In God we Trust….

Romans 13:1a “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…”

In God we Trust…..

The one dollar bill you’re looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We’ve all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know.

It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the scales for the balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter’s T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury. That’s all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know.

If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal.

It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.

The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

“IN GOD WE TRUST” is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM means, “A new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks; yet no one knows what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England.

Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak you will read,

“E PLURIBUS UNUM”, meaning “one nation from many people.” Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

In God we trust is still as relevant as when the founders of our country placed it on our currency. If not, then our nation is in big trouble.

Romans 13:1 “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.”

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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 humans 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.”

Elections Day…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.”

If Noah lived in the USA Today….

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. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He grieved in His heart.”
IF NOAH LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY…… Some humor and truth for your day

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, “In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on the earth.  Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark.”

In a flash of lightening, God delivered the specifications for an Ark. In obedience, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the Ark. “Remember” said the Lord, “You must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year.

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult.  The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping. “Noah,” He shouted.  “Where is the Ark?”

“Lord, please forgive me!” cried Noah. “I did! my best, but there were big problems.

  1. I had to get a permit for construction.
  2. The plans did not comply with the codes.
  3. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans.
  4. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices.
  5. Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my yard,
  6. So I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
  7. I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the owls.
  8. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won’t let me catch any owls. So, no owls.
  9. The carpenters formed a union formed a picket line around our home.  I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer.  Now I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls.
  10. When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group.  They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard.
  11. Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on the proposed flood.  They didn’t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the universe.
  12. Then the Army Corp of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood
    plain.  I sent them a globe.
  13. Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking Godless, unbelieving people aboard!
  14. The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I’m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes.  I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax as I failed to register the Ark as a “recreational watercraft.”
  15. Finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and therefore unconstitutional. I really don’t think I can finish the Ark for another 5 or 6 years!” Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine and the seas began to calm.   A rainbow arched across the sky.  Noah looked up hopefully. “You mean you are not going to destroy the earth Lord?”
“No,” said the Lord sadly.  “I don’t have to. The government already has.

That is the humorous side. Remember a sad note. Remember of course that

God is sovereign over all governments so His control is the one absolute we can count on for our lives and even for a modern day Noah. All except Noah’s
family died because of their rejection of God at that time. I wonder how close our world’s view of God is today to that same rejection?  And more of a challenge is, how does my view of God stack up. Is He #1 in my life or #???????
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.   

Gen 6:22 & 7:1 “Thus Noah did; according to all God commanded him,
so he did. Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all
your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me
in this generation.”

We will all have a Resurrected Body reunited with our Souls…..

Resurrection Body to be Reunited with the Soul

When you die where does your body go and does it stay there for eternity? What a question and one that has many views but only one that counts. Some people believe that once you die physically your body is in the grave and that is all that there is. Fortunately that is not what God says and the God who created us is the only one who holds the truth for all questions like this one.

Did you know that your body will be resurrected and reunited with your soul according to the Bible? And yes that is regardless of whatever state your body is in at that time. The same God who formed you from the dust of the ground can place you back together to stand before Him on judgement day.

If you believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit then you also believe that God recorded all truth for us in the Bible and it does not change from generation to generation (Mal 3:6).

There are two groups of people when it comes to the resurrection of the body reuniting with the soul. The two groups are first those called ‘born again’ believers who have placed their faith in God and His Son Jesus sacrifice as their judgement for sins. Then there are those who are unbelievers who place their faith in their own personal merits, church affiliation, family heritage or anything other than or in addition to Jesus to determine their eternal destiny.

Do not be concerned about how can our decomposed or destroyed bodies be once again made whole and put back together with our souls. The God who created us is more than able to. The issue at hand is when you are resurrected for what purpose will it be and where will you spend eternity. The believer’s destiny is to spend eternity with God. The unbeliever’s purpose of resurrection is to stand at the Great White Throne Judgement and give account of what they were depending on to wash away their sins. They choose self, their church denomination, their good works or even Jesus plus works which in the Bible is called ‘Another Jesus’. (Revelation 20) as their eternal destiny.

In scripture which is the one source of truth that never changes (Mal 3:6), there are multiple resurrections noted for the believer but only one for the unbeliever. The question this morning to ask yourself is; ‘which one will I be at?’

The resurrections for the believer or ‘born again’ CHRISTians are;

  • Mat 27:51-53 Many OT believers or saints as the Bible calls them are raised to life when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The dead  come out of the tombs or graves after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city Jerusalem and appeared too many people. Note that in the Bible a saint is anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus as their Savior which is different than how our world would define a saint. The difference shows the enemy satan at work trying to change God’s truths. For never changing truths check out II Tim 3:16,17, II Peter 1:20,21 and Mat 5:18.
  • I Thes 4:16-18 Many believe this is a description of when Jesus raptures or takes His church out of this world just before the start of the 7 years of tribulation our world will go through. The Church of the Bible are the people and no one particular denomination. Scripture does not mention the name of any denomination that we have in our world today. The enemy at work once again trying to distort and change God’s truths.
    • The resurrection of the dead noted here are those ‘born again’ saints or believers who have trusted Christ down through the ages and have passed away. While their souls are in heaven their bodies await this reuniting with their bodies. The reuniting does not take place so they can stand at a judgement seat for their sins. Jesus did that and His blood washes our sins away (Acts 16:31, Rom 10:13, Titus 3:5, Rom 8:1). HALLELUJAH.
  • Revelation 20:4-6 There is a 7 year period of tribulation that is to come on our world giving mankind one last chance to trust in Jesus. During those years the judgement the world brings on itself by denying Jesus destroys most of our world as we know it and most of the people die during those years without trusting Jesus. Immediately following that period of 7 years is a 1000 year period of time where Jesus rules our world called the Millennium.
    • During the Millennium those ‘born again’ believers that were martyred during the Tribulation period will be resurrected to rule with Jesus for those 1000 years.

The Resurrection of all unbelievers who have passed away without having trusted in God will occur at;

    • Revelation 20:11-15 The body in whatever condition it is in will once again be made whole and reunited with the soul that has waited in Hades after their physical death for those not trusting in Christ and awaiting judgment for their sins. Unbelievers choose to base their salvation on something or someone other than Jesus and this is their chance to plead their case.
    • Sadly listen to an example of them pleading their case for eternal life with God and His response.

 

  •  Mat 7:20-23 “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
  • Rev 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

 

The big question for this morning is to what Resurrection will you be at? For more on that visit the Bible where God speaks directly to us if we desire to know what must be done to be saved from the Great White Throne Judgement.  (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 10:13)

The Ragman – The Price for my life…..

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

THE RAGMAN – The Price for my life…..

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like
nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me
for.

Hush, child, hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man,
handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an
old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in
a clear, tenor voice; “Rags!” Ah, the air was foul and the first light
filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

“Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!”

“Now this is a wonder,” I thought to myself, for the man stood
six-feet-four, and His arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and
His eyes flashed intelligence. Could He find no better job than this, to
be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed Him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn’t
disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was
sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her
knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was
breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, He walked to the woman,
stepping around tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers. “Give me your rag,”
He said gently, “and I will give you another.”

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and He
laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She
blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as He began to pull the cart again, the Ragman did a
strange thing; He put her stained handkerchief to His own face; and then
He began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, His shoulders
shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

“This is a wonder,” I breathed to myself, and I followed the
sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

“Rags! Rags! New rags for old!”

In a little while, when the sky showed gray behind the roof tops
and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the
Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes
were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down
her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and He
drew a lovely bonnet from his cart. “Give me your rag,” He said, tracing
His own line on her cheek, “and I will give you mine”.

The child could only gaze at Him while He loosened the bandage,
removed it, and tied it to His own head. The bonnet He set on hers. And
I gasped at what I saw; for with the bandage went the wound! Against His
brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood – His own!

“Rags! Rags! I take old rags!” cried the sobbing, bleeding,
strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed
more and more to hurry.

“Are you going to work?” He asked a man who leaned against a
telephone pole. The man shook his head. The Ragman pressed him: “Do you
have a job?”

“Are you crazy?” sneered the other. He pulled away from the
pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket. He had no arm.

“So,” said the Ragman. “Give me your jacket, and I will give you
mine.”

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman – and I
trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman’s arm stayed in the sleeve, and
when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but
the Ragman had only one.

“Go to work,” he said

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army
blanket, an old man hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and
wrapped it around himself, but for the> drunk He left new cloths.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though He was
weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling His
cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again,
exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet He with terrible speed. On spider’s
legs He skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the
next, until He came to its limits, and then He rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow.
And yet I needed to see where He was going in such haste, perhaps to
know what drove Him so.

The little old Ragman – He came to a landfill. He came to the
garbage pits. And then I wanted to help Him in what He did, but I hung
back, hiding. He climbed a hill. Then He sighed. He lay down. He
pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones
with an army blanket. And He died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car
and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope – because I had come to
love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man,
and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know – how could I know? – that I slept through Friday
night and Saturday and its night, too. But then, on Sunday morning, I
was awakened by violence.

Light – pure, hard, demanding light – slammed against my sour
face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first
wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully,
a scar on His forehead, but alive!!!! And, besides that, healthy! There
was no sign of sorrow nor of age and all the rags that he had gathered
shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and, trembling for all that I had
seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame,
for I was a sorry figure next to Him. Then I took off all my clothes in
that place, and I said to Him with dear yearning in my
voice: “Dress me.”

He dressed me. My Lord, He put new rags on me, and I am a wonder
because of Him.

The Ragman, the Ragman, the (my) Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

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

Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you…”

Somebody Loves you…..

Somebody loves you…….

Scroll down quickly without stopping.  When you get to the end, someone will be desperately in love with you, the moment you stop scrolling.

This person may start calling you or talking to you, but you won’t hear from them if you’re not listening, or if you are too shy or proud to talk to them.

Ready?

Go!

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Someone loves you!!!!!!

The love you have just discovered is the love that Jesus has for you. If you feel like you are empty inside, like no one cares for you, or like no matter what you do there is always something missing in your life, imagine this:

A God so powerful that he created everything, including yourself, came down from His perfect heaven into this sinful world.  A world where His own creations would soon put Him to death. He came here knowing that, but still came for us, and died for us while we were still sinners.  He died for our sins so that we don’t have to.  He loves you more than anyone else can, and He wants you to love him, too. That’s all I have for you, except to tell you that Jesus loved you before you read this letter, and will never stop loving you, even if you don’t love Him in return.

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

No greater love than God’s exists. It is unconditional. In our sinful state

God loves us that much…………………….