God Instructs Us For Our Good

Hold fast to instruction, let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. – Proverbs 4:13

Some years ago, I was in a halfway house on an ankle monitor with very little freedom to go where I wished to go.

My situation then was the direct result of some very poor choices I had made in my life in earlier years.

Although I came to see it as an extension Of Mercy years later, it was a very miserable position to be in at the time.

I couldn’t go “when” I wanted to go… I couldn’t go “where” I wanted to go… And if I did go, I would be tracked every step of the way.

One day I got really frustrated with God about the circumstance that “I earned” for myself and wondered How such restrictions could be of any benefit to my life.

After all, if He truly loved me then He wouldn’t allow me to stay “stuck” like this.

At the same moment that I had these thoughts running through my mind, I witnessed a mother across the street letting her children out of the house to play in the yard.

Even though I couldn’t hear her speaking to them, I could see her shaking her finger at them, and I just knew that she was telling them not to leave the yard or else.

As cars were racing up and down that street, it dawned on me that the restriction put on those children by their mother was more so for their safety and protection than anything else.

I got it!!

At that point, I came to clearly understand that the boundaries set for me were more so for my good than anything else. And God, out of His Infinite Love and concern for me allowed certain restrictions to be a “Protector” and “Keeper” until I didn’t warrant that anymore.

Sometimes we tend to feel like rules are there to restrict us to the point of making us miss out on “what’s best”…. But when it’s a boundary issued forth from the Father’s heart, it is ultimately placed there to ensure that we miss out on “the mess”.

His instructions truly are for our Good, and it’s only by them that we can truly enjoy “Life”.

Father, help us to embrace your instruction in every way for what they were intended to be in our lives…. a blessing and a benefit. Grant that we Heed them, by the power of Your Grace.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Lowe

Faithful To Forgive

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)

Out of all the verses in the Bible, this one is one that I refer to more often than any other because I stand in constant need of His mercy and Forgiveness.

Yet, although I reference this verse (whether in thought or through the pages of my bible) often, I find it to be one of the most difficult scriptures for my Faith to Lay hold of.

One reason why it’s often difficult to lay hold of the promise this verse offers is because I often associate receiving God’s forgiveness with conditions that go beyond what this verse mentions.

In other words, “God will forgive me if I clean up the mess, run 10 laps around the block, and handout 100 meals to my neighbors…”
Anything to make me feel better about myself and alleviate the stain of guilt.

That’s called “works”; and if it were even remotely possible for me to receive God’s forgiveness based on anything that “I” could do, then the death of Christ would be meaningless for me.

The Good news is that Forgiveness is offered, and it’s not contingent upon MY works but upon God’s Promise.

All I have to do is meet the condition of Confessing my sin (freely admitting wrongdoing and saying the same thing that God says about it) and Trusting that God will do just what He says….. Forgive and cleanse.

I Don’t need to wait til I “Feel” forgiven. I only have to Believe the Promise.

His promises are not dependant upon what I do, but Who HE is and what He has already done (That’s why He is Just)…

He Faithful to Forgive.

If I can believe Him for provision, protection, wisdom, and strength, then I can certainly believe Him for my (continual) forgiveness..

I’ll leave you with this: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

Father, help us to believe and trust you for our continual forgiveness and cleansing just as much as we trust you for anything else. We are Glad that every promise is based upon you, who, alone are Faithful.

May Grace Be With You,

Pastor Lowe

You Gotta Know Him For Yourself

I remember your sincere and unqualified faith [the surrendering of your entire self to God in Christ with confident trust in His power, wisdom and goodness, a faith] which first lived in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am confident that it is in you as well. – 2 Timothy 1:5
One of the things that I am most grateful for, even to this very day,  is being blessed to have had a grandmother (and currently a mother) who was a woman of True Faith.
I say “True Faith” because she “lived out” before Our very eyes what she believed, and exemplified a rock solid Trust in the (Lawd) Almighty.
She was genuine both In word and deed, and would never neglect to speak the truth in love.
She had a tremendously giving heart, and a great desire to see all of her family saved and walking in the ways of The Lord.
We use to constantly give her a hard time because she always seemed to favor those among us who were seemingly “the worst off” (I was on that list). 
In her mind, it was always the one who was the most “sick” who was in need of the most care ( I think Jesus said something similar to that), and it seemed almost natural for her to provide that care. 
The life lessons that I learned from my Grandmother growing up are still instrumental in guiding my path to this very day, and I still glean strength and encouragement from the many experiences and nuggets of wisdom spoken along the way.
If I had to recall and share one of the most valuable things she ever told me, it would definitely be the time that I requested prayer, (out of the dozens of times I’ve requested it, while still remaining in my sin and rebellion), and she simply said to me, “Honey we pray for you often, as we do for all of our children. But there will come a time when you gone’ have to know Him for yo-self, because we ain’t gone’ always be here.”
That stuck with me for years to come; and I think that that was the seed that was planted In my heart that God would later use to guide me into a Living relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ.
It was “Her” Faith that inspired my mother’s Faith; and combined, it was “Their” faith that inspired “my” Faith and enabled me to come to Know Him For Myself.
My grandmother would often say, “You can’t get in on Me and Your Grandaddy’s coat tail”… 
That holds true for everyone of us.
We Gotta Know Him For Ourselves.
A sidenote: If you are a mother (or Father) praying for wayward children or grandchildren, I just want to encourage you to never give up praying; and never underestimate the power of a seed sown by your wisdom and Love.
God is Faithful.
Father, today, we want to thank you for Matriarchs of Faith. Whether we had one in our lives or not, we thank you, that, by your Spirit and grace, you give us the opportunity to influence the Faith others for your glory.
In Jesus Name. Amen
In Christ,
Pastor Lowe

Are You In The Right Place?

Like a bird that wanders from her nest [with its comfort and safety], So is a man who wanders from his home. – Proverbs 27:8

The other morning, in personal devotion, I was reading through the 27th chapter of Proverbs and I kept reverting back to this particular verse.

It was as if it kept “poking at me” to give it more thought and contemplation (the way we should do for every verse) before I get too far.

So, I asked the question, “What must it be like for a bird when he leaves the comfort and safety of it’s own home?”

Well, though I haven’t thoroughly researched it, I gathered that, when a bird leaves it’s nest, it makes itself vulnerable to the dangers of other predators, hunters, or even man made mechanisms.

Also, away from home, and place of safety, a bird has no shelter from the dangers of the natural elements as well. Things such as strong winds, rain, and heat or cold.

So, in a nutshell, Home is a place of refuge and shelter; and when the bird has wandered from his home, he is “out of place”.

And such is the case for man (Humankind), in a spiritual sense.

The scripture says, “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1)

Under the shadow of Our Father is where we find refuge and safety from the storms of life, as well as the many assaults and attacks of our enemies.

In Christ we make our abode and home, and He becomes our shelter from all that would afflict us.

In Him, we are In a good place; like Noah when he was in the ark.

Safe, secure, and free from all harm.

If we wander from that place, like the prodigal son, we make ourselves vulnerable to every evil thing and risk not fulfilling our God ordained purpose for being.

He alone IS our refuge and place of safety.

Today, are You in The right place?

Father, it is our most earnest prayer that you enable us, by the power of Your Grace, to remain steadfast in our place in you, through faith.

In Him,

Pastor Lowe

Just Knowing He’s There

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, He it is who doth go with thee. He will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” – (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Earlier in the week I had the blessing of taking our 2 year old daughter to play at the park after picking her up from school.

She always gets so excited about going to the park.
It’s just something invigorating about being able to run freely; she simply enjoys it.

When we arrived, I took her to the mini park (within the park) to let her climb and run along the little “thing-a-ma-jigs” (don’t know what they call em) they had setup for the children to climb up, and slide down, on.

I could tell that this particular setup was not that thrilling for her (She’s a little daredevil),
So I escorted her to the bigger setup; and was she ever up for the challenge!!

It was higher, bigger, and the slides were a lot steeper. She really enjoyed this one.

But, she didn’t initially start out that way.

When I first got her to the bigger setup, she was a bit hesitant; the higher she walked up, the more timid she seemed to be.

Yet, with each step upward, I kept assuring her with the words “Don’t be afraid, Daddy is right here”… And I could tell that my words were giving her the courage to continue to confidently move forward.

At one point I saw the confidence in her eyes, and they seemed to say “I’ll be okay Because my daddy’s here”.

It caused me to think about some of my most trying times in this life. The moments when I was most unsure, afraid, and things seemed the darkest; as if there was no good end in sight.

Each time, God would be there assuring me, by His word and through His Spirit, “I’m here with you… Don’t be afraid”.

Just Knowing He Was There always helped me make it through.

And that’s the assurance that has helped so many down through the years.. It Helped Moses… It helped Joshua… And, as believers, we have the same promise and assurance today of Knowing He is Near.

We need not be afraid, because He IS near, just as He promised He would be.

Father, today we thank You that You are Faithful to Your promise to never Leave nor forsake Us. We ask that You give us the ability, By your grace, to believe You and hold on to Your promise. There’s something special about Just Knowing You’re There.
In Jesus Name. Amen.

In The Love Of Christ,

Pastor Lowe

He Still Works Miracles

This, the first of His signs (attesting miracles), Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed His glory [displaying His deity and His great power openly], and His disciples believed [confidently] in Him [as the Messiah—they adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him]. – John 2:11 

In our Thursday night Bible study we’ve begun going through the book of John. We’ve only covered the first 2 chapters, but it’s been full of insight.

One of the things that I’ve learned about the book, as a whole, is how it is centered solely upon Jesus Chirst and His Deity (another word for The Nature of God).

John’s intent was to reveal Him as such (Son of God) so that the world in turn might believe; and it was through the working of many miracles, that, not only his disciples, but many others as well, came to believe on His name and put their total trust in Him.

When God works miracles, I believe He does it with an intended purpose attached to it; one of the purposes, I personally believe, is that others might initially come to trust Him; and for those that know Him, that they might come to trust Him more and more.

I can testify of a myriad of miracles of which I’ve heard about, seen with my own eyes, or personally experienced myself. If told, they would all give testimony to the Goodness and Glory of God.

But there is one miracle, that, to me, tops them all.  

The Miracle of A changed Life.

There is nothing more powerful, and greater, than taking a wayward life, who had “no” sense of direction towards what is good and right, and “no” desire for God (or the things of God), and change His entire disposition (the inner being) to want to Live, Breathe, and Think in a way that was totally foreign to him before that Transformation.

Only God could do that!

A work that is just as miraculous as turning the water into wine; and a work that I am so Grateful  He is still in the business of doing today. 

If you’ve entertained doubt concerning the power and ability of our Loving Father, I encourage you today with this truth that I pray your soul may find refuge and rest in:….. “God Still Works Miracles”.

Father, today we Thank You that you are still a miracle working God. And Lord, we thank you that we have experienced your miracle working power in our lives. Help us, Lord, to tell others of Your mighty works, that You may be glorified and many other sons and daughters may be brought to Glory!

In Jesus name, Amen…
May God Be With You, 

Pastor Lowe

Not By Bread Alone

And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know, that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. – ( Deuteronomy 8:3 )

This morning in meditation I was thinking on Psalms 1 and what it says about the man who makes the word of God his delight.

It says, in essence, that he shall be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of water…. (the result of meditating in the law of God day and night). 

His roots shall go down deep, and he will be both fruitful and able to stand through the storms and difficulties of life. 
God’s word has that effect on all those who believe it and stand upon it.

Yet, sadly, we are living in a time in which men are becoming so dependent (more than ever) upon so many other means of surviving and sustaining ourselves (by ourselves) …. But we were never meant to be independent of our Creator.

We are not independent creatures.
In the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel, one of God’s greatest tasks was to lead the people to understand, and know, that they were not to depend upon themselves, but upon Him. 

One of the primary means He used to show them such was by way of trials and hardship. The text says, “He humbled them, and allowed them to hunger and fed them with manna….. to teach them that man shall not live by bread alone, But by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

In recent months, many of us have endured some afflictions, hardships, and inconveniences in one way or another. Life has become “different”, to say the least. 

But, in the midst of what we’ve endured, have we come to the realization that we are truly needy and dependent?
Have we trusted in the means, that we’ve devised, to alleviate the ill effects of what confronts us?

Or, have we resolved, that, it is Not By Bread Alone….  But by every word that God has spoken?
His Word is our only Hope.

Father, help us to learn and embrace what you worked to teach the children of Israel. That we don’t live by bread alone, but By your Living Word.

In The Love Of God,
Pastor Lowe

He Is Ever Mindful Of Us

The Lord hath been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. – Psalm 115:12 

Several weeks ago one of our dearest members went into the hospital for a sickness that had gotten worse. Her condition was to the point that they thought it was best to keep her hospitalized.

During the course of her stay there, for the time she was there, she could have no visitors, except by way of the outside window.

Her circumstance really grieved my heart, and I thought about how countless others were going through similar difficulties with loved ones who were either hospitalized, or in nursing homes, all around the country.

So, a group of us decided that we would go pay her a visit and sing some songs through the window, just to brighten her day.

But before we ever had a chance to go visit, we got the news that she would be soon transferred to another facility, and then eventually get to go be in the home of her daughter.

Her daughter told us that we would be more than welcome to come into her home to visit; That was certainly much more than we could’ve ever hoped for!

As I processed the events that had just taken place on Ms. Roma’s behalf, I couldn’t stop thinking about How Mindful God was of us, in the midst of this circumstance.

He knew we missed her and wanted to see her ….. He knew we cared for her and wanted to encourage her…. And just as well, He knew we wanted to be able to say goodbye and hold her hand one last time.

We got the opportunity to do all of the above.

I believe He Sovereignly worked all of that out because He Loves Us and is Ever and Always Mindful of Us.

Father, thank You so much for the multitude of your thoughts towards us; and thank you for how You often express those thoughts toward us in some of the most special ways. Help us to trust your heart for us and Live our Lives accordingly.

In Jesus Name,

This Devotional is Dedicated to the Life and Loving Memory of Ms. Roma Linkous.

In Christ, 
Pastor Lowe

 Roma “Lucille” Linkous
January 29, 1938 – March 7, 2021

Roma “Lucille”, Linkous born is Delorme W.V., to Almeda and Thomas Dotson, went home to be with the Lord, March 7, 2021 surrounded by family. Roma is survived by four children; Brenda Linkous Hughes, Linda Linkous Johnson, Patty Dotson, Michael Linkous; Her sisters Helen Jobe, Kathleen Loftus, and brother Glen Dotson;
several grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Mom raised three children alone after the death of her husband in 1966. Mom always worked hard to make sure we always had what we needed. Later mom became a caregiver for many years. She loved taking care of others. The most important thing about mom was her love for Jesus Christ, her church family and her family.

II Corinthians 5:6-9 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be
accepted in him.

Services at 6:30 PM
March11. 2021
Medical Center Baptist Church, 

Pastor Darwin Lowe
7015 Wurzbach Rd,
an Antonio, TX 78240, 

Fuel For The Soul

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” – Leviticus 6:13.. (KJV)

The fire mentioned in the verse above is a fire that was initially started by God Himself.

Yet, even though God was the initiator of the fire, the priests were responsible for keeping that fire burning.
The scripture says that “it shall never go out”.

One of the means by which they were instructed, to keep the fire burning, was to put wood on it every morning…. “and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning” (vs. 12)

Wood was the fuel that would drive the fire. So, as long as the fire would have wood put in it, it would continue to burn and not go out.

Sometimes, we complain about being “burnt out”. (That’s a term that is used for someone that is totally exhausted from having overworked.) 

In other words, we feel like we’ve burned all that we could, and we have nothing left.

That happens spiritually as well; and when it does, it affects every facet of our lives, in one way or another.

The answer for keeping the passion strong and the fire burning?

Put wood on it “every morning”.

Time in God’s presence, and time spent in His word, is Fuel for the Soul; and it’s the fuel that will never allow the fire started in our hearts, by God, to go out.

Father, though we have so many things going in our lives, help us to never neglect taking the time to put wood on the Fire that you started in our hearts. Let it continue to burn and never go out.

In The Love Of God,

Pastor Lowe

He Took My Place

Isaiah 53:4-6  4)Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJV)

I normally share a short verse for the devotionals; but someone shared this particular verse on Facebook, and after I read it, I thought it very much worthy of sharing in devotion.

One of the reasons why I felt compelled to share these verses is because it was the God given understanding of these verses that initially resulted in my personal salvation.

As if it was yesterday, I can vividly recall being at very very low point in my life. I was invited to a worship service/conference by a mentor and friend; and it was right there in that meeting that These verses literally made sense to me and my eyes were opened.

Before that point, all I could seem to think about was all of the wrong and evil I had previously done; unable to pick my head up as a result of the weight of guilt from all of the bad choices I had made.

Everyone that I had in my life was either angry, disappointed, or hurt by my choices…. I believe I even despised my ownself.

Yet, in spite of my sinful choices and destructive ways, it was in “That Place” that The Lord met me with a love and compassion that only He can give, and He opened my heart to see and realize that He had in fact Taken my place and took upon Himself what I “rightfully” deserved.

That truth Broke My Heart and changed my life.

If I was a half decent man, I don’t know if it would’ve hurt so much to know that an innocent man, out of love, suffered as much as He did for me.

But the fact that I was as despicable as I was made it unbearable to resist the kind of love exemplified In The sacrifice that Jesus made for me…. Little Ole “me”.

He Took My Place…. He Took Your Place… He Took Our Place… 

This…. Is…. The Heart of The Gospel Message.

He took the place of every person you and I will ever see in the course of a day.

Father, today we stand grateful for the Love you showed by taking our place so that we might know Peace. As you made the sacrifice for us to have life (eternal), help us to show the same love for others, in your strength.
In Jesus Name.

Peace and Blessings, 

Pastor Lowe