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Archive for March, 2011

A Time Will Come When Many Do Not Want Sound Doctrine

31 Mar

2 Timothy 4:1-5 – 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

What a message for today.

People do not want truth.  They want what works for them.  It’s like a policy that they’re putting together.

Let’s see: 

I’ll purchase that coverage, but I don’t need that.
I could use this over here, but not too much.
There is way too much in the way of limits over here, I don’t need that.
This doesn’t work for me, but this does.
I do well in this area.  I can’t believe others don’t do well in that area, shame on them.
This is so Old Testament and not for me.

God’s Word is for everyone to follow.  Are all promises to everyone?  No.  The church has promises that Israel doesn’t.  The Jews have promises that the church doesn’t have.  Unbelievers have promises that believers don’t have.  Thank the Lord for that.  You don’t want the promises that have been given to the unbelievers.

However, we can’t pick and choose those things that are for us all.  We can’t listen to our itching ears.  It will lead you astray constantly.  The only way you don’t wander from the faith in times of deception like these is to stay in the Word of God.

Why?

It is the only Sound Doctrine!  Please heed the warning from the Lord through Paul.  It was for us and especially in this time period.

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Do You Long To Be With Your Lord?

30 Mar

Do You Long To Be With Your Lord?

If not, you really need to seek Him more.  It has been built into each and every one of us.

Psalm 27:8 – 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  Your face, LORD, I will seek.

However, we do need to tap into it and practice it.  It’s like many things we are capable of doing in life.  You are capable of singing to the Lord.  It’s not about having a star voice or even doing it to bless others.  You can just sing praises to the Lord and believe me it is sweet sounding to His ears.

Psalm 18:49 – 49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name.

Psalm 30:4 – 4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.

It’s not hard to understand that God wants His children to love Him.  He is love.

The more we seek Him, the more we love, because He is love.

Pretend you’re going to eat an orange.  However it is dirt and grease.  Not that appetizing is it.  However if you take the orange and wash it and get it clean, it’s more delicious looking.  Then you peel it and it is juicy on the inside and is perfect in sweetness.

At first glance it wasn’t anything you really desired, but once you took the time to wade through the muck and took a little to investigate, you realized you were missing out if you hadn’t spent the time.  Obviously this is a weak example, but still, the world and sin have taken our eyes off the most important thing in the universe, which is our Lord.  Nothing else can compare.  The more you work at your relationship with Him, the more the blinders come off and the more love enters in.

If your best friend isn’t Jesus your Lord and God the Father, it’s not their fault.  The problem is your not seeking them first.

 

Something Has Clearly Gone Wrong; Is It Worth Investigating?

29 Mar

Let’s say you walk into your home and go into the basement.  There is an inch of water covering the floor.  Do you think to yourself, wow that doesn’t seem quite normal or right then continue on in your day?

No.  You’re hopefully going to look around and find out where the problem is.

Let’s say you’re driving down the road and smoke starts coming out from under your hood and fills the inside of your car?  Are you going to continue to drive and hope that it goes away?

No.  You’re hopefully going to pull over and investigate where the problem is coming from.

Let’s say you’re eating something and you’re starting to have problems breathing.  You start itching also and breaking out into a rash.  Do you shrug it off and continue eating or do you not worry about it and hope that it goes away as you’re about ready to pass out?

Most people wouldn’t and the ones that would do so, only do it once.

Yet…….if one looks around in this world and pays attention…..something has clearly gone wrong!

Turn on the news.  Murder, greed, arrogance, infidelity, pain, death, selfishness, bullying, lying, disrespect, covetousness, drunkenness, starvation, child abuse, drug abuse, and loneliness.  The list goes on more than just this and as humans we are numb.  As long as it doesn’t happen to us, we can sweep it under the carpet.  Is that reality?

Just in the turn of the last century we had two world wars.  Warlords have literally taken over countries and when the food comes in have stolen it themselves and let millions starve even help arrived.  Normal?  No, not normal.  When 99% of the people know something is wrong or evil including many of those who do it, there is something drastically wrong.

So what is it?  It’s worth looking into isn’t it?  Most in today’s world, even as they witness the madness do not.

The most so called brilliant minds want you to believe that you came from pond scum and evolved from monkeys.  THAT’S A MORE BELIEVABLE DESCRIPTION OF HOW WE CAME INTO EXISTENCE OVER SOMEONE WHO CREATED US?  REALLY?

Psalm 14:1 – 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

It is insane the depths man will go to, not to have to obey or worship anyone he doesn’t want to.  Spiritual blindness?  Satan and his demons?  They may all play a part, but the real reason is man doesn’t want to serve the very God that created him.

Why don’t people take time out of their busy schedule to look for God?  Why don’t people who actually say they know God take the time to serve Him?  It’s all in the Bible.  We need to get into God’s Word for our lives.  It’s a living word!

 

I Got It, I Got It, I Got It,….Whoops, Maybe Not

28 Mar

Over the years I have seen this from many Christians.  The attitude is I’ll do it all by myself Lord and when I get into a pickle, I’ll call on you.

What’s the reasoning for this?

Some of the reasons I see is this:

  1. God’s pretty busy.  I don’t want to bother him unless I have to.
  2. I believe God wants me to do everything my way since He gave me my own brain.
  3. What kind of a weak person am I if God has to cater to me all the time?

All of these things couldn’t be further from the truth on what God’s want from our lives.

John 15:1-8 –   1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Why do we need to remain in the Lord?  Because we’re fallen creatures that don’t think of the things we need to apart from God.

Isaiah 55:8 – 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Proverbs 14:12 – 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

It’s not about what you can do.  It’s about letting Him do through you.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Let the Holy Spirit work through you so God’s work can be accomplished.

You’ve seen it happen many times and possibly in your own life more than once.  You just got knocked down in life doing your own worldly thing and hits you like a ton of bricks.  You cry out to God, “How could I have acted so foolishly?  How could I as someone who loves the Lord, do something like that or ended up where I am right now?” 

So you throw your problems and cares upon Jesus and everything starts getting taken care of.  Wow.  We feel so much better now.  So we go back to the same things that got us there in the first place. 

“I got it!  I got it now Lord!  Wow, I’ll be more careful next time.  Thanks.  I’ve got it from here.”

God doesn’t want to be just your bail bondsman.  The Lord wants an everyday relationship with you.  He wants to be your everything.  He wants you to branch into Him and now anything can happen.  Instead we tend to want to do things our own way, until of course the road gets rocky or it becomes chaos again.

Jeremiah 17:7 – “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

Apart from God you haven’t got anything.  You weren’t made to be that way anyway.  Jesus is the light and without Him, you’re working blindly and in the darkness.

Submit to the Lord and listen to what He has for your life.

 

Quote – C S Lewis

26 Mar

Selfishness has never been admired.
C. S. Lewis

I will say the closest selfishness has been admired is in this generation.  Books on becoming rich, controlling one’s own destiny, and doing what it takes to make it were never more popular in the world as they were in the Eighties and Nineties.

However, the statement is completely true.  All you have to do is hang around a loving, caring, nurturing person who cares about you, versus someone who is only concerned about themselves to bring you back to reality. 

It took me awhile to really appreciate the individual that gives up his earthly life to serve God and love others, versus living in comfort.  Now it is the only way I view it.  Heroes are not people who make tons doing exactly what they seek to do for themselves.  We learned that with Christ on the cross. 

No marriage would fail if both people made a choice to give one hundred percent back to their spouse.  Instead people focus on what’s best for them or their own selfish needs or desires.

God wants us to be anything but selfish, especially in our relationship with Him.  Give Him lots of time in your day and watch your Spirit and understanding grow.

 

Do Nothing Out Of Selfish Ambition Or Vain Conceit

25 Mar

Philippians 2:3-4 – 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

HUMILITY!

The devil fell because of his pride and being vain.

Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord.

Matthew 23:12 – 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Luke 1:52 – 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

James 4:10 – 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

So if we try to lift ourselves up, we’re heading for a fall.  However, if we humble ourselves, the Lord will lift us up.  That’s clear cut and easy to understand.  It’s been a big hurdle for many.

It doesn’t say humble yourself and you’ll be in good standing with the Lord.  It says He will lift you up.  That’s exciting and needs to be followed and cherished.   

Jesus certainly didn’t look to His own interests.  He came to this earth as a man to die for our sins.

John 15:13 – 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

We are not to be selfish.  Selfishness has been the downfall to marriage.  Greed is always a direct result of one being selfish.

Humble yourself and let Him lift you up.

 

What Should Be Our Main Concern?

24 Mar

The only thing we should be concerned with now is the things we will be concerned with when we stand in front of the Lord.

Many people are caught up in worrying about things, that when they die all the sudden aren’t that important anymore.

On the other side of the coin, there are going to be people that are going to think to themselves, whoops, if I knew this was going to die so soon I would have done more of this or that for the Lord.

We need to look at it that way now!  We are going to have to give an account and are reminded about that many times.

Matthew 12:36 – 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

Romans 14:12 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Hebrews 4:13 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1 Peter 4:5 – 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

We have responsibilities in this world.  It’s a busy place and everything will never get done.  Don’t allow those things to drown out the most important thing.  Here is one of my favorites concerning this.

Luke 10:38-4238 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Many things need to be done while living in this world.  However, don’t ever let the most important thing suffer when prioritizing.

 

Would Man With A Little More Proof; Serve God?

23 Mar

There is this misconception that if God just revealed Himself that man would all fall in line and serve Him.

Has man’s heart been like that in the past?

No!

One of the most important things we learn in the book of Exodus is that man can have the awesome and mighty God reveal Himself to them and they still rebelled and grumbled against Him.

Exodus 14:10-12 – 10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

This is right after the ten wonders He performed against the Egyptians and yet saved the Israelites from harm.

After parting the Red Sea, allowing them to pass on dry ground and drowning the Egyptian army, they do it again.

Exodus 15:22-24 – 22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Soon after that we read.

Exodus 16:2-3- 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

The Lord does another miracle and rains down manna from heaven.

It goes on and on.  The people, who saw the most awe inspiring events from God, often rebelled and went against Him.  Made a golden calf, tried to save the manna for the next day, and didn’t gather enough for two days concerning the Sabbath.  Tried to go out and find some on the Sabbath. 

This generation of adults that saw the most and greatest miracles all died, but two of them, before being able to enter the Promised Land.  Why?  For disobeying God.

God did so much for them and He wanted them to trust Him.  Time after time again, they didn’t trust Him, they grumbled about their misfortunes.   

It’s not about proof.  God’s proof is already all around us.  It’s all about the heart.  God knows our hearts and He wants us to trust Him.  He wants us to seek Him and live by faith.

 

Let Us Not Become Weary In Doing Good

22 Mar

Galatians 6:9 – 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

As human beings who want to serve the Lord we don’t always see the big picture.  God asks us to work for the Kingdom and we want to see the results and see it now.  We can not allow ourselves to get discouraged and just as the scripture says our work doesn’t go in vain when it is done for the Lord.

You can say one thing, one time that can change a person’s destiny forever.  You can do one obedient thing and it can result in fruit that you may never see.  You just have to trust in the Lord. 

You can’t go wrong by obeying the Lord and living for Him.  Only if you chase after your own selfish desires will you go wrong.

 

Psalm 32

21 Mar

Psalm 32:1-11 –

1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,
   whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them
   and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”  And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

This Psalm really stresses the importance of our lives in contrast with God.  We are fallen sinners and need to be forgiven. 

There are a couple of things that really stand out on this great Psalm that has many wonderful parts to it.  In verse 5 it talks about acknowledging our sin and confessing it to the Lord.  The Lord then forgives.  In the New Testament it became even clearer as the blood that was strong enough to wash our transgressions away was shed.

In verse 10 it ends with the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust Him.  Once again those who seek the Lord find Him.  There are no whoops or mistakes.  There will be no excuses and the Lord is in charge and will judge correctly.  That’s a breath of fresh air compared to how the injustice happens every day in courts currently.

Who inspired David to write this Psalm?  I’m guessing Jesus, the Word of God Himself.  He certainly took over and continued on the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5.