Are you Standing on Holy Ground……

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Are you Standing on Holy Ground?

Your attitude reflects your respect, reverence and fear of our God. Or the lack of it. How or what is you view of God this morning?

The most powerless position for you is lying flat on your face. It makes you weak, vulnerable and unable to do anything about the situation. But it is also, in the strange ways of God, the most
powerful position on earth. In the following example and in our lives it can reflect our attitude.
Joshua gives us an example of that.

Joshua (Joshua 5:13) is up against maybe the most intimidating, potentially fearful situation
of his life. To date he has bravely led God’s people into Canaan, only to be confronted with the massive walled city of Jericho, looming before God’s people as a seemingly impossible obstacle between them and the land that God has promised. As their commanding general, Joshua has gone to scout out his Mission Impossible.

Scripture tells us: “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing
in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,’ he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence (There it is. That’s that position of total powerlessness.) and (he) asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’ The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

Many Bible scholars believe that this Commander of the Lord’s forces is actually the Son of God
making one of several pre-Bethlehem appearances in Old Testament times. No angel would have
accepted worship, and Joshua calls him “my Lord.” Rightfully if it is Jesus, Joshua falls on the ground, face down. Joshua was very competent, very successful, very skilled; a man and a leader of an army who had never surrendered to anybody. But this day he surrenders, and that is going to be the secret of winning. From this moment of total surrender of his will and life, of total powerlessness before the Lord comes God’s unusual plan for conquering Jericho. But before there could be the conquest of Jericho, there had to be the conquest of Joshua.

And before there can be the conquest of the Jericho that looms before you right now in your life,
there must be the conquest of you. God allows things into our life that will bring us to the end of ourselves where all your experience, and your talent, your wisdom, your connections, and your persuasion are useless in getting an answer. At that point you will turn to someone and hopefully it is not to self or worldly wisdom but to God. God has brought you to this moment of total helplessness, not so you would give up, but so you would give over the controls to Him totally, unconditionally. There is no condition God can do more with than our admission of powerlessness. Now you’re out of the way finally, and now you can see what Almighty God can do!

Where do you turn when you are standing facing the walls of a Jericho in your life that you can’t
possibly conquer? That is the perfect time for your unconditional surrender to your Lord. Admit your powerlessness. Often it is the breaking of a man or woman that is the making of a man. And believe it or not on your knees or on your face is actually a great place to be;

Listen to what God told Paul when he asked to have a thorn in his flesh removed by God;

 2 Cor. 12:7-9 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

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A person may go to heaven without……

A person may go to heaven without……

  • Without health,
  • Without wealth;
  • Without fame,
  • Without a great name;
  • Without learning,
  • Without earnings;
  • Without culture,
  • Without beauty;
  • Without friends and without ten thousand other things—–
  • But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ.

Sadly many Churches teach that salvation is through a series of works and by affiliation with their church or they teach you get there by Jesus plus works. Don’t you find it interesting that there are no denominations noted in scripture? But in God’s word to us the Bible it is crystal clear what is the way to heaven and anything added to Jesus alone being the only way is not the Gospel of the one and only true God.

The first question this morning for you is, do you know what the church you are attending teaches about how to get to heaven?

Here is what Jesus teaches;

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, except a man be born again he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:4,5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

Eph 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone would boast.”

Yes, it is a very narrow view and our world will see you as …….but if it is God’s truth it can never be wrong! Don’t be found to be like…..

Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘In ever knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

John 6:29 “Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Running the Spiritual Race and finishing it….

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith…”

Running the Spiritual Race and finish it!

The year is 1968 and the Mexico City Olympics – a few thousand
spectators were in the stadium as the last of the marathon runners were
carried off in exhaustion to the first-aid stations. More than an hour
earlier an Ethiopian runner had been the first to cross the finish line
in this grueling 26-mile event. As the remaining spectators prepared to
leave, they were stopped by the sound of sirens going off and policemen
blowing whistles. There, entering the stadium came a lone figure
wearing the colors of Tanzania – his name was John Akhwari. He was the
last man to finish the marathon.

His leg was bloodied and bandaged, and he grimaced with each
step. He had severely injured his knee in a fall, but painfully, he
hobbled around the 400-meter track. The spectators who were still there
were moved to get to their feet and applauded as if he were the winner.
After he crossed the finish line in excruciating pain, he was asked why
he hadn’t quit when he had no chance of winning a medal. His answer:
“My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They
sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

How do you feel about your purpose in life?

Is it to perform God’s will and finish the race He designed for you?

Will you be able to say, “I finished the race”?

Run with everything you’ve got, not halfheartedly. Remember, He gave
everything He had in His race to rescue you – and even though He was
beaten and bloody, Jesus didn’t quit.

Run the whole race… – He’ll be waiting to embrace you as you cross
that finish line for Him.

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on
that day, and not to me only but also to all those who loved His
appearing.”

The Risk Takers Creed…..

James 2:17 “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, it is dead.”

THE RISK TAKERS CREED

  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd, is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He or she

may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he/she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love… live.

Chained by his or her attitudes, he or she is a slave, He or she forfeited freedom, and only a person who risks is free!!!

So how about taking a risk today?

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye 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 ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Reflections, and God said NO….

God never forces us to obey. He awaits our obedience. How is your obedience to God today??

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.”

Reflection… AND GOD SAID “NO.”

I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said “No.”
He said it was not for Him to take away,
But for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
and God said, “No.”
He said her spirit is,
while her body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said, “No.”
He said patience is a by-product of tribulation.
It isn’t granted – it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said “No.”
He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said “No.”
He said, “Suffering draws you apart from
Worldly cares and brings you close to Me.”

I asked God to make my spirit grow,
And God said “No.”
He said I must grow on my own,
But he will prune me to make it fruitful.

I asked God if He loved me,
And God said “Yes.”
He gave me His only Son, who died for me,
and I will be in heaven someday
because I believe.

I asked God to help me love others
As much as He loves me,
And God said,
“Ah, finally you have the idea.”

Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Trials and Discipline build our faith…..

Trials & Discipline Build our Faith!

The Lord takes us into troubled waters not to drown us, but to cleanse and develop us|||| How do you view your spiritual growth opportunities?

The two options are;

  • Wow is me! or
  • What is God teaching me?

I Pet 4:12,13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you,  which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”

If it is really when we fall into and not if we fall into trials, then if we view trials as only pity parties it may mean no spiritual growth!!!!!!!

James 1:2, 3 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

Or worse yet, no salvation.

Heb 12 12:6-8 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

That is a powerful reason to ‘consider it all joy…..’ Go ahead, try it with that trial you are facing this very day. Say it with meaning, “Thank you Lord for my trails”. Now you understand that a loving God is developing you just as a loving parent helps a child develop by sending them learning experiences.

What type of tater are you……

James 3:5-8 “Even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

What type of tater are you?

Tater People

Some people are never motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work. They are called “Speck Taters”.

Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do the work. They are called “Comment Taters”.

Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but don’t want to soil their own hands. They are called “Dick Taters”.

Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet. They are called “Agie Taters”.

There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get around to actually doing the promised help. They are called “Hezzie Taters”.

Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are not. They are called “Emma Taters”.

Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. They are called “Sweet Taters”.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”