Pastor's Pen
Why Should I Live for Christ Today? - Part 2
Here are two more reasons why I should live for Christ today.

2. Joy Requires It.

Joy - Nothing else brings joy like living for Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 is the testimony of Timothy. It was a comfort to Paul to hear of those who had suffered much and were still following the Lord.

Joy - Knowing our purpose. Philippians 4:4-9: “Let your moderation (life) be known unto all men.” Keep in mind that God is in control. As we do the things we should, we are to be focused on “whatsoever things are true, . . . honest, . . . just, . . . pure, . . . lovely, . . . of good report; . . . virtue, . . praise, think on these things.”

Joy - Making a difference as a believer. Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” May we purpose to make a difference in the lives of others. Jude 22-23: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Forty or fifty years from now, what will be remembered about you?

3. Love Encourages It.

Constrained because of Christ’s love for us. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” He died for all.

Compelled by His death for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Captivated by the love of Christ through our trials. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 tells of Paul’s thorn in the flesh given to him as a messenger of Satan. He prayed three times to be relieved of it, but God chose to show Paul that His “grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” This should remind us that sometimes we have to live with the problems of life, that we may learn to glorify God. Follow Paul’s example: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . . For when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for your justification? Make sure you genuinely know Christ as your Savior. 2 Corinthians 13:5 exhorts us to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Are you prepared for Christ’s return? The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-10 reminds us that some were not ready. When the Lord returns to earth not everyone will be ready for His return.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.4/5/2019 1:52:22 PM

Why Should I Live for Christ Today? - Part 1
The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-10. It is a model and incentive for why we should live for Christ today. Five of the virgins were unprepared for the bridegroom to come, while the other five were prepared with their lamps and oil. (Jesus is the Bridegroom of the church.) This parable continues the theme of Matthew 24 when the disciples asked, “When shall these things be?” “What will be the sign?” “When will the end of the world come?” When the Lord returns to earth not everyone will be ready for His return. Some will not be prepared to meet God, and then it is too late. Matthew 7:21-23 is a warning for those who trust in their religious acts, but will hear Jesus say, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Being religious is not a guarantee of heaven. Only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for their justification will enter heaven. Remember, Jesus told Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). God will call us to account for the talents and abilities He given us and for what we have done for Him. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness (hell) where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. There are three reasons why I should live for Christ today.

1. Duty Demands It. Our responsibility as believers demands we live for Christ, no matter how we feel.

As Soldiers of the Cross - 2 Timothy 2:3-4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

As Servants of the King - Ephesians 6:5-8: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” These verses encourage us to be consistently faithful in our service for Christ. We are to be faithful with enthusiasm, even when it is not easy or whether we feel like it or not.

As Stewards of Truth - 1 Peter 3:15 reminds us that we are accountable: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Love also demands this of us. Luke 1:48: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

(To be continued)
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/10/2019 3:56:10 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 3
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

6. Holds forth the Word of Life. Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” How are believers different from the world? We have the Word of Life. Apart from the Word of Life, we are spiritually dead. Christians are to continually shine the light of the Word in this dark world.

Psalm 126:6: “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

7. Sacrifice and service for the cause of Christ. Philippians 2:17: “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” Sacrifice is worth it if other people are transformed. God must do the transforming, but our actions may pull some from the fires of hell. Jude 1:21-23: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

8. Joy. Philippians 2:18: “For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” The devil wants you to be miserable as a believer. When you take your eyes off of Christ, Satan is able to rob you of your joy. Joy is something that the world cannot take away. Joy comes only from God. He is the source of peace when all is falling apart. God is the source of our strength when we cannot take another step or handle another piece of bad news. God is the source of our hope when we take our last breath on earth and stand on the threshold of heaven.

If you do not know Christ personally, any attempt you make to portray the marks of spirituality will fail. Do you personally know Christ? Have you come to Him for salvation? If not, call on Him today. See Romans 10:9-13.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/10/2019 4:39:35 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 2
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

3. Perseverance of the saints. Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God is the source of spiritual life and growth. He doesn’t give up on us. His power draws us, enables us, and convicts us for His good pleasure and according to His sovereign will.

Luke 9:62: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

One of the greatest attributes a Christian can exhibit is faithfulness. Christians may start out strong and falter later. These people often do great harm to the cause of Christ.

4. An attitude of gratitude. Philippians 2:14: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Murmuring is an attitude of discontent that seeps from the heart to the lips. Disputing is inward and outward questions where one becomes the devil’s advocate. The devil does not need our help. Paul emphasizes the importance of submission by believers to the sovereign will of God. God does not want us to be inundated by murmurings and disputes. Once we allow these negative influences in our life, they are difficult to remove.

5. Genuine conduct and character. Philippians 2:15: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

The character of believers should be blameless (without defect, faultless, moral integrity - outward conduct), harmless (sincere, pure genuine - inward attitude), and without rebuke (without blemish). Christians are not perfect, but they are growing in the Lord. The Christian life is a process that takes place over time. The character of the world (crooked, perverse) is the exact opposite of Christian character.

Christians are called to shine as lights in the world. We should be recognized as God’s children by the way we live, and we should shine the light of the truth upon the world.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/27/2019 3:50:20 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 1
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

1. Obedience to the Word of God. Philippians 2:12-13: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

In verses 12 and 13, the cooperation of God’s sovereignty (His work in us) and man’s responsibility are illustrated. The end result relates to the spiritual growth and mature conduct of a believer. Verse 12: “always obeyed” - There is a tendency to relax obedience when the spiritual leader is away. The Philippian believers were a model of faithfulness even when the Apostle Paul was away. A mark of spirituality is obedience to the Word of God. Two concerns that hinder obedience are: Believers ignore passages they do not like, and believers add to passages.

2. Manifestation of the character of Christ. Philippians 2:12b: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Work = keep on working out through your own effort to achieve the end results. What does this mean?

Negative: This does NOT mean that believers work FOR salvation. Salvation is a work of God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:8-10) The Philippian believers were already saved.

Positive: If “work out your own salvation” does not refer to earning salvation, what does it mean? Since salvation relates to a personal relationship accomplished through God at Calvary, the passage refers to working out Christlikeness in our life. As believers, we are to manifest the transmutable attributes of God (the character of Christ) “with fear and trembling”. It is necessary to recognize the weaknesses of our heart and our tendency to fall short of our spiritual goals. We are to be continually learning and applying God’s Word to our lives. We must not give Satan a foothold in our thoughts and actions. If we fail, we must confess our sins and begin again. 1 John 1:19: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/13/2019 5:04:06 PM

Bringing Praise To The Lord - Part 3
3. Bringing praise to the Lord involves our knowledge. Psalm 100:3, 5: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

It is of no value to say, “What would Jesus do?” if you never take the time to learn of Him. Matthew 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

4. Bringing praise to the Lord involves our prayers. Psalm 100:4: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Praiseworthy prayer does not consist of a Christmas wishlist to be fulfilled. Prayer involves calling upon the Creator of the universe in worship. Matthew 6:9-13: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

As we think about praising the Lord, it is imperative that we live praiseworthy lives.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/30/2018 4:39:37 PM

Bringing Praise To The Lord - Part 2
2. Bringing praise to the Lord involves our service. Psalm 100:2: “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”

Acceptable service requires obedience - doing things God’s way.

Acceptable service requires a proper attitude. Philippians 2:13-16: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

Acceptable service requires preparation. 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/23/2018 5:29:13 PM

Bringing Praise To The Lord - Part 1
We often thank God for the material blessings He provides. If we ask Him for blessings concerning our physical well-being, we ought to also praise Him for His provision. Even greater than the physical blessings we rely on, we must praise Him for the spiritual blessings. Lamentations 3:22-24: “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” As we read Psalm 100, there are four things praising the Lord involves.

1. Bringing praise to the Lord involves our voice. Psalm 100:1, 2b: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Come before his presence with singing.”

We must use our voice to bring praise to Him. Psalm 109:30: “ I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.”

We must use our voice to sing. Psalm 59:16-17: “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.”

We must use our voice to say good things. Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/23/2018 5:29:31 PM