Saturday, July 27, 2013

Something For Everyone!

Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz
 
One of the region’s Centenarians passed away recently. She remained healthy all through her 90’s and was even riding her lawn tractor to cut her lawn earlier this year at 103 years of age. Though her children are still alive, she had far outlived her parents, her siblings, her husband, and her in-laws.

As her family passed away one-by-one, their possessions found their way to her home. To clean out the house after her death, her son (age 76) hired an Estate Sale Company to come in and price everything for a sale. That alone took two weeks, for the house was full of new items and old ones dating to the 1930’s.

The lesson of her home fits with today’s Psalm, 49. The Psalm addresses all the world, not just the Jews, and not just Believers. Regardless of our station in life, and even our religious beliefs, the things we work for all our lives will be passed on to others.

Now her accumulation of possessions shall be purchased and passed onto to many others. This Psalm 49 is a scripture that runs to the core of every heart. Our desires in passing are that our “stuff” will be cared for by those that have loved us, or used to bless others. But it is also a call to Believers to “keep a light touch” on the things of this world. Nothing can be used forever. Its usefulness will be used up with the using.

And so life goes with all our stuff. But before we all get depressed about all this, the Psalm goes much further to remind us that God will redeem our souls from the grave, and He shall receive us to Himself. The things of Earth are to come to an end, but the things of God are eternal. This is now our great hope; that as Believers, we shall be received by God because of the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus.

Once a profession of faith is made, we are on the path to His side in eternity. Psalm 16 reminds us in its final verse that what awaits us in heaven is “fullness of joy,” and “at [His] right hand are pleasures forevermore.”




Psalm 16:10 ~ “For thou shalt not leave my soul in the grave.”












Sunday, July 21, 2013

BEAUTIFUL FOR SITUATION

Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz


A couple decided several years ago that it was time to build a new home.  Knowing generally what they wanted in a house, they considered a parcel of land that they came across: its shape, its high spots, its low spots, its good points and its less desirable points.  They decided the highest elevation on the lot would be ideal for their new home, and they purchased it.

They went about designing a house that would optimize the lot by how the house was situated atop of the hill.  The couple planned, and looked, adjusted, and made choices.  They designed and used the lot to enhance the house, and they used the house to enhance the lot.  The view from each window has its own vista.

This is how God chose, and looked, and planned when He directed David to purchase Ornan's threshing floor.  He bought the land, and built an altar.  Ornan was a peace-loving Jebusite, but God had plans for his land atop a mountain.  David sacrificed there to stop a plague that had spread across all Israel.


Today, on the site of that threshing floor stands the beautiful City of Jerusalem.  God had a plan.  Like our friends' house, Jerusalem in all its beauty, it is as a good work done where God directed.  Great as it is, it is still an earthly city.  It is destined to be replaced by the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-11).

God sees us the same way.  He sees our potential, and what He can make out of our earthly beings.  He knows where and how to situate us and He'll move heaven and earth to complete that task.  Like Jerusalem, we too are destined for change.  Are you willing to let God take you as a raw material and change you into something that no longer resembles the old earthly "you?"

In the Book of Revelation, the Church on Earth becomes the Bride of Christ in heaven.  Believers are the Church, so we will be the Bride, and like Jerusalem we will be fitly put together...God has a plan still for us.


"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord."  Ephesians 2:21








Saturday, July 13, 2013

"FOLLOW ME"

Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

     You have heard before that we have four seasons in upstate New York: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Construction. Detours are mild inconveniences. But if you are already unfamiliar with the region around a detour, one could easily think, “I can’t get there from here.” Happily though, the detour signs will direct us if we follow them.  They might not give us the shortest route, but the route will be the easiest one to follow, and it will be on the better roads. Just follow the big orange arrows posted at the side of the road.

    That’s what God had in mind when He gave mankind His Word. The Jews were a stiff-necked and stubborn people though. We can see the difficulty already. Someone will think they have a better idea than God. If God’s directions are true, then all other directions are heresy. After a long period of not following God’s directions, mankind has become unfamiliar with His voice and with His Word.

    The human race was “lost” and like Moses was sent to lead the people out of Egypt, Jesus was sent to seek and to save those that were lost. The  directions God gave had been compromised so God sent His only begotten Son to lead us back to His heavenly home. No longer are we lost. We are found. No longer do we follow orange arrows. We have Jesus sent to lead us; no longer a series of signs to follow, God sent His only begotten Son to guide us onto the right path to eternal life.

    Humanistic shortcuts can be dead-ends, wrong turns, and most certainly, tours with an altered destination. The dangers on the short cuts are unknown to us as we proceed carelessly, even to our own hurt. Jesus alone gives us the most direct and safest route. Following Jesus, we know that we’ll get there, and it is even easier than operating your car’s GPS unit.


Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man
cometh unto the Father, but by me.”      – John 14:6

Seventeen times in the Gospels, Jesus is recorded to have given
really easy directions: ……“Follow me.”





Saturday, July 6, 2013

UNDIVIDED HEART

Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

A sinful world will always work to invade our lives and interrupt our service to God. When Jesus tells us that we are in the world, but not to be of the world, we might scratch our heads and wonder how we can separate ourselves from worldly distractions and habits. 

    Glorifying God, and being thankful for all things is the first step. Romans 1:21 is a strong, healthy warning to those whom refuse to give glory to God, and will instead grumble about everything. Bringing every thought into the captivity of Christ is another step. Scriptures even tell us that talking to ourselves will fill a void in our thought processes: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, and giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus  Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:19 & 20)


    Merely whistling while you work can leave you like a couple of the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White: Grumpy & Dopey. Those dwarfs were named after normal human traits. Happy, Doc, Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, and Dopey. The names define who they are. The traits are as human as we are without Christ.


    To lift ourselves to God’s use, we must want to be better than that. We must desire to be changed, and allow God’s Divine Holy Spirit to flow through us to change us. To dwell on His word, to meditate on it always, and to sing of His glorious works will keep our minds occupied with heavenly things, even as we work though our earthly  responsibilities.


    How much better it is to “put on” the things of the seven spirits of God (Isaiah 11:2), rather than the things of the Seven Dwarfs. While they are caught up in their own fantasy world, we can be raised up to the heavenlies and begin to take on Godly attributes. The simplicity of our mundane lives allows us to work, and to give our hearts and minds over to God in the process.


    The “Proberbs 31 Woman” has succeeded in her many tasks of each day, but she has clearly been focused on God’s word as she works through each task.


 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; 
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Prov. 31:26





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