Living in Kindness by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church There are a lot of places where we can—and do—spend our time: at home, at the grocery store, at work, at the gym, where we volunteer, at a restaurant… the list could go on. All of these places and many more have in common the fact that there are people there. I realize that this seems a bit elementary, but the truth is sometimes I and others seem to act like there is nobody else around. We can become so consumed with only the thoughts of what we have happening in our lives that we miss the opportunity of kind interaction with others. We find in the second part of a verse in the Bible, Colossians 3:12 specifically, the following phrase: “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This standard is given specifically to Christians in this text. A belief in Jesus as Lord ought to change us from being absorbed in only the things of our own lives to being committed to interacting in a positive way with others. If the opportunity arises, do we wait a few more seconds to hold the door open for somebody else or do we continue on our way because we don’t have a few seconds to spare? Do we smile at other customers and employees at the store or do we rush through with our head down to be sure to complete our shopping list? Do we speak kindly to the people with whom we come in contact or do we speak rudely or even ignore them? We have an opportunity regularly to treat others with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I am going to choose to live that way not only with people I know but also with those I don’t yet know. So when you see someone you don’t know holding the door for you and greeting you with a smile, it may be me. It is my hope that I will also see you doing the same.
Pastor Michael Cisler
Another resolution by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church As the days of the New Year begin to pass, so do many promises or resolutions made with appropriate intentions. Gym memberships or home workout equipment purchased start to be neglected because of the reality of tired mornings and busy schedules. The plan to put off some vice that we have held for months or years begins to fade as the stress of life takes its toll both physically and emotionally. The good news is this does not have to be the case. Many times we attempt to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions or goals by our own power and completely by ourselves. However, we do not have to do this. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” The “him” in this verse is Jesus Christ. As we rely on Jesus, we are able to accomplish great things that we would not be able to do on our own. In being a believer and follower of Jesus, we are able to rely on him for strength in our lives to not only make it through difficult times but also be able to make purposeful, beneficial changes in our lives. When we make the choice to follow him, we also receive the spirit of God which gives us self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This self-control is a great blessing as we attempt to make changes in our lives through New Year’s resolutions. It would seem then that along with our other resolutions and goals for the coming year, making Jesus a priority in our lives would be a great benefit as well. He can bring great strength and self-control as we rely on him. Now would be a good time to resolve to trust in him with all your heart.
Proverbs by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church You may have heard of the proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine,” or “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” A proverb is usually a short picture story that conveys truth, either based on common sense or past experience. “A stitch in time saves nine” uses the picture of mending a rip or tear now so you don’t have to mend a much worse rip or tear later. Or, without the picture, take care of matters now so they do not get worse. One of the books of the Bible is called Proverbs. It is full of the wisdom of God for our lives. Proverbs 11:1 says, “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are His delight.” The picture is someone being deceptive in the marketplace with scales that are not accurate. If I were a merchant and wanted to increase my sales, I could weight the scales so I could sell less product for more money without the buyer knowing it. This is cheating and dishonest. This proverb teaches us that God wants us to be honest in how we deal with others. Proverbs 17:1 says, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” In this proverb a contrast is seen between the dry crust (having little) and feasting (having much) as well as between peace and strife within the home. According to this proverb, it is better to have a peaceful home without much stuff than to have strife within a house full of wealth. In other words, our family relationships are more important than how much stuff we have. The book of Proverbs has many more truths that relate to family, business, relationships, and other parts of life. It gives us sound advice for how we can excel in these areas and more. There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. There are 31 days in the month of October. I would encourage you to read one chapter of Proverbs each day of this month and consider how you can apply at least one truth into your life each day.
Freedom by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church As we approach our nation’s Independence Day, it causes me to pause and give thanks for the freedom that is available to us. I am thankful for the many who have served and sacrificed in the past to allow that freedom. I am thankful for those who serve and sacrifice today to continue that freedom and to attempt to provide it for others. I am thankful to those who have led within our governmental offices in all levels to first lay the groundwork of this freedom and then to uphold it. I am thankful that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. I am thankful also for the freedom available to us in Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Creator. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” In Jesus we have freedom from the result of sin, which is death, through the promise of the resurrection. We also have freedom from the bondage of sin, the yoke of slavery mentioned in Galatians 5:1. Sin in our lives can become a bondage that we feel we can’t get away from. We can struggle and struggle against it, but feel like we are not breaking free from it. The reason for this is that by ourselves we can’t save ourselves from sin; we need to turn to Jesus to break free from that which holds us. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we find these words, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” We see here the truth that sin easily entangles us and the importance of turning our focus to Jesus. As we celebrate our nation’s independence this week, I hope for you both the thankfulness for the freedom we have in this country and joy and freedom that is available in Jesus.