They Showed Us How

I am reading in the book of Acts and I noticed something that YOU might find helpful. The Greek-speaking Jews claimed that the widows among them were neglected every day when food and other assistance was distributed.

The twelve apostles called all the disciples together and told them, “It’s not right for us to give up God’s Word in order to distribute food. So, brothers and sisters, choose seven men whom the people know are spiritually wise. We will put them in charge of this problem. However, we will devote ourselves to praying and to serving in ways that are related to the Word.” (Acts 6:1-4 GW) 

Notice the 12 apostles never lost their focus. They knew they could not “give up God’s Word in order to distribute food.” Why? Because that’s what God told them to do. They were not trying to say they were better than the others. They were just obeying God. They belonged… “devoting themselves to praying and to serving in ways that are related to the Word.” And obviously it worked because verse 7 said, “The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem grew very large. A large number of priests accepted the faith.“ (Acts 6:7) 

So….. how does this story fit into our lives? Well, first we are talking about people who are leaders (apostles). As a leader we sometimes think like, “I will do it myself because I don’t have time to mess with it.“  If we take that path we would end up doing everything… except what we were hired for. 

As a pastor (for 34 years) I’ve learned a thing or two about leadership. Years ago, I passionately loved God, and still do. But, I am also a task oriented person. I would get all excited in my relationship with the Lord, but when He would give me a project to do, I would pull my focus off Him and direct it to the project. I would give 100 percent to the project and totally forget about keeping the relationship with God intact. I found myself over-worked and under-nourished (spiritually). Unfortunately, I learned that lesson the hard way. 

The apostles showed us how to stay focused. And if you are someone who works in a ministry, make sure you… “devote yourselves to praying and to serving in ways that are related to the Word.” You will be glad you did. 

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen 

Cheer Up!

John 16:33 – “I’ve told you this so that My peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.” (GW) 

If you are living in this world, you are going to experience trouble. Jesus knew that and He gave us a remedy… FIRST, He said, “My peace will be with you.” Did you get that? He did not say, YOUR peace will be with you. He said, HIS peace will be with us. When we are troubled we can picture all of the disciples freaking out in a boat during stormy weather. And where was Jesus?  Asleep in the boat…. enjoying HIS peace. He had peace because He knew that He also had authority over the stormy weather. When we have Jesus, we also have HIS peace available to us 24/7.

The SECOND part of the remedy when we are troubled is, “… CHEER UP!” Hmmmm, trouble and cheer, those two words don’t seem to go together. Jesus said, “… in the world we will have trouble… but I have overcome the world.” That means no matter what the world throws at us, whether it’s sickness, finances, relationships, addictions, or anything else that steals our peace or our cheer-y-ness. Jesus is our Overcomer.

However… WE must do our part. The first few words of John 16:33 are, “I’ve told you this so that … “ That means we have to find out what Jesus said before verse 33. I challenge you to find out what Jesus told us.

Have a great day!

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen    

Believe…

“He (Jesus) went to His own people, and His own people didn’t accept Him. However, He gave the right to become God’s children to EVERYONE WHO BELIEVED IN HIM.”  John 1:11-12 (GW)

I often hear people who want to build a case about, “How hard it is to become a Christian.” Well, according to the verses we just read, John 1:11-12, that isn’t possible. Way back in 1979, when I gave my life (I used my ‘right’ to become God’s child) to the Lord, it wasn’t hard at all. My prayer was “Jesus, I want You!” That’s all! Do you know who had the hard part? Margie (girlfriend), Katia Donowho Banfield and Tony Banfield Jr.. They are the ones who prayed for me and brought me to church. 

It wasn’t the long prayer that got me into God’s family, and it wasn’t anything that I did. All that God wanted from me was to BELIEVE. Believe in God and believe His love for us is so big that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins. How could anyone turn down an offer like that? 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to believe. 

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

How to make heaven happy.

Jesus was teaching a parable in Luke chapter 15. It says, “Suppose a man has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the 99 sheep grazing in the pasture and look for the lost sheep until he finds it?” When he finds it, he’s happy. He puts that sheep on his shoulders and goes home.

We have all lost something that we treasure, something valuable to us. This shepherd lost one of his “valuable“ sheep. Some might say, “It’s only one out of a hundred, so what’s the big deal?” It was valuable to HIM! It was a living thing that he probably raised since the day it was born. Who knows how long he searched for the lost sheep, but we know he didn’t quit until he found it… then he was happy.

The parable ends with Jesus revealing the meaning of the parable… “I can guarantee that there will be more happiness (joyfulness) in heaven over ONE PERSON who turns to God, and changes the way he thinks and acts, than over the 99 people who already have turned to God and have His approval.” (Luke 15:4-7 GW)

How can we make heaven happy? We can start by caring about people who have not yet turned to God. We don’t have to be a preacher and we don’t have to stuff a Bible down their throats. Just start with one. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about results. Stay with them until they change the way they think and act. Become an example that reflects Jesus 24/7. Let the love of Jesus work through you… And, don’t ever give up. Remember, you are… Making Heaven Happy!

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen