Saturday, February 21, 2015


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    The title of today’s message is from each of the first four verses of Psalm 118. The phrase, “For His mercy endureth forever” is repeated in each verse. 

    But more than that, the same words are repeated in 39 other verses in the Old 
Testament, and similar words in two more verses. (Psalms 100:5 and 138:8).

    From 1 Chronicles 16:4 to Jeremiah 33:11, God has His scribes repeat the words 45 times. There is a predominant number of these instances in the Book of Psalms, but many are also found in I & II Chronicles. Jewish tradition credits Ezra with the writing of the two Books of Chronicles, therefore, he would have written them during the Babylonian captivity. 

    With David writing many of the Psalms, then it is clear that when “His mercy endureth forever” is put on paper, these are times of stress and hardship, both for King David, and for the nation of Israel herself. Hardship led the Holy Spirit to inspire Ezra, to inspire the Psalmists, and to inspire the Prophet Jeremiah to write of the hope that anchored their hearts and souls. Jeremiah wrote the words during his imprisonment! They are meant to carry us through until the difficulty has passed.  

    So a pattern emerges within the Old Testament: In the hardest of times, we are to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness repeatedly and with the greatest of hardships, ever more frequently! Meditating on the promises of God immediately takes our minds off the trouble, and puts God and Jesus Christ at the center of our thoughts. In the most practical of ways, doing that brings every thought into the captivity of Jesus Christ.  

    In the New Testament, we don’t find those words together anywhere. They pointed to Christ Jesus, and in the New Testament we find that “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” Throughout the Gospel, Jesus’ mercy is evident everywhere He went, teaching, healing, and touching people’s lives. We are comforted that He is also with His church, continuing to teach, heal, and comfort us.

Whatever problem we will face this week, or at any time…
“His mercy endureth forever.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

     President Calvin Coolidge saw problems ahead with our open immigration policy in the early 1900’s. Coolidge’s Immigration Law of 1924 shut down our otherwise open immigration, and set limits on the numbers of people coming here to America’s shores. This was done for the sole purpose of granting foreigners the chance to be assimilated into American culture. The Immigration Law of 1924 was in force until 1965. Enter, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his vision for “The Great Society.”

    Since 1965, assimilation is no longer taking place. Rather, a fragmenting has occurred, and deep fractures have scarred the U.S. culture. We are Polish-American, or African-American, or Spanish-American, or any other hyphenated type of American one can think of. Whole sections within our cities have been known as the Black, Chinese, Italian, German, and even the Bhutanese sections. Within each section, enclave, and neighborhood, the old culture remains in language, customs, and attitudes. Becoming an American means nothing anymore, except to the few that desire citizenship.   

    We hear in the media today that in many large cities, the growing Muslim populations in western nations are forming their own enclaves, and retaining their language, faith, and even bringing their own Sharia Law to govern them.

    Not so with the Body of Christ. The church transcends international borders. In Acts 17:26, we are told that all mankind is of one blood: “And (God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;…”

    Racism stops at the door of the church, but before it stops there, it must be dealt with at the border of every nation, and in the heart of every Believer. Jesus Christ binds Believers together. He Himself is not a respecter of persons, so He is neither a respecter of skin color, nor ethnicity. If He were, the Apostle Phillip would never have been made a deacon (Acts 6:5), neither would Phillip have been teaching in Samaria (Acts 8:5), nor sent to the Ethiopian Eunich to baptize him and teach him God’s Word (Acts 8:27), nor would he and his wife have been blessed with four virgin daughters who had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:8). Obedience to God’s word broadens our horizons, brings blessings to our lives, and to the lives of our families.

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