The Pastor's Pocket

by Pastor Bruce Freeman

Practical, personal, powerful truths from God's Word with fresh and relevant content for today's generation, The Pastors' Pocket is a series of devotions written by Pastor Bruce Freeman with the intent of enriching your walk with the Lord during your quiet time.  

The Pastor's Pocket

Construction to Completion


On our way to and from church for the past six months, we drive through a construction zone where they are building a new road. It’s a major project and at this point you can’t tell how and where it will one day reach completion. There are a lot of earth-moving bulldozers, dump trucks, and a lot of other machinery moving all over the place. At this point, only the architects and engineers really know how it will eventually come together to become a major highway.

It’s like that with our lives. Sometimes we go through trials, pass through the fires of hardship, and we wonder how it all fits together in God’s ultimate plan for us. The Apostle John wrote in I John 3:2, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be…” In other words, right now, only the Divine Architect knows how it all fits together, but this much we do know; He does have a purpose and plan. John goes on to say in that same verse, “…when He shall appear, we shall be like Him”. One day, we will come to the completion phase of His plan, and we will look back and realize that all along, God had it all under His control.

Whatever you may be facing today, whatever you may be going through, rest in knowing you are still in the construction phase. Completion is just around the corner. Perhaps sooner than you think, the Lord will return! When He does, you will be like Him forevermore. Don’t sweat over the uncertainty of construction. You don’t need to figure it all out now, just trust the Almighty Architect who will complete what He started (Philippians 1:6)

The Pastor's Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

People's Savior


Jesus is “the people’s Savior”

Remember the angel that announced the birth of Christ and the message of “good tidings of great joy”? That angel also said, “which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10). God sent His Son into the world to benefit the entire human race–all races, all creeds, tribes and tongues–including people just like you and me.

Jesus came to all people, not to condemn, but to save people from all continents, from every direction, from all backgrounds, and from all ages. To reach all people, He had to become one of the people, yet without sin. This is the essence of the redemption story. Jesus truly is the people’s Savior.

Jesus died for all people (I John 2:2). The cross reaches out to all! The empty tomb offers hope, salvation, restoration and eternal life for all people. Provision has been made for all, but of course all do not come to Him! Why not? Unbelief; many simply will not believe. They will not receive the gift that Jesus offers.

However, the scripture declares, “but as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12).

Jesus is “the people’s Savior”. Are you one of the people who have believed and received His offer of eternal life?

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

Why Some Don't Reach Maturity


“But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18a

Christian maturity does not come easily. If it did, everybody would attain it. The sad truth is, the majority of those who claim to be saved will never reach their full potential in Christ. Why not? Perhaps I could offer a few observations.

First of all, there is resistance that every believer will face in the endeavor to grow. When seeds develop into small sprouts they will have to push up through the soil in order to begin the process towards maturity. It’s not easy. Some never make it. It’s the same way with a young Christian. Today’s ungodly culture is not conducive to spiritual growth.

Secondly, there is of course, the adversary of every believer, Satan himself, who will hinder, discourage, intimidate, and oppose the growth process. Why, because a mature, well-grounded Christian poses a threat to him and his objectives. The devil’s opposition to the growth of any Christian is just one more reason why so many never fully develop their faith.

Finally, the nature of the Christian life itself is not one of ease. Notice what Paul wrote to the young disciples of the faith in Acts 14:12. He exhorted them to “continue in the faith”, and reminded them that “through much tribulation”, we enter the Kingdom of God. He didn’t say it would be easy, but rather in reality, there would be trials and hardships.

So, there you have it, three primary reasons why many Christians never reach maturity. 

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

The Playpens are Full, The Battlefields are Not


The number of saints who are not on the battlefield for Christ is a great tragedy of modern Christendom. Far too many Christians are (spiritually speaking) still in the playpen, they are still in the nursery.

Within every church there are large numbers of saints that have never reached spiritual maturity. They’ve been saved, they attend church, but they have never progressed beyond spiritual infancy.

The apostles faced this same problem in the early churches of the first century (Hebrews 5:12-6:3). They urged the saints to press on and to grow beyond the elementary foundation of their faith. What a huge difference it would make if Christians like this would move beyond the playpen and develop into rock-solid soldiers for Christ!

What are some of the characteristics of babies? They are somewhat selfish, impatient, and they crave attention. They cry a lot, and are dependent on someone else to meet their needs. Spiritual babies have the same characteristics. They’re selfish, and they pout if they don’t get their way. They are impatient and easily upset. They tend to be fussy and love attention. They never seem to get serious about the Kingdom of God. Truth is; they need to grow up and get on the battlefield.

Too many church members today expect their Pastors to be babysitters. How are we ever going to impact a wicked culture with the gospel if spiritual infants never make it to the battlefield and fight the “good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12)?

So what does it take to “graduate” from a spiritual playpen?
Desire-you must want to grow up.
Don’t settle for a playpen when the battlefield is waiting my friends!

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

Do It Right-- or None at All


Just do the right thing!

Contrary to what many people believe today, there are absolutes in life. Some things are wrong and will always be wrong. Some things are right and will always be right. For example, the Bible says, “honor thy father and thy mother”. It’s always right to do so. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”. It’s always wrong to lie and to deceive.

There are always choices in life. We make choices every day. The challenge is to choose to do right. To do the right thing requires courage and moral fortitude, but it has its rewards.

Dr. Laura, a radio talk show host who takes calls from listeners, often ends a conversation with these words, “now, just go do the right thing”. I like that. Doing the right thing may not always be easy or even popular, but it makes the most sense. Read the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37–50. Joseph had a tough time. His brothers sold him into slavery. Potiphar’s wife lied about his actions and had him imprisoned. Joseph could have become resentful and bitter and given up on his dream, but he kept the right attitude. He focused on doing the right things and God honored him, promoted him and used him to save his people.

When you do the right things, the right kind of people will enter your life. When you do the right things, the wrong people will disconnect from your life. When you do the right things promotion will come. When you do the wrong things, the wrong kind of people will come towards you. When you do the wrong things, the right kind of people will disconnect from your life. When you do the wrong things, failure and frustration are certain.

Obey God. Do right by God and He will do right by you. When faced with the choice of right or wrong–choose right. God will honor that choice. Now, just go do the right thing.

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

So Should We


Scripture tells us that Christ loves His church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25b). If Jesus love the church, then we who are saved should love it too.

I have had the privilege of serving as a Pastor for many years. Serving Jesus through serving His church has been the great joy of my Chrisitan life. It’s been a labor of love. I’m going to say something here that may sound strange to some of you, I have never had a church. None of the churches that I have pastored were mine. Every one of them were the Lord’s, and they still are. God called me to shepherd His flock, His people (Psalm 100:3).

I have met many people through the years who have soured on the church. They have given up on the church, and even declared they don’t need the church. That saddens me and I’m sure it grieves the heart of God. Jesus gave His life for the church, shed His blood for the church, and He loves His church. If Jesus loved the church, His bride, enough to die for her, then I will love her too. Even with all her faults, failures, problems, and challenges, I will stand beside her. Why? Because her destiny is glorious (Ephesians 5:27). Yes, my friend, one day the church, the body of Christ, the redeemed, will be presented to Himself in all her glory, spotless and clean.

So here is my word for you today: If you attend a Bible preaching fellowship of believers, stick with it. Ask the Lord to put in your heart a love for that which He loves. One day, you will be glad you stayed connected.

The Pastor's Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

Common to man


We’ve all just come through the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. And for many, the holidays are somewhat painful, primarily because a loved one is missing from their life.  A family member or close friend, who either died of natural causes, or perhaps was suddenly taken because of a tragedy of some kind. 

I read of a minister who tragically lost a son in a horrific auto accident days before Christmas some years ago. For this man of God and his wife, the holidays are particularly painful. 

Another woman shared that in a short time, she lost her father, mother and two of her brothers in unexpected and tragic ways (one through suicide).  To say the least the holidays have never been the same for her. 

Paul writes in I Corinthians 10:13 that no temptation hath taken us but such as “is common to man”.  In other words, everyone goes through “testing seasons”. Everybody; Christians included, face trials and storms in their lives.  But Paul goes on to say in this same verse, “but God is faithful…”  It’s a reminder that God is aware of our pain and truly cares about what we go through. 

I am reminded that in the midst of my own trying seasons; others, many others have made the journey through painful experiences also.  You are not alone in your suffering my friend!  You can prevail! God’s grace is sufficient for every day.  Why not praise Him today for His unfailing love. 

The Pastor's Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

Words Move Hearts, Hearts Move Limbs


Oh the power and potential of our words!

Words matter. It’s been said that “words are cheap”. Think again. Words launch wars.

Words destroy credibility. Words can lead to broken homes. In James 3:2-10, it warns us of the destructive power of our words. It even declares, “The tongue can no man tame...” Only through the power of the Holy Spirit, can we learn to “master” our mouth.

Words are like matches. They can ignite a raging forest fire of strife, hate, resentment, and confusion. However, they can also create hope, unlock faith, encourage, and motivate. What we say and how we say it matters. It matters a lot. Our words reveal our character. They tell others what kind of person we are. Words reveal what is in the heart.

As a Pastor for many years, I’ve witnessed words destroy marriages, ruin relationships, and even cause division in the church. On the other hand, I’ve noticed how words can calm a tense situation, conquer discouragement, and even unlock forgiveness, leading to restoration and peace.

I have preached over 8000 sermons over the years and at times wondered if anything I said really made a difference. Only to discover that one small sentence or a simple thought conveyed was remembered for a lifetime. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying...” That is quite a challenge!

Remember–words matter. Your words matter! May God give us the wisdom to manage our mouth. Our friends, our family, our churches will be the beneficiaries.

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

Rising Above Adversity


You can rise above adversity

In this “dog-eat-dog” world we live in, it seems there are always people around to push you down. Besides that, we have an adversary, the devil, who wants to push you into a valley and keep you there.

Remember the story of the man who had some kind of infirmity for 38 years? In John chapter 5 we are told he and many others sat beside the pool of Bethesda WAITING for someone to come along and place them in the pool. Jesus came by and said, “Wilt thou be made whole?” In other words, do you WANT to be healed? And then He said to the man, “Rise, take up your bed and walk”.

I am also reminded of Joseph in the Old Testament who was sold into slavery by his brothers and yet Joseph, in spite of his mistreatment, rose to greatness in Egypt. The Bible says, “The Lord was with Joseph”. By faith and with great patience, Joseph knew the Lord would see him through his season of adversity.

Here is something t remember: If you remain faithful to God, He can rearrange tomorrow in your favor. Yes, you CAN rise above your adversity! Many before you have done it and so can you. Never settle for being pushed down. Arise and walk on!

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

Tools for Righteousness


Have you ever considered your body a “tool” for righteousness?

That’s what the Apostle Paul teaches us to believe, and for good reason!

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:12-13 (I encourage you to read Romans 6 in its entirety.)

Most of us have never fully appreciated the awesome benefits of being “in Christ”. As Christians, we are to walk (live daily) in the newness of life provided for us because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As new-born believers, we, by our position in Christ, are “dead to sin” (Romans 6:2). What’s that mean? It means sin is no longer our master. We are not under its power any longer. We are free to live with the power of God giving us victory at each and every temptation. Verse 11 uses the word “reckon”. Most of us are country people–we know what that means don’t we? We “reckon” all the time! It means we count it as so; we agree. What is it that we “reckon”? That we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ”. Verse 12 says, “let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body...” but rather we are to yield ourselves and our whole body “as instruments of righteousness unto God.” That is powerful my friend! My hands, my eyes, my feet, etc., are to be “tools” for God’s use in growing the Kingdom of God. My whole body is to be used for good, not evil.

The next time you are tempted with sin, remember; your eyes, your tongue, your hands, your whole body, is to be a tool for doing good. So use the “tools” you have at your disposal to do right. By doing so, you honor the God who saved you for His glory and His purpose.

The Pastor’s Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman