Thursday Thoughts | February 15, 2018

Here we go again!
 
Valentine’s Day is normally a day of love, but yesterday in Parkland, Florida it was a day of horror instead.  I am sure that all of you by now have seen the awful news about 19 year old Nikolas Cruz going to his former high school, Marjory Stonemason Douglas, and killing 17 adults and teenagers and wounding a dozen or so more.  It seems these events are happening more and more often and although a tendency to grow numb to this type of news exists at some level, it still shocks, sickens, and saddens me every time I see a tragedy take place.  Like you, my prayers are with all of the family and friends of those killed, wounded and emotionally scarred!

I know that most in our country are disgusted by what has taken place in Parkland and many in politics and media are already using it to promote their ideas on mental health, gun control, security in schools and other topics.  Although I won’t give my “two cents worth” of commentary on these topics in this email, I will say that listening to the differing views on talk radio or TV, especially on the topic of gun control, leads me to think that most want peace but have differing views on how to get there.  I guess having a difference of opinion on these topics is normal, but this debate seems to keep raging, and as events like yesterday continue to take place, I’m sure the contention will get more intense.  

With that said and as the wickedness of man seems to get worse and the peace of our world seems to slip farther and farther away from reality, there are some things that all of us who name Jesus Christ as our Saviour can look forward to!  We can and should look forward to the rapture of the church (Jesus coming for us), the 2nd coming of Jesus (Jesus coming with us), the 1,000 year Kingdom (with Jesus and ruling with Him), and eternity after that with Jesus!  These truths help me when events like yesterday take place!  Knowing that the godless acts of our world will one day come to an end puts my mind in a proper perspective, and because of the reality of an eternity of living in peace with Christ, I know there will be no more sadness, tears, pain or agony.  

To put things in even more perspective, let me remind you of these truths:

  • Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) who is a murderer and liar (John 8:44) who steals, kills and destroys (John 10:10) whose end will be an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)
  • Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), The Redeemer (Isaiah 59:20), the Son of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), The Shepherd (Isaiah 40:10-11), The King of Kings (Revelation 17:14), the Lord of Lords (Revelations 19:16), The Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), the Everlasting Father (John 1:1-3), the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 21:6), the One who gives abundant life (John 10:10), a God that cannot lie (Titus 1:2), The author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the Deliverer (1 Thessalonians 1:10), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), the Lamb of God (John 1:29), the Messiah (John 1:41), the Risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) and so much more!!

Knowing these truths and the fact that Jesus will be returning for us again gives me hope!  Knowing that Jesus is the only One that can give peace drives me even more to want to share the life and hope- giving gospel of Christ to more people!  The horrific events from yesterday are another reminder of several things:

  1. It reminds me that the world needs Jesus!  
  2. That apart from knowing Jesus there is no peace! 
  3. That things will get worse until Jesus returns!  
  4. That for the Christian, we have the Word of God, the Holy Spirit,  the gift of eternal life with Jesus, and the fellowship of other believers to help us in this present world!

Tonight tell your spouse, kids, grandkids, family and friends that you love them and hug them tight! Tell your unsaved friends and family about Jesus and the hope that comes from Him!  Finally, let’s watch for Jesus’ return!

Matt Roller

 



Thursday Thoughts | February 8, 2018

Have you ever been to an IKEA store?  Bekah and I had been once to their store in Ohio, but this week we decided to take Haley to the new store in Fishers to look around.  If you have never been to one of their stores, let me tell you that this store is massive!  They have bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen furniture!  They have all sorts of household goods that seem to stretch for a mile.  They even have a large cafeteria that serves awesome tasting Swedish meatballs.  However, the store is different in its setup as compared to other stores.  The difference is that the furniture is displayed as if you were walking through someone’s home.  I assume they do that so you can see how it would look in different settings and it seems to be a good idea!  To get you from section to section in the store, there are many maps located throughout the building and also there are shortcuts that you can take to save you some time if you are only wanting to go in a particular section.  
 
They also have something that caught my attention to help guide you along the path – a projected arrow on the floor that points the way that you should go!   If you feel lost – follow the arrow!  If you want to see everything – follow the arrow!  It seems really simple, but what I noticed in a lot of people, including myself, we didn’t always follow the arrow!  In fact, I think I went the opposite direction of the arrow most times!  Maybe it was because I wasn’t wanting to spend hours looking through the store that I decided to take the shortcuts to get to where we wanted to go, but I gave up early on following the exact route given by the arrows.  All of this leads me to this truth:  God gave us an “arrow” to Himself and it’s Jesus!  Of course we all know this, but I want to remind you again that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God!  Read what Jesus said in John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Jesus as the only way is a truth that we can count on, but do you know what He said in verse 1 through 3 of that same text is something that we can count on as well?  Those verses state, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”.  The truth from this is that Jesus is preparing a place for you and is coming back for you!  We will have troubles in this world, in fact, you might be having troubles today, take joy in knowing that your troubles won’t be forever!  Take joy in knowing that your end (eternity with Jesus) is something that gives you hope!  

God has given the world an “arrow” to find Him – It’s Jesus!  God has given us “arrows” to sustain and direct us…it’s the Holy Spirit and the Word of God!  God has given us “arrows” in the church to hold us accountable and motivate us to live for Him!  Jesus is coming for His children, His church – let’s be ready and looking! 

 



Thursday Thoughts | February 1, 2018

The body that you always wanted! 
 
How many advertisements have you read or commercials have you seen that promote a pill, diet, or exercise plan that will give you “the body that you always wanted”?  In our lifetime the number of these ads probably range in the thousands.  If you want to lose your gut – there is a pill or a plan for it!  If you want to grow hair – there is a procedure for that!  If you want to look younger – there is a cream for that too!  If you want to be healthier – for 3 easy installments of $19.99 you can get the latest gadget to get you there!  It seems as if our culture is saturated with the desire to look the best we can, to be as strong as we can, to feel as good as you can and if you need help, there are products out there that will help you achieve your goal!  

Is there anything wrong with being healthier, stronger, or younger looking?  Of course not!  In fact, it is biblical to be a good steward of our “temple”, but the reality is that the best body that you will ever have is not by taking a pill or doing the latest workout craze!  If you are a believer of Jesus Christ, it is actually when Jesus returns for His church that you will have your best, glorified body!  

Look what these verses say about our glorified bodies:

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 –  “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 

Philippians 3:20-21 – “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” 

1 John 3:1-2 – “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

A curse of the fallen world in which we live is that we will have sickness, troubles and death!  The blessing of spending an eternity with the Lord is that our bodies will be like His – PERFECT!  Today we live with pain, wrinkles, aches, and problems, but when we are with Him – NO PAIN OR PROBLEMS!  What a glorious thing – thank God for this truth!

Even though, at the rapture of the church, our bodies will be changed to be like His glorious body, don’t give up on looking and being healthy in this life!  If you have an exercise plan – keep it going!  If you don’t have an exercise plan – start one!  If you want to look younger – go for it!  If you want more hair – don’t worry about it…BALD is BEAUTIFUL!  🙂 Continue to watch what you eat and be a good example to others in this area!   Keep on pressing on towards good health.  BUT…also focus on the Lord more and more until Jesus returns or until we pass away! Physical exercise is good, but Godly exercise is best (1 Timothy 4:8).  

 

I’ll end with this…

“For the grace of God that bringeth  salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” – Titus 2:11-14

Look for Jesus’ return!!

Matt Roller