A Rabbitt on the Swim Team…

A Rabbit on the Swim Team

Once upon a time, the animals decided they should do something meaningful, so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was so slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so nobody worried about that – except the duck.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He developed “charlie horses” from overexertion, and so only got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing classes, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there….

Each creature has its own set of capabilities in which it will naturally excel – unless it is expected or forced to fill a mold that doesn’t fit.

Each ‘born again’ believer this morning has a special task that our Savior has outlined just for each of us to do. Our purpose in life as Biblical Christians is to lift up Jesus name and never our own. Note, I said Biblical Christians because our worlds’ definition of a Christian is different than the Biblical one. Our world says if you have the name of Jesus in the religion you affiliate with than you are a Christian. Even if your religion adds works along with Jesus as your way to restoring the broken relationship with God that our sins broke.  Scripture proclaims that a real CHRISTian is one who is totally dependent on Jesus as the only way to restoring that broken relationship. No work, circumcision, baptism or church affiliation can be added to Jesus sacrifice for our sins.

Gal 2:16 & 21 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. …I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

And He has equipped us as CHRISTians to serve Him. We do not have to depend on our natural talents or level of education achieved to do so. I love it because it means I can serve my Savior. WOW, it cannot get any better than that. When Jesus left this world after having died for the sins of mankind He gave His Church the Holy Spirit, so we were not left to our own strengths which can never accomplish His will. And He gave us each at least one Spiritual Gift so that we each can serve Him while on this earth. The Spiritual Gift is not dependent on my natural abilities or level of education achieved from our world’s universities. Listen to some great verses telling us so.

I Cor 12:1 “Now about Spiritual Gifts I do not want you to be ignorant.’

 Romans 12:6a “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: “

 One of our fleshly tendencies is to focus on what others are doing and think we cannot serve Jesus unless we can do what they are doing. Or should I say unless they are doing as much as we are doing.

 John 21:21, 22 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

The “Rest of the Story” as Paul Harvey used to say is;

Now let’s get going for Jesus by understanding His purpose and His empowerment for our lives!!! The above verses and comments on using our Spiritual Gifts only touch on them. They teach us how to understand them and recognize that Jesus’ desire for me is to use them. If you want additional info on this important topic drop me a line and I will send you some.

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Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats…

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 ye see the day approaching.”

Reaching the masses by Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats…

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, some Churches have gradually toned down their testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then they have complacency in their borders. Now they have adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? “Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” That is clear enough. So it would have been if he had added, “and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him . . . .

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his
apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? “Ye are the salt,” not the sugar candy — something the world will spit out, not swallow . . . . I do not hear [Jesus] say, “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it.

Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!” Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement . . . .

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to affect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them half-way, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard, to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men on fire.

by C.H. Spurgeon

Be careful not to allow you and your family fall into this trap. Seek out God’s truths and understand that He loves us and sacrificed His only Son for us. In turn He desires our eternal fellowship if we will but place our faith in Him. The Bride of Christ, the Church, was not designed as an entertainment center. It was designed to equip believers to go into the world and make disciples!

 Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

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.”

Are you standing on Holy Ground…

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.”

Are you Standing on Holy Ground?

Your attitude reflects your respect, reverence and fear of our God. Or the lack of it. How or what is you view of God this morning?

The most powerless position for you is lying flat on your face. It makes you weak, vulnerable and unable to do anything about the situation. But it is also, in the strange ways of God, the most powerful position on earth. In the following example and in our lives it can reflect our attitude. Joshua gives us an example of that.

Joshua (Joshua 5:13) is up against maybe the most intimidating, potentially fearful situation of his life. To date he has bravely led God’s people into Canaan, only to be confronted with the massive walled city of Jericho, looming before God’s people as a seemingly impossible obstacle between them and the land that God has promised. As their commanding general, Joshua has gone to scout out his Mission Impossible.

Scripture tells us: “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,’ he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence (There it is. That’s that position of total powerlessness.) and (he) asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’ The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

Many Bible scholars believe that this Commander of the Lord’s forces is actually the Son of God making one of several pre-Bethlehem appearances in Old Testament times. No angel would have accepted worship, and Joshua calls him “my Lord.” Rightfully if it is Jesus, Joshua falls on the ground, face down. Joshua was very competent, very successful, very skilled; a man and a leader of an army who had never surrendered to anybody. But this day he surrenders, and that is going to be the secret of winning. From this moment of total surrender of his will and life, of total powerlessness before the Lord comes God’s unusual plan for conquering Jericho. But before there could be the conquest of Jericho, there had to be the conquest of Joshua.

And before there can be the conquest of the Jericho that looms before you right now in your life, there must be the conquest of you. God allows things into our life that will bring us to the end of ourselves where all your experience, and your talent, your wisdom, your connections, and your persuasion are useless in getting an answer. At that point you will turn to someone and hopefully it is not to self or worldly wisdom but to God. God has brought you to this moment of total helplessness, not so you would give up, but so you would give over the controls to Him totally, unconditionally. There is no condition God can do more with than our admission of powerlessness. Now you’re out of the way finally, and now you can see what Almighty God can do!

Where do you turn when you are standing facing the walls of a Jericho in your life that you can’t possibly conquer? That is the perfect time for your unconditional surrender to your Lord. Admit your powerlessness. Often it is the breaking of a man or woman that is the making of a man. And believe it or not on your knees or on your face is actually a great place to be;

Listen to what God told Paul when he asked to have a thorn in his flesh removed by God;

 2 Cor. 12:7-9 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God’s will for your Life…

II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ…”

 God’s will for your Life….

A new Christian was walking with a more mature friend in a garden one
day and feeling a bit insecure about God’s will for his life, he inquired what
he should do.  His friend walked up to a rosebush, handed him a rosebud,
and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The new Christian looked in disbelief at his friend and tried to figure out
what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the
WILL OF GOD for his life But because of his high respect for his friend
proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact…It
wasn’t long before he realized how impossible it was to do so.

Noticing the younger Christian’s inability to unfold the rosebud while
keeping it intact, his friend began to recite the following poem…

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of GOD’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
when in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of GOD’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading
each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
only my Heavenly Father knows.
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose.

How strong is your faith this morning????????? I know mine is being
developed daily by my Savior, Jesus. Good thing, for by myself I would
fail miserably.

II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ to Him be the glory both now and forever, amen.”

Are you ready, Jesus is coming a 2nd time…

I Thes 1:7-9 “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels; in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that do not know God and who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the Glory of His power.”

Are you ready, Jesus is coming a 2nd time!

The Lord is coming,
All eyes shall see,
and most shall ask,
“Who art thee?”

Their knees shall buckle,
and down they’ll go,
upon their face,
so their sin won’t show.

‘My Lord, O’ God!
What is my lot?”
And he shall answer
“Your Lord, I am not!

Depart from me,
Foul creature of sin your
place is Hell,
Licking dust from your chin.

You sought me not,
though I gave you life.
Now make your way to
eternal strife.

Look in the mirror,
my words of truth,
Reveal the horror
of your misspent youth.

You hardened your heart,
growing ugly inside;
your grotesque appearance,
No longer can hide.

Join the damned,
Licking wounds for your thirst!!
Wretched being,
now listen first.

I gave you a chance-
Tenfold and more,
But you wouldn’t listen-
Just chose to ignore.

I sent you a beggar,
with his hand out for food,
but you spit in his face
and treated him rude.

So, I sent you a preacher to
share the good news,
but you slammed the door
and said I refuse!

Then I sent you a child
to tug at your heart;
you couldn’t be bothered,
so you tore him apart!!

I gave you a dream
a nightmare of Hell;
you just rolled over.
Refusing to yell.

I came as your Savior,
and said, ‘friend prepare’
And then you did it-
You said, ‘I don’t care!’

Now the end is here;
you’ve had your chance,
Reflect on your life-
Here it is in a glance.

You see! You’re guilty!
Just yourself to blame!
But you could’ve avoided
the eternal flame!

No one is perfect-
Least of all you;
If only you cared,
that I died for you.

Rom 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

The beauty is that our God did not leave us to the results of our sin or eternal loss.

 

He….

 

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

The Road to Success…

Hebrews 12:2a “Looking unto Jesus…”

The Road to Success

The road to success is not Straight.
There is a curve called Failure.

A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,

Red lights called Enemies,
Caution lights called Family,

You will have flats along the way,

But, if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,
Insurance called Faith,
A driver called Jesus,
You will make it to a place called Success!

In spite of our unworthiness

Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith who for the
joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is set
down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ecc 12:13, 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

Want to be a Full Time Servant for Jesus…

Mark 10:44 “And whosoever of you will be the leader, shall be servant of all.”

Want to be a Full Time Servant for Jesus!

Let’s try some word association.

I say ‘Work’. What do you think of?

I say ‘Christian Service’. What do you think of?

Keep those thoughts in mind for a minute as we examine who really are the ‘Full Time Servants’ for Jesus. Today’s world has a distorted image of what God expects and I fear most Christians have bought into it. Women who do not work outside of the home are left feeling insignificant. Older adults who have retired are left to feel useless or equally as bad put their spiritual ‘work’ out to pasture because supposedly their part has been done. Those with physical or mental handicaps are restricted in how much they can accomplish.

The neat thing about the Christian is that we are all to be Full Time servants for Jesus in the job and country and state locations where God has placed us. Yes, if you are a child of God and following His will for your life it is not a coincidence where you live. Full time service for Jesus is not restricted to just those people who are paid for their services like the Pastoral group, Missionaries and Evangelists. Our pay is in our spiritual 401 K plan that will be redeemable when we are in heaven with God.

 Phillipians 1:19-21 “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Retirement is great but fortunately working for Jesus never ends while on this earth. Work is not a dirty word. Adam and Eve worked (Gen 1:26-28) prior to the results that sin brought to work. (Gen 3:17-19) Service is not meant to be burdensome or for only a select group within Christianity. It is also not intended to be looked at as something that cannot be attained. Jesus said……………..He came to serve not to be served……….. Being a servant will require dedication and work.

That is a very small glimpse of being a workman and a servant for Jesus. How do you stack up? If you are not sure or if you are not pleased with your response you will want to look at your priorities. How high do you rate serving Jesus and His Church ????????

Have you presented yourself to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to be used as His will desires?

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”