Point to Ponder 215

In this world of ours, my prayer is "Come quickly, Lord Jesus."  

Bob

GLORIFIED

Gloria was only 45 years old, small, petite, with a ready sense of humor, loved by all. 

But Gloria developed  cancer that grew forth from her head.  In a few weeks this attractive lady was reduced to an abhorring, painful appearance.  This once, vivacious lady died. 

The casket remained closed.  Her remains were lowered into the earth with these words: “So…is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” 

What we shall be we know not, but we do know that “Christ shall change our vile body, that is may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Comfort one another with these words.

We shall escape this world of sin and sorrow to live with Christ wherein there is joy forevermore.  Amen.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  1 Thessalonians 4:17

 

Any questions?  Please email me.

Pastor Bob Sawall  

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 214

Dear Brothers and sisters,  With the world turned upside down, the question is, "Whom can we trust?"  This should be a given, but it's not when considering only 20% of our USA population belongs to a bonafide Christian denomination.  We've got quite a mission field before us.

TRUST GOD

When the Lord commands, “You shall have no other gods,” He invites us to put our soul in his hands, to trust Him with every detail of our life.  By not trusting God in every instance we’re denying His power to help and to save.  God forbid that we foolishly deny His help when desperate.

Our sinful nature leads us to trust our reason, resources, physical strength, or medicine, rather than to acknowledge God as the Giver of all such blessings.

Times will come in our lives when we will be faced with crises: when government, money, medicine, reason, or whatever will be wholly impotent and useless.  Where then do we turn for help?  How foolish it is for us to wait with no place to turn before turning to God who invites us to trust Him for everything.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” who gave His only Son, Jesus Christ.  Trust Jesus. Amen.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

 

Any questions?  Please email me.

 

Pastor Bob Sawall  

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 213

While in military service, I was under strict discipline with the 101st Airborne.  Later I served at Camp McCoy, where was very little discipline.  If I had my choice, I'd take the strict discipline every time.

DISCIPLINE

Discipline is a word most everyone wants to avoid, unless it is applied to some one else.  Unfortunately self-discipline is a fading virtue as society spotlights irresponsible behavior as an acceptable factor in life. 

Did you ever see a classroom out of control?  It’s a teacher’s nightmare.  It’s waste of time for serious students. 

Look at our morally undisciplined society with the increase of broken homes, suicides, crimes; consider the godless reasoning  behind abortion; the struggle for recognition by advocates of free love, and that of the perverted to be recognized as virtuous.

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The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.  Acts 5:19-26

 

Have a question?  Please write.

bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 212

I've never thought too much about self-esteem, which only amounts to a puffed up ego.  How about Christ-esteem!

CHRIST ESTEEM

People do watch TV advertisements.  An advertisement portraying a smiling mother playing with her happy baby appeals to us.  The baby is the epitome of confidence, secure in mother’s care.  The ring of the phone or the knock at the door will not make baby cry because it is confident of mother’s presence.

This advertisement appeals to us because we enjoy the confidence portrayed by the child.  We know that while in this world our security is most fragile.  The news of accidents or violence shatters our tranquility suddenly.  Because we are surrounded by crises, we are tempted to fear and to let it nibble away at our energies our productivity, our happiness. 

Friends, God knows us.  That’s why He sent Jesus Christ to give us confidence in the face of conflict.

Jesus promises, “Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.”

Forget self-esteem.  Work on Christ esteem

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And he (Jesus) said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3

 

Have a question?  Please write me.

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 211

Point to Ponder 211 is an old approach to open up discussion for our need to know God's love in Christ.  It worked well for me, and I pray it will work well with you.

Looking at demographics, it's obvious that by 2050 or before the Muslim culture will overtake our culture in USA.  I am suggesting that you purchase the book by Glover Shipp, titled CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM...BRIDGING TWO WORLDS.   It's excellent.  Of all the books on Islam that I have read, this offers positive insights as to how we can reach into the Muslim community.

SALVATION—GOD’S GIFT

Let’s pretend it’s one minute AFTER your death.  You are standing before the Lord.  He asks you, “Why should I let you enter into my kingdom?” 

Dear friend, how would you answer?  Some answer, “Because I’m just as good as anyone else; I go to church, pray and pay my share; I’m a good family man, with a good family, and that’s what God wants.”

If our salvation depended on what we did or failed to do, we would be in a sorry spiritual state of affairs. 

You see, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  There are no exceptions.  You can’t earn or contribute to eternal life…no way. 

It ‘s a gift.  Paul writes, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God (please note) the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”  You can’t earn it.  God GIVES eternal life to all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Friend, do you have eternal life?

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For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.  Romans 3:28

 

Have a question?  Please write me.

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 210

LAW & GOSPEL

A sincere gentleman once told me that as a preacher I would do well if I would hold forth on the Ten Commandments and not let up.  He added, “This world is going to pot and needs the Law.” 

To be sure a law-abiding community is one to be desired.  But not only Christians desire Law and Order. There’s nothing uniquely Christian about morality, discipline, good citizenship, etc.  These virtues can be fostered and found in pagan societies. 

Providing a good moral climate is not the prime purpose of the Christian Church.  The Church is to preach Christ’s gospel and thus make disciples of all. 

Calling a sinner to repentance is not enough of itself, except that the Church also offers him the loving Savior and the forgiveness of sins, which Christ has earned for all. 

The Church is not to condemn the penitent sinner, but to offer him hope in Christ. 

“For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

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Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  1 Timothy 1:15

 

Have a question?  Please write me.

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 209

Again, sometimes we get mixed up as to what's important in life regarding serving our Lord.  For this reason this point has been written.

CHRISTIAN LIFE

How’s your Christian life?  Wow!  Terrific!  I sing in the choir.  I work with the youth.  I teach Sunday School.  I’m on the Stewardship Committee…

Friend, I did not ask you about church life.  I asked, “How’s your Christian life?”

 (What’s that?) Too often the congregation is guilty of making its members so busy for the sake of business, they forget about the business of the Father, which is the mission of Christ, the redemption of mankind from sin, death, and the power of Satan. 

This redemption Christ accomplished on the cross.  And this redemption is our when – by the power of the Gospel we make Jesus our Savior.  The Christian is a Christian not by what he does or fails to do, but by accepting by faith what Christ has done for him. 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9   not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9

Have a question?  Please write me.

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 208

THE CROSS

Jesus said to His disciples, “Take up your cross.”  For the disciples the cross was to identify with Christ and to deny self.  As difficult as this was, the disciples willingly bore the hatred of the world, of the heathen culture, as well as that of their own people. 

Likewise, they were tried by the gnawing desire within to be like the world with Satan doing his best to cast doubt in their minds concerning the person of Christ.  To be sure death stalked them at every turn.

But what is your cross?  It’s whatever causes you to suffer for Christ’s sake.  If you don’t recognize a cross, deny yourself, identify with Christ, and you’ll discover it pronto.  The same contempt the world had for the disciples, the same reason the world rebelled at Scripture, the same hatred Satan has for Christians-ever present. 

Follow Jesus!  Take up your cross!  It’s tough here, but the rewards are eternal.

PONDER Acts 14:22

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 207

BIBLE

The Bible is the most unique of all books.  It has stood the test of time, the attacks of unbelief within the Church and without.  Although Bible readers are in the minority, yet the bible has made an indelible mark upon this world.  It has influenced the lives of people irrespective of age, culture, or language. 

For the weak the Bible offers strength; for the poor – wealth unlimited in Christ; for the blind - a new vision that scans the horizon of eternity.  In place of despair, the Holy Scriptures offers hope; and in place of disillusionment – a new world.

Friend, whether you are filled with sin or sadness, the Bible offers you Jesus Christ, wherein there is forgiveness and life abundant. 

How can the Bible do this?  It is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.

Paul writes, “All scripture is inspired of God.”

PONDER Matthew 24:35

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 206

IDENTITY

I was recording a Point to Ponder for radio, when the owner of the radio station burst through the door pale and shaken informing us that his bank account was emptied by someone who stole his identity.  If you don’t have LIFE LOCK, you might be in trouble.  LIFE LOCK has phoned twice now protecting me from identify theft.

When it comes to identity, do you know who you are?  I fear many Christians don’t recognize how vulnerable they are in losing their Christian identity.  Pastors, husbands, wives, children all are vulnerable.  You only need to review the scandals at all levels of society.

The Bible identifies us as  …a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.”  1 Peter 2:9 And, why would our gracious Father give us such holy titles? “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  From sinner to saint, from dung to glory.

As I look in the mirror, as I examine my heart, I have to ask myself, “Have I lost my God-given identity?” 

What about you?

PONDER 1 Peter 2:10-11

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 205

Our administration has run amuck introducing a societal change of devastation.  Thus Point 205. 

PILLS

Pills are good.  Some fight infection, help eyesight, supplement nutrients, fight dementia, etc.  Not all pills offer healthier living.  Some pills kill.  For example, “…Teva Women’s Health, inc., to market Plan B One Step for use without a prescription by women 15 yrs of age and older.”  It’s the “Morning after pill”.  Concerned Women of America (CWA) stated “Plan B contains 40 times the dosage of Leonorgested, the same drug used in other forms of birth control—and yet, Plan B requires no doctor’s prescription or parental authority…”

Trivializing sex by having no respect for marriage or for children drives boys and girls over the edge losing self-control and flying in God’s face.  When our federal administration gives its seal of approval, it reveals total ignorance or raging contempt for God’s Word and Christianity.  A voice of authority is deceptive as if to say we are smarter than God.  Forget the boundaries of morality!  Going back to the Garden of Eden, who does this sound like?

Our children are God’s precious gifts.  As parents we are responsible for protecting our children from themselves and from predators.  Are we living up to our God-given responsibilities?

PONDER Proverbs 17:6-7

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.  Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—how much worse lying lips to a ruler!”

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 204

FORSAKEN

Have you considered the agony Christ endured when His heavenly Father turned His back on Him?  Why?  Jesus was sin personified by carrying our sins.  Jesus being the “Lamb of God” was sacrificed for our sins.

In Indonesia, Muslim youth had an outreach program, but it was not motivated by love.  They endeared themselves to young Christian girls to impregnate them. Their parents ostracized them for bringing shame on the family; the girls’ lovers insisted they convert to Islamism.  Refusing to be Islamic, forsaken by their lovers and by their family, suicide was an option.  Some went to high-rise buildings jumping to their death; others drank insecticide but survived mutating their unborn child.  Forsaken to die alone.

A group of Catholic women, wives of medical doctors, built a cinder block building to care for these young mothers, but how to get the word out that there was help?  Isn’t that the problem today: trying to reach pregnant girls forsaken by all to offer them comfort of God’s love in Christ and to assist them in their pregnancy?

 “It is finished!”  Christ’s redemptive work was complete. Our task? Reach out for the forsaken and lost.

PONDER Romans 8:32-33

“ He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.”

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 203

With the pressure congregations are under to knuckle under social attitudes, I thought to give some help to Christians to stand their ground.

RELATIONSHIPS

The very thought of being caught in a burning building fills you with fear.  You make it outside, but then you hear the scream of a child still inside.  You run back into the very building you fled because love compelled you to save the child.  Fear and love have different reactions.

We’re fearfully and wonderfully made.  Ps. 139:14.  God want us to enjoy life to the full, for which reason He laid down His commandments for us to follow and to know His blessings.  When it comes to marriage God gave rules, which are not to be trespassed.  For example, “the marriage bed is to be kept pure”.  Heb. 13:4 

What about homosexuality; or, shacking up; or not honoring marital responsibilities? Violating God’s laws is rebellion introducing us to emotional, physical and social consequences.  Worst of all is facing God’s wrath and eternal suffering.

If love compels us to return to a burning building to rescue someone, that same love compels us to rescue precious souls trapped in life styles bringing on eternal destruction. 

Are we not compelled to inform them that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners?”  1 Tim 1:15 

PONDER John 3: 17-18

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

 

Point to Ponder 202

HUMILITY

I've humiliated myself by enclosing a rather intimate letter mistakenly to my landlady rather than to a dear friend.  How embarrassing!!  Have you ever had a humiliating situation? 

Being humbled is not so bad; it causes one to think seriously about what one has done.  Some humiliating circumstances could be life changing, especially when it impacts other lives. 

How humiliating for David committing adultery with Bathsheba, even after being anointed by Samuel as King of Israel promising him an eternal dynasty and the Lord identifying David as a man after His own heart, now guilty, not only of adultery, but murdering Bathsheba’s husband.  Now the enemies of God could point fingers. 

Have you been there?  Do you confess with David, “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”  Ps. 51:5  We all pray that God will  look upon our sins and give us a 2nd chance pleading, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” Ps 51:10. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Eccl 7:20.

  We all need to confess our sins turning to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.

PONDER Psalm 51:17 NKJV
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
 A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

Pastor Bob Sawall

bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 201

The other night I was discussing parenting with a counselor and it was super.  We don't always lead the way we should.  For this reason this Point was written.

MODELING

A proverb “You never teach as  you are taught to teach, you always teach as you are taught.”  In other words, you teach according to the model your instructor offered, and not what he said.

How does this track with parenting?  My Dad never struck me, but my Mother’s heavy wedding ring could do damage.  Because Dad was patient with me, I could be patient with my children—although strained at times.

This is important for pastors, teachers and all leaders.  We follow the example offered us.  If it’s severe discipline, legalistic attitudes, or abandonment, children will adopt that model.  If you lead with love, patience, and understanding, they will follow that.

How are you doing?  Remember how patient our heavenly Father has been with us, even redeeming us from all sin with His Son’s unconditional loving behavior and vicarious sacrifice.  Let love’s shine so that your members, students, employees, etc. want to follow your model.  The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love.  Let our conversations be steeped in love and our disposition with patience. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

PONDER 2 Corinthians 3:3
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

          PASTOR BOB SAWALL

            bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 200

DARKNESS

Darkness is the absence of light.  Until Christ, the LIGHT of the world, walked among us, the world was shrouded in darkness of unbelief, save for the chosen children of Israel.  Even among the chosen ones, there were many who loved the world more than their coming Savior.

Again today darkness is choking off the new life in Christ for many.  Many in our educational institutions and governing authorities refuse to recognize our God and Savior as the Creator of the universe, even denying His existence, although they will give answer to Him at the end.  The darkness will become much more intense as we approach the return of Christ.

My prayer for you is to remember you are one of the chosen children of God gifted with faith to recognize Jesus as your Savior from sin and the wrath of God.  Recognize the called workers spiritually feeding you.  Encourage them in their calling.  Embolden them with your prayers.  Support them with your love.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  Eph 1:18-19

PONDER Ephesians 4:11,12
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

          PASTOR BOB SAWALL           

          bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 199

POWER

The descendants of Noah continued in their own wicked ways ignoring God’s Word that Noah gave them. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”  Gen 11:6  This tells us how fearfully and wonderfully God created man so whatever he imagines he can do; but man’s mind was only evil.

God’s children know they’re redeemed from all sin through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.  We have the same mind God gave mankind.  Paul writes, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.”  Eph. 3:20,21. Forget not, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  John 14:14. 

“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 Jn 5:4  Why be downcast when we have the victory! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Prov 3:5.

PONDER Ephesians 1:18-19
 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

         

           PASTOR BOB SAWALL

            bob82028@new.rr. com

Point to Ponder 198

SPRING

Defying winter’s death, tulips, crocuses, and even pansies rose from beneath the snow.  And with the snow disappearing the miraculous leafing out of trees.  The power God introduced into plant life is a wonder.  After winter the new life burst is similar to a resurrection.  This is something to ponder as to the stark change from death to life by our Creator God and Savior.

The most devastating historical event was Satan seducing Eve into sin, from which death passed upon mankind, of which every cemetery gives evidence.

The cry from the cross, “It is finished!”  Christ’s triumphant descent into hell. His ascension to the Father’s right hand and the restoration of God’s image to sinful mankind is a spiritual spring for sinners all.

We are not what our first parents were before the fall, but in-spite of our inclination to sin, we have the assurance that our sins are forgiven and heaven is our home.  The ascension of our Savior is our victory, too, through faith in Him who redeemed us.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 4:16

PONDER 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

          PASTOR BOB SAWALL

            bob82028@new.rr. com

Point to Ponder 197

STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases are rising dramatically around the world and in USA.  On www.drudgereport.com “An antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea—now considered a superbug.” 

You who receive these POINTS TO PONDER most likely recognize the Holy Bible as God’s Word and recognize that the further society removes itself from God’s Word and Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, the more it abandons any concept of morality, stimulating an increase of STDs throughout all lands.

When commitment, faithfulness, loyalty and love in relationships are dismissed as outdated, the foundation of society collapses, diseases increase, violence erupts, and the economy bottoms out.  AIDS in Africa is pandemic and is a picture of what’s on the horizon for the world.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”  (Ephesians 5:3)

When world governments advocate for abortion and meds promoting it, together with homosexual relations, same-sex marriages, etc. we’re inviting God’s wrath and horrible social consequences.  Beware!  Repent! Turn back to Christ who redeemed the world.

PONDER Galatians 6:6-8
 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

          PASTOR BOB SAWALL

            bob82028@new.rr.com

Point to Ponder 196

KINGDOMS

 There are two kingdoms—a worldly kingdom that belongs to Satan, and God’s kingdom ruled by Christ. 

It’s been reported that suicides are increasing both in domestic and military life.  What’s up?  If we focus on the worldly kingdom totally corrupted by every type of sin, anxiety, depression and despair follow.  Having lived in different countries under different governments, some very scary, I needed to focus on God to serve Christ’s kingdom, where there is the assurance that my Lord is with me offering me joy, love, peace and salvation.

If you are tied up with politics and economics, you slipped into Satan’s trap, the chief manipulator determined to bring on destruction, divorce, shame and sorrow.  You’ll find no joy in the worldly kingdom.

For happiness serve our Savior.  He loved you, died for you, rose again, and ascended into heaven so that you may be with Him in eternity.

Don’t let money or politics use you.  Rather use money and politics to serve Christ’s kingdom for joy everlasting.

Who’s kingdom are you serving?  It’s not a bad idea to examine where we stand.

PONDER Ephesians 1:18-19
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

          PASTOR BOB SAWALL

            bob82028@new.rr. com