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Mar 012017
 

March 2017

Dear Friends.

There are a lot of changes taking place in our country since the presidential election. There are changes taking place in your families and in your personal lives. Change. The world is full of it. Someone said, “Perhaps it’s the only thing we can count on.” However, you can be sure of one thing: Our God is Unchanging. Consider God’s words in Malachi 3:6a, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Think of where we would be if God were subject to change. It would mean that His promises were unreliable. He could decide that He no longer loves the world and reverses His promise of John 3:16. He could change His mind about our eternal security (see John 10:28).

Think with me about some of God’s attributes – and the fact that He says “I change not.” Then rejoice in the fact that we have a reliable and consistent Heavenly Father in Whom we can rest and trust.

God is a God of love, I John 4:8, 16. As a believer in Christ’s work on the cross for your sin, you are the special object of God’s love – and that will never change; praise the Lord!

God is a longsuffering Heavenly Father, Exodus 34:6, 7. Look up verse 6 and see what other characteristics are God’s. How about Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” How merciful and gracious and longsuffering the Lord has been with me over the years.

God is also merciful. What does Lamentations 3:22, 23 state? “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” So, in our churches we sing the wonderful hymn by Thomas O. Chisholm, “Great is Thy faithfulness.” Are you thankful for His mercies to you?

I mentioned John 3:16 earlier, now look at Psalm 86:5, where it states: “For thou LORD, art good, and ready to forgive.” Our Heavenly Father forgives our sin because of Christ’s work on the cross, and forgets them. In Jeremiah 31:34 the Lord says, “…for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember them no more.”

Remember: change is always for better or for worse; therefore, it is impossible for our God to change. He cannot improve or deteriorate in His deity – “…with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17b). Since God does not change, His “…faithfulness is unto all generations…” (to you and to me) (Psalm 119:90a). How wonderful! One writer stated, “Each morning you can rely on the patience, grace, and love of God. No matter how you feel, God does not change. His faithfulness endures forever!”

Resting in my unchanging Lord,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

Feb 022017
 

February 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

February is the month for Valentines – chocolates, a nice card, and dinner out for our loved one, because in our hearts we love them. February is also “heart month” when the medical profession reminds us to take care of that vital organ in our body.

These things remind me of a hymn by Eliza E. Hewitt, that was in our old hymnal – “Give Me Thy Heart”. The first stanza goes like this:

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Father above, No gift so precious to Him as our love;
Softly He whispers, wherever thou art, “Gratefully trust Me, and give Me thy heart.”
“Give Me thy heart, Give Me thy heart, hear the soft whisper wherever thou art:
From this dark world He would draw thee apart; speaking so tenderly, Give Me thy heart.”

Have you given your heart to God? Not the physical organ that pumps blood, but rather, the totality of your being to the Lord; (your desires and your personality) as the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 and the New, Matt. 22:37 tells us to do; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”. The Psalmist prayed to the Lord in 26:2, the, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins (mind) and my heart.” And in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Just as you go to your doctor, and I go to my cardiologist, to see how my heart is doing, may I suggest that you ask God to check you out this month. He does this as you read the Bible and the Holy Spirit ministers to your spirit, by applying God’s Word to your life.

The prophet Samuel exhorts us to: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you.” Take some time to “consider” all the wonderful things the Lord has done in your life – then “serve Him…with all your heart.”
The Psalmist said in 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; (is He yours today?”) my heart trusteth in Him, (exactly what are you trusting in today – your job, the government, the new president?) and I am helped (are you?) therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; (is yours?”) and with my song will I praise Him.”

Joshua reminded the people in 23:11: “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.” The Psalmist said in 18:1, “I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.” Is The Lord God Almighty your strength today?” He can be if you will love Him. Consider the words of God in Exodus 20:6, “…showing mercy unto thousands (that means you) of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.” How are you doing, following the teachings of God’s word? (See also John 14:15)

Jesus said in Matt. 6:21, “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Do you treasure your salvation in Jesus Christ, sent from the loving Father? (see John 3:16). Where is your heart this day in February – heart month” Always remember the words of 1 John 4:19, “we love Him, because He first loved us.”

Rejoicing and basking in God’s love,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Jan 032017
 

January 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

                We entered a new year, 2017, this week and in a few days a new administration will take over in Washington, D.C. Remember the admonishment by Paul in 1 Tim. 2:1, 2 to pray “for all men: for kings (presidents) and for all that are in authority (Congress & local officials); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” 

Something else as we come into a new year, as a little 99 year old lady in our congregation used to remind everyone – “we are another day closer to heaven.”  So, let us live like it.

                Another subject that is “heavy on my mind and heart” is your progress in your Christian life this new year of 2017.  In concluding the great Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:24-27), our Lord vividly portrayed to His disciples the contrast of the consequences of two types of hearers.  The truly wise, who hears and performs the Word of God, is the man who built his house on the rock; when the rains, winds and flood came, his house stood firm.  On the other hand, the foolish man built his house upon sand and when the same calamities came, it fell.         The foolish man depicts the man who hears God’s Word but does not apply it to his life.  The fool hears God’s Word in a careless, superficial and haphazard manner, where he eventually suffers for it.

The wise man knows the efficacy and power of God’s Word and approaches it with reverence, fear and trembling, with the intent to perform it.  Such an attitude will make that man (and you) blessed and prosperous in all his (and your) ways. (Joshua 1:6-8; 1 Kings 2:3, 4; Psa. 1:1-3)

The foundation of the “house” requires the arduous and painful process of digging, stone-lifting, rock-breaking.  The wise man knows his toiling is not in vain.  The foolish man, lacking resolve, purposefulness and diligence, ultimately experiences a disastrous outcome when the calamities transpire. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take heed to how we hear and read God’s Word in the coming days of a new year.

Remember the words to the seven churches in Revelation (2:7, 11a, 17a, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  Consider these attitudes and conditions for your life as you begin reading and listening and studying God’s precious Word, the Bible.

  1. Realize you must be saved and using spiritual principles to understand God’s Word. Some folks never get God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:7), it must be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:24).  In other words, make sure you are saved (Eph. 2:1, 5, 8).
  2. Realize you must stay teachable and humble. How is your attitude toward the Word and the preacher?  Check yourself out (Psa. 139:23, 24; 2 Cor. 13:5).  As we seek to know and grow in grace, we need to be humble and contrite (Isa. 57:15; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10).  We need to learn from our Savior, in Matt. 11:29, 20.
  3. Realize you should have a devotional life. Plan on spending much time with the Lord in Bible reading, study and in prayer (Psa. 63:1; Mark 1:35; Psa. 1:2; Josh. 1:8).
  4. Realize – this is most important – that you need to obey and apply God’s Word to your daily life. James warns us in 1:22, “Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Now look at James 1:25 and stop and think how this applies to your daily walk.  Notice how Ezra “…had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it…” (Ezra 7:10).

Friends, the foolish man’s house was destroyed – Matt. 7:27b.  It is my prayer that your life and walk in 2017 will not end up that way but will be as Matt. 7:25b, “and it fell not.”  Determine by God’s grace and enabling that the coming year will be one of substantial spiritual growth for you and yours.

Thankful for another year,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Psalm 119:15, 16

Dec 062016
 

pastor500December, 2016

Dear Friends,       

An article on Christmas that mentioned some parents, in an attempt to stave off greed and materialism in the hearts of their children, limit the number of Christmas presents each child receives to three.  The rational is that if three gifts were enough for Jesus then three should be enough for any child.  I remember one year, as a child, when things were really ‘tight financially’ in our family, when my brother Eddie and I received only one gift each.

As you prepare for the coming holiday and the gifts that ‘must’ be purchased for others, consider for a few moments the gifts the baby Jesus received from the ‘wise men’ in Matthew 2:11.

 Gold is a gift for a king – remember that Jesus Christ is King.  Is He your King this Christmas season?  When you are thinking what gift to give others, considered giving yourself afresh to Jesus as your King. (See Romans 12: 1, 2; 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20)  There is no better present the Lord could receive from you this year than yourself.

Frankincense is a gift for a priest – The function of a priest is to open the way to God for men.  That is what Jesus did with His work on the cross and with His resurrection from the dead.  We can come “boldly” into the Heavenly Father’s presence now. (See Hebrews 10:11-12, 19; esp. 4:16).  The Latin word for priest is pontifex, and means ‘bridge builder”.  A priest is a man who builds a bridge between God and man.  That is exactly what the Lord Jesus did.  He opened the way to God for each of us.

Myrrh is a gift for one who is going to die – Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of the dead.  Years ago I conducted a Christmas Cantata entitled “Born to Die Upon Calvary”.  The music and words were a great blessing to all.  The baby Jesus came to give His life and then His death for the people of the world (see John 3:16) if we would just accept Him as our Savior.  Myrrh speaks of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for us. (See Matthew 27:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:6; Ephesians 5:2).

Thank the Lord Jesus, that He loved us (Romans 5:8) and that He came and lived as the perfect God/Man, that He might provide salvation (Acts 4:12) for mankind.  That is His gift to you this Christmas.

Now, what will you give to Jesus as your gift to Him this year?

While dating my future wife, Marion Jannette, in high school, her parents invited me to a Christmas dinner with the family. At the end of the meal, Mrs. Proehl came into the room with a birthday cake with a candle on it – and everyone sang “Happy Birthday to the Baby Jesus”.  I must say that left quite an impression on me.

This Christmas, it is the Lord’s birthday we are remembering.  Not all the fanfare, festivity and frivolity. May each of you have a blessed and rejoicing Christmas, thinking of and thanking the One it is all about.

Remember – “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

God’s blessing on you all,

Pastor's Sig 04-29-16

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Psalm 3:8  “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.”