A Person may go to Heaven without…

A Person may go to Heaven without……

  • Without health,
  • Without wealth;
  • Without fame,
  • Without a great name;
  • Without learning,
  • Without earnings;
  • Without culture,
  • Without beauty;
  • Without friends and without ten thousand other things—–
  • But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ.

Sadly many Churches teach that salvation is through a series of works and by affiliation with their church or they teach you get there by Jesus plus works. Don’t you find it interesting that there are no denominations noted in scripture? But in God’s word to us the Bible it is crystal clear what is the way to heaven and anything added to Jesus alone being the only way is not the Gospel of the one and only true God.

The first question this morning for you is, do you know what the church you are attending teaches about how to get to heaven?

Here is what Jesus teaches;

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, except a man be born again he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:4,5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

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.”

 

Yes, it is a very narrow view and our world will see you as …….but if it is God’s truth then it can never be wrong and will never change! Don’t be found to be like…..

 

Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘In ever knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

 

John 6:29 “Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith…”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

The year is 1968 and the Mexico City Olympics – a few thousand
spectators were in the stadium as the last of the marathon runners were
carried off in exhaustion to the first-aid stations. More than an hour
earlier an Ethiopian runner had been the first to cross the finish line
in this grueling 26-mile event. As the remaining spectators prepared to
leave, they were stopped by the sound of sirens going off and policemen
blowing whistles. There, entering the stadium came a lone figure
wearing the colors of Tanzania – his name was John Akhwari. He was the
last man to finish the marathon.

His leg was bloodied and bandaged, and he grimaced with each
step. He had severely injured his knee in a fall, but painfully, he
hobbled around the 400-meter track. The spectators who were still there
were moved to get to their feet and applauded as if he were the winner.
After he crossed the finish line in excruciating pain, he was asked why
he hadn’t quit when he had no chance of winning a medal. His answer:
“My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They
sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

How do you feel about your purpose in life?

Is it to perform God’s will and finish the race He designed for you?

Will you be able to say, “I finished the race”?

Run with everything you’ve got, not halfheartedly. Remember, He gave
everything He had in His race to rescue you – and even though He was
beaten and bloody, Jesus didn’t quit.

Run the whole race… – He’ll be waiting to embrace you as you cross
that finish line for Him.

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on
that day, and not to me only but also to all those who loved His
appearing.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

James 2:17 “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, it is dead.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd, is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He or she may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he/she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love… live.

Chained by his or her attitudes, he or she is a slave, He or she forfeited freedom, and only a person who risks is free!!!

So how about taking a risk today?

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Tater People…

James 3:5-8 “Even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Tater People

Some people are never motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work. They are called “Speck Taters”.

Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do the work. They are called “Comment Taters”.

Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but don’t want to soil their own hands. They are called “Dick Taters”.

Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet. They are called “Agie Taters”.

There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get around to actually doing the promised help. They are called “Hezzie Taters”.

Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are not. They are called “Emma Taters”.

Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. They are called “Sweet Taters”.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.

Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of
it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we
think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find
a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.

There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
You’ve got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

In the midst of family chaos,
“Quality time” is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
It may seem like your worries
are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He’ll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

Today I’m saying a little prayer that
GOD will smile on you and send
you all the special blessings you
deserve. ASAP!

I Thes 5:17 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”

Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day
whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day! 

Questions and comments, we hear daily from others and sometimes from within.

How can I achieve a higher salary?
How do I increase my 401K?

How can I get that perfect body?
Can I achieve the status of being a millionaire?

Why is this happening to me? I deserve more…
How do I get that really fancy new car?
Why can’t I have a new 4,000 sq. ft home in the secluded woods on 30 acres next to my own lake?
When should I sell and when should I buy?
Is life really all about possessions and self?
So what are my goals in life for me and for my family?

Choose you this day as to whom you will serve…! God does remind us what items have eternal significance.

Mat 6:19-21,24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in & steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in & steal. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO. 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.”

How about some questions pleasing to God?

What must I do to be saved?
How can I help someone who is struggling today?
How can I help someone to see Jesus today?

Lord, thank you for this difficulty I am going through for you to teach me that trials bring spiritual growth!
Lord, what would You have me to do for your glory?????

Our example for setting life priorities is Jesus.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”

Having nice things in and of itself is not wrong. Letting things or money be your controlling focus can only cause heartache in the long run and is out of line with God’s will for our lives. Letting God’s priorities be your focus provides peace and contentment that our world cannot understand.

Phil 4:6, 7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, where are your priorities this morning?

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

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on whom and what I will serve is up to me. So…………….

Mat 6:33, 34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Have a great day in service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!

Learning from the MASTER…

Phil 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Learning from the MASTER…..

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about
fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I (God) want(s) me to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first, the passion fades
and there had better be something else to take
its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.
With Calvary as the supreme example.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
The love of money is the root of ALL evil.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and what
a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you.
It may seem funny, but people you aren’t
related to can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again. Families
aren’t biological.

I’ve learned –
that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive
yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we
become.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your
children, they will eventually get hurt and
you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw
the line between being nice and not hurting
people’s feelings and standing up
for what you believe.
Author unknown.

Learn from the Master!!

Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of lovely,
whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there is
anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Did they see Jesus or…

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Did they see Jesus or…..

Dr. Harry Ironside used to tell a story about a man who lived in a small country town in England.

One day, he went to London where he would need to stay for several days. He was glad to be there on a Sunday because that gave him opportunity to hear some of the great preachers of that day. Writing home to his wife, he said: “Last Sunday I went to hear Dr. ‘Jones’ and in the evening I went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to hear Charles Spurgeon. I was so greatly impressed by both of them. Dr. Jones is certainly a great preacher, but Mr. Spurgeon has a great Savior.”

So who are people you are impressed with after they have been with you?

Are they impressed with you, or are they impressed with your Jesus? In many ways, that’s the measure of the authenticity and impact of our lives. Who do they see when they are talking with us?

There have been few more brilliant, more gifted men or more dedicated men to walk this planet than the Apostle Paul. But he loved his Savior enough and knew enough about Him that he didn’t want people thinking about him instead of his Savior. He wanted to leave people thinking about Jesus. The Holy Spirit reminds us of that when He had Paul record II Corinthians 4:5. “We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

It’s not about us, folks.
It’s all about Jesus. And that is a relief! We will fail each other but our Lord and Savior will never fail anyone who places their trust and hope in Him.

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Peace in the midst of Storms…

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all you 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 you shall find rest unto your souls.”

Peace in the midst of Storms!

I just returned from New Jersey. While en route there, I was stuck in traffic on Interstate 81, just below the Virginia state line, in (Bristol, Tennessee), due to a traffic accident with a fatality involved. This accident involved a tanker truck hauling a hazardous material load that developed a leak, which meant that we weren’t going anywhere for several hours.

After being told by the Tennessee state troopers that we would be sitting still until the clean up was completed, I set my brakes on the truck and got out to stretch my legs. Other truck drivers did the same, and at one point there were 5 of us standing there by my truck, complaining.

Sitting right beside me in the left lane, were two elderly people in a pickup truck, which was loaded quite well. The man, (Joe), lowered his window and asked what was going on regarding the traffic situation.

Soon we were all talking with this couple. I mentioned that if I had known about this, I would have bought something to drink, (water), for I was becoming thirsty. The lady, (Anna), said that they had plenty of water, and sodas in the cooler in the bed of the truck, and offered everyone present something. While she was back there, she said that she had plenty of tuna salad made up, and asked if we would be interested in a sandwich.

After some urging from Joe, we agreed to a sandwich. While Anna was making the sandwiches on the tailgate of the truck, she was singing like a songbird. To be close to 70, (I guess), she had a remarkable voice.

When she finished making the sandwiches, and putting everything up, Joe raised the tailgate of the truck to close it. I noticed a Mississippi license plate on it. I inquired as to what part of Mississippi they were from. Joe said Biloxi.

Knowing that Biloxi had been ravaged also by hurricane Katrina, I asked if they sustained any damage. Joe said that they lost everything but what they had on and what was in the pickup. All of us drivers tried unsuccessfully to pay them for their drinks and the sandwiches. They would have nothing to do with it.

Joe said that their son was living around Harrisonburg, Virginia and that they were going there. He was in the real estate business and that there was a home that became open, and that they were going to start all over there.

Staring over at their age would not be easy.

I will soon be 48 years old, and I have say that I have never eaten a tuna sandwich with side orders of reality and humility. These people lost everything except the pictures, important documents, and some clothes. Joe had managed to get their antique heirloom grandfathers clock into the bed of the truck and Anna got her china and silverware, but that was all. These wonderful people lost practically everything they owned and still would not accept any money for their food and drinks. Joe said that “it was better to give than it is to receive.”

They sought refuge behind a block wall that he had built years ago, and they watched their belongings and their home disappear in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. Joe said that during all this he had one hand holding onto Anna and the other holding on to God.

Their truck and they came out of Katrina unscathed.

As I stated before, Anna was singing a song while making the sandwiches. The song is titled “I know who holds tomorrow,” an old gospel song. She knew every word, and was quite a gifted singer of it. Have you ever heard it? The chorus of this song is, “Many things, about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

There is no doubt, in my mind, who was holding both their hands.

God Bless you!
Mike Dowdy, Hartselle, Alabama

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Serving Jesus Test….

Serving Jesus Test….

To all believers our Lord entrusts an awesome responsibility! So, the question is, how do our lives stack up to God’s desires and expectations for our lives??

Luke 9:23 “And Jesus said unto them, if anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Me.”

When was the last time you denied yourself of some activity or worldly pleasure so you could perform a service for our Savior? God is calling….

Isa 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way – walk in it’.”

Mat 5:13, 14 “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 earth; A city that is set on hill cannot be hidden.”

So rate yourself from 1 to 10 on how well you feel you are doing with being salt and light to a dark and sinful world. How did you do? I think I can safely say that everyone of us has room for much improvement. Especially in our humanistic, materialistic and sexually focused country.
It’s an ugly world with plenty of room to be the salt. Salt seasons our world or calls out sin for what it is. Not an easy task in our, ‘let everyone do their own thing’ world. And of course if you wish to bring error and sin to the world’s attention you will need to study God’s word so you know God’s truths and absolutes. And remember….

 

John 15:20, 21 “Remember the word that I said unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

 

Yes, there are still and always will be absolutes in our world. The enemy is doing a great job of trying to make everything including sin look to be a gray area ever changing and ok. Now if you start to recognize the ugliness or sinfulness of our world remember to review your own life prior to reviewing the lives of others. That requires we deny ourselves first of those sinful temptations and plan to read and study God’s word so the Holy Spirit can show us how to combat them. Now we are back to that nasty denial thing again. But we need to understand the blessings of serving come both in this world and out of this world when we are home with Jesus.

So, when was the last time you seasoned your world?

So, let’s get going………..the fields are truly white and waiting for the harvest!