Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Will I Have Work?

Desktop Nexus: Forces of Nature Wallpaper

Lately, I have been reading of reports of increasing layoffs again in the US. It is a scary thing for many people, including myself. My job has been on shaky ground for quite some time now. Even though I am employed at the moment, wages have not kept pace with inflation. Many are hurting these days; many are worried sick. The government say’s our economy is getting better, yet one does not require a PHD in economics to see that we are facing some trying times. Many have lost faith in our leaders. Some say they are intentionally selling us out. I do not know, but maybe. What are we to do? Where are we to turn?

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, 
And establish the work of our hands for us;  
Yes, establish the work of our hands. 
(Psalm 90:17)

3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. 
(Isaiah 26:3-4)

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34)

I pray all of us hold fast to the Lord in the days ahead with our eyes set on eternity. Let’s all live Godly lives sharing the message of Jesus Christ with whoever will listen. Let's not forget our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are hurting and be steadfast in prayer for the body of Christ. God has called us for a time such as this, let’s be prepared to answer the calling. Many feel something dreadful is fixing to happen; if it does, we will see a time of great opportunity. Many will be willing to listen and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. God will allow us an opportunity to make eternal differences in many people’s lives. Of course, things may smooth out for a season, which is a good thing. However, preparing for the worst and praying for the best is a wise move.

All scripture: NKJV

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who is the Greatest in the Kingdom?

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1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. (Matthew 18:1-5)

Something about our fallen sinful nature, we desire being the greatest. This can be on the job, in the church or anywhere else. The apostles argued “who will be the greatest in the kingdom?” In the corporate world, we put a lot of effort into working up the corporate ladder. However, Jesus said “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” What is this all about? Humble myself and become as a little child? Should I not go out and work for it? Afterall, I must earn it? Right? This goes against everything I have been taught.

Honesty is a vital part of humility. Let’s take a look at little children for a moment; they have a hard time with lying. When pressed, they will tell the truth. If children are sad, they will not appear happy and so forth. We adults will ask someone, “How are you doing?” We do not want to hear the words, “not good.” Many times when that happens we want to be on our way. We will also put a mask on our face and pretend all is well when, in fact, it is not.

I believe pride is what keeps people from receiving salvation. Many people believe they will go to heaven when they die. When witnessing, it is beneficial to ask people “on what basis will they enter into heaven.” Many times I have asked some form of that question, yet very few times I have received a response with Jesus’ name in it. I have heard “because I attend church," or "I sing in the choir.” Other common replies are “because I am a good person" or "I try to keep the commandments.” Many put their faith in their “good deeds.” They might say “I try to do the right thing and I am responsible.” I have heard people say “they do not sin.” Ask the question, “Have you ever told a lie?” They will say “no I have not.” Stolen anything? “Nope.” Then there are the people when hearing of grace through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, that He paid their sin debt. They refuse to receive it because “no one is going to pay my penalty for me, it is my debt.” Still others believe God is evil because He will forgive the worst of sinners if they repent of their sins and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. They will say “I would rather spend eternity in hell than with a God who will forgive someone like that.” Pride leads us to these responses. It bases everything on one's self and not God. In other words, it's all about me.

This is where honesty and humility comes in. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, he also saw himself as a man with unclean lips. We must be honest and confess our sins to God and not attempt covering our sins ourselves. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden? They tried hiding and covering themselves with fig leaves? Pride will cause us to try to either hide or cover our own sins, but it is always inadequate. God supplied the only sufficient covering for our sins. As God clothed Adam and Eve, He has provided a covering for us, Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Imitate God as Dear Children

Desktop Nexus: Wallpapers Nature Wallpapers > Beaches Wallpaper

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 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. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

One day on the job someone I never met before came in to work on the phones. I was showing him around and discussing the situation, but our conversation was business related only. Then out of nowhere he asked the question “are you a Christian?” I replied “yes I am.” He said, “I could tell.” This individual was not a Christian, but he was seeking and this opened up the door for a wonderful witnessing encounter. This sure did make me day.

I do not write this to receive amen’s and that-a-boy’s because many more times I have not looked like Jesus at all. (Not only that, any good within me is because of God, and He gets all the glory). One such occasion  my boss said something I did not like and I behaved in a very un-Christian like manner. What she said was nothing to get excited about, I just did not like the way she said it, as a result, I went off like a rocket for everyone to see. What an embarrassing example that was.

One thing we must all remember, someone is always watching us. There is an old saying “I may be the only Bible someone else reads.” While we will always fall short of the glory of God, when the unbelievers see Christians behaving in the same way as everyone else, they question “Who is this Jesus?” When they see us believers committing adultery, cursing, getting drunk, anger problems and on and on…they think “Why come to Jesus? What will He do for me?”

I truly believe, when we fall in love with God with all our heart, the more Christ like we become. The more Christ like we become, the more we will live an abundant life serving the Lord. The way we behave will affect many people beyond us, for the better or worse.  Let us have the love and concern for other people that we humble ourselves and let God mold us into the image of His Son, so we may be a light in this dark world.

Some questions to ask of ourselves:

Does my speech testify that I love Jesus, or not?

Does my character testify that I love Jesus, or not?

Am I more concerned about my (fill in the blank), or Jesus?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Plant Me by the Rivers of Water

Like a Tree Planted by the Waters...

1 Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

(Psalm 1:1-3)

If I were a tree with a choice as to where I was planted, where would I choose?

    A. By the rivers of water.

    B. Out in the middle of the desert.

As Christians, why is it so much of the time we desire to be out in the desert just close enough to the river for a sip of water every now and again?

I do not know about you, but I want to be healthy and bear much fruit in the Lord. When the trials and temptations come my way I want to be grounded in truth so the wind does not blow me away.

4 The ungodly are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

(Psalm 1:4-6)

All scripture from the NKJV