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.”

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The Empty Chair and Jesus…

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Empty Chair and Jesus:

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her
father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his
head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The
minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. “I
guess you were expecting me,” he said. “No, who are you?” said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I see the empty chair;
I figured you knew I was going to show up.” “Oh yeah, the chair,” said the
bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?” Puzzled, the minister
shut the door. “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said
the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I
used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.”

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day
about four years ago my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a
simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest:
Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see
Jesus on the chair.’ It’s not spooky because He promised, “I’ll be with you
always.” Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right
now.’ “So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of
hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an
empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the
funny farm.” The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the
old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him
and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. “Did he die in
peace?” he asked.”Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called
me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek.

When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there
was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he
leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed.

What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we could all go like that”

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on 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.” 

Serving the Master…

Luke 9:27 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves,
take up their cross daily, and follow Me.”

Serving the Master…

The Master was searching for a vessel to use.
On the shelf there were many,
which one would He choose?

Take me cried the gold one,
I am shiny and bright and of great value
And I do things just right,
my beauty and luster will outshine the rest
and for someone like You Master, I would be best.

The Master passed it with no word at all.
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall.

I’ll serve you Dear Master;
I’ll pour out your wine and be at your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful and my carving so true,
and silver will always compliment you.

Unheeding, the Master passed on the brass,
it was wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.

Here! Here! Cried the vessel,
I know I will do.
Place me on your table for all [men] to view.

Look at me, cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my transparency shows my contents so dear.
Though fragile am I, don’t cross me,
I will serve you with pride,
And I am sure that I will be happy in your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood.
Polished and carved and it solidly stood.

You may use me Dear Master,
The wooden bowl said,
but I’d rather you’d use me for fruit; please no bread.

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had that vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah, this is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find;
I will mend it and use it, and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel with pride in itself,
nor the one so narrow to sit on the shelf.
Not the one who is big mouthed, and shallow and loud,

Nor the one who displays its contents so proud.
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right,
But this plain earthen vessel filled with My power and might.”

Then gently, He lifted the vessel of clay,
mended it and cleansed it and filled it that day.

He spoke to it kindly, “There’s work you must do.
Just pour out to others, and I’ll pour into you.

Most of the first 12 disciples were simple fishermen, not theologians or Bible College professors. That provides me with the confidence that I can be used just as they were for I am as they were, a jar of broken clay requiring my Lord’s shaping. Our Lord never asks us to walk in our own natural strengths and abilities but to walk dependent upon His strength and abilities.  That dependency forces us to our knees which is a wonderful place to be. God then can become our source of wisdom, knowledge and strength. The following verse really helps explain it better than I ever can;

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.”

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
((   ))
O   O
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Till Jesus returns!

How to get Real Freedom…

How to get Real Freedom!

What does it mean to be free and what is freedom. And of course where does Real Freedom and Truth come from? As always, our God gives us the answer. If we will seek it that is…..

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Our world is ever changing, especially the technology portion of it. It is easy for satan to whisper in our ear that values and morals also change from age to age. Those not agreeing are considered old fashion or intolerant bigots or, well you put in the title. Again, as with all topics of eternal significance our God does not leave us without the truth. So where does truth come from and does it change down through the ages like technology?

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Only believe…..

Romans 5:15-16 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if
through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and
the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto
many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification.

John 3:18 “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that
believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the
Name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 16:31 “And he said unto them, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you shall be saved.”

I have a great idea. How about picking up the one book that holds truth and start reading 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.

Freedom is Never Free…

Freedom is Never Free – The aftermath of July 4, 1776

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated.

But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty could be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.

The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.  Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.

These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War.

We didn’t just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted…We shouldn’t.

So, take a couple of minutes and silently thank our Lord for faithful patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid. ..

LET’S ALL REMEMBER THAT FREEDOM IS “NEVER FREE”!!!!

Author unknown.

Beyond national freedom we can all have spiritual freedom from eternal punishment the wages of our sins by receiving the gift that was truly free!!

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