How will the spirit move? Notice I didn’t ask “IF”… but HOW.
I’m looking for the foundation to shake – as we look at Acts 4:31-33.
How will the spirit move? Notice I didn’t ask “IF”… but HOW.
I’m looking for the foundation to shake – as we look at Acts 4:31-33.
>Ok – so some might think I am nuts for jumping into this – but please bear with me…
For years, the roll of Christians in the public square, particularly in politics has been transformed – In the first century of our nation, preachers boldly preached not only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the clear application of God’s Word on the Christian’s life. Among the many areas these bold preachers would address was politics. Their firm belief was that Christians had a duty to not only vote, but to vote based upon their claimed values.
Early in US History, several state constitutions actually stipulated that elected officials profess Christian faith!
As an example, the Delaware Constitution, Article 22 (adopted Sept. 20, 1776):
Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house,
or appointed to any office or place of trust . . .
shall . . . make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:
“I ________, do profess faith in God the Father,
and in Jesus Christ His only Son,
and in the Holy Ghost, one God, Blessed for evermore;
and I do acknowledge the holy scripture
of the Old and New Testaments to be
given by divine inspiration.”
While the US Constitution later in Article VI forbids such a religious test for state and national officers, the fact is – our early nation saw the importance of faithful people filling the important offices of this country.
Systematically, the Christian values this nation was founded upon have been eroded. We can place the blame on many different factors -but my firm belief is that the primary reason – “Christians” have been more and more willing to ignore the values they claim to hold, instead casting votes based on simple emotion, our pocketbooks, or out of fear.
I have even heard some say, in response to bad governmental leaders, that God ordains leaders (from Romans 13). Unfortunately, this is a cop-out – as God also allowed this nation to be formed as a representative republic -that means that we CHOOSE our leaders. What kind of leaders might we expect to have if we are willing to vote contrary to the very Word of God?
Just look at the Old Testament history of Israel – when they essentially “voted” first to have a worldly “king” just like “everyone else” – then their continued seeking after the world instead of their amazing relationship with God – their leadership just got worse.
Early voting started today in Arkansas for the incredibly important November “mid-term” elections. If ever the vote of committed and unabashed Christians was important, that time is now. I won’t tell anyone, in my official capacity as pastor, who to vote for (though I enjoy such private conversation between friends) – I do unhesitatingly proclaim that we should vote our values. So what are yours? What is most important to you? Where do those running for office stand on your issues? If you fail to ask these questions – then what is the point of voting? More importantly, if you fail to ask these questions, and then vote accordingly – what gives us the right to complain?
>We at Park View will be hosting a premier of the movie “I AM“. The producer of the film and 20th Century Fox chose to premier the movie, not in theaters, but in churches nationwide. Park View was able to be selected as one of the premier sites. Our screening will be at 7:00PM on Friday, October 22. There will be no admission charged, and tickets will not be required to attend.
As a brief review of the film, having just finished watching – this is not your typical movie. This film is engaging, and requires the viewer to actually pay attention to what is going on as the seemingly diverse characters and situations are woven together.
The films essentially depicts the real-live application of God’s Ten Commandments, demonstrating how the rejection of God’s commands results in far-reaching consequences. Each of us make decisions every day that can affect those around us – and even those we don’t even know. Idolatry, greed/covetousness, adultery, murder, false witness, and more are demonstrated. A term to ponder (used in the film) – absolution. Yet real absolution is not and cannot be given by a man. Absolution, the forgiveness for sins, only comes through Christ Jesus – God’s provision for “absolution”, or better- covering of, and forgiveness of our sins. The Great I AM is always near – and will answer when we cry out to Him in real humility and sincerity.
There are some interesting twists in this movie, with an ending that might surprise some, and be somewhat obvious to others – but I will not spoil it for all who plan to see the movie.
This ties rather nicely with this morning’s message – “The Ten Commandments – because He Loves us!” While it is easy to box up the Commandments as just cold rules by an arbitrary God – the truth is, God gave us His Commandments as the first of two parts of His incredible plan to demonstrate His Love for us. God gave us the Commandments that we might know we are sinners – that we fall so very short on our own and need something more. The second part of His plan to demonstrate His love is the work of Jesus Christ in dying on the cross of Calvary to pay the sin debt for the whole world – a Free Gift of Eternal Life for those who believe. But the work was not done – for Christ rose from the dead and lives today, paying the way to our own eternity in Heaven. The sad fact is, many leave His gift unused on the table – rejecting God’s Perfect Gift, instead relying on their own ability or “goodness” – and will spend eternity far removed from the presence of God, an eternity described in God’s Word as Hell and the eventually, the Lake of Fire.
Tonight, the message will continue the series on Jesus Christ, with “The Incredible Jesus!” Come hear how Christ’s character, described in two contrasting illustrations, truly proves the “Incredibleness” (is that really a word?) Jesus!
>I can’t say that I have ever been a believer in “death happens in threes”… but that being said, our church family has been touched by yet two more deaths.
Prayers are extended for the Walter McKamy family. Walter was a former member of Park View, and a very trusted and loved man. His passing has affected many in our church family. Visitation for Bro. McKamy was Friday, and the family had a private memorial on Saturday.
The other is the passing of Sister Ethel Glover, a long-time member of Park View. Prayers for her family, friends and extended family, for comfort of hurting hearts, for strengthening of family bonds, and ultimately – for God’s Glory to be shown through it all. Visitation will be at Noon on Monday, October 11, with the funeral to follow at 1:00PM at Park View Baptist Church. Bro. Rick Bowlan will officiate.
While hearts ache for the loved ones lost to us, we also have to celebrate the ultimate victory that Sister Glover, and Brother McKamy are now partakers of – both the physical battles they both so valiantly fought, but for their Homecoming into their Savior’s Arms. I pray that the family and friends of these loved ones will be able to take comfort in this reality – and that a glad reunion day is coming for all who know Christ as Savior!
>Condolences to David and Sandra Wilson, and many prayers for them and their family, on the passing of David’s mother on Friday, October 2. I know they all need encouragement and prayers.
Also, for several others among our congregation who are facing various difficulties, from medical, to emotional, financial, and spiritual, many prayers are needed. I won’t list them here, but the Lord knows their needs.
And finally, for myself. I am always hesitant to request prayers for my own needs – partially because of the fact that I am a man, and much like the stereotypical male, I don’t like to ask for help (a sign of weakness?), and partially because I want to “take care of it myself”. This is obviously wrong-headed. After all, seeking help, especially Divine help, is the doorway to Eternal Life. But far too often, we (I), tend to forget God’s directive to carry everything to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6). But I have come to a point that I cannot deny that I need help – and the prayers of others.
In a previous post, I listed a few things that are weighing heavily on my heart. One that I didn’t mention is the apparent unintentional damaging of a relationship with a brother and sister in Christ. I believe that the biblical avenue towards restoration is through a contrite heart, sincere humility, and loving presentation of the truth, all in a spirit of reconciliation. Unfortunately, the damage resulting from a misunderstanding and misinterpreting of something said is often done long before any explanation or reality can be. I have placed the whole issue now in the Lord’s more than capable hands, yet I am still burdened with what I might still could do to reconcile. I hold on to the promise of Philippians 4:13.
>dictionaryI live life with a head full of thoughts. I know I’m not alone in this, but still – so much floods my mind. First, I see the great things God has been doing recently here at Park View – from the additions by letter and by baptism, to the incredibly supportive people who continue to encourage me as we all grow in Christ.
But at the same time, this is all somewhat tempered by so many other things – from my Father-In-Law, who as am typing this post is at his first visit with the Oncologist for the lymphoma he was recently diagnosed with. I see my wife who is trying her best to be strong, keeping a smile and positive attitude, though she can be read like a book – her concern is quite evident. I see my Mother-In-Law who has never really had to deal with this kind of situation, and really isn’t sure how to feel or act, though the deep concern is quite evident. And I see my daughters who are both too young to really grasp what is going on with their Papaw. To be totally honest, this is really my first time dealing with cancer in the immediate family. I find my mind wandering around, grasping for answers.
Then… I remember so clearly what God has promised – that He will work all things to the good of those who love Him. We may never (at least while on this earth) truly grasp why these things happen to US, but one thing is certain – God can and will use all to His glory and for our benefit. I also remind myself each and every day that God is firmly in control – nothing happens outside of His will – either directly, or by His permission. I read a sign on another church the other day that really kind of sums it up: “Worrying is a waste of time because God is in control”. How truth that is!
Yet another thing on my mind – something that really is a regular part of my thoughts… is why people do what they do, and act they way they act. While I can grasp how people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can freely and unapologetically make really bad decisions and do bad things. What amazes me is how some who profess such a relationship can also do some of the very same things, say some of the nastiest things, and make decisions that are made without looking to God and the influence of the Holy Spirit.
And the final two things for this entry:
Addicted – look it up in the dictionary. Sunday morning, I will preach from 1 Corinthians 16 – leading up to what we SHOULD be addicted too. I hope you can join us for worship and preaching! Also – we have prayer at 9:30am, Devotional at 9:45am, and Sunday school for all agest from 10-10:45am. Park View Kids program runs from 9:45am – Noon for ages 3-12, and a nursery is available.
And Finally – Tomorrow (Saturday, September 25), we are having a Rummage Sale. We have an amazing assortment of items – from children-adult clothing, electronics, collectibles, furniture, kitchen stuff, technology, and so much more – all for very low prices (and most prices are negotiable!). We are located at 900 Donovan Briley Blvd., North Little Rock, AR 72118900 Donovan Briley Blvd. North Little Rock, AR.
And as always – visit our web site: http://www.parkviewonline.org
Have a blessed day!
>The Lord works in amazing ways! I won’t go into all the things on my heart – but things just were so special today. King Agrippa was the character of choice for illustrating how so many in the world hear the Gospel, but never actually respond – the proverbial “missed heaven by ‘THIS’ much…”. It really brought me back to so many experiences in my own life, when I heard the Gospel preached clearly – and how I even may have had some “emotional connection” to the words, but unfortunately didn’t fully accept them – how I too spent many years “nearly convinced to become a Christian”. This all caused me to be overwhelmed with joy, that God didn’t give up on me – that His forbearance and longsuffering continued until that fatefully day when He once again, via the Holy Spirit, touched my heart with the wonderful Gospel!