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March 7, 2017, 10:30 AM

March 8, 2017

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

     As we approach springtime, we seem to feel better and have a brighter outlook.  The days are starting to get longer and there is something refreshing about more hours of light.  If physical light has so many positive effects on our life, spiritual light has even more.  Spiritually, the world is a very dark place.  The Bible is very clear that those who have the light (Jesus) have the true light of life because He is the light of the world.  As we look at the world today, relatively few people have the light of life.  We are told that there are some 2.3 billion Christians in the world today which makes up about 32 percent of the population.  Of those who call themselves Christians, how many have a personal relationship with Jesus and would be counted as His followers?

     The Bible is also clear that Jesus is the only one who can provide the light of life.  Without Him, darkness invades our thinking, our actions, and our culture.  If you were the enemy trying to keep people away from the light, what would your strategy be to accomplish the task?  First, you would probably develop many forms of false gods and false worship.  Then, you would probably tell people that there are really many ways to a glorious eternal life and that every religion and form of worship is just as good as any other.  If that were not enough, you would develop ways to make the ones who do know the truth keep it to themselves and not understand the real need to share with others.  Finally, you would probably develop ways to make those who know the truth appear mean and uncaring toward the rest of society.  We see these tactics of the enemy alive and well all around us.

     The truth is: We serve an exclusive Jesus!  We live in a culture that promotes inclusivity at every opportunity.  People desire to include everyone because that shows compassion and caring.  So, we have our government, corporations, schools, and even many churches mandating classes on inclusion and tolerance because we care about everyone.  We are told that we show how much we care about them by accepting every lifestyle and religious belief.  The sad fact is that the inclusive attitude really pushes people farther away from the truth.  As Christians, we are hated by so many because we love people enough to tell them the truth.  The truth is this:  Jesus is the only way for salvation, He is the only One who brings light to our lives and He is the only way through whom we can have a relationship with a holy and just God.  Because of these words of truth, we are greatly despised in the world.  Keep on telling the truth!

                                                                                                                                      We love you,

                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia




February 28, 2017, 3:27 PM

March 1, 2017

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6          

How do most of us live?  We often live in such a frantic pace that we miss many, if not most, of the opportunities available to us.  We find ourselves living in segments of time.  Imagine watching a parade through a knothole in a fence.  You can see the parade but miss all the other activities going on at the same time.  Much like looking through a fence, we tend to compartmentalize our life into very specific segments without giving much thought to the whole picture.  We usually become so busy trying to make each new segment turn out right that we miss the other activities along the way.  We end up striving to accomplish our own plan rather than the best plan that God has for us.  In doing so, we often fail to be obedient to God and find very little meaning in life.  

Unlike looking through the fence, God sees our life in its entirety from beginning to end.  You see, God has so much more for us than we could ever imagine but we find ourselves striving to live on our own.  We look far too much at performance because our world is so performance driven.  However, God’s purpose for us is not so much about performance as it is about obedience.  Obedience means that we are remaining close to God and serving Him out of love.  Remember the church at Ephesus?  Jesus commended them for their good works but was grieved because they had lost their first love.  What motivates us to do what we do?  Are we doing things to glorify God or man?  There is a vast difference!  Everything that we do in following Jesus must be based on love.  We do good works because we love God and desire to please Him in every way.

What most hinders our obedience to God?  A five-letter word that we all know very well.  MONEY!  One of the reasons we fail to see the big picture is that we allow the world’s way to get in God’s way.  Will Rogers probably said it better than anyone: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they really don’t like”.  Then, they allow that vicious cycle to keep them from serving God.  What about you?  Are you spinning your wheels moving from one life segment to another while seeing only glimpses of life?  Or, have you concluded that God sees your entire life, has your best interest for every day, calls you to a real purpose while allowing you to experience Him and see the true meaning in life?  Praying you are having a great week!

                                                                                                                                 We love you,

                                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia




February 21, 2017, 12:18 PM

February 22, 2017

“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Matthew 19:16

The rich young man asked Jesus a very important question.  A question that many people ask today while trying to find the answer within themselves.  There is something about us that urges us to the belief that we must do something ourselves to be saved.  People have all kinds of beliefs about what they need to do to be saved.  They will say things like:  going to church, reading the Bible, and somehow getting their lives straightened out will achieve eternal life.  However, many people have a hard time with what Jesus said to this young man.  Jesus told him to sell his possessions, give to the poor and follow Him.  The main emphasis being to follow Him.  Let’s look at several lessons revealed in this passage.

                Jesus was not saying that selling our possessions and giving to the poor is the way to salvation.  Yet people today, just like the young man in the story, are desperately searching for the one physical achievement that will earn them everlasting life.  The selling of his possessions was a way to get rid of the problem affecting the young man’s opportunity to follow Christ.  The sale of his possessions alone would not have been enough to save Him.  Jesus clearly told the young man that the way to eternal life is to follow Him.  However, it was the riches this man owned that kept him away from total surrender to Christ.  Jesus continues to say “follow Me” today but how many are really willing to follow?  We allow many obstacles to interfere with our obedience to God.  The young man was very happy when Jesus told him to follow the commandments because, like so many of us, he felt pretty good about his efforts.  His demeanor quickly changed when Jesus told him to sell his possessions.  In fact, the young man left very sad.

                This man seemed to have had a real desire to follow Jesus.  Yet, his desire to follow was based on his terms and his actions.  There are many who believe that putting money in the offering plate, helping a neighbor or attending church will earn us a good spot in Heaven.  While all of those are good things, the only way to be included in Heaven is by faith in Jesus.  We must follow Him because there is no other way!  Obviously, this young man already knew there was a big hindrance in his life?  He knew it but really did not want to hear about it and just could not bring himself to part with his possessions.  He knew there was something still undone in his life.  What about you?  Is there something still undone that you need to surrender to Jesus?  Maybe you are asking the same question as the young man: “What do I still lack”?  Is there something that is keeping you from salvation?  Surrender it to Jesus today and then sincerely follow Him! If you are saved, is there something keeping you from daily fellowship with your Heavenly Father?  Surrender it today and be set free!        

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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February 14, 2017, 12:00 AM

February 15, 2017

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”  I Peter 2:12

    Are you guilty?  I am.  We often fail to live up to what it means to be a Christian.  As Christians, we are children of the righteous, holy, omnipotent, only Almighty God.  What does that say about us?  We are a part of God’s family.  As such, we have insight into a part of life that so many people are living without.  We have a relationship with and access to the One who created and holds everything together.  Yet, we make many excuses for why we continually struggle in this life.  Probably all of us remember being told as a young person to “remember who you are and the name you represent”.  Is it any different for us as Christians?  People should see us striving each day to live and make decisions as Jesus would.

    Do we chase perfection?  We know that we will never be perfect this side of eternity but does that give us the excuse not to make perfection our goal?  We live in a world where mediocrity seems to be the ultimate goal and that kind of thinking has made its way into the lives of many Christians.  We have lost the desire to “aim for perfection” because we are told over and over that no one is perfect.  That is absolutely true but as God’s children we should be moving closer to God each day and striving to be more like Jesus.  People seem to pay more attention to the limitations today rather than the possibilities.  The Bible clearly reminds us that in Christ we have power to do all things.  As the Church of the living God, we should be the leaders in setting high standards and it is NOT a part-time job!

    The world should be able to look to the Church to see example after example of people who live their lives according to the high standards of Scripture.  Sure, we all stumble from time to time, but that should be the exception rather than the rule.  Paul addressed that issue very clearly in the book of Romans.  “What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  May it never be!” (Romans 6:1) As persecution increases, it becomes even more of an imperative that we live the example of Jesus.  As a football team gets inside the red zone, the fundamentals and techniques of the game become increasingly important.  As we near the end of this age, the way we live becomes even more of a testimony to the lost.  Why?  It’s easy to live as everyone else while using the excuse of imperfection.  Yet, God has called us to live and act differently so that we are an example to the growing number of lost people around us.  May you have a blessed week as we all strive to be more like Jesus and are a constant example  to those around us!    

                                                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                                               Brad and Virginia

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February 7, 2017, 12:00 AM

February 8, 2016

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”  1 John 5:14

            Two very important questions come to mind this week.  How much time do you spend in prayer?  How effective is your prayer life?  In order for our prayer life to be effective, we must spend time with our Father.  A recent statistic states that church members spend about four minutes per day in prayer while pastors spend about seven minutes each day communicating with God.  Much of that time is probably spent sharing with God our list for the day.  It is like going grocery shopping and marking items off our list.  What is the real purpose of prayer?  It is NOT to bend God’s will to make it fit what we desire.  Many believe that prayer is somehow talking God into doing something that He would not ordinarily do.

            So, what is the real purpose of prayer?  The purpose of prayer is for our desires to line up with God’s will.  Prayer is about seeking the will of God and following it daily.  God always knows what is best for us and desires for us to achieve it.  However, we often approach God’s will as something we “have” to do rather than something we “get” to do.  Adrian Rogers once said, “God wants for you what you would want for yourself if you had enough sense to ask for it”.  God loves us so much and wants to see us make wise and meaningful choices.  We all feel that at times God has withheld a positive answer to our request.  At those times, God may very well be waiting for us to desire His will rather than ours.

            Prayer is our opportunity of close fellowship with our Father.  It is through this fellowship that we have the privilege to know more about God, His ways, and His will.  Yet, if we are not spending time (quality time) with God, we find ourselves offering up to Him our “grocery list” of wants that we very well may not receive.  Now, is it wrong to pray about personal issues and needs?  Certainly not!  However, we must remember that the proper way to pray about those is in conformity with the will of God.  That is why we must completely trust God because we do not have the ability to see into the future nor to determine exactly what needs to be done in our lives.  Successful prayer is growing in our walk with God to the extent that we are seeking His will and joining Him in what He desires to accomplish.   As we think about our prayer life, let us commit to spend more time (quality time) with God each day and be determined to seek His will above all other things.

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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