set your affection

January 7, 2021

I may have addressed this subject in a previous blog, but it is worth mentioning it again.


Several months ago, before the onset of Covid 19 and the drama of the Presidential election, I believe the Lord spoke something to me.  It is found in Colossians 3:2:


“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”


I never realized the importance of that message to me until so many people became terrified by the onset of Covid 19.  Then later the drama that surrounded the Presidential election.  So much to become fearful about.


The previous scripture is just as important. Colossians 3: 1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”


The word, affection, is the Greek word phroneo, which means to exercise the mind.  To set means to make a determined decision to do something.  In this case, to exercise your mind.


As I see it, we have two things we can do when we face situations that can make us fearful, depressed, anxious or worried.  You can spend your time in fear, worrying about something which will ruin your whole day. Or you can exercise your mind on the things above and not on the things here on earth.


It reminds me of what we read in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech your therefore, brethren (fellow believers), by the mercies of God that you present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”


Instead of worrying or being fearful about the things happening on this earth, discipline yourself, like a bodily decision to exercise, only this time your mind, to take that energy you use to worry or be fearful and read the Word of God, which will strengthened your knowledge of God.


The Word of God tells us that all forms of fear whether being afraid, worry, depression or anxiety is nothing more than a spirit. II Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear…”


Setting your affection, exercising your mind, starts with a decision and continues with a discipline.  II Corinth. 10:3-5 tells us that though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.  We are in a war and the battle takes place in the mind.  


II Corinth. 10:5 tells us that we have the power to cast down imaginations (those pictures we paint in our minds); to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.


We need to remember are lives are hid in Christ.  We need to remember we are seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ.  We have been given the power to rebuke those spirits of fear.


Where are your thoughts today?  Covid 19 or the election?  How about exercising your mind on the thoughts that in agreement with the Word of God.


When a bad thought comes into your mind that produces fear, take it captive, then speak what the Word of God says about your situation.  Make it a habit to set, to exercise your mind on what the God says and not what that spirit of fear is trying to accomplish in your life.  


- Pastor Jim

Please Hurry

january 14, 2021

A word that we see several times in the Word of God is the word, patience.  It is one thing I am learning to experience.


The dictionary defines the word patience as calm endurance. To be patient by definition means enduring pain, trouble, etc., without complaining; calmly tolerating delay; persevering.


I have learned to wait but to be honest, I have not done it calmly.


The other day we waited at the bank drive thru for 17 minutes.  It was excruciating for me.  Another day we waited in a line at the car wash.  This time my wife decided to time it.  All the while I was complaining about the wait.  It was less than 10 minutes.  


I understand we sometimes must wait our turn, but staying calm is the part I am learning.


As believers we need to understand that patience is a quality we need to experience.  According to James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfectly and fully developed.”


Patience is something we must all experience as believers if we are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.  Trusting in God’s timing versus our timing is a learning process.


We complain if we don’t get our prayers answered right away. Or we wonder why God doesn’t heal us immediately. Or why God didn’t allow something to happen according to our plans or desires.


There are stories in the Bible put there to encourage us to have patience.  We read about Biblical characters such as Joseph.  He had a dream that his family would bow down to him in reverence and honor.  When would that happen?  Tomorrow?  Maybe next week or even a year?


Why didn’t it happen the way that Joseph thought it would happen?  Thrown into a pit.  Sold into slavery then thrown into prison and supposedly forgotten.  What he dreamed did not take place in a year but many years.


How about Saul of Tarsus?  He had a drastic encounter with Jesus, blinded than healed.  Ok God let’s get started with my mission.  According to Paul, he separated himself, going into a secluded place for over 13 years.


How long have you been waiting for a God-given dream to happen?  How come God didn’t answer your prayers yet?  Why didn’t what you expect to happen, happen?


Could we be learning to be patient.  If everything happened when you wanted it to happen and to happen the way you expected it to happen why would you need faith?  If you don’t see that Word of God, you have been confessing over your life happening right now why would you need to trust God?


God doesn’t operate on our timetable or by our methods.  We are to trust in the Lord and wait upon the Lord which may require more time than what you have planned.


Faith believes regardless of the time it may take to be fulfilled in your life.  


As you stand in patience, you are being fully and completely developed.  We are going to have to learn to calmly endure.  Your trust and faith in God and His Word will grow and become stronger.  So stop telling God to please hurry.  You don’t want to be half-matured but fully and completely matured.


- Pastor Jim

on the right front

January 21, 2021

I have always been fascinated by the historic accounts of famous battles, either on land, sea or the air.  


One the most important things to know is where your enemy is located.  During the world wars it was essential to locate the enemy.  In World War I they used blimps to fly over the area to locate the position of the enemy.  They needed to find the “front”. That is where the most concentration of enemy troops were located. That is where you wanted to send your forces to oppose the enemy.


In World War II they used what was called “spotter” aircraft, whose mission was to photograph the enemy’s positions.  In the Pacific, aircraft would search diligently to locate the enemy naval task forces in order to launch an aerial assault on those enemy ships.


Bottom line, you need to know where your enemy is located in order to oppose and defeat them.


Today there are a lot of people angry with the political situation in our country today.  They see the opposition as their enemies.  That anger may result in violence and destruction.


To the true believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we will face opposition to what we believe.  Just like in natural war we need to know where our enemy is located.  The key is that we are not in a natural war and we can not use natural weapons to defeat the enemy.


First of all our enemy is not people.  It is the forces that are influencing and managing those people.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6 who is our real enemy.


Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”


We don’t battle against flesh and blood. The battle “front” is not a person or persons.  This is a warfare in the spirit realm.  Being angry and desiring to inflict physical harm on someone will not defeat our enemy.  You are on the wrong front.


We also need to understand that the weapons necessary to defeat the enemy on the proper front are not of human design.  Guns, swords, bombs or our fists will not have any impact on this enemy.


II Corinthians 10:3-4 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (man- made), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”


Ephesians 6:13-18 describes the weapons we need to use in spiritual warfare.


Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God.  

To defeat the real enemy, the ones who are behind the person or persons, we need to use God’s defensive and offensive weapons.


Then and only then, will we be able to be fighting on the proper front.  The Word of God tells us who are enemy is and where we can locate him.  On the proper front we can defeat our enemy and win the battle.


Make sure you know who and where your enemy is and use the proper weapons. Then we will be what Romans 8:37 says we can be, “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”


- Pastor Jim

Believe who god says you are

January 28, 2021

I recently read a devotional that really blessed me.  It was about changing the opinion you have about yourself.  Many times we do not fulfill what God wants us to do with our lives because we disqualify ourselves.


Don’t make the mistake of determining who you are because of your upbringing, your failures or what others have said about you.


We must believe who God says we are.  The Bible is filled with men and women who did great things for God, but not a first.  They had to overcome what they thought about themselves rather than who God said they were.


Abraham thought he was too old.  Jeremiah thought he was too young.  Moses thought he was unqualified.  Joseph thought he was overqualified.  Gideon had an inferiority complex.


Jonah had a superiority complex.  Peter made too many mistakes.  Nathanael was too cool for school.  Paul had a thorn in the flesh.  And King David was the runt of the litter.


Imagine if these great men of God maintained the script they had written for their lives, based upon what they felt about themselves or what others had told them.  You can argue with God about who you think you are, but we need to remember who created us and continues to give us the breath of life.


Who we think we are doesn’t matter to God.  Who you are is not the issue.  What really matters is whose you are.  We are God’s workmanship.


I never felt qualified to be a Pastor.  God didn’t care.  Even after being a Pastor for several years, when I made some mistakes, I felt disqualified to continue to be a

Pastor.  I even had friends that told me it was time to step down, to resign or retire; I disqualified myself.  God didn’t care.  He doesn’t look at the immediate; He looks at the final end.


I have always prayed this scripture: Father God, forsake not the work of Your hands but perfect that which concerns me.


No one is qualified.  No one deserves to be used of God.  I believe that humility, faithfulness to God without the applause of man and a total dependence and trust in God will keep you open to God’s plan for your life.


Forget your past; learn from your failures; don’t listen to what others think about you.  Just obey Proverbs 3:5-6.  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (especially about yourself). In ALL thy ways acknowledge Him (especially what He says about you in His word.) and HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.


- Pastor Jim

one hour or else!

February 11, 2021

Several years ago a book was written on prayer that made me and many other Christians feel like the heathen.


It was based upon a scripture found in Mark 14:37.  In this story Jesus had gone into Gethsemane to pray.  He was in torment, knowing what was about to come to pass, His rejection by those who had one time praised Him; His physical torture and finally His horrible crucifixion.


Jesus suffered far more than any other human could endure.  Jesus knew that this was His mission on earth, yet He prayed to the Father, if there be any other way.


When He went off to pray, He asked His disciples to also pray. When Jesus returned to His disciples, they were asleep.  In Mark 14:37 Jesus makes this statement to Peter.


“And He comes and finds them sleeping and says unto Peter, Simon, you are sleeping?  Could you not watch one hour?”


Jesus was essentially saying to Peter, could you not at least pray one hour?


From that statement the author of this book said that all Christians should at least set one hour aside to pray every day.  Many Christians departed from their normal prayer habits and tried to pray a solid one hour. That include me.  I tried.  I set the clock and labored to find things to add to my normal prayers to make the time last one hour.


Along with many other Christians, I felt like a horrible failure because some days I could not find the time or complete the one hour.  What used to be shorter, frequent and joyful conversations with my Father became regimented, timed and laborious times I regretted.


It wasn’t until a man of God who had a major worldwide ministry and has been credited for healing tens of thousands of people besides raising several people from the dead, confessed to the same dilemma that I had experienced.


When he was asked by someone if he prayed a solid one hour every day, this man of God replied that one hour was a very short time for any Christian to talk to their Father every day.  He said that he was in constant communion and conversation with the Lord every day.  To designate a regulated one hour only, every day to talk to the Lord and feel that this was the only time you were open to talk to the Lord would be only making you feel good about your performance rather than an on-going and joyful communication with your Father God.


Prayer is just talking to God.  To regulate it to a one-hour time slot would be like telling your wife or husband that you have set only one hour aside to talk with them. You better make sure you have at least one hour of things to talk about or it will turn out to be a waste of time.


Our Father is available 24/7.  Hebrews 4:16 tells us to come boldly unto to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


There are no time limits or no specific hours of God’s availability.  To feel as if you must pray at least one hour every day is nonsense.  There is nothing wrong with setting aside a specific time and place to pray but don’t think God is mad at you because you only could pray 20 minutes, or you missed your one-hour time slot one day.  


Father enjoys any time you talk to Him whether 10 minutes or 10 hours.  Just always talk to the Lord.  He is always there, ready and pleased to spend time with you.


- Pastor Jim

beware of pride

February 18, 2021

We are told to have pride in our accomplishments.  To have pride in our country or our family.  I believe it is all right to be proud of certain things in our lives, but the Bible is clear about the danger of having the wrong kind of pride.


Proverbs 16:18 (amplified) “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”


The dictionary defines pride as an unduly high opinion of oneself; haughtiness or arrogance. 


How interesting that in my dictionary, the word pride is preceded by the word, prickly heat which is a very uncomfortable inflammation of the skin.


Sometimes it would be nice before we got to be prideful, full of ourselves, we got a case of prickly heat to remind us that we are doing something wrong.


The word for pride in Proverbs 16:18 is the Hebrew word, gaown, which means haughtiness, arrogance, pomp or swelling.


When I was asked to become the administrator of a small church, I was very proud.  That church experienced an incredible revival and rapidly grew to thousands of people in attendance.  


We had a side door that opened into the sanctuary that only special people were permitted to use.  Every time that door opened all eyes turned to see who of importance was entering.  I was privileged to be one of those people who could enter into the crowded sanctuary through that door.


One day as I entered through that door all eyes looked upon me.  As I sat in the front row also restricted for certain individuals, I thought to myself how important I was.  I found myself become prideful and feeling very important.


Thank God I was able to hear that small, still voice whisper a scripture reference to me.  It was John 5:44. I immediately turned to that scripture in my Bible.  What I read shocked me.  What I read caused me to repent of my pride and ask the Lord to forgive me for my haughtiness.  


I made a point to underline, circle and star that scripture so I would never forget the correction I received from the Lord on that day. Let me show you what it says.


John 5:44 “How can you believe, which receive honor from one of another and seek not the honor that comes from God alone?”


Wow!  No matter who we think we are; no matter what others may think of you, good or bad, all that matters is seeking the honor and recognition from God alone.


Pride of this type, according to Proverbs 16:18 will cause you to fall or come to destruction.  Such a fall can either cause your destruction or cause you to repent and get the proper assessment of yourself.


If we are to be thankful about anything, it should be that we have become the righteousness of God because of Jesus Christ.  Romans 12:3 says, “For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly that he ought to think…”


I have a right to think highly of myself, but not because of my accomplishments or position, but because I should no longer think that I am a filthy sinner or the gum on the bottom of God’s shoe.  I have been made a child of the Most High God.  I can humbly be thankful of my new position with God.


When Paul says we are not to think MORE HIGHLY THAN WE OUGHT, I believe we can still think better of ourselves now that we are saved and sanctified by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.


When we fully understand that our new position with God, we will not depend on the opinions of others, good or bad.  We will understand that who I am and what I am is because of the grace and mercy of God.  


The opposite of pride is humility.  When we thank God for who we are and for all we have, it is easy to defeat pride.  It is the Lord who has ordered my steps in this life when I trust in Him.  


Always remember what Jesus taught His disciples: he who is the greatest in the eyes of God, is the one who seeks to meet the needs of others.   


- Pastor Jim


Walking after the Holy Spirit

February 25, 2021

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


I used to hear a great man of God, who I respected, always say this: “Any time you see a wherefore or a therefore, make sure you read why is it is therefore.”


We need to read Romans 7:25 which explains what the therefore is there for. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”


Paul was explaining the warfare that goes on between his flesh that wants to serve sin and his spirit that desires to serve God.


When we make the decision to live by the dictates of the Holy Spirit, which will always agree with the Word of God, we will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit.


If you are wondering if you are walking after the dictates of the Holy Spirit or the dictates of our flesh, Galatians 5:19-21 tells us what the works of the flesh are:


Galatians 5:19-21 (amplified) “Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like, I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”


It is obviously very clear that if we do these things, we are following the dictates of our flesh. Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”


To do all those things listed as flesh sins is living according to a carnal mind.  Romans 8:7 says that the carnal mind is enmity against God.


Jesus said that if we claim to love Him, we will obey His teachings.  That why it is so important to have a consistent habit of reading the Word of God and going to a church where you are under a Pastor/teacher where you are taught the Word of God.


When we hear or read the Word of God, we have the choice to receive it, believe and live it or reject it.  The only way we can defeat those flesh practices, is to hear the truth on how we are supposed to live.  It is our choice to follow the dictates of the Holy Spirit, which will always agree with the Word of God.


Nothing can prevent you from living according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit.  When we make the decision to surrender and obey the Word of God, to surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will exhibit the qualities of the Holy Spirit and not our carnal flesh.


The qualities or characteristics of the Holy Spirit are described in Galatians 5:22-23: (amplified)

“But the fruit of the Holy Spirit (the work which His presence within accomplishes) is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence), against such things there is no law (that can bring a charge.”


Galatians 5:26 also further explains things we should not be doing if we are following the dictates of the Holy Spirit and not our flesh.


“Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.”


Wow!  I thank God for His mercy and His grace because most of us will fail in many of these areas.  However, if you desire to walk in characteristics of the Holy Spirit, God will assist you.  We need to remember this is a growth process.


Over time, with a heart to obey the Word of God, you will grow in maturity and begin to bear the fruit we so desire to bear.  

 

- Pastor Jim

christ like

march 4, 2021

When I had the opportunity to get together with people who didn’t know I was a minister, I made the point to not tell them what my profession was.  You may ask why?  It was because the people who I was with were open and free to be themselves.


Once it was revealed who I was, I saw the looks on the faces of the people who had previously been just open, laughing and having fun.  There was a moment of silence that seemed like an eternity.  I could just read their minds.  They were all thinking, oh no, I said a curse word.  Or I should not have told that dirty story.  Or I just finished ripping apart that person who tried to get me to go to their church.


That invisible wall just went up between them and me.  Why did this happen?  I believe it is because they have encountered people who call themselves Christians when in fact they did not act Christian at all.


To be a true believer in Jesus Christ is what really qualifies you to be a Christian, or Christ-like.


We read everywhere in the New Testament about the character and nature of Jesus.  Jesus didn’t judge anyone.  Yes, He did criticize some people, but they were the religious zealots who thought because of their titles, they could judge and condemn others because they thought others were not as good as they thought they were. 


Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus didn’t condemn the woman at the well who was married five times and now just living with a man.  Jesus didn’t condemn sinners.  He offered them forgiveness and a second chance.


Because Jesus was friendly, open and loving to others, they received Him and enjoyed His company.  Love doesn’t judge, it just loves people for who they are.

Even though they knew who Jesus was and what He taught, they still invited him to their gatherings and their homes.  Why were they open to who He was and what He taught?


It was because He taught who God really was.  A God who was forgiving and loving.  Jesus taught the true character and nature of God.  God is a loving, forgiving and restoring Father.  Jesus not only taught these truths, He lived them.


No one is going to reject you because you accept them and give them the good news.  We are to be ministers of reconciliation.  All sinners have been reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who suffered the punishment we deserved for our sins.  


The next time people freeze because they found out that you are a believer, thaw out their fears by telling them you enjoy their company and God loves them despite their belief that God doesn’t like them because of who they were or who they are.


Assure them that you are not one who judges them or condemns them.  If God loves them unconditionally, then so do you.  You may be surprised how they might begin to enjoy your company and be open to hear what you have to say.


Be Christ-like.


- Pastor Jim

Blaming god

March 11, 2021

One Sunday after church, I was standing in the lobby greeting people.  After greeting several people one gentleman, looked at me and said that he was mad at God.  The only reason he came to church that day was to please his wife.


I asked him why he was mad at God.  He told me that God had caused him to lose his job.  Then God make him get diabetes.  He could never forgive God for causing such bad things to occur in his life.


When he was finished blaming God for all his woes, I asked him some questions.  I asked him if he went to church on a regular basis to learn about God.  He replied no.  I asked him if he read his Bible on a regular basis to get to know the character and nature of God.  He replied no.


I asked him if he had a consistent prayer life.  He replied no.  Then I asked him, “so you have never had anything to do with God and really have never asked God to be part of your life?”  He replied never and never wanted God to be part of his life.


I then told him, that even though God would like to be involved in your life, you have voluntarily decided that you do not want any part of God.  He replied that is correct.


I explained to him that God loves us and wants to be involved in our lives, but He has given us a free will to allow Him to be part of our lives or not. It is our choice.


I told Him that God respects his choice that he does not want God to be part of his life. So my next question to this man was, if he has chosen to not have God part of his life, why does he think that God made him lose his job and made him get diabetes?  He had no reply and just walked away.


The Word of God is very clear in James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.”


If you read the Bible you will see the things that God does not want us to do in this life.  Why do people think that God would do the very things He tells us not to do, like hurt others, or cause them harm?


Job 34:10 “Therefore hearken unto me, you men of understanding, far be it from God that He should do wickedness and from the Almighty that He should commit iniquity.”


The character and nature of God is love, not revenge or evil.  The character and nature of God is love.  


His desire is to bless us.  We open the door for problems in our lives by living lives of sin.  We also reap what we sow.  Many times we reap the fruit of our lips. 


Proverbs 13:2 “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth…”


Proverbs 13:3 “He that keeps his mouth keeps his life; but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”


James 3 talks tells us that our tongue is like a rudder of a ship.  We steer the course of our lives many times by the things we say.


To blame God for the things that go wrong in our lives is foolishness.  God’s desire is for our good.  Even when we get ourselves in trouble, God is there to deliver us.  If we ask Him to be part of our lives.


Jesus tells us in John 10:10, that it is the thief who comes to steal and to kill and to destroy but Jesus comes that we MIGHT have life and that we MIGHT have it more abundantly.  The word might means, the possibility of.  By our choices we decide if these things can be possible. 


Don’t blame our heavenly Father, who loves us, for the things that go wrong in our lives.  Put the blame where it belongs: on the devil or on the things you have done or have spoken. 


-  Pastor Jim


submission produces authority

March 18, 2021

It never ceases to amaze me how many people think they can walk in the authority given to the believer without understanding what the Word of God teaches about those who can walk in that authority.


In Matthew 28:18, Jesus tells His disciples that all power (and authority) has been given unto Him in heaven and in the earth.  Then Jesus says in vs. 19 “go ye therefore.”


What Jesus is doing here is called delegated authority.  In legal terms it is referred to as power of attorney.  Power of attorney is the power given to act in the same power as someone else.


In Luke 10:19, Jesus tells His disciples something incredible which is to all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior: “Behold I give unto you power (and authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”


This was power and authority over all the power that the devil had.  If we are to do the work that Jesus said we should do as believers in Him, then we should be doing what it says He did in the latter part of I John 3:8 “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.”


Some believers have tried to step out in that authority and have failed because they have failed to understand a very important Biblical principle of that authority: submission first then comes authority.


A great example of this is found in the story of the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. In the account found in Matt. 8, Jesus offers to come to the centurion’s home.  The centurion said that he was not worthy to have Jesus come under his roof.


The centurion then stated in Matthew 8:8 “…but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed.”


He understood the authority of Jesus because he knew that Jesus was under the authority and obedient to the orders of God.


Matthew 8:9 “For I am a man UNDER authority…”  Though this centurion had soldiers who obeyed his authority, the centurion had authority because he was in submission to those in authority over him.


The Biblical principle here is simple:  those who will walk in authority will be submitted to authority.  We are to be submitted to God and His word.  But as believers we are also told to be submitted to those who have authority over us.


Hebrews 13:17 (amplified) “Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them -continually recognizing their authority over you…”


Believers who think they can operate in any spiritual authority without being submitted to God and His word and those who have the opportunity to be submitted somewhere to someone of spiritual authority will be powerless.


People like this are usually not part of a local body of believers overseen by a Pastor.  If they are a part of a church they are usually always complaining, sowing discord or flaunting their importance to others. 


What is even more sad is the fact that they don’t even have enough power to overcome the problems in their own lives but are quick to point out the problems in other people’s lives.


We need more believers who will walk in the delegated power and authority to overcome the devices of the devil in their lives and in the lives of others.  Obey the Biblical principle of authority.  Be submitted to those whom God has set in authority over you and then you will walk in the authority and power promised to you by Jesus.


- Pastor Jim

What's your bAIT

March 25, 2021

Sin in the life of the believer just doesn’t happen.  It is a process.  


James 1:14-15 “…every man is tempted when he is DRAW AWAY of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath CONCEIVED it brings forth sin; and sin when it is finished brings forth death.”


I highlighted two words in these scriptures; draw away and conceived.  Sin just doesn’t happen.  James 1:2 tells us that we can fall into divers temptations.  Falling is one thing.  Then being drawn away and conceiving is something else.


When you fall or trip it is not usually planned.  But being draw away and enticed is something you succumb to by choice.  We are told in the Bible to run from sin; run from the temptation.  To be drawn away and enticed is when you linger just a little bit too long.  The temptation looks good.  It will draw you away to look at it more closely and think upon it. To enticed is allowing yourself to play out in your mind the possibility of something that will make you feel good.


I often tease my congregation by saying that you don’t bait a mouse trap with broccoli.  You use cheese or peanut butter.  Why?  Because mice like cheese or peanut butter.


Think of it this way.  When you put cheese or peanut butter on the trigger of the trap it is not labeled or may not even look appetizing.  However the mouse may still recognize what it looks like and it definitely smells like cheese or peanut butter.


At a distance the bait does no harm to the mouse.  But the smell of the bait and maybe the appearance of the bait will lure or entice the mouse to be drawn to the bait.  As long as that mouse stays away from the bait, the mouse is safe.


But oh, the delicious aroma of the bait.  The mouse can already taste how great it would be to just take a little bite.  The mouse moves in for a bite and the goal of the bait, to entice the mouse to its death, is conceived.  What looked and smelled so good turned out to be the death of the mouse.


That is how sin works.  It starts with a temptation.  Think of temptation as the bait.  Look too long; dwell upon the enjoyment it will bring if you take the bait, take just a little bite and snap, you are dead.


But wait.  You didn’t realize that it was a bait to trap you to your death.  It was something so nice to gaze up; the aroma drew you closer.  I am sure that a mouse looks in all directions to make sure there is no one else around.  Alas, all mine.


Go ahead, take the bait.  No one else is around.  I bet God put it there just for me.  Hey, I deserve something good.  You take the bait, then snap, sin has conceived.


Bait is defined as a lure to entice and tempt. If you are a true believer in Jesus, you should be a disciplined student of the Word of God.  If you know the truths found in the Bible, you will be familiar with things that the devil will use for bait to lure, entice and tempt you.


James 1:14 says “but every man is tempted…”  The key to victory is overcoming those things that will tempt you, is to know yourself and what things tend to lure, entice and tempt you.


Know your bait!  Then you will recognize what the devil is trying to do to you.  As a famous line from Star Wars declared, “IT’S A TRAP!!!”


What is your cheese or peanut butter?


- Pastor Jim

A pEculiar People

April 8, 2021

I Peter 2:9 (KJV) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR PEOPLE…”


Titus 2:14 (KJV) “Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself, a PECULIAR PEOPLE…”


As true believers in Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior, we are referred to in these scriptures as peculiar people.


The dictionary defines the word peculiar as of only one person, thing, etc.  Particular; special; odd or strange.


We can better understand the Biblical meaning of this word by looking at the amplified Bible translation of I Peter 2:9 and Titus 2:14.


I Peter 2:9 (Amp) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation. God’s own purchased, special people…”


Titus 2:14 (Amp) “Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people – to be peculiarly His own.”



What make us peculiar is two facts:

  1. We have been purchased by God as a special people, belonging to Him and no one else.
  2. We are different by what we are to be doing in our everyday lives.



I Peter 2:9 (Amp) “God’s own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”


We are different from other people in this world because we show others the wonderful deeds and we display the virtues and perfections of Jesus.


That sets us apart from other people who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.


Titus 2:14 (Amp) “…for Himself a people – to be peculiarly His own – (people who are) eager and enthusiastic about (living a life that is good and filled with) beneficial deeds.”


We are different from other people in this world because we are eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good and filled with beneficial deeds.


Being a peculiar person will set you apart from unbelievers in this world.  You are meant to stand out by all those things we just have seen that we are to be doing. 


No wonder Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel; but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house.  Let you light so shine before men that they may SEE  your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”



As a peculiar people, set apart by God as His own, our light will shine for all to see as we do what makes us peculiar people:

  • We set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Jesus.
  • We are eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good and filled with beneficial deeds.


Being a peculiar person, set apart by God, is not a title but a lifestyle.


If you display the virtues and perfections of Jesus; if we are eager and enthusiastic about going about doing good and perform deeds that are beneficial to others we will stand out.


We become the light of God in a dark world.  Light in Jesus’ day was fire.  Light attracts; light reveals and fire purifies.


Make the decision to do what we need to do and you will be peculiar.  You will attract those who are lost.  You will reveal the darkness in this world.  You will show the way for others who have lost their way.  


- Pastor Jim