It is all about your Perspective…

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

It is all about your Perspective…

A little girl walked daily to and from school. Though the
weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made
her daily trek to the elementary school.

As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with
thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that
her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she
herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword,
would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into
her car and drove along the route to her child’s school.

As she did so she saw her little girl walking along, but at each
flash of lightning, the child would stop, look and smile. Another and
another followed quickly, each with the little girl stopping, looking at
the streak of light and smiling.

Finally, the mother called her over to the car and asked, “What
are you doing?” The child answered, “God just keeps taking pictures of me.”

“And a little child shall lead them…”

That story is a great lead in for truths from God’s word. It reminds us that

God desires pure and unquestioning faith for us to first be ‘born again’ and then

to please Him during our walk as CHRISTians. The faith like little children display.

Here is the test. For that need you have this morning, what or Who are you trusting to fill it?

Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

 

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.

 

Hebrews 10:38 “But my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrinks back, my soul hath no pleasure in him.”

Change is Not always Good…

II Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Change is not always Good…

One evening a boy was talking to his Great-grandfather about current events.
He asked him what he thought about the shootings at schools, the
computer age, and just things in general. His Granddad replied,
“Well, let me think a minute.”

“I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods,
Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, the computer and the pill. There weren’t things like radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens.”

“Mankind had not invented dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets,
air conditioners, and he hadn’t walked on the moon.
“Your grandma and I got married first — then lived together as God designed it.”

“Every family had a father and a mother, and most boys over 14 had a rifle that their dad taught them how to use and respect. Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, ‘Sir’ — and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, ‘Sir.'” I opened doors for ladies so they felt respected.
“In our time, closets were for clothes – not for ‘coming out of.'”

“Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need, and just visiting with family or neighbors. We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy care.
“Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and
common sense.”

“We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Although like today, we frequently did not.”

“Serving your country was a privilege; living here was a bigger
privilege and responsibility.”

“We thought fast food was what people ate too quickly at the table.”

“Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.”

“Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening
breeze started.”

“Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and
weekends — not in condominiums once a year.”

“We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, computers, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.”

“We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on radio’

“I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to the Supremes.”

“If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan’ on it, it was junk.”

“Nothing was imported from China.”

“The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam.”

“Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Walmart and instant coffee were unheard of.”

“5 and 10-cent stores were where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.”

“Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.”

“And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on
enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.”

“You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too
bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.”

“In my day, ‘grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was a cold drink, ‘pot’ was
something your mother cooked in, and ‘rock music’ was grandma’s lullaby.”

“‘Aids’ were helpers in the Principal’s office, ‘chip’ meant a piece of wood, ‘hardware” was found in a hardware store, and ‘software’ wasn’t even a word.”

“And my generation that was so dumb as to think a lady needed a husband to have a baby and was special enough to open the door for.”

“No wonder people call us old and confused and say there is such a generation gap.”

“And I’m only 87 years old.”
With “Age” comes progress. Some good and some ugly. Be careful not to adopt them all!

Ecc 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Some things/values should NOT change AND ARE GOOD.

Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I change not …”

So, yes there are absolutes in this world and they are all recorded and protected for our benefit.

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.”

A CHRISTmas Moment…

Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and
beware of covetousness: for a man’s life does not consist
in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”

A CHRISTmas Moment…

Getting mauled at the mall, getting paralyzed in traffic,
overheating your credit card. Christmas can sure make
you tired of shopping. Especially if you can’t find what
you’re looking for.  It’s a feeling that’s not unique to
Christmas – many of us are tired of shopping for what will
fill the hole in our heart.

We look for it one relationship after another, one
conquest after another, one experience after another.
There’s this persistent whisper in our heart – “Something’s
missing.” Actually, the something is Someone. That first
Christmas, the wise men’s long search ended when, as
the Bible says, “They bowed down and worshiped Jesus.”
(Matthew 2:11) That’s where your search will end, too.

The Bible says we were “created by Christ and for Christ”
(Colossians 1:16) – which means the hole in your heart is there
until you have Christ. No amount of buying and receiving will fill it.

It took Jesus’ awful persecution and death on the cross to
pay for the sin that’s separated us from God. But now His
love, His peace, His meaning for your life is within your
reach – if you’ll just, “Call upon the Lord for forgiveness.”

You’ve shopped long enough. Come on home.

Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you shall be saved, and your house.”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

John 3:16 “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.”

Christ was and is Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Jesus was and is Love…

Each December I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations: extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet I still found myself exhausted, unable to fully appreciate the precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s Winter Pageant. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher who assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise. So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early and found a seat in the cafeteria. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment, songs about reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and good cheer. So when my son’s class rose to sing “Christmas Love” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, who were adorned in fuzzy mittens and red sweaters, with bright stocking caps on their heads. Those in the front row, center stage, held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing “C is for Christmas” a child would hold up the letter “C.” Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly we noticed her, a small, quiet girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down. She was unaware that reversed, her letter “M” appeared as a “W.”

The audience of first- through sixth-graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, and she stood tall, proudly holding her “W.”

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience, and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our festivities.

When the last letter was held high, the message read clear:

“CHRISTWAS LOVE” (“CHRIST WAS AND IS LOVE”)

AMEN…………………

– Author Unknown

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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 everlasting life.”

Jesus and the Birthday Party…

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus and the Birthday Party….

Amid all the amusement and theme parks clustered in Orlando, Florida, there’s one that is pretty distinctive. It’s a Holy Land theme park that attempts to bring some of the scenes and the stories of the Bible to life. Our daughter and son-in-law were there not long ago with our two grandsons. And the kids, who are pretty up on their Bible stories, really enjoyed walking through those stories and meeting some of the characters (actually, people portraying some of those characters). The one that impressed our then two-year-old grandson the most was Jesus. A man portraying Jesus stood in the middle of the small crowd and He spoke some of the very stories that Jesus told in the Bible. But then came the moment our little guy will not soon forget. Jesus came over and picked Him up, just like Jesus did with the children when He was here. The next day Mom and our little guy were talking about his upcoming third birthday party, and suddenly out of the blue, he said, “I want Jesus at my birthday party.”

That’s a great idea: Jesus at your birthday party. Talk about a guest of honor! Actually, when it comes to the most important birthday of all, there’s no physical or spiritual birthday without Jesus. And if there’s no spiritual birthday, there’s no life. Eternal life, that is. The most important birthday of all is the day you get born into God’s family. You say, “Isn’t everyone God’s child?” Not unless they’ve been born spiritually into the family of the Heavenly Father. They’re His creation, but they’re only His child by birth.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Obviously, Birth One was the day you were born into your parents’ family. No birthday, no life. Jesus is talking here about Birth Two – the day you actually begin to belong to God. No spiritual birthday, no eternal life. Without being “born again” Jesus said you cannot enter God’s heaven. Because heaven is only for family – God’s family. Anyone can be in God’s family, no matter what their religion or their background, but not everyone is, because they’ve never been born again. In fact according to Mat 7:13, 14 most will never enter God’s family.

Mat 7:13,14 “Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

So how does one have that spiritual birthday?

Recognize you are a sinner and what the consequences to sin are and your need for a Savior.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

It’s all about what you do with Jesus. Why? Because the only way to be in God’s family is to take care of what keeps you from being one of His kids, and that’s called sin. He’s an all-holy, totally perfect God. You and I have turned our back on Him by sinning. Even with a lot of religion in our lives to give us a sense of being okay we are destined to eternal death. You see, only those who are ‘born again’ have eternal life. Being religious is called false security. We’ve used the mouth He gave us to hurt people, to lie and to swear. We’ve used the hands and eyes and ears He gave us to touch and explore what we never should have touched. We’ve hurt most the people we love most, we’ve lusted, we’ve boasted and we’ve been selfish. All that sin has to be paid for, but Jesus died as our substitute paying for it.

Jesus is the only One who can forgive your sin, because He’s the only One who died for it and then rose again to prove He can. He’s the only One who can get you into heaven. Sin requires a pure sacrifice to wash it away and Jesus is the only One who could be that sacrifice.

But you need a birthday – a definite beginning with Him. If you don’t have that, you have no chance of being God’s child. There is only One who can be that Mediator between God the Father and sinners.

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

Have you missed your spiritual birthday? Which only comes the day you “believe in” Jesus; which means welcoming Him into your life with total trust in Him for forgiveness of your sins? If you’ve done that, you know you have been ‘born again’. If you don’t know, you probably haven’t. But you can this very day. Just ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and believe on Him.

Today’s date could become the most important day of your life if you make it your Jesus-day – your birthday. The day you receive the most awesome, most expensive birthday present of all – eternal life paid for with the life of God’s Son.

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Election Day Perspective…

Today is election day. I will vote for the candidate(s) who best lines up with God’s values and truths found in His word and sometimes it comes down to one issue. The important thing to remember is that our God is sovereign and allows or places into power those needing to be there for this moment in time in our world’s history. While that is comforting my responsibility remains the same.

Romans 13:1,2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

Perspective

I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here is a “True/False” test.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King!

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order – (1) the Kingdom of God , (2) my Family, (3) Jesus Church and everything else after that………

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our families will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be sharing the biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, “Jesus Is Lord” will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, I will pray for them.

And the directive for our CHRISTian lives remains the same….

Mat 28:19,20 “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve;”

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Looking unto self, the author and finisher of my destiny, who for the pleasure set before me, I empowered myself, despising all those who disagree with me and I sit on my throne with confidence and pride.

“God created man in His image and man returned the favor.”

But as scripture says, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Especially as God sees it because that is the only truth that counts. Man left to himself is…

Rom 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as unclean things, and all our
rightlessness’s are like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities,
like the wind have taken us away.”

You may want to delete this challenge because of the tone so far but be careful. God never tells us an untruth, so we must view all of God’s truths as just that and ask, how does this apply to me. It is tough thing to see yourself as God sees you but vital.

The good thing is that all is not lost. The fellowship with God that sin (iniquities) destroys can be restored.

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

John 5:11, 12 “And this is the record; that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

So, what should be my Manifesto? The Biblical Christian Manifesto as given by our God is;

Hebrews 12:2 “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.”

It cannot be said strong enough. Either my joy and reason for living is centered on self and the philosophies of men (religion), or on Jesus. Why else would Jesus say; “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me” and, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father, but by Me”. In our world would view that is being ‘narrow minded’ and bigoted. And as long as it is from God, I am ok with being viewed that way. How about you? Let’s be salt and light today and not just one of the crowd.

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.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me! The choice on who and what I will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Have a great day following the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!!!!!!!!