How much would you give?

How much would you give up?

Do you believe that your life can and should have a purpose?
If you have been “Born Again” your purpose in life changed…

1 Cor. 6:19 “What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?”

And if it does, what is it? Is it my personal well being or is it????? Listen to what one dedicated ‘born again’ believer had to say about his purpose in life.

Phil 3:8-10,14 “But indeed I count ALL THINGS loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is
through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of Hisresurrection…I press toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus|||||||”
So, this morning…

First, you may need to….

2 Cor. 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove yourown selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you,
except you be reprobates?

It’s never to late to start developing that the new life that God has entrusted you with.

Here is how to start…..

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Have a great day serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!

As God views us….

Psalm 86:15 “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
long suffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”

The Ugly Man

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance
of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented
the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the
door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly
taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.
But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to
see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this
morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.”

He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no
success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face… I know
it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could
sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went
inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man
if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown
paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with
him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old
man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he
fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her
husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence
was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no
pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer.
He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When
I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little
man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left
for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I
please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put
you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then
added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my
face, but children don’t seem to mind.”

I told him he was welcome to come again. And on his next trip he
arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big
fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had
shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh.
I knew his bus left at 4:00 A.M. and I wondered what time he had to get up
in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a
time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.
Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery;
fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every
leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these,
and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a
comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.
“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away!
You can lose roomers by putting up such people!”

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could
have known him, perhaps their illness’ would have been easier to bear. I
know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we
learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with
gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse, As she
showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden
chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was
growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were
my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!”

My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, and
knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting
out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was
imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,”
God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.
“He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago — and now, in God’s garden, how tall
this lovely soul must stand.

I Samuel 16:7b “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward
appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Mirror, Mirror….

What did you see this morning in the mirror??
Now look into God’s mirror, His word.

Js 1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself
goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he
who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and
is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be
blessed in what he does.”

What did you see? If you did not like what you saw then there are options.
One is to do nothing. That one will leave you with guilt and a life unpleasing
to our Lord and Savior. Another is to decide to change. Recognizing and
deciding to change are the first steps to recovery. It’s never easy as each of us can give testimony to but the rewards are out of this world.

Each of us chooses a foundation to live our lives on. The choice determines much of our life’s joy and or sorrows. There is a solid foundation to build on AFTER you’ve looked and recognized who you are;

I Cor 3:12-15 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each ones work will become manifest, for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each ones work, of what sort it is. If anyones work, which he has built on endures, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Unfortunately we slip up and sin. Yes, even as believers. While our sins are as terrible the penalty has been paid by our Savior on Calvary. But for us to live a life pleasing to God we still need to rid our lives of the guilt that sin brings. Our Foundation to do so is our Savior and He not only saves and provides that foundation to live by but He also forgives when we fail Him after being saved.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”

Maintaining change will require daily review in the mirror and daily commitment to change. It will require you to set self in it’s proper place. Check out where that is…..

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Are you up to it?