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Monthly Archives: October 2007

New Life

New LifeIt wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. -Titus 3:3-7

You just have love new life.  New life is really right at the heart of God’s purpose for sending Jesus.  As we read the first part of this verse, I believe we can all identify with being the type of people that Paul refers to.  As I reflect on who I was before Christ came into my life and who I am now I cannot help becoming overjoyed…

But, personally, my greatest source of joy is this:  Watching God do this very thing in the lives of those I love.  I come from a very large family and when I first got saved, I was a sparse minority in this large family.  I spent many nights on my knees praying for them to come to know Jesus.   As I watched the Lord answer these prayers, bringing members of my family into right relationships with Him, the joy was overwhelming.

Yet many remain.  Friends and family that still have yet to truly know Jesus as Lord.  So I pray and wait and act when He leads me to.  And I am believing that one day I will see each of them experience this new life in Jesus!

be blessed…
pastorj

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts

 

Don’t Be that Guy (or Girl)

But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane. Then anyone who is dead set against us, when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around. -Titus 2:7

I am so blessed to finally be involved in a ministry team that really gets this scripture.

The world and the prince of this world is dead set against the church and all it stands for. According to Paul, our best defense against this is to be solid people of faith, not being weird or misguided. There is a way for the people of God to walk in all the anointing and giftedness He pours out on us without acting weird or misguided. I have been in some churches before where the weirder you were the more “spiritual” you were considered, then the weirdness was highlighted as some great thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that we are to conform to the world around us, but I also don’t believe that being called apart has to equal acting and speaking in some foreign Christian-ese that no one can identify with.

That is one of the many things I have grown to love about Valley Family Church. When people come to VFC they can see real people that love God. They can picture themselves in the shoes of those around them and the path towards God, which once may have seemed convoluted, becomes obvious and apparent.

And that is what this whole scripture is all about. It is not about how one church acts and talks versus others. It is a reminder to ALL of us in the body of Christ that if we walk in solid, sane faith (sans all the weirdness) then those dead set against us might eventually come around! PTL!

OKAY – FOR SOME FUN NOW – Basically, I am saying – DON’T BE THIS WOMAN:

be blessed…
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts

 

A Little Help from Rich….

Don’t have much to write today, but the video above captures how I am feeling right now.  I love the imagery that Rich Mullins uses in this song to remind us of how much we truly have to praise God for.

be blessed…
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts

 

Words are not just words…

Tape on MouthRepeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. -2 Timothy 2:14-17

Wow.  It is storming something fierce outside.  I had this thought this morning that has totally no connection to the devotional scripture today…  Like I said, there is a terrific storm going on outside.  Thunder Lightning and a ton of rain are just outside my window, but all this commotion has almost no effect on me.  Why?  Because I am in the safety of my home.  I am 100% unaffected because of the protection I reside in.  Being a part of the Kingdom of God is kind of like this as well.  There may be storms all around you, but the Lord provides an umbrella of protection that totally shields you from the commotion.

Back to our scripture…  It sure can be easy to slip into pious talk that is mere talk.  Let this scripture remind us to have the simple truths of God’s word always on our lips and always accessible to those around us.  We should be in the business of making God “reachable” to those that encounter us.  Amen!

be blessed.

-pastorj

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts