Real Faith to Live by…

John 2:23-25 “Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.”

Real Faith to Live By….
There were those who followed Jesus around, waiting to see the miracles. Think of the excitement this must have caused. So they followed him, because they were looking for the rush, the thrill of being close to the action. Jesus knew their hearts. They believed he was
a miracle worker, maybe a prophet. They did not, however, believe he was the Messiah.
It is quite possible that these people, who followed Jesus to see the next miracle, were also some of those who later shouted, crucify him. How could that happen? How could people go from followers to haters? They simply could not accept his claim that he was and is the Son of God.

How can faith be that deficient or weak? Faith is deficient when we rest it solely on our experience of Jesus, and not based on who Jesus is and what He did for us. Stated in another way, when we trust Jesus based on what He can do for us, or based on some miracle that He might have done for us, rather than based on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins then our faith is at risk of becoming like the world. Show me and then I will believe. The book of Daniel provides one of the most potent examples of men whose faith did not waiver, even under severe pressure:
Dan 3:16-18”Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'”
This is a great passage that shows men who believed that God was God, regardless of what might happen to them personally. God was still God, even if they were consumed in the fire. Jesus is still looking for those who would believe in him for who he is – the Christ, the Son of God. And follow Him regardless of the outcome. Our ways and thoughts truly are not God’s ways and thoughts as noted in Isaiah 55:8 so we dare not think that we know what is best for our
lives and for God’s Kingdom.

How is your faith and your acceptance of God’s will for your life this morning?

Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

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The Effects of Sin on Future Generations…

The Effects of Sin on Future Generations…

Our lives will affect our children, our children’s children and our
children’s, children’s, children.

Deut 5:7&9 “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not bow
down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the third and fourth generations.”

Example from scripture = David, his son Solomon and his son Rehoboam.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah
to try and cover up his sins. David confessed his sins and God forgave
him but his ancestors and David reaped what he had sown.

Solomon’s’ sin of lust went unconfessed. Solomon took wives from the
nations our Lord commanded he not do so from.

I Kings 11-14a “So the Lord said to Solomon, because you have done
this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have
commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to
your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of
your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe
to your son for the sake of your father David and for the sake of
Jerusalem which I have chosen. Then the Lord raised up an adversary to
Solomon…”

Rehoboam, Solomon’s son committed similar sins as his father and his
fathers’ father but with increased magnitude. The judgment severity
also increased.

I Kings 14:21 “Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah…”

I Kings 14:22 “Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they
provoked Him to jealousy MORE than all that their fathers had done,

with the sins which they committed.”

So much for the thought that I am only affecting me……………
What will our children reap from our lives?????????????

Of course, there is a way to keep from the same. Check it out….

Heb 12:1, 2, I John 1:9, Rom 12:1, 2….

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

A Still Small Voice… are you Listening…

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”

Still Small Voice…. are you listening….

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of
long-distance communication, a young man applied for a
job as a Morse Code operator.

Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the
office address that was listed. When he arrived, he
entered a large, busy office filled with noise and
clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the
background.

A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job
applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were
summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled
out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants
in the waiting area.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up,
crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and
walked right in.

Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering
what was going on. They muttered among themselves that
they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the
young man who went into the office made a mistake and
would be disqualified.

Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted
the young man out of the office and said to the other
applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming,
but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other,
and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand.
He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance
to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time
you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out
the following message in Morse Code: “If you understand this
message, then come right in. The job is yours.” None of
you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

We live in a world that is full of activity and
clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable
to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks via His
creation, from His Scriptures, or in your life via trials, discipline and                                                                                              of course via the life example of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you tuned in to God’s message? Can you be still and know that

He is God. Do you believe God when He says, “This is my Son,

whom I love . . . Listen to Him!”

Author Unknown

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
My voice AND OPENS the door, I will come in to him and dine
with him, and he with Me.”

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Witches, Psychi Readers, Mediums, Horoscopes are all satanic…

Witches, Psychic Readers, Mediums, Horoscopes are all satanic……

Have you ever wondered what the future holds for your life? Sure, you have. So, the
obvious question is, are there reliable sources of that information? Of course, keep in mind that all sources of information and sources of power are not from God. There is a god of this age and this world and he is not the One true God.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whom the god
of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not lest the light of the
glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

And of course the only reliable source comes from the God who created all things
including us. God exposes frauds that are in our world who proclaim that they can present you with what the future holds. They represent the other source of power in this world. And of course to expose them we look into the one source of never changing truth that God has given us, His scriptures.

Do you know what God’s action for false prophets in the Old Testament was? It was
death. While that penalty may not apply today the warning and exposing of false prophets and
teachers is the same. And of course those false prophets will give account
someday to Jesus in heaven why they did what they did.

The New Testament proclaims that the Old Testament was written beforehand for our
benefit to learn from and to help us not to make the same mistakes or be led into the same sins.
Psychic readers, mediums, witches, horoscopes are just some that present satanic error today.

Duet 13:1-3a, 5a “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and
he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass, of which
he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after the gods which you have not known, and
let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams…”

Duet 18:20, 22a “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I
have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that
prophet shall die. When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does
not come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken.

Lev 19:26b,31 “… nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying…Give no regard to
mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them; I am
the Lord your God.”

And of course God does give us a way to know the future. He even offers a view into
eternity and the comfort of knowing where we will spend it! Wow!

I John 5:11-13a “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and that life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life and he who has not the Son has 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…”

Do you know without a doubt where your eternity will be spent? And how about family
members, friends, co-workers and neighbors?

God’s eye is on the Sparrow and me…

Psalm 23:4 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.

The SPARROW at STARBUCKS – The song that silenced the cappuccino machine.

It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it’s enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth. For a musician, it’s the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I’m told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right.

Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing. It was a fun, low-pressure gig – I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the ’40s to the ’90s with a few original tunes thrown in during our emotional rendition of the classic, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along.

After the tune was over, she approached me. “I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?” she asked.

“No,” I replied. “We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?” To my delight, she accepted my invitation. “You choose,” I said. “What are you in the mood to sing?”

“Well. … do you know any hymns?” Hymns? This woman didn’t know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look. “Name one.”

“Oh, I don’t know. There are so many good ones. You pick one.”

“Okay,” I replied. “How about ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’?”

My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, “Yeah. Let’s do that one.” She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing, “Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?”

The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.

“I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”

When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, “Oh, y’all go back to your coffee! I didn’t come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get something’ to drink, just like you!”

But the ovation continued. I embraced my new friend. “You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!”

“Well, it’s funny that you picked that particular hymn,” she said.

” Why is that?”

“Well,” she hesitated again, “that was my daughter’s favorite song.” Really!” I exclaimed.

“Yes,” she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual… “She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week.”

I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence. “Are you going to be okay?”

She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. “I’m gonna be okay. I’ve just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything’s gonna be just fine.” She picked up her bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.

Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it.

God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it’s no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything’s gonna be okay.

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, remember, Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Samson had long hair and was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David had an affair and was a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran from God, Peter denied Christ, The Disciples fell asleep while praying, And Lazarus was dead!

No more excuses now!! God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren’t the message, you are just the messenger.

Mat 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

REQUEST FOR TRANSFER to Commander of Spiritual Armed Forces…

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not
greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also
persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

REQUEST FOR TRANSFER to Commander of Spiritual Armed Forces…

To: Commander and Chief Spiritual Armed Forces, Jesus Christ

Dear Lord:

I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I here
with present my reasons:

I began my career as a private, because of the intensity of the battle
You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer
and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many
soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon
to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex
problems. You have placed me able to function as an officer,
when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private. I realize
that You have promised to supply all I would need for the battle.

But Sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my equipment. My
uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood
of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and
worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the
instructed troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from
constant battle against the enemy.

Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered
from endless use. The words are now smeared. You have promised You
would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud
and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You.

I feel so alone. I’m tired. I’m discouraged. I have Battle Fatigue. I
would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I
humbly request a demotion and transfer. I’ll file papers or clean
latrines. Just get me out of the battle–please, Sir.

Your Faithful, but tired, Warrior.


To: Faithful, but tired, Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces
Location: The Battlefield

SUBJECT: Transfer

Dear Soldier:

Your request for transfer has been denied. I here with present My reasons:

You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My
Word to supply your need. You do not need a demotion and transfer.
(You’d never cut it on latrine duty.) You need a period of “R&R”
–Renewal and Rekindling. I am setting aside a place on the battlefield
that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I
will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old
equipment and “make all things new.” You have been wounded in the
battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received
grave internal injuries. You need to be healed. I will heal you. You
have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will
strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence
and ability. My Words will rekindle within you and renewed love, zeal
and enthusiasm.

Report to Me tattered and empty. I will refill you.

Compassionately,

Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ

Author Unknown

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.”

I did it my way, the I Disease…

I did it my way, the I Disease!!!

We tend to think that our ways will lead to happiness in this world and some think that doing it our way may even lead to eternal happiness. Listen to what God says about our ways versus His ways.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

That being the case we need to be extremely careful about thinking of doing it our way and not listening our seeking to understand God’s ways and thoughts. An eternally foolish perspective is being controlled by the ” I ” disease. The following is an example of doing it, ” my way “, and the result!

Jer 16:12,13 “You too have done evil, even-more than your forefathers;
for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of
his own evil heart, without listening to Me. So I will hurl you out of
this land into the land which you have not known, neither you nor your
fathers; and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will
grant you no favor.”

The first example we have of, ‘I will do it my way….’ is;

Isaiah 14:13-15 “For you have said in your heart; I will ascend into
heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit
on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the North; I
will ascend above the height of the clouds; I will be like the Most
High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of
the Pit.”

Our ways are always visible to God and sooner or later we reap what we sow.  And sadly, those around us are affected by our selfishness or as God calls it, sin.

Gal 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Jer 16:17,18,21 “For My eyes are on all your ways; they are not hidden
from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. I will first
– doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, therefore behold, I am
going to make them know — This time I will make them know My power and
My might; And they shall know that My name is the Lord.”

Exodus 34:7 “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the
children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Do it God’s way and reap the blessings today!

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

It is never too late to confess and forsake our sin and start a new course in life!

Have a great day serving the King of Kings!!