Monday Morning Meditation 2-28-22

1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:1-13

It is always amazing to see what is in my YouTube feed.  Some make sense, such as cooking videos since I watch a few food channels.  Others, however, make me scratch my head.  I’ve been getting a lot of links about who is or is not a Christian.  Now these are not videos where someone states their faith, rather a specific evangelist who has taken it upon himself to declare who is “in” or “out” of the Kingdom of Heaven.  He looks at popular culture and then declares if a celebrity is saved or not.  Wow.

While I have a lot of personal thoughts about this, I turn to scripture.  Paul tells us to imitate Christ, and that includes having a little mercy, forgiveness and…humility.  It is not my (or anyone else’s) job to declare someone saved or unsaved – God alone knows the heart. 

As a pastor, I have done many funerals and never declared anyone damned – quite frankly that is not my role.  My role is to show God’s love through the reading and teaching of the scriptures as well as my example.  I preach hope not damnation. 
Afterall, Paul tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, not be so assured that we can go about damning others.

This Wednesday we begin the season of Lent, a season to slow down and consider our relationship with God.  I ask you all to take this season to do so – to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and to grow more Christ-like.  Who knows, maybe by doing this, we all may show God’s love to someone who really needs to see it.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 2-21-22

13Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, 14for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. 15She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.  19The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 20by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. Proverbs 3:13-20

Who in your life is the epitome of wisdom?  Was there a special person that you sought out for advice, or you knew would help you find the answer?  Who just exuded wisdom?

My maternal Grandmother was wise.  Whether it was an old Irish saying or just plain words, she could sum up situations and give guidance. 

While I was too young to remember anything he said, my paternal Grandfather showed wisdom as he walked across town visiting all of his grandchildren.  My memories are of a wizened face bringing a feeling of security (and Circus Peanuts candy!).

Throughout my life I’ve sought wisdom.  I try to look at all situations through different lenses and make decisions based on wisdom.  And I try to offer that same wisdom to those I encounter.

James 1:5 says If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  It is worthy prayer for us all.

As you journey through this week, seek wisdom.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 2-14-21

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
1 Cor. 13:1-13

Today is Valentine’s Day – a day that is dedicated to love and so I chose one of the most well known love passages in the bible.

But we need to really look hard at this passage to understand it.  Paul is not talking about the Disney Princess Lovey Dovey stuff, rather he is talking about servant love.  The Greek language gives us many different words for love, indicating different meanings.  We have Philos, referring to friendship (Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love), Eros, the love between partners (yes, we get the word erotic from this) and Agape, meaning servant love.  This is the love Paul speaks of, and this is the love Jesus often speaks of – the love of a servant. It is the love that guides us to do wonderful things for others.  It is the love that took our sin on the cross.

Today, celebrate all the different loves in your life.  Celebrate friends, partners, children, parents and everyone else.  And consider this:  How can you show servant love to someone else this week?


Pastor Bill