Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Change of Heart"

  A sour or angry or cynical heart has great difficulty in seeing things properly. Their sight and conclusions about others or situations are always seen from these angles of ugliness. They find great difficulty bridling their speech when speaking to others whatever has made them with such a heart. In this ugly state of mind they take hold of any truths that support their agenda and ignores any truth that would change their heart.
  When they believe they have been wronged, they cast out twenty verses that deal with "the transgression" with the intention of throwing what they have concluded as the wrong-doer down and demean them as far as they can. It doesn't seem to matter that the bulk of the texts they use aren't dealing with the situation they believe they are correct in, but they want in their heart to harm another. Forget mercy! Forget tenderness! That's what a cynical heart and bad attitude create within some.
  Why does this happen? Because as long as we are angry in heart, things cannot be concluded any other way! We are unable to come to a proper perspective with a proper frame of mind because the heart is so tainted. We are unable to see anything any other way! There is something to be said that God must grant one with such a mind-set repentance (II Tim. 2:24-26). Jesus said it was God's way to send His sunshine and rain on the unjust also and His children follow His lead. It was James who penned for us that those who are unmerciful will receive no mercy.
  Maybe each of us should reflect in our own hearts in light of the Lord and see, if we have a sour disposition, or angry at another or cynical in heart that we need to give that some serious thought. Wait, as long as this state of being remains within, one can't see it. They are unable until they tender themselves to the Lord and the Lord grants them to see it. Charles Dickens might have had it all right in the story he wrote called "A Christmas Carol". It wasn't Christmas that needed to be changed or the people involved. It was Scrooge!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Leaving the Church?"

  I cannot count the numerous lessons I have taught and heard on the church. I know you have too. Maybe we have heard so much about the church of Jesus Christ, His body, His assembly that we have grown too accustomed, to comfortable. We have all heard the little statements made about the church that it is a place for the sick and so forth. In all this what do we believe?
  People leave the church. No, they leave the assembly of saints because someone says something they don't like or their feelings are hurt. Someone does something terrible such as an affair and people react with such disdain and disgust (which should bother us to our souls) but they leave! It's not about false teaching or the intention of leading people astray through false teaching. It is simply feathers getting ruffled or sin reaches in and takes hold of a life and people leave. We take the mind-set that we understand because such immorality (remember the Corinthians - I Cor. 5?) is sickening and why would they stay when something of this magnitude has happened?
  Wait...Jesus built His church. That's who we are! We're not some social outlet or community body! We belong to Jesus, don't we? He calls us His brother, each of us. He's not ashamed of that. We don't treat one another like that when we feel we have been wronged! People leave, ashamed. Where is the devotion, love and care? Doesn't Jesus care deeply for His own? Doesn't His own go astray and cause deep heartache and disappoint? Yet here is the Savior of His body, reaching, loving and staying dedicated to His own whom He loves to the end!!! When you love something, especially family, you're gladness for them is the reason you love. When disappointment hits and the sadness hits, that's the reason for loving it more! Didn't we hear Jesus when speaking of seeking the lost sheep, the lost coin or the lost son? Jesus spoke of the intense love of the Father to seek such. With all our faults and frailties as humans, the Lord still pleads for us, interceding for us and reaches with depths of grace and mercy because He loves His own body!
  The bottom line is our gladness, our sadness, our anger and our pleasures are all the more reason to stay to help, to nurture and love the church more than ever now! That's acting like Jesus! We should love the church and love it more when Satan attacks. Isn't that what Jesus does? To leave an assembly, are we really abandoning Jesus?

Monday, September 24, 2012

"The Deceitfulness of Sin"

"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today'..." 
It goes like this:
"I'm concerned about where you life is headed." he said lovingly.
"I'm not happy. I have been miserable in this marriage for a long time."
"I tried to encourage you about your worship and desire for the Lord but you didn't seem very interested."
"We just drifted apart over the last few years."
"But when you leave the Lord out, what do you expect?"
"I'm not happy. There are things that are going on in our marriage you don't even know!"
"I'm sure of that but the Lord is very aware."
"No one at church called me and asked me to participate in anything."
"If you were there you would see that all were welcome in anything. You just seemed to have little concern for the things of God."
"I have to be who I am!"
"What is that?"
"I'm not a bad person at all. I just have to be who I am."
"So leaving your wife and your children for another woman is who you are?"
"No, you don't understand."
"I'm trying to but when someone walks into sin, leaves their family and has nothing to do with the Lord, is that a good person? Is that a child of God?"
"I'd expect you to think that but I'm really a good person! 
"Do you think that you will end up with the Lord in eternity?"
"Listen, you don't have to bother anymore. Tell others that it is too late because my mind is made up. I have to be me and I want to be happy. I have to do this for me!"
"I wish you didn't cross that line. Do you realize what you are saying and giving up?"
"This is what I want."
" that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb. 3:13)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"They Don't Know Me!"

  Here is Hosea, charging God's people because God is charging them that they have "rejected knowledge." (Hos. 4:6) They didn't reject just any knowledge but knowledge of God. They had pushed aside God's law and headed into a world of blindness and arrogance.
  The charges are laid out: "There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery." (Hos. 4:2) When people forget their God, there is only one path they head and things are done that are not shocking. When one reads carefully the book of Hosea, you see a message taught about his wife, Gomer, that she never came to know and love his worth and devotion to her. That's how God feels about us! We see it in our homes where family members look at one another day after day and never truly learn the worth, the value of the glorious people they are sharing their lives, their world with! I've known many a person to destroy relationships because their failure to walk with God, to know God and as a result, they do not value those close until they destroy them. That's too late and the price is costly!
  When we speak of knowing God, we aren't speaking of acknowledgement of God. The NIV version says that in Hos. 4:1. To know God is not a "formal" recognition of God. To know God is to recognize Him as the Almighty, the Redeemer, the Holy One and as Yahweh. (You need to take some time and learn that description of God and what it means. That would be good for your study.) Too many are making God into "warm fuzzies" and little acts of human kindness. Just as in the time of Hosea, the people cried out: "My God, we of Israel know You!" (Hos. 8:2) But they live in dismissing the teachings of God and learning of His holy ways.
  Today we speak of God and talk great about His character. We speak words of gratitude for what He provides in our daily needs. Our words come out smoothly that He redeemed us by the blood of His Son and all the work accomplished for us with the cross. We are content...for a while. Then something gets our attention and off we move to another provider, adding our own ideas and thoughts and the words will come back and haunt us: "My people perish because they don't know Me!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Life From God"

  Here was Sarah, an elderly woman that was barren and Abraham contemplated his own body which was as good as dead yet here comes a baby born to them because of the promises of God (Rom. 4:18-20). What a strange place of events but in all the deadness, there was life from God.
  Looking over the desert, with bushes, sand and all sorts of rock formations was a nation, a large nation wandering about, with herds of animals, living, prospering despite the rugged circumstances and hardships. In all this desolate place, there was life from God.
  Here is Peter, speaking to the Jewish brothers and sisters, sending them greetings and calls from a place called 'Babylon'. (I Pet. 5:13) This place from which greetings came was probably a figure of speech meaning Rome but no matter where the greetings from those brethren in Christ Jesus, there was life from God.
  Paul was a prisoner facing an up-coming time where he would be given a sentence of life or death. Things looked bleak but here he writes and tells the Philippian brethren that since his imprisonment, Christ has become well known throughout the praetorian guard (Phil. 1:13). Soldiers of an enemy nation were hearing Christ. In fact, there were saints that were of Caesar's household (Phil. 4:22)! We are speaking of Nero here. In the most interesting, against God place, there was life from God. 
  We were over at some friends of ours a while back eating. We were sitting outside on their driveway which had been black-topped several years back. My granddaughter came over to me and slightly tripped. I caught her wondering if a toy or something had tripped her. Looking down, there was this very small, slight hump that had pushed up in the black-top. Upon further examination, I found it very interesting. A very small leaf was springing up, showing itself out of a tiny hole. Right in the most lifeless place was life from God.
  Guess what is going to happen? One day, all these cold and dreary graveyards, there will be a stirring and it will be stirred with life from God!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


  We speak of heaven. Many of our songs are about heaven. But where is heaven? What is heaven? Do we really long for heaven where ever it is? We want a location! Many use Rev. 21 where we read about streets of gold, gates of pearls and the beauty and radiance. We sing about a mansion. All of this fits our fleshly nature! It doesn't fit heaven. John penned that a holy city was coming down out of heaven. It wasn't heaven coming down out of itself! But that's not our thought today. That's for another day!
  Heaven as described by Paul is the place in the presence of God (II Thes. 1:7-9). Heaven...we wait for it or we should be longing for it. God wants us eternally in His presence! God is working with us to bring us into His presence. That's heaven. God is working each day through disciplining us if needed to keep us looking toward Him, longing for Him because heaven is where He is taking those who trust and obey.
  Heaven is the presence of God! That should make us yearn for His presence. To yearn for heaven is to yearn for His presence. To yearn for His presence means we will be making changes in our lives for His betterment! That affects how we live daily. Too many are comfy with their possessions. Some trade the presence of God for something they think is happiness in this life. Things get blurred and the yearning for heaven is lost. Earthly happiness and possessions mean more.
  Before Jesus paid our penalty, those men and women of faith in the OT longed for heaven, the presence of God. They saw the reality from the promises of God. They welcomed God's reality from a distance and they confessed they were strangers and exiles on this earth (Heb. 11:13). They longed for heaven, the presence of God! The desired a heavenly dwelling and made it clear to God and others, heaven is my home (Heb. 11:14-15). The result? God is not ashamed to be called their God (Heb. 11:16)! God has prepared His presence for such. What about you? Are you preparing for heaven? If so, how are you going about it?

Monday, September 17, 2012

"The Road To Tarshish"

  God need Jonah to go the Nineveh, the great city of the world at that time, and preach. Jonah fled! Somehow in his thinking he thought God could not go outside the borders of Israel so Jonah takes off headed to Tarshish, the furthest point west they could get at that time (present day Portugal). When Jonah is on board a ship the Lord hurls a great wind against it. Jonah thinks ignoring God is the answer. When he is awakened asking to call on his God for help, Jonah is finally discovered he's the culprit that has brought on all this calamity. And then comes the words when they inquire of him..."I fear the Lord God of heaven." Yet here is the man that told them he was running from God. There is no fear in his heart toward the Lord or he would have repented on the spot and all could have been spared. In his present state of mind, he tells them to throw him overboard. Poor Jonah. He wraps himself up in himself! Death is better than listening to God. The only problem is upon death he will enter the presence of God face to face and accountability will be administered. Fear of the Lord doesn't breed ignorance and ignorant moves!
  Today too many are on the road to Tarshish! Many speak of God, talk on themes about God and even speak of their love for God. They do not listen or heed the voice of God continuing down the same road of self-deceit. The words flow easily, "I love the Lord!" or "I believe in the Lord!" while the lives lived are in direct conflict with His will. People ignore His will. People refuse His teachings especially when they harbor other things in their heart other than what the Lord wants. Over the years I have watched many wander into the depths of darkness and despair while acting as if they and the Lord are one. But then it catches up with them and in their despair they find themselves alone with no answers.
  God has to make things clear to those when they refuse to listen or respond. Matters can get worse quickly. Life takes a turn for the worse. But many continue on the road to Tarshish. The Lord increases His actions, desparately trying to get our attention but we continue on the road to Tarshish. Life becomes miserable. Many push things off as bad luck or an unfortunate circumstance. People can't seem to put together what is happening. They continue their road to Tarshish until they find themselves in deep utter despair, crying out from the depths of darkness. If only we would listen and be honest in our heart! I'm afraid too many are on the road to Tarshish when God wants us to heed and live. God is compassionate to those who heed and respond to His love and we will find the road to heaven. It really depends on how honest we are with God! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


  I have heard over the years so many, who have little regard for God's word and little desire to worship, state without blinking an eye they believe in God! They call themselves believers but are they really?
  For someone to have faith, a saving faith, a faith that brings life to the heart of the believer through Jesus Christ, they will have a commitment to the Lord with their lives. Without a commitment to the Lord and His will is an unbelieving heart. Faith or belief is not just a passive statement that we believe God exists or Jesus died. It is committing ourselves to Him because the truths about Him move our hearts.
  The gospel came to us and we put faith in that gospel, responding to the call by being baptized into the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (Mark 16:15-16). Jesus died for us and took our punishment, all of it. As a result of faith in that gospel, all our sins were cleansed when we were united with Him. ALL OUR SINS!
  The result: to believe in Jesus means we believe Jesus Christ does forgive our sins! We believe that not only He paid for our sins but they are gone, wiped away and washed us clean from them. Jesus not only forgave the big sins but every sin, even those we are unaware. He wiped them away and washed us clean. Sins that we are ashamed of and sometimes want to re-visit us mentally. All these and more Jesus not only can forgive but He DOES forgive! To say one believes in the Lord is to embrace and believe in His 100% cleansing.
  To believe in Jesus is to believe that first and foremost His joy in living is to glorify the Father! That means from morning until evening, our lives are spent pleasing to the best of our ability because we are conscious of the relationship wanting to bring Him glory from our lives. To believe in Jesus is to believe that it breaks the heart of the Father to hear His name maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood. We want to be pleasing with all our heart.  
  To believe in Jesus leads one to aligning with His children, to help those who stumble, and merciful all the time. It means we grow together, pray together and work together pointing one another to heaven, the goal. You don't attack but point one another to the Father. 
  To believe in Jesus is to embrace His agenda and methods because we can't truly believe in Jesus and at the same time knowingly and impenitently reject His agenda and methods. We can't have Him as our sin-bearer, our Savior without accepting Him as Lord!! That's what it means to believe in the Lord.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"His Story"

  Jesus spoke to His own disciples: "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1) Did they not believe in God? Was He commanding something from them? Does He command the same from us? Is He saying, "Do not let yourself be troubled" or "Stop letting yourself be troubled."? The first would suggest they are to keep agitation from entering and the second would suggest they were already storm-tossed and told to stop it! From the word used ("tarassestho" - troubled) Jesus speaks: "Stop letting your hearts be troubled." Jesus wasn't bullying them nor is He being glib about their fears.
  Jesus was speaking to those who had reason to worry and was speaking for them to stop. He was calling their troubled hearts to keep things in their proper place. Jesus wasn't asking for something they couldn't do but calling on their faith to allow the bigger things to control. How many times have we said to someone, "Don't let it worry you!"?  We weren't trying to put them down and we weren't ordering them. We were calling on them to bring in the greater to stop the lessor.
  It's clear they believed in God or Jesus would not bring God into focus. It's clear they believed in God and He began to reshape their faith. Jesus wasn't asking something brand new. He was calling on them to allow their faith in God to have it's way in them! In other words, "Keep on trusting in God and Me!" was His thrust.
  What we learn is this. We are faced with many situations that can send fear into our hearts. The turmoil, the agitation and sometimes anxiety we feel is real but don't allow that to control (Phil. 4:6-7). Jesus asks us that whatever faith we have in God and Himself is well placed and make that faith in God and Jesus the controlling reality in your life! Jesus isn't asking us to deny what we feel because He Himself was willing to confess that He had experienced similar situations (John 12:27). Jesus calls His apostles (and us) to act on the profound truth and realities of God because they are just as real and more powerful than fears!
  Faith doesn't obliterate the possibility of fear. Faith puts fear in its place! There are situations in our lives we face and it creates anxious moments. Jesus calls us that the anxious moments and fears need to stop being what controls our thoughts and actions and allow our trust in God to control. Is that hard? Yes, it can be but the reality is it can be done! Jesus showed it could be done when He went to the garden. Pain is real but the power of God is greater. We are to go about our lives by continually listening to HIS STORY, hearing intently HIS STORY, reading again HIS STORY and putting our faith (no matter how great or small) in Him who IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE STORY! If it were not true, He would not have told us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Lost Love"

  They were deeply in love. When they were together, they would whisper to one another, pouring out their hearts of love. They soon would be parted as they would leave to go to their homes but while they were together, it was pure delight. They made a commitment to one another as the departure happened. Each day they talked, wrapping the depth of their souls around each other. Their first thought in the morning was he/she was in the world with them. When something funny would happen, they couldn't wait to tell the other and hear them laugh. When something serious would happen, they just wanted to share that experience as they knew the other would feel what they feel. Simply put, they shared everything together!
  Slowly as time went by, something happened. One noticed the other wasn't as open. Things that were once stirring to one was now just another story. The question was asked, "Are you okay?" The response, "Yes, why do you ask?" The conversation continued and the one who had drifted some assured that they were fine and the relationship was fine. The change came with an increasing speed. The fear gripped the heart of the one knowing something was happening. How can they smile, rejoice, laugh and spend time without them? The thought of the other not being there was something not entertained in the mind. There was pain now in the relationship that once beamed with love, joy and awaiting that time to spend together. Will he/she get over it? Has the heart and soul been shredded? Is there a brokenness within?
  We identify with such, don't we? And yet when we look at God, whose love is infinitely purer and deeper than any love we could ever dream of or experience, does He feel that way over us? Does He carry a heartache beyond words when those whom He created drift away? Isn't God the ultimate sufferer when He knows that we think we are better off when we find someone else to attach ourselves to? Didn't Jesus express that when He stood overlooking Jerusalem and states: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling." (Matt. 23:37) Jesus grieves at their pending doom. Our attention turns to a Savior alone on a hill, each breath a little more difficult, eyes filled with tears as He looks across the faces of those and crying out for their forgiveness. Isn't that an image of God's heart breaking? Isn't that someone deeply in love?

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Difficult Times"

  It's hard to understand at times how people can be so vicious and mean. It's hard to contemplate how people can do so much harm toward another without any conscience about what they do. It's hard to realize that there are evil workers. Oh, I realize we see this in the world all the time but I am speaking of the church. Some of the most difficult times are created by brethren. 
  Whether it's hard or not to understand, it happens and will continue to happen. Paul warned the Philippians to beware of the evil workers (Phil. 3:2). John wrote about a fellow named Diotrephes who literally "ran" the church and was called evil (III John 9-11). Paul warned the timid Timothy about Alexander the coppersmith and told him to be on guard (II Tim. 4:14-15). Then we find a list of people, not in the world but that would appear in the church that will cause difficult times. "For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." (II Tim. 3:2-5)
  What a list! Upon reading it is easy to point to the world and say we see that all the time. This is within the ranks of the Lord's body! What's worse, those who are such do not see themselves as such but their dispositions, their attitudes and drives gives them away. It can make people timid. They can make people cower but bottom line, they have no power!! The Lord doesn't stand behind these attitudes and actions. The only source they have is themselves! That's why they act the way they do. 
  Be humble. Trust is the Lord when you see such actions among those who claim Jesus as their Lord. I have no clue as to why some feel to need to push, rebel and try to control others by wicked words and gossip. It makes your work a little more difficult but remember, Jesus is Lord! Don't quit! Don't give up! Don't flinch! Jesus said there will be difficult times and if He knows it because He inspired His apostle to pen it down, He also has control of it all. "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." (Rom. 8:37) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Life Isn't Fair"

  Life isn't fair! God is fair. We seem to want to find someone other than God that is creating all this suffering and heartache we see around us daily. Some put it to fate. Others say its just a luck of the draw or bad luck. Why are we so reluctant to look at God and see God during dismal times?
  Here comes Habakkuk. He was at his post watching and then a message came from God: "All wrongs will be righted. Trust in God and stand firm!" The trusting, the faithful child lives in, through and after the calamity that is coming. The calamity was not the beginning of the difficulties - IT WAS THE CURE! God uses sin and sinful people to work His purpose. You find that astonishing? Just read Habakkuk 1:5 and that's precisely what God said. You will have to see it to believe it!
  How can one find assurance through such difficulties? God will be their redeemer and save them. In this case, the Babylonians are coming upon God's sin-filled people to punish and purge sin from among His people. "We are God's people!" many protest. Yes, a people with apathy, filled with sin and who forget to cling to their God and listen to His voice. What's God to do? God didn't say, "There just so happens to be a nation coming and they will invade your land and I will just make use of them!" God said He is doing this! It's coming from His throne that He is raising up the Chaldeans and is bringing them against His people. "But don't you see" people protest, "God would never hurt anyone! He is a kind and loving God!" That's exactly what gets people in trouble. God doesn't want to harm or destroy but sin ravages, destroys and corrupts any people. God must stop sins advancement even it is dealing with His own people!
  Habakkuk prays. Habakkuk humbles himself before God and accepts the approaching cleansing. He speaks the words: "The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds feet, and makes me walk on my high places." (Hab. 3:19) We need to learn and see God. We need to be humble and listen to God. Life isn't fair at times but God always remains and He will do what it takes to keep sin from among His own. That's a righteous and just God. And we pray...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Lack Of Sight Is Lack Of Hearing"

  Jesus spoke in parables. Parables were things that were placed beside other things to show a comparison. That's what the word literally means. Many of the parables Jesus spoke were spiritual truth connected with God. What is interesting is Jesus at times never explained the meaning of a parable to the multitude. Jesus explains why: "To you (apostles) it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand."  (Luke 8:10)
  For anyone to grasp anything, it must be granted from above. The Lord knows the hearts of each and He gives on the basis of the heart. If the heart is selfish, self-seeking, the Lord will not allow such to see the spiritual insights. If the heart is tender, pliable and seeking the things above, the Lord will grant things to move forward. Paul explained this to Timothy when dealing with those in opposition to the things of the Lord: "with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth." (II Tim. 2:25)
  Too many times we approach God with 'smarts' rather than a heart. We try to out-think the Holy Scriptures and reach for things that aren't revealed. We need to learn to be trusting, open to listening to His voice alone. Too many twist Scriptures using them in ways never intended. Jesus prayed: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants." (Matt. 11:25) The Lord Jesus is in control who gains and who doesn't. The Father, Lord of heaven and earth, can hide things from those wise and intelligent.
  What do we learn? We need to hear! That takes an humble heart. We need to see! That takes a heart willing to submit to what is spoken without our twists and turns. Those apostles asked the Lord why He speaks in parables? Simply put, they don't want to know and don't want to see. After all, the people never came up to Jesus and sought an explanation. They walked away thinking what a nice little lesson. The lack of sight is the lack of hearing. The lack of hearing leads to faithlessness.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Jesus Esteem"

  I know what I am about to say will irk those who are overly influenced by the self-esteem message that has been preached by our society. But that's okay. We are taking too many directions from the wrong people and reading too many books from the wrong writers.
  Self-esteem is for many nothing more than a false sense of security to give a quick rise in a failing world. People are told to raise your children with this world's view of self-esteem. We as adults are told to develop self-esteem. It's pump up, try to exhilarate up, give a mountain-top experience and a pep-rally atmosphere so we will rise to heights that soar above all. Sadly to say, it's nothing more than just attention to self!!! Let's not get things confused. We are not speaking of encouragement. That's something completely different. We need to encourage one another and our children but this self-esteem which many have bought into from the professional world is what is killing us. It's artificial and can take a devastating toll on many who live with this artificial life that when disappointment or hurt comes, they have little to no ability to handle it. 
  If we are going to be better, stronger and able to move forward, especially during difficulties, it is found solely in God and the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus taught over and over: self must die!! That's where many of our problems lay is in self. The truth the Lord passed from His Father is if anyone is going to follow Me, then self must be denied (Matt. 16:24). Jesus taught that the one who finds his own life will lose it but those who lose their lives for His sake will find real life (Luke 9:24). Every man and woman who is a believer, a true believer knows self and Jesus cannot co-exist. Our preachers preach their egos, their positive feeling, speaking nothing negative feel-good nothing wrong with you sermons and people enjoy that because self is not challenged to exit. Parents are told how to raise children, praise them, priase them, praise them and self is strengthened from schools to homes. Jesus went right for the heart of mankind when He taught that unless a seed of grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies it will bear much fruit. Self must go!
  The answer to our problems is not more self-esteem but more esteeming of the Lord Jesus! Jesus is the life! Jesus is the power! Jesus is the truth! Jesus is the way! In all this, we find nothing in us. Paul said there was nothing good that dwells in him but everything dwells in Jesus (Rom. 7). The difficulties that arise in the church will be because people are lovers of self (II Tim. 3:2). We need to listen and esteem Jesus and our lives will be filled and complete!

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Lest We Forget God"

  I hurt when people hurt. Many times there is nothing that can be done to those who hurt...but is that true? People go through marriage difficulties seem so helpless and our hearts just hurt for them and we sit and watch. But what else is there to do? People lose a job and they can't find another and we just wish there was something we could do. But what are we doing? There are those who have been released from a prison cell, knowing they have failed miserably as others around find it difficult to give them a break. It makes us hope they find something, someone to give them an opportunity to prove. Just our hope for them, is that all we have?
  What about God? Have we thought about asking God? Do we really believe God can help in the lives of those around? We say we do but do we really believe God is faithful? Do we believe God isn't perplexed over situations? Do we believe that God can cause good in ALL situations because we do love Him and willing follow with all our heart? Do we believe that God will supply ALL our needs according to the riches He has in store? Do we live for the Lord and die for the Lord? We say yes...yes...yes but sometimes our faith speaks louder so we find little reason to trust, to pray and to look His direction. Our dire circumstances take us down. We drown in us! We wish, we want but with little expectation from God, we drown. We get worn down, look at the hopelessness of our situations and finally we find ourselves defeated. In all this, God is still righteous and faithful. Oh how we want to believe. Maybe that's just it. Maybe we want to believe but somewhere in our lives we have forgotten to trust God, to whole-heartily trust God. He can do beyond all that we ask or think, can't He? Maybe it's time to return and visit the heart of our Creator lest we forget Him!