Monthly Archives: February 2016

Open the eyes of my heart Lord!

Open the eyes of my heart Lord!
By: Pastor Heidi Kratz
Luke 18: 41-42

“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”

I have been wearing glasses since my early elementary school days. The style of glasses have changed a lot since I was a kid! You didn’t have many options in style or color with your frames back then. Today, you have an entire store of frames to choose from.

When I began having trouble reading the board at school I needed a weak prescription. Every year my eyes would get worse. Now I couldn’t find my way out of a room if I didn’t have my glasses or contacts on.

To have my vision back would be amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be blind and then instantly be able to see again.

Through his faith, the blind man was healed physically and spiritually. Jesus is the one who has the power to bring physical sight to the blind and he has the power to open the eyes that are blind because of sin.

We sing a song in Kids’ Church that goes like this:
Open the eyes of my heart Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you. I want to see you.

As the blind man desperately cried out to God, we need to cry out that the Lord would open the eyes of our hearts. In our busy lives we need to see those who are hurting around us and those that have been blinded spiritually by sin in their lives.

Love Each Other

By: Pastor Vern Kratz

Today’s reading comes from John 15:1-17.

As I read the passage I am reminded about a lot of things. The first thing I am hit with is a reminder that sometimes I need to take a step back and take a good look at myself and make sure I am doing the things I am supposed to be doing – the things that are important to God.

Jesus uses the illustration of a gardener that needs to prune his plants so that they can be more fruitful. Sometimes we need to change or quit something so we can be better at something else. For example, if I quit complaining about situations, then the by-product of that would be a healthier attitude towards life – that’s a good thing. What do you need to cut off or change from the pattern you are presently following with your life, so that you can experience a more fruitful, abundant, and blessed life?

Continuing with the gardening illustration, another thing that I am reminded about is that I need to stay connected – both to God and to other people that will have a good influence on me or who I can be a good influence on. Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself” and then he said “apart from me you can do nothing.”

God is our source of everything! And if we try and live a life disconnected from him then we are no longer attached to the One who is to be our source. When that happens just like a branch that is cut off from the vine withers, so we will wither and our spiritual vitality will become shallow or non-existent. To experience God’s blessing we need to be in regular communication with him. We need to be connected to him. We also need each other and we need to love each other.

Which brings me to my last reminder for today: the fruit that a plant produces is the proof of whether the plant is healthy or not. The same way our lives need to bear fruit that proves whether we are spiritually healthy or not. And one of the fruit or evidences of our lives should be the love and concern we have for other people. Today’s passage concludes with a simple command from Jesus: Love each other.

It’s February and this month contains: Valentine’s Day, Marriage Week, and Random Acts of Kindness Week. February is a good month for us to make sure we loving and caring for each other. I want to take stock of what fruit my life is producing. The fruit in my life is seen through my love and concern for others.

Our love for one another is important to God. Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

The Scriptures say

By Pastor Ruth Denboer

The Scriptures say” … This is the response we read from Jesus when He was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. There are a few things that hit me from this story.

1. It all happened in the wilderness. There are definitely times in our lives when we feel like we are living in the wilderness. Life just seems barren, maybe we feel very alone, and maybe we feel things are quite parched. Satan loves to tempt us when we are alone, when we are vulnerable. But we must not forget the truth. We are never alone.

Deuteronomy 31: 6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

2. Satan still comes with the same temptations. He still tries to convince us that we should try this, or try that, to help satisfy our needs. He’s still at work trying to convince us to distrust God’s provisions for our lives. He loves to make us shift our confidence from God as our provider, to somehow believe that we must be our own provider.

We are constantly being tempted to believe the proclamation of fears all around us telling us that we will not have enough. Scriptures say that God will supply all of our needs!

Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

3. All Jesus had to use against Satan to quiet Him was Scripture!
Jesus simply replied with, “It is written”, or as in the NLT translation I was reading, “the Scriptures say”. This was enough to silence the lies and tempting mockery of the enemy.

4. We don’t have to prove anything to Satan. Jesus didn’t waste a miracle in the presence of Satan, but used miracles as a witness to His disciples and those who He came to save. Miracles are signs to the unbelieving hearts, proving the existence of a God who loves us and cares for us.

Jesus could have done all the things Satan was tempting Him with in the wilderness that day, but instead, this becomes such a fantastic example for you and me. From this encounter we can see the power of standing by the truth, and not wavering. We are able to resist Satan with Scripture, and have the same result as Jesus had that day. Satan left him alone.