"Your Motives Are All Wrong"

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-30-2019

"Don't Forget What You Have Heard"

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

James 1:19-25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be a righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-19-2019

“He Gave His One and Only Son’

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16 NLT

John 3:16-21 NLT

Has anyone ever asked you, “What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?” If you have been asked that question, were you able to answer it? When you were saved, from what were you saved? We were all born in sin, born into a world that is filled with the darkness of sin. Because of that, we are condemned to an eternity of punishment because Paul tells us in Romans 2:8, “But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Is this fair? Yes, because God has offered each of us the opportunity to be saved. God does not want anyone to go to hell and he doesn’t send us to hell. We earn our way to hell. (Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.) Each person has to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When we do that, we can and must walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hate the darkness, come to the Light so others can see Jesus in you.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-26-2019

“Pursue Peace With All Men”

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. — Hebrews 12:14 NASB

Hebrews 12:14-17 NASB

The test is this: How do we react when we are betrayed by someone that is close to us, whether it be a family member, friend, close associate or a stranger? Is your first thought, “I should pursue peace with all men”? Or does anger immediately fill you and your mind starts to think about ways to “get even”? What does “get even” mean and how do we know when we are “even”? Ignore the anger? No, iyou hold your anger, it will eventually become a “root of bitterness”. That root, as it grows, will push every good thing out of the way to manifest itself in your personality. Let God handle it for you. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a “friend” who had been the treasurer of the disciples and a companion for the better part of 3 years. What was his reaction to that betrayal? He allowed Judas to carry out his work even though Jesus knew it would mean His death. Remember, because of our sins, we have all betrayed Jesus and yet, He died for us. Easier said than done, right? So, how do we allow God to do it? 

6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.–Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)

We listen to the Spirit of the Living God and His Spirit directs us as to what we should say and/or do. Most likely, the only action for us will be to pray for the person who has offended us and prepare our hearts to forgive when we are asked and render assistance and encouragement when the offender needs it.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-05-2019

“Not Guilty”

4 “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’  I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!  — Psalm 75:4 NLT

Psalm 75:4-10 NLT

In Ephesians 6:4, Paul warns us to “be angry and sin not”.  God is big enough to handle all of our anger.  But when we become angry with God, we need to be careful how we present that feeling to Him. We are not to be defiant or boastful of our own power.  If we allow ourselves to be controlled by the anger rather than us controlling the anger then we get into the area of sin.  When we have thoughts about not liking what God is allowing to go on in our lives, we need to present those thoughts to Him.  We can’t hide them from Him since He knows our every thought before we do.  We have to be honest with ourselves and with God while at the same time showing Him respect for who He is.  Instead of shaking our fist at God, we need to fall on our faces before Him and ask Him to give us wisdom to understand why He is allowing us to go through each particular situation.  God is not a God of chaos, He has a plan and a reason for allowing things to happen in our lives.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us capture all of our rebellious thoughts and bring them under obedience to Christ Jesus.  2 Cor. 10:3-5 NCV  When we have done this and repented of our anger, God is always faithful to forgive us, pick us up, wrap His big arms around us and restore us to the family.  We must be careful to never, never let satan use quilt to defeat us after God has forgiven us. We must agree with God and forgive ourselves.  He still has work for us to do in His Kingdom.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-01-2019

“Loss of Temper Leads to Harm”

8 Stop being angry!  Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm. — Psalm 37:8 NLT

Psalm 37: 1-9 NLT
Considering all that is going on in this country and around the world, this is a very timely message.  Every day we see the wasteful results of those that choose to express their anger with violence and illegal acts.  God gave us our emotions and one of those is anger.  There is an anger that comes from righteous indignation when we see the evil being done to others in our cities across the world.  But that anger must be controlled and pointed in the right direction.  Our response must be to hate the sin and love the sinner.  Unless we are expressing our feelings about sin and evil actions, we should never use the word “hate”. Jesus has set the standard.  We are not allowed to pick what we will love or hate, He has already shown us the right way.  We are all guilty of allowing our anger to control us at times, so we need to learn to pray before we react to any situation.  
We must pray for those that have been deceived into thinking that violence is a solution to their issues.  Each of us needs to set aside a few minutes of each day to pray about this issue and for praying especially for the cities that we call home.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-19-2019

Why Are We Persecuted?

even-smaller-bug-light1

20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. – John 15:20 ISV
In His lifetime here on earth, Jesus suffered rejection, ridicule, mockery, and finally death on a cross.  While he was living out His life as an example to us, He promised us that we would be offended and suffer persecution as well.  When we suffer for His sake, we should be happy that He has chosen us to suffer with and for Him because we will receive a blessing here and a reward later.
 
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.– Matt. 5: 11, 12 NLT
 
God also disciplines His children and the discipline is for our benefit so that we grow and mature in His service.

 

19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. — Hebrews 3:19 NLT

I like the NLT translation of this verse because the way most of us Christians sin is through indifference.  So what, if my neighbors are lost, I am not going to get involved.  Yeah, I felt that little nudge to speak or act but I am not going to do anything.  Yes, I should visit the sick but I just don’t have the time. Woe unto us!! Jesus will not ignore these sins of indifference, there will be discipline for His children in this world, not in eternity.  The kids of satan may prosper here because they are not God’s children to discipline but they will suffer punishment, the full wrath of God’s anger, for an eternity.  So, we don’t need to concern ourselves with how God handles them.
We need to be concerned over why we are suffering:  Is it persecution for His sake or discipline for our mistake?

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-17-2018