Who is your Leader or Idle…

Who is your Leader or Idle…

So, who are you following this morning? Beware of following the Wrong Leader!

Peer pressure does not stop when you reach adult age. I recently was talking with a believer who said he was under intense pressure to conform to the standards set by the world. He said he felt as much pressure to conform as he did when he was 16 and out with the guys.

The big question is, just who am I supposed to follow daily?  Acknowledge it or not each of us makes a choice daily on what individual or what standard I will conform to for this day. If we do not say so our actions still betray us.

We have needs in our life and the word of God has the answer;

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

Heb 12:1a “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith…”

Serving Jesus is the priority and reason for living that will last for eternity and you may very well may be trying to walk in your own strength. You say, well that is all well and good but I cannot live the life I see Jesus asking me to. Yes you can because;

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.”

Beware of those who push you to do it the way everyone else is doing it! And yes it’s OK to be ‘intolerant’, if you are being intolerant based on God’s standards and if your attitude and response is tempered with love.  Just be lovingly intolerant which means you will be steadfast, immovable, ever abounding in the work of God.

A huge example is the topic of do all religions lead to God?

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by Me.”

Don’t be swayed by men. Being a follower of Jesus is not easy.

Beware of:
We’ve always done it that way!!
Everyone else is doing it!!

Don‘t be so intolerant!
Mat 15:6-9 “…you nullify the Word of God for the sake of your
tradition. You hypocrites| Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Col 2:8-9 “BEWARE lest anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the traditions of men, after the ways of the world, and not after Christ.”

BEWARE the god of this world….

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Each summer we read of fires out west and around the world. We frequently think of them as being disasters. Did you know there are fires in our lives that are intended to develop us spiritually? And yes, we frequently view those as disasters also. There are some misguided souls that teach that if you have fires in your life it is not a good thing or it is because of weak faith. The biblical reality is that some fires in our lives are noted in scripture as trials and tribulations and are required for our spiritual development of our faith.

When we view the reports of the wild fires or drive by where one has been we see that over time they actually renew life. If you’re going through a fire in your life right now, that will be something very important for you to mentally grab a hold of. If you don’t, all you’ll see is the damage and you’ll lose any sense of hope. And then instead of renewal or development the fires bring on discouragement.

It may be that those fires (trials and tribulations) have burned through your family recently, or your church, maybe your business or your relationships. Maybe they have affected your health. And there is no doubt that the fire has taken away a lot. There’s no denying the pain from the fire, but that’s never the whole story. You need to know the “rest of the story”. Maybe what we view as damage is actually development. What a paradigm shift!

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

God describes the fires of life as trials. If you are a believer the only fire in your life not from God are those that are a result of sin. God sees us as valuable like gold. The fires are not forever; they are “for a little while”. And notice what the purpose of the fires or trials is. The purpose is not to destroy but to “refine” the gold or to get the impurities out so that it increases its value. And if we are honest with ourselves we have many impurities that we need to be purged from our lives.

The challenge we have is to view those fires as trials and tribulations sent from God. To count them as joy as James 1:2, 3 says. That’s a tough one but if you believe that God is doing a work in your life that knowledge will give you the courage to say thank you to endure. God sees us as worthy of purifying, improving, and getting ready for greater things. But that requires denial of self and spiritual development on our part. The fire that appears to take away so much, actually brings new life if we stay close to God during the fire.

What kind of new life does God bring out of the flames? For one thing, He helps us focus the rest of our life on the things that really matter. Everything in our lives goes in one of two columns. One column for things that really matter and another for the things that don’t. A lot of times we get those columns confused. When we ask God for the wisdom to know the difference we then can set God focused priorities. When we look to God we then can emerge from the fire more committed to His glory instead of self comfort and glory.

The fire often forces you to sort out where your identity is really anchored. Is it in a person, your job, or your title, or your performance, or your appearance, or in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Or putting it another way the fires help us to see where our real priorities in life are. Are they in self or in serving our Savior? The flames often drive you to a new closeness to Jesus.

Yes, the fire destroys. But it only destroys the parts or things of our lives that have no eternal value. And thank God, that is not the end of the story. The fire also renews!

Portions from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries and “Renewing Fire.”

II Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Pursuing a Spiritual MBA…

Pursuing a Spiritual MBA

Real truth with a spiritual MBA is available to us. It comes
through the teaching of the Holy Spirit and of course the Holy Spirit uses

His text material, the Word of God. You can obtain it if you….

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman  that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ”

Be careful when pursuing your Spiritual MBA. There are some sources in worldly high places not worth listening to…they see God’s truths as not relevant for today. And are foolishness for directing our lives. They are called the unsaved or not ‘born again’.

I Cor 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Malachi 3:6a “I the Lord do not change…”

Why is it that many times the things I think are appropriate are really not what God sees as appropriate? Even when I feel I am lined up with God and His will for my life. That being the case then I need to trust God even if my inner self does not agree.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”

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

It will take commitment and obtaining your reference material from the
one source of truth we have in this world.

II Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness:”

2 Peter 1:20,21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Now that we understand how important it is to pursue God’s truth and values and we know where to find them then here is one final exam. Who is the owner of truth?

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the
life, no one comes to the Father, BUT BY ME!”

Now that we know where truth resides we can focus on reading it and letting it change us so we can truly be educated in the things that matter for eternity!

Have a great day seeking and serving Jesus!

HAPPY STUDYING…

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.”

‘Born Again’, how is it possible…

‘Born Again’, is it Possible…

Have you been “Born Again”? For many that is a foreign concept or one that our world has told us only the religious fanatic’s use. But did you know that without being “Born Again” you cannot enter heaven when you leave this life? In the Gospel of John chapter 3 Nicodemus came to Jesus by night for fear of being seen and was told he must be “born again” to enter into heaven and spend eternity with God. Nicodemus was a Jewish religious leader but did not know the God that saved. So he came to this One proclaiming to be the source of anyone’s salvation who will trust in Him. The ‘born again’ truth confused him. He asked how that could be. Could he again be born from the womb? Jesus responded that after the physical birth we must all be spiritually “born again” to restore the relationship and eternal life we lost when we all choose to sin. Check out John 3 for yourself.

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.”

If you have been ‘Born Again’, here is the plan Jesus has for you|||

Col 3:1-3 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, and not on things on this earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

II Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ; he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

If you are not sure whether you have been ‘Born Again’ today is a great time to sit down with a good book. You may want to start in the Gospel of John and pay particular attention to the 3rd and 14th chapters!!!

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, except a man be ‘Born Again’, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.”

So, if you were to die today, where would you spend eternity? You do not have to hope or not be sure of your eternal destiny. Listen to God’s offer…..

Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

1 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 ye have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Is the fact that you must be ‘born again’ something your friends and some family members need to hear before it is too late? Jesus said;

Mat 4:19 “follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

HAPPY FISHING……..

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!'”

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.”