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!

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Coincidence, luck or of God…

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. “

Coincidence, luck or of God…

God knows where you need to be!

Next time your morning seems to be going wrong and the children
are slow getting dressed and you can’t seem to find the car keys and you hit every
traffic light, don’t get mad or frustrated; praise God instead because God is at work
watching over you.

Listen to this account of why we may need a perspective change.  After Sept. 11 … I happened to call a man on business that I didn’t know and have not, nor will ever, talk to again. But this day, he felt like talking.  He was the head of security of a company that had invited the remaining members of a company who had been decimated by the attack on the Twin Towers to share their office space. With his voice full of awe, he told me stories of why these people were
alive and their counterparts were dead ….and all the stories were just ‘little’ things.

As you might know, the head of the company got in late that day
because his son started kindergarten. Another fellow was alive because it was his
turn to bring donuts.
One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.
One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.
One missed his bus.
One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.
One’s car wouldn’t start.
One went back to answer the telephone.
One had a child that dawdled and didn’t get ready as soon as he should have.
One couldn’t get a taxi.
There were other stories that I hope and pray will someday be gathered
and put in a book.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of
shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there,
he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to
answer a ringing telephone …. all the little things that annoy me …I think to myself,
this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little
things and may you remember their possible purpose

As a ‘born again’ believer we are reminded that;

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them
who love the Lord, to them who are called according to His purposes”

And another reminder. Some were in the Towers on that day to be a light
among a dark world to help those needing and wanting last minute help….today
they are with Jesus….

Putting things into the Right Perspective…

I Tim 6:6 “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
***Putting things into the Right Perspective!!!

“Come in,” God said to me,
“So, you would like to interview Me?”

“If you have the time,” I said.

God smiled and said:
“My time is called eternity and is enough to do everything;
What questions do you have in mind to ask me?”
” Probably none that are new to you.

What’s the one thing that surprises you most about mankind?”

God answered:

– That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
– That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
– That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

– That they willing trade fellowship with Me for the pleasures of sin for a moment that bring spiritual and physical death.
– That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…”

God’s hands took mine and we were silent.

After a long period, I said,
“May I ask you another question?”

“As a Parent, what would you ask your children to do?”

God replied with a smile:

– To learn that they cannot make anyone love them.
– The first step is to display My love which is unconditional.”
– To learn that it takes years to build trust, and a few seconds to destroy it.
– To learn that what is most valuable is not the things they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
– To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. There will be others better and worse than they are.
– To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who gives the most.
– To learn that they should control their attitudes, otherwise their attitudes will control them.
– To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
– To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
– To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to show their feelings.
– To learn that money can buy things that will perish but it cannot buy happiness and fulfillment and peace that last for eternity.
– To learn that while at times they may be entitled to be upset, that does not give them the right to upset those around them.
– To learn that great dreams of eternal value do not require inner strength, but they do require My strength to achieve.
– To learn that true friends are scarce, he/she who has found one has found a true treasure.
– To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they forgive others and themselves. Even when you are the offended.
– To learn that they are masters of what they keep to themselves and slaves of what they say.
– To learn that they shall reap what they plant; if they plant gossip they will harvest intrigues, if they plant love they will harvest happiness.
– To learn that happiness is a blessing and a decision. They decide to be happy with what they are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what they lack.
– To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
– To learn that those who are honest with themselves and those around them will be content and at peace regardless of the circumstances.
– To learn that even though they may think they have nothing to give, when a friend cries with them, they find the strength to appease the pain.
– By learning when to hold on to loved ones, and when to let go of those they love, they will be side by side forever.
– To learn that even though the word “love” has many different meanings, it loses value when it is overstated or falsely spoken.
– To learn that they can never do something extraordinary for Me to love them; I simply do.
– To learn that the shortest distance they could be from Me is the distance to their knees.”

Mat 6:33 “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

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.”

Is it well with your Soul…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Is it Well with your Soul…

Maybe it is just my imagination and I hope so, but it seems to me that much of Christianity does not see the persecutions and trials of this world as having merit. Am I wrong and how does my life stack up is the nagging question? I know that in my heart I do not like persecution and trials so if I can avoid them, I will. Then I see scripture that says if there is no objection to my life style by the world then I may be a Christian in hiding. And worse yet, if no trials then I might not be saved. Ouch, that thought process is not one that I wish to pursue.

First I check out my eternal life and find I am confident that I have asked and am trusting in Jesus sacrifice for my sins to be sufficient for my salvation. Nothing can be added from my end (Gal 2:16-21). Then comes the question of how my life as a believer stacks up to His will for me. If I do not change to meet my Savior’s will for my life just what will I hear at the Judgment Seat of Believers. I know my sins are washed away so they will not be on display there but how about my life’s work or lack of work for my Savior after being “born again”?????

The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution in perspective.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And an example from scripture helps us to put trials into perspective.

Paul is one of those examples. As we review his life as recorded in scripture we see that he was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns and the request for God to remove those thorns.  Trials do come to each child of God.

That is a given. How we look at them is not. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).  God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has a purpose for us.  Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did, or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, or “count it all joy” as James records in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.

 

I love this thought from that passage on removing the thorn in II Corinthians. I memorized it so I could have it ready when the difficulties of my life are better understood by listening to my God. Paul accepted God’s answer to his prayer that he requested three times and the answer was.  God’s grace is sufficient; you need that thorn in your life for a much greater purpose and outcome than the immediate fleshly satisfaction of it being removed.

II Cor 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Controlling your Temper…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who
rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Controlling your Temper…

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His
Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he
lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,
the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He
discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper
at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested
that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able
to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell
his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the
fence.  The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in
anger, they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife
in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say
I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.  Friends are
very rare jewels, indeed.  They make you smile and encourage you
to succeed.  They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they
always want to open their hearts to us.”

As with all needs our heavenly Father provides the answer for correcting the problem called anger and also called sin. It goes against our flesh or what part of us feels is the solution. That is because our flesh and the world rebels against God. But to have that peace in our lives that passes worldly understanding we need to implement God’s solutions and deny our fleshly desires. Correcting anger starts here;

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”