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