It Requires Faith to…

It Requires Faith to…. 

Faith is an interesting and vital word in scripture and frequently misunderstood by both our world and by “born again” CHRISTians. It plays a vital role first for my salvation and then takes on an equally important role after I am saved (born again) in how I apply it to my service for Jesus.

For salvation;

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 any man should boast.”

 For Serving the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus;

Hebrews 10:38 “Now the just (born again) shall live by faith: but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

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.”

Faith requires me to believe and/or step out and perform a deed when I cannot see the One asking me to do so or I cannot see the obstacles or expected results. My flesh would have those things be visible to me before I commit to action. The results of my faith is to be totally based on the will of our heavenly Father for my life and not on my personal preferences! That means stepping into the raging waters of life if we are convinced it is God’s will for us and then also accepting the consequences of those actions even when they are not pleasant to my flesh.

So why is it that many results of my actions that I consider to be for God are much different than I would plan or desire? Many times we wonder if our faith is inadequate because the answers to our prayers do not line up with our fleshly desires. And some preachers who do not line up with scripture proclaim that results we do not like are based on weak faith. It is very importantly to remember the following when we think that way;

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

TRUE FAITH

A friend… said, “You were healed by faith.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I was healed by Christ.” What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, “Heal me.” I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him.

–A.B. Simpson

So, this morning if you are convinced that God would have you to perform a certain task go ahead and step into the waters. The rewards are eternal……………

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Where your Treasure is…

Matthew 6:19a” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…”

“Where your Treasure is….”

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.
Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a
circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. “Oh please,
Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!”

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box
and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little
girl’s upturned face. “One dollar and ninety-five cents. That’s almost $2.00
if you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you
and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.
Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp
dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and
counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share
of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if
she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma
did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough
money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and
grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten,
even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went
swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet,
they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she
was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and
come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished
the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy.
You know that I love you.” “Then give me your pearls.”  “Oh,
Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white
horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail.
Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favorite.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.”  And
he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s
daddy asked again, “Do you love me?” “Daddy, you know I
love you.” “Then give me your pearls.”  “Oh Daddy, not my
pearls.  But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one
I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can
have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”
“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one.
Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek
with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny
was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style.
As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and
one silent tear rolled down her cheek.  “What is it, Jenny?
What’s the matter?” Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted
her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it,
there was her little pearl necklace.  With a little quiver,
she finally said, “Here, Daddy.  It’s for you.”

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind
daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store
necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his
pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand
of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.  He had
them all the time.  He was just waiting for her to give
up the dime store stuff so he could give her genuine
treasure.

What are you hanging on to?

Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break
in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your
treasure is there your heart will be also.”

Who is Training our Children…

Eph 6:4a “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…” 

Who is Training our Children!

The man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business!  What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed.  Looking up, he said,
“Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”

The father was furious.  “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed.  Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money.  After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son.  Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often.  The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep son?” he asked.

“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man.  “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, beaming.  “Oh, thank you daddy!” he yelled.  Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills.  The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.  The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the
father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy
replied.

“Daddy, I have $20.00 now.  Can I buy an hour of your time?”

***** Share sometime today with someone special.  ******

Always leave loved ones with loving words.

Eph 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring
them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Prov 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

How do you dress for Church…

James 2:9b “But if you show partiality, you commit sin…”

How do you dress for Church?

One Sunday morning the congregation of a ritzy church (with
vaulted ceilings, oak pews, stained glass windows and deep plush carpet)
had a stir.

A man came in just minutes before the service was to begin and
he was dressed horribly, was stinking, had on old boots, torn overalls,
a dirty flannel shirt, and a dusty cowboy hat.

The congregation was aghast! Many quickly sent notes to the
minister about this concern. At the end of the services the minister
greeted the humbly dressed man and asked him if he enjoyed the service.

The man exclaimed that he enjoyed it very much. The minister asked the
man to consider possibly dressing differently, and taking a shower, &
told him to pray to Jesus about how he would have him dress if he should
return again.

The next week the man returned. He was dressed the same and once
again the congregation was disturbed. At the end of the service the
minister greeted he man again and asked him what he had been told by
Jesus concerning his how to dress for church?

The man exclaimed. “I spoke with Jesus about this, but Jesus
said he didn’t know how I should dress for “this church” because He has
never been allowed in there.

James 2:1-4, 9 “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 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. But if you show partiality, you commit sin…”

Eternity, No Excuses Accepted…

Eternity, No Excuses Accepted!

No excuses! After our short life on this earth then comes eternity. Are you ready and what logic will you use to be in heaven versus the alternative? The Bible says that some day each of us will stand in front of Jesus and hear about where we will spend eternity. Will we hear; ‘Well Done’, or ‘Depart from Me, or I never knew you’, or….

Mat 7:22, 23 “Many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name,
and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?  And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

Unlike our society, there will be no excuses accepted on the final judgment day that ushers in eternity. We are all without excuse. We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ by accepting His sacrifice for our unworthiness called sin before it is too late. That is the only basis or sacrifice that is acceptable to God obtaining eternal life in heaven with God in the new heaven and earth that He will create (Revelation 20).  Without believing we are doomed to eternity separated from God (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9, John 5:24).

Don’t be like this group………
 
Rom 1:18-21” For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it unto them. For the
invisible things since the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became

vain in their reasoning’s, and their senseless heart was darkened.” 
By ourselves, by our deeds, by our Church affiliation, or by family heritage, we cannot find Eternal Life with God, because;

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Ephes. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

You must be ‘Born Again’! Have you been?

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘For truly I say unto you, except you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God’.

 

How does your eternity look this morning and how about that person sitting or living next door to you?

Why the Cross…

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.”


WHY THE CROSS

The young man was at the end of his rope.  Seeing no way out,
he dropped to his knees in prayer.  “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said.
“I have too heavy a cross to bear.”

The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just
place your cross inside this room.  Then, open that other door and
pick out any cross you wish.”

The man was filled with relief.  Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and
he did as he was told.

Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so
large the tops were not visible.  then, he spotted a tiny cross
leaning against a far wall.  “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered.
And the Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around
and see what other people are coping with.  You may consider yourself
far more fortunate than you imagined.

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

Perhaps you may stumble,
Perhaps even fall.
But God’s always there
To answer your call.

As our Lord points out in His word, when your cross seems
unbearable, that is exactly the point where our Lord can intervene
because we are powerless to change it. Of course it requires us to be
at least mentally on our knees at His feet. And figuratively doesn’t
hurt either.

It is the best position to be in!!!!!

II Cor 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My  
strength is made perfect in weakness’ Most gladly therefore will I
glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

A Silent Sermon…

Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as you see the day approaching.”

A Silent Sermon

A member of a certain church, who previously had been
attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks,
the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The
pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him,
led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave
silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning
logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully
picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the
hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone
ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow
and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word
had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at
his watch and realized it was time to leave, he slowly stood up,
picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of
the fire.

Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth
of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to
leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you
so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall
be back in church next Sunday.”

Mat 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one
of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the
mountain to seek the one that is straying?”