Monday, December 29, 2014


It is the Monday following the weekend after Christmas 2014 and I am reflecting on what Jesus came into this world to do; and whether, as a Christian leader, an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd, I am representing Him and His purpose faithfully.  Here is the checklist against which I am measuring myself today as I look forward to the New Year…Will you join me in a devotional act of recommitment?
  1. He came to serve… “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life…” [Mark 10:45]  This was His calling and it is mine as a Christ follower.  I want to have the mind of Christ.  I want to look not to my own interests, but to the interests of others.  I want to be a servant of the Servant.

  1. He came to call sinners to repentance...  Jesus said…“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Luke 5:32] In our present generation I know this has to be done with genuine concern and a spirit of humility, but I also know it must be done. Today, the lines have been blurred.  The black and white of God’s truth has been reduced to a politically correct grey.  I want to be bold to do what Jesus did in the way He did it.

  1. He came to give light the world...  Jesus said… “I have come as light into the world…” [John 12:46]  So many walk in darkness…stumbling, confused, lost…in some cases hiding from God or hiding out in order to victimize others.  Without His coming our world would be a very dark place!  And He said to his followers, “You are [now] the light of the world.” I want to be a bright spot in my corner of the world.

  1. He came to divide… “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34] Jesus warned that His loving Lordship would not be appreciated or embraced by everyone and that His cross would be an occasion for division in families and between friends.  It was true then and it is true today that there are divisions over those who believe in Him and those who don’t.

  1. He came to save us from hell... “For God sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  [John 3:17]  It is scriptural and it is rational, in a world so obviously dominated by the struggle between good and evil, to believe that a good God will punish evil and reward good, but in His mercy will save all who return His love.  I want to be on a rescue mission with Him.

  1. He came to give us eternal life… “…whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3:16] It is stated in so many places and in so many ways in the New Testament.  Like the thief next to him on an adjacent cross, one day we want to hear Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” I want to go to heaven and take as many with me as I can. 
Pray with me…Father God, as we close the books on another year of life, we want to renew our commitment to be Jesus in our circles of influence, starting with our own families and reaching out to our friends, neighbors, coworkers and schoolmates.   May we not forget why He came and test ourselves on the threshold of this New Year to understand in fresh ways why we are here in our generation.  In His wonderful Name, amen.  

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 22, 2014


The cumulative headlines of recent weeks are unsettling indeed…“Missouri Governor Declares State of Emergency in Ferguson,” “Obama-care’s Unwelcome Surprise,” “Palestinians Kill 4 in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack,” “Doctor with Ebola Dies at Nebraska Hospital,” “5 Shot Dead in Philly Suburbs”…Everything we read and most everything we hear from day to day seems to have a negative tone.  Disappointment, conflict, violence and death are pervasive as we live and move and have our being in a fallen world.  And it all contributes to feelings of frustration and anxiety.  It’s hard not to be ‘drained.’  We long for and pray for peace!
And the reality is that we will never experience lasting peace in this world until Jesus Christ, who came to bring “peace on earth, good will to men,” comes again.  But the good news is that because of the first coming of Jesus we can have peace in our hearts.  Twenty-one centuries ago a birth cry was heard in a little town called Bethlehem.  A this birth cry meant the maker of the sun would walk under its rays, the creator of planet earth would live upon it, the designer of the human body would be bound to one for a little over three decades.  And because Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, came on Christmas…true peace is ours.  In Him we have peace in the midst of chaos and turmoil, whether it is personal or national or global.  Christmas is all about peace!
John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  [NLT]
Pray with me… Father God, we bow in Your presence with grateful hearts in this special season when we remember that Jesus came as the supreme expression of your limitless love for us.  And He said, “Peace I give you, My peace I give you.”  It is a peace that passes all understanding and we praise you from our hearts for it.  In the name of Jesus… amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 15, 2014


Most of us are familiar with the painting by Holman Hunt  [the original hangs in the British National Gallery in London]: Jesus standing there at a doorway, gently knocking on he door.   Light falls around the entrance in the shape of a heart. There is no latch on the outside of the door.  It must be opened from within. But the door remains closed.
One afternoon a little boy stood beside his father, pondering the image of Hunt’s painting.  “Daddy,” he said, “why don’t they answer the door?”  The father responded absently without looking away from the painting, “I don’t know why.”
There was a moment’s pause.  Then the youngster said, “Maybe they’re making too much noise to hear him knocking.”  And that might well be true.  It is likely that there is not willful inhospitality inside, but rather just too much going on to notice the presence of the special Visitor on the threshold who desires to enter.   
It is probably never more true than at Christmas with its hustle and bustle, it’s hurrying and scurrying, that the gentle knocking of the Savior at the heart’s door is drowned out by the din and throng.  Let’s do ourselves a favor and find a quiet time and place to reflect in solitude and Biblical meditation on the one who came to gain entrance to our hearts with His love and grace at Christmas.
Pray with me…Lord Jesus, we want our hearts to be your home.  We do not want the sights and sounds, the bright lights and the crowds, keep us from hearing your gentle rapping at our hearts door.  Come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Immanuel.  Amen.  

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 8, 2014


We live in an age in which only one prejudice is tolerated – anti-Christian bigotry.  Michael Novak, the eminent columnist, once said that in today’s world you can no longer hold up to marketplace ridicule any group that is distinguished by race, color, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference… except one.  Today, the only group you can hold up to public mockery is Christians.  Attacks on the Church and Christianity are common.  As Pat Buchanan once put it, “Christian-bashing has become a popular indoor sport.”
But the truth is this: Had Jesus never been born, this world would be far more miserable than it is.  In fact, many of man’s noblest and kindest deeds find their motivation and inspiration in love for and loyalty to Jesus Christ.  Some of our greatest accomplishments also have their origin in service rendered to the humble Carpenter of Nazareth. 
Christianity’s impact on the value of human life, compassion for the poor and infirm, education, the founding of America, civil liberties, science, economics, morality, the family, health and medicine, music and the arts is well documented in unbiased history.  And, perhaps the most personal and powerful influence of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is documented in the biographies of the multiplied millions of people whose lives have been radically changed from the inside out by Him.
Pray with me…Father God, we thank you for your patience with this planet we call ‘earth’ that has demonstrated such broad and deep spiritual rebellion in recent years, particularly right our homeland…America. Open the eyes of our people to the truth that Jesus alone saves, keeps and satisfies.  We pray for the restoration of our distinctive as a truly Christian nation, so the nations of the world will come to know You, love You and serve You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 1, 2014


In the first few verses of Mark’s Gospel, chapter two, we are introduced to four nameless men who carry their catatonic friend to Jesus for healing. When they could not get into the house where Jesus was teaching, they removed the roof and lowered their friend right down in front of him. Jesus ‘saw their faith’ and He was impressed enough that he immediately forgave the man’s sins and raised him up from living death.
So, what did Jesus see that was so impressive?  He saw compassion, conviction, cooperation and creativity. Their compassion was demonstrated in the effort they extended and the energy they expended to carry their friend, for who knows how long and from who knows how far, to Jesus for healing. They cared about him.  Someone has said, “The world will not care how much we know until they see how much we care.”  Theirconviction was demonstrated by their determination to get their friend in front of Jesus. They did not have the slightest doubt that Christ was the answer to their friend’s need for spiritual help and physical healing.  Their cooperation was demonstrated in their willingness to both think in harmony and act in unity. When they addressed the challenge of how to get their friend in front of Jesus, there had to be differing opinions, yet the four of them acted as one.  Their creativity was demonstrated in their decision to remove the roof and lower their friend down in front of Jesus. They did a new thing. It was the right thing for sure. What does our Lord see when He looks at our faith?
Pray with me…Lord Jesus, we know that you are a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  You know our rising up and our going out and our coming in and our lying down.  All of your ways are known to You alone.  We want our hearts to be pure and our lives to demonstrate a faith walk that will get your attention.  We want you to see us in the same kind of self-forgetful faith that characterized the four men who brought their friend to You for healing.  May our thoughts be daily focused and our actions be daily invested in bringing others to You.  Amen

Pastor Ken