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« Reply #1530 on: March 26, 2008, 11:10:11 AM »

  Forgotten Cell Phone


A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother  Proverbs 18:24

Have you ever forgotten something?  Maybe it was something small like reading the newspaper, or maybe it was something big like your purse or your cell phone.  Someone that I know recently left their cell phone at a party that was two hours away.  It really wasn’t their fault because their cell phone had fallen out of their purse, but I still found it humorous.  After learning of the missing phone, they contacted someone who lived near the party.  That person not only picked up their phone, but also overnighted it, saving the cell phone owner a lot of trouble.  What an amazing friend.

Did you know that the Bible talks about being a friend?  In Proverbs, it states that a man who has friends must show himself friendly.  Isn’t that what the person who mailed my mom back her phone was doing?  (Oops, did I say my mom?)  They really showed that they were a true friend, and this can be an example to us all.  We should all try to help our friends out when they are in need.

Though we should strive to be the best friends we can be, did you know that we have a friend that sticks even closer than a brother?  God will always be there for us no matter what.  He is the perfect friend that we can look up to and try to model.  His friendship has no limitations.


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« Reply #1531 on: April 01, 2008, 02:42:08 AM »

  His Grace is Enough

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

Paul went through some of the most incredible circumstances while setting up churches throughout the Eurasian countries.  Here's a guy who was literally beaten with rods, locked in chains, thrown in jail to die, bitten by vipers, whipped and so on......however, he always turned to God for his strength no matter what he was going through.  The awesome thing is that God always gave him the strength to make it through whatever burden he was having to bear at the time.

Last year I wrote and published a book about this subject called "His Grace is Enough"  I had been through some of the toughest times of my life and was amazed, as were many of my friends, both Christian and non alike, as to how I was able to survive them.  One thing was evident; I could not have done it on my own.  God made it so clear that it was only through His grace that I was able to go through that four years and come out intact, in fact stronger for it.

There is a song by Hillsong called "His Love".  Whenever I hear it, which is often because I really enjoy hearing its' message, I am reminded that love and grace go hand in hand.  John tells us in this verse: "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."  1 John 3:10 That in order to love and be able to give grace to others we need to know God's love first.

Likewise, in order to love others we often have to know how to be people of grace and be able to extend that grace to them.  How many people do you know who are hard for you to love?  Do you find it really difficult to think of them as brothers and sisters in Christ, or go to them and give them an encouraging word or hug when they are in need?  This is precisely where God's grace comes in.  He may have not had a reason to love us either, however, His Grace made it possible.  As His children, we ought to extend that same grace to others, to truly be examples of Him.
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« Reply #1532 on: April 02, 2008, 02:22:04 AM »

  Feelings vs. God's Voice

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Are you hearing the voice of God in your life? Does God know you? Are you following God? I believe we are in a bad place if we are not hearing from God and God doesn't know us or recognize us. Some of us have made decisions in our lives base off of how we feel. Instead of turning to God and waiting to hear an answer, we make decisions on our own but we fail to realize that in the end we will lose. We must understand that our lives is not our own. God is in charge. He's control everything. Sometimes we even ignore the voice of God when he is telling us not to go down that road. Some of you, God say to leave that relationship but you still in the relationship. Some of you, God say to get rid of that friend you are hanging out with, but you still hang out with that person. We make very important decisions in our lives without God in the picture. We make decisions base off of how we feel and we put God in it when God has no part in it. You ought to be in constant communication with God. You ought to be hearing the voice of God in your life. God wants to lead you but you have to follow him. You have to put away your feelings and do what God ask of you. You will be better off in the long run. God will never lead you wrong. If God ask you to do something that you feel is hard, trust him and believe him. You will thank him later. Always remember God only want the best for you. Don't forget that sometimes our best is not God best.


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« Reply #1533 on: April 03, 2008, 03:24:57 AM »

  Spring!

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

I absolutely love spring.  Everything comes to life.  The flowers bloom; the grass turns green; the trees have leaves; the birds sing.  There is an assortment of colors just waiting to burst forth.  All of the new life astounds me.

Imagine the first day of creation.  One moment, there was nothing.  The next moment, God had created the heavens and the earth�with a word.  During the next seven days, he continued to speak and everything burst forth into full life.  Can you imagine that in less than a millisecond, every single flower burst forth?  Animals suddenly appeared showing God�s creativity and sense of humor. Yes, I think God has a sense of humor�have you seen a baboon or a giraffe�s neck? 

I think that creation was like spring.  Everything burst forth at God�s word.  I find it amazing how he can speak and it will be done.  If you need something in your life, remember that God can speak one word and make your life anew, like spring.
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« Reply #1534 on: April 04, 2008, 10:48:17 AM »

  If You're Short, Climb a Tree

“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” Luke 19:3

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, he was very rich.  But he had two problems.  One, he was short, and two, he was lost.  Not all the money in the world could give him eternal life or make him tall.  He was rich but he wasn’t happy,  he knew there must be something more. He had heard about Jesus and he wanted to see him, so when Jesus cam passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus ran out to see him, but the crowd was too thick and he was too short.  He could have given up right there and felt sorry for himself for being too short.  But I like Zacchaeus’ positive attitude.  He did not get discouraged, he did not give up.  He ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree just so he could see Jesus as He passed by!  He had faith that he was going to see Jesus and he wanted to see him bad! 

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  Luke 19:5

Jesus honored Zacchaeus’ faith and enthusiasm.  He said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:9-10

So I ask you…..Are you short?  In stature?, or enthusiasm?…on cash?, on faith?…on love?…..on forgiveness?….on salvation?..HOW BAD do you want to see Jesus?  Bad enough to run ahead of the crowd and climb a tree?  Go ahead, I dare you!


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« Reply #1535 on: April 07, 2008, 10:16:15 AM »

  Agreeing to Disagree Without Being Problematic

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way."  Romans 14:1-23   Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Colossians 3:17

There are numerous instances throughout church history of doctrinal and theological differences causing disagreements, arguments, dissensions and yes, even breakups in churches because people can not come to agreement on various matters.  The Great Schism, wherein the Christian church broke apart forming the Church of Rome and the Eastern Church in Constantinople is probably the best example of this.  Oftentimes, the concept of agreeing to disagree on a subject of doctrine or theology just can not be reached by opposing parties.

The idea that Paul is attempting to address in the verse in Romans is that rather than judge others views or perspective, let's put our judgments aside, so that we don't cause bigger problems to occur, such as causing disunity in the church, which is a major cause of them splitting up.  Unity in the church is so important that Paul felt it was very necessary to address it in this manner and not tap dance around it.

The Gospels teach us about how we as Christians are to believe, love, obey, and those truths are stated as clearly as possible.  In Colossians, Paul reminds us of that doctrinal concept.  Through the Gospels, the veil of secrecy was removed so that Christians could better understand the liberty and freedom they have been given, to actually live out the teachings of the Gospel.  That liberty, however, does not give us the right to abuse the guidance God has provided to us.  Rather, it empowers us through the Holy Spirit, to share the truth of the Gospels to others in ways that are pleasing to Him, while perhaps not being acceptable to everyone else.

This is an underlying truth that says to us that the Law has been put away and there are no longer any 'rules' to be rigidly followed.  Instead, it is the leading of the Holy Spirit that will guide our efforts in reaching the lost and unchurched with the Gospel.  We are not here to please men in our Christian work, rather we are here to please God with our efforts in the name of Christ.  As Paul writes in Romans, as long as we don't cause our brothers to sin in the process, we are probably going about it in the proper manner. 

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« Reply #1536 on: April 09, 2008, 09:09:51 AM »

  Clean Up Your Mess

But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. 2 Samuel 13:14

This is a story of David's Family. This story deals with David two sons Ammon, Absalom and his daughter Tamar. Ammon raped his sister. This makes Absalom very angry so he killed his brother Ammon. Can you imagine what is going through David mind and how he is feeling? Your a king and there is mess going on in your home. David failed to clean up his mess at home. Whenever your house get dirty and messy, what do you do? You take time out to clean the house. David failed to do that. He failed to punish Ammon for what he's done to his sister. This made Absalom so angry that he turned David's trusted adviser against him and he plotted to kill his Father. What a terrible place to be in. You got responsibilities as a King and you have so many things going on in your life. Your grieving because your son Ammon is dead. Your daughter is raped. Your son Absalom is responsible for the death of Ammon. Then he has to think about his own life that is being under attack by his son Absalom. Some of us would have lost our mind. I can imagine how David prayer and worship life was. All these things happening to him. Some of you have mess in your life. You need to clean it up before things get out of hand. Clean up the garbage that is in your home. Nobody want to live or come to a messy home. Nobody wants to be around a messy person. Nobody wants to be around a person who has so much mess in their life. Take a look at your life, is your life mess up? Are there things going wrong in your life? It's time to take out the trash in your life. It's time to clean up your mess.


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« Reply #1537 on: April 10, 2008, 09:45:21 AM »

  Temptation

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

Temptation manifests itself in many forms.  Sometimes I am tempted to eat too much junk food, or to watch a movie that I know is not good for me, or to sleep in instead of going to school.  But I know that giving into temptation is not the best thing for me.

James 1:14 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”  We are all tempted, even Jesus was tempted.  He shows us how we can successfully deal with temptation and not give in to it.  In Matthew 4:2-11

“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  (notice, he was hungry, the devil knew where to tempt him) Now when the tempter came to Him, he said,  ‘If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.  For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning you, and  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.  Jesus said unto him, “It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God”

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan!  For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord you God, and Him only you shall serve.”  Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

Jesus spoke the word back to the devil.  The Word of God is our weapon against temptation.  “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12

The next time you are tempted, however that temptation manifests itself…say, “Away with you Satan!  I choose to stand on  the Word of God!


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« Reply #1538 on: April 15, 2008, 11:43:11 AM »

  God's Sovereignty

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  1 Chronicles 29:11-12

These verses are from the Book of Chronicles and were written by David as a praise to God when he was teaching before the assembly.  The verse is a profound testament to the sovereignty of God and His reign over the entirety of the universe.  David first praises God by acknowledging is power and glory.  He also acknowledges the fact that God owns everything.   The universe is His and God is unmistakably has control over all of it.

Christians are to recognize these truths.  They are basic tenets of our faith in God.  If we do not believe these truths completely, then will it not be difficult for us to humble ourselves before him and be obedient to His plan for our life?  Indeed it will, and this is just further evidence of how important it is for Christians to really understand what giving our life in Christ meant. 

As this verse from Proverbs 4 says to us, "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding."  we should be willing to seek wisdom, and although it might cost everything else that we have, understanding is far more valuable to us.  When we have understanding it becomes much easier for us to truly accept and apply the truth of God in our lives. 

In verse 12 David completes his praise of God's sovereignty wherein he extols the truth that God owns all things, he rules over all things.  God can and does exalt those whom he deems trustworthy to be used for His purposes.  In closing, David tells the assembly that even strength is given to us by God.  This precept is true even today, as in "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13  God still provides strength today as He did back in David's day.  We just have to have the wisdom and understanding of God's sovereignty to be empowered by it.


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« Reply #1539 on: April 18, 2008, 12:50:37 PM »

  Light Vs Darkness


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Jesus is the light of the world. Wherever and whenever he show up in a place, things happen and things change. Just as Jesus came and shine his light in a dark world, shouldn't we be doing the same? We should be light affecting darkness. But I find that our light is not shining. We are finding that darkness is affecting light. It seem our light shine brightly in the church but when Monday comes we simply take out the light. We are not affecting darkness. Our friends can't see our light. Our Co-workers can't see our light. Our family can't see our light. They don't see the difference in you. People ought to see something different about you because you don't live the way they do. You don't talk like they do. You don't behave like they do. You are the light of the world. Whenever you show up, people ought to change their conversations. They ought to change their behavior. Keep shining your light. Don't let your light go out. Let people see there is something different about you. Let's be real Christian instead of fake Christian. Don't take out the light. Don't hide your light. Let your light affect darkness.





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« Reply #1540 on: April 19, 2008, 11:28:23 AM »

  Drivers Ed

I will call to you whenever trouble strikes, and you will answer me. Psalm 86:7

So far my driving experience has not been a walk in the park.  Last summer, I managed to hit an orange barrel in our new car while I had my permit.  Right before Christmas, I had to renew my permit and accidentally hit my first animal (I almost cried).  In March, I took the classroom part of drivers ed and just last week I finally finished the driving portion.  I didn’t do that bad…
As you drive with a driving instructor, the main thing you notice is the fact that your teacher has a brake pedal.  While intimidating at first, I found the pedal to be a blessing in disguise.  Not to exalt my instructors, but I was also able to make parallels between them and God.  Every time I got into trouble, they were able to put the brake on and slow things down, just like God.  They had my best interest at heart and wanted me to succeed at my course.  They would offer advice, but they weren’t overpowering.  They were there to assist, not to be power mongers.

God will never step in where He is not welcome, but He will never hesitate to help when you call on Him.  If there is a situation in your life, I advise you to go to God and ask Him to put on the brakes.  He will help you in every situation that you encounter.


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« Reply #1541 on: April 21, 2008, 08:45:19 AM »

  I Am Sorry

“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5

I really like the song “Undo” by Rush of Fools.  It is a song about a person who is seeking forgiveness.  Who is asking for God’s help to “undo” the wrong he has done and turn him around.  It goes like this….

“I’ve been here before, now here I am again.
Standing at the door, praying you’ll let me back in.
To label me a prodigal would be only scratching the surface
Of who I’ve been known to be.
Chorus.
Turn me around, pick me up, undo what I’ve become.
Bring me back to the place of forgiveness and grace.
I need you, I need your help, I can’t do this myself.
You’re the only one who can undo what I’ve become.
I focused on the score but I could never win. Trying to ignore a life of hiding my sin.
To label me a hypocrite, would be only scratching the surface
Of who I’ve been known to be.
Chorus
Turn me around, pick me up, undo what I’ve become….
Make every step lead me back to the sovereign way that you
Chorus
Turn me around, pick me up, undo what I’ve become….

Sometimes I feel like that.  That is probably why I like that song so much.  It is so honest.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.”
But there is good news, the bible tells us to be reconciled to God.  “For He(God) made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him(Jesus Christ).” 2 Corinthians 5:21  How do we be reconciled?
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

We say, “Lord, I am sorry.  Forgive me for….help  me be the person you want me to become. Undo my old self, and make me new.”      2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Woohoo!!  That is good news to me!…how about you?


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« Reply #1542 on: April 22, 2008, 10:35:20 AM »

  Dealing With Our Anger

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

James writes to the church to help them understand how God feels about the subject of anger and his expectations of how Christians should deal with this subject matter.  The phrase "Being quick to listen" can also be understood to mean "open ears before engaging mouth".  I have often explained this to other individuals by asking a simple question: "why do you suppose God gave man two ears and one mouth"?  The answer is an obvious one, however, not everyone comes to an understanding of it immediately.

If we were listening to others instead of trying to subdue them, shout (or shut) them down, or ignore what they are saying while we prepare a bomb to send back to them, then perhaps we might actually hear the reason for the conflict we are experiencing with them.  Going a step further, it might just cause us to curb our anger and respond to individuals in a more Christian-like way, as God would desire for us to do.  It's clear in the last verse that God wants us to do the right (Righteous) thing about anger.

In Ephesians, Paul addresses this subject to the church of Ephesus, "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." That essentially, is God giving us a warning to take care of matters, before something worse comes our of it.  All that being said, let's look at what the impact might possibly be for us.  On the one hand, we can listen, deal with our anger, and resolve the conflict as God would want.  We might also be an example to other Christians and non-believers in the process.

Now wouldn't that be an awesome way to glorify our God?  The next time you find yourself entangled in a dispute, or an argument, try making an effort, at least to be willing to listen to the other party and attempt to work things out with them.  God honors those who try to please Him. Be faithful to God's Word on the subject of anger, and see how He responds to it. 


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« Reply #1543 on: April 24, 2008, 07:52:11 AM »

  Go To Sleep

And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. Acts 12:6

Peter was put in prison. Before he was put in prison King Herod stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. He killed James the brother of John with a sword and he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also Acts 12:1-3. Peter did nothing wrong. While he was in prison in verse 5 it say but the prayers was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Can you imagine what is going through the mind of Peter? They are planning to kill him. What does Peter do? Peter goes to sleep. Peter how can you go to sleep at a time like this. They have you bound. They have you trap. Let me ask you a question, say you were schedule to die tomorrow, would you go to sleep? Most of you would say no. Peter went to sleep. I believe Peter had enough faith to believe that God will get him out of this. Peter didn't worry. Peter went to sleep. He didn't allow King Herod people to have the best of him. God say to us today, stop worrying about certain situations or circumstances in your life. Stop losing sleep over that thing that is troubling your mind. Go to sleep. Peter got out of the prison. As you read on in chapter 12, The angel of the lord came and got Peter out. I believe it was also the prayer of the church that got him out. Someone is praying for you. Someone is praying for your situation. Go to sleep. Rest. Trust God and have faith that he will get you out. Go to sleep your problems will be taken care of.


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« Reply #1544 on: April 30, 2008, 09:30:25 AM »

  Do Not Be Deceived

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1-3

Have you heard voices or promptings from the spirit?  Most of us would probably think that those sorts of things are coming from the Holy Spirit.  However, as John writes to Christians in his first letter, we are to make certain what the real origin is before believing or acting upon them.  As John imparts, there were many false prophets about in the land and it is best to put them to the test.  Likewise, there are false prophets out in the world today as well, so it is just as important for Christians today to test them. 

The testing that John is referring to is the doctrine that they are professing.  Are they confessing Jesus Christ as their Lord?  Are they that Jesus Christ is the son of God?  If not, it would be best to look further into what they are saying.  Following spirits that are not of the Lord causes serious problems for Christians.  Christians can be easily led astray and end up in situations that can be destructive to their position in Christ.

Take John's advice quite seriously.  Do not be fooled or compromised by impostors.  Satan would like no more than to have another Christian fall into sin and abandon his faith and trust in Christ.  If you are ever struggling with a situation where there is some confusion about how you are thinking, be sure to talk with a pastor or another Christian who is spiritually sound and walking a good walk. 

God does not desire for even one of His children to be tricked out of their place in heaven.  Therefore, test the spirits, and know from whence they come.


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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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