Do you want to be Rich…

1 Timothy 6: 6″But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Do you want to be Rich…?

Ronald Meredith, in his book HURRYING’ BIG FOR LITTLE REASONS,
describes one quiet night in early spring: Suddenly out of the night
came the sound of wild geese flying. I ran to the house and breathlessly
announced the excitement I felt. What is to compare with wild geese
across the moon?

It might have ended there except for the sight of our tame
mallards on the pond. They heard the wild call they had once known.
The honking out of the night sent little arrows of prompting deep into
their wild yesterdays. Their wings fluttered a feeble response. The urge
to fly to take their place in the sky for which God made them was
sounding in their feathered breasts, but they never rose from the
water.

The matter had been settled long ago. The corn of the barnyard
was too tempting! Now their desire to fly only made them uncomfortable.
Temptation is always enjoyed at the price of losing the capacity for
flight.

I Tim 6:6-10 “But godliness with contentment is great gain: for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out; but having food and covering we shall be therewith content. But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after having been led astray from the faith and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish
and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the
love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for
money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many
griefs.

Don’t allow yourself or your family to fall into this trap!

A City without Walls…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

A City without Walls!

How is your temper this morning? Do you find yourself saying things that hurt others and then regretting what you said? Many times after you have spouted off you wish you could take those words or that event back but of course you cannot. So, the challenge is, how do I keep from doing it, so I don’t have to try to correct the results? Our tempers are controllable with the right source of strength.

When the stress, pressure and aggravation of the day build up, too many of us become a human volcano and take it out on those around us. Unfortunately it comes naturally. Please do not view that as an excuse. You see, it comes from the flesh and if you are a Born Again believer you have the power to control the flesh. That power is called the Spirit or Holy Spirit and at salvation He comes to live within you. How do I know that? The word of God tells us so. In fact, scripture says if we do not have the Holy Spirit we are not saved.

Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

With the Holy Spirit can I keep from losing my temper? The answer is yes. Our dark side, called the flesh can be controlled. That control comes when I present myself to Jesus as His servant and allow Him to mold and develop me.

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

Does that mean I will never sin again by losing my temper? It may be the devastating things that we say and do when we’re angry, or our selfishness that continually wounds and crushes people, or a sour negativity and bitterness that poisons our life and the lives of people around us. It’s all deadly sin that keeps spewing out of our life while often hurting the people we love most. While we have no excuse for sinning we still are overcome by that flesh at times. Fortunately our God is faithful in forgiving us when we recognize our sins and confess them.

I 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.”

That daily spiritual battle we fight with our explosive dark side is not new. That same flesh created the first sin and all have that same flesh (Rom 3:23). Jesus is the only one to walk this earth without sin (I Cor 5:21). And fortunately He is the very One that will make intercession for us for our sin. Our need is to recognize it and ask for forgiveness’. The request can only go through one person.

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

That is the good news for today, because the Bible now shows us how to move from despair to deliverance. We can move from that “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me…?” to a sinner cleansed by the blood of Christ.

Jesus wants to bring that victory into your life – to forgive every sinful hurtful thing you’ve ever done and give you a new beginning. He stands ready to actually move into your life and to control what you have never been able to control; to beat what has always beaten you. He’s the Rescuer, reaching for you. Now it’s up to you to reach back and accept His offer.

Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

The Lord is my Shepherd…

The Lord is my Shepherd…

23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd
That’s Relationship!

I shall not want
That’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
That’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters
That’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul
That’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
That’s Guidance!

For His name sake
That’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That’s Testing!

I will fear no evil
That’s Protection!

For Thou art with me
That’s Living by Faith!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
That’s Peace and Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
That’s Hope!

Thou anoints my head with oil
That’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over
That’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
That’s Security!

Forever!

That’s Eternity!
THAT IS GOD’S LOVE………FOR US!

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

 John 3:16-17 “or 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.”

Heaven or hell – my choice…

John 14:6 ” Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Heaven or Hell – my choice….

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train,
out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing,
cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and
valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will
pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving.

Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will
fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.

Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes – waiting, waiting, waiting
for the station.

“When we reach the station that will be it!” we cry.

“When I’m 18.”

“When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!”

“When I put the last kid through college.”

“When I have paid off the mortgage!”

“When I get a promotion.”

“When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”

Sooner or later, we realize there is no station, no one place to arrive. The true joy
of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment for His glory” is a good motto, especially when coupled
with Psalm 118.34: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will
rejoice and be glad in it.”

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and
the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains
for His glory, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers,
watch more of His sunsets, laugh more, cry less, tell more people about Jesus.

Life must be lived as we go along and it must be lived to bring the glory to Jesus
if it is to be eternally meaningful.

Most importantly is that we do all of the above to bring glory to Jesus instead
of living for self and do all things by His power and not our own.

The station is then a place to look forward to rather than complain about or fear. Each of
us will reach one of two stations. The choice is up to us.

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

Rev. 20:14-15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

So, will you be in the heavenly station, and what is your ticket based on?

The Lessons of Life…

Proverbs 4:13 “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

The Lessons of Life…

From Paul Harvey:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your
tongue on a frozen flagpole.

And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing
with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy if they are with at home with Jesus!

May you feel joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.
To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I’m here for you. And if I die before you do, I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.

We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

Psalm 71:17 “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.”

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!'”

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 knowingly 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.”

The Ant and the Contact Lens – Fear…

Mat 11:28a “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…

The Ant and the Contact Lens – Fear…

A story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing.
Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a
tremendous granite cliff.

In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the
rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge
where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the
safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact
lens. Here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her
and hundreds of feet above her.

Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had
landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. So here she was, far
from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get
upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got
to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens,
but there was no contact lens to be found.

She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting
for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked
out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible
verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the
whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, you can see all these mountains.
You know every stone and leaf, and you know exactly where my contact
lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom
there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff.
One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be
startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving
slowly cross the face of the rock, carrying it!

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him
the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he
drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord,
I don’t know why you want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and
it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I’ll carry it
for you.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would
probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why
you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully
heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Mat 11:28 “Come unto Me, all you that 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.”

Two Edged Sword…

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Two Edged Sword…

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 or an hour?
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 gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?

What if it is the only book God authored and the only one He protects so man cannot distort it?

What if it is the one source of Absolute truths that do not change down through the ages?

What if it contains all the answers to my problems?

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 out of date or disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities and do they line up with God’s word to me?

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

And – NO DROPPED CALLS OR IGNORED TEXT MESSAGES!

II Tim 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

So, when was the last time you truly searched God’s word………………………? Today is the perfect time to start or restart!!!

Hope for America…

Hope for America!

There is hope for America if …

II Chronicles 7:14 “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

His people will need to start the revival…

How does your life stack up? It is sin to be conformed to this world’s standards and with sin comes separation from the power and blessings of Jesus!!! Being salt and light is not only not easy, but it is most often not accepted in our world.

2 Tim 3:12 “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

The word sin is not pleasant nor is it supposed to be. It also is not just for those in the past. Sin is as ugly today and as offensive to God today as it was with Adam and Eve. If the world or the majority of our world says that in the interest of human’s rights that sin is ok, do you then accept it? Challenging question, especially with the voting season upon us. Listen to what God says;

Mark 8:36-37 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Let us join with the Holy Spirit in urging ourselves to…

Rom 12:1,2 “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, TO PRESENT YOUR BODIES a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and
perfect.”

The most immediate need for America is not a balanced budget or having my candidate be in office. There is a much greater need and urgency. As a believer my view and goals in life must be different then the world and country and state and city and neighborhood I live in. I do believe our nation is running to big trouble by the decisions our politicians are making but I believe our God is sovereign in the affairs of men and able to change and direct our times and events to meet His plans.

With that view my focus must be to know and love the Lord our God and be light and salt to a lost and dying world. This morning remember, serving the King of Kings may be the most meaningful thing you do in your life.

Check out the first Church in the book of Acts to see what their focus was.

With that in mind remember to ……

I Tim 2:1,2 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in  authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”