Pastor's Blog

The Great Need for 2018

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured waster into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded…[and to His disciples Jesus said], ‘If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. ‘For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.’” John 13:3-5, 14-15

Many years ago, I was on a Karios prison ministry team which was scheduled to go into a local prison in North Florida and minister to about thirty-six inmates. During one or our pretraining sessions for this event, I, along with the other team members, engaged in a foot-washing which was very humbling and rewarding to my soul; one that I will never forget.

John records this event, not that we would make foot-washing a law in the local congregation, for that is not what this event is about as I was recently reminded in a devotional by Pastor Charles Stanley. Instead, we are to focus on the attitude behind the action Jesus is commanding his disciples “to do to others as He had done unto them.” In Philippians 2:5-8 Paul tells the Christians living in Philippi that they are to have the same humble and self-giving spirit as Christ had when He intentionally gave up His divine rights to come to earth in flesh and die on a cross!

Washing dirty feet in life may seem below our standards, but what act of humility with a Christ-like spirit may God be calling you to perform? Who do you know that needs some form of assistance in which you are to lay aside your desire for prestige, power, or position?
Read John 13:3-15 and Matthew 20:28.

The Great Need for Humble Servant-Leaders in 2018!
Pastor Louie

When Your Heart Is Breaking, Part 1

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Can you believe it is the year 2018? I don’t know about you, but as I grow older, it seems the years are passing faster! For many folks, the new year offers the opportunity to make a new resolution or the opportunity to mend a broken resolution from last year. But no matter what, the fact is we are bringing ourselves assuredly into 2018, and that may mean a broken heart, as well.

Perhaps you or someone you know has been thrown by a medical report that presents itself to be a great challenge this new year. It may be guilt over past sin, or betrayal by a friend that has stepped over the fence into this new year. You may be continuing to battle loneliness, despair, or depression. The Bible says that David, the author of Psalm 34, was a man after God’s own heart, which means that he had a teachable and open heart. He wasn’t perfect; no one is! David sinned greatly, but through it all, He understood Who God was as he understood God’s nature.

And that is why during an intense time in his life, He praised God for His care for him in this Psalm. Notice in the verse listed above, that David knew from experience, that when he was brokenhearted and crushed in spirit, he also knew that God was near his pain, near his struggle, near his heart that had been broken into many pieces (as the literal interpretation of this verse reads). Go to God today in your brokenness, praising Him because He is near and that He is your stay through it all! Christ is your refuge! He will never abandon you!
Pastor Louie

When Your Heart Is Breaking, Part 2

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

When David wrote Psalm 34 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he was remembering a time in which he ran into enemy territory in a panic in-order-to escape King Saul of Israel who was in hot pursuit and whose number one desire was to capture and kill David. Historically, the Bible says David sought refuge in the land of the Philistines ruled by King Achish. Not long after that however, the king’s men reminded him that David was an enemy, and overhearing them, when brought before the king, David pretended to be mad with hopes the king would let him go, which he did! (See I Samuel 21:10-15). Many folks are living under the load of paralyzing fear: fear of cancer, fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of failure and defeat, fear of the enemy! When David heard the king’s men warn him of his presence at court (as all Israelites were arch enemies of the Philistines), I Samuel 21:12 reads, “ And David took these words to heart, and greatly feared Achish king of Gath.”

What are you afraid of that has been causing you to lose sleep at night? (A fear so great that it is breaking your heart to pieces). Don’t run into enemy territory, but surrender that fear to God in prayer and invite the Spirit of the living Christ to deliver you from all your fears. And, as you read the Scriptures and pray, God will begin to replace your fear(s) with an assurance of His presence and resolution.
Pastor Louie

When Your Heart Is Breaking, Part 3 (The Healing of the Heart)

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15
“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3

What do you do; where do you go, when you are brokenhearted? Some people withdraw and become isolated whereas, others become aggressive and turn to drugs, alcohol, success, etc., in their attempt to resolve the loneliness, rejection, or feelings of fear or failure they feel deep inside.

In Psalm 34 David, from experience, tells us that he has come to know deep within, that when his heart is breaking; he can cry out to God in prayer. As a matter of fact, David (Psalm 34:15), tells us the Lord not only sees his circumstances, but His ears are also attentive to David’s cries.

One of the most tender and effective ways the Holy Spirit guides and empowers us when our hearts are broken, is through our tears as we cry out to Him in prayer for the salvation of our children or when we feel life has pinned us against the wall and we don’t know where to turn.

In Luke 10, we are told of the man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead by thieves as he traveled the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. We are also told of the “Good Samaritan” who stopped to help him—the one who bandaged his wounds after he had poured oil and wine into them. When we cry out to God and put our trust in His all-sufficient ability to take care of whatever it is that is breaking our heart, He will begin to pour the oil of the Spirit and the wine of His word into the deepest of wounds we have thus binding up the wound as He brings healing, hope, joy, and restoration to our hearts and minds. (See Psalm 34:6-8 and Matthew 11:28).
Cry Out to Jesus!
Pastor Louie