From the Pastor’s Heart – 10/22/2017

A man visited the doctor one day, as he was in excruciating pain.  When the doctor asked the man where he hurt, the man replied, “all over.”  He said there was not a part that did not hurt.  The doctor told the man to touch his own shoulder.  In so doing, the man hollered.  The doctor instructed him to touch his own thigh, which elicited a scream.  Next, the doctor told him to touch his forehead which produced, yet, again, a yell of agony.  The doctor replied, “I have never seen anything like this.  Let us try one more thing…touch your toes.”  As the patient touch his toes, he grimaced, “Oh, Doc, everywhere I touch I hurt.”  Upon further examination the doctor exclaimed, “No wonder, you have a dislocated finger!”
 
 

Many of us have experienced this phenomenon.  Everywhere we turn in life, seems to be painful; to hurt.  The cause, however, may be due to one specific area of hurt that is radiating into every other area of our life.  That hurt may be an active and unconfessed sin, a harbored guilt, or an unreleased grudge.

Like a cancer, that hurt will contaminate the whole of the life, unless it is, completely, removed.      The Spirit of God is the “great physician” that uses the scalpel of love and grace, to remove such a hurt.

Ps. 9:13; 25:19; 43:1

                                                                                                                        In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 10/15/2017

Most of us, in our early years, used live worms as bait when we went fishing.  The worm on the hook, through its movement, would entice fish that they would be caught and serve as food for the fisherman.  The hook, itself, has no allurement.  Similarly, no mouse seeks out a mouse trap but can be attracted to cheese, prominently, displayed.  If the cheese conceals a trap, the mouse is lured into the constraints of the trap by the appeal of the cheese.
 
 

One can be duped by something that is legitimate, when it is used to entice or lure them into a trap for the destruction of the prey that has been fooled.  Such techniques are, frequently, used to convince people to purchase merchandise that they either do not need or cannot afford, using persuasive arguments that sound attractive.  Most advertising, today, is designed with this concept of drawing in a potential buyer, at its core.

Satan was the first to use, and perfect, the “cheese and trap” technique of trapping prey.  He pointed out to Eve how tantalizing and alluring the fruit on that tree appeared.  He played upon the “bait” of doubt and ego by saying, “surely, you shall not die,” implying that God just did not want Eve to have knowledge.  And, yes, she “took the cheese,” and the trap “was sprung.”  Eve was aught, for she had surrendered to the temptation to rebel against God’s instruction.

Temptations to oppose God, are presented by Satan, with various forms of attractive, or “cheese,” to entice one to indulge in conduct, and activities, forbidden by God’s law.  A believer must resist the attractiveness, false logic, or rationalization to engage in God prohibited activities.  Peter writes (II Peter 2:9) that the “Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.  “We must claim His power, and submit to it, to overcome temptation.  In Him, is victory over temptation and sin.

 

Duet. 4:19; James 1:13-16; 4:1-3

                                                                                                                                  In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 10/1/2017

Inanimate objects, generally, have a single purpose, for the most part.  And that function is for the benefit not of the object itself.

 

 
For instance, appliances do not serve themselves.  Toasters do not eat the toast they produce. And the purpose of a refrigerator, in cooling food, is not that the refrigerator will take advantage of the cooled food.  Likewise, stoves do not eat the food they cook nor microwaves digest that which it radiates.  Appliances are there to serve someone else and, we, benefit from their purpose and calling.

 As the redeemed, and a part of the kingdom of God, we, too, have been assigned a purpose; a divine purpose.  That purpose is that we are to be a benefit to others.  For the lost we bring the benefit of eternal life, as we witness.  For the bereaved, we share God’s peace and comfort, in times personal separation.  As life’s difficulties and trials confront and consume others, as they always will, we, in His knowledge and experience, can lead to the strength that exceeds humanity and is without limit.

 Yes, in our salvation, comes the duty to be a benefit to others.  We are not “to hide our light under a bushel” – Christianity is an active calling.

 

Matt. 20:25-27; I Cor. 12; Eph. 4:11-13

                                                                                                                                                In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 9/24/2017

The law, in general, is evidenced by considering a speed limit sign on the expressway.  If a street sign has a posted allowed speed, on a roadway of sixty(60) miles per hour, then, that is the law.  The law, itself, however, cannot make one drive, on that highway, at sixty miles per hour.  I fact, that law means nothing to most people!  And the law is not enforced, unless the offender is caught in violation.
 
 

However, if a driver is stopped by the police for driving at a speed of eighty(80) miles per hour, within this zone designated for a maximum speed of, only, sixty(60) miles per hours, that driver has been caught in violation of an established standard.  On the other hand, if that officer stopped a driver for driving, at that same speed, on a highway that had no posted allowable speed, the driver could assert that he had not been placed on notice of what constituted a violation of the law, and therefore, he could not be condemned for that which was, to him, was unknown.

So, the purpose of the law, then, is to reveal the standard of acceptable conduct and to define what constitutes a violation, or sin, under that law.  God, from the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, established certain standards of conduct for His creation.  Since that time, the laws and perimeters, of acceptable behavior and character within His will, have been set out through His prophets, through the model of Jesus’ life, the Ten Commandments, and the teachings of scripture, as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Mankind, through the gift of free will, is not forced to comply with the laws of God but, disobedience (being out of fellowship with God) has the consequence of punishment.  One, like the freeway driver, can violate the standards but, when confronted, will be accountable.

But, more importantly, obedience in our salvation, should be the result of reciprocal love and, perhaps, more importantly, obedience is a form of worship and thanksgiving.  Is our worship, in obedience, taking place as it should?  Are we displaying our gratitude, for our redemption, through “walking in the newness of the likeness of Christ?”  Or are we moving down life’s highway according to our own will, oblivious or in rebellion to, the restrictions and constrictions of God.

 We cannot be in His will, if we are exceeding the “limits” of the guidelines of righteous living.

 

Romans 7:7; James 2:10

                                                                                                                                                In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 9/17/2017

In some businesses, professions, and media operations, employee contracts include what is known as exclusivity clauses.  These exclusivity clauses provide that the employee is prohibited from engaging in any activity that would involve competing relationships or competing loyalties.  In many cases, those provisions extend for a period of time, even, beyond the employment relationship, for a specific period of time.  The employee’s total allegiance, efforts, and talents, are owned and committed to the employer.

 What God calls for in the first commandment, is exclusivity.  He demands that there be no competition for the allegiance, efforts, and talents of one who claims redemption, through His grace.  Because of His mercy, whose mercy was not due, God has every right to require such exclusive commitment.

 Ex. 20:3-5; Deut. 6:4

                                                                                                                                     In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 8/27/2017

            …I do not know if it is, currently, the record holder, but a few years back, the D575A was the largest bulldozer in the world.  It was sixteen (16) feet long, twenty-five (25) feet wide and stood forty-one (41) feet tall.  It weighed in at 225,000 pounds.  Some years ago it was brought into an area in Illinois for a specific task.  There was an overrun of garbage from Chicago that had reached a level that could not be controlled.  This monstrosity of a machine was called upon to dig a big enough hole to bury the accumulated garbage once and for all, and remove it from the lives of the citizens.
 
 

            Mankind, in rebellion, had been consumed and overrun by sin. From sin that strangled, and from which there was no hope of escape.

            But, on the cross, God dug a spiritual hole so large that He could collect the sins of the entire world-past, present, and future.  He gathered all of that sin and Jesus bore the wrath for sin, that its consequence would be removed from the lives of the redeemed.  As we read, in II Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him, who had no sin, to be sin for us.”

            He removed it, “as far as the east is from the west,” that there is hope in Him who “taketh away the sins of the world.”

Ps. 103:12; John 1:29

                                                                                                                         In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 8/20/2017

           

A friend was in a motorcycle accident that necessitated the doctors inserting a steel plate in his leg that extends from his knee to his ankle.  The crash had been so serious that his leg had been snapped in half, breaking both the tibia and the fibula.
 
 
           He was broken in two.  But, fortunately, there was a doctor who knew how to correct the problem.  By opening the leg, the doctor positioned a metal plate where the ends of the bones could be joined, thereby, creating a reconnect of that which was broken.

            Without the intervention of that doctor, my friend would have had, at the least, a weak and crooked leg, or at the worst, a totally useless leg.  Thankfully, someone who understood the problem, healed the brokenness.

            God has given all of us the scalpel of His Word, in order to identify what has broken our relationship with Him.  In addition, it is the cross that removes the cause, and it is the Spirit of God, that is like a steel plate that brings, and holds, together, that which had been broken.  Therefore, new and sustainable strength is acquired.  This is possible because of the redemptive power of the cross.

Romans 14:19; II Cor. 5:18: Eph. 4:1-3

                                                                                                                                     In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 8/13/2017

          

  In 1929, a man named George Wilson, robbed and killed, a mail carrier.  He was sentenced to die but the President of the United States issued a presidential pardon for him, that would set him free.  To the surprise of the nation, Wilson declined the pardon.  So shocked was the government, that the case was appealed to the Supreme Court.
 

            Writing for the majority’s opinion, Chief Justice Marshall, penned, “A pardon rejected, is no pardon at all.  Unless the recipient of the pardon accepts the pardon, then the pardon cannot be applied.”  A pardon, thus, has two sides: the offeror and the offeree.  And, unless the offeree accepts that which is offered, the pardon cannot be mandated.

            On the cross of Calvary, God was satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the payment for sin.  Therefore, He offered a pardon to all who “would accept that pardon.”  But, there is not a pardon for one who does not accept it.

 

Ps. 1:23-33; I Tim. 1:18-20

                                                                                                                    In Christ, Mike Whaley
 

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 8/6/2017

There is a story that I heard that is a confidence builder to all believers.  The impact of this story, when fully absorbed, should so empower a Christian to a level of boldness and discipleship.  Below is that inspiring account.
 

 
A bee, one day, flew into a car occupied by a boy and his father.  The boy began to scream out of fear that he would be stung.  His father reached out and grabbed the bee, whereupon he squeezed the bee in his hand.  Then, he opened his hand.  The bee flew out of his hand and began to buzz around, while the boy resumed his screaming.  Quietly, and calmly, the father looked at his son and said, “Son, you do not have to scream.”  Holding open his hand, the bee’s stinger could be, clearly, seen in the palm of the father’s hand.  To his son, he said, “Son, all the bee can do, now, is make a noise, because I have its stinger in my hand.”
 We, as the body of Christ, can rejoice in the knowledge that, on Calvary’s cross, Jesus took the ‘stinger” out of death.  No longer, for the redeemed, is death a point of fear.  All it can do is make a noise, as the world promotes its lack of hope.  For us, death has not sting.  Therefore, with no fear of death, we can be bold and aggressive.
 

Hos. 13:14; I Cor. 15:55; I Peter 2:24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 7/30/2017

There is a story that I heard that is a confidence builder to all believers.  The impact of this story, when fully absorbed, should so empower a Christian to a level of boldness and discipleship.  Below is that inspiring account.

 
 
A bee, one day, flew into a car occupied by a boy and his father.  The boy began to scream out of fear that he would be stung.  His father reached out and grabbed the bee, whereupon he squeezed the bee in his hand.  Then, he opened his hand.  The bee flew out of his hand and began to buzz around, while the boy resumed his screaming.  Quietly, and calmly, the father looked at his son and said, “Son, you do not have to scream.”  Holding open his hand, the bee’s stinger could be, clearly, seen in the palm of the father’s hand.  To his son, he said, “Son, all the bee can do, now, is make a noise, because I have its stinger in my hand.”

We, as the body of Christ, can rejoice in the knowledge that, on Calvary’s cross, Jesus took the ‘stinger” out of death.  No longer, for the redeemed, is death a point of fear.  All it can do is make a noise, as the world promotes its lack of hope.  For us, death has not sting.  Therefore, with no fear of death, we can be bold and aggressive.

Hos. 13:14; I Cor. 15:55; I Peter 2:24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In Christ, Mike Whaley


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