‘Born Again’ Believers Faith Test…

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.”

‘Born Again’ Believers Faith Test…

When trouble abounds in your life which question do you ask?

‘Why me? ‘or, ‘What is God trying to teach me? ‘

Think about the difference before you pass on from those two questions. The easiest to ask and our flesh begs us to do so is the first one. The second will require the faith that says God knows best for my life and His ways are better than mine. It may come down to whether we think our ways are better than God’s. Before you say that’s ridiculous think about all the reasons you apply to why trials come your way and what your thought process is when they do. And remember….

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

James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”     As a ‘born again’ believer God has a purpose for trials and tribulations in our lives. When we fail to recognize that truth than we also fail to learn what our God is trying to teach us. And He loves us so much that He will probably bring that trial back our way, so we learn. Another reason for difficult moments coming into our lives is in the form of discipline. We truly do reap what we sew. That discipline also shows God’s love for us.

Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Heb 12:6-8 “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure, God deals with you as with sons; for what sons is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”

How do I react to the trials and discipline from God?

Proverbs 15:10, 11 “Harsh correction is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates reproof will die. Hell, and destruction are before the Lord; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.”

Have a great day seeking the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!! And remember to accept trails and discipline sent from God and to learn the lesson the FIRST TIME! And even more importantly if this logic seems to not make sense to you then maybe you have not been ‘born again’. Listen to what God says about those outside of His family.

 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.”

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”

If you are one of His children, the beauty is that He loves us enough to send trials to spiritually mature us and discipline to correct us.

If you are not one of His then He is offering you the free gift of salvation. But don’t wait. This could be the last moment or chance you have.

Advertisements

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…………….

The Secret to a Happy Marriage…

Gen 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be jointed to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

The Secret of a Happy Marriage…

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day, the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.”

The little old man was so moved he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “That’s the money I made from selling the doilies.”

Eph 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun do down on your wrath.”

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!!!!

What is my Purpose in life…self or God…

Genesis 3:1-5 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

What is My Purpose in Life…self or God!

Just when does mankind fall into the trap of thinking they are God?

Self rules in the heart of every person, even at times among new creatures in Christ or ‘born again’ believers. Satan has not missed any opportunity to entice the world into seeking his delusionary prize of godhood. The idea that man could become a god, or part of God, or that he is a god but doesn’t yet realize his divinity, may seem farfetched to some people, but that’s because they are simply unaware of how prevalent this belief is. Furthermore, from a biblical perspective, the criterion for being a god is rather simple. Everyone who has not submitted to Jesus Christ and has not been reconciled to God through faith in Christ’s finished sacrifice as payment for his sins qualifies as a god–that is, an autonomous, or self-governing, being who has elevated self over his Creator. As Dave Hunt has noted, “The basic cause of the many problems in the world today is not that man fails to recognize his godhood but rather that there are about seven billion gods on this planet, each one doing his or her own thing.”

When you think about the spiritual movements of our day the temptations we encounter remains the same. The most destructive being that we are told that taking care of self, serving self and existing for self is all that really matters. We are told your purpose in life should be you. If you read Genesis 3:1-5 again you hear the same thing roughly 6,000 years ago. And it was called the first sin when two people decided self was more important than serving God.

Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the same old lie.  One final challenge.  Listen to what Solomon said at the end of his life.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”

 Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this are man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Listening to God…

Listening to God…

Can I sit and be taught by God today?

II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

But aren’t those the books and teachings of men?

II Peter 1:20, 21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

“Let us seek to know Him in the Word. It is in the Word we will find the Holy Spirit. Don’t read too many other things. Some of you will say, “Look who’s talking!” Well, go ahead and say it, I don’t mind; but I am reading fewer and fewer things as I get older, not because I’m losing interest in this great, big, old suffering world, but because I’m gaining interest in that other world above. So I say, don’t try to know everything. You can’t. Find Him in the Word, for the Holy Ghost wrote this book. He inspired it, and He will be revealed in its pages.”

–A.W. Tozer

That being the case…
II Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

So, who’s feet did you sit at this morning to start your day?
Sitting before the Lord

“Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His Book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of lights: ‘Lord, is it not thy Word, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God”? Thou ‘give’s liberally and upbraids not’. Thou hast said, ‘If any be willing to do thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know thy will. I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual’. I meditate thereon, with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God, and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.”

–John Wesley, Preface to Standard Sermons

It does take commitment.

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 perfect will of God.”

The 7 Ups…

The 7 Ups

  1. Wake Up!!

Decide to have a good day.

“Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalms 118:24

  1. Dress Up!!

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.

A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7

  1. Shut Up!!

Say nice things and learn to listen.

God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

“He who guards his lips guards his soul.”

Proverbs 13:3

  1. Stand Up!!…

For what you believe in.

Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”

Galatians 6:9-10

  1. Look Up !!…

To the Lord.

“I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”.

Philippians 4:13

  1. Reach Up !!…

For something higher.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

  1. Lift Up !!…

Your Prayers.

“Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.”

Philippians 4:6

A POSITIVE THOUGHT If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.

What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.

Face it, He really loves you a lot.

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”