Sunday, July 22, 2012

Go the Distance

It was a wonderful privilege to attend Children's Camp this Summer. The title for this entry was also the theme of that wonderful few days together. Consider the following verse from Hebrews 12:1 = "Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us." We were all encouraged and challenged to start the race, run the race, and finish the race. Christian living is more like a marathon than a sprint. We must continue as the next verse states: "Keeping your eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith".

Keeping our eyes on Jesus and running the race of faith with endurance will lead us to more time spent in prayer and in the wonderful Word of God. It will also lead us to connect with other believers who are also keeping their eyes of Jesus and running the race of faith with endurance. Go the distance - that is God's will for every believer.

Praying today for:
(1) Lake O' the Pines community of Jefferson
(2) State of Wisconsin
(3) Nation of Zimbabwe
(4) South Asian Peoples throughout the World

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

His Mission & Our Mission

Jesus was perfectly clear in Matthew 18:11 concerning His mission while on this earth. He said, "For the Son of Man has come to save the lost." Clear and to the point. He looked to the cross knowing that it was His death on that cross that would bring salvation to all who would call upon His name. Thank You Jesus for fulfilling Your mission. Thank You for the salvation that You and You alone offer.

Now it is our turn to share that salvation with those who have never trusted in Jesus for salvation. Sometimes we share with those who have heard before but simply need another opportunity to hear. While at other times we are sharing with those who have never heard. Bottom-line: we share! We share and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work of conviction that results in Salvation. Share! Fulfill your mission.

Praying today for:
(1) Lake O' the Pines Community of Big Oaks
(2) State of New Jersey
(3) Nation of San Marino
(4) Central Asian Peoples throughout the World

Monday, July 9, 2012

Words to Hear from the Father

Jesus spent many hours helping His disciples to see the Father. He continued to point to the work of the Father. He continued to live a perfect example of the Father's love, compassion, & mercy. Yet, every once in a while, the Father spoke from heaven to confirm the ministry of Jesus. Today consider one such example from Matthew 17:5; where God states: "This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him. Listen to Him!"

Listen to Him! He is the only voice that we need to direct our lives. He is God's One and Only Son. And if God takes delight in Him, oh that we should also take delight in Him as well.

Praying today for:
(1) Lake O' the Pines community of Jefferson
(2) State of Massachusetts
(3) Nation of The Republic of Congo
(4) Southeast Asian Peoples throughout the World

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today, Worship the Messiah

Many Christian believers will gather together for Bible Study, Fellowship, and Worship today. Oh that God's Word would impact our life's in knowledge & application. Pray for God's Holy Spirit to bring to light all truth. Walk in that truth.

Pray also for our brothers and sisters around the world who meet, even though their very meeting together places their lives on the line. Remembering always those dear saints of God who are unable to physically meet together with other believers or those who have to work.

Today I am personally thankful for this truth: "So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:19&20).

Pray today for:
(1) Lake O' the Pines community of Eagle Landing
(2) State of New Mexico
(3) Nation of Saudi Arabia
(4) European Peoples throughout the World

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Message of Faith Proclaimed

We have a message of faith to proclaim to those around us who are without Jesus as their Savior. That message is clear & in need of you and I to continue to proclaim: "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:9&10). It is that simple. People can come to salvation in Jesus by confessing that "Jesus is Lord". They do not have to have all the answers, they don't need to try to clean-up their lives before coming to Jesus, nor do they need to go through any other ritual in order to experience salvation in Jesus.

Proclaiming the message of faith
in the Romanian Gypsy village of Prajoaia!!!
According to the verses above, it is through a person's belief in Jesus that righteousness takes place. Jesus will change them. Jesus will clean-up their lives as the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification in their lives. When a person confesses "Jesus is Lord," the result is salvation.

Does this simple message of faith work for every person? Oh, how I love the answer given in Romans 10:13. In that simple verse we read: "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Did you see the answer? Everyone. Everyone is anyone. Anyone is that neighbor that has been refusing Jesus for years. Anyone is that new person in the community that seems to be very different. Anyone is . . .

The question before you and I today is: Are we proclaiming this message of faith? 

Praying today for:
(1) LOPBC VBS Worship Rallies
(2) Lake O’ the Pines community of Mims / Avinger Cutt-off
(3) State of Arkansas
(4) Nation of Laos
(5) American Peoples throughout the World

Monday, June 4, 2012

No Turning

Yesterday we noticed the encouragement given to Joshua to be strong and courageous. That encouragement was repeated three times within Joshua 1:6-9. In the midst of this encouragement to remain strong and courageous the following concerning God's word is shared in verses 7 & 8. Joshua is told to "carefully observe the whole instruction . . . Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it."

Following God is a decision
to remain true to Him!
God's promise to Joshua was His divine blessings and presence as Joshua remained true to His commandments. Joshua had a decision to make: be strong and courageous to follow after God or turn aside to follow his own desires or the thoughts and desires of the people around him. The same temptation for turning exists for believers today. We  are surrounded by people who are not committed to God's instruction found in His Word. They continue to turn to the and to the left, departing from God's divine will. Sometimes that departure is guided by tradition rather than dependence upon God's Word. At other times their departure is directly influenced by the people around them rather than relying upon the God they claim to follow.

Have you and I remained true to God's Word? Or, have we turned to the right or the left? Have we devoted ourselves to the careful observation of His instruction or are we simply going by what we have heard others say? 

Today our encouragement is to study God's Word. Let us go forth with a resolve "to recite it day and night" . . . and to "carefully observe everything written in it."

Praying Today for:
(1) VBS Workers
(2) Lake O’ the Pines community of Big Cypress
(3) State of West Virginia
(4) Nation of Mauritius
(5) South Asian Peoples throughout the World

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Taking a Stand

Today during Sunday Morning Bible Study Lake O' the Pines Baptist Church will begin a look at the Old Testament Book of Joshua. This in an wonderful book filled with the history of Israel taking possession of the Promised Land. But this is more than a book of history. It begins by reminding us that Joshua is the man who replaced one of the greatest leaders the nation of Israel had ever seen, Moses. Joshua was God's chosen man to now lead the children of Israel into this land of promise.

One major emphasis leaps off the pages in chapter one: either Joshua is an insecure person or he is surrounded by people who make him feel insecure. Notice the following three verses:

LOPBC Youth Minister Cody Mather
Standing on a rock looking upon the Mediterranean Sea from Greece 
Joshua 1:6 = "Be strong and courageous"
Joshua 1:7 = "Above all, be strong and very courageous"
Joshua 1:9 = "Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

In all three verses we see the LORD's emphasis on standing strong. Joshua, like many Christians today, needed to dig his heels in and stand for God. No matter what he would face in the days ahead, his focus must be upon the God who is with him wherever he goes. You and I need the same focus on the same God. The words of encouragement to Joshua are the same words of encouragement God gives to each of us throughout His Holy Word. "Be strong . . . be courageous . . . take a stand".

Praying today for:

(1) LOPBC VBS = Children Attending
(2) Lake O’ the Pines community of Indian Hills / Deer Cove
(3) State of Arizona   
(4) Nation of Guadeloupe
(5) East Asian Peoples throughout the World