Pastor Wes Gunther
Verse of the Day!
Having pastored now for over 10 years I have put together a collection of books that I highly recommend to my congregation. I keep extra copies of these books in my office and give them out as needed. Beginning with this post I will review one at a time:
The Strategy of Satan by Warren Wiersbe
The Strategy of Satan is a small book and easy to read but it is packed with concise information on how Satan is out to defeat the Christian. I have taught this book as a Bible Study series and I have given this book to at least a dozen individuals who were struggling with temptation and sin in their lives. In order to protect ourselves against the ‘wiles of the Devil’ we must first understand his tactics.
Chapters will cover the strategy Satan uses such as:
Satan is the Deceiver and he targets your mind by using lies
Satan is the Destroyer and he targets your body by using suffering
Satan is the Ruler and he targets your will by using Pride
Satan is the Accuser and he targets your heart by using Accusations
The book goes on to discuss ways to protect ourselves (armor of God) and the many devices he uses.
Ezekiel 37:1 …”and he set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones”
I. The Wishbone Christian: Too lazy to work and full of excuses.
A. “I wish I could help with the church music…”
but they are too lazy to practice.
B. ‘I wish I could tithe…”
but they are too stubborn to trust God.
C. “I wish I could witness…”
but they are too afraid of rejection.
II. The Funny bone Christian: Carry their feelings on their sleeve – easily offended
* The funny bone in the human body has a nerve very close to the skin making
it very sensitive.
III. The Dry bone Christian: Cannot rejoice and judgmental
IV. The Hipbone Christian: touchy about giving to the Church
V. The Jawbone Christian: they gossip, complain, sow discord, etc.
VI. The Knee bone Christian: The Prayer Warriors of the Church
VII. The Backbone Christian: Steadfast, unmovable.
by the late Rev. Thomas R. Gunther of Grace & Truth Bible Church, Hummelstown Pennsylvania.
The recent supreme court ruling on homosexual marriage has ignited a firestorm surrounding whether or not a church and or minister should be required to perform a same sex wedding. Can a minister deny performing a same sex wedding on the basis of his/her faith?
The assumption is being made that Pastors marry heterosexual couples without hesitation. This is simply not the case. Any Pastor with standards and a high regard for marriage evaluates every potential marriage ceremony individually. There are multiple reasons a Pastor may excuse himself from performing a wedding. I have personally declined several. The Word of God commands individuals to not be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers”. Scripture forbids a minister from marrying a Christian and a Non-believer in marriage. The first question I always have is in regards to their faith.
The issue of divorce and remarriage is also a hot topic among church leaders. This issue alone will affect the decision of many ministers in whether or not they will perform the wedding. I require three sessions of pre-marital counseling which some couples don’t want to go through. This eliminates some potential ceremonies. I have a pastor friend which requires potential spouses to take a test first to gauge how well they complement each other. There are others who want a marriage reception atmosphere (alcohol and music) which is against my standards and they find other arrangements for their ceremony.
Marriage is a sacred union that must be taken seriously. I feel it is important to note in our discussion of marriage today that the issue of heterosexual vs. homosexual may be grabbing the headlines but I for one take many, many other things into account. I have several members of our congregation which respect my high standard for marriage and while I was not able to perform their own wedding they are still a part of our church. Marriage is a divine picture of Jesus’ relationship with the Church and is not to be taken lightly even in a heterosexual ceremony.
Allowing the Lord to Work! – a message by the late Rev. Tom Gunther
1. The Lord works WITH you. (verse 4)
2. The Lord works THROUGH you. (verse 10)
3. The Lord works IN you. (verse 11)
4. The Lord works ON you. (verse 4)
5. The Lord works FOR you. (verse 12)
6. The Lord works IN SPITE of you. (verse 12)
7. The Lord works BESIDE you.
Re-digging the Wells. Genesis 26:17-18
Isaac returns to his father’s land in the area of Gerar of the Philistines during the time of famine. He finds that the wells that his father, Abraham had dug were now filled in and Isaac sets about on the task of re-opening these wells.
1. Over time – wells become clogged.
A. They may become clogged by sin in our lives.
B. They may become clogged by others.
** Not necessarily clogged by ‘bad things’ – but may just have become clogged up by the demands of life (Luke 14:16-24)
2. Notice that Isaac returned to His Father’s Wells
A. He knew WHERE to return – we need to return to the Joy of our Salvation
B. He found peace there – he stayed and dwelt there once again. (Genesis 26:25)
3. The Significance of the Well’s Names
A. Abraham’s Wells:
1) Beer-lahai roi = “of Him who seeth and loveth me”
2) Beer- sheba = the covenant
B. Isaac’s Wells:
1) Esek = contention
2) Sitna = hatred
** Isaac found satisfaction at the original wells, but found difficulty in digging new ones.
4. The Holy Spirit is our Well of Water
A. He is to be ‘springing up’
B. He is to be constant (Isaiah 58:11)
C. He is placed within (John 7:38-39)
This was found in the Bible of a dear saint from our church that went home to be with the Lord last year.
A Toothpick – Needed to remind you to pick out the qualities in others. Matt. 7:1
A Rubber band – Reminds you to be flexible. Romans 8:28
A Band-Aid – We must heal hurt feelings; yours or someone else’s. Col. 3:12-14
A Pencil – Needed to remind you to list your blessings. Eph. 1:3
The Eraser – Everyone makes mistakes. Genesis 50:15-21
Chewing Gum – Always stick with it. Phil. 4:13
A Mint – a reminder that you are worth a ‘mint’ to God. John 3:16-17
A Hershey’s Kiss – People need love. I John 4:7
A Tea Bag – You need to relax and go back over that list of blessings. I Thes. 5:18
* Reminder: To the world you may just be somebody – but to somebody you may be the world.
When troubles and trials come our way (and they will) how do I properly respond? What is my reaction supposed to be? Here a 5 key points I use:
1) Remember that the world looks at our reaction. It is our response during the trials of life that should separate us from those who do not know Christ. During the good times everyone, saved or unsaved, can look happy. How do we respond when things get bad?
2) Keeping look ahead! We often want to focus on the dire circumstances around us. Sometimes we even get lost in the problems of our past. The Scriptures tells us “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before I press toward the mark”. Our focus should always be on those things which are above and before us not the sinking sand around us.
3) I am a child of the King – I should act like it! We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We have a home prepared for us in Heaven. We have an eternity to dwell in the presence of the Almighty God. We have no cause for living a defeated life.
4) I must remember that God is always good, Always! God never lies. His promises are true. He promised us “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”. God did not forget us or lose track of us. He knows where we are and what we need this very hour.
5) I still have a God given job to do. I cannot shirk my responsibilities. I am still a Father/Mother or Husband/Wife or Church Member or Sunday School teacher or choir member, etc. I am still commissioned to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’. My God given job has not changed. I must remain busy in His work.