“Stay True to What Is Right”

16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. – 1 Tim. 4:16 NLT

1 Timothy 4:11-16 NLT

We should not only teach the Word, we should live the Word, so that those around us will want to know Jesus. Our age, be it young or old chronologically, should not be a handicap to our living a Holy lifestyle. There are people who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior but they make little or no progress from that point. We are to focus on studying the Scriptures and using the spiritual gifts that God has given to each one of us. If any of us refuse to do our part as a member of Christ’s body, then the body is not whole and it is weak. As Paul told Timothy “give your complete attention to these things and throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see our growth”. For our own sake and the sake of those around us, we must stay true to what we know to be the truth. Our walk and our talk should be holy. As Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel, even if you have to use words.”

James 1:22-25 NLT

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

Post 10-21-2019

“Things That Are Excellent”

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Phil. 4:8 NLT

Philippians 4:4-8

If we follow Paul’s advice, we will pray and be thankful for all things that God has done for us. We must continually guard our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. We need to focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise. Then we will become God-conscious. Witnessing for Jesus will be a natural outflow of this kind of thinking. Our actions will be Christ-centered and people will know that we have something they don’t have. If we let our guard down, satan will rush in and have us thinking about the pleasures of the flesh. Then, satan will keep telling us about all the things we don’t have. After listening to that for a short while, we become sin-conscious. In that state of mind, we are of little use to God, ourselves or anyone else. Fight the good fight and stay focused on Jesus. Then we will enjoy God’s peace, joy will overflow and it will be completely natural for us to praise Him for His goodness.

Phil.2:1-5 NLT

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

Post 07-27-2019

“Why Are You Afraid?”

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown? — Mark 4:38 NLT

Mark 4:35-41 NLT

I wonder how many sermons we have heard preached on this passage of scripture from Mark.
Some emphasize how frightened the disciples are, others question why Jesus would sleep during the storm or how He could sleep during the storm.  We have heard that when we are in the storm, God will calm the storm or He will calm us.  But I wonder if we are missing the real point of this story. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples:

“Why are you  afraid? Do you still have no  faith?”

I wonder if what Jesus really wanted to know was if the disciples had enough faith in Him to take care of them in the storm, no matter how high the waves.  In our lives, do we trust God to take care of us when the wind is blowing hard against our sails and the waves threaten to sink our boat?  Does it matter how strong the waves are when we are anchored in the SOLID ROCK? If God chooses not to calm our present storm, He will deliver us in the storm or through the storm. We just need to keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Jesus, not on the storm.  Peter was able to walk on the water as long as He was focused on Jesus but he begin to sink when he focused on the wind and the strong waves.  

Matt. 14:24-31 NLT

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

Post 06-12-2019

“Accentuate the Positive”**

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. – Romans 6:16 NLT
 


We were all born in sin into a sinful world, We live in a fleshly tent that desires to sin. In our own strength, we will never be free from those desires. The flesh lusts after money, power, and pleasures. When we lived a sinful lifestyle, we were being obedient to the flesh and the flesh was our master. Though we didn’t realize it at the time, we were slaves to sin and we were held in bondage by satan. But Jesus died and rose again that we might be free from that bondage.  Now, we can make a choice to live a life that is obedient to Jesus Christ. We are covered with His righteousness. But our freedom does not give us license to live a sinful lifestyle. We will all still sin occasionally, but our focus should not be on sinning, but on living a Christlike lifestyle. We used to have a carnal mind and followed after carnal things, Now, we have the mind of Christ and follow after Spiritual things.

Phil. 2:1-5 NLT


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

**Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

 

Post 03-25-2018

Stay Focused!

even-smaller-bug-light138 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?  — Mark 4:38 NLT

I wonder how many sermons we have heard preached on this passage of scripture from Mark.

Some emphasize how frightened the disciples are, others question why Jesus would sleep during the storm or how He could sleep during the storm.  We have heard that when we are in the storm, God will calm the storm or He will calm us.  But I wonder if we are missing the real point of this story. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples:

“Why are you  afraid? Do you still have no  faith?”


I wonder if what Jesus really wanted to know was if the disciples had enough faith in Him to take care of them in the storm, no matter how high the waves.  In our lives, do we trust God to take care of us when the wind is blowing hard against our sails and the waves threaten to sink our boat?  Does it matter how strong the waves are when we are anchored in the SOLID ROCK? If God chooses not to calm our present storm, He will deliver us in the storm or through the storm. We just need to keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Jesus, not on the storm.  Peter was able to walk on the water as long as He was focused on Jesus but he begin to sink when he focused on the wind and the strong waves. 
 
Post 10-13-2016

Am I Cheating On God?

even-smaller-bug-light14 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. — James 4:4-6​ NIV

​When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were instantly given the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When we received that Spirit, we become a part of the bride of Chirst and He has so much more that He wants to share with us. God placed Him in our hearts to lead us and to guide us into all truth.  The Trinity longs for the time when we will allow the Holy Spirit to do just that.  They are jealous of the time we spend focused on worldly things.  Just as new lovers and newlyweds want to spend all of their time together, so does God want to spend His time with us.  Just as Jesus warned us that we have committed adultery with a woman/man when we allow immoral thoughts to remain in our minds, we commit adultery with the world when we spend time on worldly things.  To the extent that those things become more important, take up more of our time and cause us to make comments that hurt other people, we have become friends with the world and enemies of God.  We are incapable of serivng two masters.
 

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. — Matt. 6:24 NIV

​We could replace the word money in this verse​ with other words, such as  drugs, grandkids, popularity, power, sports, vocations, possessions or you can fill in the blank and the verse would still be just as true.  Anything that we put above being obedient to God in any and every respect becomes our idol and we become enemies of God.  When we face a choice in what to do or say and we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, we must learn to stop and think.  Do I really want to hurt my spouse, my Jesus who died for me?  If not, then we need to temper our words and/or actions or completely change them so that they honor and glorify God. We need to remember David’s request:
 

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14 NKJV

Post 12-01-2015

More Winnie, Less Eeyore

even-smaller-bug-light111 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV

​Rejoice!​  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. ​One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

The World Is Mine

Post 10-08-2015