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.

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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.”

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.”

Who do I Serve…

Who do I Serve?

Each of us whether knowingly or not places a god or God in front of us daily. While our world teaches that all religions lead to God that is not what the Bible teaches. Someday each of us will give account of our choices. Did we choose self, a false religion or did we choose Jesus? This morning the question is, who will I follow? Our time is short because Jesus is coming back a second time……………….! Are you ready?

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.”

There is only ONE God and ONE Savior||

Isa 45:21, 22 ” There is no God other than Me; A just God and a
Savior; There is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be saved, all ends of
the earth: For I am God and there is none else.”

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other
name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be
saved.”

Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith
who for the joy that was set before, endured the cross, despising the
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The following is one of my favorite verses and it applies to you and I today just as it did to the nation of Israel when God the Holy Spirit had it spoken and recorded for our benefit.

Have a great day either finding Jesus or serving Jesus!!!!!!!!!

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Does your Life have Purpose…

Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

To what purpose are you called?
To what purpose are you working towards?

Does your Life have Purpose…

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
“Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold,
silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving
and everyone would see the beauty.”

Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I
will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of
the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
hull.”

Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the
hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and
how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time
and people will always remember me.”

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true,
a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree
he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to
sell the wood to a carpenter” … and he began cutting it down. The tree
was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a
treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong
tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard “The second tree was
happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When
the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because
he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of
the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree so I’ll
take this one”, and he cut it down.”

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into
a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with
hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut
and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship
and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large
pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees
forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and women came to the barn. She gave birth
and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from
the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the
baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the
importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure
of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they
were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it
was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man,
and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the
tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally,
someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets
as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.

When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and
raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.
When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to
stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible,
because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place
your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got
what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always
know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our
ways, but His ways are always best.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

Matthew 4:18-22 “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee,
saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his
brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he
saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of
men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with
Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

The Power to Save…

Isaiah 55:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him.”

The Power to Save…

A basketball in my hands is worth about $30.

A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.

It depends whose hands it’s in.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.

A baseball in Stan Musial’s hands is worth millions.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.

A tennis racket in Pete Sampras’ hands is a Wimbledon Championship.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.

A rod in Moses’ hands by God’s strength parted the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.

A sling shot in David’s hand by God’s strength was a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish
sandwiches.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousand men and their families.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Nails and wood in my hands might produce a birdhouse.

Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will produce salvation for those in our world who trust in His sacrifice for their sins.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Psalm 22:16b “…they pierced My hands and My feet.”

Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”