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Hillyard Weekly

May 9, 2018

To Delight In God’s Law

Our Sunday topic this week was Psalm 1 which had to do with the committed life, committed to follow God and His Law for us. Many get somewhat confused about what our relation with God’s Law is as Believers and what it means to delight in His Law. Well, to do that is generally understood to be God’s will or His instruction as revealed in His Word. The delight part comes from us realizing that His Word gives us absolutes, a meaningful view of life and it tells us the truth. The world we live in tries its best to live without absolutes and if anyone tries to live that way they are the enemy. The world we live in has a life view that is futile, empty and full of cynicism toward anyone with an opposite view. It bases its reality on lies and uncertainties and will go to any length to debunk Biblical history, logic and truth. How then do we know God’s will for us? We have all heard of the stories of how some have determined God’s will for their lives: 1) Open window method-place Bible in an open window and at some point in time place finger on verse and do what it says. Not smart! 2) Base you decision on what others say you should do. Not smart! 3) Mediate on God’s Word day and night. Smart! The Psalm tells us that by meditation on the Word we will become that Godly, blessed person knowing God’s will for our lives. Reading, studying, memorizing, applying-that is what meditating is. The process is that of renewing of our minds as Paul writes of in Romans 12:2. The result is that we will be that healthy, strong tree that not only prospers, but is able to withstand the storms of life.

Pastor Ron

 

May 16, 2018

Enduring

The Christian life is not for the faint of heart. When lived in a manner worthy of the calling we can expect trials, tribulations, adversities and pain. But don’t lose heart-our Lord is there every step perfecting us, confirming us, strengthening us and establishing us. Facing life can be daunting. The only possible way to make it through is steadfast faith, the kind that comes with growing in our knowledge and understanding of our God. He is the One Who gets us through. When adversity comes we must hold tough, stand strong and hang on. As easy as that is to say, doing it requires stamina, much like the stamina required to live through the following story. This is the report given for a request by an injured worker for time off after a day of adversity. “When I got to the building I found that the hurricane had knocked off some bricks around the top. I rigged up a beam with a pulley at the top of the building and hoisted up a couple of barrels full of bricks. When I had fixed the damaged area there were a lot of bricks left over. Then I went to the bottom and began releasing the line. Unfortunately the barrel was much heavier than I was and before I knew what was happening it started coming down, jerking me up. I decided to hang on since I was too far off the ground by then to jump and halfway up I met the barrel of bricks coming down fast. I received a hard blow on my shoulder. I then continued to the top, banging my head against the beam and getting my fingers pinched and jammed in the pulley. When the barrel hit the ground hard it burst its bottom allowing the bricks to spill out. I was now heavier than the barrel, so I started down again at high speed. Halfway down I met the barrel coming up fast and received severe injuries to my shins. When I hit the ground I landed on the pile of spilled bricks getting several painful cuts and deep bruises. At this point I must have lost my presence of mind because I let go of my grip on the line. The barrel came down fast, giving me another blow on my head and putting me in the hospital. I respectfully request sick leave.” Ever feel like Satan has worked your spiritual life over like this guy and his barrel full of bricks? You are not alone. There are others across the globe that are suffering like us. Christ’s suffering was but a shadow of the great glory that was His when the suffering was done. In the same way we are undergoing a process that will also lead to an eternity with our Lord and Savior. Suffering is the narrow, small passageway we must pass through on the way to eternal bliss. Keep on!

Pastor Ron

 

May 23, 2018

The Friendship Spectrum

Friendship is something we all need and we all have to one degree or another. Like so many things in life friends require a bit of work on the part of both participants, the more work and attention the deeper the relationship. There is the story of two old friends from college who had grown apart over the years. The neglect had been somewhat mutual but time and distance was probably most of the blame. One day Mike wrote an eloquent letter to Bob stating his longing to rekindle their friendship of years earlier. It seems he had realized how much he lost when they grew apart and wanted intently to reconnect. He closed the letter warmly congratulating Bob for his recent winning of the Mega-Millions Jackpot!” As good of a reason to express friendship as that may seem it is not the reason Jesus gives us for loving each other as friends. Paul Leetan relates the story of true friendship based on the words of Jesus recorded in John 15:13. “When you really have a friend, you will disregard personal sacrifice. If you have ever read Charles Dickens, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, there is a classic illustration of John 15:13. In fact, Dickens quotes it in the book. The two people who become friends are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a young Frenchman who is thrown in a dungeon and faces the guillotine the next morning. Carton is a wasted lawyer who has finished his life, as it were, as a loose living individual there in England. Carton hears of Darnay’s imprisonment and through a chain of events he gets into the dungeon and he changes garments with Darnay who escapes. The next morning Sydney Carton makes his way up the steps that lead to the guillotine and Dickens says as he writes of this, ‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friend.’ And that’s a classic example of the ultimate in friendship.” Somewhere between these two examples are your friendships. Each time you shelter a friend you show Christ’s love. Your touch of kindness becomes His touch; your patience and longsuffering becomes His patience and long-suffering; your encouraging words, His encouraging words. You can become that “sheltering tree” from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem.

Pastor Ron

 

May 30, 2018

Be Still and Know That I Am God

Psalm 46:10 is the crescendo of the Psalm that teaches us about God’s sovereignty. After statements about God and His grace, God and His power, God and His faithfulness and God and His rule, verse 10 is telling us in a few words about Himself. “Be still and know,” literally He is saying…”Cease striving on your own to solve the problems of the world and know that I am God, because when you cease striving then I can work!” Kids make a lot of noise but they are not as distracted as we adults. They pick up on those small truths and respond in the simplest manner. One child wrote about God, “I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want You to know, but I am not just saying that because You are God,” signed Charles. Jeff writes, “It is great how You always get the stars in the right places,” simple faith founded in a God Who has given us example after example of what He is like and that we can depend on Him to remain the same. Being still, ceasing from our own striving will enable our knowing. God wants a faithful people, people who last through the hard times and flourish in the easier times. He wants people who are willing to endure, even when they are right and everyone else says they are wrong. Faithful people are like the timber that holds up a mighty building. If the timber wanders about willy-nilly the building will not stand. “Be still-and-know.”

Pastor Ron