Bro. Jason's Blog
|Posted by Jason on June 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM||comments (7)|
As I am reading through my Bible, I recently came to 2 Chronicles chapters six and seven. King Solomon had completed the construction of the temple and was now making some public declarations concerning how God's people would need to be obedient to God's commands and statutes. God had been so faithful to His people and so Solomon was declaring that God's people should be faithful to God. Solomon prays a long prayer and then in 2 Chronicles 7:12 the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and has a few words to say of his own. (read 2 Chronicles 7:12-18). God has much to say in the affirmative if God's people would follow His direction.
The most famous of these verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Let me say a couple of things to clarify....I am patriotic and love our country, but I don't think the United States of America is some modern day Israel that is the apple of God's eye. His grace has certainly been extended to this nation and for that I am grateful. I also want to mention that the Church, the body of Christ, is not some replacement for Israel. So, what God promises Israel in scripture is not promised to these United States. However, there are biblical principles that the scriptures do share that "if followed" will lead to a nation being blessed of the Lord.
Over the years we have all heard a sermon, speech or public address on a patriotic day where someone like me, a preacher, stands before a group of people and reads 2 Chronicles 7:14. We usually all nod our heads in agreement that if our country or any country would simply repent then God would bless that nation. We seldom read 2 Chronicles chapters six and seven in its entirety.
What we need to understand is that Solomon and the Israelites were more than a king and a nation, they were the people of God. Certainly a nation should follow the Lord and His commands but the people of God should set an example for all of the world to "taste and see that the Lord is good..." Psalm 34:8a NKJV.
When God's people embrace the sins of the world and they do this with an unrepentant heart in front of the world they are suppose to reach, God has no choice but to bring on the calamity. To be unrepentant is to show no remorse and no regret of wrongdoings.
In 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 God gives a warning that if His people turn away from Him and forsake His statutes and His commands then He would allow calamity to occur.
“But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’ ”
2 Chr. 7:19-22, NKJV
Again, the United States is not Israel and neither is the church, however, calamity is all around us. The United States needs to repent. Our country embraces just about any sinful behavior that comes down the pike. But then again, lost people will do what lost people do. (bad grammar I know, but it works). Our nation needs to repent in terms of turning away from false gods and works-based salvation efforts and turn toward Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made on Calvary. A lost person doesn't simply need to clean up their life, they need Christ. Our nation needs Christ first.
Secondly, what happens when God's people don't repent? 2 Chronicles 7:22 is speaking to people that have a relationship with the one true living God, what about them? If they/we don't repent then calamity becomes part of our norm. Question....isn't that what's been happening?
Calamity - noun... an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.
So, we see a great deal of calamity all around us...question
What sins does the body of Christ need to repent of ?
Abortion - Do you realize that if all Christians simply stood against abortion, voted against politicians that support abortion, and actually took the biblical view of the sanctity of life, then legalized abortion would not exist in the United States of America. Christians that have no biblical conviction on this issue need to repent.
Same Sex Marriage - read the paragraph above concerning abortion and substitute the words "same sex marriage" and you get my point. Christians that have no biblical conviction on this issue need to repent.
Alcohol - Some Christians will stand with the Bible on the first two issues that I have outlined, but they like their casual drink. That is, until their college student or grown child becomes an alcoholic. I partially blame the pulpit for this... a growing number of preachers are soft on this topic for various reasons. Christians need to repent of this sin of dulling their faculties all in the name of "taking the edge off". I don't buy their arguments and they should be careful when they put words in Jesus' mouth on this topic.
Racism - If Jesus Christ can save a persons soul and transform their life, then He can surely help that same Christian repent of racism. I get it that a person might have been raised to think they way they think...however, the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer seeks to "transform their mind by the word of God" (see Romans 12:2). Christians need to repent of racism. Many struggle with this issue, perhaps because they have not asked God to help them overcome their old thought life.
Time and your attention span prevents me from going on and on, but you get the picture. Our nation certainly needs to repent, but the people of God need to set the example. If our country is a Christian nation then we as Christians may have helped lead it into some of the calamity that we are dealing with. God is not looking to lost people to shape a nation, He is looking to the body of Christ, His church.
When a nation doesn't repent, calamity is found.
When the people of God fail to repent, calamity is found.
When a lost person fails to repent and trust Jesus Christ, calamity is found.
When a saved person fails to repent, calamity is found.
Today, sadly, we see a great deal of calamity. For me, I wrote this post and I need to repent daily. Let us all do our part to live godly, promote righteousness and keep the principles that Jesus taught us...when we do that, we will be helping carry out the great commission which helps alleviate eternal calamity.
|Posted by Jason on February 13, 2019 at 10:30 AM||comments (2)|
Today we live in a narcissistic period in which many people are struck on themselves. Many feel like they are in the spotlight and that everyone is watching them. Our young people have watched countless Disney shows/movies that have trained them up to think that everyone is a princess, a super hero, a pop singer or fill in the blank....you get the picture.
To the Christian the Bible says that people outside of Christ are watching you. They are paying attention to what the Christian says, how they say it, what they do and where they go. They are watching us, people that do not know Jesus Christ as their personal savior are watching Christians. They may not say anything, but they are watching. So if you are a Christian, what should you do in light of the fact that lost people are watching you? And let me add to the pressure... God is watching you.
Here are a few take away's from Colossians chapter four that will help you:
1. We are to be prayerful in our character. (see Col. 4:2-4)
Paul is writing this letter to the church at Colosse and is giving them instructions for living out their Christian life in the midst of a lost world. Paul was a very prayerful person and here in these verses Paul challenges the Colossian believers to continue in prayer with earnest...meaning, they were to be vigilant in prayer.
Staying focused in times of prayer is hard. It seems like if there is a dog nearby he will bark, if there is a loud car nearby it finds its way into your neighborhood and sometimes even the clock in your office/home ticks really loud when you pray.
Satan also knows that there is power in prayer, so he does his best to distract you. The flesh will also come up with multiple options that might seem more important at the time. The need to focus during times of prayer is real.
But how does focused prayer relate to people watching us? If we are not prayerful in our character then holiness and the proper witness will not show up in our behavior. Which leads to #2.
2. We are to be prudent in our conduct. (see Col. 4:5)
We need to guard our conduct, we need to be careful how we operate in this world....especially toward those that are not Christian. Why? Again, they are watching us to see if our walk with "God" has really changed our behavior. People outside of the family of God want to know if God can really change a persons life. In fact, they want to know if God can change their life. So, they watch the Christian in the work place, at the ball field, in the check out line at Wal-Mart etc. They want to see if our walk matches our talk.
This is why Paul says we need to walk in wisdom toward those who are outside of the Christian faith. Paul also says that we are to redeem the time, meaning that we need to make sure that our conversation counts...which leads to #3.
3. We are to be careful with our conversation. (see Col. 4:6)
Paul says our speech needs to be full of grace. (which is unmerited favor)
Paul says our speech needs to be seasoned with salt. (which has healing and preserving properties). We are to be gracious, helpful, approachable and loving. We are to also be prepared to speak on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ as a witness. We are to be careful with all of our conversations.
In doing so Paul says we will know how to answer each one. Who is he talking about? The people that are watching you. And you guessed it, they have questions about God, Jesus Christ, salvation and the list goes on. Who will they look to for those answers? The Christian that was prayerful in character, prudent in conduct and careful with their conversation.
Question: Is that you? Do you want that to be you? If so, stay in the Word of God, allow the Holy Spirit to help you apply the Word, allow the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in you (see Galatians 5:22-23). And by all means, make yourself available to anyone and everyone that has a question about the things of God....they need you to speak up!
|Posted by Jason on August 27, 2018 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
In 1982 a movie came out that absolutely stirred me as a 13 year old boy. The summer blockbuster was none other than E.T. E.T. was an alien that becomes stranded on planet earth but through a few turn of events becomes a friend to a young boy named Elliott. And while this movie rocked the box office the thought that stirred our country was "we are not alone".
Fast forward many years, I was leading my first church in Lebanon, Tennessee and Paige our first daughter was about 6 years old. While watching T.V. one night a program came on that discussed the possibility of aliens in our universe and beyond. I turned to Paige and asked her "do you believe Aliens exist?" Her response was amazing. Paige said, "If they do, God created them."
Today, I am proud to announce that we are not alone! Have I discovered proof that aliens exist? No. What I do know is this....If you are a born again Christian....a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ...then you are not alone. The very Spirit of Christ lives within you. You are not alone.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own."
The Holy Spirit indwells each and every born again believer. When you turn to John chapter 16 you will find many verses that outline the responsbilities of the Holy Spirit and how He is our helper. When we grasp the fact that the Holy Spirit lives within us and He is our helper who goes with us....it should give us confidence that we are not alone. God has not saved us then simply turned us out to pasture to do as we please and fend for ourselves. No. We are not alone and we have much help.
So, do aliens exist? I don't know. But what I do know is this....with the Holy Spirit living within us we can have confidence that whatever comes our way, God is with us and will help us. We are not alone.
|Posted by Jason on July 9, 2018 at 1:00 PM||comments (1)|
Every time my family and I go on vacation...I grow even more concerned for the lost world that we live in. As a pastor I am around Christians much of the time. In fact, most people will put their best foot forward if they know I am a pastor. So often times I don't really get to see people for who they really are. However, on vacation, I don't know any of these people that I am around.
Think about it, the people staying in the condo next to us...we don't know them. The families at the pool or the young couple lounging in the beach chairs adjacent to us....we don't know them. Funny enough, the people in the large hot tub near the swimming pool, we don't know them either. But we experience a little bit of "who they are" and "what they are about" as we vacation in and around a large number of beach goers.
As my family swims in the ocean, hangs by the pool, or throws frisbee on the beach these unkown people also witness my family operate. They don't know us but they listen to our speech. They don't know us but they hear how we interact with one another. They don't know us but they can easily see how modest we are in our dress, how chaste we are in our speech and simply how we carry ourselves as a family. You say "preacher, are you really taking all of that in while on vacation? Are you thinking about all of that when you are hanging out by the pool? In short, yes. In fact, I care about how my family represents the Lohorn name but more importanly how we represent Christ and the family of God.
With all of that said, here are some of my grievences as I found myself living for one week in the lost world of Panama City Beach Florida.
1. Marijuana usage in America is at a ridiculous high. Coupled with Alcohol usage these two are responsible for leading people toward the drug epidemic in this country. If our country wants to fix the opiod and heroin crisis....it starts by encouraging people to stay away from alcohol and marijuana and this idea of "taking the edge off". LIfe is going to be tough, when it gets tough, lean on Jesus to help you cope with the stress of life...not mind altering drugs or alcohol.
In Panama City Beach, the smell of marijuana was a daily occurance from nearby balconies, while lounging at the beach and while driving down the street with the window down. You get on the elevator and guess what? The person that just got off wreaked of marijuana. The liberal media wants us all to believe that marijuana is harmless. Who are we kidding? I know the argument that it has medicinal properties.... I get it, but guess what? Our society can't handle the responsibility of medicinal marijuana because we usually pervert the proper usage of any and all substances. And by the way, sin in moderation is a lie from the pit of hell.
2. Parents today let their children do whatever they want. Whie on vacation I witnessed children running their families lives. Parents today rarely correct their children and they usually give their children whatever their children desire. Can you imagine this lost world if the Lord delays His coming by 25 more years? These self absorbed human beings are going to be running this country. How important is parenting and parenting children with a biblical perspective? It's huge. Parents, look at your kids and ask the question...."what will the world look like when my child is an adult and will they have the tools necessary to impact it for Christ?"
3. As a species, human beings cannot drive very well. In northern Alabama we were involved in a fender bender due to someone four cars ahead of my car....locking down their brakes with no regard to what happened behind them. That chain reaction resulted in our vehicle getting towed to Decateur Alabama, renting a car to continue our trip, and me spending some of my vacation time dealing with insurance, logistics etc. While in PCB we witnessed some crazy driving. It's a miracle we made it home without being in another accident. So I'm grieved and I'm convinced that we all need to slow down a bit. This is the point in the blog where I preach to myself. I would like to think that my driving skills are getting better but like most people I need to slow down and be a little more careful.
Well, this list of grievences needs to stop here, three is enough. Sadly, we live in a lost world. Thankfully, this is not my home. While temporarily living here, I need to preach the gospel, be a good witness for Christ and promote the kingdom of God each and every day. Instead of just venting about all of the lostness around us, lets be proactive in helping people by sharing the life chaning message of Jesus Christ. He is the worlds only hope. People need the Lord. People in PCB need the Lord but guess what? People in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky need the Lord as well. Where do you live? Wherever it is, people need the Lord. Let's make our town a difficult place to go to hell from. Let's share Jesus while living in this lost world.
|Posted by Jason on November 1, 2017 at 7:35 AM||comments (0)|
One of the most frustrating realities concerning discipleship is that some Christians don't want to grow in the Lord. Now, of course, they would all say they want to grow, but by their very actions or lack of commitment its obvious that they really don't want to grow.
Over the years I have had the privilege of leading a number of church's and while on the front lines of ministry I have seen some people under my teaching grab what the Lord is using me to say, while others sitting under that same teaching choose to yawn or walk away from the church within a few months. They both received the same effort from me, the teacher, but you see two different results. The difference? One person wanted to grow and take ownership of their discipleship and one did not want to take any initiative at all or got distracted.
From my experience, I want to share with you four people that are difficult to disciple. My hope is that you and I would choose not to be one of these four. My prayer is that we would all take initiative and step toward growing in the Lord and embrace the sanctification process that lies before us.
Four People That Are Difficult To Disciple:
1) The Unfaithful
The unfaithful person is someone that has a desire but rarely follows through. They are often times unfaithful in the little bit of responsibility that they have....they usually want more responsibility but due to their lack of follow through no one will entrust them with more. They are simply unfaithful. As a Sunday School Teacher or Preacher you try to teach them but they are the "Sermon Listener" and rarely walk out of the church on Sunday and "Do" the Word. They are hearers only with good intentions. A Christian like that is very difficult to disciple and often times their inward frustration leads them to become a critic of everyone else that is growing in the Lord.
"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much". Luke 16:10
2) The Unavailable
The unavailable person is way too busy. They are just too busy. Their life is characterized by jumping at everything that wants their attention. They sign their kids up for any and all activities that are placed in front of them. This same person usually has trouble saying "no" to people. And due to all of this "over the top" activity their are unavailable to advance in the discipleship process. Church attendance for this person is erratic, hit or miss or almost non-existant. They say they want to grow but then they defend why they never attend a Bible study and/or worship services. They are simply unavailable.
Today, people like this defend their position by saying "I don't have to attend church to be a good Christian". The truth is, if a person is too busy for Bible study and too busy for church, then they are likely too busy to spend time with the Lord alone on a Tuesday. In fact, when a person makes themsleves available to the discipleship process and digs into the Word and grows in the Lord...their desire to assemble with the Saints grows within their heart.
3) The Unteachable
The unteachable person wants to understand the things of the Lord but is unwilling to learn. They often times want to know the truth but don't really want to apply the truth. The result? you have someone that is unteachable, someone that refuses to learn anything new from the Lord. Sometimes this person is very intelligent and is highly educated. While intelligence is good and education is important...we all need to commit to being lifelong learners of the things of God. When we feel like our Sunday School Teacher or Preacher cannot teach us anything new, without knowing it, we stiff arm the Holy Spirit and are saying "we don't want to learn".
The unteachable person also has an appearance of having their act together and most of the time they have been in the church for many years. New Christians and younger Christians look up to these people, however, this well experienced church attender is not growing in the Lord any more due to their unteachable nature. Often times a 10 year old that gets saved surpasses the unteachable older Saint due to the child having a teachable spirit.
Over the years of being a pastor, I have had a few older Saints tell me that "they probably won't learn anything new under my leadership, that they have studied it all". Friends, that is sad. Paul in Philippians 3:13 pretty much said that he had not "arrived". If the Apostle Paul needed to continue in his spiritual growth, how about us?
4) The Unbeliever
Occasionally Christians get caught up in trying to teach unbelievers spiritual disciplines that an unbeliever cannot understand due to their lost nature. Our job as Christians and the church is to evangelize unbelievers and then when they are converted we then teach them how to grow in the Lord. Often times we are trying to help unbelievers with their behavior, rather than their true problem which is their need of redemption. This is why an unbeliever is difficult person to disciple.
Lets take a closer look at the church. Perhaps we have some folks in the church that fail to grow spiritually because they may have never been saved in the first place. What do you think about that? Could it be that some non-spiritual church members don't really get it....all because they never were born again? Have you ever known a church member that seems to stir up strife in the church on a regular basis... you know, that same person that rarely comes to bible study and shows little interest in evangelism? Could it be that we are attempting to disciple some people in the church that have never been saved....when in fact we should be evangelizing them instead? Could it be that folks like that in the church have hardened their heart to the gospel to the point that they shut down every week when your pastor shares a gospel invitation?
Now I know I have thrown alot of "what if's" out there.....but there has to be some reason for the chaos that we experience at times in the body of Christ. Yes, carnal Christians do exist and cause some issues...sure. But what if there are more lost people sitting in the pews than we know?
This is part of the reason I say that an unbeliever is difficult to disciple...they need the Lord first, then they can grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the heart of this blog is the desire in my heart to see people genuinely come to faith in Jesus Christ and grow in Lord to the point that their Christ-likeness touches their families, their work place, their communities and their world. And if you and I find ourselves looking like one of these four people that I have mentioned, let us be quick to repent and follow after Jesus, He is worth our pursuit.
|Posted by Jason on June 20, 2017 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
Today, people don't want anyone to judge anyone else. They say, "only God can judge people".
Paul in 1 Corinthians 5 was covering how to deal with immoral church members. From a distance, Paul was hearing that some in the church were walking in immorality. His word to the church leaders was that they were to discipline those people and possibly remove those people from the church.
Paul goes on to say that a Christian should not associate with another Christian that is walking in immorality. Remember, Paul is not talking about the lost world....he is talking about people in the church. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 "for what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don't you judge those who are inside? God judges outsiders. Remove the evil person from among you."
Back to 1 Cor. 5:6 Paul mentions that a little leaven, leavens the whole lump of dough.
Most would agree with the Bible when it speaks of the church being "set apart", that the church is to pursue "holiness".
When the church and her leaders are afraid to confront sinful people...you have what you tolerate. Paul back in 1 Cor. 5:11 mentions some sins that were perhaps problems inside the Corinthian Church...he mentions sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, people that were verbally abusive, drunkards and swindlers. By the way, a swindler is a cheater.
What Paul is getting at is this...certain types of behavior are incompatible with a Christian's testimony and with Church fellowship. Nothing hurts a church more than to have individuals within the church as "members of good standing" and those same people be walking in these types of sins.
That's why Paul says that the leaders in the Corinthian Church were to judge those on the inside. They were to deal with these issues. Now, the lost people outside the church that did these same things would be judged by God.
So today, when Christians say that we should not judge another Christian...they better check their Bible first. Now I do believe Church leadership should deal with these issues prayerfully, biblically and carefully. Church discipline should be carried out by those God has placed into leadership.
Does anyone know of a church that actually operates this way today? That's the question that is on my mind.
If all church's cared for their testimony like this, wouldnt the church look drastically different than the world? We would probably look more like the body of Christ if we cared about our testimony more...
|Posted by Jason on June 7, 2017 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
One of my favorite Christian songs right now is called "I Have This Hope" by Tenth Avenue North. Its a song that reminds me that - as I walk through the unknown, even as questions come and go, that I can rest in the hope that I have in Jesus Christ.
This song asks questions like "Was there purpose for the pain? Did I cry these tears in vain?". Every one of us ask these kinds of questions on a pretty regular basis. And what I have discovered over my 35+ years of being a Christian is that I have this hope in Jesus Christ, that whether I experience triumph or tragedy that He is my hope. It's a hope that is deep within me that no one can take away.
A couple of weeks ago my family and I toured the Ohio Reformatory, which was the filming location for the movie Shawshank Redemption. In the movie the character Andy Dufresne sits down in the mess hall after spending 2 months in solitary confinement. When asked how it went? He mentioned that losing his freedom to move about for two months was difficult but there was no way that his hope could be taken away. He mentioned music that still played within his heart that no one could take away. He spoke of the hope within his heart that no one could touch. Andy's friend Red, played by Morgan Freeman, was dumbfounded as he listened to Andy speak. Red didnt have the hope that Andy enjoyed. Two men in the same physical prison, one had hope and one did not.
Over time Andy's mindset, words and friendship with Red began to create a shift in Reds' thinking. And by the end of the movie Andy's hope of being freed from prison was realized and Red got to experience freedom as well. One man had hope, he shared with a friend and the result was two men living with hope and in the end they were both in a wonderful paradise called Zihuatenejo. Both men experienced "Redemption" because of the hope that was within them.
"I have this hope" Chorus...
I have this hope, from the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire, You're with me and You won't let go.
If you are a hopeful person, what is the object of your hope? Is it your family, your job, your health, your bank account? If your hope is in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ then you are going to be severely disappointed.
Our hope needs to be in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 6:7 shares this very word with us "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul".
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Do you have this hope? The hope that He offers through the free pardon of sin. If not call on the name of Jesus today, believe that He died for your sins and rose from the dead, call on him and ask him to save you.
|Posted by Jason on May 10, 2017 at 9:00 AM||comments (4)|
Question? Is there someone in your circle of influence that is always divisive? Perhaps a person that gets in heated debates all the time and stirs the pot for no apparent reason?
If so, the Bible has a word for you that will guide you into dealing with that person...
"But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning. For you know that such a person has gone astray and is sinning; he is self condemned." Titus 3:9-10
Paul is giving counsel to Titus as he deals with people that attempt to stir up trouble at every turn. Titus was developing leaders in Crete and among the people were these legalistic critics that loved to argue over secondary and non-essential issues. The verses I shared are some of the counsel from Paul.
Have you ever noticed that most arguments and debates that take place in an organization are rarely over essential matters? Most of the time the very things that get us off course with people are non-essential secondary issues. That's why Paul calls such debates foolish, unprofitable and worthless.
To church folks...there is a word for us in this passage. The next time you want to get hot over some topic or want to go and set someone straight....think about what you are doing. Ask yourself, is this thing that I am upset about an essential or non-essential item? Is debating your position more important than unity and the Christ honoring submission to the rest of the saints?
Over 17 years of being a pastor and over the 35 years I have been a Christian I have rarely seen two Christians debating doctrine (an essential item) in the church. No. Most often you hear of two Christians debating and arguing over parking spaces, pews, carpet color, why is so and so over that ministry, who moved the potted plant, and how loud the organ sounds. All the while, the enemy is laughing, unity goes out the window and lost souls keep going to hell.
So, the next time your flesh wants to get you into an argument with a co-worker, family member, church member or your pastor...ask yourself the question....is this thing that I am upset about really important? Is it essential or non-essential? or is it just going to lead to a debate and argument over personal preferences?
If we are going to ever get upset, let us get upset over lost souls going to hell.
|Posted by Jason on April 10, 2017 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
Isn't spring time amazing? The flowers bloom, the grass grows, the days become longer and warmer! Who doesn't love spring? Spring time is a reminder to us that God is faithful. The funny thing is this, God is faithful during the cold winter months as well. When you think about it, God is at work in every season we experience here on earth.
Living in a place where you experience all four seasons takes faith that one day spring time weather with all of its perks will return. In the middle of winter you have to believe that the flowers will bloom once again. Living in the Cincinnati area I have learned that believing that warm weather will eventually come, takes faith.
Spiritually speaking, God is at work during every season in life. Whether your walk with God is cold as ice or red hot, God is still at work in your life whether you acknowledge Him or not. Hopefully you do recognize that God has a plan for your life and that He is working all things out for your good and His glory. But when we go through one of those cold spiritual seasons, things get tough. We wonder if the sun is ever going to shine again, when are the spiritual flowers ever going to bloom, will we see spiritual fruit once again?
Have you ever went through a spiritual time that felt like winter? When you do, trust that God is working on your life. Look around and look up and see that Gods' hand is upon you and that your life is a work in process that requires all kinds of spiritual seasons.....some that you will like and some that are very difficult. All are needed, and faith is required as you walk through each and every season.
I'm currently walking in a spiritual spring time...and it's refreshing. I'm excited as I think of all the possibilies. And I am looking forward to all that God may accomplish in my life personally and as a pastor leading others.
If you are in a spiritual winter...have faith...keep walking...keep trusting...your life is in Gods' hands and He knows what He is doing.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
|Posted by Jason on March 9, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (1)|
It was the fall of 1998. God was calling me to preach. Nikki and I had no idea where God would take us, but we were up for whatever He had in mind. My family and I are not the sharpest pencils in the box and we are far from perfect. However, the one characteristic that I continually see within my crew is that we will go where God sends us.
We have had the privilege of being part of a number of church's. Each congregation has blessed us in many ways. We have grown, learned and been tested over all of these years. We have grown to understand that pastoral ministry has many mountain top and valley experiences. Growth for me as a pastor and growth for our family has occurred in all types of terrain. At the end of the day we know that God has been faithful and we have been blessed to serve Jesus Christ in this capacity.
As a family like ours moves from one mission field to another, we know that these moves can sometimes be interpreted in many different ways by everyone that is involved. Its hard to truly know why God moves a person here or there. At times we think we know, but God is the only one that is truly holding the scorecard and the overall game plan. My job as a Pastor and the congregations job is to simply submit to the Lords' leadership and give Him the glory for all that He does.
As I write this blog I am working out my two weeks' notice at New Bethel Baptist Church in Norwood, Ohio. On March 26th 2017 I will step into the pulpit as the Pastor of Redemption Baptist Church in Goshen, Ohio. Looking back over all my years I can see that none of these moves are by accident or man made. In fact, the longer I walk with Christ the more I know that the "Unseen Hand of God" has been guiding me and continues to guide me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path."
If I have been your pastor at some time during these past 17+ years, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to play a role in your discipleship process. If I had the honor of being the person that the Holy Spirit used to help lead you to Jesus Christ, again I am thankful to have had the opportunity to share the good news. I am thankful also for everyone that sows the Seed. Parents, Sunday School Teachers and others play the role of the evangelist as well. However, Jesus deserves all praise and glory.
As this could be read by Ohio and Tennesse Christians that I have had the honor to serve, I say thank you. Thank you for praying for me, teaching me, and thank you for allowing me to preach & lead. As I begin at Redemption, may the Lord allow me to be an influence for the gospel in Goshen and beyond for the glory of God.