Friday, May 31, 2013

What a Challenge . . . Care to Join Us?

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. (Titus 2 11-15)
What a challenge it is to serve God day in and day out! Yes, oh yes it is a privledge, but also a challenge. There are many days when we feel as if we are on anisland and the only thing to do is cry out to God just to have some one listen. other days, we feel as though we have the attention of the entire world . . . well at least our small corner of it anyway!
So many ups and downs . . . emotional highs and lows.
But like the athelete I was trained to be, i try to tell myself not to get too high or too low. Each day will bring its own troubles. God remains steady and faithful, even when the closest friends or family members may seem to be our biggest enemies. Yet it is indeed a challenge nevertheless.
However, Paul gives Titus this advice: Let no one despise you! We work toward the return of Jesus. He is our hope . . . not this world! Join the battle!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Is the Christian life easy?

He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Jesus Testifies to the Churches, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments,that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:11-17)
God is not complicated. He does not force us to obey Him. He gives everyone free choice concernng our lives. Live as you choose, but remember, His reward is with those who choose Him and no one else! There is no middle ground! Is the Christian life easy? No! Is it enjoyable? Oh, definitely! The sacrifices one makes for Christ and His will far outweigh the consequences of not choosing the Lord. However, since we are so consumed with instant gratification in this day and age, we cannot see the benefits of choosing Christ. We are so deep into "ME", that we simply cannot envision the future hope in Christ. But I challenge you to trust God. Sure, enjoy life and all it offers. However, remember , all things may be lawful, but not all things are beneficial to the Christ-follower. Challenges have faced every believer since the time the Savior walked the earth. Yes, it is tough today to choose to honor the Lord throughout the day, but it was no different in Paul's day when he wrote:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our children . . . prayerful about their future.

A good name is better than fine perfume,and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.(Ecclesiastes 7:1-5)
After attending a few graduations last week (some of former students and some current) with a few more this week, I am prayerful about their futures. . . Not afraid or excited, but prayerful! As I see some return from the school they attended, I see some provocative dress, hear some colorful language, and witness comments and pictures on social media that is upsetting. Yet I also see some who love the Lord whole heartedly; they have participated in mission trips, served in ministries, and show a maturing Christian spirit. So what can we say about their future . . . our future? One word . . .
DISCIPLESHIP!!!!
Discipleship is all about relationships: Our personal relationship with Jesus in devotion, relationships with other believers in care and accountability, and relationships with pre-believers in evangelism. Discipleship is the diligent and intentional teachings and practices that promote the lifelong lifestyle of becoming ever more like Jesus and reproducing the Christ-life in others. Are we doing this with those we have taught, mentored and met along the way? Do we care enough to spend the time it takes to help someone get to know Jesus on a deep personal level? God will do His part . . . will we do our part?
I am prayerful about the future and prayerful that you and I will decide to ivest in that future . . . our young people!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Freedom is NOT free . . . remembering . . .

For the Lord Most High is awesome,the great King over all the earth.(Psalm 47:2)
On this Memorial Day, I not only remember those men and women who have sacrificed for my freedoms, but THE AWESOME GOD who made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for whomever desires His grace for forgiveness of sin and eternal life . . . eternal freedom from sin and eternal peace with God Himself!
But freedom is not free!
So many folks have no clue. So many simply live as if there is no tomorrow, no hope. We have to show them before we tell them. We must sacrifice for others . . . lay our lives down for those who need to be freed from sin. (John 15:13) If Christ did it for us, we too must do it for others. We too are soldiers and in the battlefield each and every day. Let's not neglect our duties! There is a war to fight from victory!
Do not be ashamed but praise Him with me this day!!!!
http://youtu.be/wDC7NeVfc30

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It was always the Scriptures!

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[a] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.(Jude 3-4)
The Gospel does not change! It IS the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. This must not change. There is no need to water down the Gospel. Perhaps present it in relevant manners, but the same Gospel! Do we think that Jesus changed His message for the young Hebrew kids? Did Paul use a different message for the philosophers in Greece? Philip expained Isaiah to the Ethiopian . . . none found any need to use different words! It was always the Scriptures. . . the Word of God! So many have excused the Gospel or dummy-downed the Gospel or misrepresented the Gospel in order to attempt to reach the current culture. Perhaps that is why we are NOT reaching them as we should! The Gospel is always relevant. Perhaps we try too hard to be friends rather than teachers. We are buddies rather than mentors. Sadly, we have also become this way with our own children and family members. Are afraid of offending folks! Even before we teach the Word we must live it. There is nothing like experience and sharing it with those who have yet to travel the roads we have already navigated. As we invest in lives, people will respond, if the Spirit calls them. We simply need to be honest, transparent, and available. It is not about us, but about God's Word and lost souls!
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:16-17)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mission Field Challenges

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are living by the truth. Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the believers. You are faithful even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please help them by sending them on their way in a manner that honors God. They started on their journey to serve Jesus Christ. They didn’t receive any help from those who aren’t believers. So we should welcome people like them. We should work together with them for the truth.(3 John 1:4-8)
It brings great joy to those who have discipled us for them to see us living in obedience to the Word of God. Nothing pleases a teacher more than to see a student successfully living out what he or she has learned. It is so true today! John praises gaius and others for their outpouring of love and obedience to the Truth. he especially praises them for supporting the work of the church . . . even the travelling preachers and missionaries of their day. While some throught it not right to share their possessions with the evangelists and others travelling around the country with the Gospel truths, John makes it clear that when we do, we share in their work and the global work of God through them. These words encourage me as a missionary, yet it also presents a challenge. God approves our work and calling. Many support our labor. Yet many do not. In fact, some question our decision to leave good paying jobs to serve the Lord full-time in ministry. Even mature and faithful believers do not believe it is their job or God's instructionto support mission work. Many believe we should work to support our own ministry (literally working other jobs to support the work God called us to do). Paul faced the same challenges but did not give up the battle.
We must simply thank God for the support e gives and pray for other to have a desire to work together with them (us) for the truth. (3 John 1:8)
We will not quit. God is able!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Submission leads to success . . .

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.(1 Peter 5:5-11)
Submitting to the will of God is rarely an easy thing to do. There are so many opportunities that may seem good and seem right, yet in God's eyes they are not right for us. He alone kniows what is best and when it is best to have it. We have to stay close to Him and know His timing!
We cannot rush God!
Submission to His will and His ways will lead to success! When we do, we will look back and be able to say, "It was all God!" Despite those who may have doubted us or doubted our faith in God, our patience is worth it.
He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. (Proverbs 3:34)
So hang in there. Test every spirit to see if it is of God. Be patient. Allow God to have His perfect way with us and then we will experience His peace, which does by the way go way beyond our human understanding!
His love still amazes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our Choice . . .

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.(1 John 2:15-17)
I love working with teens,ut it can be sooooo frustrating! This is why we must remain consistent and constant in our relationships with them. They have soooo many questions and seek answers. Here is one such question;
If God knows everything than why does He let us choose everything?
My answer? God loves us so much that He gives us a choice. he wants our love in return through obedience to Him. It's much like any parent with a child. He would rather we choose to obey than be punished into obedience. It's our choice to follow Him or not to follow Him. That choice, as John explains above, will allow us entry into heaven or hell. We will choose to abide with God for eternity or reside in hell forever. One cannot be a friend of the world . . . desiring and plundering in its lusts and pleasures and still claim to be a believer. There must be a committment to the ways of Christ if there is indeed the Spirit of God residing within ones heart. Yes, there will be sin, but the repentance and sorrow over sin must be present. We seek help for our weaknesses and truly desire to please God. Habits and addictions can be stopped with prayer, accountability, and total committment to the Spirit of God. We must give Him complete control! God is able if we just decide to commit . . . what about you? Have you made the choice?
As for me and my house, we decide daily to serve and follow Him! (Joshua 24:15)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Integrity . . .more like Jesus.

We know that we have come to know God if we obey his commands. Suppose someone says, “I know him.” But suppose that person does not do what God commands. Then that person is a liar and is not telling the truth. But if anyone obeys God’s word, then God’s love is truly made complete in that person. Here is how we know we belong to him. Those who claim to belong to him must live just as Jesus did.(1 John 2:3-6)
Integrity . . . what we do when no one is watching . . . when no one is around to see us . . . when there is no applause or accolades. Living according to the will of God involves obedience and repentance, not perfection.
Sinless? Proboably not! However, as a follower of Jesus Christ, we are to desire to sin less and less.
Many will not come to Christ because they have convinced themselves through the lies of Satan that they will never be good enough. Then there are professed believers who constantly live in sin by excusing their actions with the statement, "I'm not perfect!" Both situations are saddening. A follower of Jesus Christ confesses sin in order to receive the atoning graces of Jesus through His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit convicts us to live for Christ and equips us to do so. It is nothing we do by ourselves, nor can do if we tried! We are saved by grace alone. We strive to live in obedience to the Word of God. When we fall, we quickly seek repentance. It is a process of working out our salvation! It is a constant relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and His Spirit within us.
There should be conviction within our hearts and a progression of our faith to become more like Jesus with each passing month and year.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Living Proof!

Here is what we announce to everyone about the Word of life. He was already here from the beginning. We have heard him. We have seen him with our eyes. We have looked at him. Our hands have touched him. That life has appeared. We have seen him. We give witness about him. And we announce to you that same eternal life. He was already with the Father. He has appeared to us. We announce to you what we have seen and heard. We do it so you can share life together with us. And we share life with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this to make our joy complete. (1 John 1:1-4)
No one questions that Geoege Washington was alive. No one questions the life of Plato or Socrates. No one even questions folks like Adam and Eve! So why do they question Jesus? A student told me the other day that we can't touch Jesus! True . . . not today. However, as we read the words of John above, people did touch him! They did see Him! They did hear Him! They also witnessed His miracles along with many others both during His life and after His resurrection from the dead! John wrote so that we may believe and have the same confident joy he had. Our faith is built upon facts, not feelings. It is a solid faith that changing situations cannot move. It is built upon a unshakeable foundation . . . the person (and Risen Savior), Jesus Christ!
We have living proof! Now He lives in us for others to see!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Easy to become tired and weak . . .

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18)
It is so easy to become comfortable. It is so easy to give excuses. It is easy to become tired and weak as well. But in our relationship with Christ, we must remain active and fresh. While we may not always be able to attend church or Bible studies, we are to remain in connection with the Lord! We can always stay in touch with Christian companions through text messages, e-mails and socail medias. We have no excuse to be out of touch. We have Christian radio and TV. Hey, remember the Bible? We can always read it and continue our conversations with the Lord anywhere and anytime in prayer! When we notice someone missing from usual meetings and assemblies, we can always reach out to them as well. Never let a fellow believer feel left out or unloved! They may just need that call or visit!
Yes we may become a bit weary and unable to be physically present at times. That is no excuse however to be out of touch! Keep growing . . .

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Better or worse?

God’s power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. He chose us because of his own glory and goodness. He has also given us his very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in his nature. He also did it so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings. So you should try very hard to add goodness to your faith. To goodness, add knowledge. To knowledge, add the ability to control yourselves. To the ability to control yourselves, add the strength to keep going. To the strength to keep going, add godliness. You should possess more and more of those good points. They will make you useful and fruitful as you get to know our Lord Jesus Christ better. But what if some of you do not have those good points? Then you can’t see very well. You are blind. You have forgotten that your past sins have been washed away. My brothers and sisters, be very sure that God has appointed you to be saved. Be sure that he has chosen you.(2 Peter 1:3-10
No one stays the same. My former basketball coach from high school always reminded us of this fact: We either get better or we get worse. There is no staying the same! This is true for the CHRISTian as well. We either grow closer closer to the Lord or grow further apart from Him. There is no limbo! As we pray, study, read, worship together, etc, we grow closer to the Lord and the Body. The more we ignore our daily quiet time, put off prayer, become too busy with everyday life and forsake the fellow believers, we grow weary and get caught up in the things of this world. it is a simple fact.
All we have to do is examine our life: where are we going? . . . who are we hanging out with? . . . what are we spending time on? . . .
I learned at an early age that perfect practice makes perfect. Well, if we practice what God calls us to each day, He will perfect us! If we stay connected, we will grow as God intends for each of us. We improve as a Body and as individual believers. The best thing is that God does the work in us . . . all we have to do is stay connected and committed!
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4 :11-16)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Not simply a feeling or a fad, but facts!

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil . . . (1 Peter 3:15-17) We have to be ready . . . ready to act, ready to respond . . .ready to speak if necesarry. Believers must be ready to defend the Gospel and stand for what we say we believe! After all, everyone else has an argument! Every else has reasons why they are doing what they do. We who know the TRUTH need to be ready to tell people why we believe!
My faith is not simply a feeling or a fad, but based upon facts!
In my work with young people, even yesterday, the Holy Spirit moved me to get very direct when one teen contiued to ask "What if?" As we were discussing heaven and hell and the final judgement, she would not accept what we were telling her about having to decide while we were living about God. Finally I had to simply go to Revelation (Revelation 20:11-15)and read it for her hearing (and the others as well). She needed an answer directly from God! There are too many "What ifs" today . . . Too many "What if the Bible is not true?" . . . "What if God did not mean this or that?"! Is this not what Satan whispered to Eve? We must trust the Word of God an live it out! We cannot be bothered with what others might think or how thry might respond.
God is the truth and every man a liar!!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Let's be sure!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(1 Peter 2:9)
We simply cannot call ourselves believers of the Lord Jesus Christ and accept anything as His will. We cannot live any way we please and not have the Holy Spirit convict us. We are indeed to be a peculiar people. We are to be outstanding among our peers . . . standing out! Everything is not of God . . . even good things! Let's not continue to accept anything as Gid's will. Let's purpose to be sure it is of God and for His glory. There is simply too much being done in the name of Christ that is not His will. Let's take our time. Let's try the spirits. Let's be sure it is His will and not that of our own or someone else.
Let's be sure!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Faith through trials

You have joy even though you may have had to suffer for a little while. You may have had to suffer sadness in all kinds of trouble.Your troubles have come in order to prove that your faith is real. It is worth more than gold. Gold can pass away even though fire has made it pure. Your faith is meant to bring praise, honor and glory to God. That will happen when Jesus Christ returns.(1 Peter 1:6-7)
Yes we look forward to heaven and all its glory one day . . . but for now we have to live in this world! We still have joy. Why? It is because we know that the Lord is working things out through us . . . even our very salvation! The trials we go through are not only for our own good, but for others to be able to witness our faith through the trials. The hurting world is watching to see how we respond to the trials of life. Yes, we claim to know the Lord in good times. That is the easy part. But how do we respond when things get tough . . . and continue to be a challenge? Do we cave in or like Job, do we contnue to bless the Lord, even worship Him all the more? (Job 1:20)
Faith through trials brings honor to the Lord and brings others to faith in Him as well. Do not give up . . . He is soon to return!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

young people need to know we care . . .

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.(James 5:19-20) Reaching the one lost in sin . . . this is every CHRISTian's goal . . . or should be! If God wishes no one to be lost (2 Peter 3:9)than we as His followers should seek the salvation of those around us as well. This is a rather easy chore for us when concerning freinds and family members. But what about those of whom we are uncomfortable to be around? What about the drug dealer, the child molester, the homosexual or lesbian?Now things become a bit challenging to us as individuals and as a Body. I must admit, at times there were those whom I wished the worst. I did not care if some were lost. In fact, it served them right! However, God has changed my heart! Speaking with so many teens and hearing their personal and family stories has broken my heart for the worst of sinners . . . like me! To really be Jesus with skin on, we must have a heart for every sinner. The love of God must permeate our lives. Jesus loved the sinner and persued them. We must do the same. If we are uncomfortable talking to certain folks, the least we can do is pray fervently for individuals and groups. But please, also pray for a heart for sinners. Our young people need to know we care beyond words and special collections. They need to feel the love of Jesus and see it in our eyes. They need His heart . . . through ours! A teen recently asked me why more churches do not address the issue of homosexuality in a real way. I had no answer accept that we did not really know how to do it. We are homophobic for one! many other issues we glance over and hope they will go away. Kids are neglected, mentally and physcially abused, and yes, trapped in homosexual lifestyles looking for an answer. Will we at least attempt to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to bring these lost ones to Christ? Like me, God is trying to mature us all to do His work. I was such a vile person before Christ and He is still at work in me. May He use those of us who have been redeemed to now bring sinners such as ourselves to repentance! Let's love on someone in need this day!
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.(1 Corinthians 13:11-13)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pray . . . Pray . . . Pray

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.(James 5:13-16)
Prayer works! If you do not believe it for yourself, take James' advice here. Prayer moves the heart of God and makes things happen. We should pray in all times; when in trouble, when we are happy, when we are physically or spiritually sick, when we simply get together with others. Prayer keeps us in communion with God and one another. It unites believers to their Creator! Persistent prayer brings us to a utter dependance upon God. We realize how much we need Him for everything we are required to have in life. As we pray together, we also realize the need for fellowhip with ellow believers.
Do not go it alone. We need God . . . we need one another! Let us PRAY!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Workin' in the Garden . . .

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (james 5:7-8)
It requires patience each and every day when attempting to live according th the will of God. The general ups and downs of life is enough, but when you add in other's opinions, attitudes and selfish desires, well let's just say one can really understand the meaning of longsuffering ! However, like the farmer awaits the harvest, we must allow the Lord to mature us through the various testings we go through. We toil each day in the vineyard of ministry and at times must weed out the things (and people) that choke our spirit. We need to fertilize the things that are good for us, surrounding ourselves with positive role models and those who will hold to our mission.
Finally, we must be firmly rooted in order to support the fruit to come.
We must be in God's Word daily and all day, singing psalms and hymms and spiritual songs as it has been said before. We must be established in His Word in order to accomplish His will in such trying times. Winds blow . . . rain comes down hard at times . . . the weather can become cold and harsh. However, the better days are coming . . . Jesus is about to return. The harvest is just ahead. May He find us patiently working for His Kingdom!
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. (Luke 12:35-36)

Friday, May 3, 2013

The world is not our friend!

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
Many times we leave our first love (Revelation 2:4. . . our thoughts travel to what we want and what would be nice to obtain. But how often do we really ponder what God wants us to have? How much is this world influencing us on the day-to-day?
We make plans for our future based upon financial needs and future dreams. We plan for retirement and for our children's future. We plan and plan and plan . . . yet do we really plan for what God has in store? Do we really consider His plans (Jeremiah 29:11) Do we really believe that if we serve Him first He will surely provide all we need for this life? (Matthew 6:33)
In planning for the future, even for the remainder of this day, let's remember to join God at work and allow Him to lead. The world is not our friend. We need to put God first in all things!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not in my house!

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3: 9-12)
We must be consistent, not simply in what we do but also in what we write and speak. People need to a consistency in the Christian world. We cannot keep turning with every tide that rushes upon us or with every wind that blows. God need s us to be stable and sure of Whose we are and what we believe. With each new controversy that erupts, I see and hear all sorts of babble from Christians and non-believers alike. Why does it all seem the same? Are we not a "called-out" people? Are we not to be "out-standing"? Are we not to be "peculiar" or a bit "strange" if you know what I mean? Why do we sound just like the world? Why do we continue to compromise? Well, not in my house!
Let's stick to this age-old yet popular verse: As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!(Joshua 24:15)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is there evidence to convict us?

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.(James 2:14-17)
Just one simple question this morning as you ponder over these words from James:
Is there enough evidence for a jury of our peers convict us of being a believer, a disciple of Jesus Christ?

one stable foundation,

Then  as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings  are here! ” ...