Did they see Jesus or…

Hebrews 12:2 “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.”

Did they see Jesus or…..

Dr. Harry Ironside used to tell a story about a man who lived in a small country town in England.

One day, he went to London where he would need to stay for several days. He was glad to be there on a Sunday because that gave him opportunity to hear some of the great preachers of that day. Writing home to his wife, he said: “Last Sunday I went to hear Dr. ‘Jones’ and in the evening I went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to hear Charles Spurgeon. I was so greatly impressed by both of them. Dr. Jones is certainly a great preacher, but Mr. Spurgeon has a great Savior.”

So who are people you are impressed with after they have been with you?

Are they impressed with you, or are they impressed with your Jesus? In many ways, that’s the measure of the authenticity and impact of our lives. Who do they see when they are talking with us?

There have been few more brilliant, more gifted men or more dedicated men to walk this planet than the Apostle Paul. But he loved his Savior enough and knew enough about Him that he didn’t want people thinking about him instead of his Savior. He wanted to leave people thinking about Jesus. The Holy Spirit reminds us of that when He had Paul record II Corinthians 4:5. “We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

It’s not about us, folks.
It’s all about Jesus. And that is a relief! We will fail each other but our Lord and Savior will never fail anyone who places their trust and hope in Him.

Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

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What is my Purpose in life…self or God…

Genesis 3:1-5 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

What is My Purpose in Life…self or God!

Just when does mankind fall into the trap of thinking they are God?

Self rules in the heart of every person, even at times among new creatures in Christ or ‘born again’ believers. Satan has not missed any opportunity to entice the world into seeking his delusionary prize of godhood. The idea that man could become a god, or part of God, or that he is a god but doesn’t yet realize his divinity, may seem farfetched to some people, but that’s because they are simply unaware of how prevalent this belief is. Furthermore, from a biblical perspective, the criterion for being a god is rather simple. Everyone who has not submitted to Jesus Christ and has not been reconciled to God through faith in Christ’s finished sacrifice as payment for his sins qualifies as a god–that is, an autonomous, or self-governing, being who has elevated self over his Creator. As Dave Hunt has noted, “The basic cause of the many problems in the world today is not that man fails to recognize his godhood but rather that there are about seven billion gods on this planet, each one doing his or her own thing.”

When you think about the spiritual movements of our day the temptations we encounter remains the same. The most destructive being that we are told that taking care of self, serving self and existing for self is all that really matters. We are told your purpose in life should be you. If you read Genesis 3:1-5 again you hear the same thing roughly 6,000 years ago. And it was called the first sin when two people decided self was more important than serving God.

Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the same old lie.  One final challenge.  Listen to what Solomon said at the end of his life.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”

 Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this are man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Just look at me…

Just look at me!

In a world preaching self, self, self what does our Lord have to say?  God does want us to feel good about ourselves but it is not because we are something great. It is because we have accepted His Son as our Savior and His purpose for our lives and accepted that we can only do it by His strength. Now that is big time different than what our world teaches.

You are something special when you have Jesus. By yourself you are not!!!

By yourself you are…

Isa 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing and all of our righteousness are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away.”

Let Jesus lift you up instead of trying to lift yourself up|||

Rom 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you; Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”

Remember it’s His timing and by His methods that we can become strong!!! And of course you must know and have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Not depending on your deeds, church or any other activity for your salvation. Then Jesus can begin a work in you. So why is that so contrary to what we feel?

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. “

Start by…

Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

And then…

I Pet 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Want to be Content…

Want to be Content…

Our lives are spent attempting to find peace and contentment. Our world tells us that it comes by having money, health, fame, position and on and on. Our world never mentions a relationship with God as the primary way to contentment. Do you ever wonder why that would be?

II Cor 4:3, 4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.”

Are you content and at peace with all things in your life? No, I mean actually content??????????

And of course there is one thing in your life that should never bring peace. It’s called sin and that sin keeps us from real peace and contentment.

I Tim 6:6-10a “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…”

Contentment starts with right priorities!!!!!!!

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

Phil 4:7, 8 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, 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.”

Convicting isn’t it? How do I know? I speak from continuing experiences!!!!!!

Today is a great day to start a change of priorities.

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.”

Pride, a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride…a Very Dangerous thing…

Pride is something our world says is very good for us. We are taught by our world that by ourselves we are special and that we deserve all we can get. That thought process is very spiritually dangerous. Listen to how God would have us to view pride.

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 25:6,7 “Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; For it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here’, than that you should be put lower in
the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”

Fill in the blank. I can do all things through _________ who strengthens me.

The answer from scripture is, Christ.

It’s a very tough thing to recognize your unworthiness while a very easy thing to see yourself as worthy of all things. It requires we be honest with the evaluation of ourselves. Humility is not natural to us. Unfortunately, neither is honesty.

To be lifted up by our Lord and Savior is the ultimate compliment and encouragement. And when Jesus lifts you up you truly feel special.

I Pet5:6,7 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.”

Remember you are special because of Jesus and not because of you! That attitude changes all our priorities. It’s ok to feel special when Jesus is the reason you are!

Flee the Temptation to…

Flee the Temptation to…

There is a war being waged that most people never recognize as a war. It is the war between good and evil and the war will not come to an end until Jesus returns a second time to put an end to sin and satan. Many people do not even see satan as real and that unfortunately is to his advantage. The wonderful truth is that I have read the book (bible) and know the ending. God wins……………..! For us to win the skirmishes or battles that the enemy brings into our lives we must;

 2 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.”

An old Navajo who recognized the war going on within was telling his grandson about the fight that is going on inside himself.

He said it is between two wolves: one called the flesh is evil (anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, superiority, etc.) and the other called the Spirit is good (joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, etc.).

The grandson thought about it and asked, “Which wolf wins?” his simple reply, “The one I feed.”

Gal 5:16 “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would.”

 Romans 7:17-25 “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Real Faith to Live by…

John 2:23-25 “Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.”

Real Faith to Live By….
There were those who followed Jesus around, waiting to see the miracles. Think of the excitement this must have caused. So they followed him, because they were looking for the rush, the thrill of being close to the action. Jesus knew their hearts. They believed he was
a miracle worker, maybe a prophet. They did not, however, believe he was the Messiah.
It is quite possible that these people, who followed Jesus to see the next miracle, were also some of those who later shouted, crucify him. How could that happen? How could people go from followers to haters? They simply could not accept his claim that he was and is the Son of God.

How can faith be that deficient or weak? Faith is deficient when we rest it solely on our experience of Jesus, and not based on who Jesus is and what He did for us. Stated in another way, when we trust Jesus based on what He can do for us, or based on some miracle that He might have done for us, rather than based on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins then our faith is at risk of becoming like the world. Show me and then I will believe. The book of Daniel provides one of the most potent examples of men whose faith did not waiver, even under severe pressure:
Dan 3:16-18”Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'”
This is a great passage that shows men who believed that God was God, regardless of what might happen to them personally. God was still God, even if they were consumed in the fire. Jesus is still looking for those who would believe in him for who he is – the Christ, the Son of God. And follow Him regardless of the outcome. Our ways and thoughts truly are not God’s ways and thoughts as noted in Isaiah 55:8 so we dare not think that we know what is best for our
lives and for God’s Kingdom.

How is your faith and your acceptance of God’s will for your life this morning?

Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”