When Love Came Down

I would like to tell you the story, if you would indulge me. I once was lost but now I have been found. Yea, I know you have heard that before. But in my case it is really what happened!  The puzzling thing is that for many years I didn’t know, and I had no idea that  I was lost.  I was like the proverbial pig in the pig pen who wallows happily in the mud not knowing being clean is even a possibility. I was happy to live as if God didn’t exist and didn’t love me.  I was “happy” with my circle of friends who lived for sports and getting wasted on drugs and alcohol. 

I knew of the story of Christmas but didn’t really think too much about it.  I never stopped long enough to realize that Jesus Chrust voluntarily stepped out of heaven to become a baby and eventually die at the hands of those he had created.  I was unaware of such humiliation and the love that motivated him to take such a step.  I had never taken into consideration these words,  

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

Now when I celebrate Christmas I cannot but help think of these words.  Jesus voluntarily left heaven to become the sacrifice for my sin! Those words continue to rock my world! Love came down to earth so that I could realize why God had placed me on the planet! I could only find purpose and significance in life through understanding the ramifications of Christmas. 

Our celebration of the birth of Jesus is one of love. One of the well known verses of the Bible is John 3:16, 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

You and I are loved more than we could ever imagine! My story is that once I discovered  God’s love I have never been the same since. Oh, yes, there have been times that I have been tempted to turn my back on God’s love. But I have learned that there is nothing the world has that is worth as much as the freedom and joy God has gifted me when love came down! Absolutely nothing! 

As you celebrate Christmas this year, yes please enjoy time with your family. By all means taste with delight the delicious food that you will partake of. Celebrate with your loved one the exchange of gifts! But please make Jesus the honoured guest, give him his rightful place at the head of the table and the rightful heir of the centre of your heart! 

Thank you for taking the time to read! Please share if this has been helpful to you!

Pastor Bill Finch

pastorbillfinch@gmail.com

Really Good News!

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”

The relevancy of the message of the angels to the shepherds is as important today as when they were first spoken. Like  those days, the time in which you and I live are days when “good news of great joy” is the right message for today. Our human race has made efforts almost since time began to cure itself with disastrous and deadly results. Peace agreements between nations and neighbours are at best short-term. We are in desperate need of good news of great joy.

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The Peace Process

As we move closer to the day of the celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the world is in a whole lot of turmoil. Personally, I am finding it difficult to turn on the television news because someone is coming out against this group or that policy, somebody is yelling at someone else! The only peace seems to be to ignore others and do your own thing, but someone will inevitably be against the thing you are doing! Continue reading

The Hope We Need

“What in the world is going on?” Have you said that to yourself or out loud recently? I have for sure! If you read the headlines, if you watch your favourite news channel on television, there is an inundation of frightening revelation of sin that for decadesthehopeweneed remained hidden and silent. We are reading of major political, television and sports celebrities whose past behaviour is now coming back to haunt them. There seemingly is no hope for them. For the victims of their crimes, there is finally hope that they no longer have to live in the shadows of past events that robbed them of hope.

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Rubber meet Road

How do the theories about how life should function actually translate into our daily  routines of life? One plus one does in fact equal two that is the cold, hard fact.  We want life to work neat and tidy that way. If you do ‘A’ then you will get ‘B’. Really? Does your life work like that for you? Please tell me your secret! Continue reading

Following Jesus

I had no idea, you could say I was clueless! What did it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?

In 1977, I clearly heard and understood the message that God loved me and sent his son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of sin that I owed. I repented of my sins and placed my faith, my future, my total being in God’s care. Without realizing it at the time, I stepped into a process of walking with God everyday. God was slowly transforming my value system from being solely concentrated on me and my desires to him and his desires for me.

There is indeed a process that God places us in to become all that he wants us to become. All who have made that decision to receive Jesus as Lord are learning to understand what God desires. We no longer live for self but for the Lord.

Every person who is a Christian is a follower, a disciple of Jesus. Everyone should have a plan of growing to become more and more like him. How? Here are a few ideas:

Personal Plan for Spiritual Growth

1. Identify with the Community of Faith through baptism and church membership.

2. Find areas to serve God using the spiritual gifts, abilities and interests he has given us.

3. Grow in intimacy in our walk with God through daily, disciplined reading of the Bible and prayer.

4. Seek to encourage others in their walk with God through being a part of a small group. You cannot grow on your own, you need the encouragement and you can encourage others as well.

5. Share your faith. God has/is working in your life not just for you but that others can know him through you. God wants to use your story to change the lives of those who do not know him.

6. Give of your financial resources to support the work of the local church. God calls us to be generous with what he has entrusted us with financially.

These six principles are “basic training”. The entire span of our walk with Jesus is based on these. Following Jesus is not rocket science but is the discipline to faithfully practice them continually growing to become all he wants us to be.

My friend, go for it! Grow in faithfulness, love God passionately, serve Him loyally, and impact others radically. This is what a disciple of Jesus looks like.

Real Hope in Real Time

It has been a very difficult week. Much harder than most. We have witnessed the absolute horrific tragedy of the church shootings in a tiny town deep in the heart of Texas.  How in the world do we make sense of that? Dear people who left their homes as they usually have done to attend church completely unaware what the next hour would bring. Their lives, and ours, have been  changed forever.  Continue reading