This one becomes more relevant daily as our world picks up speed and not in a healthily spiritual direction!!!

Gen 2:1, 2 “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

Please Slow Me Down, Lord…

Slow me down, Lord.
Ease the pounding in my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of the
singing streams that live in my memory.

Teach me the art of taking minute vacations –
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child,
to read a few lines from the good book.

Slow me down, Lord,
and inspire me to send my roots deep
into the soil of your enduring values,
that I may grow closer to you.

Remind them each day that the race is not always to the swift;
that there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew
great and strong because it grew slowly and well by your design.

Phil 4:6, 7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplications, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace that passes all understanding shall keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The 10 Commandments….

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.”

The 10 Commandments….

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 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 automatically in process. And remember that says we can sin with the mind as well as our hands. An example is anger. We can murder with the mind, commit adultery with the mind and sadly so it goes.

  • “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.
  • “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. 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.”
    2. 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.”
  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.”

Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Here’s something to think about.

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.

Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

*************

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?

The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most
credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care. 🙂

There is One who paid for your unworthiness because of your sins with His life and created the words, I Love You this much!!!! Can you name Him!

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down one’s
life for his friends.”

Time is Valuable…

James 4:13, 14 “Come now, you who say, ‘ Today or tomorrow we
will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell,
and make a profit’, whereas do you not know what will happen
tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that
appears for little time and then vanishes away.”

Time is Valuable

To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a
final exam.

To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth
to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly
newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute:
Ask a person who has missed the
train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one-second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a
silver medal in the Olympics.

To realize the value of eternity:
If we could but ask someone who has passed
from this portion of Eternity without being Born Again!!

Time waits for no one.  Treasure
every moment you have.  You will treasure
it even more when you can share
it with someone special.

It must be said that the only treasured moments
that count for eternity are those that line up
with God’s will for our lives.

For what is your life?

When you leave this life for the next will your thoughts be…?
 
2 Tim. 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith:”
 
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.”

From Life Lessons I’ve Learned that…

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

From Life Lessons I’ve Learned that…
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.  In fact,
by myself I cannot become that person.

I’ve learned
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned
that regardless of how hot and
steamy a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had
better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to, doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every
once in a while and you must forgive
them for that.

I’ve learned
that it isn’t always enough to be
forgiven by others.  Sometimes you
have to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret.  It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned
that two people can look at the exact
same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this
is the whole duty of mankind.        
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing, whether good or
whether evil.”