Real Hope for Real Life

hope

The Scriptures paint a very bleak picture of the spiritual condition of man.  There is no soft-selling it nor candy-coating it, or even dunking it in the world’s most expensive perfume.  Take a look at the picture painted by the Scriptures, the Word of God.

Ephesians 2:1-3

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ouch!

If that doesn’t shock your system, how about this:

Romans 3:10-12

“No one is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks God. All have turned asid; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Even by our own personal experience, everyone of us could testify that our thoughts, intentions, plans and desires are often times not what God would approve.  We are trapped by our own desires seemingly unable to escape their consequences.

What do we do?  How do we free ourselves from our sinful human nature?

Enter the scene help from the outside. We know by our own frustrations to “dig ourselves out of the ditch”, as it were, on our own we can’t do it!  The harder we try, the deeper we feel the desperation of our helpless situation. For that reason, Easter happened.

Christmas brings us the celebration of the arrival of the hope we desperately need. Christmas would make no sense whatsoever without the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Hope was renewed at Christmas and sealed forever at Easter.  Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)  That sealed sin’s fate. It was rendered powerless. The Apostle wrote, “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

The hope that Jesus gives us real hope, not just a hopeful wish.  Jesus actually suffered on the cross, he actually shed his blood for the forgiveness of sin, he truly died and then he was resurrected to life again. This is such great news that we read the following words, “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57)

My friend, is that hope yours?  Are you tired of trying to find the solution to life on your own? Reach out by faith to the forgiveness that God offers you in Christ!

In the first ever sermon that was preached in the first church, the invitation to embrace the Gospel of Jesus was expressed by the Pastor in these words,

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 2:38)

That, my friend, is the hope we need today! Embrace it, love it, receive it, live in it!

For His Glory,

Pastor Bill

Practicing the Presence of God through Prayer

Prayer gets a bad rap among some of God’s kids who think it is only for the spiritual elite.

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Some practice it on an “emergency only basis.  Others “seem” to be close to ” super saints” who use such erudite, spiritual language that you wonder what planet they have been on the last ten years!

Between those two very extreme caricatures are those who honestly struggle to adopt a lifestyle that carries with it the aroma of prayer.  These are those people, like you and I, who have a God-given passion in their hearts to bring every matter in their lives to the Lord’s attention through prayer. But, the question is, how can we adopt the lifestyle where prayer is the predominant theme of our lives? With your permission, I would like to take you on a journey through the pages of the Bible to witness those people from the past who came to grips with prayer’s importance, some failed and some passed with flying colours.

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The Gift of Presence

two-friends-wallpapers“He who calls you is faithful, he will surely do it” (1 Thess 5:24).

It is very special to have “found” the Gospel of Jesus Christ when I was without purpose and no hope of every finding it on my own. I grew up in a home where the things of God were given only intellectual assent and never personally applied or taken serious. It was like knowing it was indeed true but pretending to live like it wasn’t.  Continue reading

If you knew…

They come in all shapes, sizes and intensity.  The innocuous thing about them is that they sneak up on us when weResults least suspect them like carbon monoxide on the unsuspecting homeowner. Before we realize it, we are left gasping for air as the life is sucked right out of us!

King David experienced it on a day that began like all the others he had every lived  (2 Samuel 11). He would go to sleep (if he could sleep) that night a changed man with a totally different future than he had when he woke up that day. And so does every one of us who yield to the tempting picture that sin paints for us without considering its deadly consequences. Continue reading

Roadblocks to Peace

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The older I get, and I am getting there fast…the more I am beginning to understand, notice I said “beginning!”  There was a time not so long ago that I thought being a Christian was all about following carefully crafted rules. Those rules, I thought, triumphed relationships every single time! My “Damascus Road”  experience came as I thought about the conflict I have experienced as a Pastor. That conflict was mostly over methodology and control.  Some people want both no matter the cost, even at the cost of relationships.  Continue reading