Psa 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
In consideration of the new emergency managers that have been placed in school districts and local governments, I am reminded of the principles of the scripture. Also, after years of lowering the standard of civility and decency, both in dress and conduct, we are now seeing the result of what can only be explained as a lack of God. All sustainable laws come from the foundation of the Word. When God’s Word is dismissed, people recreate new definitions for family and learning. Naturally, we fail when we live outside of the law of the Lord. The family unit is destroyed when we reinvent morality. Government is corrupted when adherence to the scripture is dismissed. Education, justice, and sensibilities decay in the dark shadows of humanism. Carnality is like a black mold that permeates the air.
If there was ever a time for the scripture to be heard, today is the day. There is a Light and a Truth, but you won’t hear it in the halls of government. You’ll hear it in the House of God. There is a way to keep your family and marriage strong, but you won’t view it in Hollywood. It comes from the presence of the Lord and submission to His Word. I’m inviting you back to the Word where the soul is converted, and wisdom, rejoicing, and righteousness can be found.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
At His bequest, the disciples will board a boat and cross the sea. Weariness has overtaken the Lord as He falls asleep in the lower part. At the helm are seaworthy men who have traversed these waters many times, but a tempest arises that takes control of their vessel as they face the inevitable: They are going to die. Waking Jesus was their last resort. They must have thought that He too would toil with them, but Jesus simply stood atop the deck and commanded the storm to cease. At His word the water became placid and the waves bowed in silence. It was then that the men looked at each other and said, “Who is this man that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” The fact is clear; they did not know Him until after the storm. After the storm they realized His power and authority. After the storm they learned that He was more than them. After the storm they understood that He was in control the entire time. All their worry and combined fret was wasted as the Master of all elements and time rose to calm His creation. They didn’t begin to know Him until after the storm.
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When Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic and then healed him to prove His authority, the crowd marveled. One version says, “they were filled with awe.” Only after Jesus had exercised His grace and power did they realize Who He was. The lame man was healed leaving a witness that Jesus had all power. Even after the Lord’s death and resurrection, the disciples began to understand more clearly that Jesus was the Life-Giver; the Healer; and God-incarnate. Afterward they realized that all their fears were both unfounded and unnecessary. Jesus had been with them the whole time, but they only grasped His wonder after their storm. The truth is common among us; we always know Him better after the storm.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Mark 1:8 “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
In the scripture, John preached that his baptism in water was only preparatory for the baptism that Jesus would bring. Modern theologians agree that John’s baptism was also a precursor to the baptisms given by the disciples after the resurrection. However, while they admit that baptism of water and Spirit was experienced by the early church, they now argue that the intention of the heart is more important than the actions of the person. Meaning the intention to follow Christ is more important than conversion by baptisms. In highly contested forums the vast majority of denominational scholars conclude that if a person simply confesses, “Jesus is Lord” they are then converted. This admission, they say, by virtue of its utterance, contains both repentance and baptism. Thus according to a modern theologian, there is no need to repent with tears or sorrow, nor is there any need to be submerged in water or seek for the baptism of the Holy Ghost because the declaration is sufficient in and of itself. Their entire conclusion is based upon the intent of the heart. However, the Bible does not offer salvation by intention. In fact Jesus said in John 3:5 “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John the Baptist himself decried this idea of salvation without the action of repentance. John said in Luke 3:8 “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance.” Paul wrote a similar thought: 2 Cor. 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” Peter said that just as Noah was saved by water, “baptism doth now also save us.” Irrespective of modern commentaries, intentions will not save us. Only obedience to the Word of God can bring us into communion with the Lord. Marvel not, You must be born again!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
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