The Impact of Christian Love

23 06 2015

A believer in Christ is following the beat of a different drummer. The culture in which I live has never seen anything like the reaction of the family and church to the murderer of their loved ones. My attempts at love pales in comparison. The testimonies at the arraignment of Dylann Roof are an undeniable proof that Jesus lives and love is His most becoming characteristic in the lives of His followers.  Pastor Dave

EDITOR’S NOTE: What an incredibly powerful testimony of God’s love and forgiveness the people of Charleston are showing the world! It’s obviously having a great impact on secular media who expected the worst, and instead, found themselves covering the message of the Gospel being lived out in front of them. Thank you Charleston. -Aimee Herd, BCN.

 





The H.O.P.E. of the Resurrection

4 04 2015

Image result for the hope of easter

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively(living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

Happy Easter! Just a few acrostics I made up about the hope that we have in the resurrection…’

Having
Omitted
Punishment
Eternally

Heaven
Opened
Perdition
Enraged

Hell
Overcome
Peace
Ensured

Help
Offered
Promises
Expected

Heart
Overflows
Purchased
Entirely





Easter Invocation

2 04 2015

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Our Father, creator of all and author of life; we worship you. We rejoice today because of the resurrection. The tears of Good Friday were turned to astonishment on that Sunday morning when the empty tomb was discovered. Since that day, the empty tomb has given us hope that we serve a risen Savior and that through Him comes life abundantly here on Earth and life eternal in Heaven. We praise you for the power of the resurrection that changed our mourning into dancing. Even our grief and sorrow are given a song in the night through the joy unspeakable that comes because He lives. We are promised that “joy cometh in the morning”, especially as we remember Resurrection morning. We praise you dear God of all mercy, who has let us see through the eyes of the witnesses of the risen Christ, that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
We pray that others come to the cross and confess Christ as their sin-bearer. Then we pray that they walk away from the empty tomb, rejoicing in the reality of their new life in Christ. We pray for other churches who celebrate with us in our city, state, nation, and around the world. We may differ in worship style, music, language, and culture; but as one body we declare, “He is risen indeed”. We pray for a freshness and newness at this church. Resurrect us from the deadness of indifference, laxity, love of ease, and materialism. Fill us with your presence; baptize us with life, love, and unity.





The Lamb of Calvary

26 03 2015

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Revelation 5:1-7

Arguably, Christ’s death on Calvary is the single greatest event in God’s plan of redemption and that followed by the Resurrection. Perhaps the third greatest event is the redemption of the body (Christ’s coming again at the rapture).
The next is probably the redemption of the world (Second coming at the end of the Tribulation). Topping off the top-five list could very well be Revelation 5.

This is one of most exciting chapters in the Book of Revelation, maybe even in the Bible. I had committed it to memory many years ago so I could savor every word. It’s a scene at which I will be a personal eye-witness, since the Trumpet sounds in 4:1 to take the church up. A Book is featured in the right hand of God that many have identified as “The Book of Destiny”. It is written within and on its backside, which means nothing else could be added. It is a large Book because it takes seven seals to keep it closed. When each seal is broken, a different and distinct series of judgments are introduced which are carried out in the chapters of the Book of Revelation.

But no man was worthy to take the Book (in fact, no one could even look at it). John wept over the powerlessness of his fellow humans, even though they had glorified bodies and possessed no sin. Then it was told that a Lion of the tribe of Judah prevailed to open the book. You see, Jesus (on the Right hand of God; Romans 8:34, and others) was born into the Tribe of Judah. He is a Lion/King, which means He has power and authority, the one to be feared. John turns to see a Lion, but he sees a Lamb. The lamb was a sacrificial animal and this one looked like it was slain, yet was still alive! He prevailed to take the Book and break the seals because He alone conquered sin, death, and all the forces of evil

The passage speaks of a Lamb as if it were slain. This tell us that His deadly wounds are still able to be seen in Heaven. John was present at Calvary as these wounds were given! The picture of Jesus being a Lamb is seen throughout the Bible.

  • Ex 12- He is the Passover Lamb, whose blood was sprinkled on the door to save the lives of the ones inside
  • Isa53- He was brought as a Lamb to the slaughter
  • John1:29- He is the Lamb of God who takes away sin of the world
  • John 1:36- He is announced as the Lamb of God
  • 1 Peter 1:18-19- His precious blood redeems us as a lamb without spot or blemish

Here He is a Lamb that was slain. In Genesis, Isaac asks the question, “where is the Lamb”. John the Baptist announces, “behold the Lamb”, and now in Heaven they sing, “worthy is the Lamb”. As we enter the time of Passover and its ultimate fulfillment on Calvary, let us worship the Lamb who was slain! He alone is worthy.





Sweet Annabelle

20 03 2015

Today is the 3rd Anniversary of my granddaughter’s stillbirth at 25 weeks. In honor to that eternal soul who I will one day meet and get to know, I wrote this poem.  I could not read it publicly until last year. I put my heart into it as a gift to Annabelle at her memorial service. Honestly, it’s like I could hear her voice and see her smile. I will not get a lot of views with this post, but that’s okay, I just want a medium to somehow tell her, “I remember”. One day I will hear Annabelle say to me, “Thank you papa for loving me through the poem. I love you too.”

 

Image result for pencil drawings of little girl

Sweet Annabelle

Sweet Annabelle my Annabelle
I loved you from the time,
When news arrived that you would come
In hazy summer time.

Your time had come before your birth
You proved yourself a fighter,
Since Heaven is for real we know,
It got a little brighter

I dream of combing your soft hair,
Admire your warm eyes;
To hold you and to cherish you,
While watching you grow wise.

I long for you, await the time
When faith shall turn to sight.
When I can tell you “I love you”,
Your kiss will I delight.

I think I hear your sweet small voice
Glide smoothly through my mind
And speak from land beyond the earth
All tears and pain behind.

“Don’t fret my passing, God knows best;
I’m safe in Jesus’ arms.
I’ll always be your angel-girl,
Yet suffering no harms.

Can’t wait for you to see me now,
By grace I have such calm.
Don’t be surprised when you get here,
I look just like my mom.

Remember me without regret;
Let go yet hold me dear.
For I’m not gone, I’m really home
Alive and very near.

For even if you cast your bread
To waters deep and dark,
It will return to you again,
God’s Word makes this remark *

Sweet Annabelle my Annabelle
Your face I long to see,
Yet wait in hope until the day
When I shall come to thee.**

Dave Luther

* Ecclesiastes 11:1, **2 Samuel 12:23





The Seven Deadly Sins

19 02 2015

I am not sure that very many believers know about this list of vices that have been a concern of the church since the 5th century. Too often we excuse sin or make it into the negative and subjective concept of legalism.

Pastor Dave

Image result for seven deadly sins

The seven deadly sins, all of which are found in the Bible, also show us what our human nature is like:

ANGER
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:22
“Be not angry, for anger leads to murder. Be not jealous or contentious or full of wrath, for of all these things murders are engendered.”
Didache

COVETOUSNESS
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
“The soul of the covetous is far removed from God, as far as the memory, understanding and will are concerned. He forgets God as though God were not his God, owing to the fact that he has fashioned himself a god of Mammon and of temporal possessions.”
John of the Cross

ENVY
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
“Envy is the diabolical sin.”
Augustine

GLUTTONY
“Their god is their stomach.”
Philippians 3:19
“Gluttony kills more than the sword” Sixteenth-century proverb

LUST
“They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8
“Surely,” we say, “such as verse as this must apply to ungodly, unregenerate people?” But no. Jeremiah 5:1 gives us the context, which is God’s people, living in God’s holy city: “God up and down the streets of Jerusalem.” All the Christian moral principles in a book like this should be applied to us as individuals, and to Christian fellowships, before we dare to point any accusing fingers elsewhere. Consider the horrors of child abuse, and the cover up of such rank evil, that have been committed by cardinals, Christian ministers and Christian leaders.

PRIDE
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“He was like a rooster who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.”
George Eliot

SLOTH
The book of Proverbs warns us against sloth many times: Proverbs 10:5; 13:4; 18:9; 19:15.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” Proverbs 6:6-9
“If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.”
Ecclesiastes 10:19

Moral Choices Made Simple.





The Divine Value of the Unborn

21 01 2015

January 25th is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday when all life from conception to death, is vocally treasured. I have always been pro-life, never an advocate of abortion. The opposition uses the handle “pro-choice”, as if to oppose abortion is to oppose one of our dearest liberties. The argument for abortion is not hatred for babies but that the early stages of embryonic development is not to be treated as an real person.

God’s Word is a guide for us in all truth and it says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” There is tremendous value in the womb of a mother who is with child. 

Pastor Dave

“I formed you in the womb” Jer. 1:5. These words to Jeremiah remind us that God is deeply involved in the formation of every human being from conception. On the one hand this is a great comfort. God knew you and me as individuals before we were born. He knew us, loved us, and participated in every stage of our development. The gifts and talents you have were carefully nurtured, even as you developed in embryo. This means that you and I can be glad in who we are. We are the persons that God intended us to be. The abilities we have are His gifts, and He can use you and me to His glory.

 

On the other hand, this verse offers us a challenge. Many are confused by the rhetoric of moderns who place no value on the human fetus, dismissing the unborn as some insignificant part of a mother’s body, as easily discarded as hair that is too long or a broken fingernail. God’s words to Jeremiah, “I formed you in the womb,” confront us with the fact that the unborn child is a separate, individual person, precious to God and with full rights as a separate human being. Perhaps Jeremiah’s example of commitment to an unpopular cause, despite ridicule and abuse from his society, may encourage us to stand with God for, rather than against, the unborn.

365-Day Devotional Commentary