How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, not stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
A Christian’s understanding of who he or she is in Christ, is vital! For example, in-order-to be forgiving when wronged by someone, we must first understand with our hearts and minds that we were first forgiven by Christ from the Cross and called by Him to likewise, forgive others. But how does this come about?
The psalmist tells us plainly: Whoever we run around with, or whatever we fill our minds with, will not only affect us, but others as well! You see, once we’re saved, what we do with our lives after that, is just as important as the day we were (or are) saved!
Here, the psalmist tells us how “walking,” (living our lives), “standing,” or “sitting” at the table with the wicked will disallow us from maturing in our faith and, at the same time, diminish our integrity, so-as-to equally lessen our impact on others for the Kingdom of God. But, if we delight in sitting down to God’s Word daily and allow Him to speak to our hearts through the workings of the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves positioned like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. And tree planted in this fashion does what? It yields its fruit as it should at the proper season, it’s leaves do not wither, and it flourishes and grows!
And so, goes the Christian life. What a blessing to daily bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) rather than rotten fruit (see Galatians 5:19-21). Read God’s Word and invite the Holy Spirit to teach and apply its truths to your heart and life! Oh, the blessedness and the benefits of God’s counsel and the sharing of our faith in Christ!
Being Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who
delude (deceive) themselves.” James 1:22
In Matthew 21:28-32 were read of Jesus’ Parable of the Two Sons, in
which He tells of a father’s request of his first son to go and work in
the vineyard one day. This son said he would do it, but did not,
whereas the second son, when asked, said he would not go, but later
having regretted his response, chose to go out and work in his father’s
vineyard. Jesus asked the crowd, “Which of the two did the will of his
In this parable, Jesus is telling us that the most important thing is not
so much our saying that we are going to do something, as it is to obey
His Father’s word by doing what He says. In Jesus’ day the church
folks (the scribes, Pharisees, and the Sadducees) believed their own
self-righteousness was enough to make them right with God. But,
they didn’t get it! They were like the first son who was a hearer but
not a doer of his father’s will. However, those who were lost in sin
and needed the father’s love (the prostitutes and tax-gatherers) may
not have responded at first, but later they did act on the word of
Christ by repenting of their sin and believing in the Father’s Son!
Whether you have been putting off a decision to come to Christ
because you have been living your life based upon your own selfrighteousness,
or whether you are a Christian whose been saying you
will take up your cross and follow Jesus daily in words only and not by
your actions, choose today, like the one son who pleased his father,
to be a doer of the word!
Laity Sunday Blessings
“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish the course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
We celebrated “Laity Sunday” on October 15th, and I had invited Eric and Doris from our congregation to share their testimonies of God’s work in their lives. I was deeply touched, as was the congregation, as to Eric’s sharing of how the Lord had called him to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through the gift of song that God had given him. Eric challenged our congregation to use their gifts to tell other about Jesus and to give Him all the glory in all they do. Eric also shared how God received him with unconditional love during a time in his life when he had strayed from the Lord reminding us of the attestation of God’s love and forgiveness of the prodigal son found in Luke 15.
Doris, also spoke of the truth of the gospel lived out in her life through the realities of pain, suffering, and loss and how she had witnessed time and time again the mighty hand of God at work bringing her peace throughout her life as He did during difficult days in during her childhood. Doris’ transparency before the Lord and our congregation, stirred our hearts to be real with God who loves and cares for us at all times!
Real people encountering the real God! Like Paul the preacher, whose lived his life for Christ in the real world; a life that made difference.
A very thankful Pastor Louie
Born Again Under Grace
“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under
grace.” Romans 6:14
A father took his little girl to the park. She was free to slide, swing, and skip
through the playground. But her father wanted her not to go near a certain
bush along the fence. When he turned his back, that’s right where she headed,
and as a result, she found herself covered in poison ivy. Genesis Two tells us
that God created man and woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden to
enjoy it (including the food)! And the truth is, the creator originally placed two
clean souls in the garden! Their only restriction to eating freely from any tree in
the garden was God’s command they not eat from the tree of knowledge of
good and evil for in the day they eat of it, they would surely die.
Well, we know what they did. Like the little girl at the playground, they freely
and by choice listened to the tempter, and ate of the forbidden fruit! (Note the
context and you will see how God’s command not to eat of the fruit was given
to Adam, Genesis 2:16). So, all people are born diseased; covered in spiritual
poison ivy-the kind that kills!
God knew we needed a healing that only He could provide, and the cleansing
agent He provided Paul proclaims in Romans 6:14 as the grace of God found
God’s only Son: the Person, the Savior, Jesus Christ! When Jesus died on the
cross, He took our poison ivy onto His spotless skin so that we could be made
clean now and forever in the sight and favor of our loving God! Paul is right!
Sin, death, and the grave no longer have mastery over the Christian because
he/she has been born again (See John 3) by the Spirit of God in Christ! And
therefore, we are no longer under the law of the of the Old Testament days
which proved that we are sinners separated from God, but beloved, we are now
under the grace of God. Hallelujah, we are released, free to need and to love
our God and one another!
(See Romans 7:1-7 and Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8).
The Red Sea Before You and Pharaoh Behind You!
“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. ‘The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.’”
In the 1970’s I was visiting my grandfather Mabrey and just happened to ask him for the name of the last motion picture he and my grandmother went to see. Papaw hesitated a minute and then asked me, “What was that movie that had that Charlton Heston fellow in it?” I responded with a chuckle, “Papaw, that was The Ten Commandments!” (Which by the way, was released in 1956)!
I guess most folks, at least through my generation can’t help but think of the movie classic starring Charlton Heston as Moses. But the great truth is there was a real Moses, and there is a real God who kept Pharaoh’s army at bay in-order-to allow Moses and God’s people to cross through the Red Sea on dry ground and to arrive safely on the other side.
What are we as Christians to do when facing a seemingly impossible situation? Read today’s Scripture again and invite the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to your heart, mind, and life. (Read how God delivered His people through the sea in Exodus 14).
In the Name of our Deliverer, God the Father and God the Son!