Tuesday, May 15, 2007


How is your faith? It is easy to have faith when others are trusting, how is your faith when you are alone? 1 Samuel 14 tells about Jonathan and the young man who carried his armor. They went and spied on the Philistines. They did not tell anyone where they were going or what they were doing. The army did not realize that Jonathan had left the camp. He went down between two rocky cliffs and spied on the Philistines.

Jonathan made a great statement of faith. 1 Samuel 14:6 (NKJV) Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” Jonathan believed that if the Lord wanted to rescue Israel, He could do it as easily with one man as with many men. Jonathan came up with a test to see if the Lord was with them in the fight. 1 Samuel 14:8 - 10 (NKJV) 8Then Jonathan said, “Very well, let us cross over to these men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them. 10But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us.” When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!” Jonathan and his armor bearer went up the hill. Jonathan knew the Lord would help him defeat them. Jonathan and his armor bearer killed them right and left. They killed about twenty men in all. Then panic broke out in the Philistine army, and earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

You have to admire the faith of Jonathan. He risked his own life and put everything on the line. You can not have true faith without risk. If there is no risk then it doesn’t take faith. What circumstances in your life are you facing that requires you to have faith? Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God.

Pastor Larry

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Has God Forgotten Us?

Imagine you work hard and plant your field and just at harvest time your enemies sweep down and steal your harvest. Now imagine this happens not only one time but every year for seven years. That is exactly what was happening to the Israelites in Judges Chapter 6. The Midianites were the culprits. They were stealing everything Israel’s crops and animals. Each year Israel would hide in the caves for safety until the Midianites left their land. After seven years, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. The Lord sent a message to them through a prophet. The Lord reminded Israel how they had been unfaithful in worshipping other gods. They had stopped listening to the Lord.

Then the angel of the LORD appears to a man named Gideon; any time you see the phrase “the angel of the LORD” and “LORD” is in all capital letters, this is referring to Jesus. Gideon is threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress so he can hide the grain form the Midianites. Jesus appears, addressing him as “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you.”

Gideon said: “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? (Judges 6:13) Gideon did not feel like the Lord was with Israel. He is actually questioning if the Lord even cares about them. If the Lord loves them then why are the Midianites having victory over them, and why are they starving? The truth is the Lord does love them and because of His love for them he has punished them for their sin. Charles Spurgeon said, “The Lord does not permit His children to sin successfully.” If we are bound to sin we are bound to suffer. You can not sin and get away with it, God always punishes sin.

Jesus tells Gideon: Judges 6:14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” The Lord said the most unexpected thing to Gideon. He called Gideon to be the hero to rescue Israel from the Midianites. The Lord takes him from a coward to a conqueror. Gideon wanted the Lord to help them but he did not expect to be used in the process. The Lord out of love, is helping Israel even though Israel had not repented. The Lord’s compassion is moved by their pain.

Gideon makes excuses why he can not answer the Lord’s call. He says he is from the weakest family in all Israel, and he is the weakest in all his family. Gideon is saying to all the people in Israel, I am the last person you want to ask to rescue Israel.

I love the answer the Lord gave to Gideon, “I will be with you.” What a beautiful promise. Gideon you have nothing to fear, the Lord will be with you. When the Lord is with you, it does not matter who is against you. You will never face anything alone. The Lord has made this same promise to believers today. He promises to always be with us. Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Pastor Larry

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Help for Parents

Judges Chapter 13 introduces a man named Manoah, and his wife Mrs. Manoah (her name is not given). Mrs. Manoah was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. I can imagine how many times they had prayed and asked God for a child. The angel of the LORD appeared to Mrs. Manoah and told her she would soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. The Lord also gave her special instruction for her pregnancy and on raising her son. Judges 13:5 (NKJV) 5For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

Mrs. Manoah runs and tells her husband the message from the Lord. Manoah then prays to the Lord. Judges 13:8 (NKJV) 8Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.” I love the faith of Manoah. He never doubts the message of God. As I read through this chapter I see many places he demonstrates his faith in God. Manoah ask the Lord, in his prayer, for more information on how to raise this child. Parents today need to be more like Manoah, they need to seek out God’s advice on how to raise their children. The Bible is the best instruction manual ever written on parenting. This is a good biblical example for parents, asking God for wisdom to become godly parents.

God answered Manoah’s prayer and the Lord appeared again. Manoah did not realize it was the Lord, he thought it was a prophet. He offers food to the Lord. The Lord would not eat, but requests they worship Him with a sacrifice. Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock as a sacrifice. The Lord did an amazing thing; he ascended up in the air with the smoke from the sacrifice. Mr. and Mrs. Manoah then realized they had seen God. Manoah wife then became pregnant and had a son and called his name Samson.

I encourage all parents to seek the Lord in raising your children. Dedicate them to the Lord and teach them to honor the Lord.

Pastor Larry

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Will!

The phrase “I will” is such strong statement of determination and direction. Psalm 101 David writes a psalm and makes eleven commitments with the words “I will”. The commitments that David makes would be good for you to make. Let’s notice them:

1. “I will sing” (v.1) The song is a about God’s love and justice.
2. “I will praise” (v.1) Praise changes our attitudes.
3. “I will live blameless” (v.2) How we need God’s people to live blameless.
4. “I will live with integrity” (v.2) The commitment is to live with integrity in the home. Our homes need integrity. If you can live your faith in your home, you can live your faith anywhere.
5. “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar” (v.3) Our eyes need to be protected. We need to be committed to protecting our eyes and minds from all the vile and vulgar trash the world has to offer. Protect yourself from internet vile, television vile jokes, language, thoughts.
6. “I will have nothing to do with crooked dealings” (v.3) Live honestly in this dishonest crooked world.
7. “I will reject perverse ideas” (v.4) The idea here is to stay away from all evil.
8. “I will not tolerate gossipers” (v.5) Don’t even listen or engage with those who will slander another person.
9. “I will not endure conceit and pride” (v.5) Don’t tolerate it in others or yourself. God hates pride.
10. “I will protect my brother” (v.6) Watch out for your brother, keep a protective eye on him. Christians need to watch out for each other.
11. “I will not allow deceivers to serve me” (v.7) Be careful who you do business with. If someone has a reputation of being a liar or has dishonest business practices, do not patronize them, take your business elsewhere.

Pastor Larry

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Making The Most

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalms 90:12 (NKJV)

I like planning trips. When planning a time to get away, I think about where I want to go and what I want to do. I then come up with a schedule for each day. I want to make the most of the vacation, I fill each day with as much as possible.

As I read Psalms 90:12, I am reminded how we need to carefully make the most of the days our life. Life is so short we can’t afford to waist any of it. “Teach us to number our days” this is spoken to God, asking God the help us number our days. When you number your days, you are recognizing they are few. Each December when my birthday arrives I am reminded that I am getting older. We tend to think about life in years and not days. In numbering your years you don’t want to waste a year, but God’s Word tells us to number our days. Don’t waste even a day.
Most people ignore the fact that they will die. When we attend a funeral we are reminded that life is brief and we too will someday die. Every tomb stone in a grave yard is a visual reminder of the brevity of life. I know a lady that is 102 years old. I asked her one time how fast 102 years go by. She said it only seemed like yesterday and she was a young woman. Even 102 years is not long to live.

When you make the most of your days, you gain wisdom. Think about the things that crowd your mind with worry, the meaningless task that consume so much of your time, and the effort you invest in earthly relationships, how will those things measure up in eternity? We exhaust ourselves on things that have no lasting value. Make the most of the time you have, live for Jesus.

Pastor Larry

The Secret Place

Did you ever play the game of tag as a kid? Remember when you were touching the base you were safe from being tagged. Psalm 91 pictures the Lord like a base of safety. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2) These verses teach of the wonderful protection we have in the Lord. This is not a promise for everyone, but only for those who dwell in the secret place. Remember the game of tag, all those who were running around not on base were not protected.

Are you living in the shelter of the Most High? Are you abiding under the shadow of the Almighty? If you desire to live under the shadow of God then you must be close to him. Notice the benefits of the Lord’s protection. He will be your refuge, and your fortress. A refuge and fortress are places you go for protection. They give security. Walking with Jesus is the most secure place I know.

This psalm goes on to talk about how the Lord will protect, and shield and shelter you. Do you need shelter? Come and dwell with the Most High. It is an awesome place!

Pastor Larry

Monday, April 23, 2007

More Criticism Please

If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored. (Proverbs 13:18 NLT)

What do you do with criticism? We don’t like it; seldom welcome it; but often need it; could benefit from it. As I read this verse of scripture, I realize that I am who I am today partly because of my critics. I have had many sleepless nights because of unsolicited criticism. I have often thought to myself, how could they say that, or think that. I have come to appreciate something about critics and criticism; you really can learn something from every criticism, even if it is unjust.

If all we received was praise then we would not be challenged to examine our lives and possibly make changes for the better. There are many things we do simply because we don’t want to be criticized. For example, when you leave your house you clean up and dress appropriately, because you do not want to be criticized. What sports team does not improve because of criticism? Some of our critics really care about us and are criticizing for our good. Others criticize for a variety of other reasons. I have met a few who I believe think the Holy Spirit gave them the gift of criticism, which they practice all the time.

I was told many years ago by a wise person, “we can learn more from our critics then from those who praise us.” Solomon realized this when writing this proverb. He said if you ignore the criticism you will end up in disgrace. Listen to your critics. What are they saying? It could be that you have done nothing wrong or your critic did not have all the facts. But listen to the criticism and allow your heart and mind to be opened to the alternative perspective, after careful consideration and seeing God’s guidance ask yourself, what you could do differently to improve.

If you accept criticism, you will be honored. Live the kind of life that your critics will not be afraid to approach you and share their feelings. What does it mean to accept? It means to receive willingly, to endure without protest. I challenge you to accept your criticism and you will be honored. The next time someone criticizes you, listen carefully to them and then thank them for sharing with you.

God Bless
Pastor Larry