The Last AWFTW Post

Your Word is truth. John 17:17

This is my last A Word From The Word. I am retiring from pastoring as of Nov. 1. We love this area and will miss it greatly. I started this article over 10 years ago to share God’s Word. There is so much noise in the world. I wanted to do something to simply let God’s truth shine. His Word is truth. It is the one thing we can hold on to in a crazy world with so many voices. Let it be the light to your path. Thanks for reading. -Pastor Ray

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. II Cor. 5:15

Let me ask you a question. Who are you living for? Jesus came, died, and rose again so that you would not live for yourself but for Him. So are you living for Jesus? Are you living to please and honor Him? Are you following His plan for your life? Sadly, there are many who call themselves Christians but live to only please themselves. So who are you living for?

He Speaks Truth

It is impossible for God to lie. Heb. 6:18

There is something that is impossible for God. He cannot lie. By His nature, every word that He speaks is Truth. People, politicians, even friends…everyone can and does lie. God is incapable of lying. That is why we can trust His Word and His promises.


But as for me, the nearness of God is my good. PSALM 73:28

What a powerful statement! What is good for me is having God close. The “nearness of God” is a choice each one of us make. We allow Him to be as close as we want Him. Some are afraid to let Him into their lives. Others keep Him at “arm’s length”. And yet others what to keep Him just close enough so that they can call on Him when they are in trouble. However, the closeness of God is always good for us. You decide how close He is to you. So, how near is God to you?

A Way For Us

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world. He sent Him so that the world would be saved. John 3:17

Most know John 3:16, but many do not know the next verse. It says that Jesus was not sent to tell us that we were all sinners. The 10 commandments reveal that to us already. We have all sinned. Instead, God sent Jesus as a remedy for our sinfulness by dying for us. He provided a way for all of us to be saved even though we did not deserve it nor could earn it.

It’s Not All About You

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:4
It is so easy to just be concerned with our own problems. We feel like we have to watch our for ourselves. The Bible, however, tells us to also be concerned for others. Let’s face it, it is easy to become selfish in today’s world. We have to fight that temptation and show care and concern for others. We should consider other’s needs in our decisions and actions. Contrary to what you may think, it is not all about you. OUCH!

Serve the Lord

If you don’t want to serve the Lord, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Josh. 24:15

God gives us a choice to serve Him or not. No one has to follow Him. But you do have to make a choice. You will serve one god or another. So which god have you chosen to worship? Joshua decided that He and his family would serve the Lord God. What choice have you made for you and your family?

Worries and Cares

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you. I Pt. 5:7

With all that is going on, it is almost impossible to not worry. We don’t know what’s ahead. The good news (and there is ALWAYS good news) is that we can give all of our worries to God. We should turn them all over to Him because He cares for each one of us. He is not just a disinterested observer, watching the world spinning out of control. He is a loving Heavenly Father who is deeply concerned and cares about us. That means He takes care of us. So take to Him all of your worries and cares. He does care.

Never Changing

“I am the Lord, and I do not change.” Mal. 3:6

There is so much changing around us these days. We do not know from one day to another what is true and what is not. There is so little that we can really depend on. The good news is that God is the one constant factor in our lives. He is our rock and our stabilizing influence. We can depend on Him. He is not affected by public opinion, trends, or politics. Trust in Him. He won’t let you down.

Run to Him

The Name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
Have you ever “run to God”? We run to something or someone for protection from something threatening us. Perhaps we are too formal with God. In times of trouble and calamity, we should run to Him for help and safety. We need to set our religious dignity aside and desperately seek Him and His help. This is that kind of a time. Run to God.

We All Need a Savior

Jesus said, “You should not be surprised when I say, ‘You must all be born again.’” John 3:7
That does surprise some of us. Some think they’re good enough to go to heaven without it. Others assume that baptism or joining a church is sufficient. And some think that everybody goes to heaven. If any of that were true, Jesus did not need to die on that cross. The fact is that all are sinners, all need a savior, and all can be born again. Have you been born again?

Be Merciful

The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. Proverbs 11:17
It seems so easy anymore for people to ridicule and find fault with the slightest little things in others. We really don’t cut people much slack. However, the Bible says that when we are merciful, we actually benefit ourselves. Conversely, when we are cruel, we hurt ourselves. Perfect people don’t need mercy. It’s those who fall short that need it. And we need to give it.

It Starts With Us

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chr. 7:14

Our nation needs healing on so many different levels. We don’t have just one problem but a host. The first thing is for God’s people to pray, repent for their part, and seek God. It starts with us. This is not a time to point fingers at others but to let God change each of us. He can and will hear and restore our land.


Come near to God, and He will come near to you. James 4:8
If you’re not as close to God as you once were, guess what? It wasn’t God that moved. No matter where you are or what you have done, if you move closer to God, He promises to move closer to you. You don’t have to change first. Move first and then change will be the result. Start talking to Him again. Spend time in His word. Open your heart to Him and He will open His heart to you.

Adopted as His Own

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” Rom. 8:15

Do you realize that no one is born a child of God? We have to be adopted by Him into His family. He wants children, not slaves. This happens when we surrender to Jesus Christ and allow God’s Spirit to live in us. God then gives us the privilege to call Him Father.


Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Col. 3:13

Sometimes we are so quick to point out someone’s faults. We almost relish in it. When we see other’s shortcomings, we somehow feel better about ours. But that is not God’s way. Let’s show the same grace to others that God has shown to us…and that’s a lot!

Doing Good

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Rom. 12:21

There is evil in the world. It is dangerous and naive to think otherwise. We must not let it overcome us by ignoring it or by responding with evil. The temptation is to react to evil with evil, but that gets us nowhere. We conquer evil only by doing good, by doing what is right. That is God’s way to defeat evil.

Are You Ready?

Jesus said, “I will come again” John 14:3

We have all heard this. Jesus is coming again. However, we always seem to get bogged down in the details, timing, and “last days hysteria”. Do not let all that obscure the plain fact that Jesus promised that He would come again. It is going to happen someday. It could be tomorrow or a hundred years from now, but He is coming again. Knowing that, there is one simple question-Are you ready?

Pass it Along

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Heb. 13:7

We’ve all had people who have invested in us. It may be a Sunday school teacher, a grandparent, a school teacher, or a pastor. Whoever it was, we need to remember them and their lives. They were godly examples for us to follow. The same Jesus who loved you through them can love through you. Pass along the blessing that you received from others.

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

That is what God is whispering in our ears. Our lives can be so full of turmoil, distress, and uncertainty that we are at our wits end. We need to just get alone, get quiet, and know that He is God. He is not shaken by circumstances. He is not alarmed. We need to still our hearts in His presence and let His peace become our peace.

Live Differently

Some of you say, “We can do whatever we want to!” But I tell you that not everything may be good or helpful. We should think about others and not about ourselves. I Cor. 10:23-24

So many of us think about our rights and what we want to do. We tend to concentrate on our needs and desires. The Bible gives us another path. Followers of Jesus are to live differently. They are to put others and their needs first. Just because we can, does not mean that we should. Just because I have a right to, does not mean it’s the right thing to do. The question is not do I have a right to, but is it going to help others?

Our Bodies

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. Cor. 6:19-20

Great question.  Did you know that?  People sometimes say, “It’s my body, I can do what I want.”  If you’re a Christian, that is not true.  You belong to Him.  Jesus died, not to make you a winner, but to make you His.  His death purchased or redeemed you for God.  Therefore it just makes sense that we should live our lives for Him rather than for us.

God is in Control!

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” Rev. 19:6

This is said during the darkest time in human history, the great tribulation of the end times.  Even then, the angels in heaven proclaim that God is almighty and that He is still on the throne.  If that is true then, how much more today.  Regardless of what we see going on around us, God is still on the throne.  God does not cause everything that happens on earth, but He is still the all-powerful God that we can call on to help us.

The Gospel

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. I Cor. 15:3-4

According to the Bible, this is the Gospel. Many preachers, churches and denominations have added to, subtracted from, and generally complicated the whole thing. God makes it simple. Yes, there’s a lot more to the story but this is the essence, the essential, the core upon which the rest of it stands. This is the Gospel by which we are saved. Do you believe the Gospel?


They all did their best to end the story of Jesus. Judas, Pilate, the Roman soldiers, the clamoring crowd, even Satan himself-they all tried to put an end to Jesus. But God had the final word. He always does. The two greatest words in the Bible are “but God…”. That is good for us to know. We need to always keep those two words in mind. No matter how bad things are, but God…

Season of Life

What a time we are living in! We have never seen anything like this. But we must all remember that it is temporary. It is just a season (a crazy season) in our lives. Let’s be careful to focus on the eternal realities. God is still on the throne, Jesus is still Lord, and the Bible is still God’s word. We can still be forgiven because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Those things will never change.

Worry and Peace

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Instead of worrying at a time like this, we need to pray. We may not see the answer to our prayers right away, but we can experience God’s peace immediately. His peace will comfort our hearts and guard our thoughts. This is a time, not to turn on God, but to turn to God. He will see you through this.

He’s Right There

God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble. PSALM 46:1

God is always present. There is no place on earth where He isn’t. But He is especially present during our times of trouble. He is our safe place and our source of strength. In this time of trouble, turn to Him. He’s right there.


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction. 2 For. 1:3



Our Heavenly Father is a comforter. We all encounter sorrow and suffering. We ask “Why” but seldom get an answer. However, our Father will comfort us in our afflictions. He is there for us even when we have brought the trouble on ourselves. Lean of Him. He is there for you.

Our Hearts

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. I Sam. 16:7


We are all so quick to judge others by how they look. We think we can “read” people pretty well. But God uses an entirely different measuring stick than we do. He’s not looking for what looks good or bad. He sees their heart and their intentions. He not only knows what you do but why you do it. We can be easily fooled. God can’t.

For Good

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28

God does not cause everything that happens to us. But for those who love God and walk in His purpose, He takes even the worst things that happen to us and works them together for our ultimate good and His glory. Only God can do something like that. He is the great recycler!

Your Heart

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. I Sam. 16:7

We are all so quick to judge others by how they look. We think we can “read” people pretty well. But God uses an entirely different measuring stick than we do. He’s not looking for what looks good or bad. He sees their heart and intentions. He not only knows what you do but why you do it. We can be easily fooled. God can’t.

God is Always There With Us

Be strong and courageous. Don’t fear or tremble before them, because the Lord your God will be the one who keeps on walking with you—He won’t leave you or abandon you.” DEUT. 31:6

What a precious promise! We are never alone. God is always with us, even when we don’t know it. In our darkest hour, He is there with us. He promises that He will never abandon us. It may feel like it at times. He may seem a million miles away. But He is right there for us to call on.


Before you believed in Christ, you were separated from Him. You were without hope and without God in the world. Eph. 2:12

All of us were there at one time. Some of us still are. Before we submit to Jesus, we are without God and hope. Yes, we may believe in Him, but He is not a daily part of our lives. Only through a living relationship with Christ can we have God and hope for the future. So how about it, have you made Jesus your Lord or are you living without hope?


The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. Prov. 11:17

We live in a world where little mercy is shown. People jump all over others weaknesses and faults and consider it clever. It’s popular to make fun of others shortcomings. The Bible says that the merciful person is actually doing themselves good. And conversely, when you are cruel, you are hurting yourself more than others. Do yourself a favor show compassion.


Be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. Eph. 4:32

Did you know that God will forgive you because of what Jesus did on the cross? For the same reason, we are to forgive others. When we hold grudges and refuse to forgive, we dishonor Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. God honors the death of Jesus by forgiving you. You honor the death of Jesus by forgiving others.

God’s Laws

The Lord our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to fear Him. These laws are for our own good as long as we live. Deut. 6:24

God did not give us rules to make us unhappy. He gave them to us for our own good. He made us and He knows what is good and what is bad for us. He loves us enough to warn us about what is harmful and to lead us to what will help us. Never look at God’s rules as restrictive but as liberating. His way sets us free to really enjoy life.


If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

None of us have all the answers. We all need help at times to make decisions. God graciously tells us to ask Him for wisdom. He will never find fault with us asking. He is generous and wants to help us. When you’re at a crossroads and you do not know what to do, ask God to help you make the right choice. He enjoys being that kind of a God.


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 was created by God. It is to be honored by all, those married and those unmarried. God does not treat lightly those who violate His principles of morality and faithfulness in marriage. Regardless of what is “socially acceptable” or what “everyone else is doing”, we should follow God’s plan for what He created, the beautiful institution of marriage.

Make Jesus Lord

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor. 5:17


A new year is great, but being a new creature is better. When we surrender to Christ, He makes us new. The past is forgiven and our future is secure in Him. And the good new is that it is available to anyone, no matter what you have done. Don’t make a New Year’s resolution. Make Jesus the Lord of your new year.

He Came to Save Us

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matt. 1:21

As we celebrate the coming of Jesus, we need to remember that He did not come to make us successful, prosperous, comfortable, fulfilled, or even happy. He did not come to give us a trouble-free life. That was not His primary mission. He came to save us from OUR sins. He came to deliver us from the penalty and the power of sin in our lives. As you celebrate Christmas, have you received what Jesus came to do?

A New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away. Rev. 21:1

As we get ready to welcome a new year, let’s think about the day when we will welcome a new earth. The Bible says this earth and the heavens will someday be destroyed and God will create a new heaven and new earth. It says in 2 Peter 3:13 that only what is good, right, and just will be in the new earth. A new year is good. A new earth will be great!

The Joy of Christmas

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

The joy of Christmas is that we now have a savior to offer us forgiveness for our sins, and a Lord to lead and guide us as we submit to Him. If Jesus is not your savior and Lord, then you haven’t really experienced the joy of Christmas. You may be happy about presents and family gatherings, but the true joy of the season comes from knowing Jesus as both your savior and Lord.

Worship Him

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Matt. 2:11

The wise men who came and found Jesus in Bethlehem, did something very strange. Before they offered their gifts of gold, frankensence, and myrrh, they worshiped Him. Now, Jesus had not performed any miracles yet. He had not taught any parables. They worshiped Him because of who He was, not because of what He did. Likewise, we should worship Jesus, not because He does everything we want Him to do. That would be selfish. We should worship Him because of who He is.


But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. PHIL. 3:20


I have traveled to many countries and just returned from India. But I have not found a place I would rather live than here in the U.S. I am glad to be an American. But, my citizenship in heaven is even more important than that. That’s my ultimate destination and home, with Jesus. And someday, He will come to take us home.

Give Him the Honor

They know about God, but they don’t honor Him or even thank Him. Rom. 1:21
There are a lot of people who believe there is a God. But that kind of faith is meaningless. Do you honor Him? Do you thank Him and give Him credit for the blessings in your life? (And all of you have MANY blessings) Or do you just profess a belief in Him and then live and act like He’s not even there? Let’s give Him the thanks He deserves, this week and every week.

Give Thanks!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. I Chr. 16:34

As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s remember Who we thank and why. More than anyone else, we ought to thank God. Secondly, of all the things that we can thank Him for (and there are plenty), His goodness is at the top of the list. We take for granted that He is a good God. But just think what life would be like if He weren’t. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

The Great Commission

Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
That is known as the Great Commission. It is a command to all Christians of all time. There are different ways to do it. Some go to far away lands as missionaries. Some give money to support the missionaries. Some pray daily for missionaries along with their financial support. Sadly, there are some Christians who do none of these. How are you fulfilling the Great Commission?

He Sent His Holy Spirit

“Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?” They said to him, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:2
There are a lot of Christians like that. They don’t really know what the Holy Spirit is. Many have not received Him since they have been saved. The Holy Spirit is not an “it”, He is part of the trinity. He is God the Spirit. He is very real but many have a hard time understanding who He is and what He does. The Father sent the Holy Spirit to help us live for Him. He helps us to become more like Jesus in our everyday lives. He leads us in God’s path for our lives. We all need the Holy Spirit in our lives. Have you received Him?

Be a Peacemaker

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Rom. 12:18

I love this verse. It is impossible to be a peace with everybody. Some people just won’t let that happen. But, to the degree that we can, we are to be at peace with everybody. We can’t control what others do but we can take ownership of our own actions. If we need to apologize or take the first step in reconciliation, then we need to do it. Don’t wait on someone else to start. You reach out to them. If they don’t respond, then at least you tried. That is what this verse is talking about.

Pray vs. Complain

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority. I Tim. 2:1-2

It is so easy to complain about others. But have you prayed for them? The Bible tells us to do exactly that. There is no one that we should not pray for, and that includes our leaders. The Bible specifically commands us to pray for them. We are to do that, even if we disagree with their policies. You would be surprised how God can change someone if we pray for them rather than complain, gossip, or nag them. Let’s do it God’s way.


But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. James 1:5

We all have times that we need wisdom to handle life. None of us have all the answers. But there is Someone who does and He is just waiting for you to ask for His help. He loves giving His wisdom to those who ask Him. He will graciously help you with your problems. But we do need to ask. Later in this same book of the Bible, it says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Let’s take God up on His word and ask.

The Main Thing

I passed on to you the most important part of the message and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. I Cor. 15:3-4

It is sad that churches disagree about so many things. It is too easy to get hung up about traditions, music and styles. The Bible tells us what is most important. We can disagree about a lot of things, but there is one thing that we all should agree on. Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead. Everything else is secondary. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is the main thing.


But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. MATT 6:33


Life is a matter of priorities. We all make them. Who or what do we put first in our daily lives? Something or someone is going to be first. Jesus said that we should make our desire for His kingdom first. But then He added that when we do, all the other “things” that we need will be given to us. Put God first and He will provide in all of the other areas of our life. That is His promise. Is seeking His kingdom your highest priority?

Be Careful with Your Words

Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need of the moment, words that will benefit those who hear them. Eph. 4:29

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a lie! Words can hurt deeply. The Bible cautions us to be careful what we say. Is it harmful? Will it help the current situation? Does it need to be said at this time? Will it benefit the hearers? It may be true, and it may feel good to say it, but it may be the wrong thing to say right then. Let’s let the Bible “clean up” our language.

God’s Goodness

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

God wants to bless us. He wants to give good things to those who follow Him. The issue is, what is good? There are things that we think would be good but God knows that they will ultimately harm us. We have to trust Him. He sees the whole picture. Like a parent that limits how much candy their child eats, God knows that there are things we want that are not good for us. Trust Him that He is a giver of what is good for you. After all, He loves you.

We Are His Children

The Spirit Himself speaks to our spirits and makes us sure that we are God’s children.  Romans 8:16

Did you know that the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts?  He does!  One of the things He tells us is that we are Gods children.  Even after we confess our sins and follow Jesus, we can doubt our relationship with God.  We wonder if He really forgave and accepted us.  The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirits and confirms that God’s word is true and that He has adopted us into His family.  I am God’s child, not because I feel forgiven, but because God said so in His word and the Holy Spirit has testified to my heart the truth of His Word.

Do Not Love

Do not love…   I John 2:15

“All you need is love.”  We’ve heard it said (and sung) so many times.  We are told that love is the answer.  But do you know that there are some things that God says we shouldn’t love?  Yes!  There are some things that we are not to love.  Now, you’ll notice that I did not quote the whole verse.  I challenge you to look it up for yourselves and find out what God tells us not to love.  The whole passage is I John 2:15-17.  Find out for yourselves what God says.


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

“I don’t want to bother God with my little problems.”  I’ve heard that many times.  However, God has told us to pray about all our problems, rather than worry.  It’s hard not to worry, but God tells us to pray instead.  God is never too busy or preoccupied with the issues of the world to hear your prayer.  He’s that big of a God.  My rule is-if it’s big enough to worry about, it’s bid enough to pray about.


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 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


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

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

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