Saturday, April 5, 2014

He Is Stronger

Today's Bible readings are Deuteronomy 28:1-68, Luke 11:14-36, Psalm 77:1-20, & Proverbs 12:18

Luke 11:21-22
21 For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— 22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

Today I want to reveal a great truth to you that will change your life forever. It is a truth that the enemy tries very hard to get people from learning. Once people begin to learn this truth & apply it, satan loses all power of them. The truth is this—the enemy has been defeated!!!

When Jesus was teaching this day He opened up the truth to what He had come to do. Up to this point, satan had power over man. He was armed with great power over man. Satan had all kinds of tools & weapons that he used to dominate people. He used things like:

1.      Sin

2.      Sickness

3.      Demonic oppression

4.      Fear

5.      Poverty

He had great success in controlling & bullying people. He was a strong man who was guarding his palace. His palace was earth. His possessions were the contents of earth. That included people. He was in total charge of things & there was not much people could do to overpower him. It was a hopeless & helpless situation for mankind.

People experienced this in many ways. Some were oppressed by his dark demonic power. Others were dominated by sickness. Many were controlled by addiction & drunkenness. All were controlled by sin.

This all changed when Jesus came to earth. He came to destroy the work of the devil.

1 John 3:8

But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

God was not going to sit by & watch satan destroy the lives of people that He loves. In deep love, God made a decision that would change it all forever. He sent His Son to pay the price of the one thing that gave the enemy the upper hand. He sent His Son to break the power of the enemy's kingdom so that man could reign free again, like they did in the Garden of Eden.

No longer would sin control people. No longer would shame cripple us. No longer would sickness dominate us with no hope of relief. No longer would demons oppress us & break us down. WHY??? Because a STRONGER MAN was going to break the chains, over throw the government, & release captives of satan’s kingdom.
Luke 11:21-22
21 For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— 22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

The forces of darkness knew they were in trouble when Jesus showed up on the scene. They knew that He was the real Commander & Chief.  The forces of darkness were in dismay when Jesus came. They knew that their kingdom, weapons, & possessions were all in jeopardy. Look at this example:

Mark 5:6-8

When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

This demon recognized & knew that it was in trouble. It knew that the STRONGER ONE was standing before him & that it’s time had come to relinquish its power. The devil thought that he could stop all this from happening if he could kill Jesus. So he worked through the evil in people’s heart to do that. He was relishing every moment as the beat & tortured the Christ on the way to Calvary. He was celebrating when the raised the cross & Jesus breathed in His last breath. He thought he had won this battle. He thought his kingdom was secured.

But 3 days later God gave the order for satan to release Jesus because He was an innocent man. Hell tried to fight this order. The ground shook. All of earth trembled. There was a great struggle in the depths BUT GOD CAME OUT THE VICTOR!!! Jesus stripped satan of his keys, took back all that satan had stolen, & completely overthrew satan’s kingdom in this great act of love!!!  Somebody needs to shout GLORY!!!

He then went to heaven & offered His own blood to God the Father as a payment for sin for all time. He not only broke the power & kingdom of satan but in this one act of love took away the sins of the world!!! What a Savior!

It is because of this act of love & what it has accomplished that satan has lost all power over you.

1.      Sin has no power of you in Christ.

2.      Sickness has no power over you in Christ.

3.      Death has no power over you in Christ.

4.      Drugs & alcohol have no power over you in Christ.

5.      Demons have no power over you in Christ.

You are FREE. There is nothing that satan can do to defeat you today if walk in the light of this great truth. The GREATER ONE lives in you.

1 John 4:4

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Let’s make sure that we allow the victory of the cross affect us today as we live our life for Christ. When the enemy tries to deceive you out of this victory that Christ has given you, remind him the truth that we have discussed this morning. The enemy has been defeated. Christ is victorious. We are in Christ so we are victorious too!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, April 4, 2014

Steps To Becoming A Wise Man

Today’s Bible readings are Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26, Luke 10:38-11:13, Psalm 76:1-12, & Proverbs 12:15-17


Proverbs 12:15-17
15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. 16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. 17 An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.

One thing that I love about the book of Proverbs is all the teaching that is given in order to help us become wiser. There are so many simple concepts that God sets forth to help us become people of wisdom. I thank God for these principals. They are what can truly change our lives.


Proverbs 4:7

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

I wanted to look at a few of the things that are mentioned in today’s reading.

1.      Wise people listen to others.

15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

This is one the greatest lessons I have learned in life. There have been several times when I was about to make a decision that could have been a costly err. As I talked to others I began to listen to their life experiences. As I listened, I also began to hear about mistakes that they made & also about successes they had experienced. As I shared my situation with them, they shared their thoughts with me. God used those moments to get wisdom to me so that I could make the best possible decision.


Proverbs 15:22

22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.

This verse & this principal have proven itself to me multiple times in life. The issue that usually comes up is: “Am I willing to be humble enough to take the counsel that God is giving?”

I have also seen where somebody will get very godly counsel from another person, but for whatever reason, they don’t like the counsel they received so they go to somebody else until they hear what they want to hear. This does not lead to wisdom. In fact, this is the way of the fool.

My point is this:  Listen to the wisdom that God sends to you through the counsel that He has surrounded you with. Also, stay humble so you can receive the guidance that you need to avoid unforeseen casualties.

2.      Learn to keep your cool in every situation.

16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

If you are reading this, then you are probably reading this through our church website. That means that you are probably Internet savvy. I think that the Internet is a great tool for us to help get the gospel out to people. It is also a great tool to do the kind of things that we do in this Bible blog, but the Internet can also be a place where great strife & contention occur.

I can only imagine the number of times people have used Facebook & social media outlets to spread venomous lies about others. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of quarrels & fights that have started through these same outlets. It appears to me that some people thrive on the drama & chaos that is created through these avenues.

I have learned, by the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit, to just keep silent when people are ranting & spouting out their ignorance. This is not always an easy thing to do but it what the wise have learned to do. Mature people have learned to hold their tongue. It is not a matter of being weak. It is not a matter of being a door mat. It is the fruit of the Spirit that is referred to as MEEKNESS.  The wise have found it, the fool needs to find it, & quickly.

3.      Tell the truth, ALWAYS!

17 An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.

Truth is such a missing element in so many lives today. People have lost touch with what truth is. There is so much lie spreading today. That is what is at the root of gossip. It is the spirit of a “false witness bearing” that leads to all gossiping.

Wise people have learned the power of TRUTH. They have come to realize that TRUTH makes us free. On the same note, lies put us in bondage.

I don’t know about you, but I have made the decision to be a person of wisdom. I know that in order to do that, I am going to have to follow the principals set forth in the bible. Here is a great confession of faith to make today:

I chose today to walk in the way of wisdom. I will do my best, as the Holy Spirit enables me, to walk in the principals that He has given me. I will listen to the wisdom of others that He places in my life. I will make sure to hold my tongue when fools speak their foolishness. I will also let truth be the only thing that governs my life.


Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Secret To Joy

Today’s Bible readings are Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19, Luke 10:13-37, Psalm 75:1-10, & Proverbs 12:12-14

Luke 10:17
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

Have there ever been times when you experienced great joy? Have you ever wondered how to have more joy in your life? I believe that the answer to this question is found in our reading today.

I see a lot of depression today in the lives of people. I also notice that there are so many in the body of Christ that are discouraged & discontented. Why is it that Christians are losing their joy? What is it that robs so many of the joy that Christ offers so freely? I believe that the answer is that so many people have stopped serving in the kingdom. The moment we stop serving is the moment that joy starts to die.

The answer is so simple, yet it is one that many people fight tooth & nail. They refuse to believe that it could be this simple. Sometimes, they have become so calloused that they don’t even realize how much of a sour puss they have really become.

It is so easy to blame others for what I lacking in our own individual lives. We say things like:
1.      It’s my wife’s fault I don’t have joy. She never stops nagging.
2.      It’s my bosses fault I don’t have joy. He is to demanding.
3.      It’s is my kids fault. They always stress me out.
4.      If my health was better I would have something to be joyful about.
5.      It’s God’s fault. He is so unfair to me.

All of these excuses are really LIES that we have chosen to believe. They are lies that come from satan. When we agree with them we give power & place to them. The truth is that joy comes as we serve in the kingdom of God.

Look at our text for a moment. Jesus had just sent the disciples out to do the work of the kingdom. He commissioned them & they went. He anointed them for what He commissioned them to do. They went & did it. In doing it they were filled with joy. WHY???

·        Joy is a by-product of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is the fruit that He produces when we are walking in the Spirit.


Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Did you see that? The Holy Spirit produces joy in our lives. It comes as a result of us walking in the Spirit.

As the disciples were out doing ministry, they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They yielded to Him. He was working through them. As He worked through them He produced joy in them. It was such a joy that the bible calls it an “over-flowing joy”. 

Luke 10:17
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

That choice of word shows us that joy was running over. They were full of joy. This was not a joy that the world knows. It is not a joy that the world can even offer. It is a joy that can only come from use serving in the kingdom as the Spirit empowers us.

Think about a time in your life as a Christian when you had the most joy? Now what you will find to be true across the board is that it was a time when you were serving in the kingdom. God was using you. You were yielding to His Spirit. As a result, He produced joy in you.

For whatever reason, many along the way have stopped serving. Maybe they got offended. Maybe they started to think that people didn’t appreciate what they were doing. Maybe they didn’t like the leader. Maybe they thought it was somebody else’s turn for a change. All of these come from the deceiver of your soul who wants to
1.      STEAL
2.      KILL
3.      DESTROY

He wants to steal, kill, & destroy your joy because joy gives you strength.


Nehemiah 8:10

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

It is time for many of you to get back into the game. You have been sitting on the side lines far too long & your lack of joy shows it. Here are some things that you can do ASAP to get back in the game & get your joy back.

1.      Ask your pastor what you can do to help him. NOTE:  Be prepared to catch him because he will probably faint when he hears you ask that question.

2.      Just do whatever needs to be done. Don’t have the “I’m too qualified for that” attitude.

3.      Help with the kids at church, drive a van route, etc..

4.      Do what others are not willing to do so you can have what others don’t have.

5.      Start visiting people who haven’t been to church in a while. NOTE:  Don’t get into negative talk with them during your visits. Always pull it back to the great things that God is doing in your church.

6.      Start praying for sick people. Get a list from your church & go get them healed.

7.      Start sharing your faith with people that you don’t live with. YES, THAT MEANS STRANGERS!!!

Bottom line is this:  Be a light where you are. God has you right where He wants you. Be faithful where you are & you will be entrusted with more. This may not seem like that deep of a revelation BUT I assure you that it will lead to greater measures of joy in your life.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Today’s Bible readings are Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30, Luke 9:51-10:12, Psalm 74:1-23, & Proverbs 12:11

Luke 9:57-62
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

One of the things that plague our generation is a lack of commitment. I am saddened to see such a lack of commitment in the lives of so many people.

1.      No commitment to God.

2.      No commitment to church.

3.      No commitment to marriage.

4.      No commitment to work.

5.      No commitment children.

Jesus makes it very clear that He expects us to be committed to Him. He is not looking for a people who will follow Him when it feels good. He is not searching for “bandwagon” Christians. God does not need a bunch of “fair weather fans”. Jesus Christ is looking for COMMITTED DISCIPLES!

Too many people start a race that they never finish. They make a superficial decision to follow Jesus but when things start to get in the way of their commitment to Jesus, their commitment soon changes. I want to share a few things that we can do to make sure that we finish strong.

       1. Keep focused on our present & future.

Remember that Jesus said these words:
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Many people start to focus on their past. They start to remember how things use to be. They start to miss what use to be a part of their life. The whole time they fail to remember the pain & emptiness that came as a result of living the former life style. They start to gaze backwards instead of forward.

This is what Israel did in the wilderness. They started to remember the melons & leeks. They started to remember the FEW things that seemed good about their life of slavery. By focusing on them they soon started to want to go back to what God had delivered them from. They didn’t want to go back to the torment but they failed to realize that to look back at any length would cause them to lose out completely. And that is exactly what happened to them.

Paul made it clear that focusing on the future is more important for us if we are to finish strong.

Philippians 3:12-14

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

There is a glorious future to those that are in Christ. That must be our focus.

          2.      Don’t let anything get in the way of our commitment to Christ.

It is inevitable that something will come to take away the hope that you have in Christ. It is also inevitable that there won’t be things that come to distract you from your purpose. We must guard our lives in this respect, knowing that Satan will attempt to weaken our commitment.

Once you have made a commitment, every decision has to support that commitment. This is how we develop deep roots. Roots are what keep us strong during difficult times.

Matthew 13:20-21

20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.

I want to challenge you today to renew your commitment to Jesus. Take a fresh look at your calling. Let that calling once again motivate you to run with purpose & passion. The One you are running for is worth your very best. It is time to stop giving Him our leftovers & to start giving Him our first fruits!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter