Your Family Tree…

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the
life, no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.”

Your Family Tree!

If you are developing your family tree here is the beginning of your family line. And there are no exceptions even though the enemy tries very hard to convince us that we all evolved from some other life form. What a great way to remember Who wants to be the Lord of our lives!! Most importantly take a look at whose image we were created after. If that does not brighten and change your day then I am not sure anything can.

All or our roots begin with…

Gen 1:1, 2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Gen 1:26-28 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creep upon the earth. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that move upon the earth.”

The root of our salvation begins with…

John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

All Praise to Jesus who died, was buried and rose again for the sins of this family…………….

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Run, Christian, Run…

2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Run Christian, Run….

      In scripture we are told our spiritual lives need to be viewed as a race and even as a war. Let’s focus on the race for a moment. As a runner I can relate best to that one. Understand that I am back in the pack but I do understand the preparation and the race itself. Many do not like running but there is so much discipline to be learned by what it takes to run in a race, especially in a Marathon.
Bob Wieland lost both of his legs in Vietnam. But that didn’t stop him from entering and finishing the Los Angeles Marathon. He completed it in a little over one week making every step with his arms and his hands. He even crossed America on his hands. It took him three years to do it!

If anyone had a reason to quit it would be Bob. Yet he chooses to finish his races. Your “race” is any track or ministry that God has set you on in your life. And we each have at least one spiritual gift supporting that race or ministry according to I Corinthians 11. You may have started well, but due to hardships you have stopped running. God encourages and challenges us; Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Or you may have not yet started even the preparation for the race.

There are many Biblical examples of runners who started, stopped but also restarted once they recognized their spiritual failure. Abraham started well, faltered, and got back on track. The race started with God directing him to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to a land that God would later show him. How many of us could or would respond to that directive by God. Talk about requiring faith. To his credit he obeyed. He left his comfort zone big. Just think about what he was asked to do and the fact that God did not tell him where He would direct him to. Most great works of God begin that way for our lives. It takes stepping into the water before the waters will part. And we many or most times do not know the paths God will lead us on until we begin the journey or are in the midst of the journey. It requires that trait called faith.

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

As Abraham journeyed he left behind him a trail of altars of praise. At Shechem God appeared to him and he built an altar there to the Lord. I have a journal I keep that I hope acts as an altar of praise of our lives (Loie and I) for now and for the next generations to view. To God be the glory!!
As with each of us Abraham also failed. Genesis 12 says, “There was a famine…and Abram went down to Egypt.” A hard time hit and Abram’s faith literally went south. In Egypt, Abram made compromises that were unthinkable. A spiritual famine hit his life and his faith weakened for a moment. Out of fear he lied about his relationship with Sarah but God still protected him against himself and the world around him. It’s comforting to me to know that so many great Christians struggled. And more comforting to know that our God does not leave us when we fail. He patiently awaits our return.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
But the race was not over for Abraham or for us when we fail. He returned from his detour. Just like the direction we hear God giving to the Churches in Revelation 2:4, 5 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” he returned to where he had first built an altar. And he returned quick enough so that God did not remove his candlestick or ministry. There he called on the name of the Lord. He went back to the point of his original surrender which is how you get back on track. In our hearts we must go back to the time when God seemed so close and His will seemed so clear. At that original altar we ask for forgiveness and surrendered to Him again.

John 3:3 “ Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

When that paraplegic marathon participant crossed the finish line in a race he had every reason to quit, he explained it this way: “This was not natural; this was supernatural. It was only done by the grace of God.” That’s how you’ll finish the race you started!

2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Heb 12:1, 2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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.”

So let’s get going or let’s return!!!!

Worry or Faith…You Choose…

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

Worry or Faith…You choose….

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. When my friend Arlene and her husband arrived she noticed cars costing more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.

The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before!

What was the point of this? “Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.”

She read the words “United States of America.”

“No, not that; read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes!”

“And?”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him! Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him… For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Fortunately for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!”

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful… And God is patient…

Matthew 17:20-21 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Following Jesus and Finishing the Race…

Following Jesus and Finishing the Race…

To be a real follower of Jesus takes an awesome commitment!!! Have you taken that step? The biggest challenge is getting over the fact that the race is to lift up Jesus name and not for personal gain. Look at what God’s word says about denial.

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.

After we accept Jesus as our Savior He desires that we would serve Him. As with salvation God does not force service upon us.  But obedience is huge if we are to hear “well done” when we are at home in heaven with Him. We must remember that life on this earth is like a vapor in that it passes quickly and then comes eternity. You may remember your moment of salvation but do you remember presenting yourself to His service?

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. ‘

One example we have in scripture is Paul making this type of commitment. Because of it he was able to look confidently on his past service for the King. How is your view of the past? If you don’t like it, you can change how the future is played out!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, this life is both and race and a war against the evil all around us. When my earthly life is over and I enter my eternal home with Jesus, I hope to be able to say…

Eph 6:12-13 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

 II Tim 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

How about you? Is it time to enter the war

What if this Great CHRISTian…

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 ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

What if this Great CHRISTian??

  • What if Billy Graham had not decided to develop and use the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism that God gave him?
  • What if Joni Erikson Tata had allowed her accident to put her into deep depression instead of allowing God to use it to minister to the handicapped?
  • What if DL Moody had decided to leave school early, join a gang and spent the rest of his life in prison?
  • What if James Dobson had decided to move to Africa and be a wild game hunter for his profession?
  • What if Peter had allowed his denial of Jesus to place him into a level of depression that kept him from serving the first Church as one of its Elders and Teachers?
  • What if Mary out of fear had chosen to not follow God’s will for her life?
  • What if Joseph out of fear had refused to recognize God’s will for his life and turned into a complaining self pitying person?
  • What if you decide to live life with the worldly goals of obtaining wealth and fame instead of what God has for you?
  • What if you decide not attend a local biblically sound church because there are too many hypocrites there?
  • What if they and you had never placed their faith in Jesus as their Savior?
  • What if you never decide to decide??????

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Facts! Heaven and Hell are Real…

Facts!  Heaven and Hell are Real….

Facts!   Heaven and hell are both real. Both are supported and mentioned many times in scripture. We all spend some 70-90 years for most of us on this earth and then comes eternity in one of those two places. That word eternity is not a word that is easily comprehended but it is real. Many choose to avoid even thinking about where they will spend eternity. God said the choice is ours to make. Sin broke our relationship with God and we have a choice as to whether we will allow Jesus to restore it for us. What we do with the sin in our lives determines our fate.

  • All are sinners. (Rom 3:10, 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)
  • Sin brings on death and all of the worlds ugliness. (Romans 6:23)
  • God cannot commune with sinful people who like Adam and Eve break their relationship with God by sinning. (Gen 2, 3)
  • A sacrifice is needed to restore the fellowship we break with God by our sins. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

Facts! All false religions claim that works are our means of restoring that relationship. Some of those religions even have the name of Jesus in them. Just having the name of Jesus in your church doctrine does not assure your salvation n or that the church you are attending is feeding you and your family God’s truths. Ask one telling question. Does anything needed to be added to the sacrifice that Jesus paid on Calvary to provide me salvation and eternity in heaven with God? Does Baptism, Church membership, Church attendance or sacraments etc need to be added… If any are being taught as a needed activity along with Jesus sacrifice for our sins, then….

 

Gal 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

 

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are you saved by faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone would boast.”

 

John 14:6 “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

Heb 10:11 “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices,  which can never take away sins.

 

The sacrifice of Jesus our Savior is all we need!

 

Heb 10:12 “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.”

 

Heb 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Which sacrifice do you trust in this morning?

Daily Warfare within…

I Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from
fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

 Daily Warfare within…!

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on
inside him. He said it is between 2 wolves.

One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one I feed.”

Romans 8:3-5 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit
.”

Gal 6:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”