Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blessings Thorugh His Presence

Today’s Bible readings are 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23, John 13:31-14:14, Psalm 119:17-32, & Proverbs 15:31-32

2 Samuel 6:10-11
10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

The Ark of the Lord was the place that God’s presence dwelt. It was a physical thing that the people carried with them when they traveled through the desert. In it was the presence of God Almighty. The Ark ensured them victory, as God’s presence was among them.

Over the years the presence of the Lord protected them. The people of Israel guarded the Ark of the Lord. It was the sign to the rest the nations that God was with Israel. It was what gave boldness & hope to the people of God. It was proof to them that they were not alone. It signified to them that God was with them & doing battle for them.             

Here we see the Ark being taken to the house of Obed-Edom. We also see that as a result of the presence of God being in his house he became blessed. It wasn’t only him who was blessed either, BUT HIS WHOLE HOUSEHOLD.

God’s presence is no longer carried the Ark that it was carried in at this time. His presence in now carried in each of His believers.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

We are carriers of God’s presence. This means that everyone in our household will be blessed too. They are blessed by God presence in our lives! It is because of His presence that we can give them:

1.      Love

2.      Hope

3.      Faith

4.      Encouragement

The presence of God was a very real thing to His people. It was something that they could experience. They knew He was present. They could sense Him. His power was real to them. His presence was important to them.

We have to be people who covet the presence of God. We must guard it in our families. There are many things that will try to crowd out the presence of God. We cannot fall for this. His presence is what leads to His blessing. Remember, it is not just your blessing but the blessing of all in your household as a result of His presence.

Let’s be people who value His presence. Let’s live our lives as if God was right beside us. Let our conversations be conversations that will bring Him honor. Don’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t do right in front of Jesus. Remember, in reality He is with you. You are a carrier of His presence.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, May 23, 2014

Called To Serve

Today’s Bible readings are 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39, John 13:1-30, Psalm 119:1-16, & Proverbs 15:29-30

John 13:13-17

13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Jesus set the example for us to serve. He made it clear that no servant is better than his Master. Jesus is our Master & He served. He showed us that we are called to serve one another.

We tend to be selfish people by nature. We only think about ourselves. Jesus called us to a new way of living. He placed His nature in us. His nature is to serve.

I have found that the secret to joy & fulfillment is serving God & people. God has placed gifts & graces in each of our lives. Those gifts & graces are meant to be used to build the kingdom for Him. As we extend His love & hope to others they experience the love of God through the Body of Christ. This is truly a miracle.

There is also another truth that I have learned about serving:
If I help somebody else find the answer to their problems & struggle, then God will send somebody to solve mine or He will solve them Himself.

I have seen this happen time & time again. It has put in me a great desire to serve. I know that serving is the best way to go.

1.      What areas do you feel God calling you to serve?

2.      When was the last time that you put your plans on hold to help somebody else with theirs?

3.      What could you do today to show the love of Christ to somebody?

Take every opportunity that comes your way to serve. It is what you were created for. Enjoy your new life & serve!

Richard Schlotter

Thursday, May 22, 2014

His Dying Breath Has Brought Me Life

Today’s Bible readings are 2 Samuel 1:1-2:11, John 12:20-50, Psalm 118:19-29, & Proverbs 15:27-28

John 12:23-26
23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

I love the song: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”.  It is one of the most beautiful songs that has been written in recent years that speaks of the life & death of Jesus Christ & what it really did for us. There is a line in that song that says:

It was my sins that held Him there
until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life,
I know that it is finished.

I have tears welling up in my eyes right now as I think about the truth that is revealed in the lines of this song. To think that HE gave His last breath so we could find true life through Him is the most humbling thought that I can imagine. I often have to stop & ask the question, WHY???

When I look at my life & what I really have to offer it makes no sense. At first glance of my life a person could think, “Well Pastor Richard has a lot to offer Jesus.”

1.      He is passionate.

2.      He cares about people

3.      He has vision.

4.      He is a good communicator.

5.      He preaches well.

In all honesty, the only thing that I really have to offer Jesus is my broken, messed up life. I was none of those 5 things above until Christ came into my heart. In fact, I am nothing even close to those things. I know that it is Christ in me that causes those things to shine because it is who HE is.

It is His life living in me that makes these qualities appear. It is His love at work in me that brings all those things to the surface. I know me. I know that none of those things are part of me. BUT I also know Christ.  Know that they are part of who HE is.

When I think about that, it all begins to make sense to me. I begin to see the power behind the truth that Jesus was trying to get across to His disciples. He was sowing His life as a Seed. That Seed was going to produce after IT’S own kind. It would produce a life like His. Thank God for that Seed! How different life would be without it in us?

Jesus made it a point to teach that the seed that He was offering would lead to a harvest of new lives. The new lives that He is referring to are the lives that we now have with His Seed in us. It is what Paul mentioned when he said: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

I still have a hard time taking it all in when I stop to meditate on this incredible truth. Jesus really died. He was really raised from the dead. He really lives in me. The life that I live now in this body I live by the faith of Jesus Christ, who is at work in me. WOW!!!

The first lines in this same song, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”, says it best:

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure.
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.

Spend some time today, not thinking about all of your failures & struggles, but rather, thinking about the great love that God REALLY has for you. We get so wrapped up in our flaws & struggles that we leave no time for the thoughts of God’s great love to fill our minds. Focus on that today. You may look down on others, & even may look down on yourself, for failures & weaknesses but you have to understand that God is so filled with love for you that He gave His Son so you could share in His life & love. Let that sink deep into your heart today.

Stop letting the pull of negative things ruin your mind. God is not as concerned about your flaws as you are. He has done His part to free you from them. Take your stand & believe in the Seed that is in you as a result of the love that is in Him! This will change your life!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

God is faithful

God is faithful
Today’s readings are 1 Samuel 29:1-31:13, John 11:55-12:19, Psalm 118:1-18, and Proverbs 15:24-26
God is faithful in every situation.  Thank you Lord for all that you do for us.  You will give us back everything that the enemy has taken away.  You never fail. 
1 Samuel 30:1-8
30 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.
When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, they wept until they could weep no more. David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”
And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

1 Samuel 30:18-20
David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said.

I’ve been hearing so many stories about my church family being attacked by the enemy.  Some of them have a good outlook and know that God never fails and always comes through for them.  Others know the right thing to do and for whatever reason fail to do that right thing.  Still others who do not know what to do. 

David lost his wives, all his belongings, his town was in ruins, he was in danger from his own men.  He was in trouble.  The Bible says they wept until they could not weep anymore.  But David found strength in the Lord.  David asked the Lord if I go after them will I catch up to them.  God said yes go and everything will be recovered.  Wow God is so good. 
IF you are having problems this is always what you do.  Ask God for the answer.  Read the Bible (find the answer in it).  There are examples after example of people in the same situations or worse.  That we can learn from.  The thing that we have to know is that we have to do what God tells us to.  If David would have waited or God forbid not gone.  He would have been hated and his men would have probably tried to kill him. He wouldn’t have gotten his family back or his belongings.  

There comes a time when we have to listen and do what God is asking if we want to get out of the mess me are in.  The alternative is stay stuck and keep sinking.
Kelly Schlotter