I am excited to preach at Park Drive Baptist Church in Levelland, Texas at 11:00 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2017. If you are nearby, join us! Gil Ramirez is the pastor of Park Drive.

Date: September 3, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Event: Worship at Park Drive Baptist Church
Venue: Park Drive Baptist Church
(806) 894-3699
Location: 107 County Rd.
Levelland, TX 79336
Public: Public

For Such A Time As This

When you find yourself in a position to make a difference, you have a choice to make.

In Esther 4, Mordecai encouraged Queen Esther, who was Jewish and his own cousin, to appeal to the Persian King Ahaseurus to spare the lives of the Jewish people. The Jews were threatened with extinction due to the hatred of one of the king’s officials, Haman. Only an edict from the king could stop the wicked plan from being executed.

Esther, however, was scared. If she entered the presence of the king without being invited—even though he was her own husband—she faced the possibility of being executed herself. Mordecai reminded her that because she was a Jew, she was also in danger of Haman’s wrath. And then he added these words of hope: “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Esther was convinced. She now believed that the unseen Lord was quietly orchestrating the events in her life so that she could make a difference. Esther chose to act, and the Jewish people were saved.

There are two questions that deserve reflection today. The first is this: Where has God placed you to make a difference? In other words, define your sphere of influence. Who can you persuade, convince, or nudge? Whose life can you impact with your words or actions?

Once you can answer the first question, the second becomes clear: What choice will you make? What will you say that can encourage faith, give hope, or express love? What can you do that will change someone’s life?

Perhaps you have been placed where you are “for such a time as this.”

Soil Given By The Lord

In Deuteronomy 26, the nation of Israel received instructions about what they should do after they entered the Promised Land. Once they arrived at the land which God gave each tribe and family, they were to plant their crops. When the harvest came, they were to go to the place where the Lord would establish his name and give an offering of the firstfruits of their harvest. They would accompany their offering with these words: Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord, have given me” (Deuteronomy 26:10).

In 2012, the Lord gave me new soil from which I was to bring him a harvest. The church was called Cotton Ridge. It began in 2010 when a group of hurting believers joined together to seek God’s healing and see what the Lord would do. Through a unique set of circumstances, this small congregation in a small west Texas town seemed destined to invest its resources not in property, buildings, and other temporary things, but in people. For over six years it supported orphans, ministered to widows, rebuilt homes for the needy, fed the hungry, prayed for the sick, witnessed to the lost, and baptized those who wished to follow Jesus. The church was able to accomplish all of this without ever owning a building, a kitchen, or even a baptistery because the people believed a very fundamental truth: people are the church.

The Rarity of Repentance

The tenth chapter of the biblical Book of Ezra begins this way:

“Ezra Reads the Law to the People” (Source:Doré’s English Bible by Gustave Doré)

While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, a descendant of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God, for we have married these pagan women of the land. But in spite of this there is hope for Israel. Let us now make a covenant with our God to divorce our pagan wives and to send them away with their children. We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law of God. Get up, for it is your duty to tell us how to proceed in setting things straight. We are behind you, so be strong and take action.”

The longing of every true and faithful servant of God’s people is to lead a repentant congregation that stands ready “to proceed in setting things straight.” Repentance, however, is rare in our day.

Repentance is dependent on at least three factors being present within us:

  • We must be willing to examine our lives according to God’s standards.
  • We must be willing to be humbled.
  • We must be willing to pay the cost of setting our past errors straight and living life God’s way from this point forward.

Are we willing to repent? If so, God will visit us and heal us.

I am excited to preach at Park Drive Baptist Church in Levelland, Texas at 11:00 a.m. on August 13, 2017. If you are nearby, join us! Gil Ramirez is the pastor of Park Drive.

Date: August 13, 2017
Time: 11:00 am
Event: Worship at Park Drive Baptist Church
Venue: Park Drive Baptist Church
(806) 894-3699
Location: 107 County Rd.
Levelland, TX 79336
Public: Public

Wisdom in Relationships (Proverbs 3:27-35) [Podcast]

Proverbs: Gear for Life - Week 3

The most difficult thing you will ever deal with is people.

Love. Revenge. Empathy. Bitterness. These are just a few of the complex spiritual dynamics that impact our lives every day.

In this third message from the series “Proverbs: Gear for Life,” Dr. David Rhoades brings to light some life principles the Book of Proverbs teaches about relationships.