Pastor's Blog

A weekly posting by Rev. Alan Thompson

“How Can I Keep Christmas Alive All Year Long?"

December 31, 2017

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“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Luke 2:19 (NIV)

Christmas is over, and all the secrets are out. The gifts are all opened, the ham is all gone, and the joy may be all we have left.

Today is a good day to take time to ponder, as Mary did over 2000 years ago. She pondered the gifts that had been given and the love that was bestowed. We too, can store up the memories in our hearts so that we can ponder them in the weeks and months ahead. Most of all, let us reflect on the goodness of God who gave us the best gift of all—His one and only SON.

Now that this Christmas is over, let us commit ourselves to sharing the memories of Christmas all year long!

“What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from our children, we will tell the next generation; the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders He has done.” Psalm 78: 3&4 (NIV)

“How Can I Recover From A Broken Heart"

December 3, 2017

“From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

There is no quick antidote for a broken heart. No pills taken twice a day for two weeks will cure it. Only God is the master healer; others can help, but no one can touch your broken heart and heal it as He can. When you are hurting move towards God and not away from Him, for He is the great source of joy and healing. His mercy is fresh every morning.

“ Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual richness to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10

“Guarding Our Hearts"

November 19, 2017

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Why does the Bible tell us to “guard” our hearts?

 

A guardrail along a dangerous stretch of road is not there to inhibit your driving freedoms, it is there to protect your life. The guardrail is the object of safety and protection.

In the same way, we need a guardrail as we travel through life, not to inhibit our freedoms, but to keep our lives from going out of control. Our hearts determine where we go because it most affects our passions and emotions. If we don’t guard our hearts with the Word of God and stay focused on the road that God has put us on, we may have a terrible accident when temptation distracts us.

“Humility: What’s the Best Way to Serve God?"

November 12, 2017

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself…..”  Philippians 2: 5-8 ( NIV)

   Humility is the pathway to service. True humility results from understanding  who WE are and who GOD is. Humility allows us to serve wherever God puts us and do whatever God asks us to do. When we realize our dependence on Him, then we are happy to serve Him in the way that he asks of us.


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in do time.”

1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)

 

“The Hearts of God's People"

November 4, 2017

“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did- with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength….”  2Kings 23:25 NIV

Is it possible to have a tender heart, while at the same time having a strong and courageous one?

  A tender heart is not a weak heart. Tenderness is the quiet, compassionate, persevering character trait that only comes through a refining process. When you have been through a lot of pain and have suffered and hurt, you develop compassion and a sense of empathy for the pains of others. Tenderness is powerful in its expression of compassion, yet gentle in the mercy it extends to those who need comfort and encouragement. Weakness lacks compassion and empathy. If you are truly tender, then you are able to be courageous and strong.

“…Do not be afraid or discouraged.” NIV

“You will have courage because you will have hope.” Job 11:18 NIV

 

“What Do We Tell Ourselves?"

October 29, 2017

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not god’s”  Galatians 4:8 (NIV)

Notice if you will the PAST tense – this what you WERE – a slave. Many Christians tend to live their lives today in fear, as though they were still enslaved. We need to ask ourselves today, “ are we more aware of what God needs to do in our lives or of what He has already done for us in our lives ?”

You were a SLAVE………

A slave is one who has no freedom, he just does what he is commanded to do. The tragedy of the slave’s position is that his work never moves him to a better place, it will not bring him to freedom.

That used to be our position. We had not fulfilled, and could not fulfill the demands of the law. We owed God a debt that we could never pay, and so that put us in a position of a slave. We could never change our position, regardless of how hard we worked. The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is that God has acted to win our freedom!!!

 

“More About Christ and Less About Us"

October 22, 2017

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…” - 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)

The greatest danger for Christians today is that we look like we’re proclaiming ourselves. We appear to “have it all together” and “to know how to do this thing called life.” That’s the kind of arrogance that leads unbelieving people to blaspheme the Lord’s name.

Our calling is to share what God has given to us. It’s not to clobber people with our religious 2x4’s. Rather to invite and draw people to the Word where they can consider the claims of Jesus.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever.” - Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV). Let’s not discredit the gospel by claiming more than God has promised, or by declaring less than He has revealed.  

“More About Christ and Less About Us"

October 22, 2017

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…” - 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)

The greatest danger for Christians today is that we look like we’re proclaiming ourselves. We appear to “have it all together” and “to know how to do this thing called life.” That’s the kind of arrogance that leads unbelieving people to blaspheme the Lord’s name.

Our calling is to share what God has given to us. It’s not to clobber people with our religious 2x4’s. Rather to invite and draw people to the Word where they can consider the claims of Jesus.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever.” - Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV). Let’s not discredit the gospel by claiming more than God has promised, or by declaring less than He has revealed.  

“It Won't Last Forever"

October 15, 2017

“I compare that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (NIV)

No suffering lasts forever. Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. One day our Lord Jesus Christ will reveal the glory of the resurrection body, the new creation—no more sin, no more pain, no more tears and no more death. All this is yours when Christ is yours. Christ finished. You haven’t. But with Him you will!

Let this be an encouragement to you when you are feeling defeated. You have done your best and failed, but with Christ you can do better than your best. In Christ your enemy is a defeated foe.

Glory be to God!

~ PA

“Recovering from Spiritual Dehydration"

October 8, 2017

 

Jesus calls the spiritually thirsty to come to Him. He says that those who are weak, worn, broken, and in need to come to Him just as they are. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 1 Peter 5:7 instructs us, "cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Considering these two verses, I believe that there are at least 3 steps outlined here that we can take when faced with spiritual dehydration.

  1. COME: Jesus wants us to come to Him when we are weary and burdened. He does tell us to get our lives back on track before we approach Him. When Jesus ministered on this earth, He affected change and then asked them to walk in forgiveness. A perfect life was not a prerequisite to this forgiveness, only faith and obedience.

  2. DRINK: Jesus tells us in Isaiah 55:1,” come all you who are thirsty.” And again in John 7:37, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me.” Jesus offers us “living water” through His Word and His Spirit. However, it is up to us to go to the well and drink of the water. There’s an old saying that says, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.” The same is true for a person’s spiritual walk, it’s ultimately up to the one who thirsts to drink from what God offers.

  3. REST: So often, Christians try to earn their way into God’s favor by working as hard as they possibly can. However, Jesus reminds us here that we can simply rest in Him.

God’s desire for His children is that we have “life and have it more abundantly.” In this life, it is easy for us to become spiritually dehydrated. Yet through God’s grace we can be renewed by coming to Christ.

“Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to Me, or Not?"

October 1, 2017

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

To answer that question, point blank, YES it does apply to you, but not in the way many claim the passage. God has a plan for us, in Christ. That plan is not for our destruction but for our well-being. We are being conformed into the image of Christ—by sharing in His suffering—and our ultimate end is not as victims but as victors.

How do we know this? We know it the way the exiles of old did; not by observing our present condition but by the Word of God, His oath, and His covenant. That means that our plans may evaporate, our dreams may be crushed, and our lives may be snuffed out. But the God who raised Jesus from the dead will raise us up with Him.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 apply to you? If you are in Christ, you can count on it. The passage doesn’t promise you what our American culture promises or even the promises of a future that you would treble at if you say it in a crystal ball. Short term you may suffer, but long term your future is consigned with Christ. Now that’s a future for your welfare, and not for evil, a future of hope, not of despair.

“Messy, Messy, Messy"

September 10, 2017

 

We all feel like we’ve got just too much clutter in our lives- too much in our heads, too much in our homes, too much in our offices, and way to much date everywhere. And it’s hurting us - we’re stressed out over all the stuff that’s encircling and enveloping us. But how to stop it? How to drive it down and out? We have the occasional “ pitch and cast” days”. But a week later we are back to
“messy and stressy”. We sense that there is peace on the other side…the question though is how do we get there. Messy home, messy life, messy Christian!


“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” Although this is not a verse in the Bible, it’s
certainly a great principle for life.

“Worship Leader"

September 3, 2017

 

Today, I want to salute the average worship leader. Are you an average worship leader?

By average I don’t mean mediocre or lazy. Just normal. Because that’s what most of those leading worship in churches today are. Normal.

Here’s why I want to honor you. God sees your labors. And He says they’re not in vain ( 1Cor. 15:58). “God is not unjust, He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  You to keep growing. Hebrews 6:10

So if you fall into the category of the average worship leader, I want to thank you for your labors and encourage you to keep growing. God is using you in more ways than you can imagine to build His church and bring glory to His Son.

And because Jesus is the only perfect worship leader who paid for all our sins and failings through His substitutionary death on the cross, we can look forward to the day when every faithful leader, average or not, will stand before the Father and hear Him say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”

“Being Like Jesus”

August 27, 2017

 

“But they did not understand what He was saying to them”

Luke 2:50

Young people, you may sometimes feel as though your parents do not understand you. Neither did Jesus’ parents understand Him.

You may sometimes have difficulty overlooking your parent’s flaws. But imagine what it was like for Jesus, who was absolutely perfect, to have parents who were both sinners! Every day would be an opportunity to find fault in them, if that had been his purpose.

But here’s a remarkable statement about Jesus, “He was subject to His parents.” (Luke 2:51 KJV). What this meant was that regardless of their failures, regardless of their inability to fully understand Him, Jesus obeyed and honored his parents.

What about you? Are you listening to your friends, or are you being like Jesus? Are you succumbing to peer pressure, or are you respecting and honoring your parents?

If Jesus voluntarily submitted himself to the authority of his sinful parents, what possible excuse could you give for disregarding your own parents? If Jesus could overlook His parents’ faults, when He himself was faultless, how much more should you be able to forgive and look over your parents’ faults, knowing that you too are a sinner.

“What Happens When We Quit Worshipping?”

August 13, 2017

 

Imagine for a moment, life without worship. Can you imagine your life without regularly gathering with God’s people to worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Corporate worship is one of the greatest privileges in the Life of a Christian. And perhaps it’s also one of the privileges that’s most taken for granted. The primary point and purpose of worshipping God is His glory, not the meeting of OUR needs. We worship God to glorify God. He is honored and magnified through our worship and praise! But what happens when we quit worshipping? First, we lose the opportunity to grow through hearing a sermon and to experience joy through singing of the great hymns. Secondly, we lose the opportunity to join with our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray. But more importantly we lose the opportunity to bring glory to God, and isn’t that why we are here? So you see, worship is not about you or me, worship is about God and what we can give back to Him. And REALLY this changes everything! God has called us to lift our hands, lift our hearts, and lift our voice to Him in praise. Because He and He alone is worthy of all our praise and
honor.

“A Calling Question”

August 6, 2017

 

A calling question: Are you willing to ask someone to repent and believe?

 

Sometimes we talk about Jesus but never arrive at the point of inviting someone to repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ. We spend time sowing seeding seeds but sometimes decline or fall short of reaping the harvest. Maybe it’s because we are afraid they will say no, but maybe it’s because we are afraid they will say yes!

If someone receives Christ, we now have the responsibility to bring them to church and “teach them to obey everything Christ has commanded (discipleship).

 

What about you? Do you honestly enjoy sharing your faith? If not, which of these key things isn’t in place? What’s robbing you of the joy of being a confident and effective teller of the Good News?

“Shalom.... The Peace That I Give To You”

July 23, 2017

 

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Psalm 34:14

God’s peace has many facets to it. To grow in that peace is to grow into the likeness of the one we call the Prince of Peace. Since shalom contains the ideas of peace, serenity, and prosperity, God’s peace is something rich and deep that He works into our lives as we grow in greater maturity.

Like joy, peace is not something we merely feel but something that becomes an everyday attribute in our lives regardless of circumstances. There will be seasons of difficulty that will bring with it trials and tragedies. Times like these may temporarily rob us of the sense that God is with us, making us vulnerable to fear. At times like these, it may help to remember the things that lead to peace.

“The Big Three”

July 16, 2017

What keeps us from following Christ? Do these three things sound familiar?

COMFORT: “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:27

If your heart is set on maintaining comfortable life, that will keep you from following Christ. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that there will be a cost, and there will be pain in following Him. So if your heart is set on choosing the easiest path ( the wide road and most traveled) you will not follow Christ very far or very long.

SIN: “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”  John 3:19

How many people have been kept from following Christ because their heart is set on pursuing the temporary pleasures of sin--- whatever that might be? Satisfying the sin appetite has become a god for many people today. If that’s what means most to you it will keep you from following Christ!

SELF: “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Genesis 3:5

Do you see what Satan was saying to Eve: ”You can be your own god! You can decide for yourself what is good and what is evil.”  If your heart is set on being your own god, then you cannot be a true worshiper of the true living God.

Ask yourself today, “Are any of these things keeping you from following Christ?”

“Do You Have This Freedom”

July 9, 2017

“If The Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 NIV

If slaves could set themselves free, they wouldn’t really be slaves, would they? But Christ says, “I can set you free.”

Christ does not drag you, kicking and screaming, to follow Him. We follow Christ because we want to. Christ sets the will free in regeneration so that, gladly and freely, we choose to follow Him. Paul says, “So we make it our goal to please Him…” 2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV

Will we always choose what is right after we become Christians? No! The freedom Christ promises is not freedom from the struggle with sin, but freedom from slavery to sin.

There will be times when you fall into pride or lust, lies, or greed, but at the core of your being, you know that is not what you want. You want to Please Him.

So be who you are! True freedom is when what God calls you to do and what you want to do turn out to be the same thing. That is the freedom that Christ gives. If you have this freedom you are free indeed!

Do you have this freedom?

“Do You Have This Freedom”

July 9, 2017

“If The Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 NIV

If slaves could set themselves free, they wouldn’t really be slaves, would they? But Christ says, “I can set you free.”

Christ does not drag you, kicking and screaming, to follow Him. We follow Christ because we want to. Christ sets the will free in regeneration so that, gladly and freely, we choose to follow Him. Paul says, “So we make it our goal to please Him…” 2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV

Will we always choose what is right after we become Christians? No! The freedom Christ promises is not freedom from the struggle with sin, but freedom from slavery to sin.

There will be times when you fall into pride or lust, lies, or greed, but at the core of your being, you know that is not what you want. You want to Please Him.

So be who you are! True freedom is when what God calls you to do and what you want to do turn out to be the same thing. That is the freedom that Christ gives. If you have this freedom you are free indeed!

Do you have this freedom?

“We All Struggle, The Difference Is How We Respond”

June 25, 2017

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mark 8:34

Christ gives his people a new heart and a new spirit, but then He also gives us a new struggle. Don’t expect the road ahead to be easy!

That’s what we learn from both the story of David and the story of Jesus. After David was anointed he had to put up with Saul. Then after Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism, He was sent out into the wilderness where He was tempted time and time again by the Devil. The pattern for David was the pattern for Jesus, and the pattern for Jesus will be the pattern for you and I.

Christ gives us a new heart and fills us with His spirit. Then it’s back into the world with all its problems, pains, heartaches, and temptation. Why? To honor Christ there!

So Christ offers us a new heart, a new spirit, and a new struggle. Saul had none of them. David had them all. Saul lived with a crown and then lost it. David lived without a crown, but in the end gained it.

Which of these two would you rather be?

“Don’t Give Up”

June 18, 2017

Jesus was the Lord’s anointed, bringing “Good News” to everyone, yet He was rejected!

Jesus came to His home town, announcing that the Holy Spirit was upon Him to preach the “Good News”, but by the end of the day they were ready to kill Him, “but He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.” HE DIDN’T GIVE UP! Luke 4:29 (NIV)

Jesus came to Jerusalem with the words of “Eternal Life” and they arrested Him, scourged Him and nailed Him to a cross.

Jesus came, “To that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” John 1:11 (NIV)

Think of all the people who SAW and HEARD Him as He traveled the countryside, and yet very few actually became His followers, and still HE DIDN’T GIVE UP!

Your experience may be the same, your life may touch the lives of many who may or may not come to the saving knowledge of the “ Good News”….But DON’T GIVE UP!

Broadway Alliance will be ceasing Sunday sermons. Our last service will be on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

The Jan. 19th sermon entitled "The God Who Remembers" is available under the sermons tab.

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