Cell Phone vs. the Bible…

Mat 11:28, 29 “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. “

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Cell phone vs. the Bible

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?

What if we used it for direction in our lives?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing.
Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think where my priorities are? And no dropped calls!

A couple of final wonderful thoughts;

  • God and His word never change so there is no updating to the latest version!!!!
  • God is the Author so we can totally trust it. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter etc were the scribes!

Mal 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob”

2 Timothy 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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

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Choose you this day…

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”

Choose you this day….

When many folks use their kitchen sink, they may notice this little
contraption attached to the faucet. It’s called a water filter. Before
the water arrives in your glass or container, it has to pass through
that filter. Or we drink water from our refrigerator door which is also
filtered. Or we pay for water in the bottle that is filtered. We hate
surprises in our H2O.  When replacing one of those filters we are amazed
at the particles that we would never unknowingly drink.  The filter
screened out of our drinking water this layer of dirty stuff. We didn’t
even want to think about that going into my body. Let’s hear it for
filters!

Did you know that a lot of people spiritually drink dirt. They do it
mentally by letting a lot of things that are spiritually and morally
impure pour right into their soul as unfiltered input. And if you belong
to Jesus Christ, the dirt is rushing into what the Bible describes as
the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). That temple is
you. God literally lives in those who are ‘born again’. And dirty stuff
should never defile His temple. And of course don’t forget the lie the
enemy fills us with that it is ok for the adults to view or listen to
certain programs as long as we protect the children. Why would we
protect our children and knowingly allow filth into our lives?

God clearly commands us to filter what’s coming into our lives and
He never says to just filter it for the children. Actually the opposite
is true. We as the adult parent teachers need to filter the things going
into our minds so we can be the example we are supposed to be to the
children. They are very good at picking up both our good and bad
(sinful) habits.  Too often we do not have a spiritual filter for what we
see and hear. Or we have a pretty wide screen on that filter; one porous
enough to let in a lot that has no place in a heart or a mind that’s
owned by Jesus and inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God.

The following example was given by Ron Hutchcraft. Sometimes it
takes a child to show us “sophisticated” adults how we should be living.
The other day, the teacher was a five-year-old, our grandson, who was
watching a whole new crop of kids’ shows. Captain Kangaroo and Mister
Rogers are long gone; and yes, Big Bird is still flying around Sesame
Street. But now I’m learning about Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, a
tomato named Bob, a cucumber named Larry, a fish named Nemo. Our
grandson, of course, has a few favorites he likes to watch. There’s one
he watches almost every day. But the other day, he walked over to the
television and did something he does not do with this program that he
likes a lot. He turned it off in the middle of the show. The story was
starting to involve some ghost and witch stuff. When Daddy asked our
grandson why he had turned off one of his favorites, he just said, “It
was a bad one, daddy.” The radar of a five-year-old boy in whom Jesus
lives and had been trained by Godly parents. He knew that no matter how
much he liked the show, no matter how many shows they have where there’s nothing bad, when it is bad, it isn’t for him. That’s a model for a
Jesus-follower of any age. But all too often, we watch portrayed, or we
read about, or we listen to something that is part of the very sin that
Jesus died for.

One of the problems with eliminating filth programming is that it
needs to be replaced with something clean and spiritually wholesome to
be lasting. Unless you replace the filth programming you will eventually
become bore or disillusioned and return to them. If you replace them
with clean and wholesome programming your mind will be renewed as
scripture says with Godly themes versus sinful themes. It up to us to
make the choice.

Josh 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.”

II Cor 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

A Still Small Voice… are you Listening…

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”

Still Small Voice…. are you listening….

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of
long-distance communication, a young man applied for a
job as a Morse Code operator.

Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the
office address that was listed. When he arrived, he
entered a large, busy office filled with noise and
clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the
background.

A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job
applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were
summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled
out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants
in the waiting area.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up,
crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and
walked right in.

Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering
what was going on. They muttered among themselves that
they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the
young man who went into the office made a mistake and
would be disqualified.

Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted
the young man out of the office and said to the other
applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming,
but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other,
and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand.
He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance
to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time
you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out
the following message in Morse Code: “If you understand this
message, then come right in. The job is yours.” None of
you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

We live in a world that is full of activity and
clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable
to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks via His
creation, from His Scriptures, or in your life via trials, discipline and                                                                                              of course via the life example of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you tuned in to God’s message? Can you be still and know that

He is God. Do you believe God when He says, “This is my Son,

whom I love . . . Listen to Him!”

Author Unknown

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
My voice AND OPENS the door, I will come in to him and dine
with him, and he with Me.”

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Run for your life…

Yes, we need to run for our spiritual life. How well do you do in fighting temptation? Remember the mind is as guilty of sin as is the flesh!

Mat 5:27, 28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The same applies to anger, jealousy, and envy and on and on. Temptation leads to sin when not dealt with as God instructs us to. Yes, while the word sin does not seem to be in our world’s current dictionary it is as real and painful as it always has been.

Of course, step one is acknowledging there is a battle going on.

Run for your life…..

Guard your mind as much as your body. Sin occurs in the mind as well as our actions.

 Mat 5:28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his mind.”

 Rom 12:2a “And be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Choose your friends wisely.
I Cor 15:33 “Do not be deceived; ‘ Evil company corrupts good habits.’”

Choose what you view wisely.
Psalm 101:3a “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…”

Flee temptation.
I Tim 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

I Cor 6:18a “Flee sexual immorality…”

Practice wholesome (Holy) living.
Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

Fully surrender to Christ.
Mat 16:24 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me.”

 Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Col 2:6,7 “As you have therefore received Jesus Christ the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

By Jesus power and not your own strength you can be successful!!!!

1 Cor. 10:13 “There hath 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 ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Philip. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Purity Before and After Marriage

1 Thes. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication:”

James 1:13-14 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

Purity before and while Married

Notice from I Thes 4:3 that it is God’s will that we keep pure. This is a command not a suggestion we’re dealing with. God says, “I want you to be sanctified,” which means to be kept special – not diminished by sex with anyone but your lifetime partner. He says the way to do that is to “avoid sexual immorality.” In other words, don’t be anywhere near where you could mess this up. II Tim 2:22 tells us to flee temptation activities that can trip us up.

Run for your spiritual life!

And then we are told to keep ourselves pure by controlling our own body. Don’t let your body, don’t let your mind get to a point where your passions are controlling you. Then there’s this sudden tack about not wronging or taking advantage of another person. What’s this about?

There is a third person being hurt when two people are physically involved outside of marriage. What’s happening is really four-way theft. First, sex outside of marriage boundaries hurts you, and then it hurts your partner. You’re robbing yourselves of the enjoyment of sex that is guilt free and regret free and judgment free inside marriage. This unique love gift is no longer unique because you’ve given it to someone else, which in turn robs two other people.

Four-way theft: four people, two of them innocent parties, lose what could be so special because someone couldn’t control their hormones. In reality it’s utter selfishness, masquerading in our world’s definition of love.

At the moment you may not know what you’re taking away from the innocent. You may not even mean to be taking it, but it’s gone and it’s impossible to return what you have taken. And yes, you are accountable. There is no such thing as, I didn’t know it was wrong or it wasn’t my fault. Adam tried to blame

Eve and Eve tried to blame the serpent and God said you are both guilty and accountable for your own actions.

‘They are not meeting my needs’, does not fly with God either. Actually no excuse is accepted by God. That tone reflects conditional love and we are to provide unconditional love as our Savior did for us. Good thing! Otherwise we would still be dead in our trespasses and sins and doomed to eternal hell.

If you are in the middle of a sexual relationship with anyone other than your marriage partner, whether it’s your present or future partner, take this as a warning from God. It is sin. He loves you. He stands ready to forgive you if you’ll honestly repent at the cross of Jesus. In fact, He died for that very sin – one that He wants to forgive you of so you can be clean and know Him personally.

This is also a topic you must have with your children or yes even your grandchildren if appropriate. The enemy is selling ‘free love’ but in reality it leads to spiritual death and the loss of one of God’s most wonderful blessing. The relationship of a man and a woman in marriage.

Keep yourself and help keep your family pure…………………

(Portions from R Hutchcraft ministry of 20 Oct 04)

2 Tim. 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith,  charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

1 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.”

CHRISTians look Strange to our World…Why is that…

In our world today if you are a true Christian you will be seen as a strange bird and even viewed as hateful and narrow minded. First we must understand that the worlds definition of a Christian and God’s definition as recorded in His word the Bible differ greatly.

The world sees a Christian as anyone attending a church with the name of Jesus in its teachings. Many do not proclaim the whole word of God. The bible says a Christian does not involve the denomination you attend. Check it out for yourself by doing a word search of the Bible and you find not one of the denominations of the world. God’s definition is anyone from any country or race who is ‘born again’. For help in understanding what it means to be ‘born again’ check out the following;

  • The Gospel of John where Jesus tells a religious leader what it means
  • Ephians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Galatians 2:16-21 where God tells us how many of our good deeds are requird to ‘born again’. Just of few of God’s thoughts on our lives and our deeds needed to be ‘born again’.
  • So, why are CHRISTians seen as strange to this world?
    • Rom 1:21-23 “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”
    • John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
  • What is the ministry of Biblical Christainity while on this earth?
    • Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
    • Matt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
      • Salt seasons and points out sin. Darkness does not like to be exposed.
    • We are to be different understanding the vast majority of our world will choose the ways of the world in an attempt to restore the broken relationship with God that sin causes;
    • Matt 7:13-14 “”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
  • Our world will consider Christians ‘Strange’ if we point out sin for what it is and do not do the same.
    • 2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
    • Prov 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of ”

So, do not feel bad this morning if our world hates or persecutes you when you stand up for Jesus and His truths. It very well may mean you are a true ‘born again’ disciple of Jesus and suffering because of it. Be of good courage because;

Romans 5:3 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;”

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.”

Then comes eternity……

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”

HE IS RISEN……..

God looks at the Heart…

I Sam 16:7b “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

 God looks at the Heart….

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to our patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man.  “Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face — lopsided from
swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.”

He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face…I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body.  He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home.

Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.”  I told him he was welcome to come again. And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.  “Did you keep that awful looking man last night?  I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!” Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers; we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were
my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!”

My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was
imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.  “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”  All this happened long ago — and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul
must stand.
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I Sam 16:7b “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”