Thanks for stopping by.  I'm pastor of First Baptist Church in Dupo, IL.  You can visit the church website for information on the church: www.fbcdupo.org.  Here I hope to share some inspiration and perhaps a few tales from the winding road…this journey called life, where God can be seen in the moments of our day if we are looking for Him.  ~Roger~ 

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First Baptist Church
620 Godin Avenue | Dupo, IL 62239

Thought for the Day

Even when we don't sense God's presence, His loving care is all around us.

Words to live by...

Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.  Let your heart live forever!
Psalm 22:26 

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God Is God

When Polycarp (AD 69-155), who was bishop of the church at Smyrna, was asked by Roman authorities to curse Christ if he wanted to be released, he said, "Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never did me any wrong.  How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?"  The Roman official threatened, "If you do not change your mind, I will have you consumed with fire."  Polycarp  remained undaunted.  Because he would not curse Christ, he was burned at the stake.

Centuries earlier, when three young men named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego faced a similar threat, they answered, "O Nebuchadnezzar, . . . our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods" (Daniel 3:16-18).  A similar experience but two different  outcomes.  Polycarp was burned alive, but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego left the furnace unsinged. 

Two different results but the same display of faith.  These men showed us that faith in God is not simply faith in what God can do.  But it's the belief that God is God whether He delivers us or not.  He has the final say.  And it's our decision to choose to follow Him through it all.


Hardships And Difficulties

It would great if hardships and difficulties were rare or even untrue?  But they aren't.  They are common.  It's just that when they happen to us, we think they shouldn't. 

Perhaps that is why the apostle Peter, writing to first-century followers of Christ going through tough times, said, "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you" (1 Peter 4:12).  These trials are not abnormal --- and once we get past our surprise, we can turn to the Father who ministers deeply to our hearts and in our lives.  He has a love that never fails.  And in our world filled with trials, that kind of love is desperately needed.


Two Tales Of One City

The book of Jonah has the makings of a great movie plot.  It contains a runaway prophet, a terrible storm at sea, the prophet swallowed by a great fish, God sparing the prophet's life, and the repentance of a pagan city.

But Jonah's sequel --- the book of Nahum --- might not be so popular.  Nahum ministered in Nineveh just as Jonah had, but about 100 years later.  This time, the Ninevites had no interest in repentance.  Because of this, Nahum condemns Nineveh and proclaims judgment on the people.

To unrepentant Nineveh, the prophet preached "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked" (Nahum 1:3).  But Nahum also had a message of mercy.  To comfort the people of Judah, he proclaimed: "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7).

We see in the stories of Jonah and Nahum that with every new generation comes the necessity of an individual response to God.  No one's spiritual life can be handed off to another; we must each choose to serve the Lord from our own heart.  God's message is as fresh today as it was hundreds of years ago; judgment for the unrepentant but mercy for the repentant.  How will you respond?



In Malachi 4:2, we find this promise: "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings."  This is God's irrevocable promise that our Lord Jesus will come again and all creation "will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).

Each new sunrise is a reminder of that eternal morning when "bright heaven's Sun" will arise with healing in His wings.  Then everything that has been made will be made over and made irrevocably right.  There will be no throbbing backs or knees, no financial struggles, no losses, no aging.  In the NIV, the last part of Malachi 4:2 says that when Jesus returns we will "go out and leap like calves released from the stall."  This is our greatest hope.


Hidden Sin

Chuck had slowed to a stop when his car was hit from behind and was pushed into the vehicle ahead of him.  A sickening, crunching sound indicated that additional vehicles had collided behind them. 

As Chuck sat quietly for a moment, he observed that the vehicle diectly behind him was pulling out into traffic.  Obviously hoping to avoid an encounter with police, the escaping driver neglected to notice he had left something behind.  When the police arrived an officer picked up the hit-and-run driver's license plate from the ground and said to Chuck, "Someone will be waiting for him when he arrives home.  He won't get away with this." 

Scripture tells us: "Be sure your sin will find your out" (Numbers 32:23).  This man who fled the scene of the accident was about to find out this truth.  We may sometimes be able to hide our sin fro people around us, but nothing is ever hidden from God's sight.  He sees each of our failures, thoughts, and motivations. 

As believers we are given a wonderful promise: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).  So don't let unconfessed, so-called "hidden" sins come between you and God.