Our Forever Home

We take delight in the thought of leaving our bodies behind to be at home with the Lord. 2 COR. 5:8
 
Most people do not like to think about dying.  However, the Bible puts it in a different light.  When we die, we get to leave these worn out bodies and be at home with the Lord.  Home!  What a great word!  Heaven is the greatest homecoming there will ever be.  It is only there that we will truly be at home, after leaving the bodies behind.  When you look at it that way, death is not so bad…for the Christian.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Word Alive

Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit.  I Cor. 2:14
 
“I don’t understand the Bible!”  A lot of us have said that.  To be honest, none of us can really understand it without God’s help.  Our natural minds alone just can’t grasp His great truths.  The good news is that God’s Spirit will help us, if we ask Him, to accept and learn His ways.  He will make the Word come alive and make sense to us.  Just ask Him.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Seek Him and You Will Find Him

A WORD FROM THE WORD
Seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deut. 4:29
God is not hiding form us.  But He does want us to seek Him.  He’s like a parent playing hide-and-seek with their children.  The purpose is not to remain hidden, but the joy of being found.  Don’t take His presence for granted.  Seek to know Him better and the joy of experiencing His presence.


Without Exceptions

Solomon loved the Lord, except he…  I Kings 3:3
 
Isn’t it sad that the writer of I Kings had to put that exception.  It’s too bad he couldn’t have just left it at, “Solomon loved the Lord”.  How about you?  If the story of your life was written down, would there be an exception?  You may love the Lord, but is there something that is counter to that love in your life?  Or can it just be said, “They loved the Lord.”
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Life Isn’t Fair

His sun shines on bad people and on good people. He sends rain on those who are right with God and on those who are not right with God. Matt. 5:45
 
We wonder sometimes why bad things happen to good people.  Life at times does not seem fair.  It’s not.  We all experience good and bad events in our lives.  And, it doesn’t always make sense.  We want to blame God for the bad, but take credit for the good.  We have to realize two things.  First, we don’t see the whole picture.  We never do.  Secondly, this life is not all there is.  It is but a second compared to the eternity that awaits us.
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


You Alone Are Not Enough

All of us have been sinful; even our best actions are like filthy rags.  Is. 64:6
 
That’s tough.  The Bible says that even our best efforts fall short in God’s eyes.  That’s why Jesus had to come to die for us.  Without Him, we can never please God on our own.  It’s Him that makes us acceptable and pleasing to God.  Have you accepted His great offer of salvation?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Prayer

but I have prayed for you..… Luke 22:32
These word were spoken by Jesus to Peter, knowing that Peter would be tempted to not only deny Jesus, but to also stop serving Him.  We all know that although he did deny Him, he eventually returned to be a faithful follower of Jesus and one of the leaders of the early church.  How much of Peter’s restoration was because Jesus had prayed for him?  If Jesus prayed for His friends, how much more should we pray for our family and friends, knowing the temptations they face.
Pastor Ray Pile


Live For Jesus

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. II Cor. 5:15
 
Although Christ died for all, all have not accepted Him.  But those who have, should live for Him rather than for themselves.  That means, He is their reason for living.  They now live to follow and please Him in every area of their lives.  His will is their ultimate desire.  So how about you?  Are you living for Jesus or for yourself?
 

 

Pastor Ray Pile


See The Light in a Dark World

Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person’s mind and conscience are twisted. Titus 1:15

Two people can see the same thing and have different reactions. One sees the good and the pure. Another sees something dirty. I’m afraid that we live in a society that increasingly highlights the obscene and vulgar. It is a trend that the people of God have to resist. There is much in the world that is good and pure. The goodness of God radiates through His creation and many of His children. Let’s celebrate the good and decent that is all around us.

Pastor Ray Pile



He Knows You

I know where you live. Rev. 2:13
 
Of course God knows that!  He knows everything.  Yes, but it means that He sees the condition of your life.  He understands the daily pressures you endure.  He knows what you’re going through and understands your hidden struggles.  He sees the tears shed in private and your silent pain.  Like no one else, He really does feel your pain and cares.  That’s the kind of God we have.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Will You Be Present?

I say that we are confident and willing to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. II Cor. 5:8
 
When were were in school, we were counted either absent or present.  When Christians die, both are true.  We are absent from our body but at the same time we are present with the Lord.  No matter how good this life gets, being with Him someday will be infinitely better.  Do you have that confidence that when you are absent from your body, that you will be present with Him?  You can.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Holds Tomorrow

Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.  I Cor. 13:12
 
I am a pastor, but I do not have all the answers.  I seldom know why things happen the way they do.  Like all of us, my knowledge is incomplete and none of us see the whole picture clearly.  The good news is that God does.  He knows all the past, present and future.  And one day, when we are in heaven, we will see it too and it will all make sense.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Treasure

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matt 6:21
 
I can tell what’s important to you, not by looking at your Facebook posts, but at your check book register and credit card statement.  Where you spend your money shows where your heart is at.  You may say that God is number one in your life but how much do you spend each month helping to get His Word out to others?  You can talk about the importance of the church but does it receive your financial support?  Jesus said it.  Where you put your $ shows what is really important to you.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Preach The Word

Preach the Word. 2 Tim. 4:2
 
That was the Apostle Paul’s order to the young preacher Timothy.  Too many of us preachers find ourselves preaching everything but the Word.  We tend to preach church tradition, denominational doctrine, or the newest fad ideas.  There’s nothing wrong with tradition or doctrine, as long as it lines up with the Word. We are tempted to preach what will draw the biggest crowd or get the biggest offering.  We are prone to say the things that will make people feel comfortable or happy right where they are.  But the Word challenges us.  It reveals our pride and sin.  But it also gives us the hope that we can be changed through the power of Jesus Christ.  
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


The Cross

The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work. I Cor. 1:18
 
How could something that happened half way around the world 2000 years ago have any relevance to my life today?  The story about Jesus on the cross just doesn’t seem to make any sense to me.  That is how those who do not believe see it.  But for those who have accepted what He did as the complete payment for their sins, it is the most powerful thing in the world.  Thank God for the cross!
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


Who Are You Living For?

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Cor. 5:15
 
We are all born selfish.  That sounds harsh, but a child has to be taught to share.  It just doesn’t come naturally.  But Jesus came and died for us to change us.  His power in us transforms us from living for ourselves to living for Him.  Has He made that change in you?  Are you living for you or for Him?
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


Child of God

A WORD FROM THE WORD
 
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Eph. 1:5
 
No one is born a child of God.  We are adopted into His family when we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  He chose us and called us, but we must respond by giving our lives to Him.  Then He adopts us into His family and we become children of God.  God wants to adopt you.  Have you responded to His offer to become His child?
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


Temporary Home

Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are taken down, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. II Cor. 5:1
 
Around Memorial Day, we think of those who have passed from this life.  To the Christian, death is just exchanging one body for another.  This body is like a tent-fragile, weak, and temporary.  There we will have an eternal home made by God Himself.  As sad as the death of a loved one may be, keep in mind that the Christian does not stop living.  They just change addresses.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


That’s My God!!

The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and He will refresh your life with His love.  Zeph. 3:17
 
Wow!  That’s not the way a lot of people view God.  They think that He’s a mean old man that is always frowning.  But this Old Testament prophet depicts Him as someone rejoicing and celebrating over you.  He is a mighty warrior fighting for you who is always with you.  We need to see God how He presents Himself to us in His word and not the way religion often does.  This is the God I serve.  Do you?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Love and Hate

Let those who love the Lord hate evil. PSALM 97:10
 
Isn’t it interesting to see the words love and hate in the same sentence.  More than that, God says that if we love Him, we should hate.  But notice what we should hate.  It is not people that we should hate but rather evil.  Love doesn’t condone or make excuses for evil.  It does not rename or redefine evil.  Love hates evil.  Love hates what evil does to people.  If you love God, you should hate that which is evil and overcome it with good.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Knowing VS Action

Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22
 
Just knowing what the speed limit is does not help if you don’t observe it.  The same thing is true with the Bible.  It does no good to only know what it says if you do not follow it.  You can’t blame the manufacturer if you don’t follow the instructions.  Think about it.
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


Rejoice

 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Phil. 4:4
 
You may read this and think, “Whoever wrote that doesn’t know what I’m going through.”  In fact, it was written by the apostle Paul from jail.  Even in jail, he could rejoice in the Lord.  That doesn’t mean that he was happy about his circumstances.  It means that he could have joy, knowing that God is in control, that He always is there for us, and that He always loves us.  We may not always be able to rejoice in our circumstances but we can always rejoice in the Lord.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Overflowing Joy!

Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11
 
Christians are supposed to be filled with joy.  Jesus was, and He wants His joy to overflow in our lives.  But how does that happen?  For one thing, by reading His words.  Take time to really study the words of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  His words will produce His joy in you.  His joy gave Him strength even on the cross. (Heb. 12:2)  Some Christians look like they were baptized in dill pickle juice.  That is not His plan.  He wants to share His joy with you.


Actions Speak Louder than Words

Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” but you do not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46
 
There’s a lot of people that give lip service to Jesus and God.  They may talk about “the Man upstairs’ or “the good Lord”, but do not follow His words.  It does you no good to claim that you’re a Christian and a believer if your life does not reflect His teachings.  Jesus spoke plainly about morality, telling the truth, and loving others as yourself.  Your actions speak louder than your words.  Does your life reflect that you’re a follower of Jesus Christ?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Real Life

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25
 
We’re all going to die someday.  That’s just the way it is.  But the good news is that though we will all die, we can still live.  Death does not have to be the end.  In fact, it is just the beginning.  The way to experience that life is only though Jesus.  Trusting in Him and what He did on the cross for our salvation is the key to having life after death.  It’s not baptism, church membership or even obeying the Ten Commandments.  Jesus said it. “He who believes in Me…”
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Most Important Thing

 I passed on to you what I received, of which this was most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say, that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say.   I Cor. 15:3-4
 
There are a lot of important things in the Bible.  Jesus said and did a lot of important things.  But the most important is that Jesus died for our sins and that He was raised from the dead.  If we don’t believe that, then nothing else in the Bible is of consequence.  It is all meaningless.  Without His death and resurrection, we are lost.  Nothing else matters.  But the good news is that He did die for our sins and God did raise Him from the dead so that we might have eternal life.  Praise His Name!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Moving Day

We are convinced that when these bodies we live in here are folded up at death like tents, we still have a God-built home that no human hands have built, which will last forever in the heavens.  2 Cor. 5:1
 
The Bible compares our bodies to tents.  They are what we live in for a while.  But they are fragile and temporary.  Someday, they will all be taken town.  But the good news for Christians is that God has already prepared a permanent new home for us to live in with Him in heaven forever.  That gives us a fresh perspective on death.  Dying is not passing away, rather it is just changing addresses!  Are you ready for moving day?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Book Of Life

Be glad that your names are written in the book in heaven. Luke 10:20
 
I recently performed a funeral for a man in his 90’s.  Coincidentally, Billy Graham just passed away in his 90’s.  Both men were granted entry into heaven based on the same thing.  Were their names recorded in the book of Life in heaven?  That has nothing to do with how good they were but only with what they did with God’s son, Jesus.  No one, not even Billy Graham, earns their way into heaven.  Jesus is the only one who can qualify you for that.  Repentance and faith in Him gets your name in that book.  So, is your name written in the book in heaven?  If not, read Revelation 20:15.  
 
Pastor Ray Pile


More Than We Deserve

He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. Psalm 103:10
 
If we’re honest, God is always better to us than we deserve.  Every one of us, without exception, deserves judgement and even hell.  But God loves us and has provided a way for us to escape what we have coming to us.  On the cross, Jesus was treated like we deserved so that God could treat us the way Jesus deserved.  Wow!  Have you accepted that free gift that He paid for you to enjoy for all of eternity?
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


Act On His Word

Obey the Word of God. If you hear only and do not act, you are only fooling yourself. James 1:22
 
Knowing the right thing to do is not enough.  You are deceived if you think that.  The Bible is only effective when it is acted on, not just listened to. There are plenty of people who comfort themselves in the fact that they know the Bible, but seldom follow it.  True faith is acting on His Word.  That is the faith that saves.  That is the faith that brings results.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Jealousy and Selfishness

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16
 
We all have to be careful of selfishness and jealousy.  The Bible says that it will lead to disorder, confusion, and all kinds of evil.  That is true in a marriage, in a church, or in a community.  We don’t realize it, but when we are motivated by and act on purely selfish desires, we are opening the door to more evil than we can imagine.  We don’t mean for it to happen, but it will.  God is good and He warns us in order to protect us from evil and it’s devastating results.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Growing Close to God

Come close to God and He will come close to you. James 4:8
 
God doesn’t force Himself on anybody.  He waits for us.  Nobody is born closer to God than others.  We all have the opportunity to get closer to Him and He promises to come closer to us.  He is simply waiting on you.   Are you going to get closer to Him? The next move is yours. 
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Leave the Past in the Past

But the Lord says, “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago.” Is. 43:18
 
Some people live in the past.  They let what has happened control the present.  You can’t change the past but you can refuse to let it ruin your life now.  God gives us all the opportunity to be forgiven and have a new start.  You may live with consequences from bad choices but you can move on with a new hope that only God can give.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


But With God

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. PHIL. 2:13
 
If you will invite God into your life, He will help you to serve and please Him.  It is not up to you to live the Christian life on your own.  God in you will give you the desire and the ability to make good choices and follow His will for your life.  Some people give up on following God because they don’t think they can.  They’re right!  They can’t.  But with God’s help, working in them, they can.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


A Way Out

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. I Cor. 10:13
 
We all face temptation.  The good news is that we never have to give in to it.  God will always give us a way out.  He limits our temptations and provides a way to say “no” to all of them.  He loves us and is faithful to always help us to follow Him.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Love

Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. I JOHN 3:18
 
For the Christian, love is not just an emotion, it is an action.  Love is known by what is done, not by what is said.  Feelings and emotions are fine, but the proof is in the deeds done to show love.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”  God loves us and has demonstrated it to us.  We are to do the same to others.
 
Pastor Ray Pil


Hate Evil

Hate evil, you who love the Lord. Psalm 97.10
 
With all of the talk of love in the bible, it is interesting that it also tells us to hate.  We are not to hate people but we are to hate evil.  We are to hate it because of what it is and what it does to us.  It destroys lives and families.  We must be careful not to tolerate it or make room for it.  That which is evil can be tempting but it must be avoided.  A healthy hatred of evil is basic to true happiness and long term success.
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


From Old To New!

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor. 5:17
 
When we come to Christ, confessing our sins and serving Him as Lord, He makes us brand new.  The past is forgiven and forgotten by God.  He gives us a fresh start to live for Him.  The past cannot hold us down any longer.  We are now free to truly live.  Regardless of what you have done, come to Jesus and surrender your life to Him.  He’ll give you something better than a New Year.  He’ll give you a NEW LIFE!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Our Amazing Savior!

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
 
We all know what a manger scene is, but how many know what a manger is?  It was a feeding trough for animals.  It was smelly and probably not very sanitary.  But that shows us the kind of savior we have.  He is willing to come down from heaven into the dirt of our smelly lives to save us and lift us up to Him.  Wow!  What a great Savior we have!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Was Mary’s Virginity Important?

The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us. Matt 1:23
 
We all know that the Bible tells us that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived in her womb.  But is that a big deal? YES!  If she were not, then Jesus was just another holy man or a prophet.  But if she was, then He truly is God in the flesh.  God loved us so much that he did not just sent us another man to speak for Him, but His own Son, to die for us.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Jesus

 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21
 
This is what the angel told Joseph about his soon-to-be born son.  Mary and Joseph did not have to deliberate about what to call their son.  God had told them…Jesus.  His name means “God saves”.  That’s because Jesus would die so that we could be saved, forgiven, and allowed into heaven.  It’s the only way.  If God didn’t forgive sinners, there would be no one in heaven.  But Jesus made a way!  Praise His name!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Sees Your Hurts

You keep track of all my sorrows..You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. PSALM 56:8
 
It is sad that so many think that God is cold, distant and unloving.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He sees our struggles and pain.  He sees every tear that you have shed and all the sorrows that you have encountered.  In fact, He is ever mindful of your hurtful past.  Don’t ever think that God doesn’t care just be cause He is silent at times.  He sees, He knows, and He cares.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Give Thanks

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Phil. 4:6
 
This is a commandment from the Lord.  Don’t worry but instead pray.  However, don’t leave off the last part.  It’s easy to pray about our needs but forget to thank God for what He has done.  Thanksgiving must always be a part of our prayers.  It’s not because God needs our gratitude but because we do.  Giving thanks builds our faith for our current situation.  It helps us focus on the faithfulness of God.  Ask and pray, but always remember to give thanks.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Praise Jesus Together!

Jesus said, “For wherever two or three people come together in my name, I am there, right among you!” Matt. 18:20
 
I’ve heard people say, “I don’t need to go to church, I can have church all by myself.”  You can worship God all by yourself, but you cannot have church all by yourself.  By definition, church is people gathering together in His name to worship Him.  We should all have our private times of worship and prayer.  But we need to meet with other Christians to worship Him and to encourage one another.  The Bible even warns us not to neglect meeting with others on a regular basis.  Yes, worship God on your own, but also come together with others and experience His presence in a unique way.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


You Can Know

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. I Jn 5:13
 
God wants you to know if you’re going to heaven.  You don’t have to just “hope so”.  It would be cruel of Him to make you wait to find out for sure until after you die.  You can know now that you will spend eternity with Him.  Trust that Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross and surrender your life to Him and you can know!
 
Pastor Ray Pil


God’s Closer Than You Think

God is our shelter and our strength. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. Psalm 46:1
 
Sometimes God can seem a million miles away.  But He’s not.  He’s closer to you than your problem is.  Your prayers do not have to ascend to the far reaches of heaven.  He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  He’s right there with you now, so talk to Him. Tell Him all about it.  He hears it all and cares.  He’s ready to help you in your darkest hour.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Speaking In Tongues

I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. I Cor. 14:8
 
The topic of speaking in tongues is a controversial one.  Different churches have various beliefs concerning it.  One thing is clear however, the Apostle Paul, who wrote this verse, was glad that he spoke in tongues.  Evidently it was an important part of his spiritual life.  Yes, the gift can be abused and misused.  It’s use is to be regulated in the church.  But nevertheless, it is a gift from God that apparently Paul valued very highly.  He even encouraged it’s use for others.  So how about you?  Is speaking in tongues a vital part of your prayer life?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Has a Plan for YOU

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 19:11
 
God has a wonderful plan for your life.  But He doesn’t force it on you.  It doesn’t just automatically happen.  The first step is for you to surrender your life to Him.  Make Jesus the Lord of your life.  Turn all your plans and dreams over to Him and accept His plan for you.  I can tell you, His way is a LOT better than anything that you’ve dreamed.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Most Valuable Thing In The World

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matt. 16:26
 
Your soul is the most valuable thing you have. It is so valuable that Jesus gave His life so that you soul could be in heaven.  It’s more important than good health or happiness or any possesion.  So what value have you placed on your soul?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


It’s Not About You

You are not the owner of your own body. You have been bought at a high price! Therefore bring glory to God in your body for it belongs to Him. I Cor. 6:19-20
 
“It’s my body, I can do with it what I want” some have said.  Wrong!  Jesus Christ paid a tremendous price on the cross to ransom you from satan’s power.  He purchased you and your freedom.  A big part of salvation is acknowledging that we belong to Him.  That puts a whole new light on things.  We’re His.  We should live to bring glory and praise to Him, not just satisfy ourselves.  That kind of thinking isn’t very popular these days, but it’s the truth.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Because Of Jesus

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Eph. 3:12
 
The Bible says that we can come to God in confidence, not in ourselves but in Christ.  We can never earn the right to pray or approach God about anything.  Only because of our faith in Christ can we confidently expect God to hear our prayers.  Jesus gives us access to God.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Spiritual Gifts

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. I Cor. 12:1
 
It may be hard to believe, but there are some Christians who do not know about the gifts of the Spirit and how they can help their everyday lives.  The rest of I Cor. 12 lists them and talks about them at length. They can be an important part of every Christian’s life.  They are special ways that God can assist His children to live for Him, minister for Him, and help others.  Do you know about them and the impact that they can make on your life.  Read about them and find out.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Ultimate Guide

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
 
God is not just a causal observer.  He is very involved in our lives and is always there to lead us on the right path.  We may not always sense His presence and guidance, but He is always there.  Now, we can choose to do otherwise.  But He is guiding us by His Word, His Spirit, and His servants.  Stop and listen.  Ask Him what He wants you to do.  Read His word.  Listen to godly counsel.  God wants to help you to achieve what’s best for you.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Rest For The Weary

“Come to Me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28
 
Jesus was talking here to people who were struggling to obey all of the religious rules of the day.  It was too much for them to bear.  He called them to come to Him.  Jesus did not come to give us more rules, He came to help us obey and serve God.  Religion just makes demands that no one can follow, true Christianity enables us to live for God.  His strength in us gives us the ability to do far more than all of the religions of the world ask.  If all you have is religion (rules and commandments but no life), dump it and come to Jesus.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Hears You

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Psalm 116:1
 
We wonder sometimes if God really hears our prayers.  The answer is an overwhelming “YES”.  When we come to Him and honestly confess our sins and ask for mercy, He hears us.  When we open up to Him about our failures and faults, He hears us.  When we ask Him to forgive the terrible things we have done or said, He hears us.  God is especially attuned to us when we get real about ourselves and ask for His compassion.  That’s the kind of God we pray to.
 
Pastor Ray Pile
 


You Only Live Once

Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Eph. 5:16
 
A  friend of mine said, “You never know when you’re doing something for the last time”.   Opportunities are fleeting and time marches on.  We need to use the time we have wisely.  The opportunity you have today may be gone tomorrow.  So love, forgive, speak the truth while you can.  Don’t put off what you know you should do.  You never know.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God Knows Best

A WORD FROM THE WORD
 
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. II Timothy 3:16
 
The Bible is very useful in our everyday lives.  It shows us the way to go and the way not to go.  God inspired it for our benefit and good.  It is His “instruction manual” for us, His creation.  Since He made us, doesn’t it just make sense that He knows how best we should live and what is good for us?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Light to the Dark

As people understand Your Word, it brings light to their lives. Your Word makes even simple people wise. Psalm 119:130
 
We all need “illumination”.  This is a dark world in many ways.  God’s Word brings light to our lives and wisdom to even those of us who are simple.  We do ourselves a favor when we take time to read it for ourselves and let His light shine in our dark world.  Let His Word brighten your path and give you wisdom.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God Is Listening

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Eph. 3:12
 
We may wonder if God hears our prayers.  We may even doubt if He listens to us.  The good news is that our faith in His Son gives us access to God.  He promises to hear us, not because of our goodness, but because we have accepted His Son.  So the next time you are reluctant to pray because of something you’ve done or said, remember that you can still come boldly to God because of Jesus.  He gives us confidence to pray and know that we are heard.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Just Come To Jesus

You are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. JOHN 5:40
 
Jesus said that there are those who want to go to heaven, but refuse to come to Him.  They will go to church, do good things, give money, and even give of their time to good causes.  It’s amazing the religious “hoops” some people are willing to go through but not just go to Jesus. Friends, that’s the only way.  We can’t get there without coming to Jesus, humbling ourselves, and accepting His gift of eternal life.  He alone is the way to God. (John 14:6)  Don’t try some other way.  It simply will not work.  Take the path provided by the death of Jesus.  Come to Jesus.
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


We Have Purpose In Him

You know that in the past the way you were living was useless. It was a way of life you learned from those who lived before you. But you were saved from that way of living. I Peter 1:18
 
It kind of hits hard to realize that our life was useless before we got saved.  I mean, were we really that bad?  The Bible says that Christ came to ransom us from a life that was pointless and had no purpose.  We were busy and other people might have liked us but from God’s perspective, we were spiritually unproductive.  Christ came to give our life meaning and purpose.  He died so that we could be set free to serve Him.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Give Thanks

Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thess. 5:16-18
 
Many people want to know the will of God for their lives.  Here it is in the Bible.  He tells us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks in everything.  That’s His will for us.  If you want to know more of His will, make sure you’re already doing what He has said is His will.  Rejoice, pray, and give thanks in everything (not necessarily for everything).  If you do that, then and only then you will know His will in other areas of your life.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


You Make The Choice

Come close to God, and He will come close to you. James 4:8
 
You are as close to God as you want to be.  He is simply waiting on you.  If you desire to draw closer to Him, no matter what you have done, He promises to draw close to you.  You can’t blame God, or a church, or your parents.  You decide how close to God you are.  He’s waiting on you.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Knows You

 
He certainly knows what we are made of. He bears in mind that we are only dust. Psalm 103:14
 
Perhaps you grew up with a father that had too high of expectations for you.  You felt that you could never live up to them.  The good news is that God really knows you.  He understands you better than anyone else.  He keeps in mind your weaknesses.  That is why He is always there to help you in your struggles.  He knows you best and yet loves you most.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Rejoice In The Lord

 
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Phil. 4:4
 
How can I do that?  Evidently whoever wrote this in the Bible doesn’t have the problems I do.  You’re right.  He had worse ones.  It was written by Paul when he was in jail for preaching about Jesus.  So how could he rejoice?  The key is that he tells us to rejoice IN THE LORD.  I may not be happy about my circumstances but I can always rejoice in who God is and His faithfulness.  My joy is not in what I’m going through but it is in Him.  We can always rejoice in the Lord, for He never changes.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Forgiveness

 
But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.  I John 1:9
 
God offers us total forgiveness for anything that we have done.  He will completely and permanently erase it from our record.  The only condition is that we have to confess it to Him, and I don’t mean in a general sense.  None of this “If I have done anything wrong” stuff.  You know what you did.  Own up to it and admit it to God.  Tell Him what sins you have committed and He is faithful to His promise to forgive you.  Jesus paid for your forgiveness if only you will get real with God and honestly admit what you have done.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Be Real

 
How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you look the other way when I am in need? Psalm 13:1
 
Sometimes it seems that God is not listening.  He feels a million miles away.  We have all experienced that.  When that happens, tell God.  Express your frustrations to Him.  The Psalmist David did.  Let Him know how you feel.  He won’t be offended or get mad at you.  Pour out your heart to God and get honest with Him.  Don’t play religious games.  Often it’s when we get real with God that we can truly experience His presence.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


But God is Better

 
They were more concerned about what people thought of them than about what God thought of them. John 12:43
 
We all want people to like us.  The problem arises when we want their approval more than God’s.  It’s nice to have friends, but we need to think about who we really want to please.  Our friends may let us down.  They may not be there when we really need them.  They cannot get us to heaven.  Let’s care more about what God thinks of us than people.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Will Come Again

Jesus said, “I will come again”
 
There are a lot of different ideas about the second coming.  There have always been people who have tried to predict the time.  Others have pointed to certain current events as a sign of His return.  Christians have even foolishly argued about these matters. The main point is that He is coming again!  It may not be when or how some people predict, but He will come.  He promised it and He never lies.  It is the blessed hope of all Christians.  The only real question is-Are you ready for it?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Love Always

 
But most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. Col. 3:14
 
We will always have disagreements between one another.  That is inevitable.  But we can still have unity.  True unity does not come from always agreeing, but from always loving.  That is true in a marriage and in a community.  We may not always see eye to eye, but we can choose to always love.  That is the perfect bond of unity.  That is the glue that will hold us together when things are trying to tear us apart.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Prayer

 
but I have prayed for you…  Luke 22:32
 
Jesus was talking to Peter here.  He knew that Peter was going to be tempted and tried.  The most powerful thing Jesus could do for His friend was pray for him.  We have that same remedy when people we love face problems.  We can pray for them.  I hear people say, “You’re in my thoughts” or “I’m thinking of you”.  I don’t need your thoughts, I need your prayers.  Prayer is more powerful than any of us realize.  Let’s do something that will really help. Let’s pray!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


But God

 
But God raised Him from the dead. Acts 13:30
 
The worst had happened to Jesus. The most powerful nation in the world had performed it’s most excruciating execution on Him.  He was sealed in a tomb. It was over.  But God raised Him from the dead.  “BUT GOD…” Those are the two best words in the Bible.  No matter how bad things seem in your life, there’s a “BUT GOD…” around the corner.  He has the final say.  He is the ultimate authority.  You may have received some bad news. But God has the last word. 
 
Pastor Ray Pile


He Came To Save You

 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I Tim 1:15
 
This being Holy Week, we think about the real meaning of Good Friday, Easter, and Jesus.  It all boils down to this: Jesus came to save sinners.  Yes, He taught great truths and performed great miracles, but the main reason He came was to die for us sinners so that we can be saved.  So I must ask the question.  Are you saved?  Have you received what Jesus came to die for?  He didn’t come to enlighten you, or to inspire you, or to lead you.  He came to save you.  Has he?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Our Own Way

 
Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. Isa. 53:6
 
The bad news is that every one of us have, at many points, gone our way rather than God’s way. We knew His way but chose our own for selfish reasons.  The good news is that Jesus received the punishment for our sinful choices.  And by that I mean the whole punishment, not just a part.  Jesus paid the entire price for our disobedience to God.  I don’t know about you, but for me, that is really good news.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Even When He Is Silent

 
God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Heb. 13:5
 
I must admit that there are times that it seems God has failed me.  It appears He has abandoned me.  But those are feelings, not reality.  God never leaves us or forsakes us.  He is always there for us.  Even when He seems a million miles away, He is closer than your next breath.  Just as I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining, I believe in God even when He is silent.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Sin No More

 
Jesus said to her, “Neither do I pass sentence on you; be going on, and sin no more.” John 8:11
 
Many people miss this part of the story about the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus told the accusers, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  But after they left, He told her that He would not stone her either, but that she should stop sinning.  Jesus mixed love and justice.  He loves us, but He also wants us to stop doing the things that hurt us and others.  Jesus does not condone sin, but tells us to turn away from it.  Jesus not only forgives but He also warns.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


WE Are The Church

 
When you come together as a church… I Cor. 11:18
 
This phrase jumped out at me the other day.  We don’t come to church, we are the church.  The church is not a building. It is imperfect people of faith who regularly come together to encourage, love, and build up each other.  Their common bond is Jesus Christ and what He has done for them.  Sad to say, many just come to a service, but never really connect with others.  
Week after week we can end up experiencing the house of God without making any sort of connection to the family of God.  That is not what church is all about.  Let’s stop thinking in terms of buildings or services and start realizing that the church is God’s people everyday. 
 
Pastor Ray Pile


From Bad to Good

You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good. Genesis 50:20

 
We serve a great God.  He is able to take those 
things that are meant for evil in our lives and turn them into good.  He can take the worst situations, and redeem it for our benefit.  There isn’t anything that He cannot recycle for good.  God does not cause everything that happens in our lives, but He can take the most awful things and turn them around for our good and His glory.  Praise His Name!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


It’s Not About You

 
“Anyone among you who wants to be great must serve the others.”  Mark 10:43
 
So often we think in terms of what we receive.  We ask, “What’s in it for me?”  We even approach church that way.  We want what makes us happy and meets our needs.  Jesus talked about serving instead of being served.  So tell me, how do you serve others?  How do you serve your church?  How do you serve the Lord?  It’s not about what you get out of it but what you put into it.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Marriage

 

“Marriage is to be honored by all, and husbands and wives must be faithful to each other. God will judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery.”  Heb. 13:4
 
Marriage is God’s idea.  He created it.  He meant it to be a loving, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.  We are commanded to honor the institution of marriage and never do anything to undermine or weaken it. Many today have discarded it and called it useless and unnecessary.  It’s not.  It is God’s perfect plan.  Let’s honor marriage and God by doing it His way.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Do You Believe In or Believe On?

 
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31
 
Almost everybody believes in the fact that there was a man named Jesus.  But there is a difference between believing in someone and believing on someone.  I can believe in a plane but it is not until I believe on the plane that it gets me anywhere.  So the question is not if you believe in Jesus but do you believe on Him?  Have you put your trust in Him for your salvation?  Have you accepted what He did on the cross as the total and complete payment for all your sins?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Heaven

The Scriptures say, “No one has ever seen, no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Cor. 2:9
 
We can’t imagine what heaven is like.  It is so much better than what we have thought.  It isn’t floating around on a cloud with a harp.  We don’t become angels.  It is far beyond what we could dream or ever imagine.  There are, however, two things that are certain.  First, it will not be boring.  We will never get tired of it.  Second, it will not disappoint us.  It will exceed all of our expectations.  So, have you made sure that you will end up there?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Do You Give Jesus First Place?

 
Jesus is to have first place in everything. Col. 1:18
 
We say we believe that.  But is it true?  Look at your weekly schedule.  Is Jesus in first place, or does He just get the leftovers of your time?  How about your finances?  Do they reflect how important you say He is in your life?  What about your children’s activities?  Do sports and dance classes keep your children from learning about Him?  Seriously, just how important is Jesus to you and your family?  Give Him first place in everything.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Pray For Our Leaders

 
Pray for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. I Tim 2:2
 
Regardless of how you feel about our new president, we owe him the same scriptural duty as we did our previous presidents.  We are commanded to pray for him, as well as for all who are in authority.  It is easy to criticize or find fault with our leaders, but we must pray for them.  Pray that God will give them Godly wisdom and courage to do His will, and not just the politically popular thing.  We can disagree with them and even try to vote them out.  But we must pray for God’s hand to be on them and their actions.  They need it.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Jesus Came For Your Imperfect Self

 
Come to Me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28
 
Jesus did not come for those who have no struggles, but for those who do.  He’s there for anyone who is struggling and weighed down with burdens.  He’s not calling those who “have it all together” but those who are fighting just to keep their heads above water.    He knows your battles and wants to give you peace in the midst of your conflict.  Don’t let your problems keep you from Jesus, but rather let them drive you to Him.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Do You Know The TRUTH?

I can say this about them, they love God and want very much to obey Him. But they are misguided and do not know the right way. Rom 10:2
 
We have all heard it.  “It doesn’t matter what you believe in, just as long as you’re sincere.”  That is so wrong.  You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong.  The Bible says that there are people who love God, but are misguided and wrong.  That is why we need to know what the Bible says.  It alone is the infallible guide to truth.  We can’t blame our parents or even our church for misleading us when we have the Bible available to show us the way.  It and it alone reveals His way and His truth.  Read it.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


A Real Resolution

 We are looking for what God has promised, which are new heavens and a new earth. Only what is right and good will be there. 2 Peter 3:13
 
It seems like every year, people are looking forward to the new year.  They think that things will be different and better. But they seldom are. The Bible says that we should be looking forward to something that will really be different, a new heavens and a new earth.  Someday God is going to destroy everything we know and give His children a new universe to live in.  There will be no sickness, or pain, or death there.  Everything will be just and fair there.  And the best news is that everyone whose name is in God’s Book of Life will live there forever.  Is your name written there?
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


New Life

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 COR. 5:17
 
As we approach a new year, we think about a new start, a new beginning.  With Jesus, that is possible for everyone, everyday.  You don’t have to wait for New Year’s Day.  When we give ourselves to Jesus, all of our past is forgiven and forgotten by God.  Our slate is wiped clean.  But most of all, He is now with us to help us on our new journey.  We may stumble, but He is there to help us to get up and going again.  That’s the difference between religion and a relationship with Jesus.  Religion just has rules.  A relationship with Jesus gives us a Savior who is always there to help us.
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


Jesus Saves

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  Mat. 1:21
 
Jesus did a lot of things.  He healed people, performed miracles, and taught life lessons.  But the most important thing that Jesus did was accomplished on the cross.  All those miracles and parables wouldn’t really help us if our greatest problem was not addressed.  We didn’t need a miracle worker or moral teacher near as much as we needed a savior.  We needed someone to die for our sins, pay the penalty for us, and rise again.  That’s what Jesus came to do.  That was His primary mission.  If you believe the teachings of Jesus but have not accepted His death for your sins, you’ve missed it…big time.
 
Pastor Ray Pile 


God With Us

 
A virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and His name will be called Immanuel (which is a Hebrew name that means “God with us”). Mat. 1:23
 
Jesus was the most unique person in all of history.  He was not just a messenger from God, a prophet, or miracle worker.  He was not just a great teacher or moral example.  He was the Son of God, God in the flesh.  He did not have an earthy biological father.  What made Jesus so special was not what He said or did but who He was.  The virgin birth was necessary for Him to be…God with us!  By the way, what have you done with Jesus?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Because Grace

 
Because of His grace He made us right in His sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Titus 3:7
 
None of us are “right in His sight” on our own.  We must receive His grace for that to happen.  That’s what Jesus died for. Then, not only are we made right, but He gives us the assurance that we will spend eternity with Him. Wow!  We don’t have to wait until we die to find out that we are going to heaven.  Praise God for what Jesus did for us on the cross!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Thank God!

 
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting. I Chr. 16:34
 
I hear it all the time.  “Thank goodness!”  “I thank my lucky stars”  “Knock on wood”  “I’m so lucky”  Why don’t you try thanking the One who’s really behind it.  Thank God!  You may get some funny looks from people, but it just seems to me that it is the height of rudeness to not thank the One who really deserves it.  You are not lucky or fortunate.  The stars have not smiled on you today.  This is not your lucky day.  You are blessed by God Himself!  Give credit where credit is due.
 
Pastor Ray Pile
 
 


Pray With Thanks

 Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.  Phil. 4:6
 
God commands us not to worry.  That’s hard!  But instead, He tells us to bring our worries to Him in prayer.  If something is big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about.  However, He adds that we are to make our request, with thanksgiving.  Prayer is not just giving God our wish list.  It is also thanking Him for all that He has done.  The next time you begin to worry, stop, and pray instead.  But don’t forget to give Him thanks.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Good Advertisement

 
Then their good character will shine through their actions, being a good advertisement for Christianity. Titus 2:10
 
Have you ever known a Christian whose life was a great advertisement for Christianity.  I have.  A person like that makes you want to be a Christian, not so much by what they say as the kind of life they lead.  I heard someone say, “Your life is speaking so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”  You see, Christianity is not just a set of beliefs.  It is a way of life that should be appealing to others.  Is your life a good advertisement for Christianity?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Christians Are Not Christ

As Scripture says, “God’s name is cursed among the nations because of you.”  Rom. 2:24
 
Let’s be honest.  Sometimes Christians have done some pretty bad things in the name of Christianity.  God even calls us out in the Bible, saying that some people think less of God because of our actions.  That’s sad.  We fail at times to accurately represent the wonderful God we serve.  God is so much greater, so much more loving, and so much holier than any Christian or even church.  So don’t blame God when His followers mess up.  Christians may let you down, but He never will.
 
Pastor Ray Pile  


Just A Decision Away

 
God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:6
 
None of us are far from God.  In fact, each of us is just a decision away from Him.  He wants us to seek Him.  But He is never far away, always available for you to find Him.  That is His plan.  He wants to be in your life, but you have to invite Him in.  He’s there, standing at the door.  Just reach out and you will find Him.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


My God Rules

Hallelujah! Our Lord God, the Almighty, rules! REVELATION 19:6
 
I don’t know who is going to win the presidential election next month.  I frankly don’t think that either candidate deserves my vote.  But one will win.  The Good News is that regardless of who does, God is still on the throne.  He is still in control.  That is something that will never change.  Sadly, we may not be able to trust those who govern from Washington, but we can always trust the one who rules on the throne in heaven.  Hallelujah!
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God Saves

 
In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to repent and no one to be lost. 2 Peter 3:9
 
I hear it far more often than I want. “God damn it!”  Not only is that taking the Lord’s name it vain, it is a lie.  God does not damn, He saves.  He does not want anybody to be lost but for all to truly repent and turn to Him.  The sad fact is that not all will be saved.  Many do not accept His free offer.  But He has done all He can so that you can spend eternity with Him. Have you repented?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Act On It

 
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him. Titus 1:16
 
Most everybody say that they believe in God.  A whole lot of people claim to be Christians.  But the Bible says that there are those whose actions do not line up with their words.  The way they treat their spouse, those they disagree with, or a waitress who gets their order wrong does not reflect someone who truly believes in God.  Words are cheap.  Show me your faith in God by your actions.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


From The East To The West

How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west! Psalm 103:12
 
Do you know how far it is from the east to the west?  In fact, it cannot be measured!  We can measure from the North Pole to the South Pole, but not from east to west.  That is how completely God has removed even our worst sins from us if we confess them and repent.  You may not believe it, but it’s true.  God cannot lie.  That’s what Jesus did for you on the cross.
 
Pastor Ray Pile
Grace First Assembly of God