God is Watching…

I Cor 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

God  is watching…

Bob Richards, the former pole-vault champion, shares a moving
story about a skinny young boy who loved football with all his
heart. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But
being half the size of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all
the games, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played.
This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a
very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench,
his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game.
This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high
school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very
clear that he did not have to play football if he didn’t want to.

But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there He was
determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he’d get to play
when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice
nor a game but remained a bench-warmer all four years. His faithful father
was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him. When
the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football
team as a “walk-on.”

Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The
coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts
his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided
the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed. The
news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to
the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his
excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games.

This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four
years at college, but he never got to play in a game. It was the end of
his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field
shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram.
The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent.
Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, “My father died this morning.
Is it all right if I miss practice today?” The coach put his arm gently
around his shoulder and said, “Take the rest of the week off, son. And
don’t even plan to come back to the game on Saturday.”
Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third
quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young quietly
slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he
ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see
their faithful teammate back so soon.

“Coach, please let me play I’ve just got to play today,” said the
young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he
wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man
persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in.
“All right,” he said. “You can go in.”

Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could
not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before
was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran,
he passed, blocked, and tackled like a star.

His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing
seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for
the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him
onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard.
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and
left the locker room, the coach noticed that this young man was sitting
quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, “Kid,
I can’t believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How
did you do it?” He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said,

“Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?”
The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Dad came to all my games,
but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show
him I could do it!”

God is always there for us.

He’s always reminding us to go on. He gave us His only Son because He
knows what is best and is willing to give us what we need and not
simply what we want. God has never missed a single game. What a joy to
know that life is meaningful if lived for the Highest. Live for HIM for

God is watching us in the game of life!

II 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.

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Jesus is Coming to Earth Again…

Jesus is Coming to Earth Again!

Jesus came the first time as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind. Anyone trusting in Him and His sacrifice for their sins will spend eternity with Him. Most expected Him to come the first time as a ruling King and rescue the Jewish nation from the slavery and control of Rome. His first coming was recorded in…

Mat 2:1, 2, 11 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down AND WORSHIPPED HIM.”

Did you know that Jesus is coming AGAIN as a Lion from the tribe of Judah|||||?

Dan 12:2-4 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine, like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

All of mankind must choose between Jesus and eternity with Him or… Some to everlasting death (hell) and some to everlasting life with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So, how do I make sure that I am with Jesus for eternity and not doomed to everlasting punishment?

Acts 16:31 “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Note scripture does not say to add any trust in your Church, your good deeds, your wealth or any other work you do to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus. So, which Judgment Seat will you be at when Jesus returns? If you are not 100% sure of where you will spend eternity now is the time to find out.

 Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 Titus 3:5 “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”

 Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 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.”

Everyone placing their faith for where they will spend eternity into something. How about your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers……..? What are you placing your faith in?

 Romans 10:14 “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?

And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?

And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

Which Source of Wisdom will you choose…I am not responsible for that…

The ________ made me do it? Is that really true?

Which Source of Wisdom will you choose…I am not responsible for that…

The world’s wisdom = Dysfunctional people are the result of circumstances and/or past
generations that have passed down defective genetics.  Therefore most people cannot and should not be held accountable.  They are simply a product of their circumstances.

God’s wisdom= The sin nature that we all have is inherited resulting in spiritual and physical    death. Each person is accountable for his or her actions. God accepts no excuses. Check out Genesis chapter 3 to see when mankind first started trying to pass the buck for his and her sin.

Rom 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

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

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

The bad news is that I am a sinner and accountable for all of my actions.

Romans 5:18,19 “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

The good news is, there is a solution in restoring my broken relationship with God.

John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved

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

1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”

Our lives and future generations will be affected by our sins.

Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Ex 34:7b “…visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

While the sin nature is inherited, each of us is accountable for our actions and as noted in scripture there is a cure for our sin penalty.

Is Hell real or just a story…

Is Hell real or just a story

In the humanistic or self seeking world we live in Hell is not a popular topic. Outside of a joking context you do not hear about it much. If you go to a Bible teaching church that is faithful in proclaiming God’s word in total you will hear about it. If you go to a lukewarm church looking to increase attendance numbers and build its finances you may never here about the consequences of sin. And worst of all if you do not believe eternal damnation is real you will have no burden to have your sins forgiven or to reach spiritually lost family, friends and neighbors.

What do you believe this morning about the consequences of sin? If scripture is relevant for today, and it is, then those without Christ as Savior who die…

II Thes 1:8,9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of our Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Remember God and His truths do not change down through the ages like our ever changing technology advancements. His truths are absolute and can be counted on regardless of the age you live in.

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

There are many who will end up in hell and thought they were ‘Christian’ and even thought their lives and intentions were Godly.

Mat 7:22, 23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

The good news is that there is an escape from the consequences of sin …

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and that life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God has 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.”

How about you? Will you hear, ‘Depart from Me’ or ‘Well done’!!?? Will you take the escape route that God offers?

How about the person sitting or living next to you? Where would they go and do they know that there is only one Way to heaven??????

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.”

How will they hear if we keep silent?

Integrity and Truth at All Cost…

Integrity and Truth at All Cost!

It may be just me, but I do not think so. It seems like one of our biggest enemies we battle on a daily basis is truth, honesty and integrity. Daily especially in our politics this vital quality is missing from most of our politicians. Closer to home can those around us really trust that we go out of our way to be honest? I hope and pray so. As I think of why the battle is so intense the Holy Spirit reminds me of what happened in the Garden. Adam and Eve were lied to by the master deceiver and ever since he has been actively trying to convince us that honesty is not all that important. You know, especially if no one gets hurt. But of course, that ignores the fact that a loving God is watching and is hurt when we sin. And that little white lie is as big of a sin as any of the other sins.

James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 Proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Can people take you at your word?

Mat 5:37 ” But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

Evil or lies are started and continue today with the father of lies
(satan) whispering, “it’s ok, you’re not hurting anyone”. It’s not hurting anyone.

Listen to who we are associated with when we take that course;

John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the
desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does
not stand in the truth because – there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

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.”

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship…

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.”
  • At the end of this challenge there is a quiz, be sure to take it!

The 10 Commandments and Idol Worship….

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 to us 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 is easy.

  • “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.Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made 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. Technology may change and do so rapidly but the human nature that Adan and Eve had is no different than what we have today. 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.”
  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.”