Gratefully Sharing our Gift


Share your gift!

November being gratitude month and Thanksgiving coming up this week, we are continuing with our theme of being grateful. Of having a heart of thanksgiving to God for all he has done for us. We give thanks to God by bringing him glory. By being gracious in expressing our thanks for all he has done for us in our lives. We all know at least one ungrateful person in our lives. The one who always has something to complain about no matter how well their needs are met don’t we? They could have a glass that’s ¾ of the way full and still say it’s half empty.

We behave that way toward God frequently in our lives though, if we care to actually think about it. He blesses us with life, eternal life, the gift of God through his Son, Jesus, but we can become apathetic toward it. Take it for granted, even right it off… We mostly do it through our attitudes and our actions. Jesus came to offer abundant life to all those who believe, but we decide some people aren’t worth our time to tell that story. Or, through our attitudes and actions we turn people away from God… People hear what we say to one another. They hear what we say about them. They watch the way we treat one another. When we treat one another poorly, when we serve one another or them with a sour attitude, they notice and don’t feel welcome or loved, and that doesn’t bring glory to God. One the flip slid, when we treat people with love, grace, respect; regardless of how we are treated in return, they notice that too. We need to maintain a level of self-awareness to make sure that those we serve see the love of God.

Jesus said, if you love me, then you will follow my commandments. How often does the global Church try to rewrite the Bible and spit in God’s face? Last week, we read Galatians 6, “God will not be made a fool…” We will reap what we sow. If not in this life, definitely in the next. Unbelievers face judgment based on whether they have believed in Jesus as their Savior and accepted his mercy, grace, forgiveness, and righteousness on their behalf. Believers face a different kind of judgment or evaluation, and our rewards in heaven, we are told in Romans 2,

‘He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness. ‘ Romans 2:6-8

We do good, show love, and do the next right thing out of our gratitude to God for his precious gift that he has given us. Rather than stomping on it or kicking it across the room, rather than setting it on a shelf and never receiving the true benefit of it; we will openly receive his gift of righteousness and live a life of abundant faith in God.

In our lesson for the children Wednesday night, we tossed these ping pong balls into this container. As a demonstration of our inability to be perfect and do the right thing all the time, we miss the mark. We sin. The further we are away from the goal, the harder it is for us to hit it. In the same way, the further we are from living in the Spirit of God, the more space we put between ourselves and God through our apathy or disobedience, the harder it is for us to hit the mark. But when we draw near to God, in prayer, in learning more about him in his Word, in practicing obedience and righteousness, in demonstrating his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and draw near to him in confession and repentance; the easier it is to hit the mark. To be transformed (brainwashed) by the renewing of our minds, as Romans 12 says.

How do we express our gratitude? We share our gift. In our finances, we give back to God the first 10%, the tithe, in gratitude and thanksgiving for his provision. We give back an offering with a cheerful heart, giving generously and sacrificially to his kingdom, so that the work of ministry may be done. We give back of our time, putting forth effort to do good and show love to God’s people and to the world. We give of our talents, skills, and abilities to glorify God. We try to meet needs as the hands and feet of Jesus, as the Body left behind on earth to serve as Jesus’s representatives. But we also serve as his witnesses…

Jesus told his disciples in Acts 1:8,

‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ‘

One of the greatest ways we can show our gratitude toward God and bring him glory is to be a witness, telling people the Good News of everything God has done in our lives and for the world, and by being obedient in making disciples. If we want to show God how grateful we are for the gift he has given us, we should share that same gift with the world.

To that end, we have prepared a tool to help you to share the Gospel. You should have received one of these on your way in, and can pick a couple up on your way out. We will also be handing these out to those who will receive them at the mobile food pantry tomorrow. On the front of this is obviously some information about our congregation. One the back, you may or may not be familiar with the Roman Road. These six passages from Paul’s letter to the Romans map out a road to salvation. A quick and easy reference that you can use at any time to help you explain the Gospel to someone. Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33,

‘“Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.’

And Paul says in Romans 1:16-17 says,

‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”

Paul continues in verse 20,

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.’

Romans 1:16-17, 20

People are without an excuse, but we frequently excuse ourselves from sharing the message of the Gospel with them. God’s glory is evident, and since we are so grateful for the gift we have received, we want to share his gift with those who have not yet received it.

Even though we are pulling some of these verses out from the immediate context they are in, if we read through all the context surrounding these verses, the entire letter to the Romans, and the Bible itself; these verses all fit together like the small pieces of a big puzzle to make a picture of the puzzle as a whole.

Let’s walk through this, even though it is fairly self-explanatory.

Romans 3:23

‘For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.’

When I try to toss the ball into the jug, most of the time I’ll probably miss. I am not perfect nor will I ever be, But God is perfect, and his standard is perfect as well.

Romans 6:23

‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.’

The wages, the just and equitable compensation for all our imperfections, all our pride thinking we know better than God, all our rebellion, all our twisting and perverting the Word of God, and making excuses for ourselves and justifications of our actions. The wages for that sin, is death. But that precious gift, that we only need receive is a relationship knowing the one true and living God through his Son, Jesus.

Romans 5:8

‘But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ‘

In our case, in the 21st century, approximately 1990 years or so after the death of Jesus, he already died on our behalf as a demonstration of just how much God loves us.

Romans 10:13

‘For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”’

Romans 10:9

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’

Jesus himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” Either Jesus was a liar and/or a lunatic, or he truly is the one and only Son of the one true and living God and capable of making and backing up such an audacious and exclusive statement.

Romans 12:1-2

‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ‘

And so, as a result of accepting God’s perfect gift through his Son, Jesus, and through the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit living in and through us. The fruit of his Spirit inside us transforms the way we think, the way we act, and empowers us to live lives where we can hit the mark.

As the writer of Hebrews says, and my prayer over us all today,

‘Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.’

Hebrews 13:20-21

A Heart of Thanksgiving

A Heart of Thanksgiving

         Last week, we started talking a bit about gratitude, because November is gratitude month. One question I had afterward was, “Why do we have to be so specific? Can’t I just look at creation itself in awe and be grateful for all of it?” It is absolutely true that you can do that, the exercise is to help us remember just how much there is that we take for granted and build our awareness of our blessings. What happens if we have a top three and lose two, like health, happiness, and a relationship. We get sick, that person dies or leaves, and now we lost our happiness too. What is there left to live for? Or if we just leave it at our relationship with God or Jesus, what happens when we go through one of those dry spells where he feels really distant? People talk about going through a wilderness experience and how it feels God is far away… They’ll fall back on God was always with Israel in the wilderness and so he is with us, but forget that Israel was in the wilderness because of their disobedience and didn’t enter the promised land until that entire generation, including Moses himself was dead. I have learned it’s better to obey the first time around than go into the wilderness because of my disobedience.

         One of the things we are commanded and told over and over is to be thankful. If you simply search “thankful” on around 130 related verses pop up. Old and New Testament alike…

Paul tells the Thessalonians

‘Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.’      1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks are all commanded and closely related. They are God’s will. As a result of these things, rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks; along with examining all things, doing good, and staying away from evil; we can avoid extinguishing the Spirit. If we extinguish the Spirit, we are putting a damper on his power in our lives, limiting the fruit he can produce, and being directly disobedient toward God.

         Remember, we have said our obedience is a result of our first having a relationship. Paul says,

‘ Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ‘         Colossians 3:12-17

We don’t obey out of fear, we obey out of love and gratitude. It starts with agreeing with God about the state of our heart, our selfish and prideful desires, and agreeing with him that how he is teaching us to live is better than any way we can devise on our own. But we need to receive his gift.

If I am given a gift, like this one, but because I don’t like who gave it to me, or the way it’s wrapped, or think there are strings attached, or whatever; and I throw it down and smash it; I have lost out on whatever that gift may have been and will never know how good it actually was.

On the other hand, if I receive a gift, and open it, but then set it over here on the piano, or on a shelf at home, or stick it in storage, or even give it away to someone else; I may have received the gift, but then it is of no benefit to me whatsoever and I wouldn’t really be very grateful for it.

However, if I open the gift and receive what it has for me. The cross of forgiveness and salvation for those who believe, the anointing of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower my life, and the truth of the Word of God teaching me to live and glorify God by loving God, loving people, and using its truth to help developing disciples. I will perhaps express my gratitude for such a precious gift in a very different way.

Paul tells the Romans,

‘For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’         Romans 6:23

This idea of payoff or you may have heard it “wages of sin” is death, is the idea of equal compensation for the work we do. In our flesh and apart from the Spirit of God, the just compensation given to us for our selfish, prideful, indulgent desires is death. Not just physical death, but also spiritual separation from God for eternity. But the gift of God, that which we could never earn or work for is eternal life, the same eternal life that Jesus died to give us, the same eternal life that Jesus defined in John 17:3 as knowing the one true God and Jesus, whom he sent. What do we then do with that gift? Are we grateful for it? How do we express that gratitude?

Paul gives the Galatians these instructions,

‘Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it. Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.’

Galatians 6:6-10

The ways in which we show our gratitude over and over again are demonstrated in our obedience to God’s word. Just like the Israelites when they received the commandments of the Law. We too have been given instructions on how to live and through the power of the Spirit we do those things and turn away from or repent of the works of the flesh. We like to sum up God’s commands to the church as Love God, Love our neighbor, and love one another. And it is absolutely true that the entire Law and Prophets are summed up in those commands, but that doesn’t mean the New Testament writers like Paul listed all the other sins and works of the flesh for no reason…! Paul says to the Romans,

‘What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? ‘         Romans 6:1-2

He also tells the Galatians,

‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel – not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell! Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ! ‘  Galatians 1:6-10

There are those who have always tried to add to or take away from the Word of God. Every cult in the history of the Christian church has tried to add revelation to the canon of scripture and led people away from the truth. Or individuals and entire denominations disregard or deny the inspiration and authority of the Word of God or insert their BUT into what the Bible says. We see that every day in hundreds and thousands of denominations and divisions within the Body of Christ, when what Christ prayed for in John 17 was unity.

Jesus told his disciples the evening he was betrayed,

‘“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.’ John 14:15-17

Jesus continues to instruct his disciples regarding Holy Spirit’s work in their lives saying,

‘“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. ‘                  John 16:12-15

The same Spirit that came to comfort us, the same Spirit that is indwelling us, the same Spirit that is teaching us, is the same Spirit that carried along every prophet and writer of scripture, the same Spirit of God that was breathed into his Word for our benefit. To say those things that are expressly written for our instruction and reproof, for our training in righteousness don’t apply to us in the 21st century is the same false pride that had Eve deceived by the serpent in the Garden when he asked, “Did God really say…?”

         God did say, and the natural response in gratitude and thankfulness for everything he has done for us, for the precious gift he has given us is found in Romans 12:1-2

‘Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.’     Romans 12:1-2

Define Love, Divine Love

Define Love, Divine Love

If you have been a Christian for any period of time, or even if you are not a Christian and you have been around Christians very often, there are a few things you have heard. You have heard John 3:16, or maybe you remember Tim Tebow putting the reference in white on his black sun block. You may have even been one of the millions of people to Google the reference to find out what it was.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

You have heard Jesus said that the two greatest commandments were to:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:37-38; Luke 10:27; points back to Deuteronomy 6:4-5

You may have even noticed that the board right here in our church says, “love God, love others.”

We see signs and hear phrases everywhere… Live, laugh, love. For love of dog. I’m lovin’ it. Love of my life. Love is blind. All is fair in love and war. Love-hate relationship. Make love, not war. Falling in love. Puppy love. Love will find a way. For the love of all things… And one of my personal favorites, a face only a mother could love…!

Not to mention all the things we love… I love coffee. I love my dog. I love my friends. I love Chick-fil-a. I love racquetball, golf, and fishing. I love my kids. I love my wife. I love spending time with some people, but not everyone obviously. I love steaks on the grill, not to mention, ribs and brisket on the smoker! I love being a pastor, but God hasn’t put me in a position to do that full-time. I love teaching, but I don’t really love my job. I love it when I get to sleep in, but my body hardly ever lets me and I always feel hungover when I do sleep in. I love that I have been clean and sober for almost 25 years…! I love GOD!!!

Do these all mean the same thing??? Obviously not! Or if they do, there is something definitely more wrong with our society than we can even imagine. Maybe that is why the world has gone crazy. We really don’t know what love actually is!!!

I believe there is much more truth to that statement than we truly understand.

In the time Jesus was walking on the earth, the Greeks had at least three different words with an idea translated and defined as love in our culture today. But those three words they used had three very different meanings. And that is part of our problem today, how do we define love? On, the word love has 22 different entries under its definition. 14 of them are used as nouns, 6 as verbs (or actions) with an object, 1 has a verb without an object, and 1 as a verb phrase. No wonder we are confused!!!

This confusion leads to all sorts of misunderstandings too. Who do you love, how do you love, when should you love, what shouldn’t you love, why should you love, do you love at all, shouldn’t I be able to love who, how, or whatever I love, who are you to say I shouldn’t love this, that, or the other?

So many questions and yet we as Christians are commanded to LOVE. The two greatest commands Jesus tells us are to LOVE. God is LOVE.

How we define LOVE is extremely important if we are going to LOVE the way  God has commanded us to LOVE and if we are going to teach others to LOVE as he has commanded us to teach others to obey his commands. Friends, we have gotten ourselves into one heck of an ever-lovin’ mess!

Why don’t we see how God, who is love, and who created love, defines love. Instead of 22 definitions of love, and instead of 3 definitions of love, we are going to focus on just ONE definition of love and what that LOVE looks like.

The love we are going to look at in Greek is agape. ἀγάπη In every one of these passages I am going to reference, the same root word agape, is used. So we are only talking about one kind of love. We are talking about what Divine Love really looks like.

When we look back at what Jesus said in the context of Matt. 22; Mark 12; and Luke 10 when he was repeating the Hebrew Shema and adding to it, Jesus used this word agape: to love. We must love God and love others. He told his followers to love one another in several other passages. Same love. When God so loved the world, it’s the same love. This is agape love.

John, the apostle whom Jesus loved, writes this for us.

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:7-10 NET

John goes on to tell us…

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:18 NET

We find that although love, agape, is being described, love is in every way described as an action. God’s divine love is an active love. But when we are talking about active love, we are not talking about the activity of what we call ‘making love’ we are talking about putting our money where our mouth is and actively doing something when we love God and love people. Paul helps make this even clearer for us. Because God is love, a facet of the fruit of the Spirit of God is love.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NET

To combat lawlessness, all the acts and desires of the flesh that are contrary to walking by the Spirit: sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy and murder; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Paul says we need to walk by the Spirit and that first in the list of the facets of the fruit of the Spirit is love. Divine love, God-like love, unconditional love; along with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is the fruit that Holy Spirit produces in our lives. And in 1 Corinthians 13 Paul illustrates for us that love is a spiritual gift. 1 Corinthians 12-14 is the longest dissertation on spiritual gifts and the use and practice of the gifts within the context of worship in the New Testament, and Paul says this right in the middle of it about love.

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. ‘

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NET

We very frequently hear verses 4-7 taken out of context and read at weddings as instructions to a husband and wife how they should love one another. However, this love, this agape love, this divine love, this is how love should act toward all those around us. The people we like, the people we love, the people we minister to, Jesus even said we should love, agape, our enemies…

Now, you’re going to ask, “Well, Pastor Joe, you’ve given us a whole lot of lip service and description of love; divine, agape, biblical love. But what am I supposed to do if divine love is an action?”

Well, figure it out for yourself…just kidding. Here are 5 ways to show God’s love to others.

Number one:

Show God’s love by actively listening to others.

Don’t just hear what people are saying, but really listen to them.

Number two:

Show God’s love by praying with others and for others.

Don’t just tell someone you’ll be praying for them. Offer to join with them in prayer, right then, if they’ll let you. If not, that’s okay, but make sure you do include them in your prayers…don’t just say it and forget it.

Number three:

Show God’s love by being generous.

Not just generous with your money. Although that is a great way to be generous, but also be generous with your time and with your talents as well.

Number four:

Show God’s love by encouraging others.

Especially encouraging them to continue to walk the path of faith when times are hard and life is disappointing.

Number five:

Show God’s love with acts of kindness.

Especially acts of kindness where God receives all the glory. Anonymous good deeds are awesome. Paying for someone’s meal or drink behind you in the drive-thru. But doing an act of kindness with the message that God loves them and is concerned for them, leaving yourself out, is always best. If anything, God lead me to do this for you is a great way to go as well.


No matter who they are and how much you may have against them personally or them against you because of some kind of bias…

It’s possible to show God’s love to anyone.

And showing God’s love to everyone is exactly what Jesus came here to do and what he left us behind to do.

Jesus came to the world to love it and save it, not to condemn it, because the world already stands condemned.

We don’t have to condemn the world. We have to show the world God’s love, because we are Jesus’s body left here on earth.

 May you be a blessing and representative of God’s love to someone.

Pastor Joe

Don’t forget!

Don’t forget to visit, like, share, and follow God’s Word is Life on Facebook!

I post much more encouragement, memes, and information to that page than the website.

Rejoice Always

There are a lot of places in Scripture where it specifically says, ‘this is the will of God”, although it is certainly implied in most places. And, definitely is in the commandments…

Yet, here is one where it’s absolutely clear. It was our kids memory and handwriting verse at school Monday and Tuesday. Originally, until I said something, they looked at three verses and saw them as separate.

I had they take a closer look then zoom back out again. Guys, it’s all one sentence, one thought, one instruction.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 ESV

The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount, part two of Jesus, Who?

Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the longest single passages of Jesus’s actual words and teaching. Today’s sermon is a fly-by at 30,000 feet and highlights just some of what Jesus taught his disciples early in his ministry before he was rejected by Israel.

While a single sermon can hardly do it justice, when volumes have been written about this passage. We’re aiming for an overview of how his followers should interact with God and the world around us according to Jesus.

For those watching the video, I apologize, the camera cutoff after 29 minutes. Fortunately, my son, Robbie, is getting better with video editing. The beginning and end are different than the full audio, but you still get the message.

Audio has the full sermon.

Full sermon, audio only

Side note for my followers… Would posting a transcript of the sermon be better for some of you, or stick with audio and video?

New Messages Coming in March

Long awaited…!

We will be starting a new message series in March.

I have been commissioned to preach every Sunday in March at Boiling Springs Church of God in Decatur, IL. Stop by 10:45 if you’re available, or stay tuned to for audio and video of the messages.

May God bless you all!

Pastor Joe

Back in the Saddle Again

Life can be so crazy and overwhelming sometimes, we know the secret of contentment comes from God alone through His Son, Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the Holy and Appointed One of God. Philippians 4:13 reveals that secret, “I”, Paul says, “can do all things through Him (Jesus) who gives me strength.”
I am praying for strength right now, going through the holidays, working both my full-time job, part-time substitute teaching, both volunteer ministry and occasional pulpit supply preaching plus of course, famil; in the meantime, neglecting to post and write.
I apologize once again for my negligence.
Getting back on the ball, so please like, share, follow, recommend on Facebook  and
God’s Word is Life and we can have peace and contentment through Him who gives us strength!

Peace in Chaos, Shelter in the Storm

This sermon was presented on 08/23/20 at Boiling Springs Church of God in Decatur, IL.

peace & shelter 2.jpg

Where do God’s people find peace during this unprecidented time in human history? Our trust in our Creator!

What should we, as the Body and Bride of Christ, as His Church during this present age, be doing during this time of chaos and struggle? Love God, love people, and make disciples. The same things he commanded us to do from the very beginning of the Church age.

Listen or watch to find out more…



Chaos, confusion, control, conflict, and peace!

2020 has been a year unlike any other for those of us alive today. Seems like an understatement, right?

I have spoken to people in their 90s who say the same… The world is in chaos, economies are collapsing, businesses are closing, there are peaceful protests, armed conflicts, destructive riots, shootings, bombings, a global pandemic, and fear mongering.

Government officials at all levels are trying to exercise control over individuals in ways our forefathers revolted against…and just wait until the American people have to pay back, through higher taxes, all the money our government has borrowed in order to pay out all those stimulus packages.

Borders have been closed, travel has been halted, states and cities are quarantining people who travel to and from hot spots, even when their spot is hotter than the ones they are so worried about…hello, Chicago??? In the meantime, here in the good old U S of A, you’ll get COVID at church, at school, a small business, a fitness center, or a restuarant; but not at a protest rally, Walmart, Menards (where I work), or a political rally. Go figure!

It all makes us wonder…is God still alive? Does God even care? Can we have peace, when the world has gone crazy?

YES, YES, and YES!!! The answers are YES!

YES, God is still alive! YES, God does still care! YES, we can have peace!

Jesus may have died on the cross and remained in the grave for 3 days two thousand years ago, but He was resurrected and He is still alive today at the Right Hand of the Father. He is still intervening on our behalf moment by moment. The Father is still offering forgiveness for all our imperfections through our faith in His Perfect Son. His Son is still bestowing Holy Spirit upon us believers to be our Indwelling Comforter and Teacher. The Church is still on Earth and in heaven to act as Christ’s Body and Bride. However, we need unity now, more than ever!

Only God can heal this world, only Jesus can unify our divided spirit, only Holy Spirit will convict us and call us to turn from our selfish desires and grow the Fruit of the Spirit within us. Do you want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to abound in the world? Let His Fruit grow in you, plant His Fruit in others, nurture His Fruit and watch it grow around the world!

In spite of the insanity in our world today, we can have peace… So, may the peace of God rest upon you. May the blessings of God live in you. And, may the love of God abound all around you.