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!!!

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Fortunately, God made me this way…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according
to his purpose.

Fortunately, God made me this way…

All things in the life of ‘born again’ believers who are called to serve Jesus truly work together!

Gladys Aylward as a child thought she was not good enough.
During the 1920s, she had heard about the great spiritual need of China,
and she sensed God’s strong call on her life to go there. But she was
only a small chambermaid.

When she applied to China Inland Mission in London, they rejected her
because she wasn’t educated enough and was probably too old to learn the
language. Gladys Aylward through much prayer decided otherwise and made
it to China.

She made such a difference there that a number of books have been
written about her life. Hollywood even based a major movie on her life,
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness with an Academy Award-winning actress
portraying her.

In her later years, as she told her story to audiences in many
places, they were surprised to hear the commanding speech coming from
this very tiny lady who had to stand on a box to be seen over the
pulpit. She told them: “As I was growing up, I had two great sorrows.

First, as my friends kept getting taller, I stopped growing.
Secondly, as my friends grew beautiful blonde curly hair, mine was
straight black. Then I went to China. As I looked over the people to
whom Jehovah God had sent me, I said to myself, ‘These people have hair
as black and straight as mine … and they stopped growing when I did.’
I bowed my head and I said, ‘Lord God, you know what you were doing!”
Yes, He does.

Much to her surprise, and much to everyone’s surprise, little
Gladys Aylward had been equipped by God with everything she needed to
carry out His plan for her life. And so, have we if Jesus is our Savior.
We know that because of Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do.”

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you don’t have what
others have? And thinking that because you do not have what others have
you cannot serve Jesus? You need to stop this line of thinking
immediately! All that is needed for carrying out God’s mission is you
and a willing heart. He will provide the rest. Do not ask, “Who am I,
Lord”, but ask “What would you have me to do, Lord”?

Philip. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Service starts with obedience and not skill! In fact, our
inability could be our greatest asset. It causes us to lean not upon our
own understanding and skills but to rely on His grace and sufficiency.

2 Cor. 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for
my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of
Christ may rest upon me.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth…

Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy think on these things.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth!

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Jesus must be number one in your life.
  • Character matters.
  • Family is vital.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
  • The most boring word in any language is “I”.
  • Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
  • Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Listen 90% of the time & speak the other 10%. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
  • Only Jesus can make you eternally happy. Make Him Lord of your life.
  • There’s so much bad in the best of us.
  • Gossip is sin.
  • Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (If He is our Savior)
  • If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
  • Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years. Maybe longer for some of us. I was ‘born again’ at 28…..!
  • The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance. That one I have still not mastered!
  • Television ruins more minds than drugs. Do you suppose satan or many of his army reside in Hollywood?
  • Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than in being right. If you are willing to admit to it!
  • Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth. Even the little white lie is sin.
  • People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
  • A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
  • There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise both spiritually and physically.
  • A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
  • May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral. And may those at your funeral be confident of your new home.
  • Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
  • Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.
  • If you don’t do anything else in life, love God first.

Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Seeing God…

II Chronicles 7:14a “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,”

“Seeking God…”

It was one of those split-second exchanges between a 16-year-old girl and her father, but it spoke volumes. While he was out of town, she had broken her curfew and stayed out too late with her boyfriend. Now she had to talk to Dad about it. Embarrassed and afraid, she sat quietly looking down at her hands in her lap while the discussion went on. She apologized and they decided on a suitable discipline.

“Look at me,” Dad said. She didn’t want to, but she did. Instead of a hard look of displeasure, she saw tears and a look of deep love. She threw her arms around him, and they both knew that everything would be all right between them.

To keep everything right between us and our heavenly Father, we have to seek His face (Ps. 27:8). We may feel guilt, disappointment, anger, or hurt toward God. But that is when we must respond to His invitation to look to Him– especially if fellowship has been broken. Sin damages and breaks our fellowship with God.

Our greatest concern should be the fear of losing a close relationship with Him. Our greatest delight should be seeing His face in the Word and through the wonderful privilege of prayer. That way we will have the assurance that everything is all right between us.

The more we go to God in prayer,
Intent to seek His face,
the more we’ll want to be with Him
before the throne of grace.

Real prayer comes from the heart.
————————————————————————
II Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage…

Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage!

That is a wonderful invitation from the lips of God. We all have emotional baggage. It could be you are carrying a lot of pain right now. Maybe you’ve got some crippling issues from your past. Maybe some bad news you got recently or an overload of stress. It could be you carry baggage from a divorce – it could be your own or maybe your parents’ divorce, or from some form of abuse or a bad relationship. Some of us are trying to carry the weight of a serious medical condition, a financial crisis, maybe a family issue.

A friend of mine had some very heavy baggage. One day in a doctor’s office, he heard one of those words we dread – cancer. He has a deadly cancer. He is supposed to have been gone three or four times already. He had ten operations in eight years, but when you talk to him you just can’t believe what he’s gone through, or he is going through. He’s like joyful. He’s positive. He’s interested in how you’re doing. It’s just hard to believe he could be carrying such heavy weight, yet seem so light. He was an encouragement to other patients. That’s what they told him. So his doctor called him in one day and said, “Can you visit some of my other patients? They need what you have.” What does he have? He made that clear the other day. He told me about others that he knows who are falling under the weight of cancer.

Then he just made this simple observation. He said, “They’re trying to handle it without a Savior.” Well that’s the difference for him – the Savior difference – the Jesus difference. He could be the difference for you. Let’s look at the baggage you’re carrying. I wonder if his words describe you, trying to handle it without a Savior. See you were never meant to carry that pain or that burden alone. Jesus says, “Come to me. I want to carry it.” He’s a burden carrier. He knows your pain. He understands it because He’s been here. He’s experienced everything from loneliness, to betrayal, to torture, to dying; and Jesus has dealt with the deadliest baggage of all that we carry; the sin of our lives. Because that will one day keep us out of heaven.

But the Bible says, “He carried our sins in His own body on the tree.” And the day you tell Him that you are trusting in Him to be your own Savior from your own sin, that’s the last day you will ever carry your burden alone. The strong arms of Jesus are reaching out to you right now, and He says, “Let me help you with your baggage. I can handle it. I already bore all the weight of all your sins on my cross. The rest is easy.” The promise of Jesus: “I will give you rest.”

Mat 11:28, 29 “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.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

A Change of Perspective…

Philip. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

A Change of Perspective

1. The best way to get even is to forget…
2. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death…
3. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts…
4. Some folks wear their halos much too tight…
5. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth…
6. Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, then perhaps giving “advice” to God isn’t such a good idea!
7. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up…
8. Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.
9. Words are windows to the heart.
10. A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it’s a forgery.
11. It isn’t difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill just add a little dirt.
12. A successful marriage isn’t finding the right person- It’s BEING the right person.
13. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
14. Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
15. The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
16. To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you.
17. You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
18. It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. You’ll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.                                                                                                                                                     20. And last but not least-God gave the angels wings, and He gave humans CHOCOLATE.

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

Where is God…

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God…”

James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

Where is God…

My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.
At least that’s what I heard him say one night. He was
praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped
outside his closed door to listen.

“Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you?”
“Oh, I see. Under the bed.” I giggled softly and tiptoed
off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are
often a source of amusement. But that night something
else lingered long after the humor. I realized
for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a
result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size
(he’s 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an
adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities
of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably
always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa
Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every
Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because
angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is
different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous
life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop
for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel,
returning to eat his favorite macaroni and cheese for
dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the
entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly
over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn
child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to
the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple
work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water
boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late
twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next
day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays – oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day
my dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink,
watch the planes land, and speculates loudly on the
destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’
to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His
anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

I don’t think Kevin knows anything exists outside his world of
daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it
means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never
know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does
not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of
food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people,
treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs
have always been met, and he never worries that one day
they may not be. His hands are diligent.

Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he
unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart
is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when
it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is
finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how
to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work
of others. His heart is pure. He still believes
everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and
when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free
from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is
not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is
always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to
God, he comes as a child.

Kevin seems to know God-to really be friends with
Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to
grasp. God seems like his closest companion. In my
moments of doubt and frustrations with my religion,
I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is
then that I am most willing to admit that he has some
divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with
the handicap; I am.

My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they
all become disabilities when I do not submit them to God.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?
After all, he has spends his whole life in that kind of
innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the
goodness and love of the Lord. And one day, when the
mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at
how close God really is to our hearts, we’ll realize
that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed
that God lived under his bed. Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

Mat 18:3, 4 “Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.