Ten Encouraging Verses From Psalms And Proverbs

Ten Encouraging Verses From Psalms And Proverbs

Dale Pollard

The news can be depressing! Here’s ten verses of encouragement from the Psalms and Proverbs— hand picked by my wife and me. 

  1. Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
  2. Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.”
  3. Psalms 37:23-24 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”
  4. Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
  5. Psalm 40:11 “As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!”
  6. Psalm 54:4 “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
  7. Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
  8. Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” 
  9. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
  10. Psalm 62:6-7 “He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” 
Jesus Is All You Need

Jesus Is All You Need

Gary Pollard

We’ll spend the next few weeks on an overview of Colossians. The theme of Colossians is simple — Jesus is all you need. You don’t need Jesus, plus some other tradition. 

The letter starts with a reminder of why we live the Christian life. 1.5 says, “Your faith and love continue because you know what is waiting for you in the heavens: the hope you’ve had since you first heard the true message about God’s grace.” This is very similar to 3.1, which says, “You were raised from death with Christ — so live for what is above, which is where Christ is sitting at God’s right hand.” Our hope is in Jesus, who came from above. Our faith and love continue because we know what’s waiting for us when the one who is in the heavens comes back for us. 

1.9-11 promises that God will make us completely sure of what he wants. He will help us live the kind of lives that make him happy. He’ll help us to be productive and expand our knowledge of him. He’ll also give us strength with his own power so we can make it through difficult times. Our response should be happiness (1.12) and gratitude! By helping us live the right kind of life — thanks to Jesus’s sacrifice (1.14) — we’ll be able to get what he promised us, which is immortality and escape from earth’s corruption. 

Half Mast

Half Mast

Carl Pollard

We have an American flag in the front yard of our church building here at Scottsville. Sadly, I’ve noticed lately that is has been flying at half mast more often than not. It is a common practice to fly the flag at half mast after a tragedy occurs. Our world has always been filled with evil, but the method of acting on evil impulses has just changed over time. Why is the flag always at half mast? Because evil people continue to do what they have always done. Hurt others. 

Despite our political differences, we should all be able to agree on these facts: Shooting up a school is evil. Taking an innocent life is the epitome of wickedness. And yet we get distracted by the politics of the situation and fail to see who is truly responsible. Satan has a firm grip on our world, and if we don’t do something to bring people out of his hold, bad things will continue to happen to good people. 

We shouldn’t be surprised at the state of our country. We have removed God from every place, and a godless country will only ever be evil. If we truly want to fix the problems that are constantly happening, we need to start by bringing others to Christ. Parents need to raise their children in Christ and stop making excuses for bad behavior. Mankind is naturally inclined to wickedness. Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The further we move away from God, the closer we get to continual evil. 

Our flag has been at half mast far too often. I’m tired of hearing about all the innocent lives that are lost due to wicked people. Let’s put the politics aside and start focusing on the real issue. People are obsessed with following their own desires (James 1:15), and Satan loves to cheer us on. Only evil people would do what has been done lately, so let’s start teaching the love of Christ to a lost and dying world. There’s only One who can remove our wickedness, and now more than ever we need to proclaim Him! 

Resolving Our Differences

Resolving Our Differences

Gary Pollard

In Philippians 4, right before he confronts Euodia and Syntyche, Paul says, “My dear brothers and sisters, I love you and want to see you. You bring me joy and make me proud of you. Continue following the Lord as I have told you.” 

Then verse two, “I strongly urge Euodia and I strongly urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the lord.” The word translated “urge” here is something called a petition verb. These were usually used for strong emphasis. There are two in the same sentence in 4.2, suggesting that Paul had been leading up to this the whole time. His examples of selflessness, humility, concern about others, willingness to sacrifice for the good of others, and his examples of other Christians who did what they were supposed to do, all led up to this straightforward conclusion. These two Christian women were evidently in an argument so severe that their salvation was in serious danger (2.12). 

But he doesn’t just admonish these women and leave them in awkward silence. He asks a friend to help these women work out their issues because (4.3), “They worked hard with me in telling people the good news, together with Clement and others who worked with me. Their names are written in the book of life.” He wasn’t bullying these two women because of their issues — even as he corrected them, he made it clear that this was done out of genuine love and concern for their spiritual well-being. Because of their evangelistic mindset and excellent work ethic, their names were in God’s book of life. 

Paul repeats 3.1 in 4.4 — “rejoice in the Lord always. I’ll say it again — rejoice.” These are also imperatives. How do we fix problems in our congregations? We focus on what we have in common. We serve God and we’re waiting impatiently for Jesus to come back. It’s a lot easier to resolve our differences when we’re united in our goals. We all want the same thing. We’re all equal in God’s eyes. 

Philippians 4 has several more imperatives (5-9) — Make sure everyone sees that we’re gentle and kind. Don’t worry about anything. Ask God for everything you need and be content with what you have. Think about what is good and wholesome. Follow God’s teaching. 

At the end of Philippians 4 is another familiar verse — “I can do anything with God’s help”. This verse is on a poster at our gym near the weight lifting area (as “Phillippians” ha), and many have this verse on a shirt or tattooed. While it’s certainly innocent and kinda funny, that’s not what Paul’s saying here. To avoid ending the letter on an unpleasant note, he spends time thanking Philippi for all of the ways they’ve helped him. He slipped in that he can be content with or without money, and he can be content with or without enough food. How? Because when it comes to working for God, he’ll make sure we have the strength we need to keep going. 

Philippians 4.7 says, “Because you belong to Jesus, God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds. His peace is more profound than we’re capable of understanding.” No matter what happens to us, if we’re working for God we’ll be ok! 

Seven Ways To Pursue Joy

Seven Ways To Pursue Joy

Dale Pollard

We’ll keep this really simple. Let’s start with a few facts about joy and then dive into seven ways to find joy when we lack it. 

1. Joy is not a feeling, it’s a godly perspective

2. A Christian’s hardships aren’t pointless, they’re productive

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

 – James 1.2-3 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

 —Romans 12:12

Seven Ways To Pursue Joy 

  1. God’s direction brings joy (Ps. 94.19)
  1. The Resurrection brings joy (Matt. 28.8)
  1. Unity of mind and sharing the same love brings joy (Phil. 2.2)
  1. Loving the Lord’s people brings joy (Phil. 1.7)
  1. A mature faith brings joy (I Pt. 1.8)
  1. Fellowship brings joy (2 John 1.12
  1. God’s presence brings joy (Jude 24)
Keeping On Track Until He Comes Back

Keeping On Track Until He Comes Back

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

I Thessalonians 5.12-13a — Church Leadership Helps Keep Us on Track

  • We have to recognize their value because elders are a critical part of setting the tone of a church family. 
  • Because of their work, God expects us to consider them the MVPs of our congregations. 
  • God will personally reward elders who do good work (I Pt 5.4; Hb 13.17; Acts 20.32). 
  • God expects us to show elders the highest respect and love. We’re all human and we’re all going to mess up. Last anyone checked, elders are human too. God hands out grace generously, and demands we do the same for his elders. 

5.13b-22 — God Expects Us to Do Some Things…

  • Live peacefully with each other. 
  • Keep each other accountable. 
  • Patiently work with weak Christians. 
  • Stay on top of doing good things for people. 
  • Stay happy. 
  • Keep praying. 
  • Be grateful. 
  • Don’t put a wet blanket on God’s work. 
  • Make sure everything we teach is legit. 
  • Avoid evil proactively. 

5.23-28 — If We Try Our Best, God Will Make Sure We’re Ready When Jesus Comes Back

  • We can trust him to make us ready when he comes back because his grace is extremely powerful. We know what we struggle with, but God is more powerful than our guilty hearts (I Jn 3.20). He’ll make sure we’re ready when he returns. 
  • In the meantime, he expects us to stay on good terms with each other. 


  • Everything we do has the last day in mind. It’s why we don’t live the way we might want to. 
  • It’s why we love people when they’re often not easy to love. 
  • It’s why we go through pain with our heads held high. 
  • We want to wake from death’s sleep to the incredible sight of Jesus’s angels bringing us to him (Mt 24.31; I Thess 4.17). 
Gary Pollard
Three Reasons To Work For Each Other

Three Reasons To Work For Each Other

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

In I Thessalonians 1.2-3, we’re motivated to work for each other for three reasons. First is our faith, which is a confidence that Jesus is coming back for us. It’s enough to make us go out of our way for each other. Our love for God is another motivator. We love God because he promised us a life with Jesus forever. Because he showed this kind of love, we show the same love to each other. Our hope is the last motivator listed in this section. A better word for this is anticipation. According to research led by Dr Andrew Huberman (neurobiologist and behavioral scientist at Stanford School of Medicine), anticipation is one of the strongest human emotions. This makes perfect sense, as our anticipation of Jesus’s return is why we live the Christian life. This is almost a word-for-word parallel to I Corinthians 13. 

I Thessalonians 1.4-6 reminds us that God loves us, so he chose us to be rescued. A few thousand years ago, God chose Israel to be his special people. When they were faithful to him, they enjoyed physical blessings and a relationship with him. God chose us to live with him forever. We’re his special people. Paul also points out that we can trust God to deliver on his promise. This will show up again later in the letter. God promised that we’ll live with him forever when his son comes back for us. Faith means confidence or trust. When we trust God to deliver on his promise, we’re demonstrating faith. 

This section also teaches that we can find happiness while we’re suffering. The anticipation we have of Jesus’s return is the only reason this statement is true. If this life is all there is, we’re the most miserable group of people in the world. What makes death, suffering, and anxiety worth the pain? How can we have any semblance of sanity when all the bad stuff happens? We keep going because he promised he’d come back for us, and because this life is short any way! 

Gary Pollard
The Local Preacher (Part 6)

The Local Preacher (Part 6)

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

In Acts 20:24, Paul says, “…But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself…in order that I may finish my course.” 

What an incredible attitude. In verse 24 Paul stated the reason he was willing to face the dangers in Jerusalem. He was ready to surrender his life for the gospel. In his epistles Paul often stated his readiness to suffer, even to die for Christ. Paul had completely given his life to Christ. He was willing to die for what he believed. Are we? As ministers we should believe in the word of God so much that we are willing to give our lives for it. What are our lives to us? How much do they mean to us? Do we care so much about our lives that we are willing to preserve them over preserving the word? Those are a lot of questions, but there’s one simple fact that we must remember. A preacher that is not willing to give his life for the cause of Christ is not worthy to preach. 

God’s church, the Bride of Christ, deserves a man willing to lay down his life for the gospel. When Jesus came to Paul on the road to Damascus, He gave Paul his life’s mission. By the grace of God, Paul completed a lifelong service to Him. As ministers, there is not a better life to model ours after, besides Jesus, than the life of Paul. He was selfless to the very end. His body was a mere tool just for the cause of Christ. What does that take? A lifetime of studying and growing our relationship with the Lord. A man with a poor or lacking relationship with God does not belong in the pulpit. 

From the book of Acts we can pull many examples from Paul’s life and apply them to that of the modern day minister. The Bible is 1900 years old, but it is still a practical guide to today’s preachers. We have different challenges that may seem like new issues, but Paul proves over and over again that following Christ wholeheartedly is all we truly need to make it as successful ministers in the church today. Who does the church see in the pulpit? Who does the church need in the pulpit? These are often two very different things. The preacher can act one way in front of everyone, but who he is when he’s alone is what counts. Does he study and pray constantly? A minister should follow closely the example of Paul, and in doing so he will not fail. If every church had a preacher like Paul the church would be a strong and thriving group. 

Carl Pollard
God’s Family

God’s Family

Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Nick Dubree

Around our house, my wife has pictures with different sayings, like – “In this kitchen we lick the spoon”, “Blessed”, “Gather”, and “Give Thanks”. As much as I make fun of these light-hearted sayings, one of them caught my attention this week. It says:

“In this house we – say please and thank you, never give up, love one another, show respect, think good thoughts, say I’m sorry, give second chances, sing out loud, try to do better, give hugs, are a family.”

I couldn’t help but think about how this not only applies to my personal family, but to my church family as well. Obviously we could take each one of these phrases and spend time comparing them to our church family, but I want to spend time on just a few.

#1: Love one another and show respect.

John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Loving one another is a command from God and acts as a type of evangelism to the world. We should love in this family.

#2: Say I’m sorry and give second chances.

In Luke 15:20-24, we read about this happening in between the prodigal son and his father. In verse 21 it says, “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

Not only did the father forgive his son, but he gave him a second chance. Verse 24 says, “For this my son was dead, and now is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.”

The church family should be one where we feel comfortable enough to say we are sorry and humble enough to give second chances. 

#3: We are a family.

Acts 2:44-47 gives a perfect picture of what the New Testament church family should look like. These new Christians were helping each other, spending time together, and praising God with one another. They were a family, just like we are today.

If you aren’t apart of this family yet, now is the time!

Live Like God

Live Like God

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

How does God expect us to treat each other as a church family? Look at Ephesians 4 and 5 —  

  • Always be humble and gentle (2). 
  • Be patient and accept each other with love (2). 
  • Be unified through God’s spirit (3-6). 
  • Use any talents and abilities to make the church stronger (11-12).
  • Work together as a church to reach a greater level of spiritual maturity (13-16). 
  • Avoid living like the world, because they can’t have the life God gives (17-24). 
  • Avoid telling lies, and always be truthful with our Christian family (25).
  • Avoid getting too angry, because it gives satan a way to defeat us (26-27). 
  • Avoid stealing, instead work for what we need and share with those who need it (28).  
  • Avoid cursing and hateful speech, instead encourage people (σαπρος means rotten speech) because we can make God sad with our speech (29-30). 
  • Avoid being bitter, angry, or mad, don’t raise your voice when mad, or say things that hurt other people, and don’t do anything evil (31). 
  • Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just like God forgives us (32).