All hail the Power of our Roots….

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the
life, no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.”

ALL hail the power of Our Roots!

If you are developing your family tree here is the beginning of your family line. And there are no exceptions even though the enemy tries very hard to convince us that we all evolved from some other life form. What a great way to remember Who wants to be the Lord of our lives!! Most importantly take a look at whose image we were created after. If that does not brighten and change your day then I am not sure anything can.

All or our roots begin with…

Gen 1:1, 2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Gen 1:26-28 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The root of our salvation begins with…

John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God,  and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

All Praise to Jesus…………….

Listening to God…..

Sitting at God’s feet and learning…..

Can I sit and be taught by God today?

II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

But aren’t those the books and teachings of men?

II Peter 1:20, 21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

“Let us seek to know Him in the Word. It is in the Word we will find the Holy Spirit. Don’t read too many other things. Some of you will say, “Look who’s talking!” Well, go ahead and say it, I don’t mind; but I am reading fewer and fewer things as I get older, not because I’m losing interest in this great, big, old suffering world, but because I’m gaining interest in that other world above. So I say, don’t try to know everything. You can’t. Find Him in the Word, for the Holy Ghost wrote this book. He inspired it, and He will be revealed in its pages.”

–A.W. Tozer

That being the case…
II Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So, who’s feet did you sit at this morning to start your day?

Sitting before the Lord

“Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His Book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of lights: ‘Lord, is it not thy Word, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God”? Thou ‘give’s liberally and upbraids not’. Thou hast said, ‘If any be willing to do thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know thy will. I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual’. I meditate thereon, with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God, and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.”

–John Wesley, Preface to Standard Sermons

It does take commitment.

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 you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and perfect will of God.”

Managing your excess Baggage….

Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Managing your Excess Baggage!

That is a wonderful invitation from the lips of God. We all have emotional baggage. It could be you are carrying a lot of pain right now. Maybe you’ve got some crippling issues from your past. Maybe some bad news you got recently or an overload of stress. It could be you carry baggage from a divorce – it could be your own or maybe your parents’ divorce, or from some form of abuse or a bad relationship. Some of us are trying to carry the weight of a serious medical condition, a financial crisis, maybe a family issue.

A friend of mine had some very heavy baggage. One day in a doctor’s office, he heard one of those words we dread – cancer. He has a deadly cancer. He is supposed to have been gone three or four times already. He had ten operations in eight years, but when you talk to him you just can’t believe what he’s gone through, or he is going through. He’s like joyful. He’s positive. He’s interested in how you’re doing. It’s just hard to believe he could be carrying such heavy weight, yet seem so light. He was an encouragement to other patients. That’s what they told him. So his doctor called him in one day and said, “Can you visit some of my other patients? They need what you have.” What does he have? He made that clear the other day. He told me about others that he knows who are falling under the weight of cancer.

Then he just made this simple observation. He said, “They’re trying to handle it without a Savior.” Well that’s the difference for him – the Savior difference – the Jesus difference. He could be the difference for you. Let’s look at the baggage you’re carrying. I wonder if his words describe you, trying to handle it without a Savior. See you were never meant to carry that pain or that burden alone. Jesus says, “Come to me. I want to carry it.” He’s a burden carrier. He knows your pain. He understands it because He’s been here. He’s experienced everything from loneliness, to betrayal, to torture, to dying; and Jesus has dealt with the deadliest baggage of all that we carry; the sin of our lives. Because that will one day keep us out of heaven.

But the Bible says, “He carried our sins in His own body on the tree.” And the day you tell Him that you are trusting in Him to be your own Savior from your own sin, that’s the last day you will ever carry your burden alone. The strong arms of Jesus are reaching out to you right now, and He says, “Let me help you with your baggage. I can handle it. I already bore all the weight of all your sins on my cross. The rest is easy.” The promise of Jesus: “I will give you rest.”

Mat 11:28,29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

Run, CHRISTian, Run….

2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Run Christian, Run….

In scripture we are told our spiritual lives need to be viewed as a race and even as a war. Let’s focus on the race for a moment. As a runner I can relate best to that one. Understand that I am back in the pack but I do understand the preparation and the race itself. Many do not like running but there is so much discipline to be learned by what it takes to run in a race, especially in a Marathon.

Bob Wieland lost both of his legs in Vietnam. But that didn’t stop him from entering and finishing the Los Angeles Marathon. He completed it in a little over one week making every step with his arms and his hands. He even crossed America on his hands. It took him three years to do it!

If anyone had a reason to quit it would be Bob. Yet he chooses to finish his races. Your “race” is any track or ministry that God has set you on in your life. And we each have at least one spiritual gift supporting that race or ministry according to I Corinthians 11. You may have started well, but due to hardships you have stopped running. God encourages and challenges us; Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Or you may have not yet started even the preparation for the race.

There are many Biblical examples of runners who started, stopped but also restarted once they recognized their spiritual failure. Abraham started well, faltered, and got back on track. The race started with God directing him to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to a land that God would later show him. How many of us could or would respond to that directive by God. Talk about requiring faith. To his credit he obeyed. He left his comfort zone big. Just think about what he was asked to do and the fact that God did not tell him where He would direct him to. Most great works of God begin that way for our lives. It takes stepping into the water before the waters will part. And we many or most times do not know the paths God will lead us on until we begin the journey or are in the midst of the journey. It requires that trait called faith.

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

As Abraham journeyed he left behind him a trail of altars of praise. At Shechem God appeared to him and he built an altar there to the Lord. I have a journal I keep that I hope acts as an altar of praise of our lives (Loie and I) for now and for the next generations to view. To God be the glory!!

As with each of us Abraham also failed. Genesis 12 says, “there was a famine…and Abram went down to Egypt.” A hard time hit and Abram’s faith literally went south. In Egypt, Abram made compromises that were unthinkable. A spiritual famine hit his life and his faith weakened for a moment. Out of fear he lied about his relationship with Sarah but God still protected him against himself and the world around him. It’s comforting to me to know that so many great Christians struggled. And more comforting to know that our God does not leave us when we fail. He patiently awaits our return.

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

But the race was not over for Abraham or for us when we fail. He returned from his detour. Just like the direction we hear God giving to the Churches in Revelation 2:4, 5 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” he returned to where he had first built an altar. And he returned quick enough so that God did not remove his candlestick or ministry. There he called on the name of the Lord. He went back to the point of his original surrender which is how you get back on track. In our hearts we must go back to the time when God seemed so close and His will seemed so clear. At that original altar we ask for forgiveness and surrendered to Him again.

When that paraplegic marathon participant crossed the finish line in a race he had every reason to quit, he explained it this way: “This was not natural; this was supernatural. It was only done by the grace of God.” That’s how you’ll finish the race you started!

2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Heb 12:1, 2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So let’s get going or let’s return!!!!

The 7 ups

  1. Wake Up !!

Decide to have a good day.

“Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalms 118:24

  1. Dress Up !!

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.

A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7

  1. Shut Up!!

Say nice things and learn to listen.

God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

“He who guards his lips guards his soul.”

Proverbs 13:3

  1. Stand Up!!…

For what you believe in.

Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”

Galatians 6:9-10

  1. Look Up !!…

To the Lord.

“I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”.

Philippians 4:13

  1. Reach Up !!…

For something higher.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

  1. Lift Up !!…

Your Prayers.

“Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.”

Philippians 4:6

A POSITIVE THOUGHT If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.

What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.

Face it, He really loves you a lot.

.

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Worry or Faith….you choose….

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

Worry or Faith…You choose….

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. When my friend Arlene and her husband arrived she noticed cars costing more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.

The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before!

What was the point of this? “Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.”

She read the words “United States of America.”

“No, not that; read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes!”

“And?”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him! Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him… For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Fortunately for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!”

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful… And God is patient…

Matthew 17:20-21 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Staying busy is a good thing….really….

Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”
Staying busy is a good thing…..really

After the fall experienced due to the 1st sin of Adam and Eve most of mankind many times spend most of their time looking for the formula for relaxation. We are told by our world that that should be our focus in life and we expect that it will give us true happiness and contentment. It’s that picture of sitting in the lounge chair with your favorite snack and drink while having financial and physical security and not a care in the world. That philosophy is based on our world’s thoughts and goals which should be a huge warning to us. Actually I always feel best when I am busy doing eternally valuable work projects.  Projects that lift up God’s name and not my name.

I do believe that God designed working to keep us content even before that first sin messed everything and everyone up.  Not overwhelmed but busy. Actually when I find myself with no projects in front of me I am at a nasty stage of mental unrest. And I suppose those around me are well aware of it due to my poor attitude. We just are not designed to sit around and do nothing.  In the Garden of Eden sin placed a wall between God and us. Prior to that wall being put up by our decision to sin the art of being active or busy was enjoyable and valuable. Listen to the effects of work before sin as God’s word records it.

Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

And then we tried to improve on our knowledge base by disobedience.  Yes, I said we because you and I have the same fleshly desires today that Adam and Eve had. That 1st sin and every one after it by every human being caused some nasty things to be added to the act of being active and busy.

Genesis 3:17-19 “And unto Adam he said, Because you have hearkened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shalt you eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you art, and unto dust shalt you return.”

There will be thorns and thistles in the work environment.  We as CHRISTians must realize we are working for a much greater cause than what we did when we were the lost sinner. And it is one that should bring joy to our being busy and active. If the CHRISTian’s work motives and attitudes are correct that will have eternal significance.

Rev 1:6 “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

“In our tranquility how many golden hours we throw down the stream that we are never to see again. The time may come when we would give rivers of oil, the wealth of both Indies, and the mountains of precious stones, if they were ours, to recover one lost moment! Who is there among us that knows how to value time and prize the day at a due rate? Most men study rather how to pass away their time than to redeem it. They waste precious hours as if they had more than they could tell what to do with. Our season is short, and we make it shorter. How sad a thing it is to hear men complain, ‘O, what shall we do to pass the time?’ Alas, even the Lord’s Day, the purest and most refined part of time, how cheap and common it is in most men’s eyes! But O, when trouble comes; when the sword is at the body, the pistol at the breast, the knife at the throat, death at the door, how precious would one of those despised hours be! Evil days cry with a loud voice in our ears: ‘Redeem the time!’ (Eph 5:16). In life threatening dangers, when God threatens, as it were, then we can think of redeeming the time for prayer, reading, meditation, and study. We then gather up the very fragments of time, that nothing may be lost. Then God teaches the soul the wisdom of redeeming the time.”

–Thomas Case, When Christians Suffer, pgs 52, 53

There is a time to relax and even to regroup as we see in scripture. But for the most part we need to keep busy. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” is an old saying with much truth….! There is much to do for our Saviors glory and for His kingdom and our time is short!

James 4:14 “Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.”