Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Glorious Gospel

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 39:1-40:38, Mark 1:1-28, Psalm 35:1-16, & Proverbs 9:11-12

Mark 1:1-3
This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way, He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
    Clear the road for him!”

The opening of this gospel is incredible. I absolutely love that fact that it declares the “Good News” about Jesus Christ. I love the story of Jesus & all that it does for me & you. In fact, it is good news for whosoever will repent & believe it. There is no other story that offers such wonderfully great news to humanity.

Let’s examine what this “Good News” is.

 1.      Jesus saves.

This is the most important aspect of the Good News. Jesus Christ saves us from our sins. According to the bible all have sinned & fallen short of God’s standard.

Romans 3:23

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

The standard that God uses to measure our success is the 10 Commandments. He also says that if we break one of the commandments that we are guilty of them all. The payment for the offense is death.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The “Good News” is that Jesus has paid the penalty for our sin. He died in our place. He has freed us from the wrath that was on us for the sins we have committed. The Good News is we are forgiven & God is on our side. That is worth shouting about. God is for you now in Christ!

2.      Another part of the Good News is Christ was beaten so you could be healed.

Isaiah 53:3-6

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

This is great news. You don’t have to earn your healing. You don’t have to be good enough to get it. You don’t have to be a member of the team for a certain amount of time. Christ was beaten so you could be healed. It is a faith thing. If you are sick, receive your healing the same way you received your salvation—BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.

3.      The next aspect of the Good News is you are saved from poverty.

Luke 4:16-21

16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

What else could the Good News to the poor be? I will tell you—YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE POOR NO MORE!

2 Corinthians 8:9

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

4.      He saved you from death.

John 3:16

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 11:25-26

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

In examination of these 4 points, we see that 4 of the main things that people fear & stress about are nothing to fear & stress about if we are in Christ. We have the Good News. We are not subject to those former things in Christ. We are new creatures operating under a New Covenant.

This is the Good News! Let’s get busier than ever sharing this Good News with others. This will change their lives & yours!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, February 14, 2014

Your Not Crazy, Just Confident

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 37:1-38:31, Matthew 28:1-20, Psalm 34:11-22, & Proverbs 9:9-10


Psalm 34:18-20
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. 20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!

I remember many times in my life when I felt alone. When I was in prison there were many days when I felt forgotten & abandoned. There have been many times since then that I have felt like God was distance form me. Yet I know that is NEVER the truth.

Many times when we go through trials we can begin to think that God is punishing us for something we have done. It is also easy to think or feel that God has abandoned us. There may even be times when thoughts come that suggest that God doesn’t care. THAT IS NOT TRUE!

Trials can do 1 of 2 things. They can break your faith of make your faith. It all depends on what you chose to meditate on in the midst of them.

James 1:2-4

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

God is not trying to destroy you. He loves you too much for that. God is not trying to break you. He has too much invested in you for that. God’s desire is to perfect you! That is why He is always there in the midst of every trial. He is waiting for you to reach out to Him & be strengthened by Him. This is when we learn TRUST.

I want to clarify; God is not the author of every trial that we face. Many times they are the result of our own poor choices. Sometimes the trials we face are the result of the enemy that is trying to steal, kill, & destroy in our lives. But the answer to the trial & the hope we have in the trial is always the same—JESUS!!!

I love what the David wrote in this Psalm that we read today.

Psalm 34:19

19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

There is no doubt that your faith is going to be tried. There is surely days when troubles come, BUT IN THE MIDST OF THEM ALL, OUR LORD WILL RESCUE US EVERY TIME!!! That is His promise to you. Now, I am certain that God doesn’t create problems for us just so He can rescue us. That is absurd. He is not the one creating the problem. He is the One delivering us from the problem.

I want you to change the things that you say when you are going through difficulties. Rather than sitting around talking & acting as if there is no hope, I want you to start rejoice for the deliverance that is on its way. This will put a great excitement in you. It is going to be awesome to watch God work. Let this charge your faith & your spirit as you endure like a good soldier & fight the good fight of faith. Your deliverance is closer now than ever before so just lift your eyes & hands & begin to praise Him.

This may sound crazy but it is not.  He has said He will rescue you every time. So thank Him in advance. That is what faith does. You don't need to see it to know it is true. But once you start acting as though it is true everything changes. Your not crazy, just confident that He will do it again!


Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is It Time To Change The Radio Station?

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 35:10-36:38, Matthew 27:32-66, Psalm 34:1-10, & Proverbs 9:7-8

Psalm 34:1-7
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

What is your song? What is the music of your life that others hear you singing? That is the question I want you to consider this morning. Your life may not be a song to others but it is a song to your Father in heaven. What is it that He hears?

If you are like some, your song is nothing more than a sad country western song. All that is heard is how unfair life is. If you are like others, it is a screaming & growling heavy metal song. Anger & rage is the motivation behind your song. Maybe your life is like a profane rap.

What is it that people hear you talking about all the time?

1.      Do they hear you talking about your problems?

2.      Do they hear you complaining about everything?

3.      Do they hear rage & anger constantly?

4.      Are you always talking about the same struggles over & over again?

5.      Is there ever any life in your song?

6.      Do people wish that a new song would play?

It is very important that we pay attention to the things that come out of our mouths. We are Christians. We are carriers of life & encouragement. Why is it that we speak so much death & discouragement? That is a song that nobody wants to hear. Why not sing a different song? Why not focus your song on how good God is? Why not make the things that others hear center on the AWESOME God we serve & the GREAT things He has done for us?

I know that when I think about the Lord & all that He has done I can’t help but sing a happy song. He is so good. He has saved me from so much. He has blessed me so richly. He has prospered me in every way. Why do I even care to spend any time at all sing about the FEW things that don’t go my way. In fact, even when things don’t go my way I cry out to God & He delivers me EVERY time!

I guess, or me, I find it much more productive for me to magnify the things that most accurately describe the nature of God. That is what I want others to hear. If all they hear is how hard life is & how unfair things are then they never get to hear about how great God is & how wonderful He is to His kids. If they do hear it, it is after they have already heard how awful life is. That can seem contradicting to many.

I choose to tell people about how faithful God is. I choose to let my song the send the message of how He ALWAYS comes through for me. I choose to make sure that my anthem declares how He TOTALLY delivers me. That is an accurate description of my God. It is also one that is appealing to the listener, God included.

It is not that we can’t share our struggle, we can. It is not that we can’t share our difficulties, we should. It is not that we can’t seek advice, we must. But share MOSTLY your story of victory. I have learned to keep my current struggles to myself & those that I’m accountable to. I try my best to make the content of my song be on the things that I have found victory over. If I haven’t yet found victory over it the only person I really need to be talking to is God.

In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.

That is what I want others to remember after they get done talking to me. I want them to hear a message of hope & victory in my song. That is how we give glory to our Savior.

Has there ever been a radio station that you just could stand to listen too? Was there ever a time when you couldn’t wait for a song to end? Let’s make sure that our song is one that people want to heat. Most importantly, let’s make sure our song is one that God loves to hear song. Let our song be a love song of His GREAT:

1.      Mercy

2.      Compassion

3.      Presence

4.      Reward

5.      Faithfulness

6.      Power

7.      Love

Sometimes we may not even realize what our song is. We have been singing it so long it is the only one we know. Maybe it is time we start being more mindful of what is coming out of our mouths. As we use to say back in my teenage years:  “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

You have such a beautiful song to sing if Christ has redeemed you. It is a song that nobody else can sing unless they are of the redeemed. It is the song of the redeemed. It declares that:

1.      Our Savior LIVES.

2.      Our Savior ALWAYS comes through.

3.      Our Savior NEVER lets go.

4.      Our Savior is MIGHTY to save.

5.      Our Savior is our Healer of EVERY sickness.

6.      Our Savior breaks EVERY chain.

Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Today’s readings are Exodus 34:1-35:9, Matthew 27:15-37, Psalm 33:12-22, & Proverbs 9:1-6

Exodus 34:6-7

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”

I love these verses in Exodus 34:6-7 God calls himself these things.  The lord, the God of compassion and mercy, He is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.  God help us all to be more like this, help us to hide these words in our hearts and do them.  In verse 8 Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped.   When is the last time you got down on the ground and worshiped the Lord with love and admiration?   Moses asked God to claim them as his own possession.  So that leads me to believe that I am not my own anymore I am God’s possession.  So how can I not fall down and worship him.  Claim me as your own special possession Lord.  We are God’s possessions.  Wow doesn’t that just make your heart skip a beat?  It does mine.  This is an awesome chapter in Exodus. 

Matthew 27:15-31 
Oh my Lord I love you thank you so much for taking my sins upon your body.  Thank you so much for your unfailing love and faithfulness.  Reading these verses cause me to feel so many different emotions.  Some are anger, sorrow, and love for a savior that could do this for us.  UNFAILING LOVE!!!  I challenge you today to show love.  Show love when your children are grouchy, show love when your spouse is demanding, show love when work is not going right.  Jesus was beaten for us.  What great unfailing love. WOW.

I am focused on Love with these readings today.  God is so amazing.  Psalm 33:18 God watches over those who fear him and rely on his unfailing love.  Psalm 33:22 let your unfailing love surround us Lord for our hope is in you.  We place our hope in God he is our strength to love others.  With Valentine’s Day coming people are thinking of love and what we can do for our spouses.  Don’t limit your love to special days.  Let them know that you love them every day.

  1. Buy their favorite food and fix it for dinner.  (That is what my husband says is his love language).
  2. Send a sweet text.
  3. Ask them if there is anything you can do for them today.
  4. Let them catch you admiring them.
  5. Say encouraging things.  No negative.

These are all very easy practical things we can all do.  Pastor Lisa just taught about dying to self.  What a great way to start dying to self, by building up and loving on your spouse.  

Kelly Schlotter