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 Spiritual Journey (3)

Monday
Sep122011

Walk Worthy

 “We pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Paul continually exhorted the early Christians to walk worthy of their calling. In Alone With God, John MacArthur states, “If we claim to belong to Christ, we need to live in such a way that honors Him….To be counted worthy of our calling should be the prayer of every believer.”

Our prayer, as we start out a new week, should be that God will count us worthy of His calling. And we only need to flip through the pages of Paul’s writings to understand what that should mean in our life.

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a  manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

“So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:10-12

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

 We have the great privilege and responsibility to bear the name of Christ in a worthy manner this week. That is my prayer for each of us.

“If you truly belong to Christ, you ought to walk as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

Tuesday
May042010

Facing Goliath

Like David we face our Goliaths…the giants of disease, death, anxiety, deceit, failure, debt, stress, depression. Often we can’t change the circumstances but we can choose how we react to them.  In his book, Facing Your Giants, Max Lucado says to face giants by facing God first.

Focus on giants—you stumble.
Focus on God—your giants tumble.

Lucado considers why David took five stones into battle and suggests we have five stones to take into battle daily as we face our giants:

Use your five fingers to remind you of the five stones you need to face down your Goliath. Let your thumb remind you of ...
1. THE STONE OF THE PAST
Goliath jogged David's memory. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn't he do the same with the giant? "Remember His marvelous works which He has done" (1 Chron. 16:12). Write today's worries in sand. Chisel yesterday's victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past. Then select ...
2. THE STONE OF PRAYER
Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David's descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don't face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer.  "Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long" (Eph.
6:18 MSG). Pick up the stone of prayer. And don't neglect ...
3. THE STONE OF PRIORITY
Let your tallest finger remind you of your highest priority: God's reputation. David jealously guarded it. No one was going to defame his Lord. David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off! Did David know he would exit the battle alive? No. But he was willing to give his life for the reputation of God. What if you saw your giant in the same manner? See your struggle as God's canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy. Announce God's name and then reach for ...
4. THE STONE OF PASSION 
David ran, not away from, but toward his giant. Who bet on David? Who put money on the kid from
Bethlehem? Not the Philistines. Not the Hebrews. Not David's siblings or David's king. But God did. And since God did, and since David knew God did, the skinny runt became a blur of pumping knees and a swirling sling. He ran toward his giant. Do the same! Let your ring finger remind you to take up the stone of passion. One more stone, and finger, remains:
5. THE STONE OF PERSISTENCE
David didn't think one rock would do. He knew Goliath had four behemoth relatives. For all David knew, they'd come running over the hill to defend their kin. David was ready to empty the chamber if that's what it took.
Imitate him. Never give up. One prayer might not be enough. One apology might not do it. One day or month of resolve might not suffice. You may get knocked down a time or two ... but don't quit. Keep loading the rocks. Keep swinging the sling.

 

There is no doubt that you will face giants this week, perhaps only one but more likely several. If you focus on the giant you will stumble. Choose instead to focus on God and wait and see how He enables you to gain victory.  Make sure your pouch is ready with these five stones by starting your day focusing on God and His perfect provision.
   

Wednesday
Feb242010

Life-Giving

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he expressed at the very outset God’s anger toward sinful, wicked people who “push the truth away from themselves.” 

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks…When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. (Romans 1:21, 28)

Paul listed the behavior that characterized those whom God abandoned to their shameful desires: greed, envy, hate, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, gossip, backstabbing, boastful, heartless, unforgiving. It is easy for us to read that list and think about how it applies to others, but let’s not miss Paul’s entire message.

You may be saying, “What terrible people you have been talking about!” But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things. (2:1)

How true it is that we are experts at seeing the speck in someone else’s eye and we refuse to deal with the log that is in our own eye. I read recently the thought that every person you come in contact with will either suck the life out of you or breathe life into you. John Ortberg says it this way “Some people are life-bringers to us. They increase our energy, deepen our hope, add to our joy, and call out the best in us. Other people are life drainers. They add to our anxiety and invite us to cynicism. We find ourselves becoming defensive, depressed, or exasperated.”  The Me I Want to Be

When we fail to acknowledge and worship God in our daily lives, we easily slip into the kind of behaviors Paul described and then we become the kind of person who sucks the life out of others. I would suggest that each of us needs to daily consider Paul’s ‘shameful behaviors’ list and examine our own hearts for any hint of that behavior. We need to ask God to convict us when we are being life drainers and to empower us to breathe the life of Christ into others through our daily interaction.

Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. Romans 6:12-13