“But The Lord Looks At The Heart”

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”— 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

1 Samuel 16:6-13 NLT

Society and the world wants us to “dress for success”. Commercial after commercial emphasizes how we should continue to try to look young and beautiful (or handsome). All those things are temporary and fleeting. Good looks, great physiques and great wealth can be gone over night. None of that is guaranteed, so why do we spend so much time and money on those things? The important thing is this: What does God see when He looks into our hearts? What is in our heart will determine where we spend eternity. It is much more important to please God than to please man. We need to ask God to “create in us a clean heart” and “renew a right Spirit within us”. What does God require of us?

Micah 6:6-8 NLT

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

Post 09=14=2019

“Take Nothing For Your Journey”

3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.— Luke 9:3 NLT

Luke 9:1-6 NLT

The apostles spent somewhere between 2 and 3 years walking with Jesus. They learned about the Kingdom of God from His words and His actions. Over and over, they were amazed at the miracles He performed. And John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus performed had been written down in books, the whole world would not be able to contain them. Wouldn’t it be great to have been an apostle with Jesus at that time? Maybe, maybe not. Re-read verses 3 and 4. Would we really jump at the chance to follow those instructions? I think most of us would not want to leave our comfort zones and go on such a mission. Salvation is free and simple. but walking out the whole plan is tough. “Lay down your life, take up your cross and follow me.” Do you hear the call?

Luke 9:23-26 NLT

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

Post 09-03-2019

“There the Desires of Your Heart Will Also Be”

21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.  — Matthew 6;21 NLT

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT

A lot of people spend most of their lives making money. It is true that we need to work to take care of ourselves and our families. But when making money becomes our obsession and our goal, we need to step back and take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. When we spend too much of our time making money that we don’t need for our livelihood, perhaps we are laying up treasures in the wrong place. It might be time to spend more time with our families and with God. Since God has blessed you with money and most likely a good family, shouldn’t you stop to give Him thanks every day? Remember that everything belongs to God. He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust alike. He can also stop the rain if He so desires. You could be a millionaire today and a pauper tomorrow. So, don’t spend all of your time laying up treasures that will fade away, spend some time laying up treasures in heaven and those treasures will last forever. As you practice this, you will find that the desires of your heart change from an earthly, material, temporary focus to a heavenly, eternal one.

Colossians 3:1-4 NLT

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

Post 06-30-2019

What Was Jesus Thinking?

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.— Phil. 2:5 NLT

Phil. 2:1-11 NLT

What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form?  He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory.  He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country.  He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human.  He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth.  He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins.  He ate with sinners.  He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy.  He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers.  Instead, He chose to live a life serving others.  He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins.  He gave His lifetime and His life for us.  How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him?  We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money. 

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

Post 04-22-2019

“Give Me Sense to Follow Your Commands”

73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.— PSALM 119:73

Psalm 119:73-80 NLT

This verse is a prayer that I need to pray every day.  When I find myself getting irritated, I need to pray this verse so that I do not hurt others with unkind words.  When I find myself judging others, I need to pray this verse.  When I find myself criticizing, I need to pray this verse.  When I see someone in need and I don’t take the time to help them, I need to pray this verse.  When I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak to someone about Jesus and I refuse to do it, I need to pray this verse.  When I spend money for things that I don’t need, I need to pray this verse.  When God says “no’ or “wait” and I run ahead of Him, I need to pray this verse.  Most of all, I need to pray this verse when I think that Jesus has done something or allowed something to happen in my life that is not for my benefit.  Because that thought violates the highest command to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart”.  You get the idea, I need to pray this verse a lot.  Hopefully, the rest of you are better at allowing the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts and words than I am, if not, then just join in and pray this with me, “Now give me the sense to follow your commands”.

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

Post 04-19-2019

Fire and Money

10  You have tested us, O God;    you have purified us like silver.  — Psalm 66:10 NLT

Psalm 66:8-12 NLT

There are two things in life that we use on just about a daily basis and both of those things can be good or evil depending on our attitude toward them and our use of them.   One is fire, though we don’t actually build fires every day, we use things that are formed and molded as a result of heat and fire.  Fire is necessary in refining processes that allow us to have jewelry, coins and other valuable items.   But that fire, uncontrolled, can be very destructive.  Each year thousands of lives and homes and acres of forest are lost to fires.  The trials we go through are compared to fires that refine us.  We can use those times of refining to draw closer to God or we can use them as a reason to revel against God.   The other, of course, is money. Money can become our idol, our master, when we spend too much time focused on earning it and using it for the wrong reasons.   Or it can serve us well when we have the proper balance of work versus worship.   We can use it to spread the KIngdom of God here on earth in multiple ways or we can use to purchase useless items. Both fire and money can be great servants or destructive masters.  The choice is ours.

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. — Matt. 6:24 NLT

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

Post 01-17-2019

Store Up Riches in Heaven

even-smaller-bug-light1

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. — Luke 12:20, 21 NIV

Riches are neutral, being neither good nor evil.  It is our attitude about those riches that causes us problems.  In the parable of the “certain rich man”,  Jesus shows us the real issue with riches.  When we have the wrong attitude about money and possessions, we spend too much time and money in trying to obtain more of each. The rich man decided to build more barns which would require more of his money and time, so more possessions and money causes us to spend more time and money protecting what we have bought.  It  becomes a vicious circle that destroys relationships and eventually destroys us.  God blesses us so that we can bless others.  If we hold onto those blessings too tightly and don’t use them for His work, they can become our god.  We become dependent on them for our self-worth and happiness.  When we have the right attitude about riches, we use those things to advance God’s Kingdom here on earth and to lay up rewards for ourselves in heaven.  Jesus did not instruct the disciples to pray for riches, but rather to ask just for what they needed today.  

11  Give us today our daily bread. — Matt 6:11 NIV

 

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

Post 10-13-2018