How often do I really rely on the power of prayer? Do I believe that God will really answer my prayers? these are the types of questions that most of us struggle with from time to time, but let me get down right personal with you and ask you a question. Who is it that you first turn to when things get tough. When you desire a kind and listening ear or just want to share your hearts desires? Even for myself the first name that often comes to mind is my wife. My thoughts instantly turn to her when my day goes rotten or great disappointment comes, and especially when I am anxious about something. Who is it in your life that first comes to mind when you have to talk to someone?
By now most of us have caught on and began to justify, I know it should be God but its ------. Listen, I know all about excuses and to be honest I have known my wife longer than I have known Jesus. Its natural to call on those that the Lord has blessed us with in our times of need. For instance if your pants were on fire you wouldn't call your banker but you would call the person closest to the fire extinguisher. If your cat is playing in the street and the neighbor kid is racing toward it in his camaro, you wouldn't call his mom but you would wave him down and try to get his attention. So why is it so hard for us as we grapple to hold the Lord as first place in our lives? Jesus Himself, in His great sermon on the mount, instructed His disciples to "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.(Matt. 6:33). He then follows this statement up in the next verse reassuring us. "do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Amen to that, huh? If you find yourself in life's throws and are facing crisis, discouragement or blessings you desire to share, start with the Lord. He cares more than anyone around us could. Now with that being said, I do encourage us all to be involved in life groups and to the fellowship of the saints. For a listing of life group opportunities and meeting times go to www.hillsidebaptist.org. click on the life groups link and get involved! Until the next time, Seek the Lord!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
1st Thessalonians has come to mind several days already this week as people petition prayers for events in their lives. Some praises, some anxieties, and some outright panic. Not knowing what else to do they turn to a resource of unrecognized power. A "lifeline" of hope and encouragement. Of course many of us try all to hard to fix things on our own, without realizing that we're only postponing the inevitable. Of course v17, in the 5th chapter of Thessalonians, is snuggled in between 16, and 18. "No kidding Sherlock", may be your first thought. However v16 says to rejoice always, v17 pray without ceasing, and v18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. As family isn't it nice to know we can turn to our Father? Knowing that our siblings cry when we cry and laugh when we laugh because we're in this thing called life and we are interdependent, not independent. Why not reach out today and encourage someone around you, get involved with the family. You'll be glad you did. Till the next pastor pod, good day.
Friday, February 11, 2011
I've had many conversations with friends and family members considering, when is it "to much" or "not enough" when it comes to personal property. It seems so easy to use the guide of those around us and to look at what we have, compared to what they have, and think we are some how not where we need to be. Some believe they should have something they don't, while others border on guilt for "having to much". Most of us would say we could spot excessiveness or minimalists, but what would be the rod in which you would measure it. By our standard? Furthermore doesn't God own everything, and give unto who He desires and withdraws from who He desires? We could learn much in this area if we were only to take the time and study it out. Searching the Word for God's direction. I believe what we would find would surprise us. From Solomon's great wealth to the beggar at the temple gates there is a standard that we need to look at first. It is found in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. You see when our greatest desire is to please God and live for Him in a righteous and worthy way, we will be satisfied. Satisfaction for the Christian should not come from stuff, whether to much or not enough, but from living for the Lord. When this is our intention, the stuff doesn't seem to be of any value. Now some of us use our stuff to minister to others, and some of us horde it, and hide it away, which Ecclesiastes chapter 5 says is vanity. Those that come after us will get our stuff. My hope today is that no matter which side you fall, that you will take a good look at how your living and shoot for righteousness. Who knows maybe your stuff can be of value in the process. Good luck!!
Till next time
Till next time
Posted by Pastor Mark at 5:43 PM
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Pastor MarkThe last month has consisted to a lot of smack talk about who's team is the best. A funny thing is that many of "their" teams are those sitting in someones living room watching the teams that did earn a spot in the super bowl. We make plans and invite guests to come and watch the game in our homes and eat way to much. We plan snacks, activities for halftime and prepare the house for our guests. Now don't get me wrong, this was my dream Superbowl. My favorite two teams since I was a kid growing up. Going into the game was a win/win for me. But I can't help but consider how much more important our life is and especially when we consider our eternity. Why is it we can be bold for our favorite teams, talking tough to anyone that dare puts down our team? Or how is it we can so easily switch teams because our favorite player switches teams or they start losing? When it comes to loyalty our first loyalty should undoubtedly reside in Jesus Christ. We should be bold and speak out as to our dedication to Him. I am so thankful that Jesus' loyalty does not sway with the moment as ours can at times. He is fully devoted to us and loves us with a love so great and so pure we struggle to understand it. Pro 21:21 reads he who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. How interesting that if we pursue righteousness and loyalty, we will find life, righteousness and honor. Life of course is the crucial element. Remember all people are going to have all eternity, some to despair and torment seperated from God, others will experience the saving grace to eternal life. Do your co-workers know what team you are playing for? Do they know you stand firm and are loyal and unwavering for the Kingdom? Everyone is committed, so the question is what are you committed to?