Show Me

Untitled drawing

 

August 24, 2016

Show Me

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”

Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18

 

In his song “Show Me” John Legend asks of God,  Show me that you love me Show me that you walk with me  Hopefully, just above me Heaven’s watching over me. Mr. Legend can know, and need not wonder, that God loves him. Jesus said “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

We need not wonder about that either. So now we are free to occupy ourselves not with wondering about God’s love, but rather with witnessing that very love in our lives. John the apostle also wrote: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:16–17

So what God’s Word is challenging us to do is show the love that we receive by faith, not just in words, but in deeds. Eliza Doolittle, singing in “My Fair Lady” would agree. She communicated her impatience with an erstwhile suitor, of whose talk of love she was growing weary: Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme! Don’t waste my time, Show me! Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall! Don’t talk at all! Show me!  James would say, “show me your faith by your works, or don’t say you have faith.”

Friends, we have an opportunity to do that with our neighbors in the next state, Louisiana. You can not only talk about your love for them, but you can also show your love. Below is just one of many ways to do so.  I trust the donations given through our Texas District will go right to that very cause. If you haven’t already, I invite you to join me by showing your faith. Go to the link below, or some other of your choice, and give what you are able.  I gave yesterday, so I know it’s pretty easy.  https://secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin.aspx?sn=147381&f=276

We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Pastor Tom Konz

Pastor Tom Konz

Finish the Race

 

Finish the Race

 

August 17, 2016

 

Finish the Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,

which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

 

If you watched the “world’s fastest man”, Usain Bolt, run in the Olympics this week, then you know how important it is to finish the race. In the three races I saw he was not leading even with less than half of the race in front of him. Had he looked about at his position too early in the race and was not confident in his ability, he could have become discouraged. He would finish the race, but he would not win the “crown”.  Trusting his God given speed, he knew he could win the race if he just kept putting one foot in front of the other until he reached the finish line.

Usain runs for a gold medal. In the ancient Olympics runners raced for the “crown” or wreath, known by the same Greek word Paul uses in our text above. Paul writes to Timothy that he has finished the race, kept the faith, and expects a “crown of righteousness” which the Lord has in store for him.  Finishing the race is not just coming to the end of our life, but rather dying in faith so that we receive the blessed bliss of being forever in the Lord’s presence.

That this is Christ’s will for us we hear in His words in Revelation: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”.  Christ does not say we will earn it, but that He will give it. Likewise, Paul wins the race by keeping the faith. His eternal life does not depend on the strength of his faith, but rather on the object of his faith: Christ crucified and risen for him. Paul’s righteousness is Christ’s righteousness, awarded, not rewarded, to him because of the Lord’s loving kindness. Faith found at the finish line receives this life.

Do not get discouraged if keeping the faith seems hard. Do not look about at your circumstances, those who get ahead of you and seem to be more successful. Do not be dismayed by your failings, but trust God’s forgiveness. Have your eyes on the prize, and keep your focus on Christ, who will give you the crown of life by way of the His own righteousness. Just keep putting one foot in front of another, totally confident not in your ability, but in the Lord who runs alongside you by His Holy Spirit. Look to Christ, and you will finish the race.

Pastor Tom Konz

Pastor Tom Konz

You Got Mail

2 Timothy 3 16

August 3, 2016

 

You Got Mail

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,

 for correction, and for training in righteousness,    2 Timothy 3:16

 

You probably get mail every day, and I am talking about the kind you get when you walk out to your mailbox or drive to the post office. The mailman delivers pretty faithfully, through all kinds of weather and obstacles. What do you pull out of the mailbox?  No doubt you find some bills reminding you of an obligation to pay for a product or service you received. You also get sales ads from various stores, news of community events, and now political ads as well. You might also get some personal letters and cards from family and friends with expressions of love and support. Granted, a growing number of people get most of these kinds of mail online and they respond on line. The point is not how you get mail, but that you do get mail of various kinds.

As the pastor of many who read this, I consider it my role and goal to be the mailman for the variety of posts that you get from God. Of course we all have one message, the Holy Scriptures that contain all the mail we need for our lifetime. But that message comes in bits of “mail” regularly distributed each Sunday and Wednesday, as well as in personal conversations.  Sometimes the mail is to remind you of your sanctified obligation of good works, a debt of love we owe to God who first loved us in Christ. Other times, you receive alerts, warning you of the danger of various sins. You also get those “political” ads encouraging you to choose Jesus as your leader and to invite you to the know the blessings of doing so. I try to be a faithful mailman, delivering whatever messages from the Scriptures God has for you. But just as it is with your regular mail, it’s your choice whether or not you open it, read it, and apply it to your life.

No doubt, just as in regular mail, there are messages from God we might toss aside as if it were junk mail. We miss out on tremendous blessings when we do, because God doesn’t send junk mail. All of His word has value to our lives. The most valuable mail you will get delivered with every other message is the personal love letter from the Father, telling you the good news of His forgiveness through His Son—crucified and risen for you.  Even if you don’t read all the rest of the mail, He still wants you to open that letter and receive His grace.  First read the best, then read the rest.

Peace.

Pastor Tom Konz

Pastor Tom Konz