Saturday, March 8, 2014

The New You

Today’s Bible readings are Numbers 10:1-11:23, Mark 14:1-21, Psalm 51:1-19, & Proverbs 10:31-32

Psalm 51:10-12
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

What a true heart of repentance that we see in David as he penned this psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He was at a low in his life. He had sinned greatly by committing adultery with Bathsheba. He had one of his loyal men killed to cover it up. He tried to cover up his sin but God revealed it through His prophet. David was filled with shame & condemnation.

We are all too familiar with these types of situations. It may not be that we have committed adultery, but the shame & condemnation I something that we can all relate to. These are 2 of the heaviest blows that the enemy uses to beat us down with. He was doing a number on David at this particular moment, much like he does on us.

1.      You’re a failure.

2.      You are such a fake.

3.      You will never recover from this one.

4.      There is no hope for you now.

5.      Nobody is ever going to forget this.

6.      You may as well just quit.

7.      God is never going to forgive you.

These are all the things that satan will whisper to us. He wants us to agree with him concerning these things. When we agree with them, we start speaking them in our own minds. We begin to say to ourselves:

1.      I’m a failure.

2.      I’m a phony.

3.      This is the end.

4.      There is no hope for me.

5.      I will never get past this.

6.      I may as well quit.

7.      God could never forgive me.

David knew the pain of being in torment from satan with the chains of guilt & shame. He had been wrestling with the sorrow for months. The guilt was wasting him away. He cried out to God for deliverance. The Lord heard his cry.

Psalm 51:10-12
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

His heart had become tainted with sin & condemnation. He was so concerned with what he needed to do next to keep things hidden that he could no longer serve God the way that he once did. He needed to be cleansed from the unrighteousness.

Joy had long since passed from his life. The only thing that remained was the constant fear of being found out. The weight of that burden was crushing him. All joy was gone. He so desperately missed the joy that he was so familiar to.

This may sound like your story. I want to encourage you today. God wants you back! His grace is greater than anything that you could ever do or have ever done. He forgave David. This happened before the blood of Christ was even shed. Now that the precious blood of Jesus has been shed we too can experience His grace to wash, cleanse, & restore. There is NOTHING that His blood can’t wash away. There is NOTHING his blood can’t redeem. There is NOTHING that his blood can make new.

God wants you to know that it was removed as soon as you confessed it to Him & put it under the blood of His Son. Stop talking about. Stop going back to what He has freed you from. There is no need to fear what you have been released from. You are forgiven.

1.      The affair is finished.

2.      The divorce is behind you.

3.      The relapse is history.

4.      The past is the past.


It is time to move on. It is time to go forward. It is time to renew your mind. God has given you another chance. The only way that it will work out for His glory is if you stop letting your past dictate your present & your future. God has cleansed you. You are restored. His Spirit is in you. His presence is with you. Joy is coming. Receive it in Jesus name.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, March 7, 2014

It Is Wake Up Time

Today’s Bible readings are Numbers 8:1-9:23, Mark 13:14-37, Psalm 50:1-23, & Proverbs 10:29-30

Mark 13:32-37
32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!
34 “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”

It has been said before, it will be said again; Jesus is coming SOON! No one knows the hour, no one knows the day, but Jesus is coming SOON!

There is a call going out to the church today that it is time to stay awake & alert. I remember I went on a camping trip with some Royal Rangers a year ago. We had a fire watch schedule so that our fir stayed burning throughout the night so we could stay warm. There was a certain point in the night that it became very hard for us to stay awake. It was late, quiet, & something in the air just called out for us to sleep. The group of boys who were supposed to be watching the fire fell asleep. I woke up in the early hours of the morning to coyotes howling & no fire.

This is similar to what can happen to us in our faith. Many times because we are tired from the labor of the day we can fall asleep. Maybe it is a quiet place in the night that doesn’t appear to be that dangerous. We lower our guard, we give in to the temptation to close our eyes, the next thing you know; we are sleeping.

There are some specific things that we can do to make sure that we stay awake. I want to share them with you.

1.      Stay focused.

We can easily forget how important our task is. Much like the fire watch, we can begin to have an attitude that says, “It’s not that important.” This is a grave mistake. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Jesus taught in His last days with the disciples the importance of alertness & watchfulness. Of all the things that He could have been sharing in those last days He felt prompted to talk about His return.

2.      Never become weary in doing good.

Galatians 6:9-10

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Sometimes we get bored with prayer. Other times we get worn out in serving in the kingdom. We get tired of giving. These are all temptations that can come into our lives if we let them. These things lead to sleep. We must remind ourselves that we are soon going to reap a harvest for our labor. The key is to not give up. People who are alert are people who persist in these things.

3.      Never stop telling the story of Jesus.

Nothing revitalizes & refreshes us more than telling the story of Jesus to the lost & hurting. It is like that morning cup of coffee. It may not be easy getting it brewed but one drink & instantly we begin to perk up. This is what happens when we keep the gospel of Jesus on our tongue. As we share His hope, love, & plan with others, we are refreshed.

As God uses us it also keeps in perspective the reality of His return. It is not just something to talk about; it is something to live for. Jesus will come. It is nearer now than it has ever been before. He is calling out to His church in these last days for us to open our eyes. Let’s take a new approach at this old truth. The alarm is going off. No more hitting the snooze button. It is time to wake up & let your light shine.

Pastor Richard Schlotter


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't Be Cut Short

Today’s Bible readings are Numbers 6:1-7:89, Mark 12:38-13:13, Psalm 49:1-20, & Proverbs 10:27-28

Proverbs 10:27-28
27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

In the last few years I have become more aware of the fact that my days on Earth will not last forever. When I was younger, I only thought about the here & now. It seemed, in my mind, that I was invincible. The perception I had was that I was going to live forever in this life. I never spent much time thinking about the things that I was doing & how they would affect the days ahead of me. As a result, I lived carelessly. I did things that were not wise & lived like a fool.

Then I came to know Jesus when I was 23. I began to realize that God has a plan for my life. I also began to consider the fact that He expects me to fulfill the plan that He has for my life. I started to look at each day differently. I started to look at the way I was living life & the habits that I had as things that could hinder my purpose. This is when it all began to change.

One of our readings today teaches us that the fear of the Lord lengthens our life. Let’s look at this to learn what this means.

What is the “fear of the Lord”? There is a proper fear of God & there is an unhealthy fear of God. First of all, God does not desire to hurt you. He has no pleasure in punishing you. God is not an angry person waiting for us to mess up so He can zap us with lightning bolts. He is not a drill sergeant shouting commands so loud that we are afraid. Listen to what the scripture says:


Romans 8:31

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

The Holy Spirit wants us to know that God is for us; He is on our side. So the fear of the Lord is not a fear like that of being afraid of being punished. It is motivated by love & NOT FEAR. The best word that I can think of to describe this is the word “reverence”.

Reverence:  a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe

Respect will cause a person to do what they don’t want to do out of honor for the one the respect. Respect will cause a person to submit in areas that they do not want to submit in. Respect will cause a person to behave in a manner that is not their usual way. Respect is a byproduct of love. That is why I said that the fear of the Lord is motivated by love, not fear.

I want to show you what this looks like according to the bible:


Ephesians 5:15-29

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.

I know that this is a lot of extra reading, but you really need to see it all in the natural flow to understand this idea. We see a list of things that Paul mentions:

1.      Be careful how you live, don’t live like fools.  NOTE: I could write for a month on living like fools. A lot falls into this category.

2.      Make the most of every opportunity.

3.      Don’t act thoughtlessly.

4.      Don’t get drunk.

5.      Be filled with the Spirit.

6.      Sing songs to the Lord.

7.      Give thanks in everything.

8.      Submit to one another—he goes on to tell us for wives this means submit to your husbands & for husbands this means to live a life of sacrifice for your wives.

The key to accomplishing all of this is found in verse 21:

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Paul’s train of thought has not been broken. All of these things that are listed are tied together, even though, they aren’t always preached together. The words “AND FURTHER” show us that what was listed before is connected to what is being spoken now. He makes it clear that in order for us to fulfill these 8 things we MUST do it out of reverence for Christ. It is the fear of the Lord that motivates us to live in obedience to these 8 things.

Living in obedience to these 8 things will obviously add length to our life. Living like a fool leads to shortening of life for many reasons. Fools don’t consider the affects things have on them in the future. The only care about what feels good now. Acting thoughtlessly can create accidents that shorten life. Getting drunk leads to health problems, marriage problems, family problems; which all lead to stress, which leads to shortened life.

But making the most of opportunities, being filled with the Spirit, singing to the Lord, giving thanks, & submitting to & honoring our mates ALL ADD DAYS TO OUR LIVES. These things produce joy. These things produce peace. These things are all conducive to healthy living. Lastly, they ALL come through the FEAR OF THE LORD!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Kind Of Employee Jesus Would Hire

Today’s Bible readings are Numbers 4:1-5:31, Mark 12:18-37, Psalm 48:1-14, & Proverbs 10:26

Proverbs 10:26
26 Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.

This is a very bold statement. Some people don’t care what their bosses think about them. They would read a verse like this & say, “Who cares. My boss is a jerk.” I want to answer that question:  GOD CARES!

Why do you think this verse is in the bible? If this didn’t matter to God would He give us instruction on it? This is not the only place that work ethic is mention in the bible.

Ephesians 6:5-8

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

Some would argue that this is not for us today because we are not slaves. That is true, but all scripture is relevant for today. There are principals for us to take & apply to our lives. I see 3 principals in this text that teaches me Christian work ethic.

1.      Respect my boss.

You may not always agree with your boss.  That is OK. It is not your job to agree with them. It is your job to make their job lighter. You have been hired for a task. They pay you to work. So don’t get upset & complain when they have you work. That is what you are there for.

 Don’t join in the boss bashing at the workplace. The bible tells us to “judge no man that is not your servant”. You serve your boss, not the other way around. We are told to serve our boss the way we would serve Christ. Would you ever bash Jesus? I think not. SO DON’T BASH YOUR BOSS!

2.      Do good & work hard EVEN WHEN THEY AREN’T WATCHING.

I have a staff at our church that works with me. I NEVER have to follow them around & make sure they do what is expected of them. They do it & do it well. That is rare nowadays. Let me give you great word of advice—PUT YOUR STINKING CELL PHONES AWAY!!! Some people are more involved with their private life at work than they are with their work responsibilities. HEAR ME YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU DON’T GET PAID TO TEXT & TALK ON THE PHONE TO YOUR FRIENDS!

There is always stuff that we would rather not do. But again, you get paid to do what others don’t want to do. God will bless you for your faithfulness. Integrity in the workplace matter.

3.      Work with enthusiasm.

Stop being a grumbler. The dread of the job is ALWAYS worse than the job itself. You are doing it for Jesus. Do it with passion, zeal, & excellence. Nobody boss likes a sluggish, negative employee. If you want to be blessed, walk in the light of the scripture. Be an inspiration to those around you.

You are light & salt, always remember that. Work is one of the best places to let your light shine. Let’s get radical & start living our faith at our workplaces. I leave you with this encouragement:

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Pastor Richard Schlotter