The Shepherd’s Staff   Overcomer—Position vs. Practice

The Shepherd’s Staff Overcomer—Position vs. Practice

       As I wrote in last week’s devotional, all believers are ‘overcomers’ in the sense that the part of us which has been born of God through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ overcomes the world. It is because the Overcomer lives in us. Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b) and the Apostle John assures us of the consequence of our new birth, “For that which is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world-our faith” (1 John 5:4). Paul explains the dynamic of Christ living in us, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Our position in Christ defines us as ‘overcomers’.

         In addition to our position as an overcomer, there is the practice of being an overcomer. That refers to the man, woman or student, who has willfully decided to present himself or herself to God as a living sacrifice as a logical response to God’s immeasurable mercies. While all believers are in one sense ‘overcome’, not all believers ‘overcome’ absolutely. “The overcomer passages are promises given to believers to encourage and kindle love and obedience in view of who they are in Christ and what they possess in Him. These are not warnings against the loss of salvation, nor necessarily warnings against false professions, though that could be one application of these promises. Furthermore, they are not statements affirming the preservation of saints. Instead, they are guarantees of special blessings or rewards for faithful service and lives of faith.” (Studies in Revelation, J. Hampton Keathly, III, 2013, Appendix 3, p. 11)

 

         We know from the Scriptures that not all believers are overcomers in their particular lives.  The Corinthian believers are an example of believers, who did not experience ultimate victory over sin in their lives. Paul admonishes them with these words, “And I, brothers [and sisters,] could not speak to you as spiritual people, but [only] as fleshly, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able [to consume it.] But even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like [ordinary] people?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) The Apostle John, in the same letter, where he said that all believers are overcomers, wrote these words, “If anyone sees his brother [or sister] committing a sin not [leading] to death, he shall ask and [God] will, for him, give life to those who commit sin not [leading] to death. There is sin [leading] to death; I am not saying that he should ask about that.” (1 John 5:16) “Believers may have more than temporary setbacks and bouts with sin. It is sadly possible for believers to backslide terribly and to remain in that backslidden state until death.” (Keathly, p. 8)

         The letters to the churches, which were real churches, are indicative of churches in the 21st century. These churches had their own particular conflict or problem and there were specific rewards that are in keeping with or somehow related to the problem they faced. The promises were to individuals in those churches, not corporately to the whole church. “No two Christian’s lives are the same in terms of their struggles and triumphs. The basis of victory is the same, faith in the person and work of Christ and our blessings in Him, but the struggles are different and it seems that God tailors the reward accordingly…These promises are special rewards to believers who overcome specific conflicts in the Christian life through faith and obedience in their daily walk.” (Keathly, p. 13)

         “These letters do not present victory as a certainty, but rather as an aspiration which each individual should pursue…Victory is not a collective right, but an individual attainment…Clearly, the promises to the overcomers are rewards for obedience to the command of the Lord of the Church.” (Keathly, 13) Next week we will examine the promise to the church at Ephesus as recorded in Revelation 3:7. Read Chapters 2 and 3 to familiarize your mind to the seven letters that Jesus wrote to those churches. I pray that you will aspire to earn those rewards as an overcomer in the power of the Holy Spirit filling you and empowering you.

 Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Granted

The word “granted” may be obvious in meaning but, it is packed with incomprehensible meaning in Paul’s usage.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

2020 Advent Devotional

Advent is a special time to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as Lord and Savior. This booklet is written by members of Belmont to encourage and help us as we celebrate this special time.

My Heart At The Holidays

There’ll be parties for hosting.  Marshmallows for toasting.  And caroling out in the snow.There’ll be scary ghost stories.  And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  And you probably know the next few lines by heart… It’s the most wonderful time of the...
The Shepherd’s Staff: Granted

The Shepherd’s Staff: Granted

There is a word which the Apostle Paul uses that is packed with incomprehensible meaning. The word is used in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” The Greek word is translated with two words in English, “freely give”. It is defined in Strong’s Concordance this way, “to grant as a favor, i.e. gratuitously, in kindness, pardon or rescue-deliver, (frankly) forgive, (freely) give, grant.” As we read in the verse above we understand the Father’s indescribable gift of His Son was freely given.

 

What Was Church Like In Those Early Days?

It was an act of grace, undeserved favor from a loving God, to sinners and enemies who deserved eternal separation and punishment because of our sin. It was a merciful act as well. God, the Father,  delivered His Son, to die for the payment of our sin. The Father withheld His wrath, which we deserved, and placed it on His Son, so that His holiness would be satisfied. The cross was the perfect picture of other centered love, unconditional love, pure love, unrequited love and it is the love that the Triune God exemplifies for us. John wrote in his first epistle, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul wrote, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” What would it be like if God had spared His Son and not delivered Him over for us all? Would you please ponder that thought right now where you are? 

Having done that, read the next two words especially. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (vvs. 4-10).  Look at what we were (dead in sin), BUT GOD, and now we are (seated with Him).

What Is House Church?

What emotion comes to your heart when you meditate on that thought? Don’t you want to give Him your all? Holding nothing back because He held nothing back? “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:3). Wouldn’t you give your life for your wife, your child, your parents, your best friend? After reading what God the Father did to demonstrate His love for us and the self sacrifice that Jesus gave for us, do you consider Jesus as your friend? Are you willing to give your life for Jesus? Paul exhorts us “to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice,” having reflected on the mercies of God. I am urging you as well.

       Returning to the first paragraph about the “freely give” translation, the same Greek word is used by Paul in Philippians 1:29-30, “For to you it has been granted (freely given) for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear [to be] in me.” Paul says that to suffer for Christ’s sake is a gracious gift just as the Father’s gracious gift of His Son and the ability to believe for the gift of salvation. It is a gratuitous gift, a privilege to suffer for Christ’s sake. Won’t you join with me in asking the Holy Spirit to empower us to be willing to suffer for Him as He did for us?

Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

2020 Advent Devotional

Advent is a special time to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as Lord and Savior. This booklet is written by members of Belmont to encourage and help us as we celebrate this special time.

My Heart At The Holidays

There’ll be parties for hosting.  Marshmallows for toasting.  And caroling out in the snow.There’ll be scary ghost stories.  And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  And you probably know the next few lines by heart… It’s the most wonderful time of the...

The Shepherd’s Staff: W.I.F.E

“A happy wife is a happy life!” Many of you have heard that little catchphrase and most husbands would say, “AMEN!” to that. Well, I believe this following statement also warrants an “AMEN!” “A happy church is a happy life!” Let me explain myself. A happy wife is one...
The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they [began] selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47, NASB).

What Was Church Like In Those Early Days?

         These verses describe what it was like to be a member of the church soon after the day of Pentecost when the church was born. Since these initial believers were all Jewish, they continued to gather in the temple, for that was a matter of habit for them. The temple was where the Jewish people worshipped God. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father”,,,”But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:21, 23-24, NASB).

     As the church grew, the believers discontinued temple worship and began gathering in their houses where the manifestation of their new identity was defined as a devotion to biblical teaching, caring community, sharing meals together and praying together. It was a daily way of life to worship in spirit and truth rather than in a weekly visit to the temple.

         The significant focus in the New Testament church, is functioning as the family of God, as demonstrated in the passage above. The church of Jesus Christ is to demonstrate to the world that we love one another. That love is manifested in the “one another” passages in the epistles, of which there are at least 22. A brief summary of these exhortations includes, “you are members of one another“, be devoted to one another”, “honor one another”, “be of the same mind with one another”, “accept one another”, “admonish one another”, “greet one another”, “serve one another”, “carry one another’s burdens”, “bear with one another”, “submit to one another”, and “encourage one another”. As you read these one another passages, you realize that they are observable expressions of loving relationships between believers. Jesus said, “by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, NASB).

     In order to live out those commands, members of the church have to have physical gatherings which will facilitate those kinds of action. Realistically, a once a week meeting will not foster “one another” relationships except for perhaps, “greet one another”. The New Testament church met together in houses and sharing with one another throughout the week. Functionally healthy families spent time together and basically performed the one another functions listed above. There were occasions where the house churches met together in order to celebrate and to hear a letter read to them from one of the Apostles. These house churches established a way of life, “body life”, where the family of God lived out the “one another” passages. Not only are we a family, we are the “body of Christ”, each of us a necessary part. Therefore, when we exercise our giftedness in the calling the Lord has revealed to us, we manifest “body life”. When that occurs, it is the evidence that we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are exemplifying body life as disciples, we are fulfilling the Great Commission by making disciples (Matt. 28:19).

What Is House Church?

          In house churches, devoted believers develop community where trust is developed between one another. Love gradually manifests itself as the individual members devote themselves, first to the Lord and then to one other. The church in Acts 2:42 devoted themselves to spiritual disciplines as they frequently met together. That term “devoted” is expressed in the following definitions, depending upon the context:

1.       to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one

2.       to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing

3.       to continue all the time in a place

4.       to persevere and not to faint

5.       to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

 

         As I envision the future of Belmont Church, I dream of devoted individuals, manifesting love in body life, where all the world will see that we are His disciples. Will you dream with me? I pray that you will.     

Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

2020 Advent Devotional

Advent is a special time to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as Lord and Savior. This booklet is written by members of Belmont to encourage and help us as we celebrate this special time.

My Heart At The Holidays

There’ll be parties for hosting.  Marshmallows for toasting.  And caroling out in the snow.There’ll be scary ghost stories.  And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  And you probably know the next few lines by heart… It’s the most wonderful time of the...

The Shepherd’s Staff: W.I.F.E

“A happy wife is a happy life!” Many of you have heard that little catchphrase and most husbands would say, “AMEN!” to that. Well, I believe this following statement also warrants an “AMEN!” “A happy church is a happy life!” Let me explain myself. A happy wife is one...
The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in our world and in our nation at the beginning of a new year, we need to have
our perspective directed in the right place. Psalm 62, written by David, provides words of focus for us as we
tread into the unknown turmoil of 2021. Here are a few verses from this beautiful portion of Scripture.

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory [rest;] The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us (vvs.5-8 NASB).

When I was a teenager, I used to go to Riis Park Beach in Queens, New York. We would go as a youth
group during the Summer and enjoy the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the particular features of that beach
were its “bays”. They were sections of the beach that were delineated by rock jetties extending from the fine
sandy beach into the turbulent ocean. The jetties were there to influence the current and riptides so that it was
safer to bathe. These jetties were “off limits” to bathers, but as typical teens, we wanted to explore them. So, we
would gingerly jump from rock to rock and go out to the end of the jetty. Fortunately, none of us ever got into
trouble or fell into the water. Now, as I look back, the experience of standing on those rocks reminds me of the
words and truths in Psalm 62.

I recall jumping from rock to rock, until I found one which was flat enough to confidently stand on. I could experience the big waves crashing onto the rock, with the splashing salt water drenching me amidst the loud sounds of the ferocious ocean surrounding me. In spite of the dangerous situation I was in, my feet felt no movement under me, whatsoever. My senses told me that there was formidable power surrounding me. I could hear the waves crashing, I could feel the water splashing and the wind blowing, I could taste the salt water in my mouth and the burning sensation in my eyes. But, I had no trouble keeping my balance because the rock was not moving. The rock was so big and so heavy, that it could not move. It was as if the surrounding torrent was no threat to me at all. I was safe. So when I read Psalm 62, I identified almost immediately with the rock jetties that I used to recklessly explore. In the midst of danger, the rock was a safe place.

David said that, “God only” is that safe place. God only is his rock. God only is his salvation. God only is his stronghold. God only keeps him from being shaken. God only is his strength. God only is his refuge. David rests his salvation and glory on God alone, He is his rock. So David exhorts us to pour out our hearts to God alone, for He is our refuge in the midst of any kind of tumult in our lives.

As I hear of the increasing cases of COVID-19 and accompanying deaths, as I reflect on the incomprehensible events at the U. S. Capitol, as I recall the all too frequent reports of racial violence, of civil disobedience accompanying peaceful protest, of worldwide reports of religious persecution, of economic devastation to many businesses, of divisiveness in churches over face coverings and in-person meetings, of reports about prominent Christian leaders participating in some of the most heinous sins, and the list goes on, I am at rest when I stand on the Rock of my salvation. That is only possible through faith. That is only through an intimate experiential knowledge of the Creator God.

When we experientially know Him through our relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, we will by faith, rest
secure on the jetty that is extended out into the tumultuous ocean of a sin corrupted world. My prayer is that you
will read Psalm 62 and draw hope from the Rock, Who alone is God our Savior.

Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

2020 Advent Devotional

Advent is a special time to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as Lord and Savior. This booklet is written by members of Belmont to encourage and help us as we celebrate this special time.

My Heart At The Holidays

There’ll be parties for hosting.  Marshmallows for toasting.  And caroling out in the snow.There’ll be scary ghost stories.  And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  And you probably know the next few lines by heart… It’s the most wonderful time of the...

The Shepherd’s Staff: W.I.F.E

“A happy wife is a happy life!” Many of you have heard that little catchphrase and most husbands would say, “AMEN!” to that. Well, I believe this following statement also warrants an “AMEN!” “A happy church is a happy life!” Let me explain myself. A happy wife is one...

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

      With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead. In retrospect, the last 366 days were unknown to each of us, but God has been faithful and He has accomplished His sovereign will in all things, including a pandemic, an election, peace treaties with Israel, religious persecution, racial discord, street violence, natural disasters, economic distress, exhibits of personal sacrifice, the development of COVID-19 vaccines, innovative ways to conduct worship and to spread the Gospel, a new appreciation of family values, a greater appreciation of community, a greater appreciation of the little things in life, like toilet paper (LOL). 

        I have experienced a more thankful spirit because I have been learning not to take a lot of things for granted. God is with us and will never leave us and He is in absolute control in spite of all the unfavorable experiences we face. Looking back we can see hardship and we can see reasons for thanksgiving. As a result I have grown closer to Him. I have been encouraged to serve Him more this year.

       As I read Psalm 103 during one of my quiet times with my LORD, I was greatly encouraged by what David wrote for our benefit. Please follow along as I bring out some valuable lessons from David’s words to prepare you for each day which in reality will be the first day of the rest of your life.

         In verses 1-5, David begins with worship as he remembers what the LORD has done for us. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, [bless] His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, [so that] your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

         In verses 6-14, David emphasizes that the LORD does not keep our past sins hanging over us because He is compassionate and gracious. “The LORD performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel [Exodus 34:6-7]. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive [with us,] nor will He keep [His anger] forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on [his] children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are [but] dust.”  

In verses 15-19, David reflects on the LORD’s lovingkindness toward those who have reverential obedience toward Him. “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them. The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”

         In verses 20-22, David exhorts the angels and all of His creation who serve Him to bless the LORD. “Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the LORD, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; bless the LORD, O my soul!”

          Each day, let us follow the steps laid out by David. Don’t forget what the LORD has previously done in you and for you. Remember that all your past sins are forgiven and will not be held against you.  Rejoice in His unfailing lovingkindness toward you. Finally, serve and bless Him.

 Each day, for the rest of your life, Bless the LORD!

 Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

2020 Advent Devotional

Advent is a special time to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as Lord and Savior. This booklet is written by members of Belmont to encourage and help us as we celebrate this special time.

My Heart At The Holidays

There’ll be parties for hosting.  Marshmallows for toasting.  And caroling out in the snow.There’ll be scary ghost stories.  And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  And you probably know the next few lines by heart… It’s the most wonderful time of the...

The Shepherd’s Staff: W.I.F.E

“A happy wife is a happy life!” Many of you have heard that little catchphrase and most husbands would say, “AMEN!” to that. Well, I believe this following statement also warrants an “AMEN!” “A happy church is a happy life!” Let me explain myself. A happy wife is one...