Have you heard the story about the family who was moving from the East coast to the West coast? It seems that they were going to have to drive in two vehicles. The father was driving one vehicle, and his brother was driving the other. When it came time for the children to choose who to ride with, they chose their fun-loving uncle, to the uncle's great delight. He was flattered that they had chosen him over their own parents.
However, before they left town, the little boy asked his uncle, "What happens if we get separated from mom and dad?" To which the uncle said, "Don't worry, we won't." But the boy persisted, "Well, what if we do?" The uncle jokingly remarked, "Well, I guess we'll never see them again." After a moment of silence, the little boy said, "I think I'm going to ride with my mom and dad."
This world contains many things that are flashy, fun, and exciting which capture our attention, but when it comes right down to it, I wouldn't want any of those things if it meant that I would be separated from my heavenly Father forever. Maybe we ought to take a moment and think about the one with whom we are riding.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
"For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell" (Colossians 1:19).
Do you know why everything happens? It is to crown God's Son King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ is to have preeminence in all of history. All of history is culminating in this one thing, or should l better say “in ONE man?”
Do you know why the world was created? (Colossians 1:17). Jesus. Do you know why the Holy Spirit ministers? Jesus. Do you know why there is going to be a final judgment? Because "every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:11).
Hitler and Hemingway will confess it. Buddha and Mohammad will confess it. None of us can change that fact...all of creation will acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
Now with all that being the case should we not understand that life is not really about: Our homes, our cars, our children, our hobbies, our jobs, our moneys? Now set back for this one and read it aloud: “It’s NOT about me either.”
Give Jesus the glory He deserves today!
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).
Did you notice the words I emphasized? Can you believe God really requires that? Should we really thank God when “bad things happen?”
There are basically four types of people. There are those who are constantly complaining and grumbling. As someone said: “They can brighten up a room just by leaving it.” That's the lowest level. Then there are others who live lives of ingratitude. They don't complain, but they never thank God for His obvious blessings. That's a little better, but not much better. Then there are people who thank God for obvious blessings. When something good happens, they're grateful. That's a better level. Now the highest level is to be grateful for all things at all times.
Let me illustrate. Suppose you’ve had the Flu for a week and you get well...THANK GOD! Now suppose you’ve been well for a year and get the flu...THANK GOD! Why??? Ephesians 5:20!
Friends, many of you are well aware of the problems I have concerning my health. Please trust me when I tell you this. I pray to God everyday and thank Him for even allowing me to struggle with my health. Why you may ask? Three reasons:
1. Ephesians 5:20– How can I claim to be a child of God’s and not at least try to follow his commands? (John 14:15).
2. Job 14:1– the troubles of life are considered in the eyes of God to be a part of life, hence a part of “always and all things.”
3. 2 Corinthians 4:16– No matter our physical stand in life our spiritual need not be effected but enriched. All in all struggles make me better. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Take time today to think about difficult circumstances you're facing. Now, thank Him for each one.
Is your life constantly "Under Construction?" It seems that no matter where a person travels in the US, the roadways are always under construction. On my way to office this morning, I noticed the "Under Construction" signs along the highway. The first couple signs offer words of warning regarding the distance before the construction begins. About half way through the construction area, there is a sign which warns of an impending STOP! Then at the close of the roadway under construction, I noticed a sign which states, "End Of Construction." Contrary to what some people might think, these construction areas aren't designed to slow traffic down and hinder a person's journey (although it does do this). When we encounter a roadway that is "Under Construction," we can trust that the true goal is either to repair or to improve the roads upon which we must travel.
The Christian should always have his/her life "Under Construction." God's Word instructs us of the need to examine our lives on a daily basis in order to ensure that our lives align with the high standards required by our Creator (I Corinthians 13:5). From time to time, this will require us to STOP what we are doing so that proper changes can be made (Luke 15:11ff). The purpose and goal of having our lives "Under Construction" is to improve our lives and to reconstruct our lives according to godliness (Romans 12:1,2). At what point will we come to the "End Of The Construction Zone?" The Bible informs us that it is imperative for the Christian to have his/her life "Under Construction" until the point of death (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 10:22). Brethren, let's do all that we can each day to be like Jesus (I John 2:6).
Taken from Keven Key
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7)
James 1:13 says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." Now, some people get confused by the difference between temptations and trials. The difference is this: Trials are sent by God to cause us to stand. Temptation to sin is sent by the devil to cause us to stumble. One is meant for our maturity. The other is meant for our misery. James used this word interchangeably. While God does not cause both kinds, God allows both kinds and He will use both to make us more like Jesus.
Are you in the fires of affliction? Do you feel you're being tempted?
"My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:3).
Christianity is a love relationship. You cannot love someone that you do not know, and you cannot know someone that you don't spend quality time with. To know Jesus is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him (John 14:15). To obey Him is to be blessed. It begins with a daily, quality communication with the Lord. Why is it best to spend time with the Lord in the morning? Because you are getting ready to go on a road trip through life. You don't take the trip and then read the map, do you?
How are you starting your mornings? With a cup of coffee and the paper? Or with the pure milk of the Word (2 Peter 2:2) and the light of His presence? (1 John 1:7-9).
Many times in life we encounter people who seem to have favorite sayings. Often these are quotations from some famous person or book. Others are simply quoting a parent, grandparent or other family member. For many religious people these sayings had their beginnings in the Bible and may be taken from a particular scripture. My wife and family refer to me often as the guy with many random facts and quotations. Because of this my sayings tend to come from all of the mentioned areas.
With that said let me introduce to my favorite saying or should I better say my favorite word. This word is recorded on the pages of the New Testament as inspired by God but released form the pen of the great apostle Paul. Paul penned: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand”.
Did you see it? I added bold and underlined my favorite word. In the English, the word “departure” may simply be defined as to leave, exit or to go away. Let me introduce to the most beautiful part of this word as found in the Greek language. The English word “departure” comes from the Greek word “ἀνάλυσις”. I know most cannot read this word let alone understand it so let me help. The easiest way to pronounce this word is to say “a-na-loose-us”. This word was a very common word in Paul’s day and to understand how it was used then is to apply it now. For example:
· This was a PRISONERS word uttered as he was released from the terrible prisons of Rome. For him it meant I have found FREEDOM!
· This was a SOLDIERS word uttered as he was headed home after a great battle. For him it meant I have found VICTORY!
· This was a FARMERS word uttered as he completed his final row of plowing on a hot summer’s day. For him it meant I have found REST!
· This was a SAILORS word uttered as his ship was released from the docks and turned towards a beautiful and promising horizon. For him it meant I have found GLORY!
· This was a PHILOSOPHERS word uttered as he contemplated and completed a troubling problem at hand. For him it meant I have found SATISFACTION!
Now consider this fact. When Paul used this word he was speaking of the possibility of leaving this earthy life in exchange for a heavenly one. With that in mind would Paul find Freedom, Victory, Rest, Glory, and Satisfaction inside of heaven? YES!!! And so can you and me if we live obedient and faithful lives before God. Oh, what a wonderful word!
Before my surgery I was supposed to be watching my salt. I like so many however still had my favorite foods. Pizza, Mexican, Hot Dogs and Cheeseburgers were always a struggle to avoid and to be honest I caved to them more times than not. Pizza was my favorite sitting down to 20-25 slices was a regular occurrence. I knew better and worried that after transplant things would remain the same. On several occasions I prayed to God for help, seemly to no avail. Maybe God didn't really care?
Post transplant I've tried pizza twice and I can't stand it! It taste sooo salty. I'd rather swallow the Dead Sea than eat two slices. Basically most everything I loved food wise no longer appeals. WHY?
Is it the new meds? Maybe the side effect to some meds is a change in taste.
Did the donor not like salt? Were they some kind of "health nut?" Through the years many transplant recipients claim to have taken on the likes and dislikes of their donors.
Is it simply the providence of God looking out for me as he always has? I choose the latter. All my life God has watched over me in every situation. Some may say "God doesn't care about such small things." I beg to differ God doesn't allow one blade of grass to move without his permission. Not one sparrow has ever fallen without his knowledge (Matthew 10:29-31). God does care!
What's the point? Mainly God cares but also me being repulsed by salt when I need it most is really a good thing. Salt can alter my meds, raise my blood pressure and even in high quantities send me into rejection.
Question: What habit / addiction do you have that my be harming your body? (1Corinthians 6:19) Do you smoke, drink, abuse illegal of prescription drugs, over eat? Do you have diabetes and fail to care for you blood sugar.
If so why not put both feet forward and do better. Why not try asking a responsible party to hold you accountable. Best of all Why not pray to God and beg that he devise a way to stop your addiction.
GOD DOES CARE! YES
Originally Written June 10, 2013
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people." Luke 1:68
In one great hymn with which you may be familiar Fanny Crosby wrote these powerful words, "Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am." Are you a child of God’s, redeemed, bought and purchased by His blood? (1 Peter 1:18) If so, do you love to proclaim it?
Isaac Watts wrote, "When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died; my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride...Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small: Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all." Have you ever gone to God’s word and fell before the cross to consider God’s great sacrifice? Have you given your soul, your life, your all to this Amazing Love? (John 3:16).
Robert Lowry wrote these powerful words and asked, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus...Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus...Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Have you been washed? (1 Corinthians 6:11) Have you been made whole again? Could you stand behind the blood of Jesus today and be seen as white as snow? (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Why not begin today to serve God according to His will and take full advantage of Christ’s precious blood that was shed. Jesus did not bathe this planet with His blood to have you serve the world, fleshly desires, and the devil. He died to make you His own. You are not your own. First Corinthians 6:20 says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
As Jesus was with His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, He asked, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13). Although some had suggested John the Baptist, or one of the prophets, Peter correctly answered, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Because of Peter's confession of faith, Jesus said, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18-19). Christ said I will build my church, indicating that the church was then still in the future. John the Baptist was already dead, so he could not have established the church.
The prophets had long predicted the coming of Christ, and the establishment of His church. Isaiah prophesied, it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-3). From Isaiah's prophecy it is clear that the church would be established in Jerusalem (also called Zion); that all nations shall flow unto it, and that it would occur in the last days.
Events of Pentecost (Acts 2) fulfilled Isaiah's prophecies. Peter affirmed that the events of that day fulfilled prophecy, stating “it shall come to pass in the last days” (Acts 2:17); and Luke says “there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). It was in the last days (church age), devout Jews and proselytes from many nations were gathered for Pentecost, and this occurred in the city of Jerusalem as prophesied.
As the resurrected Christ prepared His disciples for the establishment of the church, He said, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:46-49). Before He ascended, Christ also told them, Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). As the apostles preached on that day of Pentecost, multitudes obeyed the gospel of Christ, and became members of the Lord's church. Three thousand baptized that day continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42), and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47).