Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Reward of Faithfulness

1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV)
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Luke 12:42-43 (KJV)
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

If they put pictures by the words in a dictionary, and if you looked up the words "Faithful Steward", you would possibly see Fred Hamby's picture there. In obedience to the call of God on his life, Fred moved to Dora Missouri over half a century ago and started a church where he pastored till he was promoted home yesterday afternoon. During 50 years of ministry Fred had become the pastor to an entire community and to generations of families. His influence reaches far beyond what we can see today and I believe according to scripture "Great is his reward."

God honors faithfulness. He doesn't expect that we are going to be perfect, but He does desire that we be faithful to Him. I'm sure Brother Fred had his days when he didn't feel as close to God as he would have liked. I'm sure there were even days when he didn't serve God as he would have liked. But the undeniable testimony of the sum-total of his life is that he was a faithful steward. If scripture were still being written his name might very well be added to Hebrews 11.

Live your life so the preacher doesn't have to lie at your funeral. Be faithful in the place God called you. And in the field where he planted you, BLOOM. Learn to cultivate in your life a heart that is never too busy to hear from God, or plans that are so important that God can't "interrupt them". Every day of your life is both an opportunity and a battle. The opportunity is to bring glory to God through your life. The battle is a spiritual one in which Satan desires to use your life to trash God and bring glory to himself. We must make ourselves available to God's plan for our lives and the opportunities he gives us today. We must also daily put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the attacks and tricks of Satan.

Brother Fred leaves behind a great legacy and a huge testimony. They were earned one faithful day at a time. You and I can leave behind the same legacy by living today as a faithful steward. After a few days we've accumulated a week of faithfulness, then a month, then a year. But they were obtained by living faithful moments in a day. Just be faithful in the moments God gives you. Let your desire be the same as Brother Fred's: "I just want to hear God say 'well done thou good and faithful servant'." After all, is there any greater reward?

Pastor Scott

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Have You Ever Missed Your Turn?

Have You Ever Missed Your Turn?

Romans 13:11-12 (NASB)
11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

One evening last week I was on my way to pick someone up at their house to take them to church. As I was driving toward their house, I was on the phone talking to someone else. As we talked, I become focused on the conversation rather than my destination and totally forgot where I was going. Somewhere down the road I realized I had missed my turn, got my mind back on my task, turned around and finished what I set out to do. In the process I felt really stupid!

Sometimes our walk with Christ resembles what I just described. We know our "destination". We set out to live godly lives that will honor God, but somewhere along the way we get distracted and totally forget where we are going. We head down a wrong road, maybe even doing some wrong things. Wrong things, otherwise known as sin, will happen in our lives. The real test in our lives is what we do when we realize we've strayed from the path. If we turn around and get back on track, we may feel really stupid, but at least we're back on track.

Once I realized I had taken a wrong road on my way to pick up my friend, it would have been really stupid to have said, "Oh well. I'll just keep going down this road anyway." The difference between "feeling stupid" and "being stupid" is what I do when I realize I have strayed.

Maybe you have missed a turn or two in your own life. Maybe you have strayed from the intended path. May I urge you to "turn around" and get back on the right track? "The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."

Pastor Scott

Wow! What A Verse!

Wow! What A Verse!

Romans 15:13 (NASB)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes you read a verse in the bible and it just "hits you". This was one of those times. As I read this verse this morning the wealth it contained just blew me away. Let me try to show you what I saw.

1. The God of Hope - For many of us there are times when our circumstances seem so insurmountable that we just can't see any hope. There is no possible way that a good outcome seems possible in our situation. These situations that seem "hopeless" are almost always beyond our control and we feel helpless as we watch them unfold. But God is the "God of Hope". Because God loves you, we can have hope for a good outcome even when it seems impossible.

2. Joy and Peace in Believing - When I can wrap my hands around the idea that God is the "God of Hope", and I can put my confidence in Him, it bring about two responses: "Joy" and "Peace". When I am focused on the dilemma at hand and the seeming impossibility of it, I have no joy. But when I realize that God is my hope and I can throw myself on His lap and trust Him, He brings joy into my heart. Not only that, but the gloom and despair that once dominated my very being is replaced with a calmness and peace in knowing God is in control and on my side.

3. Abound In Hope - Now, instead of being depressed and despondent, I "Abound In Hope". The picture is that I don't just have "a little hope", but rather, I am overflowing with confidence that my God really will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. It is a position of strength rather than a position of weakness.

4. By the Power of the Holy Spirit - This abundant hope isn't contrived or "trumped up", but it is securely anchored in the power of the Holy Spirit. It isn't my ability to believe, but the power of the Spirit of God in me that takes me to a new level in my walk with God.

You may be facing a seemingly impossible situation. It may have robbed you of your sleep, stolen your joy and stripped you of your peace. Read and re-read this verse until your hope is in God and God alone. Cast your care on him because He cares for you!

Pastor Scott

Monday, August 13, 2007

Who Are You

If you've ever struggled with "who you are" you will understand this blog. Sometimes it seems that life gets so hectic and so complicated that we lose sight of our real purpose for 'being'. More importantly, we lose sight of who God says we are. In 1 Peter 2:9ff the bible says as a Christian you are a "Chosen Race". That means that God, who knew everything that you were, that you are, and that you will be, CHOSE YOU! That's pretty amazing! Jesus chose 12 Disciples, all of whom failed Him along the way. Jesus obviously wasn't looking for a few 'perfect men', but He was looking for men who would believe and sell out for Him. God chose you, not because of your perfection, but because of your willingness to be His.

We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God knew that before He ever accepted you as His child. Certainly, with sin must come true repentance and confession. Also, with sin must come consequences in our relationships on earth. But thanks be to God, our sins, all of them, are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Even when you have messed up, God still has enough grace available to forgive. Remember.... He chose you!