Featured Post

What the Lord Wants

Micah 6: 6-8 “6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, wi...

Friday, April 19, 2024

What the Lord Wants

Micah 6: 6-8

“6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God?Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

We struggle to please God.  What does the Lord want?  Should we give him a clean, well groomed church?  Should we increase our giving?  Should we build a multi-purpose building?  Should we put in new carpet?  Should we start a new program?  Should we develop a new web site?  

The Israelites struggled with these same questions.  And the prophet Micah said (to paraphrase him), what the Lord wants first and foremost is a change in your hearts.  He wants you to be transformed into a new creation.   He wants you to live motivated by love; to become a child of God and to walk with Him daily.

And once this happens, everything else will fall into place.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Be Still

Psalm 46: 1-3, 10a

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult….“10 Be still, and know that I am God!”

Early morning is my favorite time.  Especially if it is raining.  I can sit with my coffee, read, and listen to the quiet sound of God’s voice.

Even though the world may be in chaos, we are to find time that we can be still and listen to God, so that we will know Him.

God can be found in stillness; not necessarily the stillness in nature, but the stillness in us.  If we are not still, if our soul is in turmoil, we will not find stillness anywhere.  

Take time to be still.  Quiet your soul.  Listen for God’s voice.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Example of Christ

1 Peter 1: 13-16

“13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

As Christians, we are called to be disciples of Christ.  Being a disciple means that we follow the teachings and the example of Christ.  In fact, we are to model our lives after the life of Christ.   

In order to do this we have to constantly study the life, the teachings, the sayings, and the miracles and actions of Christ.  It is good to know the entire Bible, but our primary example in all of the Bible is Christ.  

As disciples, we are to imitate Christ in the way we live, speak and act. We are to take off our old ways, our old habits, our old temperaments, our old ways of thinking and put on the life of Christ.

To do this takes a lot of prayer, study, worship, discipline and desire.  But we will still fall short if we rely solely on our own efforts.  As you pray and study and worship, invite the Holy Spirit to help conform you to the example of Christ.  

Your invitation will be accepted.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Finding the Narrow Gate

Matthew 7: 13-14

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate, and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

As a child I was part of an Easter egg hunt where the Easter eggs were just placed upon the ground for all to see.  There was no effort or ingenuity involved to find an egg.  Soon, everyone had a basket full.

And then there was the egg hunt where I only found a half dozen eggs after an hour of searching.  Some of my friends didn’t find any.  I think I treasured those six eggs more than the basket full that I had collected the year before.

When something is easy to find, many do not treasure it.  When something is hard to find, many lack the fortitude to search.

When we come to faith, it may be the result of many years of searching and wandering.

And then, finally, we are found.  And we are glad to enter the narrow gate and walk the narrow road.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Glory of it All

Revelation 3: 14-17

“14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: 15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

We may be poor by the world’s standard, but in God’s eyes we may be wealthy.  We may be rich by the world’s standard, but in God’s eyes we may be poor, blind and naked.

God’s wisdom is not our wisdom, our understanding is not God’s.  The church in Laodicea probably thought that things were going pretty well for them.  They were holding things together, keeping things going.  But they were not passionate about what they were doing.  They did not have a sense of wonder and joy in what they were doing.  They did not have a sense of being a part of something holy and sacred and greater than themselves.

Each time you worship or read scripture or pray, or participate in a meeting, whether it is at home or in the church building,  my hope for you is that you are filled with the glory of it all.  

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Kingdom People

Colossians 3: 1-3, 12-15

“1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.”

As Christians,  we live physically in this world.  But, spiritually, we live in the Kingdom of God.  The values of this world often conflict with the values of the Kingdom of God.  The world often tells us to be angry but Paul says we are to offer the compassion and patience of Christ.   The world tells us to be proud and arrogant but Paul says we are to be humble as Christ was humble.  The world tells us to seek revenge but Paul says we are to forgive as we are forgiven by Christ.

Above all, citizens of the Kingdom of God are to offer love and peace in a world where hate and war abound.

We are called to be different; to be examples of the life and love of Christ to the world.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Calm Assurance

Psalm 69:1-3

“1 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold;

I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.

3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched.

My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”

My brother was once awakened in his home by water lapping at his bed.  The nearby river had overrun its banks and into his home.  He and his wife gathered their two small children and ran outside, leaving every material thing they owned behind.  In their arms they carried the only things in the world that mattered.

In the scripture above, David’s troubles made him feel as if he was drowning.  But at such a time, he remembered what was important; his faith; his God.  And no matter where he was, no matter what the circumstances, he carried his faith with him.

We may be weary, our eyes may have grown dim, and we may feel that the flood is sweeping over us.  But we can always rest in the calm assurance of God’s arms. 

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier