Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day!

This morning think of all the people and organizations asking for your
priorities. They request and some even demand your attention, time and monies. Some are worthwhile while many are not.

They include the company you work for, your family, the bank, the local and national charities, your friends, your 401K, your immediate job, your health, your????

Here is the telling question. Did serving Jesus enter into your thought process? And if it did was it first or someplace down the list? If it was there or what place it was on the list says a lot about where our focus in life really is….! God’s desire for us is;

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

Joshua 22:5 “Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which
Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to LOVE the Lord your God,
and to WALK in all His ways, and to KEEP His commandments, and to CLEAVE unto Him, and to SERVE Him with all your heart and with all your soul
.”

In a world demanding your priorities remember only one will last for eternity. I challenge myself and encourage you this morning to…..

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites (your location in this world), in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on who and what we will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Romans 12:1,2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

First you must start by;

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”

If you are not sure if you are born again try reading the Gospel of John for the answer! Time is short and it is never to late!

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.”

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No Greater Love…

No Greater Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Military blogger L.T. Smash recounts a televised vignette that requires no further comment:

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his cell to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request nodded his head, and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded without a moment’s hesitation “Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call theparents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing.”

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was “Where do they get young men like this?”

A true display of God’s love. The ultimate example is;

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Election Day Perspective…

Today is election day. I will vote for the candidate(s) who best lines up with God’s values and truths found in His word and sometimes it comes down to one issue. The important thing to remember is that our God is sovereign and allows or places into power those needing to be there for this moment in time in our world’s history. While that is comforting my responsibility remains the same.

Romans 13:1,2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

Perspective

I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here is a “True/False” test.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King!

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order – (1) the Kingdom of God , (2) my Family, (3) Jesus Church and everything else after that………

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our families will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be sharing the biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, “Jesus Is Lord” will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, I will pray for them.

And the directive for our CHRISTian lives remains the same….

Mat 28:19,20 “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Discipline, Yes or No…

Discipline, Yes or No…

First it is very important to recognize that discipline is for both the children and adults. I grew up in an age that started the revolt against disciplining a child with the thought process that it would hinder their mental, emotional and creativity development. So, the big question would be is discipline a directive of God or one from mankind to maintain a level of control that an individual desires. And of course, if it ok, then what is the frame of mind needed so that it is simply not one of anger.

How do you react when you are disciplined by God? Or do we even recognize when God is disciplining us. Our world would teach us that disciple is wrong and even unlawful. Can that possibly be true. Most importantly remember who is the god, small g, that pushes logic that differs from our One True God (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”)

As with all topics in life the Bible holds the answer. The scriptures we have are as relevant today as they were when God first introduced them through Godly men and their life experiences (II Tim 3:16, 7& II Pet 1:20,21) a couple of thousand years ago. The scriptures hold absolute truths. The enemy would have you believe that the scriptures are history books and not life changing truths sent from God. Or that down through the ages some truths change. But fortunately for us God’s truths are never changing (Mat 5:18, Malachi 3:6) and are life changing if we allow them to be. Yes, I know there are many who do not believe in discipline, but God does. Listen to what He says about discipline for children and for adults;

 Heb 12:4-8 “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom His father does not discipline.”

 Proverbs 15:10 “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.”

Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,”

 Proverbs 5:23 “For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

 Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

 Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”

 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.”

No discipline from God means you are not one of His sons or daughters…

Hebrews 12:9 “But if you are without discipline of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons”

The discipline of God can draw you to Him to be saved or if already saved it is a part of the spiritual maturing process, so we can grow spiritually and glorify His name.

Discipline while biblical must happen out of love and not out of anger.

Hebrews 12:6 “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

If we will but allow it to teach us……

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, and follow Me.”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith…”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

The year is 1968 and the Mexico City Olympics – a few thousand
spectators were in the stadium as the last of the marathon runners were
carried off in exhaustion to the first-aid stations. More than an hour
earlier an Ethiopian runner had been the first to cross the finish line
in this grueling 26-mile event. As the remaining spectators prepared to
leave, they were stopped by the sound of sirens going off and policemen
blowing whistles. There, entering the stadium came a lone figure
wearing the colors of Tanzania – his name was John Akhwari. He was the
last man to finish the marathon.

His leg was bloodied and bandaged, and he grimaced with each
step. He had severely injured his knee in a fall, but painfully, he
hobbled around the 400-meter track. The spectators who were still there
were moved to get to their feet and applauded as if he were the winner.
After he crossed the finish line in excruciating pain, he was asked why
he hadn’t quit when he had no chance of winning a medal. His answer:
“My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They
sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

How do you feel about your purpose in life?

Is it to perform God’s will and finish the race He designed for you?

Will you be able to say, “I finished the race”?

Run with everything you’ve got, not halfheartedly. Remember, He gave
everything He had in His race to rescue you – and even though He was
beaten and bloody, Jesus didn’t quit.

Run the whole race… – He’ll be waiting to embrace you as you cross
that finish line for Him.

II Tim 4:6-8 ” 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 those who loved His
appearing.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

James 2:17 “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, it is dead.”

The Risk Takers Creed…

  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd, is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He or she may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he/she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love… live.

Chained by his or her attitudes, he or she is a slave, He or she forfeited freedom, and only a person who risks is free!!!

So how about taking a risk today?

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day
whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day! 

Questions and comments, we hear daily from others and sometimes from within.

How can I achieve a higher salary?
How do I increase my 401K?

How can I get that perfect body?
Can I achieve the status of being a millionaire?

Why is this happening to me? I deserve more…
How do I get that really fancy new car?
Why can’t I have a new 4,000 sq. ft home in the secluded woods on 30 acres next to my own lake?
When should I sell and when should I buy?
Is life really all about possessions and self?
So what are my goals in life for me and for my family?

Choose you this day as to whom you will serve…! God does remind us what items have eternal significance.

Mat 6:19-21,24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in & steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in & steal. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO. NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

How about some questions pleasing to God?

What must I do to be saved?
How can I help someone who is struggling today?
How can I help someone to see Jesus today?

Lord, thank you for this difficulty I am going through for you to teach me that trials bring spiritual growth!
Lord, what would You have me to do for your glory?????

Our example for setting life priorities is Jesus.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”

Having nice things in and of itself is not wrong. Letting things or money be your controlling focus can only cause heartache in the long run and is out of line with God’s will for our lives. Letting God’s priorities be your focus provides peace and contentment that our world cannot understand.

Phil 4:6, 7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, where are your priorities this morning?

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on whom and what I will serve is up to me. So…………….

Mat 6:33, 34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Have a great day in service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!