December 2023

Merry Christmas
Pastor Jim Dewar - First Baptist Church, Bancroft

Merry Christmas. Have you ever thought about those words in relation to the Christmas story, which is the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world? The words in the greeting, Merry Christmas, remind me of words we read in the Bible surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.

In Luke 2 we read of the birth of Jesus. We also read of shepherds abiding in the field and the appearance of angels coming to bring them the message of Jesus’ birth. Luke 2:8-9 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:

and they were sore afraid.” The appearance of the angels caused the shepherds to fear. Then the angels spoke to them to fear not, that they were bringing a message of good tidings of great joy. Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Then we read of the angel’s announcement of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. Luke 2:11-20 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

As we think about Christmas and Jesus’ birth, may these following phrases from the Bible text above from the angels and shepherds, “good tidings of great joy”; “praising God”; “Glory to God”; “glorifying and praising God” be in our minds as we celebrate Christmas this year. The greatest message ever brought was that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, was born. He was sent from God to earth to be our Savior. Jesus is the Redeemer and, my friends, that's what Christmas is all about! May you, like the angels and shepherds, glorify and praise God for all these truths. I hope that you know Jesus; that He is your savior and that you are trusting completely in Him and only Him. The greatest thing you could do this Christmas is accept God's gift of His Son Who was sent to bear your sins and mine on the cross. May we like the shepherd’s go on our way glorifying and praising God. Merry Christmas!


November 2023

Happy Thanksgiving
Pastor Jim Dewar
· First Baptist Church Bancroft

Happy Thanksgiving! So, what are your plans this year for Thanksgiving? Will it involve travel or family traveling to your home? I hope you are able to gather with family and friends and enjoy a great Thanksgiving together. As you gather together this year, think about what you have to be thankful for and offer praise and thanks to God. The song writer of the hymn Count Your Blessingssuggests counting your blessings in the refrain of the song, Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.Being thankful and expressing thanks are both very important. Sadly, everyone is not as thankful as they should be as we learn in this story. Thankfulness Is a lost art - In 1860, the Lady Elgin was rammed by the Augusta and sank in Lake Michigan near Evanston, Illinois. A ministerial student named Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Have you ever taken notice of the times Jesus offers thanks? Jesus Christ was a thankful person. He is the model example in Thanksgiving. We read of Jesus giving thanks when He fed the multitude in the gospel of Mark 8:6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.Jesus also gave thanks having communion with the disciples in Luke 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

On another occasion Jesus healed 10 lepers but only one give thanks. Luke 17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.Jesus asked, where are the nine?” Luke 17:17 “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?May we not forget to give thanks to God for all of His blessings. 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” God’s unspeakable gift is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ Who came to save us from sin. If Jesus Christ is your Saviour, one of the greatest things you can thank God for is His Son. If you have not yet trusted in Christ as your Saviour, please come to Christ to save you from your sins then thank God for His Son.

The Bible says giving thanks to the Lord is a good thing. Psalm 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

I wish each and every one of you a good thanksgiving holiday and make sure to give thanks to God.


October 2023

Here we are in a new fall season and harvest is going on all around. The word harvest is mentioned several times in the Bible. Most likely, one place that is familiar and may come to mind to Bible readers, is found in the Old Testament book of Ruth. Four times in that book the word harvest is used. It was during barley harvest that Naomi and Ruth came back to Jerusalem and it was the barley harvest in which Ruth worked. Interestingly enough, it was there she and Boaz became acquainted and would eventually marry and have a son named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of David the King. So, what I am obviously referring to here is the genealogy of Jesus Christ. This along with other information is mentioned in Matthew 1:1-17 in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

The mention of harvest from Jesus is where I want us to focus our attention today. We read in the Gospel of Matthew 9:35-38 these words, 35 “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

After Jesusministry of teaching, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing in verse 35, we notice His observation in verse 36. Jesus saw the people, the multitudes, in the spiritual condition they were really in. Their condition had an effect on Jesus. He was moved to compassion. He says they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep without a shepherd. Jesus makes another observation in verse 37 about the harvest. He said it was plenteous and that there were few laborers. What was he saying? There was a great harvest but not enough workers. Jesus, however, was not talking about a harvest and workers as we know it; people driving combines and tractors. He was talking about a spiritual harvest. In verse 38 Jesus told His disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. That harvest involves sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those around us.

Are you a Christian and are you telling the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus has told us to ‘go. Notice in Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.Maybe you are not a Christian. Are you bothered when someone tries to hand you a Gospel Tract or asks you about your faith? I can tell you they are just trying to follow Jesus by doing so.

Here is a story of a compassionate Sunday School and the affect it had on Dwight L. Moody. Weeping for the Lost. D.L. Moody told the story of his conversion this way: “When I was in Boston I used to attend a Sunday school class, and one day I recollect my teacher came around behind the counter of the shop I was at work in, and put his hand upon my shoulder, and talked to me about Christ and my soul. I had not felt that I had a soul till then. I said to myself, ‘This is a very strange thing. Here is a man who never saw me till lately, and he is weeping over my sins, and I never shed a tear about them.’ But I understand it now and know what it is to have a passion for men’s souls and weep over their sins. I don’t remember what he said, but I can still feel the power of that man’s hand on my shoulder tonight.” The concern and tears of a godly teacher resulted in the conversion of a man who saw a million souls saved in his evangelistic campaigns.

If you are a Christian believer, follow Jesus’ command to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers into His harvest. With that in mind, I am reminded of something one my Pastor’s said, “he never saw a volunteer the Lord turned down.” Be involved in a Bible believing Church and get busy in the harvest, telling people of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer, I plead with right now to trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


August 2023

Praise The Lord

 Many times people use the letters PTL when they hear good news, etc. PTL is an acronym for the phrase ‘Praise the Lord’. Do you ever praise the Lord; do you ever give God praise? Interestingly enough, the phrase ‘Praise the Lord’ is used in scripture 33 times in 33 verses. Below are a few of those references which happen to be in the Psalms. Psalm 7:17 “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalm 102:18 “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.” Psalm 146:2 “While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” The word praise is mentioned many times in the Bible. That would include many different forms of the word praise. Notice in Psalm 47:6 “Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing in Psalm 48:1 “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.” Below is something interesting I found called The Washington Monument Message. “Every day when the sun rises over Washington DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, where these words are inscribed: Laus Deo, Latin for “Praise be to God.” This compact prayer of praise, visible to the eyes of heaven alone, is tacit recognition of our nation’s unique acknowledgment of the place of God in its founding and its continuance.” (From ministry127.com - Source: What in the World Is Going On? David Jeremiah)

There are many familiar hymns of praise including this hymn, “To God Be the Glory.” ‘To God be the glory, great things He hath done, So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life our redemption to win, And opened the life-gate that all may go in. Chorus Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice; Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice; Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.’ I want to close this article today with a verse from Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” By Him is referring to Jesus Christ, because of Jesus offering His life for us on the cross and dying for our sins. So because of this, Christians can and should offer to God as it is called the sacrifice of praise to God. The phrase ‘fruit of our lips’ means it should be verbal; say it! If you have received God’s gift of salvation, give God praise! If you are in need God’s gift of Salvation, I encourage you to accept God’s Son Jesus Christ as your Saviour for the forgiveness of your sin and then praise Him for that. 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.” Psalm 118:21 “I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.”


July 2023

Trusting God

Do you have any Scripture memorized? The Bible verses in today’s article, Proverbs 3:5-6, could quite possibly be ones you have put to memory. If not, I hope you will work on memorizing them. They are familiar verses and packed with great truth to apply to daily living. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Did you notice the big themes in these verses of Scripture? They would include; Trusting God in verse five and Acknowledging God in verse six. There is more to this as we think about these verses. In verse five, we read ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart’. That means wholehearted trust in God. It includes not trusting in our own understanding. The Bible teaches us in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” It is better to trust the Lord with all of our heart than to trust in our own understanding. Verse six says to ‘acknowledge God and He will direct our paths’. Do you ever acknowledge God? How do we do that? One way is to pray. I heard someone say that a prayer meeting is nothing more than a declaration of dependence meeting. When we pray, we are in essence acknowledging God, bringing our petitions, our cares, our requests to Him and thus declaring our dependence on Him. In addition to prayer, another way of acknowledging God is by searching His Word. We read this in John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” In these wonderful verses in Proverbs we learn about wholehearted trust in God and not leaning on our own understanding. We learn that in acknowledging God in all of our ways, God will direct our paths. Have you ever trusted in God’s provision for salvation? He provided his own Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world; to go to the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. Here is another familiar Bible verse that is packed with much truth. John 316 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In John 14:6 we read that Jesus is the bridge to God when He said “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me.” Friend, I encourage you to trust in God and His provision His Son Jesus Christ for your salvation. Consider this: Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee, Trust Him when thy strength is small, Trust Him when to simply trust Him Seems the hardest thing of all. Trust Him, He is ever faithful, Trust Him, for his will is best, Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus Is the only place of rest. Source Unknown. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” God bless you in your journey of learning to trust God.

June 2023

Walking with God in the Summertime

Pastor Jim Dewar · First Baptist Church Bancroft

 

About now I think we would all agree that we welcome warm weather. I guess we could say we waited all winter for it. I would like to give a caution, however, as much as we enjoy getting outside and maybe even doing some traveling; don’t forget to spend time with God. Notice what we read In Psalm 5:3 “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” So, the Psalmist is saying that God will hear his voice in the morning. He will direct his prayer to God in the morning and he will look up to God. John Bunyan said, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” Notice the lyrics of this familiar hymn, In the Garden “I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses. Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.”

 

In the New Testament we read of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Jesus the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, the secondperson of the Trinity rose up early and found a solitary place and prayed. What a wonderful example and testimony we have in Jesus Christ. We read in Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Just think about that verse and what it says. We need to use the words lamp and light which we all know and understand the value of in our lives in a practical and physical way. God’s word is the same but in a spiritual way. So, my encouragement to you is to not let the busyness of summer cause you to forget about God and the importance of prayer and reading the Bible. I would ask you, if you are reading this and not a Christian, to consider trusting in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. A very familiar Bible verse makes it all clear. 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.” If I can ever be of any help please feel free to reach out. 

Enjoy this closing poem by Ralph Spaulding Cushman, I Met God in the Morning.

 “I met God in the morning, 

When my day was at its best 

And His presence came like sunrise,

 Like a glory in my breast. 

All day long the Presence lingered; 

All day long He stayed with me;

 And we sailed in perfect calmness 

O’er a very troubled sea.

 Other ships were blown and battered, 

Other ships were sore distressed, 

But the winds that seemed to drive them

 Brought to us a peace and rest. 

Then I thought of other mornings, 

With a keen remorse of mind. 

When I too had loosed the moorings 

With the Presence left behind. 

So, I think I know the secret,

 Learned from many a troubled way; 

You must seek Him in the morning 

If you want Him through the day.”

May 2023

Serve Like Jesus

Pastor Jim Dewar 

Today I want us to learn from Jesus about leadership. Who has made the most impact on your life? From the passage below, we learn from Jesus which influences to reject and which influences to embrace. This is learning from the life of Jesus Christ. Mark 10:42 “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Did you notice in verse 42 we read about people using lordship and authority over people? In verse 43 Jesus said “let it not be among you” which means it should not be done among you. This was an influence they were to reject, and so should we. In this verse, greatness is described by being a servant or a minister. I like the lyrics in this song “Servants Heart” by Ron Hamilton. 1.Make me a servant like you, Dear Lord Living for others each day Humble and meek, Helping the weak, Loving in all that I say. Chorus: Give me, Lord, a servant's heart Here's my life, take every part. Give me, Lord, a servant's heart. Help me draw so close to You That Your love comes shining through Give me, Lord, a servant's heart, Give me, Lord, a servant's heart. What Jesus is teaching in these verses is Servant Leadership. Lastly, He speaks of Himself in verse 45. He says the reason He came was not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom. Jesus was surely ministered unto, but that was not His chief reason for coming to earth. Jesus says the reason He came was to minister and to give His life a ransom. Jesus was the ransom required for our soul’s salvation because of our sin. He paid with His own life when He went to the cross and died for our sins on Calvary. Do you know Jesus? Do you know He died for your sins? The Bible says when we trust in Jesus Christ, the work He did on the Cross of Calvary, He saves us. If the answer is no, I urge you to come to Jesus without delay. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 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.” Jesus’ mind was always on others. It makes sense because He was sent here to be our ransom. Christ is the Redeemer! Jesus is the saviour God sent into the world. In John 6:38 His concern is doing the will of God, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” In John 8:29 he was interested in being pleasing to God, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” In John 9:4 he was passionate in doing the work of God. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” D. L. Moody wrote the following words next to Isaiah 6:8 in his Bible: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.” Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Look to Jesus, He is the ultimate example to follow.

March 2023

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Pastor Jim Dewar t

Just a few days ago on Easter Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross and three days later rose from the dead. With God’s Word, I will point out several things in the Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first thing to consider is Jesus’s own Words from the Gospel of Luke. Luke 9:22 “Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” Again, in Luke 18:33 Jesus says, “And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” In Luke 23 we read of Jesus being brought by the multitude to Pilate. Three different times Pilate finds Jesus innocent of the charges made against Him. Luke 23: 4 “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. 13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.” Nevertheless, Pilate gives in to the will of the people and sends Jesus to be crucified. Luke 23:24 “And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.” We read of this in 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.” Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ who was faultless; the sinless Son of God was crucified on the Cross of Calvary! 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.” It was there on the cross that Jesus died for our sins. 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;” After Jesus died on the cross he was buried. We read this account of Joseph of Arimathaea, in Luke 23:52 “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.” So, Jesus is buried and on the sabbath day there came women there to anoint the body of Jesus, but when they arrived something was not like they expected. The stone was rolled away from the tomb. They entered in and Jesus’s body was not there! This caused them to be perplexed, and yet two men spoke to them. Take notice of what they said and the questions they asked. Luke 24:1 “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 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,” They asked the women why they seek the living among the dead. This is a reference to the fact that Jesus is alive! So, Jesus died, was buried and rose again! Another aspect to note is the witnesses to the Risen Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:5 “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” The Bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” The only person exempt from the word “all” in that verse is Jesus. He was the sinless, faultless Son of God sent here to die on the cross for our sins, be buried and rise again the third day. That is why Easter is also called Resurrection Day. I hope you know Jesus died for your sins and by faith in Jesus Christ you have trusted in Him as your Saviour. If not, please do so without delay. If you are a believer, live for Jesus and share that Good News with the world around you. 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

February 2023

The Love of God
Pastor Jim Dewar - First Baptist Church Bancroft

How do you express your love for someone? With Valentines Day being yesterday, my guess is that many gave and received expressions of love for a spouse, a child, grandchild, friend and the list goes on, to someone you love or from someone that loves you. Some of the ways we use to express that love can be a card, flowers, gift or a call on the phone. No doubt today, the many different social media platforms and devices available to use can also be a means of letting someone know you care about them and that you love them. When I was in the Navy, I remember getting in the mail something from my sister who was in grade school at the time. It had I Love Youhandwritten on the kind of paper kids use in grade school and a red heart she had colored in the middle of the page. I had not seen it in many years and came across it more than two years ago. What a special blessing!

How did God express His love for mankind? We must look no further than the Bible and many familiar verses come to mind. One of which that is probably the most familiar to mankind 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 God declares His love for us by the giving of His son Jesus Christ. He further states that those who believe in Him receive everlasting life. Not merely believing about him, but believing in Him. We must trust and depend on Christ alone for salvation. Why did we need to be saved? Why did God have to send His son? The answer again is in the Bible. We read this 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;Yes, Jesus Christ died for our sins. His death made it possible for sinners to be reconciled to God. We read in Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;That verse says there are no exceptions. All need salvation because all have sinned. Jesus Christ is the only one who ever lived that did not sin, or need a Saviour. He is God’s son. He is God’s substitute for our sins. He was and is the Saviour of the world. Jesus said 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.

So how did God display His love for sinners? Notice in Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.So, God “commendeth” His love toward us. The word commendeth means to demonstrate or display. This is how God expressed His love towards us; even though we were sinners Christ died for us. His death was on the cross. He was buried and on the third day rose again. As the Scripture says in 1 Cor. 15: 4, And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Read through the lyrics below to the song The Love of Godand if possible try to find the song and listen to it. Here is the first verse and chorus. 1. The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star And reaches to the lowest hell. The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win; His erring child He reconciled And pardoned from his sin. Chorus O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song.”

My friend, I am asking you this day, have you trusted in Gods Son Jesus Christ as your Saviour to forgive you of your sins? If not, I encourage you to do so without delay. If you know Him, live for him and share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world around you. God Bless!

January 2023

First Baptist Church Baptist 135th Anniversary

First Baptist Church of Bancroft recently observed the Churchs 135th Anniversary. The actual anniversary date of the beginnings of First Baptist Church is January 16, 1888. It was on that day, in the home of C.W. Goddard, the organization of First Baptist Church took place. Sunday, January 29th, 2023, was the day we celebrated the Anniversary. In the Sunday Morning Service, Pastor Dewar read some greetings from Missionaries that the church supports regarding the occasion. He also read some of the history of the founding of the church and shared some information of the longevity of some ministers that have served FBC over the years. Then he brought a New Testament message regarding the founding of the church by Jesus in Matthew 16:18, Christs purchase of the church with His blood from Acts 20:28 and also His headship and preeminence from Colossians 1:18. The message also included members responsibilities within a church from various passages of Scripture. After a noon meal, testimonies were given by different members of the congregation. At the conclusion of the afternoon service, Scriptures were read from Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.and Psalm 150: 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.



January 2023

Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft

Happy New Year 2023! We say Happy New Year every year and yet as the old year is nearing its end, we ask what happened to it and marvel at how fast it went. Since we are in a New Year, I want us to think about some things we see regarding beginnings or new things. There are different Bible verses that have to do with something new or a beginning. The Bible opens up in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” So, the Bible opens with God and His creation. I would encourage you right here in this new year to read Genesis especially the first few chapters and see what the Bible says about God and creation.

In the first book of the New Testament which is Matthew, we read this in chapter six. Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This tells us it is important to seek God; to seek Him first. Do you ever think about God? Do you seek Him and His righteousness?

In another place we read in Paul's letter to the Corinthians about being a new person in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When a person trusts in Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour, this is what happens. Old things are passed away and all things become new. It is interesting that we just celebrated Christmas, which was the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ. Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” So, Bible salvation is in a person, not religion or in anything else but the Person of Jesus Christ. I urge you if you are not trusting in Christ alone for salvation to do so by grace through faith and start living for Him and enjoy the new life Christ gives.

As a warning, the Bible reminds us we are not guaranteed of tomorrow. This reminds us of the brevity of life. We see this truth in Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” James 4:13 “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Let me close with this poem which is also a hymn in some hymn books.

Another Year is Dawning.

“Another year is dawning, Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with thee. Another year of progress, Another year of praise, Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace, Another year of gladness, The glory of thy face. Another year of leaning Upon thy loving breast, Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest. Another year of service, Of witness for thy love,

Another year of training For holier work above. Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven, Another year for thee.”

By Frances R. Havergal. God Bless you and Happy New Year!



December 2022

Thanks to God for the Gift Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist, Church Bancroft, IA

With Christmas just eleven days away, my guess is that your home has a Christmas tree set up with Christmas presents under, or soon to be under, the tree. What is the most memorable gift you have ever given or received. In God’s Word we read about a gift that He gave and it is an “unspeakable gift”. From our verse today, I want us to think of three words. The first word is Gratitude. We read about it here in 2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” That verse is a very short verse but yet it is power packed with truth. The first thing we see is the importance of being thankful. This verse begins with thanks. Do you think of yourself as a thankful and grateful person? Jesus was thankful. When He fed the multitudes, 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.” The apostle Paul was also a thankful person.” In Philippians 1 He told the people in the Philippian Church in v3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”. So above, we learn thanks and also from these two different examples. The second word is God. He is the one to whom we are to be thankful. He is the recipient of our thanks. Here is a verse to think about that mentions giving thanks to God. Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” We read in Psalm 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:” This leads us to the last word that is Gift. It is called an “unspeakable gift” which mean description defying. To quote commentator Albert Barnes on this unspeakable gift, “The idea is, that no words can properly express the greatness of the gift thus bestowed on man. It is higher than the mind can conceive; higher than language can express.” What is this gift? This gift is God’s son, Jesus Christ. 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.” What is the reason for the gift of His Son? The reason is that we through Jesus would be able to receive eternal life. That is why He came and that is what Christmas is all about. The gift that God sent is one to be received. If you have not received Jesus Christ, God’s son as your Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” So be grateful to God for the Gift. Merry Christmas!


Getting Ready for Christmas
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church, Bancroft

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you had a good time with family and friends, a time to share in Thanksgiving. Marlene and I spent Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family in Minnesota and had a wonderful time. Now the next holiday on the calendar is Christmas where we remember the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. As we journey through the holidays which will include Christmas shopping, parties, Church and family gatherings, I want to give you some principles from the Bible to help you as you journey these different events. The first thing to remember is to seek to glorify God, which means to honor God. Take notice of this verse of scripture, 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Whatever we do, we should do it to the glory and honor of God.

Another principle to remember comes from Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Here we learn that whatever we do in word or deed (actions) do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. So here we learn whatever you do, do it in the Name of the Lord Jesus.

A third principle comes from Colossians 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Here we learn whatever you do, do it heartily to the Lord. As Christians, we are to put our whole soul into our labor and service to and for the Lord. I am reminded what Jesus said in John 8:29 “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” Did you see His attitude and His example? He wanted to please God.

Here are a few other bonus reminders from Scripture. The first one is called the Golden Rule from two different Scriptures. Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” From Romans 12:18 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” May these timeless truths from God’s word help you as you prepare to celebrate the birth of God’s Son. I will close with a familiar 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.” If you have never believed in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please trust in Him and receive the everlasting life that God so freely gives. God Bless and have a Merry Christmas.

August 2022

I Am Resolved


“I am resolved” are words you might associate with New Year's resolutions, but they are actually part of a hymn in many church hymn books. Here is the first line. “I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world's delight; things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. Refrain: I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free; Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.“

For the Christian, the Bible says when we trust in Jesus Christ and are saved everything becomes new. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I remember 48 years ago after I got off the bus at Great Lakes, IL US Navy Boot Camp; everything was changed and different after that....new people, surroundings, clothing etc. Spiritually speaking after we accept Christ and are born again, that verse tells us what happens. Because we are in Christ, we are a new creature and old things are passed away and all things are become new. No wonder the song writer wrote the lyrics that he did in the song above. This does not mean we are not tempted by worldly things but things should be different and the world should not have the pull and draw that it once did. We still need to pray, read our Bibles and be in a Bible preaching church and fellowship with other Christians.

I was saved by trusting alone in Jesus Christ as my Saviour at the age of 21 when I was serving in the US Navy. I loved going to church and hearing preaching from the Bible and the fellowship of the people of God. I met my wife Marlene in a church I attended in Illinois; she was teaching in the church’s Christian School. I am using these illustrations to point out how important these things became to me and they are things that should be important to all of God’s people because they are important to God.

I want to spend the rest of the time encouraging you regarding some things you should be resolved to that will help you as you walk the Christian life.

The first one has to do with the Glory of God. We read in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” That verse teaches us that whatever we do we should do it to the Glory of God. In the book of Colossians, we read in 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” We learn here that whatever we do we should do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Also, in Colossians we read in 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Whatever you do, do it heartily to the Lord. As I close today’s article, let’s consider Jesus who lived this way and who taught us how? Over and over in the scriptures we see that Jesus lived out this kind of example. Notice the words of Jesus when He said in John 8:29 “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” May His desire be your desire. If you need Christ as your Saviour, do not delay in that decision. For a believer, may you be resolved to walk with God and bring Him glory. God Bless!A

March 3, 2022

The Bible is a Book to be Desired
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft

Psalm 19:10 “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” What do the Bible, honey and gold have in common? You may think that is a strange combination, but we will look at the Bible to see what it says. First, though, let’s break down these terms. The Bible obviously is God’s Holy Word. Honey is a very sweet liquid nectar substance. Honey is obviously something we use to sweeten tea, baked goods, and other things. Gold, as we all know, is considered a very precious commodity. When we think of gold, we think of jewelry, coins, and other things. Another thing about gold is that it is a commodity of great worth. As I write this article, the value of gold is above $1900.00 an ounce.

As we take all of this into consideration, what does the Bible say in the above verse and others? In the verses ahead of Psalm 19:10 we read ‘what’ the Bible actually does. Notice the following. Psalm 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” The words law; testimony; statutes; commandment and judgments are synonyms that all mean the Word of God, the Bible, and have their own definition. There are two things to point out. First, the quality of God’s Word: perfect; sure; right; pure; true. Did you take notice of what it is the Bible does in the life? Let me list some of them here: converts the soul; makes wise the simple; rejoices the heart; enlightens the eyes. In verse 10 above, we learn the Bible is to be desired above gold and is sweeter than honey. God’s word, the Bible, is not like any other book. Like Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, it is the book that we are to live by, “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 has been criticized and denied for centuries, but has outlived all of the critics and will continue to outlive them all. Here are some additional verses to think about. Psalm 119:72 “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” 103 “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” 127 “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”

Notice the words of this poem. The Anvil of God's Word “Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door, And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; Then looking in, I saw upon the floor, Old hammers, worn with beating years of time. “‘How many anvils have you had,’ said I, ‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’ ‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twinkling eye, ‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’ “And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word For ages skeptic blows have beat upon; Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.” — attributed to John Clifford.

If you are a Christian, make sure you are reading and studying your Bible. If you are reading this article and are not a Christian, I encourage you to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. God Bless!


anuary 2022

God’s Church
Pastor Jim Dewar First • Baptist Church Bancroft • BancroftBaptist.com

January 16th was the 134th Birthday Anniversary of First Baptist Church in Bancroft. Today in the Pastor’s Column, I want to share the message I brought to our church family that Sunday along with some historical things to reminisce about. The church has had 34 different Pastors since 1888. Pastor Don Mueller was the longest serving at 30 years from 1976 – 2006. Andrew Nelson was the 2nd longest at 15 years between 1959-1974. The third longest on the list was Charles Bryden at 9 years between 1928-1937. I am 4 on the list at 7 years beginning on Jan. 7, 2015, to current. We are grateful to the many men who have served the church through the years and for preaching the Gospel of God. Also, we are grateful to the many different families and individuals who have been involved in the church ministries and programs all these years.

One of our former Pastors, John Patton who served 1937-1941, would later become President of Omaha Baptist Bible College (OBBC), now known as Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. Pastor Don and Bernadine Mueller were students at Omaha when John Patton was President. Also, long before my time in Bancroft, I had the honor in 1992 to participate in a WWII 50th Anniversary program in the Twin Cities area along with Pastor Leonard Robinson. He was a WWII Vet and Bataan Death March survivor and former Japanese POW. The book he wrote, “The Forgotten Men”, is in the Bancroft Library. I found out when I came here that he had served at First Baptist Church in 1956- 1959.

When God thinks of His Church according to the Bible, what does He see and how should we think and be affected by it?

1. God sees a Church that His Son established. Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus established, He is the founder, and He is building His Church. The Church belongs to Him and no one else.

2. God sees a church where His son is head and has the preeminence. Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” It is to be run in accordance with the Bible and acknowledging Him as Head, where He has the preeminence and no one else.

3. God sees a Church that His Son purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” This speaks to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross where He died for our sins. Do you know Jesus as your Saviour? He died to save you from your sins. The Bible teaches we are saved by grace though faith, 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.”

4. God sees a church that is called the House of God, the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15 “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

5. Lastly, God sees a church that His Son has given the Great Commission to; and that is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” One of the supreme missions of Christ’s Church is to evangelize the lost by preaching and spreading the Gospel. May these Biblical principles give you direction for your life.

January 2022

Starting the New Year with Jesus

Pastor Jim Dewar, Jr. • First Baptist Church Bancroft

Happy New Year 2022! Today in the Pastor’s Column I want you to think about starting the New Year with Jesus. That is the emphasis I have had at First Baptist this new year. First, we remember the sacrifice of Jesus. I Corinthians 11:23 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” Notice the word, remembrance. What is it that we are to remember? We are to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross where He died for our sins. Remember, Christ alone saves. 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.” Jesus is the Saviour!

Remember back to Christmas just a few weeks ago when we were thinking of verses in Matthew and Luke about the birth of Jesus the Saviour. Is Jesus your Saviour? Have you put your faith and trust in Him for Salvation. Christ only is the way to God the Father. I urge you that if you have never come to Christ for salvation by faith, place your trust in Him without delay. Receive Him as your Saviour and receive the forgiveness of your sins that only He can offer.

Another truth to remember is Christ's place. Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Jesus is the head of the Church. He founded it and He only is to have the preeminence.

Another focus has to do with learning from Jesus about the Word of God. Matthew 4:1-4 is the first of Jesus three temptations. After 40 days of fasting and prayer, Jesus was hungry. The devil said to Him, If you are the son of God take these stones and make them bread. But His reply was to quote the Old Testament. He said 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.” What Jesus did was to elevate the importance of the Word of God, which is eternal, over the temporal food. What is your personal involvement with the Bible? Do you ever read the Bible, If so, how often? I would encourage you to read it every day this year, thus reading through the Bible in a year.

Yet another focus was to learn from Jesus about prayer. He said in Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Do you pray? Jesus, in many places, is our example in prayer. Luke 5:16 “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” Do you have a quiet time with the Lord where you read His Word and pray? For me, that is in the morning in my office. Obviously, I can pray and read the Word any time, but that is how I start my day. I look forward to it. Jesus taught his disciples about prayer after they requested it in Luke 11. He gave them the model prayer, which we call the Lord’s prayer. Luke 11: 2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

May these Bible truths about Jesus help you get a great start to the New Year as you set your sights on Him. Happy New Year. BancroftBaptist.com • FBCBancroft@Gmail.com • (515) 885-2702

The Joy of Christmas - December 2021
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church – Bancroft, IA

Christmas, as with any holiday, has a way of reminding us of special events that have taken place in our lives through the years. For my wife Marlene and I, forty years ago this year was our first Christmas together as a married couple. And we, like many of you, have celebrated Christmas with our children as they came along and now our grandchildren. This year our Church Christmas program is called “Christmas Joy”. Do you ever think about the joy that came along with the birth of Christ? As we think about Christmas in the true sense, it is remembering the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. The greatest ever Christmas event is the birth of Jesus Christ God’s Son. It is Jesus that went to the cross to die for the sins of the world, that we having faith through grace in Him might be saved.

I want to remind you of a couple of Bible references about the joy of Christmas. We see joy and rejoicing in Matthew chapter 2 when the wisemen came searching for Jesus. It says in Matthew 2:2 “...where is he that is born king of the Jews...” We read in Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Rejoicing with great joy is what they did when they saw His star. Then in the next verse we read that the wisemen presented Jesus with gifts. Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” We read about joy again in Luke chapter two. The scene here is about shepherds in the field taking care of their sheep. Luke 2:8 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Notice the next verse, Luke 2:9 “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” The angelic host and the glory of the Lord made them fear. But notice the angel's message in Luke 2:10 – 11 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” He told them not to fear because he was bringing good tidings of great joy that included announcing the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Now, my friends, that is some message! That is a message to be joyful in and one to rejoice in. Rejoice in Jesus, the promised Messiah, Who was sent to save us from our sins. If you know Him, rejoice! If you do not know Jesus, do not delay and trust in Him today. Merry Christmas!

Thankful for Christ - December 2021
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church – Bancroft, IA

After Thanksgiving, a message from Second Corinthians 9:15 is very fitting. This particular verse focuses on Thanksgiving and also reminds us to be thankful for Christ. So, this verse of Scripture helps us bridge the gap between two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It reminds us of the importance of being thankful to God after we've just finished the holiday, but also thankful to God for Christ as we look forward to Christmas.

2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” The first point in this verse is the ‘Action of Thanks’ in 15a. We are called to be thankful. It is something you can do and no one else can do it for you. The Apostle Paul is writing here to the church at Corinth, but it is interesting the many times he is thankful in his other writings. For instance, in Romans 1:8 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Notice also in 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The Apostle Paul is either giving thanks or exhorting others to gives thanks. The second point from the verse above is ‘The Recipient of Thanks’. God receives our thanks. He is the recipient. Many times, in scripture, we see this stated. Notice in Psalm 35:18 “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.” Psalm 50:14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” Over and over again we read of God being the recipient of our thanks and praise.

Also, in the verse above, we learn specifically what it is we are to give thanks to God for; that is His son. He is the Unspeakable Gift! So, that part of the verse shows us the third point, the reason for our thanks. Quoting one commentator about the unspeakable gift “The idea is that no words can properly express the greatness of the gift thus bestowed on man. It is higher than the mind can conceive; higher than language can express.” 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.” As you think about the upcoming Christmas holiday, may you be thankful to God for the gift of His son. If you are not trusting in Christ as your Saviour, I invite you to take God’s word to heart and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. I will close with the lyrics of the song, Give Thanks to God. God Bless you and Merry Christmas.

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One; give thanks, because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.
Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One;
give thanks, because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.

And now let the weak say ‘I am strong’, let the poor say ‘I am rich’, because of what the Lord has done for us; and now let the weak say ‘I am strong’, let the poor say ‘I am rich’, because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks...

Thankful at Thanksgiving - November 2021
Pastor Jim Dewar • First Baptist Church Bancroft

Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

If you spend enough time with someone, you can tell by their actions and reactions what they value and what is important to them. As we study the Bible and read it, we can also glean the same thing from Bible characters. One particular person that I want to highlight in this Thanksgiving article is the Apostle Paul. I want to share some Scriptures in this article that tell us what Paul was thankful for. Before we do, however, I want to ask you a question. Are you a thankful person? Is your life filled with gratitude? One of the things that the apostle Paul was thankful for was Jesus Christ. In I Corinthians 9:15 we read: "But thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” There are three “G's” in this passage. The first one is gratitude. Paul was thankful. The second G is God. Paul’s gratefulness, or his gratitude, was toward God our Heavenly Father. The reason for his gratitude to God was God’s son, Jesus Christ, the unspeakable Gift; gift is the third G. When he says unspeakable Gift, he's talking about something that is indescribable. How do you describe Jesus Christ? He was the Saviour who came down from heaven to go to the cross and die for our sins. Paul was thankful for Jesus Christ. We can and should be also. A second thing that the apostle Paul was thankful for was other Christians. Notice in I Thessalonians 1:2: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” What he was referring to there was the believers at Thessalonica. Paul was thankful for other Christians that God had placed in his life. A third thing is that Paul was just thankful regularly. We read in I Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Paul went through ship wreck and many other perils that he mentions in 2 Corinthians 11, yet he was thankful.

So, Paul was thankful for Christ, he was thankful for other believers, and he was just generally thankful all the time. These are some noble attributes to plug into our lives. As you read and study the Bible and grow in your Christian faith, ask God to help you in these areas and be thankful. If you've never come to know Christ as your Lord and Savior, I would encourage you right here and now in this Thanksgiving season to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Then you, like the Apostle Paul, will understand first-hand what it means to be thankful to God for His Son, Jesus Christ, His unspeakable Gift.

I want to close this article today with a little story about something that happened in the life of Matthew Henry (1622-1714) and how he responded. “Matthew Henry, the famous Bible expositor, was once accosted by thieves and robbed of his pocketbook. He wrote these lines in his diary: Let me be thankful, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” So, you see there all sorts of ways to look at the circumstances that come into our lives! I too am thankful for Christ and for my family and the many friends that God has placed in my life. I feel certainly blessed in that regard. Again, I ask, are you a thankful person? Be thankful this Thanksgiving and always. God Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!

September 2021

Remembering 9/11
Pastor Jim Dewar
US Navy Retired First Baptist Church Bancroft

Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Many of us remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11. I was enrolled in a grad course at a Bible College an hour and a half from where we lived in Northern Wisconsin. That day the class schedule had afternoon and evening classes. That morning I took our kids to the carpool, which was their transportation to a Christian School about 30 minutes away. When I came back home, I poured myself a bowl of cereal and turned on the news. It wasn’t too long that I learned of the attack that fateful day. Interestingly enough, our family had taken a trip to the east coast that summer and on our drive back from Maine we had driven through New York City and in front of the World Trade Center! Also, twenty-two years earlier while I was in the Navy stationed on the USS Blandy, we were doing some operations up along the east coast. We pulled into Newark, New Jersey and we had opportunity to go and see New York City. For me it was the first time. Some of my shipmates and I actually toured the World Trade Center and it was an awesome experience!

So, many of us have our stories and experiences of where we were and what we were doing. With the remembrances of that particular day, the thing I want us to focus on is the heroes; particularly the first responders. I'm referring to the fire fighters, the EMT’s and police officers who unselfishly and bravely went to the defense of and aided people to try to rescue and save them. Many of them survived and yet many of them lost their lives doing what they do every day for others. At our church on Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study, I encourage everyone to pray for those serving in the military and also for first responders.

In the years since the 9/11 attack, many of our young men and women who serve in the military have served in the Middle East. Many have died! Several of the young men in our own family have served, and at one particular time four of them were in Iraq on duty in four different locations. Thankfully, they have all made it home from that and other tours of duty. Many of you know someone, or know of someone, who served over there. Or you may know of some family who lost a loved one. We are grateful for their sacrifice and their love of country to defend the freedoms that we hold dear.

I am reminded of John 15:13 when Jesus said, speaking of himself, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” When He spoke this, He was referring to the fact that He was willing to lay down His life for our sins on the cross. Then we, through His sacrifice, might have eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ. Many have served with a similar kind of love for others that Jesus exemplified. Jesus gives us eternal life through faith in Him. The service members help us to enjoy a life of freedom in our country and the many first responders offer our communities help when it is needed.

I began this article with a Bible verse from Psalm 100 that emphasizes thankfulness. As we remember the attack that happened in New York City 20 years ago, I choose to focus not so much on the evil that was done that day, but on the bravery of the first responders and those who serve in the military who laid it all on the line to rescue their neighbors and their friends. May we be thankful for the service they provide and go one step further; when you have the opportunity, say thank you to them! So, be thankful for their sacrifice and service to which they bestowed then and also each and every day. God bless you and God bless America!

May 2021

Remember

Just three days ago on Memorial Day we remembered and honored the servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. That’s what Memorial Day is. It all began three years after the Civil War on May 5th 1868 when graves of the soldiers were decorated with flowers. It was called Decoration Day. It was later changed to May 30 , when it was believed flowers would be in bloom all over the country. After WW1, those who lost their lives in all American wars were included. In 1971 by an act of Congress, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday of May.

Remembering the names of those who died helps us to understand what that date on the calendar is really all about. In the state of Iowa and in particular Kossuth County, we have many names to remember. I can’t write this article and not mention the five Sullivan Brothers who went down with their ship, the USS Juneau, during WW2 in November of 1942. Then there was Bill Kennedy whose remains were brought back to Titonka in 2017 for burial. He served on the USS Oklahoma and died at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack of December 7th 1941. Here in Bancroft, I am reminded of 20-year-old PVT Tommy Murray who died in Luzon, the Philippine Islands on April 16, 1945. Just last month, the remains of CPL Elbert J. Beek from Sibley, IA, a soldier who was killed in North Korea, were brought back to the state. He will be buried on June 14, 2021 in George, IA. My Father had a first Cousin from Indiana, Clifford Kent, who died at the Battle of the Bulge. My Father-in-law had an uncle, Anthony Newlin from the UP of Michigan, who died in Italy while trying to save another soldier. Both of these men died during WW2. These men, along with so many more, are why we have Memorial Day. This, my friends, is Memorial Day; remembering the sacrifice of so many brave servicemen and servicewomen who died to keep us free. May we not ever forget them and may we always, when able, attend a Memorial Day program.

Many times, people use John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”, in remembering the fallen American Serviceman. It is actually a beautiful reminder. However, in context, it is talking about the life of Jesus Christ when He laid down his life because of our sins on another battlefield called the Cross. He fought and was successful in completing His mission... especially when He overcame the grave. The American Serviceman died to give us freedom in this life and Jesus died and rose again that by faith in Him we can receive Eternal Life. God Bless you! In Christ, Pastor Jim Dewar, US Navy Retired. First Baptist Church, Bancroft.

T

“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.