Food For Thought

Food for Thought – Bible Study from Job chapter 22

In the 22nd chapter of Job, Eliphaz verbally attacks poor old Job.  Job has been misunderstood by his friends and saddened by their harsh treatment.  He had spoken of the prosperity of wicked men as a mystery, but they took it for a reflection upon their character, and angrily chew him out. Eliphaz charges Job with complaining about God as if he thought God had done him wrong.  He also suggests God was punishing Job for those sins.  However, he does give Job some very good, assuring him that, (verses 22-23) “If he submit to God, he would be forgiven and restored.”

Job 22:1-4 Eliphaz actually, if not accidentally, proves the point that Job was trying to make; When God does good to us, it is not because he is indebted to us, and when God rebukes us it is not because he is in danger from us or jealous of us. God does not punish people and pervert justice by rebuking us, instead God rebukes people because He loves them. As the Word of God tells us . . .

Revelation 3:19 (NIV) “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

God bless you all,
Pastor Tom 

Food For Thought . . . from Acts chapter 4 . . . .
Because of “an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame,” Peter and John were taken before the Sanhedrin, arrested, and thrown in jail. The captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees were greatly disturbed because Peter and John were teaching the people about resurrection of the dead. The next day the rulers of the Sanhedrin, the elders and the high priest and members of his family intently questioned Peter and John, demanding to know, “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! …. Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Believing that that these were merely unschooled, ordinary men, the rulers of the Sanhedrin were shocked and astonished by the courageous response these men gave. They took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus, but since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

Reflecting upon the celebration and wonder of Pentecost Sunday (May 31st) and considering the incredible infilling and enablement of God’s Holy Spirit available to all who would ask in the name of Jesus, do you think you would be able to take such a powerful stand for the Truth in Christ Jesus? Maybe even in the face of powerful political forces, erroneous and unbiblical religious influences, or even in the face of incredible influences from social peer pressure, would you be able to take a strong stand for the truth in the name of, and for the sake of, Christ Jesus our Lord?

Well, Peter and John did, and they were considered to be uneducated, “ordinary” men. So, what made the difference? What gave them such courage? It is no mystery. Their courage came from the infilling and presence of God’s Holy Spirit with them, and in them. Consider today, if you would, the things God would bless you with and fill you with, if only you would ask.  Matthew 7:7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

“Food For Thought” . . . . “The Beauty of the Soul”

You see it in all the popular entertainment magazines. You see it in the movies, in so many television advertisements and in most every shopping mall kiosk and department store window, the encouragement to be as attractive, good looking and beautiful as the “world” thinks you should be. The world offers glitter and trinkets, hair removal, hair replacement, surgeries, clothing, and cosmetics all designed to encourage the desire to be attractive. This does go for both women and men alike. So, let me share with you the words of Matthew Henry who said: “Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any certain indication of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who has made his choice of a wife by it. Beauty is a fading thing at the best, and therefore vain and deceitful. A fit of sickness will stain and sully it in a little time; a thousand accidents may blast this flower in its prime; old age will certainly wither it, and death and the grave consume it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul; it is, in his sight, of great price; it will last forever, and bid defiance to death itself, which consumes the beauty of the body, but consummates the beauty of the soul.”

You may not know who Matthew Henry was, yet his words describe the truth and realities of life. So, “food for thought,” for both men and women alike . . . If you are searching for that “right someone,” consider these words you read today, and though beauty is a good thing, seek first and above all “a good heart.” God’s Word from Proverbs applies just as well to men, as it does to the ladies, as we read from:

Proverbs 31:30 NIV   “Charm  is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Real happiness is found in a “good heart, and the beauty of the soul.”

God bless you, Pastor Tom


So many times throughout Scripture we read of instances where God has clearly declared a reciprocal form of promise. The reciprocal nature of that promise is found in the form of, “If you will, I will.” In other words, “If you will follow this course of action, I will certainly make the appropriate response.” As I said, “If you will, I will.” That’s pretty basic and most people would say, “Quite fair.” But it goes far beyond just being fair. This principle of “If you will, I will,” is not only fair, it is the natural outcome of God being true to his holy nature. God is holy. And because He is holy, He cannot and will not break His promise to you. The book of Second Chronicles gives us an example of that basic, “If you will, I will,” principle and promise.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Now, let’s apply that same “If you will, I will,” principle to the concept of being ashamed of someone, or not ashamed of someone. In this case we will be considering the idea of being “ashamed” of God . . . meaning: To deny, reject or refuse faith in God for whatever reason whether it be fear, peer pressure, just plain sin or some selfish desire to please one’s self. Let’s look at several Bible verses and see if you can see how that principle works in our relationship with God.

1 Peter 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Hebrews 2:11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

Hebrews 11:15-17 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

DO YOU SEE IT? Using that basic “If you will … I will” principle, we see that God is simply saying: “If you are not ashamed of Me, I will certainly not be ashamed of you.”

Have a wonderful, blessed week.
Pastor Tom

The following was for Wednesday Night Bible Study in preparation for Easter Sunday Morning Service.

A brief and "approximate of the events just prior to the Crucifixion of Jesus."

On Thursday evening Jesus was arrested:

John 18:12-13 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

The approximate time: Thursday night into Friday morning 9:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. – Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by soldiers. He is taken first to Annas, former High Priest, and then to Caiaphas, current High Priest. That night and early Friday morning Jesus was falsely accused, mocked, ridiculed and despised:

Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

Luke 23:10-11 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.

John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Later Friday morning, approximate time: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Jesus is scourged and made to carry His own cross to the place called Golgotha (called “the place of the skull).

Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.

The approximate time: Friday 9 a.m. - 12:00 noon – Jesus is nailed to the cross and hangs there for three hours

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

* All this, and so much more, our Lord Jesus did for you and I. All this, that you and I may have forgiveness of sin, salvation and life eternal. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus.

All God's blessings,
Pastor Tom


The world is full of mysteries. There are many things utterly unknown, obscure, or simply misunderstood, that until the Word of God reveals them to us, they will remain a mystery. The light of God’s Word, however, reveals what is hidden by shining the light of truth and understanding upon that which was formerly unknown or mis-understood. For example, the apostle Paul tells us something about the “last” day.  Before this revelation, we simply did not know. It was a mystery, and “exactly” how God accomplishes this may always remain a mystery.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (NIV) Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Formerly, this was something we humans just didn’t know. That was then, but for us Paul clarifies that believers who are yet alive at the time of our Lord’s second coming will not die. However, we will be changed. We will take on immortality and be “clothed with the imperishable.” In the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet, those who have passed on before us shall be raised from the dead and then, we who are still living at that time shall be caught up together with them.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever.

So yes death, “Where is your sting? Where is your victory?”  Sorrowful, “but thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Be encouraged my friend, and God bless,
Pastor Tom


Good Word from God’s Word for Mother’s on Mother’s Day, and for their children of all ages. May God touch and bless your heart at your point of greatest need, whatever that may be. And Mom’s, may our blessed Lord inspire you with wisdom, grace, and patience to be the Mom’s God has called you to be. May He also grace your children to be the loving, respectful and precious loved one’s that God has desired for you. Mother’s around the world give their all, give their lives for their children on a daily basis. May God bless you for that, and may He send you the encouraging Word and the blessing of His Holy Spirit to enable you to carry on, and carry through, with this challenging blessing called “Motherhood.”

To Moms:
Deuteronomy 4:9 “. . . . be careful,and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teachthem to your children and to their children after them.”

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

And to their children, regardless of age:
Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

God bless you ladies, wherever you may be. We love you and thank God for you. 

from Pastor Tom and the Hugo Church of the Nazarene 


Romans 12:3 NIV  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

We have all come across people who “think more highly of themselves that they ought.” I am sure you know exactly what it means, not to put too high a valuation upon our own judgments and abilities. Therefore, I don’t feel you need any biblical commentary to understand what that means. But that 3rd verse in Romans 12 goes on to placing that opinion of oneself within the perspective of “with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Now, you might ask, “What does that mean?”

As we see in Romans 12:3, Paul uses both the words “grace” and “faith” in that same verse. And for very realistic purposes we can equate the two as meaning much the same thing (grace and faith being virtually synonymous). Jesus Christ, of course has grace and faith without measure, but believers have it by measure, as we see in Ephesians 4:7 (NIV) “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Matthew Henry once said, “Christ, who had gifts without measure, was meek and lowly; and shall we, that are stinted, be proud and self-conceited?” The answer would of course be, “Certainly not.” But, though we are somewhat limited in our abilities to make absolutely infallible judgments, still, though our measure may be small, God has also asked us to use what grace and faith we do have.

Jesus was talking to some of his disciples on the subject of them having little faith. And in a very literal way, told them if they would only use the amount of faith they had, they could do phenomenal things. Jesus told them, and us, from: Matthew 17:20  “ . . . . Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The Food For Thought today is: “No, don’t think more highly of yourself and your abilities than you ought.” But, concerning grace and faith, “What all could you accomplish, if only you would at least exercise the faith you do have?” Your faith may seem mustard-seed small, but if you would only use it, as God intended you to use it, “Nothing will be impossible for you.”

God bless you today,
Pastor Tom

Food For Thought . . . .

The following statements were gleaned from a report made some twenty years ago. However, the stats are probably much the same percentage-wise yet today. Please read, then consider just how blessed you are:

 “If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of this world.”

“If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.”

“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more blessed than the millions who will not even survive this week.”

“If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are ahead of 700 million people in the world.”

“If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.”

“If your parents are still alive and still married ... you are very rare.”

“If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.”

If these statements have made any sense to you at all, maybe it will help you to count your blessings and then to pass this thankful attitude along to others, reminding them of how blessed we really are?