St. John Baptist Church
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The Forward Look of Hope
7/27/2020 8:39:13 AM
It's so easy to get cast down with what we're dealing with right now in our lives.  I know, because I'm bad to do it myself.  I get focused on what is going on and forget the things God has promised.  We are human and we do forget.  The danger is that if we focus on what we're going through right now that we can lose hope.  I have often read Psalm 42 where the psalmist seemed so low and was longing, thirsting for the Lord in his soul.  He says in vs 3-My tears have been my meat day and night.  He remembers how things once were, but they're not that way now, vs 4.  He talks to himself and asks himself in vs 5-Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?  He is discouraged, yes.  But then he says something amazing--hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  He is saying, "You know, right now I may not be able to rejoice, but I will again.  I will praise Him for His help for I have a hope in Him."  You see, hope is a forward looking word.  It doesn't look backward, but forward.  The psalmist says that He will yet praise the Lord again.  He also says in vs 8-Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  That was his confidence of hope.  The Lord will do this for me, so I will continue to make my prayer unto Him.  You may feel yourself at a low point in life today, but don't lose hope.  There will come a time, when He will touch your heart again, when He will lift you out of the fog, when He will stir your heart with song and He will let you rejoice in Him again.  Don't lose hope...keep looking forward in Him.
Giants Are No Match For Our God
7/23/2020 9:05:25 AM
I guess we have all heard the story of David and Goliath since we were knee high to nothing.  The story has fascinated children through the years, but it isn't just a children's story.  It is a truth to encourage saints of all ages to be reminded that our God can handle the giants of our lives.  We all have our "Goliaths" that we deal with.  Mine may not be the same as yours and yours are not the same as mine, but we all have our giants that walk up our valley threatening our peace and seeking to control our lives.  The hero in the story was David who was willing to face this giant and defeat him by the power of God.  Our hero is found in David's greater Son named Jesus who is able to defeat the giants in our lives.  No matter how loud they talk and no matter how big they stand, they are no match for our hero.  It isn't in our power that we can handle the giants that we face.  Far too often I have tried to handle them on my own, and suffered humiliating defeat.  But when I put the giant in Jesus' hands, victory is found in Him.  I have no idea today what giant may be walking up your valley, but I know that your giant is no match for our God and that He is able to give victory in your heart today.  Why not give your giant to Him?  Right now. No matter where you are. Bow your head and place that giant in His great hand and trust Him for the victory you need over that giant.
Is There Anything Too Hard for God?
7/20/2020 8:01:49 AM
Each of us have things today that we struggle with and are facing in our lives.  Some may seem as minor blips on the radar, while others seem so overwhelming and weigh our hearts down so heavily.  What may seem so minor to one individual though, can at the same time, be so big to us.  Our scales often weigh so differently, don't they?  But I've come to realize that on God's scale they all weigh the same.  It matters not how large it may be, there is nothing too hard for Him.  The prophet Jeremiah lived in days of such difficulty and uncertainty for the land of Judah.  He found himself imprisoned by king Zedekiah, but even then God gave him words of hope for days yet to come.  And Jeremiah prayed and in part of his prayer he said in Jeremiah 32:17-Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.  When everything seemed all out of sorts for him, Jeremiah reflects on the thought of who God is, the Creator of all things, and declares that nothing is too hard for Him.  No matter your burden; no matter your situation; no matter your worry; no matter your trial; no matter your diffculty; no matter your need--there is nothing too hard for Him.  Put your need in His hands, the hands that created and controls all things, and trust Him to meet your need.
Till the Storm Passes By
7/16/2020 11:17:14 AM
I'm not sure why the Lord has put this on my heart for the blog today or who it's for but back in 1958 Mosie Lister wrote a song entitled "Till the Storm Passes By".  It's a song that has always blessed my heart tremendously.  Here are the words for somebody today who may really be needing it.  

"In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
When the long night has ended and the storms come no more
Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore
In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by."
Finding Your Way
7/14/2020 8:30:43 AM
We have many options today in helping you find your way to where you're wanting to go today.  There are still those old road maps, Google Maps, GPS systems and more.  We as Christians are often trying to find our way in this life.  Sometimes it's just a matter of making a decision involving family or a personal matter.  Sometimes it is a life changing decision that can determine the direction of our lives.  The verses that always come to my mind at such a time are found in Proverbs 3:5-6 where Solomon says, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Far too often I want to trust my "gut" feelings or the advice of someone else and sometimes those are helpful.  But the most helpful thing is to put all your trust in the Lord, for He truly knows the right way and the best way for us to go.  We can't lean on our own understanding because we can't always see the "big picture" but He does.  So, I must always lean on His wisdom and His understanding and trust in His guidance and He will lead me in the right way through my life decisions.  Maybe you're needing to find the right way in some matter today.  Let Him show you the way.
The Great Comforter
7/9/2020 8:30:26 AM
Paul wrote to the Corinthians these words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.  There are so many today who want to view God as some angry despot that sits on His throne just waiting to strike down in vengeance all who He desires.  But our Bible speaks of a God, who is holy by all means, but who is the "God of all comfort."  Although He is righteous and holy and cannot or will not tolerate sin, He is a God who comforts us in all our troubles.  He is a God who cares! I am so thankful that He is. He comes to us in our troubles and difficulties of life and gives strength in our times of need.  So, no matter where you are today.  No matter the kind of trials you may be facing, the God of all comfort can comfort you in what you are going through.
There is Strength in the Lord
7/6/2020 8:00:18 AM
I remember reading a little story about a dad who asked his son to move a rock out of the way.  The son tried his best to lift it, but it was just too heavy.  The dad asked him, "Son, are you sure you're using all your strength?" The son replied, "Yes, dad, I am."  And, again the boy tried with all his might to lift the rock to move it out of the way, but couldn't.  Once again the dad said to him, "Son, I don't think you're using all your strength.  Are you sure you are?" The boy frustrated and exhausted from trying said, "Dad, I have been using all my strength.  What else could I do?"  The dad said, "You weren't using all your strength because you never asked me to help you.  If you would have asked I would have helped you move that rock."  You know, we are the same way.  We'll do our best in our own strength to carry our burdens, but never ask the Lord to help us with them. If we only ask Him, He will come to our aid and help us carry those heavy loads that we aren't able to carry ourselves.  I thank God today that there is strength in the Lord.  What are you trying to carry all by yourself today?  Let Him help you carry it.
The Lord is Never Too Busy
7/3/2020 8:35:31 AM
I was working on the website this morning, trying to get some things updated before moving on to some other things I needed to do.  I started to skip putting something in the blog section thinking that I really didn't have time then I realized I hadn't put anything here in a while.  You know? Isn't it amazing how we let ourselves get so busy with so many things?  Things that pull us here and then things that stretch us there.  But I am so thankful today that the Lord is never too busy for us.  He always has time for whatever I have going on in my life.  He has all of the universe to control.  He feeds all of the wild animals on the face of the earth.  He provides for all that you and I need.  He keeps the stars in their places and the sun shining in its brightness.  It isn't too hot and it isn't too cold.  He is watching over every single one of His sheep, but He always has time for me.  He never is too busy when I call on His name or ask Him for help or cry out in fear or seek Him in a time of need.  I'm so thankful today that the Lord is never too busy for us.  So whatever you are needing from the Lord today.  Go ahead.  Reach out to Him.  You'll find that, no matter what He is doing, He has time for you.
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