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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Questioning

Christ told us to love our enemies. If God is willing to forgive His enemies then do we have the right not forgive ours?

Let’s take a look at Jonah 4:1-4  But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  But the LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Four attributes of God that we need to follow are:
1. God is gracious and compassionate.
2. God is slow to anger.
3. God is abounding in love.
4. God relents from sending calamity.

We have the right to question God but, He also has the right to question us!

What is He asking you to get over and move on from?

Don’t miss giving the grace that you have received and more that God wants to give you.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Response

In the book of Jonah we read about one of the greatest revivals of all time, but Jonah was a reluctant evangelist. He was disobedient and tried to run away, but after a three day “fish trip” found himself doing what God had commanded. When God’s messengers brings forth the Word of God three things will occur, and true revival will break out.

First of all people Respond to the Gospel.  Jonah’s message was simple and direct. He said God was going to destroy them because of their evilness. The response was immediate. “They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.” Our sin has separated us from God, and we are doomed unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Have you responded to God’s Word?

The second thing we see in revival is that people Repent of their sins.  In Jonah’s time, the king declared a national time of fasting and repentance. They prayed for forgiveness, and that they would turn from their evil ways. Many people came with tears and brokenness before the Lord. They also prayed for forgiveness, and cleansing. God calls for His people to repent. Jesus said, “ Unless you repent, you too will perish.” When you have asked for forgiveness did you truly repent?

Salvation is complete when people are Reconciled to God.  God saw what the Ninevites did and how they had turned from their evil ways. He had compassion, and did not destroy them.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that we become a new creation when we accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are reconciled with God through Him. All believers are to be Christ’s ambassadors, and are given the ministry of reconciling man to God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Where are you at in your relationship with God today? 

As the body of Christ, let us continue to pray for revival in our lives, our families, our churches, our city, our country, and throughout the world. Amen?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Expectations

The prophet Micah’s name means – Who is like the Lord. Sounds like a question or maybe a riddle. I believe the answer can be found in Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” In other words – We are to be like the Lord!

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:13-17

What does this looking real life?

What is God’s expectation of Christ followers?

Pray right now for the Lord to help you make the changes necessary to be more like Jesus. Amen?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Giving Glory

God’s Conversion of Israel is found in Micah 7:16-20. Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens;
    they will turn in fear to the Lord our God  and will be afraid of you. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.

God really does care for all humanity. It’s all about confession of sin and confidence that God forgives. But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 
What do these verses say to you? How can they be applied?

Remember it’s all about God’s glory! Doing it His way not ours. He is the King of Glory - Amen?

Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:7-8  

How can we give God the glory this week?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reaches


Long before Third Day, there was man who loved the Lord and sang praises to Him. Consider these words:
"Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! 
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light". – Psalm 3:5-9
May we be like David and have God’s song in our heart – today and every day. Amen?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Like the Lord


The prophet Micah’s name means – Who is like the Lord. Sounds like a question or maybe a riddle. I believe the answer can be found in Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” In other words – We are to be like the Lord!



This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:13-17



What does this look like in real life?



What is God’s expectation of Christ followers?



Pray right now for the Lord to help you make the changes necessary to be more like Jesus. Amen?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Your Message

If you could say something to the world what would your message be?


Well, mine would probably two-fold. 1. A message of hope! Regardless of how bad you have been God still loves you. If you are willing to repent and turn back to God and your back to worldly things you are in for a great life (and after-life). 2. Bad things happen! Trouble comes to the wicked and the righteous. We better make sure we are in the right relationship with God regardless of our circumstances. He's coming back soon. Be doing the things that will put a smile on His face, and quit complaining! 

If we keep our focus vertical and not horizontal we will be in the proper position for a well lived life. Bad stuff happens in this life. I don't like it that my wife had cancer and both my parents died in the last two years. I know there is a lot of "I don't likes" out there. But you know what? We don't go through Valleys of Trouble or the shadow of Death alone.

Thank you Jesus for never leaving or forsaking us. We look to where our help comes from and lift up our voice in praise, glory and honor to our Deliverer and King! Praise Thank You for forgiving us and offering Your mercy, love, and great grace... always.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

All Together


At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry an event is recorded that captured the Trinity:

 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3:13–17

The Son, Jesus – being obedient in baptism
The Spirit – descending like a dove, coming to rest on Jesus
The Father, God, speaking - “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Quite a family gathering? This same Jesus, Spirit, and God are available to all of us! “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Amen?                                                  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Trinity Experience


The Bible is full of verses telling of the Trinity. Consider how they are all involved with creation and the glory we can experience all around us.



 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth;

break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” - Isaiah 44:23-24



15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. - Colossians 1:15–17

When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. - Psalm 104:30


Today may we sing and worship the Lord. Thank and honor Him for “holding all things (in our lives) together”. Amen

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Trinity


Last week in our AIG class we studied the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. See in these verses how they were all involved with creation.



1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. - Genesis 1:1–3

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. - Psalm 33:6



1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1–5

The Trinity all have different roles but love us the same – since the beginning of time. Today show your love for the “Light” who overcomes darkness, and allows us to see the truth.

Amen?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fantastic


Our Memory Verse in Answers in Genesis this quarter is Psalm 119:89–90,


“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”



It’s a great verse about God and His attributes:

1. “Forever” – eternal – always was and will be

2. “Firmly Fixed” – His Word will last forever

3. “Faithfulness” – His promises are true to all

4. (Stands) “Fast” – Never changing and always loving



Meditate today on this verse and the wonders of God who loves you so much He sent us Jesus so we can be with Him forever. Amen?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Eternal Time


Is there one thing that you’re worried about, that thing you’ve been waiting on – maybe an answer from God, or a break-through in your life, or enough money to cover this month’s bills?
You’ve been waiting and you’ve begun to wonder – Where is God? How much longer do I need to wait? Believe God will answer in his precise timing. He sees your need, but he also sees the exact time it needs to be filled.

Remember it’s His timetable; not ours. And while we wait, we can know our God of precision timing is working all things out for the good of – you, who loves him

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Romans 8:31-32 (NLT)

Always trust in God’s timing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Time Use


The Bible teaches us how Jesus expects us to use time:

  • We follow God’s timetable, not our own – Despite being bombarded with choices between good, very good, and best, Jesus stayed so closely aligned with the Father that he always made the right choice of what to do and when to do it. Following Jesus means focusing on the eternal not the temporal.
  • We look toward eternity, not just the momentary – Jesus always had the end in mind.. Even as he died, he said, in a sense, “Father, forgive them. They don’t see the end of time and so they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand who I am.” We must get our eyes and attention off the “petty” distractions around us and remember there is only one of the purposes we cannot do in heaven – evangelism. Our focus must be on telling others about Jesus.
  • We believe that God is always right on time – Timing was so critical to Jesus and his mission that he even died right on time. When the Roman guards came, expecting to break his legs and hasten his death, they found Jesus already dead. It was finished, and finished in time to fulfill the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken. Following Jesus takes faith.

God used precision timing in the life of Jesus and his timing is just as precise in your life!

Today and always – follow, look to, and believe in God’s timing.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Vantage Point


Jesus never arrived late and he never arrived early, he simply arrived according to his purpose. Look at times where it appeared to the people there that God had forgotten them or did not care. Here are some examples in Jesus’ life.

His Birth – 400 years Jesus was born at exactly the right time to be in Bethlehem with his parents, right as the stars aligned to announce the birth of Israel’s long-awaited king.

At the Temple at age 12 He stayed to study Scripture in the temple, even though his parents left for home.

Jarius Daughter – It seemed he was taking His time getting to the sick girl. When word came she had died and not to come, Jesus said she was sleeping and brought her back to life.

Lazarus (John 11) When others thought he was late, Jesus arrived just in time to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Cross (John 19:28-30) Most people though He missed His purpose by dying instead of becoming King, but in John 5:24 Jesus told them that Death leads to Life!

When we think God is late there is probably a lesson we need to learn in that following Christ means using our time wisely.

Always remember God has the best vantage point over our lives.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Never Late

Many heard or read this passage during the Easter season out of John 19:28-30 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. It’s hard to follow someone who is late all the time. Trust in them comes in to question. Even though it appeared to people then (and now) Jesus was never late.


Timing was important to Jesus; everything in its time at just the right time. On his mission to bring you and me from death to life (Romans 6:13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.), he never rushed or struggled to play catch up.

He clearly worked from a different clock than everyone else. Instead of Eastern Standard Time, Jesus seemed to be on Eternal Standard Time.


Be wise – be on Jesus time!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More Words


We all need encouragement. I came across these quotes recently.



"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." 



"Believe you can and you're halfway there."  



"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." 



"The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything." 



These are very wise but the best words come from Bible.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7



Take the promises of God to encourage and give you peace. Focus on success in God's eyes not the world's. You will put a smile on His face and will be able to sleep better at night.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Joined Prayer


The church still has an audience to reach. We get confused about the message and the method of evangelism.  The message is sacred (truth of the Gospel) but the method to share the Gospel to the world is not. You may have to change your way of outreach to reach your community more effectively. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17: “No one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (NLT)



Often, we’re too attached to those old wineskins to be the church God calls us to be. We want God to do something new in our congregation, but we’re not willing to make the changes to see that happen.



As a Christ follower, you can see there’s a need for change, particularly in being open to new ways of sharing Jesus. You and those in your faith community have to renew your relationship with God, with one another, and to God’s mission in your community before you’ll ever see lasting change. After all is about us or the Lord - My way or His way?



Are you ready for God to do something new in you midst?



I am praying for a change in order to bring revival to our churches, cities, states, country, and world. Will you join me?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What Good Thing

One thing I love about Jesus is that He knows all our flaws and loves us anyway. He will point them out if we ask……but watch out because the answer my reveal to us something about ourselves that we didn’t realize. It can be quite humbling because we typically think of ourselves better than we truly are. Jesus points out the truth. Take the young man in the scripture below. He just told Jesus that he has obeyed all the commandments (my advice: never tell Jesus that because a severe humbling will follow). Now without saying “No you haven’t!” or scolding him Jesus simply says that he must sell his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow me. In his refusal, the young man showed that he did not in fact keep the commandments Jesus listed. By refusing to sell his possessions and give to the poor he showed he did not love his neighbor as himself. Most of all it showed that the man broke the greatest commandment by putting his wealth ahead of obeying God.

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:16-22

This was a personalized prescription Jesus gave to heal a huge disease the young man wasn’t aware he had in his heart. The young man truly believed he was righteous and didn’t realize just how important his wealth was to him. Once Jesus pointed it out the man went away sad.

So, I’m not saying we need to sell all our possessions to show we love our neighbor. But I am saying that how we hang onto our wealth says a great deal about how much we trust God and love our neighbors. If we have a heart like Jesus we will always be willing to financially meet a need if God prompts us to do so.

Next time God has a need come across your path I challenge you to open your hands to God and give beyond what you can afford and see how He will bless you in return. Having a heart like Jesus means having sensitivity and a willingness to give to those in need trusting that God will meet your needs. He always does - Amen?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Need Church


This past Sunday I preached on Why we need the church. A lot of the message was inspired by a book, Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris, that I read 15 years ago. Some things never change. The local church is different than an online group, neighborhood Bible study, or religious TV programs. None of them can substitute for a local church that displays the distinct qualities of a God honoring community. None can provide an individual believer with the leadership of a Pastor, or the care and encouragement of a many- textured, but mutually committed church family.

In Hebrews 10:19-25 we see the process of “sanctification” worked out in the church setting: “19Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

1. We’re encouraged to draw close to God and relate to Him personally and intimately.

2. We’re invited to confidently “enter the Holy places by the blood of Jesus!”

3. We’re encouraged to stand strong in our faith as believers.

4. We have Pastors to encourage us, to help us apply God’s Word to our lives, and to help us see our sins.

When a church is together to worship and to hear God’s Word preached, nourishment and encouragement occur that can’t happen quite the same anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Inner Peace

It is Jesus' desire for us to have His peace. It is a peace we may not be able to understand, but need to readily accept. He also calls His followers to live a peaceful life.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.- Jesus in Matthew 5:9

Having an inner peace can only come from having an immovable trust in the Lord. It comes from focusing on God and not on your circumstances. It is the true belief that all things are possible with God (Matt 19:26), that He truly does work all things together for good (Rom 8:28), that if you trust in the Lord with all your heart He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
What causes you to be stressful, hassled, or troubled?
Have you asked God to take control of your life?
Ask yourself why do feel anxiety instead of peace, is it because you don’t trust God is really for you or are you afraid that His path isn’t where you want to go?
Having Jesus' peace means trusting God in all things past, present and future. Release your cares and receive His grace, mercy, love, and peace right now. Amen?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Go Fish

Over time as you study God’s Word you will discover that there is a deeper meaning to almost everything Jesus says. As He called His disciples He was specific in His choices and clear about His expectations. In Mark 1:17 Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men”. Many of us were taught the Jesus used this language because many of His students were previously fishermen (of fish) and now they would catch people with the life saving truth of Jesus. This is a good explanation but it goes much deeper than that.
You see people of that time would have known the qualities of a great fisherman. Jesus did to and knew these same qualities would be needed in sharing the Gospel. I was recently reading an article by O S Hawkins who said that following Jesus means you’ll be expected to fish! Those same “fishing traits” are what God looks for in His followers today.
Four traits of a real fisherman (and follower of Christ):
1. They are positive. Every day is a good day to catch a fish (or witness).
2. They are persistent. They will never give up until they catch a fish (or share the Gospel).
3. They are patient. They (both) will try different methods to reach the goal, and wait as long as necessary.
4. They are passionate. They (both) hate to lose one! Fishing, (following, evangelizing) is their life.

Jesus still uses ordinary people to do things extraordinary for His kingdom and glory. Amen?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mission Accomplished

God provides everything we need to accomplish His mission here on earth. We need to be sure we are plugged in to the power source, the Hoy Spirit! We must stand firm on His truth:

2 Chronicles 20:17 •  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you."

Psalm 40:2 • He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Matthew 10:22  • All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

1 Corinthians 10:13  •  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

1 Corinthians 15:58 • Therefore, my dear brothers, 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.

Galatians 5:1 • It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 6:11-14 • Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (13) • Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand .(14) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

God has given us His Word to urge us forward.  His recovery plan is found in the Word. He has given us  the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Are you for him?
Will let Him empower you?
Are you willing to take a stand to let His glory shine through you?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Words of Life


Yesterday we looked at how words can lead to death. Today let’s think about how words can also lead to life.

 A Good Word

- Speak of God’s gift in Christ

- Speak well of God’s Church

- Speak to encourage other Christians.

Why should we waste time with words of death when we can speak words of life? God can use the positive things you say to reach the lost and to encourage other Christians.

We cannot speak Words of Life unless we have heard the voice of Jesus. In John chapter 6 we read about a time when the crowd who had been following Jesus decided his teachings were too hard. They got tired of listening to his voice. Jesus turned to his Twelve Disciples and asked, Do you want to leave me, too? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. John 6:68

Do you know the voice of Jesus? Have you heard Him speak the Words of Life? When we listen to the Words of Life from the voice of Good Shepherd, we will begin to speak the same kind of words ourselves. Amen?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Problem Words

The tongue has the power of life and death. What kind of Words would lead to death, you might ask. Proverbs gives some specific examples: of Words of Death.

The first thing we need to know about words that lead to death is that these are words without the spirit of God or the love of God in them. In the same way that wisdom can either come from God or from Satan, words also originate in Heaven or from Hell. Unfortunately, evil talk sometimes comes out of the mouths of God’s people. In fact, it is the way church people talk that often causes unbelievers to call them hypocrites. What kind of words lead to death?

· LIES - The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Lies are always words of death. Proverbs 12:22
· ARGUMENTS - In the New Testament, James also compared the tongue to a fire: The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:6
· GOSSIP - Gossip can destroy relationships like a fire can destroy a forest. Gossip is a simple thing with terrible consequences. The heart of gossip is to speak ill of someone behind his or her back. And the motive is always to diminish them in the eyes of others.

We have a choice in what comes out of our mouths. Remember nothing comes out that isn’t already in us. Start with a heart check you’ll notice a difference right away.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foolishness


Here is a great lesson from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 18 that we discussed in the Answers in Genesis class last week.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the LORD."

Nothing compares to God’s wisdom. The world’s wisdom is foolishness and will be destroyed. The world sees the Gospel as weak and foolish, but God uses it to put to shame the arrogant claims of man. No person can boast that his own wisdom gives him salvation, and God alone will receive the glory in the salvation of sinners.

When sharing the Lord, proclaim His existence and the Message of the Gospel without reservation, so that hearts can be changed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Let the foolish shame the wise. Amen?  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Praying Today

Today is See You at the Pole™. This global day of student prayer began as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. Twenty-six years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. See You at the Pole™ is a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.

In 1990 when youth ministers in Texas first challenged young people to meet on a common day to launch their school year in prayer, one of the concerns what how to help those who wanted to pray together find each other. It was noted that virtually every school has a flagpole, and the flagpole provided an easy-to-identify place to gather. Also, one issue that the teenagers were praying about was the spiritual health of their country and their leaders, in obedience to 1 Timothy 2:1–2. "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."
Even if you can’t meet at “the pole” today remember to pray. Our schools, communities, and country needs it.
Amen?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lostness

Do you remember a time in your life when you were lost? I do. I was 4 or 5 years old when I was with my parents at a big department store. It was back when they had pet departments, and I loved looking at the puppies. I guess Mom and Dad thought I was with the other and I soon found myself alone. There was a terror that went through me as I felt alone and abandoned. I started to run screaming for my parents.
Do you remember a time when someone that you loved was lost? I do. Almost 25 years after my experience of being lost I found myself on the other side. We were on our first family vacation at Virginia Beach with our four children. We had some friends and their two children visiting us that day. I thought our youngest daughter age four had gone with her Mother back to the room. When my wife came back she asked where was Hannah? Immediately that same fear and terror that I had felt as a little boy returned. We frantically looked for her but could not find her anywhere.
Jesus told three stories about being lost in the Gospel of Luke chapter 15.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep that was found. ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Coin that was found.  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son who came to his senses and returned home.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

When I was lost as a little boy I knew it. All I wanted was to be back in the love and security of my parents. When I saw my Mom I held her tight and never wanted to let go. As a Dad I wanted nothing more than to hold my child and let her know everything was going to be alright. A lifeguard told us they found Hannah running down the beach two blocks away! I set new sand running record getting to her. That was my only focus – to make her safe and bring her home. That’s what good Fathers do – like the one in Jesus’ story, and God the Father. The Lord knows your heart, your wants, your fears, and provides what you need. His name is Jesus.
If you are lost look up and be found today.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Exisistence


This week in our AIG class our topic title was: We Can Know God Exists. God is the eternal Creator. His existence makes sense of the entire universe.


Look at the evidence as found in His Word:


1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. - Genesis 1:1–2 (Creation)

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” - Exodus 3:13-15 (Creator)

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. - John 18:1–6 (Lord and Savior)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. - Romans 1:18–23 (No excuse)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. - Psalm 19:1–4 (Everywhere you look you can see God)
As Christ followers proclaim the truth, remember to use the power of God's Word. Amen?