PREPARING FOR HIS PRESENCE

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Week of December 14, 2018

“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Luke 2:36-37, NKJV)

Our faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insight to you than to those less faithful.  Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful.

Anna had been a widow for many years.  In her day, a widow had little status in society and was virtually helpless on her own.  Anna spent most of her time in prayer and fasting.  She longed to see the Messiah.  God chose few people to encounter the savior when He was born, revealing His Son only to those whose hearts were faithful and pure.  Anna was one of these few because she had a prepared heart to receive Christ.  Jesus would later say to His followers “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.”  (Matthew 13:16, NKJV)

If we are to receive the presence of God this Christmas, we must prepare ourselves.  Preparation must precede God’s presence.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were largely unprepared for his arrival.  They knew He was coming and where He would be born, but when word came that He had been born, they made no effort to join Him.  John the Baptist was God’s messenger to help people prepare to receive the Savior and those who heeded his message recognized Jesus when he came.  His message was we had to repent which involves a change of mind and heart toward Him.  This Christmas pray as the psalmist did, that God would examine our heart to reveal any need for repentance.  As we do, we will experience the presence of God in a powerful way.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

APPRECIATE LIFE AND YOURS TOO

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Week of December 7, 2018

“I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.”         (Psalm 116:17, NKJV)

There are times when enthusiasm appears to diminish, and life loses its luster.  It suddenly seems that the position and meaningful life you led is something of the past.  To really appreciate life, we must not take the gift of life and the gift of this day for granted.  Taking the time to enjoy and appreciate our life must be an integral part of our life.

Do you appreciate the love and support of your family?  Can you still marvel at the rising of the sun?  Can you still laugh about a funny situation, or do you find it hard to believe that humor is one of God’s gift to you?

By being appreciative, you can change your life into an exciting adventure.  By appreciating life and your life and your life, you will continually be moving closer to God, and you will find He becomes more the center of your life and thoughts.  By being appreciative, we really can change our lives.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

MAKE THE DAY VICTORIOUS

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Week of November 30, 2018

“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.”         (Psalm 118:24, NKJV)

Regardless of how bad things appear to be, God is greater than any situation you may find yourself in.  You might doubt this truth, and as a result, your life will be filled with insecurity, and you will look at your circumstance possibly as an almost unbearable burden.

We must see each day as a gift from God.  What we make of it is our responsibility.  Our outlook for each day depends on our frame of mind and attitude towards life.

Fortunately, our frame of mind is not something we have to leave in the hands of fate.  We were never meant to be the pray of fluctuating circumstances.  God has given us the ability to choose our frame of mind.  as a result, we can choose to live a happy, victorious life.

When you wake up in the morning, start the day on a positive note by praising God for His presence and His goodness.  I believe you will meet your day with joy and expectation.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

DO NOT BE QUARRELSOME

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Week of November 23, 2018

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not patient.” (2 Timothy 2:24 KJV)

There should be no quarrelsome Christians according to the Apostle Paul.  At times people may disagree with you regarding God’s word.  They may even challenge your faith.  It is never helpful to argue.  You will never argue anyone into the Kingdom of God.  Only God can convince others of the veracity of your life in Christ.

God will vindicate you in time and in His way.  This Thanksgiving you may be around some difficult family members, and you find yourself quarreling, you need to ask God to clearly reveal your motives and possibly forgive you for your disobedience to His clear command.

Most of the time our motivation for arguing comes from a desire to be right.  God will not honor that because He is not interested in how right we are but how obedient we are.  God’s command is not that we win arguments but that we are kind and forgiving, even when someone mistreats us.  Paul is really saying we reflect a Christ-like character when we demonstrate patience.  Arguing may never win people to your view, but loving them as Christ does, will win you many friends over time.

 

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick