Archive for » April, 2004 «

Saturday, April 17th, 2004 | Author:

The heaviest burden that I bear as a pastor is seeing people who have lost or given up hope. Did you know that there are doctors, lawyers and other professional people who live on Skid Row in Los Angeles? People who have given life, or as some call it the American Dream, all that they had and somehow the dream faded and all hope was lost and during the collapse they lost not only a career but a family, their health and who knows what else. When people feel like they have hit the bottom they have one of two directions to turn.  Some people turn to alcohol, drugs or self-pity to try and cover their wounds. Others remember what they learned in Sunday School as a child and they reach for their Bible and begin to seek God and His answers to their needs. Another thing that they do is seek out a good Christian church and get back into fellowship with other believers and into studying the Bible on a consistent basis.  The first person ends up on a downward trend that can often end up on Skid Row or worse, death all alone. The second person finds a very rare treasure, restored hope, but a hope different from the so called American Dream which leaves all its victims empty and wanting more.  The hope offered by God is really not hope but confidence.  It is not wishful thinking but anchoring your life into a solid rock. When all else fails, this hope sustains us through the hardest times in our lives. The biggest mistake that people make is to think that prosperity, position or power can replace our need for God and what He alone can provide. Many marriages end up in deep trouble when the spouses seek fulfillment from each other that only God can offer. No human being can make us happy! The first time I heard this idea I questioned it. Didn’t I get married for my wife to make me happy? As I examined this question I found out that only God could meet my deepest needs and that my wife could add to my fulfillment. Hope from a human perspective is hoping for a good break or good luck. As a human I cannot guarantee the next minute to work out the way I hope that it will. I will never forget the moment that I entered into relationship with Jesus Christ. I had made it in a big way in the business world and thought that I was on my way to the top. I will never forget the emptiness that seemed to become more intense as I gained more and more material possessions and power. I had all the toys that I had planned on having and yet they left me even more empty. Finally, I accepted an invitation by a senior couple to attend a little church across from my home. I went with the idea that I’ll get this over with and then get back to my search for fulfillment. That night I met Jesus Christ in a real way and made Him the Lord of my life. I went home a changed man and began reading the Bible with intensity as I sought to find God’s will for the rest of my life. That was almost thirty years ago and I have never looked back. How about you? How’s your hope? God waits to fulfill you this minute. Stop looking for stuff, look to God!              Pastor Ike 

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Saturday, April 10th, 2004 | Author:

Most people today live their lives like they are playing Russian Roulette. Ordinarily intelligent people do some of the most foolish and dangerous things simply out of a childish, “I did it because I wanted to!” attitude. All people know in their hearts that the Bible is true and that it is God’s absolute standard for all human beings. He did not make suggestions but gave absolute Commandments. He gave these to protect His creation from self-destruction. “You shall not commit adultery.” “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife …” Exodus 20:14, 17a “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished.”                   Proverbs 6:27-29These warnings are as real as a heart attack!  Why then do so many ignore God’s Commands?  This next verse explains it all. “You shall have no other gods before (besides) Me.” Exodus 20:3  Man often chooses to replace his Creator with self-made gods, ones that please his lifestyle choices. Yet no matter how hard he tries to do it his own way, it is inevitable that God will have His way in the end. What lures a person into adultery? Here’s a mature man or woman, married, two or three children, great job, new home, car, a good marriage for __# of years. Then all of a sudden there comes a moment of temporary insanity by jumping into bed with another person you would never in a thousand years dream of marrying and building a life with, while you sacrifice this very thing at home. Here are some facts to back up these words. Only 10% of persons leaving their spouse for another person ever marry that person? That’s a 90% failure rate! Not one of us would invest in the stock market with these odds. The lure is often, “I have found that most perfect person that I have ever known!” Hog wash! You’re not in love, you’re in LUST! “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (The word here means to bring forth a stillborn child.)                           James 1:14-15Try dusting off your Bible and reading about the fool and the related behaviors in Proverbs chapters 5-7. Someone told me once, “Don’t ever do today what you don’t want to see in the headlines tomorrow.” Great advice! Has your sin issued a paycheck to you yet? If it hasn’t, it certainly will. I have been in ministry almost thirty years now and I have seen far too many train wrecks in the personal lives of those I have known inside and outside the Church.  What are your real values? Do they line up with how you live your daily life? We live in a sex crazed society but don’t ever believe the lie that you will somehow escape the consequences of your choices. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”  Galatians 6:7  For every one of our kicks, there’s a kickback! Is a one night stand worth losing everything that matters to you?  What will your children, parents, boss, employees think of you when the dirty laundry is aired? And you can be certain that it will be aired sooner or later. Why not choose now to live your life the way God’s Book says and you will find yourself richly rewarded and fulfilled.  Pastor Ike 

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Saturday, April 03rd, 2004 | Author:

If one watches The Passion of the Christ without understanding the whole story of WHY He suffered, died and was raised from the dead, it can leave one feeling guilty with no means to relieve that guilt. The following Scriptures speak for themselves, so let them speak to your heart and mind as we come into this time to remember and celebrate the single greatest event in human history, the actual passion of Jesus Christ!

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”                         2 Peter 3:9

 “…and He Himself is the satisfaction for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”                   1 John 2:2

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”      2 Corinthians 5:21

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (sex before marriage), nor idolaters (making anything more important than God in your life), nor adulterers (sex with another not your spouse), nor effeminate (men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually, sex changes, gender perversion), nor homosexuals, (sexual aggression against men and boys); nor thieves, nor the covetous (craving what others have, greed), nor drunkards, nor revilers (speaking evil of others), nor swindlers (scam & rip-off artists), will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”      1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”       Revelation 21:8

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (emphasis added)     Galatians 6:7

A lot of people today have forgotten that God still rules over mankind and that He alone can save man from his sins or He will be man’s judge on the final day. Man can choose to live how he wishes, but it is my job to constantly remind and warn man of the consequences of his choices. No matter how many sins man legalizes, no matter how many spout idle threats toward God, He is without question the final authority. You can lie, cheat, kill, have sex when and where you want BUT there is a payday someday and no lawyer will be able to get you out of this one, no matter how much money or power  you have. Face up to reality! Jesus did die for your sins and He awaits your response. Will you seek Him or will your push Him away as you have done up to now?  Heaven or Hell: The only two forwarding addresses, and YOU get to choose where you will spend eternity. Choose wisely and choose now! Once death comes, there is no second chance to be saved. Come and check out the truth. We present it every time we meet.

                                                               Pastor Ike

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