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Tag Archive | "Pastor Bill Dixon"

Time


Pastor Bill Dixon 

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

 15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs 


Most families have traditions that they have learned from their parents or they developed as adults. My family has several traditions but one that stands out was started about four years ago. It’s called “hero week.” Each of our four kids are given a week out of each month where they are the one who gets to pray for each meal, get to stay up a little longer than the other kids at the end of the week (extra hang out time with mom and dad), get to choose what we eat for one meal during the week, and they get to pick the movie on family night. 

This past week, it was my oldest daughter’s hero week, and she picked one of her favorite meals, noodles with alfredo sauce and shrimp. The girl loves shrimp. For her movie, she chose to watch one of the Spy Kids movies. We have seen this movie multiple times but this time something stood out to me. The bad guy in this movie was known as the “Time Keeper.” As I paid attention to the movie this time around, it stuck out to me that everything this bad guy did was for a reason. What this bad guy wanted most of all was to get back to the time that he had lost with his dad growing up. So, he builds a time machine to take him back to the past to spend more time with his dad, but things didn’t end up the way he thought.

Watching this movie, I realized how important it is for us to use wisely the time we have been given. We have to realize that our time on earth is relatively short (Psalm 144:3-4) and if we are not careful, time will fly by and we will miss out on a lot of things that we will regret when we reach the end of our lives.

Up until three months ago, I had not used my time wisely, especially with my children. Instead of spending time with them, I spent more time working, hunting, or consumed with whatever was going on in my own world. My son is almost 13 years old and I finally taught him this past summer how to mow a yard, shoot a basketball (properly), and how to hunt. If you were to ask me six months ago, I probably would have given you several reasons as to why this was, how busy I was, etc. After I put aside all of the excuses, I realized that I was not using wisely the precious time that God has given me. After I realized this, I began to make some changes. Here are my new priorities. 

• My relationship with the Lord. This is my first priority because it is the most important (Matthew 22:37). 

• My family. Above work and hobbies is my family. Instead of making excuses, I am actually being intentional about spending time with my kids. Likewise, I’m intentional about my time with my wife and immediate family, making the most of the time that I have with them. 

• Work. My third priority is my work. I love what I do but what I have had to learn is that at the end of the day, what I do is only a job and should never take priority over my relationship with the Lord or my family. I encourage you to have the same attitude. 

Like the bad guy in the movie that we watched this past week, I had to learn a hard lesson. I had to rethink how I’m using my time here on earth. Three months ago, I was not using my time wisely but now I’ve made the decision to make the most of my time, especially with my family. I would like to tell you that it’s been an easy process but that would be a lie. I’ve had to ask for forgiveness from my family and the Lord and have had to reprogram the way I think and do things. In other words, I had to get my priorities in order. The good news is that because I have started to use my time wisely and have kept my priorities in check, I’ve experienced more joy than I have in a long time. You can too. 

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He said wut?!


Pastor Bill Dixon. Solon Center Wesleyan Church. 15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs

Have you ever heard someone say something so shocking that it made you take a step back and say to yourself, he or she said wut?!. A few weeks ago, I started a series called, He Said Wut?! As a church, we began to look at a few shocking things that Jesus said about everyday stuff like, anger, lust, marriage, promise-keeping, retaliation, and loving our enemies. 

Throughout this section of scripture, which begins in Matthew chapter 5 verse 21, Jesus follows a pattern. He always starts off by saying, “You have heard it said…” or something similar to that and then He goes onto mention an Old Testament Law. After this, Jesus always goes onto say, “But I tell you…” which is Jesus’ way of saying, listen to what I’m about to tell you. 

I want to do is share with you just one of the topics that Jesus addresses. It is a topic that is out of control in our world today—anger. Listen to what Jesus has to say and then I will point out a few things for you to chew on. 

21 “You have heard it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You Fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (NIV)

Jesus equates being angry with…murder. Here is what I believe Jesus is getting at. I believe that He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (could mean anyone) you are no better in God’s eyes than someone who literally takes an innocent life. I believe He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (again, could mean anyone), you are a murderer. So, are you a murderer? Maybe not in your own eyes, but in God’s eyes you are. 

Before you decide to stop reading hear me out on a few things. 

1: Jesus is not saying that all anger is bad. There is such a thing as good or righteous anger. We know this because the Bible clearly teaches that God gets angry. And we know that God is good so there must be such a thing as good or righteous anger. In fact, if you look at the Gospels, Jesus gets angry. Go and read Matthew 21:12-13. Not long after Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, He entered the synagogue (Jewish Church) and looked around and saw that a lot of people were doing things that they should not of have been doing. So, what does Jesus do? Listen to what was written… 

“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling droves. It is written, he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers” Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV).

There are plenty of things going on in our world today that should make us angry, especially as Christians. The problem is our anger often times goes off the rails and becomes unrighteous/sinful. Jesus is talking about the type of anger that holds grudges towards others. He is talking about the times when we say and do things that are meant to hurt others—maybe not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. 

Here is the second point I want you to chew on. 

2: Jesus is clarifying (making known) the spirit of the law. 

The spiritual leaders of the day had the letter of the Law down pat. They knew and understood that God did not want them to murder folks. Many of us have the letter of the Law down pat as well. We get it. Murdering people is bad. But here is the thing. Jesus makes it clear that stopping short of murdering people is not good enough. He is making it clear that, like the leaders of His day, we are missing the spirit of the law. 

God is not interested in us becoming people who just stop short of literally murdering each other. No. He is interested in us becoming people who constantly value others. In other words, God is interested in us becoming people who constantly treat others with dignity, respect, and love. This is the spirit behind the law of ‘Do not Murder’ (Exodus 20:13). 

Let me end with a few questions: 

1: Are you in need of open-heart surgery? The reality is, unrighteous/sinful anger is a heart problem. Matthew 15:19 makes this clear. If this is you, if you are struggling with anger (valuing others), do this. Stop what you are doing and go to the Lord. Ask Him to do what only He can do, and that is this, to forgive you and to begin to transform you inside out by the power of His Holy Spirit. 

2: What is one relationship that you have that needs reconciling? Have you done or said something to someone in the past or maybe recently that has caused an offense? Instead of ignoring that you have wronged someone, here is what you need to do. First, ask God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) then, go to the person, acknowledge your error, ask them for forgiveness, and then do everything in your power to bring about reconciliation to that relationship (read again verses 23-26). 

God wants us to become people who constantly value others. Who constantly treat others with dignity, respect and love. 

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No fear


Pastor Bill Dixon

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Fear is something that we all experience and struggle with at times. For some it may be fear of the unknown. For others, it may be fear of not having enough. Fear of the future. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of disease. Fear of death. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not being strong enough. Fear of not being worthy enough. Fear of not being loved. Fear of being alone. The list could go on. The point is, fear is a powerful emotion that we all struggle with at times. Fear is so powerful that it has the power to immobilize us, to take control of our lives, to rob us of the joy and peace that is ours in Christ. But listen, here is good news. Fear doesn’t have to control our lives. Fear doesn’t have to have any power in our lives unless we allow it to. 

So, the question is, what do we do when fear comes knocking on the doors our hearts? The way I see it, we have two options. Option one is to do nothing and allow fear to wreak havoc in our lives. Option two is to do something about it. One of the last sermon series I preached in Indiana before moving back to Michigan was called, No Fear. In this series, I challenged everyone to make a stand against fear. One of the best ways to stand against fear is to stand on the Word of God. 

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 23. I forgot who said it, but I remember someone saying that this was a Psalm that “calmed the soul.” I would agree. Verses 4-5 say, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

Here it is, King David knew that no matter what challenge or difficulty came his way, his God was right there by his side. David knew that his God was not a God who left His children hanging. David knew that there was nothing too great or too difficult for his God to overcome. 

Here’s good news, we too serve the same God as David. We too have a God who is right by our side no matter what comes our way. We too have a God who will not leave us hanging. 

I encourage you today to not allow fear to gain one inch of ground in your life. Make a stand against fear by standing on the Word of God. Commit to memorizing Psalm 23 and other passages that deal with fear and every time fear pops its ugly head up in your life, squash it with the truth. 

My family and I are excited to be part of this community. We are honored to lead Solon Center Wesleyan Church. We are looking forward to partnering with other local churches in our community to help change one life at a time. Be encouraged today and fear not. 

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on No fear


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