July 16, 2019 Pastor’s Pondering

Run the Race
Millions of people are into Nascar. That is the sport where grown men and women drive cars that look like a ‘Hot Wheel’ toy around in circles. I have to admit I used to watch this on Sunday afternoons occasionally. They travel around the track up to possibly 800 times in just a few hours as they travel 400 to 500 miles with the goal of ending up as the one who finishes first.
These men and women are great athletes who are in tip top condition in order to have the stamina to finish the grueling trip. Each driver is being directed by a spotter up high in the stands telling them what is happening. They are running at speeds well over 100 miles an hour trying to avoid crashing themselves or into others.
The fans go for different reasons but one is always the possibility of a massive crash, and, hoping no one is hurt, but a spectacular crash none the less. When a crash occurs the car is moved to the “pit” a location where they can be fixed if possible and sent back out to finish the race. Occasionally they are not repairable and do not finish the race.
This got me pondering the Christian life. The apostle Paul said in: (2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.) Think about your life today. What race are you truly running? Are you running a race for your faith or just running? So often we can get caught in this life running a 100 miles an hour in circles thinking we are running the race being diligent for the faith but in reality we are just running in the world with a little Jesus sprinkled here and there.
That is not the race Paul is speaking of, he is saying we are to be focused on the race that is focused on God. This is hard to do in the world in which we live. We get pulled in so many different ways that take us away from church attendance, Bible reading and prayer. Oh we have stuff that needs to be done on the farm, the kids have this event, its summer, it’s the only time with family. It’s not bad to do these things but when they interfere with your church attendance and Bible study on a steady basis they become bad.
God’s desire is for us to worship with other saints, daily Bible study, prayer and when neglected we become sprinkling our faith instead of being submerged in it. Just as a Nascar driver has to be sold out to finish strong so do we as believers in this race of life for the Faith. Think of Sunday worship as your pit crew, and you need encouragement from them to get through the week and finish strong.
Let me encourage each believer to run the race of Faith with all you have for the day you finish and God says well done thou good and faithful servant.

June 29, 2019 Pastor’s Pondering

Recently we moved back to Missouri, and I was taking some alone time sitting in my pickup right at dark. I was on the edge of a field on my father’s farm, and realized I hadn’t seen those little critters in a few years.
Those little critters were lightning bugs (or fireflies – depending on what part of the nation you live). Such a unique creature, a normal looking bug for the most part but at night when they fly their bottom lights up like a glow stick. There were thousands of them lighting the newly darkened night. They blink on and off as they fly.
I don’t know how or why they just do but that is not the point. The point is they stand out. Inconspicuous most of the time especially during the day since it is already light outside but when darkness comes they are illuminating the night sky.
This got me pondering the Christian and our life. So many times in my day I find myself like the little bug that is inconspicuous during the day. No one would even know I am a Child of the Most High God. Not that I am a bad person but that my focus is not on lighting up the world with Jesus. The lightning bug takes on a different life when night comes, just as a new believer takes on a new meaning when they place their faith in Jesus Christ as the: virgin born, sinless life, crucified on the cross for our sin, rose again from the dead to conquer life, savior.
The Apostle Paul says in (2nd Corinthians 5:15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.) Each believer needs to be living for Christ in a way that the darkness of this world sees your light. Jesus himself said in (Matthew 5:15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.)
We live in a sinful world (dark) that is truly in need of the light of Jesus. Believer, be encouraged today that you are to shine in this dark world for Jesus. We should live so brightly that even our legacy shines on after we are gone. The lighting bug that hits the windshield of the car still shines on after its death and so should we.
Believer, let’s light up this dark world with Jesus. Be that little light of hope that lights up the dark around you with the hope of Jesus. I recently read this quote “If God can make a bugs bottom light up imagine what he can do with you?” Author unknown.
Today make a commitment to be a light for Jesus you may be the only light of hope someone sees today

June 19, 2019 Pastor’s Pondering

Recently I was at the hospital and noticed a calendar with X on the dates that had passed. Someone was counting down the days for something, vacation, prominent event, holiday, birthday…something, possibly the end of the year. Counting down the days.
How often have you counted down the days to an upcoming event in your life. Putting the X on the calendar for each and every day that has passed. This put me to pondering the aspect of the X. The X in our lives for our life.
God knows the very day each of us will have our last X marked. There is an X so to speak on God’s calendar for our final day on this earth. Does God have an angel marking off each of those days for Him so as to keep note when your day is up? No!! But God, the all knowing God, knows when you will take your last X.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, what am I doing before the X for GOD? According to Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, the believer is going to stand and give an account for their good works vs. bad works. Many Christians miss this part of scripture. We are going to be judged for our works as a believer not for our works to be a Christian because that is not possible according to Ephesians 2:8. It says in 1 Corinthians, that we ourselves will go through the works judgment fire but we will be saved. Our bad works will be burned up. Paul illustrates our works in this passage as: good works are gold, silver and precious stones but bad works are hay, wood and stubble.
What have you done with your X today for the kingdom of God? Has it been a smidgen of gold, and maybe one precious stone for your good works and a dump truck load of hay, wood and stubble for the kingdom? God didn’t call you to His kingdom for us to be unproductive. He expects us to work and the work to be good work. Not as the world sees as good but as God’s sees good. Our works are to be for the kingdom.
Matthew 28:19-20 tells to go forth… it is not an option, it is a command. It is a command to make something of your X on the calendar. If you were to stand before God today, and that is totally possible, what would you have done with your X today. Not yesterday or any day before but today? Would you see your works burn up because they were worthless or see them shining for God’s Glory?
Take time today and make sure your X is full of God’s description of good works, gold, silver and precious stones.

Our Weekly Services

Our Weekly Services
(click the * at the beginning of each line for more information about that service)
Sunday Services
*Sunday School – 10:00am
*Morning Worship – 11:00am
*Evening Worship – 6:00pm
Wednesday Services
*AWANA – 6:30pm
*Youth – 6:30pm
*Adult Bible Study – 6:45pm

A Note From the Pastor

We thank you for dropping by our webpage.  We invite you to take a closer look at us by participating in one of our worship services. 

Ozark Baptist Church seeks to be a friendly, family-like church with open arms and hearts.  We believe God is doing something extraordinary through our church and would like for you to be a part of His work. Please prayerfully consider our church as a family you would like to worship and fellowship with as we continue to grow. 

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