A City without Walls…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

A City without Walls!

How is your temper this morning? Do you find yourself saying things that hurt others and then regretting what you said? Many times after you have spouted off you wish you could take those words or that event back but of course you cannot. So, the challenge is, how do I keep from doing it, so I don’t have to try to correct the results? Our tempers are controllable with the right source of strength.

When the stress, pressure and aggravation of the day build up, too many of us become a human volcano and take it out on those around us. Unfortunately it comes naturally. Please do not view that as an excuse. You see, it comes from the flesh and if you are a Born Again believer you have the power to control the flesh. That power is called the Spirit or Holy Spirit and at salvation He comes to live within you. How do I know that? The word of God tells us so. In fact, scripture says if we do not have the Holy Spirit we are not saved.

Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

With the Holy Spirit can I keep from losing my temper? The answer is yes. Our dark side, called the flesh can be controlled. That control comes when I present myself to Jesus as His servant and allow Him to mold and develop me.

I Cor 10:13 “There has 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 you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Does that mean I will never sin again by losing my temper? It may be the devastating things that we say and do when we’re angry, or our selfishness that continually wounds and crushes people, or a sour negativity and bitterness that poisons our life and the lives of people around us. It’s all deadly sin that keeps spewing out of our life while often hurting the people we love most. While we have no excuse for sinning we still are overcome by that flesh at times. Fortunately our God is faithful in forgiving us when we recognize our sins and confess them.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

That daily spiritual battle we fight with our explosive dark side is not new. That same flesh created the first sin and all have that same flesh (Rom 3:23). Jesus is the only one to walk this earth without sin (I Cor 5:21). And fortunately He is the very One that will make intercession for us for our sin. Our need is to recognize it and ask for forgiveness’. The request can only go through one person.

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

That is the good news for today, because the Bible now shows us how to move from despair to deliverance. We can move from that “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me…?” to a sinner cleansed by the blood of Christ.

Jesus wants to bring that victory into your life – to forgive every sinful hurtful thing you’ve ever done and give you a new beginning. He stands ready to actually move into your life and to control what you have never been able to control; to beat what has always beaten you. He’s the Rescuer, reaching for you. Now it’s up to you to reach back and accept His offer.

Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

The Lord is my Shepherd…

The Lord is my Shepherd…

23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd
That’s Relationship!

I shall not want
That’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
That’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters
That’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul
That’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
That’s Guidance!

For His name sake
That’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That’s Testing!

I will fear no evil
That’s Protection!

For Thou art with me
That’s Living by Faith!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
That’s Peace and Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
That’s Hope!

Thou anoints my head with oil
That’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over
That’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
That’s Security!

Forever!

That’s Eternity!
THAT IS GOD’S LOVE………FOR US!

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

 John 3:16-17 “or God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

If only I…

Psalm 92:1, 2 “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, Oh Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.”

If only I…

Today, upon a bus, I saw a handsome young man And wished I were as handsome.
When suddenly he rose to leave,
I saw him hobble down the aisle.
He had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as he passed, he passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
but he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join them?”
He looked ahead without a word.
I forgot, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go…

With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I’d know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

 

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Will a good life get me to heaven…

Will a good life get me to Heaven …..?

The quick answer is NO. Before you stop reading listen to how I come to that conclusion. First comes the realization that there is an eternity past this life on earth. Our life may consist of 1 minute to 100+ years old whichever life extent I have. So what does God say will keep me from eternity with Him?

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

 Rev 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 We think many will be judged based on their works and church affiliation for their ticket into heaven. We hear many saying so on their judgement day in Revelations 20:11-15. Yes, those choosing to be judged for their eternal destiny based on their deeds or works will be. But listen to what God says about our deeds or works and their ability to wipe away the penalty for our sins.

Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Titus 3:5 “ 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,”

There is an option we have. We can leave our destiny up to manmade solutions or up to the sacrifice of Calvary. We like to think that we are able by ourselves or by the Religion or family spiritual heritage we are in that one or all of those things will determine our eternal destiny to heaven. You say to yourself and all around you, ‘I am a good person’. If there is such a thing as eternal loss or separation from God or eternity in Hell than I must not be bad enough to merit it. Really, listen to what God says that our human or fleshly natures are without His Spirit and allowing the Spirit to control our lives.

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

 Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

II Thes 1:8-9 “ in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”

Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

Our flesh or humanity when separated by sin from God looks like the following.

 Gen 6:5-6 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

 Isa 64:5a-7 you are indeed angry, for we have sinned– In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities.

Rom 3:9-12 “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

So, the question becomes, when do I obtain eternal life with God and the Holy Spirit in my life?

Acts 16:30-31 “And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Rom 10:8-13 “But what does it say?”The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

            So, now you see based on God’s word found in the Bible that our eternal destiny is based on our acceptance or rejection of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins with no additions to His sacrifice.

Gal 2:21 “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

Heaven or hell – my choice…

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

Heaven or Hell – my choice….

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train,
out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing,
cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and
valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will
pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving.

Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will
fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.

Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes – waiting, waiting, waiting
for the station.

“When we reach the station that will be it!” we cry.

“When I’m 18.”

“When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!”

“When I put the last kid through college.”

“When I have paid off the mortgage!”

“When I get a promotion.”

“When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”

Sooner or later, we realize there is no station, no one place to arrive. The true joy
of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment for His glory” is a good motto, especially when coupled
with Psalm 118.34: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will
rejoice and be glad in it.”

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and
the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains
for His glory, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers,
watch more of His sunsets, laugh more, cry less, tell more people about Jesus.

Life must be lived as we go along and it must be lived to bring the glory to Jesus
if it is to be eternally meaningful.

Most importantly is that we do all of the above to bring glory to Jesus instead
of living for self and do all things by His power and not our own.

The station is then a place to look forward to rather than complain about or fear. Each of
us will reach one of two stations. The choice is up to us.

1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Rev. 20:14-15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

So, will you be in the heavenly station, and what is your ticket based on?

The Lessons of Life…

Proverbs 4:13 “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

The Lessons of Life…

From Paul Harvey:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your
tongue on a frozen flagpole.

And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing
with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy if they are with at home with Jesus!

May you feel joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.
To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I’m here for you. And if I die before you do, I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.

We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

Psalm 71:17 “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.”

Life with Purpose…

Life with Purpose…

We’ve all heard the following sayings;
‘Grab all the gusto you can because you only go around once’
‘I did it my way’

There is a huge danger in following the ways or the purpose in life as defined by worldly scholars or those professing to be that. According to God this philosophy of taking care of self leads to;

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’

Note that all people with one exception who have traveled this earth are sinners. There is One who did not and that is only because He was God and man. And sin leads to;

2 Corinthians 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.

Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”

There is an alternative to the penalty of sin as noted by Soloman. God the Holy Spirit used him to write the book of Ecclesiastes. In it God tells us how our lives can have purpose.

Ecc12:1 “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw new whey you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them”

Ecc12:13, 14 ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

So, what priority or life purpose are you running with this morning? A good way to know is to ask yourself how you started the day. Was it by inviting God to develop and use you today or was it to serve yourself and get what you can out of today? Listen to the only wisdom that counts.

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

Have a great day and it is great when you seek and serve Jesus!