An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

No one paid much attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.

As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

“Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

“I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”

When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

That night, the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”

His wife replied, “Why don’t you go into the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

“The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’”

From Talking To My Father, by Ray Stedman. Barbour & Co. 1997.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). And the Apostle Peter wrote these words to faithful Pastors.  “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).  As the song writer put it, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!/ Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ./ One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase./ So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.” – Esther K. Rusthoi

Are you ready to meet Jesus?  Have you placed your faith in Him alone as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day?  If not, why not do it right now and be saved from eternal condemnation (John 3:16, 18, 36)?

We’re here to help you know the Lord as your personal Savior and then grow spiritually so you can serve Him effectively while you’re here on earth.  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or 805-975-2883 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 As some of you already know, we are moving?  On April 8th we received an e-mail from the owners of the house in which we have been residing for the last eleven years, stating that they would like to move back to Paso Robles and live in their house.  It came as quite a surprise to us. We need to be out of the house by May 31st.  We’ve had a good relationship with them over the years and appreciate their letting us stay in their house.  It was an answer to our prayers when we got to Paso Robles to pastor the church here.  We’ve tried our best to take good care of their house.

After much prayer and seeking the will of the Lord for our lives, we also decided to resign from the church, effective May 28th, 2017, and move back to Minnesota, Lord willing, where our children and grandchildren live.

We feel a lot like Abraham and Sarah did when God told him to leave Ur and go to a land that He would show him.  He obeyed God and went while trusting the Lord to lead him and supply his needs.  I’m about the same age as he was, but he also lived much longer than I believe I will.  Thankfully we have the same God that he had, and He has promised never to leave or forsake us.

Looks Are Deceiving

            While our oldest son has offered to let us stay in his home for a while when we get there, we desire to find a place of our own in the Twin Cities area.  We got on the Internet and found a house that we thought would be ideal for our needs at this time. We even put money down for a background check.  But not feeling completely at ease about it, we asked our children to go to an open house to check things out for us.

To their surprise, when they entered the house, there was a very strong smell of incense.  Our daughter could hardly breathe.  When they went into one of the bed rooms, they discovered a prayer room with a rug on the floor and a large picture of an individual to whom they prayed apparently.  So that house was out of the picture.

We have another issue in that my wife is very allergic to some animals and I have some breathing challenges too.  So please pray for us as we seek to find a place that will meet our needs.  When the days become hectic and stressful, we remind ourselves of our need to trust the Lord one day at a time and moment by moment.

Support

            With my resignation from the church, our income from it will also cease.  The mission with which we have been associated will allow us to receive support from those who desire to help us financially.  We don’t ask for nor solicit financial support from unbelievers.

I would like to do some supply preaching in churches if the Lord should open up some doors for us. I also have some other things that I’d like to do in the next chapter of my life.  There is still much work that needs to be done for God while we are here on earth.  We believe the Lord’s return is very near.  Perhaps Today!

Prayers

            We would appreciate your prayers for us during this challenging time of our lives.  God’s grace has been and always will be sufficient for our everyday needs.  He is a great God and the One in whom we trust.  We’d like to hear from you. Let us know how we can pray for you too.

Kelsey and Janet Pietsch

Cell Phones: 805-975-2883805-975-2199

Website: www.kelseypeach.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch

Still with: Western Baptist Home Mission, P. O. Box 2697, Santa Maria, CA 93457-2697

Bruce McLain, Mission Director –  Cell: 805-260-6774

John 13:34, 35

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love / It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of / What the world needs now is love, sweet love, / Not not just for some but for everyone.” Jackie DeShannon. Perhaps some of you “Flower Children” remember this song.

Type. But we need to ask the question, What kind of love does this world really need? The Greeks had basically four words for love. “Eros” dealt with sensual, erotic love. There is plenty of this in the world but it’s not producing “peace on earth.” (Lasting “peace on earth” won’t come until the “Prince of Peace” returns to this earth (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; Revelation 19:16. It may come a lot sooner than most people think.) The word “eros” was not used in the Scriptures.  The verb “phileo” has to do with tender affection for mankind in general (John 16:27; 21:15). “Storge” deals with the natural affection that one has for his/her family members. In the last days it would be lacking among many people (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3).

New. When Jesus addressed His disciples on the night before He was to be betrayed by one of His own disciples and then hung on a cross to die for our sins, He gave them a new commandment. Having just washed their feet to demonstrate to them their need to have a servant’s heart, He told them to “love one another as He had loved them. By this all would know that they were His disciples” (John 13:34, 35).

Quote. “Love is the badge of Christian discipleship. It is not knowledge, nor orthodoxy, nor fleshly activities, but (supremely) love which identifies a follower of the Lord Jesus. As the disciples of the Pharisees were known by their phylacteries, as the disciples of John were known by their baptism… so the mark of a true Christian is love; and that, a genuine, active love, not in words but in deeds.” – Arthur Pink

Contrast. The Old Commandment was to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). This was the best that an Old Testament believer could do. It was very subjective. Everyone loves himself/herself differently. Some people claim to hate themselves. It’s more likely that they hate their face, place, or race. The Scriptures instruct Christian husbands to love their wives as they naturally love themselves (Ephesians 5:28).

Qualities. God’s kind of love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This kind of love is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers who are not grieving or quenching Him (Ephesians 4:30;1 Thessalonians 5:19). It is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” Galatians 5:22). Do you know what the other eight parts are and how you are supposed to direct them? What should a Christian not love (1 John 2:15-17)?

Rebels. “Like us, the [Lord’s] disciples lived in a society that had rebelled against God. Like us, they learned more quickly from modeling and demonstration than by being told what was right. So on that final night before His death, Jesus exemplified love, explained it, and then exhorted His disciples to follow His example…When a new love enters our hearts, it drives out old and stagnant feelings, even attraction for things that would do us harm. One writer called this kind of love ‘the expulsive power of a new affection.”” – Ken Gangel

New Birth. If you’ve never been “born again from above” (John 3:3-7) you can become a true Christian by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Help. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

Portions adapted from Ken Gangel, John, and from Chuck Swindoll, Following Christ.

John 14:1-24

“There’s no place like home.”  This is what Dorothy said in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, after going through illusory dreams, frightening experiences, and disappointing realities.*  In like manner, before long the Christian realizes that this sin filled world is not his home; heaven is.  And yet we, as believers, have moments of anxiety and fear as long as we are in these bodies.

Thoughts.  Do your thoughts about death trouble you?  They should if you are not a true Christian (See Matthew 7:21-23).  Do you know what happens to unbelievers at the time of death (Luke 16:19-31; See Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  What happens to Christians when they die (Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9)?  Into which section of heaven do they go today (2 Corinthians 12:4).  When do they get to go to the place that Jesus went to prepare for them (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?  How is it described for us (Revelation 21:9-27)?  What about the trials and troubles of life?  Will they be too great for us to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9)?  What should a Christian do when he sins (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Luke 22:32)?  What if he denies His Lord as Peter did (John 13:38; Luke 22:31, 32, 47-62; See 2 Timothy 2:12)?  Will he be condemned and lose his salvation (Romans 8:1; 35-39; John 10:28, 29)?

Truth.  To quiet our noisy hearts, we need to know the truth that can set us free (John 8:32).  The believer’s strength comes from God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Psalm 121:2).  Christians are being purified for their wedding to Christ (Ephesians 5:26; Isaiah 1:25).  He is preparing a special place for His Bride, the true Church (John 14:3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Currently, in heaven, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25).  He answers our prayers according to His will (John 14:13).  He has promised never to leave or forsake true believers (Hebrews 13:5).  We also have a Comforter (John 14:16-20).

Techniques.  There are some things that can strengthen the believer’s heart.  Knowledge of the truth from God’s Word can remove fear (John 8:3; 14:20; 1 John 4:18).  But the believer also needs to apply the truth and keep the Lord’s commands to Christians if anxiety is to be removed from his/her heart (John 14:21; Philippians 4:6, 7).  Love for the Lord can release guilt (John 14:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Question.  Is your life filled with fear and anxiety?  It should be if you are not a true Christian. You are under the condemnation of God (John 3:18, 36) and in danger of spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  But you can become a Christian by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins… and rose again bodily on the third day.  He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Once you’ve been saved, you can/should cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  The “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [can] guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus” as you encounter the hardships of life (Philippians 4:6, 7).  You have a choice to make.  Will you “trust and obey” or “stew and fret” about your problems?

Salvation.  We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.  We are not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

            Help.  If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this information with others who may need it.

*Portions adapted from Chuck Swindoll, Following Christ, pp. 93ff

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

As quick as a click, it was gone. All of it. Two weeks of work, including a Saturday when he could have flown a kite with his kids. Two weeks of peering into the amber glow of a computer screen. Two weeks of honing, fine-tuning, and formatting. Gone with the wind. Gone to that twilight zone where all erased computer messages exist in perpetual limbo.” This is what Chuck Swindoll wrote about his editor, Larry Libby, in the introduction of his book entitled “Stress Fractures.”

Stress. If you’re like the rest of us, you have stressful incidents that come into your life from time to time. How we respond to them is very critical to us and those around us. Believe it or not, God tells us in His Word that He wants all true Christians to “give thanks in the midst of every situation” that comes into our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Doing this and giving thanks for all things and for all men isn’t possible unless a believer is filled with God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-20; 1 Timothy 2:1). To be filled with the Spirit, we must make sure that we aren’t grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Do you know what this entails?

Joseph. After spending many years in prison for something he didn’t do, and when he could have taken vengeance out on his brothers who had mistreated him, Joseph said, “But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 39:13-23; 50:20).

Promise. “And we [Christians] know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Not all Christians love God and keep His commandments to New Testament believers (John 13:34, 35; 14:15). Maturing Christians are told not to love the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). Do you know what it is that you aren’t supposed to love?

World System. Among other things, it consists of human government, commerce, entertainment, education, industry, and senseless warfare (Genesis 4:16-26; Luke 11:50, 51). “In the sense of the present world system, the ethically bad sense of the word refers to the order or arrangement under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure…[It] is imposing and powerful with military might; is often outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant; but, seething with national and commercial rivalries and ambitions, is upheld in any real crisis only by armed force, and is dominated by satanic principles.” – Taken from Scofield Study Bible note Revelation 13:8. As Christians, we can use the world system, but we are not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Believe. This is the only condition placed on an unsaved person for him/her to be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). He is the One who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believe on Him through these facts and you will be saved and can have assurance of your salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). Beware of those who teach “Lordship for Salvation.” (See Below)

Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, or if you need spiritual help, we’re here to try to help you. Our website was designed to help people like  you: www.kelseypeach.com. We can be reached at 805-238-3549. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share this with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Lordship For Salvation. https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/lordship-salvation/

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

John 13:1-33

If you think “Big Brother” (the government) knows a lot about you, think about someone who knows everything about you. You might say, “That’s impossible.” This would be true of another human or spirit being, but not for God because one of His attributes is omniscience (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). Jesus, being the God/man knew who would betray him, who would deny Him, and who would flee from Him when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He also knows everything about us and will not only judge our words and deeds but will also judge our motives to determine our degree of pleasure in heaven or our degree of suffering in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

God/Man. Jesus was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9). He is also sovereign. This means that He is in control of everything. In other words, “There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority.” – Chip Ingram. Let’s consider this One who is omniscient and sovereign.

Servant. He became a lowly servant and washed His disciples feet (John 13:2-17). Not only did Jesus display His lowly spirit (Matthew 11:29), He also wanted to teach His disciples about their need for spiritual cleansing. An unbeliever needs to have an overall bath only once for him to be cleansed (John 13:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5). But a Christian also needs ongoing cleansing when he/she sins periodically. This occurs when he/she confesses his sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9; 3:9-10).

Model. Jesus set an example for believers to follow. He wants us to have a servant’s humble heart (Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:15). It’s easy for us to say we love God but it’s hard to love some of His children who may rub us the wrong way. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue [only], but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Savior. Jesus came to glorify God (John 17:3) by dying for our sins, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), and then rising again bodily from the dead on the third day. He appeared to different people on many occasions to validate His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:33-43). The payment that Jesus made to God the Father was sufficient to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin (1 John 2:2; 4:10). He can and does offer salvation and eternal life to all who will accept by faith His substitutionary death on their behalf (John 3:16). Those who reject Him and His offer are under condemnation (John 3:18, 36).

Shepherd. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your personal Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)? As the “Good Shepherd” He laid down His life for His sheep and knows all of us by name (John 10:3-14). He is the “Chief Shepherd” to whom all “Under Shepherds” (Pastors) are accountable (1 Peter 5:1-4). He is the “Great Shepherd” who will bring believers to spiritual maturity and finish the work of salvation at the time of the “Rapture” (Hebrews 13:20; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 3:2).

Purpose. Jesus came to glorify God the Father and to carry out the work that He had been given to do on earth (John 17:3, 4; Ephesians 1:11). He provided deliverance from the lake of fire for all mankind including the false teachers (2 Peter 2:1). But for any of us to be saved, we must not only know and believe the facts of the Gospel, we must transfer our faith from ourselves and our good works over to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Have you done this yet? It not, why not believe on Him right now?

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549. We’re here to assist you spiritually if you want it.  If this has helped you, please let us know and then share it with someone else.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

John 12:23-50

In spite of performing over 35 recorded miracles while He was here on earth, most of the Jewish leaders and people rejected Him as their promised Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God (John 5:18; 10:31; 20:31). Isaiah the prophet had predicted that all this would happen (Isaiah 53:1). So Jesus told His disciples that He would be going to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the Jewish elders, chief priests, and the scribes and be killed. But He would also be raised bodily from the dead on the third day as He had predicted (Matthew 16:21; John 10:17, 18).

Imminent. When Jesus spoke on this occasion to His disciples, He was just four days away from the Passover Feast. It was observed every year by the Jews in remembrance of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt (Exodus 12; John 12:23-28, 32). Although the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Him, they didn’t want to do so during the Passover time lest a riot break out (Matthew 26:5). But, whether they wanted it to happen at some other time or not, it was God’s plan for Jesus to be crucified during the Passover since He was the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There were a few more prophecies that needed to be fulfilled literally before He died and rose again bodily from the dead (Matthew 26:54, 56). By the way, all the prophecies made concerning His second coming will be fulfilled literally, not allegorically. Don’t confuse Israel with the Church. They are two separate groups with whom God is dealing (1 Corinthians 10:32).

Pain. The horrific pain that Jesus endured at the hands of the Roman soldiers and on the cross was physical and emotional (John 19:1; Luke 22:42). But the most intense suffering was spiritual when God the Father turned His back on Jesus as He bore your sins and mine on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). He died as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).

Need. In spite of how they had mistreated Him, Jesus knew that they had a serious, spiritual problem. All unbelievers were/are headed for the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46) unless they believe on Him alone as their personal Savior (John 3:18, 36). We know that many of the religious, Jewish priests did believe on Him after His bodily resurrection from the dead (Acts 6:7). So did His half brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7). Has the devil blinded your spiritual eyes so you don’t see the urgency of believing in Christ alone for your salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19)? Do you love darkness and the pleasures of sin so much that you refuse to come to the Light (Jesus) for deliverance (John 3:19; 8:12; 14:30)?

Response. The response of the Jewish people to Jesus was varied (John 12:27, 42, 43). Some believed on Him as their promised Messiah and the Son of God (John 1:12; Matthew 16:16). But most of them rejected Him because He didn’t come up to their expectations of Him (Isaiah 53:1). They wanted a political deliverer who would save them from Roman oppression. They cried out to the Roman governor, Pilate who wanted to release Jesus (Matthew 27:24; John 18:38; 19:4, 6) by saying, “His blood be on us and our children” (Matthew 27:25). This is why the Jews have been the objects of persecution for the last 2,000 years. God won’t begin to deal with the Jews again as a nation until the true Church has been removed from the earth in the Rapture (Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Then “The time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” will come during the second half the the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff). Do you know the purpose of “The Tribulation?” It seems to be near at hand as we see the one world government, and the one world church forming.

Time. Christ’s time on earth was very limited. So is our time on earth (James 4:14). The only time a person has to be saved is in this life. There are no opportunities to be saved after one dies physically (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 6:2). There are five crowns, praise, and rewards from God that a Christian can earn during his/her life on earth. Salvation is offered freely to all men, but rewards must be earned after one is saved (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). What are you doing with God’s gift of time to you? You have 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds in one day. Are you using them wisely for the glory of God and the good of others? “Only one life will soon be passed, and only what’s done [properly – 2 Timothy 2:5] for Christ will last.”

Help. If you need spiritual help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549. Kelsey Pietsch pastors the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org