Monday, October 30, 2006

WHAT IF THERE WAS NO CHURCH!



We have all heard the expression "we don't appreciate what we have until we no longer have it." I know from experience that this has proven true many times in my life. We often fail to see the real worth of something until it is gone. Think for a moment what it would be like to suddenly lose someone you dearly loved. As a pastor I know it is easy to find fault with a church. I have had my fair share of complaints when I was on the other side of the pulpit. Now people sometimes share their complaints with me. To some degree they may be justified. There is no perfect church this side of heaven. No perfect pastor, no perfect way of worship. But what it would be like if you found yourself with no place to worship? No fellowship with other believers you once delighted in. No solemn assembly to publicly proclaim the goodness and glory of God. No place where you could gather together with the saints of God and go boldly before the throne of His grace in prayer. No exposition of the Word of Truth found in the Holy Scriptures. No communion around the Lord's Table. Would you not long to be back where you once enjoyed such spiritual refreshments for you soul? Brethren, I pray that we learn to appreciate all that God has given us in the place we call "our church. " Above all, may the Lord of the church, our Savior Jesus, be the one whom we seek to please and serve.

Pastor Tom

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A WORM IN THE APPLE


The following illustration serves to remind us to be aware of the origin and end result of sin.

Have you ever bitten into an apple and found a worm in it, and yet the outside of the apple showed no hole or entry point for the worm? How did the worm get inside the apple? Clearly he could not have burrowed in from the outside. The fact is that an insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Some time later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and finds a way out in thoughts, words, and actions.

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Brothers and sisters I pray that we examine our hearts carefully and through the power of the Spirit of God within us, confess and forsake every sin. How many lives have been ruined by some seemingly little worm (sin) ?

Be on guard!

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

THINK ON THESE THINGS


If you spend any amount of time reading the newspaper or watching the news on television, your mind is filled with thoughts and images that evidence the reality of the fallen world in which we live. We hear of wars, terror threats, famine, the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, murders, corrupt & immoral politicians etc. Even the creation is in a state of bondage as Paul wrote in in Romans 8:22, "for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." On Sunday morning, October 16, 2006, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck the big island of Hawaii, a place that is called 'Paradise' in travel journals. Surely there is no paradise on earth. What can the child of God do to maintain a heavenly perspective which gives him hope and peace in the midst of the daily deluge of bad news? Fill your mind with the truth of God's Word. The promises of God and the teachings found in Scripture will give you a true joy while you are still present in a fallen world. Keep 'looking up' for your redemption (deliverance) is near (Luke 21:28).

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

May the peace of Christ Jesus be yours now and forever,

Pastor Tom

Monday, October 16, 2006

REAL CHRISTIANITY


How often have you heard it said that the world needs to see "Real Christianity" in action? Sometimes as we go about our daily business we forget the admonition of Scripture that we are living epistles (2 Corinthians 3:2). Recently I read an excerpt from a sermon by John Venn (1759-1813) that addresses this matter. Venn was pastor to William Wilberforce who converted to Christianity in 1785 and worked to abolish the slave trade in the British West Indies. Wilberforce was greatly influenced by Venn’s vision of a Christianity that truly impacts the culture. Here is what Venn preached:

"Let us be convinced that all prayer, all preaching, all knowledge, are but means to attain a superior end; and that end the sanctification of the heart and of all the principles on which we are daily acting. Till our Christianity appears in our conversation, in our business, in our pleasures, in the aims and objects of our life, we have not attained a conformity to the image of our Saviour, nor have we learned His Gospel aright".


1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.


Brother and sisters, let us learn the gospel aright and preach it in word and deed for the glory of Christ.

Pastor Tom

Thursday, October 12, 2006

REDEEMING THE TIME


Good morning!


It's the start of another new day. Last week a fellow believer gave me a very special gift. It was an hourglass with a small brass plate on it with the words - Redeeming the time because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16. For the past year I had a sticky note with that verse pasted on my computer monitor. It is so easy to 'waste time', but we as believers living in an evil day are to be good stewards of the time God has given to us. What will we do with our time for His glory? One very urgent thing we can do is "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). The heavenly minded Christian is to maintain an attitude of prayer and praise while he walks the pilgrim path. In so doing we will always be "sensitive" to the Spirit of God and ready to share the light of God's Word with those in darkness.


Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


A debtor to grace,


Pastor Tom

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NO GREATER THAN HIS PRAYER LIFE


It is easy to preach about prayer and talk to others about the need for prayer, but hard to pray. The title of this post is taken from a bookmark that I have on my bulletin board that sits above my desk. On the back are the words of Leonard Ravenhill who said, "the church has many organizers, but few agonizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who are interceding. People who are not praying are playing.... in the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few... Brethren, let us pray.


But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (1 Peter 4:7).


How may I pray for you?


Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP


I recently read these words from pastor & author Warren Wiersbe: “I have learned that preaching is an act of worship and that my message must be a sacrifice placed on the altar to the glory of God.” As one called to preach God's Word I find those words so very convicting. My sermon on the Lord's Day must be the fruit of a life lived for God without reservation.

We cannot present any sacrifice that would be acceptable to God, or render any service to the Lord, if we do not first offer up the whole of our life to Him. Men may applaud our efforts but only the Lord sees the heart.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (act of worship) .
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


In His name,
Pastor Tom




Monday, October 09, 2006

WELCOME TO THE ARMCHAIR THEOLOGIAN


Welcome to the first post of armchair-theology. In case you're wondering, the armchair theologian studies hard to be a Berean (Acts 17:10-11) knowing that the secret things belong unto God (Deu. 29:29). We will see where this adventure leads. Always my prayer is that God would be glorified. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14).

God bless,

Pastor Tom.