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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Money, Friend Or Foe?

Money is a neutral commodity --- it is inherently neither good nor evil.  However, a strong yearning for wealth can cause great danger for our souls.

God created mankind to love Him, but ever since the temptation in the garden of Eden, people have given their heart to lesser desires.  Love of money not only robs God of His rightful place in our affections; it also steals contentment, leads to various temptations, and can cause us to wander from our Creator.

The amoung of money we possess is not the source of the problem.  The root originates in the desires of the heart.  We never seem to think we have enough, no matter what our financial situation is.  The lure of wealth promises pleasures and security, but if we devote ourselves to the pursuit of affluence, we will find that it does not satisfy.  Even worse, it will ultimately lead to ruin and grief.

Mark 4:19 speaks of the "deceitfulness of riches."  Think back to a time when you purchased something you really wanted.  Remember the delight you had in that item when it was new?  What about now --- do you still feel the same joy, or has the pleasure decreased?  The satisfaction of possession is fleeting and, therefore, requires the pursuit of more in an effort to regain the same feeling of gratification. 

Lasting pleasure and security are found only in God.  He "richly supplies us with all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).  But if we let His tangible benefits become our main desire, we'll lose our contentment.  We need to seek the Lord through His Word and prayer --- as we learn to delight in Him, we'll discover enduring satisfaction for our soul.


Success And Money

The belief that wealth equals success is a common misconception.  True success means becoming who God wants you to be and dong the work He has prepared for you to accomplish.  Jesus said the man in Luke 12 was a fool because he spent his life pursuing wealth but was not rich toward the Lord. 

An idolatrous attitude about money is revealed by an insatiable desire for more, and materialism affects rich and poor alike.  So whenever financial concerns have top priority in our thoughts and begin to dictate goals and desires, we can know we've succumbed to the foolishness of greed.  Worrying about finances is actually a warning sign of not only misplaced priorities but also lack of trust in God.

Money is a vital part of our lives, but it should never come to have a higher place the Lord intends.  Everything belongs to God.  We are merely stewards of all that He entrusts to us, and one day we'll give an account to Him of how we have used what He gave us to oversee.  Our goal shouldn't be to become wealthy but, rather, to be found faithful. 

In His great wisdom, the Lord has prescribed a remedy for our tendency to overvalue money.  Giving it away breaks the grip of greed, teaches us to trust and obey God, and is an avenue through which treasure can be stored in heaven. 

If you hunger for worldly riches more than the riches of knowing God, you're climbing the wrong ladder of success.  Eternal blessing is measured by a relationship with Jesus, not accumulation of money.  Make Him your top priority and chief joy, and you'll know trues prosperity.


Are You Feeling Lonely?

As believers, we have a Father who loves us and desires the best for us.  We are part of a large spiritual family with many brothers and sisters.  But if that's the case, why do we sometimes still feel lonely, even when there's no major crisis in our lives?

The greatest loneliness man can experience is due to separation from the Father.  This is a spiritual problem whose source is sin.  We experience a break in our close fellowship with the Lord when we disobey Him and go our own way.  The remedy is confession, which leads to restored fellowship with God.  If we refuse to admit our sin, the separation grows worse.

Busyness and preoccupation with earthly affairs also cause this isolation.  Sometimes we push aside time with God in order to fulfill our obligations.  Or we might focus so heavily on daily living that we ignore Him.  To overcome loneliness, spend time reconnecting with God through His Word.  

Being in harmony with the Lord renews our purpose and energy for life.  Then that sense of isolation lessens, hope replaces discouragement, and our focus shifts from "self" to others.  It's important to reconnect with people, so look for opportunities to practice the "one anothers" --- encouraging, serving, loving, and supporting those around you. 

When David felt isolated and lonely, he turned to the Lord and sought His help.  Intimacy with God is both the antidote to loneliness and protection from it.


In Times Of Temptation

Scripture teaches that at times we will all be tempted to act in ways contrary to God's commands.  Our circumstances are not unique to us.  Others have faced similar situations.  

But where does the urge to sin come from?  Sources of temptation can be the world we live in, the Devil, or something within ourselves.  The world wants us to join in on its sensual, selfish pursuits.  Satan wants to turn us away from God.  And our self-focused "flesh" nature wants us to be in control, not the Lord.

God does not tempt us.  According to James 1:13, Our Father does not want us to do evil; He will, however, test us to reveal to us our motives and attitudes.  He also uses times of testing to mature us and transform us into Christ's likeness.  His work is always for our good.  

It is not sinful to experience temptation.  Feeling tempted is not the same as committing a sin.  Jesus Himself was tempted by the Devil at a time of great weariness and physical need, after spending 40 days in the desert without food.  Do not judge yourself harshly when you feel enticed toward ungodliness.  Only when we act upon the enticement do we cross the line into sin.  

The Lord knows exactly how to rescue every one of us from the temptations that we encounter.  The question is, How good are we at responding to His direction.


Moments Of Weakness

The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who sinned against the Lord in moments of weakness.  These true stories --- beginning with the account of Adam and eve --- are given to us for our instruction.  The Father wants us to learn from the mistakes of others.

Idleness allowed King David's mind to contemplate adultery with Bathsheba.  Weariness led Elijah to consider death preferable to life.  Pride may have plated a part in Eve's listening to the serpent, while lust may have prompted Solomon to desire many wives, including unbelievers.  Add to these a sense of spiritual or emotional neediness and emptiness, and we have at least six situations that are fertile ground for temptation.  In some biblical examples, enticement was resisted; in others, the individuals gave in.  I'm certain every one of us can identify.  

While there are many kinds of temptation, they follow a similar pattern.  The eye looks, the mind desires, and the will acts.  King David looked at Uriah's wife, inquired about her, and then he acted.  Another Israelite, Achan, who helped in the Jericho conquest, noticed all the material wealth, coveted it in his mind, and took what he wanted.

No matter what's creating vulnerability, each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own actions.  So in times of weakness, remember the word HALT.  Its letters can remind you not to let yourself become too HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY, or TIRED.  Most importantly, fix your attention on the Lord, draw strength from Him, and experience victory over temptation.