Friday, January 30, 2015

Is anything too hard for our God?

I ask you to read this Bible testimony once again . . . maybe even for the first time. This time, put yourself in young David's place; not David the king or David the warrior, but David the teenager who loves his God . . .
And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,

35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
 
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
 48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.(1 Samuel 17:33-37, 40-51)
 
Interesting recollection of what a young teenager can do with just a little faith in his or her God. What if we had this kind of thought process when it comes to our teens? Let me ask this simple question of adults and teens alike this Friday morning:


What is it God is calling us to do? Is anything too hard for our God? 












Thursday, January 29, 2015

Don't leave them at the cross!

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus had one command of His followers just before he left earth. It was not a suggestion or a request, but a COMMAND.


Make disciples . . .  followers . . .students of Christ. This requires teaching and mentoring. We are to teach people about Jesus and show them how to follow His teachings by example. We are then to lead them to baptism, thus a home church whereby they can learn even more and become part of a local fellowship.What are we to teach and show? We are to teach them the things Jesus taught His disciples . . . how to follow Christ.


Just as Jesus promised not to leave His disciples, He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5-6). We too must not leave the ones we lead to Christ. We must walk with them or lead them to a local fellowship that will. Once rescued by Jesus, we are put into a family of believers, not simply a church building. We are not to be alone!

      




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Always STAND for God's TRUTH!



But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18: 6-11)


Never be afraid to speak God's Truths.  Whether you find yourself within the four walls of the Church or out in your daily life among the common folk, God's Truth is still TRUTH! God protects us as we do His work.


Though there will be times when we will be opposed and ridiculed, God always has our back. In this instance Paul was free from harm. Other times he was imprisoned, beaten, chased. However, God always had his back.


For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5-6)
God has always protected His people in His own way. Yes, we will have trials . . . just as Christ did. No one promises an easy life. We are promised eternal life! Trust God. Carry out His plan. Be bold. Be courageous.


No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You may not like your family, but it's family!

Nothing like seeing and greeting family members . . .Hey cuz! How 'ya doin' bro? Boy, sis, you look good today!
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25)


While I normally would not post such language on my blog, I could not help but be awakened by the words of such a Godly man. Think about this:
It is certainly true that our congregations have, at times compromised the radical requirements of discipleship prescribed by Christ, and you may find yourself put off by the church because of its failure to be faithful to his teachings. But I would urge you to consider this fully, and to think about the words of St. Augustine: "The church is a whore, but she's my mother."


The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to not give up our gathering together as a Body. Attending church services, Bible studies, prayer meetings, small groups, all help us to stay informed, encouraged, and edified in our CHRISTian walk. We cannot possibly stay connected through TV, radio, or on-line. God is all about the physical touch, one-on-one relationships, and accountability. Jesus came in the flesh to have a personal relationship with every believer.


Why then do we seem to seek isolated and impersonal worship? Why do we attempt to hide out in church when we do attend? Why do we avoid relationships rather than embrace them?



While we can choose our friends, we cannot choose our familyGod sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalm 68:6) God places us into His family once we accept Him as Lord, Savior, and Father. Like it or not, We are all related . . . rich, poor, tall, short, black, white, old, young, bald, long hair, curly hair, dreads, tatooed, and pierced . . . once God rescues us from sin!


The Church is made up of wretched redeemed sinners and that includes you and me! Like it or not, we are family! Let's get together on a regular basis at our Daddy's house and  enjoy one another's varying personalities, experiences and challenges. After all, we will be spending eternity together!.





 




Monday, January 26, 2015

A SMART God!

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption  that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)





Weather forcasting can be the most unpredicatable of sciences and one that shows that God is indeed in control! How many times do we hear of a pending summer storm only to witness clear weather? How many occassions do we anticipate a huge snowfall, with cancelled work and school days, only to be awakened with clear streets and flurries drifting from the sky?


God is still God and the more we try to play God, the more foolish we become! Allow God complete control of your life. Trust Him with all the things in life . . . big and small. He knows. He is a SMART GOD!

Friday, January 23, 2015

LOVE . . . Nothing Else Compares . . . Share it from the heart.

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. Love never fails . . . When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8,11-12)
L . . . O . . . V . . . E . . . NOTHING else compares to TRUE love . . . GOD'S love! The kind of LOVE God speaks of NEVER fails. It is patient through every circumstance. It is ALWAYS kind, despite the situation. It is NEVER is selfish or bitter or envious of others. It puts up with EVERY mood swing and EVERY irritable moment.
We have so much to learn about LOVE. One day, we will come face to face with LOVE and then we will understand!

Until then, can we stop throwing the word around like it's a cheap dollar store item? LOVE is precious and valuable like the most precious of jewels. It is a gift form the Lover of our souls and something to be cherished and shared from the heart, not the head. It is a gift that is unmerited yet free to be given but not demanded in return.
To say and show "I love you" is to tell someone and show someone they are precious and a gift from God. Love is God . . . share it as you would Christ . . . carefully and personally . . . from the heart!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Humble Justice

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.(Matthew 7:7-12)
I am sharing a video (http://vimeo.com/35777034)concerning Dr. King with my students today in Bible class and this verse came to me for my morning devotion. I cannot help but appreciate how Dr. King chose to seek after a Godly solution to the injustices faced in the 50's and 60's. Living through the 60's as a young boy, I was a bit confused as to the racism and attitudes of people. I could not understand the way peole treated one another . . . even the attitudes within my own family. As I became more involved in sports throughout the 70's and 80's I began to see the root of the feeling and actions. Experiencing both sides of the race issue hit me square in the face when I began dating and entered into close relationships with others.
Now having a solid, exciting, beautiful, and mixed family life, I appreciate Dr. King's sacrifice even more. Stay focused upon Godly values and actions. Do not fall into the traps of the world. Focus upon God and His plans. Honor God, love people. He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

God has a sense of humor . . .

Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!” (Genesis 18:14-15)
God can do the impossible. When He does, at times we can just simply laugh as Sarah did. He amazes us so much it is all we do but chuckle.
Think of times when God did the unbelievable in your life. Did it increase your faith? Did it cause you to trust Him even more for bigger and better things to come?
In the life of Abraham (and Sarah) God built upon his faith . . . from none at all to being known as a man of faith. Trust God as He builds a legacy of faith within us all. He is faithful! Expect Him to do the unexpected, even laughable things in our lives as we depend upp Him!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get Out of the Way!

Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:29-31)
Many times in life we get in our own way. We just get too complicated and think too much about things. Sometimes . . . many times, simple is best. As John the Baptist stated above, God must increase and we must decrease. We are not that important!
We definitely need to get out of Jesus' way! We can all think of times when we have tried to figure things out for God and then we let Him know our plans. Can you list a few?
God knows what He is doing. He is the focus. He is the Source. He is God! If we could only get out of the way!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I hear the rocks . . .

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness. (Psalm 145:5-7)
Being in the mountains one cannot help but experience the beauty and majesty of God. How can one be a part of His creation and not praise Him? I now know what Luke was referring to when he quoted Jesus:
“Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:39-40)
I hear the rocks . . . I praise Him along with them!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Look around . . .

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber . . . Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.(Pslam 19:1-5,14)
As the Master Creator, God's canvas spans the universe. Just as a piece of artwork displays the artist's personality, interests, and talents, so nature displays the glory of God! As we gaze upon His creation, we see His power, glory, perfection, provision and love portayed.
Our quest for knowledge and wisdom is to be rooted in Scripture and covered in prayer. But don’t overlook the many lessons unfolding right outside the front door. Sometimes we get a bit too academic for our own good when we seek knowledge. Look around . . . seek God . . . dig deep . . . believe what you see!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jesus Came to Blow Up Things

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:2-12)
Reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew I am coming to understand something radical. Jesus was teaching what we can easily apply today if will just grasp it. The ones who will truly be blessed in our day are the ones who live diametrically opposed to the rules of performance-based religion.
Jesus came to blow up religious customs and practices! Uh Oh . . . maybe I sound too dramatic or radical, or even terror-driven. I don't mean to bomb buildings and people, but to teardown ideologies and rituals.
Jesus taught and lived a life of sacrifice, service, humbleness, and undeserving ridule . . . without rebellon,revenge, or retribution. I will say it once again as I have said before:
I despise religion . . . I seek relationships. I have a relationship with the Creator and Savior of this world. I desire for all to have one as well! Marantaha!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Make a decision and stick with it . . . nothing comes easy!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us . . . You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. . . . Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:1,4-8, 12-13)
In sports, it's the ones who out work the others that usually win. When all abilities are equal, hard work and perseverance wins out. While we cannot work for our salvation, there is still "work" to be done! Initially, there is the work of Christ upon the cross. Jesus out-worked the devil. He completed the task! No pain, no gain! We cannot sit on our behinds and grow as believers. The CHRISTian walk is HARD! It takes sacrifice. We must say NO! to some things and YES! to others. Decisions can be troublesome and cause pain. But we grow . . .
When it comes to our relationship with Christ, we must make a decision and stick with it. Nothing comes easy!
https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608021503867028059&pid=15.1&P=0

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Take heart . . . We are Redeemed!

For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31:3-5
There is GOOD NEWS! Those of us who are attempting to follow the Lord, we have HOPE. Hope lies with a person . . . Jesus! Hope is not in money, cars, or even relationships. Hope is not in a church building or a retirement account. Hope is in JESUS!
Be encouraged. No matter the pain, frustration, even the failures, COMMIT to Jesus. We have HOPE!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Committment

I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end. (Psalm 119:112)
It all starts with a committment. One must decide to stop, start, or continue. It is the same whether it is a diet, exercise routine, or the CHRISTian walk. Every day a decision must be made. Do I snooze the alarm or get up? Do I open my bible or watch TV? Do I pray or search out posts on social media? Priorities . . .
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:21-25)
There is a battle going on within our hearts and minds. We must make up our minds and commit our hearts to win! God can . . .

Monday, January 12, 2015

Just Give Me Jesus!

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. ”There is a common misconception that believers should be perfect. (Matthew 9:12-13)
Acting like you have everything under control? Are people telling you "Don't sin!" . . . "Why do you do that?" . . . "Don't you know that is wrong?" Acting as though our lives in order, many of us wear happy faces and speak words that sound biblical. Most times, we’re ashamed to admit our shortcomings, as if sin does not exist.
Dr. Charles Stanley reminds us, "Salvation through Jesus, however, doesn’t change the fact that sin is present in our life. When we’re born again, God forgives us and sees us as righteous. Yet our battle with sin continues till we arrive in heaven."
Fact is, aiming for perfection actually can be a trap that pulls us away from living a godly life. We cannot do this on our own. it leads to frustration! However, if understand that Jesus came for us who are weak, helpless, and in need, we indeed expereince that need for Him! The world may see successful individuals as powerful and self-sufficient, but Jesus didn’t care about these qualities. Instead, He wants people to be aware of their own brokenness. This is the foundation for living a Godly life! We need Jesus! Do not cover up in portraying ourselves to be a “good Christian.” We must recognize and confess of our sinfulness. We must rely fully on God. This is the only way we can passionately seek Him, obey in His strength, and confess with repentance when we miss the mark.
Just give me Jesus!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things may seem bad . . . but God!

I saw that proud and sinful people were doing well. And I began to long for what they had. . . Many sins come out of their hard and stubborn hearts. There is no limit to the evil things they can think up. They laugh at others and speak words of hatred. They are proud. They warn others about the harm they can do to them. They brag as if they owned heaven itself. They talk as if they controlled the earth. So people listen to them. They lap up their words like water. They say, “How would God know what we’re doing? . . .It seems as if I have kept my heart pure for no reason. It didn’t do me any good to wash my hands to show that I wasn’t guilty of doing anything wrong. . . . My body and my heart may grow weak. God, you give strength to my heart. You are everything I will ever need. (Psalm 73:3,7-11, 13,26)
We as humans feel like failures when we don't see immediate results. Human motivation ends when the applause and affirmation fade. Human wisdom tells us to get ahead and then quit. However, things are quite different from God's perspective. His strength becomes perfect when we are at our weakest. His approval comes when we stop trying to please the crowd. His wisdom tells us to stop trying to lead the way and to follow Him instead. Give up to get ahead . . . Reliquish control to God and He will lead us to success!
Remember, God's grace is greater than our ability to mess up. He is always there to pick us up. But we need to humbly accept His paths!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

No Pain/No Gain . . . .His Mission, Not the World's Message

He is the One who gave some the gift to be apostles. He gave some the gift to be prophets. He gave some the gift of preaching the good news. And he gave some the gift to be pastors and teachers. He did it so that they might prepare God's people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ will be built up. That will continue until we all become one in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us. We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won't be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won't be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won't be blown around by the cleverness and tricks of people who try to hide their evil plans. Instead, we will speak the truth in love. We will grow up into Christ in every way. He is the Head. He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Christ's physical body underwent terrible pain, torture and persecution. Therefore, His church body cannot expect a cozy, easy existence either. Being Jesus to the world means making sacrifices, accepting (and expecting)ridicule, and loving our enemies (Heb. 13:16, Matt. 5:44). God called us to spread the gospel message, not the world's message, so that means people won't always like what we have to say. Sin and accountability aren't popular messages. It is seldom accepted with open arms. Yet being trendy and well liked is not the point. We're here to carry out the work and mission of God, even when doing so is uncomfortable and unpopular.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
No pain . . . no gain!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Do we ever stop growing?

By this time you should be teachers. But in fact, you need someone to teach you all over again. You need even the simple truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby. That person does not want to learn about living a godly life. Solid food is for those who are grown up. They have trained themselves to tell the difference between good and evil. That shows they have grown up.(Hebrews 5:12-14)
I recall my oldest son asking, "Why do children grow 'up' and adults grow 'down'?" Do we ever stop growing? Spiritually speaking . . . we should always be improving, learning, growing in knowlwedge and application of what we learn concerning God and His Word.
I've never met anyone who became instantly mature. It's a drawn out process that God takes us through and it includes such things as waiting, failing, losing, and being misunderstood. Each of these occassions call for extra doses of perseverance.
Like the chart of measurements many families have on the spot on the wall marking the yearly growth of our children, we too have marks of growth in our spiritual lives. Unlike our bodies however, we never stop growing with God.
Let's just be sure we are growing up!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

All day, Every day!

So be watchful, and control yourselves completely. In this way, put your hope in the grace that lies ahead. This grace will be brought to you when Jesus Christ returns. You should obey your Father. You shouldn’t give in to evil desires. They controlled your life when you didn’t know any better. The God who chose you is holy. So you should be holy in all that you do. It is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45;19:2)(1 Peter 1:13-16)
No matter the day or time, we are on call for Jesus! As believers, every little(or what we may think is insignificant)thing reflects upon our realtionship with the Lord. We are tested daily at work, in our family relationships, as we commute on roadways and public transportation, and other situations. How we react to various situations it lets others know Whom we know!
All of you are children of the light. You are children of the day. We don’t belong to the night. We don’t belong to the darkness. So let us not be like the others. They are asleep. Instead, let us be wide awake and in full control of ourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)
Not only are we to call fellow believers to represent the Lord at all times, but we too must hold ourselves accountable! We are not to be happy, popular, or right all the time. Whether we are the lowest employee on the totem pole or the CEO, we are to be HOLY! What a challenge . . . every day . . . all day!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Knowing Jesus Personally Brings Peace Even in the Doom and Gloom

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2:44-45)
God's Word is so comforting, especially when things seem so "doom and gloom". It is great to know that God has it all planned out and has even let us know many of the details. Since the days of Daniel, through the Gospels, and finally in the Book of Revelation, God has laid out His plan for His people to understand . . . and to share with others. Here's a news flash: things are getting bad and they will get worse! (Matthew 24:4-51)However, we can trust God with our souls and the eternality of it all! There is more to life than this world! For God's plan to be finalized, evil must be dealt with! God will deal with it!!!!
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:12-14)
Take heart: God is in control! However, we must know Him to have the peace He offers. Do you know Him?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Moving Forward . . . God is not standing still why should I?

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ . . . yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:8-14)
People make resolutions about all sorts of things too, about a new diet, about a new exercise regime, about making more time for family, or for friends, about working harder, about quitting a bad habit, about starting a new habit...all sorts of things. As Christians, why not use the start of a new year as an encouragement to start a new habit that will enrich and encourage us in our Christian walk and faith. Some new ideas? •Aim to read the Bible more regularly during the week (this is known as a quiet time). This is a great way to grow in your understanding of God and his revelation of Himself in His Word (the Bible) throughout 2015. •Pledge to make prayer a regular part of your weekly Christian diet. Talking to your Heavenly Father shows that you rely on Him and that you want to thank Him for the good things He gives you and that you bring your concerns before Him. •Make going to church a priority for your week. Meeting with other Christians at church is something that The Bible encourages us to do so that we can build each other up and be and support to each other. •Organise to meet up with another Christian to read the Bible. You might be a fairly new Christian, so you could ask an older Christian to meet up with you throughout 2015 and read the Bible with you and help you learn a bit more. Or if you have been a Christian for a long time, maybe find someone who is younger in the faith than you and see if they might like to meet up with you and read the Bible with you this year. Disciple them . . . teach them what you know! Remember, when making these resolutions, we are not making them on our own will power and strength, we are standing firm in Jesus and He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us (1 John 4:13). Pray that God will strengthen and help you to be able to grow and be able to keep the resolutions and changes that you want to make for the new year!
God is not standing still. He is always on the move. Why should we be content with standing still?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Waiting to be "CROWNED"!

The imperishable crown (1 Cor. 9:24-27), awarded to those believers who consistently bring the flesh under the Holy Spirit's control.
The crown of exultation (Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19-20), distributed to those servants who are faithful to declare the gospel.
The crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:7-8), awarded to those who live each day with eternity's values in view.
The crown of life (James 1:12), promised to those who endure trials, loving the Savior all the way.
The crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:1-4), promised to those who faithfully "shepherd the flock."
It's a New Year yet many things will remain the same. The rich will get richer and the poor and middle class . . . well you can fill in the blanks. However, the one who trusts in God will see past the present and strive forward in God's plan despite the odds. We press on despite the circumstances . . . despite the struggles . . . even despite present-day realities.
A huge part part of that exciting anticipation is His promise to reward His servants for a job well done. Many times, I have no choice but to trust Him! and wait . . . .

Just so You Know

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear  a Son, and shall call His name  Immanuel. (Is...