Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.

He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone.

Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Heb 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

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Abortion, Children and God…

With another new year comes the result that Roe vs Wade has assisted in the death of

In America alone?? MILLION lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  3,300 children die each day

You will not find the word fetus in God’s vocabulary found in the Bible. Why is that? Just how does our Lord view the child in the womb and even before the womb?

Caution: God at Work!!

 Psalm 139:13-15a “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your  works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was  made in secret…”

 An example of God designing a purpose for lives BEFORE they are born.

Note, God calls them twins, not a pair of fetuses.

Rom 9:11 “For though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or  bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls.”

A step further. A design for life even before conception.

Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Other passages;        Ex 21:22

Ecc 11:5

Mat 1:18

Lk 1:41 & 2:21

Gen 25:21-24

Psa 22:9

The emotional arguments have swayed many a mind but you never justify sinning based on the removal or the results of another sin. The end does not justify the means.

So, what can I do? First of all be aware that abortion at any stage and for any reason goes against God’s will and then pray for individual and national forgiveness. The next steps are up His leading in your life. But remember the first church did not spend its valuable time attacking the terribly Godless Roman government. Remember while we are to pray for its end and be the salt and light of our Godless world and nation we are first and foremost to;

Mat 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.”

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin…

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin….

Satan’s biggest lie is that we are good enough to work off the penalty we place upon ourselves when we sin. The book of Romans and other passages of scripture note that the penalty is spiritual and physical death (Rom 3:23, 6:23) The most urgent question for each of us should be. Can I atone for my sins or does it take someone other than me to make atonement for my sins?

Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

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

The lie that we can work off our sins has another wrinkle. Maybe some organization or church can do it for me. What does God say?

Heb 10:11,12,14 “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by ONE offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”

Another lie is that we must have someone to go between us and God when we ask for forgiveness of our sins. Again, what does God say? Who is the Mediator for me to go through to reach God to obtain forgiveness for my sins?

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The question of the ages is whether the church or my deeds can replace the sacrifice needed to wipe my sins away.

II Cor 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Eph 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone would boast.”

Have you first recognized your sin and then Who are you trusting in this morning for forgiveness of those sins?

The Temptation to sin…

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

The temptation to sin is normal and common for mankind. The temptation all by itself is not the sin. The sin occurs when I decide to stay with that temptation and develop it. When it goes from temptation to development either in my mind or in my actions it becomes sin. The real war that goes on within us is the battle to control the mind. That is why scripture tells us so much about how to manage these temptations.

Scripture first tell us that God is never the Author of sinful temptations.
James 1:13 ” 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:

Our Lord also tells us that temptations are common to mankind so do not feel like you are fighting this alone.
I 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.

It is a daily war with decisions that we need to make. Do I stay with that temptation or do I flee it. Our Lord also gave us that answer.

II 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.’

“The only way to be saved from the lure of the wrong roads is by doing what our Master [the Lord Jesus Christ] tells us, that is, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” If we do not watch and pray we shall be led into temptation before we know where we are. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” said Jesus (Luke 18:8). He will find faith in individual men and women, but the general organized form of the Christian church has slipped almost wholesale onto wrong roads to the Kingdom.”

–Oswald Chambers

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

And as Joshua said, the choice truly is mine……………..

Joshua 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.”

You be the Judge…be Careful…

You be the Judge…be Careful…

 Mat 7:1 “Judge not that you be not judged.”

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a
wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay
in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a space in
the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor,the older
angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.  When the younger angel
asked why, the older angel replied… “Things aren’t always what they
seem”.
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but
very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food
they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could
have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the
angels found the farmer and his wife in tears.  Their only cow, whose
milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel  “How
could you have let this happen!? The first man had everything, yet you
helped him,”. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything,
and you let their cow die.”
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied.
“When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was
gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed
with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall
so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s
bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I told him to take the cow
instead.  Things aren’t always what they seem.”
Sometimes this is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the
way we think they should. If you have faith in God, just trust that
every outcome always has a purpose. God desires to lift up His name through the
circumstances of our lives.

Every experience may be viewed as an unprecedented opportunity to grow
in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and to learn more of what He has for your life.
All things truly do work together…

This story has a couple of lessons.

– First on judging. You can never judge circumstances or motives. You
must ask the source before you can attempt to understand what is happening.
While we think we can judge by observation if you are like me you cannot.
The only way to try to know motive and heart attitude is to ask!
– Second, if you are one of His children then all things have a purpose in our lives
and nothing happens because of the worlds luck or chance.

Mat 7:1 “Judge not that you be not judged.”

Jesus is Coming to Earth again…

Jesus is Coming to Earth again!

Jesus came the first time as a Lamb to…

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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

How about your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers……..?

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?”

How Cold is Sin…

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

How Cold is Sin…..?

It was Christmas Eve in Korea. An expectant mother walked through the snow to the home of a missionary friend where she knew she could find help. A short way down the road from the mission house was a deep gully spanned by a bridge. As the young woman stumbled forward, birth pains overcame her. She realized she could go no farther. She crawled under the bridge.

There alone between the trestles she gave birth to a baby boy. She had nothing with her except the heavy padded clothes she was wearing. One by one she removed the pieces of her clothing and wrapped them around her tiny son around and around, like a cumbersome cocoon.

Then, finding a discarded piece of burlap, she pulled it over herself, and lay exhausted beside her baby.

The next morning the missionary drove across the bridge in her Jeep to take Christmas basket to a Korean family. On the way back, as she neared the bridge, the Jeep sputtered and died, out of gas. Getting out of the Jeep she started to walk across the bridge, and heard a faint cry beneath her. She crawled under the bridge to investigate.

There she found the tiny baby, warm but hungry, and the young mother frozen to death.

The missionary took the baby home and cared for him. As the boy grew, he often asked his adopted mother to tell him the story of how she had found him.

On Christmas Day, his 12th birthday, he asked the missionary to take him to his mother’s grave. Once there he asked her to wait a distance away while he went to pray. The boy stood beside the grave with bowed head, weeping.

Then he began to disrobe. As the astonished missionary watched, the boy took off his warm clothing, piece by piece, and laid it on his mother’s grave. Surely he won’t take off all his clothing, the missionary thought. He’ll freeze! But the boy stripped himself of everything, putting all his warm clothing on the grave. He knelt naked and shivering in the snow.

As the missionary went to him to help him dress again, she heard him cry out to the mother he never knew: “Were you colder than this for me, my mother?” And he wept bitterly.

When Christ came, He stripped himself of every royal garment and entered into our world of hatred and cold indifference. Why did He do it? Because He saw centuries of broken lives needing a Savior. And then He died as a sacrifice for sins He did not commit. How could this be?

The sin of human hearts. The long history of men making slaves of other men. Centuries of cannibalism and cruelty. Starvation and suffering. The worship of false gods in temples made with hands. War, bloodshed, crime, and greed, those things broke the heart of Christ. But so did we.

Our coldness broke His heart and now it freezes Him out. We complacent Americans who are saved, satisfied, and sitting! We who pray, “Give us compassion for a lost world,” and then “sacrifice” a dollar for missions. We with our elegant homes and brimming garbage cans. We who have the money, knowledge, and manpower to take the gospel to every creature, and yet we don’t. We who say we love the lost, and neglect to tell a lost neighbor about a loving Savior.

Jesus love lies frozen between trestle lips that ought to be warm to speak for Him. Lord, we take off our garments of pride and self-righteousness, glittering but transparently filthy rags that they are, and lay them at Your feet. In our naked need we cry, “Were you colder than this because of us, Lord?” And we weep bitterly, because we know You were.

by Ruth Seamands

Heb 12:1,2 “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 is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”