Funny how…Where my Treasure is…

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,

Funny how…Where my Treasure is…

Actions truly do speak louder than words.

Funny how a $100 bill “looks” so big when you take it to church, but so
small when you take it to the mall.

Funny how long it takes to serve God for an hour, but how quickly a Team
plays 60 minutes of football.

Funny how long a couple of hours spent at church seems, but how short
they are when watching a movie.

Funny how we can’t think of anything to say when we pray, but don’t have
difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.

Funny how we get thrilled when a baseball game goes into extra innings,
but we complain when serving takes too much of our ‘leisure’ time.

Funny how hard it is to read a chapter in the bible, but how easy it is
to read 100 pages of a bestselling novel or spend hours on the Internet.

Funny how people want to get a front seat at any game or concert, but
scramble to get a back seat at church services.

Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks advance notice to fit a fellowshipping
event into our schedule, but can adjust our schedule for other events at
the last moment.

Funny how hard it is for people to memorize verses to share the gospel with

others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and repeat gossip.

Funny how we believe what the newspaper says, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven but don’t want to listen to the Gospel.

Funny how you can send a thousand ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread
like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord or
from His word, people think twice about sharing.

Mat 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Where is your heart this morning? I doubt there is one out there with myself

included who wasn’t a bit offended by one of those challenges. So…….

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of 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.”

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!”

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!

Tips for Daily Living in the New Year…

Tips for Daily Living in the New Year….

If you want to get the most out of today, try these things:

  1. Focus on your responsibilities, not your rights. It’s an imperfect world and you won’t always be treated fairly. If you want to go far, travel light. Unload your resentments! Scripture says, “. . . you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst . . . “(Phil 4:8)
  2. Associate with positive people. The only difference in what you are now and what you’ll be five years from now is the books you read, the company you keep and most importantly the God you serve. Henry Ford once said, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

What do your friends bring out in you? Solomon said, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Mat 6:33, Prov 13:20)

  1. Make today the best day of your life. When Shirley Temple asked her mother what the happiest moment in her life was, she replied, “Right now.” “But what about the day you were married?”

Shirley asked. Her mum said, “My happiest moment then was then, but my happiest moment now is now. You see, you can live only in the moment you’re in, so to me that’s the happiest moment.” Lasting happiness and contentment comes when you know Jesus as Lord and Savior! So be content and happy!  (Phil 4:11, Isa 52:7)

  1. Present yourself to God’s service. It is the one priority in life with eternal meaning that pleases God. He desires it and I need it. Rom 12:1, 2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” & Heb 12:1, 2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and Finisher of our faith…”

  1. Start each day by reading, praying and meditating on Gods truths for your life. 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So, “How are your morning devotions”?

  1. The best daily tip of all is; seek out the One Who made you, loves you and sent His only begotten Son to restore you…..

(John 3:16, I John 5:11-13)

What great priorities! If His mercies are “new every morning,” (Lam 3:23) and He “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Ps 68:19), then you should get up every day and announce, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

And of course scripture has many more tips for daily living.

If we put #5 into action those tips will reveal themselves.

Happy hunting……….

Protect your Marriage…

Gen. 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be
joined to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”

Protect your Marriage…

* Make sure you develop oneness in your marriage in all areas of the relationship:
* Do not have too many individualized activities. Going in the opposite directions too many days and evenings of the week can take its toll.
* Business associations for community involvement and church are important, but if your schedule is full with individual activities, your marriage relationship will suffer for lack of time together.
* Look for and schedule time for togetherness. If you don’t schedule time together, you probably won’t find much time to spend together. Other things, people and events will crowd into your schedule. When is the last time you? went on a ‘date’ with your spouse?
* Communicate regularly and meaningfully. Marriage combines two busy schedules, and the concerns of the family to produce a relationship that is challenged by the many directional pulls of an active life. You must continually work at communicating in order to maintain a close bond in the midst of busyness.
* Communicating takes time and commitment to really hear the other person. Talk to each other. As the Holy Spirit in James says learn to listen more than speak.
* Resolve differences that arise quickly. Intimacy is easier to destroy than it is to build. Never go to bed mad.
* Ignoring or pretending that differences don’t happen doesn’t resolve them. Give yourself time to grow together in oneness. Deal with your issues.
* Never communicate in a hurtful way. Ask yourself, do my words invite my spouse into my life, or do they push him/her away? If your words have not been full of grace lately, repent to the Lord and to your spouse.
* Never attack your spouse: always attack the issue that is at the root of the problem.
* Speak kindly. Listen long and loudly……..
* Be honest always. Deception never helps and it offends both God and your spouse; it hinders every relationship. Tell the truth in its entirety.
* Never nag. Once you have plainly said something to your spouse, and you know it’s been heard, leave it with your spouse and take it to the Lord.
* Encourage one another.
* Build the confidence of your spouse. When is the last time you complimented your spouse? Which is the same thing you desire.
* Never behave abusively or violently. Abusive behavior is damaging to the spirit and the soul, as well as to the body. The repercussions of abuse will also wound those around you. Get counseling immediately.
* Treat each other in love.
* Never allow yourself to be physically or mentally unfaithful. There is nothing that hurts a marriage more than emotional or literal infidelity.

*The most important one. MAKE JESUS THE HEAD OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR MARRIAGE!

 

Yielding to the temporary illusion of excitement will never be worth the agony you will reap. Forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation can come, but the process can be scarring not only to you, but too many standing nearby.

Mark 10:9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs…

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs

Be Fishers of Men…. You fish, He catches & Cleans ’em.
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A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
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A family altar can alter a family.
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A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
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Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!
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Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
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Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is Awake.
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Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
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Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
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Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
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Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there
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For all you do, His blood’s for you!
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Forbidden fruits create many jams.
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Give God what’s right, not what’s left!
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Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.
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God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
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God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!
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God grades on the cross, not the curve.
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God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts”!
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God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
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Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
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He who angers you controls you!
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He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
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He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
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If God is your Co-pilot – Swap seats!
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In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma, but
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!
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Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
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Man’s way leads to a hopeless end! God’s way leads to an endless hope!
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Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
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Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
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Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it.
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Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
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“Pray” is a four letter word that you can say anywhere except in a public school.
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Prayer -Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty!
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Read The Bible…It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!
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The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
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The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
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This Church is “Prayer Conditioned”!
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To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
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Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
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WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
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Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
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We don’t change the message, the message changes us.
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We set the sail; God makes the wind.
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We’re too blessed to be depressed.
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When God ordains, He sustains.
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Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it.
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Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
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You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”