Trusting God In a Changing World

By Pastor Dorrell

Crown of thorns

It’s amazing sometime how quickly life can change. We live in a face-paced and busy world, and the life we live can be very unpredictable. Circumstances can change, people can change, and of course we all know how quickly the weather can change. But, with sudden change often comes a sense of uncertainty or insecurity. For the most part, people like things to be the same and to know what to expect. When circumstances or people rock our world, we often worry and fret, or—even worse—we become angry and unhappy.

The 7 Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

By Jesse Becker

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A person’s dying words are often some of the most important words a person will say. There are seven last words of Jesus recorded for us in scripture. Nothing Jesus ever said was trite or insignificant, but these seven sayings hold some very precious truths for us.

Father, Forgive Them

Luke 23:34

The forgiveness of sin was the purpose of Christ’s death on the cross. The soldiers who drove the nails into His hands and feet and who cast lots to claim His garments were for the most part ignorant of whom they were dealing with. They probably thought of Him as just another criminal. But in spite of their ignorance, Jesus wanted them to be forgiven, too. What a tremendous picture of God’s mercy, grace, and compassion. God has forgiven us of our sins, also. Let us be careful not to take such a gift for granted.

To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Luke 23:43

There is a powerful truth in this statement given by Jesus to the criminal on the cross next to Him. The criminal believed who Jesus was when in faith he asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus would enter His kingdom. Jesus’ response tells us that there is no other way to be saved than faith. The criminal had no chance to get baptized, give money to the church, feed the poor, or deny himself in any way. He had no other recourse than to fully trust in Jesus. And that is the place anyone must come to be forgiven and saved from their sin—an all out faith in Jesus and Jesus alone.

Woman, behold thy son! Behold thy mother!

John 19:26, 27

In this moment we see two things. First, Jesus was a caring a responsible individual who took great care of those He loved. His mother would no longer have Him physically near to take care of her needs, so Jesus saw to her wellbeing by giving her to John. Second, Jesus’ relationship with Mary was going to be different now. Jesus had been her son for 33 years, but now He would be her Savior for eternity. Mary was blessed to have birthed the Son of God, but she was as much in need of a Savior as any other person ever born. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world including yours and mine.

My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken me?

Mathew 27:46

Perhaps this was the agonizing punishment that Jesus was dreading the most. Never in all eternity had Jesus and God been apart. The Holy God had to separate Himself from His only Son, because at that moment Jesus became sin for us, and God could not fellowship with sin. Because of that moment, we can fellowship with God by believing that Jesus died for us.

I thirst.

John 19:28

Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. There can be no doubt that Jesus was physically exhausted. His human body would have been in great need of many things including a great thirst. But some time before, He told the woman at the well that if any man thirst for God they need to drink the Living Water. It may be that Jesus at this moment of separation from God knew for the first time what it was to thirst for God. Jesus knew all our sin and all its consequences including the void that exists in the heart that cannot fellowship with God. Jesus thirsted so we would never have to thirst again.

It is finished.

John 19:30

What an incredibly important statement. Finished. Complete. Paid in full. Jesus satisfied the holiness of God so that the wrath of God would be spared. It is impossible to fully grasp what Jesus did for us. If we could even comprehend the desolation of our own sinful hearts we could begin to understand, but we can’t even do that. How can we ever appreciate something so vast? As far as the east is from the west, that is how far He has removed our iniquity. It is finished. There is nothing left for you or me to do. It was finished on the cross.

Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.

Luke 23:46

Jesus was absolutely alone on the cross. None of His friends or disciples were up there with Him. God had turned His back on His Son. Darkness cloaked Calvary’s hill. He was alone. Then Jesus said this with a loud voice, perhaps in desperation for God to hear, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” He felt that He must yell these words because God was so far from Him. Then Jesus was silent. He laid down His life and gave up the ghost. He had fully obeyed and done the work of His Father, and now He trusted His spirit into His Father’s care believing that God would raise Him from the dead.

God’s plan of salvation is so wonderful and so amazing. Everything Jesus said on the cross helps us appreciate what He went through for us. Then to think that it was all done because God so loved the world—because God so loved me—my heart is filled with gratitude and worship.

Thomas – Friend of Jesus

By Carol Becker

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While writing the script for this Easter’s dramatization I knew I wanted to study the life of Thomas. You see, I think if most of us are honest, we see ourselves in Thomas maybe more than any other character in the resurrection story. What comes to mind when you hear Thomas’ name? We all know Thomas’ label – doubter…doubting Thomas. He earned this reputation based on one incident in his life. I’m not sure that we should be so quick to label others. A label dismisses a person’s other positive character traits and diminishes the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in their life. A negative label defines and devalues a soul for whom Jesus gave His life, a soul He loves. I spent many hours reading about Thomas and studying the different times he is mentioned in the Scriptures, and I found out there was a lot more to the man Thomas than just one label.

God’s Word records three separate times that Thomas speaks. We can learn much from the life of Thomas and his relationship with Christ.  

Mary Magdalene – Lessons from a Servant’s Heart

By Carol Becker

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Who was Mary Magdalene? We do not know much about her past. Luke 8:2 does mention Jesus had healed her from evil spirits and infirmities, but that is about all we know. What we do know is that was her past; it was her old life. It did not look anything like her new life in Christ. Once she believed on Jesus her past no longer dictated her future. Thankfulness now filled her heart, and Mary desired to serve the Lord. She served her Lord because of her love for Him. We can learn some important truths from Mary’s heart of service.

Mary – Surviving the Sword

By Carol Becker

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Luke 2:34-35

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his Mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

3 Parts of a Worshipping Heart

By Jesse Becker

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Many people followed Jesus to varying degrees while He was on earth. There were the multitudes who were curious. There were the sick, blind, and lame who needed healing. There were some who Jesus specifically chose the follow Him so He could teach them and prepare them for ministry. And then there were a few who left all they knew and all they had just to be near the Master. They lived a life of worship for their Lord. What drove them to live that way?

Slow Down, and Live!

By Jim Ramsey

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What a busy world I enjoy! (or maybe, endure!) I often jokingly tell our seniors: “Life sure gets a lot more simple at our ‘life stage doesn’t it!’” NOT! Truth is, at the age of 65+ it seems like my Daily Planner is more crowded than ever.

I was thinking of an activity that was obviously not a part of Jesus’ life as seen in the New Testament: HE never RAN anywhere! Yet HE was always where HE needed to be when HE needed to be. Could it be that if HE is my Guide in life that I might need to slow down in order to live the abundant life HE wants for me? “Abundant” can be full without being fast!

Reasons to Direct our Thinking – Part 2

By Pastor Troy Dorrell

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The Bible teaches us that we are to direct our thinking toward those things that honor God and are good for us. Part of the reason for this is that our thinking takes us somewhere. When we direct and align our thinking with the Bible and wisdom, we find life and peace. However, when we allow our thinking to become negative and worldly, we discover outcomes that diminish us and hurt others.

Reasons to Direct our Thinking Part 1

By Pastor Dorrell

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A number of years ago, we had a skunk problem at our house. Our home backs up to a field that (at that time) had a large population of the odoriferous creatures. Well, a number of them decided to take up residence under the deck in our back yard. We probably would have been willing to share our deck with them, except whenever they felt threatened or the mood hit them – they would utilize the defensive mechanism God placed within them, and they would assault us with their noxious, foul-smelling spray. They did this often enough that our house was beginning to take on the aroma of our uninvited guests. One night, when Teri and I were coming home from an emergency 2am hospital visit, we met and unintentionally cornered one of the little creatures on the back deck next to the door entering our house. He sprayed us both at point blank range. The clothes we were wearing, the Bible I was carrying, and my wife’s purse and all its contents ALL had to be disposed of because of the early-morning attack. For weeks, we continued to live unhappily with the skunks and with the smell they emanated. During that time, we tried to cope the best we could. We tried to minimize the effects with candles and air fresheners. Most of the time, we just tried to ignore it.

Wiser than the Wisest: A Lesson on Trust

By Angel Meléndez

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The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks – Proverbs 30:26

A few days ago our 10 month old son, James, was running away from my wife’s giant exercise ball. For some strange reason, James did not want to be near the ball and quickly crawled away when he looked at it. We thought it was probably because the ball was bigger than him, but, one day I took James with me to where the ball was to demonstrate that the ball was inoffensive. To my surprise, he was not scared anymore with the giant ball. The reason was simple: Although the ball was bigger than him, Daddy was bigger than the ball, and he was with Daddy.