Each week our pastor, Dr. Jeff Redlin, writes a brief article for our church. They are intended to encourage our faith, strengthen our walk, and point us toward Christ.  We hope you’ll enjoy these devotional thoughts.
 

ANNIVERSARIES MATTER

APRIL 15, 2018

Anniversary celebrations mean something to us…they matter. We put them on our calendars in order to remember them. We mark down those things that hold some special significance in our lives – both bitter and sweet. We remember July 4th, 1776 with a sense of national pride, and we celebrate with firework, ice cream, and the singing of our national anthem. In a much different way, we remember September 11th, 2001, and the tragedy and re-building that has occurred. Again, these events matter.
Needless to say, remembering is important to God. He said:

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee (Deuteronomy 32:7).

Why is “remembering” so important? “Remembering” our past helps protect our future. When a nation forgets where it has been, it is listless in regards to where it is going. Likewise, when a church ignores its history, its future is in jeopardy. Again, God reminded His people…

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee … (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Today, we celebrate something that truly matters. We offer a celebratory “Happy Anniversary” to Front Range Baptist Church in recognition of her 40 years of existence. FRBC has been established by God, grounded in His Word, empowered by His Spirit, attended by His children, sustained by His mercy, strengthened by His grace, and is advancing by faith! Because of all this and much more, anniversaries matter!

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

APRIL 1, 2018

British minister W.E. Sangster contracted an incurable disease that slowly caused his muscles to waste away, his voice to fail, and the inability to swallow. He continued in ministry right up until the point where his voice had gone and he could barely hold a pen. On Easter morning, just a few weeks before he died, he wrote a letter to his daughter that included these words:

“It is terrible to wake up Easter morning and have no voice with which to shout ‘He is risen!’ – but it would be still more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.”

Today, as followers of Jesus Christ, we can boldly proclaim to one another, just as the first century Christians, “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Easter is a celebration of the most significant event that has ever occurred in the history of mankind – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ’s resurrection made it possible for you and me to have unrestricted access into the very presence God – which was formerly forbidden. Not just as approved guests, but as adopted children. For all who have “entered in” to fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, we have a message that cannot be contained. What a privilege it is to shout “He is risen!” 


The Psalmist said, Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD (Psalms 150:6). As long as you have breath, let your voice be heard with shouts of “He is risen! Yes, He is risen, indeed!”

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


SEEING THE BLESSER IN THE BLESSINGS

MARCH 25, 2018

C.S. Lewis once wrote the following:

“There is a stage in a child’s life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition, which began ‘Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen’. This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festive aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer be sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an independent, and therefore a soon withering, life.”

How good God is to allow us the privilege of connecting celebrations with Him and with His blessings. No, blessings are never to overtake the Blesser. When they are properly situated, we can actually see the One Who provides the blessing through the blessing itself. The hymn writer got it right when he said, “Praise God, from Whom All blessings flow.” May we always see the Blesser in the blessings.

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN

MARCH 18, 2018

Like fingernails grating against a chalkboard, the words “Change you can believe in” send a chill darting down the spine of many. Change implies something has become different, but not necessarily better. Most politicians base their campaign strategy on the need for change. They highlight the failures of their opponent and boldly proclaim, “A vote for me is a vote for change!” Yet history reminds us of what the Bible teaches, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (2 Peter 3:4). 

If any real change for the better is to occur, it must come from a source more powerful than that which is in need of change. When we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, it is a strong statement of change. The key ingredient to facilitate change is found in the words in Christ. All lasting, genuine, substantive change for the better is found in Christ. The words “self-help” are possibly the most deceiving of all words. Some like to say, “The power to change is within us all.” However, I submit that the power to change is only found in Christ. We will naturally continue to follow a course that is consistent with all of mankind – downward. Do you desire to be better tomorrow than you are today? There is only one source that can provide for it. As we gaze into the holy perfection of Jesus Christ, He becomes our true source of “change you can believe in.”

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


WHEN IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE

MARCH 11, 2018

As I write, I am in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ve been preaching for the past several days to missionaries from all over Southeast Asia and our time together has been wonderful. In fact, there have been absolutely no disappointments…well, no disappointments except one. There is a small lake visible from my room. As I have looked out the window, I have seen what I thought was an alligator swimming just under the surface of the water. However, upon asking some of the locals if there were crocodiles in the lake, I found out these large animals are actually Asian water monitors – a very large lizard that resembles a crocodile. So, today, I decided to try to get one on camera. I walked along the lake, for quite some time, and finally saw one crawl up on shore. I immediately took out my phone and began to video. I was very excited and knew I had some great footage. I had filmed the large reptile as it crawled around and then returned to the lake and swam off. I stopped the video, or thought I stopped my video, only to learn I never started it in the first place! I was very disappointed! After all my watching, walking, and finally coming across a creature to film, there was nothing to show.

I wonder how many will give themselves to something in this life, assuming they will actually have something to show for it. However, when it’s all said and done, they discover there is nothing there. They have given themselves to wood, hay, and stubble, rather than something that will actually last, like gold, silver, and precious stones. As long as God has given us life to live, may we give it to something that matters, and instead of nothing, have something to show for it when it truly is all said and done.

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


PRAY FOR US

MARCH 4, 2018

As far as gifted communicators are concerned, Paul was certainly among them. He was a brilliant, logical, powerful, and persuasive communicator. He read his audience and his surroundings masterfully. His grasp of the Old Testament, and how it connected to the New Covenant was brilliant. And of course, his writings, clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit, remain among the most influential ever penned. Needless to say, as a communicator, Paul ranks among the most effective of all time.

Yet, despite his abilities as a communicator, notice the plea Paul makes to the church at Thessalonica:

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:                        2 Thessalonians 3:1

Paul recognized the absolute essential ingredient for effectually communicating the Word of God. The prayers of God’s people were not simply a nice addition, they were an absolute essential priority in the work of the ministry. Did you notice Paul uses the word “Finally” in connection to his urgency. It is as if he is saying, “If I can only ask for one thing, then I am asking you to pray.” He knew the enemy was always working to hinder the preaching of the Word. He is pleading with the church to pray that the Word would have unhindered access to the hearts and minds of the listener, and God would be glorified. Preachers today may not have the communicative abilities of the Apostle Paul, but we do have the same God, the same Word, and the same plea…brethren, pray for us.

 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


PURE DELIGHT

FEBRUARY 25, 2018

The two simple words, pure delight, are loaded with meaning. They can be used in many different settings or contexts. For example, a grandparent can attend the first grade violin concert of their granddaughter, and come away saying, “That was pure delight!” And, they can truly mean it! Others at the concert may not have concluded the same thing, but to the grandparent – pure delight. Another person can take a bite of warm, rhubarb custard pie, savoring its’ wonderful flavor, and exclaim, “Now, that is pure delight!” And, know everyone else should come to the same conclusion!

The point is, while one person may “delight” in an event, object, food, person, etc., there may be some discrepancy in preference. However, there is one universal “pure delight.” It has never left anyone wanting, it has satisfied all who have experienced it, and it never leaves them with that which is unsatisfactory. What is this universal delight one may ask? It is pure delight, delight that can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ. Some attempt to find their delight in sports, career success, academics, experimentation, gadgets, or even through denial. But, pure delight comes from only one source, the true and living God. In Isaiah 58:2, we read…they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways. Notice how God honors those that delight in Him.

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58:14)

Yes, God created us for delight, but only in Him can we find pure delight.
 
– Dr. Jeff Redlin


THINK ON THESE THINGS

February 18, 2018

We watch them wait at the starting gate before flying down a steep, snowy mountain, or see them pause before the gun sounds, indicating the race has begun…from almost every Olympic athlete we can observe a similar routine before the start of an event. In their mind, they rehearse what they are about to do. Some move their bodies to the twists and turns of the hill; others speak to themselves, offering a final word of encouragement or instruction. Yet, they all seem to mentally engage before they physically compete.

Of course, there are some whose minds get the better of them. A routine or race they have masterfully completed a 1,000 times before now becomes halting and hollow, even faltering. Why? The mind.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind… (1 Peter 1:13)

He was reminding us that we must keep ourselves mentally uncluttered from anything that may keep us from the race that is before us. The world’s top athletes understand the inseparable relationship between their thinking and their doing. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to …let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5). To think incorrectly in the Olympics can be disappointing. To think incorrectly in the Christian life can be devastating. To live correctly we must first think correctly, immersing our minds in the unfaltering truths of God’s Word. The race of the Christian life is certainly no less important than that of any Olympian. May we all …think on these things (Phil. 4:8).
 
 ~ Dr. Jeff Redlin


I’M NOT GOING WITHOUT YOU

February 11, 2018

Have you ever said the words, “I’m not going without you”? They are usually uttered by someone seeking the reassurance they will not be “going alone.” It’s not that we don’t want to go; we just don’t want to go alone.

We long for presence. We want to know the path we are about to travel will be shared with someone we trust, maybe even someone who has navigated the path before. And how often has the sad story been told of one who attempted to “go it alone” only to regret the decision not long thereafter.

Moses knew what he didn’t know. He knew that there was a journey before him that couldn’t be done alone. Yes, he could have the training, the supplies, and even a well-marked map before him, but that simply wasn’t enough. So, Moses plainly stated:

And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. (Exodus 33:15)

And, God listened. In Exodus 33:16 God said, “I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken…”

How important it is for us to recognize our need of God and to enjoy the reassurance of His presence. Each day, there will be uncharted territory you’ve never traversed before. May we humbly say to God, wherever the path may lead, “I’m not going without You.”

 ~ Dr. Jeff Redlin



AN INCH DEEP AND A MILE WIDE

February 4, 2018

We often use the expression, “An inch deep, and a mile wide” to define something (or someone) that appears colossal, but actually has very little depth. At times, this expression may have fit the church, the very bride of Christ. For example, the church is often involved in many varied activities. Exercise programs, mom’s day out, kid’s sports programs, community service, political awareness, youth activities and so on fill the calendars and, admittedly, touch the lives of numbers of people. From a casual observer, it appears that the impact of the church is far and wide.

However, upon closer evaluation, we might find there can be, at times, little depth, although much activity. Busyness can be nothing more than a mask behind which believers hide. Was Jesus busy? We may safely conclude He was. But, His busyness was focused, purposeful, fruitful, and connected to the advancement of the Kingdom.

His reach into the lives of 12 men may have seemed limited, even shortsighted, but those men eventually “turned the world upside down.” No, there were no massive invitations, few headlines, and even fewer who “forsook all” to follow Him. But His work was anything but “an inch deep and a mile wide.” Let’s pour our lives into that which truly matters. We may even find we are far more focused, and much more fruitful.

~ Dr. Jeff Redlin