St. John Baptist Church
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He Understands
8/31/2020 8:08:16 AM
One thing I often struggle with is trying to identify or understand what someone else is dealing with or going through.  There have been many times as a pastor that I've had to look into the eyes of someone that was searching for answers and tell them, "I truly don't know" or "I can't identify with how you must feel, but I am so sorry." That always seems so empty for me to say that.  I always wish I could say more or have the right answer or help, but honestly, there are things I just don't have answers for or can help someone understand.  But there is One who can.  I'm so thankful that the Lord knows our hearts and He knows our hurts.  He has been here and He has identified with all the things we go through in this life.  We can come to Him with our burdens and know that He truly understands how we feel.  So, no matter what you are facing today and you may think that no one understands, I want you to realize that He does.  He truly understands what you're going through and He alone can meet your needs today.
When You Need a Little Light
8/27/2020 7:57:31 AM
There are those times when you just feel so frustrated by things that you aren't sure what to do.  I know you've been there and there may be someone reading this who is there right now.  Sometimes you just need a little light in your life.  It seems that things are dark and difficult for you.  There's a couple of verses that I want to share with you.  They help me and maybe they will you too.  Psalm 43:3-4 says, O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.  The psalmist longed for God to send out His light and truth and lead him.  But notice to where.  To the Lord.  That is where we need to get when life is discouraging and difficult.  Get to Him.  When you can't find an answer, get to Him.  When you need help, get to Him.  When you are frustrated, get to Him.  When you need a little light, get to Him.  When you need grace, get to Him.  When you get to Him, you can get the help you need and are able once again to find joy and peace in your heart.  If you need a little light today, get to Him.
Isaiah 59:19
8/24/2020 11:49:13 AM
"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
Seeking Rest in the Lord
8/20/2020 7:55:35 AM
There is a weariness that creeps into our lives from the stress that daily life puts on us.  For you it may be from the rat race of work and the pressures that come with it.  For another it may be the stress that comes from sitting down with the stack of bills at the end of the day and trying figure out how to make the money match the payments.  For others it may be the stress of sickness that comes from a body that refuses to function as you once did and now you feel the frustration of trying to deal with it.  There is the stress of a home life that has gotten messed up by things out of your control.  Stress comes in so many patterns and so many places these days.  But the place of help is still the same in every situation.  Jesus said to a weary crowd in Matthew 11:28-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  He gives rest from the problem of sin, from the pressures of life's situations and from the people that stress us.  Are you seeking rest today?  The place of rest hasn't changed.  It is still in the Lord.
We Keep Pressing On
8/17/2020 7:36:44 AM
I often think of three words that the apostle Paul said twice in 2 Corinthians chapter 4-we faint not.  In other words, we don't quit or we don't fall by the wayside, we keep pressing on.  He said in that same chapter in vs 8-9-We are troubled on every side; yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.  To me those are some of the most astounding verses found in Paul's writings.  I think of all he had faced but yet he keeps pressing on.  I don't know about you, but I want that kind of help in my life.  So I think, where did he get it?  He gave the answer in ch 3:5-Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.  He says that it is not that we have enough within ourselves to face all life brings but that He is enough, He is ample and He is all sufficient for all that life may bring our way.  He is more that sufficient enough to help us in all of our troubles, trials and difficulties of life.  No matter what may come my way...He is more than enough!  That is why Paul could say, we faint not.  That is the only way we can face all that we face without fainting and keep pressing on.  No matter what you are facing today, you can face it, because He is more than enough.
Praying for One Another
8/14/2020 7:41:15 AM
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi in Philippians 1:3-4-I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.  The idea Paul is talking about seems to be that every time I think about you I thank God for you and say a prayer for you that the Lord would bless and help you.  You know, that's how it ought to be for each of us.  Our lives should be so entwined with each other that we would never go from one Sunday until the next without giving each other a thought.  But constantly and continuously we ought to be thinking about one another and as someone comes to our minds, to give thanks to God for them and ask for God's blessings and help for them in their lives.  I've often said it and I'll say it again right now...if you can go from Sunday to Sunday and never give a thought about your church family or their needs, then you have a major spiritual problem in your life.  I thank the Lord today for my church family and I carry them in my heart and whenever the Lord brings someone in particular to my mind throughout the day, I want to be able to breathe a word of prayer for them, because you never know what they may be needing at that very moment God has placed them on my heart.  Let's be a people who are constantly praying for one another.
There is Strength in the Lord
8/10/2020 8:11:46 AM
I have been pastoring for well over 36 years now and I'm not sure that I have ever seen a time in my ministry when so many of God's people seem to be dealing with so much in their lives.  There have always been burdens.  There have always been trials.  Sickness has always come and life has always presented its challenges.  But it's almost like the thermostat has been turned up several degrees higher these days and it isn't just a scattering of people dealing with things but it's everyone it seems.  Yet, the one constant in it all is that the strength found in the Lord is undiminished.  We read in the news of shortages of funds for certain things, but I'm so thankful there is never a shortage of strength that the Lord has for His children.  Psalm 81:5 says, Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.  Happy is the person who has realized that their strength rests in the Lord alone.  Oh, happy day when we realize that we can't face life in our own ability.  When we figure out it isn't by our own means that we'll survive all this world puts on us and realize our strength lies in the Lord.  He is the One who will get us through all that life puts on us.  If you haven't realized it today, there is strength in the Lord for you.
To Those Who Trust His Name
8/6/2020 10:20:25 AM
David said in Psalm 9:10-And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.  I'm sure you that have studied the Scriptures always notice when the word "LORD" pops up and it's in all capital letters that it means Jehovah.  The word Jehovah speaks of Him being the I AM; the One who is self-existent, that is all loving and caring for His own.  He is the One who sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from bondage and led them to the land of Canaan.  And now David says that those who know His name put their trust in Him.  The idea of knowing Him isn't just a head knowledge of who He is, but a heart relationship with Him.  It speaks of someone who knows Him as their personal Savior and Lord.  It also causes us to remember the great power associated with that name Jehovah.  He wrought miracles in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, fed the children of Israel with manna and quail, gave them water from a rock and many more wondrous things.  He is worthy of our trust.  But the psalmist says He is faithful to those who seek Him and He truly is.  He will never forsake those who put their trust in His name.  I am so thankful for that wondrous assurance that we have in Him today.
Who Will Stay or Who Will Go
8/4/2020 7:41:27 AM
In John 6, after some difficult teaching from Jesus, the Bible tells us in verse 66-From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  There were those who loved the miracles of the loaves and fishes and wanted more, but when it came to the area of commitment to Christ and staying with Christ, they instead went away.  I'm afraid we still have that crowd today.  There are those who love the services when they are sweet.  When the preacher doesn't get to preach and the emotions run high.  But when it comes to the ordinary and it is service as usual and the preacher is just "preaching", then it isn't very thrilling to them.  Jesus looked on the twelve at that time and asked them if they too would go away.  Peter, who often missed the mark, hit the nail on the head that day when he said, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  There is nowhere else to go to find what we find in Jesus Christ.  I want to be one of the kind who stays true to Him no matter what we have, whether it is the spiritual high or low.  Right now everything seems out of sync and quite strained.  It's not what we're used to, but I'd rather have what we have right now, than not have anything at all.  To whom shall we go?  The world has nothing better to offer God's children.  Even as different as worship is right now, I'd rather have Jesus as it is for now, than not have Him at all.  So, I'm just going to stick with Him until things return to normal or until He comes to take us home.  Are you with me?  Will you stay?
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