Pastor Stephen Dedman

Be Gracious To Others

And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:54

Have you ever been so angry that you wanted God’s wrath to be poured out on someone? We need to be careful with this type of attitude.

As Jesus made His final trip into Jerusalem to face the cross, He wanted to minister to a village of Samaritans but the people would not welcome Him.  Jesus sent a few men ahead of them to find a place to stay but they couldn’t find one.  

The city of Samaria wanted nothing to do with Jesus.  When James and John discovered this, they wanted to see the village go up in flames.  They thought the people should be destroyed because they rejected the Messiah.

James and John were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder” because of their bodacious attitudes. (Mark 3:17)  They were brothers and close friends to Jesus and expected people to believe in Jesus as Messiah.  However, we all know that Jesus is rejected by many.  

Even today we witness people rejecting the message of Jesus but we should never want to see them consumed with fire because of their hardened hearts.  Instead we should pray for them and for their hearts to be softened to receive the gospel of Jesus.  Jesus rebuked James and John for their judgmental attitude.

Again in Acts 8:5, Philip (one of the twelve disciples) went back to Samaria to preach the Gospel and great things happened as they received the Word of God.  We should never give up on those who reject the gospel of Jesus.  

We should be consistent with sharing the love and good news to those who are ignorant to the truth.  Calling down judgment and wrath is not the right perspective.  God’s ultimate plan was carried out as they finally accepted Jesus and believed.  But what if they were destroyed before they ever believed?


Lord we want to see Your great work done here on earth and we want to witness your power and grace. Help me to have a soft heart and a compassion for others.

What Is Your Story?

 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
1 Peter 3:15

When was the last time you boldly asked someone if they have ever received God’s free gift of salvation?

There may be someone close to you that needs to hear your story of how you came to Jesus in faith.  Did you know that people are more likely to listen and relate to your story than they are to respond to a sermon?  That’s why it is so important for every Christian to be ready to give an account of their faith.

Every one has a testimony or a story of how and when they met Jesus Christ.  There is no testimony that is too boring or meaningless.  Your story might be the perfect words for someone to understand God’s grace and mercy.  

Don’t be fearful or bashful because the Holy Spirit will give you exactly what you need to say to those who need to hear exactly what you have to say.  You just need to be willing and ready to share your faith with everyone.

Truth is, most everyone who needs Jesus just needs the basics of knowing God’s love and compassion.  Simply telling someone that God sent His only Son to die on the cross for their sins could turn their life around.  

Just by speaking in the name of Jesus could make a world of difference.  A very easy way to start a conversation with someone is to simply say, “Have a blessed day!”


Lord, thank You for giving me Your salvation. Give me boldness to speak out and speak up for Jesus. Let my story be encouraging to others.

He Who Humbles Himself

He Who Humbles Himself

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:11‬

A Lesson of Humility

In Luke 14:1-6 Jesus was invited to a prestigious dinner with the religious leaders. He was the honored guest but only for evil intentions. There was also another man invited that day who had dropsy (known as edema). The lawyers and Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into breaking a law on the Sabbath but their plan backfired. Jesus asked them if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath but they remained silent. Jesus then healed the man and sent him away. The lawyers and Pharisees were speechless.

The miracle of healing should have been enough to demonstrate that Jesus was God but Jesus wanted to teach them a valuable lesson concerning the Kingdom of God. He used His position of honor to honor God.  The Pharisees used their position of honor to elevate themselves.  Every person who was honored would then honor someone else, as this was their custom.  It was all about being recognized.

Jesus used this opportunity to share another parable. He said, “Instead of placing yourself at the end of the table where the most distinguished guest should sit, move further down the table.  In doing so you will save yourself from shame when the host comes to you and asks you to move because that seat was reserved.  Sit further away and let the host move you to the position of honor.  Then you will be honored by all.”

God does not look lightly upon prideful people. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Every Christian needs to learn the important principle of humility.  Let’s learn from the Master and use our God given positions to praise Him and not ourselves.


Ask the Lord to make you more aware of your sin and position yourself at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.