You can run but you cannot Hide…..

You can run but you cannot Hide…..

Jonah was given a ministry to perform but his desires and pride got in the way. He thought he knew more than our God and that the people he was being asked to minister to were too sinful to be saved. He saw them as the scum of the earth rather than lost sheep as our Lord saw them. He tried to run from the Lord but quickly learned that it is impossible to do so.

You can run but you cannot hide from the Lord! Just ask Jonah.

Jonah 1:1-4 “The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me. BUT JONAH rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

Jonah 1:17 “And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah learned it’s never too late to repent. But like me and many of you I am sure, Jonah waited until his trials forced him to repent and do it God’s way. When was the last time you said; ‘not my will Lord, but your will be done’?

Jonah 2:1 “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish.”

We now see him turning to God. Remember, it is never too late to do so. It’s never too late to surrender your life to serving God.

Jonah 2:9a “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving…”

Jonah 3:3a “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.”

Isn’t it great how long suffering and patient our God is? As with Jonah, God waits on us to commit to Him and His service.

Have a great day in the service of the King and please do not wait to be nudged or you may be swallowed or………..

He who is, who was and who is to COME AGAIN…..

He who is, who was and who is to COME AGAIN….

Was Jesus just a great man?

Was Jesus just a prophet?

Or is He the Son of God who set aside His glory to die for our sins, be buried, and rose from the dead?

Is He today sitting at the right hand of the throne of God interceding for sinful mankind?

Will Jesus return a 2nd time to straighten out our sin filled world?

If Jesus is really God then we have a couple of huge questions to ask ourselves.

The first is have we accepted His sacrifice on Calvary for our sins or are we trusting in our own deeds, family or church for our salvation. The second is; How is our service and relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords this morning??

Phil 2:5-7 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, BUT MADE HIMSELF of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

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 amongst us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.”

If Jesus was just a man and is still in the grave then our sins cannot be washed away by His sacrifice, we cannot be ‘born again’ and life is……………………..?

I Cor 15:14-20 “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up–if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

II Cor 5:15 “…and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

Thank you Father that your Son Jesus is our Lord and Savior!!

Can you imagine how the world around us would be effected if they saw in us the same attitudes and qualities that Jesus has?????????????

Let the truth of who Jesus is dictate your actions today.

Why me and being a Soldier….

Why me and being a Soldier?

Like all of us you find yourself many times asking the question, ‘Why me’. Why are they picking on me?  Especially when you go through a time of suffering, whether physical or verbal.  If you are a ‘born again’ believer the Holy Spirit offers a teaching on the topic of suffering that can only be understood by believers. If you are not a ‘born again’ believer the spiritual logic provided by God the Holy Spirit will appear as foolishness to you.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

Or there is one other option and it is that you can be a new Christian and  not yet be able to handle this level of spiritual insight or a Christian of many years but yet still a baby in your spiritual understanding.

  • I Corinthians 3:1-3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

So, back to our topic of ‘Why me?’ and suffering for Jesus. We are brought up in a country of material wealth and increasing moral decay. Both are driven into us daily via our media, government schools and most of our political system all run by our enemy, satan. To stand up for Jesus labels us as intolerant bigots who are unaccepting of others and even dangerous. I wonder who would want to portray us that way.  A little sarcasm there but much truth in it.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

To be soldiers for Jesus we must grab a hold of what His ministry is for in this life. If Jesus did not have a mission for us on this earth He would have taken us home immediately after He drew us to Himself via the ‘born again’ event in our lives.

To live for Jesus it is vital we think about the topic of suffering for Jesus and what it means for our lives.

  • It is our destiny as ‘born again’ believers to go through some level of suffering as we minister for Jesus. Just like the church as Thessalonica it our destiny.
    • I Thes 3:3 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.
    • It is totally contrary to our upbringing and nature to accept that suffering is actually our nature but if God says it then it cannot possibly be wrong.
    • Step one is to accept what God says.

Second. Step two is to accept God’s mission for us which will require;

  • Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

In James 1:2,3 our God speaking to persecuted Christians and us says that we can go through trials in our lives that He sends our way. He sends trials our way so that we will grow in our faith. Trials when properly viewed will bring spiritual growth into our lives which is the ‘why me’ question is important. It is only dangerous when we do so selfishly and not asking ourselves what God is doing in our lives? If it is all about me than the lesson God intends is lost. And think about it another way. If your child does not learn a lesson you intend for them you typically have to do what? That’s correct, you have to teach it to them until they learn. So its best to learn quickly the lessons God sends our way.

  • James 1:2,3 My brethren, count it all joy WHEN you fall into various trials knowing this that the trying of your faith works patience.

So are you and Soldier for Jesus and are you learning from your trials?

Peace that I can live by….

Peace that I can live by

All of us yearn for and seek peace. No one desires being shot at with words, new problems or bullets on a daily basis. Our desire is for peace in our personal world and peace for the nations. Our personal peace comes first and is created or destroyed by my life actions and the actions of those around me. There is a Way to have perfect peace. Yes, even when those around me are in turmoil and desire that I be in the same situation. Yes, even in this age! Listen to the solution.

John 16:33b “In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Isa 43:2, 3a “When you pass though the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am your God…”

There is a way to have peace even when all of world is at war. And note that it is the type of peace that those not trusting in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will not understand.

Phil 4:6, 7 “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

There is one condition for obtaining that peace.

Rom 5:1 “These having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (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.)

Isa 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you; because he trusted in thee. Trust you in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, even Jehovah, is an everlasting rock.”

Then we can have the peace that confounds those of the world! So, are you at peace this morning….?

Anger or a Soft Answer – You Choose…

Anger or a Soft Answer!

Our first reaction when we are wronged is to strike back. That reaction is from the flesh and seems to feel good but actually is very destructive to us. God provides a different approach. It does not feel right to our flesh but remember that God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts (Isa 55:8). Our minds in their sinful condition are not able to think and respond like God would have us to do. So when the response or answer that I think is appropriate but I recognize that God would have me to do something different, I then have a choice to make.

When I am wronged how I would handle it differs dramatically from how God would have me respond to it. It comes down to placing our trust or faith in what God directs. We need not agree nor understand, just obey. If you are saved you now have the Spirit of God actually indwelling in you which is the only way you can fight the urge to strike.

A tough concept to follow but from experience I know it works!!!

Proverbs 15:1, 2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the fool pours forth foolishness.”

Psa 141:3 “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

Prov 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity”

To be able to present a soft answer you will need to be a good listener and most importantly you will not be looking to have it your way. There is but one way that counts;

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

 Danger: DO NOT DEPEND ON YOUR OWN HUMAN OR FLESHLY DIRECTIVES…..

 Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death.”