Hell and your E-mail Address…Caution…

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “

Hell and your E-mail Address …Caution…

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.

Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been “called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor.

The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I’ve Arrived!

I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

That’s the humor for the day.

Now back to reality. Hell is real. Never forget that. And of course, there is someone who would wish that we did.

Prov  27:21a “Hell and destruction are never full…”

 Rev 20:14,15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

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The Power of a Godly Life…

James 2:2-4 “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place’, and say to the poor man, ‘You stand here’; or ‘Sit here at my footstool’, have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

The Power of a Godly Life…

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, shorts and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a “Born Again” Christian, while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a very conservative church with a lot of the elite, well dressed individuals of the city attending the church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go to this church. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt and wild hair. The service has already started, and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit; and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!).

By now the people are really uptight and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon a very Godly man is in his eighties has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit.

He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the older man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent, except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

The elderly man drops his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and starts to worship with him so that he won’t be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.”

1 Cor. 9:19-22 “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some.”

Have a blessed day in the service of the King and remember you truly are in His service if you want to be and your life can make a difference.

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.”

The Slow Dance of Life…

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

The Slow Dance of Life…

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask “How are you?”
do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste,
not see his or her sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time
to call and say, “Hi”?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift…. Thrown away…

Most important of all

Have you ever talked with the One who created all….?

Have you ever met His Son who gave His life so that you might live eternally with Him?

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.”

Do take it slower
Hear the music before this life’s song is over.
Running the race with an eternal perspective solves all of our problems
and eliminates or reduces the stress to manageable levels.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

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

God’s will for your Life…

II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ…”

 God’s will for your Life….

A new Christian was walking with a more mature friend in a garden one
day and feeling a bit insecure about God’s will for his life, he inquired what
he should do.  His friend walked up to a rosebush, handed him a rosebud,
and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The new Christian looked in disbelief at his friend and tried to figure out
what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the
WILL OF GOD for his life But because of his high respect for his friend
proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact…It
wasn’t long before he realized how impossible it was to do so.

Noticing the younger Christian’s inability to unfold the rosebud while
keeping it intact, his friend began to recite the following poem…

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of GOD’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
when in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of GOD’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading
each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
only my Heavenly Father knows.
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose.

How strong is your faith this morning????????? I know mine is being
developed daily by my Savior, Jesus. Good thing, for by myself I would
fail miserably.

II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ to Him be the glory both now and forever, amen.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

James 2:17 “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, it is dead.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd, is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He or she may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he/she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love… live.

Chained by his or her attitudes, he or she is a slave, He or she forfeited freedom, and only a person who risks is free!!!

So how about taking a risk today?

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye 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.”