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 you had never placed your faith in Jesus as your 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.”

Jesus is coming a 2nd time…

Jesus is coming a 2nd time!

Did you know that we are in the last times or last days?  You say, what does that mean and are you one of those doom day people? It has to do with the two times that Jesus will come to our earth. Jesus came the first time to pay the sacrifice for our sins so we have the opportunity to accept Him as Lord and Savior and restore that broken fellowship with God.  His 2nd coming will put an end to sin and death as this world knows it and…….

We are now 2000 years closer to His second coming.

What a thought!!!! Yes, we have friends and family that are unsaved or who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior so this day should take on even more urgency!

Heb 1:1, 2a “God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…”

Jesus, name above all names! He alone is worthy!!!!!!!!!!

He is able to reveal and perform the events of the last days|

Rev 5:2, 3&9 “Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose the seals?’ And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God BY YOUR BLOOD out of every tribe and tongue and nation.’ “

Have you been  ‘born again’? Are you walking in His power? Have you shared the Gospel with the lost all around you or even just one?

Col 1:13, 14 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of His love, in whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins.”

Today would be a good day for us to awake to God’s will for our lives!

The Blessing in the Answer of, NO…

Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.”
 The Blessing in the answer of “NO”

I asked God to take away my pride.
God said “No”.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said “No”.
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said “No”.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said “No”.
I give you blessings; happiness and contentment are up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said “No”.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said “No”.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said “No”.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said… Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!

___________________________________________________________

What if,
GOD couldn’t take the time to bless us today because we couldn’t take the
time to thank HIM yesterday?

What if,
GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn’t follow HIM today?

What if,
We never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?

What if,
GOD didn’t walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?

What if,
GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?

What if,
GOD didn’t send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be
prepared to pay the price for sin?

What if,
The door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?

What if,
GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?

What if,
GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him yesterday?

What if,
GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?

What if,
GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

What if, we fail to understand the meaning of this message?
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.”

Christianity as your Hobby…

Mat 4:19, 20 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”
Christianity may be your Hobby!

Christianity as your Hobby!

“If the way you live your life as a Christian can be explained in terms of you, what have you to offer to the man who lives next door?

The way he lives his life can be explained in terms of him, and as far as he is concerned, you happen to be “religious”–but he is not! Christianity may be your hobby, but it is not his, and there is nothing about the way that you practice it which strikes him as at all remarkable.

There is nothing about you which leaves him guessing, and nothing commendable of which he does not feel himself equally capable without the inconvenience of becoming a Christian.

–Major Ian Thomas

So, do you see yourself this morning as a messenger of the Gospel to a lost world? Be honest with yourself. I many times have to answer no to that question when I am being brutally honest with myself. It is much easier to leave the witnessing to the “full time” workers and to those with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist. That provides me with an out. Or so I think.

The problem with that is that Jesus has work for everyone in His church to do. One of those responsibilities is to be a witness who does so verbally. Somehow we feel that if we do not have the spiritual gift of evangelist or are not a full time church servant we are not obligated to be witnesses. That simply is not true. The spiritual gift of giving gives us the perfect example. All are to give to the financial work of Jesus church but some will have a much greater burden and responsibility to do so. But again all are accountable to do so. Witnessing or evangelism is the same. All “born again” believers have the responsibility to do so which takes away any excuse I try to use.

When I challenge myself with the knowledge that Jesus expects me to do so and I will someday give account of myself to my Savior I can only say, Lord please strengthen and use me for the purpose you have for me. So prayerfully CHRISTianity is not my hobby but my life.

Mat 28:19a “Go you therefore and make disciples of all nations….”

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.”

John 3:16…What does it mean…

John 3:16″For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son …”

John 3:16…What does it mean…

In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was
setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner. People were in and out of the cold.  The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers.

A policeman walked up to him and said, “You wouldn’t
happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep
tonight would you? I’ve heard you sleep in a box up around the corner
there and down the alley and its awful cold in there, especially at night.
You need a warm place to stay.” “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16 and they will let
you in.”

So he did, he walked up the steps to the door and knocked on
the door and a lady answered. He looked up and said, “John 3:16.”
The lady said “Come on in, Son.” She took him in and she sat him down
in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace and
she went off.  He sat there for a while, and thought to himself
“John 3:16….  I don’t   understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy
warm.”   Later she came back and asked him

“Are you hungry?”  He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t
eaten in a couple of days and I guess I could stand a little bit of
food.”  The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more.
Then he thought to himself “John 3:16… Boy, I sure don’t understand
it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled
with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked,
he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I sure don’t understand it, but
it sure makes a dirty boy clean.

You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life.
The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old
fire hydrant as they flushed it out.” The lady came in and got him,
and took him to a room and tucked him into a big old feather bed and
pulled the covers up around his neck and kissed him goodnight and
turned out the lights.

As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the
snow coming down on that cold night he thought to himself, “John 3:16…
I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy rested.”

The next morning she came back up and took him down again to that
same big table full of food. After he ate she took him back to that
same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and she took
a big old Bible and sat down in front of him and she looked up at and
she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?”

He said, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was
last night when the policeman told me to use it.”   She opened the Bible
to John 3:16 and she began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there
in front of that big old fireplace he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

He sat there and thought, “John 3:16. I don’t understand it, but it
but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”  You know, I have to confess I
don’t understand it either, how God would be willing to send His Son to
die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing.

I don’t understand it either, but it sure does make life worth living.

Author Unknown

John 3:16-18 “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.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the
world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Good Humor and the Atheist….

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”

Good Humor and the Atheist

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the “accident of evolution” had created.

What majestic trees!

What powerful rivers!

What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

As he walked alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. As he turned to look, he saw a 7 foot grizzly charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw the bear closing in on him. He tried to run even faster, so scared that tears were coming to his eyes. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically as he tried to run even faster, but he tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up and saw the bear right on top of him raising his paw to kill him.

At that instant he cried out “God, please help!”

Just then, time stopped… The bear froze; the forest was silent; the river even stopped moving.  A bright light shone upon the man, and a voice came out of the sky saying…

“You deny my existence all of these years; teach others I don’t exist; even credit my creation to a cosmic accident, and now do you desire me to help you out of this predicament?

Am I to count you as a believer?”

The atheist, ever so proud, looked into the light and said… “It would be rather hypocritical to ask to be a Christian after all these years, but could you make the bear a Christian?”
“Very well,” said the voice.

As the light went out, the river ran, and the sounds of the forest continued, the bear put his paw down. The bear then brought both paws together… bowed his head and said… “Lord, I thank you for this food, which I am about to receive.”

Yes we all know that animals are neither believers or unbelievers but for the sake of some good humor it works.

An interesting truth is that inside of us all is a yearning for God. The atheist is just more open about his rebellion. Most attend a church but never serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!

The question to ask is, where do I stand???

Rev 20:15 “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” 

Gen 2:7 “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”