Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rely on GOD

Today’s readings are 1 Kings 12:20-13:34, Acts 9:26-43, Psalms 132:1-18 and Proverbs 17:6

1 Kings 12:26
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David.

This verse shows us that Jeroboam did not pray to God.  He did not consult God about this fear.  Jeroboam should have relied on God’s protection but instead he was listening to his counselors and built two gold calves for the people to worship.  Great sin is what the bible says about this. 

We can learn from this and apply it to our own lives.  When we rely on ourselves or on our friends for advice we can really get into trouble.  If we can wait and pray and see what God says about it then we can avoid further trouble.

Jeroboam really didn’t need to do anything with this fear.  He was in God’s protection up until this point.  When he started to do things on his own is when he got out of God’s will.

Try consulting God about fears.

Kelly Schlotter        

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blind As A Bat

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Kings 11:1-12:19, Acts 9:1-25, Psalm 131:1-3, & Proverbs 17:4-5

Acts 9:3-9
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

Are you blind? That is a question we need to really ask ourselves. The initial answer would seem to be a loud NO for most of us. But I don’t know if that is the right answer. We may be very blind to a lot of things.

Saul didn’t realize that he was I opposition with God. He thought that he was doing God a favor by capturing the Christians. He thought that it was the right thing to do. He wasn’t openly rebellion against God. He was honoring the traditions that had been passed down to him. He was doing what religion had taught him to do. The only problem was that he found out he was actually working against what God really wanted, which was people to receive Jesus.

There are times when we fight against things that God has planned to use for His glory. There are many reasons that we would resist things.

1.      We don’t agree with the method.

2.      We don’t like the style.

3.      It is not what we are used to.

4.      It has never been done like that before.

5.      We don’t like the crowd that it attracts.

6.      We are afraid of other things happening.

7.      It wasn’t our idea.

I have seen all of these in action. To be quite honest, I have had each of these thoughts are one point in my life. I thank God that when I have gotten that way that the Holy Spirit has dealt with me. I don’t want to be blind to what God is doing. I want to be is step with Him so I can be a part of what He is doing instead of one of the pessimistic naysayers.

I have learned to examine the fruit before I reject things. I have been wrong in the past about things & my goal is to make less mistakes in the future. I don’t want to be critical about everything. I want to be open to things. I want God to stretch so I don’t get stuck in a rut. I don’t want to miss the next great move of God. I want to be involved in it. I want to play my part.

I want to challenge every person to put aside difference in this area tune your ear to the Holy Spirit. What is He speaking? Will you be willing to be quiet long enough to actually hear from Him? Would you stop pleading your case long enough to hear Him present His?  This is what really happened to Paul during this time of blindness. He was forced to re-evaluate his current position on many things.



Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spirit-led Conversions

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Kings 9:1-10:29, Acts 8:14-40, Psalm 130:1-8, & Proverbs 17:2-3

This is such a great story of the power of evangelism & the need for us to be able to give an answer for the hope that we have. We see here that this Ethiopian eunuch had been searching for something more in life. He had heard about the God of Israel. He had become so interested in learning more that he decided to go to Jerusalem to check it out & even worship.

Somewhere along the way He came into contact with a scroll of the book of Isaiah. As he was on his way back to his home town he began to read the prophets writings. As he read, he became even more interested in what he was reading. That is where Phillip comes into the story.

Phillip asked him if the man understood what he was reading. The man admitted that he needed someone to instruct him, so Phillip started to instruct the eunuch. It just so happened that the eunuch was reading a passage that was speaking about Jesus. It was a passage of scripture that was prophetically speaking of Messiah. Phillip knew Messiah. He was able to open up that portion of scripture & explain how it spoke of Jesus. He then was able to lead that man to Jesus. It was such a compelling moment that the eunuch was moved to be baptized the moment water was available.

This is the power of the Holy Spirit in action. The Holy Spirit orchestrated this whole event. He put Phillip in the right place at the right time. When it all can together it led to a great conversion of a man that was in a place of power in a foreign region. This conversion must have led to many more hearing the gospel when he came back into his homeland. Being a man of influence, he would have had an opportunity to speak into many lives.

This story causes me to wonder how many opportunities are missed for us to witness to people that the Holy Spirit has prepared in a perfect way. The Holy Spirit is always at work preparing hearts for Jesus. He is also always looking for people who He can partner with to join Him in this cause.

How open are you to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you realize that every prompting that comes from the Holy Spirit could lead to result just like this one?  We pay little attention to the Leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

1.      We don’t recognize His promptings when they do come.

2.      We ignore them.

3.      We pass them off.

4.      We put them off.

5.      We make excuses for why we can’t do it.

6.      We talk ourselves out of them.

7.      We may even think that it is only us thinking these thoughts.

These are all thoughts that are really from the enemy. The enemy doesn’t want any of us to become Spirit-led in this area. The enemy does everything he can to confuse us in the area of Spirit-led living. Most Christians have no idea what it is to live a Spirit-led life.

Here is the truth: 


When we yield to His leading, we will see great results.

Let’s focus some spiritual energy toward learning to be Spirit-led. I want to provoke you to a place where you begin to be hungry for Spirit-led living. Start seeking God about this. Start crying out for insight in this area. Let’s pray about this together & grow in this together so we can see the types of conversions that Phillip saw. Let’s learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit so we can see people baptized in puddles too!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Road That Leads To Transformation

Today’s Bible readings are 1 Kings 8:1-66, Acts 7:51-8:13, Psalm 129:1-8, & Proverbs 17:1


Acts 8:1-3
Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

This is such a sad place in the scripture. We see here that the very first martyr was killed in the church age. Stephen was a man full of faith & the Holy Ghost. God was using this man I great ways. Satan used a mob of people to kill Stephen. It was a sad day, yet the gospel was preached all the more boldly. As a result, the church grew.

This is still true in many parts of the world today. People are being tortured & killed for their faith in Christ. We don’t hear much about it but that doesn’t mean that it is not happening. If you are connected with the right sources you will find that people die regularly for the message of Christ.

We can begin to have real negative feelings toward people through whom the violent acts come. Yet, we see in our reading today that the man who was behind the violence was a man named Saul. He was the chief instigator in many of these instances. He provoked the mob & used them to try to destroy the church.

The most exciting thing about this is that it all changed one day when he met Jesus. Here was a man with the hardest of hearts toward Christ, but once he experienced Jesus for himself, he surrendered to Him & became one of the greatest men in the early church age. The same level of drive that was used to destroy the church was now used to build the church.

This is encouraging to me. There are many that are seeking to destroy the church today. We can develop bitter feeling toward them if we don’t stay in the Spirit about things.

1.      We can blame them for things happening.

2.      We can develop feelings of hatred toward them.

3.      We can assume that they are all evil & worthy of death.

4.      We can even start to think that they will never accept Christ.

This is surely what some must have thought about Saul, who later became the great Apostle Paul. Those who thought this had many reasons to have those feelings, but how wrong they were in the end.

Paul became the greatest single man in the early church development. He planted more churches & covered more ground than any other apostle that I am aware of in the New Testament. What a tragedy it would have been for people to right him off & give up on him.

I find it interesting that even though people may have wrote Paul off, GOD DID NOT. God had a plan for his life. God was going to use him to reach the world of the day. The awesome thing is that Paul had the drive to do it. He was just using that drive in the wrong direction. Once that drive was redeemed he became a HUGE asset to the building of the church.

I want to invite you on a journey with me to begin praying for the worst of the worst. Let’s start praying for “Damascus Road” experiences to occur in the lives of people who oppose the church. Let’s start asking for 1,000,000 Muslim conversions that will be as radical as that of the Apostle Paul’s. We can fight a war with natural means & only get natural results or we can walk by faith in the Spirit & wage a spiritual war & get great spiritual results.

I know that God can do it. Remember, the greatest disappointment in the life of a Christian is the prayers that never get answered BECAUSE THEY NEVER GET PRAYED!!! Let’s begin to pray God’s will be done in the earth. Let’s use the Spirit, the force of faith, hope, & love; coupled with the POWER of the gospel to win this battle once & for all.

Pastor Richard Schlotter


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What's In It For Me?

Today’s Bible readings are 1Kings 7:1-51, Acts 7:30-50, Psalm 128:1-6, & Proverbs 16:31-33

Psalm 128:1-4
How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.

Have you ever wondered why it is so important to follow the things that God has taught us in His Word? I know I have. There are things that really seem insignificant at first glance. They may seem like they aren’t that big of deals. I want to shout to you this morning—IT MATTERS & IT IS A HUGE DEAL!

Many people have the, “what’s in it for me” attitude. They don’t want to do anything difficult or outside of their will unless there is something in it for them. Well, I want you to know that there are many good things in it for you when you obey God’s Word. Today I want to share with you 4 blessings that are promised to those who walk in obedience to God’s Word.

1.      Joy is found in following God’s Word.

The psalmist tells us that those who follow God’s ways are joyful. I have found this to be so true in my life. As I follow God’s Word joy is produced in me.
a.      When I am angry & I pray, I find peace comes.
b.      When I have been injured & I forgive, I find rest from the injury.
c.      When somebody has used me or betrayed me & I pray for them, I find a freedom from offense.
d.      When I give I see a harvest come back to me.
e.      When I cast my cares on Jesus I experience carefree living.

All of these things lead to greater joy in my life. These are all things that God tells us to do in His Word. They are things that everybody can do. They are things that will bring us joy by doing them. Yet, if you don’t do them you will not experience the joy you could have if you would have been a doer of the Word.

                  2.  Your life will be fruitful.

This is what every Christian really desires. We all want to be fruitful. I also know that fruitfulness adds to joy in our lives as well. So we can see that these things all play off of each other. Following God’s Word will make us fruitful in:
a)      Professions
b)      Ministry
c)      Family life
d)      Marriage
e)      Finances
f)       Witnessing
g)      Prayer

I want to be a fruitful servant. I know that walking in the Word is the key thing in order for me to be fruitful. That is why I choose to do obey the Word.

                  3. My obedience leads to blessing in my spouse’s life.

This may seem hard to understand, but your obedience can bring blessings to others.

Deuteronomy 5:9-10

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Think about this for a moment. This is such a powerful motivation to do what is right. God will bless others in our life for our obedience. This is awesome. I know that this works in the most practical ways. When I follow God’s Word by honoring my wife it leads to empowering her to lead in the home too. When I love her as Christ loves the church it leaves her secure, which leads her confident in her duties at home. When I pray with her & build her up, it gives her the faith increase that she needs to be more successful at her calling as a mother. These things make my life better because my wife is so connect to me. As she improves & becomes more fruitful it makes my life & family all the more fruitful too.

                              4. I will have kids that grow up to bear fruit & care for me as I age.

My son has teased me before by saying: “You better be nice to me dad because someday I will be picking out your nursing home.” I know that he is joking, but I also know that someday my kids will have a greater role in my welfare. They will care for me the way have I cared for them. This is a result of me following God’s Word.

God’s Word tells me to support my children. God’s Word tells me not to provoke them to wrath, which can sever relationships. God’s Word tells me to teach them to honor God & God’s Word. God teaches young people to care for their parents in their old age. His Word teaches to honor parents. As I teach these principals to my children it leads to blessing in my life later. This is another reason to follow God’s Word.

I hope that as you examine the many reason to follow God’s Word that you will begin to see that there is plenty in it for you to obey ALL of His ways. I promise you, by the authority of Jesus, that it is worth the effort to follow the Word in everything. God will not forget your faithfulness to Him & His Word! Remember, God is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek & follow Him.


Pastor Richard Schlotter