Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Mat 11:28-30 “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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.

He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone.

Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Heb 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

That’s Terrible…

That’s Terrible….

Many times we find it easy to point out the flaws in the lives of others.  From personal experience I have found that the reason I may see the faults of others so easily is many times because it is a fault I have and have not recognized or accepted that I have it.  Our God as with all areas of our lives provides some valuable advice;

 Mat 7:3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye.”

To all my faults my eyes are blind;
Mine are the sins I cannot find;
But your mistakes I see aplenty;
For them my eyes are 20/20.

Mat 7:2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you…”

The lesson of this truth from God’s word is that we should first check out our own faults and correct them before we can attempt to help others do the same………

Abortion, Children and God…

With another new year comes the result that Roe vs Wade has assisted in the death of

In America alone?? MILLION lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  3,300 children die each day

You will not find the word fetus in God’s vocabulary found in the Bible. Why is that? Just how does our Lord view the child in the womb and even before the womb?

Caution: God at Work!!

 Psalm 139:13-15a “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your  works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was  made in secret…”

 An example of God designing a purpose for lives BEFORE they are born.

Note, God calls them twins, not a pair of fetuses.

Rom 9:11 “For though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or  bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls.”

A step further. A design for life even before conception.

Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Other passages;        Ex 21:22

Ecc 11:5

Mat 1:18

Lk 1:41 & 2:21

Gen 25:21-24

Psa 22:9

The emotional arguments have swayed many a mind but you never justify sinning based on the removal or the results of another sin. The end does not justify the means.

So, what can I do? First of all be aware that abortion at any stage and for any reason goes against God’s will and then pray for individual and national forgiveness. The next steps are up His leading in your life. But remember the first church did not spend its valuable time attacking the terribly Godless Roman government. Remember while we are to pray for its end and be the salt and light of our Godless world and nation we are first and foremost to;

Mat 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin…

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin….

Satan’s biggest lie is that we are good enough to work off the penalty we place upon ourselves when we sin. The book of Romans and other passages of scripture note that the penalty is spiritual and physical death (Rom 3:23, 6:23) The most urgent question for each of us should be. Can I atone for my sins or does it take someone other than me to make atonement for my sins?

Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

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

The lie that we can work off our sins has another wrinkle. Maybe some organization or church can do it for me. What does God say?

Heb 10:11,12,14 “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by ONE offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”

Another lie is that we must have someone to go between us and God when we ask for forgiveness of our sins. Again, what does God say? Who is the Mediator for me to go through to reach God to obtain forgiveness for my sins?

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

The question of the ages is whether the church or my deeds can replace the sacrifice needed to wipe my sins away.

II Cor 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

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 anyone would boast.”

Have you first recognized your sin and then Who are you trusting in this morning for forgiveness of those sins?

Jesus is coming a 2nd time…are you ready…

Jesus is coming a 2nd time….are you ready…

Did you know that we are in the last times or days before Jesus 2nd coming! Jesus first came as a Lamb to pay the sacrifice for our sins, so we can accept Him as Lord and Savior and restore that broken fellowship with God that our sins caused.  At His 2nd coming He will come as a Lion to put an end to sin, satan and death as this world knows it.

In scripture we see that the first church thought Jesus would return during their lifetime. We are now 2000 years closer to His second coming. Just before His return our world will go through judgments caused by our sinfulness.

Heb 1:1,2a “God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…”

 Rev 1:17-19 “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”

There are 3 series of 7 judgments just prior to Jesus return with each series causing death and destruction like our world has never seen.  That time is called the Tribulation. When you study the last book of Bible, Revelation, you see that ½ to ¾ of mankind will die during the judgments that come upon the earth. Destruction upon our earth will be like none ever seen by mankind. All because of sin. The mountains are leveled, the islands gone, worldwide earthquakes and disaster so great our minds cannot picture it. A loving and patient God today continues to give us time to turn to Him which is the only way to avoid future judgments. They come upon mankind because of sin and the rejection of God. Jesus, name above all names| He alone is worthy!!!!!!!!!!

He is able to reveal and perform the events of the last days|

Rev 5:2,3&9 “Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose the seals?’ And no one in
heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll,

or to look at it. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘You are worthy to
take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have
redeemed us to God BY YOUR BLOOD out of every tribe and tongue and
nation.’ “

Have you been redeemed or ‘born again’ as scripture says? Are you walking in His power? Only by being ‘born again’ can we and our families avoid the judgment for sin.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Col 1:13,14 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and
translated us into the Kingdom of His love, in whom we have redemption
THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins.”

 This may be your time today. Confess your sins directly to God and He will forgive you and make you one of His children.

I Tim 2:5, 6a “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all,”

What God won’t ask when….

Phil 4:11b “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

What God won’t ask when . . .

God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but He’ll ask how many
people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

God won’t ask the square footage of
your house, but He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but
He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.

God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but He’ll ask if you
compromised your character to obtain it.

God won’t ask what your job title was, but He’ll ask if you
performed your job to the best of our ability.

God won’t ask how many friends you
had, but He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

God won’t ask in what neighborhood
you lived, but He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won’t ask about the color of your
skin, but He’ll ask about the content of your character.

And the most important question God won’t ask…

God won’t ask how many good things you did or what church
you belonged to for your Salvation, but He will ask if you accepted

Jesus sacrifice for your sins………..

Romans 14:12 “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”

Phil 4:11b “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

Pride, a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride…a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride is something our world says is very good for us. We are taught by our world that by ourselves we are special and that we deserve all we can get. That thought process is very spiritually dangerous. Listen to how God would have us to view pride.

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 25:6,7 “Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; For it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here’, than that you should be put lower in
the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”

Fill in the blank. I can do all things through _________ who strengthens me.

The answer from scripture is, Christ.

It’s a very tough thing to recognize your unworthiness while a very easy thing to see yourself as worthy of all things. It requires we be honest with the evaluation of ourselves. Humility is not natural to us. Unfortunately, neither is honesty.

To be lifted up by our Lord and Savior is the ultimate compliment and encouragement. And when Jesus lifts you up you truly feel special.

I Pet5:6,7 “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.”

Remember you are special because of Jesus and not because of you! That attitude changes all our priorities. It’s ok to feel special when Jesus is the reason you are!

The Temptation to sin…

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

The temptation to sin is normal and common for mankind. The temptation all by itself is not the sin. The sin occurs when I decide to stay with that temptation and develop it. When it goes from temptation to development either in my mind or in my actions it becomes sin. The real war that goes on within us is the battle to control the mind. That is why scripture tells us so much about how to manage these temptations.

Scripture first tell us that God is never the Author of sinful temptations.
James 1:13 ” Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Our Lord also tells us that temptations are common to mankind so do not feel like you are fighting this alone.
I Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

It is a daily war with decisions that we need to make. Do I stay with that temptation or do I flee it. Our Lord also gave us that answer.

II Tim 2:22 ” Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.’

“The only way to be saved from the lure of the wrong roads is by doing what our Master [the Lord Jesus Christ] tells us, that is, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” If we do not watch and pray we shall be led into temptation before we know where we are. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” said Jesus (Luke 18:8). He will find faith in individual men and women, but the general organized form of the Christian church has slipped almost wholesale onto wrong roads to the Kingdom.”

–Oswald Chambers

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

And as Joshua said, the choice truly is mine……………..

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Are Angels for real…

Are Angels for real…

In our world today the concept of what and who are God’s angels is vastly misrepresented. We see them as fluffy little beings that our world creates figurines of to place on our bookshelves but scripture tells us a very different story. That is not surprising because satan is the god of this world for a moment in time and he actively seeks to distort God’s truths. Angels and their purpose from God is one of those truths. Fortunately, God’s truths are absolute and never change so we go to His word to find out about angels and God’s purpose for them. As we research Angels in scripture we see them always worshiping our God and we see them as protectors for ‘born again’ believers and warriors for God. Vastly different images than portrayed by our world.

There is a spiritual war going on all around us that is not visible and not seen as real by our world. It is the war between light and darkness or good and evil and everyone is in one camp or the other. There is no middle ground. Satan is the prince of darkness and evil and actively fights against the light. We are to be warriors actively being salt and light and exposing sin in our world. To aid us in the fight God sends His angels as protectors.

One of the best examples I’ve heard is when a man approached Pastor John Hagee while he was preaching. The man walked up the podium and stood 8 foot away from Pastor Hagee with a revolver loaded with 8 bullets. He emptied the gun at Pastor Hagee from 8 foot away. 4 bullets went to the left of him and 4 to the right of him. Pastor Hagee gives the testimony that God had his angel steer those bullets. So there is no misinterpretation while our guardian angel can also do that there are times when it is God’s will to allow martyrdom for some of His children as they lift up His name. According to scripture many will die and are dying for the faith. We must always be open to God’s will for our lives understanding that His ways and thoughts are different than our ways and thoughts (Isa 55:8). Jesus gave the most powerful example when just before the crucifixion while He was in the garden He said;

Mat 26:42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Pastor Hagee’s experience reminds and encourages us that no one and no event can harm us without God’s allowing it. Our life while on this earth is to be;

Mat 5:13-16″You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The following are some biblical examples of angels;

  • Psalm 91:11 God gives His angels charge over us or sends them as protectors. There is not better health plan than that!
  • Daniel 6:22 God’s angels shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel and He can do the same today.
  • Daniel 12:1 Michael the arch angel will have the task of tossing satan out of heaven. Angels are warriors’ not fluffy little creatures.
  • Luke 1:26-35 An angel was sent to Mary to help her to be not afraid and to understand what a great blessing to our world God was doing.
  • Revelation 1:1 God sent an Angel to tell John what will happen to our world during the tribulation period and what to record so we have God’s truths.
  • Acts 27:21-25 An Angel appeared to Paul and told him not to be afraid of the storm that threatened his life and lives of those aboard the boat he was on while being sent to a Roman prison where he was appointed by God to be a witness for Him.
  • I Chron 21:15 God sent one of His angels to destroy Jerusalem and stopped the angel from totally doing so. It was as a judgement because of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. One angel is as strong as an army.

Nothing can touch us without God’s allowing or designing it to. There is so much more in scripture about how God uses angels. Look them up for yourself and be blessed.

I John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

 

CAUTION! All Honor and Praise must always go to God and never any man, woman, angel or any other object. The angels also provide that reminder.

 

Rev 22:8, 9 “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.

Don’t Drink and Drive…

Rev 21:4&6 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death,
nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. And He said to me, ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give the fountain of water of life freely to him who thirsts.'”

I went to a party, Mom, I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom, so I drank soda instead
I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn’t drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.

Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I’d get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.

I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
the other car did not see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
the other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I’m the one who will pay.
I’m lying here dying, Mom… I wish you’d get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom? My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I’ll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn’t drink.
It was the others, Mom. The others didn’t think.

He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank and I will die.
Why do people drink, Mom? It can ruin your whole life.

I’m feeling sharp pains now. Pains just like a knife.
The guy who hit me is walking, Mom, and I don’t think it’s fair.
I’m lying here dying and all he can do is stare.
Tell my brother not to cry, Mom. Tell Daddy to be brave.

And when I go to heaven, Mom, put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave.
Someone should have told him, Mom, not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom, I would still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom. I’m becoming very scared.
Please don’t cry for me, Mom. When I needed you, you were always there.
I have one last question, Mom, before I say good bye,
I didn’t drink and drive, so why am I the one that has to die?
*********************************************************************

 

Finally Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“And God will wipe away every tear…”