by Michael Cisler – Pastor, North Kent Bible Church I have found recently that no matter how busy we find ourselves at our house we still have time for entertainment like watching television, playing Candy Crush, or spending time on social media. One of the results of being a follower of Jesus is an involvement in service. If Jesus is our example for life then we ought to strive to serve. Jesus said of himself in Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” That service looks different for each one of us as we each have different skill sets and different callings to ministry. Peter says in I Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” So our responsibility is not to serve or minister in the exact same way as someone else, but rather that we would serve in the areas in which God has gifted us and called us. This service should also be with our full effort and sacrifice. Paul says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”. We need to have proper boundaries within our lives as we consider keeping a margin of time, resources, and energy. The Bible is also very clear on our responsibility to serve and minister to our family first and foremost. I wonder though, how much more we actually have to give. How much time do we spend on entertainment or social media that could be spent instead on serving and ministering to others? I encourage you to consider how much of a blessing you could be to others by transitioning some of your time to purposeful service to others.
Find real hope by MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church I am learning more and more in life that words have great meaning and that the use of some words can change, bringing a significant change in their effectiveness. Love is one of those words. In one sentence I can say, “I love my wife.” The next, “I love ice cream.” In no way are my priorities, desires or affection the same for both my wife and ice cream. The word love, through use, sometimes loses its rightful meaning. I have realized recently that another word like that is hope. The Bible tells me I can put my hope in God (Psalm 42:5 and 11, and I Timothy 6:17). When I compare that to other things that I hope for, I begin to question its certainty. I hope it doesn’t snow again this winter. I hope the Tigers win the World Series. I hope my children grow up to be responsible teenagers and adults. Where it is my hope it doesn’t snow again this winter, history would suggest it probably will. Where it is my hope the Tigers win the World Series, their achievements last year mixed with off-season roster changes do not stir in me much confidence. Where I hope my children will be responsible in the future, I recognize they will have the ability to make their own decisions and if they are like me, will make some irresponsible ones along the way. If this is the kind of hope the Bible talks about putting in God, it is uncertain, unsure, and in it we can have little confidence. That is not, however, the kind of hope we have in God. Hope has become a word that is much more synonymous with desire than what it really means as we look at the Bible. In the Bible there is certainty and confidence in hope. When we put our hope in God, we are not simply desiring He will be with us, but we are relying on Him to be with us. Part of Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Our hope in God is like an anchor that will hold through all of […]