Featured Post

The Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1-2 “12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,  by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, hol...

Monday, June 5, 2023

The Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1-2

“12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,  by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

How do we present our bodies as a living sacrifice?  We do this by living a life that is acceptable to God.  Paul’s appeal to us is for us to live a life that is transformed; to live a life that is different from someone who is not a Christian; to live a life that is characterized by the greater gifts of love, faith, hope, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  

Living such a life requires that we are not conformed to the world.   We will be different from the world in which we live.  We will live lives that are set apart.  Where there is hate, we will sow love.  Where there is violence and chaos, we will sow peace and order.  Where there is vengeance, we will sow forgiveness and mercy.

Finally, living such a life requires that we open ourselves daily to the power of the Holy Spirit and allow the process of transformation to renew our minds so that we will know the will of God.

This is the living sacrifice.  This is Christianity.

May the love of Christ be with you

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

The Eternal Life

 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

As time goes by the person that we see in the mirror changes.  The image of the  person that we saw at age 20 does not resemble the person we now see at age 65, or 70, or 80.  Our body grows weaker.  Stairs become a challenge.  

But our inner nature, as Paul writes, grows stronger.  Each day is a new day in faith.  Each day we meet Christ.  Each day the spiritual image we see in the mirror is better than the day before.  Spiritual obstacles are less of a challenge now than ever before.

As we mature as Christians, as the Holy Spirit works in our lives, we grow stronger and stronger in our faith.  The physical image we see in the mirror is but a shadow of our spiritual, inner nature.

Practice the spiritual disciplines.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life.  And don’t worry too much about the image in the mirror.

May the love of Christ be with you

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

Sunday, June 4, 2023

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 (Retired)

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 (Retired)

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Kingdom People

 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.

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. 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Move Forward to God

Philippians 3: 12-14

“12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Christianity is not easy.  We struggle to live up to the example of Christ.  Each time we step off the path of righteousness, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, and we have a sense of not being worthy.  

In this scripture, Paul tells us to move forward, resting in the assurance that Christ has made us his own.  We are loved even when we sin.  We are children of God, even if we are not perfect.  This is the reason Christ came.  This is the reason for his sacrifice on the cross.  

 Move forward to the arms of God.