Our Anchor in Times of Storms

Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series. Today is March 27, 2020, and this is our 9thFacebook Podcast.

COVID-19 has taken the life of three men in Idaho. One 60, one 70, and one 80 years old. As of 3/26/2020 there are 148 confirmed cases in Idaho. In the U.S. 1,000 people have died. 82,000 people have contracted the Coronavirus.

Pause for Prayer: 

  • Ron & Marilyn Bidwell
  • Shut-in’s
  • Church family
  • Spirit Lake officials
  • People working essential jobs
  • Daily provisions 

Our WORD from the Lord:

   Our Word from the Lord today will be from Hebrews 6:17-20. The title for this podcast is: Our Anchor in Times of Storm. 

   I was to begin by letting you know that I am indebt to Dr. Charles Stanley for much of what I am going to be sharing with you in this podcast. 

Hebrews 6:17-20

    17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

   There are many different storms in life. All of us are living in a pandemic – COCID-19! However, it may be possible that before this pandemic that you were facing a conflict at work, or financial trouble, or maybe even a job loss. You might be struggling with poor health (some of our church members are) or a difficult relationship (marriage, children, family). Our heavenly Father doesn’t promise to deliver us from all adversity. However, He has provided us with Scriptures that provides encouragement and comfort. 

Get this truth down: God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.  

   In the midst of every kind of hardship and pain, you and I can rely on the Bible for stability, guidance, and security.

Play Song: My Anchor Holds by Ray Boltz -https://youtu.be/MSAc5Z2lprk

   I. What is the Cause of Storms?
 
   1. We can bring adversity on ourselves.
 
  • Through sin – Lying, Stealing, Cheating, etc.

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.” (Adrian Rogers)

  • Poor judgment – We do something dumb and face consequences.

   Young girl calls in sick, and later goes off to the Mall. Her employer called her home later and asked for her. Her mother told them she wasn’t home, and that she had gone with her friends to the Mall. When the girl showed up at work the next day, she was fired.

  • Lack of experience – We try something that we have never done before without seeking advice from the more experienced.
 
   2. Some difficulty is caused by the wrongdoing of other people. 
  • People want your job.  

   Something is shared about you that is not true, but is believed, and you are overlooked a promotion, or worse, you are fired.

  • People take something that belongs to you and creates a hardship.

   When Debbie and I were newly married we had our car battery stolen. We had no money to replace it. It wasn’t a good experience. We prayed and God later supplied us a new battery.

  • We had a young man who attended SLBC whose sister was killed by her boyfriend.

   A young lady tells her boyfriend that it’s over, and instead of accepting it and moving on, he get a gun and shoots the young girl. His thought is, “If I can’t have her no one will.”

  • Poor investment by a friend – you lose your shirt.

   You are invited to join an investment. You know little about it, but you put in thousands of dollars. It doesn’t go well, and you lose everything. You now are far behind when it comes to retirement.

   3. Satan brings hardship in an attempt to draw us away from the Lord.
 
  • This is what the book of Job is all about – Job 1-42

   Satan was given permission to bring all kind of hardships in his life, but he couldn’t take his life. Job lost everything, and yet he continued to keep his eyes on God.

  • This is what Satan wanted to do to Peter – Luke 22:31

  Satan would like to sift every one of us. We need people who, like Jesus, are praying for us. We need a very strong faith

  • Paul had a messenger of Satan that buffet him – II Cor. 12:7
 
   4. The Lord causes some adversity.

   Whether or not the storm is from Him, He will always use it for our good. We must trust the Father’s heart – He always has our good in mind.

   The disciples were caught in the midst of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was in their boat. Disciples awoke Jesus and asked Him, “do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus stood up, spoke to the storm – “Be silent.” God’s power over nature is seen (Mark 4:35-41).

   I can remember when someone close to me was going through a storm that God spoke to me and said, “I waste no hurt.” Those words are an anchor!

   What are some things you faced?

   II. What are God’s Purposes in Storms?

    God wants to . . .

  1. Get our attention.

   When we lose our passion for the Father, He may use troubles and difficulty to gain our focus.

   Example: The Church becoming complacent, so God permitted persecution – Acts 8:1

   Is it possible that through COVID-19 that God is wanting to get people’s attention? Has He gotten yours? Will our nation wake up?

   2. Purify us from sin.

   Through storms, God can call attention to areas of our lives that are not pleasing to Him.

   Andy was a young man in our church that was drinking with his cousin. Driving home from Priest Lake he was in a terrible accident. His leg was damaged, and to this day Andy walks with a limp. The limp reminds him that God does not look lightly on sin.

   Read: I John 3:3

   3. Cause us to surrender to Him.

   The Father may want you to loosen your grip on something you treasure, because He has another blessing in mind for you.

   All too often we don’t want to let go of something, and God will allow a storm in our lives to move is on. I heard about a man called to the mission field. He got this great job at the hospital, and he purchased a big home, and he felt that he couldn’t leave either. One day a storm hit the town, and a tornado destroyed his home. It leveled it. He now had nothing to hold him back from total surrender.

   Do you have anything that you are holding on to too tightly?

   4. Conform us to His image.

   Through adversity, the Lord refines our character and makes us more Christlike. This is what Romans 8:29 is all about. We read,

  28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

   5. Equip us to serve Him.

   If you remain close to the Father, hardships will purify your heart and realign your life with His will.

   III. What makes the Bible an Anchor for our lives?
 
  1. It is the record of God’s unfolding Revelation of Himself.
  • Through the spoken Word (Heb. 1:1)
  • Nature – Romans 1
  • History – Whole Bible is His Story.
  • Ultimately the coming of His Son Jesus Christ into the world – Revelation 19
 
   2. Most importantly, we know who God is because we see how Jesus lived.

   Read: John 14:9-10

   3. The Bible is infallible and inerrantwhich simply means it’s without error.

    God has given us the Bible as our guidebook.

   It has been said of the Bible, “It supplies everything we need for faith and practice.” In other words it provides us doctrine – truth to base our life on. It also gives us the practical ways to live this doctrine out.

   Much of the Bible is built on the following plan – teach doctrine, and then tell us how that doctrine is to be played out in our lives through many practical principles.

  What we believe determines how we live.

   Name one doctrinal truth that you hold on to:

   IV. How does the Word of God Anchor us in times of storm?
 
  1. It comforts us.

   In the middle of heartache and struggle, try reading the Book of Psalms.

   Example: Psalm 57:1-3.

   2. It reminds us of God’s promises.

   Scripture assures us of the Lord’s presence, power, and provision in our lives.

  Read: Matthew 11:28 and Joshua 1:8-9, Hebrews 13:5

   3. It is a compass for our lives.

   Every person is in need of direction. We also need to make sure that we are moving in the right direction. One degree off will cause us to arrive at the wrong destination point.

   Read: Proverbs 3:5-6

   4. It teaches us how the Father works.

   Reading about the saints teaches us how to make wise decisions, and the stories of Israel’s rebellion help us avoid similar mistakes.

   Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

   5. It gives us God’s viewpoint.

   By studying how He used adversity in the lives of biblical characters, we can better understand how He may want to use our present struggles.

   V. How does the Bible work as an Anchor? 

   How does an anchor work with a boat? You must use it. Toss it overboard and it sinks, and keeps the boat from drifting. This is how the Bible works as an anchor in our lives as well. We must use it for the purposes that God designed.

   Remember the account of the wise and foolish man in Matthew 7:24-29? One builds on the rock, and the other on the sand. One hears the word, and does it, and the other hears the word, and does nothing. When storms come, and they will come, the one on the rock stands firm, and the other, well, it crashes down.

  1. You must read it.

   Just as a ship’s anchor does no good unless it is lowered, the Word of God can’t encourage you unless you take time to study it.

  • A dusty Bible leads to a dirty life.
  • It matters not how a man marks his Bible, but how the Bible marks the man.
  • Two things God has married, dust on the Bible and drought on the heart.   

   Develop a plan in your life where you are going to read the Bible for at least 15 minutes every day.

   2. You must meditate on it.

   Think about the Lord’s promises and how He proved His faithfulness to believers in the past.

   Meditate – To churn over in your heart and mind. To mediate means that you think about God’s truth often.

   Key Scripture: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2, 119:15,23,27,48,78,97,99,14

 
   2. Believe what it says.

   If you allow yourself to doubt God’s promises, you will never receive all He has for you.

   My Pastor, Royal Blue use to say, “God said it – that settles it.”

    3. Apply it to your own life first.

   When you read the Bible read it for yourself, and not for someone else. It is always easier to think of someone else who needs what we have read, but we must first read it so that it transforms our own lives.

It’s Me, It’s Me, O Lord

[Refrain:]
It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

   4. You must be willing to obey it.

   Name at least three things that God has told you to do from His word in recent days.

   1.
   2.
   3.

   You and I live in traying times, and unless we are grounded, we will drift in our devotion to the Lord. So anchor yourself to His Word. It will comfort you, remind you of His promises, reveal His ways, and act as a moral compass. Most importantly, it will renew your mind with His eternal perspective. Regardless of what storms come, you can weather them with confidence, anchored to the solid rock of Jesus Christ.



Maintaining a Devotional Life

   March 26, 2020
 
   Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series. I am so glad that you are joining us today.

    Did you sleep well last night?

 Pause for Prayer: 

  • Ron Bidwell son died yesterday.
  • Idaho is in shut down mode.
  • Essential workers still working.
  • Congress passing funding

   What do you want to pray about today? Share your prayer requests in the comments this morning.

   Our WORD from the LORD today will be found in several places, so be ready to turn in your Bible.

   I want to talk about Maintaining a Devotional Time while we are being quarantined. There are four essentials that I want to go over with you. They are:

  1. Read the Bible – II Timothy 2:15; Revelation 1:3

   15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

   Do you have a daily Bible reading plan? Here are some suggestions:

  • Read through the Gospel of John in 21 days.
  • Read through Proverbs in a month – 31 chapters.
  • Read through a book of the Bible in one setting.
  • Listen to the Bible through apps like You Version.

   I am going to make this online devotional available at our blog site, so you will want to go and download it as soon as we finish our time together. I would encourage you to use the chart that I am going to provide you with to keep track your Bible Reading and Prayer time and Bible time throughout our time in lockdown as a Church. Do you have a Bible reading goal? Are you desiring to improve your Quiet Time? Sometimes it is helpful to have some available tools.

   What is your goal for spending adequate time in God’s Word? Is it 15 minutes a day, or 45 minutes? Some of you spend a lot more. You can never go wrong by spending time in the Bible. And how important is prayer to your daily Quiet time? Will you pray 5 minutes or 25 minutes?
 
My Bible Chart would not upload. Find it under resources COVID-19 Handouts. 

   Do you journal? I’m not good at journaling, but I really should. As we read the Bible, we should joy down a few thoughts about what we read. It would actually help us to remember what we read. Here are four questions you might want to answer after you read through a Bible passage:

  1. What have I learned from the Bible text?
  1. Was there a Promise for me to claim?
  1. Is there a good verse for me to memorize?
  1. What questions do I now have after I read the text?
  1. Did God convict me of anything in my personal life through His Word.
 
   II. Taking time to actually Pray – Matthew 6:9-13

   “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11     Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

   Next, I want to talk with you about how one can develop a prayer life. I believe that there are three key essentials:

  1. You must have a time when you pray. 6:00 A.M., Noon, 8:00 P.M.?
  2. You must have a place where you pray. Prayer closet, office, bedroom?
  3. You must have a prayer list that you pray through. WHO are you praying for? Notice that I didn’t say WHAT are you praying for. 

   When you pray about a matter do you pray in faith believing that God is going to answer your prayer request?  

   Who is on your prayer list?

  • Your immediate family
  • Your neighbors
  • Your community
  • Your local civic officials (Mayor and city council)
  • Your church family -I cannot overly state the importance of keeping your church family in prayer. We must be praying for each other.
  • Your pastor and his wife
  • Missionaries that you know
  • The persecuted church – they have lived what we are presently living for decades.
  • The Pandemic crisis and our response

     Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-15. He told them to:

  1. He told them to address God as their Heavenly and Holy Father – v.
  2. He told them to express to God their desire that his Kingdom come to earth, and that His will would be done on earth like it is in Heaven – v. 10
  3. He told them to ask God to provide for their daily needs – v. 11
  4. He told them to ask God to forgive their sins, just like they have forgiven the sins of those who have wronged them – v. 12
  5. He told them that they should ask God to protect them from temptation throughout theday – v. 13

   This prayer has often been called The Lord’s Prayer, but it is more accurate to call it The Disciple’s Prayer. It is the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray. The Disciple’s prayer should help us determine how to pray, and what to pray for! Now I want to challenge all of us to develop a prayer list. Have a place where you can write down all the things that God lays on your heart.

   What internal business must we all take care of before we pray? Here is a checklist of three items to look at:  

  1. Your heart – Is there any sin in my life that I have been unwilling to confess? Do I have any relationships that remain unreconciled? Am I harboring an unforgiving or bitter spirit toward anyone?
  2. Your mind – Do I have thoughts in my head that should not be there? (Romans 12:1-2)
  3. Your soul – Do you have some emotions that are not right.
  4. Your strength – Am I using the strength that God gave me to do what He has told me to do?

   If the answer to any of these is “yes” then make sure that part of your prayer time is spent confessing these things to God.

Prayer List:                                  Answered Prayer:

 

   III. Giving God Thanks – Psalm 100:4  

   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

   During our COVID-19 Pandemic are you finding it hard to come up with things to be Thankful for? Are you using the My Blessings List? Download it at our website under resources. I hope you will consider using it.

   I would encourage you to think of at least one thing every day for which you can sincerely give God thanks for.

  • Are you healthy? That’s something to give God thanks for.
  • Are you eating? That’s something to give God thanks for.
  • Are you warm? That’s something to give God thanks for.
  • Do you have Toilet paper? That something to give God thanks for.
  • Are you surrounded by people who love you? That’s something to give God thanks for.

   Now is the time for us to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS and name them one by one.

 
   IV. Take time to share the Gospel – Matthew 28:19-20

   18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

   What is some way that we can share the Gospel during these days we are living in? Here are some suggestions:

  • Tracts – Phillip Fourroux shares the Way of the Master Tracts

  The Way of the Master: http://store.livingwaters.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=5&q=Tracts

  • Letters – Now is a great time to send a letter to a family member.
  • Social media – Make good posts – don’t be weird. Enough weird stuff out there already. Don’t post “I bet you won’t send this to 10 of your friends” That’s weird.
  • Telephone calls – Who has God laid on your heart? Reach out and touch someone (That used to be the telephone company motto).
  • Prayer – For family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and nation.

    Here are some very practical ways:

  • Donate food and basic supplies to those in need.
  • Facetime shut ins who you can’t visit.
  • Have your children draw or paint pictures, and send them to grandparents.
  • Let your light shine (Matthew 5:13-16).


Jesus the Christ heals you – Acts 9:32-35

   It’s another NEW day. Top of the morning to you. Snowing here in North Idaho. It’s March 25, 2020.

   Pause for Prayer: Go through your Church family and pray for one another. 
 
   Did you pray? Really, pause for some prayer before you proceed. 

   Our WORD from the LORD:

   Today our WORD from the LORD is found in Acts 9:32-35. I’m giving this passage of Scripture the title: Jesus the Christ heals you. 

   Grab your Bible and open to Acts 9. 

   In Acts 9 we have the story of Saul’s conversion (Acts 9:1-30). I’ve always referred to that passage of Scripture as: Detour on the Damascus Road. We in the church today can be thankful for Saul’s conversion because today we refer to him as the Apostle Paul. God changed his name from Saul to Paul.

   Also in Acts 9 we have the growth of the early Church. This was largely due to the fact that Saul was converted, and he was no longer persecuting and killing followers of Jesus Christ. The Churches throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. They were walking in the fear of the Lord in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied (Acts 9:31). The church is growing.

   Did you know that in what I already shared with you we have seen the healing that comes from Jesus Christ? Think about this:

  • Saul was healed spiritually. A dead man walking was given a NEW LIFE. He was Born Again. Saul experienced the second birth. Thank God for spiritual healing.
  • Churches were healed emotionally. Once Saul was saved, they had peace. We all know that when we lack peace that our lives can be characterized by stress, anxiety, and even fear. But thank God through Jesus Christ we for emotional healing.

   So there we have two types of healing that people still need today. Again they are:

   I. They need spiritual healing.

   Do you know anyone who needs spiritual healing? Why not earnestly begin to pray for them while you are staying home during this pandemic. People can go into lockdown, but you cannot lockdown prayer!

   Listen to these words that Paul penned to young Pastor Timothy, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4). The truth of the matter is that God our savior wants all men to be saved. There is not a person alive today that God doesn’t want to be a part of His forever family. 

   Just recently I’ve joined a Church Online Platform. It is a place where churches can post their services online for people to watch. Last week many Churches through the nation actually broadcasted their sermons online – including ours. Here is a note from the host of that website. They wrote, “And in spite of the down time in some of our church online services, God still moved in 28,000 people who clicked the Salvation Moment through church online!” Isn’t that fantastic – 28,000 people were saved because of Churches being online!

   II. They need emotional healing.

   Do you know anyone who needs emotional healing? Do you need emotional healing? Are you frayed, frantic, or fearful? Do you feel emotionally drained? No doubt there are a lot of people today who are facing all kinds of emotions. I mean think of all the emotions we have witnessed this past week alone here in our community and nation. One of the biggest emotions right now is fear.

  • So many false rumors are being spread.
  • People are talking about national guard troops locking down interstates. Some say they are going to enforce Marshall law.
  • News services drive fear.

   What do we know about fear? 

   Fear can be healthy. I should be afraid to cross an interstate. Cars and trucks are moving at speeds up to 60-70 miles an hour. That probably would not be a healthy choice. Right?

  • I should be fearful when it comes to fire. Fire burns.
  • I should be fearful to mess around with live electrical wires. Electricity shocks.

   Fear can also be unhealthy. As an Illustration I want to share with you about a wealthy Billionaire by the name of Howard Hughes. He was a film director, inventor, record-setting pilot, engineer. He formed Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932. Later he renamed it Hughes Air West. In his later years of life he developed phobias, and became fearful of germs and unseen bacteria. He built clean rooms in his home and wore masks to protect himself from air born virus’. Howard Hughes had all the money he could ever dream of having, but it didn’t protect him from irrational emotional fears. Many believe that he had actually lost his mind. Irrational emotional fear can cause people to lose it mentally. Howard Hughes legacy if maintained through the Howard Hughes medical Institute.

   I’ve attached a url from YouTube that speaks of Howard Hughes death if you are looking for something to watch.

Howard Hughes death reported –

   Again the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and remind him, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)

   I want to challenge you to commit that verse to memory. Will you do it? Better to dwell on Scripture than to dwell on the Coronavirus. Make the better choice. 
 
 There is a third type of healing that people need. 

   III. They need physical healing.

   People need Physical healing today. Consider just the Coronavirus pandemic for a moment. Worldwide there have been 422,959 cases. 18,907 deaths. 109,144 have recovered. But my point is simple – people need physical healing. If you were sick you would want to be healed, right? (See James 5:13-18 for additional insight for physical healing).

   I want to draw our attention to Acts 9:32-35. Allow me to read these verses for us. We read,

   32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 

   The first five words of verse 32, “Now it came to pass,” are in reference to the spiritual conversion of Saul, and the new enjoyed peace and edification that the Churches were enjoying. The Churches were enjoying such a relief from persecution that the Gospel once again was starting to spread.

   In our text today we find Peter (a pillar of the New Testament Church) going through all parts of the country, and that he came down to the saints (believers) who were at Lydda. It was when he came into Lydda that he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed.

   A little over a year ago I had knee surgery that laid me up for about two months. Those two months felt like forever. My wife was so kind and gentle, and did so much for me. When I was going through it, it seemed like a very long time. But now it feels like it was so long ago. Can you imagine being bedridden for eight years.  Starring at the same four walls every day for eight years. And on top of that, being paralyzed? Aeneas was totally dependent upon the kindness of other people. Some of you know that feeling. At times you might feel like a burden to others.

   Drop your eyes down to verse 34. We read,

   34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 

   Underline the words, Jesus the Christ heals you.

   Those are beautiful words. Can you imagine having someone walk up to you and say what Peter said to Aeneas?

   We know that Jesus heals spiritually (He saved Saul). We know that Jesus heals emotionally (The Churches found peace), and now we discover from this story that Jesus heals physically (Aeneas was healed immediately). Our text reads,

   “Then he arose immediately.”

   On a side note: Take a look at what was the first thing Peter told Aeneas to do. He told him,

   “Arise and make your bed.”

   Have you made your bed today? I want to challenge you to go and make your bed as soon as I bring this Facebook Live to a close. I really believe that discipline starts by doing the first thing we can do after we get out of bed, and that is to make our bed. I’m attaching a link on the importance of making one’s bed by U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven – www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sK3wJAxGfs

   Does Jesus Christ heal today? Yes!

   Does He always heal today? No!

   Are we okay with this truth? Our physical healing is not based on the amount of our faith. I don’t care what the Faith Healers tell us. God in His sovereignty chooses who is healed and who is not healed. (Remember the story of the three Hebrews and the fiery furnace in Daniel 3? Those three men understood this truth). If God heals, wonderful. If God does not heal, God is still God and that is enough.

   God choose to heal Aeneas.

   What does healing do for the Churches witness? Take a look at verse 35. We read,

   35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 

   Divine healing can at times be the instrument that actually uses to turn people to the Lord.

   Can God, and will God use the Coronavirus as an instrument to turn people to the Lord? We can pray that way. We can seek to be used as a tool in the hand of the Master for this purpose.

   One final thing I want to point out from our text today. It is two words found in verse 32. The two words are,

   “Peter went”.

   We will make a difference when we follow the example of people like Peter.

   And remember we are in touch, so you be in touch.

 



Love Your Neighbor

March 24, 2020

Hello everyone – we are on day 6 today!

I have been asked to take my notes on these Connection Series and make them available on our church website as devotions. If you go to slbc2u.com and go to our resource page under COVID handout you will now find the devotions from the past six day, including today.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Tyler Mitchell in Oklahoma City
  • Bob Ashmuhs – cancer treatment
  • Tom Spann – cancer treatment
  • Local city officials in Spirit Lake
  • Families with small children
  • New York – 25,000 cases of Coronavirus
  • Direction for our political leaders
  • Provisions for our SLBC families

Our WORD from the LORD today is from Romans 13:9-10 – Love Your Neighbor

   When I use the word NEIGHBOR what comes to your mind right now? Make a comment in the comment section here on Facebook below.

  • Nice
  • Strange
  • Terrible
  • Difficult
  • Great
  • Christians
  • Drunks

   The word “Neighbor” is actually used 153 times in the NKJV.

   Who is your neighbor? According to the parable of the Good Samaritan all people are our neighbors (Luke 10). However, today I want us to talk about our neighbors in light of the community where God has placed us. Your neighbor then might live on your right and left, and across the street. These are the people I want us to specifically consider today. Seek to build relationships with them.

  • God told Israel in the law that they were to love their neighbors.
  • Jesus repeated this command to the rich lawyer when he asked who his neighbor was (Luke 10).

   And today I want to reemphasize the need for all of us to love our neighbors. Dr. Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Love one another is the basic principles of the Christian life. It is the “new commandment” that Christ gave to us (John 13:34). When we practice love, there is no need for any other laws, because love covers it all!”

   What can we learn about love from these verses this morning? We lean first about…

   I. The debt of Love – v. 8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

We are a people of great debt. And in light of the Coronavirus our government is talking about a two trillion-dollar subsidy package to help with people’s salaries and to stimulate the economy. Is this neighbor helping neighbor? Someone is going to have to pay for those two trillion-dollars – there are no FREE monies.

Paul says that we are to owe no one anything. Do you feel indebted to anyone today? You know I read that more than any people Christians ought to pay their debts – let us be good citizens and pay our debt of love to our neighbors!

The only debt that we are to have is called, the debt of love. We are told to love one another. This is the only debt that is never fully paid, or even repaid. Love is what separates the world from Christians. Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit and because God’s Spirit lives in us we are able to love one another. As a matter of fact the first fruit of the Spirit is LOVE (Galatians 5:22).

Do you remember when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, and He said that it was first, to love God – that’s # 1. And the second was to love your neighbor a yourself. This is why this verse ends with the words, “for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

There are three key thoughts in this single verse:

  1. Owe no one anything
  2. Love one another
  3. Love for others fulfills the law

   There is no need for rules (laws) when people love one another.

   II. The Commandment to love – v. 9

For the commandments, #7 “You shall not commit adultery,” #6 “You shall not murder,” #8 “You shall not steal,” #9 “You shall not bear false witness,” #10 “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

   The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20, and Deuteronomy 5.

   Are you aware that the 10 Commandments have actually been broken up into two parts? The first four focus on our love towards God, and the next six focus on love towards our fellow man. The first four commandments are vertical. If we get those right, then the next six will fall into place. Our horizonal relationships will be right.

   Notice that the commandments listed here in verse 9 are the second part of the Ten Commandments. They are the horizonal commandments. True love for people never violates these commandments. Look at them as they are listed:

  • You shall not commit adultery, (having sex with someone other than your spouse)
  • You shall not murder, (doing a Cain thing)
  • You shall not steal, (taking what belongs to others, not yours)
  • You shall not bear false witness, (lying about others)
  • You shall not covet, (desiring what others have)

   These are serious commandments. They are cross generational commandment. They weren’t just for the Jews. They are for all those who know God. All those who have come to faith and been saved by Jesus Christ. These are no excuse commandments.

   Listen to what Paul writes at the end of verse 9,

   “and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

   Here is the point: Love never ever does harm to one’s neighbor.

   And that thought brings us to our third point.

   III. The fulfillment of love – v. 10

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.[1]

   Underline the first part of verse 10 – “Love does no harm to a neighbor;”

  • The KJV translates it as, “worketh no ill to his neighbor.”
  • The ESV translates it, “does no wrong to a neighbor;”
  • The NLT translates it, “Love does no wrong to others,”
  • The LEB (Lexham English Bible) translates it, “Love does not commit evil against a neighbor.”

   Now turn to the last part of this verse. It reads, “therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

   All the teaching of the Old Testament can be summed up (fulfilled) in the truth of NOT doing harm to one’s neighbor. I would encourage you to go and read through Leviticus 19. There we have Moses’ instructions for loving our neighbors.

   Think with me for just a moment. What would it be like to live in a community where you actually knew that those around you really loved you, and that they had a genuine concern about your overall welfare? God help us to be that kind of a neighbor.

   When Jesus finished the parable of the Good Samaritan he responded to the rich lawyer, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37).

   Debbie once taught a children’s Sunday school class, and she taught the lesson of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). Afterwards she asked her class what she had just taught them. A little boy raised his hand and said, “It was the story of the Good American”. Isn’t that great?

   Now, let us go and be the Good American by loving our neighbors.

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 13:8–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



Our Plans Vs. God’s Will

March 23, 2020

Good day everyone!

   This is Facebook Live day 5 for our COVID – 19 Series – WELCOME.

Let’s start our time off with a few jokes –

  • Did you hear about the guy whose boss told him to have a good day, so he went home.
  • What do you call a boomerang that won’t come back? A stick.
  • A woman in labor suddenly shouted, “Shouldn’t! Wouldn’t! Couldn’t! Didn’t! Can’t! – “Don’t worry,” said the Doc. Those are just contractions.”

   What’s going on in our life today? Take a moment and type a comment in the comment section below. I’ll wait and see who responds.

Pause for Prayer: Do you have a prayer request for today? Send it to SLBC at our website, or respond below in the comments here on Facebook.

  • Church family
  • People traveling for work
  • Moms & Dads with their kids
  • Shut-ins
  • Neighbors
  • Police and first responders
  • Medical centers and hospitals
  • National leaders to get their act together

A Word from the LORD today – Our Plans Vs. God’s Will

Our word from the LORD will be found in James 4:13-17.

   I. We plan without God – v. 13 

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;

   As I read that verse, I couldn’t help but to think of William Earnest Henley’s (1849-1903) famous poem: Invictus

 Out of the night that covers me,   
  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   
I thank whatever gods may be   
  For my unconquerable soul.   

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.   
Under the bludgeonings of chance   
  My head is bloody, but unbowed.   

Beyond this place of wrath and tears   
  Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years   
  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.   

It matters not how strait the gate,   
  How charged with punishments the scroll,   
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul.

   So many people think that they are in charge of their lives – they’re not.

   Have you ever noticed that some people are into chasing the almighty dollar – they live for profit. This verse seems to be speaking to merchants. Traveling salesmen. People who push products for a living. Sometimes people can get so busy chasing the almighty dollar that they forget the ALMIGHTY!

   Don’t plan your day without God. Put God front and center of your daily life.

   III. We presume about tomorrow – v. 14

14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Do you see the question in this verse? James asks, “For what is your life?” Think about that question for just a moment. What is your life? James answers his own question. He states.

  • It is a vapor that appears for a little time. (Vapor is a puff of steam).
  • It quickly vanishes away. I personally find it hard to believe that I’m 60 years old. Don’t blink your eyes or you’ll quickly be there too.

   Years ago someone said that the brevity of life could be the dash on the headstone between one’s birth, and one’s death. The dash is small compared to eternity.

One author penned, “James tells them that they had not factored into the equation the brevity and unpredictability of life. They could talk about one place, that city over there, and, before they could get there, end up in another place—eternity. They could talk about a period of time, this year or next, and, before that period began, find themselves in the realm of the timeless.

How easily we forget what life is like! It is a vapor! It is like the morning mist that lingers only in the early morning hours and vanishes when the sun rises. And when the sun rises, it doesn’t take long for the vapor to vanish!”[1]

   SLBC family – we need this Biblical perspective about our lives. We must begin to focus on what really matters in this life. Preparing for what lies ahead.

   It is possible that COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise. By that I mean is I possible that God wants to SLOW us down, so that we will actually contemplate what is really important in this life. So many people live as if they have a corner on life – they don’t.

   God help us to pause long enough during these days of social distancing and take inventory of what is really important in the days to come.

   Hint: People and God’s Word is the only things that last forever. 

   III. We pass over God’s Will – v. 15

15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

   Can I ask you a question, and at the same time I am asking myself this question: Do I ever consider God’s Will for my daily life? Do I factor in that God has a will for my daily life? 

   How many of us really want God’s perspective on how we live every day?

  • Do we start our day with God on our minds?
  • Do we contemplate God through our day?
  • Do we bring our day to a close thinking about God?

   The point that James is making is that we are to live our daily lives in such a way that we don’t forget God. Keep God front and center in all of our decisions.

  • In light of COVID-19 what should your family do?
  • How many people do you feel comfortable to be around?
  • Will we let God use us to minister to others who might be afraid, fearful, or anxious?
  • Are we open to be the hands and feet of Jesus during this pandemic?

   Here is a suggestion: Begin to pray daily that God will reveal His will for you during this global COVID-19 Pandemic. God what is your will for my life? Speak to me.

   IV. We put forth arrogance and boasting – v. 16-17

16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Have you ever met someone who seemed to have their lives all neatly wrapped up in a brightly covered package? They tell you their plans for the next decade, and lay it out like a road map. All the time you hear them say:

  • I am going to do this
  • I plan to take these steps
  • I will reach these goals
  • I’m going to push ahead

   Self-centered bragging must be replaced by God-honoring trust.[2]

   Yesterday in the Sunday sermon I spoke about Nebuchadnezzar’s pride. Well, this is what we have here in this verse as well – PRIDE.

   There are some people who live as if they don’t need God in their daily activities. I for one cannot think of not having God involved in my daily activities.

   You might think you have your life all wrapped up in a package, but if the truth be known, it’s a very small package.

   Boasting and arrogance is called EVIL. 

   V. We practice good and do it – v. 17 

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.[3]

   We constantly have the tendency to make this life the main event and eternity a footnote. Eternity is the main event, and only a fool lives as if this life is all that there is.[4] Don’t live for the dot (the present), but for the line (eternity) writes Randy Alcorn.

   One author wrote, “Don’t count on your time. It is passing! Don’t count on your possessions. They will soon belong to someone else. Don’t count on your career. It will soon be over. But count on this: eternity is rapidly approaching, and only those who have taken refuge in Jesus Christ can face it.”[5]

  • What good is God asking you to do in light of COVID-19?
  • What good is God asking you to do in light of your Biblical understanding?
  • What good can you do in your community? Acts of kindness to neighbors.
  • What good can you do in your own life?
  • Will we live to do good?
   As your Pastor I want to encourage all of us to listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to our heart about any action on our part. Do what God tells you to do. If you know to do good, and you don’t do it, it is sin.   

[1] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (pp. 141–142). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[2] Blue, J. R. (1985). James. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 832). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[3] The New King James Version. (1982). (Jas 4:13–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (p. 142). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[5] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (p. 142). Leominster: Day One Publications.



Rules for Living

March 21, 2020

Welcome to Day # 4 of our COVID-19 Connection Series. 

How are you all doing today? I hope you will enjoy the sunshine and the warmer weather.

Are you hanging in there? You’re not going stir crazy, are you? I hope not.

Make sure you take time for your daily devotions – spend time in the Bible just reading scripture.

Prayer Time – Pause for Prayer

Use the Church prayer list from bulletin.

Our WORD from the LORD – Rules for Living

Today I want to share Seven rules for daily living that are found in the book of Philippians chapter 4 (Grab your Bible) and follow along. Are you ready to receive them?

   I. Rule # 1 – Stand Fast – 4:1

4 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 

   II. Rule # 2 – Be United – 4:2-3
  • In verse 2, it is being united in one mind.

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

 To live above

With the saints we love;

Oh, that will be glory!

But to live below

With the saints we know;

Now that’s a different story!

  • In verse 3, it is being united in ministry.

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

  • Look at the words used in this verse:
  • labored with me in the gospel,
  • My fellow workers
   III. Rule # 3 – Rejoice always – 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

When I was going to Bible school our professors would have us memorize Scripture. This was one verse that we were challenge to commit to memory.

  Do you know the song that comes from this verse?

Rejoice in the Lord always;
And again I say, rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always;
And again I say, rejoice. Rejoice, rejoice,
And again I say, rejoice.
Rejoice, rejoice,
And again I say, rejoice.

   Let that little song be with you throughout today.

   I hope that I haven’t lost anyone who was listening by singing you that song!

   IV. Rule # 4 – Display Gentleness

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

The New Living Translation renders this verse like this,

   5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

    Now is the time for all of us to be considerate of others around us. In light of what we have been asked to do let us show some gentleness towards our family, neighbors, and community.

   V. Rule # 5 – Don’t worry/Pray – 4:6-7

    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    The word “anxious” can also be translated “worry”. Just the other day we looked at what Jesus taught about worry from His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6). Jesus said, “Do not worry.” Worry is a sign that we are lacking faith. Also remember, worry sees a problem, but concern looks for a solution. Worry is praying to the wrong God.

  • Don’t worry – be prayerful.
  • Supplication – with thanksgiving.
  • Let your requests be made known to God

   If we will but pray, God will show up in a BIG way. Look at the wonderful promise found in verse 7,

    7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

   The opposite of a worried and troubled heart is a heart at peace and rest. This peace here is a tranquility that flows from God to man (all who know Him). Do you possess the peace of God today? God promises to guard our hearts and our minds through Jesus Christ. Here is the point: Troublesome times don’t have to be that troublesome for the believer. 

   VI. Rule # 6 – Think Right – 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Bible teachers call this verse the P48 Standard. Write that in the margin of your Bible. This is the standard when it comes to what you and I are to think about.

   In Opening Up Philippians the author writes, In keeping with that thought, Paul suggests to his readers a ‘divine programming’ that will ensure their peace. He calls upon them to think about:

  • THE TRUE—those things that correspond to the teaching of God’s Word;
  • THE NOBLE—those things that have the dignity of moral excellence;
  • THE JUST—those things that conform to God’s standards;
  • THE PURE—those things that are free from the taint of sin;
  • THE LOVELY—those virtues that make believers attractive and winsome, such as generosity, kindness, compassion and willingness to forgive;
  • THE THINGS OF GOOD REPORT—those things that give Christians a good reputation and a good name.

Paul sums it all up by telling his readers to meditate on anything of virtue and anything worthy of praise.

   VII. Rule # 7 – Just Do it – 4:9

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

    What good is the Bible if all we do is take it in, but never put it into practice? We have all learned some great truths to put into practice concerning these difficult days before us. What will we do with what we heard? Yesterday I warned us NOT to set aside all the wonderful benefits that God gives us (Psalm 103). Well, today I want to encourage us not to forget to put into practice what Paul taught us here in the fourth chapter of Philippians.

I want you to know as your Pastor that I love you, and I miss seeing your face-to-face. But we all know that this is temporary and that soon we shall be gathered together in our building and we shall be worshipping our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Until then, we are just doing the same thing a different way.

Sunday I will be going live at 10:00 A.M. I want to encourage your family to spend ½ hour listening to some great Christian music in preparation for receiving the message. You’ll want to download the message notes at slbc2u.com. Go down the page to our sermon area, and underneath that you will see note for download. Also make sure your download the My Blessing List from our resources under COVID-19 Handouts.

And remember, that we’re in touch, so you be in touch.

See you tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. (Facebook Live)



Forget Not His Benefits

March 20, 2020
Welcome to day 3 of our COVID-19 Connection Series!

I would love to know what you and your family are doing while we are social distancing ourselves to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Shoot me an email or text message at grace2u4@gmail.com

I want to remind all of us that what we see happening around us, and what we hear in the News is temporary – there is a Biblical statement for that – “it came to pass. Those four words are found some 100 times in the New Testament.

Have you been enjoying the sunshine? I have! I actually walked around outside yesterday without a winter jacket on. It was so nice! Those days will be back sooner then we think, and everyone will once again be enjoying the rivers, mountains, and lakes. We are so blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest. So much beauty around us.

Prayer Time – Pause for Prayer. (Send us your prayer requests).

Our WORD from the Lord today is found in Psalm 103. Why don’t you grab your Bible and follow along as we look at this wonderful section of Scripture? I’ve entitled this word of encouragement: Forget Not His benefits

The heading above this chapter in my Bible reads: Praise for the Lord’s Mercies. We also discover that it is: A Psalm Of David.

Question: Over the past week have you found yourself complaining, or counting your blessings? Upset at what you see, or grateful for what you possess? Well today I want to talk to all of us about the many blessings (benefits) we receive from having a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

   I. The Challenge – To Bless the LORD – vs. 1-2

   My challenge for us during the COVID-19 Series is to practice verse 1 and 2 of Psalm 103. Let’s read verse 1 first, 

1    Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

   The word “Bless” in Hebrew means an act of adoration, kneel (down), praise, salute, to thank.

   The “soul” is the seat of your emotions. Think this through. Our emotions usually follow our mindset and what we say with our mouth usually is played out in our lives. Negativity breeds negativity, and positivity breeds positivity! Here is the point: Bless God and your emotions will follow!

   Now, take a look at verse 2, we read,

2    Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

  Again for the second time we are told to “Bless the LORD, O my soul,” Notice that “LORD” is fully capitalized. This means that David is writing about Jehovah, the self-Existent or Eternal God.

   Suggestion: Write down at least one thing every day until this pandemic is over that you can “Bless the LORD” for. What can you praise God for, give God thanks for?

   Take a look at part two of verse 2. We are told very specifically, “And forget not all His benefits:

  • To forget means to mislay, to be oblivious of, to put out of memory.
  • Benefits speaks of God’s gracious acts of good will, that which He has given, or reward.
   II. The Benefits – vs. 3-5

   What were God’s benefits for David and His people? Take a look at verses 3-5, we read,

3    Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,

4    Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

5    Who satisfies your mouth with good things,So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 

   Did you catch God’s benefits in those verses? There are six benefits:   

  1. Forgiveness – God forgives all your sins
  2. Healing – God heals all your diseases
  3. Redemption – God redeems your life from destruction
  4. Love – God crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies
  5. Satisfaction – God satisfies your mouth with good things (Chocolate for some, steaks for others).
  6. Renewal – So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

   We SOAR above all problems when we keep our mind on the benefits of knowing and loving God (See Isaiah 40:30-31). Over the next few weeks I want to encourage us to keep your mind on all the benefits (gracious provisions) from God.

   Now, what I want to do is to read to you about the character of our God. Our God is unlike any other god (little “g”) that people in world religions worship. We get a beautiful picture of our God as David experienced Him. We read, starting in verse 7,

6    The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.

7    He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

8    The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

9    He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10   He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11   For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

12   As far as the east is from the west, (notice it doesn’t says, north and south) So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13   As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

14   For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

15   As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16   For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.

17   But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting (Eternal God)

On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,

18   To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19   The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. (Remember God is Sovereign over everything) 

   In light of who our God is – what is the required response?

  1. Angels are to bless the LORD – v. 20

20   Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word,

Heeding the voice of His word.

  1. Hosts are to bless the LORD – v. 21 (God’s armies)

21   Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.

  1. Creation is to bless the LORD – v. 22a

22a  Bless the Lord, all His works,In all places of His dominion.

  1. People are to bless the LORD – v. 22b

   22b Bless the Lord, O my soul! This is David who wrote this Psalm

  • But this also includes all of us.
  • Remember the word “Bless” in Hebrew means an act of adoration, kneel (down), praise, salute, to thank.

   FREEBIE: Who likes freebies? I have a freebie for you today. Go to our church webpage: slbc2u.com, and under resource section in the menu bar look for the “My Blessings List” handout. Download your copy and begin to keep track of all the things you would like give God praise for, thanks for, or just appreciation for.

   Remember, we’re in touch, so you be in touch.



Don’t Worry

March 19, 2020

Good morning!

This is day # 2 for our COVID-19 Connection Series. WELCOME!!!

How are you doing today? Well I trust. Make sure you stay connected with your church family as we navigate this pandemic coronavirus together. We all need community right now. Stay in touch to be in touch! Suggestion: Write letters to family, friends, and your church family. Everyone can use some encouragement today.

I want to draw your attention to our church webpage at slbc2u.com. Our front page will provide you with information as to how we as a church are going to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • We will have an online presence only. We will not be meeting at the church building.
  • I will be providing a daily briefing entitled: COVID-19 Connection Series.
  • We will be sending out letters with information about SLBC to our church members and attenders.
  • We are praying daily for all of you.
  • Our Bible studies will be online for the time being. If you lead a Bible study you might think about using Facebook, or YouTube.
  • Our Sunday service will be held on Facebook at 10:00 A.M.
  • I want to encourage you to listen to 30 minutes of good Christian music prior to connecting to Facebook for our Church Service.
  • Send us your prayer request or needs.
  • Sermon handouts will be available online at slbc2u.com.
  • Any pertinent Church information will also be available at slbc2u.com.

A Time of Prayer:

I used to be an avid listener to KMBI 107.9 out of Spokane. Each noonday they would have a program entitled: Pause for Prayer. They would stop the daily airing of their regular daily program and they would pray for needs through the Moody Broadcasting family. Well, right now I want us as a Church family to PAUSE TO PRAY. Send us your prayer requests. Today I will be using last’s Sunday’s prayer list from the church bulletin.

A Word of Encouragement from the WORD of God: Don’t Worry 

Our word from the Lord will be taken from Matthew 6:25-34. Grab your Bible and join me. These words are taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. These words are Jesus’ words. This is important for us to get ahold of.

  1. The Command – v. 25 

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Underline the words: do not worry about your life 

  Someone once penned: Worry is praying to the wrong God. How very true. What are we told NOT to worry about?

  • What we will eat
  • What we will drink
  • What you will put on

  Isn’t it those things that we do WORRY about? Isn’t this human? Yes, but we are being encouraged by Jesus Christ Himself (Red letters in my Bible) that as kingdom citizens we are to THINK differently. We are not to be characterized by WORRY. Why? Because worry shows a lack of trust, and a lack of faith.

  1. The Promise – vs. 26-30

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

People worry about food –

  • Look at the birds of the air – they neither sow nor gather into barns. (People have already begun to do this with the COVID-19 threat. We have been so worried that there has been a run on basic staples).
  • Who feeds the birds? Our heavenly Father.
  • Are you not of more value than they? If God values the birds and feeds them, so shall we be taken care of.
  • Worrying doesn’t make you grow taller – you don’t add to your height by worrying.

People worry about clothing –

  • Look at the lilies of the field. Look at how they grow. They do not toil or spin. In other words they don’t worry. They just grow as God’s designed them.
  • Solomon in all of his glory (extremely wealthy individual) wasn’t arrayed like one of these. Flowers are so delicate and beautiful.
  • If God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you,
  • O you of little faith?
  • The Assurance – vs. 31-34

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

   What do you do when you see a “Therefore” in scripture? You pause and ask, What is it there for? In light of what we just read and studied (the words of Jesus) what should our response be?

  1. Do not worry… What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?
  2. Don’t be like the Gentiles – For after all these things the Gentiles seek. (This is the behavior pattern of the unsaved. Not the way Christians are to respond to crisis).
  3. Know that God knows your needs – For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
  4. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – all these things will be added to you.
  5. Don’t worry – about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.
  6. Focus on this day – Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


In Times Like These

COVID-19 Connection Series # 1 
3/18.2020
In Times Like Theses

Good Afternoon SLBC Family 

Welcome to our online presence

This is our first post in our COVID-19 world.

This post is being provided to keep us as a church community connected. I hope that all of our church body will come and join us daily as we visit, pray, and read God’s Word together.

How many of you ever went to a Billy Graham Crusade? Do you remember George Beverly Shea (1909-2013)? What an outstanding soloist. Well, he wrote a Christian hymn that he often would sing at the Billy Graham Crusades. The hymn I want to share with you today is entitled: In Times Like These. Listen to the words and let them resonate with you today.

In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One
This Rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible
In times like these, O be not idle
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One
This Rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have…

How are you doing today? Physically? Mentally? Emotionally? I would say, socially, but we must begin to practice some social distancing. Now is a great time to enjoy your immediate family!!!

Do you have everything you need? Do you need anything?

If we can help meet each other’s needs let’s use the comments section to make those needs known. If you read a need that you personally can help with, just go do it! Jesus said, “All men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35). Love is an action word, so let us therefore look for practical ways to love one another.

Let’s pause for prayer: If you have something you want us to pray about you can email me at grace2u4@gmail.com.

  • Church family
  • Health
  • Community leadership
  • Medical workers
  • National leaders and their response

Do you need a Word from the Lord today? Actually we need a Word from the Lord ever day. Can I encourage you to follow along in your own Bible as I read from the book of Romans? Open your Bible to Romans 8:18. We will start there.

From Suffering to Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be comparedwith the glory which shall be revealed in us.

  • Suffering is an inevitable in this life.
  • Suffering is nothing in comparison to what we have to look forward to – glory with our God and Savior.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

  • Are you aware as to why we face virus’ like COVID-19? The sin of Adam and Eve. All Creation now suffers because of original sin.

21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

  • Did you hear the hope provided in that verse? Even COVID-19 is temporary.

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

  • Our world (Creation) and our bodies groan because they desire redemption (deliverance). God never designed us for a fallen world. We were created for a perfect environment. We long for that perfect place. For the believer it will be the very presence of God.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is,because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

  • How do we pray in times like these? Sometimes we admit we are clueless in our prayers. That’s okay because God has provided us the Holy Spirit who prays on our behalf. When we don’t know how to pray the Holy Spirit make intercession for us. God hears the prayers of the Holy Spirit as if they were our prayers.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

  • God will use bad things to make us better people. COVID-19 can be used to make us more like Jesus Christ. We have been called according to His purpose. He foreknew you. He predestined you to become more like Jesus. Jesus was born to SERVE. Jesus lived for others. Jesus died for us!
  • We have been called (salvation), we have been justified (just like we have never sinned), and one day we will be glorified (God sees us right now complete and glorified).

   These are some great thought in the days we are presently living. What should be the believer’s response to COVID-19 and any other type of suffering we might have to face in the future? Well, let’s take a look at the last seven verses.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? (UNDERLINE those words) If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

  • Not only does the Holy Spirit pray for us, but now we are told that Jesus Christ, the Son of God prays for us. Jesus sees our concern, knows where we are right now with COVID-19, and what is happening around us. Are you comforted by knowing He prays for us?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;

We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

  • Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword.
  • Check out the last three verses again – verses 37-39. POWERFUL reminder.
  • Let’s God’s Word provided hope and encouragement in these days of concern.

Do you recall how Barbara Walters would end her 20/20 program? She would say, “And remember, that we’re in touch, so you be in touch.” I’m Pastor Kim. And from everyone who is a part of SLBC. Have a Christ-filled day. Until tomorrow.



What are some signs that we are living in the last days?

I just received a newsletter from Compass (2016 Issue 2), and they list 10 signs that we are now in the last days. They mention that anyone with at least 2 brain cells will definitely know we are in the last days after looking at these signs. I’ll make my own comments as we walk through these signs together.
 
1. Israel is back in her land (Ezek. 37:21). 
 
Over 8 million Jews have returned from being dispersed throughout the world. They started coming back to their homeland in the 1800’s – after 2000 years of being everywhere around the globe. In 1995 I was in Israel with a Compass tour, and I had an Ethiopian Jew serving me dinner at one of the hotels. I saw first hand Jew who longs to return to their national homeland. In 1917, at the end of WWI, the Balfour Agreement gave the Jews a legal right of return. And on May 14, 1948, the United Nations declared Israel a sovereign nation. 
 
2. Israel is a World Problem (Zech. 12:3)
 
Israel is in the news almost daily. Israel’s neighbors do not like them, and their goal is to drive them into the sea. Israel  has a population of 8 million people, the Arabs 450 million, and yet look at what Isarel has accomplished  for its size. Why do the Arabs desire to drive Israel into the sea?  The seed of Ishmael do not like the people from the seed of Isaac. They have been at odds with one another for thousands of years.  Are you aware that every U.S. President since Israel became a nation in 1948 has tried and failed to establish a peace treaty between Israel and her Arab neighbors. We hear on the news not that the Arabs are the trouble makers, but the Jews. How many times do you have to have rocks thrown at you, or some suicide bomber kill your family members before you begin to protect yourself, and if necessary build walls. 
 
I have read the book of Revelation and I know that in the end that the Antichrist will bring a massive army against the Jewish people. They will be bent in destroying the Jews. But the Bible is clear that God will show up, and with the breath of his mouth destroy the entire army (Rev. 20:7-10). 
 
3. As in the days of Noah, or Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 24:37, Lk. 17:28-30, Gen. 19:5)
 
 Today we are witnessing an unparalleled assault on moral values in our land. Jesus said that in the last days we would witness things like what were occurring when He destroyed the world in a flood (Gen. 6). And that we would see events taking place like they did in Sodom ad Gomorrah. Not long ago the U.S. Supreme Count said that homosexual behavior is to be legitimized. 
 
Homosexuality IS a sin. Contrary to people being born that way, it is a choice. Now I agree that born sinner will often choose sinful behavior. This is what spiritually dead people do. However, this doesn’t mean that we should tolerate and accept sinful behavior. God will one day judge this sin. 
 
What makes me sick is that we have now an entire movement that is pressing for rights for their sinful behavior, and it doesn’t matter that states vote to protect their people. Unjust judges over-turn the vote and voice of the people. How long will this keep happening in America? When will we say enough? Sinful homosexual behavior is not a constitutional right.
 
And now we have to watch the movement of the transgender people claiming that they have a right to use the bathrooms of a “sex” that they were not born. They claiming that people are discriminating against them if they speak out against this. As we saw in North Carolina.  People wanted to oust the Governor because he signed a bill saying that people had to use the bathroom for the gender of their birth. 
 
4. We are moving to a cashless society (Rev. 13:16-17)
 
A recent survey said that only 10% of Americans always carry cash. A lot of people don’t even know what the dollar looks like anymore. They are so use to debit and credit cards. More and more people are going with electronic payments. We use watches and smart phones to swipe and make payments. 
 
Because banks are now global in scale it’s not impossible for one day the entire world to be controlled by one person. We are rapidly approaching a world-wide Babylonian system, both in the area of finances, and in religion. It’s coming – it’s a matter of time. 
 
5. Russian/Iran Coalition (Ezek. 38:2-8)
 
Are you aware that the Bible predicts that God/Rosh (Modern day Russia) will invade Israel from the north with Persia (Modern day Iran) as one of her principals allies. Today we are seeing that Russia and Iran are becoming close military friends. 
 
The prophecy above was written 2700 years ago, pinpoint the time to be after Israel comes back into their land in the latter days. 
 
6. Nuclear Weapons (Rev. 6:4, Zech 14:12)
 
There is enough nuclear weapons on the planet to kills every man, woman, boy, and girl, and there are nations still seeking to obtain its power. The U.S. recently tried to broker a deal with Iran to stop their nuclear ambition, but do you really think they are going to stop? No, they desired the U.S. to allow their money to flow again. 
 
North Korea is testing at this time. 
 
7. Knowledge shall increase (Dan. 12:4, Nah. 2:4)
 
Look at the speed of the internet, and all the information at your fingertips. What are you search for? It is available. Need help with something – Go to Youtube. Do a search. There you have it. 
 
8. Mocker denying the Second Coming of Jesus (II Pet. 3:3-4)
 
People laugh today when we speak of what the Bible says about the return of Jesus Christ for the second time. Go ahead and laugh – God is patient, and he desire that you repent. I know there are various views of the end times, but the Bible is clear that Jesus will come again. 
 
Compass says in this article that 80% of the Christian Church is A-millennial, meaning “No Thousand Year Reign” of Jesus Christ as described in Rev. 20. Many of them believe that the church will make the world a better place, and usher in the kingdom of God. 
 
Christians don’t you deny the Second Coming of Jesus.
 
9. The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists identified (Rev. 7:4, 14:3-4)
 
It is believe that these will be unmarried Rabbinical Jews between the ages of 18-30. Today it is estimated that their number is somewhere around 150,000, and growing. 
 
10. Israel Deserts will Bloom (Isa. 27:6, 35:1-2)
 
In 1995 I saw just how lush Israel was. At that time they were being called the bread basket of Europe. I saw farmlands full of vegetables. Banana plantations were everywhere. In the hotels I enjoyed fruits and all types of breads. It was amazing. 
 
In the 1800″s Mark Twain commented that there was hardly anything green in the entire land. 
 
The Turks of Ottoman Empire, who controlled the land for 400 years, had heavily taxed trees on property. So most of the people simply cut down their trees to avoid paying taxes. 
 
Since the Jews have returned to their land the land has changed, and they have planted over 250 million trees throughout the country (which is roughly the size of Vermont). 
 
Yes, if you ever get a chance to visit Israel you too will be amazed at just how green everything is. Israel has bloomed! 
 
All of these prophecies ought to excite you. Yes, we are living in the last days. Are you fixing your eyes on things above? I hope you are.