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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Tychicus, A Man that Pleased God

Ephesians 6:21-22  But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:  22  Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Paul writes his letter to the believers at Ephesus to encourage them to stay strong in their new faith and to press forward for the cause of Christ. This church was surrounded by worldly influences, immorality, materialism, Idolatry and many more evil corruptions. Through the Holy Spirits leading, Paul pours his heart out to these believers and now he needs someone very faithful to make sure this letter gets to the Ephesian church.

This is where we learn of a man named Tychicus. He is a very dear brother in Christ to the Apostle Paul and trusted by many of the New Testament believers. His reputation is flawless and his zeal for Christ and his church is unquestionable. Looking at his character qualities we can see the kind of spiritual leader God is looking for in his church. May we develop the spiritual qualities that Christ has developed here in his servant Tychicus.   

1. Tychicus was Lovable: vs. 21 “a beloved brother”

Not everyone is loveable. Some people are like skunks, they have attitudes and personalities that stink every time you get close to them. Some people are like porcupines, if you get close they stick you. There are people who gossip, slander, complain and many are just plain unkind; they are not loveable people that you would desire to be close to. On the other hand, Tychicus had a loveable disposition. Kindness, hospitality, good manners, respect, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, charity, integrity and such like are all character traits that are loveable. Tychicus was just the kind of guy everyone loved, are you loveable?

2. Tychicus was Faithful: vs. 21 “faithful minister”

Many people are known for breaking their word, not keeping their commitments and not finishing what they start; Tychicus however was known as a faithful brother. God’s people should be known as faithful. Keeping your word and performing your vows is one of the most notable of Christ’s characteristics. When Jesus was facing the agonies of the Cross he could have called the armies of heaven to rescue him, but instead was faithful to finish God’s redemption plan for mankind. Amen! I am glad he did! We should be faithful to our God; reading the Bible, going to church, praying, sharing our faith, giving our tithes & offerings and teaching others the way of the Cross.  Our family needs us to be faithful; giving them quality time, sharing Gods word with them, taking time for each family member, date your spouse like before you were married and leading your family to Gods house each week. We should be faithful to our fellow man; keeping our word, performing your vows, working hard for our employer, paying taxes, contributing your talents to help others, and always ready to show a Christ-like attitude.  These are just a few of the many areas that demand our faithfulness.

3. Tychicus was “Sendable”: vs.22 “I have sent unto you”

Before you correct my grammar I know sendable is not a word but it conveys my point and you will better remember this point. Tychicus was willing and obedient to go where he was needed…he was sendable. Are you willing to go wherever God needs you? Will you obediently serve him even if it’s out of your comfort zone? A spiritual leader understands that he or she belongs to Christ and that HIS mission comes first.  Sometimes we are called upon to go out of our comfort zone to forgive someone, to help someone or to perform a task for the first time. If you will be sendable then to God you will be profitable.

4. Tychicus was a Comforter: vs.22 “that he might comfort your hearts”

There are some people you can’t wait to get away from and there are those you wish you could keep with you forever. A person that encourages you is someone you most eagerly call close to you. There is enough negative, heartbreaking talk in the world, May God send some Tychicus’s to comfort those that struggle.  Jesus said he didn’t come so people could minister to him; he came so he could minister to others. A good spiritual leader desires to comfort and encourage others more than he desires others to tend to him. I have found that if you are faithful to be an encourager, others will encourage you. Find someone to call, send a card with some encouraging Bible verses in it, send an uplifting text message or email to any one God lays on your heart. Encouragement seems to find its way back to those who send it.  

These are qualities that every Christian should posses. These qualities are not naturally in us, but they are the work of the Holy Spirit of God in our lives. When we read God’s word and pray, He directs us into these qualities. As you give God full liberty in your life, you’ll find a refreshing and rewarding peace as He cultivates his likeness in you and makes you into his perfect image.

 

Just Enjoy Your CHRISTmas Gift

Isaiah 9:6-7  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

“…unto us a son is given:” what a wonderful gift God has given to the world. A most valuable and precious gift, this gift of his dear son. God has spared no expense and cut no corners in giving his best to save the world from their sins; it is a shame people don’t appreciate this gift as they should. In these verses, God is telling us just how important and precious his son is. Look at the five descriptive terms the Holy Spirit uses to paint a colorful picture of the person of Jesus Christ; “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  

  • “Wonderful” describes Christ’s character and nature. This word means a miracle or something marvelous that promotes excitement and admiration. Christ is truly a gift like no other.
  • “Counselor” speaks of is ability to organize and bring order to the chaos that often defines our lives. Christ, through the Word of God is able to counsel us into making good decisions for a bright & happy future.
  • “The mighty God” the word mighty here is used to describe a warrior or strong man of war. God is the greatest General to ever lead an Army; he does not know defeat and he always protects his soldiers with his might. Christ Jesus is the Captain of our Soul who protects us for all eternity, from all enemies. He is strong enough to defeat your greatest fear.
  • “The everlasting Father” a father is portrayed as a protector, provider and leader. Sadly, in this world many have experienced the loss of a father through death or some have had fathers that were never there for them. Jesus Christ is that faithful father you seek, one that will be there for you FOREVER! He will never die or leave you to yourself.
  • “The Prince of Peace” The world always speaks of peace and all the ways to get it, but I have yet to see a soul reach true inner peace apart from Jesus Christ. There may be a temporary happiness due to an exciting situation, but that never seems to last long and so goes their joy. Christ on the other hand offers real and lasting peace. His peace is not reliant upon earthly conditions but rather his peace is a gift of his own person. Christ is peace! A sign once read: “Know Jesus, know peace; No Jesus, no peace!” O how true this is.

When children open their Christmas gifts they play with them for awhile with great excitement. They laugh and roll on the floor at their parent’s feet enjoying their new toys, until slowly the new wears off and they begin to want something else. The father looks down at the greedy child and says “Just enjoy your Christmas gift; there are children who have no gifts to enjoy” Over 2,000 years ago God gave the world his son Jesus as the first Christmas gift. Christ has changed people’s lives and many have enjoyed a relationship with him. But like many things, people grow tired and bored in their relationship with Christ, newer things catch our eye and soon Christ has lost our attention. Misery and more discontentment follows and we become like that little child who has lost interest in his gift. May I say to us today “Just enjoy your CHRISTmas gift” spend time with Christ, read his word, talk to him in prayer….just enjoy his company as you once did. Don’t think on what you do not have, think only on the great blessings you do have. Enjoy your CHRISTmas gift this holiday season.

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Devotional Reading

 

The Problem is Sin not Guns

On Tuesday, April 20th 1999 two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School in Jefferson County Colorado and shot 25 people, killing 12 students and 1 teacher. Just one month later on May 27th, a Congressional Sub-committee meeting was held to discuss matters of gun control and gun laws. Among the many national gun organizations and police organizations that were present that day was Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott which was one of the victims that day. I think what he said to the Congressional Committee is worth repeating and worth our concentration.  

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. 

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. 

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent 

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. 

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,

Your words are empty air. 
You’ve stripped away our heritage, 
You’ve outlawed simple prayer. 
Now gunshots fill our classrooms, 
And precious children die. 
You seek for answers everywhere, 
And ask the question “Why?” 
You regulate restrictive laws, 
Through legislative creed. 
And yet you fail to understand, 
That God is what we need! 

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. 

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! 
My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”                                                                                                             
– Darrell Scott

The American people and leaders would do well to listen to the words of this father. We have for too long overlooked the real problem facing our nation…Sin. The remedy is not more laws or more education or more psychologists with their anti-depression medication. The physical problems we see in our national crime rate and moral declines are only the symptoms of a much deeper spiritual problem. We need God to move freely in our land and hearts again. We need the truth of scripture to be upheld in our political, judicial and educational arenas once again. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If Christ changes the sinner than his sinful behavior will be changed to good behavior and our land will be at peace.

True peace and happiness will only come through Jesus Christ; if anyone doubts this, have them look at our nation. It has been 48 years since prayer and Bible reading have been taken from the public school; it has been almost 10 years since the first 10 Commandments monument was moved from a American Courthouse and it has been 38 years since the Roe vs. Wade court decision to legalize the murder of our unborn children and call it abortion.  America has tried to function without God and is failing! Our nation was founded and has been successful because of its strong roots in the Bible and Christianity; now our nation has forgotten God and we are in a fast free fall to self-destruction. Don’t tell me American is better without God, America wouldn’t be here without Him and will soon be destroyed if we don’t call out to Him. All the money in the world along with all the politicians with all the psychologists and educators has not been able to bring a solution to all the crime and problems of fallen humanity.  Christ is the only lasting hope for mankind; so love Him, remind others about Him and study our nation’s Christian heritage and pass it on. Share Christ this CHRISTmas Season.

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Devotional Reading

 

Cabela’s Trip

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The Jr. Boys BIBLE Scouts ministry will be going to Hamburg PA on Tuesday, December 27th to spend the day at the Cabela’s Store. We will leave the church at 8am and return around 5pm. They will need money for food and gifts, see me or Bro. Tony for more details.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Leadership Helps

 

Living Thanksgiving

Psalms 118:24  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In every day, in everything…rejoice and give thanks. The Psalmist said that he would rejoice in the day God had given him. Whatever the day brought whatever the trials he was presented, he would rejoice. Centuries later, the Apostle Paul writes to the young Christian congregation at Thessalonica and encourages them with the same biblical principals; In everything give thanks. In every trial and every triumph…give thanks; in every success and every failure…give thanks; in every battle and in every victory…give thanks unto the Lord. We may not be thankful for the details of the trial and we may not understand all that is happening but it is the will of God that we give thanks and let the results to God. This is the hope of the Christian faith, that is, God is in full control and works his might on behalf of his children.  

I don’t know a person alive that would not benefit from applying this biblical principal of “Living Thanksgiving” We would all benefit from the care casting (1Peter 5:7) that is available in Christ Jesus. We need to trust that God will do what he said and that the outcome will be perfect and in God’s perfect time. Giving thanks to God in every situation has many benefits and advantages; here are a few to meditate on:

1. Heart Assurance, the more we give thanks, the more our heart is assured of God’s power. A thankful attitude is a positive attitude that brings with it the confidence needed to function faithfully. Giving thanks is also contagious. The joy you exert from rejoicing and giving thanks will pass to those around you and encourage their heart in Christ.

2. Focus Factor, giving thanks keeps us focused on the positive aspects of our God and focuses our attention on God’s will and his work, which in turn keeps us on target and pleasing God. Trials have a way of distracting us from our purpose and joy; giving thanks in the midst of trouble allows us to maintain our focus and live a productive and purposeful life.

3. Spiritual Leadership, people will follow what they are confident in, and when it comes to leadership, that means, people will follow WHO they are confident in. Being a person that is always rejoicing and giving thanks will show people that you are confident in your God, it shows them that your faith is able to “hold you together” and gives them the confidence to follow you into a closer relationship with Christ. People will stick together with a leader that can keep it together.   

4. Pleasing God, it is God’s will that we give thanks to him. If this is his will and we do it, then we will be living a life that pleases him! Every good son should want to please his father, every faithful spouse should desire to please the other and every child of God should live to please him. Our giving thanks pleases God also because it draws attention to him. Matthew 5:16 says  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” When you and I give thanks in trials, it shines the gospel light on Jesus Christ. Many a person has found their way to salvation because they saw something different in God’s people and desired to have the same. It is the will of God that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wants everyone to come to eternal salvation and when you and I give thanks in everything, it puts all attention on our Glorious God and His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 
 
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