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Archive for June, 2010

The experience of salvation is the most practical experience that can happen to a person.

Pastor Bill

 

 

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If you have children or grandchildren you have probably been asked a question by one of the little “rascals” that caused you to stop and think a bit. In fact, you might even have had a difficult time trying to answer the question they had just raised to you. I stumbled onto a web site that addressed questions that kids ask like “Did Eve have a bellybutton?” “If God made spiders, why do people squish them?” “Who created God?” “Why can’t we see God?”Why did God make mosquitoes?” and “What does God look like?” (If you want to see more examples of questions kids ask go to www.holyspiritinteractive.net/kids/questions/)

It is interesting that kids, in their sincerity and honesty often ask questions that we adults may have even wondered about at times. As I continued to read the letter to God I found the writer said at one point, “Dear God……….Show me who you are.”

Have you ever secretly wished that God would simply walk into the room and sit down next to you? Or maybe you would like him to get in touch with you and schedule a time and a place where you could meet him and see him, face to face. It seems the writer of the letter to God was seeking some assurance of the reality of the Creator; “Show me who you are.”

People have had such feeling throughout time. Moses, who seemed to have regular and close contact with God, did not seem satisfied with all he was experiencing in his relationship with his Heavenly Father; he wanted more. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus, in chapter 33, Moses has been having an in-depth discussion with God and has hit the Lord with a number of probing questions and requests. Then, beginning in verse 17 as it is recorded in the New Living Translation of the Bible, Moses really gets to the point: The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.

You know something? Moses had numerous “encounters” with God but this one probably impacted him more than any other he experienced. I doubt that he ever forgot it. If any of his children, or grandchildren, asked him later on how he knew God was real when a person could not see Him, I suspect a look must have come over the man’s face as he remembered, again, what he had experienced with God.

We can’t see electricity but we know it is present and, if we aren’t careful, we can feel it at times! We can’t see radio waves, but we know they are “there” and we make use of them each day. We can’t see heat but we can see, and we can feel, the results of it. You and I may not “see” God, but we can experience His love, His presence, and His working in our lives. Most importantly we can experience and intimate one-on-one relationship with Him. God does want to “show” himself to us!

Prayer: Father, thank You for your willingness to “show” yourself to me. Thank You for desiring to have a personal relationship with me. I don’t understand that but I have found it to be true. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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If you don’t love God with all of your wallet; you don’t love Him with all of your heart.

Pastor Bill

 

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We’ve heard it before but it is worth remembering. . . . . . Of the many religions throughout the world, it is only Christianity which has a central figure who still lives!

Pastor Bill

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It is a privilege for the Christian to praise God but, more than that, it is also our responsibility.

Pastor Bill

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My wife and I took a drive into the area northeast of Moscow, ID, where I had grown up. We drove by the location where we had first met. We traveled past the home where a small wedding reception was held on the night of our marriage. Later, we drove through the small community of Princeton, where I had spent the first 18 years of my life. Everywhere I looked I saw things that reminded me of people and incidents of my growing up years. As we drove out of Princeton I looked at a section of the Palouse River as it flowed quietly along among the trees and meadows in that area—and I was reminded of a camping trip. Oh, yes! And this was not just any camping trip. It was the first time I had gone camping alone—by myself—with no one else along.

I had just reached my teen years when, on a late spring afternoon I asked my parents if it was alright with them if I went camping overnight to a secluded location east of town. They gave their permission and I packed up a sleeping bag, some food, and anything else I thought I might need and headed out of town, following an old and unused road along the south side of the river. Sometime later, away from houses, people and cars and trucks, I made my camp in a grove of pine trees. I started a fire and cooked a small but satisfying dinner. As darkness descended on this quiet corner of the forest I allowed the fire to burn down and spread out my sleeping bag on a small piece of canvas I had brought with me. It was time to hit the sack.

I lay in the sleeping bag and looked up through the branches of the trees at a sky filled with stars. I began to think that this place was a little lonelier than I had thought it might be. It would have been nice to have someone else to visit with a bit. I finally closed my eyes, pulled the sleeping bag up over my ears, and tried to go to sleep.

Suddenly I heard the snap of a branch in the woods nearby. I rose up and looked around; trying to see in the darkness what could have made the noise. The beating of my heart finally slowed and I lay back down. Crack! Oh, boy, there it was again. My heart was thumping away by now and I had my flashlight out shining it through the trees, trying to see what had made the noise. I won’t go into all the details other than to say that my courage was absent that night. In fact, I packed up and went home. It was actually humiliating for me to think I did not have enough backbone to make it through that night alone.

One of the phrases in the letter to God included the words “Give me courage.” Courage. It is something we all wish we had at times. What is it? Other names for courage would be bravery, valor, nerve, daring guts, backbone, moral fiber and spirit. Are those traits each of us should have? For the Christian, courage is often necessary to insure we are living our lives the way Christ wants us to and sharing the Good News of the Gospel with those around us. Preacher, teacher and author William Barclay once said, There should be, in the Christian, an almost reckless courage which makes him ready to gamble with his life to serve Christ and men.”

Reckless courage! That is quite a statement to make. Yet, I wonder if Barclay was right? What would happen if each of us prayed for a “reckless courage” when it comes to serving the Lord and other people around us?

A man by the name of Kit Pharo, a cattleman from Cheyenne Wells, CO, said, “The world is full of Sunday-morning Christians who leave Jesus at the church building every Sunday when they go home.   Don’t leave Jesus at the church building. If you are a Christian, I challenge you to take Jesus everywhere you go – to work, to school, to sports events, to the coffee shop, to the sale barn, to the parts store, to a neighbor, to a friend, to a family member.”

I think Mr. Pharo was probably speaking of reckless courage. In Deuteronomy 3:6 we find this wonderful promise: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Prayer: Father, please give me a “reckless courage” in serving You. Place within me the courage to live for You, speak for You, and serve You as effectively as You have planned. Yes, Lord, give me courage! Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."

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The next time you are in church and you hear a sermon that “hits home,” it will have done no good unless you do something about it.

Pastor Bill

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