Saturday, November 16, 2013

BEHOLD, THE MAN! - Bulletin 11-10-13

Our culture has a lot to say about who is a “real man” and who isn’t.  For instance, if a sport’s star goes to the sideline in a very important football game because of (let’s say a knee injury), but is still able to stand up along the sideline – his toughness, courage and even his manhood is questioned!
Being a “real man” spans the gamut of: wearing a certain brand of blue jeans while indulging in smokeless tobacco; having a pick-up truck with a gun rack; being able to bench-press 300 lbs; having tons of money and fame and an irresistible attractiveness to women … You’ve seen the ads!  
One of my favorite passages describing Jesus as THE MAN is John 19:1-5:  “Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.  And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and to give Him slaps in the face.  Pilate came out again and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.’  Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘BEHOLD, THE MAN!’”
There is nobody like our Jesus! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  Mr. Steve

WOMEN! - Bulletin 11-03-13

The Gospel of Luke has been called by some “The Gospel for Women” because it contains more stories about women than any other Gospel.  It is a book that opens up with the stories of three women: Elizabeth (old and barren); Mary (young, unmarried, and a virgin); and Anna (an 84 year old widow without any children).
Matthew tells the birth of Jesus through the eyes of a male, but Luke chooses to tell the birth story of our Lord via a teenage girl’s view, Mary.  Only in Luke do we encounter the stories of Elizabeth; Anna; the widow of Nain; the woman who showed great love; Martha serving and Mary listening; the woman bent double; the woman who searches for a lost coin; the persistent widow; and the women of Jerusalem lamenting Jesus on the way to the cross (Luke 23:27-31).  Jesus’ road to Jerusalem is filled with multiple encounters with women—FAITH-FILLED WOMEN!
Christ’s church is filled with godly women, serving women, gifted women, spiritually growing compassionate women!  God keeps bringing and transfoming into His fold more and more faithful, godly women!  Why?  HE IS DOING A GREAT WORK AND HAS BIGGER PLANS FOR OUR FUTURE!  Go God!  Thank You for our women!  
God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  
Mr. Steve

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

THE GOOD LIFE! - Bulletin 10-27-13

“Superficiality is the curse of our age.  The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem.  The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”  (Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline)

I believe most of us want to be “deep people.”  Don’t we?  “Deep calls to deep.”  (Psalm 42:7)

We want lives that are fuller, richer – more deeply spiritual!  We want our lives to make a difference!  We want to become what God, from the beginning, has always wanted us to be – completely His!  His heart!  His hands!  His workmanship to the full!

My flesh votes against all I’ve just said.  Superficiality, escape and instant gratification stand at the top of Steve Sikes’ flesh venue and menu.  

However, my spirit longs for God!  I crave His very being in my life and soul!  I need Him more than the air I breathe!  So why do I fight Him so and bend my ears toward the sirens of the flesh?
I need help.

Besides the Bible, one of the best books I've read (and I've read it several times over the years) is Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline."  In his book, Foster talks about "THE GOOD LIFE" which requires implementing spiritual disciplines in our lives. 

The Inward Disciplines: Meditation; Prayer; Fasting; Study.
The Outward Disciplines: Simplicity; Solitude; Submission; Service.
The Corporate Disciplines: Confession; Worship; Guidance; Celebration.

But more importantly, is the primary requirement for wanting to practice these spiritual disciplines, which (according to Foster) is A LONGING AFTER GOD!  “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” (Psalm 42:1-2)
Do you long for a closer and deeper relationship with God?  Do you long for THE GOOD LIFE?Then prepare yourself for the journey!

God is good!  Mr. Steve 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

GOT LIFE?  GOT CHRIST? - Bulletin 10-20-13

Recently I googled “Bible Facts” and came up with all kinds of information on the Bible.  Here’s just a sample:

The Bible can be read aloud in 70 hours. There are 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible, 5,624 different Greek words, and 12,143 different English words in the King James Version.

Number of books in the Bible: 66; Chapters: 1,189; Verses: 31,101; Words: 783,137; Letters:3,566,480; Number of promises: 1,260; Commands: 6,468; Predictions: over 8,000; Fulfilled prophecy: 3,268 verses; Number of questions: 3,294; Longest name:
Mahershalalhashbaz  (Isa 8:1); Longest verse: Esther 8:9 (78 words); Shortest verse: John 11:35 (2 words); Middle books: Micah and Nahum; Middle verse: Psalm 118:8    “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”; Middle chapter: Psalm 117; Shortest chapter: Psalm 117; Longest book: Psalms (150 chapters); Shortest book: 3 John;Longest chapter: Psalm 119 (176 verses); Number of different authors: 40; Number of languages the Bible has been   translated into: over 1,200; Now that’s a lot of facts and statistics – great for a game of Bible Trivia, but how would Jesus respond to all of this?  

    John 5:39-40 "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life

  • An hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live!
  • The Scriptures bear witness of Jesus!  Moses wrote of the Christ! 
  • Life is not found in simply searching the Scriptures (or memorizing a lot of Bible trivia).  Life is found in Jesus!  Amen.

God is good all the time!     Mr. Steve

Reverse Thinking - Bulletin 10-06-13

David D. Dietrich


God does not exist.  It’s just foolish to think that there is an all knowing God with a Cosmic Plan.  That an all powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world.
Is a comforting thought however it is only wishful thinking.  People can do as they please without eternal consequences.
The idea that I am deserving of hell because of sin Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power.
“The more you have, the happier you will be.”
Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose.  In a world with no God there is freedom to be who I want to be but with God life is an endless cycle of guilt and shame.
Without God everything is fine  It is ridiculous to think I am lost and in need of saving.

And that’s how I felt before Christ opened my eyes, changed my heart and reversed my thinking!

I am lost and in need of saving.  It is ridiculous to think everything is fine without God.  Life is an endless cycle of guilt and shame but with God there is freedom to be who I want to be.  In a world with no God, our existence has no grand meaning or purpose.
“The more you have, the happier you will be” is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power.
Because of sin, I am deserving of hell.  The idea that people can do as they please without eternal consequences is only wishful thinking.
It is a comforting thought however that an all powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world.  That there is an all knowing God with a Cosmic Plan.  It’s just foolish to think God does not exist. 

God is good all the time.  Mr. Steve 

Mere Discipleship - Bulletin 9-29-13

Mere Discipleship

The following is one man’s journey for meaning, ending in true discipleship, and another man’s discipleship ending in true meaning:

“I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure.  So enjoy yourself.’  And behold, it too was futility.  I said of laughter, ‘It is madness,’ and of pleasure, ‘What does it accomplish?’  I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely… I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men — many concubines… All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure… and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11).”

In stark contrast to Solomon’s quest for life’s meaning and personal happiness is Charles de Foucauld’s “Prayer of Abandonment,” referenced in Lee C. Camp’s book, “Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World.”

Prayer of Abandonment

By Charles de Foucauld

“My Father,
I abandon myself to you.
Make of me what you will.
Whatever you make of me, I thank you.
I am ready for everything
I accept everything.
Provided that your will be done in me,
In all your creatures,
I desire nothing else, Lord.
I put my soul in your hands,
I give it to you, Lord,
With all the love in my heart,
Because I love you,
And because it is for me a need of love
To give myself,
To put myself in your hands unreservedly,
With infinite trust.
For you are my Father!”

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”  God is good.  Mr. Steve