Saturday, April 19, 2014


Today’s readings are Joshua 19:1-20:9, Luke 19:28-48, Psalms 88:1-18, and Proverbs 13:12-14

Worship jumped out at me today while reading.

Luke 19:28-40

New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”[a]
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

I love the obedience of the two disciples.  Jesus tells them to go untie a donkey for a town and bring it to him and they do it.  I would be more like no I am not going to take someone else’s donkey.  The disciples did as Jesus asked and it was fine.  The owners even asked them what they were doing and they told they them Lord needs it.  It pays to be obedient to the Lord.  I think of that as being an act of worship.
 As he rode along people spread out their garments ahead of him.  This I also see as an act of worship to the Lord. 
 I love the part when all of his followers started to shout and sing as they walked along following Jesus.  When the Pharisees asked him to rebuke them he replied if they kept quiet the stones along the road would burst into cheers.

I love Jesus.  Just take some time today and just tell him how much you love him.  Tell him why you love him.  Tell him how great he is.  Worship gets us out of ourselves and into Jesus.  If you are like me and your mind wanders make a list of reasons.  You could have 10,000 reasons like the song by Matt Redmen next week.  Listen to a worship song or make up your own song to him.  Just Worship!

Kelly Schlotter

Friday, April 18, 2014

Facing The Giants

Today’s Bible readings are Joshua 16:1-18:28, Luke 19:1-27, Psalm 87:1-7, & Proverbs 13:11

Luke 19:1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

How do we make a wrong right? That is great question. We all know what it is to do wrong. We make mistakes on a regular basis. Why is it that some people continue to make the same mistakes time & time again?

I have made many mistakes in life. I know what it is to experience failure as a result of my own bad choices. I learned a valuable lesson when I was in my early 20’s that changed my life. It took me from a place of making the same mistake over & over to a place where I learned from my mistakes & moved on.

I know how frustrating it is when things don’t go well. I also know how much more frustrating it is to go through the same problems over & over again. I have seen people who have to move every 3 or 4 months because of problems. I have seen people who have to find a new job every few months because they can’t keep a job. I have seen people go through relationships because they don’t know how to treat one another.

I am a person who has experienced many of those same things myself, but I give praise to Jesus because I don’t have to experience them anymore. The answer to finding freedom from those bad choices was me accepting responsibility for the poor choices that I had made.

It is so easy to blame others for the misfortunes that happen in life. It was somebody else’s fault:

1.      That my utilities got shut off.

2.      That I couldn’t pay my rent.

3.      That I couldn’t come to work.

4.      That we couldn’t get along.

This is the way that I use to think. Thinking this way continued to produce that same types of problems in my life. I remember the moment when I finally came to my senses. I realized that it was my own actions that had produced the things that I was experiencing. This was a great day because with that I also realized that there was hope if I could find a way to change my actions. I realized that different actions would produce different outcomes.

I believe that is what true repentance is. We see it perfectly in the life of Zacchaeus. He was a man who had made many bad choices. But the interesting thing to me is that once He realized it, he chose to make things right.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

He accepted responsibility for his actions. He took it one step further & chose to make amends with any that he had wronged. This is where transformation occurs. It is this key thing that leads to change. This is the proof of a genuine changed of heart. In fact, Jesus said that this action proved that Zacchaeus was a true son of Abraham.

Christians don’t make excuses for their poor behaviors & their poor choices. We accept responsibility for our actions. This is what leads us to a life of victory. It is what I call, “facing the giants.” We will never conquer what we are afraid to face.

If you want to find victory over the chaos of your life, then you have to take the same route. We MUST be people of humility & integrity. We have to accept responsibility, then, come to Jesus for grace to rise above.  Jesus wants to help us, but we must be honest about things. Honesty really does lead us to a place of truth.

Pastor Richard Schlotter


Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Does It Cost You To Follow Jesus?

Today’s Bible readings are Joshua 15:1-63Luke 18:18-43, Psalm 86:1-17, & Proverbs 13:9-10

Luke 18:18-23
18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. 20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’”
21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.

What does it cost you to follow Jesus? That is a question that I want you to ask yourself today. In our text we see a man who really seemed to want to follow Jesus. He came to Jesus desiring to know what it would take to have eternal life.

I believe that this man truly wanted to know the answer. It doesn’t appear that he was trying to cause problems. But when he heard Jesus answer it caused problems for him.

This man was a man of works. In his mind he could earn eternal life. The first thing he asked Jesus is “What must I do”. We all know that there is nothing that you can do to earn eternal life. It is the gift of God. Yet, we all tend to be works oriented in this life. You work a day & you get paid for a day. We have all been taught that if you want something then you work hard to get it. This is true & I do not want to take anything any from this virtue, but when it comes to the gifts that Christ offers things don’t work that way.

We don’t have to earn or work for anything in the kingdom. For example, you don’t have to do anything to be:

1.      Healed

2.      Delivered

3.      Saved

4.      Filled with the Holy Spirit

These are all GIFTS from God. We don’t have to do anything for them. Jesus already did what was required. We now just simply share in his reward. Healing is yours because of what Jesus did at Calvary. He was whipped & had stripes put across His back so you could be healed. His blood flowed so that you could be forgiven & made right with God. He ascended so He could send His Spirit to live in you. The only thing needed on our part is to simply receive all that He offers.

The gospel is so simple that we make it hard. We have a hard time wrapping our minds around how God can give such extravagant gifts with absolutely NO cost required on our part. I don’t want to make it sound like there was no cost; the truth is that there was a great cost, BUT JESUS PAID IT ALL. There is nothing left to pay for. God has accepted His payment once & for all. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Now let me shift gears for a moment. Jesus gave an answer to the man that seemed to be asking a lot. He told the man to sell everything & follow Him. This tore the man inside because he had great wealth. Why would Jesus say such a thing?

I have learned that it doesn’t cost me anything to be saved or to experience any of the graces that Christ offers. BUT it costs me everything to love Him. There are many things that can pull at my heart in an attempt to pull me away from Christ. That is why Jesus wants us to let nothing have our heart the way He has our hearts.

I believe that this is the lesson in our story. Not that Jesus doesn’t want us to have stuff & money, but rather, Jesus doesn’t want money & stuff to have us. We needed money to preach the gospel, we need money to build the kingdom, we need money to help people, BUT we need Jesus FIRST. It is only when He is LORD of our life that we can operate in the things that matter.

Make sure that today you spend some time evaluating yourself through the light of the Holy Spirit. Is there anything that has your heart more than Jesus does? If so, let it go & hold Jesus tightly once again. This is where life truly starts.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Am Not Ready For The Junk Yard

 Today’s Bible readings are Joshua 13:1-14:15, Luke 18:1-17, Psalm 85:1-13, & Proverbs 13:7-8

Joshua 14:10-12
10 “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. 11 I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. 12 So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”

I love the heart of Caleb. We see that even in his older days he was still a man of faith & passion. It was he & Joshua who said they could take this land 45 years prior. When the other spies said it couldn’t be done they both stood & said it is possible. They said we should go now for the Lord is with us.

He was filled with faith in his early days & he is just as full of faith in his later days. I have often wondered why he was still in such great health. Why is it that he was still ready to take the land for the Lord? We know that God kept him strong this whole time, but Caleb did something to. He operated in faith.

I have a friend at church who is in his 80’s. He is old enough that some people would think it is time for him to slow down; not him though. He is going strong now like he was when he was 50. If fact, I don’t even think that he realizes he is in his 80’s. He has the attitude that says: “I can STILL do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

I know you have probably heard this but it is worth repeating:  “Attitude determines altitude.” This is statement that we all know is true. The right attitude makes a huge difference. The wrong attitude is many times what leads to our fall.

Caleb sure had the right attitude. He knew that in his later years that there was still much more that God wanted to do. He knew that there was still a lot that needed to be done. There was still ground to be taken. He wasn’t going to sit on his rear end & wait for somebody else to do it. So at 85 years old, he set out to take the land. Praise God!

Caleb could have rested in the accomplishments that they had already achieved like most people do. But he was not going to let a little bit of success stop him from accomplishing his purpose. He didn’t let his greying hair & aging body rob him of some of the most fruitful days of his life. He believed God at 85 JUST LIKE he did at 40!

I want to share that kind of spirit. I don’t believe that my best days are behind me. I believe that they are before me. I don’t believe that your best days are behind you either. I believe that today is the greatest gift that you have. Yet, I also know that our attitude about things determine how we use this gift that has been given to us.

I have seen 2 things rob so many people in the church of the blessings that could have been theirs:

1.      Youthfulness

2.      Age

There are some who think that they are to new at the Christian life to offer anything of value to the kingdom. They say things like this:

1.      I don’t know enough.

2.      I haven’t been saved long enough.

3.      I’m not smart enough.

4.      I’m not holy enough.

5.      I’m too busy.

6.      I still have too many issues.

7.      Let somebody who is older in the faith do it.

Then there are those who think they are too old to offer anything of value to the kingdom. They say things like this:

1.      I can’t relate with young people anymore.

2.      I don’t have the energy.

3.      I have served my time.

4.      Nobody wants to listen to me anymore.

5.      I’m just too different.

6.      I have too many issues.

7.      Let somebody who is younger handle it.

As you can see, both attitudes are equally in error. They will only rob the person of the greatest joy in this world---being used of God.

I believe the story & testimony of Caleb is in the scripture to encourage us. It is profitable for us to read this & let it inspire us to be stretched in our own faith. Why let age or youthfulness determine what God can or can’t do in your life? Is God really limited by age??? I think not. Is God really limited by your lack of experience??? I think not.

The issue, in my estimation, is a weakened faith on our part. I believe that it stems from us listening to the lies that rattle around in our heads. The lies that say:

1.      You can’t.

2.      You’re too old.

3.      You don’t have enough experience.

4.      You have too many issues.

5.      They won’t listen to you.

Remember, faith comes by hearing. If these are the things that we are hearing & agreeing with, then that is where our faith will be. But, if we start filling our minds with the promises of God, faith will grow in them. The difference is what is produced. The promises will always produce the blessings of God. The other things will produce what so many already have—bondage, lack, depression, etc…

Let your faith be strengthened in the promises of God. Your next 10 years will be more fruitful than all the others combined. God can make that happen, if you can only believe!

Pastor Richard Schlotter