The Power of a Godly Life…

James 2:2-4 “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?”

The Power of a Godly Life…

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, shorts and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a “Born Again” Christian, while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a very conservative church with a lot of the elite, well dressed individuals of the city attending the church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go to this church. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt and wild hair. The service has already started, and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit; and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!).

By now the people are really uptight and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon a very Godly man is in his eighties has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit.

He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the older man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent, except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

The elderly man drops his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and starts to worship with him so that he won’t be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.”

1 Cor. 9:19-22 “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some.”

Have a blessed day in the service of the King and remember you truly are in His service if you want to be and your life can make a difference.

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Stick Foot in Mouth Syndrome…

Psalms 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Stick Foot in Mouth Syndrome…

Do you find yourself wondering why you said that and how can you take it back? Once words are released, they can never be taken back. Yes, you can apologize which is very often appropriate, but the sting and memory remains. The tongue frequently is not such a wonderful thing and too often very dangerous…

James 3:5, 6 “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.”

Prov 10:19, 20 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;”

I all too frequently relate well to the sticking of one’s foot in the mouth syndrome….

The solution….

Prov 21:23 “Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

There is one big helper in our effort to keep our feet out of our mouths. Here is the revealing question for you this morning. Do you spend more time listening than talking? God would have us to be better listeners than speakers which is why we have two ears and one mouth. It’s never too late to change….LISTEN to this!

James 1:19 “Finally my brethren let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.”

Two Edged Sword…

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Two Edged Sword…

Wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day or an hour?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?

What if it is the only book God authored and the only one He protects so man cannot distort it?

What if it is the one source of Absolute truths that do not change down through the ages?

What if it contains all the answers to my problems?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being out of date or disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities and do they line up with God’s word to me?

Mal 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I do not change…”

And – NO DROPPED CALLS OR IGNORED TEXT MESSAGES!

II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

So, when was the last time you truly searched God’s word………………………? Today is the perfect time to start or restart!!!

No Greater Love…

No Greater Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Military blogger L.T. Smash recounts a televised vignette that requires no further comment:

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his cell to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request nodded his head, and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded without a moment’s hesitation “Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call theparents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing.”

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was “Where do they get young men like this?”

A true display of God’s love. The ultimate example is;

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Hope for America…

Hope for America!

There is hope for America if …

II Chronicles 7:14 “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

His people will need to start the revival…

How does your life stack up? It is sin to be conformed to this world’s standards and with sin comes separation from the power and blessings of Jesus!!! Being salt and light is not only not easy, but it is most often not accepted in our world.

2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

The word sin is not pleasant nor is it supposed to be. It also is not just for those in the past. Sin is as ugly today and as offensive to God today as it was with Adam and Eve. If the world or the majority of our world says that in the interest of human’s rights that sin is ok, do you then accept it? Challenging question, especially with the voting season upon us. Listen to what God says;

Mark 8:36-37 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Let us join with the Holy Spirit in urging ourselves to…

Rom 12:1,2 “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, TO PRESENT YOUR BODIES a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and
perfect.”

The most immediate need for America is not a balanced budget or having my candidate be in office. There is a much greater need and urgency. As a believer my view and goals in life must be different then the world and country and state and city and neighborhood I live in. I do believe our nation is running to big trouble by the decisions our politicians are making but I believe our God is sovereign in the affairs of men and able to change and direct our times and events to meet His plans.

With that view my focus must be to know and love the Lord our God and be light and salt to a lost and dying world. This morning remember, serving the King of Kings may be the most meaningful thing you do in your life.

Check out the first Church in the book of Acts to see what their focus was.

With that in mind remember to ……

I Tim 2:1,2 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in  authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

Election Day Perspective…

Today is election day. I will vote for the candidate(s) who best lines up with God’s values and truths found in His word and sometimes it comes down to one issue. The important thing to remember is that our God is sovereign and allows or places into power those needing to be there for this moment in time in our world’s history. While that is comforting my responsibility remains the same.

Romans 13:1,2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

Perspective

I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here is a “True/False” test.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King!

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order – (1) the Kingdom of God , (2) my Family, (3) Jesus Church and everything else after that………

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our families will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be sharing the biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, “Jesus Is Lord” will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, I will pray for them.

And the directive for our CHRISTian lives remains the same….

Mat 28:19,20 “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

The Road of Life…

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him. But later on when I trusted Christ as my Savior, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I thought I knew the best way. It was rather boring, but predictable and it was the shortest distance between two points, or so I thought. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He gently said, “Pedal!” I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He smiled and was patient with me, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure, and when I’d say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand. I gained love, peace, acceptance and joy; gifts to take on my journey, My Lord’s and mine. And we were off again.

He said, “Give the gifts away. They’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So, I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but he knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten, scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do it anymore, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

YOUR CROSS

Whatever your cross
Whatever your pain
There will always be sunshine.
After the rain