November 22, 2016
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s stop just a minute to consider why being thankful to God is important not just on Thanksgiving but every day of the year. Giving thanks is clearly taught in Scripture, but what does it accomplish? God says in Psalms 107:8-9 “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” We can see in verse 8 that God almost laments that men would acknowledge his goodness toward mankind. We should make praising the Lord a part of our everyday lives. I think we could also all agree that giving thanks is good, however, if we are not careful our prayers are used to request from God than giving thanks to God. We’re so focused on our troubles and needs of the day that we sometimes overlook how he has already blessed us. His word says that he will fill a hungry soul. We are surrounded with opportunities to show a hungry soul what god can do. What the world needs today is for believers to trust in him and by that I mean have a trust that an unsaved person can see hope in.
We also read in Psalms 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” The mercy that God bestows upon us has no end. Just think of all the things in your life and see what you can come up with that has not ended. All the emphasis that people put on possessions, money, family, and relationships will all have an end but the relationship you have with God if you have put your faith and trust in him will never end. God truly is good. We have so much to be thankful for that we should be ready each and every day to be thankful to him.
As you gather this Thanksgiving with those you love to celebrate God’s goodness, may God real in your life. Only when you make him first in your life with you truly have something meaningful to be thankful for. Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
November 18th, 2016
What now? The question is being asked over and over again in this country by many is "What Now." Those who are euphoric over the election are asking the same question as those angry over the result. So what do we do now?
The very first action item a believer should do is to pray. We need to pray for those over us and for their salvation. In 1st Timothy 2:1-4 we read "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." God would have all men to be saved and if they were, their actions would show their belief in God and his ways.
Secondly as believers we should know what the ways of God are. Gods plans, directives and will is borne out in his word, the Bible. We need no other authority to lead this nation than the word of God. Believers should lead this nation in showing by word and deed the truth contained in the word of God. The reason Christians are caught up in meaningless debate over social and cultural issues is their lack of knowledge or outright denial of what the Bible says. If believers would put the time into the study and understanding of what the Bible has to say then senseless debate would cease. We read in 2nd Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Through ignorance people are divided over issues God settled before the beginning of time.
Thirdly as believers we should remember that our first responsibility is to share the Gospel with an unsaved world. If we spent as much time sharing the Gospel as we spent on compromising the Gospel the world would be a different place. The reason people are asking "What Now" is that they are placing their trust in the wrong place. In Jeremiah 17:7 we read "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." If you put your faith and trust in a person or party instead of God you are wrong.
So where do we go from here. In other words"What Now?" It is sad to see so many prefer the ways of man over the ways of God. It is sad to see people distraught because their person or their dogma did not win and expend their energy in defense of their misplaced beliefs while people are going out into eternity without a saving belief in God. This land needs the hope that comes from God and that message comes though believers. Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
I am a Cubs fan. I have been since I sat in Wrigley Field in the fall of 1981. The ivy on the outfield wall…the old yet venerable ball park…the legions of fans that were willing to wait and band together until the “Cubbies” could make it to the World Series. While I do not live or die on the fortunes of a baseball team I do admire how they pull together, support each other and are willing to follow the manager into the largest spectacle in the baseball world. Win or lose they will do it as one.
We can read in Ephesians 4:2-3 that the Apostle Paul tells us as Christians we should walk “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We as a church, as the body of Christ should be the first to show the world we walk together. Paul goes on to say in verses 4-6 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Do you see a common theme here? We as the body of Christ are to be seen as one. Anything other than that is sin in the eyes of God.
In verse 11 we see gifts given to men and those gifts we see in verse 13 are to be used “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” If we are not willing to be taught, edified and instructed we will those described in verse 14 where we read about those “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Moving as one shows growth in God…inviting division into the body of Christ is the work of satan. God is the only one that knows the truth and the only one we should turn to in seeking truth. One of Tennyson’s famous lines is “A lie which is half a truth is ever the worst of lies.”
Did you ever wonder why in John 4 that Jesus felt “he must needs go through Samaria?” Because there was a woman there that needed that “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Let us be seen as one…moving together and serving God and sharing the Gospel. Somewhere in your travels there is a person sitting next to a well of despair hoping someone will come along and show them the love of Jesus. Will that be you? Go Cubs! Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.