Saturday, April 25, 2015


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Throughout yesterday, the media kept updating their information on a major earthquake in
Nepal, Asia. Within a few hours, the death toll rose from 600 to over 1,100 people who lost their lives in the quake, and its aftershocks. I’m sure that by the time you read this, the death toll will be much greater.  Relief organizations from around the world have mobilized to get aid to those in that region.

    Besides the initial quake, and its 23 aftershocks (many of which were in excess of 5.0 on the Richter Scale), what the media did not cover, were the 24 OTHER earthquakes that occurred around the globe on Saturday, April 25th. From Nepal, to the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal, to the Dominican Republic, to Oklahoma, California, and Alaska, the US Geological Survey reported four dozen earthquakes in a single day, and that was just by noon, local time.

    Jesus told us that earthquakes in diverse places were but one of the “signs” of the Last Days. When we see these signs and others, we are told to look up, for our salvation (Jesus) draws near. Many people both churched and non-churched are asking what all these signs mean; they sense that something is up, and maybe they’ve heard of Christians talking of that blessed hope, Who keeps us through all our trials.

    The environmentalists speculate about what “Mother Earth” is trying to tell us, but Believers know what God has already told us. Some day the Earth and its heavens will flee from the face of the Lord and there will be no place found for them anymore (Rev 20:11). Every mountain and island will be moved out of its place [Rev. 6:14 (Mt. Everest, and many islands were shaken yesterday!)], and that the stars and planets will be dissolved, and the heavens will be rolled up as a scroll. (Isaiah 34:4). This cataclysmic event(s) will change everything as God prepares for the White Throne (Final) Judgment. (Mt. Everest and many islands were shaken yesterday!)

    The beginning of sorrows started with wars and rumors of wars, with Jesus assuring us, “…but the end is not yet.” But make no mistake; God’s plan is unfolding every day. “Looking up” has a two-fold purpose: First, we look up to see Jesus coming in the clouds as we are taught in Acts 1. That He is coming reminds us to be ready, and welcoming, anticipating the great joy that will overwhelm us, with hope fulfilled, and faith turning to sight. Second, looking up takes our focus off the things that are happening around us to the places we love. Look UP!... so that we are not turning back longingly to what is left behind, as Lot’s wife did. We see Lot and his family; we see Noah and his family, and we see the possibility facing the Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:30), “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy (whole) house.” All are types of the Rapture!

    Believers will escape the Great Tribulation. Others will go through it. But all who endure to the end shall be saved.

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts
of peace, and not of evil, to bring you to an expected end.”  ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Delight In God's Word

by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In our reading this morning, we find God speaking to David, to the Jews, and to every Believer, that He will be faithful to His own.  It is a covenant statement.

We tend to equate righteousness with holiness, faithfulness, obedience, and devout, unwavering faith.  When we see these outward qualities in an individual, we often wish for that kind of walk with the Lord.  And though that may be mankind's definition of righteousness, it cannot be God's definition , for God does not look upon the outward appearances, but sees the inward heart.

King David was less than holy, faithful, obedient, devout, and did not possess an unwavering faith.  The same can be said of the Jews overall, and most certainly of New Testament Believers also.  The scriptures are clear:  "There is none righteous, no not one."  - Romans 3:10; "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23

We conclude then, that righteousness belongs only to the Lord God, and it is somehow entrenched with His glory.

In Psalm 112:1 & 3, it tells us "Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments... ( the man's) righteousness endureth forever."  Somhow then, God has the ability, and the desire to share His righteousness with any who fear Him, and delight in His commandments.

Someone who does not delight in God's commandments surely will not fear Him, nor respect  His word.  So now, it is of David, of the Jews, and of the Church that we must examine:  Do any delight in God's commandments?  Do we hang on every word of God?  Do we honor and respect Him in that way, and find ourselves more delighted in His will rather than our own?

If you and I are feeling convicted, and guilty, and find ourselves falling short, then take heart dear Believer.  For God also delights in a few things too!  He delights in mercy and grace, and offers forgiveness to any who ask it.

"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?  He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy."  - Micah 7:8

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."  - Hebrews 4:16


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jesus: God of the Impossible!

by Pastor Bob Lawrenz
This week as I gathered my thoughts about what to teach on Resurrection Day, I was blessed to see something come clearly into view that I think we all take by faith, and also take for granted:

Though we’ve learned the story of redemption from the Gospels, and gleaned much from the Old Testament about God’s plan of Salvation, Jesus’ life remains to be an incomprehensible impossibility according to human understanding.

    The ancient gods of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome interacted with humans, but for the most part, they stayed either separate, or aloof from mere mortals. Jesus is unique because He willingly became what He created (Col. 1)

    His Virgin birth? Impossible. His possession of knowledge to teach the scribes and Pharisees? Impossible. His teachings of the same scriptures as the Pharisees, but with grace and authority? Impossible. To heal with a simple touch? Impossible. To heal remotely by the word of His mouth, without any touch at all. Impossible. To feed more than 5,000 with two fish, and five loaves of bread? Impossible. To walk on water? Impossible. To heal a withered hand, make the dumb hear, the blind see, and the mute to speak? All impossible.

     To raise the dead? Impossible. To look beyond the cross, for the joy that lay ahead? Impossible. To go willingly to the cross? Impossible. To dismiss His own spirit? Impossible. To raise Himself up out of a tomb? Impossible. To raise Himself up bodily and be take into a cloud? Impossible.

    A young Virgin, Mary, thought what God had the Angel say to her was impossible. To give birth without knowing a man? Impossible. But from those first words of the Angel Gabriel, we read what Matthew recorded so long ago for us: “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”  (Lk. 1:37)

    Jesus is the God of the impossible. If He did all those things for the Tribes of Israel, can you imagine what He will do for His own Church? If He did all those things for doubters, skeptics, and non-believers, can you then imagine what He might do for you and for me? If only we would ask!

    But it sounds all the more impossible, doesn’t it? Miracles, just for the asking…  

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, 
that your joy may be full.”    - John 16:24

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