Weekly Message Blog

By Dale Barnes

FAITHFUL TO CALLING! 3-25-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 7:04 AM by Dale Barnes

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” (Pr.20:6 NIV) The emphasis here is not on religious people, flashy people, silver tongued people, even educated people, but faithful people. “Well done!...You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”(Mt.25:21 NIV)   


It is easy to compare ourselves with others.  They may seem more gifted and fruitful, and that may lead us to wrong conclusions.  We don’t see the full picture of God’s work and all he is doing. “Now we see but a poor reflection in a mirror then we shall see face to face.”(1Co.13:12 NIV)  That is why it is best not to come to any final conclusions now. Let us walk closely to the Lord in prayer, scriptures and trust. Let us faithfully do that which he leads us to accomplish. It may seem little at times, but be faithful in those “few things.”


Diligence is encouraged so much in proverbs and many places. “Consider the ant”, we are told.(Pr.6:6-11)  He gives attention and action to important things, and produces good results; we are to do the same. Give attention to our walk and service to God; it will have eternal dividends. Others may not, but you should.  In the end, you will see the results and be so glad.


A faithful man who can find?  As the Lord looks at you and I, may he say; “I have found a faithful person.  Maybe not perfect, but faithful. He may have fallen a few times, but he got up and kept going. He did not give up, but finished the course I called him to run.”                                               


PRACTICAL THOUGHTS ON FAITHFULNESS! 3-18-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 7:01 AM by Dale Barnes

Being consistent in your Christian life is both practical and challenging. You are making yourself available to God! In starting a life or reconsidering our walk as a sincere Christian, one needs to consider basic actions that will lead to a faithful life for Christ.


Choosing to set aside a daily (often) time to read the scriptures, to fellowship with God in praise and thanksgiving and share your prayer needs with him, is a good place to begin a faithful relationship with Christ. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (Ja.4:8) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith...” (Heb.10:22)  Out of this practical, important activity comes all kinds of help and blessing to produce a faithful life with God.  It seems simple, but always challenging.  This is a good place to start!


The apostle Paul makes this statement: “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (Acts 24:16)  In Ps.32 it speaks of the blessedness of one whose sins are forgiven and “in whose spirit is no deceit.”(guile, dishonesty). Jesus, in the parable of the sower, speaks of the fruitful ground (life), which is an “honest and good heart.” (Lu.8:15 KJV) Maintaining a clear conscience, being honest in our dealings with God and man, is a basic, practical way of faithfulness. If and when we do something wrong, let’s be quick to make it right with God or man.  It is great to have a clear conscience!  Then we are ready and open for good Christian fellowship and clear to move in God’s will as he leads.


As we practice consistently these two important actions,  we are laying a good foundation of a faithful life and service to God.


A CHEERFUL HEART! 3-11-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:57 AM by Dale Barnes

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Prov.17:22 NLT)


A while back,  I was driving on my way to a meeting.  I was feeling very tired, lousy and aching all over. I decided to start praising the Lord for all he had done for me; forgiving my many sins, giving me a new life within, being a faithful shepherd through my lifetime. I was doing this loudly in my car.  All of sudden, I noticed that all the aching was gone and I felt strengthened.  It always amazes me as I experience his grace. I went on to the meeting and had a great time.  I had not prayed for help, but had chosen praise and thanksgiving for God’s love and faithfulness; his blessing came. I had decided to take a cheerful attitude whether circumstances changed or not!


Paul and Silas were in a very difficult and violent circumstance. (Acts 16:22-31)  Misjudged, beaten and put in jail. Yet, in the midst of all this, they chose to loudly pray and sing praises to God.  I believe they saw God bigger than all the adversities. There is no indication that Paul and Silas knew what would happen. They decided to honor God over the circumstances.  God turned the bad into good! He can do that!


It is a challenge to make this reaction a part of our lives.  It not only sets the stage for God to act as he is honored, but it liberates us inwardly.  There can be a sense of inward release; peace and freedom that defies the adversity. Even if the outward dilemma does not change, there is a sense of victory within as we honor Christ.  As a  Christian, I want this attitude even more in my life.  I invite you to join me!        



THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! 3-4-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:54 AM by Dale Barnes

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders  through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:29-31 NIV)


The Apostles Peter and John had been threatened by the Religious authorities. They were told not to speak anymore about Jesus and His salvation. They were told not to blame the Jewish leaders for what had happened to Jesus and his crucifiction. There had  been a wonderful instant healing of a crippled man at the temple. God had been moving with great power and now they were told to be quiet. There may have been some intimidation in this meeting. However, they prayed together asking God for boldness & miracles to be done in Jesus’ name. The place was shaken and they received boldness by the Holy Spirit.


Jesus had told his disciples not to start their ministry of preaching the gospel until they had received the promised Holy Spirit. Again, at this time, the Spirit filled them with fresh boldness to carry on their mission. Jesus said, “You shall receive power (dynamite) after the Holy Spirit is given.” (Acts 1:8)  As Peter preached his first sermon he told the people. The promise (Holy Spirit filling) is to you, your children, and to all afar off; as many as come to Christ. (Acts 2:38-39)  The Holy Spirit is the one who works through Christians, not just special ones, but all believers; to be a testimony for Jesus and his message of Salvation.


Where we are and wherever he sends us; the Spirit gives us strength to do God’s will; to glorify Christ!   ,

     


A FORETASTE OF HEAVEN! 2-25-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:47 AM by Dale Barnes

“Having believed,” the Apostle writes, “you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”  He goes on to say that the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.(2Co.5:1-5, Eph.1:13-14)  Isn’t it great we can know that we truly belong to God?  Years ago I worked as a shipping clerk in a warehouse.  Sometimes people would purchase items, but not pick them up until later.  The item was placed on “Will Call.” It was already purchased but not yet taken.   We are already purchased by Christ’s blood, and in God’s time he will come for those who belong to him.


In the meantime, we have been given a deposit or foretaste of that which is to come.  It is like getting a small slice of a wonderful pie knowing that the whole pie is coming later.  But the “small slice” is so tremendous.  The Holy Spirit is promised to all believers so that Christ will be real to us.  He will show us the things that God has freely given us.  He will teach and guide. He gives the power to live the life that pleases God.  He is represented as “living water,” in the Bible. The Spirit comes to produce the life of God in and through us.  He is the “foretaste” and we want to allow this wonderful gift, the Holy Spirit, to have full control of our lives.  


The Holy Spirit is real!  Jesus promised that his sheep would hear his voice and follow him.  Sons of God are to be led by the Spirit of God. (Ro.8:15-16)  We should expect him to guide! The dynamics of the Spirit are demonstrated in the Bible: the book of Acts.  God is giving us a foretaste, a wonderful taste of the greater reality that lies ahead.   Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit!




BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT! 2-18-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:44 AM by Dale Barnes

Do not get drunk on wine...Instead , be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph.5:18-20NIV)


“Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised...you shall receive power (dynamite) when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you shall be my witnesses...to the ends of the earth...All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..”   “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly.” (Acts 1:4,8, 2:4, 4:31)


The Greek word for power mentioned above; we get the word dynamite from it. The power or dynamite of the Holy Spirit is to be ours to be witnesses to the reality of Jesus Christ. We are told to be “filled with the Spirit”, or possibly a closer translation is to stay full or be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.  One of the ways, we are told, is to be

Thankful and express it in singing and making music to the Lord in our hearts. We need the reality and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as much as they needed in the first century.


The Promise of the power and filling of the Spirit is for all that come and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I remember the first time I shared the gospel reality with two men, I was suddenly filled with such great joy. I thought I would explode!   We all need the Spirit’s power today! .Let’s ask the Lord to work even

in a greater way to glorify Jesus and draw people to him. .         

AS YOU HAVE OPPORTUNITY! 2-11-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:26 AM by Dale Barnes

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore. As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Gal.6:9-10 NIV)


Many times the Lord will guide us in a clear way to do his will. It may challenge us , but it is plain what he wants us to do.  This scripture, however, encourages us about a lifestyle of doing good. As opportunities arise, then, from our hearts we can give, help out, run an errand in helping someone in need. These opportunities will come from people of all backgrounds. Even people that are not believers, but we are to do good. Help them out! “God sends rain and the sunshine on the just and unjust, on the righteous and unrighteous” (Mt.5:45).  He does good to all people. They may not even appreciate his loving care, but he continues to do it, over and over.


That is why we are told to not become weary and give up, because the good we do is not always appreciated, or it does not produce the results we think should take place.. However, God tells us that we eventually will see good results. We will see a harvest from that which we have done. Wow!  What a promise! The good results will finally come.


Jesus said this; “ it is more blessed to give than to receive. Let’s not be afraid to be givers, and givers, and givers. In the end the payday will be worthwhile. Jesus gave all for us though we were sinners, but he has been reaping a harvest for centuries. Let’s follow his footsteps, it will pay off!.      



GOOD GROUND! 2-4-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:23 AM by Dale Barnes

Lu.8: 4-15 is  the parable of the sower. A very important truth revealed to us. First the bad or unproductive ground. V12 is the hard ground where the seed cannot penetrate and grow. V13 is the rocky soil. There is no depth. When times of testing come people give up and quit. V14 is the thorny ground. Life’s worries, riches and pleasures cause the seed not to develop and mature.


The good soil stands for those with a noble (honest) and good heart, who hear the word (the truth of God), retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. I believe this is one of the most important parables Jesus tells.


An honest and good heart. They are willing to consider carefully the message of God that comes to them. They value what they hear even though they may not have full understanding. They are listening!  Then, it says, they retain or hold on to it. They don’t let other things or circumstances keep them from seeking its work in their lives. They realize God is speaking to them. If it is God, it must be important! Even eternally important! They embrace the word for themselves. They make it personal.  Finally, they persevere in applying it to their lives. I don’t mean they never stumble, but they rise up and continue to walk in God’s way.. The only one who is perfect is Christ himself. As followers of the Lord Jesus, they keep following step by step and produce fruit. This is good ground!


Are you reading and listening to the Bible?  It is for you and can show you the state of your heart. It can cause you to be truly fruitful, I believe, as we are honest, God can change us and cause us to produce a good crop. The harvest will have eternal consequences. It is good to stop, consider God’s word and make adjustments that really count.      


    


GOD REMEMBERS & KEEPS HIS WORD! 1-28-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:20 AM by Dale Barnes

In Psalms 105, a Psalm written by King David, we see the eternal faithfulness of

God toward his promises.​ God had promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land that he lived in but did not own. Vs 8-9 tells us that God remembers his promise to Abraham, the word he commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham. Vs 10 to the end of the psalm, we see briefly how he worked it out. Over 400 years passed before the promise was fully accomplished. The key verse is V42; “For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.”​ God keeps his word!


In the New testament writings, God promises, those who trust him, to forgive

their sin and remember them no more. He promises to change us within to be

more like him. He promises that we will know him personally ​(Heb.8:10-12) These

are great promises that come about as we trust him.


God promises “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Heb.13:5-6 NIV)


Here is another wonderful promise to those who come to Christ. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Ps.32:8 NIV) A promise of his guidance and our learning to follow him. Also his personal care of our lives. Can you imagine this? God takes personal charge of our lives to accomplish the best for us. Wow! ​ He has proven true in the past. Now those who trust him, He will not fail. You and I will see it unfold step by step, and the benefits will count for eternity!

                        


LISTEN TO HIM! 1-21-2018

posted Mar 9, 2018, 6:16 AM by Dale Barnes

On the mount of Transfiguration Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified, and Moses and Elijah with him, talking about the coming events in Jerusalem.  Peter, was so excited that he wanted to build three shelters or monuments for these three glorified men; Jesus, Moses and.Elijah. (Lu.9:28-36)


As God makes himself real in fresh ways, it is easy to want to take things into our own hands and do something; get something done that will preserve the moment. However, God has something in mind as he leads our lives. He wants to accomplish much more.


A cloud appeared and surrounded them and the disciples were afraid. Then a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”  God himself spoke to these men. It was something, not just for that moment, but for all the rest of their lives. Listen to Jesus!  He is my Son; my chosen one. Listen to him!


The Christian life is not figuring out what is best to do. It is opening our mind and hearts to the one who was raised from dead; who is alive forevermore, and receiving from him our guidance and instruction. This is one the great and important reasons we should have a regular time of prayer, Bible reading and worship time in the Lord’s presence. A quiet time!  Making ourselves available to Christ opens us up to hear his word and his will for our lives.


It takes time to quiet ourselves, but it is so important.  Enter into his presence with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. The Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations.(Ps.100:4:4-5)  Let us worship and listen to him. His ways are best, even perfect and brings lasting results.  



   


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