August 27, 2018, 3:55 PM

Severing Sin

127 hours is a movie that recounts the experience of Aron Ralston. This young man was trapped alone under a boulder while climbing and only survived by cutting off his own arm using little beyond a multitool and a tourniquet. Make no mistake, he would not have survived otherwise and his story would have a far different outcome than a bestselling book and an award winning movie. Thus it is with us spiritually. Mark 9:43 states “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands.” Jesus was, of course, not telling us to cut off a hand, we can always sin with the other one, but He was making a point. The most powerful sin in our lives is often the most difficult to remove. It does not disappear in a day usually, but must be cut off and slowly severed like a limb crushed under a boulder that will kill us eventually if we do not remove it. Sin is powerful. We like it. It is hard to get rid of, but if we do not it will destroy us. As Ralston slowly and painfully removed his own arm, he was saving the rest of his body. This is the point that Christ makes. It may take time, and you and I may feel pain in the process but someday we will tell our story knowing that we live because sin has been cut away. Unlike Ralston we cannot save ourselves and remove our own sin, but thankfully we don’t have to. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” “If we confess our sin He is faithful to forgive us…” Trust in Christ, and you will know freedom from sin.

Pastor John Byerly

August 27, 2018, 3:54 PM

Pleasing God

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 makes a startling statement to many of us that believe but wish to please God on our own. Actions alone won’t do it. Right doctrine alone won’t do it. Even the greatest generosity and kindness alone will not please God or give us eternity with Him. Hebrews and other passages make it clear that in order to please God we must have one simple foundational cornerstone. We must have faith. Why is it so impossible to please God without it? Simply put, one of the best illustrations comes from my children. We sent our oldest and youngest to California on a plane. It was a right of passage for the oldest that he took his younger brother through security at Denver International, got him on the tram, to their gate and on the plane by himself. As we watched from above, they went through security. You could see the concern and focus on the face of our eldest as he navigated this obstacle. His brother however was a study in contrast, bouncing along without a care in the world and full of excitement. What made the difference? Faith. Our youngest trusted the older son to take care of him and to get them where they needed to go. Faith is trust, a firm belief that drives action. God wants us to trust Him as He guides us through the life. Can we blame God that we cannot please Him if we don’t trust Him? The trust of my youngest for his brother caused him to be secure, and to follow. Faith brings action. What is it that God is calling you to? How is He calling you to trust Him? Place your trust in Christ and act on it and you will not be sorry. He will get you on the plane. Adventure awaits.

Pastor John Byerly

June 18, 2018, 1:07 PM

A Father's heart

Thomas Paine, the famous writer and philosopher who drove so much of the thought surrounding the American Revolution once wrote “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” Interesting is it not, this cry of the father’s heart for others. If there are hard times, let me bear them so that my family may be spared. Have you ever seen a parent take this attitude in life? With Father’s Day just passed, I cannot help but think of the many parents over the ages that have hoped for better for their children. Of course, the best we can do is hope and try to set our kids up for success. We have no control over the future. But there is one heavenly Father who has taken our trouble, which we created ourselves by the way, upon Himself in order to make a different future for you and I if we will only accept it. Jesus explained that He had to suffer and die, bearing our trouble, because God “loved the world so much, that He gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” Take a moment to remember how much God loves you and what a Father He is. Take a moment to consider who you trust or “believe” in. He took your troubles, punishment for sin, upon Himself so that you and I might be spared. Consider this before you step out into the world today and think on this before you fight another battle on your own.

Pastor John Byerly

April 24, 2018, 11:38 AM

Its all about relationship

Three men approached the king, looking for various requests to be honored.  They desired lands, honor and deliverance from hostile neighbors. The first man approached the king angrily and with pride.  It was no secret that He opposed the king and his authority.  It was not a surprise to the crowd in the room that this man did not receive what he wanted.  As the king denied his demands, he stormed to the back.  His anger was obvious to all around him, and the second man approached with confidence, after all, he was not like that man.  This man came forward with flattery and a list of things done in the king’s name.  While many expected this man to receive what he asked, the king saw through his motives and, not knowing this man, denied his requests as well.  Finally, the third man prepared to step forward.  “What makes you think the king will give you anything,?”  the first man sneered.   As he quietly moved to the front of the room, that last man simply answered “the king is my father.”    You see relationship was all that mattered.  It is not your goodness, self-sacrifice or a prayer that gets you to heaven.  It is about relationship.  In speaking about Jesus John 1:12 states “but to all who received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”  Do you have a relationship with the king?  It is the only thing that truly matters.  In whom do you believe and trust?  We encourage you to explore a relationship with the King, Jesus Christ, today.  This is why we are in Douglas, and why Lighthouse Church is looking to serve you, our community.  Please feel free to check us out or call us anytime.  Pastor John Byerly

April 24, 2018, 11:37 AM

When things aren't as you expected


As a newly minted senator, the future President, Harry Truman was given some advice and counsel before heading to Washington.  A friend told him that he would spend the first few months sitting in congress looking around wondering how he ever got there.   He then went on to tell Harry that he would spend the last few years sitting there looking around and wondering how all these people ever got there!   It is a common human experience to see our dreams seemingly turn sour as things turn out differently than we planned.  Whether “great” or “small” we see the same pattern.  The difference is often that the “great” person can overcome uncertainty.  As Alvin Reid has said we would “rather be unhappy than uncertain.”  The issue is that the great person leaps into the unknown and carves victory out of the uncertain future.  When things don’t turn out as we planned and we look around wondering how this ever happened, we tend to freeze up at the thought of change.  But this is what Jesus said about it, “blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29 NET) He calls us to trust Him even though we have not seen Him and to place our lives in His control even though the future is uncertain.  Don’t try to control a life that you can’t settling for unhapiness.  Instead trust in Him even though trust requires us to overcome uncertainty.  Eternity becons for it is not by earning salvation that we live in uncertain times, it is as Paul said, “the righteous by faith will live.” (Rom. 1:17b) Pastor John Byerly