Pastor's Pen
Casting Our Care On The Lord - Philippians 4:6-7 (Part 2)
Prayer is often the answer to anxiety for the believer. This is a prayer of trust, not of doubt, accusation, or blame. Believers can cast all their care upon the Lord at any time. 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” They must continue in prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” When all in the world goes wrong, why should we continue to pray with thanksgiving? When it seems like the devil holds the victory, why should God’s people be thankful?
5.  God knows that suffering leads to a believer’s perfection, establishment, and strengthening. 1 Peter 5:10: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Peter writes about spiritual growth. The process of growth for a believer does not take place without difficulties. There are growing pains at times. God often removes the dross or that which is unprofitable to Him from our life through the difficulties we face. 1 Peter 1:6-7: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” In other words, there are often things in our life which we refuse to let go of until they are too hot to handle.
6.  God exhibits divine power in the time of need. 1 Peter 1:3-5 shows that believers are kept by the power of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” God possesses the power to keep us since He is worthy of all glory, honor, and power. Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
7.  God promises to relieve our suffering. 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
We can turn to the Lord at any time in prayer. We can turn to Him with a heavy heart and with thanksgiving knowing that He is God. He will hear our requests, and He holds the power to make a difference. As a result, we can experience peace even in the midst of fiery trials, because we know Him.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/18/2020 10:59:28 PM

Casting Our Care On The Lord - Philippians 4:6-7 (Part 1)
Philippians 4:6-7: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Prayer is often the answer to anxiety for the believer. This is a prayer of trust, not of doubt, accusation, or blame. Believers can cast all their care upon the Lord at any time. 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” They must continue in prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” When all in the world goes wrong, why should we continue to pray with thanksgiving? When it seems like the devil holds the victory, why should God’s people be thankful?
1.  God promises to support us in His wisdom. James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Apart from God’s wisdom, we are easily swayed. We must continually call upon God for wisdom, strength, and direction.
2.  God promises that no trial will be too difficult to handle with His help. 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” While we may think that we cannot handle another thing, God can. There is nothing he will not carry us through. There is nothing He cannot handle. Our duty is to turn the matters troubling us over to Him.
3.  God promises that all which takes place will ultimately be used for good. Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” There are times when we do not understand what the Lord is doing; however, He will always accomplish good in the long run as we submit to His will in our life.
4.  God keeps His promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” There are many promises in the Bible which apply to believers and that bring great comfort. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He promises to walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). He promises His strength to us (Isaiah 40:29).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/5/2020 5:40:02 PM

Reasons for the Virgin Birth - Part 2
2.  The virgin birth was necessary in order for Christ to fulfill prophecy.
Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies.  We can trust Him.  Here are a few:  
Genesis 3:15 states He would be born of a women.
Genesis 22:18 states He would be a descendant of Abraham.
Genesis 49:10 narrows His coming through the tribe of Judah.
2 Samuel 7:8-16 states He would descend through the line of King David.
Isaiah 7:14 points to His virgin birth.
Micah 5:2 gives His birthplace as Bethlehem which made it possible for the wise men to find Him. (Matthew 2:1-2)
Jeremiah 31:15 describes the mourning that would result from Herod’s murder of innocent children in his attempt to destroy Jesus.  (Matthew 2:16-18)
Isaiah 8:14-15 states He would be a stumbling stone and rock of offense to Israel.  (Romans 9:32-33, 1 Peter 2:6-8)
3.  The virgin birth was necessary in order that Jesus could receive the throne of David.
David’s throne continued through his son, Solomon.  Because the last descendants of Solomon were so sinful, the monarchy ceased around 600 B.C.  Jeremiah 22:30: “Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”  If Joseph had fathered Jesus, it would have contradicted this prediction.  Therefore, the physical descent of Jesus came through the line of David by Mary.  Mary was a descendant of David through Nathan, another son of David (Matthew 1:17, Luke 3:31).
4.  The virgin birth was necessary in order for Jesus to provide salvation for sinful mankind.
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Leviticus 17:11 states that blood has to be shed to provide an atonement for sin.
Hebrews 10:4 clearly states that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin.
Good news!  Hebrews 2:9-10 tells us that Jesus by God’s grace would taste death for every man.  He is the captain of our salvation.
John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/20/2019 4:54:12 PM

Reasons for the Virgin Birth - Part 1
Many try to refute the Bible and put its tenets on the level with hoaxes and mythology.  Denying the virgin birth is saying that the Bible contains lies and makes God a liar.  If this is true, our salvation would be jeopardized.  The Gospel contains Christ’s virgin birth, death, burial, and resurrection.  Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
Matthew 1:18-25:  “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.”
The name Jesus means Savior.  Jesus received His human nature from His mother, Mary, in fulfillment of prophesy.  Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Joseph had nothing to do with the physical birth of Jesus.  His responsibility was to be the protector of Mary and Jesus.
1.  The virgin birth was necessary in order that we might have a sinless Savior.  
How does this effect Christ’s sinlessness?  The answer is found in Romans 5:12, 19-21:  Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For as by one man's (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/13/2019 12:32:56 PM

The Dangerous Attitude of Anger - Matthew 5:21-26
In Matthew 5, the people believed that they were righteous because of the number of laws they kept. Jesus told them in Matthew 5:20: “That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Six times He said “Ye have heard that it was said . . . . But I say to you.” (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44) Jesus wanted them to see their hearts and recognize that true righteousness comes from God. God’s righteousness is to flow through our hearts.

1. Do not murder - Matthew 5:21
Jesus was quoting from the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13). The Pharisees were teaching this commandment against taking the physical life of another person, but those who murdered were to receive a judgment of death. Jesus goes on to point out that more than the standard of the Law is the importance of the attitude of the heart.

2. Do not condemn - Matthew 5:22
Jesus however goes on to say: “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” He taught his followers that they should not even become angry enough to murder for they would have already committed murder in their hearts. It is not our words that put us in jeopardy of hell fire but the attitude of our heart.

Anger here refers to a seething, brooding bitterness against a brother, which could also refer to a fellow believer. It can quickly lead to a whole range of dangerous emotions and actions and can become out of control leading to violence, emotional hurt, mental stress, spiritual damage, and sometimes even murder. Angry words and name-calling reveal a heart far from God.

3. Deal with sin in the heart - Matthew 5:23-24
Those who come into God’s presence to worship must come with pure hearts. You must not be hindered by broken relationships that you have the power to mend. Love for God and fellow believers is more important than gifts brought to the altar. Jesus said that even a solemn occasion as worship should be interrupted in order to bring reconciliation among believers.

4. Settle problems quickly - Matthew 5:25-26
Matthew 5:24 refers to a believer dealing with the anger of another believer, and verse 25 focuses on dealing with an adversary. It is practical advice to resolve our differences with our enemies before their anger causes more trouble (Proverbs 25:8-10). Even small conflicts mend more easily if you try to make peace right away. In a broader sense, these verses advise us to get things right with other believers before we have to stand before God.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.11/29/2019 1:25:32 PM

An Attitude of Gratitude
We are commanded by God to give thanks. Psalm 50:14: “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.”
We are told in the Bible that giving thanks is a good thing. Psalm 92:1: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.”
We are directed to give thanks in every situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
We are instructed to pray with an attitude of thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
We are compelled to do all things with an attitude of gratitude. Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

How can we maintain an attitude of gratitude in our day? (2 Corinthians 4:6-18)
—By focusing on God instead of self (verse 6). John the Baptist focused on Christ rather than himself (John 1:27). In John 3:30 he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Are you focused on God or yourself?
—By thanking God for what we have (verse 7). We have a treasure in the Word of God. What better treasure could we have?
—By learning how to forgive (verses 8-12). The Apostle Paul was threatened with the loss of his life and he faced many trials, yet he never gave up and chose not to become bitter. Beware of bitterness in your heart. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us to put away bitterness, wrath, and anger and to forgive one another. Keep your focus on God.
—By ministering to those less fortunate (verse 13). Paul tells believers that they are to follow his example. People need to hear the Gospel of salvation, and believers need encouragement in the Lord.
—By maintaining a proper Christian worldview (verses 14-16). These verses tell us that our life on earth is only temporary, but heaven is eternal. 1 John 2:15-17 exhorts us not to love the world or the things that are in the world. They will pass away, but God abides forever.
—By knowing Who holds the future (verses 17-18). Whatever we go through here on earth is a light affliction in light of eternity. Paul said this even with all the difficulties he endured for the Gospel’s sake.

Apart from God, an attitude of gratitude is impossible to maintain.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.11/15/2019 2:31:21 PM