Which person can be used by God…

Luke 9:27 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves,
take up their cross daily, and follow Me.”

Which person can be used by God:

The Master was searching for a vessel to use.
On the shelf there were many,
which one would He choose?

Take me cried the gold one,
I am shiny and bright and of great value
And I do things just right,
my beauty and luster will outshine the rest
and for someone like You Master, I would be best.

The Master passed it with no word at all.
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall.

I’ll serve you Dear Master;
I’ll pour out your wine and be at your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful and my carving so true,
and silver will always compliment you.

Unheeding, the Master passed on the brass,
it was wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.

Here! Here! Cried the vessel,
I know I will do.
Place me on your table for all [men] to view.

Look at me, cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my transparency shows my contents so dear.
Though fragile am I, don’t cross me,
I will serve you with pride,
And I am sure that I will be happy in your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood.
Polished and carved and it solidly stood.

You may use me Dear Master,
The wooden bowl said,
but I’d rather you’d use me for fruit; please no bread.

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had that vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah, this is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find;
I will mend it and use it, and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel with pride in itself,
nor the one so narrow to sit on the shelf.
Not the one who is big mouthed, and shallow and loud,

Nor the one who displays its contents so proud.
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right,
But this plain earthen vessel filled with My power and might.”

Then gently, He lifted the vessel of clay,
mended it and cleansed it and filled it that day.

He spoke to it kindly, “There’s work you must do.
Just pour out to others, and I’ll pour into you.

Most of the first 12 disciples were simple fishermen, not theologians or Bible College professors. That provides me with the confidence that I can be used just as they were for I am as they were, a jar of broken clay requiring my Lord’s shaping. Our Lord never asks us to walk in our own natural strengths and abilities but to walk dependent upon His strength and abilities.  That dependency forces us to our knees which is a wonderful place to be. God then can become our source of wisdom, knowledge and strength. The following verse really helps explain it better than I ever can;

2 Cor. 12:9 “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.”

Matthew 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.”
((   ))
O   O
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Till Jesus returns!

Is it Well with your Soul…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Is it Well with your Soul…

Maybe it is just my imagination and I hope so but it seems to me that much of Christianity does not see the persecutions and trials of this world as having merit. Am I wrong and how does my life stack up is the nagging question? I know that in my heart I do not like persecution and trials so if I can avoid them, I will. Then I see scripture that says if there is no objection to my life style by the world then I may be a Christian in hiding. And worse yet, if no trials then I might not be saved. Ouch, that thought process is not one that I wish to pursue.

First I check out my eternal life and find I am confident that I have asked and am trusting in Jesus sacrifice for my sins to be sufficient for my salvation. Nothing can be added from my end (Gal 2:16-21). Then comes the question of how my life as a believer stacks up to His will for me. If I do not change to meet my Savior’s will for my life just what will I hear at the Judgment Seat of Believers. I know my sins are washed away so they will not be on display there but how about my life’s work or lack of work for my Savior after being “born again”?????

The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution in perspective.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And an example from scripture helps us to put trials into perspective.

Paul is one of those examples. As we review his life as recorded in scripture we see that he was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns and the request for God to remove those thorns.  Trials do come to each child of God.

That is a given. How we look at them is not. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).  God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has a purpose for us.  Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did, or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, or “count it all joy” as James records in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.

 

I love this thought from that passage on removing the thorn in II Corinthians. I memorized it so I could have it ready when the difficulties of my life are better understood by listening to my God. Paul accepted God’s answer to his prayer that he requested three times and the answer was.  God’s grace is sufficient; you need that thorn in your life for a much greater purpose and outcome than the immediate fleshly satisfaction of it being removed.

II Cor 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Daily Warfare within…

I Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from
fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

 Daily Warfare!

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on
inside him. He said it is between 2 wolves.

One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one I feed.”

Romans 8:3-5 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit
.”

Gal 6:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” 

The Holy Alphabet…

1 Thes. 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

The Holy Alphabet…

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Exalting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

“I AM Too blessed to be stressed!” The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.

I Chronicles 16:34 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

No Greater Love…

Want your perspective on life changed? Ask yourself what real Love is.
Think on this theme BEFORE you start your day.

Greater love has no man than this that He lay down His life for….

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.”

After God displays His love for us the option is to either accept it or reject it. Sadly most of mankind chooses self over God and rejects His offer to restore the relationship with us that our sin broke.

Matt 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

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 Acts 16:31-32 “And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 If we accept God’s gift of salvation or restoration via faith then our reasonable service because of that love…

Rom 14:7-9 “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord, therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”

Do you see how different that perspective is than what our world desires and even demands. Why might that be?

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 light
of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Remember today, that we are here to serve Jesus and not the god of this world and self!
Have a great day in the service of the King!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s my Child…

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come unto Me all you 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 of heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

That’s my Child

I was watching some little kids play soccer.  These
kids were only five or six years old, but they were
playing a real game — a serious game. Two teams,
complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents.  I didn’t
know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without
the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing.
I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same.

The teams were pretty evenly matched.  I will just
call them Team One and Team Two.  Nobody scored in the first
period.  The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and
terribly inefficient.  They fell over their own feet, they
stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed
it but they didn’t seem to care.  They were having fun.

In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out
what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs,
except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The
game took a dramatic turn.  I guess winning is important
even when you’re five years old, because the Team Two coach
left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no
match for them.

Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the
Team One goalie.  He was an outstanding athlete, but he was
no match for three or four who were also very good.  Team Two
began to score. The One goalie gave it everything he had,
recklessly throwing his body in front of incoming balls,
trying valiantly to stop them.

Team Two scored two goals in quick succession. It
infuriated the young boy.  He became a raging maniac —
shouting, running, diving.  With all the stamina he could
muster, he covered the boy who now had the ball, but that
boy kicked it to another boy twenty feet away, and by the
time he repositioned himself, it was too late — they scored
a third goal.

I soon learned who the goalie’s parents were.  They
were nice, neat-looking people.  I could tell that his dad had
just come from the office – he still had his suit and tie on.
They yelled encouragement to their son.  I became totally
absorbed, watching the boy on the field and his parents on the
sidelines.

After the third goal, the little kid changed.  He could
see it was no use, he couldn’t stop them.  He didn’t quit, but
he became quite desperate, futility was written all over him.
His father changed, too.  He had been urging his son to try
harder, yelling advice and encouragement.  But then he changed.
He became anxious.  He tried to say that it was okay — to hang
in there.  He grieved for the pain his son was feeling.

After the fourth goal, I knew what was going to happen.
I’ve seen it before.  The little boy needed help so badly, and
there was no help to be had.  He retrieved the ball from the net
and handed it to the referee and then he cried. He just stood
there while huge tears rolled down both cheeks.  He went to his
knees and put his fists to his eyes — and he cried the tears of
the helpless and brokenhearted.

When the boy went to his knees, I saw the father start
onto the field.  His wife clutched his arm and said, “Jim, don’t.
You’ll embarrass him.”  But he tore loose from her and ran onto
the field.  He wasn’t supposed to — the game was still in progress.
Suit, tie, dress shoes and all, he charged onto the field, and he
picked up his son so everybody would know that this was his boy,
and he hugged him and held him and cried with him. I’ve never been
so proud of a man in my life.

He carried him off the field, and when he got close to the
sidelines I heard him say, “Scotty, I’m so proud of you. You were
great out there.  I want everybody to know that you are my son.”

“Daddy,” the boy sobbed, “I couldn’t stop them.  I tried,
Daddy, I tried and tried, and they scored on me.”

“Scotty, it doesn’t matter how many times they scored on
you. You’re my son, and I’m proud of you.  I want you to go back
out there and finish the game.  I know you want to quit, but you
can’t.  And, son, you’re going to get scored on again, but it
doesn’t matter.  Go on now.”

It made a difference – I could tell it did. When you’re
all alone, and you’re getting scored on — and you can’t stop them,
it means a lot to know that it doesn’t matter to those who love you.
The little guy ran back on to the field — and they scored two more
times but it was okay.

I get scored on every day.  I try so hard.  I recklessly
throw my body in every direction.  I fume and rage, I struggle
with temptation and sin with every ounce of my being — and satan
laughs.  And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my
knees — sinful, convicted, and helpless.

And my Father–my Father–rushes right out onto the field —
right in front of the whole crowd — the whole jeering, laughing
world and He picks me up, and He hugs me and He says,
“Child, I love and forgive you.

I want everybody to know that you are my child, and because
I control the outcome of this game, I declare you – Forgiven.”

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
 
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore unto God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Whose Hands…

Isaiah 55:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him.”

WHOSE HANDS?
A basketball in my hands is worth about $30.
A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Stan Musial’s hands is worth millions.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Pete Sampras’ hands is a Wimbledon Championship.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses’ hands by God’s strength parted the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A sling shot in David’s hand by God’s strength was a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish
sandwiches.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousand men and their families.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
Nails and wood in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will produce salvation for those in our world who trust in His sacrifice for their sins.
It depends whose hands it’s in.
Psalm 22:16b “…they pierced My hands and My feet.”