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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Learning from the MASTER…

Phil 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Learning from the MASTER…..

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about
fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I (God) want(s) me to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first, the passion fades
and there had better be something else to take
its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.
With Calvary as the supreme example.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
The love of money is the root of ALL evil.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and what
a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you.
It may seem funny, but people you aren’t
related to can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again. Families
aren’t biological.

I’ve learned –
that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive
yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we
become.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your
children, they will eventually get hurt and
you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw
the line between being nice and not hurting
people’s feelings and standing up
for what you believe.
Author unknown.

Learn from the Master!!

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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of lovely,
whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there is
anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Understanding God’d Will for your life…

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

Understanding God’s Will for your life

Do you know the difference between God’s perfect will and His permissive will. If you are like me the answer is, well kind of. The big question is, which one do you desire to have fulfilled in your life. Inside of us is that daily struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh thinks it knows what is best for my life and my emotions typically agree with my flesh. That is a huge caution to me when it comes to identifying just what is God’s will for my life. God reminds me that His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine are and can be very different. That tells me that my logic and feelings are very inadequate for making decisions.

What God knows is best and what He desires for each of His children lines up with His perfect will. When I ask for my will to be done based on how I feel or what I perceive is best for me that drives me to pray for that result and that result only. And to feel that God has not answered my prayer if the answer is not yes. God loves us so much He may allow an answer to prayer that is not in His perfect will. That is called God’s permissive will. The big problem is that when we are out of line with God’s will the end result is always without exception bad for us. Even if it lines up with my desires.

The story of Balaam and Balak is a great example. Balak the King had a problem. He saw how God was blessing His people that He had just taken out of Egypt. That meant doom for many groups of people who were populating the promised land. Balak was scared. He was the King of one of those groups. He heard that Balaam was a man of God and God answered his prayers. So he sent a group to Balaam the Prophet to ask him to come with them and to curse the nation of Israel. Balaam went to God and God told him to not go with them and to not curse Israel. Pretty straight forward. But like us Balaam allowed some things to blind him of God’s will.

When Balak heard the news he sent a 2nd group now including many persons of higher positions to influence Balaam. Balaam went back to God with the same request. In Chapter 22 and 23 of Numbers we read the account. Take special note that God told Balaam he could go along with them which reflects His permissive will. He gave Balaam what he desired but it did not line up with His perfect will which was to not go. That one shakes me because it challenges me on how many times I have multiple requests for the same prayer request. Am I also trying to change God’s will from His perfect will to His permissive will? Listen to the danger is doing so.

It notes in Numbers 22 that God was angry. And we have the same God today that answered Balaam. Balak offered Balaam a great sum of money to do so. That’s where the flesh took off running. Balaam saw a great material blessing at his waiting. The Spirit nudged Balaam with the realization that to do so was out of line with God’s will. And so the struggle was on. Just what would he pray for. God’s perfect will and loose the material rewards and maybe even his life or would he ask God for His will to be done? Balaam by not accepting God’s perfect will almost lost his life. If you read about the next events it was only by God’s grace that Balaam lived. That story of his life shakes me. How many times do I not listen to God and only want to accept what I feel is best for me. And those requests may be leading to disaster!

We do have the perfect example of this struggle given to us by Jesus. The human side of Jesus did not want to go through the torture of the cross. Jesus being the only person to ever walk the earth and never sin also was the only person to walk this earth who never requested anything other than…..

Mat 26:42 “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” ‘

Without Jesus you and I Fail…

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Without Jesus you and I Fail:

Every once in a while, as you’re cruising down the highway, you’ll see a truckload of smashed cars. The steel pancake version. Sometimes you’ll drive by the scrap yard where these Junkers end up, and there you’ll see row after row with stacks of these flattened old vehicles. “Junk,” you say. Today it is, but there was a day when that hunk of steel was someone’s dream come true. It was the new wheels they’d hoped for and saved for, a prize they wouldn’t let anyone touch, now flattened. And oh, the tears when the first scratch or dent arrived.

In a way, a lot of our life’s dreams end up that way. At one time the dream was new and shiny, something we thought would make us happy for a long time. But so many dreams end up letting us down. When first realized we have a sense of there must be more or what comes next. The excitement is over. Having what I wanted turns to restlessness and dissatisfaction and what’s next. A great gain suddenly becomes a great loss. Yesterday’s discovery becomes today’s disappointment. There are at least three ways that yesterday’s dream turns into today’s disappointment. Your dream gets flattened because you never get it, or because you get it and you lose it, or because you get it and find out that it wasn’t the answer you thought it would be. The dreams that do not bring the fulfillment we are seeking are the fleshly ones. Or those that we make without including God.

This cycle of disappointments creates a sort of “un-peace” in our heart. There is a high level of contentment for us to be had but it is beyond the pleasures and desires of our flesh. It requires choices that are unnatural to our flesh and to the world we live in. It comes only after denial of self and places Jesus in the driver’s seat of our lives.

John 6:35: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never thirst”

 Jesus says He can finally satisfy your lifelong heart-hunger.

Without Jesus in our lives and in our decisions making we have a huge void in our lives. We’re missing Him because we run things our way, not His way. That puts an eternal wall between us and Him. Even if you have placed your faith in His sacrifice on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead for your eternal destiny you still can be controlled by the “me first” fleshly problem. Be honest with yourself and ask the question, what and Who is number One in my life.

The Holy Spirit is moving in your heart to move you to serve Jesus vs. self. Jesus desires to end the world of flattened hopes and dreams and give you new purpose for your life. But like salvation He never forces us to draw near to Him. He allows us to make that choice.

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.”

So, how is your presentation this morning………….is it striving to please self or serve Jesus!!!!!!?

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!”

Isaiah 55:1. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money (or your life for that matter) on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to Me and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”
So, are you at peace with God this morning?

Philip. 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

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…………….

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage…

Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage!

That is a wonderful invitation from the lips of God. We all have emotional baggage. It could be you are carrying a lot of pain right now. Maybe you’ve got some crippling issues from your past. Maybe some bad news you got recently or an overload of stress. It could be you carry baggage from a divorce – it could be your own or maybe your parents’ divorce, or from some form of abuse or a bad relationship. Some of us are trying to carry the weight of a serious medical condition, a financial crisis, maybe a family issue.

A friend of mine had some very heavy baggage. One day in a doctor’s office, he heard one of those words we dread – cancer. He has a deadly cancer. He is supposed to have been gone three or four times already. He had ten operations in eight years, but when you talk to him you just can’t believe what he’s gone through, or he is going through. He’s like joyful. He’s positive. He’s interested in how you’re doing. It’s just hard to believe he could be carrying such heavy weight, yet seem so light. He was an encouragement to other patients. That’s what they told him. So his doctor called him in one day and said, “Can you visit some of my other patients? They need what you have.” What does he have? He made that clear the other day. He told me about others that he knows who are falling under the weight of cancer.

Then he just made this simple observation. He said, “They’re trying to handle it without a Savior.” Well that’s the difference for him – the Savior difference – the Jesus difference. He could be the difference for you. Let’s look at the baggage you’re carrying. I wonder if his words describe you, trying to handle it without a Savior. See you were never meant to carry that pain or that burden alone. Jesus says, “Come to me. I want to carry it.” He’s a burden carrier. He knows your pain. He understands it because He’s been here. He’s experienced everything from loneliness, to betrayal, to torture, to dying; and Jesus has dealt with the deadliest baggage of all that we carry; the sin of our lives. Because that will one day keep us out of heaven.

But the Bible says, “He carried our sins in His own body on the tree.” And the day you tell Him that you are trusting in Him to be your own Savior from your own sin, that’s the last day you will ever carry your burden alone. The strong arms of Jesus are reaching out to you right now, and He says, “Let me help you with your baggage. I can handle it. I already bore all the weight of all your sins on my cross. The rest is easy.” The promise of Jesus: “I will give you rest.”

Mat 11:28, 29 “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.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

A Change of Perspective…

Philip. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

A Change of Perspective

1. The best way to get even is to forget…
2. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death…
3. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts…
4. Some folks wear their halos much too tight…
5. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth…
6. Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, then perhaps giving “advice” to God isn’t such a good idea!
7. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up…
8. Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.
9. Words are windows to the heart.
10. A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it’s a forgery.
11. It isn’t difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill just add a little dirt.
12. A successful marriage isn’t finding the right person- It’s BEING the right person.
13. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
14. Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
15. The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
16. To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you.
17. You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
18. It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. You’ll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.                                                                                                                                                     20. And last but not least-God gave the angels wings, and He gave humans CHOCOLATE.

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.”