Posted February 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm By MICHAEL T. GJEFLE Faith Independent Baptist Church, Ontario
Acts 2:22 — “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, and ye yourselves also know.” Here in The Book of Acts, the second chapter, we find thousands of Jewish people gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost, which follows the Passover feast by about so days. On the previous Passover, the Lord Jesus Christ had been crucified on a cross, the lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world. Has He done that for you? He would if you repent and put your trust in Him! Yet three days and three nights after His body was laid in a grave, He arose. Then He proceeded to spend the next 40 days with His disciples before He ascended into heaven.In Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit of God is given to the Apostles in a new dimension whereby these devout Jews, at this feast of Pentecost, hear of God’s works in their own language. This is followed by Peter’s short but blunt sermon whereby 3,000 men were converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Oh, consider the Lord Jesus, His miracles, wonders and signs as you read of His light in the Gospel. He was the Emmanuel, God with us. He was fully man, yet He was the son of God.Oh, do you know this Jesus of Nazareth? We can know of Him and know Him as our savior, but we must choose to trust and obey Him. 1 John 5:11-12 — “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life.” Where does that leave you?
Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:27 am By MICHAEL T. GJEFLE Faith Independent Baptist Church, Ontario
Proverbs 20:12 – “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” Have you read through the Book of Proverbs lately? There are 31 chapters in the book; one can read a chapter a day and finish it in one month. However one reads the Book of Proverbs, it is helpful and encouraging to the reader, as it is from the God of Heaven. Our bodies are incredibly complex, yet here in Proverbs we are reminded of our creator and His design for the human ear and eye. When was the last time you thanked God for your ears and eyes and the benefits they give? We seldom consider these wonderful senses unless they give us trouble. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ is not only our creator, but also the only redeemer of mankind. Hebrews 1:3 – ” … when He had by Himself purged our sins … ” It was amazing love that God had for us sinful men whereby Jesus Christ became a man and lived on this earth and died on the cross to pay our sin debt, which we could not pay. Oh, do you know the creater-redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ? To go to heaven, each of us must repent of his or her sins and put trust in Him alone for forgiveness and salvation. The human ear and eye are wonderful things, yet even greater is the gift of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. May we reflect on our wonderful creator and be thankful for what we have, and then grasp the beauty of God’s salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
28,000 Gallons of Water
I read a figure that said one inch of rain on 1 acre of land is equivalent to 28,000 gallons of water. Now that is a lot of water, yet we take things like rain somewhat for granted. I don't know about you, but I have sought to be thankful for even small amounts of rain, cloudy days for relief from the hot sun, and that morning dew found so frequently here in the valley. Did you know that in the days of the prophet of God named Elijah that when he told King Ahab about the coming drought that he said, "As the Lord God liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." (1 Kings 17:1). No rain and no dew for three and a half years, now that was a drought! I have not enjoyed watching our hay fields turn brown, or our corn at times curl up amidst the hot sun yet I have been very thankful for some rain and the regular morning dew. Amidst life's difficulties which we cannot stop may we look to God for his help and blessing. May we appreciate the amazing creation He has made. Ofter life is less than ideal, yet may we seek to be a thankful people. Oh to know His Son Jesus Chrish as Savior and to know the forgiveness and salvation found only in faith in Jesus Christ. This drought will come to pass in time, and who knows, next year it may be too wet. How wonderful in hard times to find things to be thankful about. Hebrews 12:1 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
It Seems Good, But Is It GOOD?
Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Amongst the many values to God's Word, the Bible, is the warnings and cautions it gives to us. Things may look, taste, and seem good in appearance but it may just be rat or mouse poison. Some caution and discretion in life is critical. We must understand that appearance and feeling may have their place in life, yet wisdom and discernment need to be applied to life's choices daily. WHY? 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." There is a devilish and demonic influence that, since the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve willfully sinned, being influenced by Satanic deception, that is alive and well toady in our world. The same Bible that tells us about God, creation, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone, Heaven, forgiveness, and such; also tells of Satan and his deception. May each of us carefully and prayerfully, in the wisdom of God's Word the Bible, remember Satan's first words recorded in Genesis 3 questioned God's commands and authority to Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:1 "Yeah, hath God said,..?" Our choices set in motion consequences, be they wise or foolish ones; that is why it is critical to be goverened by God's Word not just looks and feeling. Satan's favorite deception is to confuse people as to how to find forgiveness and salvation which is found ONLY in Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus Christ alone is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). May each of us carefully and prayerfully follow God's Word in our lives in all our choices daily.
No, it wasn’t Mr. Ed either. We read in the Book of Numbers 22:28-30 about a donkey that spoke to his master after the donkey had saved his master Balaam from the angel of God, who stood to stop the disobedient Balaam.
No, donkeys usually do not speak, yet we read in Numbers 22:28, “And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass (donkey) … ”
Do you believe it happened? I sure do. The God who created life can do some incredible things. Consider that Genesis tells us, “God formed man of dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
Later, in the New Testament, the Apostle Peter writes about this incident between Balaam and the donkey. 2 Peter 2:15-16 – “Balaam … who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass (donkey) speaking with man’s voice forbade the madness of the prophet.”
Balaam disobeyed God; oh, the premium God puts on obedience to His Word. The Bible tells of God and his ways: Listen carefully and obey His Word, the Bible. We need not have an animal to talk to us, for we have God’s Word written down. It tells us how to be saved through Jesus Christ alone. It tells us how to live, describing right and wrong and good and evil.
Do you know the Savior Jesus Christ and are you seeking to live in obedience to His Word? Sadly, Balaam did not. But may you and I sincerely know and follow Jesus Christ God’s Son.
Canoeing Down The Kickapoo Posted August 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm By PASTOR MICHAEL T. GJEFLE Faith Independent Baptist Church, Ontario
Recently our family spent a few hours together, canoeing down the Kickapoo River. A few years back, it occurred to me that we had never canoed as a family, so we have tried to make canoeing an annual event. We live in a very beautiful part of the world, and the view along the Kickapoo River is beautiful.
In a canoe, those who are together must learn to work together. Someone must steer; others must paddle. But to be effective, people must work together heading in the same direction. What a lesson for marriage and life.
Hebrews 12:2 — “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
How is it with your family? Are you working together, or is each one set on going his or her way? That does not work in a marriage, and it does not work well in a canoe.
By the way, God’s direction is to be saved from our sin by faith in Jesus Christ and to follow Him by His Word, the Bible.
If you have not canoed the Kickapoo, do so sometime. Take your family. Do things together. The family that plays and prays together very well may stay together. Learn how to work together; it sure beats going nowhere in circles.
Getting to heaven: Have you given that thought lately? It is worth considering, especially in the light of the fact that as we live, we grow older, and someday all of us will die.
We are living in the land of the dying and going to the land of the living. It is crucial that, as we consider heaven, we understand some important Bible basics for a person to get to heaven (from anywhere). We are all sinners by nature and by birth and have come short of God’s glory. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Our sin has consequences for us all; “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That is the bad news: As lost sinners, we are perishing; however, the rest of Romans 6:23 says, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Faith in Jesus Christ alone leads to forgiveness before God. It is in Jesus Christ that we find everlasting life in heaven for all eternity.
It is an exciting truth that we can get to heaven from Ontario, Wis., but such a treasure is not found in religion or in doing our best, but in humbly acknowledging our sin before God (repentance) and trusting in Jesus Christ as our personal savior.
Are you on your way to heaven? Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”