Saturday 23 September 2017

22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. – John 16:22

 

Jesus’ friends are heartbroken over His impending death. In the midst of their agony, Jesus assures them that their sorrow is temporary. Are you going through a time of sadness, sorrow and grief? I promise you that your grief is temporary. Jesus is entering into your trial. Feel Him holding you, comforting you and restoring your joy and your peace. No matter the trials we experience no one can ever take away our joy because our deep happiness comes from Jesus, the source of all life and joy.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Friday 22 September 2017

They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. – John 16:1

 

Shortly before His arrest, Jesus warns His followers that they will encounter people who believe that harming others offers a service to God. Throughout human history religion has brought harm to people. But from the beginning of human history Faith has been elevating, restoring, rescuing and embracing all people by offering love that is unconditional. Anything less than love offered freely by God’s people is never a service to God who offers us the ultimate service – the gift of His only Son so that we may enjoy lives of love that last forever.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Thursday 21 September 2017

22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord. – Exodus 35:22

 

To build the Lord’s tabernacle required gold and precious jewels. Neither God nor Moses pressured the Israelites to give to the Tabernacle building project. Giving was to be done by those willing to make an offering. This shows us that God is not religious. Religion and Faith are very different. Religion which guilts people into giving. Faith offers opportunities for giving. Jesus invites us to give our love, trust and dedication to Him not because we have to but so we can enjoy a life that is satisfying and joyful. Praise God that the Christian Faith is not religious!

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Wednesday 20 September 2017

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13

 

My Grandpa Hanse always gave me good advice. Most times his advice was easy to take. But sometimes I didn’t like it. When I followed his counsel, things went well. When I didn’t, I got in trouble. The Holy Spirit of truth spoke through my Grandfather to guide me. Because Jesus is with us, we are never left to figure things out on our own. Whenever you don’t know what to do, where to turn or which way to go, please know that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and guiding you through faithful people whose wise counsel is keeping you in the guiding care of Jesus.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Tuesday 19 September 2017

19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. – Exodus 33:19

 

As God and Moses grow their friendship, Moses desperately wants to see God. The Lord promises to show Himself to Moses. Before disclosing His presence to Moses, God reveals that He shows mercy and compassion. God often reveals Himself to us through the mercy and compassion we receive from others. My Gramma told me a story of how my Dad invited to his sixth-grade dance, a girl who was shunned by most everyone. They had a fun time together. What a beautiful picture of God’s compassionate mercy. For whom can you be the mercy and compassion of Jesus today?

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Monday 18 September 2017

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. – Exodus 33:7a, 11a

 

The first special center for worshiping God was a tent. Moses sets up a special tent meant for meeting God. In this tent, God spoke to Moses as one speaks to a friend. In the tent of meeting God and Moses develop a close and lasting friendship. A tent of meeting is the special place where we go to speak with, listen to and enjoy Jesus’ presence. When we set aside a place and a time for being with Jesus, He will speak to us as one speaks to a friend. Please spend some time in your tent of meeting today, and feel Jesus speaking with you, His close friend.

 

Affectionately,

Ric