True Faith

Are you a follower?

But of course I am, I go to church on Sunday, I wear a cross around my neck. I tell others all about Christ, when the subject comes up. I mean just look at me I have” Christ follower” all over my house, on my car, and on my phone case.  How could you ask that question? “Don’t I look like a Christ Follower?”

Fact is; it isn’t what you LOOK LIKE that counts, it is what is in your heart that matters. God sees thru all the fake costumes and all the human distractions. If you are truly a follower and want to wear things that display your faith that’s great, but don’t think that will help get you to heaven.  Too many times we try to impress the pastor or our neighbors on how religious we are but it isn’t the pastor you have to answer to. He just asks the questions here on earth so you will be ready when you are met by the one who really has power over your soul.

If I ask; “Will you go to heaven?” what are the most common answers; “I don’t know for sure”, “I really hope so” and simply “No”. The worst part is the last one is the most honest; that person is sure they aren’t worthy and they don’t trust God for any salvation, it is a sad place but probably a true answer. So what about the other answers and where is “yes I will”.

That’s our dilemma; we as God’s children are taught so many rules and reasons and different religious patterns we forget to trust what Jesus tells us. We get ourselves so mixed up listening to human rules we lose the joy of being a child of God. Jesus tells us His thoughts; you know those red letters in the Bible, the true words of Jesus Christ. He never tries to fool anyone into a false hope, He never gave two ways about anything, and He never left the question unanswered. Jesus said if we believe and obey His words we will go to heaven.

John 14 (NIV) 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 

So what about our original question? “Will you go to heaven?” Well if you believe God’s words and obey His commands you can trust Him when He says He will make a home for you. Don’t get too caught up in all the religious hype and the so-called rules. Let your faith show you the way to Heaven and follow that guidance.

 

Then when someone asks “Will you go to Heaven?” you can say “I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I am sure I will for He told me so.”

 

 

Safety Check or Faith Check

Have you ever been through a “Safety Check Point” on the highway? My wife and I had the pleasure a few nights ago; it was a pleasure for me as I was sitting in the passenger seat. My wife was much more concerned with the drill as she was in the driver’s seat of the car. She was the one in control of the vehicle which meant any infractions or broken laws would fall onto her shoulders. She was the one who would take the punishment for the crime. Thankfully the officer found nothing wrong.  I must say it wasn’t by luck or by coincidence that everything was ok; it was the fact that being a licensed driver my wife keeps all the correct paperwork in order, she keeps her vehicle in good working condition, and she obeys the laws set before her to operate that vehicle on public streets. She takes her responsibility seriously.

It made me wonder what Jesus would find if He stopped me for a “Faith Check”? Would it be a nerve racking experience? Am I taking my responsibility seriously? What would He ask; would I know the right answers? Would I have all my issues in order? I’m not saying we have to be perfect, for God tells us He will give us another chance in places we are going wrong. He tells us we are forgiven as long as we; are faithful and believe in His Son, repent of our sin, and change our sinful ways. But would I pass the test?

How about you, would you have trouble if Jesus stopped you on the street and checked your faith life? Are you confident you are saved and know the reason why?

If there is any doubt in your mind maybe you need to look closely at what is causing the confusion. Then if you are still questioning why, you may want to get some free instructions. They are available on Sunday morning at a variety of places called “Church”. Be careful though, there are some instructors that don’t follow the true manual and will steer you wrong. They will not prepare you for that the check point in accordance to the true laws of God.

Bottom line is when you are stopped; you are responsible for your own life, Jesus paid the price for the sins you can’t cover; but it’s up to you to take care of the ones you can. It is like that check point my wife went through, she had to be prepared. It was better to hear “Go ahead, everything looks good. Have a nice day and enjoy the ride” than to hear “Sorry we can’t let you continue the way you are going”.

A “Safety Check” or a “Faith Check” we all need to be ready;   Are You?

What is Important to Me?

From the Pastor’s Desk   

What is Important to Me?

 What is important to me is such a huge question. It has really changed in the last year. I think of all the things I have going on and the list seems endless. Then I see friends with children having health troubles and friends losing loved ones and friends passing at young ages and it makes me realize that endless list really needs to be stopped.

When did we get so busy with stuff? When did we trade our lives for work and meetings and all the other stuff we tend to run for? As I watch my kids grow up and live their lives I can’t help but think of the classic tune from Harry Chapin in 1974 “The Cat’s in the Cradle”. Now you may have to “You Tube” this to get the true meaning of my blog but it really hits home for me.

The things we tend to make the most important in our lives are things that normally don’t last. It is why we never seem to get ahead. Each new thing has a different set of issues, so we never find the end. Or we are so busy taking care of things that mean nothing to our lives that we get exhausted doing it over and over again. The balance is a tough thing to accomplish.

Jesus saw the haste and waste in the lives of Mary and Martha. Martha was just like many of us, doing the everyday things that take all of our time but really account for nothing in the end. She was so busy doing life that she didn’t take time to just be part of life.

Luke 10 (NIV)

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42  but few things are needed—or indeed only one.    Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Worried and upset about many things. Sound familiar? Let’s get our priorities in order, Jesus Christ first and family next, the rest of the stuff will wait. Let’s all start a new course, may we show our youth a new way of living where we all have time for family again. It’s not too late.

The song says; “But we’ll get together then Dad, you know we’ll have a good time then.”

“Then” is not a promise in this world, we best do it now.

Just My thoughts,

Pastor Scott

 

Prayer and Discernment

Pastor Scott

Pastor Scott

I spoke on a chapter last week; 1 Corinthians: 6, it’s a letter that brings up controversy in our society. I understand why but I needed a way to help define it. Through prayer and discernment the Holy Spirit put an explanation on my heart.

We are a broken society but we struggle admitting it. Our sinful nature and the world give us false ideas about what is true and holy and we lose our way. The serpent started his work in the 3rd book of Genesis and hasn’t stopped. He lied to Eve causing her to fall to curiosities and want.  Adam followed the same path without question. We don’t have to wonder where it started but we have to accept that it has blurred our vision ever since.  I know that many will quit reading at this point but that is part of the Devil’s plan. When we feel uncomfortable we stop moving forward.

The bottom line is that God has created us. He is the boss, the supervisor, the CEO, the administrator, the King of the world. His decisions are final. The part we don’t seem to understand is everything He does is “for our own good”. Now doesn’t that sound familiar, our Father in heaven wants the best for us.

Let’s bring this into perspective, when a parent says “yes” a child says “no”, when a parent says “stop” a child says “go”. When a parent says “I love you” the child says “so.” We are God’s children; and just like our own children our nature is to do the opposite. Just like Adam and Eve we tend to rebel.

The part we need to grasp is; it is God’s heaven and God’s earth, His Salvation and His hell. We do not make the rules; we do not change the rules. People get irritated with an almighty ruler but without a single direction we end up with no direction. John Adams the second president of the United States made this statement on the creation of the democracy;

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

A two party system was a concern to the authors of our constitution, think of GOD’S concerns in His creation. As we have experienced in our lives, man has issues running his own existence, we need a guide. May we stop resisting our Father’s directions and give Him the respect He and only He deserves.

A New Year “Ride of Your Life”

As I look back over the year it always amazes me on the direction God has taken our lives. This is not only for my wife and I, but the whole church. See when God puts His plan in place it affects people from so many different places. I can’t help but to remember a story that was told to me years ago. Maybe you have heard a different version, but this is how it was told to me.

See life is like a two seated bike. When we are young we want to be in charge. We get on the bike and take the front seat. Taking hold of the handle bars deciding on which direction we must go. We spend hours and hours steering and pedaling, getting ourselves into places that we struggle to get out of. We work so hard trying to get to the place “We” have set our sights on. The whole time Jesus is behind us watching and wondering why we went the way we did. When we finally can’t pedal any more we stop and give Him the front seat. The first thing He says is “Hold on and get ready for the ride of your life.”  As you watch Him take you to places you’ve never imagined, as beauty comes alive in areas you have never seen anything but sorrow, you feel a peace. And then you realize your feet aren’t touching the pedals. You aren’t trying to be in charge anymore. You have been reborn. You are following the Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus has taken your burdens and made them Joys. He has done just what He promised;

Matthew 11 New International Version

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

May you give Jesus the front seat in the New Year; just be ready “For the RIDE OF YOUR LIFE.”

Pastor Scott

Weather or Not

FROM THE PASTOR’s DESK:

I was at the car wash the other day, talking to the attendant.  “Nice weather we’re having,” I said. To which the attendant replied, “Yea we’re going to pay for it.”  I drove away with a thought in my head.  “WHO and WHY are we going to pay for it?” It is just nice weather.

We live in a world of constant doubt and distrust.  Have you ever noticed when you try to do something nice for someone they seem to get worried? It is a frightening state to be in when we cannot accept gifts of kindness and love.  When someone gives you a present, remember their joy is multiplied by the joy of you receiving it.  Jesus Christ gave us a present.  Our sins are forgiven and eternal life is ours with His death and resurrection on the cross.  Do we say thank-you and receive His gift?  Do we smile ear to ear and say “Wow, You did that for me!” or do we walk around saying “I can’t accept Your gift?”

Let’s go past the thought of “We’re going to pay for it” and give Jesus the glory for His gift.  All we have to do is believe in Him and accept His gift with joy.  As the Christmas season approaches fast, practice the art of receiving good gifts and the joy of giving will be even better.