order to know God we must do it His way. In the Holy Bible God tells us how we can have a close, personal relationship with Him. The very reason Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven is to make a way for mankind to come to God. Jesus, God’s only Son, calls to each person. This call is found in the two words, “Follow Me.” It is the call He gave to the fishermen, the tax collector, to the crowds, and to each of us. When we hear His call, I pray we will respond.
Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christian"
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
In 1969 a rock album entitled “The Chicago TransitAuthority” was released with huge success. One of the songs on that album was entitled “Does anybody really knowwhat time it is.” Candidly, that song isconsidered a rock classic these days. The words to the chorus are “Does anybody really know what time it is,does anybody really care? If so, I can’timagine why. We’ve all got time enoughto cry.” Interestingly, the second choruschanges the word ‘cry’ to ‘fly’ while the third chorus change this word to‘die.’ That is the truth. Someday, we will die.
With all that is happening in our country, in ourcommunity, and in our churches, the question which is on my mind is; “What Timeis it?” This question is not about thetime on a clock, but rather time on a calendar. In other words what time is it in God’s economy?
2 Chronicles 36 records a sad endingto the nation of Judah followed by the Babylonian captivity and then concludeswith God saying it is TIME to rebuild God’s house. God gave this word in 539BC. To follow the time line is to realize thatapproximately 19 years later the prophet Haggai records the words of God whichsaid, “These people say it’s not time to rebuild my house. Is it really not a time to rebuild my housewhile these people live in plush houses?”
Candidly God called the Childrenof Israel on the carpet for ignoring HIS work while they were busy with their‘own life.’ This seems to be a mirrorimage of the American culture; we are so busy with our own life that we don’thave time for God.
Paul gives us four calls in Romans13:11-14.
Paul calls the people of God to‘wakeup’ to the spiritual need in our culture. He calls us to ‘give up’ or discard deeds which hamper showing Jesus tothe culture. He calls us to ‘dress up’in the garb of holiness and righteousness so people can know God. They will never know if we don’t show Him. Finally, Paul calls us to “step up” and becounted.
The reason Jesus died on the crosswas to reconcile and redeem mankind. What time is it? It is time forGod’s people to wake up, give up, dress up, and to step up. If we love our county, community, and ourchildren, let us do it.
(CheckoutPastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net forhis books entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christian"
Monday, February 25, 2013
At this time of year it is a good idea to ‘take stock’ of things. Although I have not researched the origination of this phrase, my last job in High School gives me an educated guess about it. For my Junior & Senior years of High school, I worked as a ‘Grocery bagger/Stock Boy’ at our locally owned grocery store. (We never called it a “Supermarket.”)
One of my tasks was to look at the stock on the shelves, consider the time of month (and of the year), recall how long it had been since we had restocked the shelves, check our back warehouse, and then talk to the owner about re-ordering anything of which we were out. Basically, it went like this; look around, look back, look inside, and look ahead. Today almost 40 years later, this is still sound advice (and I’ll even add one more place to look.)
With the advent of 2013, now is the time to look around our lives and see where we are. Where are we compared to where we thought we would be? Honestly, what is right and what is wrong with my life?
Next, take a look ‘back’. This past year was a particularly difficult year for many. Most of us experienced losses of almost unspeakable impact. Some lost ‘long time jobs’, others lost investment, many lost their houses, some lost their health, while even other lost loved ones. While there is an old adage which says, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”, God says, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Why? “Because the trials we face help us to grow up.” Remember that nothing ‘surprises’ God.
Now, take a look inside. This is a question only God and you can answer. What is it that ‘really’ motivates you? Who is it that you count on? How is your relationship to Jehovah God? The Bible says, “It’s appointed to people once to die, and after this, judgment”. Many say they are ready to go to heaven, few are ready to meet God.’
Next, take a look ahead. Consider this; if you live the next 12 months like the last 12 months, where will you be? Will your life be ‘counting’ for anything substantial?
Finally, take a look upward. If you have a Bible, I suggest you read Isaiah 6 and seek a clear vision of God. When we get a vision of God in our mind, we indeed do take stock of life and make positive changes for the future.
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)
Recently I read this poem, posted anonymously on the internet. It is entitled "Little Christians." It recounts the dramatic growth of a church after a steep decline and a loss of members:
10 Little Christians came to church all the time, 1 fell out with the preacher & then there were nine.
9 Little Christian stayed up late, one ‘slept in’ on Sunday & then there were eight.
8 Little Christians on their way to heaven, one took the low road & then there were seven.
7 Little Christians chirping like chicks, one didn't like the singing & then there were six.
6 Little Christians seemed very much alive, one took a vacation and then there were five.
5 Little Christians pulling for heavens shore, one stopped to take a rest & then there were four.
4 Little Christians each as busy as a bee, one got his feeling hurt & then there were three.
3 Little Christians couldn't decide what to do, one couldn't have his way & then there were two.
2 Little Christians each brought one more, now don't you see ‘two and two make four.’
4 Little Christians worked early and late, each one brought one now there were eight.
8 Little Christians if they double as before, in just seven Sundays we have 1024!
Yes, even as I read this I too couldn’t help but smile. However, it seems to me, that this poem reveals something about us which we would prefer to not to face up to. This is our ‘humanness.’ Interestingly, the church belongs to the Lord Jesus. He came to begin her (the church), die for her (with His blood), build her (with His Spirit), bless her, and one day – return for her. The Bible says the church is HIS building, HIS body, and HIS bride. The church is not the ‘house which His followers meet in’, rather it is “His followers which meet in the house.’
Since the church is His, she should operate according to HIS words, wishes, and will. One way for the church to not decline in attendance (as is relayed in the poem) is to be about HIS business. His business was and is to bring people who do not know God into a personal relationship with God through Jesus. This is the secret for the church.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
To say something is a ‘necessity’ is to recognize that it is desperately needed. As a Pastor, a Jesus-follower, and as an American, it is my deep belief that the only answer for the ills which we face is a landscape changing, life-altering, and God-granted Spiritual Awakening like has not been seen in over 100 years.
Think about the conditions we face; 1)Trouble is winning out! While theologians, believers, and Bible-believing people have great confidence that, in the end, God and truth will defeat the forces of evil – the truth for today is that trouble (evil) is winning. Pornography, abortion, atheism, adultery, and other immorality are at the heart of our culture. Years ago we legitimized sin, then we legalized sin, and today the sin of our nation is flaunted in the face of Jehovah God. 2) Truth is fading out. Candidly, the USA seems to be on the course as either Europe (which became a godless, secularize society) or like Latin America (giving lips service to their religion but not living according to their precepts. National polls say that the majority of Americans believe in God & the Bible, but very few live out their principles. For a country who has scripture inscribed in almost every national monument, the light of God’s truth is almost down to a flicker. 3) Time is running out. It is easy to forget (and we do) that we are on a countdown. I can make the case from the Bible that Jesus’ return is very soon and that no prophetic event remains before the rapture. However, it is easy to make the case that ‘life is a vapor.’ Time is short.
The cure for our ills will not be righted by the efforts of man nor by legislation, Radical surgery is needed to remove the cancer of self-indulgence, self-dependence, and spiritual arrogance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will – humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways – THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and HEAL THEIR LAND. This is why Spiritual Awakening is a necessity – our land needs healing.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
In Joel 2:1 the prophet writes, “Blow the horn in Zion; sound the alarm..” and this is the message for today in America. To visit almost any national monument is to see inscribed in stone words found in the Holy Bible. This is a testimony to the historical truth that America was birthed with Jehovah God and His Holy Word as the foundation. The early citizens clearly understood that absence the ‘hand of God’, no ‘new nation conceived in liberty’ is established. As a result in those early days, most political candidates were required to possess a belief in God. Those who served in the ‘public service’ truly represented those who sent them to serve. The culture today has changed greatly.
Recently there was a report of a ‘new segment’ of society called ‘apatheists.’ These are the folks who vacillate (religiously speaking) between ‘apathy’ and ‘atheism.’ Additionally, almost 50% of those surveyed stated they NEVER gave any thought of going to heaven nor did they seek divine wisdom. More telling about the attitude found in our culture is the fact that 1 in 5 people scoff at the idea that God has a plan for everyone’s life.
Reading this information birthed several thoughts in my head and heart. Candidly my first reaction was a heart-ache as each item I read emphasized the arrogance of humanity. In large measure we have bought into the self-deception that ‘god is who we make him’ and we make him like ‘us.’ This is a bummer for me because I don’t really care to worship a god that can be explained?
My next reaction is this information was sadness because it demonstrates that when a people receives too much wealth, they no longer need or want God in the picture.
Reading the Bible today is a great deal like reading the paper because it is so relevant. Paul writes to Timothy and says, “In the last days there will come times of difficulty. People will be lovers of self and money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
This sounds exactly like today’s culture. My prayer is that God’s people will “SOUND THE ALARM” so that, in this New Year, we can return to Him and HIM to us.
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