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Tag Archive | "Pastor David Ward"

Follow the recipe for reliable results

Pastor David G. Ward

Pilgrim Bible Church

361 W Pine St., Cedar Springs

Have you ever tried to tweak an old family recipe by adding or omitting some ingredient only to end up with a disappointing result? The only way to get reliable results is to follow the recipe.

Israel changed from being a tribe to a nation when God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses all were God’s men; but at the giving of the Law, Israel became a nation. It is specifically to that nation that Psalm 33:12 (KJV) refers: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” 

The closer Israel walked to God and His Law, the more they experienced His blessings. The period of the Judges is marked by cycles where Israel forgot God’s Law and fell into trouble, and then remembered, repented and were restored to blessing.

It is not uncommon for nations, like the United States, to try to appropriate this verse for themselves. A look back at our history and founding documents reveal an attempt to build a nation and society built on principles largely drawn from Scriptural teachings. The closer we lived to those lofty principles, the better we have done as a nation.

This is not to say that our relationship with God is based on how closely we conform to His instructions. Righteousness should flow out of a relationship and not the other way around. But, a person, or a nation, who is truly in a right relationship with God should want to do the things which please Him.

Reliably following God’s Law leads us to a path of blessing. II Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) tells us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 

In times of crisis, this passage instructs us to pray and ask God for healing. With our praying we must give attention to our ways. If we’re not following God’s recipe we probably won’t like the results. It is when we come to God in humility, choosing repentance and obedience, that we are put back on the path to blessing.

This truth is not just for nations but for you as a person. How are you doing in your walk with God? In the busyness and struggles of life, it may be easy to add or omit ingredients. However, we do well to remember that we get the best results when we read the instructions and follow the recipe.

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What love looks like

Pastor David Ward | Pilgrim Bible Church | 361 Pine Street, Cedar Springs

What does love look like? According to pictures at your local jewelry store, love features white sand beaches, happy faces and, of course, a big shiny diamond! Reality programming suggests loves comes in limited sizes and shapes. However, such thinking has yielded more terms like “photoshopped” and “catfishing” than actual enduring relationships. Too many people are left feeling rejected, isolated and alone.

A healthy relationship starts with a healthy self-image. The Bible teaches us that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). He knows our name and developed a plan for us before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). Regardless of whether anyone else knows or notices us, in spite of the circumstances that preceded this moment, God knows us and values us individually. How could and how much does God love us? John 3:16 tells us that God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus to rescue us from the curse of sin’s punishment and make a way for us to share eternity, together with Him.

God demonstrated that a quality relationship is based on giving rather than on getting. True love flows out of voluntary service rather than abusive demands. Spouses are taught to submit to each other, to look out for each other’s needs (Ephesians 5) because love is patient and kind, not demanding its own way (1 Corinthian 13:4). A truer picture of genuine love is the elderly couple leaning on each other after a lifetime together. Their age and ailments amplify, rather than diminish their love. 

The best way to find such a love for your life is to start with loving God first. Jesus told us, if we put our relationship with God first, the rest would follow (Matthew 6:33). As we learn to love Him, we learn how to love others, what healthy love looks like. As we are confident in God’s love, we are less susceptible to unhealthy distortions that surround us.

The country songwriter warned of “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Too many have felt the sting of unrealized dreams and expectations, the pain of broken hearts and homes. The good news is that God is a God of second chances. He specializes in taking the wreckage of broken and battered hearts and rebuilding them into something beautiful. May I challenge you to rediscover God’s love for you? It’s there you will find the real love you for which you are searching!

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