Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day
whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day! 

Questions and comments, we hear daily from others and sometimes from within.

How can I achieve a higher salary?
How do I increase my 401K?

How can I get that perfect body?
Can I achieve the status of being a millionaire?

Why is this happening to me? I deserve more…
How do I get that really fancy new car?
Why can’t I have a new 4,000 sq. ft home in the secluded woods on 30 acres next to my own lake?
When should I sell and when should I buy?
Is life really all about possessions and self?
So what are my goals in life for me and for my family?

Choose you this day as to whom you will serve…! God does remind us what items have eternal significance.

Mat 6:19-21,24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in & steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in & steal. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO. NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

How about some questions pleasing to God?

What must I do to be saved?
How can I help someone who is struggling today?
How can I help someone to see Jesus today?

Lord, thank you for this difficulty I am going through for you to teach me that trials bring spiritual growth!
Lord, what would You have me to do for your glory?????

Our example for setting life priorities is Jesus.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”

Having nice things in and of itself is not wrong. Letting things or money be your controlling focus can only cause heartache in the long run and is out of line with God’s will for our lives. Letting God’s priorities be your focus provides peace and contentment that our world cannot understand.

Phil 4:6, 7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, where are your priorities this morning?

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.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on whom and what I will serve is up to me. So…………….

Mat 6:33, 34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Have a great day in service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!

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CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs…

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally
and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs

Be Fishers of Men…. You fish, He catches & Cleans ’em.
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A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
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A family altar can alter a family.
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A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
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Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!
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Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
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Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is Awake.
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Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
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Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
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Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
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Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there
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For all you do, His blood’s for you!
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Forbidden fruits create many jams.
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Give God what’s right, not what’s left!
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Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.
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God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
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God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!
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God grades on the cross, not the curve.
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God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts”!
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God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
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Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
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He who angers you controls you!
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He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
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He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
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If God is your Co-pilot – Swap seats!
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In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma, but
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!
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Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
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Man’s way leads to a hopeless end! God’s way leads to an endless hope!
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Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
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Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
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Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it.
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Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
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“Pray” is a four letter word that you can say anywhere except in a public school.
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Prayer -Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty!
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Read The Bible…It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!
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The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
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The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
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This Church is “Prayer Conditioned”!
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To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
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Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
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WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
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Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
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We don’t change the message, the message changes us.
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We set the sail; God makes the wind.
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We’re too blessed to be depressed.
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When God ordains, He sustains.
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Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it.
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Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
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You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Full time Servant…

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

Full time Servant!

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 in the job and country and state locations where God has placed us. It 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.

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 work.

That is a very small glimpse of being a workman and a servant. 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.”

Fortunately, God made me this way…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according
to his purpose.

Fortunately, God made me this way…

All things in the life of ‘born again’ believers who are called to serve Jesus truly work together!

Gladys Aylward as a child thought she was not good enough.
During the 1920s, she had heard about the great spiritual need of China,
and she sensed God’s strong call on her life to go there. But she was
only a small chambermaid.

When she applied to China Inland Mission in London, they rejected her
because she wasn’t educated enough and was probably too old to learn the
language. Gladys Aylward through much prayer decided otherwise and made
it to China.

She made such a difference there that a number of books have been
written about her life. Hollywood even based a major movie on her life,
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness with an Academy Award-winning actress
portraying her.

In her later years, as she told her story to audiences in many
places, they were surprised to hear the commanding speech coming from
this very tiny lady who had to stand on a box to be seen over the
pulpit. She told them: “As I was growing up, I had two great sorrows.

First, as my friends kept getting taller, I stopped growing.
Secondly, as my friends grew beautiful blonde curly hair, mine was
straight black. Then I went to China. As I looked over the people to
whom Jehovah God had sent me, I said to myself, ‘These people have hair
as black and straight as mine … and they stopped growing when I did.’
I bowed my head and I said, ‘Lord God, you know what you were doing!”
Yes, He does.

Much to her surprise, and much to everyone’s surprise, little
Gladys Aylward had been equipped by God with everything she needed to
carry out His plan for her life. And so, have we if Jesus is our Savior.
We know that because of Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do.”

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you don’t have what
others have? And thinking that because you do not have what others have
you cannot serve Jesus? You need to stop this line of thinking
immediately! All that is needed for carrying out God’s mission is you
and a willing heart. He will provide the rest. Do not ask, “Who am I,
Lord”, but ask “What would you have me to do, Lord”?

Philip. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Service starts with obedience and not skill! In fact, our
inability could be our greatest asset. It causes us to lean not upon our
own understanding and skills but to rely on His grace and sufficiency.

2 Cor. 12:9 “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.”

How to get Real Strength…

Psalm 46:1a “God is our refuge and strength…”

Philip. 4:13 “I can do all things…”

How to get Real Strength…

Physically strong men and women work out every day to keep their bodies in shape… persons who desire spiritual strength kneel in prayer often…

Physically strong men and women are not afraid of anything… but those who are spiritually strong understand that the trying of our faith develops spiritual maturity and they show courage in the midst of fears…

Physically strong men and women don’t let anyone get the best of them… but those with
spiritual strength seek Gods glorification instead of their own and give the best of themselves to everyone…

Physically strong men and women make mistakes and attempt to avoid the same in the future… but men and women with spiritual strength realize life’s trials are God’s blessings and capitalize on them…

Physically strong men and women walk sure footedly… but men and woman with spiritual strength know that they were created by God, designed to glorify and commune with God and that they therefore should walk by God’s strength and not their own…

Physically strong men and women wear the look of confidence on their faces… but men and women with spiritual strength wear humility and grace on their faces…

Physically strong men and women have faith that they are strong enough for the journey… but men and woman with spiritual strength have faith that it is in the journey and life that seeks God’s kingdom above personal priorities that makes them strong …

The secret for the Spiritually Strong…

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

Adversity, a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Romans 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation develops patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Adversity, a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Can adversity in my life come from God? How should I view that adversity? Or is adversity in my life simply a result of fleshly or spiritual issues that I have and if I were spiritually stronger these things would never happen to me? These questions are asked by Christians of all maturity levels.

Some church organizations focus on the “Health, Wealth and Prosperity” theme and that adversity has no place in the life of a Christian. Is that true? Those churches teach that God would have you to be healthy and wealthy with never a hint of adversity in your life. That teaching is attractive to our fleshly emotions. If you are experiencing adversity their answer is that it is because you are weak in faith. They say if you just come to their church, support the programs, join in with the emotional message that God lift you up physically and materially. Many get deceived by this because it offers what the flesh wants. And the flesh always wants only what is best for it.

II Tim 4:3,4 “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”

So, how does God view adversity and our spiritual development? Our answer as with all questions in life is right there in the Book. There are many examples in scripture that help us understand how God views this topic and the depth of His love for us. Our obvious best example is our Savior Jesus. He came to display unconditional love while doing the will of the Father. We will never have to experience the depth of pain that Jesus experienced for us. If we are looking for our own will to be done it is easy to fall into the Health, Wealth and Prosperity trap.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

We could also look at the lives of Noah, Jonah, Moses, Job, David, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Rehab, Ruth, Daniel, Paul, Peter, Mary and on and on. What we see are individuals that were molded by the circumstances that God sent into their lives. Those circumstances were simply not a result of their weak faith and fortunately they never viewed them like that. God loved them as He loves us and wanted the best for their lives. The question was what was best for their lives to bring glory of God and not to provide comfort for self. Each of those mentioned above experienced adversity and out of it came growth and more importantly God was pleased and glorified. That growth occurred only after they got to the place in their lives where they said, your will be done and not mine. None were blessed or avoided adversity simply because of strong faith. Their spiritual maturity grew as they presented themselves to God as living sacrifices to perform His will through their lives.

James 1:2, 3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Rom 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.”

For me when I accept adversity as being from God the benefits are spiritual growth. When I reject trials as being from God the result is frustration, heartache and even tears. I have memorized II Cor 12:9 to help me in those times of adversity. It reminds me that God is in control and wants to lift up His name by His work in my life. WOW, you cannot have anything more than that if you are looking for purpose in your life.

In II Corinthians 12 Paul first viewed his “thorn” as a limiting handicap. After requesting that God remove it multiple times he received the answer. It was no. By the way, no and wait are answers to prayer. He evaluated the answer and came up with the spiritually correct answer. God had a purpose for the thorn and he was much better off accepting it than ignoring or complaining about it. After coming to the true perspective, he regarded it as a heavenly advantage. Pains and problems come into our lives and if viewed properly are tools reminding us of God’s all-sufficient grace.

Whatever your “thorn” today, remembers—His grace IS sufficient and it is available right now!!!!!!!

II Cor 12:9 “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 Definition of Guidance…

Luke 22:40-42 “ When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

God’s Definition of Guidance…

When I meditated on the word guidance, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of
the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow
with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow
with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or
by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if two become one
body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and
attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word guidance. When I saw “G,” I thought of God,
followed by “u” and “I.” “God, “u” and “I” dance.” God, you, and I dance. This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you and
your family on this day and every day. May you abide in Him as He abides in
you. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through
each season of your life.

And for those of you that know me closer than others you realize how poor of a dancer I am. I truly need my Lord leading me every step of the way…..HIS WAY!

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