Pastor's Pen
Characteristics of a Good Mother - Galatians 5:22-26
Motherhood is the most important job a woman undertakes. The characteristics of a good mother are found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
 
A)  Love - The Greek word agape is used to express a self-sacrificing and Christ-like love. Romans 5:8, Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:10, 1 Corinthians 13:13, John 15:13.
 
B)  Joy - A deep satisfaction, not a temporary exhilaration of the heart. This is part of God’s nature, and He gives it to us through the Holy Spirit. Nehemiah 8:10, Philippians 4:4, Romans 14:17.
 
C)  Peace - A tranquility of mind and soul that comes from a saving relationship with God. Peace does not rest in our circumstances but in God. Romans 8:28, John 14:1, 27.
 
D)  Patience (longsuffering) - Having tolerance, enduring difficulties. Psalm 86:15.
 
E)  Gentleness (kindness) - Having tender concern, being a comfort to others. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-7, Matthew 11:28-29.
 
F)  Goodness - Having moral and spiritual excellence, doing acts of good deeds, having a willingness to die for another. Romans 5:7-8: Christ willingly died for us, while we were yet sinners!
 
G)  Faithfulness - Trustworthiness. We are to be faithful, because God is faithful. Lamentations 3:22-23. Jesus’ faithfulness to us is expressed in Philippians 2:8.
 
H)  Gentleness - Meekness (power under control), free from revenge or retribution. Colossians 3:12, James 1:21, Ephesians 4:2.
 
I)  Temperance - Displaying selflessness, having self-control, restraining of our passions and appetites which enables us to minister to others. “Not my will, but God’s will.”
 
The definition of a hero is one who willingly sacrifices self for the sake of others. Godly mothers exemplify this. Being a mother is an awesome responsibility. While it is not without its trials and tribulations, there are blessings that cannot be measured in this life.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.5/4/2021 9:22:06 PM

Light of the World - Matthew 5:14-16
Matthew 5:14-16: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Light illuminates the darkness, and God wants us to shine for Him in how we live and in what we say and do. He uses His people to illuminate the darkness and to shine for His good pleasure.  
 
God is the source of light and provides us with the power needed to shine for Him. You are either plugged into this source of power or you are not. 1 John 1:5-7: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  
 
Christians are to influence the world with the light. We can influence the unsaved by what we are as we walk in the light, not by what we have materially. As we grow in the Lord, we are told in 2 Peter 1:8 that we “shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The more satisfied we are with Christ, the more influence our light will have as we seek to influence others for Christ.  
 
Christians are to influence the world by interacting with it as salt and light. Just as salt is derived from the earth, so every believer is to remember that he is earthly (2 Corinthians 5:1). However, in Christ we can be “free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Likewise, we are light because Christ is the “light of the world” (John 8:12). We can only reflect Christ’s light. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  
 
Christians are to influence the world by remaining pure. We cannot influence the world for God when we are worldly ourselves. The question is sometimes asked, can a Christian always walk in the light? The answer Jesus gave is clear “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness” (John 8:12). We cannot be an influence for purity in the world, if we have compromised our own purity. The purpose of letting our light shine is not to bring attention or praise to ourselves but to God.
 
As Christians, why would we try to hide our light? Many do that by being quiet when they should speak, going along with the crowd, denying the truth, letting sin dim their witness for Christ, not explaining the truth to others, and ignoring the needs of others. Be a beacon of truth. Don’t shut off your light from the rest of the world.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 4/30/2021 1:31:15 PM

Salt of the Earth - Matthew 5:13
Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
 
Believers influence the world by interacting with it as salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt is used for flavoring and as a preservative. As salt brings out the best flavor of food, so believers should affect others in a positive way. If a seasoning has no flavor (has lost its taste), it has no value. Jesus clearly told His disciples that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world. God would hold them accountable to maintain their “saltiness” (their usefulness). If we are too much like the world, we are useless as Christians.
 
What does salt do? It adds flavor (Job 6:6). As Christians, we have opportunities to add “flavor” to the world. Salt creates thirst. We should create a thirst in others for God. They are spiritually dehydrated and dying without Christ. Salt preserves. We are to be faithful in presenting the truth. Salt also purifies and kills bacteria. Christians need to live their lives in a godly way that the world is uncomfortable when given the gospel. The church is frequently so concerned with trying to please, attract, and excuse others that its witness against sin is obscured and lost. We may be so concerned with not offending others that we fail to confront them with their need to be saved from sin. A gospel that does not confront sin is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
What happens when salt loses its savor? Salt becomes tasteless, insipid, and characterless. Jesus said that it was “good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” The church is not to be self-centered, immoral, or worldly. We are called to minister to the world while being separated from its standards and ways.  
 
Jesus is not saying that Christians can lose their salvation (John 10:27-29), just as salt cannot lose its inherent saltiness. Christians can lose their value and effectiveness when sin and worldliness contaminate their lives, just as salt can become tasteless when contaminated by other minerals. We cannot be an influence for purity in the world, if we have compromised our own purity. To lose our saltiness is not to lose our salvation, but it is to lose our effectiveness and become disqualified for service (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.4/16/2021 2:07:13 PM

Christ Is Risen From The Dead
Central to the Christian faith is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave. The resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith. Without the resurrection of Christ, there is no Christianity and no hope of life after death. For those who place their faith in Christ, the message of the Scriptures is a message of resurrection hope where there is life after death. Death is not the end. Because of Christ, those who place their faith and trust in His atoning work receive divine forgiveness. John 11:25-26: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
 
Our relationship with Christ transforms 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.” The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ remains central to salvation. 1 Thessalonians 4:14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
 
According to the New Testament writers, several facts emerge:
-Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-37).
-Jesus was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).On the third day, the tomb was empty (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10).
-The Roman guards were paid to lie about what happened (Matthew 28:11-15).
-Eyewitnesses saw the resurrected Christ. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18; the women returning to the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10); two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32); Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5); ten of the disciples in the upper room (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23); the eleven disciples in the upper room (John 20:24-29); seven of the disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-24); 500 people on Mount Tabor (Matthew 28:16-20; 1 Corinthians 15:6); the apostles along with his half-brother James while they were in Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; 1 Corinthians 15:7); the eleven on the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3). The eyewitness evidence is overwhelming. Christ is risen from the dead.
 
It was the greatest of days because that which was impossible became possible. Christ rose from the dead to conquer sin and death. The atonement was made by Christ and accepted by God. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.4/5/2021 9:40:25 PM

Why Did Jesus Die?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” The Gospel in a nutshell is found in verses 3-4: Christ died for our sins. He was buried. He rose again the third day. Why did Jesus suffer a cruel death and give His life for us?
 
Jesus died for our sins. Salvation cannot be bought with money, good works, communion, or baptism. Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell into sin. They yielded to the temptation of Satan and followed their own wisdom. Who has ever had to teach their children to sin? James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Our thoughts and actions are often selfish. Who has kept these commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:3-4)? Who has kept all of the Ten Commandments? It should not be difficult to realize that we are sinners. Jesus died to save us from sin. Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” 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.”
 
Jesus came to fulfill prophecy. Two times in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the phrase “according to the Scriptures” is used. Isaiah 53:9-10: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” As early as the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve knew salvation was needed, and it is promised throughout Scripture.
 
There is no salvation apart from Jesus. Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/25/2021 8:14:51 PM

The Beatitudes - Matthew 5:1-12
Matthew 5 through 7 is called the Sermon on the Mount, because Jesus gave it on a hillside near Capernaum. This Sermon challenged the proud and legalistic religious leaders of that day. The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 present a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers; contrast kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary); contrast the superficial “faith” of the Pharisees with the real faith that Christ wants; and show how the future kingdom will fulfill Old Testament expectations. The first four beatitudes outline a deepening relationship with God. The next four depict the impact of our relationships to others. Blessed means more than happy. It implies being singled out and favored by God.
 
Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The poor in spirit realize they cannot please God on their own, and they see a need of God’s forgiveness for their sin. Only those who humbly come to God are admitted into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Those who mourn are blessed. Isaiah had promised that the Messiah would “comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:2).
Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The word meek means power under control. This meaning conveys humility and a trust in God rather than in ourselves.
Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” The words hunger and thirst picture great longings for necessities that we cannot live without. Those who have an intense longing for righteousness are blessed.
Matthew 5:7: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Merciful people realize that because they received mercy from God, they must extend mercy to others.
Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” People characterized as pure in heart are morally pure, honest, and sincere. They are totally committed and devoted to God.
Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
This involves action not just passive compliance. Peacemakers actively seek to make peace, to cause reconciliation, and to end bitterness and strife.
Matthew 5:10,  “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In 1Peter 4:12-19, Peter reminds us that Christians will suffer persecution. He urges us to be sure that it is for righteousness’ sake and not for wrongdoing on our part. Matthew 5:11 expands on verse 10: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” In Matthew 5:12, Jesus clearly described how we should respond when persecuted: “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/11/2021 10:35:27 AM

Miracles - Matthew 4:23-25
Matthew 4:23 points out that Jesus went about Galilee teaching, preaching and healing all manner of sicknesses and diseases. The definition of a miracle is something that occurs against the laws of nature or is a supernatural act of God. We must be careful not to confuse God’s acts of providential care with a miracle. His timing in providing our needs, keeping us from harm, and answering our prayers do not qualify as miracles. Miracles are supernatural acts of God, and He still operates on that level to heal as He chooses.
 
There are three broad areas in which Jesus performed miracles (Matthew 4:23-25). Spiritual - He dealt with demonic afflictions. Mental - He healed a Greek lunatic whose actions were just not right. Physical - He healed paralytics and those with palsy and physical handicaps.
 
Why did Jesus perform miracles? It was a proof of His deity (John 10:37-38; John 14:11; John 20:30-31). It showed God’s compassion toward those who suffer (Matthew 9:35-36, 14:14). The Old Testament predicted the Messiah would perform miracles, so it showed Jesus was the prophesied Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6). Jesus performed miracles to prove that the coming kingdom was a reality. This was a foretaste of what life in the kingdom would be like had Jesus not been rejected at that time.
 
There were three key waves where miracles occurred. Moses and Joshua - 25 recorded miracles. Elijah and Elisha - which began the ministry of the prophets.  Jesus and the Apostles - 50 recorded miracles. The fourth wave will be in the Tribulation Period and into the Millennial Kingdom, when the Messiah is present again (Isaiah 35:5-6).
 
The Purpose of Miracles: Miracles introduced new eras of revelation, but the Canon of Scripture is now complete. Miracles authenticated the messengers of the revelation. Miracles called attention to new revelation as it related to each era. We now live in the Church Age. 2 Peter 1:12-21 says we have “a more sure word of prophesy”, which is the Bible. God has spoken to us through His Son. Hebrews 1:1-2: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
 
As the Apostolic age faded, so did miracles. Today we are commanded to follow and obey Scripture. We are to hope in God’s Word and not in quick fixes or miracles.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/25/2021 7:57:18 PM