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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Did they see Jesus or…

Hebrews 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.”

Did they see Jesus or…..

Dr. Harry Ironside used to tell a story about a man who lived in a small country town in England.

One day, he went to London where he would need to stay for several days. He was glad to be there on a Sunday because that gave him opportunity to hear some of the great preachers of that day. Writing home to his wife, he said: “Last Sunday I went to hear Dr. ‘Jones’ and in the evening I went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to hear Charles Spurgeon. I was so greatly impressed by both of them. Dr. Jones is certainly a great preacher, but Mr. Spurgeon has a great Savior.”

So who are people you are impressed with after they have been with you?

Are they impressed with you, or are they impressed with your Jesus? In many ways, that’s the measure of the authenticity and impact of our lives. Who do they see when they are talking with us?

There have been few more brilliant, more gifted men or more dedicated men to walk this planet than the Apostle Paul. But he loved his Savior enough and knew enough about Him that he didn’t want people thinking about him instead of his Savior. He wanted to leave people thinking about Jesus. The Holy Spirit reminds us of that when He had Paul record II Corinthians 4:5. “We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

It’s not about us, folks.
It’s all about Jesus. And that is a relief! We will fail each other but our Lord and Savior will never fail anyone who places their trust and hope in Him.

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth…

Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, 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 anything praiseworthy think on these things.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth!

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Jesus must be number one in your life.
  • Character matters.
  • Family is vital.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
  • The most boring word in any language is “I”.
  • Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
  • Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Listen 90% of the time & speak the other 10%. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
  • Only Jesus can make you eternally happy. Make Him Lord of your life.
  • There’s so much bad in the best of us.
  • Gossip is sin.
  • Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (If He is our Savior)
  • If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
  • Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years. Maybe longer for some of us. I was ‘born again’ at 28…..!
  • The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance. That one I have still not mastered!
  • Television ruins more minds than drugs. Do you suppose satan or many of his army reside in Hollywood?
  • Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than in being right. If you are willing to admit to it!
  • Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth. Even the little white lie is sin.
  • People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
  • A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
  • There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise both spiritually and physically.
  • A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
  • May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral. And may those at your funeral be confident of your new home.
  • Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
  • Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.
  • If you don’t do anything else in life, love God first.

Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

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.”

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.”

The Greatest Pain in Life…

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me…”

The Greatest Pain in Life

The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be ignored.
To lose the person you love so much to another who doesn’t care at all.
To have someone you care about so much throw a party and not tell you about it.
When your favorite person on earth neglects to invite you to his graduation.

To have people think that you don’t care.
The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be forgotten.
To be left in the dust after another’s great achievement.
To never get a call from a friend, just saying “hi”.

When you show someone your innermost thoughts and they laugh.
For friends to always be too busy to console you when you need someone to lift your spirits.

When it seems like the only person who cares about you, is you.
Life is full of pain, but does it ever get better?

Will people ever care about each other, and make time for those who are in need?

Each of us has a part to play in this great show we call life.

Each of us has a duty to mankind to tell our friends we love them.
You will simply be ignored…forgotten…as you have done to others.

*This poem was written by a young girl who committed suicide.
Perhaps if the people surrounding her had shown a little more love,
and had paid more attention to her, her death could have been prevented.

Remember that when going through life, you can’t judge a sad, lonely, or
suicidal person by their facial expression, what comes out of their mouths or even
their actions. You need to get to know each person you come in contact with, cherish
your friendship with them, and show them that you care.

To be a lasting friend you must first receive Jesus, Who is the source of
unconditional love. You then can share with those in need that there is a Friend
available to them that will never forsake or leave them. He was crucified, died and
was buried for their sins and never once turns His back on us. And He is coming again.

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me… In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Have a great day with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus