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Friday, March 30, 2007

Four-Fold Development

I read this verse this morning in my Bible:

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:52)

Jesus was and is the Son of God, but He was also the Son of man. He was just as much man as He was God. As such, we can learn much about humanity by studying this most perfect human Who ever lived. In Luke 2:52, we are taught that Jesus developed in four ways - wisdom (mental development), stature (physical development), favour with God (spiritual development) and favour with man (social development).

To let any of these areas languish... to ignore our health in any of these areas, is to be less than God wants us to be.

Which area is in need of attention in your life, this morning?
  1. Do you need to spend some time working on mental development? Reading, studying, learning something new. Keeping your mind fresh and active is important for your overall health. Read your Bible, even just a few verses everyday. It will stimulate your mind and help you to grow mentally.
  2. How about your physical development. Some of us could use more help here than others. Physical exercise is important to overall health. Walk, jog, exercise.
  3. What about your social health? We need time with each other, whether it's at home, at work, among friends and neighbors, or with a group of Christians in a local church. We need each other.
  4. And of course, what about your spiritual health? How are you and God? Are you growing daily in favor with God? Sadly, many neglect this crucial aspect of life. Do you know Christ? And if you know Him, are you growing daily in Him?
If you neglect any of these four areas, you are less healthy than God wants you to be. Will you determine today to "increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man?"

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Flowers! Flowers!

In his sermon entitled "Easter Joy," T. DeWitt Talmage said:
Hail! Easter morning. Flowers! flowers! All of them a-voice, all of them a-tongue, all of them full of speech today. I bend over one of the lilies and I hear it say: 'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.' I bend over a rose, and it seems to whisper: 'I am the Rose of Sharon.' And then I stand and listen. From all sides there comes the chorus of flowers, saying: 'If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?'
As you view the ever increasing beauty of the flowers this spring time day, listen to them - they speak of our God and Savior.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

All things new

As I walked into work this morning, I couldn't help but reflect on this wonderful time of year called spring. A perky gray squirrel bantered about on the lawn outside my office, and a stunningly bright red cardinal watched me from a budding bush just outside my door. This time of year LIFE is everywhere, isn't it? Lawns are greening up, trees and plants are budding, flowers are straining upward toward the sun, animals which have lain low through the cold months of winter are basking in the warmth of spring. It is a wonderful time. A time when everything feels new.

The Bible says that when a person becomes a Christian, they experience just such a renewal.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

To be a Christian is to have sins forgiven and forgotten by God. Whatever you've done in the past - forgiven and forgotten and done away with.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

Have you experienced the new life that is available in Christ? Have you flown to Christ and sought salvation? If so, everything is new. Rejoice in it. If not, I pray that every breath of spring encourages you to seek it today.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What has God done for you?

And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel. (Genesis 35:15)
I came across this chapter this morning in my daily Bible time. I noticed that this chapter is filled with tragedy in Jacob's life - tragedy that started in the previous chapter (Genesis 34:30) , where Jacob's sons made a choice which ruined Jacob's reputation among his neighbors. Tragedy continued then, as Jacob buried his mother's nurse under an oak tree (Genesis 35:8) , losing perhaps the only tie he had had with his mother for many years. Tragedy continued as his beloved wife Rachel died giving birth to a son (Genesis 35:19), and continued yet again when Jacob, after years of separation, arrived at his father Isaac's bedside only to have him die, too (Genesis 35:29).

Jacob was going through valley after valley.

Have you been there? Have you had times in your life where nothing seemed to go right, when every prayer seemed to bounce from the ceiling, and when every situation was bleak?

Well, the good news is, there is more than tragedy in this chapter. Notice also how prominent a role God played in Genesis 35. Jacob spent some time here remembering what God had done for him in the past - he went back to Bethel, the scene of a wonderful experience with God in his past. He spent some time worshipping God, and He spent some time listening to the promises God had for his future.

May I suggest, my friend, that when "Genesis 35's" occur in your life, try Jacob's 3-fold solution:
  1. Go back to Bethel - remember how God has always taken care of you in the past. What has God done for you?
  2. Worship God - no matter what is going on in your life, worship God.
  3. Listen to God - get into His Word and see the promises He has for you. Promises like "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Recently, we had a "Hurry Up Spring" and "Welcome New Friends" party at the church. We were trying to make spring come a little quicker. And, we have some new faces at Randolph Christian Church, and we wanted to get to know each other a little better. So we played some games, ate some pizza, and just spent some fun time together.

As I sat at the Trivial Pursuit table with some dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I found that I am not very good at Trivial Pursuit. So much so that one person at the table took to indicating my lack of prowess by making the letter "L" with her hand in front of her forehead everytime I failed to answer correctly. Soon everyone at the table was joining in the chorus, making the "L" and chanting LOSER to me.

It's only mildly annoying to be a loser at a game like Trivial Pursuit. But what about being a loser in life? There is an interesting Bible verse that describes those who, spiritually, have a big "L" in front of their forehead:
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)
Many today are concentrating on the wrong things. Success in the business world means nothing if you lose your soul. Success in relationships, friends, money, education, worldly influence... all nothing if you lose your soul and spend eternity in hell.

How is your soul, my friend?

Your own personal RSS feed

Did you know that the daily devotional posted on this site can be delivered right to you? If you are familiar with RSS feeds, then you know that you can subscribe to this website and your RSS reader will receive the daily postings automatically. Pretty cool technology, huh?

Well, what's even more interesting is that God's Word provides a similar function. Every day you can pick up your own copy of God's Word, spend a few minutes in it, and God will deliver it right to your heart. You don't need the internet, and you don't need an RSS reader - you just need your Bible.

Have you read your's today?

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 109:105)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What manner of Man is this?

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:41)
Here is the great question of the ages. Have you considered it, my friend? The disciples asked it of each other when this man, Jesus, stood up in their boat and spoke to a raging storm which threatened their lives on the Sea of Galilee. At His word, the storm ceased, and became a great calm. The disciples were astonished, as no doubt you and I would be if we saw such a thing. They asked, "What manner of man is this?"

Consider this man who healed the sick, made the lame to walk, gave sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. He fed the poor and needy, and clothed the naked. He restored the mentally ill to health, and even raised the dead. When we consider this Man, we cannot help but cry out as the disciples "What manner of man is this?" And if we consider Him, we cannot help but think as the centurion did at the foot of His cross, "Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:54)

Here is the truly amazing thing, though. This Man, Jesus Christ, loves you, and wants to be with you forever. He came into this world to save you, and to give you eternal life. "What manner of man is this" you ask? He is the Man who loved you and gave His life to save you, if you will just believe in Him.

Will you trust Him today?

Monday, March 19, 2007

If we confess our sin

"Sin has ruined men, ruined women, ruined angels. Sin has occasioned every tear of sorrow, every sigh of grief, every pang of agony. Sin has withered everything that is fair, blasted everything that is good, made bitter everything that is sweet, dried up springs of comfort, rolled far and wide tides of sorrow. Sin has digged every grave, built every coffin, woven every shroud, enlarged every cemetery that the world has ever seen." (Evangelist Robert G. Lee, Heart to Heart).
It is not a popular topic, but it is so needed. We all struggle daily with sin. And we all need to recognize that sin is the source of most, if not all, of our problems in life. Understanding that "all have sinned" is the first step in becoming a Christian.

But here is the good news, my friend. God wants to forgive your sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." (1 John 1:9) The psalmist recognized "But there is forgiveness with thee..." (Psalm 130:4)

No matter what sin you may be wrestling with in your life, go to Jesus - there is forgiveness with Him.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Don't forget our fellowship this evening at 7:30 at the church. Pizza, fun, games, and being with God's people - what could be better than that?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spiritual Gifts - Are you using yours?

This past Lord's Day, we discussed some truths about spiritual gifts. One primary truth that came out of that study is this - if you are a believer, you have at least one spiritual gift!
"A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church." (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT)
So I wonder, Christian, do you know what your spiritual gift is? Paul told Timothy, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." (1 Timothy 4:14) In other words, Paul was telling Timothy that he had a gift, and he should be using it! May I suggest a couple of things you might want to do?
  1. Make it a matter of prayer to learn what the Holy Spirit has gifted you to do.
  2. Make it a matter of discipline to exercise that gift for the glory of God and the good of His church.
  3. Focus on that gift in your efforts for God. If the Holy Spirit has gifted you in one particular area, concentrate on that area. Don't burn out by working in a whole lot of areas where you are not gifted. I realize that means some things might not get done in the church, but let's leave that up to God. He will provide gifted people everywhere He needs them. Our responsibility is to focus on the gift(s) He gives us.
We have additional resources available that can help you in seeking and exercising your spiritual gifts. Contact the church if you would like to explore this further.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My sheep

I read these words of our Lord today, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)

What a great reminder of the order of things. If you would be his sheep... if you would have a relationship with Christ... if you would be a Christian, then the order needs to be as described in that verse.

You must hear His voice. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) If you want to learn about Jesus, you have to go to His Word - the Bible. Everything you need to know about Him is in that Book - read it, and find Christ. Read it and hear His voice.

You must have a relationship with Him. "I know them." Knowing Christ is defined in various ways in the Bible - believing, trusting, accepting, calling upon Him. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." "For whosoever shall call up on the name of the Lord shall be saved." You cannot skip this step, friend. How beautiful to consider that you can have such a relationship with the God of all that is. How terrible to be in that other group which Jesus described in Matthew 7:23, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Finally, you must follow Him. Live according to His example. Obey His commandments and teachings. Grow daily in your knowledge of Him and in His grace. Daily become more and more like Him.

Are you one of His sheep?

Monday, March 12, 2007

What's happening this week

Keep your eye on the calendar this week. There are a couple of important things coming up!

Wednesday - Elders and Deacons meeting at the church
Friday - "Hurry Up Spring" and "Welcome New Friends" party
Sunday - Ben Walker from the Haven of Rest will be presenting that ministry in our morning worship service.

Friday, March 9, 2007

And he died...

In my Bible study today, I came across Genesis 5. This is one of those chapters that we are often tempted to skim over when reading God's Word, for it contains a long list of names. However, I always find this chapter interesting, for there is a phrase that is repeated multiple times, and that phrase is "and he died." Check it out in your copy of the Word - how many times does God say, "and he died" in that chapter? It is an interesting reminder, isn't it, that we all have an appointment with death. The writer to the Hebrews put it this way, "... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) We all face this appointment, as well as the judgment that comes thereafter.

May I ask you, my friend, are you ready for that appointment? Christians need not fear it, for we have the promise that it is but a stepping stone to eternal life with Christ.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The law of God... is it in your heart?

Do you read your Bible every day? I encourage you to do so, for a Christian can only be as close to God as he or she is to the Bible. It is from the Bible that we get everything we know about God, and it is the Bible that teaches us, as Christians, how best to live. The Bible contains God's wisdom and God's ways. It is God's will for your life in printed form.

This morning, as I read my copy of God's Word, I came across Psalm 37, and found these words: "The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip." (Psalm 37:30-31 NIV)

I was immediately reminded that when we have the Bible ("the law of God") in our heart, it will show up in our speech, and in our actions. If you struggle with saying things you wish you didn't say, spend some time in your Bible. For if you do so, if you allow the "law of God to be in your heart" your "mouth will utter wisdom" and your "tongue will speak what is just." Fill your heart with God's Word, and God's Word will come out in your speech. Not only that, but your actions and choices will improve, your "feet will not slip."

Have you read your Bible today? I encourage you to make it a habit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What Do You Believe?

May I ask you a question? Imagine that a total stranger approached you in the street, looked deep into your eyes, and asked "What do you believe?" Are you imagining it? How would you answer this person? Can you explain what you believe? People enter church buildings every Sunday morning. But how many Christians can explain WHY they do it? Surprisingly few church attenders can adequately explain what they believe.

According to Leadership Journal, 90% of new members will stay in the church if:
  1. They can articulate their faith (implies need for membership and evangelism classes).
  2. They belong to subgroups (i.e. choir, Bible Studies, Sunday School classes, etc.).
  3. They have 4-8 close friendships within the church.
Notice that first point. If a person can answer that question, "What do you believe," then that person is more likely to feel at home in their church, and to stay active in their church.

Here at RCC we are striving to help you answer the question. The Pastor's current teaching series is entitled "What We Believe." Come and join us, Sunday mornings at 10:30.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Are You Born Again?

"Ye must be born again." —John 3:7

Charles Spurgeon, the famous 19th century preacher wrote,

Regeneration is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we really are "born again," for there are many who fancy they are, who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it—the being "born again," is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot describe it. (from his devotional entitled "Morning and Evening")
Truly, many today consider themselves Christians, but have never been born again. A Christian is not somebody who attends a Christian church, nor is it somebody who was raised by Christian parents. It is not somebody who, for as long as they can recall, have been in church.

A Christian is one who has been "born again." Notice what Jesus said, in the verse above - "Ye MUST be born again." No option.

He also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father BUT BY ME." (John 14:6) No other way.

And again, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) No other way.

Friend, have you been born again? No question is more important for you to consider.

May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope. (Spurgeon)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March happenings!

Several things are happening in March, so please mark your calendars and try hard to be part of things. Pray also that God would use every activity and effort for His glory, and for growth of His kingdom.

There's the "Hurry Up Spring" and "Welcome New Friends" party. We're combining two thoughts in one here. We are sick of winter and longing for spring, and a time of God-honoring fellowship and fun is just what we need to kick start spring. Additionally, we have been blessed with some new faces recently, and we all would like to get to know each other better. Join us!

Ben Walker from the Haven of Rest in Akron will present that ministry in March.

Elders and Deacons, don't forget our bi-weekly planning and prayer meetings - every other Wednesday evening at 7:00.

For dates and times on all church activities, see our church calendar.

Welcome to our new website

Believing that we should use any and all Christ-honoring means to proclaim the Gospel, we have created this website to help in that proclamation. Please visit it regularly, as it will be used for announcements as well as for messages from the pastor. It is our prayer that the communication between members of our congregation is improved by this medium. It is also our prayer that the Word of God will go forth to an ever broader audience, and that He will receive the praise.