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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Love, Power & Self-Discipline 5/6/15

Good Morning,

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV). 

The word that is translated “timidity” here is often translated “fear” as well.  In the Greek the idea is of “cowardice” and the idea could be of a “lack of confidence.”

God has been speaking to me over the last several days specifically about the “fear” that we see in the church today.  We are so afraid of what the government is going to do, is doing, can do, might do, will do, won’t do, that we are becoming paralyzed.  Instead of building bridges to bring people to Christ, we are building walls to keep out those who don’t think like us.  I’m not going to go into this very much this morning but I promise you that you’re going to be hearing more about this in the weeks and months ahead.

I’ve been reading a book that is turning my world upside-down over the last week.  It is entitled “Killing Christians:  Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe” by Tom Doyle.  I would encourage you to get this book and read it ASAP!  It is a book written about Christians in places like Syria, Iran and Iraq who are literally giving their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  These are men and women who are choosing to share their faith in places where Islam and ISIS are in control and they know that they are going to be martyrs.  They do so with “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  They don’t want to die.  They don’t want their spouse or their children to be killed, but they know this is the place where God has placed them and called them to and they are living out their faith REGARDLESS!

Our world is not a pretty place these days, especially for Christians.  Here in the United States of America more and more it is unpopular for people to stand for Christ.  AND YET here we are, not living in danger of losing our lives or the lives of our family – we are in danger, in some cases, of losing our livelihoods or perhaps our freedoms, BUT WHY HAVE WE GIVEN INTO A SPIRIT OF FEAR . . . TIMIDITY . . . COWARDICE?

CHURCH, look at the promises that follow the words Paul wrote to Timothy emphasizing qualities for effective service:  “power . . . love . . . self-control.”  “Power” can be understood as authority and boldness that come from strength of character.  “Love” is the agape that reaches out toward others in caring and effective ministry.  The servant of God must be of “sound mind” (“self-discipline”) to be effective.  This is a divinely given self-control.

I want to encourage you today, please do not be fearful.  Our confidence is in GOD and God is STILL in control.  He told us that these things were going to happen.  We shouldn’t be surprised at this.  But we ALSO do NOT need to be fearful or feel like we have to somehow get “control” back – GOD IS IN CONTROL!  Our confidence is in God – not in what the government has done or is going to do – GOD IS IN CONTROL!

I love you



Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday May 6 – We have our regular Wednesday evening activities beginning at 5:00 with dinner.  The teens will be joining with teens from across Lincoln County for the National Day of Prayer Youth Night Event here at Bonita Park.  Come and join us!

Tomorrow, Thursday May 7 – Thursday is the National Day of Prayer and we have the Lincoln County Prayer Breakfast at the Ruidoso Convention Center beginning at 6:15 a.m.  We have a couple of tickets left here that are at separate tables so if you still need a ticket call the church office, first come, first served.

Sunday May 12 – We have our regular schedule of services on Sunday and we hope to see you here at the 8:45 or 10:30 services or the Hispanic service at 4:00.  ALSO, this Sunday is our Annual Meeting.  Members will be voting on board members and delegates for our Assembly and Missions Convention in ALL services. This is also MOTHER’S DAY SUNDAY!

Bonita Park is in need of some couches to use for our summer staff that will begin coming in this next week.  If you can help, please call Connor at 336-4404.

Many other things . . . 4/22/15

Good Morning,

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25

This is the last verse in the book that we call the Gospel of John.  It was John the beloved that is the author of this book, the apostle who was one of the twelve that were with Jesus throughout the three years of His ministry here on earth.  This was the brother of James, and together they were called “the sons of thunder.”  Later on, as I mentioned above, he became known as John the beloved disciple.  He wrote the three letters that bear his name near the end of the New Testament, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John and it is in those books, particularly the first one, that he hits some of the most incredible keynotes of love that we find anywhere in the Bible.  This is also the one disciple that Jesus spoke to from the Cross, passing onto him the responsibility of caring for Mary, Jesus’ mother.  He was one of the “inner circle” with Jesus, along with Peter and James; he was a witness to the transfiguration of Jesus with Moses and Elijah and then Mark tells us that when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, that He took Peter, James and John along with him, a little further than He took the rest of them.  We don’t know what the purpose of this was and we aren’t told what this meant, but it shows the pattern of these three men, especially Peter and John, being very close to Jesus and privy to some of the more private and intimate moments with Him.

It is interesting to me that John writes these words at the very end of his gospel account.  I love the gospel of John because there is an intimacy in it that at least I don’t necessarily find in the other three accounts.  To me that intimacy feeds over into the three letters that I mentioned earlier.  It just seems to me that John is trying to let me get a glimpse of what Jesus can do in my life personally!  I read his words and I feel a pull from John that is familiar to me; an urgency that he seems to have for me to “get it” or to grasp a deeper level of commitment.  There is a sense, at least to me, that He is calling me into a relationship with Jesus like he had, one that gives me privy to some of the more private and intimate moments with Christ.

And then these words at the very end.  To me, it is a promise.  To me it says, “I’m not finished with you yet!  I have so much more that I’ve done, but Rick, I have so much more that I want to do through you.”  Jesus “did many other things as well” and He is doing many other things as well.  “I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” and I suppose that what He is doing is writing it on my life, in my story, through me and through you!

I want to urge you today to stop and think about what Jesus is writing on you, through you, with you.  The world can’t contain Him; there aren’t enough words to describe what it is that He is doing; but it is intimate; it is personal; it is something that He wants to continue in you and me!  Jesus is doing many other things as well.

We live in a world and time when fear runs rampant.  We have security systems for our homes; we can monitor our “stuff” over our iPhones and iPads, watching a live camera feed 24/7.  We have passwords and pass codes for every account that we have, and they’re all supposed to be different.  We can access THE WORLD through the internet, but be careful how you dole out your personal information because crooks, thieves and just downright bad guys are monitoring you 24/7; they’re watching to see how they can steal your identity and charge thousands and thousands of dollars to you and ruin your life forever.

When I was a child there was the fear of the Atomic Bomb; we did the “duck and cover drill” in our classrooms, getting under our desk, as if being under the desk would save us from the explosion, fall-out and everything else that comes from dropping a Nuclear Bomb.  Now it is a nuclear device exploded in the atmosphere that will take out everything electronic that we depend upon from banking to automobiles to EVERYTHING.  Now we’re inundated with stories about ISIS cells right here in our own state, or just across the border in Mexico.  We’re told that sleeper cells have infiltrated not only our nation but even in the highest levels of government.  We read, watch and talk about a multitude of conspiracy theories, everything from aliens abducting us to leaders selling us out.

Maybe they’re all a hoax, maybe they’re all true.  Maybe someone is trying to steal our identities (you can buy Lifelock to protect from that); maybe ISIS does have a sleeper cell in our government (you can elect the Democrats/Republicans/Libertarians or whatever group you feel is the answer to protect you from that); perhaps they are planning on exploding that nuclear device in the atmosphere and we’re going to lose everything that has anything to do with electricity, electronics and anything that has to do with the way that we live and we’re going to have to live as they did in the “Little House on the Prairie” days (I’m not sure you can buy or prepare anything to protect you from that).

The question this morning is, are you going to live in fear CONSTANTLY, or are you going to trust the Lord that He has us in His hands and that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)?

I want to encourage you, I don’t think He’s done yet . . . I think He’s still writing “many other things as well” into our lives and He will until we are with Him in heaven.  Don’t let fear have the day; trust Him.  Don’t waste your time fretting and worrying about life and about the things that are going on; trust Him!  Don’t stop listening to Him, don’t stop reading His Word; trust Him!  I believe He wants to me you and me privy to some of the most private and intimate moments yet to be; trust Him!

I love you



Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday April 22– We have our regular Wednesday evening activities beginning at 5:00 with dinner.  Come out and join us!

Sunday April 26 – We have our regular schedule of services on Sunday and we hope to see you here at the 8:45 or 10:30 services or the Hispanic service at 4:00.

Sunday May 3 – We will be having one combined service in the gym at 10:30 on this day.  Phil is going to be preaching that morning and immediately following the service the teens are preparing a wonderful meal for everyone to share.  This will be their last fundraiser before they head to San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University at the end of May.  We hope you’ll be a part of this VERY special day!