Are You In Love?

I received this yesterday and wanted to pass it on.

Recently in my reading I came across a historical legend related to the Apostle Paul. It was in a book by O.S.Hawkins. I quote it verbatim.

“There was a legend that a rich merchant scoured the Mediterranean world looking for the distinguished apostle Paul. He encountered Timothy, the legend goes, who arranged for a visit with Paul, who was a prisoner in Rome at that time.

Entering the jail cell, the merchant found a rather old man, physically broken down. The merchant was amazed at Paul’s personal peace and serenity. The story goes that they talked for hours. The merchant left with Paul’s blessing and prayer on his heart and mind. Outside the concerned merchant inquired, “What is the key to Paul’s power? I have never seen anyone like him in my entire life.”
“Haven’t you figured it out?” asked Timothy. “Paul is in love.”
The businessman with bewilderment asked, “In love?”
“Yes,” Timothy answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”
The man looked even more confused. “Is that all?” he further inquired.
With a smile on his face, the young preacher answered, “Ah, but that is enough.”

2 Corinthians 5:14a says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us”. It has been said that love will make you do strange things. It should also be noted that love can make you do amazing things, if you love the right Person.

How is your love for Jesus Christ today?

Urgent Prayer

We got a call at lunch from a very dear friend who asked us to pray for her brother. He has had heart issues for several years and it seems now that he has hear failure. I am so glad that we can call on one another as brothers/sisters in Christ to pray with and for us in our times of need. Only God knows what His plan is in regards to this situation, but that is enough. Here is the single thought that gives us hope in these trying time – whatever God does is going to be the best thing that could happen. It may not be what we want to happen, but in the long run, it will be for the best. In that we can put our trust and our hope. Please keep this situation in prayer.

Tonight is prayer meeting and we want to invite you to join us at Wilson Ave Baptist Church, if you are in the area. We will be sharing some thoughts on prayer, as we have done for the last several weeks. Tonight, we will be considering our attitude and our actions in prayer. Here are a couple of points we will look at. Our attitude effects our actions and our actions identify our attitude. If you are in the area, come join us at 7 PM. If you are away from here, look it up on our website in a couple of days. Wherever you are, please be in prayer for this urgent need.

Making The Connection

Well, once again I made the call to the internet service because I could not get connected this morning. After listening to tooooo many minutes of robo talk, I was finally connected to a man in NC. He listened to what was going on, checked a few things on our router and then made some adjustments on his end that got us up and running again. During our conversations, he made the comment that “in a perfect world” this or that would happen. I mentioned that we know we are not in a perfect world, but there is one yet to come. Then, had the opportunity to ask if he was going when Jesus comes back. Pray this gets him to thinking and he can make his connect with the Lord before it is too late.

As I was going through this process with him, I began to think about how great it is that when I need to speak to God, He is always just a prayer away. No robo, now recordings and not even a “man” who askes a lot of questions. Jesus already knows my need and is waiting for me to call upon Him so He can make the connection clear again. Never a disconnect and always a quick answer. Thank you Lord for being there in my time of need.

The Last OT Prophet Is The Last In The Series

We are winding down our study on the different individuals in the Bible. So, I thought it only fitting that the last one should be about the last Old Testament prophet. Do you know that is? He is actually listed in the New Testament writings, but he did prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. He is called the forerunner of Christ – yes, it is John the Baptist.

John the Baptist is a very unique individual, to say the least. But, then again, aren’t we all? John began to impact the lives of people before he was ever conceived. His father, Zacharias, doubted the message of Gabriel and as a result he was unable to speak until John was born. John was a powerful preacher, but he sure didn’t dress like one. He spoke the truth without compromise which caused him to lose his head.

OK, I don’t want to give you the whole lesson, so come on out and join us at Wilson Ave Baptist this week. If you can’t come, then look it up on our web site next week to hear it for yourself. Hope to see you Sunday.

The Same Thing Only Different

Some words are interchangeable and some are not. Without going into great detail giving you examples, let me just get right to the point with a couple of words that are not. There really is a difference between a reason and an excuse.

There is a legitimate cause for a reason. For instance, I am late because there was an accident and it blocked the road, or there was a train that stopped traffic.

An excuse is prefabricated or exaggerated to make it seem real. For instance, there was an accident and it blocked the road, but I left late and it had cleared before I got there or there was a train that stopped traffic, but it had passed by the time I came through.

You may be asking why I am bringing this up. Well, we may be able to deceive man, but God always knows the reality. God, I didn’t have to time to pray and read my Bible this morning, I was just pressed for time. To which God says I know, you laid in bed too long. God. I wanted to go to Church this morning but the storms rolled in and I didn’t want to get caught in them. To which God says that it was the same kind of storm yesterday that you went shopping in.

How about if we just be honest with ourselves and other – especially God – and admit that we didn’t and we have no excuse or reason.

What Is Freedom?

Freedom isn’t free. We all know that. We enjoy what freedom we have because others served our country and many of them gave their lives. As I look around to day, there are 2 issues that I have with our concept of freedom.

First, we don’t really appreciate it. We tend to take for granted that it will always be there. As a result, we give too much authority to others to maintain our free status. Then, when there is an issue that threatens us, we wait and hope that someone else will take care of it for us. Freedom should cost us. It should cost us time and effort to maintain and preserve what others have given to us. Don’t waste what someone else paid dearly for.

Then, I don’t think that people understand what freedom is. That does not mean that I can do as I please when I please without suffering the consequences of my actions. Let me give you an example. You are free to swing you fist in the air, but that freedom stops where my nose begins. Let me give you a simple statement that I have used for many years to help us understand. “No man is as free as he who can do and will do what he knows to do is right”.

When we truly think of freedom there are 3 areas of concern.
There are rights
There are restrictions
There are responsibilities.

Praying you have a marvelous Memorial Day.

Memorial Day

This is Memorial Day week-end. Just to say that seems a little confusing. So it is with the holiday itself. For far too many, it is just a time to get together with friends and family for a cook-out or a trip to the lake. There are some who are at least heading in the right direction as they remember those who served our country in the various branches of the service. But, this Holiday is for paying honor to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice as they died protecting the freedoms that we enjoy each day.

There are a couple of statements that really sum up our gratitude and remembrance of the fallen.
“All gave some, some gave all”
“We do not know them all, but we owe them all”.

We would not be able to get together with our family and friends if it were not for those who served. As you gather for a wonderful time, please take a moment and acknowledge those who have gone on before that we may live in freedom today.

I want to invite you to join us at Wilson Ave Baptist Church tomorrow as we pay tribute to those who died that we may live.

Is The Church Important Today?

It is interesting to see how God worked thru the years in reaching out to mankind. He actually set a precedence from the very beginning as He walked and talked with man on an individual basis. Even though the population grew quickly, we still see that God’s dealing with His creation was still one on one as both Cain and Abel each brought their own offering before God. Later, God showed man that He must judge sin with the flood, but He would also provide a way to escape with the ark. Again, each person had the opportunity to come into the ark. In the years to come, God established a bloodline from which the promised Messiah would come and come He did. Jesus came fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies as He died for the sins of all mankind.

After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back to Heaven, He left the Church, the body of Christ, to carry on His ministry and share the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Within the framework of the Church are many local assemblies where God’s children gather to fellowship, worship and praise God for His goodness and grace. Here is the sad commentary – the local Church has lost it’s importance in the heart of man. It has become a place of convenience rather that conviction. Because of what has happened over the last several months added to the advancement in technology, people are finding that they can just “stay home and get what I need”. Wrong!

Tomorrow, we will take a good look at how important the local Church is to the Christian and to the community. I want to invite you to join us to see just what God’s Word has to say. If you are in the area, come on by and if not take advantage of the advancement in to listen on our web site later in the day.

One last question – where will you be tomorrow when your Church has services? Praying God blesses.

Let Us Know

Last Weds night, as we were leaving our mid-week service, I was asked by one of our ladies to pray for someone having surgery soon. Without going into detail, let me just say that I was very appreciative to hear ahead of time so that we could be in prayer. That gave me the opportunity to contact the family to let them know we would be praying. I will be so glad when are able to be there with them before and during the procedure.

The reason I bring this up is that too often we find out after the fact that someone has been sick, in the hospital or had surgery. In over 40 yrs of ministry, this has been an issue more times than I can count. I don’t say this to be chiding anyone, but to inform everyone. As a Pastor, I want to know when our sheep are sick. I want to know how we can help. And, by the way, this applies to the spiritual as well. Sometimes sheep will wander off into the rocks and hillside that look appealing but they find no food and become weakened. Sometimes people have issues with the Church, the Pastor, the people or even the programs, but they say nothing and it continues to fester.

We need to know! Please help us be a blessing to you. You are never, never a bother. We, as Pastors, can only help when we know there is a problem. Keep us informed. By the way, if you noticed, I share this because of a “positive” response, not a negative. Thanks again for sharing the need. Our prayers are with you.

Praying for our Leaders

For the last few weeks, we have been spending some time on Weds evenings studying about prayer. Prayer is a privilege! It should always be considered a privilege. I cannot call the capitol, ask to speak to the Governor of Missouri, and expect to be put right through. But, I can simply lift my heart towards Heaven and without any interference speak directly to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let me also say that I really have no reason to call the capitol nor speak to the Governor. But I do have multiple reason to speak to God and He has asked me to come boldly into His presence with my petitions. WOW.

Tonight, we are going to look at Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to pray for those who are positions of leadership. He even gives him, and us, reasons why it is so needed. So, how often do you pray for those who have authority over you? I want to invite you to join us tonight to see what the Bible has to say on this subject. Hope to see you soon.