How May We Serve You?

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then you will have made false distinctions among yourselves and will have judged from evil motives, will you not? – James 2:4 ISV
 

If you google “verses concerning first impressions in the Bible”, you will only find verses that warn against using first impressions as a guide for measuring a person’s worth.  Yet, society teaches us that first impressions are all important and determine whether we will be accepted or rejected.  And certainly, that is the worldly view. How many of us use the way another person dresses, our opinion of whether they are beautiful or handsome, their popularity, talent or success as our criteria for selecting friends?  If this is really our criteria, then perhaps we should change the name of our church to “The Church of The Beautiful, Handsome,Talented, Successful and Well-Dressed”.  But, wait a minute, if we did that, we would have to be very egotistical and self-centered to think that we are qualified to attend and we all know that Christians are not egotistical and/or self-centered.  I, for one, am ecstatic that Jesus doesn’t use that criteria to determine who can be saved.  If you spend any time talking to those outside the church about why they don’t go to church, one of the reasons you will hear quite often is that “church people” make me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. We can change our dress codes for churches (most churches have) but that will not solve the problem. Hurting people come to church to find relief and in most cases, they have come to the point in their life, that how we dress is not what attracts or deters them.  It is how we make them feel that is important.  Most people come to church for one of two reasons;  we were either raised to go to church or we came to the end of our rope and we haven’t found satisfactory answers to our problems anywhere else. We need to welcome guests and strangers in our church with the love, warmth and enthusiasm we would show a long lost brother or sister who has decided to come home.  Why? Because that is exactly how Jesus sees them and what they could become to us if we greet them and accept them as we should.

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

Post 08-02-2018

Be Careful of Riches

even-smaller-bug-light1Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. ​– James 5:3 NLT

God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized, that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it.  Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

11 of 39 parables talk about money.
1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com


Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” .  
This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)

Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it.  Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.


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

Post 06-09-2017

Joyfully, Joyfully, We Serve You

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14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,
— Phil. 2:14 NLT

Joy is contagious and it attracts other people to us when we are joyful. No one wants to spend all day, every day, with a complainer. So, if we want to attract others to Jesus, we should serve with a heart full of joy. That joy should be as pure as the joy of a small child. It should have no pretense, people can easily see through that. We want to be bright lights leading others to Jesus. We should be the kind of lights that cause as much excitement and joy as a lighthouse on a shore that is being beaten by crashing sea waves causes when it is seen by the lookout on a ship. Our lights should warn people of the dangers of sin just as surely as the lighthouse warns sailors of the danger of rocks. Keep your lights trimmed and burning bright by studying and meditating on God’s Word daily. Spend time each day with just you and Jesus.

Matt. 5:14-16 NLT

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

Post 02-25-2017

Fighting Fleshly Desires

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You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. — Galatians 5:13 NIV

Now that we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Holy Spirit abides within us. God’s Spirit wants us to live a lifestyle modeled after Jesus, the flesh does not want to give up its old pleasures. As Paul said, there is a war going on inside of us. Once we were not free to choose a Holy lifestyle, but now that God’s Spirit abides within us, we are free to choose. What we want to do (spiritually) we don’t do because of the flesh. And what we don’t want to (spiritually), we do. But thank God, Jesus died to set us free. Free, yes, but not to do as we please, we are free to follow the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit. If we follow after the Spirit, we will have right thoughts and right actions.

Romans 7:21-25 NIV

 

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

Post 01-13-2017

Servant or Master?

even-smaller-bug-light110  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 earining 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

 

Post 05-22-2016

A Call To Service

even-smaller-bug-light110 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. — 1 Thess. 3:10-13

​Paul’s love and concern for the new converts that he and his companions have led to Christ is a great example for us to follow​.  We may never be missionaries in  a faraway land, but we are missionaries in a land that is not our home. We are aliens and strangers wherever we are on this earth. Therefore, we need to have the same concern for those new converts in our own churches. Every church body needs Barnabases and Timothys to encourage and teach new and older converts. We need Esthers and Priscillas to teach self-sacrifice, humbleness and obedience.
 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” –Esther 4:15, 16
We need Ezras to teach leadership, fasting, praying and complete reliance on God.
21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. — Ezra 8;21-23
We need​ workplace ministers like Paul who witnessed while carrying on his occupation as a tentmaker and Lydias to encourage, support and provide for those laboring in God’s fields.
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14, 15
​We are all servants in God’s army and God needs us to serve and stand firm wherever we are and complete the tasks He has called us to do, whatever that may be.​He has a plan and a purpose for everyone He calls.
 
Have you discovered your purpose in the Kingdom?  If not, talk to Him today about it and get started.
Post 10-27-2015

Participation is Required

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4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.—Romans 12:4-8 NIV

​If you have ever had a problem with your big toe​, then you are aware of some of the issues it can cause. Our toes, especially the big toe, help us balance and propel us forward when we are walking or running. So, when we have toe problems, our body will naturally try to compensate for that and pretty soon, it will affect the ankle, then the leg, the knee, the hip and the back.  If the toe issue continues long enough, we will develop other skeletal problems. Other parts of the body have varying functions. Just try to pick up anything substantial without using your thumb. It doesn’t work so well, does it?  the point is for the body to function efficiently, it needs every part doing what it is designed to do. The body of Christ, the Church, is the same way. We are each a part of the body and God has given each one of us a gift to help the rest of the body.  If any of us refuse to use the gift we have been given, then, eventually the whole body suffers. If the church we attend isn’t functioning properly, is it possible that we are the malfunctioning body part? Whatever gift God has given you, the body needs it to complete the mission God has given to the Church.
Post 06-29-2015