Saturday, June 7, 2014

God Before Man

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Kings 2:1-3:2, Acts 5:1-42, Psalm 125:1-5, & Proverbs 16:25

Acts 5:29-32
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Who are you more concerned about pleasing. Man or God? Have you ever heard the phrase: people-pleaser? This is what a person is called when they spend all of the energy & focus trying to please others. They are so insecure with themselves that they think they have to please everybody all the time in order to have worth of any type. The problem with this is that it is impossible to please people all the time.

Proverbs 27:20

20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.

I hope that you remember this one thing—the flesh is never satisfied. No matter how hard we try to please people, we will never be able to fully satisfy them at all times. We fall into a trap of satan when we think that it is our responsibility to please people. This will wear you out & strangle the life out of you. Not to mention, that it is never going to be done.

I want to take a moment to clarify a couple of things at this point. First, we still have an obligation to our spouses. It is clear through the scriptures that we are to strive to please our mates.

1 Corinthians 7:33-35

33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

We do have an obligation to our spouses. It brings great joy to serve one another out of genuine desire. The Same can be true in other areas. We are called to serve, BUT WE ARE NOT CALLED TO BE MAN PLEASERS—WE ARE CALLED TO BE GOD PLEASERS!!!

Sometimes we can put so much focus on making people happy that we compromise our faith. We can spend so much energy on pleasing people that we forget that God must be our center. I have had times in my life in the ministry were in order to do what certain people wanted of me I would have to NOT DO what God was leading me to do. This can really become a burden if we let it.

The enemy will do whatever necessary to keep us apart from God’s will. If he sees that you have a weakness in saying no to people, he will use it to manipulate you to say no to God. If he realizes that he can get you distracted by pleasing people he will. If he can use people to discourage you, he will.

Peter gave the perfect position that we all must take. He said that his primary role was to please God. He was not in rebellion to authority. He was, rather, submitted to his Supreme Authority in heaven. Let us learn for this & make sure that we are God pleasers & not man pleasers. This is the kind of life that leads to satisfaction & peace.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, June 6, 2014


Today’s Bible readings are 1 Kings 1:1-53, Acts 4:1-37, Psalm 124:1-8, & Proverbs 16:24

Acts 4:13-15
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.

Flabbergasted:  to be overcome with bewilderment, astonishment, utterly amazed
That is the word to describe what the leaders felt the day that this all took place. The faith, passion, & zeal of the disciples were so intense that it left the leaders flabbergasted. They did not know how to respond to this incredible demonstration of God’s grace.

It was such a wonder for multiple reasons.
1.      The first reason it was such a flabbergasting event was that this man had been crippled his whole life. He was a man who most had seen. They all knew him as the begging cripple who sits at the gate. Now that has all changed. He is now running around praising God & giving glory to Jesus by testifying that it was in His name that he was healed. The leaders were want to kill Jesus & any memory of what He represented but now this has happened & there will be NO denying it.

2.      The second reason that it was such a mind blowing event was because of who was being used to performing this miracle. They were just normal guys. In fact, they were guys who denied Jesus just a few weeks earlier & now they are out preaching in His name. Nobody ever thought that a few ruff necks would be taken seriously. None of the leaders thought that this band of failures would be able to do anything that would sway the people toward Jesus now that He was dead. Yet, there was a cripple man standing before them healed & they could not explain it.

3.      The third, & probably most convincing, sign that flabbergasted them was the message that they heard being preached. Here was an unschooled man preaching deep truths that could not be refuted. Peter was untrained in the scripture, yet, he seemed to have a much deeper understanding of it than they did; the teachers of it. This blew their mind. Peter was opening up the Word to them. The leaders could only marvel & come to the same conclusion:  “These men have been with Jesus”.

That is such an awesome thing to have said about you. When your life becomes so noticeably different that people recognize that you have been with Jesus—you’re doing something right.  Time with Jesus will do that do us. He will make considerable changes in us. He will teach us great truths of the Word. He will use us in great & powerful ways. This is what happens to people who spend time with Him.

We may think that we are just ordinary people & we will never be used like that. I am sure that the disciples thought that at one time too. Yet, we see that the time they had spent with Jesus ended up producing in them the changes that He promised. In the end, He made them in to exactly what He said He was going to do.

I believe that God wants to do the same thing through each of us. He wants to so transform us that people marvel & say:  “They have been with Jesus”. He wants to use us to bring healing & transformation to others. He wants to teach us great truth so we can teach it to others. This is His will for us all.

Is this something that you are interested in? Would you like this to happen in your life? Are you hungry for something similar to take place with you? Then the same thing is needed in your life that was needed in the disciples—YOU MUST SPEND SOME TIME WITH JESUS.

It is those quiet times with Him that He speaks to us. It is those intimate moments with Him that He transforms us. It is those supernatural moments with Him that He shows us how to walk in His power. This is something we all can have if we all chose to spend time with Him.

I say that it is time that we leave people flabbergasted. I declare that it is time that people start making note that we have been with Jesus. Let’s make sure that our faith is real & loud! Let’s blow their minds with the love & power of Christ!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, June 5, 2014

All That Is Yours

Today’s Bible readings are 2 Samuel 23:24-24:25, Acts 3:1-26, Psalm 123:1-4, & Proverbs 16:21-23

Acts 3:4-8
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

Expectation is a huge factor in what we receive in this life. When our expectation level is high, we can receive great miracles from the Lord. When our expectations are low, we will receive little miracles from the Lord.

This particular day there was a high level of expectation but it was not on the part of the beggar. The high level of expectation came from Peter & John. They came walking with intent. They were convinced that they were walking in the power of Christ. They fully expected that when they saw sick people that the sick would be healed. They understood their job description. They understood by what authority & power they would be doing these things. They expected it to happen.

It is awesome how their level of expectation became contagious to the beggar. That is the thing about expectation. When we have high expectations it can spur someone else to believe for more. I have seen this happen in my own life. I have seen people who have lost hope. By sharing the Word with them, testimonies about what God has done in other people’s lives, & then telling them what God wants to do in their life; I have seen hope & expectation grow.

This is our mission as believers. We are to inspire others to believe for the impossible. Sometimes the other people that we inspire are unchurched people. Other times they might be the person beside us in the pew. I know this to be a fact—EVERYBODY CAN STAND TO HAVE A LITTLE MORE HOPE.

When we run into people who have low expectation we can add our faith to their faith. That is what praying in agreement is all about. It is what Jesus talked about.

Matthew 18:19-20

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

We need to do a better job at identifying who is struggling in the area of expectation. Then, we need to learn to go to them & encourage them to expect more. As expectation rises, things will start to change. They will start to believe for more so faith will produce more.

This is why it is so important for us to know what God’s Word says. When people are confused & don’t know what to believe, we speak the Word to them. This tells us what we should be expecting. Once we have realized what we should be expecting, then we can start expecting that. As we transform our expectations we will see a greater measure of the blessing of God in our lives.

What are you expecting to come to pass in your life? Is it the same that God has promised will come to pass? If not, change your mind about what you are expecting & hoping for. Get your mind in agreement with the Word of God so you can have all that is yours!

Pastor Richard Schlotter


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stop Singing The Blues

Today’s Bible readings are 2 Samuel 22:1-23:23, Acts 2:1-47, Psalms 122:1-9, & Proverbs 16:19-20

2 Samuel 22:1-4
David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; 3my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

Today’s readings are all so great. I had such a hard time picking what I would blog about. I chose this portion of scripture because of the way that it has spoken to me. After this great victory David did the only reasonable thing—sing a song of praise to the One who gave him the victory!

Throughout the remainder of this song, we see David declaring all the wonderful things that God has done for him. We also see David mentioning all the great things about God’s character & nature. Through the course of this song of praise we learn so much about the nature & character of God.
1.      We see how mighty He is to save—v. 3-7
2.      We see how awesome His power is—v. 8-10
3.      We see the wonder of His presence—v. 12-15
4.      We see the greatness of His authority—v. 16-20
5.      We see His goodness displayed through His rewards—v. 21-25
6.      We see His faithfulness—v. 26-30
7.      We see His holiness & perfectness—v. 31-37
8.      We see His power at work in us—v. 38-46
9.      We see how worthy He is of praise—v. 47-51

David was a man who had enough sense to praise. I want to point out that it wasn’t a simple—“Oh thank you Jesus”. It was long, heartfelt, genuine expression of gratitude & thanksgiving. It flowed from him as though it was natural. It showed that he knew who his God was. It also showed that he knew all that his God had done over the years. He knew the exploits that God had done for others in the past. He praised for His victory & even the victories of others!

I think that there is a lot that we can learn from this.

1.      We should be more familiar with the good things of God than we are with our circumstances.

Form what some people say, it sounds like all they think about is the stuff they are going through. It is all they talk about. The only thing that I hear from the mouths of many are:
1.      Life is so hard.
2.      I have it so bad.
3.      Things never go right for me.
4.      My situation is still the same.
5.      Nothing good ever happens in my life.
6.      My spouse is so awful.
7.      My situation is so much worse than anybody else’s.

They rehearse this over & over. They have made this their song. They sing it to all who will listen. Then, they wonder why they are so down & depressed. They wonder why things never go good for them. I think that even if things did go good for them that they would miss it because the only song they know how to sing is the blues. Bless God, STOP SINGING THE BLUES!!! START SING PRAISE!!!

2.      We should know what God has done is the past, as well as, what He plans to do in the future.

You know, there is only so much that can fill your mind. If you fill it with the right things then the wrong things have no room to dwell. This is why it is of such great benefit to fill our minds with God’s past victories. He has done great things. There are too many to name.

As we rehearse God’s past victories it also testifies of what He plans to do in the future because GOD NEVER CHANGES! This could be the best thing that we do for our personal lives of faith. As we fill our minds with God’s past victories it convinces & convicts us of His future ones. This will drive out any potential doubt.

Get your day of on the right start. Make the move in the arena of your mind. Sing your song to the Lord right now. If you don’t have one, then sing what David sung. This is proper for the saints of God. We are to rejoice with those that rejoice. Drive out the self-defeating thoughts that hinder your progress by replacing them with the memories of God’s impeccable track record. Sing a song of victory instead of a song of defeat!

Pastor Richard Schlotter