God's Care

August 18th, 2020

Scripture Reading:

  • Isaiah 43:2: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.

As Christians we are not exempt trials and difficulties, but our trials are designed by the Lord to help us to grow deeper in our faith.

In Isaiah 43:2, we see God's faithfulness and care over Judah. Judah was facing all sorts of difficulties. At times, I'm sure they felt defeated and probably doubted as to whether they would be able to overcome all of the enemies that challenged their faith. In the midst of Judah's problems, what reassurance God gave to them through these words: Do not be afraid, for I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10). The Lord did not abandon them in their time of need. He promised to be with Judah and He fulfilled that promise. He passed through the waters with them.

Often in our difficulties, we lose hope of obtaining the victory instead of seeing the victory with the Lord going through it with us. He has promised never to abandon us no matter what we face. If the Lord has to carry us through the deep waters, He will do so in order for us to obtain victory.

During these times when our nation is facing deep waters, let us remember that our God is still the same personal and caring God as He was to the nation of Judah. May the Lord's constant love and care for us be a reminder that God will not only help us in our difficulties, but He will go through them with us.

With the Lord in control, we have nothing to fear. Continue praying for our nation.

Love and Prayers,

Brother Mike

God Never Fails

April 29th, 2020

Scripture Reading:

  • Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

What an encouragement and comfort, especially in the present situation we are in, to know that God is our secure place no matter what we may face in life. He is our refuge.

Although the Lord has promised to meet all of our needs, often we allow our self-efforts and human reasonings to try and help the Lord out instead of simply trusting in His sufficiency. Instead of remembering how faithful the Lord has been to us in the past, and how He has gone to battle and won victories for us, we are still prone to concoct our own means to fix and win our own battles.

  • Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Just as the Israelites were concerned when facing their enemies, we are sometimes tempted to focus on the characteristics and abilities of our enemy rather than relying on His delivering power.

Can you imagine Israel's temptation to fear their enemy as they watched them advancing with their super chariots and horses? In that time, the chariot was a powerful weapon. In their era, it could be compared to our modern-day missiles. The chariot was built with two huge wheels spinning on an axle. In the center of the spokes of the wheels there was a blade-like object protruding out. The chariot would sideswipe and slaughter an enemy in their path. They were drawn by four of the most powerful horses to be found. It was certain death to anyone who came into contact with these forces.

On the contrary, Israel, at that time was not allowed to have horses. The Lord's desire for Israel was for them to face their enemies in the power of His strength and not to put their trust in the horses and the chariots. He desires the same for us today. The Lord delivered Israel because they trusted in Him. The Lord knows how to strengthen our faith. He took away Israel's horses and chariots in order for them to trust in Him and Him alone.

Whatever battle or test you may be facing today, always remember that the Lord is your victory. Human means and plans will fail, but the Lord is always faithful.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

The Dangers of Compromise!

Scripture Reading:

  • Matthew 22:37 Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. This is the first and great commandment.

In our fast paced society, which creates busy lifestyles, people tend to look for the instant fix in situations instead of taking the time to pray about the matters that concern them. Many times our self-centered lifestyles cause us to compromise God's plans, resulting in our choosing to settle for less than His best for our lives. Loving the Lord with all of our hearts, and by putting Him first, is the remedy to keeping us on track spiritually and preventing us from the sins of compromise.

Compromise is settling for less than one's convictions, or surrendering to that which is wrong, in order to promote personal gain or advantages.

Compromise begins by leaving your first love. When we allow anything to take the Lord's place in our lives, we open the way for a spiritual decline and failure. This is why it is vitally important to love the Lord with your whole heart, and to make Him your most important priority.

Compromise is all about ME. By nature human beings are selfish. Anytime self and its desires are elevated above the Lord and His will, we trap ourselves in unhappiness. When we allow human nature with its tendencies to dictate to us rather than living our lives in a selfless manner as Christ did, discouragement enters in. John 3:30 says that "I must decrease, but He must increase." Spiritual progress will never be obtained by compromising and making selfish choices.

Compromise always causes one to lose spiritual ground. When the focus is taken off the Lord and placed on one's self, it leads the spiritual life off course from God's plans. It is very difficult to regain lost ground. Allowing the Lord to lead keeps one on track and always renders spiritual blessings.

  • Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

Compromise robs us of the blessings the Lord has in store. It leaves one feeling empty, confused, and a feeling of separation from the fellowship once shared with the Lord.

Our spiritual lives depend upon our maintaining our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Focusing on the Lord rather than ourselves promotes a life of continuous fellowship with Him. On the contrary, the compromiser, trying to please conflicting desires, creates a miserable place for himself, and ultimately fails the Lord.

To be certain that we are not settling for second best, and that we are not compromising, we must answer honestly .... Does He have my whole heart?

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

Making Our Lives Count

Scripture Reading:

  • James 4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
  • Philippians 3:20: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

It is hard to belive that another year has passed so quickly. James 4:14 reminds us that life is but a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. As a young man entering the ministry, my heart was deeply challenged by this saying: Time waits for no man. What you plan to do for the Lord, you had better do today.

It is beneficial to look back over the past year to review what we actually accomplished for the Lord, and where we could have been more committed to His cause.

In 2020, we should make it our goal and purpose to seize every opportunity to make our lives count for Him.

Understanding the reasons why we fall short of being all that we should be for the Lord helps us to move on to higher ground and enables us not to make the same mistakes.

One of the biggest hindrances to our spiritual maturity is that our priorities and focus is wrong. We put ourselves and our desires before the Lord. Self-indulgence leads to self-love rather than loving the Lord and His will with our whole heart. This sets the stage for spiritual failure.

As we enter this new year, may we be challenged to invest our lives into the greatest investment which renders lasting benefits. May we keep our focus on Him and never settle for the world or the things of the world which pass away.

Phil. 3:20 reminds us that this world is not our home. Since our citizenship is in heaven, we should live like citizens of heaven, not being drawn to the temporary things of this world.

Remember, we have this one opportunity to make our lives count for now and eternity.

  • Only one life twill soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ will last.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

The Character of the Church

Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 5:20

  • Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Since the church is made up of the Body of Believers, this means that we as Christian individuals represent the character of the Lord in the church. II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are ambassadors for Christ. As a Christian, and as an ambassador for the Lord, it is most important that we represent our church in a manner displaying Godly characteristics.

Your character is the real you. It is who we are inside. It is that quality that determines how we respond to situations when no one is watching. Dwight L. Moody stated "character is what you are in the dark." Seeing that our character can affect others positively or negatively, necessitates the need to allow the Lord to examine our hearts in order to weed out anything of bad character.

One might ask, how do we build a Christian character that would leave a testimony to those watching our lives. Christ-like character is built by our commitment and surrender to the Lord.

To ensure that we are pure representatives for the Lord and His church, it is imperative our lives reflect humble and honest hearts rather than a proud spirit which gives a false impression of the Lord and the church. Ungodly character belittles righteous integrity in which all Christians should possess.

May each of us be challenged to live our lives to the utmost for the Lord's honor so we never hinder the Lord's working in those who do not know Him.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

Faith In The Character Of God

Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 4:7-9

  • (Vs. 7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
  • (Vs. 8) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
  • (Vs. 9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

As human beings, we are guaranteed the presence of trials in our lives. To the Christian trials provide an opportunity to trust in and rely on the Lord for help.

Trials come in all form; spiritual burdens concerning our loved ones, our own needs, physical pain and suffering, financial stress, etc. If we focus on the problems alone without faith and do not trust in the One who is able to meet those needs, we will become disheartened and discouraged.

The Lord has promised to be with us and not to forsake us. He tells us that He will take our human frailties and weaknesses and make them strong points for His glory and honor. (Hebrews 11:34)

When you are facing the problems of life resist the temptation to focus on the problem. Instead, remain fixed on the faithful character of God. He has a purpose and a plan in everything He allows to come our way. Pressures only prove that which is genuine in our faith. We can only gain by realizing the weak areas that need strengthening.

Keep close to the Lord, and do not allow anything to hinder your relationship with Him. Our confidence will rise as the character of God becomes greater and more trustworthy to our spiritual understanding. This is accomplished by walking close to Him.

Read and take to heart the following thoughts that your heart might be encouraged in the never-changing character of our Lord.

  • I. Our confidence is boldness and assurance.
    • a. It rests on the character of God.
    • b. It is infinitely above reason.
    • c. Faith never goes contrary to reason -- it just rises above it.
  • II. The attitudes of confidence.
    • a. The man of faith does not rest on reason.
    • b. Some things are beyond the capacity of human reason.
    • c. Faith alone assures us of the things of God.
    • d. The brain staggers along behind the act of faith.
  • III. The purpose of God's promises.
    • a. A promise tells me what I can claim.
    • b. A promise tells me what God has planned for me.
    • c. A promise is an intelligent direction.
    • d. Promises rest upon the ability of the One who makes them.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

A Heavenly Guide Produces A Joyful Life

Scripture Reading: Psalm 1:1-3

  • (Vs. 1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  • (Vs. 2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • (Vs 3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
  • Godly people:
    • 1. Order their lives around Godly counsel.
    • 2. Seek friends with fellow believers.
    • 3. Get enjoyment, encouragement, and refreshment from the Word of God.
    • 4. Successfully stand the storms of life.
    • 5. Are fruitful and prosper in His time.
    • 6. Are contented.
    • 7. Are not anxious or fretful.
    • 8. A sweet quietness marks them.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

Taking Care of Your Conscience

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:22

  • (Vs. 22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Some in the Christian church are not sure of what they believe about the human conscience. The Word of God reminds us that conscience is always on God's side, judging conduct in the light of the moral law, either excusing or accusing.

  • The definition of conscience:
    • 1. Always refers to right and wrong.
    • 2. In the Scriptures means an inward awareness.
    • 3. The secret presence of Christ, the ground of conscience.

By conscience, we mean that which always refers to right and wrong. Conscience never deals with theories. Conscience always deals with right and wrong, and the relation of the individual to that which is right or wrong.

Conscience singles a man out. It never deals in plurals, always in the singular. It never allows you to lean on another. It is as though no one else exists.

In the Scriptures, conscience refers to moral insight-it means to see completely, (an inward awareness). God allows us to know right from wrong in order for us to deal with in issues in our life. Dealing properly with sin in our lives is the only way to keep our hearts and conscience pure in God's sight. This is the only way we can live a victorious Christian life.

There is a ground of conscience. That ground of human conscience is the secret presence of Christ in the world. Christ is in the world, and His secret presence is the ground of human conscience. It is a moral awareness which brings about a moral responsibility on man's part. John 1:9 - "that was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." This light is the ground of moral conscience.

  • Examples of what men do with their conscience:
    • 1. They turn aside from a good conscience (I Timothy 1:5).
    • 2. Some allow their conscience to become seared (I Timothy 4:1,2).
    • 3. Some are living with a defiled conscience (Titus 1:15,16).
    • 4. The blessings of the conscience "sprinkled from evil works." (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Some men do have a good conscience, while others turn away from a good conscience in stubbornness. When man turns aside and will not listen, their "religion becomes vain janglings". As a result, it is easy to live carelessly because the conscience has been put away. All the sermons in the world will be wasted if there is not a good clear conscience. This results in one not being able to respond nor receive truth.

There are those who can only speak lies because their conscience has been seared with a hot iron. Their conscience has been turned aside. These usually fall away into false doctrine, running from truth. When a conscience has been seared, one has chosen to play with fire and has burned his conscience (calloused it until he can handle the hot iron of sin without cringing).

There are others who are living with a defiled conscience. These are men and women who are corrupt inwardly. Even their language has been affected. They have come to the place of not being capable of making right choices. They are spiritual shipwrecks. Their hearts and conscience are already hard.

It is fatal to silence the inward voice. The most blessed thing in the whole world is when God gives freedom to the laboring conscience -- the heart suddenly knows itself clean, and the burdens lift. One of the most wonderful experiences is to know "a sprinkled conscience".

It is most dangerous when men become afraid of listening to their conscience. The conscience can be damaged in this way. Don't damage your conscience -- if you do, you will damage your soul. It is always fatal to silence the inner voice -- your conscience.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

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