FORGIVEN

He paid for our sins with His own blood. He did not pay for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.  I John 2:2

“I’ve done something so bad that God can’t forgive me.”  I’ve heard it many times.  The problem is, if that’s true, then God is a liar.  The Bible says that He died for everyone’s sins.  If you can’t be forgiven, then Jesus didn’t do what He said He would do.  Jesus came to die for everyone’s sins.  You are not a special case.  He died for all of your sins too, no matter how bad they are.  If you repent and confess them, God will forgive you.  He promised it.



You are Valuable to God

Jesus said, “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” LUKE 12:6-7

Sometimes we all feel worthless.  Other people can even make us feel that way.  But you are not worthless to God.  In fact, you are valuable to God.  To Him, you are worth more than any animal because He created you in His image.  You may feel worthless.  You may have been told that you are.  But God, the creator of the universe, says that you are precious and valuable to Him.  We’re always unworthy, but never worthless.



A Changed Heart

God, create a pure heart in me. Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you. Psalm 51:10

God can change our heart.  We all know how ugly we can be on the inside.  It takes the power of God to change us. Have you ever prayed for God to change your heart?  We pray for so many “things”, but God is more concerned about our character than He is our comfort.  He wants to improve who we are more than what we have.  So I ask again, have you asked for God to change your heart?  He can.



God is PRESENT

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
 
It may seem that God is far away.  But He’s not.  Especially in times of trouble, God is “very present”.  He’s there for you to call on to receive strength and help.  He’s there to give you guidance in times of darkness.  He’s there just to comfort you in your times of sorrow.  He’s there to give you hope in the despair.  Just reach out to Him.  He’s there.


God Is Not Unreasonable

“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.  For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.”   PSALM 103:13-14
 
God is not unreasonable.  He knows our weaknesses and how we are made.  That means that when He commands us to do something, He will also help us to do it.  He knows we can’t obey on our own.  How wonderful that the creator of the universe understands us!


Concentrate on the Eternal Things

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  2 Corinthians 4:18

It is easy for us to be discouraged by the troubles around us.  But I have good news.  They are only temporary.  They will pass, but our salvation and our fellowship with Jesus will last forever.  Concentrate on the eternal things.



Sin is Sin

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.”  Isaiah 5:20
 
More and more we see what the Bible calls sin, celebrated as good.  At the same time, Biblical standards are called hateful and evil.  In many segments of society and even in some churches, the truth of God’s word is not only ignored, it is despised.  More than ever, we must let His Word guide our hearts and lives.


Has He Saved You?

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

1 Timothy 1:15

There are those who think that Jesus came to show us how to live or to teach us about God.  He did, but that was not the main reason He came.  All that would be useless if He didn’t save us by dying on the cross and raising from the tomb.  So the only question is-Have you let Jesus save you?  I didn’t ask if you believe that He existed or if you think He was a great teacher.  Has He saved you?  After all, that’s the reason He came.

 



His Love is For Us

 

“We know how much God loves us and we have put our trust in His love.”
1 John 4:16

 

Not everybody can say that. Many do not realize how much He loves them. That’s because they may feel unlovable. But God’s love is based on His ability to love anybody, no matter what they have done. We all need to trust in Him and in His love for us. 

 



Children of God

 

To those who did accept Him and believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12

 

All but one of the world’s religions are based on the teachings of their founders.  Buddhism is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha.  Islam is based on the writings of Mohammed.  But Christianity is different.  It is not based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, but rather on who He was and what He did.  Salvation comes not from following His teachings (which is a good thing to do) but from accepting Him by faith.  That’s how you become a child of God.

 



He did it all!

“Jesus is able to save those who come to God through Him, completely and for ever.”  Hebrews 7:25
 
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus did it all.  He paid for all of our sins on the cross.  As a result, He is able to save all of us when we come to God through Him.  We don’t have to add anything.  We never have to pay for any of our sins.  He did it all!  Praise His holy name forever!


Do you have His life in you?

“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”  Romans 6:4
 
This last Sunday we all celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now Easter is behind us for another year.  However, the results of Easter continue with us daily.  His resurrection means that we are now empowered to live life differently.  His resurrected life in us gives us strength to live for Him every day.  Do you have His life in you?


Our Source of Hope

“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” Corinthians. 1:18

To those who are not saved, the idea that someone dying on a cross 2000 years ago has any relevance to their lives today sounds ludicrous.  It just doesn’t make sense.  But for us who have accepted the fact that Jesus’s death on that cross purchased our forgiveness, it is the most  wonderful news in the world.  It is our only source of hope for this world and the next.  Do you have that hope?



Living Hope Through the Resurrection

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  1 Peter 1:3

There have been some good people in the history of the world.  Some of them are even worshiped as gods.  But only one is not in the grave.  Jesus said that He was the only way to God.  Then the Father confirmed His claim by raising Him from the dead.  This Sunday, we celebrate that resurrection that offers us new life and a hope for the next life.



Jesus, My Direct Connection

“For there is only one God, and only one Mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

I am so thankful that God provided an advocate for us.  Jesus is the one and only one who is our link with the Father.  I am grateful for all of the great people of the Bible and all of the wonderful people in my life, but Jesus is the only one who connects me directly with the Father.  Through Him and Him alone can I come to the Father in prayer.  Jesus is your way to come to Him.



Forgiven, Not Condemned

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11

These were the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery.  He did not condemn her as hopeless, but neither did He want her to continue sinning.  Jesus loves and accepts us.  But that does not mean that He’s OK with our sinful actions.  His death on the cross not only gives us the opportunity to be forgiven for our sins, but also to overcome our sins.



Rejoice in the Lord Always

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

I am not always happy about my circumstances.  I may not enjoy the weather, the economy, or even a particular church service.  But I can always rejoice in the Lord.  I rejoice that He is always loving, holy, and just even when I can’t see it.  I rejoice that He is always with me even when I cannot sense His presence.  I rejoice that He is the one constant in my life that never changes.  In Him I can rejoice!



Speak the Truth

This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and support of the truth. I Tim. 3:15
 
The purpose of the church, any church, is to proclaim and live out God’s truth.  The church does not create the truth nor should it ever attempt to change the truth to “keep up with the times”.  Its mandate is to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15)  The truth is not always popular but we have to remember that it is not our truth.  It is His truth.  Jesus said in a prayer, “Your Word is truth.”  It may be hated, but God’s truth must be lovingly supported by the church knowing that truth is hate to those who hate the truth.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Children Are a Gift

You created every part of me; You put me together in my mother’s womb. PSALM 139:13
 
The child in the womb is a creation of God to be loved and protected.  It is sad that there are those today that not only want to kill God’s creation in the womb but also want to kill them after birth if they survive the attempt.  Children are a blessing from the Lord to be cherished, whether by the birth parents or adoptive parents.  I hear people refer to “unwanted pregnancies”.  The good news is that although some children may not have been planned by their parents, they were planned and wanted by God. 
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Who’s to Blame?

There are some people who ruin their own lives and then blame it all on God. PROVERBS 19:3
 
Isn’t it interesting how some people live life, giving no thought to God, but when things go wrong, they blame it all on God.  They make decisions without considering what God wants or says in His word.  They ignore the Bible and call it old fashioned.  But when they have trouble, they get mad at God and blame Him.  What foolishness!  Do you know anyone like that?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


The Ultimate Act of Love

This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. I Jn. 4:10
 
I’ve heard people say that there are many roads to heaven.  They say that all religions are equal.  The problem with that way of thinking is that the death of Jesus was the only way that our sins could be forgiven.  No other religions have that.  Only Jesus makes us right with God.  If there were other ways to heaven, then God should not have sent His only Son to go through that kind of death for us.  But God loved us enough to provide a way.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Show Love

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. I John 3:18
 
Words are cheap.  It is way too easy to simply say, “I love you” without ever thinking about showing it.  The Word tells us to back up our words with action.  Love is more than a feeling.   True love drives a person to demonstrate that love in practical, helpful ways.  Don’t get me wrong.  We need to say it, but then we need to show it.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Eph. 4:2
 
We often judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions.  We will say to others, “You offended me!”  But when we do it, we say, “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”  Let’s show some tolerance of others.  That does not mean making excuses for them or taking the blame.  It means that we should be patient and show some love when others are less than kind.  After all, isn’t that the way we want them to treat us?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Forgiveness

Then He says, “I will forget their sins and never again remember the evil they have done.” Heb. 10:17
 
The Bible says all of us have sinned.  But it also says that if we confess them and repent, God will forgive us.  The good news is that He not only forgives our sins, but that He will never remember them again.  They will never be brought back up in this life or the next by God.  You will never have to “pay” for your sins in any way.  That is only because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  That is how powerful His blood is.  Have you confessed and repented of your sins?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Truth is Still Truth

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who exchange darkness for light, and light for darkness.  Isa. 5:20
 
We live in an increasingly crazy world where sin is celebrated and goodness is despised as evil.  Not only are people not living according to God’s word, but some actually hate those who do.  Biblical moral standards are ridiculed as old fashion and hateful.  The fact is, truth is hate to those who hate the truth.  The most loving and compassionate thing a person can do is live according to His word.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God is For You

A WORD FROM THE WORD
 
The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
 
Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against us.  We feel all alone.  I’ve been there.  The good news is that there is always someone on your side.  He may not always agree with your choices, but He always wants what is best for you.  His plan for your life is what’s good for you.  Surrender your life to the one who is watching out for you.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Every Perfect Gift

Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father . James 1:17
 
We just celebrated a time when people gave and received gifts.  Sadly, some have already been returned or exchanged.  The good news is that our heavenly Father only gives good gifts.  His presents are always perfect, just right for the occasion.  What He gives us always “fits”.  In fact, everything that is good in our lives came from God.   Have you thanked Him for His many good and perfect gifts?
 
Pastor Ray


The Old is Gone

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  2 Cor. 5:17
 
Starting a new year is good.  But starting a new life is fantastic!  When we turn our lives over to Jesus, we become a new person.  God forgives the past and gives us a fresh start.  He will never hold our past against us and He gives us the power to live for Him.  That’s great news!  Have you surrendered your life to Jesus and received your new life? 
 
Pastor Ray Pile


To Worship Him

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”  Matt. 2:2
 
The wise men traveled hundreds of miles for one reason…to worship Christ.  They did not come to learn from Him or to pray to Him.  They didn’t come to debate Him and His beliefs.  They came only to worship Him for who He was.  He was only a child and had not performed any miracles or taught any lessons.  They worshiped Him because He was God in the flesh.  How about you? Have you gone out of your way to worship Him, to acknowledge who He is?  Or do you just come to Him when you want something?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Savior and Lord

For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
 
Jesus came to be both our savior and our Lord.  We all need a savior because we have all sinned.  None of us is good enough to go to heaven on our own merits.  But we also all need a Lord.  When we run our lives, we mess up.  We need a Lord to follow, to obey.  Jesus came to be both savior and Lord.  Many want a savior but not a Lord.  They want forgiveness but not someone to be their boss.  We all need both.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God Can Use Anyone

At that time a decree was issued by Augustus Caesar: a census was to be taken of the whole world. Luke 2:1
 
Isn’t it interesting that God used a heathen emperor to get Mary and Joseph from Nazareth in northern Israel down to Bethlehem just in time for Jesus to be born.  It had been foretold by the prophet centuries before that the Messiah would be born there.  God can use both good and bad people to accomplish this will, many times without them even knowing it.  You may ask, “How can He do that?”  Simple-He’s God.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Jesus, the Son of God

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matt. 1:23
 
Jesus was the most unique person who ever lived.  He did not have an earthly biological father.  Mary was a virgin when He was conceived.  This means that Jesus was not just a good teacher, a prophet, or preacher.  He was and is the only Son of God.  He was God in the flesh, dwelling among us.  As such, He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins so that any of us can be forgiven, if we call upon Him.  Have you?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God Gives

What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though you earned it?  I Cor. 4:7
 
Life and everything in it is a gift from God.  And, to take it a step further, you do not deserve it.  It is a gift.  Your job, your house, even your spouse-they are all love gifts from your heavenly Father.  Nobody owes you anything-not your parents  not the government, not the church, not even God.  But God does give gifts to show you His love.  Rather than feeling entitled, let us be grateful for the many blessing He has given us.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Do You Give Him Thanks?

They knew about God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks.  Rom. 1:21
 
There are those that think that just believing in God is enough.  The Bible says that you can know there is a God, but it does you no good if you do not worship Him or take time to thank Him.  Have you done that?  Do you regularly take time to express your gratitude to Him for all that He has done?  Do you thank Him for your food before you eat?  Let’s make thanking Him more than a one day a year habit.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Jesus Never Changes

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb. 13:8
The Jesus of the Bible is the same Jesus that lives today.  He still loves the downcast, forgives the repentant sinner, and heals the sick.  He is still calls hypocrisy, immorality, and lying sin.  He is still the only way to the Father.  He is still there to hear our heart’s cry and to comfort us.  His death on the cross is still the complete payment for all our sins.  He is still the coming King.  Jesus was, is, and always will be Lord.  Do you know this Jesus?
 
Pastor Ray Pile


Saints of God

To all who are beloved of God, called as saints… Romans 1:7
This was the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome.  Do you notice that all of them are called “saints”?  That’s a term that we usually save for those who are especially Godly.  But the Bible refers to all Christians as saints.  The word saint means someone whom God has called out of the world’s system to be His chosen child.  We don’t make ourselves saints.  God makes us a saint when He sets us apart to be His follower.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


God’s Word Over People’s Words

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.  2 TIM. 3:16
 
There are so many voices out there telling us what is right and wrong.  It’s hard to know what is truth.  The good news is that God has given us His word to enlighten us.  The Bible is the final authoritative word for our lives.  Open it up and read what God has to say.  You just might be surprised.
 
Pastor Ray Pile


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