“BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE” “7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loveshas been born of God and knows God.  8  Whoever does not love does not know God,because God is love.  9  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his oneand only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 Jn.4:7-8) Devotional Reading: I John 4:7-21“God loves you!” we are told in church every week. It’s so often repeated, it’s in dangerof losing its potency!… NOT that it’s truth is diminished – but that we become numb toits power, or grow unaffectedRead More →

The Push of Hope Millionaire Eugene Land was featured character in Parade Magazine. He was asked to speak to a class of 6th graders in the Harlem School District of IL. How will he inspire these students, most of whom, statistically, would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these mostly minority children to even look and listen to him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak from his heart… “Stay in school,” he admonished, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you!” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they hadRead More →

Three Ways to Keep Christ in Your Christmas Of course, there are more than three ways, but here are three ways I’ve seen families do (including my own family!) to keep Christ in their Christmas celebrations…  1. Start/Keep Christ-centered TRADITIONS. Prayer. Bible. Church… while the world gets busy with the commercialism and consumerism of the season, make sure your household keeps these Christ-honoring traditions intact. No matter how awkward it gets, read the Christmas Story from the source (The Bible), say a family prayer (not just for the food!) and worship together in church! I’ve even heard of families with traditions of volunteering in community service events orRead More →

The Treasure of The WORD A pastor went to an elderly woman’s home to help repaint her house. Upon entering, he noticed a large family Bible prominently displayed in the center of the room. The elderly woman commented that the Bible was 122 years old and was a treasured family heirloom! The pastor was impressed and said “it doesn’t really matter how old the bible is, it’s what’s inside that really matters.” The woman quickly replied “Oh, so true, pastor!… We have family records of birthdates, marriages and deaths in there that could never be replaced!”… Don’t miss the point – Read the Bible. ItRead More →

Remember the Resurrection The Resurrection is the supreme miracle of Christianity — it’s at the very heart of our faith. If it never happened, Christianity collapses into mythology and billions of people have been deceived! If it did happen, it authenticates everything Jesus did and said — and believers have the guarantee of eternal life and forgiveness of sins! Paul said it clearly in 1 Cor. 15:14, 15 & 17 – “…And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God… And if Christ has notRead More →

Mindful and Mature Prayers A few years back, we went through a sermon series on “The Prayer of Jabez” (from 1 Chron.4). We quoted and noted highlights from David Wilkerson’s best-selling book with the same title. It’s a good prayer – “Lord bless me, protect me and keep me from pain”… who wouldn’t want that, right? Yet, if our prayer life is filled with only that… we’re in grave danger! True Growth, Transformation and Maturity (even in the Christian Life!) INVOLVES some pain, some discomfort and some struggle. I shudder to think what kind of life we’d have if we were totally pain-free, totally freeRead More →

WAITING: our Common Ache 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:24-26 Christmas is a celebration most people in the world are familiar with. The “Advent Season”, in contrast, is a less familiar and more often taken-for-granted time of the Christian year. Advent refers to the weeks leading up to Christmas Day – a time of expectancy and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. For four Sundays before Christmas, we get toRead More →

Our HOPE is Secure We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Heb. 6:19) As Christ-followers, we are not exempt from the sorrow and sufferings of the world. We know this already… “the Lord makes the sun shine and the rain fall both on the righteous and the unrighteous”… we all go through it! So what difference does it make? This is where Hope comes in – the difference lies with OUR HOPE! Because of Jesus’ resurrection – the grave and death are no longer enemies to be feared! Hope becomes the sure and steadfast anchor for the soul. JustRead More →

The Post-pandemic Challenge to the Church “…Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt.28:19-20) There’s a story after Jesus’ ascension… some angels asked him, “Did you accomplish your mission on earth, Lord?” “It is finished.” the Lord replied. The angels added “Has the whole world heard of You and Your Kingdom?”. “Not yet…” said Jesus ”… I left eleven Jewish men and a few other followers to carryRead More →

ALL IN! Many understand the idea of GIVING AN OFFERING at church… the envelopes for our checks, a box for collecting and a time allotted for giving… all familiar, right? It’s an acknowledgement of God’s blessings upon us and our commitment to His ministry… an integral part of our worship and a way to open us up to God’s favor and mercy – It’s even a good antidote to materialism! While most understand giving, many still need help with the idea of OFFERING OURSELVES to God…. further than that, we need to understand “offering ourselves as a LIVING SACRIFICE!” Rom.12:1 says “Therefore, I urge you, brothersRead More →