Do you need a reference letter?

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Philippians 2: 19 – 22 “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.”

Do you need a reference letter? You couldn’t ask for one better than what Paul wrote for Timothy. We learn about Timothy from different passages of Scriptures. He had a godly upbringing by his mother and grandmother (II Timothy 1: 5; 3: 15). He came under Paul’s ministry in Derbe (Acts 16: 1 – 3), and apparently joined him there, and was with him when he started the church in Philippi (Acts 16: 12). There seems to have been a genuine bonding between Paul and Timothy. In fact, that of father-son. If the Apostle Paul did not lead him to Christ, he at least played a major role in discipling him.

In spite of the glowing commendation that Paul gave to Timothy; he also had his weaknesses. In Paul’s epistle to Timothy, he make references to his youth (I Timothy 4: 12); his infirmities (I Tim. 5: 23); his shyness and fearfulness (II Timothy 1: 7 – 8); and his human frailty (II Timothy 2: 22). This seems to contrast with his letter of commendation that Paul gave in Phil. 2: 19 – 22. However, Paul was always transparent, and as with other writers of Scripture, he never tried to gloss over anyone’s failures. This was also seen in his rebuke to the Apostle Peter Galatians 2: 11 – 14.

What lessons can we learn from this? Here are several thoughts that should be helpful to us as we serve the Lord.

******* The person who is strongest is the weakest. II Cor. 12: 9

******* God has placed us in vessels of clay that we might always be mindful of how fragile we are. II Cor. 4: 7

******* If the Apostle Paul could say, “We are troubled on every side…we are perplexed”; it is alright for us to say the same! II Cor. 4: 8

******* We do not have to flaunt our weaknesses, but we should be honest enough to admit that we have weaknesses!

God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty!

One Body Many Parts

From the Pastor’s Desk…

I Corinthians 12: 12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

The human body is composed of 270 bones at birth, but decreases to about 206 bones by adulthood. Apparently, this is because as a person matures, some of their bones fuse together.

Someone wrote this humorous parody about the four main bones in every organization. It could have been applied to the Church. The wish-bones: Wishing somebody would do something about the problem. The jaw-bones: Doing all the talking but very little else. The knuckle-bones: Those who knock everything. The back-bones: Those who carry the brunt of the load and do most of the work. (Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 16-17)

Actually, the body of Christ should function much differently. Paul compares the body of Christ to the human body. He make some humorous observations by showing what happens when the body does not work harmoniously. He speaks of the foot wanting to be the hand, and the ear wanting to be the eye. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Imagine a cartoonist drawing a picture of a person walking on their hands, and with their eyes on the side of their head. In using a little humor, Paul is telling us that every part of the body has its own purpose. God made the feet to walk, the hands to perform a multitude of tasks, the eyes to see, and the ears to hear. Aren’t we glad they work as well as they do!

How can the body of Christ function as it should? There is only one way, and that is when we follow the Head. Christ is the Head of the church, and He directs the entire body. Unfortunately, we often treat the church as though it were a secular organization with its rules and regulations. Yet Christ is the Head of the church, the Holy Spirit is the Administrator, and the Bible is our Robert’s Rules of Order.

************We need more back bones in the church!*************

This is the day which the Lord hath made

Very often as Christians we speak of the burdens of life, and how we long for the coming of the Lord to relieve us of those burdens. The story is told of George Whitfield who in his later years shared with some friends how he was weary with the burdens of life, and was ready to go to be with the Lord. He asked one of his friends who was older than he was, if he didn’t agree with that. The man told him that he didn’t want to talk about death, but rather “My business is to live as long as I can, and as well as I can, and serve my Savior as faithfully as I can, until He thinks it’s time to call me Home.” This served as a gentle rebuke to Whitfield, and is a great lesson for us as well.

Our text in Psalm 118: 24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” is also a reminder of how we should live our lives. This verse is often quoted especially when we are having a good day, but I believe there is a principle here that will help us every day.

******God has given you the gift of a new day! Psalm 90: 12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” If you woke up this morning thank God for it!

******God’s mercy is new every day. Lamentations 3: 22 – 23 “It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” What a wonderful thought that His compassions do not fail, and they are fresh every morning at the start of a new day!

******God’s promises are new every day. “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Rom. 4:21. What is your need today? Ask God to give you a promise from His Word that you can claim!

*****Though it may seem to be the worst day of your life: This is the day that Lord hath made so rejoice and be glad in it!*****

Is it well with your soul?

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 – 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes does not sugar coat life, in fact, at times he sounds, at best like a pessimist, but at the worst like a skeptic. Actually, he is neither. He uses a phrase throughout the book “under the sun” to show that he is speaking as a man of the world would speak. In other words, he is saying a lot of bad stuff happens to people. I think we would all agree. Life is hard; we are faced with trouble and heartache, and disappointment.

How has 2018 gone for you? Has it been smooth sailing, or have you had a few curves thrown your way? Sad to say, the hospitals and the funeral homes have stayed busy. The courts are filled with lawsuits and with people having to stand before the judge.

What does 2019 hold for us? Of course, we don’t know the answer to that question, but we do know that God holds the future in His hands. We do know God has said: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

Horatio G. Spafford was a man who was sorely tried. He was a Christian businessman in Chicago in the 1800’s, and lost his home and his business in the Chicago fire. He thought it would be good for his family to travel to Great Britain to join D.L. Moody in his evangelistic meetings there. At the last minute, he was unable to go, but he sent his wife and four daughters aboard a passenger liner. Sadly, the ship was struck by another ship and sank in twelve minutes. His wife survived, but his daughters perished. When he heard of the disaster, he immediately boarded another ship to be with his wife. When he came to the place where his four daughters lost their lives; he penned the following words: “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Is it well with your soul?