Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Following Jewish tradition, during the last several weeks the regular, weekly reading of the Torah was accompanied by a series of special readings proclaiming to the Jewish people that the Holy Season of Passover had begun.

In practical terms, in every Jewish home, this is the season to clean house. Leavening, or to the Jewish household “chametz” is forbidden as it is believed that leaven is symbolic of sin. Jewish households will search for even the smallest speck of chametz and it is cast out.

Therefore, in preparing for Passover the home must be swept clean, and this ritual cleansing goes beyond food items. Anything that has come in contact with leaven must be purified; pots, pans, dishes, etc. must be washed.

This religious exercise is intended to mirror a spiritual corollary, as this is a sacred time for Jews as they prepare their hearts to commemorate what is arguably the most significant event in their history.

There are times in all of our lives that we need cleansing. Living in this “dirty” world should, at least occasionally, cause even the best Christian to recognize the need for spiritual housekeeping.

When unforgiveness, jealousy, envy, lust, greed, and the biggest one of all, pride, take root in our hearts, they “dirty” us. It is a good thing for us to pause and take inventory of our lives, our attitudes, our priorities, and to remove the “chamtez”. In order to be acceptable for God to work within our lives, we need to be “clean” vessels. What a verse is I John 1:9, “If we confess He will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Take inventory. Look for the “chametz” in your life and remove it. Then prepare for the blessings of God.

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praise Him!

In Chapter 19 of Luke’s gospel, as Jesus began His entrance into Jerusalem, a multitude of disciples began to praise Him. The Pharisee’s were incensed by this display of joyful adulation, and demanded Jesus rebuke His disciples. But the Lord instead responded by admonishing the Pharisees, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Essentially, He was saying that God is due all praise, and if men did not offer this praise, nature would.

Our lives should testify to men of the goodness of God. The Bible condemns luke-warmness, which was apparent in the Pharisees’ response detailed above. This should be especially true as we celebrate this Easter; our praise and worship should be over-flowing and abounding with joy! What a time to praise the Lord and to share Him with others!

I love the hymn, “There is a fountain filled with blood”. The last verse says “Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing thy power to save. When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.” Although the words of this song cause my heart to swell with emotion when I realize I’ll be singing praises at the foot of the Heavenly throne, they also compel me to worship and praise God with all I have while I live!

God bless you and I’ll see you on Sunday!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Everybody is Somebody!

There is a wonderful Baptist church in Cartersville, Georgia I visited during my days traveling as an evangelist. I very much liked the motto followed by this church: "Where everybody is somebody in the body". That neatly summarizes the lesson the Apostle Paul details for the church in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians!

Last week a survey was distributed to the congregation. I very much appreciate the time each of you took to provide your responses. I enjoyed reading through them. Thank You! The reason I wanted to do the survey was to have a means for me to receive some honest feedback from my church family. I value your opinion, and what you think is of the utmost importance to me.

I would like to emphasize that, as your Pastor, I cherish each and every representative group within our church. I love our youth. It is the highlight of my day when I walk down to the school and mingle with the kids. I think we have some of the finest young people in the world! I admire the dear ladies of the church. To me, they are the epitome of grace. The men in the church are just that - MEN! I thank God for you guys. Thanks for befriending your Pastor.

Young and old, rich and poor, all have a place here at Chestertown Baptist Church. Your value to me, and more importantly to God, is great!

God bless you dear folks. My heart overflows with love and respect for you.

See you on Sunday! Don't forget our new series on Revelation begins on Sunday evening!