Thursday, October 12, 2017

ROCK.....not sand

This month of October the phrase, "keep it real" comes to mind.  So I will.  The word "simple" also keeps pounding my brain. This is good for the life I live, yet at times, complicated to do considering the life path I am on.  So when you blend the two, Real & Simple....was reading Matthew 7, thankfully, today.....and a song stuck in my head.....

Edward Mote,  from Tottenham,  wrote a song in the mid 1800's, actually he wrote 100's in his life, but this one is in me today and resonates....Real...Simple...

"My Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest in His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found,
clothed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand."

Real...and Simple....Enough said
Love God - Love People

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You are LOSING your Testimony

I was talking with a friend who is a Christian, and he was going to jail for some illegal activities and he felt like he did nothing wrong. We’d known each other for years and my reply to him saying he was innocent was,  "Do me a favor. Don't tell anyone you're a Christian until there's repentance in your life and you're following Him in righteousness, because you're going to give Christ followers a bad name!
If doubting leads to disobeying, you become a curse to others, not a blessing. You lose your testimony.”

In fact, what some of us need is a warning label: "Warning: Disobedient Believer!"

You see this in scripture with God's people. In Egypt, Abraham tried to pass off his wife Sarah as his sister because he feared for his life (see Genesis 12). When pharaoh found out, this pagan rebuked Abraham, the father of the faithful! David's fall, besides how it affected Bathsheba and her husband, gave the enemies of God an excuse to blaspheme Him (see 2 Samuel 12). And Jonah endangered the lives of everyone on the boat during the storm because he was running from God (see Jonah 1).

Let's face it; the Christian life can be difficult. Your faith will be tested many times, but don't panic; it's normal, and you might as well get used to it! You should never respond by doubt or disobedience. When your Christian life is difficult, realize these three things:

One: How else would you grow? The only way to build muscle strength is by pressure, and it's the same with faith. You're going to have tests; you can expect them. But here's one of my favorite analogies: Take a $5 bar of steel and make it into horse shoes, and it will be worth $10. Make it into needles, and it's worth $350. But if you put it under enough pressure to make it into the delicate springs for watches, that same bar of steel becomes worth $250,000!

Two: You need to remain where God has put you until He tells you to move. You may be tempted to get relief: "I've got to leave this marriage, this job, this town…" But no, you stay put until God shows you otherwise, through His Word or through some godly counsel. Isaiah 28:16 says, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation…whoever believes will not act hastily."

Three: Don't ask, "How can I get out of this?" Instead ask, "What can I get out of this? What can I learn from it?" Missionary Hudson Taylor said, "God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him." So lean on Him, and learn from Him. If the situation is hard, lean harder. Stay put and cast your cares upon the Lord. Put God between you and your problem.

God's promises, mixed with your faith in those promises, will make you powerful and safe even in the midst of difficult situations. God has made promises to you, folks. Don't underestimate them. Lean harder!

I pray that we'll live in such a way that we would be a blessing to people, not a menace; that they would see our lives and be drawn to Jesus Christ because of how we respond to pressure!

Love God – Love People

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Buried in a Storm

Our daughter Allison is today leaving her residence in Ft. Lauderdale to head inland since she only lives 1 mile from the ocean. The past few days Hurricane Irma has left a destructive path.  One such story had people buried under heavy debris not know when others could actually save them. We are praying for all the victims of these horrible disasters and for the responders that assist.

This also made me think of our faith and trust in Jesus and before we met Jesus Christ, our situation was just like those people on the island—buried under a load of sin, with no way to get out by my own power. David paints a vivid picture of this in Psalm 40. "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord" (vv. 1-3).

Those verses describe what God will do in the life of every individual who comes to Him.

"...He inclined to me, and heard my cry..." God leaned toward you to hear. He listened.

"...brought me up out of a horrible pit..." The New International Version calls it a "slimy pit," and I like that. That's your past. When you look back, all you have to glory in is a slimy pit. Paul said, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, there dwells no good thing" (Romans 7:18). You were without hope, but He lifted you up.

"...set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps..." After God delivered you out of the miry clay of sin, He set you upon a solid foundation. He gave you stability. He gave you direction and a goal for your life.

"...put a new song in my mouth..." And you that have a relationship with the Lord know what that's like, that new song of worship and praise because God delivered you. It's something you're eternally grateful for.

"...many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord..." That's what the Lord does when he changes a life. He makes it so obvious to the world that they see and they marvel. And many of them will trust in the Lord because they see the changed life. They think, "He was so messed up, but now he's got a song. He's got direction and purpose. I want to know the kind of God that can change lives like that."

So, all of us who have been saved out of that slimy pit, let's make this our new song: "Let such as love Your salvation say continually, 'The Lord be magnified!'" (v. 16).  No matter what storm comes our way.

Love God – Love People

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tweet Tweet Tweet

Birds were suppose to be confused yesterday and start tweeting in the dark of the eclipse morning.  I did not notice that happening, but it did make me stumble across an article about "tweeting."  Market researchers recently studied Twitter, to check out what kind of information is being posted on its service. If you're not familiar with Twitter, it is a social networking site where people can pass along short messages, called "tweets.” Here's what they found. Over 40 percent of the "tweets" were "Pointless Babble," stuff like "I'm having a sandwich." Another 37 percent were listed as "Conversational," basically instant messages sent from one individual to another. Less than nine percent had any Pass-Along Value, and Self-Promotion, Spam, and News items were even smaller than that. So, by far, the majority of the communication is trivial.

The subscribers to the "tweets" are called "followers." It's interesting that those they're following are telling them things that are unimportant. Now, don't get the idea that I'm criticizing Twitter or similar web-based communication sites. I'm not. I use them myself.  But here's what I'm getting at. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a follower of the Savior of the world. You know the one who gave His life as a ransom for yours, and for anyone who believes. You have information that has pass-along value. You know how people can be saved from the power of sin in their lives, and from the punishment for those sins.

So your communication should be more than just "pointless babble." It should be about the hope that you have in Jesus Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). Note that--your salvation is a gift from God! Isn't that wonderful news?

But look at Romans 10:14-15. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'"

Verse 12 reminds us that God "is rich to all who call upon him," and verse 13 says, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But first they have to get that message. Your job, and the job of every believer in Jesus Christ, is to make sure you pass it along to them.

Love God – Love People