What or Who is Your Source of Strength….

What or Who is Your Source of Strength!

In a world preaching self, self, self what does our Lord have to say?  God does want us to feel good about ourselves but it is not because we are something great. It is because we have accepted His Son as our Savior and His purpose for our lives and accepted that we can only do it by His strength. Now that is big time different than what our world teaches.

You are something special when you have Jesus. By yourself you are not!!!

By yourself you are…

Isa 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing and all of our righteousness are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away.”

Let Jesus lift you up instead of  trying to lift yourself up|||

Rom 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you; Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”

Remember it’s His timing and by His methods that we can become strong !!! And of course you must know and have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Not depending on your deeds, church or any other activity for your salvation. Then Jesus can begin a work in you. So why is that so contrary to what we feel?

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

Start by…

Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

And then…

I Pet 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Absolute or never Changing Truths….

Malachi 3:6a “For I, Jehovah, change not; ….”

There are Absolute or never changing Truths!

In a world that seeks change there are some things that never change and it’s a good thing they don’t. Yes, there are absolute truths we can count on. The key is that they can only come from a Source that cannot be in error. Did you catch that?

The ONE source of truth on this earth we have and woe to them who try to change it is…

Deut 4:2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Gal 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you
than that we have preached to you, let him be accursed…”

Rev 22:18, 19 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of
this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

How can we be sure of God’s word being absolute truth? Because, THE SOURCE is God and not mankind…!

We all place our faith in something or someone. Who or what are you placing your faith in this morning? I totally trust….

2 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.”

You say, but didn’t men write the Bible? NO, God used men and situations from their lives to record His truths but God authored it.

2 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.”

And God promises to protect it down through the ages so that everyone has a chance to hear His truths and trust in His Son, our Savior, Jesus.

Mat 5:18 “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved”

In this mixed up and ugly world having truth at our fingertips is comforting.
So, did you start your day by reading truth……..or????

The Ten Commandments and the 21st Century….

Luke 10:25-28 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ “And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Ten Commandments and the 21st Century

There is a feeling among many people that the 10 Commandments that God gave to our world are not relevant for today. Why would that be? First and foremost is the fact that the god of the world today, satan (II Corinthians 4:3, 4) does not want us feeling that God’s truths have value for our lives. But when you read them it only makes sense that they point out the wrong that mankind can do or as God calls it sin.

Some feel that truth can change down through the ages and the commandments were given to Israel 3500 years ago so they do not see them as relevant for our modern society.  They see them as a history for ages past. If you believe in God and His word it refutes that error by proclaiming that God never changes and the truths He reveals in His word in the Bible never change (Malachi 3:6, II Timothy 3:16, 17). That being the case then the truths God revealed in the Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were 3500 years ago. It is important to understand that if the Bible appears to be foolish to follow or study that is probably because you are not a ‘born again’ CHRISTIAN. Check it out in I Corinthians 2:14.

Some simply do not believe that God exists. I find that sad and mind boggling. In Romans 1:20 we are told that all you need to do is look around you and you understand that the complexity of our world, the animal kingdom and mankind had to have a Creator.  It takes faith to believe in God and faith to believe He does not exist. But those believing the lie that He does not exist are in for a shock when they have to stand at their judgment seat (Revelation 20:11-14) and understand their rejection of their Creator. Mankind was created in God’s image and for that I am eternity grateful. How’s that for an awesome truth about your complexity and nature? Believing you evolved from a lower form of life simply gives you a reason to accept sinful behavior but that behavior does not fly with a Holy God and you will be held accountable (Romans 14:12).

Some in Christian circles feel that when the NT portion of the Bible says that they are free from the law that they are no longer obligated to it or subject to the consequences of breaking it. That also is fallacy.  Their eternal destiny may not be changed by breaking the laws called sinning but they are still subject to the consequences of doing so (Phil 6:7). The law and commandments as God tells us in His word were given to us so that we would understand what sin is. They are as relevant in the NT age we live in as they were in the OT.

Noted below are the Ten Commandments and just some of the NT parallels for each. Many take it a step further in that the mind can and does create the same sin that the body can. So, if anything the NT expands the truth of and need for obeying the Ten Commandments today.

  1. Exodus 20:3 ‘You Shall have no other gods before Me”
    1. Mat 4:10 “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only”
  2. Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them”
    1. I John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from ”
  3. Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain”
    1. John 20:30, 31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”
  4. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.
    1. Mark 2:27, 28 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
  5. Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
    1. Eph 6:2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
  6. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder”
    1. Mat 5:22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
  7. Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery”
    1. Mat 5:28 “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”
  8. Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal”
    1. Mat 5:40 “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well”
  9. Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
    1. Rev 22:14, 15 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a ”
  10. Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Luke 12:15 “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed”

Who can Interpret the Bible….

Who can interpret the Bible

Only one power would want to discredit the Gospel or seek to change it and that power is satan, the master deceiver who is in the business of blinding the mind. And yes, he is real.

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

On one side he makes the Gospel and the road to heaven sound like it is a very difficult thing to know and only the philosophers or theologians can understand it. He tells people that only the religious leaders can interpret the Bible. From the other direction he makes it sound simple. He even says that all religions can lead to God. No wonder he is called the master deceiver………… So, is the Gospel a complex spiritual equation?

I John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Mat 18:3 “…truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

A child can understand the Gospel. Jesus came into the world, lived a sinless life, died for the sins of mankind, was buried and rose again. We need to accept that we are sinners, that our sins caused spiritual and physical death and that the sacrifice that Jesus paid for us is sufficient to remove the spiritual punishment. Nothing can be added to it from our lives to make it complete. That is the faith of a child. Don’t allow it to be made complex!!!!!

And just so we do not forget.

Jesus is coming to earth a second time to put an end to sin and satan and to straighten out our messed up world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve read the book and I know who wins and it is not our enemy!

A Quiz. Can you name them…..

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…..

Here’s something to think about.

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.

Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

*************

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?

The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most
credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care. 🙂

There is One who paid for your unworthiness because of your sins with His life and created the words,
I Love You this much!!!! Can you name Him!

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down one’s
life for his friends.”

Life is about Helping Others….

Better have your Kleenex handy before you start this one……………

Luke 6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For
by your standard of measure it will measured to you in return.”

Life is about Helping Others…..

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie.
His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable
busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t
sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my Customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and
thick-tongued speech of Down syndrome. I wasn’t worried about most of my
trucker customers because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables
as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the
mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly
polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some
dreaded “truck stop germ”; the pairs of white shirted business men on
expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted
with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I
closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my
staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my
truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.
After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought
of him.

He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to
laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties.
Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb
or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our
only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the
customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his
weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a
table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully
bus dishes and glasses onto the cart and meticulously wipe the table up
with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was
watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride
in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to
please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who
was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their
Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop.
Their Social worker, which stopped to check on him every so often,
admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I
paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live
together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That’s why the
restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first
morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was at the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart.

His social worker said that people with Down syndrome often had heart
problems at an early age so this wasn’t unexpected, and there was a good
chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at
work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning
when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery and doing fine.
Frannie, my head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in
the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular
trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of
four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed
her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. “OK, Frannie, what was that all about?” he asked.
We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.”

I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him.
What was the surgery about?” Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the
other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery, and then sighed.

Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be OK” she said, “But I don’t know how

he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re
barely getting by as it is.” Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and
Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.

Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie
and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a
couple of paper napkins in her hand a funny look on her face.”

What’s up?” I asked.

I didn’t get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were
sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were
sitting there when I got back to clean it off” she said. “This was folded

and tucked under a coffee cup.” She handed the napkin to me, and three
$20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big,
bold letters, was printed “Something For Stevie.”

Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,” she said,”so I told
him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and
Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.” She handed me another
paper napkin that had “Something For Stevie” scrawled on its outside.
Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet,
shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply, “truckers.”

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day
Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he’s
been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it
didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday.

He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was
coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the
parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he
pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron
and busing cart were waiting.

“Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,” I said. I took him and his
mother by their arms. “Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you
coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me.”

I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.
I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we
marched through the dining room.

Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning
truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big
table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner
plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

“First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,” I
said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then

pulled out one of the napkins. It had “Something for Stevie” printed on the outside.

As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table. Stevie stared at the money, then
at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it.

I turned to his mother. “There’s more than $10,000 in cash and
checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that
heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving.”

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody
hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you
know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and
hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy
clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.

Eph 4:32a “And be kind to one another…”

Judge not…Because you cannot…

Judge not…Because you cannot…

Mat 7:1, 2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

A professor at Loyola University in Chicago writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy:

Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith.  That was the day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked.  He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn’t what’s on your head but what’s in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped. I immediately filed Tommy under “S” for strange. . . very strange. Tommy turned out to be the “atheist in residence” in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.

When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a slightly cynical tone, “Do you think I’ll ever find God?” I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. “No!” I said very emphatically. “Oh,” he responded, “I thought that was the product you were pushing.”

I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then called out, “Tommy! I don’t think you’ll ever find Him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you!”

He shrugged a little and left my class and my life. I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line — He will find you! At least I thought it was clever. Later I heard that Tommy had graduated and I was duly grateful.

Then a sad report came. I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer.  Before I could search him out, he came to see me. When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe.

“Tommy, I’ve thought about you so often. I hear you are sick,” I blurted out.

“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It’s a matter of weeks.”

“Can you talk about it, Tom?” I asked.

“Sure, what would you like to know?” he replied.

“What’s it like to be only twenty-four and dying?”

“Well, it could be worse.”

“Like what?”

“Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real ‘biggies’ in life.” I began to look through my mental file cabinet under ‘S’ where I had filed Tommy as strange. (It seems as though everybody I try to reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)

“But what I really came to see you about,” Tom said, “is something you said to me on the last day of class.” (He remembered!) He continued, “I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, ‘No!’ which surprised me. Then you said, ‘But He will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. (My clever line. He thought about that a lot!)

“But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, that’s when I got serious about locating God.  And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven. But God did not come out. In fact, nothing happened.

Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success? You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying.  And then you quit. Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn’t really care about God, about an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable. I thought about you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: ‘The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.'”

“So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him.”

“Dad.”

“Yes, what?” he asked without lowering the newspaper.

“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”

“Well, talk.”

“I mean . . . It’s really important.”   The newspaper came down three slow inches. “What is it?”

“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Tom smiled at me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him.

“The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried and he hugged me. We talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me.”

“It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years. I was only sorry about one thing — which I had waited so long. Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.”

“Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn’t come to me when I pleaded with Him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, ‘C’mon, jump through. C’mon, I’ll give you three days, three weeks.’ Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour. But the important thing is that He was there. He found me. You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.”

“Tommy,” I practically gasped, “I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love. You know, the Apostle John said that. He said: ‘God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.’ Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it wouldn’t be half as effective as if you were to tell them.”

“Ooh ….. I was ready for you, but I don’t know if I’m ready for your class.”

“Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call.”

In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date. However, he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever imagined.

Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said.

“I know, Tom.”

“Will you tell them for me? Will you tell the whole world for me?”

“I will, Tom. I’ll tell them. I’ll do my best.”

So, to all of you who have been kind enough to hear this simple statement about love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven — I told them, Tommy, as best I could.

With thanks,

 

XXXXXXXXXX

Professor Loyola University in Chicago

Forwarded with corrections

 

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 everlasting life.”