Friday, October 12, 2018

A Great Day for Diligence

A Great Day for Diligence

Today is a great day to seize each opportunity God puts before you.
Your breakthrough is right in front of you.  Despite your discouragement, anger, and lack of motivation, pray to God for wisdom and strength.  Then get up, get out, and step out on faith believing that God will honor your diligence.
“Lazy people don't even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find” (Prov. 12 27).

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Seek Godly Advice

Seek Godly Advise.

One of the sons of King David, named Ammon was madly in love with his “half-sister.”  He was frustrated because such a marriage was forbidden by the Mosaic law (Lev. 18:11).
Ammon received advise from a friend, which led to Ammon rapping his sister, which led to her brother, Absalom, killing him, which led to Absalom fleeing, which led to Absalom revolting against his Father, King David, which led to King David fleeing, which led to a war, which led to Absalom’s death, etc.
Bad advice can led to deadly consequences and a string of hurting people.
Christians, seek godly advice.  Check people’s advice against the Word of God and prayer.  Do not hesitate to get a second opinion from another godly person, who also will pray with you for God’s clear direction (Prov. 19:20).

Here is some godly advice: Make your way to church this weekend to worship God, to encourage and be encouraged, and leave church better than you came in.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pause to Recognize God!

This Weekend, Mt Zion Church of Ontario celebrates 96 years of ministry.
As I reflect on our 96 year history, we experienced failure, difficulty and miracles and victory.  Through it all God’s hand of favor and keeping power is constantly displayed before us.
Although we pause daily to thank God for His favor, and power, today we pause in our worship services, and we have a celebration concert planned to again say, thank You Lord (see mtzionontario.com. for info).
We also stop to say, Jesus, continue to Pastor Mt. Zion and we will follow You.
Christians, stop to celebrate what God has and is doing.  Worship, and praise keeps us positioned to anticipate the great and mighty things He is going to do as we live for God sized results (John 15:16).

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Subtle but Fierce Challenges Today?

Today we face subtle yet fierce challenges in our culture.
Slavery, abolition, and civil rights were not subtle, but fierce because on both sides, the issues were clearly black and white based on what God said, and people made a choice to obey or disobey God.

Today because of the extensive ground work of the enemy in getting Christians to lower our view of God’s Word around issues such as legalizing marijuana, cohabitation outside of marriage, lying, stealing, cheating, sexual abuse, sexual immorality, domestic violence, etc., these issues appear blurred.
People on both sides are equally passionate, but caring Christians who come to the table with a high view of scripture are immediately written off as intolerant, dogmatic, divisive, and unloving.
Those determined to live a lifestyle displeasing to God (including Christians) prefer that caring Christians (not extremist) lower our view of God’s Word, and discuss alternative lifestyles with a neutral, mixed, and questioning view of the Bible versus a loving view of what “God said.”
The real rub in the human spirit comes when someone says “God said,” as established objective truth. This is not supposed to happen in a questioning, tolerant, accepting, affirming, and “progressive thinking” environment.

The subtle challenge today is that through various systems governed by a non-Judeo/Christian world-view, even strong Christians with a high view of scripture are walking away questioning what God has clearly said.
Sometimes my passion for God’s Word is manifested while speaking and some people conclude that I am harsh, intolerant, unloving, and closed-minded toward discussing alternatives to God’s plan.
When that happens, I must step back and reflect on if I am being loving as I share truth from God’s word.  Yet, not question what God said despite the culture demanding that I question God’s Word.
Another subtle challenge today is although Christians will lovingly listen, and show compassion, sometimes we are not given a chance to show love because of our high view of scripture.

Christians, when we really care, our reality is the Holy Spirit working in a heart is the only way we get to have an honest, open, and transparent conversation around difficult topics that God calls sin.

I love the “women at the well” encounter because she was open to being loved as Jesus dealt with her sin and gave her hope concurrently (John 4:4-30).
This is the grace and truth Jesus brought to the earth (John 1:14).
Christians, our challenge today is graciously sharing how the two co-exist (Rom. 5:8).
Christians, our challenge is genuinely loving people like Jesus as we share the truth found in God’s Word because we too are recipients of His grace and truth.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Christians, What Are We Adding To Our Faith?

Christians, What Are We Adding To Our Faith?

As Christians, our faith is our Christianity and all that the Bible says makes up our beliefs as Christians.  Our faith is more than the doctrines we believe, but who we are as God’s children through Christ.  Our faith is both who we are, and what we believe (John 1:12).
Today, Christians are adding some destructive stuff to our faith.  The elephant in the room is our political divisiveness.  Some of us see wrong and won’t say anything.  Some of us are covering up for the wrong we clearly see, and some of us are criticizing everything we see.  Some of us out of fear, are afraid to use our normal biblical standards to call behavior right or wrong, and some of us don’t see any good and are calling everything wrong.
Here is the problem.  While Christians are playing politics, and taking divisive jabs at each other, we are losing credibility among non-Christians by the second.  Non-Christians who use the natural moral code (Rom. 2:14-15) are calling behavior wrong and Christians are covering up for that problematic behavior, and we are losing even more credibility.  Speaking the truth about behavior based on God’s Word vs. culture or politics does not mean you are a traitor, disloyal, or unloving.
Christians, we are not confused about right and wrong.  But many of us are stuck behind democratic and republican politics.  We are playing the dangerous, divisive, hypocritical and unloving game of politics.

The Apostle Peter commanded us to add seven virtues to our faith to keep us stable and on track as God’s called out ones in a hostile environment.  Peter said, diligently supply some extra to what we already have: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (II Pet. 1:5-
Christians, let us be responsible in politics by using biblical standards, and not blindly follow any political agenda.  Instead of our divisive politics which is driving people away from Christianity,  let’s become known for our love, our united efforts to share the gospel, and by the power of the Holy Spirit add the seven virtues in II Peter 2:5-7, to our faith.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Monday, July 23, 2018

When The Inevitable Strikes.

When The Inevitable Strikes.

Humankind has spent ages trying to answer the question, why do we suffer?  Some ask: why do the good suffer with the bad?  Others: if God is a loving God, why does He allow evil, tragedy and suffering?   Inherent in these questions is our personal experience with pain and suffering.
Amidst the plethora of discussion regarding this age old issue, including free agency, and our “fallen” condition, I offer a word of hope from James 1:1-8.
1. Apply joy to your time of tragedy because God shows up in your difficulty to build your character (vs. 2-3).
2. Allow God the space to work in your difficulty.  He will matures you (v. 4).
3. Ask God for His perspective regarding your circumstances, and how you should respond to Him and others (vs. 5-8).
Christians, when the inevitable becomes your reality, you can visit the age old questions, but don’t get stuck there.  Pursue experiencing how the fiery furnace of life circumstances deepens your love relationship with God.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Unmasking the Pain?

Unmasking the Pain?

Watching a loved one deal with sickness, and even death is painful.
The pain is real.  Masking the pain with drug (legal or illegal) & alcohol abuse only leads to addiction and possibly legal and family problems.  Activity that gives temporary relief only acts as a pain reliever.  Once the activity is over, you still have pain.
God said it like this in Prov. 14:13: “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart,
but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.”
Take time to review the life of your loved one, or your loss.  Express the exciting times and the challenging times.  End your reflection time with the words of comfort found in God’s eternal Word. I will see her again (I Thess. 4:13-18).
Christians take time to share each others burdens by sharing and listening and so fulfill the law of love (Gal. 6:2; John 13:34-35).
Christians, make your way to God’s house this weekend and enjoy worshipping God and being in fellowship.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.