Saturday, September 28, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Everyone has those “DUH” moments once in a while. We live our lives daily, and then suddenly, a light goes on somewhere in our brains and we think, “There’s something I have to do…”

I think it was one of those moments for the Pharisees that Jesus was speaking of in our Gospel reading today in Matthew 3:7. The scriptures they knew so well began to speak to their hearts as they saw The Baptist’s ministry fulfilling God’s Word. Isaiah 40:3 records, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” This same caliber of men, some 30 years prior, knew where the new King of Israel was to be born. Though well versed in the scriptures, they all failed to make the spiritual application of the Word to their hearts and lives, or to their congregations!

It should not come as a surprise that towards the end of His ministry, Jesus referred to these Temple Leaders as a “generation of vipers,” and “white washed sepulchers.” So intent were they upon the Messiah they wanted, that when God sent the Messiah that they needed, they rejected Him. Inside them, there were dead men’s bones; unregenerate, lifeless, and without the Spirit of God.

The Spirit of God resides within the heart of every Believer to catch us in our wrong thinking, and remind us of what Jesus said, and the decisions we should be making: God’s way, or my own?

The Spirit will bring to our minds other scriptures to support God’s best desire for us, and for the other choice, we have to justify ourselves without the benefit of God’s Word.

The humble heart will always be teachable, and able to acknowledge wrong, and make necessary changes to find God’s best desire for him or herself, knowing full well that God’s mercies are new every morning.

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” ~Isaiah 40:3

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Our reading today in Psalm 91 reminds us of the many trials we endure, and the source of our safety and comfort. With the crisis in Syria in recent weeks, and our studies of late in Ezekiel 38 & 39, we are as assured of our place in heaven with Christ during the Great Tribulation Period as we are that global crises will continue until He comes. We cling to Psalm 91 and other favorite passages at all times though, not just times of global crisis. In the smaller, more personal tribulations that frequently define our lives, the scriptures are a gracious gift from God: His Word to hold onto.

Yesterday, I was reminded that some of our trials are the result of just living, in that of a fallen world, and being surrounded by it. The source of trials is the same however, whether personal or global. Spiritual Warfare goes on daily and is the cause of trials of the heart, and challenges to the body. It’s not flesh and blood that are the source, but spiritual wickedness in high places.

Yesterday’s trial wasn’t even an overtly wicked deed, but just someone’s carelessness that caused extra work for many around the church. We were blessed that many were here to help resolve the problem, and the number here was God’s provision, knowing ahead of time what our needs would be. Jesus is THAT faithful to His own! He never leaves us short on resources.

This week, think about whatever trials come your way. Satan will do His best to get your eyes off Jesus, but when we know his game plan, we can remain flexible and be prepared. You, I, or we can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth us. (Phil. 4:13 paraphrased. )

Because we already know that we live in a fallen world, it is of great comfort to know that its Creator lifts us up in spite of all of Satan’s efforts.

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations." ~ Deuteronomy 7:9

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

God's Prophetic Word forms the pattern which history will follow.  Today's reading in Amos 9 could have been plucked from newspaper headlines of fifty years ago, yet it dates to almost 800 years before Christ.  Current events in the Middle East follow the pattern, too.  With Russia now taking such a pre-eminent role in the teetering politics of Syria and its weapons of mass destruction, who would ever have thought that Russia would broker a peace through détente?

Back in 2002, George Bush gave us his famous State of the Union Address during which he labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, an "Axis of Evil."  But these countries have long been a thorn in the side of world politics, not just since Bush's speech.  He merely state the obvious, because "...Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16).

Everyone on Main Street seems to sense that another global war is right around the corner.  The three major issues mentioned in Revelation are inescapably in our headlines:  the failing world economy, political upheaval, and incredible relious differences.  (Antichrist will offer a false resolution to these things.)  In the minds of the people, dark times are looming on the horizon.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:130, "The entrance of thy words gives light;  it gives understanding unto the simple."  Being familiar with God's Word is key to maintaining our peace in troublesome times.  The Believer can take great comfort knowing that God will work everything to the good for His own.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our patriarchs in the faith.  But there were others in that lineage who turned their backs on God and away from the land given to them:  Cain departed from the Lord and went East; Ishmael, Isaac's brother went West to Ethe land of his mother; and Esau, Jacob's brother went east, and south, and west and mingled with his cousins, the Egyptians.  The "Arab Spring of Old" continues today as the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, (unless) He revealeth His secret to His servants the prophets."  Amos 3:7

~  Major in the Minor Prophets for RICH BLESSINGS! ~

Monday, September 9, 2013

Look Up!

Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

The horrifying news from Syria in the last few weeks has been the source of much debate on Capitol Hill, and much prayer in our nation’s churches. Do we as a country retaliate against such wickedness? Our President wants to because he drew a line in the sand, and made threats if it was crossed.

The problem is that our own country does not hold sovereignty over a single other nation. We are not the Police Force of the United Nations, and we do not hold higher moral ground while we have the blood of innocents on our own hands. An attack on Syria would be an Act of War against another sovereign nation. And, meddlers are not looked upon very highly in scripture.

When thinking about the times of the Old Testament… Idolaters and cruel tribes (governments) like the Canaanites were declared by God to be worthy of extermination, for the sake of the Israelites. Syria is a nation of idolaters as they follow a false god. Inevitably, God judges harshly for idolatry.

Yet, the voices of Syria’s victims already cry from their graves. The cruelty of Syria’s leaders is evident in the number of deaths. Shamefully, morality (to know good from evil) has become a variable, depending upon where one lives. Justice is elusive among the nations of mankind.

Romans 13:1-7 begins, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power, but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God.” These words are echoed several times throughout the New Testament, and even Jesus adhered to this as He stood before Pontius Pilate. In His human form, God made Himself subject to the authority of the Roman government.

It really doesn’t matter if the gas attack came from the Syrian government, or from the rebels. We must pray to discern whether such hardships can be used to further God’s plan for Israel, and all the world, for it is He who has Sovereign Authority over all things.

Pray that America’s actions do not put Israel in further danger. God still favors His People, and true Christians are among those counted as His.

Psalm 141:10- “Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while that I withal escape.”

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Many years ago, a Christian friend was in business with a partner. The business was quite successful, and supported the two owners, their familes, and their employees quite well.

More recently, another Christian friend was in the restaurant business with his brother. The friend worked in the restaurant daily, and his brother took care of the bookkeeping and business end of the restaurant. The business was supporting the brothers’ two families, and provided jobs for many people.

In both situations, my friends’ partners were not Christians; neither the first business partner, nor the brother of the second one. The results were catastrophic. Both unsaved partners were taken over by greed and laziness. One “cooked the books,” skimming more profits for himself. The other liked the good life too, and failed to pay the business taxes.

Both these “brothers-In-Christ” ended up losing their businesses and filing for bankruptcy. The first one had to sell his home to pay unpaid business expenses, and then went out on his own to build a new business (which now is also successful). The restaurant owner lost his business location, but kept his restaurant reputation, and has opened in a new location, this time without his brother. Because he was the visible partner in the store each day, established customers will follow him and life will be good again soon.

God provides for His own, is the simplest way to describe what has happened. Freed from their unequal yoke, they will both do well because they love Jesus. And they have learned a valuable lesson in the meantime. Unequal yokes, and ungodly alliances and partnerships take their toll on friendships, families, and marriages. Betrayal in any form is still betrayal. Stay close to Jesus; give preference to being with other faithful believers.

è “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: 
but righteousness delivereth from death.” Proverbs 10:2

è “[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; 
in honour preferring one another;” Romans 12:10

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