Stick Foot in Mouth Syndrome…

Psalms 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Stick Foot in Mouth Syndrome…

Do you find yourself wondering why you said that and how can you take it back? Once words are released, they can never be taken back. Yes, you can apologize which is very often appropriate, but the sting and memory remains. The tongue frequently is not such a wonderful thing and too often very dangerous…

James 3:5, 6 “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles| and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course
of nature.”

Prov 10:19, 20 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;”

I all too frequently relate well to the sticking of one’s foot in the mouth syndrome….

The solution….

Prov 21:23 “Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

There is one big helper in our effort to keep our feet out of our mouths. Here is the revealing question for you this morning. Do you spend more time listening than talking? God would have us to be better listeners than speakers which is why we have two ears and one mouth. It’s never too late to change….LISTEN to this!

James 1:19 “Finally my brethren let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.”

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Two Edged Sword…

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Two Edged Sword…

Wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day or an hour?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?

What if it is the only book God authored and the only one He protects so man cannot distort it?

What if it is the one source of Absolute truths that do not change down through the ages?

What if it contains all the answers to my problems?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being out of date or disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities and do they line up with God’s word to me?

Mal 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I do not change…”

And – NO DROPPED CALLS OR IGNORED TEXT MESSAGES!

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.”

So, when was the last time you truly searched God’s word………………………? Today is the perfect time to start or restart!!!

No Greater Love…

No Greater Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Military blogger L.T. Smash recounts a televised vignette that requires no further comment:

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his cell to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request nodded his head, and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded without a moment’s hesitation “Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call theparents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing.”

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was “Where do they get young men like this?”

A true display of God’s love. The ultimate example is;

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

The Vine and the Branches…How to Survive the Day…

John 15:5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
The Vine and the Branches…How to Survive the Day….

A question for you this morning. Do you see yourself as requiring nourishment to survive the day? And typically the days are evil or offer the opportunity to be so. Of course our mind immediately moves to food when you here such a question. But, did you know there are more than one vital piece of nourishment needed to sustain us throughout our day in our world? The body and nourishment is easy and natural for us to focus on. I eat and hopefully it is some foods that are nourishing as well as good tasting. Then there is the other vital nourishment, the spiritual side of us. Scripture gives us the picture of ‘born again’ believers being the branches requiring nourishment from the vine (God) to survive and more importantly to please God with our lives. We choose daily which level of physical and spiritual nourishment will support us throughout the day. Which level did you start with this morning? Did you have a spiritual breakfast before going into the world?
Broad rivers and streams produce fertility, and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to his Church. Having God she has abundance. What can she ask for that he will not give her? What want can she mention which he will not supply? “In this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things.” Want ye the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Want ye refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ. If you suffer any want it is your own fault; if you are straitened you are not straitened in him, but in your own bowels. Broad rivers and streams also point to commerce. Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have commerce with the past; the wealth of Calvary, the treasures of the covenant, the riches of the ancient days of election, the stores of eternity, all come to us down the broad stream of our gracious Lord. We have commerce, too, with the future. What galleys, laden to the water’s edge, come to us from the millennium! What visions we have of the days of heaven upon earth! Through our glorious Lord we have commerce with angels; communion with the bright spirits washed in blood, who sing before the throne; nay, better still, we have fellowship with the Infinite One. Broad rivers and streams are specially intended to set forth the idea of security. Rivers were of old a defense. Oh! beloved, what a defense is God to his Church! The devil cannot cross this broad river of God. How he wishes he could turn the current, but fear not, for God abides immutably the same. Satan may worry, but he cannot destroy us; no galley with oars shall invade our river, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

(–C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, Devotion for 11/24/09).

John 15:1-4 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship…

Exodus 20:2a-6 “I am the Lord your God…

  • “You shall have no other gods before
  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
  • At the end of this challenge there is a quiz, be sure to take it!

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship….

When you hear of someone worshipping an Idol you usually picture some statue with people praying to it and even making offerings to it. So when you are asked if you worship idols you immediately think that you are not in with those folks.  You see yourself as being good at least on the first two commandments of God to us having to do with idol worship. If we truly are keeping the first two then the other eight noted below should be easy. But if you are breaking the first two then the next eight are usually a product of that sin of idolatry. Look at them and you will see that if you are worshipping anything, person or statue and not worshipping God then breaking the other eight is easy.

  • “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
  • “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  • “You shall not murder.
  • “You shall not commit adultery.
  • “You shall not steal.
  • “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

So, the real question is whether idolatry is simply the worship of some statue or can it be the worship of other items or people including self. A preacher some 300 years ago gave the following list of 7 questions as a test to folks to see if they were worshipping idols. When you read it you will see that our nature or humanity is the same today as it was then so the test is as relevant today as it was then. Technology may change and do so rapidly but the human nature that Adan and Eve had is no different than what we have today. I have added the verses that help me on each question and hopefully you also.

  1. What are you most disappointed with right now?
    1. Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  2. What do you sacrifice your time and money for?
    1. Mat 6:21 “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
  3. What do you worry about? What scares you?
    1. 2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
  4. Where do you go when you hurt?
    1. Mat 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  5. What makes you mad? The following is an example of righteous anger…..
    1. Mark 11:15 “So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”
  6. What brings you the most joy?
    1. Romans 14:17-19 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
  7. Whose applause do you long for?
    1. 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

 

So, how did you do on the quiz? And if you did not like some of your answers what are you going to do about it?

 

I John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

 

It’s never too late to change your worship patterns.

 

Heb 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Discipline, Yes or No…

Discipline, Yes or No…

First it is very important to recognize that discipline is for both the children and adults. I grew up in an age that started the revolt against disciplining a child with the thought process that it would hinder their mental, emotional and creativity development. So, the big question would be is discipline a directive of God or one from mankind to maintain a level of control that an individual desires. And of course, if it ok, then what is the frame of mind needed so that it is simply not one of anger.

How do you react when you are disciplined by God? Or do we even recognize when God is disciplining us. Our world would teach us that disciple is wrong and even unlawful. Can that possibly be true. Most importantly remember who is the god, small g, that pushes logic that differs from our One True God (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”)

As with all topics in life the Bible holds the answer. The scriptures we have are as relevant today as they were when God first introduced them through Godly men and their life experiences (II Tim 3:16, 7& II Pet 1:20,21) a couple of thousand years ago. The scriptures hold absolute truths. The enemy would have you believe that the scriptures are history books and not life changing truths sent from God. Or that down through the ages some truths change. But fortunately for us God’s truths are never changing (Mat 5:18, Malachi 3:6) and are life changing if we allow them to be. Yes, I know there are many who do not believe in discipline, but God does. Listen to what He says about discipline for children and for adults;

 Heb 12:4-8 “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 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 sons; for what son is there whom His father does not discipline.”

 Proverbs 15:10 “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.”

Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,”

 Proverbs 5:23 “For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

 Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

 Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”

 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.”

No discipline from God means you are not one of His sons or daughters…

Hebrews 12:9 “But if you are without discipline of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons”

The discipline of God can draw you to Him to be saved or if already saved it is a part of the spiritual maturing process, so we can grow spiritually and glorify His name.

Discipline while biblical must happen out of love and not out of anger.

Hebrews 12:6 “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

If we will but allow it to teach us……

Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Directions for Living Your Life…

All of us need improvement in our lives. Check out the following to see which will piece of advice best meets your needs.

James 1:2,3 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is
like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself,

goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. “

Directions for Living Your Life…

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
    2. Memorize your favorite verse(s) of scripture.
    3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want. Check things out with scripture and run from those that do not line up with God’s word.
    4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
    5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye and also mean it.
    6. Believe in Jesus and be a part of His work on this earth before He returns a 2nd time.
    7. Believe in love God’s way.
    8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
    9. Love deeply and passionately and do it unconditionally as God does.
    10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. Not even fighting may be the best solution. Listen much more than talking.
    11. Don’t judge people by their relatives or your values. Or by what you perceive their motives to be. If scripture does clearly ID that it is wrong, maybe you are the one with the log in your eye.
    12. Talk slowly. Listen long…………..
    13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and
    ask, “Why do you want to know?” or simply be silent. Lying is never ok.
    14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks.
    15. Call your Mom (and your dad) today. Oh, don’t forget the Grandparents, now that I am one! And maybe twice a day for them, they need it!
    16. Remember as you look into the mirror that Jesus will always love you.
    17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
    18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
    19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. And do not be afraid to say you were wrong.
    21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
    22. Marry the one you love to talk to and is a friend. As you get older,
    the conversational skills will be as important as any other.
    23. Spend much time alone with God so He can direct your path and do it first thing in the morning.
    24. REMEMBER, God’s values do not change over time. His absolutes are for eternity. Only the wisdom of this world changes.
    25. Silence is frequently the best answer.
    26. Read more books and watch less TV. Especially read The Book that God has authored, the Bible.
    27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
    28. Trust in God and lean not upon your own understanding.
    29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
    30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. Don’t go to bed angry.
    31. Don’t read between the lines it almost always is wrong.
    32. Share your faith. It’s a way to achieve immortality and help someone else to do the same.
    33. Be gentle with all.
    34. Pray from the heart and not with repetition. There’s immeasurable power in it.
    35. Never interrupt.
    36. Mind your own business.
    37. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
    38. If you make a lot of money, put it to use as God intends by helping
    others while you are on this earth. Make sure God gets the first fruits and not the last or leftovers.
    39. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes exactly the way God has planned it.
    40. Learn the rules, then keep them. The rules are written in the Book (Bible).
    41. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
    42. Judge your success by what you willingly gave up in order to get it.
    43. Remember that your character is how the world judges you.
    44. Remember that what you did with the knowledge of Jesus as your
    Savior is how God the Father will judge you. John 3:3, 14:6

Now how do you look in the mirror?

James 1:5,6 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”