“Search My Heart, O Lord”

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21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. – 1 Cor. 10:21 NLT
 
When we take the Communion, we are all symbolically partaking of the same body and the same blood. This has been true ever since Jesus set the example with the disciples in the Upper Room. No matter what time it is in eternity, we are all bound together by that one body and one blood and it will be culminated in heaven when we all partake of the Communion at the great banquet table. So, we should never defile that practice by partaking of anything that has been sacrificed to idols or to demons of any sort. We cannot serve two masters and our God is a jealous God. We do not want to provoke Him.
13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), —Exodus 34:13, 14 NKJV
While we may not bow to wooden or golden images, we can still have things that we treasure more dearly than our relationship with God. These things or people are just as much an idol as any graven image. Each of us needs to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the things in our lives that grieve Him. Those things are our idols.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlastingPsalm 139:23, 24 NKJV

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

Post 02-24-2018

Any Thing or Person Can Become Our Idol

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1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,​ 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called​ ​to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name​ ​of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:​ 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. 1:1-3 (NIV)
Paul founded the Church at Corinth on his second missionary journey in A.D. 50 -51. While he was in Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey, he received some negative reports concerning the morality of the believers there. He immediately sent Timothy to correct the situation at Corinth. He also wrote this letter to the church, probably thinking that it would arrive before Timothy got there. The members of the church were starting to return to the old ways of idol worship. In particular, the immorality with the temple prostitutes and overindulgence in both food and drink. But, if we read verse 2 very carefully, we find that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote this letter to me and you. It reads: “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.” That includes us and we should take it as a stern warning not to go back to our old ways. While we may not have shrines where all types of immoral acts are carried out, we have more than enough idols of our own making. Each one of us needs to take a few minutes and ask God the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the idol(s) that are standing between us and our God.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.–1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)

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

Post 1-21-2018

Party Time!

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“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’” — 1 Kings 9:9 NLT
God had fulfilled all of His promises and particularly those He had made to David and Solomon up to this point.  God blessed David and allowed him to amass all the wealth that Solomon would need to build the temple.  He had anointed David and then Solomon to be king over Israel.  He gave Solomon peace from all of his enemies for the time it took to build the temple and his own palace.  But the Creator of the universe knows the flesh.  He knew that as time passed, the people would become complacent and return to their idol worship.  So, even in this time of great celebration, God reminded them of what would happen if they abandoned Him and worshipped idols and honored created things as gods.  When we forget God and when we no longer worship Him as the only true and living God, He allows things in our lives to remind us of Who He is.  When God has blessed us, we must not become complacent and allow things or people to replace Him in our lives.  We must continually take inventory of our attitudes and actions to be sure they are God-honoring.  He is still the Creator of the universe, He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It is up to us to be sure He  is sitting on the throne of our lives.  If we forget and stray away, He will remind us of who He is and who we are.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that He will coming looking for us and bring us home on His shoulders. When He has returned us to the fold, there will be a party in heaven.
Post 04-30-2016

Four Rs for Peace

even-smaller-bug-light129 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. — Acts 17:29​, 30​ NIV

​When we​ read scriptures about idol worship, we tend to think of those that worship statues or symbols of dead men or useless religions.  While we may not have an image of the dollar setting on the mantle of the fireplace, we can still be worshiping all the things that money can buy.  While we may not have statues of anyone in our homes or churches, we can still hold others in higher esteem than we hold Jesus. If someone asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violates your beliefs and you go ahead and do it, you have placed that person above Jesus. Our work here is to do the will of the Father, not the will of those around us. 
 

38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.– John 6:38 NIV

We are not in a popularity contest.  Our goal should be to please our Father.  If we do that, He will take care of us.  If we are obedient and seek Jesus and His righteousness, He will handle all of the issues that satan puts in our way.
 

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matt. 6:33 NIV

“All these things” is everything that we need to live a Godly lifestyle. Everything means every thing.  Don’t stress out. Repent, Relax, Remember, Repeat.
Post 01-03-2016

A Line We Cannot Cross

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27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?—1 Cor. 10:27-30 NIV

Jesus set the example of eating with sinners​ and he expects us to do the same. We are free to eat whatever is served to us. In those days, it was very possible that a person could have been offered something that was prepared as a sacrifice to an idol. If they were informed of that, then they should not partake of that food, not because it is a sin for them, but for the sake of the other person. Why?  Paul is using the eating of meat that has been sacrificed to idols to show us an example of how we should be willing to give up certain rights rather than offend or harm another person. We are not judged by what goes into our mouth but by what comes out of it.

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”–Matt. 15:10,11 NIV

If we profess one thing and do another, we not only harm the Kingdom of God and ourselves, we also become a stumbling block to unbelievers and weaker brothers and sisters. If we know something offends another person even though it would not be a sin for us to take that action, then we should abstain from doing so in their presence.  The only exception would be that if, in so doing, we had to violate our own conscience, then that is a line we cannot cross.
Post 06-12-2015

Search Me, O God

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16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? –1 Cor. 10:16-22 NASB

​When we take the Communion, we are all symbolically partaking of the same body and the same blood​. This has been true ever since Jesus set the example with the disciples in the Upper Room. No matter what time it is in eternity, we are all bound together by that one body and one blood and it will be culminated in heaven when we all partake of the Communion at the great banquet table. So, we should never defile that practice by partaking of anything that has been sacrificed to idols or to demons of any sort. We cannot serve two masters and our God is a jealous God. We do not want to provoke Him. 
13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), —Exodus 34:13, 14 NKJV
While we may not bow​ to wooden or golden images, we can still have things that we treasure more dearly than our relationship with God. These things or people are just as much an idol as any graven image. Each of us needs to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the things in our lives that grieve Him. Those things are our idols.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting-Psalm 139:23, 24 NKJV
Post 06-10-2015

Idols of Our Own Making

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,​ 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called​ ​to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name​ ​of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:​ 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. 1:1-3 (NIV)
​Paul founded the Church at Corinth on his second missionary journey in A.D. 50 -51. While he was in Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey, he received some negative reports concerning the morality of the believers there. He immediately sent Timothy to correct the situation at Corinth. He also wrote this letter to the church, probably thinking that it would arrive before Timothy got there. The members of the church were starting to return to the old ways of idol worship. In particular, the immorality with the temple prostitutes and overindulgence in both food and drink. But, if we read verse 2 very carefully, we find that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote this letter to me and you. It reads: “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called​ ​to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name​ ​of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.” That includes us and we should take it as a stern warning not to go back to our old ways. While we may not have shrines where all types of immoral acts are carried out, we have more than enough idols of our own making. Each one of us needs to take a few minutes and ask God the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the idol(s) that are standing between us and our God.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.–1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)
Post 04-21-2015

The Battle is Not Ours

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.—Gal. 4:8-11 (NIV)
​Before we​ accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were enslaved by our sinful flesh, just as the Galatians were back then. Before Paul came into Galatia, they worshiped idols made by men and were in bondage to all sorts of immoral acts. Once, they accepted the Good News, they were free from that bondage. Paul had started churches in the area earlier. After he left the area, the people started to fall back into their old worldly ways, practicing useless traditions of men. Eat this , don’t eat that, do this on this day and not any other day, etc. Paul was writing to them to encourage them to continue on their new Spiritual journey. We see the same thing still happening today when the founder of a new church retires or moves on. We have to focus on Jesus and the Gospel message, not on the messenger. Except for Jesus, there never has been, isn’t now, and never will be a perfect man. We all fall and come up short. Just don’t make falling a lifestyle. Ask for the forgiveness that Jesus has already paid for and move on. Let’s learn to be “Jesus conscious” and not “sin-conscious”. If satan can keep us focused on our failures, he has won the battle and we will live defeated lives, Focus on Jesus, our Champion and our Defender. We can be more than conquerors.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.—2 Chron. 20:15 (NIV)

Post 04-02-2105

FREE! FREE! THANK GOD, WE ARE FREE INDEED!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and​ ​Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.—Gal. 2:6-10 (NASB)
​Paul ​did not back down from his stand on circumcision. When Peter, James and John, the pillars of the church in Jerusalem, recognized that Paul was right they gave him the right hand of fellowship. (To those who don’t speak Churchese, that means that Paul now had their support and was welcomed into the congregation of Christians,) They all agreed that the new converts, both Jewish and Gentile should not eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and that they should support the poor. It is still a good idea to help the poor and refrain from acts that might cause our brothers to be offended.. Paul and Barnabas leave to go back to Antioch to give the news to the new converts. We, like the first century church, must be careful not to add requirements to God’s plan of salvation. We do not want to become like the legalistic leaders who weighed men down with their traditions. When the Spirit sets us free, we are indeed free from the bondage of sin that was of no benefit to us. The law could not free us, but God could and did by sending His Son, Jesus as an offering for our sin.
1​ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh—Romans 8:1-3 (NASB)
Post 03-22-2015

Who Do We Love?

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.–2 Timothy 3:1-5​a​ (NLT)
​Every​ day we see and hear about more and more evil. The spirits of discord, deception, violence and disobedience are more and more apparent and open. All of us seem to be more concerned about ourselves and our possessions and less concerned about our neighbors. We are filled with pride. Society scoffs at the idea of a God, yet our actions show that we worship our bodies, our families, our careers and our entertainment to the point of making them our “gods”. We have become an ungrateful, unloving, unforgiving nation. We take no responsibility for our own actions always blaming things on others. We say we believe in Jesus Christ but we refuse to be accountable to Him or to obey Him. We speak about religious things but we deny the power of the Holy Spirit, not allowing Him to change our lives. We need to bend our knees, ask God for forgiveness, repent and start living a lifestyle that lets the world know that we love Jesus and will remain faithful to Him.
Post 06-25-14