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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The Tragic Flaw

In literature, a tragic flaw is a character trait that causes the downfall of a story's hero.  That was true of Uzziah, who was crowned king of Judah at age 16.  For many years, he sought the Lord; and while he did, God gave him great success.  But things changed when his fame spread far and wide.  But when he was strong, pride began to take over.

Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar, openly defying God's decree.  Perhaps pride convinced him that God's rules applied to everyone except him.  When Uzziah raged against the priests who told him this was not right, the Lord struck him with leprosy.

In literature and in life, how often we see a person of good reputation fall from honor into disgrace and suffering.  The only way that we can keep the praise from others becoming the poison of pride is by following the Lord with a humble heart.


True Sacrifice

Eric was one of the good guys.  As a police officer, he saw his work as service to his community and was fully committed to serving at all costs.  Evidence of this desire was seen on the door of Eric's locker at the police station, where he posted John 15:13.

In that verse, our Lord said, "Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one's life his friends."  Those words, however, were not merely noble ideas.  They expressed Eric's commitment to his duty as a police officer -- a commitment that demanded the ultimate price when he was killed in the line of duty.  It was a real-life display of the heart of true sacrifice. 

Jesus Christ lived out the powerful words of John 15:13 within hours of stating them.  The upper room event where Jesus spoke of such sacrifice was followed by communion with the Father at Gethsemane, a series of illegal trials, and then crucifixion before a mocking crowd. 

As the Son of God, Jesus could have avoided the suffering, torture, an cruelty.  He was utterly without sin and did not deserve to die.  But love, the fuel that drives true sacrifice, drove Him to the cross.  As a result, we can be forgiven if we will accept His sacrifice and resurrection by faith.  Have you trusted the One who laid down His life for you?


A Debtor

As a young man, Robert Robinson (1735-1790) enjoyed getting into trouble with his friends, so the stories go.  At age 17, though, he heard a sermon by George Whitefield from Matthew 3:7, and realized his need for salvation in Christ.  The Lord changed Robinson's life, and he became a preacher.  He also wrote several hymns, including his best-known "Come Though Fount of Every Blessing."

When you think about God's amazing grace and the last stanza of that hymn: "O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!"  The hymn brings to mind the apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: "The love of Christ compels [or constrains] us . . . that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."

We can't earn God's love and grace.  But because He has lavished it on us, how can we help but love Him in return by living for Him.  To do that, we must draw near to Him, listening to His Word, serving Him, and obeying Him out of gratitude and love. 

As debtors, we are called to live each day for Jesus who gave Himself for us.


Navigating The Storm 

The ancient people of the nation of Axum (located on the Red Sea in modern Ethiopia) discovered that the stormy winds of the monsoon season could be harnessed by sail for speedy navigation.  Rather than dreading the high winds and rains, they learned how to navigate their way through the storm. 

Psalm 107 provides a wonderful word picture of how God allows storms to come our way, and then provides help for us to navigate through them. 

Trusting God for guidance in troubled times is a biblical theme.  Hebrews 11 lists many who used their problems as an opportunity to exercise faith and to experience God's grace, provision, and deliverance" "Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in the war, put foreign armies to flight" (Hebrews 11:33-34).

Stormy circumstances are inevitable.  Although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to reach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm.


Heavenly Country

Often times when I used to ride horses I had the opportunity to ride in some beautiful scenery in south central Missouri.  We often would ride in the Mark Twain National Forest.  Interesting thing about riding the horses would just amble along not really paying much attention to anything until he put in the direction of the trailers and began to head home.  They were ready to god and often seemed the pace would pick up.  They could hardly wait to get unsaddle and brush and fed.  They knew they were headed home.

As Christians, our true home is heaven.  Yet sometimes our desires tether us to the here and now.  We enjoy God's good gifts --- marriage, children grandchildren, travel, careers, friends.  At the same time the Bible challenges us to focus on "things above" (Colossians 3:1-2).  Things above may include the unseen benefits of heaven: God's enduring presence (Revelation 22:3-5), unending rest (Hebrews 4:9), and an everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4). 

Recently I read, "Believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger the faith is, the more fervent the desire."  Several Old Testament believers mentioned in Hebrews 11 had strong faith in God that enabled them to embrace His promises before receiving them (Hebrews 13).  Once such promise was heaven.  If we too put our faith in God, He will give us a desire for that "heavenly country" (Hebrews 13:16) and will loosen our grip on this world.