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.”

Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

Jesus, God for all…

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

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God of concrete, God of steel,
God of piston and of wheel,
God of pylon, God of steam,
God of girder and of beam,
God of atom, God of mine,
All the world of power is Thine!

Lord of cable, Lord of rail,
Lord of motorway and mail,
Lord of rocket, Lord of flight,
Lord of soaring satellite,
Lord of lightning’s livid line,
All the world of speed is Thine!

Lord of science, Lord of art,
God of map and graph and chart,
Lord of physics and research,
Word of Bible, faith of church,
Lord of sequence and design,
All the world of truth is Thine!

God whose glory fills the earth,
Gave the universe its birth,
Loosed the Christ with Easter’s might,
Saves the world from evil’s blight,
Claims mankind by grace divine,
All the world of love is Thine!

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Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou has
formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting,
thou art God.

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.”

Pride goes before Destruction….

Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

I Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

Pride goes before the Destruction…

Pride sounds like a good thing but is very dangerous. Wrongful pride has us depend on self over God. “There is a proud heart in every person. The pride that was in Adam and Eve’s hearts is the same as is in his sons and daughters. That is us. Pride is sin, and from there arises this overinflated and self-controlled opinion of our spiritual state and condition. It is ok to feel good about what God is doing through your life, but it is sin to credit that good to our own abilities and strengths.

Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”

This is the unsaved person’s motto. A proud man has an eye to see his beauty–but not his deformity. He sees his abilities–but not his spots. He sees his seeming righteousness-but not his real wretchedness.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

It is only by God’s work of grace that we see our lack of humility. The haughty eye looks inward–but the humble eye looks upward for strength, and therefore this is the believer’s motto, ‘I am the least of saints–and the greatest of sinners!’

Luke 18:13-14 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner!’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God!”

James 4:14 “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what
is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes
away.”

Slow Down-Lives depend on it!

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73
in a 55 zone. .. Fourth time in as many months.  How could a guy get caught so
often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard.

Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The
cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.  Bob?  Bob from church?

Jack sunk farther into his trench coat.  This was worse than the
coming ticket.  A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church.  A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.

Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man
he’d never seen in uniform.

“Hi, Bob.  Fancy meeting you like this. ““Hello, Jack.” “Oh,   I
guess.” Bob seemed uncertain.  Good. “I’ve seen some long days at the office
lately. I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit-just this once. ”

Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement.  “Diane said something
about roast beef and potatoes tonight.  Know what I mean?”

“I know what you mean.  I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct.”

Ouch.  This was not going in the right direction.  Time to change tactics.

“What’d you clock me at?”

“Seventy-one.  Would you sit back in your car, please?”

“Now wait a minute here, Bob.  I checked as soon as I saw you.
I was barely nudging 65.”  The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.

“Please, Jack, in the car.”
Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door.
Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window.  The minutes ticked by.  Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?  Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again.  A tap on the door jerked his head to the left.

There was Bob, a folded paper in hand.  Jack rolled down the
window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

“Thanks.”  Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.  Bob returned to his car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror.

Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost?

Wait a minute.  What was this? Joke?  Certainly not a ticket….

Jack began to read:

“Dear Jack,
Once upon a time I had a daughter.  She was six when killed by a
car. You guessed it – a speeding driver.  A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters.  All three of them.  I only had one, and I’m going to have to wait until heaven before I can ever hug her again.  A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man.  A thousand times I thought I had.  Maybe I did, but I need to do it again.  Even now.

Pray for me. And be careful.  My son is all I have left………Bob ”

Jack…twisted around in time to see Bob’s car pull away and
head down the road.  Jack watched until it disappeared.  A full 15 minutes later, he, too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.

Life is precious.  Handle with care.

Gen 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

Never Ending Daily Praise…

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Psalm 146:1-10

Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.

When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.

The Lord loves the godly.

The Lord protects the foreigners among us.

He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever.

He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations

Today, as the Psalmist reminds us I encourage you to put trust
and faith in God and in no event, place or person of this world. Then
and only then is there peace………………..

Praise you the Lord….terrorists cannot take that away….

In our world today there is so much sadness. Suicides, murders
of the living and of those in the womb who have yet to experience their
first breath. Terrorism, shootings on school grounds defying explanation
at least from the scholars of this world. The natural disasters seem to
be increasing and the destruction and death from them also. The heroes
in our world of sports, politics, and churches continue to let us down when
their supposedly hidden lives are revealed.

The news media is having a field day. Each and every day they do
not have to search too far to have sensational stories of new tragedies.

So, you say, why give me this to start my day? The Psalm below reminded
me that even when all around us is in peril and maybe even my life is,
there is One beautiful constant……………..

 

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
PRAISE YOU THE LORD!