The Road of Life….

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.”

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him. But later on when I trusted Christ as my Savior, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I thought I knew the best way. It was rather boring, but predictable and it was the shortest distance between two points, or so I thought. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He gently said, “Pedal!” I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He smiled and was patient with me, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure, and when I’d say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand. I gained love, peace, acceptance and joy; gifts to take on my journey, My Lord’s and mine. And we were off again.

He said, “Give the gifts away. They’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but he knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten, scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do it anymore, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

YOUR CROSS

Whatever your cross
Whatever your pain
There will always be sunshine.
After the rain

Perhaps you may stumble
Perhaps even fall
But God’s always there

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Who are you giving Glory to this morning….

Who are you giving Glory to this morning…..

Every day is a great day when your focus is…

Jeremiah 9:24 “But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

There is a warning for the part of our world that does not put their faith in Jesus….

Romans 14:11, 12 “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue confess to God. So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

It is ok to be narrow mined when it comes to something as important as your eternity.

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

Mat 7:13, 14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”

Not a popular theme in a world of compromise and let everyone do their own thing, but none the less the truth remains and does not change down through the years….

Mal 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I do not change;…”

Have you started this day with Jesus??????????

The Pursuit of Peace and Happiness….

The Pursuit of Peace and Happiness

Seeking peace and happiness is a goal for each of us throughout our lives. The issue is, just where does peace and contentment come from and do I even recognize what lasting and real peace and happiness are. Our world around us pictures being at peace as sitting in our easy chair sipping on a cool beverage with no cares, worries, or aches and pains. But is that really what it is? Not surprisingly scripture records that real peace and happiness are very different than what our worlds’ offers. That is not surprising considering the god of this world today is not the One true God and Savior. That makes it vital that we look to our God for lasting and real peace. The god of this world for this moment in time is all about deception. And it starts with deceiving mankind about what it takes to be saved and then into setting priorities that do not line up with God’s priorities.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not. lest the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

That verse explains a bunch. Listen to the following quote on finding peace.

If you seek happiness, you will never find it; it will always elude you, it will always escape you. You will think you have captured it, but suddenly it is gone. Chasing it is like trying to catch a bubble-the moment you catch it, it has vanished, broken in your hands, and there is nothing left. That’s the whole mistake, says the Bible. Never make happiness an end in itself. It is always an indirect result. It is always a by-product of something infinitely greater. To put it positively: Happiness, says the Bible, depends upon two things only. First: It depends on our relationship to God and His righteousness. Second: It depends upon what I am, not upon what is happening to me. That is the secret.

-Martyn Lloyd-Jones,

Wow, happiness first depends on my relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and then in what I am rather than what is happening to me. Think on that for awhile. If that is the case, and I agree it is, then what I have allowed my Savior to do with my life has made me who I am………….! What are you allowing Him to do in your life this morning? And just who are you in His eyes………..!

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.”

Mat 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

I Thes 5:23, 24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

Protect your Marriage….

Gen. 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be
joined to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”

PROTECT YOUR MARRIAGE

* Make sure you develop oneness in your marriage in all areas of the relationship:
* Do not have too many individualized activities. Going in the opposite directions too many days and evenings of the week can take its toll.
* Business associations for community involvement and church are important, but if your schedule is full with individual activities, your marriage relationship will suffer for lack of time together.
* Look for and schedule time for togetherness. If you don’t schedule time together, you probably won’t find much time to spend together. Other things, people and events will crowd into your schedule. When is the last time you? went on a ‘date’ with your spouse?
* Communicate regularly and meaningfully. Marriage combines two busy schedules, and the concerns of the family to produce a relationship that is challenged by the many directional pulls of an active life. You must continually work at communicating in order to maintain a close bond in the midst of busyness.
* Communicating takes time and commitment to really hear the other person. Talk to each other. As the Holy Spirit in James says learn to listen more than speak.
* Resolve differences that arise quickly. Intimacy is easier to destroy than it is to build. Never go to bed mad.
* Ignoring or pretending that differences don’t happen doesn’t resolve them. Give yourself time to grow together in oneness. Deal with your issues.
* Never communicate in a hurtful way. Ask yourself, do my words invite my spouse into my life, or do they push him/her away? If your words have not been full of grace lately, repent to the Lord and to your spouse.
* Never attack your spouse: always attack the issue that is at the root of the problem.
* Speak kindly. Listen long and loudly……..
* Be honest always. Deception never helps and it offends both God and your spouse; it hinders every relationship. Tell the truth in its entirety.
* Never nag. Once you have plainly said something to your spouse, and you know it’s been heard, leave it with your spouse and take it to the Lord.
* Encourage one another.
* Build the confidence of your spouse. When is the last time you complimented your spouse? Which is the same thing you desire.
* Never behave abusively or violently. Abusive behavior is damaging to the spirit and the soul, as well as to the body. The repercussions of abuse will also wound those around you. Get counseling immediately.
* Treat each other in love.
* Never allow yourself to be physically or mentally unfaithful. There is nothing that hurts a marriage more than emotional or literal infidelity.

*The most important one. MAKE JESUS THE HEAD OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR MARRIAGE!

 

Yielding to the temporary illusion of excitement will never be worth the agony you will reap. Forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation can come, but the process can be scarring not only to you, but too many standing nearby.

Mark 10:9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain…..

Godliness with Contentment is great gain!

It seems like many in our world only have pessimism in their vocabulary. Optimism or better yet the fact that God is sovereign in my life is not in their thought process. They complain about everything from people to gasoline to health to our leaders to ……! And that complaining affects us and how we respond to those around us. We listen and are drawn in when our emotions start to control us. So, how do we react when the entire world around us is complaining and it is hard to be upbeat and content?

Godliness with CONTENTMENT is great gain.

Phil 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned that in
whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Scripture, as with all topics, holds the answer if we are willing to listen. Paul went through a time and event in his life that hurt him so he asked God to remove it. He did so three times. When Paul realized that God’s answer was no he further realized that the ailment was there for a reason and we hear him saying…..

II Cor 12:9, 10 “And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for MY STRENGTH is made perfect in YOUR WEAKNESS. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in my
infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We really need to read that truth again because it says that it is actually a good thing when we accept what God has placed in our lives for His purposes in maturing us. The ‘Why Me’ attitude only hurts or stunts our spiritual growth. The purpose for my life goes much deeper than me and the things that I have!

I Cor. 6:20 “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Why is it so hard for me to understand that? It is because of my flesh and its’ desire to serve itself only. The options I evaluate to determine why certain issues and ailments come into my life must include many that I left to my own ways would not choose. Why?

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Have a great day serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords………………….

Which is better, Speaking or Listening….

Psalms 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Which is better, Speaking or Listening!

Do you find yourself wondering why you said that and how can you take it back? Once words are released they can never be taken back. Yes, you can apologize which is very often appropriate but the sting and memory remains. The tongue, frequently is not such a wonderful thing and too often very dangerous…

James 3:5, 6 “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.”

Prov 10:19, 20 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;”

I all too frequently relate well to the sticking of one’s foot in the mouth syndrome…..

The solution….

Prov 21:23 “Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

There is one big helper in our effort to keep our feet out of our mouths. Here is the revealing question for you this morning. Do you spend more time listening than talking? God would have us to be better listeners than speakers which is why we have two ears and one mouth. It’s never too late to change…..LISTEN to this!

James 1:19 “Finally my brethren let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.”

Stay the course, Fight the good fight…..

I Tim 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith…”

Stay the course…

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into
the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ — or –whatever
mules do when they fall into wells.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with
the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the
trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told
them what had happened…and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the
old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his
neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought
struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of
dirt landed on his back…HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off
and step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself.

No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the
old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING
UP!

You’re right! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted,
STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him… All because of the manner in which he
handled his adversity. HEY THAT’S LIFE!

If we face our problems and respond to them positively and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity… THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US! As our Lord states in Romans 8:28, all things truly can work together for good in our lives when we are focused on Him instead of ourselves.

Remember that FORGIVENESS–FAITH–PRAYER–PRAISE and HOPE all are excellent ways to “SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP” out of the wells in which we find ourselves!

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Simply put; Stay the Course and Fight the Fight for the Glory of Jesus Name!!!!!!