Saturday, May 10, 2014

Great Wealth

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Samuel 8:1-9:27, John 6:22-42, Psalm 106:32-48, & Proverbs 14:34-35

 John 6:35

35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

This particular day the people who were following Jesus asked Him to prove to them that He was the one they should believe in. They said that their ancestors were given the miracle of bread from heaven to prove to them that Moses was going to be the one to guide them & provide for them. Jesus reminded them that it was not Moses but God who sent them bread.

The people of Moses’ day experienced their natural needs being met. But now, standing before the people this day, is the TRUE BREAD OF HEAVEN. Unlike the bread that they ate in the wilderness, this bread would take away a different hunger. The bread that fell from heaven in the wilderness took care of only the natural hunger. This New Bread would take away & satisfy their spiritual hunger.

The people were so blinded by the natural hunger that they had that they were missing the bigger point; Jesus wanted to meet their spiritual needs. He wants to satisfy the longing they had on the inside.

Jesus wants to satisfy your spiritual needs also.

1.      The need for peace.

2.      The need for love.

3.      The need for hope.

4.      The need for belonging.

5.      The need for connection with our Creator.

6.      The need for forgiveness.

7.      The need for cleansing.

8.      The need for healing.

9.      The need for strength.

10.   The need for transformation.

The bread that they ate in the wilderness could never do anything to meet these needs. That’s why God sent the Son. It doesn’t matter how much food you feed somebody. If you don’t fill the hunger inside their soul, they will still be empty & weak.

We still make this error today. We come to God with of prayer list. It consists mostly of STUFF we want from God. Don’t make me say something that I am not saying. GOD WANTS TO MEET OUR PHYSICAL NEEDS! But generally speaking, our prayer lists are usually over crowded with material stuff. We think that more stuff is going to fill the emptiness inside BUT IT NEVER WILL. Stuff can never make up for what a person is lacking in character. Stuff can never produce character in us.




What would happen if we quit treating Jesus like our “Sugar Daddy” & started to treat Him like our Lord? What if we stopped seeking material things & started to pursue true treasure? What if we realized that the only change that matters is a change of the heart? What if we actually started to do what the bible suggests?

1 Timothy 6:6-11

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Jesus, teach us to be content. Help us to desire what really matter. Remind us that YOU are all that we need. You are more precious than silver & more costly than gold. Nothing we desire compares with YOU!!!


Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, May 9, 2014

Remembering God

Today’s Bible readings 1 Samuel 5:1-7:17, John 6:1-21, Psalm 106:13-31, & Proverbs 14:32-33

Psalm 106:13-15
13 Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel! 14 In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland. 15 So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.

It tends to be human nature to forget all that God has done for us. We see this in the story of Israel after their deliverance from Egypt. God did many incredible things to bring them into a place of freedom. He performed miracles & worked wonders. Yet, they soon forgot that it was Him & His great love for them that led to their blessings.

We are living in a day when our culture has totally forgotten that it was God who made this country great. God is being excluded form everything in our country today. No prayer in school. No 10 Commandments in the Court Houses. No nativity scenes at Christmas.

It is alarming to me that these things are happening. Yet, my greater concern is what lies ahead if we don’t turn things around. We know the things that happened to Israel as they hardened their hearts toward God. He let them have what they thought they wanted, but they also had to accept the other things that came with their choices. This is where things got ugly.

A lot of decisions are being made today about major changes that will greatly affect our country, our futures, & our children. Marriage is being redefined. Drugs are be legalized. Freedoms are being taken away. These all come at a cost.

We have to make sure that the bride of Christ still shines. We must make sure that we stand strong & tall for our bridegroom. It is important that the church really press into God like never before. Somebody has to carry the torch. That responsibility is ours.

With all the changes around us, we have to have something constant in our lives. That constant thing that we need is Jesus. He never changes. I want to share a few things that I believe will help us keep God as the focus.

1.      Give God the glory.

It is easy to forget that to God be ALL the glory. Each day we can start our day off with us making this confession. We declare to God that our life is owed to Him. He gives us breath. He gives us each day as a gift. We can ask Him to use us for His glory. This is the best way for me to keep God in the center of my life. It also helps me remember that He is who I am dependent upon.

2.      Be a person of thanksgiving.

As long as we remain thankful, we will never fall down the spiral that Israel slid down. Learning to be content with life is a virtue. Our culture is always after bigger & better. This is a trap many times. Just stop & be thankful for what you do have & thank God for giving it to you.

3.      Never lose your passion for reaching the lost.

This is my prayer for the church. I pray that we get a holy hunger back for souls. The heart of God is to reach people. God wants us to build His kingdom. I have learned that I can’t do that on my own. It is hard to reach people. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. The more we hunger for souls, the more we hunger for God because He is the ONLY way to reach & save souls.

Don’t fall into the trap that so many others have got stuck in. Don’t choose the broad path. Choose the narrow path. Be the person who remembers God & puts God first. This is the best way to avoid the harvests of sin.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You Have Already Passed From Death To Life

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 5:24-47, Psalm 106:1-12, & Proverbs 14:30-31

John 5:24
24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

This is such an encouraging message to God’s people. Our whole lives we have been condemned by the sins & failures we have experienced. Jesus is standing & declaring that there is a way out of it. It is through believing in Him.

I want to expand on this for a moment. It is not just believing that Jesus exists; it is believing that He paid the penalty for my sins & failures when He died in my place on the cross. My sins were worthy of death, BUT Jesus died for me. He offered payment for my sins. God, the righteous Judge, accepted that payment. Now, when I, by faith, accept that payment it relieves me from the guilt & condemnation of my past. I know that it has been covered & atoned for. Therefore, I know longer fall for the deception of standing condemned because I know that it has been taken care of.

This is what it is to know Jesus & believe in Him. Our faith is not just in Jesus, but in what Jesus did for us on the cross. Listen to what He says:

John 14:1

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

Jesus is preparing to go to the cross. He is beginning to share with the disciples this part of His mission. At this point He begins to plead with them to trust in Him. This is important because we know in a few short days He is going to die for the sins of the world. This act of love would free whosoever will from the burden of sin & condemnation.

We too must trust in what Jesus has done. There may still be times when satan will try to convince us of our guiltiness. Satan may still try to whisper condemning thoughts to us. But it is then that we must trust what Jesus did on the cross. We must continue to have faith in the finish work of Calvary.

As we step over into this way of living by faith, we pass from the death that we use to walk in into the life that we have in Christ. Everything changes when we trust in what Jesus did on the cross. As shame is lifted we find new life. As condemnation ceases we find new life. As the burden of guilt is removed we can now live the kind of Christ centered, Christ empowered, kind of life that glorifies our Father & His Son.

This is the place where we find freedom from:

1.      The past.

2.      Weaknesses.

3.      Guilt, which only leads to more sin.

4.      Hopelessness

5.      Inadequacies

6.      Fears

7.      Lies

Once we get free from these things we start to live the NEW LIFE that the gospel teaches us about. We start to walk in liberty & freedom. All the things that once held us done are loosened. The death that once kept us tightly enslaved is forever broken & gone!

We do not need to wait for heaven before we start living this new kind of life. We have ALREADY passed from the dead life to the NEW LIFE. This new life is a life of:

1.      Provision

2.      Rest

3.      Peace

4.      Hope

5.      Joy

6.      Love

7.      Power

8.      Excitement

9.      Wholeness

10.   Blessing

Stop letting the enemy rob you of these things. They are yours in Christ. It is not something that you have to wait for. You have all of them now. They are the result of being free from sin & condemnation. They are the result of having eternal life.  Make it an aim that every time that these things are in jeopardy, you remind yourself of the cross & what Jesus did for you. That one act has ensured these for you for all of eternity. They are your. Believe in that!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Surpassed By Our Children

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Samuel 1:1-2:21, John 5:1-23, Psalm 105:37-45, & Proverbs 14:28-29


1 Samuel 2:20-21
20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.” 21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

The story of Samuel’s birth is one of pure miracle. His mother was barren up to the point of his birth. She was made fun of by others because she had never had a child. They used it to humiliate her. She cried out to God & God heard her plea. She committed to give the son to the work of the Lord if He would answer her cry. God heard her cry & He honored her by giving her a son.

Hannah did what she had promised to do. She gave the son back to the Lord. In return, God blessed her with more children. Yet, Samuel grew in the presence of God.

This is what we desire for our children. We want our children to grow in the presence of the Lord also. The awesome thing is that we don’t have to give our kids away in order to make sure that this happens. I know that some of you were hoping that I would give you permission to drop your kids off at the church & come back & pick them up when they are 18, so that, they could grow up in the presence of God. Well, that’s not going to happen. It is also not needed. You can see to it that your kids grow in the presence of the Lord.

Remember, we are in a new covenant with God. It is a better covenant. It is better in the sense that we all have access to His presence now. We are all priests unto the Lord. The veil has been torn.


Matthew 27:51-52

51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.

The idea behind the veil being tore from top to bottom shows that it was God, from above, who tore it. It was His will to open it up so that we could all have the same access to His presence that the high priest had. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the payment for sin & guilt has been paid once & for all. Through that blood we can come into His presence.

This is great news. Now we, just like the high priest of old, can experience the Holy presence of our God. We don’t need to leave our children in the temple in order for them to grow in the presence of the Lord. We can raise them in our own homes & be carriers of the presence of the Lord. PRAISE GOD!!!

I want to talk about some simple things that we can do to create an atmosphere where our kids will grow in the presence of God.

1.      Take them to church.

Never underestimate that power behind your influence. Going to church matters. Your kids seeing you worship & enter God’s presence matters. It models to them the way we should live our lives. It positions them to do the same.

2.      Make your home a holy sanctuary.

Don’t allow trash to be watched on television. Don’t allow trash to be listened to on the radio. Remember, garbage in = garbage out.  Do your best to make sure that your home is free of violence & drama. No cursing allowed!  This may sound like old fashion legalism, BUT IT IS NOT!!!  It is personal holiness. AND THIS STILL MATTERS!

3.      Teach your children to worship.

Try singing with your kids. By singing I mean Christ centered songs. My girls love to sing with dad. We can sit & sing together for lengths of time & never get bored. It also softens their hearts & keeps their hearts soft. It teaches them how to enter His presence.

There are other things that may work, if they do, use them. The point is that we can make sure that our kids grow in the presence of God too. When this is our aim, our kids will grow to be used of God in great ways. My prayer is that they will far exceed all of us in their relationship with Christ. I hope that they will know Him better than we do & do even more for the kingdom than we have. That is what happened in Samuel’s life as result of growing up in the Lord’s presence. It can be true for our kids also. AMEN!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter