Devotional Thought

The Bible Isn’t Trustworthy

“Hey, Mister! Give you a good deal! Genuine Rolex watch. Only $16! No? How about $12? Still no? Maybe $6? Okay, okay. I give it to you free!”

Sound too good to be true? Does it sound like the Bible?

Is the Bible a collection of myths from the ancient past? Stories about God by sincere but misguided people long ago? Fairy tales? Science fiction? The deluded dreams of the wishful? An opiate for the unthinking masses?

Many people think the Bible is disproved by modern science. Many people reject it in today’s world.

How about you? What do you believe?

Do you take other people’s word for really important things? Or do you investigate for yourself?

What does the Bible say about love, sin, evil forces, forgiveness, life, or death? What does it say about God, heaven, hell?

Are you thinking there is no proof for what the Bible says?

How can you prove to a blind man that the sun is shining? You don’t need to. He can feel its warmth.

Have you felt the warmth of God’s love? The proof is in reading the Bible.

Don’t expect to grasp everything the Bible says in your first hour of reading. Many people don’t understand how their car works, even after years of driving. So don’t give up.

Remember also, God talks to you as you read his Word. He wants you to understand what he wrote. Look for the simple meaning. Concentrate on God’s love for you as he shows it through his Son, your Savior Jesus Christ.

And be in church every Sunday!  Listen as the the Bible is explained and applied to your life every week.  I want you to know more about God’s love for you.

Pastor R.

Devotional Thought

I Try to Improve Myself

Are you a “religious” person?

What’s a “religion,” anyway?

A newspaper article said religion is “anything you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself.”

If you look at it that way, doing sit-ups would qualify as a religion. So would dieting. Maybe that’s why people say they do these things “religiously.”

A lot of people would agree that the purpose of religion is to improve yourself. Ask them why they go to church, and they’ll say it makes them better people.

Notice what happens when you define “religion” as “something you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself.”

Did anybody else miss the little word “God”?

Religion once had to do with who God is and what God has done. It all began and ended with God.

Self-help religion, however, begins and ends with me. God becomes a way of achieving my personal goals. In this view, if you find that believing in God makes you a better person, go for it. If not, don’t worry. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing.

Something you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself might be one way to define religion. However, it doesn’t fit Christianity.

The Christian message says it is a waste of time for us to try to improve ourselves by doing certain things. Instead, it tells what God has already done for us. It tells us we’re forgiven and restored, not because we do something over and over, but because Jesus Christ did something — once and for all.

When you get right down to it, being a Christian isn’t anything at all like dieting or sit-ups.

Christianity is more like sitting back and enjoying a great victory. You know it was won for you. You applaud in appreciation.

Pastor R.

Devotional Thought

I Procrastinate

Have you heard of the Procrastinators’ Club? They issued a statement denouncing the War of 1812 as a horrible injustice. The statement came out in 1975.

Yes, there really is a Procrastinators’ Club. Their spokesman said, “Our group is dedicated to the proposition that, at times, the best thing you can do about a problem is nothing. Many problems, if you wait long enough, just go away by themselves.”

Certain problems do “just go away.” There’s some truth to the maxim, “Nothing is a good thing to say. Sometimes it’s even a good thing to do.”

At other times, doing nothing is the worst thing possible. (Ask a cancer patient!) Many problems are solvable only within a certain window of opportunity. Once the window closes, the opportunity is gone.

That’s definitely true in spiritual matters. God gives each of us a certain number of years on this earth. The years of our life are often called our “time of grace.”

Our lifetime is our God-given time to come to faith. That’s when our faith is to grow to maturity through the gospel message. That’s when we are to glorify God by a life of worship and praise.

Are you toying with your time of grace? Are you thinking, “I’ll make time for God someday. In the meantime, don’t call me, God. I’ll call you.”

That’s the point. One day God will call us. On that day our time of grace ends and eternity begins. Then it will be too late.

Now you know why the apostle Paul pleaded: Don’t procrastinate! “Now is the time of God’s favor, not is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

To destroy our souls the devil doesn’t have to get us to say, “No,” to God. All he has to get us to say is, “Not right now.”

Make it a point to be in worship on Sundays. There are many warnings and promises of God you need to hear while you are still alive.

Pastor R.

Devotional Thought

I Gamble ‐ Big Time

Do you like to visit the casinos? Do you like the thrill of gambling? Lots of people do.

Maybe you might think that’s nothing. If asked, you might boast, “I’ve entered a new dimension in gambling — gambling that involves far higher stakes.”

“I don’t gamble with money. I gamble with my soul.”

“I’m betting that I can live without attending worship services, or doing a lot of Bible study — and still be saved.”

“I gamble with the souls of my children too. I am betting that they can miss Sunday School classes and church services — and still get to heaven.”

“I’m betting that I don’t need to care what the Bible says.”

“I’m betting that giving an offering of thanks to the Maker of heaven and earth is a waste of good money.”

“I’m betting that I’ll have lots of time to get to know God.”

“I’m betting that I can wink at sin and still get into heaven.”

“Forget about spiritual growth. I’m betting I’m pretty good already.”

“I like gambling with my soul and the souls of the members of my family.”

“I know the Bible says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). But who can believe that? I bet it’s not right.”

“I bet I can get to heaven without God.”

“God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction” (Galatians 6:7,8).

How fortunate that God didn’t gamble with your souls! He went for the sure thing. He paid the price. He sacrificed his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Don’t gamble anymore. Instead, go with a sure thing.

See you next Sunday!

Pastor R.

Devotional Thought

I Work For It

“Get it the same way I did — work for it!

When Ken saw the bumper sticker, he appreciated its warning about envy. But he was curious. What was the “it” he should work for? Certainly not the old Dodge van the message was stuck on! That vehicle was unlikely to send anybody’s pulse racing.

What was “it” that the van driver had worked for? His house? His boat? His tools? Had he really made it his life’s work just to accumulate things? “That’s pretty foolish,” Ken thought.

Was the van driver referring to his career success? If he was successful, no doubt he had worked hard. But success takes more than work. It takes intelligence, ability, help from others, health. None of these things are our own doing — and nobody ever succeeds without them.

Was it his family? Now there something worth having. But again — it’s something no sane person would take credit for. Look at your own wife and children. Can you claim you bought them with hard work and now own them? That can’t be.

What about spiritual things? Could the van owner have meant that he worked for his good standing with God? Utterly impossible. Nobody ever got anywhere with God by working for it.

Forgiveness, salvation, even faith are all gifts from God. They are not paybacks. The Bible teaches that clearly from beginning to end.

“When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work — this is a gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

The person who said that lived long before bumper stickers. If he had had them, he might have written:  “Get it the same way I did — from a gracious God!

Pastor R.