the Visitor is Jesus….

How would you feel if Jesus returned today?

1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”

Subject: When you think he isn’t watching…

The Visitor is Jesus

Ruth looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter one more time

Dear Ruth,
I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always, Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table.  “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have
anything to offer.”

With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer.  I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.”

She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five Dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.”

She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk… leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she headed home, her meager
offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kind a hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they
really wanted to. “Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man put
his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

“Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.

“Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed the man her grocery bag.

“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank you!”
It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.

“You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street…without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

“Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as
she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,

It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal.
And thank you too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always, Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
By John Grant

Mat 25:40 “….I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Sin, does it still exist…..

Sin, does it still exist!

Do you believe that sin is still alive and active today? A good way to tell is to ask yourself when is the last time you recognized a sinful habit in your life.

The ugly truth is that sin is as active as it has ever been and that makes release from it’s bondage a must if we are to have peace! Woe, did I say bondage?

Yes, that is what sin does to us whether a ‘born again’ believer or not it cancontrol our lives.

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

Our world has tried to avoid this topic starting with Adam and Eve who tried to run from God. The truth is that God and His truths do not change over time.

And we are never able to run from God. He is all knowing and everywhere all at once.

There can be no hiding from His eyes.

Sin today is the same as sin of the past and the wages of our sin is death both physical and spiritual.

Heb 2:14, 15 “… He Himself likewise shared in the same that through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Are you in bondage or in release? How about your family and/or friends? The solution to the problem!

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.”

Take them to the Savior! There is no one else who can help and there is only One Who can be our Mediator with God the Father.

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Foolish Scientist – No Contest….

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:26a, 27 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image; according to
Our likeness… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God
He created him; male and female He created them.'”

No Contest!

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man
had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one
scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided
that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people
and do many miraculous things, so we no longer need you!”

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the
scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s
say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied,
“Okay, great!”

But, God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did
back in the days of Adam.”

The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed
himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You need to get your own dirt.”

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created…”

Our God is an awesome God……..!

Life’s Struggles to be Spiritually Strong…

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those
who love The Lord, to those who are the called according to His
purpose.”

The following, I believe, is one of the toughest concepts for ‘born again’ believers to accept.

Evaluate your acceptance or rejection of this concept sent from God as you read it.

Life’s Struggles to be Spiritually Strong

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!  In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a
swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I asked for Strength and God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom and God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity and God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage and God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors and God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted I received everything I needed!

May God Bless you with unspeakable joy, not only in the world to come, but in this world also. May your path be bright and full of light everywhere you go. May God tell darkness that it must flee at your command. And, I pray your feet will never stumble out of God’s plan.

May God’s will for your life come true. And may you experience peace in everything you do. May Goodness, Kindness, and Mercy come your way. And, may you gain Wisdom and grow in the Lord every day.

II Cor 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward
man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For
our light affliction, is but for a moment, is working for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the
things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the
things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen
are eternal.”

What is Biblical Christianity….

Read carefully and see if you can pick out God’s definition of a who is a CHRISTian.
It may surprise you because it is not the same as what most of the religions of this world teach.

1 The Credibility of Its Founder

Christ said He came from heaven to fulfill prophecy, to die for our sins, and to bring to His Father all who believe in Him. Logic says that He was either a liar, a lunatic, a legend, or the Lord and Savior of heaven. His first-century followers drew their own conclusions. They said they saw Him walk on water, still a storm, heal crippled limbs, feed 5,000 with a few pieces of bread and fish, lived a blameless sinless life, died a terrible death, arose from the grave and lives again.

During His ministry, when some of Jesus’ followers took issue with His teachings and left, He asked those closest to Him if they too wanted to leave. Peter spoke for the others when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” ( John 6:68-69 ) Jesus boldly proclaimed that He was and is the only way to get to heaven which means there is room for only faith in Him and no other name, religion or our works for salvation.

(Titus 3:5, John 14:6)

 

2 The Reliability of God’s Word
66 books written over a period of about 1,600 years by 40 different scribes, with One Author. The book on which the biblical Christian faith rests tells one story that begins with creation and concludes on the threshold of eternity. The integrity of its historical and geographical record is supported by archeology. The accuracy with which it has been copied and handed down to us has been confirmed by the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran. Originating neither in the East nor the West, but in the Middle East–the cradle of civilization–the Bible continues to speak not only with spiritual power but with convincing prophetic accuracy. In it we see that truth does not change from age to age, absolutes remain and the only relevant truth that each generation has are within its pages and no other book. Even with historical evidence of its accuracy it still comes down to faith. Do you believe what God is telling you or not?  We have the confirmation that God is its author but even without such confirmation our acceptance is based on faith and not on sight.

 

(II Tim 3:16, 17, II Pet 1:20, 21)

 

3 Its Explanations for Life
All religious systems attempt to give meaning to our existence. All attempt to explain our thirst for significance, the problem of pain, and the inevitability of death. All religions attempt to apply the design of the cosmos to our individual lives. It is the Christian faith however, that reflects the caring attention to detail so evident in the species and ecosystems of the natural world. It is Christ who speaks of a Father who takes note of every sparrow that falls, a Father who
numbers even the hairs of our head (Matthew 10:29-31). It is Christ who reveals a God who shows how much He cares for all that He has created. It is Christ who clothed Himself in our humanity to feel what we feel, and then to suffer and die in our place (II Cor 5:21). It is Christ who reveals a God who cares as much about His creation as the design and detail of the natural world indicates.

 

(Psalms 19:1-6, Romans1:16-25)

 

4 Its Continuity with The Past

 

The Christian faith offers continuity with our deepest ancestral roots. Those who
trust Christ are accepting the same Creator and Lord worshiped by Adam, Abraham,
David, Sarah, and Solomon. Jesus didn’t reject the past. He is the God of the
past , present and future (John1:1-14). When He lived among us, He showed us how to live according
to the original plan. When He died, He fulfilled the whole Old Testament sacrificial
system. And when He rose from the dead, the salvation He offered fulfilled God’s
promise to Abraham that through his descendant He would bring restoration to those
placing their faith in His sacrifice for sin. The Christian faith is not new with Christ.
From Genesis to Revelation it is one story. It is His story — and ours (Acts2:22, 1Corinthians15:1-8).

 

5 Its Foundational Claim
The first Christians were not driven by political or religious dissent. Their primary
issues were not moral or social. They were not well-credentialed theologians or
social philosophers. They were witnesses and the everyday worker. They risked their lives to tell the world that with their own eyes they had seen an innocent man die and then miraculously
walk among them 3 days later (Acts5:17-42). Their argument was very concrete.
Jesus was crucified under the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. His body was
buried and sealed in a borrowed tomb. Guards were posted to prevent grave
tampering. Yet after 3 days the tomb was empty and witnesses were risking their
lives to declare that He was alive.

6 Its Power to Change Lives

Not only were the first disciples dramatically changed, but so was one of their
worst enemies. Paul was transformed from a Christian killer into one of their
chief advocates (Galatians1:11-24). Later he reflected the changes that had
occurred in others as well when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write these words
to the church in Corinth, “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom
of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11). These folks at Corinth had placed their faith in Christ and
not in their religious systems and/or self.

7 Its Analysis of Human Nature

The Bible says that society’s real problems are problems of the heart. In an age
of information and technology, failures of character have scandalized institutions
of family, government, science, industry, religion, education, and the arts. In the
most sophisticated society the world has ever known, our national reputation is
marred by problems of racial prejudice, addiction, abuse, divorce, and sexually
transmitted disease. Those are what we consider the big sins. But the little ones,
as we categorize them, like the little white lie are equally offensive to a pure God
who cannot condone any sin. Many want to believe that our problems are rooted in
ignorance, diet, genetics and government. But to our generation and all others,
Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornication’s, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which
defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “There are none good, no not one.” Rom 3:10

8 Its View of Human Achievement

Generation after generation has hoped for the best. We fought wars that would
end all wars. We developed educational theories that would produce enlightened,
nonviolent children. We conceived technologies that would deliver us from the
oppressive slavery of work. Yet we are as close as ever to what the New
Testament describes as an end time marked by wars and rumors of war, earthquakes,
disease, loss of affection, and spiritual deception. (Timothy 3:1-5)

9 Its Impact on Society

A carpenter rabbi from Nazareth changed the world. Calendars and dated
documents bear silent witness to His birth. The rocks cry out that there is a
Creator and the Heavens declare His handiwork. From rooftops, necklaces, and
earrings, the sign of the cross bears visual witness to His death. The
Western world-view, which provided a basis for social morality, scientific
methodology, and a work ethic that fueled industry, had roots in basic
Christian values. Social relief agencies, whether in the West or East, are not
fueled by the values of Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, or secular agnosticism,
but by the direct or residual values of the Bible.

10 Its Offer of Salvation

Alternative religious views have saviors who remain in the grave. No
other system offers everlasting life as a gift to those who trust One who
has overcome death for them. No other system offers assurance of
forgiveness, eternal life, and adoption into the family of God by calling
on and trusting Someone in the same way a drowning person calls for
and relies on the rescue of a lifeguard (Romans10:9-13). The salvation
Christ offers does not depend on what we have done for Him, what
church we belong to, but on our acceptance of what He has done for us.
Instead of moral and religious effort, this salvation requires a helpless
admission of our sins (Eph 2:8-10). Instead of personal accomplishments of faith,
it requires confession of failure. Unlike all other options of faith, Christ
asks us to follow Him — not to merit salvation but as an expression of
gratitude, love, and confidence in the One who has saved us.
( I Cor 15:3, 4).

Do you know Jesus as your Savior today? He is the CHRISTian faith.
When is the last time you shared with your friend, neighbor, and coworker this marvelous truth?

Please Slow Me Down, Lord…..

This one becomes more relevant daily as our world picks up speed and not in a healthily spiritual direction!!!

Gen 2:1, 2 “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

Please Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down, Lord.
Ease the pounding in my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of the
singing streams that live in my memory.

Teach me the art of taking minute vacations –
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child,
to read a few lines from the good book.

Slow me down, Lord,
and inspire me to send my roots deep
into the soil of your enduring values,
that I may grow closer to you.

Remind them each day that the race is not always to the swift;
that there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew
great and strong because it grew slowly and well by your design.

Phil 4:6, 7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplications, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace that passes all understanding shall keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Keep on Singing of GOD’S LOVE….

1 John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love,

and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”

Don’t Give up on those you LOVE . . .

KEEP ON SINGING OF GOD’S LOVE….

Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was
on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael,
prepare for a new sibling. They find out that the new baby is going to
be a girl, and day after day, night after night,

Michael sings to his sister in Mommy’s tummy. The pregnancy
progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek
United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then the labor pains
come. Every five minutes … every minute. But Complications arise
during delivery.

Hours of labor. Would C-section be required?

Finally, Michael’s little sister is born. But she is in serious
condition. With siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the
infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital,
Knoxville, Tennessee.

The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric
specialist tells the parents, “There is very little hope.
Be prepared for the worst.”Karen and her husband contact a local
cemetery about a burial plot. They have fixed up a special room in their
home for the new baby – now they plan a funeral. Michael, keeps begging
his parents to let him see his sister, “I want to sing to her,” he says.

Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a funeral will come before the week is over.
Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never
allowed in Intensive Care.

But Karen makes up her mind. She will take Michael whether they
like it or not. If he doesn’t see his sister now, he may never see her alive.

She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into
ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse
recognizes him as a child and bellows, “No children are allowed.” The
mother rises up strong in Karen and the usually mild-mannered lady
glares steel-eyed into the head nurse’s face, her lips a firm line.

“He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!”

Karen tows Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazes at the tiny
infant losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure
hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; you make me happy when
skies are gray —” Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate
becomes calm and steady.

Keep on singing, Michael. “You never know, dear, how much I
love you, Please don’t take my sunshine away—” The ragged, strained
breathing becomes as smooth as a kitten’s purr.

Keep on singing, Michael. “The other night, dear, as I lay
sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms…” Michael’s little sister
relaxes as rest, healing rest, seems to sweep over her.

Keep on singing, Michael. Tears conquer the face of the bossy
head nurse. Karen glows. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please
don’t, take my sunshine away.”

Funeral plans are scrapped. The next, day the very next
day the little girl is well enough to go home!

Woman’s Day magazine called it “the miracle of a brother’s song.”

The medical staff just called it a miracle.

Karen called it a miracle of God’s love!

NEVER GIVE UP ON THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE. GOD DOESN’T!!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have live
everlasting.”