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“The Power of His Resurrection”
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church
- Bancroft, IA • 885-2702

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” How do you measure power? I think when we think of power, we think of fast cars, heavy duty trucks and tractors, etc. that are able to do heavy duty work. What the Apostle Paul is referring to here in the verse above, is the power of Christ’s resurrection over death. Let's think back in the Bible to just a few days before His resurrection and we see Jesus hanging on a cross. Luke 23: 33 “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.” Here we read in Luke’s Gospel of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Jesus was crucified on the cross for the sins of the world; your sin, my sin, everyone's sin. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” That verse states that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” Peter here reminds us of the just one, Jesus Christ, suffering for the unjust, all of humanity. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Have you ever taken God at His word and trusted His son Jesus Christ, by faith, to be your Saviour? This means to receive the forgiveness and pardon of sin. That is God’s way! That is the Bible way, because that is what the Bible teaches. After Jesus died, He was buried and then rose again from the dead on the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:4 “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Jesus did just as He said He would in the Scriptures. In Luke 24:1-4a we read about when the women came to bring spices for the body of Jesus. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb and Jesus was gone! They were perplexed. They were met by two angels who said in Luke 24:5b “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” They also said in Luke 24:6 “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words.” Jesus had risen as He said! He had power over sin, death and the grave.

1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Have a great Easter rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Love, Marriage, and Commitment
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft, IA

It is interesting to be asked to write this column this week on love, marriage and commitment, because this year Marlene and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I was asked to share some of our experience in this article. Marriage really began in the heart and the mind of God when He says in Genesis 2:25 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” There are at least three principles listed in this verse; the principles of leaving, cleaving and weaving. First, God says that a man should leave his father and mother. That tells us that the raising of our children is a temporary situation because they will leave and possibly marry. That does not mean they do not come home to visit and that you do not visit them. It merely means that it is the beginning of a new relationship. The second principle is one of “cleaving” or clinging. God says a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. This is the new relationship that has been established when a man marries his wife and is described as cleaving after leaving his father and mother. The third principle is called weaving. This is what a marriage looks like. If you can imagine a wicker chair and how the pieces are woven together, that will help you to understand how a marriage should look.

Sadly, many do not understand what marriage is supposed to be like. They maybe have never been taught what God says in the Bible and maybe they have never had good examples. One really good place to start understanding this is in the Bible. First, you need to make sure you have a relationship with God through the new birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” You may ask why and the answer is because of our sinful condition. Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;.” The word of God says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We also read in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It matters what you believe and in Whom you believe! Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ. He died on the cross paying the penalty of our sin.


Marlene and I will celebrate our 40 wedding anniversary this year on June 6 . We met in 1980 at Lake County Baptist Church in Waukegan, IL. I was in the Navy and had recently been assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Base and began attending that church. Marlene was a teacher in the Christian School, which was a ministry of the church, so she already attended there. Obviously, we did not grow up together. She was from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I was from Indiana; almost 500 miles apart. So, the first we ever met was in church in 1980. We knew each other in church and were part of a large College and Career singles’ ministry in our church. So, we became friends. Interestingly enough, the first time we ever went anywhere together was to a wedding reception dinner. A couple in our church was renewing their wedding vows. Marlene was a server at a cake reception for those attending. After that, there was a dinner for the wedding party and those helping. God providentially, with the help of a couple of friends, put us together that evening which ultimately led to our getting to know each other better, and later getting married!

Another component that we have had all of our married lives besides our own personal commitment to God and to each other, was the example of our parents. Marlene’s parents were married three months short of 66 years before her Dad passed away over two years ago. My parents just celebrated 66 years. They all have been a source of help and encouragement. As I think about marriage, I believe it is 100% to 100%. This means the husband and the wife must each give 100% to the marriage.

As stated above, many do not understand what marriage really is and then wonder why they have trouble. That does not mean that just because you do understand, that you will not be tested. It just means that you will know where to go for help and you are committed to your marriage relationship. Think about God's example for instance in Lamentations 3: 22 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” We have already learned of one of God’s promises concerning everlasting life. Here we learn that God’s compassions fail not and that His mercies are new every morning. This means we can count on His mercies and depend on them. It also says that God's faithfulness is great. You can count on this and build your life and your marriage on Him.

Another principle is that of the power of love, or unselfish sacrificing concern, for others as taught in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Sometimes we say things but never intend on backing up our words with actions. In this chapter, we learn that real love has actions! Notice the following verses; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” The chapter ends with a verse we see all around. You may even have it on a plaque on a wall in your home. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I will close with a reminder of one very important component; communication. Years ago a couple, who were students at a Bible College and attended our church in Wisconsin+, were getting married later in the summer. I was not a part of the wedding, but was asked to provide premarital counseling for them. Our time was short, and believing that communication was important, I chose to dwell on that subject. I believe we took four sessions to go over Biblical rules of communication. It is important, because if we are not talking, we will ultimately run into frustration and trouble! God has given us instructions on this. Notice what it says in Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” What is the second word of that verse? Speaking. We have to speak! We have to talk! He even says here it is to be done by speaking the truth and doing it in love. God, the Creator of all and Who is the planner of marriage, gives the participants, as outlined in Genesis chapter 2, the tools to build a marriage built on Him and built on His word.


December 2020

Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church, Bancroft, IA • BancroftBaptist.org

The Timing of Christmas

Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a

woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive

the adoption of sons.” It is interesting how we remember holidays and events around time.

For instance, your first Christmas as a married couple, where you lived, what you got each

other, etc. Or maybe your child's first Christmas and gatherings with family, church and so on.

I well remember 45 years ago in 1975 my first deployment overseas to Europe with the US

Navy. It was to the Mediterranean Sea in 1975. We were at Sea on Thanksgiving Day, but in

port Naples, Italy at Christmas time. I remember calling home to Indiana from Italy and talking

to my family. So, as we think about time and remember events in our lives, so was time

involved in the birth of Jesus Christ. The text above says “when the fulness of the time was

come...” That simply means in God’s timetable when the religious, cultural, and political

conditions were in place and demanded God’s perfect plan, Jesus came into the world. So as

the text says “God sent forth His son....to redeem them...”

So now we learn what the sending of Jesus into the world was all about. It was to redeem us.

Jesus is the redeemer! Some remember collecting S&H Green Stamps when you bought

groceries. You put them in a book and when you had enough, you took them to the

redemption center and traded them for merchandise. Well, Jesus gave His life on the cross to

save us from sin. Our sin put Him there. So, Jesus being the redeemer is really about the great

exchange; his life for ours. That is really what Christmas is all about! It is the birth of the

redeemer. Let me encourage you to trust in the redeemer, Jesus Christ, by faith as your

saviour. If you know Him, live for Him. God Bless you as you celebrate Christmas this year,

remembering the timing of Christmas and thanking God for His Son. Merry Christmas!


Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church, Bancroft 885-2702 BancroftBaptist.com

November 2020

Thankfulness is a Good Thing

Today I want to highlight some of the great Thanksgiving themes of the Bible. I am actually beginning

to write this article on Thanksgiving Day. Forty-five years ago I was deployed overseas, spending my

second Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US Navy, in the Mediterranean Sea, on the USS Inchon

(LPH-12). Please remember to keep our troops in prayer; especially the ones deployed. I realize

when you are reading this it will one week after you celebrated Thanksgiving, but the scripture has so

much to say about the subject that it’s a shame to only think about it once a year. As a matter of fact,

if we lose our thankfulness, we come to take God, people and things for granted.

The first scripture comes from Psalm 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to

sing praises unto thy name, O most High”. We learn that giving thanks to God is a good thing. We

even read of “singing praise to His name”. We can give thanks to God when we pray, and praise Him

by singing. God is the recipient of our thanks and praise. We need to guard against being unthankful.

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The word keep

means to guard. Out of the heart flows the issues of life. Obviously, there are many issues, but one

would be thankfulness. We need to guard against being unthankful. We read in Psalm 107:1 “O give

thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” The Psalmist says to give

thanks to the Lord for His goodness. Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:

because his mercy [endureth] for ever.” Again, we read to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness

and for his enduring mercy that endures for ever. Jesus has set an example of thanksgiving when he

fed the multitude and also had communion with the disciples; he gave thanks. Matthew 15:36 “And he

took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples,

and the disciples to the multitude”. Matthew 26:27 “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it

to them, saying, Drink ye all of it”. When Jesus fed the multitude with the lunch of a lad, he gave

thanks.

We see a warning about those who were not thankful. Romans 1:21 “Because that, when they knew

God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and

their foolish heart was darkened.” We see also the example of the Apostle Paul of thankfulness in

Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” 1Thessalonians 1:2 “We give

thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;” We read his instruction in

Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” and again in 1Timothy

2:1 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be

made for all men”. The scripture teaches so much about being thankful! May we grow in our

understanding and practice of this Biblical subject. If you are reading this article and you have never

trusted in Jesus Christ by faith as your Savior, I urge you to do so. Please read the scriptures in John

3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9, and If I can help you with this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. If

you are a believer, I hope you will continue to grow in the Christian faith. God Bless you and I hope

you seek to follow this Biblical instruction.

he God of Hope


October 2020

Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft • 885-2702 • bancroftbaptist.com

The God of Hope

The Bible says that God is a God of hope! We read in Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you

with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

The Apostle Paul’s description of God is that He is a God of hope. He also says that God would fill

you with “all joy and peace in believing.” It not only matters that you believe, but in whom you believe.

The Bible says in James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also

believe, and tremble.” It matters that you believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ. We read in John 14:6

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by

me.” There is no other way of salvation but in Jesus Christ alone. He is the way, the truth and the life.

In God’s Word we read in Matthew 17:5 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed

them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well

pleased; hear ye him.” Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Church, says in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by

grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest

any man should boast.” That text sums it up clearly that our salvation is by grace alone through faith

alone. He says it is God’s gift. What gift? The gift of His son Jesus Christ! Notice what it says in this

well-known verse of scripture, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten

Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There we read

about God’s gift; the gift of his son. When we believe in Him, He gives everlasting life!

As I mentioned above, it matters in whom you believe. We read in 1 Timothy 1:15 “This [is] a faithful

saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I

am chief.” So, Christ came into the world to save sinners. You might ask, “who is a sinner?”. The

Bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” The answer is...

everyone is a sinner! God’s son came into the world to save sinners and He did that by dying on the

cross for our sins. I Corinthians 15:3 says, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also

received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”

So, when we believe in God’s son for salvation, the God of all hope gives us hope as an anchor of the

soul according to Hebrews 6:19 “Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and

stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;.” You can just imagine the help a ship’s anchor

is for a ship to keep it steady. So the writer of Hebrews uses that imagery to help us understand the

hope that God gives. He says it is sure, which mean it is certain, and also steadfast, which means it is

firmly fixed. Thank God for that kind of hope. I trust that this is the hope you have! If ever I can be of

any spiritual help or assistance, please feel free to contact me. God Bless and have a good day


June 2020

Give Praise to God for His Word

Pastor Jim Dewar

In the Bible, the longest book is the book of Psalms with 150 chapters. Psalm 119, with 176 verses, is the longest chapter in the book of Psalms and also the longest in the entire Bible. In this chapter, the writer is giving specific attention to God’s Word while using different synonyms to do so. We see the Psalmist, in three specific verses, gives praise to God for His word while he uses two different synonyms, ‘judgments’ and statutes’. Today we will look at two of them: verse 7 and verse 171.  The first one is found in verse 7, “I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.” In this verse He is giving praise to God with an upright heart because of learning God’s righteous judgments.  Another verse to consider is Psalm 119:171 “My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.” Here he says that his lips will utter praise. That means it is verbal. He will speak praise to God for being taught God’s Statutes. We read in Matthew 4:1-4 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” After His fasting, Jesus was hungry. We can understand that. The devil said to Him if He was the son of God to turn the stones to bread. We read Jesus reply in the verse above. In so doing, Jesus put what was temporal, his own hunger, beneath that which is eternal, the Word of God when He said... Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Again, in John 17:17 in Jesus high priestly prayer He said...”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus, the Son of God, said that “Truth is God’s Word”. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read the Bible is Inspired by God; 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” The Greek word for the word Inspired is “Theopneustos”, meaning God breathed! The preacher is given a charge to PREACH THE WORD in 2 Timothy 4:2. Notice this passage below and pay careful attention to the text.  2 Timothy 4:1-4 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judgethe quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  Friends, thank God we have His Word! May we like the Psalmist give praise to God for His Word and seek to live our lives by it.


April 2020


Resurrection Hope

In the book of Hebrews we read about Hope as an anchor! The Bible says in Hebrews 6:19a “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast...,” The hope that the Christian enjoys, the Bible says, is an anchor of our soul. As a Navyman, I know full well the purpose and power of the ship’s anchor.  You do as well, if you have used one in boating or have seen one used. That verse also says that hope is sure and steadfast.  What is it that gives us that kind of hope? The answer is Jesus Christ!  We recently celebrated His Resurrection from the dead! This is one Easter we may never forget. We did not do corporate worship and it also snowed. I am glad for modern technology that is helping us to keep connected.  I am able to do services through Facebook LIVE on the First Baptist Church Facebook page. It’s possible with some of the restrictions we are facing, that we may understand what is like for Christians living in restricted areas of the world or for servicemen who deploy for long periods of time away from family and local church worship. But while enduring these things, the Christian sets their mind and heart on the hope we have in Jesus Christ. On Easter Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ who overcame the grave, death and hell. As we think of the order, before you have Christ’s resurrection you have His burial. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:4a “And that he was buried...” In the preceding verse we read 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”.

 You and I are sinners by our very nature. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”. The death of Jesus Christ was for our sins. He died to pay the penalty for our sins. The Bible says He became a curse for us. Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:”. His death was for, or on account of, our sins. Christ paid a debt, with His life, that we owed. 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” In the Gospels we see Christ being crucified along with two criminals. Luke 23:33 “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.” Later in that passage we read Christ gave up the ghost; a reference to His death. Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” So, Christ died for our sins, He was buried and rose again the third day. They came looking for him to put spices on his body after his death, but Jesus was gone from the tomb. They were met by an angel of God who said... Luke 24:6-8  “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,  Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words,”

So as we follow the order, Christ died for our sins, Christ was buried, and Christ rose again from the dead. The scripture says in the Gospels and in 1 Corinthians 15 that Christ was also seen. This means there were witnesses and evidence to His resurrection. Paul says in I Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The ministry of Christ on the Cross dying for our sins and rising from the dead gives us much hope, because of the victory He wrought. 1 Corinthians 15 closes with 1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Look at the passion we can and should serve the Lord with, because of the victory He wrought. If you need Jesus Christ as your saviour, won't you trust in Him?  Believer, won’t you live for Him?  He has given us the victory!

March 2020

 “The Greatest of These is Charity”

Today I want to talk about the subject of love from the Bible. To say the subject of love has had an effect on life and the culture would be a huge understatement. It has touched many things including the movie industry, music, plays, books and greeting cards, and many other things including you and me. As a human being, my life has been touched immensely by love from my family and friends for all of my life. I hope my life has reciprocated that love to my family and friends. In the Bible we read much about the subject of love. Some familiar verses would include John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” and John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.  We read in 1John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us”. That verse speaks of first love, which was demonstrated by God, and also reciprocal love; “We love Him because God first loved us.” During the month of February, we went through I Corinthians 13 here at First Baptist Church. That chapter is called the Love chapter and has much to say that I will share today. In this chapter the Apostle Paul uses the word Charity, which means love. The first three verses refer to the “Value of Love”. In these verses, we read where love is absent in different scenarios. Notice in I Corinthians 13:1-3. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

In verses 4-7 we see the “Characteristics of Love”...”Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;   Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

In verses 8-13 we see the “Permanence of Love” and at the end we see that the greatest of all virtues is charity.  “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

Biblical love never fails and is the greatest of all virtues. I close with the words of a familiar Christian Hymn, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, they are weak but He is strong, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.” That is some Great Love! God Bless you and if ever we can be of help to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Happy New Year 2020!

 

Happy new year everyone and welcome to 2020! By now you are probably getting used to the new year and writing 2020 instead of 2019. The New Year makes me think of New Birth. The first thing you may think of is the birth that takes place at the hospital. Actually, our family is rejoicing over the new birth of a granddaughter already this new year! But the birth I am thinking of is the spiritually new birth when someone is born again; when they are saved by trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour. All through the different references of Jesus’ Birth that we no doubt read or heard read recently this Christmas season, they spoke of Jesus as the Saviour. Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Also in Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” In the Gospel of John chapter 3 Jesus Christ in this passage has a conversation with a religious man named Nicodemus. John 3:1-7 says “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” This religious leader was dumbfounded regarding Jesus’ statements to him about the need to be born again. Jesus, in this passage, states that a person needs the physical birth which happens when we are born as a baby, but also stresses the need we all have of spiritual rebirth when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ God’s sent forth son who came to be our Saviour. The reason we have this need is because of universal sin. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Salvation is by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Jesus did the work when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. I challenge you to look in your Bible at what this important message says about your faith and trust in Jesus Christ so you can be born again and live for Christ here on earth and in Heaven when your time on earth is done. If you are a Christian, I want to encourage you to walk closely with the Lord, read and study your Bible and pray.  Also, share the Gospel with others and attend a Bible Believing Church.  God Bless and Happy New Year!

December 2019

Christmas is About Time

Timing is everything. The book of Ecclesiastes in chapter three says much about the subject of time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”. We are now in the Christmas Season. It was 45 years ago this month I reported to my first Navy Ship, the USS Inchon, based in Norfolk, VA. My first Christmas away from home was spent on that ship. I would spend other Christmases on the USS Inchon and also on the USS Blandy, and some of those were deployed overseas. It is Interesting how we remember the holidays; where we were, who we were with and so on. Timing is everything.

The subject of time would also include the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. We read in Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”. When the fullness of time was come, or as we understand the meaning to be, when the time was right. I understand, and many of you reading understand about timing. We have six children and I remember when my wife said it was time or the circumstances around the timing meant that we headed for the hospital or the Doctor’s office. I am sure many can identify with that. 1. God Sent Forth His Son. In the scripture above (Galatians 4:4) it says when the fullness of time had come God did something.  He sent forth His son. God’s son is His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, and He came into the world to be our Saviour. The text says “made of a woman”.  This speaks to the fact that Christ was born of a virgin, which the Old Testament Scripture prophesied, and we see fulfilled in the New Testament. Christ was the virgin born Son of God Who was fully God yet fully man. Only He could save because He was the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ.

  1. 2. God Sent Forth His Son to Redeem. What is a redeemer? To redeem is to exchange something for something else. I remember when we used to get S&H Green Stamps with our groceries. We would put them in books and take them to the redemption center and get things in exchange for the stamps. Christ was our Redeemer! He came to give His life for ours! Jesus did that on the Cross when He suffered and was our substitute because of our sin. This would mean He would have to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. In Matthew 1:21 the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph these words, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” We see His name and we see His mission was to be the Saviour. Are you trusting in Jesus as your Savior? That is why He came. So, the Christmas story is about Jesus Who was sent from God in Heaven to redeem us from our sins. If we can ever help you spiritually or you would like to come to one of our worship services, you are welcome. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

December

God’s Unspeakable Gift

Today I want us to focus on the upcoming Christmas holiday balanced out with the recent Thanksgiving holiday. There is a Bible verse that helps us with that. 2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” That little verse of only eight words actually has a really big message. The first thing we see in the verse is the need to Be Thankful. The topic of thankfulness and gratitude is spoken of very much in the Bible. It is actually a command. Notice the following verses of scripture. Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Timothy 2:1 “I Exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;” Eph. 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Colossians 2:7 “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” The scripture is clear. Be Thankful!

The next part tells us that God is the recipient of our thankfulness, “Thanks be unto God...”, Be Thankful to God. In addition, the scripture has much to say. Notice the following verses of scripture. Psalm18:49 “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” Psalm 30:4 “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Psalm 69:30 “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” I. Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” Revelations 7:12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelations 11:17 “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” In all of those verses we see a constant theme giving thanks to God. He is worthy.

 The last part of our verse says to give thanks for His Unspeakable gift, Be Thankful to God for His Unspeakablte Gift.  That word unspeakable means indescribable or description defying. The unspeakable gift is referring to Jesus Christ, God’s son. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Philippians 2: 9-11  “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;  And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The Bible says that Christ came to save us from our sins. Put your faith and trust in Christ as your Saviour and let us all be thankful to God for His Unspeakable Gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of service, and also this is your invitation to visit us at First Baptist Church in Bancroft. Thanks be to God!

August 2019

Focus on The Truth

Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft

John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The Bible has much to say about the subject of truth. We see the importance of truth as it relates to the worship of God in the verse at the beginning of this article. In this article, I want to briefly consider God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word as Truth. These are some practical considerations for us regarding the matter. I am reminded of when a person is to give testimony in a court of law.  They are to swear or affirm that they will tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The Bible declares that God is a God of truth. We read in Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” The Psalmist says of God, Psalms 31:5 “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” Isaiah also in Isaiah 65:16, two times uses the phrase ‘God of truth’.

Jesus, God’s Son is also described as truth. John 14:6 reads, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the way, truth and life. The only way for someone to have a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ, …"No man cometh unto the Father but by me”. John 15:1” I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”  Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” These verses all declare the same thing about Jesus; that He is the Way the Truth and the Life. He is the Saviour! That is what He came here to earth to be!

 The Bible also says this about the Holy Spirit in John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  From this verse we learn that He is the spirit of truth and that He guides in truth. Lastly, the Bible is referred to as the truth. Jesus in His High Priestly Prayer in John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” In that prayer, Jesus asks the Father to sanctify His people through “Thy Truth” then states “Thy Word is Truth”. In a world that has wrongly taught there are no absolutes and no truth, I choose to follow Jesus in believing that the Bible is a book of truth. Psalms 119:43 states, “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.” In Psalms 119:142 we read “Thy righteousness is Word of God.  This is God’s Truth.

 I want to close with 3 John 1:4 it says; “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” The word walk means conduct. So may the conduct of your life be regulated by the truth of God’s Holy Word the Bible! To focus on truth is to focus on God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word!

Words!

Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft, IA

Words! How important are the words we use? The answer to that question is very important. Some of us grew up with a phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. We have lived long enough to know how untrue that statement really is. In my line of work being a Pastor, I speak a lot of words. I should have a word counter on me to count how many words I speak. I would submit, it’s not just the number of words we speak, but how we speak them. The following Bible verse is a qualifier for the words we speak, Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Here the Psalmist wanted even his words to be acceptable to God. That is definitely something to think about with the words we use and how we use them.

Words have power and meaning and must be used correctly. It is interesting to see all of the different opportunities for using words in communication that we have available today. We use face to face communication, letter writing, email, texting and many different social media outlets. Here is an interesting verse from the wisest man, Solomon, in Proverbs 8:8 “All the words of my mouth [are] in righteousness; [there is] nothing froward or perverse in them.” How many times have you dealt with an issue and then you got the facts and had to eat crow! Proverbs 18:13 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.” This verse means get the facts before you speak. How very true to consider.

 As mentioned before, words have power. God spoke the very world into existence by His spoken words. In Genesis 1:3 it says “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. “This verse and others in Genesis show us the power of God’s words in creation. If you are a Christian follower of Jesus Christ, you need to be concerned about the words you use. The words we use show the change of heart we have since our salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Here are some scripture verses to think about and meditate on, Proverbs 10:20 “The tongue of the just [is as] choice silver: the heart of the wicked [is] little worth.” Proverbs 15:26 “The thoughts of the wicked [are] an abomination to the LORD: but [the words] of the pure [are] pleasant words.” Proverbs 16:23 & 24 “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.  Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” The word corrupt means “rotten” and those kinds of words should not come from a Christian’s mouth. Rather, your words should edify or build up and minister grace to those that hear!  In conclusion, consider the truth of these verses. Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Matthew 12:37 “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” May we all think about the words we say and remember the teachings of Scripture.

May 2019

“This Do In Remembrance Of Me”

The recent Memorial Day observance in the United States of America is a time when we as Americans pause and remember our nation’s war dead. On that day we are remembering the men and women who, while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, died in securing and keeping our freedom.

In the Bible we read the phrase “This Do in Remembrance of Me”. Those are the words of Jesus and He is instructing His disciples in what we call communion. Communion is also called the Lord’s Table. In the Gospel of Luke we read, in chapter 22 and verses 19 & 20 “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” In the verses above, Jesus is speaking and is instructing the disciples how to remember His death. Isn’t that a little interesting when you think about it? I mean, who would forget what Jesus did on the Cross? The answer to that question is: the same people who forget a birthday, an anniversary or appointment. In other words, we all forget sometimes!  So, what are we to be remembering? We are to remember the sacrificial substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our sins. Why did Jesus come to earth? The answer to that question is found in Matthew 1 when the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream about the child that Mary was carrying. Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” In Romans 10:13 the Bible says “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Have you ever asked Jesus to be your Saviour? In the Gospel of Luke 19:10 we read "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  According to the Bible we are all lost and in need of Salvation. That is what it means here in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  We are all lost sinners in need of salvation and only Jesus saves. Titus 3:5 reads “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Bible salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

So, Jesus’ coming to earth was to be the Saviour.  He was the spotless Lamb of God and the only one that could pay the penalty of our sin. We had a debt we could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe. In I Corinthians 15:3 we read “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” Christ died for our sins, because of our sins. And Jesus says that the bread of communion is a symbol of His broken body. The cup of communion is a symbol of the blood that He shed. So we are remembering that Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to die on the cross. The Bible calls the cross a curse (“cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”). In I Peter 2:21-24 we read,  “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” The verses above tell us of Christ’s suffering; His sinlessness; and also Him bearing our sin. This is what Christ did and this is what we remember. May we never forget!

Please feel free to contact me or visit First Baptist Church in Bancroft.

(515) 885-2702 • fbcbancroft@gmail.com  • www.BancroftBaptist.com

The Victorious Christ

 April 2019

As we approach the time of year that we remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the many Scriptures we read surrounding these events and also the hymns

that we sing. I Corinthians 15 is considered the Resurrection Chapter. We read in the first part of the chapter, I Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;   By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”. In these verses we read how Paul is declaring the Gospel.  What is the Gospel? Simply put, it is the “Good News”. What good news?  The Good News of the Gospel is all about the coming of Christ to be the Saviour of the world, because of our sins. In verse three from the passage above, we read “Christ died for our sins”. That phrase is talking about the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, who himself was sinless, on the cross because of our sins. This answers the question ‘why’ did Jesus Christ die. It was because of our sin. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;.” No one is exempt from this but Jesus Christ!  He was the sinless Son of God, and that’s why He was the only one who could die for sin.  

     Christ became a curse for us, the scripture says in Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”.I like the hymn Blessed Redeemer. In the first verse it says “Up Calvary’s Mountain one dreadful morn, walked Christ my Saviour weary and worn; facing for sinners death on the cross, That He might save us from endless loss”. That is why He came! Jesus came to save us!  Are you saved? Have you received Christ as your Saviour?  We read in Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Those verses teach us that salvation is by grace and faith alone, in Christ alone!

     Our text in I Corinthians 15 above also says Jesus was buried after He died, but on the third day He rose again! Jesus said all along that He would rise again.  In the Gospel of Matthew and in chapter 28, we read of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary coming to the place where Jesus had been buried. The Angel of the Lord says in verse six, Matthew 28:6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  I am reminded of the hymn Christ Arose; in verse one it reads ”Low in the grave He lay- Jesus my Saviour!  Waiting the coming day- Jesus, my Lord! (Chorus) Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph over His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign: He Arose! He Arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” Christ did exactly what He said He would do when He rose from the dead! He did what God sent Him here to do: to die for the sins of the world. I close with this reminder of the victory we have because of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15: 57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

February 22, 2019

Pastor Jim Dewar


 The Greatest Love

 The greatest love story...! I would imagine that phrase made you think of a movie or a play you have  seen or maybe a book you have read or possibly a song you have heard.  The word love is a huge part of our lives and our culture.  We have recently celebrated one holiday that definitely maximizes the subject of love, Valentine’s Day, where we use it as an opportunity to display our love to people we care about. I have two brothers and a sister. I am 16 ½ years older than my sister and I remember once, when I was in the Navy aboard the USS Inchon and she was in Kindergarten or early Grade School, she made a heart and wrote “I Love You” on a piece of writing paper. Somehow over the years that paper has disappeared from our sight but not from my memory.

 Jesus, in the Gospel of John chapter 15 and verse 13, tells us of the Greatest Love when He says,  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  That verse is often used in description of the American Soldier who dies for his country.  In scriptural context, that verse is describing Jesus laying down His life on the cross of Calvary because of our sin. There was a price to pay for sin and Jesus was God’s spotless Lamb. Only He could  take away sin’s penalty.  Only He could pay the price, and that was with His life.  All through the New Testament we are reminded of Christ’s sacrifice. In John 10:11 He says “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Also in Romans 5:6 we see; “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  

 We also see in the New Testament God declaring His Love. Probably one of the most familiar scripture verses of all time is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  In this verse we see the Provision of God’s Love in that God gave His only begotten son. He gave His only Begotten Son to be the payment and sacrifice for sin. In Romans 3:23 we read, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” No one is exempt from that statement except Jesus, and He came to be our substitute on the Cross of Calvary. We also see in John 3:16 the Promise of God’s Love when He says that ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. This is not talking about some kind of mental assent, but whole hearted trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Another great passage where God declares His love for us is in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word commendeth means to demonstrate or display. God did that by Christ dying for us on the cross even though we were sinners. I hope you are trusting in Christ alone as your Saviour Who atoned for your sins. If ever I can be of spiritual help, please do not hesitate to contact me. I close with this reminder in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (515) 885-2702 • fbcbancroft@gmail.com • www.bancroftbaptist.com

Happy New Year 2019

 January 2019

Today I want to encourage you in your walk with God. How is your walk with God? In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, we read about Enoch and Noah. They were men that walked with God. Genesis 5:22 “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:” Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 6:9 “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

 Are you meeting with God in prayer and reading His word? What a great opportunity we have, as we enter the new year, to renew or start some really great Christian disciplines of prayer and reading and studying the Bible. Jesus tells us about prayer in the Bible. Luke 18:1says “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;.” Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord ’s Prayer. Many call this the Disciples’ Prayer because He was teaching and instructing them and us how to pray!

 I would like to encourage you to plan to read the Bible through this year and every year for that matter. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You can read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation on your own or use a helpful printed schedule. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible and by reading 3+ chapters per day you can finish reading the Bible in one year. There are printed reading plans that have you read some from the Old Testament and New Testament and other sections each day to help you read and keep on track. There are also Chronological Bible reading plans available. I personally use a Bible that is set up to read 85 verses per day to accomplish reading the Bible through the year. There are 31,101 verses in the Bible, so by reading 85 verses per day you can read through the Bible in a year. Some of these Bible reading plans can be found by searching for them online and download them to your computer. There is also a link to a Bible reading plan on our Church website, BancroftBaptist.Com. I would also encourage you, if you have not done so, to download the free Bible App to your Smart phone and all other mobile devices.

 Notice what we read in the Bible about its value to the heart and life.  We read of the power of the Word of God in our life over sin in Psalm 119:11. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might  not sin against thee.” The palmist declares his dedication to meditate on God’s Word in Psalm 119:148 “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.” Jesus says our sanctification is through the Word of God, when He prayed in His High Priestly Prayer in John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” In the first of Jesus’ temptations, Jesus declares in Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The Bible tells us the way of Salvation is through the Word of God. In 1Peter 1:23 it says “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” We also read in Colossians 4:16 “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Also we read 2Ti 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. I believe the Bible was intended to be read publically and private, meditated upon, preached, shared and studied. Happy New Year, and as my old Pastor used to say “”Stay in the Word”. If ever I can be of spiritual help and service to you, please feel free to contact me! Happy New Year.