Sunday, April 23, 2017

    In April we think of showers of blessings. Let me encourage you to be a blessing to someone today. That is not a hard request, as we should be constantly looking for ways to lift others and help meet needs. Never forget those who have helped you along life's road. Be grateful and appreciative for helping hands and concerned hearts.

    The song, "Count Your Blessing" is extra special advice for all of us. Those who are discouraged and downcast would do well to begin this practice. Often we allow a very small inconvenience to rob us of joy by majoring on one bitter morsel in the midst of a banquet. This side of heaven we will never achieve perfection in any way; yet there is much for which we can rejoice. The old adage regarding your glass being half-full or half-empty certainly applies.

    Having stated the above, let's encourage one another to look to Christ and realize the heavenly blessings that are ours. Look within and feel the satisfaction of a redeemed soul and look around to see the bounty of blessings brought from the lives of others.

    As we pillow our heads this night, may our day have been filled with efforts to bring a measure of joy and encouragement into the lives of others. Remember, giving carries more blessing than receiving since it is the person who gives who gets to enjoy being a blessing to others. It is exciting to receive blessings, but it is a great deal more exciting to be a blessing. Look about you today and bring joy to someone. You will be glad you did.

 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

    My earliest memories of Easter includes new spring outfits, ladies' broad-rimmed hats, attending church and Sunday school, and the feeling that in some way this day contained some kind of special ingredient that made it different from all the rest of the days of the year. It was only after I was saved and began to realize what God had done for me though Christ, that I understood the real meaning of this day we call Easter. On this special day we bow in gratitude and admiration at the feet of our risen Savior.

    Easter Sunday is really resurrection Sunday. Like most of the precious things of our spiritual life, the devil has perverted Easter from a holy day to a day of diversion. Satan is too smart to attempt to discredit the resurrection on a large scale. His tactic is to substitute appealing, fleshly things in place of spiritual truth. So while the core of dedicated, born-again believers observe the empty tomb, Satan will have the majority of the world's religion bowing to nature, materialism, secular traditions, and meaningless ceremonies.

    The resurrection is the cornerstone of all our belief and the foundation of our salvation. Today as we sing songs of the resurrection, hear the teaching of the empty tomb, and listen  to messages concerning our living Savior... we should rejoice in the fact that... He lives!

 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

    The work of Christ has always been at odds with the world system designed by Satan. Satan has sought to counteract God's influence on people by providing alternatives that attract and entangle individuals. Once Satan's bait has been taken, he will provide illegitimate ways to satisfy legitimate appetites, thus entrapping people into a life of slavery to sin.

    God stresses the sanctity of the body with principles of modesty in dress. Satan's system has its fashion world with a totally different agenda. God originated the home as a union between a man and a woman. Satan's system has consistently attacked this institution through perversion. God's standard for success is centered in man's relationship and fellowship with His Creator while Satan projects success as the acquisition of the Creation.

    The list is endless and the contrast is apparent. Perhaps the most marked of all these differences is God's plan to lift men to a place of strength and then have them use their strength to serve Him and others. Satan's system will tear man down, destroy his capabilities and prevent him from thinking of others by focusing all energy and effort on self-gratification.

    Today we honor those who have discovered the true blessing of servant leadership. God's plan is amazing in that everyone profits from the life of a servant. The principle is to die to self and let Christ live in these mortal bodies as though He was on this earth. A selfless lifestyle will reveal Christ to a lost, selfish world. The contrast is so vivid that it cannot be overlooked. A true Christian is refreshing to a thirsty world and his presence demands a response.

    I am grateful for many people at Fairview who live for the Savior and for others. There is true joy in being a servant.

 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

    The advent of spring is all about us. Flowers blooming, trees leafing out and warmer days all promise a new beginning. These wonderful sings of nature remind me that life is a series of new beginnings. Often we grow cold and unresponsive to the spiritual life our Lord has for us. We lose the joy and beauty of our testimony. Spiritual vibrancy and signs of life are distant memories. Yet, just as the sunshine of spring seems to return the earth to productivity and beauty, so the Son of God can awaken our cold hearts and give true spiritual meaning to our lives.

    We all need a periodic resurrection. The death of winter gives rise to the life of spring. This is a great time to shake off the bitter cold of our lives and replace it with new life in Christ. Here are a few suggestions that may help.

  • Start a new Bible study or reading schedule.
  • Commit to a new start in church attendance.
  • Ask God for a new burden for souls.
  • Select a new project or ministry.
  • Make an effort to meet and help a new family.
  • Give yourself a new goal for giving.
  • Take a new approach to time management.
  • Develop new ways to use your home to encourage others.
  • Plant some new seeds of kindness in someone who is discouraged.
  • Learn a new chorus.
  • Read a new book with a Christian emphasis.
  • Cast off an old, bad habit and replace it with a new activity.

    The above suggestions can be added to or altered, but the idea of starting new is essential to all of us. If we all spent a bit of time thinking "spring" in our souls, it would be amazing how beautiful and productive our church would become.

 
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