Commitment is measured by Attitude…

Commitment is measured by Attitude!

Mat 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be
loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve
God and money.”

IT’S STRANGE, ISN’T IT?

Isn’t it strange how a 20 dollar bill
seems like such a large amount when
you donate it to church, but such a
small amount when you go shopping?

Isn’t it strange how endless an
hour seems when we are serving God,
but how short it is when we watch a
basketball game for  2-3 hours ?

Isn’t it strange how 2 hours seem so
long when you’re at church, and how short
they seem when you’re watching a good movie?

Isn’t it strange that you can’t find the
words to say when you’re praying,
but you have no trouble thinking what
to talk about with a friend?

Isn’t it strange how difficult and
boring it is to read one chapter of
the Bible, but how easy it is to
read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants
front-row-tickets to concerts or games,
but they do whatever is possible to sit
at the last row in Church?

Isn’t it strange how we need to know
about an event for Church 2-3 weeks
before the day so we can include it in
our agenda, but we can adjust it for
other events in the last minute?

Isn’t it strange how difficult it is
to learn a fact about God to share it
with others, but how easy it is to
learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn’t it strange how we believe everything
that magazines and newspapers say, but we
question the words in the Bible?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants a
place in heaven, but they don’t want to
believe in Jesus to get there?

Isn’t it strange how we send jokes
in e-mails and they are forwarded right
away, but when we are going to send
messages about God, we think about it
twice before we share it with others?

IT’S STRANGE, ISN’T IT?

Mat 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.”

The Middle East and Jesus 2nd Coming…

The Middle East and Jesus 2nd Coming…

 Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Jesus is Coming Again! World events continue to keep a focus on the Middle East which reminds us of His return. Some interesting items of note about the Middle East;

1. The Garden of Eden was in Iraq.

2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!

6. Isaac’s wife Rebecca is from Nahor, which is in Iraq.

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh – which is in Iraq.

9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel.

10. Amos cried out in Iraq!

11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem.

12. Daniel was in the lion’s den in Iraq!

13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the fiery furnace!)

14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the “writing on the wall” in Iraq.

15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.

16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.

17. The wise men were from Iraq.

18. Peter preached in Iraq.

19. The “Empire of Man” described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq!

And you have probably seen this one. Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq means country with deep roots.

Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.

No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated to it than Iraq. Isn’t it interesting where the focus of our age is? With all the turmoil around keep in mind….

John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I Love you…

Heb 12:2a “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”

I Love You

“I love you”, he whispered as we sat in the night.
His arms closed around me so warm and so tight.

“I love you, but I know that others will call.
Still, please know I’ll be there to catch every fall.
The others may wound you, life’s lesson you’ll learn.
Don’t worry, I’ll be right here when you return.

Some moments, you’ll hurt me with anger and hate but I’ll never leave
you, you’re well worth the wait”

And though I denied that we ever would part, new loves flirted
playfully, winning my heart.

But the few nights of pleasure just lasted till dawn.
Then each, like the others, was suddenly gone.

“I love you” a voice whispered out of the cold.
“My hand is still here for you, ready to hold.

If nothing more from you than love do I gain.
I’ll still wait forever. You’re well worth the pain.”

I wanted to care; let him into my heart.
My life felt so empty when we were apart.

But I longed for adventure, excitement, and thrill.
The few needs that His perfect love couldn’t fill.

“I love you”, he said as he raised up his hands.
“But you’ll never be with me the way that it stands.

So bring on the nails and I’ll suffer the loss.
If it means I can hold you, it’s well worth the cross.”

–Carolyn Holmes

Heb 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
the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”

CHRISTmas Poem…

 

CHRISTmas poem….

 

‘T’was the night before Christmas

and all through the town

Not a sign of Baby Jesus

was anywhere to be found.

 

The people were all busy

with Christmas time chores

Like decorating, and baking,

and shopping in stores.

 

No one sang “Away in a manger,

no crib for a bed”.

Instead, they sang of Santa

dressed-up in bright red.

 

Mama watched Martha Stewart,

Papa drank beer from a tap.

As hour upon hour

the presents they’d wrap

 

When what from the T.V.

did they suddenly hear?

‘Cept an ad.. which told

of a big sale at Sears.

 

So away to the mall

they all flew like a flash…

Buying things on credit…

and others with cash!

 

And, as they made their way home

From their trip to the mall,

Did they think about Jesus?

Oh, no… not at all.

 

Their lives were so busy

with their Christmas time things

No time to remember

Christ Jesus, the King.

 

There were presents to wrap

and cookies to bake.

How could they stop and remember

who died for their sake?

 

To pray to the Savior…

they had no time to stop.

Because they needed more time

to “Shop til they dropped!”

 

On Walmart! On K-mart!

On Target! On Penney’s!

On Hallmark! On Zales!

A quick lunch at McDonald’s

 

From the big stores downtown

to the stores at the mall

They would dash away, dash away,

and visit them all!

 

And up on the roof,

there arose such a clatter

As grandpa hung icicle lights

up on his brand new step ladder.

 

He hung lights that would flash.

He hung lights that would twirl.

Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus…

The Light of the World.

 

Christ’s eyes… how they twinkle!

Christ’s Spirit… how merry!

Christ’s love… how enormous!

All our burdens… He’ll carry!

 

So instead of being busy,

overworked, and uptight

Let’s put Christ back in

Christmas and enjoy some good nights!

 

Merry CHRISTmas, my friends!

 

Luke 2:8-11 “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in
the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, the angel of the
Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were
greatly afraid. Then the angel said unto them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is
born to you this day in the city of David, A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD|||||||||||||||”

 

Mary of CHRISTmas, a faithful sinner…

 

Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

 Luke 1:26-32 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

Mary of CHRISTmas, a faithful sinner…

In the drama of the first Christmas there is a perfect example of walking by faith. God begins in Luke 1:26 – “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary, The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.'” A name above all names! In no other name is salvation found.

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

God’s request to Mary was that she walk by faith and trust Him. He asked her to take His hand and allow Him to lead her into something amazing. Mary did not insist that she see some piece of evidence before she accept God’s plan. We must understand that in the Jewish culture of those days a woman was stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock. Now think about the faith it took to obey.

God was leading her into a situation where she was suddenly and miraculously pregnant. And who’s going to believe that God is doing this? How about the arguments that may have gone through her head? She has a lot to lose if she walks by faith and goes where God wants to take her. She may lose her reputation as the “nice girl of Nazareth.” She may lose the man she loves when he hears she is expecting and he knows he’s not the father. The wedding she has dreamed about from an early age may never happen. And since, in the Jewish culture of that day, they stoned women for sexual sin, obedience could even cost Mary her life.

But Mary was a woman of faith. Listen to her response, “I am the Lord’s servant.” Those words show her heart. If Mary’s identity is, “I’m Joseph’s girl,” there’s no way she’s going

to do what God wants. If her image as the “nice girl of Nazareth” is her identity, she won’t do this. But Mary bases her identity on one thing and one thing alone. With open hands, open arms,

face looking up, she declares, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.” And because of that surrendered spirit and surrendered future, Mary carries God’s only Son in her body.

God’s most special assignments are for those who will let go of their fears and begin the walk of faith. When you know that God is asking you do something, and then the choice is; do I serve Jesus or my fears and desires? It may be to share His love with someone who has never heard (Mat 28:19, 20). It may be to develop and use your God given spiritual gift(s) for His glory. It may be to give up something very precious to you for the benefit of another (Agape Love).

It may be to turn the other cheek. It may be to be the salt that lovingly calls sin for what it is even in the face of much opposition. It may be to set aside the occupation the world and family and self gave you and take up the one Jesus has for you.

This Christmas season, take your Father’s hand and with child-like faith, tell Him, “Lord, take me wherever You want me to go.”

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

If you are serious about walking by faith then take the time to check out Eph 2:8,9, Rom 12:1,2, Luke 9:23 and Phil 4:13

The Love chapter…

The Love chapter….

 

What does it profit if I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows?

Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,

But do not show love to my family,

I’m just another decorator.

 

If I slave away in the kitchen,

Baking dozens of Christmas cookies,

Preparing gourmet meals

And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,

But do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

 

If I work at the soup kitchen,

Carol in the nursing home

And give all that I have to charity,

But do not show love,

It profits me nothing.

 

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,

Attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata,

But do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

 

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust… But giving the gift of love will endure.

I Cor 13:3 “And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

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