Born2Serve Ministries O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Ps 107:1

14Sep/12

God FIXES that which is Broken!

This September will mark over 41 years in local church ministry. I know it sounds like such a long time, but really it seems like just yesterday when my wife and I headed down the road to our first ministry at Capital Baptist Church, in those days located right in SE Washington, DC. Since that September of 1971, we have ministered among literally thousands of people and watched God work actively in the hearts and lives of so many. We have come to see the Lord as the One that has been in the business of fixing all the things in us that are broken. Let me point out a few of those things in this Pastor’s Page.

First, since Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, man’s relationship with God has been broken. Not only was that first couple removed from such a beautiful garden where they had routinely walked and talked with God, but their fellowship with God was marred by their sin. Every generation and every person since, with no exception, has faced the same problem – a broken relationship with God because of our sin. Note that Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Earlier in that same chapter Paul stated that “There is none righteous, no, not one.” So onto the scene comes Jesus Christ and His coming was with a very specific goal. Luke 19:10 says specifically. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” John the Apostle declared that “The Father sent the son to be the savior of the world.” Every man, woman and child has the same opportunity to restore a broken relationship with God as they seek God’s forgiveness and the complete and total payment for their sin that Jesus paid at the cross. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Make sure you get this; God has gone out of His way to help us restore our eternal relationship with Him and if we do, He gives us the gift of everlasting life and the hope of spending all eternity with Him in His home called Heaven. Have you made certain that your relationship with God is fully restored by placing your faith in the accomplishments of the cross at Calvary?

God also has an interest in helping us repair broken human relationships. Too many parents and children, siblings or even husbands and wives are living with broken relationships when they don’t have to. God has always been in the business of helping us repair them. The solutions are spiritual and they are the result of all involved seeking to walk with the Lord, but the results are always a blessing and such an encouragement to others around them. Here are some steps to follow:

a. Decide that there is a problem and that you aren’t satisfied to see it remain a problem but want to do whatever you can to fix it.

b. Determine to make the reparations a spiritual matter. Bathe the problem in prayer and seek the face of God so that He can give you a sense of direction in making it well.

c. Pray for the problem – pray and even fast (give up a meal or two a week to give yourself just to prayer and seeking God’s healing.

d. Work to solve the problems that are within your power to heal. So often we create the problems and except others to fix them. I suggest you spend some time in Colossians 3:12-25 and Romans 12:9-21.

e. When God opens a clear do to repair the broken relationship, go through the door and do not be satisfied until the relationship totally gives Him the honor and glory (Col. 3:17; I Cor. 10:31)

f. When He has restored the relationship that was broken, publicly seek to give Him glory as you testify to the great work He has done. This is clearly the right thing to do!

Conclusion: So. . .don’t be convinced that the thing that is broken has to stay broken. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sin and re-establish an eternal relationship for us with Him. But He is equally interested in spearheading the repair of all of our human relationships. Why not let Him have a go at it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. He is faithful and He is well qualified. Are you willing?

Please call me or write to me if we can help you. We serve a mighty God – an awesome God, but a deeply loving Savior!

 

Pastor Richard Jones, First Baptist Church of Elmer

www.fbc-elmer.org

 

16May/12

Life – Like a Vapor!

There probably are not a lot of times that we routinely think about our own deaths, after all, what we are all about every day is called “living” and “living” seems to be the farthest thing in our minds from dying. Actually, death is very much a part of life. Just recently, we lost a dear friend and church member to a disease that so quickly took his earthly life from him. It seems like just a few weeks ago we rode in a golf cart and enjoyed a great day on the links and now we have had to say a tearful goodbye and on this side of glory I’ll never be able to speak with him again. There have been tears of sorrow and sadness and there is going to be a period of adjustment for all of us, but especially his dear family.

I can well remember someone saying to me years ago that I shouldn’t get too comfortable holding tightly on to things, because you never know when God will ask for them back. As a pastor I have seen moms and dads lose a little baby or a young child and while it seems all too unfair, in God’s own wise providence, God makes no mistakes. So often we have lost friends and relatives, seemingly in the prime of life and while we can’t begin to know the reasons, it is a reminder to all to make the most of every moment you have, especially with others, for life is all too short.

The writer of Hebrews made it quite clear in chapter 9 and verse 27 when he said, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Barring the very soon return of Jesus Christ (as He has promised He will come at any moment) all of us are going to experience the truth of this Hebrews passage. Note also in James 4: 14b it says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” It makes no difference what your age or the current status of your health, it is best to remember that, at best, life is short – like a vapor of steam from the teapot -- and that very life that God has entrusted to each of us should be lived to the best of our ability to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31 declares, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” In Colossians 3:17, Paul writes this truth. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” You see, God has some expectations of each of us that include investing every moment He entrusts to our care for His glory. Every moment we enjoy is another moment God has blessed us with. I can’t spend another moment with my friend either on a golf course or sitting to dinner or even working on a project at church. His life has not ended, but in Heaven with Christ it has only begun; but for me and for you, we need to be challenged to use each day as a wise investment and to do it all for Christ’s glory.

Everyone is going to exist forever someplace. For my friend, he is “living” forever in Heaven because he had a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Far too many, however are going to be “dying” forever, separated form God because they refused to accept Jesus Christ’s offer of full payment for their sin. Please, make certain that your eternal destination is settled. I have included some key Bible verses below that will help you make the right choice. Then, use each day and every moment as if it were entrusted to you by God to be used for His glory, because that is exactly what it is. Life can be so good, but Heaven will be more than we can begin to imagine.

Romans 2:10; 23 – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9-10 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Remember, that life you possess is both a gift from God and to be treated as a “vapor” that appears and then almost as suddenly is gone! Keep looking up, for our redemption draweth nigh!

- Pastor Richard Jones, First Baptist Church of Elmer, NJ

26Mar/12

Greedy of Gain

Proverbs 1:17-19, "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone that is GREEDY OF GAIN; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."

 God is not against gain, but He is against greed.  When we honor the Lord with our lives, our finances, and our families, God often adds gain to different areas of our lives.  "The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it" (Proverbs 10:22.)  There has always been a great appeal in trying to get something for nothing.  This makes it very easy to become greedy of gain.  The enticement of Proverbs chapter one is powerful because it promises personal gain.  They assure in Proverbs 1:13: "We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil."  While gain often accompanies the blessing of God, it can very easily become greed.  Consider three pitfalls of someone who allows gain to turn into greed.

Greed blinds us to danger.  Someone who has become greedy loses the insight that makes them aware of impending danger.  Verse 17 of the text describes this hidden trap: "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird."  When Lot chose the plain of Sodom, his decision was based on the well-watered abundant land.  He didn't consider the danger that Sodom would bring to his family.  Soon he pitched his tent toward Sodom, and before long he was sitting at the gate of the wicked city.  We would do well to heed Jesus' warning about greed as he reflected on this sad story. "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32.)  As you see the Lord's return drawing near, don't cling to the stuff you have.  Don't allow gain to turn to greed, or it will blind you to danger.

Greed bleeds us to destruction.  A greedy person will find themselves using other people to forward their own personal cause.  In verse 11 they are plotting on the innocent: "Come with us, let us lay wait for blood; let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause. But selfish plans rooted in greed always end up hurting those who formulate them.  Notice what the result of their plot was in Proverbs 1:18 "And they lay wait for their OWN blood."  Greed was what motivated wicked Haman to convince King Ahaseurus to kill the Jews, but in the end he was hanged on the gallows he designed for someone else.  Why?  Because "he that is greedy of gain troubleth his OWN house, but he that hateth gifts shall live" (Proverbs 15:27.)  Don't allow gain to turn to greed or it will make you bleed.

Greed buries us in death.  Because the love of money is the root of all evil, many who follow after it stray from the path of God for their lives.  The root of evil doesn't stay a root forever, and it soon evil fruit springs from it.  Greed manifests itself in different types of evil fruit.  For some it may be the enjoyment of expensive toys on days when they should be in the house of God.  For others it may be making payments on luxury items to the neglect of giving to the work of the Lord.  Greed may even trigger a relapse back into an old lifestyle of addiction for someone who is starting to get their life back together. The end of sin is never anything but death. "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:15.)  Being greedy of gain leads to all manner of ungodliness, "but godliness with contentment is great gain" (I Timothy 6:6.)  For that reason, we should avoid the root of all sin, and ask God to keep our hearts from the love of money.  Greed buries us in debt, and it buries us in death.

It is not wrong to have possessions, but it is wrong when possessions have you.  Don't be greedy of gain, but "be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5.)  God, who owns everything, is our provider, and He will be with us always as He promised.  As long as we stay close to Him, we will have our needs met by Him.  He is a kind and loving Father who delights in caring for the needs of His children.  So "having food and raiment, let us therewith be content" (I Timothy 6:8.)

- Dr. Paul Kingsbury