CHRISTians look Strange to our World…Why is that…

In our world today if you are a true Christian you will be seen as a strange bird and even viewed as hateful and narrow minded. First we must understand that the worlds definition of a Christian and God’s definition as recorded in His word the Bible differ greatly.

The world sees a Christian as anyone attending a church with the name of Jesus in its teachings. Many do not proclaim the whole word of God. The bible says a Christian does not involve the denomination you attend. Check it out for yourself by doing a word search of the Bible and you find not one of the denominations of the world. God’s definition is anyone from any country or race who is ‘born again’. For help in understanding what it means to be ‘born again’ check out the following;

  • The Gospel of John where Jesus tells a religious leader what it means
  • Ephians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Galatians 2:16-21 where God tells us how many of our good deeds are requird to ‘born again’. Just of few of God’s thoughts on our lives and our deeds needed to be ‘born again’.
  • So, why are CHRISTians seen as strange to this world?
    • Rom 1:21-23 “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”
    • John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
  • What is the ministry of Biblical Christainity while on this earth?
    • Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
    • Matt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
      • Salt seasons and points out sin. Darkness does not like to be exposed.
    • We are to be different understanding the vast majority of our world will choose the ways of the world in an attempt to restore the broken relationship with God that sin causes;
    • Matt 7:13-14 “”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
  • Our world will consider Christians ‘Strange’ if we point out sin for what it is and do not do the same.
    • 2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
    • Prov 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of ”

So, do not feel bad this morning if our world hates or persecutes you when you stand up for Jesus and His truths. It very well may mean you are a true ‘born again’ disciple of Jesus and suffering because of it. Be of good courage because;

Romans 5:3 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;”

James 4:14 “…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Then comes eternity……

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”

HE IS RISEN……..

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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!!

Growing Old and Priorities…

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

Growing Old and Priorities!

The first day of class our professor introduced himself and
challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up
to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around
to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that
lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m
eighty-seven years old.  Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and
enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” And she gave me a giant
squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I
asked.  She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get
married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.” “No
seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be
taking on this challenge at her age. “I always dreamed of having a
college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared
a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the
next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was
always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her
wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she
easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she
reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She
was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at
our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.

As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped all of
her 3 x 5 note cards. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned
into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery.  I gave
up beer and this whiskey is killing me!  I’ll never get my speech back
in order, so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop
playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. “There
are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving
success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have
a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people
walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!  There is a huge
difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen
years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive
thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old
and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn
eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or
ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in
change. Have no regrets. The elderly rarely have regrets for the things
we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear
death are those with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing , “The Rose.” She
challenged each of us to study the lyrics.

At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun
all those years ago. One week after graduation, Rose died peacefully in
her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to
the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to
be all you can possibly be.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY,

GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.

A cute story but may be misleading if you are not careful. Did you notice the very first priority that we must have in life was missing. To know, love and serve Jesus is what life for the believer is all about. And fortunately for us there is no retirement from that privilege and responsibility.

Mat 6:33 “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!

I don’t know if the story is real but I do know that when I leave this
world and stand in front of Jesus that I would like to have no regrets and to hear;

Mat 25:23a “His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant;”

How about you?

Do you Need Help….

Do you want stability and success in your life? Do you need someone to provide you with counseling on how to do so? Do you want a counselor who can never advise you incorrectly? Most Counselors in our world treat symptoms vs the root cause. Why is that?

Do you want help in time of trouble?

Where do I go when I need Counsel…

Psalm 1:1-6 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

So, God says that we cannot go to Counselors who do not know Jesus as their Savior. Why is it that the unsaved cannot counsel the hurting with advice that is in line with what God gives us?

I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. “

We also must understand that

God’s Counsel is the only Counsel that never changes and offers hope, lasting hope.

So here is the quiz.

1. Where do you get your counsel from?
2. How much time do you allocate daily to reading God’s truths from His word to us (Bible)?
3. Is your tree (life) firmly planted on the Rock (Jesus)?

If you need counsel this morning seek out someone who will use God’s truths as his or her guide.

Without that basis for truth you will never get to the root cause of your problems.

Who is the Author of the Bible…

Author of Scripture

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and wisdom and is John the author? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. The thoughts, words and wisdom in scripture are from whom is the question.

Are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and philosophies of God and not the books of men? If they are the words of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need to find truth!!  One of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night that those red letters means that God is speaking. God inspired and protects the words in black print also.

I don’t know about you but the scripture takes on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!!

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

While we are on the topic of scriptures Author and the importance it plays in our lives listen and heed the following.

Rev 22:18-20 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

The devil’s Beatitudes and …

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as
a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

T H E d E V I L ‘ S B E A T I T U D E S

If the devil were to write his Beatitudes, they would probably go
something like this:

* Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend
time each day in prayer and Bible study ~ they are my best workers.

* Blessed are those who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked. I can
use them.

* Blessed are the touchy and led by emotions, they can be my
missionaries.

* Blessed are those who are very religious but get on everyone’s nerves.
They are mine forever.

*Blessed are the troublemakers.They shall be called my children.

* Blessed are those who have no time to pray. They are easy prey for me.

* Blessed are the gossipers ~ for they are my secret agents.

* Blessed are those critical of Church leadership and other believers ~
for they shall inherit a place with me in my fate.

* Blessed are the complainers. I’m all ears for them.

* Blessed are you when you read this and think it is about other people
and not yourself. You are well on your way to being mine.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore unto God, resist the devil, and
he will flee from you.”

God knows ALL…

Mat 11:28,29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.

Who knows?

When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts…

God knows how hard you have tried.

When you’ve cried so long and your heart is in anguish…

God has counted your tears.

If you feel that your life is on hold and time has passed you by…

God is waiting with you.

When you’re lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call…

God is by your side.

When you think you’ve tried everything and don’t know where to turn…
God has a solution.

When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated…

God has the answer.

If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope…

God has sustained you.

When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for..

God has blessed you.

When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe…

God has smiled upon you.

When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow…

God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

When you realize life is for eternity and only Jesus can save you…

God awaits your calling upon His Son to save you.

Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing…GOD KNOWS!

Mat 11:28,29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am
gently and lowly of heart, and you will find rest unto your soul.”