Welcome...

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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Entries in Daily Living (4)

Friday
Mar082013

Tools

Charles Stanley suggests that the following are the Lord’s choice tools He uses to shape us into the image of His Son.

Prayer. By talking to the Lord in open dialogue, we develop a relationship with Him. He becomes not just our Savior, but our friend, and as the intimacy grows, so will our passion to be with Him. Setting aside time for prayer each day will become a delight, not a duty.

God's Word. You can't grow in your Christian life if you keep the Bible closed all week long. No one lives on one meal a week, yet many Christians try to get by with just a Sunday dinner of the Word served up by their pastor. How can we expect God's truth to do its transforming work if we never let it into our minds and hearts?

The Church. Christ uses His body of believers as a place for transformation. That's where we rub against each other and have the rough edges of our character smoothed. It is a place of instruction, accountability, and encouragement.

I don’t think we would argue that these are indeed the tools the Lord uses, but I’m afraid we make little effort to allow these tools to serve their intended purpose.  We don’t have time in our day to spend in focused prayer; we just can’t set aside time to spend studying the Word of God; and we always seem to have something better or more pressing to do than to go to church.  We forget that the Lord uses these tools for our good and His glory.  When we are not intentional about spending time in prayer and in the Word and with His people, we don’t allow Christ to do His transforming work but instead allow the world to shape us right into its mold.

Will you be intentional today and committed to allowing the Lord to do His transforming work in your life?

Wednesday
Mar072012

A Choice

“Many Christians have a passive attitude about the life of faith.”  This statement by Charles Stanley identifies what I think is the root problem in our churches today. Our churches are passive about faith and the carrying of the gospel to the lost because we, as the church body, are passive about our life of faith.  And I think we all face this struggle at times because we let our sanctification…our growth in our Christian walk…be crowded out by the busy-ness of our life and our worldly passions and daily frustrations. Here is what Dr. Stanley has to say about it:

Did you know that God didn't save you just to keep you from hell and get you into heaven? His top priority while you are here on earth is to shape you into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). But at this stage of our sanctification, He doesn't do it all for us. We have a responsibility to cooperate with Him and actively participate in the process. Yet many Christians have a passive attitude about the life of faith. They tolerate sin and smooth it over with the age-old excuse, "Nobody's perfect!"

When you received Christ as your Savior, you took the first step in your walk with Him--a walk that will last the rest of your life. However, you also stepped into spiritual warfare with Satan. The enemy may have lost your soul, but he's going to do everything he can to hinder, sidetrack, and discourage you. The last thing he wants is a saint who's on fire for the Lord and useful in the kingdom. But many believers have abdicated their responsibility to live holy lives. In fact, some of them look and act just like the unbelieving world.

Have you allowed something in your life that shouldn’t be there? If so, you need to drop it now. You don't want a thread of sin to become a rope, then a chain, and finally a cable that traps you in a stronghold. Turn back to the Lord, and let your sanctification continue.

I think this is a daily challenge. Each day we need to determine if we will stand up against the attack of the enemy and choose to live an active, growing life of faith. Or will we choose the easy way and let the current of life take us where it may, and when it leads us into sin we pull out the ‘nobody’s perfect’ card? You may not reach perfection (Christlikeness) today, but that should be what we are pressing on toward every day.

Monday
Feb272012

This I Know

Karl Barth, the great theologian, was once asked if he could condense all the theology he had ever written into one simple sentence. “Yes, I can. ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’”

There is no better way to start a new week than to contemplate the fact that the God of the universe loves each of us individually.  You may be facing circumstances that tempt you to question God’s love and presence in your life. Things can get really messy and really hard, and we wonder where God is in the mess. But turn your eyes back to the cross of Calvary to see the irrefutable proof of His love. Abide in His Word…His promises never fail. He is with us even in the messiness of our lives.

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3 ESV)

Tuesday
Jul052011

Fear Not

It’s hard to believe we just celebrated the 4th of July. Not only have we entered another new month, but 2011 is officially half over.  The flip side is that we still have half of the year left to accomplish the things we wanted to accomplish when we started out this year.

What keeps us from doing the things we were so determined to do at the beginning of the year?  What keeps us from moving toward our goals and our dreams?  I think more often than not it is fear.  I read recently that some form of the phrase ‘fear not’ appears 366 times in the Bible.  That should be a clue for us that fear is one of the enemy’s favorite tools to keep us from the will of God…to keep us from experiencing the joy that life in Christ brings.

Think about it.  Rarely is it a lack of resources that keeps us from doing what we know we should do, but it is the fear of failure, or the fear of what people will think, or the fear of rejection, or even the fear of physical harm or financial risk. But 366 times in Scripture God assures us that we do not have reason to fear if we are following Him and seeking His will.

Do you think the disciples took on the task of changing the world without some fear? Max Lucado writes, “Before they were stained glass saints on the windows of cathedrals, the disciples were next door neighbors trying to make a living and raise a family. They weren’t cut from theological cloth or raised on supernatural milk. They were just an ounce more devoted than they were afraid, and as a result, they did extraordinary things.” 

That’s my challenge as we start this new month and the second half of 2011.  Grow in your devotion to Christ so that you will always be an ounce more devoted than you are afraid. Then you will be able to take on every opportunity that the Lord brings to you over the next six months by replacing fear with trust in Almighty God.

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13