Archive for June, 2009



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Dwight L. Moody was an extremely effective evangelist of over a century ago in Chicago. He told this story in his own words:

A wild and prodigal young man, who was running a headlong career to ruin came into one of our meetings in Chicago. Whilst endeavoring to bring him to Christ, I quoted this verse to him: “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”

I asked him: “Do you believe Christ said that?”

“I suppose He did.”

“Suppose He did? Do you believe it?”

“I hope so.”

“Hope so? Do you believe it? You do your work, and the Lord will do His. Just come as you are, and throw yourself upon His bosom, and He will not cast you out.”

This man thought it was too simple and easy.

At last light seemed to break in upon him, and he seemed to find comfort from it. It was past midnight before he got down on his knees, but down he went, and was converted. I said:

“Now, don’t think you are going to get out of the devil’s territory without trouble. The devil will come to you tomorrow morning and say it was all feeling; that you only imagined you were accepted by God. When he does, don’t fight him with your own opinions, but fight him with John 6:37: “Him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out.” Let that be ‘the sword of the Spirit’.”

I don’t believe that any man ever starts to go to Christ but the devil strives somehow or other to meet him and trip him up. And even after he has come to Christ, the devil tries to assail him with doubts, and make him believe there is something wrong in it.

The struggle came sooner than I thought in this man’s case. When he was on his way home the devil assailed him. he used this text, but the devil put this thought into his mind:

“How do you know Christ ever said that after all? Perhaps the translators made a mistake.”

Into darkness he went again. He was in trouble till about two in the morning. At last he came to this conclusion. Said he:

“I will believe it anyway; and when I get to heaven, if it isn’t true, I will just tell the Lord I didn’t make the mistake – the translators made it.”

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

“Well,” replied the Director, “We fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” said the visitor. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”

How did that slip by you? I got your focus upon the three options rather than the simple solution. Satan desires to confuse us by setting too many options before us. God’s word only gives us one: obedience. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

“No,” said the Director, “A normal person would pull the plug. Would you like a bed by a window?”

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told of a time when there was a wave of theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this the authorities put up guards around the factories. At one timberworks in Leningrad, the guard knew the workers at the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich whith a wheelbarrow, and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside.

“All right, Petrovich,” said the guard, “what have you got there?” “Oh, just sawdust and shavings,” Petrovich replied.

“Come on,” the guard said, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out.” And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week, the guard became frustrated.

Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. “Petrovich,” he said, “I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go.” Petrovich replied, “Wheelbarrows.”

I think it is Satan’s desire to get us distracted like that guard was. If Satan can get our attention onto the economy, North Korea, our kids’ activities, and paying for all our possessions, then Jesus and His blessings slip by us unnoticed. Focusing on the minors, we completely miss the majors.

What has distracted you from the main thing?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in A Mighty Fortress

‘A Mighty Fortress’ verse 4:

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours through him who with us sideth;

Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;

The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His Kingdom is forever. Amen.

Throughout modern history there have been many efforts to silence Christianity. I believe we’re seeing one of those movements in our secularizing society right now. But, as Martin Luther pointed out in the closing verse of this hymn, the Word that liberates us still abides. There always has been and always will be a faithful remnant of believers doing His work.

The power we have in this world today against our ancient foe is in the Spirit and the gifts from Who is on our side. Luther concluded: So, never mind about worldly comforts. So what if they persecute and even kill your body? What does it really matter if you lose loved ones, as long as you gain the One Who loves us. His Kingdom is forever. Hallelujah! Amen!

What evidence have you seen that our culture is turning away from its Christian roots?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in A Mighty Fortress

‘A Mighty Fortress’, verse 3:

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

Satan is depicted as the ultimate enemy, and he has filled the earth with demonic influences. At times, it appears that Satan, the Prince of Darkness, is winning, and we are about to fall. But we are to be encouraged that judgement day is coming and Satan shall surely be the one who falls.

So, Christian, you can endure Satan’s attacks! You can withstand his temptations! One little word shall cause him to fall. What do you think that little word is?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in A Mighty Fortress

‘A Mighty Fortress’ verse 2:

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,

Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same, and He must win the battle.

The message is obvious. On our own we cannot overcome our “ancient foe”. But with Jesus on our side, He fights our battles for us. He must win the battles in our lives or it is all lost. Turn to Jesus in all our daily struggles, for He is the Mighty Fortress.

What battles are you trusting Jesus to help you with today?




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in A Mighty Fortress

The rest of this week I want us to consider an old hymn written by Martin Luther. The tune is ancient and the young generation would have no interest in it. But I want us to consider the words of verse 1:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;

Our Helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing;

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;

His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not is equal.

This old hymn of the church addresses the two primary unseen forces in the world around us: God and Satan. Satan can do nothing to God, but he can cause tremendous chaos among God’s people. Because Satan is out to do much damage, A mighty fortress is our God. He is a protection that never fails and our Helper.

Sing the new songs, but don’t lose the message in this old one.

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