Society Needs Truth

Society Needs Truth

We are so blessed to know and worship the Creator God who has established the universe by the power of his Word. What he formed was right and good and true and was to his glory. Eventually though, we chose to believe a lie instead of the truth.  When mankind rebelled against the Creator, and twisted and misused the creation, the deadly virus of sin entered the system and an ongoing cycle of chaos ensued. 

Fortunately, we can still know, worship, and obey our Creator because he has revealed his truth to us in the Scriptures. In the Bible we see God’s design for how people and societies can thrive, albeit imperfectly, in spite of the curse. When we live according to God’s plan, our individual lives and our society will function better than when we ignore his blueprint for living. 

Thinking people have to recognize that we reside in a country that is becoming increasingly more secular. That means that much of our nation is moving away from belief in God and denying his design and authority.  As a result, we are becoming progressively immoral.  The world and its leaders deny the Creator God and set themselves up as little gods instead.  Because of this worldview, secular society says that the building blocks of civilization are just man-made constructs. Therefore, these revolutionaries are working to dismantle what God has established; even on things as basic as gender, sexuality, marriage, and family.  Any country that tries to undo these foundational elements will see their society begin to crumble. 

The primary way that we as citizens of God’s Kingdom can reveal the beauty of the Creator’s design to the world is by lovingly proclaiming the truth about God and about his Son.  We must also be a people who are living out and demonstrating the beauty of His truth. Instead of being silent, we speak into the culture even when it is not popular.  In Matthew 14 and Luke 3, John the Baptist pointed out King Herod’s sin of divorcing his own wife in order to marry his brother’s wife.  This so infuriated his bride so much that she eventually connived to have John the Baptist put to death.  This was an inconvenient truth.  When we see our culture abandoning the pattern that God has ordained we must raise a warning of the harm that is to come.  We don’t do this from a place of arrogance but from a heart of grace. 

Generally speaking, when a government embraces God’s pattern for humanity and society, that culture will be blessed.  Christians should seek the good of the cities and countries that God has sovereignly placed them in.  We can do this in immediate ways by loving our neighbors and in far-reaching ways by guiding our society to function in ways that follow God’s design.  One way to do this is by installing government leaders that will observe the Creator’s pattern for living.  No politician or person will ever do that perfectly!  Of course, leaders and laws might change behaviors temporarily but they cannot change people’s hearts.  As a people grow more secular and godless they will eventually install leaders who represent their desires and affirm their lifestyles. 

Being The Church During COVID

At Belmont, we care about your safety and continuing to glorify God. Find out how we’re being the church while taking the proper precautions.

As time moves forward, those of us who choose to believe God and follow his ways will seem like relics to a progressive society. Even though trusting God’s structure for mankind and for society is a loving thing to do we will be viewed as ignorant and hateful.  But let us remember and rest in the fact that truth does not change. As a church, we will continue to subscribe to the truth of the Bible even when it is unpopular. 

I’d love to hear from you! What questions or concerns do you have about the church and government during this election season? What things are you hoping that we will cover in this current sermon series?  Send me your questions in the form below and maybe it will show up in my next sermon or letter. Praying for the continued unity of the church underneath the Lordship of King Jesus,

Pastor Jon

Send me your questions here.

12 + 5 =

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Lamp Of The Body

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Lamp Of The Body

I recently went for my annual eye examination at the Salem VA Medical Center. It was an extensive examination, first by an optometry intern and then an attending ophthalmologist. They had all kinds of diagnostic apparatus to allow them to not just look at the exterior of my eyes, but also to look deep into those magnificent orbs created by God. I mentioned to the young intern that it must be amazing to observe the extremely complicated design of this gelatinous part of the human body. She told me that she is always amazed at what she sees. I encouraged her to never take for granted that God has designed these intricate and essential parts. How often do I take for granted that when I wake up in the morning I can look at my clock and see what time it is, I can read my Bible, I can see my lovely wife, my daughter, and son-in-love, my five grandchildren, the sunshine and so on, all day long. There are so many things I can focus on during the day that are good and produce thankfulness to my God.  

But along with those positive and good things, there are negative and bad things that come before these marvelous eyes. I’m reminded of the children’s song, “Be Careful Little Eyes What You See!” I have control of what I allow my eyes to focus on all day long. What I choose to look at, gaze at, lust upon, will result in consequences. Jesus had some words to say about the use of our eyes when He delivered His sermon on the mount in Matthew 6:22-23, “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” The context of these verses concerns how we deal with material possessions. The two verses (vs. 19-21) prior to these two verses, warn us to check our hearts. Where our heart is, will determine where we store up our treasures. What do we do with our earthly possessions? Do I make it my goal to be materially rewarded at the expense of being spiritually impoverished? Is my heart in making money or is it in bringing glory to God? Then in verse 24, following the verses about the eye, are verses where Jesus pointedly says that we have to make a choice. We cannot serve God and serve money at the same time. It is an impossibility. There can only be one master, otherwise, it is not a master. Either our master is Jesus or it is money. No joint ownership.

Now, Jesus is not saying that money is evil. All blessings come from the Father, even material wealth (James 1:17). It is “the love of money that is a root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). In verses 19,-24, Jesus is telling us that we need to be careful about what we see. What we allow our eyes to see will affect our actions. The advertising world knows that principle very well. Why do corporations spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl commercials? It is because they know that the way to your heart (and pocketbook) is through your eyes. If they can make their product attractive to your eyes, your heart will desire their product. The Apostle John wrote these words in his first epistle when he was in his later years, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:16 NLT) When we focus our eyes on those attractive material treasures, we are deceived into believing that they will bring lasting joy. While it may be sweet initially, the end result is bitterness. 

The human eye provides light to the brain so that it can instruct the body to walk in the light. If something hinders our eyes from seeing what is in front of us, we will stumble and fall. It is like walking into a dark room where you think you know that there is sufficient light to navigate your way. That light you think you have is really darkness which will hide the obstacles in front of you. “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4, NLT). Instead of focusing on those attractive material things which can lead us into darkness, we need to focus our eyes on Jesus, Who is the Light (John 8:12).

Ask yourself these questions. 

1) When I focus on getting more material things, am I ever completely satisfied? 

2) When I fix my eyes on Jesus and His kingdom, am I content? “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” (Philippians 4:11 NLT)

3) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)

4) Where do I focus my eyes? Jesus or something else?

 

Bill Olsen, Elder

Read More Devotionals Below

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Lamp Of The Body

I recently went for my annual eye examination at the Salem VA Medical Center. It was an extensive examination, first by an optometry intern and then an attending ophthalmologist. They had all kinds of diagnostic apparatus to allow them to not just look at the exterior...

King Of My Heart

Over the following 30 days, the nation will be focused on who will fill the highest office in the land.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Members of One Another

When a baby is born, parents marvel at God’s creative masterpiece. They wonder what this little baby will be like as he or she grows up. They have all kinds of aspirations for this remarkable gift that God has given them.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Warn One Another

While on vacation with three of my children and their families (there were 20 of us), we were staying at a rental house on the beach in Frisco, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because of the effects of hurricane Teddy, the surf was extremely treacherous....

The Shepherd’s Staff: Giver

Are you a child of God? According to the Apostle John, anyone who has received Jesus as his or her Saviour, by believing in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sin, is a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to...
King Of My Heart

King Of My Heart

Over the following 30 days, the nation will be focused on who will fill the highest office in the land.
According to polls, the country is divided down the middle on this topic and so many other important
issues. It is possible for this division to slip into the Church and for followers of Jesus self-segregate into
camps of blue and red and purple. But we know that the Lord’s desire is for His people to be united; to
be one. That was His prayer just before He went to the cross in the life-giving, sacrificial act that would
allow us to be baptized into one family of faith.

Jesus reminds us in Mark 3 that a Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. It will fall apart.
Although the politics and elections of our nation are important, we must not allow these things to divide
us. Instead, we must stand united under a higher authority than a president or governor. We stand
united under the Lordship of King Jesus. Ultimately, He is the one who places and controls leaders of
nations.

How should we as Christians approach these times? The first place we must start is with an examination
of our hearts. Like King David in Psalm 139 we must say, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test
me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the
way everlasting.” What kind of hearts should we as believers have in turbulent times? Not
hearts that are anxious or angry but hearts of Trust, Unity, and Prayer.

1. A Heart of Trust
Psalm 146:3 says, “Do not put your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no
salvation.” Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding.” It is easy for us to unknowingly begin to shift our trust from God to a political
party or leader. Although it is good for us to be informed and to raise our voice for truth we
should do that while at the same time keeping our ultimate hope in the Lord. Psalm 146:5 says,
“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” One of the
best ways to keep your heart grounded in the right place is to be in God’s Word of Truth daily.
Make a commitment, for the next 30 days, to meditate on the good news in God’s Word
before tuning in to the not-so-good news of the world.

2. A Heart for Unity
In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul writes from prison and he tell the believers in Ephesus, “I therefore, a
prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been
called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to
maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Often we find it easy to distance ourselves from
other believers who have different views than we do. Worse, we might even find ourselves disparaging
them behind their backs or on social media. These actions do not show that we are ‘eager to maintain
unity’. Let’s put the unity of the body ahead of our own desires to vent or be heard. Instead of
throwing shade or blasting others on social media, let’s go old school and meet with people in person.
Make a commitment, for the next thirty days, to share your opinion ‘with all humility and gentleness
and patience.’

3. A Heart of Prayer
In I Timothy 2, the Apostle Paul urges that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may
lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in
the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of
the truth.” When we pray for our leaders, we are obeying God and showing that we trust Him to
guide those in authority. Depending on where you live, you may feel like your vote won’t make
that big of a practical difference. But when you pray, you are accomplishing more than you
could ever do on your own by asking God to be the difference-maker. Make a commitment,
for the next 30 days, to pray for those in authority and in ‘high positions; that the Lord
would direct their hearts to make wise and godly decisions.

My prayer for the Church as we approach the end of 2020 is that we will be more united than ever
before and that the peace of King Jesus will reign in our hearts!

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Lamp Of The Body

I recently went for my annual eye examination at the Salem VA Medical Center. It was an extensive examination, first by an optometry intern and then an attending ophthalmologist. They had all kinds of diagnostic apparatus to allow them to not just look at the exterior...

King Of My Heart

Over the following 30 days, the nation will be focused on who will fill the highest office in the land.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Members of One Another

When a baby is born, parents marvel at God’s creative masterpiece. They wonder what this little baby will be like as he or she grows up. They have all kinds of aspirations for this remarkable gift that God has given them.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Warn One Another

While on vacation with three of my children and their families (there were 20 of us), we were staying at a rental house on the beach in Frisco, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because of the effects of hurricane Teddy, the surf was extremely treacherous....
The Shepherd’s Staff: Members of One Another

The Shepherd’s Staff: Members of One Another

When a baby is born, parents marvel at God’s creative masterpiece. They wonder what this little baby will be like as he or she grows up. They have all kinds of aspirations for this remarkable gift that God has given them. As the baby grows, he/she inherently begins to open and close its eyelids, sucks with its tongue, cries with its vocal cords, moves its arms and legs, holds onto Mommy’s or Daddy’s fingers, digests milk, eliminates waste, and so on. As the baby grows it develops the use of its internal and external parts because this baby was designed by God in the mother’s womb from the moment of conception. The Bible speaks of that in Psalm 139:13-15, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.” (NLT). All the parts were designed by the Creator God to work according to His design. As the baby grows, the parts inherently learn to carry out their function and each part grows in its ability to fully work together with the rest of the parts of the body they belong to. As the child grows even more, he or she observes other children and adults using their body parts. The child further enhances their abilities as they observe and practice the use of their body parts as they mature.

The Apostle Paul uses the analogy of the physical body to describe the spiritual body of Christ, the Church. In Romans 12:4-5 Paul writes, “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” (NLT). Just as a baby has many body parts, so does the Church of Jesus Christ. You and I become a part of the Body of Christ when we are born from above by the Spirit of God. God has given each of us a function in that Body, which is called a spiritual gift. At the moment of our new birth by the Holy Spirit, He imparts at least one spiritual gift to each of us.  These gifts are intended to build up the Body of Christ as we exercise them. They are called gifts because we did not choose them or create them ourselves. Just as a child is gifted with physical body parts, so is the Church.

Paul addresses several churches in the New Testament concerning the faithful use of these gifts. His most extensive description is of the church at Corinth. This church was gifted generously but they were misusing their gifts for their own selfishness and not for the good of the Body of Christ in Corinth. He said that they were still immature in their spiritual growth. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-12, Paul explains this gifting, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (NLT). Paul instructs the Romans how to use those gifts in chapter 12, verses 6-8. “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly” (NLT).

Our spiritual gifts are to be used for the good of the Body of Christ and they are to be used well. Just as a baby grows and inherently uses its body parts in the way God designed them to be used, that baby also uses the parts of the body better as it practices and learns from others. So it is with the church. We as gifted members of the Body inherently use our gifts unaware of them until we begin to know by experience that we have them. I believe the Holy Spirit gives us that insight either by His inward prompting and through the encouragement of others who notice our gifts, just as a parent points out how to use legs and hands and fingers and other body parts to their child. We also derive enjoyment and outward encouragement when we notice that our gifts are effective with other members of the Body who may have different gifts. We learn how to work together as one body with many parts. So, the key is to grow in Jesus Christ and cooperate with God, Who is conforming you into the image of His Son. Use your gifts for His glory and enjoy your part in the Body of Christ in building it up.

Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Members of One Another

When a baby is born, parents marvel at God’s creative masterpiece. They wonder what this little baby will be like as he or she grows up. They have all kinds of aspirations for this remarkable gift that God has given them.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Warn One Another

While on vacation with three of my children and their families (there were 20 of us), we were staying at a rental house on the beach in Frisco, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because of the effects of hurricane Teddy, the surf was extremely treacherous....

The Shepherd’s Staff: Giver

Are you a child of God? According to the Apostle John, anyone who has received Jesus as his or her Saviour, by believing in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sin, is a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to...

The Shepherd’s Staff: Just Like That!

On Saturday afternoon I was gently floating on a lounger in our blow-up pool. As I lay soaking in the sunshine, gazing at the magnificent white clouds and expansive blue sky, I was giving thanks to my Creator God for what He has given me. I had no...

The Shepherd’s Staff: Warn One Another

The Shepherd’s Staff: Warn One Another

While on vacation with three of my children and their families (there were 20 of us), we were staying at a rental house on the beach in Frisco, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because of the effects of hurricane Teddy, the surf was extremely treacherous. Warnings about riptides were posted on the Weather Channel and it was obvious when you walked into the water, that the postings were legitimate. We arrived at the house on Saturday afternoon and the wind was incredibly forceful and relentless. It was in the 60’s and not conducive to a visit to the beach. Then Wednesday arrived and having been watching the forecast on the Weather Channel app, we were looking forward to spending a good deal of time sitting in the sand and watching the surf but not going in it. The adults were standing near the surf line as the children mimicked the sandpipers by running away from the surf as it came up and then following the surf as it receded back into the ocean.

I was sitting in my beach chair enjoying the children playing in the sand and playing with the foam that each wave left on the sand. As the sun grew hotter, I decided that I would get wet by walking into the shallow surf and splash myself with cool saltwater. So, I got up and gradually walked past my son and son-in-law, who were diligently overseeing the children. I slowly walked into the water and as I carefully took a step or two deeper into the inches of water flowing up the bank, I would stop and check my balance. I felt that I was being quite sensible in the way I was facing the treacherous waves in front of me. I had no thoughts whatsoever of venturing into danger. I was confident that my cautious actions were going to keep me safe.

Then, I heard my son yell, “Dad! What are you doing? Dad, come back!!” All of a sudden a bigger wave broke a good distance from me, but the water generated from the wave rushed toward me and knocked me off my feet and washed me toward the shore. Mark got to me and grabbed my arm and helped me get up. I was not hurt, embarrassed a little, because the whole family watched the dramatic scene, but I slowly walked back to my chair. Mark and J said that they were asking each other “What is he doing?” as I ventured deeper into the surf. They saw the danger before I did because they had been observing the surf for quite a while as they watched the children. Their call was a warning of impending danger, but I was confident that I was in control of my actions. Their motivation was a loving concern for my well being as well as the incredulous thought that I was doing something foolish. They knew something I didn’t realize until it was too late. Fortunately, all turned out well. I learned a lesson and so did the rest of the family as they watched the adventure. That will probably be a memory that will be repeated many times in the future.

You know, that incident reminded me of the fact that we are members of a family which is much larger than our physical families, the family of God, the Church. Each of us become members of God’s family when we are born again spiritually, having believed in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life. As members of that family we are to be watchful for one another as we experience life together. Some of us will be in the position of observing the others who may be a little too adventurous and willing to take risks because we have false confidence in our own strength and abilities.

Some of us may be foolishly testing the waters of pleasures which appear harmless or controllable. Some of us may have observed that same or similar water and have seen or experienced the consequences of false confidence. When we see a brother or sister blindly moving in the direction of a foolish action, we are obliged to warn them out of our love for them. Then we should be there to rescue them and minister to them. 

Paul told the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:31, ”Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” The term “admonish” means “to warn”. As Paul was ministering to the believers in Ephesus, he was warning them about the dangers facing them.  He also told the Corinthians that he was admonishing them, too. “I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children” (1 Corinthians 4:14). It is the responsibility of those who lead and teach others to warn their disciples of the dangers facing them. It is also the responsibility of fellow family members to admonish one another as Paul wrote in Romans 15:14, “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” 

Out of love for one another, let’s watch out for each other. If we see a brother or sister getting too close to a dangerous situation, let’s lovingly admonish them. Let’s warn them with a gentle word that they are approaching danger. If they don’t heed our warning, let’s be ready to help them recover and restore them.

 

Bill Olsen, Elder

The Shepherd’s Staff: Giver

The Shepherd’s Staff: Giver

Are you a child of God? According to the Apostle John, anyone who has received Jesus as his or her Saviour, by believing in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sin, is a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, [even] to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Have you ever heard the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree?” How about, “Like parent, like child?” We interpret those sayings as referring to a child’s behavioral resemblance of the parent. In most cases it is a positive assessment. There are exceptions to the rule, but when we observe the personality of a child we can see traits in the child that resemble the mother or father.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to become just like His Son. As a matter of fact, Romans 8:29 says an extremely out of this world promise concerning God’s plan for His children, “He (has) predestined (us) to become conformed to the image of His Son”. In Philippians 1:6, Paul adds these words concerning God’s work in us, “[For I am] confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” In other words, it is going to happen! One day, and for eternity, we will be like Jesus, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

So what does it mean to be conformed into the image of God’s Son, to be like Him? It doesn’t mean that we are all supposed to look like a Jewish man in his thirties with scars on our hands and in our side. It means that the Father is doing a work in our hearts to make us look like Jesus in our character, in our actions, in our speech and in our thoughts. After all, “the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree.” We were born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:3),  “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Having been born again, Christ is 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).

To totally be like Christ is an impossibility this side of Heaven. When we reach our final destination we will be like Christ, but meanwhile, there is a work going on in our lives by the  Triune God. Amazing! He is working on all aspects of our lives and He wants us to be cooperative in the process. That’s what it means to walk in the Spirit, to be obedient to His Word, to be a living sacrifice, to take up our cross by dying to self.

There are many attributes of God that are communicable, that is, able to be transmitted to us through His working in us. One of them is the attribute of being a “giver”. God is the greatest giver in the entire universe and throughout all eternity. How do I know that? The Bible tells me so. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. God is love, and He demonstrated His love through action, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). There can be no greater gift than to offer His only Son to die in our place.

So, as children of God, one attribute God is working on in each of us is that of being a giver. Ask yourself, do I look like my Father in that aspect of my life? Am I growing in that aspect? Do I really want to? How can I be more like my Father in being a giver?

Let me tell you that there is inexpressible joy in being a giver. When Evelyn and I were planning on getting married, we were 19 and 20 years old, and one of Evelyn’s aunts asked us if we were going to tithe as a couple. Our answer was simple, I was going to go to college full time and Evelyn was going to provide the income to live, so “we would not be able to afford to tithe”. The wise aunt replied, “You cannot afford not to tithe!” We took that advice and since then, 52 years later, we have never ceased to give at least 10% to our church and additional money to missionaries and individuals in need. Even when I was unemployed, several times, we continued to give the same amount we had been giving when I was unemployed and even when there was no income at all. We took it out of savings. God has never, ever left us in a position of need, though we did not always have what we wanted. Sometimes we wondered if and when and how He would provide, and He always did provide. We did not ever feel deprived. We received many anonymous unsolicited gifts just when we needed them. God is a giver and He is making us more like Him. Won’t you consider letting Him freely work in you in becoming a giver if you are not already?

Bill Olsen, Elder 

Read Past Devotionals In The “Shepherd’s Staff” Series

The Shepherd’s Staff

He created angels and humanity because everything that He does brings glory to Himself, for He alone is worthy of all glory. God enjoys fellowship.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Soil

To be a disciple of Christ involves digging deeper into the riches of God’s Word.

The Shepherd’s Staff – Reedemed!

Did you know that before you placed your trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christfor the forgiveness of your sins, and the gift of eternal life, you were a slave of sin? You were underthe power of the evil one, Satan, and you had no choice but to yield to...

The Shepherd’s Staff: Thoughts

I love family gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas.  These gatherings are even more special when all four of our children and their families are with us.  However, even when we don’t have the joy of having all of them here, I love to be an observer.  I am not...

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube