Saturday, October 26, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

King David’s life is a study in contrasts, and his Psalms reflect it regularly. The Apostle Paul wrote eloquently of the contrasts in his own life, both before and after his conversion to Jesus. Perhaps nowhere in his Epistles is this more evident than in the Roman letter, in the seventh chapter. There we find statements like, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” This is the anointed Apostle? What chance do we have then?

It is hard to imagine Paul in such conflict, but in reading his words, it is clear that he has not compromised and “accepted” the fleshly side of his life. Indeed, he fights it continually, moment by moment, as necessary. Paul comes to a reality, with which he is most uncomfortable: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present within me.” Romans 7:21.

Have we ever felt that way? Sure we have. We wonder how we can sometimes move so quickly from one mode to the other… from the spirit into the flesh. Yet Paul assures us in First Corinthians that there is no temptation taken us as such as is common to man. As Paul was, we are assured that this is indeed the human condition of a Believer.

Sin (the flesh) begins in our thoughts, and if it takes hold, we fall to those temptations. Paul states then that every thought is to be brought into the captivity of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). By this means, no corrupt communication will pass from our lips and defile us, for it is what comes out of our mouths that defile us. What measures of grace we must receive daily from Christ! Most often we are not even aware of it until we take time to examine our hearts daily. Who indeed shall deliver us from the bodies of this death?

Jesus felt our same temptations, yet remained above them. And as He knew David’s heart, He knows yours and mine too. Come now to the following reality, also acknowledged by Paul: 

“There is therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ
Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Romans 8:1

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

God asks that we approach Him in humility; that we seek His salvation with a broken and contrite heart. The world does not ask for our humility. We are taught to be bold, self-confident, and to put on attributes of openness and welcoming, and even a gregarious nature at times. The world wants us to grab for all the gusto we can take.

Aware of the difference between what the world expects from us, and what God wants from us, gives us a glimpse of what the world was like in the days of Noah. Genesis 6:5 says “that every imagination of the thoughts of (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” Verse 6 goes on to tell us that it repented God that He ever made man, for it grieved Him in His heart. We don’t often think about the severity of man’s dilemma back then, but if you read a little further, it says that “Noah found grace in God’s sight.”

Many ask, “When is the Lord is coming back?” We are told that it will be “as in the days of Noah.” There will again be those who find grace in God’s sight. It will be His church.

Asking for anything is an act of humility. It is us seeing our own need, and submitting a request to someone (or to the One) whom has what we desire. If we desire something from God, we ask in prayer, with humility and hope. He already knows our needs. He already knows whether it is good for us, and for what purposes we will use it. Sometimes, His foreknowledge is reason enough to withhold from us the things that we ask.

But there is one thing that He will not withhold from us. We ask Him in prayerful hope and in humility, for it is not available through any other: A relationship with Him, in His Kingdom.

Luke 12:32 – “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Our headlines are filled with wars and rumors of wars, famines, diseases, strange weather patterns, financial crisis here and abroad, religious upheaval world-wide, and ethnic-religious hatred among the many children of Abraham, and among the heathen as well.

Yet Jeremiah 31:35-36 reassures us of Jesus being seated at the Right Hand of the Father, overseeing all things day to day, even the physical laws of the sun, moon, stars, and the planets. Jesus oversees the spin of the Earth!

We do not have a God who slumbers or sleeps. Jesus is acutely aware of our “standings up,” and our “sittings down.” Sparrows don’t fall to the ground without His knowing about it, and He is very aware of our national crisis, the US Government shut-down. He knows how it is affecting us and our loved ones. Our elected officials claim to be in control, but none are truly leading the charge to bring a resolution to our national and personal dilemma. In-fighting and accusations come from both sides of the political aisle, and our nation’s creditors are watching closely and issuing warnings about defaulting on our loans. While it is a concern for us, God already sees and has the remedy for all of it. Jesus is and will always be our Victor, to bring us all to the place He has gone on ahead to prepare for us. Through times of plenty and in times of want, He has all that we need. Do not fall into the sin of worry, for it only leads to sins of self-pity, and to discontent: undermining our Faith in Jesus Christ.

The marriage vows remind us that we are Jesus’ Bride, for better or worse; for richer or for poorer, in sickness, and in health. We are His. He is ours.

Ephesians 5:29- “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord (does) the Church: ” 

Philippians 4:19- “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 37:25- “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread.”

Matthew 24:13- “But he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.”

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“Where is the Body?” It was the type of question we’ve heard from Mary Magdelene, or might expect on a TV police drama, like CSI or NCIS. “Where’s the body?” I surely didn’t expect to hear it from another pastor, concerning the Body of Christ. None the less, that’s often the state of the modern Church.

In every Church, there is about 10% of the congregation that does 90% of the work in dedicated service to the Lord. (Praise Jesus for that 10%!) But it’s much more than just the work of the church and around the church, it’s also the teachings and participation in services. One cannot be considered a member of a faith community when one’s life is so busy that church participation is but once each week. What kind of family gets together once-a-week?

If we were to consider the spiritual feeding that goes on in church, one meal per week would have us on a starvation diet. Weight loss would be easy on a physical diet like that, but on such a spiritual diet, spiritual weakness sets in, ill spiritual health, wrong doctrines crop up, and even spiritual death due to malnutrition. We won’t be fed well enough to face the world’s trials each week.

Do you remember the Wonder Bread Commercials of years past? “Wonder Bread Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways!” Wonder Bread was more than just a soft, fluffy slice of starch. Its ingredients were a cocktail of nutritious vitamins and minerals, each going to different parts of our bodies and brains to grow us up strong, healthy, and energetic! Likewise in Health and in Spirit, we will only get out as much as we put in. Many will say they are doing as much as they can due to busy schedules. Others will say they’ve done it before, now it’s the next generation’s turn. Still others will tell you anything else to justify the distance they put between themselves and the rest of the Body of Christ. But those that find excuses to avoid church, do so at their own risk.

Hebrews 10:25 - “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”


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