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.  
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The Pastor's Pocket

Happy Father's Day!


 A Father to the Fatherless

(Psalm 68:5a)

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!

As a father myself, having raised two daughters, I am reminded today of the blessing it is from God to be a Dad. Every person on earth had a man who fathered them (two female lovers still cannot pro-create! Just thought I’d throw that in).

Fatherhood is about relationship. There is a biological connection for every person and the man who fathered them. It is sad today, but the statistics are real. Seventy five percent of all incarcerated men (and boys) declare they never had a good or “normal” relationship with their father. Was he absent? Did he care? Did he take the time to love, instruct, or discipline? Was he too busy to have a relationship with his son? Every child suffers when their relationship with their father is skewed in some way.

Psalm 68:5 reminds us that God (Heavenly Father) will be there for the abandoned. Put your trust in the “Father” who will never disappoint you!

Dads – let’s work at it! May God help us to take fatherhood seriously and do all we can to leave a godly legacy to our children. Someday they will hug you and say, “Thank you Dad. I love you for being my father who loved me and helped me so much!” That my brothers, is worth more than a million pieces of gold!

Again – Happy Father’s Day!

The Pastor's Pocket
Pastor Bruce Freeman

Our Voice is a Gift from God!

 

Have you ever stopped to consider this truth?  God gave us our voices to communicate – to praise our Creator.  We are to sing unto God, to pray and call out to Him in prayer, to witness for Him and to proclaim the Gospel.  Of course, with our voices we communicate with other human beings and God tells us how we are to do that.  It’s unfortunate that we slander, criticize, gossip and lie with our voices.  We need to remember that God could take our voices away from us as He did with Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father (Luke 1:20, 22, 64).

Imagine how it would be if you were mute!  What if your voice was useless or somehow rendered inoperative? Imagine how different your life would be if you had no voice!

My friends, if we have the gift of a voice, let’s use it to call out to God!  Let’s learn to cry out to God (Psalm 27:7), “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy on me and answer me.” In Psalm 28:2 we read, “Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry unto Thee…”  Let’s learn to use our voices to praise our God who is so worthy to be praised! Read these scripture references from the Book of Psalms: Psalm 47:1, Psalm 118:21, Psalm 66:8.   God says, “…let them ever shout for joy…” (Psalm 5:11, 32:11).

You and I, who love God and know God, must use our voices to rejoice in the God of our salvation!  Let us boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:33). Let us encourage one another, edify one another, exhort one another (Ephesians 4:15 & 29, Hebrews 10:25).  God gave you your voice. Use it wisely.  God forbid that you and I stay silent and the rocks have to do our job (Luke 19:40).  God wants to hear your voice! Accept it. Believe it. Use it, or you just might lose it!



The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman


On Where He Leads


 If God leads us in a matter, He is, by necessity, going to help us.

When God saved me and called me to preach, 40 years ago now, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do next. A man, a total stranger, knelt to pray with me that day.  He gave me words of wisdom that I’ve never forgotten.  He said, “Wherever God leads you, He feeds you”. This is true for me, for you, for anybody!  If God gives you an instruction, He will supply whatever you need to successfully carry out His will.  It’s like a divine umbrella that provides wisdom, grace, finances and protection.  As long as we do HIS will, He will provide.

The Lord told a blind man in John chapter 9, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.”  The man did as he was told, and he received his sight. A genuine miracle followed his obedience to an instruction.

God gave instructions to Joshua after Moses had died, to lead the people into the promise land. In Joshua chapter 1, the Lord promised him that He would be with him. He said, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (vs.5).

You see my friend, if God leads you in a matter, He will help you.  You can count on it!



The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

Aging Keeps Us Longing for our Eternal Home

 

When we are young, we think very little about eternity.  Heaven just doesn’t hold much appeal for us when we have love, marriage, and careers on our mind.  But as we get older, we begin to ask more questions like, “what will my life AFTER death be like?”

The truth is, Christians don’t get buried, they get planted. Paul writes of our bodies in I Corinthians 15:42b, “it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption”, and in verse 43a, “it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.”

God has placed just enough discomfort in our lives to make us long for heaven.  If we are saved, heaven is where we are headed after we die. So don’t get too attached to the things of this world.  Sooner or later we’ll all be leaving. Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven…”  That is our GPS address already typed in by God Himself. As we age, deal with a deteriorating body, more troubles, trials, and heartaches, we long more and more for our eternal home where we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).


The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman



Fresh Oil

 

Psalm 23


In reading Psalm 23, have you ever considered the meaning of the words, “Thou anointest my head with oil”, found in verse 5?  Remember;  David was a shepherd.  He knew well how to care for sheep. So as he writes these words, he draws upon his own experiences to relate the good care of the Lord (our Shepherd) for His people.


A shepherd would anoint, or rub oil on the sheep for two primary reasons:

 

1. To repel annoying insects.  If certain insects were allowed to deposit their eggs into the soft membrane of a sheep’s nose, they would drive the animal crazy.  The ewes would stop producing milk and the lambs would be hindered in their growth. So, the shepherd applied oil like repellent that kept the insects off of the sheep and kept the flock happy and at peace.

2. To heal wounds. A wound today could become tomorrow’s infection.  So oil would be applied to scratches and cuts to fight disease and infection from spreading to other members of the flock.


Interestingly enough, Psalm 147:3 says, “He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds.” That’s what God does for us! We need the “fresh oil” of the Holy Spirit’s power to keep us healthy and happy. Go to the Good Shepherd my friend.  He has just the right medicine for your problems today.



The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman


Your Purpose


 Romans 8:28b, “…called according to his purpose” .

 

Do you know your purpose in life?  Everyone should know the answer to this question. 

How do you discover your purpose? Here are a few helpful hints:

Look within yourself. What moves you? What stirs you up inside? What excites you?  We know from reading Paul’s letters to the churches that it was the gospel that moved him to live as he did.  He said once to the Corinthians, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:16).

Look behind yourself. What has life taught you? What experiences have you had that lead you in the decisions you are making now?

Look around yourself. God always uses people around us to influence us.  Interact with the right people – it will lead you to the right destiny.

Look ahead of yourself. Do you have the faith to trust God with your future?  Helen Keller said, “The only thing that’s worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision.”  What can you “see” through the eye of faith?

Look beside yourself. What resources are available to you? There are books, CDs, conferences, spiritual mentors.  All of these things can help you discover your God-given purpose.

Look above yourself. Pray. Ask God to reveal His will in your life.  Your purpose must be God ordained, nothing less.

Your purpose…it’s important!  Embrace it. Focus on it.  It’s the secret to living a happy, fulfilling life!


The Pastor’s Pockets

Pastor Bruce Freeman

Possession

 

I have a riddle for you…

 

People worry about me; get twisted up in knots over me; stay awake at night thinking about me; wish they had more of me; never have enough of me; trade away their integrity to get me; stew, scheme and steal to get me; envy those who have more of me than they do; seldom just give me away; trade me for the strangest things; and then, just leave me behind when they die.  Who am I? MONEY. 


“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing unto this

 world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (I Timothy 6:6-7)


Our attitude about money says volumes about us.  It must not rule our lives.  Paul says, “ godliness with contentment is great gain”.  How many contented people do you know? I would venture to guess very few.  We live in a very materialistic culture which pressures us to pursue more stuff, but money never satisfies.  No matter how much of it we attain, we always want more of it.  If we give our lives to it, we will come up empty.

There is an interesting verse in Hebrews chapter 13. It’s verse 5 where we find the comfort of Jesus’ words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.  We’ve all this heard many times, but the first part of the verse says, “Let your conversation (your life) be without covetousness (the love of money) and be content with such things as ye have.”

It’s not a sin to have money, as long as money does not have you.  May God help us to invest some of the money we have into the Kingdom of God, into our local church, where God can use it to reach people.  Then, be content and be happy with what’s left. 


The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

The Right Investment

I have a riddle for you…

 People worry about me; get twisted up in knots over me; stay awake at night thinking about me; wish they had more of me; never have enough of me; trade away their integrity to get me; stew, scheme and steal to get me; envy those who have more of me than they do; seldom just give me away; trade me for the strangest things; and then, just leave me behind when they die.  Who am I? MONEY. 

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing unto this

 world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (I Timothy 6:6-7)

Our attitude about money says volumes about us.  It must not rule our lives.  Paul says, “ godliness with contentment is great gain”.  How many contented people do you know? I would venture to guess very few.  We live in a very materialistic culture which pressures us to pursue more stuff, but money never satisfies.  No matter how much of it we attain, we always want more of it.  If we give our lives to it, we will come up empty.

There is an interesting verse in Hebrews chapter 13. It’s verse 5 where we find the comfort of Jesus’ words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.  We’ve all this heard many times, but the first part of the verse says, “Let your conversation (your life) be without covetousness (the love of money) and be content with such things as ye have.”

It’s not a sin to have money, as long as money does not have you.  May God help us to invest some of the money we have into the Kingdom of God, into our local church, where God can use it to reach people.  Then, be content and be happy with what’s left. 


The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

 

"Fear Not"

 

Did you know that “fear not” is the command most often repeated in the Bible? 

It’s true! Fear and timidity are never God’s will for His people, never an option for children of the living God.

Fear and faith are opposites. When fear walks in, faith walks out, yet we know without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). If we want to please God, we must conquer fear and walk in faith.  Oh, I know, there are a hundred reasons to be afraid; high energy prices, home foreclosures, wars, civil unrest, sickness and disease.  The list goes on and on. Yet the Lord would have us trust Him with our fears and not worry.

I love Psalm 46:1,2a, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”  A choice is involved here. Either we worry all day, or we trust God. To live in fear is as much a disobedience to God as stealing or lying!  Most of us haven’t thought of worry like this.  Instead of living in fear, why not pray instead.  Give your fears to the Lord and claim this promise, “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).


The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman

Lordship Over Thy Mouth

 

Have you ever surrendered your mouth to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? 

Has anyone ever asked you this question before?

Most believers understand the concept of Lordship – meaning we are to be totally surrendered to Jesus. But few think of Lordship in regards to their mouth.

If we examine the scriptures we find many verses that admonish us to use wisdom and discipline with regards to what we say.  Here are a few: (1) Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” (2) Ephesians 5:4, “neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting” (coarse or harsh jabs at people). (3) Matthew 5:37, “…let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (4) Colossians 3:9, “Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.” (5) I Corinthians 10:10, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” (6) I Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

The average person thinks about 3000 thoughts per day.  I’m convinced that some people say about 3000 things per day! You don’t have to say everything you think. It requires mental and spiritual discipline to guard your mouth and to use discretion in what you say.  James 1:19 says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

Most of us would do well to heed these scriptures and to bring our mouth under the Lordship of Christ!  Let’s work at using kind words. Let’s refrain from saying everything we think.  This world will be a kinder place to live if each of us will do a better job at managing our mouth.


The Pastor’s Pocket

Pastor Bruce Freeman