Thought of the day 12-31-15

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given. (Proverbs 19:17 NKJV)

Everything you have God has graciously given to you. God has richly blessed you. Look around and consider the wealth, which flows far beyond money and possessions, the love of your family and friends, the health of your mind and body, the beauty of your surroundings.

God loves your tender heart and your benevolent spirit. When you give generously, you honor God. When you give of yourself through acts of service and return your tithe to the Father, He will pour out His blessings on you.

He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed. (Psalms 37:26 NKJV)

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV)

Pastor Pete

Thought of the day 12-22-15

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. (Matthew 2:7 NIV)

Christmas is first and foremost an attitude of the heart. There are many people who shared in Herod’s attitude. He is the prototype of those people who live in sin and in enmity with God; who want to banish Christ from their lives. They hide their disapproval behind a mask of hypocrisy.

They also want to go to worship the Child. They also celebrate the Christ feast, but in reality their hearts do not belong to Him. Their motives are impure as they search for a Child.
They want to use religion to advance their careers and to keep the crown on their own heads.

Advent proclaims the following message: Christ can be found in Bethlehem, but only those who have the right attitude in their hearts and whose worship is true in spirit.

This is the attitude of the wise men. They came from a distant land, in the same way that we have to come from the distant land of sin as lost sons and daughters. They persisted in their search and did not allow anything to distract them from their purpose.

Jesus Himself promised that those who seek Him will find Him. The wise men stipulated no conditions. They expected a palace and a golden cradle, what they found was a stable and a manger. Like them, everyone who seeks can experience the joy of finding what God intended for each of us during this Christmastime.