The Future and Coming Events…

Phil 4:6, 7 “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The Future and Coming Events!

You now find yourself in a traffic jam on a main highway. And of course you are already running late.  (By the way in the book of Daniel it says that our pace will pick up in the latter days.) This is not supposed to happen. A moment ago, you were sailing along the Interstate. Now, as you inch along with hundreds of other cars, there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. As your temperature rises you think about how this could have been avoided. If I had listened to the radio traffic report or if I had noticed the truckers taking off ramps for other routes.

It’s good to have inside information of what’s ahead for our lives, especially if it’s inside information on what’s ahead forever! You know, that eternity issue that is so very hard to visualize. If we only had some solid intelligence on what’s on the other side of the day we die, we’d know what road to take and what road to avoid. Thankfully, God hasn’t left us in the dark about what’s ahead.

In fact, Jesus gave us a dramatic, sobering report from someone who ended up on the wrong road. It’s the story of a beggar named Lazarus, who actually goes to heaven when he dies and a rich man who ends up in hell. Did you know that in scripture Jesus talks more about hell more than He talked about heaven? Maybe because He knows we wouldn’t want to believe it.

In Luke 16, beginning with verse 23, the Bible says, “In hell, where the rich man was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'” The answer in vs. 29-31, “Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, no, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Rather than guessing about what hell may hold we do have scripture to tell enough to hopefully awaken us to think about our eternal destiny and the destiny and friends, family and neighbors around us who may not have heard or accepted the gospel. There are no second chances, no relief if we ignore the gospel, no water to quench the fire. But God never meant for any of us to go there. Hell was prepared for Satan and his demons, but hell is the eternal death penalty for those who defy God and run their own lives. God had every right to just leave us condemned. But instead, because of His awesome love for us, He sent His one and only Son to take that death penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. Jesus experienced hell so we don’t ever have to.

God sends no one to hell. We do that by our choice to accept or reject Jesus and the sacrifice He paid for our sins. If there is one decision or choice where anxiety is appropriate it would that question. Where are you going when you die and based on what?

Don’t risk another day without Jesus as your Saviour.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Matthew 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.”

The 10 Commandments….

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.”

The 10 Commandments….

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 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 automatically in process. And remember that says we can sin with the mind as well as our hands. An example is anger. We can murder with the mind, commit adultery with the mind and sadly so it goes.

  • “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.
  • “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. 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.”
    2. 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.”
  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.”

Who do you Idolize…

I Cor 1:11-13 “For it has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

Who do you Idolize…?

One of the quickest ways to fall away from your walk with the Lord is to put too much emphasis on a man or woman of God. God uses human instruments to plant the seeds of salvation. He uses human instruments to disciple us and help us grow in our faith. He uses human instruments to impact our spiritual lives. In a society that is prone to idolize others, such as entertainers, athletes, and successful people, we tend to elevate our leaders as well; i.e., we tend to place our pastors and Christian leaders on pedestals they don’t belong on. Our eyes must be focused on the Lord, and our emphasis on His Word.

–Dennis & Rauni Higley

The question for this morning is; “who or what is the source of your affections for the blessings & challenges you receive?”

One of the quickest ways to get into spiritual trouble is to start giving credit for things that happen in my life or to those around me to someone other than God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Note the verses above from I Corinthians. The church at Corinth found itself worshipping men rather than our Savior Jesus. If not careful we can fall to the same problem. Think about it for a minute.

When was the last time you gave credit for a powerful message to the speaker? It’s the same as giving the credit for the books of the Bible to the scribes rather than the Author. Did the Holy Spirit author them or was it Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc? The scribes or messengers are blessed in that God allowed them to be used to pass on His truths, but they understand that the message of the scriptures is from God and not from them.

II Peter 1:20, 21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Be extremely careful who you give the credit to for the blessings and challenges of your life. Our God requires our whole being to worship Him and only Him!

Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Do you know Jesus…

Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all you 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 you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Do you know Jesus….

Have you tasted what a daily relationship with Jesus is all about? You say, I know Jesus was born, died and rose again and even know Him as my Savior.  And I attend a Christian Church. But I ask again. Have you tasted what a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is all about?

Subject: Jesus

At one University each year they have what is called “Church Day”. It is a day when all the members of a certain denomination in the area are invited to the school because they want the Church dollars to keep coming in. On this day each one is to bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every “Church Day” the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center, and then eat their lunches outdoors.  One year they invited a popular speaker.

He spoke for two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.

After about 30 seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. “Docta, I got one question,” he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. “Sir …” CRUNCH, MUNCH … “My question is a simple question, “CRUNCH, MUNCH … “Now I ain’t never read them books you read … ” CRUNCH,MUNCH … “and I can’t recite the Scriptures in the original Greek … “CRUNCH, MUNCH … “I don’t know nothin’ about Niebuhr and Heidegger …”CRUNCH, MUNCH … He continued with the apple. “All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate — was it bitter or sweet?”

He paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: “I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven’t tasted your apple.”

The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at the speaker and said calmly, “Neither have you tasted my Jesus.”

The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. He thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.

Have you tasted Jesus? In Psalms 34:8 we read: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” If you have, then rejoice in the hope of the resurrection that your faith in Him brings.

Remember one important thing. God created the Church and we are to use our spiritual gifts first within it and we are to serve Jesus in it. It only becomes a problem when some men turn it into their church versus Jesus church. So do not use this challenge as an excuse to stop fellowshipping. You are needed by your Savior in His Church. Have a great day developing your relationship with Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Heb 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Rom 1:20 “For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made. So men are without excuse.

A City without Walls…

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

A City without Walls!

How is your temper this morning? Do you find yourself saying things that hurt others and then regretting what you said? Many times after you have spouted off you wish you could take those words or that event back but of course you cannot. So, the challenge is, how do I keep from doing it, so I don’t have to try to correct the results? Our tempers are controllable with the right source of strength.

When the stress, pressure and aggravation of the day build up, too many of us become a human volcano and take it out on those around us. Unfortunately it comes naturally. Please do not view that as an excuse. You see, it comes from the flesh and if you are a Born Again believer you have the power to control the flesh. That power is called the Spirit or Holy Spirit and at salvation He comes to live within you. How do I know that? The word of God tells us so. In fact, scripture says if we do not have the Holy Spirit we are not saved.

Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

With the Holy Spirit can I keep from losing my temper? The answer is yes. Our dark side, called the flesh can be controlled. That control comes when I present myself to Jesus as His servant and allow Him to mold and develop me.

I Cor 10:13 “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Does that mean I will never sin again by losing my temper? It may be the devastating things that we say and do when we’re angry, or our selfishness that continually wounds and crushes people, or a sour negativity and bitterness that poisons our life and the lives of people around us. It’s all deadly sin that keeps spewing out of our life while often hurting the people we love most. While we have no excuse for sinning we still are overcome by that flesh at times. Fortunately our God is faithful in forgiving us when we recognize our sins and confess them.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

That daily spiritual battle we fight with our explosive dark side is not new. That same flesh created the first sin and all have that same flesh (Rom 3:23). Jesus is the only one to walk this earth without sin (I Cor 5:21). And fortunately He is the very One that will make intercession for us for our sin. Our need is to recognize it and ask for forgiveness’. The request can only go through one person.

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

That is the good news for today, because the Bible now shows us how to move from despair to deliverance. We can move from that “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me…?” to a sinner cleansed by the blood of Christ.

Jesus wants to bring that victory into your life – to forgive every sinful hurtful thing you’ve ever done and give you a new beginning. He stands ready to actually move into your life and to control what you have never been able to control; to beat what has always beaten you. He’s the Rescuer, reaching for you. Now it’s up to you to reach back and accept His offer.

Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

The Lessons of Life…

Proverbs 4:13 “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

The Lessons of Life…

From Paul Harvey:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your
tongue on a frozen flagpole.

And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing
with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy if they are with at home with Jesus!

May you feel joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.
To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I’m here for you. And if I die before you do, I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.

We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

Psalm 71:17 “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.”

Do you have an Inner Peace…

Phil 4:7 “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Do you have an Inner Peace…
*–*–*–*–*–*

How do you know if you are experiencing inner peace?

See if you have any of these “symptoms”

Do you have….

–An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

–A loss of interest in judging other people.

–A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

–A loss of interest in judging self.

–A loss of interest in conflict.

–A loss of the ability and desire to worry.

–Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

–Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

–Frequent attacks of smiling.

–An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen.

–An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to
extend it.

–And most important. A belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and the knowledge that you will spend eternity with Him.

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Isaiah 52: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'”