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.”

How do you dress for Church…

James 2:9b “But if you show partiality, you commit sin…”

How do you dress for church?

One Sunday morning the congregation of a ritzy church (with
vaulted ceilings, oak pews, stained glass windows and deep plush carpet) had a stir.

A man came in just minutes before the service was to begin and
he was dressed horribly, was stinking, had on old boots, torn overalls,
a dirty flannel shirt, and a dusty cowboy hat.
The congregation was aghast! Many quickly sent notes to the
minister about this concern. At the end of the services the minister
greeted the humbly dressed man and asked him if he enjoyed the service.
The man exclaimed that he enjoyed it very much. The minister asked the man to consider possibly dressing differently, and taking a shower, & told him to pray to Jesus about how he would have him dress if he should return again.
The next week the man returned. He was dressed the same and once
again the congregation was disturbed. At the end of the service the
minister greeted he man again and asked him what he had been told by
Jesus concerning his how to dress for church?
The man exclaimed. “I spoke with Jesus about this, but Jesus
said he didn’t know how I should dress for “this church” because He has never been allowed in there.

 James 2:1-4, 9 “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there  should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand here,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool, have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts. But if you show partiality, you commit sin…”

Faith to live by….

Faith to live by…. 

Faith is an interesting and vital word in scripture and frequently misunderstood by both our world and by “born again” CHRISTians. It plays a vital role first for my salvation and then takes on an equally important role after I am saved (born again) in how I apply it to my service for Jesus.

For salvation;

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 any man should boast.”

 For Serving the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus;

Hebrews 10:38 “Now the just (born again) shall live by faith: but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Faith requires me to believe and/or step out and perform a deed when I cannot see the One asking me to do so or I cannot see the obstacles or expected results. My flesh would have those things be visible to me before I commit to action. The results of my faith is to be totally based on the will of our heavenly Father for my life and not on my personal preferences! That means stepping into the raging waters of life if we are convinced it is God’s will for us and then also accepting the consequences of those actions even when they are not pleasant to my flesh.

So why is it that many results of my actions that I consider to be for God are much different than I would plan or desire? Many times we wonder if our faith is inadequate because the answers to our prayers do not line up with our fleshly desires. And some preachers who do not line up with scripture proclaim that results we do not like are based on weak faith. It is very importantly to remember the following when we think that way;

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

TRUE FAITH

A friend… said, “You were healed by faith.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I was healed by Christ.” What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, “Heal me.” I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him.

–A.B. Simpson

So, this morning if you are convinced that God would have you to perform a certain task go ahead and step into the waters. The rewards are eternal……………

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!!!!!!!!!!!