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Feb 27

The Plumb Line


The Plumb Line

“…I am going to put a plumb line up against my people…to see what is straight and true…”                                                                                        Amos 7:8

     Have you ever gone into a person’s home to visit and noticed that one of the pictures on their wall was just a little crooked? In fact, you may have wondered if the homeowner even recognized it. The longer you look at it, the more crooked it appears and the more you wonder how it can go unrecognized, and uncorrected, by the owner. You’re left with one of two choices. You can either say something, or just go over and straighten it out on your own.

Every carpenter knows how important a plumb line is among all his tools. It is a weight on the end of a string that, when applied to a wall, ceiling or section of cabinets helps him confirm if they are actually straight, or slightly bowed. If it is not straight, then the carpenter must correct the condition so it meets the plumb line and is “true”.  That is, it conforms to the measure and standard of “straightness”.

God’s Word is a plumb line. He uses it to measure whether His people are “true” to His standard, or if we’ve gotten out of alignment with them. Many times in Israel’s history, they read the Word of God and realized that they were not doing what it required of them. The Letter of James in the New Testament tells us to be “doers of the Word, not just hearers of it.” We must measure our lifestyles according to the Word of God and be sure to make whatever changes necessary to conform to what it says.

Jesus is the Ultimate Plumb Line. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us to come to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ as we yield our lives to him on a daily basis. We are being made to “conform to the image of His Son.” God uses people, circumstances and various situations to shape and mold us into the image of Jesus. He is always shaping us; shaving off the crooked parts of our lives; rounding the edges in a loving process that cannot be avoided. So, how shall we then live? Let’s look into God’s Word and be sure we’re actually living according to it. Let’s determine to make whatever changes need to be made, at whatever the cost, to be sure we’re living up to God’s Standard.

Jan 29

A Love Relationship

“A Love Relationship”

 “All who love me will do what I say, and my Father will love them; and we will come am make our home with each of them.”

 John 14:23

This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a time when we let those we love know how much we do; how much we appreciate them. We buy them gifts to commemorate the love we share with them. We say things like, “I just don’t know what I’d do without you.” It’s a time for romance… After all, what more powerful words can we hear but, “I love you” from someone we love?

 Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a love relationship as well. Oh there are many people who never think of it in this way. Most “religious” people never think of whether they love God, or Jesus Christ. They are usually busy thinking about how to go to him when they’re in trouble; when they need Him to do something for them; when they are in a desperate situation and there is no help but God! The wonderful thing is that, in all these situations and more, God is there for us without fail! But the question remains…. Do we love Him?

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my ministry through the years. I have been pastoring for over 25 years now. I’ve seen lots of things happen in the lives of thousands of people. Some bad; mostly good. I’ve seen many kinds of “Christians” through the years as well. Oh, I’m not talking about Christians distinguished by denomination, theology, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Basically, all the Christians I have encountered can be divided into just two camps – that’s right, JUST TWO. Jesus makes that division in this passage. There are those who love Him and those who don’t.

It’s because of this very simple and powerful distinction, that I preach and teach the way I do. It’s the foundation of the nature of the ministry of Lighthouse Tabernacle Church. You see, I am operating “under orders”. My mission is to grow a people to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and strength; and to love their neighbors as they love themselves. Remember the two GREAT COMMANDMENTS?

During the last five years of the ministry (at least) God has directed me to focus on helping you “press in” in your relationship to God; to challenge you to spiritual maturity; to become more and more Christ-like. It is in obedience to this mandate from the Father that I preach and teach as I do. To some, I’m sure they feel like they are never “good enough” and will never measure up. Nothing could be further from my intention. I know the devil fills our minds with that “stinking thinking” and we need to dismiss it immediately. My mission is to inspire fanatical lovers of God! While it’s not about our performance; Jesus makes a very direct connection between how much we love Him and what we DO! We know He loves us – with an everlasting love. But, do we really love HIM?

There are lots of topics I could preach and teach on each Sunday morning. I know you’ll receive a blessing by them, too! But my concern is always whether I have inspired you to love Him more deeply, not just be blessed by coming to church to hear a sermon. I guess if I chose to preach what’s popularly preached out there, many may prefer it; but I would feel as if I were disobeying God by not preaching what He leads me to. Why? I love Him. I love Him with all my heart. So, I’ll do what He commands me to do, to the best of my ability. How can we go wrong staying on that course? This month, let’s endeavor to tell God how much we love Him – not by our words, but our actions as well. 

 May the Lord bless you mightily as you pursue His heart!

Our Love In Christ,

 Pastors Damian and Marian

Dec 04

The Miracle of Christmas

“The Miracle of Christmas”

 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us.” (Luke 1:23)

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! I’m sure that is true for many of us for different reasons. However, there is one reason that it is indeed the MOST wonderful time! This is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah!

The story of the birth of Jesus is all about miracles! The first is His miraculous birth. Prophesied by Isaiah, we are told that a virgin will conceive and bear a son. Jesus was born of a virgin by the power of the Most High God working through the Holy Spirit. There was no human male agency involved in this event! It was miraculous! This is so important because of what the scripture states as the Name of the One born of a virgin. Immanuel. His Name means, “God with us.” If there were any male human agency involved in Jesus’ birth, he wouldn’t be divine. Jesus IS God in human form.

This brings us to another “miracle” of Christmas. That is, the fact that Jesus had a human mother. This means that he possesses the nature that all of us have. He knows how we tick; He knows what we’re made of; He knows how we feel, think and react to things. HE IDENTIFIES WITH US! This is the “…with us” miracle of His Name!

So, why was this the only recorded event in scripture where angels appear to shepherds in the field to announce it? Because God Himself was coming to visit mankind so He could redeem it, heal it and save it eternally! If he were not human, how could we possibly identify with Him? If He were not God, how could He possibly save, heal and redeem us?

You see, the miracle of Christmas is Jesus Christ. He is the Primary One. There is another miracle, however. That is YOU and all who are born again of the Spirit of God. All who have become sons and daughters of God! He lives in each of us! We have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. God is not only “with us” but – through New Birth – He is IN us! Let’s allow this truth be the experience that makes this Christmas Season so special this year! Let’s tell everyone about the miracle we experienced, and invite them to experience it too!!

May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas! 

Love in Christ, Pastor Damian