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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/29/2016 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    Word of God Speak We tend to read too much, and not hear open your Heart let the Bible speak to you. Let’ all thoughts of the day be put aside, find a place in solitude and listen, feel comfort and eternal power within. Living within this world walking’ in righteousness. Sharing joy and peace brings others into the family. Our eternal home in heaven awaits are coming, give unconditionally, be the hands and feet of Jesus. We have a purpose in this life. God formed us for a reason. In his time we shall return home and dwell in The House’ of Our Lord. When are heart feels weak, who do we seek? Are we taken over by shame? Do we cry out his name! The Bible directs us to God’ by lighting the way with truth, to the one true Giver of all things. O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. - 2 Samuel 7:28 I pray you shall find joy and peace within’ Gods Word. Let His word speak, Listen with your heart. - debe
  2. 3 points
    As you've probably noticed, there are a lot of changes going on at ChristianWriters.com. I already started a topic about some of the changes and new features here. However, I thought if would be better if we had a place to communicate and track all the site changes and updates. So this blog was born. From this point on, I'll be announcing updates and new features here, on this blog. I recommend following this blog (click the "follow" button on the black bar in the blog header) so you receive a notice when we add a new entry. We also encourage you to leave your feedback, comments and suggestions below. This site was built for you, and we welcome your feedback! Thanks for your patience during this transition, and I wish you all of God's greatest blessings.
  3. 3 points
    . . . after reading 1 Chronicles 1-3 today I read the begats in the Bible today, and it struck me that the reading of every name set up a moment that put it to humanity's care to mark what obedience to Jehovah would bear, salvation for those whose hearts did not stray away from the covenant shown by Abraham's faith, or curse at the core of one's bitter fruit from tasting forbidden things, nameless pursuits. Some names seemed odd, some odder even, but each syllable of a lone person given moved me the reader to one strange conclusion, that modern monikers are known, too, by the Lord's choosing, and each one is precious, enough to die for. Do the syllables of our names say, "I Love You Lord"?
  4. 2 points
    Our mouths are the most powerful tools we possess. What we speak tells who we really are. Use it to speak positive words to and about others. In instances when this is not able just stay positive by being silenced.
  5. 2 points
    After reading John 1:1-34 Look, the Lamb, look! He is like none other. A speck of His light Heals the eye, blinds accusers. Lift up your heads For the remnants of Heaven Prepare in wonder A coming New Jerusalem. Unlimited Unction Fell on the Lamb, Replaced royal robes That Glory gave back Once Jesus went up, Teth’ring God’s heart to man, When the Son left a chalice Of grace in our hands.
  6. 2 points
    Recently a pastor sent out a letter to his congregants requesting suggestions as to what topics his people would like to have him address on Sundays. Another church felt the necessity to highlight the recent racial divide in our nation. To address the issue, they brought in two individuals who represented an ethnicity different from those of their own congregation. They discussed issues that needed understanding and even correction. I guess the purpose of the interaction was to bring people out of their comfort zones and into the reality of racial division. It seems that there is such a quickness to respond to societal problems that we fail to understand the true reason for racial conflict is SIN and BIBLICAL DISOBEDIENCE. When we fail to address these root causes of racial conflict, we will never find the solution to racial disharmony. When I see churches walking away from Biblical principles in favor of carnal analysis, my comfort zone is in jeopardy. Churches are becoming responders instead of initiators. We tend to react to issues instead of acting on the principles of God’s Word. We tend to bend over to the whims and actions of others instead of standing firm on the infallible, inerrant Word of God. If we continue to bend, we could face the danger of breaking and becoming ineffective for God’s usage. People are having a difficult time hearing God because they tend to limit Him by their wants instead of their needs. True Believers want unfiltered truth that speaks to their spirit. Selective topics tend to enforce complacency or to satisfy “itching ears.” Christians do not need to be lectured on interracial issues, for they are taught not to be a respecter of persons of differing social/economic and physical characteristics. All people are created in the image of God and are to be loved and accepted no matter what their physical makeup. The Church needs to continue to promote the teachings of Jesus and not enter the carnal arena that involves social issues that tear down instead of build up. When Christians leave the principles of Biblical truth, we have lost our way. Satan wants Christians to fight by his rules of engagement. We must never take the bait. Always remember the brighter the light, the more the darkness will be dispelled. We must stay focused on our calling. The Church must display love. The Church is not to be a judge, but a witness of God’s Grace. The Church must not enter the “colosseum” of conflict, but stand on the foundation of Truth. The Church is not to be integrated with the opinions of the world, but to display the Truth of the world’s Creator. When people have a hard time hearing from God, it is usually the result of frequency interference that comes from hearing interpretive truth instead of Holy Spirit inspired teaching. People have a hard time hearing God when they act outside of the Biblical framework. LET CHRISTIANS STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT GOD WANTS FROM THEM INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY WANT FROM GOD.
  7. 2 points
    I rarely dream, I really don't envision dream as antidote. It's usually rest when I'm awake that cracks the door of Heaven's gate to get a glimpse of God inside these kingdom bones, where He abides. The cataclysm of the flesh when crucified, put to the test, and then the flash of Risen feet up to Your Face brings me relief. The trust You give, upon your Word, is oath enough for us to serve* and from deep within the wells of hope scale ladder steps Jacob's eye felt** __________ * Matthew 5:33-37 ** Genesis 28:10-22
  8. 2 points
    We try to live in such a way that no one will ever be offended or kept back from finding the Lord by the way we act, so that no one can find fault with us and blame it on the Lord. (2 Corinthians 6:3) Paul who tried to live in such a way to not offend anyone yet seemed to have offended multitudes. There are books, sites, and cults formed to simply dispute Paul’s authority as an apostle. It’s one thing to love and another to please with pressure, It’s is one thing to be patience but another to tolerate abuse, It’s one thing to be in tribulations but another to tolerate tyranny, It’s one thing to be in need another to be lazy, It’s one thing to be in distresses for gospel but another to panic about everything, It’s one think to live in such a way to not offend anyone, and another to compromise our convictions, confine ourselves to this world and its popular patterns. So, my friend, for Christ’s sake live an authentic and humble life, but for anything else live a life with dignity, confidence, clarity, and without compromise. After all, God considered you worthy enough to save, with His own blood and life.
  9. 2 points
    I had dreaded my 50th birthday. Success in my life was hard to see, compared to others. I longed to know that I could make a difference in other lives through writing. Then I considered creating a website to reach this goal. Using website-builder websites, I pursued this project. However, I kept starting over, making it take more than a year. After my third attempt, I liked what I saw. Excitement gripped me as I poured myself into designing this website. It grew to fill my whole vision. Hours flowed by as I worked. I found myself mulling over more changes to make while sitting in church. One afternoon, I was in the computer room editing my website when the phone rang. While on the phone, I kept glancing at the website on the computer screen. I itched to get back to work. Soon after resuming editing, an error message appeared in bold red type. Alarmed, I also found a purple circle slapped onto my site’s log-in image. Bold red words told me that the site is blocked; contact the support team. My heart hammered. I searched for help, but found none. In an old email, I spotted a support team's help form. The form was sent. Trembling, and wiping my eyes, I turned the computer off and left the room. For the next several days, I checked the website. It still blocked me from seeing and editing the site. My emails to the support team emails disappeared into silence. Nothi.ng helped. I asked myself, had God taken away my website? Tears rolled down my face as I begged God to remove the block. Two weeks after the block began, I realized that I had made this website an idol. I had offended God. Instead of glorifying God, I had thought of the website as mine. It made me feel important, but insecurity was there too. Comparing myself with others, I came up short. I was afraid to share, yet I needed to share to find affirmation. Focusing on myself trapped me. That morning, I confessed and repented of my sin and found release. When I checked the website that afternoon, I sat and stared in wonder. The block was gone! Peace soothed my heart. The next day, I was astounded to find the support team's answer to the first email I'd sent. They said there had been a “technical error”, but I knew better. And God had prevented them from receiving anything I sent since then. I thank my Father for his loving discipline. After the painful discipline, God's words comforted me. Jesus said that “as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love,” (John 15:9,10). I want to abide in his love, and find in him everything I need. I remember what a guest speaker at church told us last year: success is doing what God has given you to do. (John 17:4) That’s what I had been striving for until I got off track. Ephesians 1:6 comes to mind. Jesus’ death on the cross cleansed me from sin, and made me “accepted in the beloved.” He now accepts me completely. I also turned to a reassuring verse God had given me: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV). His thoughts about me are what counts. His thoughts are peace between himself and me, peace that was bought by Jesus' blood. He wants me to love, trust, and live to please Him. As I do, he will satisfy my heart.
  10. 2 points
    God Does "Answer" Our Desires,Concerns, Prayers and Other things We bring up to him. It may not be in the timing we would like. It may not be in the way we expect. But, know this,. He has answered you and you will receive your answer in his perfect timing. AMEN
  11. 2 points
    When I recently read the verse that I bold below, I immediately took stock of a primary motivation in my life, which is to find, exhort to and commune within mutual devotion to our Lord and God, Messiah Jesus. There is nothing so freeing as living "in Spirit and in Truth" (John 4:24) It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NLT) I thrilled at the pride of my mamma and papa, when they said without words, "He is growing up". How they gave me space in my heart for their boundaries, it felt like a universe though I stayed under their wing. Now, my dear brother, now sister, you all, I hope you go further as you grow in truth. For I really live when I see the Church knitted together to form a Spirit-filled purse emptied out, filled-up as fast as her love, inspired by devotion to the Risen One.
  12. 2 points
    Many Believers love to surf through the Scripture in hope of finding spiritual gems that they can add to their vault of edification verses. If they underline in their Bibles it is usually with multi colored markers. Exclamation points emphasize the exceptional verses that carry a higher degree of personal worth. The interesting thing is that the Scriptures point out more about commitment and personal sacrifice than a “shopping flyer” promoting spiritual “deals.” We get excited about the incoming blessings, but fail to identify our obligation to disperse blessings. I would never minimize who we are in Christ, but I believe the evidence of our spiritual standing is how we are affecting the lives of others. When is the last time we scanned the Scriptures in search of verses that we may have over looked, either intentionally or unintentionally? What about those Biblical salvoes that hit us between the eyes, but we glossed over them because it caused us to be uncomfortable? Do we need to be reminded that the same Holy Spirit who gave us the defined riches also gave us the defining truths? When we were new Believers, it was like Christmas and our birthday all rolled up together. Opening our Scriptural presents brought unparalleled excitement. The problem is that many Believers stayed in that environment. There was no maturing, just the enjoying of the “presents” with no thought of sharing with the others. We all know kids that are spoiled. They always want something. Everything is about them. Sadly, that has become a picture of some Christians today. They think everything is around them. They want the blessings, but have a hard time being a blessing. They want to be “slain in the spirit,” instead of being alive in the spirit. The reason the church is having a hard time being The Church is because of ignorance of Scripture. Jesus’ teaching on the Vine and branches (John 15: 1-8) has been tampered with to the degree that it has been misrepresented and even “burglarized.” Verse 7 has been a favorite of the “selfianity” group. They claim that verse gives them the right to ask whatever they want and it will be done for them. Those who have taken this approach have found themselves scrambling to explain why it has not always worked. In the Gospels it is important to understand the setting and who is involved in the exchanges. In the case of the Vine and Branches, Jesus is talking to His chosen men who are about to have the “torch” passed to them. He wants them to make sure they understand that the success of their ministry will be because of their unity with Him. They are in fact like a branch that is alive because of the vine. The more fruit they produce, the more God will trim away obstacles in their lives so they will produce even greater results. If they fail to be fruitful, God will remove them from their positional authority. Jesus used branches and their effects as a metaphor to their lives. Abide in Him, grow by Him, reproduce through Him, otherwise; they will become as useless as a dead branch. Jesus told them they were clean through the Word given to them. In other words the branches were ready to produce. All that was lacking was the Holy Spirit which would indwell them after Jesus ascended into Heaven. They were given permission to ask for anything that would help them in their ongoing quest of representing the Kingdom of God. The question bids to be answered as to what is the role of the Believer when it comes to asking and receiving. I believe we can ask, but it must be in line with God’s Word. Our asking is never for personal edification but for the glory of God to be issued through us. There are many other Scriptures that deal with asking and receiving. But all must be taken in the setting in which it is expressed. It is by abiding in Jesus and His Word that brings validity to our asking.
  13. 2 points
    Do you know Him? I am not asking if you are a member of a certain church, for when you accepted Christ as your Savior you automatically became a member of The Church. I am not asking if you read your Bible or pray daily. What I am asking is do you really know Whom you are reading about and to Whom you are petitioning and making requests? I believe we are so hung up with blessings that we fail to know the Blessed One. We examine the Scriptures in search of something that will elevate ourselves to the point of human contentment. Jesus exposed the Pharisees’ arrogance by exposing their flawed knowledge of the Scripture. They were claiming to know Scripture, but their understanding fell short. (John 5:38, 39) Instead of “deep word diving” in search of the benefits of Kingdom citizenship, let us pursue a relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Many seek healing, financial deliverance, and materialistic prosperity in lieu of fellowship with their Creator. Positional rank seems to be a desire that many pursue in order to exhibit their spirituality. You may be a board member, worship leader (?), teacher, or even a pastor, but the real question is do you know Him? On one of Jesus’ last trips to Jerusalem, He looked out over the city and said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NKJV) I believe God wants the same relationship with His people today, but Believers are so wrapped up in religion that they fail to respond to His invitation. Do you know Him? We rejoice over our forgiveness, but lack relationship with our Forgiver. We rejoice over our redemption, but lack true relationship with our Redeemer. There are religious tools that are promoted to help those increase their spiritual repertoire, but there are so few publications on how to establish a personal relationship with God. Books and recordings produce millions of dollars of profit to the agents of monetary growth who are more interested in popular acceptance than in Biblical truth. Many pursue their faith in quest of personal edification, rather than pursing “less of me and more of Him.” Do you know Him? When we set our desires on Him instead of ourselves, we will grow into the likeness of Him, rather than a “new creation” fashioned after self-centeredness. It is not a question of what I can get out of the Kingdom of God, but rather how can I contribute to the Kingdom? It is not how much money I can reap by my financial sowing, but how much can I give so others can reap the benefits. Do you know Him? When is the last time we just worshiped God? When is the last time we laid aside our personal prayer requests and just “set your (our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Let me paraphrase, “Let us set our desires on Him and not on our own wants.” Some of the greatest times on my spiritual journey have been the times I just reflected on God and His love for me. The more time we spend in fellowship with Him, the more we will understand what Jesus meant when He said He came that we might have an abundant life. (John 10:10) Do we really know Him or do we just have knowledge of who He is? Let us put aside our religious rhetoric and learn to fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Let us appreciate Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Let us learn what walking with God is all about. When we do, our spirits will transcend our minds and will bring spiritual satisfaction as never before. Do you know Him?
  14. 2 points
    Contrary to popular thought, we were not meant to live the Kingdom Life alone. We are the "Body" of Christ. Different personalities, different giftings, diverse administration of those giftings, but the same Spirit works in us - the Holy Spirit. We cannot operate apart from one another. You have what I lack and need - I need you in order to survive. I may be your answer to prayer, your next miracle - you need me in order to survive. It is God's will that every need be supplied, but not apart from the Body and certainly not apart from HIM. In trials and tribulation and testing, don't leave the fellowship of believers; don't isolate yourself, God has often placed the answer, the miracle, the sign, the Word of knowledge, the wisdom you seek, the comfort you need within the Body of Christ. The enemy would love to divide and conquer. If we cannot be together geographically, cling together in prayer. I need you to survive, i need you to make it, I need your testimony ... and you need me--- 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
  15. 1 point
    Remain Prayerful in life. This will bring glory to your Heavenly Father. Always believing in the goodness of God, even when circumstances seem hopeless.
  16. 1 point
    As you persevere in all God has called you to do, great character is established.
  17. 1 point
    Hardships God does not lead, His children around hardship, but leads them straight through hardship. He leads us through the valleys and out of darkness in life to streams of living water, for our nourishment can be found within the Bread of Life. Good can come out of, bad situations never give in to empty solutions, easy way outs. Difficulty is part of life, hard times will come and go. And may very well be to get your attention. Good can come from hardships, like the precious jewel at first its ruff around the edges, the Jeweler just like God works on that special jewel and never gives up. For within he sees what can be, God has a plan for us for. He is the Master of all. We can find joy in hardships, loneliness, and disappointment. Joy is more about attitude, and what we learn during those times rather than its circumstance. strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God, they said. - Acts 14:22 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:10 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. - 2 Timothy 2:3 - Debe
  18. 1 point
    Your Longings Matter to the Lord when you Delight yourself in Him for He will grant you your hearts desires .
  19. 1 point
    There is no treasure so great than knowing Christ is infinite.
  20. 1 point
    Praise God for His immeasurable grace. If His grace could be ever counted, we would have no hope in our life. His great loving kindness cannot ever be matched!
  21. 1 point
    The Christian language is being used more today than any other time in recent history. Scripture is being elevated to a “must-read” basis. The verbalizing of Biblical truths has reached the social Media with an unashamed zeal. The problem with the Believer’s exuberance is that sometimes Scriptures are presented to enforce an interpretation that is incorrect. Many Christians are running to the “rapture” runway anticipating that the Lord’s return is at any time. As a result of “escapism,” people are not preparing for the difficult days ahead. Believers must not pick and choose the verses that fit into their unchallenged Scriptural beliefs. Much of Biblical learning has been through other individuals and the organized church. Regurgitation of doctrine that has not been thoroughly examined by the Believer gives way to the misunderstanding as to the actual intent of the Scriptures. I thank the Lord for Godly Pastors that have taught the Word of God, but they are not a substitute for searching the Scriptures for oneself. The Apostle Paul stated clearly that the Gospel he preached was not something he learned from man, “…but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12) The people of Berea heard the Gospel, but “…searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their mishandling of the Scriptures. He told them that because of their ignorance of the Word, they had made the commandments of God ineffective. (Matthew 15: 6, 9) During this time of global uncertainty, Christians need to be certain as to what the Scriptures are actually saying. Instead of picking and choosing verses that reinforce our interests, we need to see in what passages the Holy Spirit wants us to be interested. More damage is done to the Church through Scriptural misinterpretation than through Biblical silence. The Bible is a “life manual” for every Believer. It is to be used and studied by every Christian. It is not a grab bag of blessings from which we pick through trying to find one that will give us a “quick fix.” Many of the Biblical blessings are contingent on the Believers obedience to the Word. I believe that the Bible is a closed Book to non-Christians. (The Holy Spirit can open the Bible to whomsoever He chooses, but basically the Bible is the Believers Handbook.) According to II Timothy 3:16, the Scriptures are “…profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Doctrine is teaching, instructing, and training of the Believer. Reproof is convicting one of miscalculated actions. Correction is straightening up those whose actions have deviated from the Word. Instruction is tutoring one in character development (Righteousness.) When we understand that the Bible is the inspired written Word of God, we will live with the confident expectation that if we follow His Word there will be no limit to what God can do through us. The Bible is full of human illustrations of those who obediently followed His Word. There are also examples of those who tried it their way and experienced the futility of their actions. Open the Bible and start seeing what the Scriptures are actually saying. Follow the Word and see things through God’s perspective.
  22. 1 point
    My soul, what do the words "Messiah Jesus" mean to you? Meant to be the healing Instrument Meant to show Divine Love, how it's spent Meant to be a Friend to us when we were less Meant to give us will to worship Him Meant to gladden the Father by blind suffrage Meant to vote for Joy, invite us in Meant to take the grand of Good and grace Commands Meant to be Way whereon sinners win. "Messiah" means New Covenant The Path of cobbled promises Fulfilled to lighten loads A "Not-Guilty" run-on sentence by His Blood
  23. 1 point
    Every morning when we wake up, we face an element of uncertainty. Of course, we usually have predetermined expectations, but there is still the potential for the unknown or unexpected to appear. Each day of our life begins as a blank canvas and ends either with a beautiful picture of positive accomplishments or an abstract painting of negative results. The strokes we use in depicting our daily experiences will determine what type of picture will be presented at the end of the day. The brushes we use in initiating and responding to everyday experiences depend on the attitude of the painter. What our painting should show at the end of the day is how Jesus was involved in our experiences. What happens when our landscape turns into a potentially life changing event? What about a surprise illness that carries a life ending sentence? What about an accident that causes limited physical freedom? What about minor challenges to our Faith? What will our painting show at the end of each day? The outcome of any painting is determined by who is brushing the canvas. As a Believer, we see life’s storms, but we also realize that Jesus is in the storm with us. Sure, we struggle with the challenging “waves,” but we realize that as long as Jesus is in the boat, we will not sink. At the end of the day, we finish the painting by showing that beyond the storm are peaceful waves circling our boat. How long the storm will last matters little, for we are not alone! What does your painting show?
  24. 1 point
    God is Love and with His love in our life. We are complete.
  25. 1 point
    The Lord is with you in the mist of trouble and He knows your heartache. Let Him be all the comfort that you long for. For He is the light that leads you out of all your darknesses.
  26. 1 point
    The mind may be sharp, and the body keen, but is the spirit awake? Have we deadened ourselves to the point of apathy? Have we let the derision leave us indecisive and the quandary to turn us to despondency? Have we left our wishes to our past and our 'ought's to our future? And the mass of entropy leaving us inept in the present. When shall we live, if not now?Where shall we stand, if not on truth? How shall we gain, if we do not pay forward? And how shall we improve if we do not change? We ask ourselves how we can move in the face of such despair? The question should be... how can we not? And have we done enough?
  27. 1 point
    Because of Jesus Christ, you are blameless in the eyes of the Father.
  28. 1 point
    CORONATION TEMPLE by TLD (2003) This God has to say to His prophets of the third day: To Moses, I showed him the design of the Tabernacle, and he built it according to what he saw. To David I sent him a blueprint and Solomon used it to build the Temple. I showed to the prophet Ezekiel My future temple, giving him the details; he wrote it down for posterity. These days, to you, my sons and daughters, the company of prophets, I have entrusted the vision and the building of My Kingdom Temple. You have bowed down to the vision and heeded My calling. You have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision. You have clung to the vision for years and let it not go. You have carried it in your heart and mind, nurtured it to maturity. I have seen each of you how you labored day and night at My Temple work; you have fainted not at My calling. I have seen how you went up to the high mountains to cut the logs and to dig up the stones. I have seen how you have tirelessly cut, carved, and polished the stones and the wood for beauty. You have inlaid My Temple with precious silver and gold. All these My eyes have seen, says the Lord. Your labor shall be for a name and for a remembrance, for generations to come, says your God. And now, says your God, be of great courage and of faith. Be diligent and finish that which My Spirit has shown you to build for My Name. Let not your hands tire, nor your hearts lose hope. It is a little while, then I will come and dwell in this House you have built for My glory to reside. Remember when Moses and the children of Israel finished the work of the Tabernacle, My Glory-Cloud came down and filled the Tabernacle. The day Solomon completed his work and dedicated the Temple, My Glory-Cloud came and filled the Temple. When I had finished My Atonement work and had prepared the disciples, I sent My Holy Spirit on the first fruit of the Church and they were filled with the Glory of God. Today, you are the continuation of My Temple, My Church. You are also the last generation destined for greater things, to build My last-days Temple. My Spirit marks you for a purpose; you shall complete and perfect the millennial vision of My Church. Through your hands, My work will be perfected. You shall fashion and complete the temple where My Ark will come and rest. It is this Temple My Glory will come, fill and dwell in forever. (2 Cor. 4: 1-5) Can you see and hear My Glory-Cloud coming? It is about time that it impacts the world. It is coming with power and fury. The Glory-Cloud will come and fill the Temple you have built for My Name. The entire world will see My power and My glory emanating from this Temple, says your God. Now let each of you be diligent and finish working on what I have assigned you. This shall be for a name and for a remembrance for you, for generations to come, says your God. Glory be to God © TLD, 2017 - 2025. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Teddy L. Desta and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  29. 1 point
    Faith-oriented readers will especially love this wholesome western story of an underdog who rises above his hardships to build an unusual and large frontier family, against all odds. Now he just needs to find a wife, but the only girl he's ever loved is a wealthy, high-society banker's daughter who doesn't even know him. Author Lacy Williams has made us fall in love with young Jonas, the patriarch of the unique White family, and with Penelope, the banker's daughter from a nearby town. You won't want to put the book down until you know whether Jonas will ever succeed in finding someone who loves him as much as he truly deserves. The country around Calvin, Wyoming, comes alive under the author's pen, and you'll be ready to move there by the time you finish reading. This clean, wholesome, engaging adventure is appropriate for all ages, and it portrays matters of faith in a positive manner without being judgmental or preachy. I predict you'll be eager to move on to other books in this series, to find out what happens with all eight of Jonas White's fascinating children as they grow to adulthood and begin to establish their own homesteads and families.
  30. 1 point
    I Hope and Pray Everyone has a safe and Happy 4th today.
  31. 1 point
    “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” Said Spurgeon, once. Faith and belief seemed to be very common vocabularies among believers and unbelievers alike now a days. Even my five-year-old, stomps her feet and asserts she believes, ……. There are many beliefs and presuppositions in our world, like never before. Any strange search might bring up couple of results in our search engines. Any absurd arguments, any crazy doctrine, you will find few people supporting it. However, I like to talk about this seemingly insignificant incident with a very significant message. Bible says, “many believed in His name” that is great, is in it! Wait, read on, “when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them” My dear believer friend, you might have faith, faith in Christ’s name, but don’t be fooled, you might have faith in Him for wrong reasons. I am not here arguing, where those supposedly believers got saved or not? Let me refrain entirely from that topic as I am not a theologian, even if were, I would still not discuss it as the real confirmation of if someone “saved or not?” is not up to us to discuss. Let’s assume there were saved, but they missed something glorious, they missed Christ committing Him to them. In another translation it says, “Jesus did not trust them.” We might live trusting Christ, even trusting Him with a saving faith. But its much more for Christ to trust us, with His work. That requires believing in Him for the right reasons. You might ask, is it wrong to enjoy God’s miracle? No, not at all!! I would never underestimate the power of a miracle. We named our sweet daughter, Nesia – means “the miracle of God.” But my friend, a miracle itself shouldn’t be the basis for our faith. Our faith may be born of a miracle from God, but it should be sustained and flourished in knowing He is, and He did……. without that, our faith may not stand a chance against the well promised trials of this life. May we develop a faith like those Hebrew boys who stood strong many thousands of years ago, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 2:16-18). You came to faith because of a miracle! well and good, that is many of us, but don’t be stuck there. Christ is infinitely more than some of His miracles, my friend. We trust him, very well! but let’s review our lives and examine dose He trusts us? there lays the difference between the faith that barely takes us to heaven and the faith that brings down heaven into our midst here and now, and of course forever.
  32. 1 point
    Finances are a big deal in all our lives.Yes there are many scales of finances.I like many others wish had more.I give to God and yes wish could give more evento the ministries I love to bless.I know there is people worse off then me, thats why I love to give to the ministries..I know there is people better off then me. The thing is though even though I don't do it all the time. I do believe in Malachi 3:10. "BRING THE WHOLE TITHE INTO THE STOREHOUSE,THAT THERE MAY BE FOOD IN MY HOUSE.[TEST ME IN THIS]says the LordAlmighty.AND SEE IF I WILL NOT THROW OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT SO MUCH BLESING THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOR IT". God is good in all areas and I am trusting in him every day for my every need.Never doubt his word and continue to trust in God. The reason why saying this is because, I been out of work since April 2 because I injured myself at work.When I do get back to work I still have to take other days off. The bill collectors seem to know this thats when you hear from them (not when your working) [thats in my case]. I just am saying to trust in God. I don't know what God is doing in my situation but I got to trust in him and lean on my own understanding.
  33. 1 point
    Yes he is,I can't fathom somethimes how deserving we are to him. We are so precious in his eyes.I have to just say "God is Good " I always give him thanks for all he does for ME (even) when I don't see him working. Continue to trust in him and he will direct your paths{Psm 37;3-5}, rejoice in him always{Php 4.4}.
  34. 1 point
    Pie making class, anyone? Free Thanksgiving fun courtesy our local library. You bet we were in on that Family Pie Making class even though our little guy has not eaten a piece of pie in his life! Okay so our youngest is only eight, but in the past eight years our little guy has not eaten holiday pie, or cake, and you can forget about Christmas cookies! Eh, eh,...it ain't happening,...too many sensory issues to confront. Donuts are our little guy's delight. Plain, of course, let's get real,...jelly filled donuts are too weird, jelly goes on toast, NOT inside donuts, and frosted donuts tick off every sensory issue, too sweet, too sticky and gooey, and too illogical. Hello, frosting and sprinkles are for birthday cake photo props, as our little guy has never eaten birthday cake, either. Oh he tries, our little guy is the bravest kid in the world,...he will try to bring that laden fork to mouth,...but he just can't, yet, sensory, sensory, sensory road blocks are just not overcomeable at the moment. Don't giggle, and don't even dare to sneer,...YOU have sensory issues, too. Think of that one food,...you jussssst can't bring yourself to eat,...and then magnify that feeling by a factor of 1000,...and you're kinda close to how hard sensory issues are for those on the Autism Spectrum. Six years ago when we were dropped into the Rabbit Hole, think Alice and Wonderland, of Apraxia and Autism,...holidays were already beginning to be confusing. Hello, it's one thing to have a picky eater on your hands, but when any kid shuns Christmas cookies, hot chocolate,...pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and any type CANDY,...something is up. Or down,...like our spirits. Thanksgiving is so traditional. It's all about family and sharing a traditional meal, but our little guy couldn't speak and seemly lived in his own universe where traditions and holidays, and family didn't matter. We were just waking up to the fact our little guy experiences the world in a different way and he makes sure YOU do, too. That includes holidays. Yeah,..it was a huge,...whoa factor to realize our holidays were never going to be the same. Sob city. You bet I bawled my eyes out,...wouldn't you? But tears dry, sniffles ease up, and adults, adult, which is soooo much easier to do with faith in the LORD, because God doesn't make mistakes. Would we rather our child not have challenges, ah yeah,...of course, but as people of faith we trust the LORD's direction even when it takes us down very untraditional type roads. It also helps to put holidays in the proper perspective. Perhaps you already know the word: holiday is derived from Old English: Holy Day,...a day set aside for devotion,...like Thanksgiving. Hello, but who are we giving all that thanks to? Christmas,...celebrating the birth of Christ, Easter is not about the Easter Bunny, about the death and resurrection of our Lord, Christ Jesus,... Therapy helps, too. Happily I can say our little guy got over his turkey and dressing aversion,..only took about five years. Not even Autism could conquer my mother-in-laws fabulous chicken and dressing, which our little guy consumes with surgical precision. Trust me, we've rarely ever had to wipe our little guy's mouth,...smears do not happen in his world! There is one, and only one cake in the world our little guy will eat, again with surgical precision, and we happily procure that sensory-proof carrot cake from a local barbecue joint. Hold the cranberry sauce, and any and all pies,...but Thanksgiving is not about the food,...it's about family and friends, and unconditional love,...not ours, but the LORD's. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 But back to that pie making class. Why in the world would I take my child with sensory issues to a class that is guaranteed confront one with sensory shuddering gooeyness? The answer is so simple: "It's not about the pie." The entire evening was about Thanksgiving,...spending time with family and friends. New experiences are broadening and our little guy learned you can have fun making something for others. Look at that little champ! Please notice the spotless table,...not a smudge. Wish the giggles could translate upon a page - his and mine. We had fun following that recipe, with precision and dispatch. Team Isaac and Mommy finished first! "We won!" Isaac cried with fist bumps and high fives, and I didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't a contest. Actually our little guy was a right, as always,...amazing how this kid always seems to nail the most important things. The pie, wasn't the most important, spending time with mommy and his library friends, was. Take that Autism, we won! Seeing that our local library doesn't have a bank of ovens we had to bring our prepared pie filling home to cook,...this morning. Thank you to our librarians who were thoughtful enough to provide already baked pumpkin pie and whipped cream for us to feast upon last night. Of course our little guy didn't eat the library's pumpkin pie, although he did try a taste, "Mmmmm that's delicious," said Isaac, which is very polite code, "I am not eating that, thank you very much." No doubt the second our little guy wakes up,...you bet I write as much as I can in the mornings while he snoozes, he'll want to put our class pie into the oven. Science and all, the heat from inside the stove will cause evaporation and chemical reaction from the starch and protein molecules,...thus creating,...voila a pumpkin pie! Cool! Cheesy photo opp pose with that pie filling held not too close,...but it was a great evening, we left happy and proud with new memories and new traditions,...and of course pumpkin pie! The gift of Autism is that it break down life into its most elemental elements: I love you. You love me. What else is really important? From our family to yours Happy Thanksgiving! God bless!
  35. 1 point
    God has provided many healing promises in his word. It is up to us to reach out and grab them. Then declare that healing promice you need over your life.
  36. 1 point
    Why is it so hard to get along with people? Why is it that there are certain people that we tend to avoid whatever the cost? Why is it so easy find fault with others? The people in the world could give a booklet of reasons, in alphabetical order, why they can’t “stand” certain individuals or groups of people. I guess their opinions could be justified because of how they programmed themselves to respond to their “ego” challenges. The Christian, on the other hand, would be hard pressed to explain his personal prejudices. Not to be outdone by the world’s explanations for their biased feelings, the Christian offers up a plethora of justifications for not liking certain individuals. Almost every reason for their selective prejudices brings a challenge from the Word. The Bible teaches repeatedly that we are to love one another, yet Christians try to find “wiggle room” in the Scriptures to justify their lack of a positive response to certain Believers. This tactic is not unique to this situation. Again and again the Scriptures are interpreted to mean what the reader believes is being said. When are we going to understand that God meant what He said, and said what He meant! Qualified love of other Believers is an erroneous action that will impair ones spiritual walk. Sometimes people see their own flaws in other people, and as a way to deal with that they respond negatively to the mirror displayed by others. People are usually their own worse critic. Christians can be the last person to forgive themselves. When they slip up spiritually they have a hard time accepting God’s forgiveness and, for some reason, deal themselves a greater punishment than God would ever administer. There are also times when people elevate their spirituality to the roll of a judge. They are all too eager to dish out a negative verdict because the judged individual does not live up to their expectation of what a Christian should be. Then there are situations where they believe the gossip instead of the facts. They think if two or three individuals agree on the “unconfirmed” opinions, then it must be right. Jesus recognized the competitiveness in human nature and addressed it at His crusade in the foothills of a mountain in Galilee. (Matthew 7:1-5) He taught that if they were looking for some minor flaw in someone, they should first take care of their own imperfection. He told them to get rid of a “beam” (a piece of lumber that holds something up) in their eye so they could see clearly to get the “mote” (a dry twig or straw) out of their brother’s eye. To be able to see a mote in someone else, you have to get close enough to observe it. If you have a beam protruding, you will hurt the other person because that piece of lumber will keep you from getting close enough to observe. Some of us have a seven foot plank that only pushes the other person away from us as we try to close in with our observation. We are not called to be lumber yards, that display different kinds of “beams,” but loving and kind individuals that see the good in others. When we get rid of our “judgement wood” we will probably not even see the flaws in others! The next time we go to church, instead of sitting with our “posse” of similar friends, why not sit with that person we never really understood or misunderstood. When we do, get ready to have our blessing basket filled to overflowing!
  37. 1 point
    In 1944, I was chosen to be part of a family to which I had no biological or genetic ties. From rejection to acceptance, I was adopted into a loving family. My birth to the self-realization of whom I was and to whom I belonged brought a sense of security and purpose in life. It was through my parents love, devotion, and commitment to God that enabled them to take a day old baby and bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It was through their unwavering faith and discipline that I became who I am today. Godly parents are the conduit by which God’s Word flows into the child. The spiritual welfare of a child is directly correlated to the involvement of the parents. (Proverbs 22:6) Through the relentless prayers and teachings of my mother and father, I experienced God’s love. My horizontal adoption paved the way to another adoption which transcended everything that I had ever experienced. GOD WANTED TO ADOPT ME! No matter how wonderful my life had become, there was a “sin seed” within me that, if not eradicated, could be fatal. Through God’s love, He sent His Son to pay the penalty for my sins. He asked me if I would accept Jesus’ finished work and accept Him, not only as my Savior, but as my Lord. If I acknowledged my sin and asked for forgiveness, the “Adoption” would be final. Needless to say, I accepted His offer. This vertical adoption brought my life into a whole new dimension. The horizontal adoption offered a life of visible variables, while the vertical adoption offered a life of faithful assurances. My parents taught me the principles of life, while God revealed how to have a principled life. My parents surrounded me with love, while God revealed His love. My parents taught me through the tangibles, while God taught me through the intangibles. My parents showed me the obvious, while God showed me the reality of what faith could produce. As happy as I am for being physically adopted, I cannot help being overwhelmed by my spiritual adoption. To call God my Father fills me with unspeakable joy. Words cannot express the joy that fills my heart when I think of the eternal family of which I am a part. The Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15) has caused all fear, anxiety, depression, worry, doubt, anguish, and all negatives of life to vacate my reasoning mind. FEAR comes through the EAR. If Satan can funnel his action words through our ears, he knows it will not be long before we center our attention on what is heard. Believers need spiritual hearing aids that will cancel out the background noise so we can hear Jesus loud and clear. During my growth pattern as a horizontal adoptee, I learned the importance of expressing my gratitude to my parents for all they had done and were doing in my life. Now that they are gone, all I have is my memory bank that is filled with good memories. (If your parents are still alive, treasure the moments together, for the time will come when you will no longer have them.) As a vertical adoptee, my relationship with my Heavenly Father is never ending! I praise Him daily for what He has done, and is doing, and will continue to do in my life! The God of creation is my Father who adopted me through the sacrifice of Jesus. WOW!!!
  38. 1 point
    CROSSING BORDERS In our zeal to interpret Scripture we have crossed “borders” seeking a fuller life. We have taken Scripture from its rightful placement and occupied its content with the hope of a spiritual benefit. When reading the Epistles, we must make sure who they were being addressed to, and what was the main purpose. To take a verse or chapter out of its context is to open the door to potential actions that may lead to disappointment and discouragement. I cannot stress enough that reading the Scripture without Holy Spirit guidance will dilute the Word from dynamic power to a “sparkler” effect. Some people have a regimented routine in which they read with the objective of going through the Bible in a year. The question is how much do they learn? I knew a person who read the Bible through over seventy times, but when it came to sharing meaningful content with someone, there was a noticeable muteness. I have always stressed the importance of reading the Word, but it is not to be evidenced by how much is read, but by the quality of one’s understanding. One of the methods of Bible study is by SUBJECT. Here a topic is chosen and then a cross reference is conducted. We then gather all the Scriptures and come to a point of action. The problem is that we fail to see the context in which each Scripture is used. The Word of God will never contradict itself, but the applications will vary. Understand the setting of a verse and then see how that will apply in your situation. When Peter saw the fig tree that Jesus had cursed, he responded with an emphasized response, “Look, the fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus took that situation and turned it into a teaching experience. He basically told Peter to have “faith in God.” If he did so, he could cast mountains into the sea if he did not doubt and believed in what he was saying. Jesus then elaborated by telling him that whatever things he desired, when he prayed, he could have if he believed. (Mark 11:23, 24) Jesus was equipping Peter for the role he would be playing after Jesus’ ascension. In fact, He specifically listed five authoritative actions that His men would display. (Mark 16:15-18) The ending of the fig tree experience is usually ignored by “subject studiers.” While praying and believing for a miracle, we are to pray, forgiving those who have hurt us, for if we don’t forgive, God will not forgive our misdeeds. (Mark 11:25, 26) Many Believers love verses 23 and 24, but ignore verses 25 and 26. We must understand that each verse of Scripture must be taken in its correct context. The Faith thread will flow through the Word of God, but trying to make a tapestry from selective passages will result in a confusing picture. Before you begin to open the “Treasure Chest” of God’s truth, you need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance. Bible study is not by random selection, but is an ordered experience. When you are led to a certain Scripture, stay in that Epistle or book until you understand what the Holy Spirit is showing you. Do not speed-read the Word as you may miss important truths. Do not look for hidden meanings, for His Word is open and clear. Do not look for other books to help you understand The Book, for you may end up endorsing someone else’s doctrine. The Bible is your guidebook through life. Learn how to read and appreciate it, for it is God’s Word to you!
  39. 1 point
    The Word of God is likened to a seed that is planted in the individual. The germination of that seed depends on the recipient. If the hearer does not water the seed with his obedience, it will have a hard time fulfilling its potential. The “incorruptible” seed will never flourish without personal involvement. One can read the Word of God every day and still fail to experience its power. One can listen to the preached Word and still lack spiritual growth. One can carry his Bible but until the Bible carries the individual, he will fail to reap the benefits of the Kingdom. The Word left by itself will be ineffective without affirmative behavior. There must be an action based on Faith for the Word to accomplish its purpose. Faithless reading produces faithless action. Satan is also into gardening. What He plants is “corruptible” seed. This seed will grow by allowing fleshly desires to occupy the mind of the natural man. Before long it grows into a self-centered tree of “forbidden fruit.” This fruit feeds the carnal nature of man. If it feels good, it must be good, and as a result it becomes the driving force in human nature. The problem with the corruptible seed is it is “seasonal,” (Hebrews 11:25) and as a result there will always be a questing for more of the corruptible seeds (decayed and perishable). God’s seed will abide forever, incorruptible, undecaying, and eternal. The Believer must never ignore the Word. Absence from the Word causes the mind to wander. Every day that our Bible stays closed the greater the danger of Satan spreading his corruptible seed. (Matthew 13: 24, 25) Sadly, there is a harvesting of both seeds in many Christians. (I Peter 1:23) Corruptible seeds produce the works of the flesh, while Incorruptible seeds produce the Fruits of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul lists a minimum of seventeen results of the fruit of a corruptible seed, while also listing nine fruits harvested as a result of the incorruptible seed. (Galatians 6:19- 23) The two seeded Christian cannot be a true witness of the Kingdom of God. When a Believer displays conflicting actions, it is obvious he is not tending to his garden. (James 3:10- 13) It is through the incorruptible seed of God that we have been brought to the knowledge of the Triune God. Through the Holy Spirit’s opening of the Word to our understanding, we have been brought to the saving knowledge of God’s love and Grace. Through Jesus our Savior and Lord, we have become reconciled to our Heavenly Father. We need to rototill our gardens before the corruptible seed can grow; if it has already germinated we need to uproot it. Incorruptible seeds are being planted every day in our lives. Don’t let a day go by without watering those seeds with obedience.
  40. 1 point
    As Jesus was approaching the area of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Apostles an unusual question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They claimed they had heard people say that He was “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and even one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13, 14) Notice that the names were of deceased people. It was basically an elevation of reincarnation. Instead of looking at the possibility of a uniquely living individual, people focused on the past and its possible effect on the present. There had been some speculation that Jesus might be the long awaited Christ, the Messiah, but it was more of a possibility than a statement of fact. To whom were the Apostles listening? It was almost like a poll taken by the liberal faction of the Jewish religionist. (Even today, polls tend to reflect the pollster and his pre-determined political leaning, rather than the actual consensus of the people.) I wonder if Jesus was a little surprised by the result of His inquiry. Jesus then hones in on what really matters: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter quickly responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15, 16) I wonder how many of His Apostles had publicly declared who Jesus really was. They assisted Jesus in His ministry, and even went out by twos healing and casting out demons, but is there any recording that they divulged who Jesus really was? As Jesus’ ministry gained momentum, He seemed to shield His identity due to the direction the crowds were taking. People were more concerned with miracles, signs, and wonders. Jesus realized that if the multitudes believed He was the Messiah, they would revert to their preconceived notion that the Christ would deliver them from Roman rule. When is the last time we simply meditated on who Jesus is? When is the last time we focused on His personage, rather than the miracles? When is the last time we dwelt on His attributes, rather than on the benefits we received from Him? Let us spend a day just pondering on who Jesus is, and when we do, let us display to others the Jesus we have grown to know. When Peter made his proclamation, Jesus told him that the only way he could know that was by a revelation from God Himself. (Matthew 16:17) The Apostle Paul stated that the Gospel he proclaimed was not a result of someone teaching him or of hearing it from some individual, but through revelation from God Himself. (Galatians 1:11-15) TRUTH IS REVEALED FROM THE HEART UPWARD, NOT FROM THE HEAD DOWNWARD. It is not horizontal, but vertical revelation that solidifies the Believer. When we reverse the procedure, we open the door to potentially misinterpreting God’s Word. When we start from the head, our feelings and emotions will have a strong influence. When Paul received revelation, he did not “confer with flesh and blood,” but obediently acted without hesitation. (Galatians 1:16) How many of us have questioned our own actions? One moment we are convinced of the validity of our actions, and within a short time we question if we are doing the right thing. When we act as a result of head knowledge, we will more than likely question some of our actions. May the Holy Spirit reveal God’s Word and, when He does, let us pursue life without a rear view mirror!
  41. 1 point
    I'm with St. Paul on chastity as being the highest state; marriage being for those who “cannot contain themselves”. This view was shared by a number of movements through history that the Church labeled as heresies: the Cathars (who were present in southern France and Italy between the 12th – 14th centuries), perhaps being the best known. In 1st Corinthians 7:1, St. Paul (who was sexually chaste) writes:- “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” He continues, 1st Corinthians 7:7-9: “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” In Matthew 19:11-12, we have the words of Jesus Himself: “But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Western society today looks askance at the unmarried man once he has left his youth behind. (Marriage is so sought after that many homosexuals today wish to marry their same-gender partner). Today, society views the unmarried man as a potential, if not actual, threat: as probably being a deviant, a potential child molester. Woe betide the man not yet in his dotage who is single (perhaps because his wife has died, tragically, from some terrible illness, many years before). Many Protestants and atheists regard the institution of a celibate clergy askance. Personally I admire chastity, but I do not believe that Christian ministers should be forbidden from marrying. In the Greek Orthodox church, priests may marry, but bishops must have remained, or have become, single. Our western society is thoroughly sexualized, and spiritually debased. Living a sexually chaste life seems to me to be the highest form of material rebellion one can perform against a sinful and corrupted society. In the USA, many young Christian men and women preserve their chastity until marriage. Such a view has gained zero traction in Britain, one of the most sexualized and socially debased societies I have known. Christianity is of course very much a minority religion in Britain today, with fewer than 5% of the population in England attending church, and just below 9% in Scotland, so the failure of the ideal of chastity before marriage to have gained a place in the minds of young Britons, is not to be wondered at. www.rabbiedeoir.com
  42. 1 point
    This my anguish, these are my fears, but Lord, I remember your right hand across years, in many of which people said I was gone, but man's "Impossible" is a done deal with God.* Lord, what is it that You want from me? A voice that reflects a soul on its knees, asking for your goodness, recalling your ways, saying You have not forgotten, while riding provision's waves. God struck the rock,** Jesus, and such was the outpouring at Pentecost, the Bread of Life, Food for all time, fed us across the Jordan, provokes love of His might. __________ * Luke 18:27 ** Immediately thinking of Psalms 78:17-20 -- but also pondering Isaiah 53, about the sacrifice of the Son of God on our behalf I wrote the above after reading Psalms 77 and Psalms 78. I picked up on two things that we can learn from the Psalmist: honesty and reverence. While writing, I was also reminded of these exhortations from the Apostle Paul: Romans 15:4 (KJV): For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 1 Corinthians 10:11 (KJV): Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
  43. 1 point
    Ever since my wife and I moved into our current home I’ve had an ongoing battle with the shrubbery. There are times when honestly I don’t know who’s winning the battle – the vegetation or me; but it’s all part of having a nice home and I take pride in the way our yard looks to the outside world. At one point, the task of keeping up with our property became a living parable of the character of sin my life. I confess there was a time when I was more satisfied with the condition of my garden than the condition of my soul. I’ve been grateful to the Lord for teaching me an important lesson along the way. Pruning Away a False Front On one section of our property, there was a collection of wild grape vines that had choked out just about everything that was growing there. From a distance, things looked lush and green, but up close it was plain to see that the vines had all but destroyed the bushes underneath. I ended up having to use a chain saw to remove many of the bushes in order to get rid of the thick vines that had taken over. One of the most tedious parts of that project was removing the vines from around the branches of a young mulberry tree. Pulling them off the tree was no use. I had to go to the roots and cut them with a pruning saw and then clip the different sections around each branch and carefully remove them one by one. I found that in order to save the tree, I had to cut off several of its branches where the vines had coiled themselves around the wood. The more of the vines I removed, the more I realized just how far gone the tree really was. At the end of the whole endeavor, I found that there was very little foliage remaining and I was left doubting whether the tree would even recover from its ordeal. Through this experience I was reminded how the sin in my life was like those vines. It started off quietly attaching itself to my life. At first I didn’t notice what had happened; and when I did, I ignored the problem. “I’ll get rid of it later; it’s nothing to worry about right now!” I told myself. But slowly, like the vines around the bushes and trees, the sin began to wrap itself around my soul, intertwining with my daily actions and becoming a part of who I was. Like the tree, it was difficult to tell the difference between the sin and the green full life God had given me. They looked almost the same – at least from my disinterested distance. The Divine Gardener I began to see that the sin was taking over, choking out the light and drying me up inside. Things looked healthy on the surface; but I knew I was in need of a good pruning. I remembered reading the words of Jesus in John15: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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. 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.” (John 15:1-5) I knew I needed to let the Divine Vinedresser cut away all that was in me that was dead. My sin had become a thin veneer over a parched soul that was starved for the nourishment of new life from the True Vine. I didn’t want to be taken over by the choking, twisted growth of sin until the shell of my life was toppled to the ground, used up, and worthless. I trusted the heavenly Gardener to be as gentle as possible in the process. I knew there would be pain and even some loss; but I was prepared to accept what was needed to make me into a fruitful believer once more, trusting that it wasn’t too late to save me as I opening my heart to His healing. I discovered that my roots in Christ were strong, and the life surging through me came from the One who was my sure foundation. The Gardener knew what to do. Through the pruning power of confession and the nourishment of the Word and Lord’s Table, I began to heal. At first, I didn’t like what I saw. I had let my spiritual life go but now I was painfully aware of just how deep the sin in my life had gone. I was ready to begin again. A Question of Discipline In the story, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, there was a young prince who was a faithful gardener on a tiny planet where seeds would blow in with the wind. Some were innocent and became beautiful roses, but others were dangerous and grew into giant baobabs. The prince knew that when a baobab first appeared, it would look as harmless as a rose, but if neglected for too long, it could grow so large that it would engulf and tear apart his tiny planet with its huge roots. “A baobab,” he said, “is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces.” In the words of the Little Prince, it was all a “question of discipline.” And so it was with my sin. I needed to remember to dig out those roots of sin as soon as they could be distinguishable from the fruit of the Spirit in my soul. My yard has been looking better with each passing year. That young tree is flourishing and our bushes have come back to life. With each new spring, I see more and more growth and new beauty where there once was only the appearance of healthy greenery. There has been a similar kind of growth in the garden of my soul as well. I’ve learned the sobering lesson of the baobabs and the meticulous methods of the Gardener. I’ve come to see that it’s our connection to the True Vine that helps us to find an abundant life and a fruitful harvest. It’s there for me as I remain in Him and tend to my soul-garden with disciplined hands. But I must be willing to pay the price for cutting sin out of my life and ready to cultivate the seeds of new growth that the Gardener will plant within me through each and every new season of change.
  44. 1 point
    Super peaceful day in the ancient village. Greetings with the locals, and a warming sun. Good life. And blessings to all.
  45. 1 point
    “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ ” (Luke 24:32, NIV). Imagine walking with God. What would it be like strolling alongside the God who created you, the One who knows you most deeply, the God who is for and not against you? Perhaps it would be intimidating to recognize that God knows your every thought. Or maybe it would be comforting to realize that God cares about your every concern and desire, that he is genuinely interested in you and what you have to say. In Genesis we read that Enoch and Noah, each “…walked faithfully with God…” (Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9, NIV). The idea conveyed here is that these men of faith enjoyed an intimate and meaningful relationship with God, that their faith walk was in step with their Creator. Following his resurrection on the first Easter morning, Jesus walked with two other men as they trekked toward the town of Emmaus. (Continue reading at www.chuckkralikauthor.com)
  46. 1 point
    By Victor Remes “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV Faith plays a very important part in our daily walk with Christ. Like it says in the verse above “But without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Like some of use going to the gym to train our bodies to lose weight and gain muscles. It’s also the same with our faith system we need to train our faith every day to lose unnecessary weight and build more of those spiritual muscles. But to do this we will need to find out what faith is. Well there is two ways of finding what faith is and we can find that in the Dictionary and in the bible. Dictionary definition of faith is: “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something” Bible definition of faith is: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV These two definitions are pretty much self-explanatory. But I will put it this way; “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.” “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 NKJV Just as Jesus said having faith just as small as a mustard seed is enough faith to move a mountain. So imagine having faith as big as a mountain, or an elephant, or a tank or as big as the Eiffel Tower. You get what I mean. We need faith in our lives especially in our walk with God. But personally I know this and I know you all have experienced this as well; We can also lose faith. We can lose faith when things don't turn out the way we want it or when we experience some of life's monumental failures. Personally speaking when this happens to me I tend to overthink many negative things; thinking a load of unnecessary stuff questioning life itself, but that is just for that moment. But I want you to notice what I’m about to say next. I start reading my bible; reading verses that were a reminder. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?' Psalms 118:6 NKJV 'Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' Isaiah 41:10 NKJV 'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.' Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV Above are some example verses that I use to get my faith back on track. There are many ways to build your faith and even ways to get back on track after losing some faith. Praise and Worshiping in my car on my way to work is one of the many examples I would be singing to Tasha Cobbs and trying to bust some moves while all the other drivers are just sitting there thinking I must be high lol. But just by doing that nearly every day my faith keeps growing and will continue to grow. I want to leave you with this keep growing, keep praising God, keep trusting Him, when life gets hard be patient and trust in his timing; and you will see the deliverance God will bring into your life. 'They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord , “to deliver you.”' Jeremiah 1:19 NKJV More of our posts: https://pathofwarriors.wordpress.com/
  47. 1 point
    A couple years ago I decided to up my writing game by expanding my Internet presence, signing up on a few writers’ sites and posting some of my work for public consumption. I thought it would be a good way for me to network, point others to my website and build a greater following for my writing. I looked forward to getting feedback and interacting with the other writers, but what I didn’t expect to encounter was a whole sub-culture of teen self-expression that dove deeply into the dark regions of depression and self-harm. As I became more involved in the writing sites, the youth minister in me kicked in and I found myself drawn to reach out to those young people with the love of Christ. And so what started out as a way to build my brand turned out to be a winding journey into the thick of this mysterious and intense world of words. It was a true testing of my faith and ministry skills, and I learned a great deal about how the current social media culture has shaped the way teens view and express their identity, their fears and their pain. The Emotional World of Online Teen Writing… One of the first things I discovered on these sites was that, along with all the vampire stories and fan fiction and teen romance novels, there was a large percentage of poetry on depression, cutting and emotional brokenness. Here, many teens commiserated with one another over the harshness of their lives. These tender, hurting souls were posting brutally honest commentary about their circumstances, beautiful and often dark poetry describing their pain and despair, and rants that raged against the cruel world around them. I found much of it very difficult to read, not so much because of the pain it described but because of the hopelessness behind that pain. For sure, some of what I was reading was an expression of the emotional drama that all teens experience, the kind that can become overstated for effect. But in truth, much of it spoke to the sad reality that our culture has, in many ways, created a climate of loneliness, abuse, and abandonment in the hearts of young people. For the most part, there was very little hope in the words I was reading, but plenty of validation and camaraderie among these tortured teens. However, this virtual sharing of votes and comments in some sense served to perpetuate the whole cycle despondency as sympathetic replies from kindred souls prompted the teen authors to turn out additional chapters, leading to more comments, leading to further writing – and on and on it went – a catharsis with no real resolution. Sadder too, was the fact that so many of these teens were writing about their struggles with identity – and especially their sexual identity. I noticed that many of the culturally and politically correct terms had found their way into their posts: bi-sexual, bi-curious, pansexual, gender fluid, gender blind, transgender, and so on. Most of what I read expressed confusion or a call for validation of a particular choice made. There were those who wrote long rants about the intolerance of the rest of the world for the LGBT community, expressed in such a way as to leave any discussion on the subject closed, lest anyone with a different opinion be labeled as a bigot. In the comments on these pages, people applauded the person’s choice without ever addressing the confusion expressed in the words. I thought about how heart-rending it was that the larger issue of the identity of people’s souls was completely ignored. Trust, not Tracks… In crafting my evangelistic approach, I determined to employ a gentler touch: building trust rather than passing out tracts, so to speak. Instead of launching into some sort of calculated discourse on biblical principles and Christian virtues, I decided to read through the writing and pray to draw out the deeper meaning behind the words. I looked for the needs behind the anger and the longings behind the tears. I used as my model the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well in John 4:1-42. This woman, ostracized by her village and forced to draw water in the heat of the day, was an individual full of suffering and sorrow. Rather than chastise this adulterous woman, Jesus, the all-knowing, all-loving Savior, chose to engage her in conversation. He offered her living water, though initially, she didn’t fully comprehend the deeper meaning behind His words. But slowly, the One without a bucket or dipper was able to draw up the pain and need from the well of this daughter’s aching heart. Her dialogue went from guarded irritation to awareness of her need; and in the end, she became open to being filled by the Messiah. As I prayed over the poetry and prose I was reading, I asked for the wisdom to see each person in the same way Christ saw this woman. Through the words, I began to understand what these hearts truly needed. In the pain of rejection, I saw the need for affirmation. In the despair of abuse and bullying I saw the need for the safety of sacrificial love. Self-loathing spoke to the desire for something to fill the emptiness inside. Self-harm served as a desperate cry for the soothing touch of a trusted hand. Each tear and tragic story tugged at my heartstrings, calling me to spill words of healing onto the reply pages of their posts. A vote was not an endorsement of their ideology, but rather a knock at the door of a wounded heart. Each reply was fashioned to speak to individuals where they were. I pointed to the cleverness of their wordplay, the relevance of each metaphor and the unique stylistic choices they had made. But in those replies I also offered a word or two of wisdom, a sliver of humor and hope, and an overture of friendship without judgment. And as each door opened, I bid the Savior to enter with me into each heart I encountered. A Listening Ear, a Healing Word… Building trust was a slow process of acknowledging that I understood the pain I witnessed in the words and recognized the beauty deep down in those broken hearts. As I shared with them, first as a writer and then as someone with a gift for healing, I offered words that served as a spiritual balm to sooth the wounds that cut deeper than any razor ever could. I gave understanding rather than approval for behaviors. I never accepted beliefs contrary to my own, but spent time listening to the other person’s thoughts before expressing my own opinions in a gentle and loving way. Each day, when new writing came out, I commented in the same manner as before, but with a little more familiarity from earlier online conversations. This gentle method led to further conversation and openness. In my ministry work with teen girls I was very familiar with the tragic realities of suicidal depression, cutting, and eating disorders. From years spent with Christian teens I had come to a deeper understanding of the dynamic behind these self-harming behaviors. But here in this asylum of words I gained new insights into the minds of those who struggled in these ways. These young women saw their bodies as detestable canvases upon which to write the sorrowful story of their lives, and they reflected that despair in their writing. Each cut was like a horrid brush stroke on a dark painting, meant to be hidden from misunderstanding eyes. But at the same time, through the poetry, the hidden cuts were displayed in the relative safety of virtual reality. They wrote about their struggles with eating as a slow, sorrowful walk on a path towards a life wasting away with no one to notice or care. As they posted daily of their trials they clung to the words they wrote, hoping their hypnotic power might hold their lives in place for one more day, but at the same time, they saw themselves inching deliberately toward the edge of the abyss. A Message of Hope and Healing… My message became simple: You are worthy. You are unique. You are loveable. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I continued to post daily comments on new writings that came out, and spoke with gentleness and caring in short chats about nothing and everything. Eventually I decided to post my own “dark” poetry, poetry that related to the hurt I saw but presented the love of the Savior as well. I considered that, in order for people to find hope, I needed to move beyond the small circle of trust built around my life and walk with them up the hill of the Skull to the cross. Through my poetic words, I began to introduce these new writing friends to the One who could take the pain and sorrow to Calvary’s tree and free them from their bonds. One such poem that grew out of these interactions and insights was called, “Child of Sorrow.” It spoke of the One who was “cut” for them, upon whose flesh had been written all the sins of the world. Here was the God-Man, who willingly took each bloody stripe of the whip, whose head was crowned with thorns, whose very lifeblood was completely drained in payment for every sin. If anyone could relate to their pain and their struggle, it was this Man of Sorrows. In the poem, a young girl, just like them, took the depths of her despair to the cross: Child of sorrow, fair of form, Traveling through the fiercest storm, Sees within the mirror, image dulled with deepest rage. Sun will rise, another day, Wears her mask, her part to play, Walks the path of death, entrapped within a cruel cage. No one hears her silent cry, Now resolved to daily die, Writes upon her battered flesh the bitter words of hate, Used, abused, misunderstood, Underneath a Gothic hood, Sinks within her demon dream and feels her phantom fate. Can there be no one who sees, Or no ears to hear her pleas? Must she now forever live in silent solitude? Feels her racing heart retreat, Waiting for its final beat, Draws the blade her life of empty aching to conclude. Wand'ring streets in stinging rain, Searching now to end the pain, Falls upon a heavy oaken door and enters in. Moving past the blessed bath, Sacred pews and angel's wrath, Now before the altar table draped in sick'ning sin. Raises firsts to heaven's throne, Bringing out her heart of stone, Rages now before the God who mocks her from above. Gazes now at tortured King, On his brow a thorny ring, Body beaten, sacred stripes to testify of love. Sees the writing on His skin, All of our forgiven sin, Blood poured out in full to set now free our dying race. Can there be a love so pure, Or a payment so secure, That His life should so completely take the sinner's place. Drops the blade upon the floor, Her young flesh to cut no more, For the Savior King's cruel death now fills her weary soul. Rises now a newborn child, No longer to be reviled, Weight of sin now lifted, body, mind and spirit whole. Looks again upon the cross, Contemplates Messiah's loss, All so she could gain a place at heaven's open door. Tears of joy now freely flow, To her knees and bending low, Grateful broken heart now free, her blood to flow no more. Seeking out the sacred page, For her mind now to engage, Deep inside the words of hope, a purpose now to find. Leaves the sanctuary filled, Voices silenced, pain now stilled, Now refreshed, renewed, reborn in body, soul and mind. Child of sorrow, fair of form, Having now survived the storm, Sees within the mirror now the face of love restored. Sun has risen, new day calls Moves outside her broken walls, To a world of hurting souls who need her gentle Lord. Hope Rewritten… Eventually I began to see subtle changes in the way people responded. They knew someone was listening who understood, who didn’t judge, who didn’t want to run away. Even if they didn’t quite get it, they knew they knew I was praying for them and offering something other than hollow affirmation. Their poetry began to take on a note of hope, especially in the advice they began offering their followers, reminding them to keep on trying and not to give up. They began to write less of their pain and to speak into the lives of others going through the same struggles. In their words I saw reflections of the Savior’s love, slowly piercing through the veil of their pain. They were coming to see that if another person could take the time to walk with them on their journeys, then perhaps this God he believed in might be worth a second look after all. I realized that instead of trying to be a counselor, an advisor, a fixer or a sympathizer, all I really needed to be was a channel for the grace of God. I had entered as a stranger, but without judgment or criticism. I had spoken life into their cutting words and allowed the grace of God to work in heaven’s timing rather than my own. Now I would be remiss if I left you without saying that as I continue to minister through my writing, I’m not alone in my mission. I have seen other believers on these same sites, sharing the same hope with these hurting souls. Some I would say are better able to break through the barriers because they too are teens, and because they’ve gone through some of the same struggles but have come out on the other side in the arms of their Savior. They too have posted writings of hope and strength for others to read, and have talked and prayed and shared with these struggling teens, offering perhaps more than I ever could. It has been a joy to see how much the grace of God can shine when His children use their gifts and venture out into new worlds, even the virtual kind. I can only hope that more and more Christians with a gift for words will choose to share their writings with those who are calling out with their broken words for something more. In this age where it’s so easy to connect online, I hope there are more empathetic souls willing to bring the light of Christ’s love into the dark online worlds of these young people and spread the Gospel message of healing and redemption to those who are lost and looking for a refuge of hope!
  48. 1 point
    “Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?’ ” (Luke 15:3-4, NIV). Jesus was a masterful storyteller. He once told the story of a wayward sheep and its shepherd. According to the parable, the shepherd was willing to leave the rest of his flock to search for the one sheep that was lost. And when he found it… well, when he found it, there was a party! Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep reminds me of another group of shepherds living in Bible times. They were keeping watch over their flock on the outskirts of Bethlehem that first Christmas night. An angel appeared to them, sharing the good news of the infant Messiah who had just been born in a Bethlehem manger. The shepherds, of course, could hardly wait to make the short trip to see the baby Jesus. I imagine them dropping everything in their haste. But, I wonder – what did they do with their sheep? Is it possible that these shepherds left the “ninety-nine” in search of the One? Were they willing to risk the safety of their flock of sheep to worship at the baby feet of the true Lamb of God? Now, I’m not suggesting that Jesus was lost - he was exactly where God wanted him to be, in a cattle stall; but the shepherds were lost, perhaps directionally, but more importantly spiritually. All their lives they had waited for this moment, to lay sight of the promised Messiah, their promised Savior. Finally, they had found the Lamb they had long been looking for. And they worshiped him.
  49. 1 point
    (Isaiah 1:16-20) The reason why is the reason You ask me to think about your ways, of my trust in You, more mental than some spiritual gaze From point to point, Lord, You say if I have a fairness toward You and all the oppressed,* there is a rightful division, and sin will be cleansed within right living of the repentant. Jesus, I like to think that your thinking is grace with an invite. Savior, if it pleases You that I think with You, and reason, together, day and night, red will be white by the Blood cast on our pale souls to bring us to Light, thinking with hope.** ________ * Matthew 25:24-27 and Luke 15:17-24 ** Colossians 1:27
  50. 1 point
    If You Don’t Use It You’re Going To Lose It Imagine that you wake up one morning with this terrible crick in your neck. Just as you get into gear with your complaining, trying to coax a little pity out of your wife, you notice that your pillow is a couple of inches higher than normal. What is this? You look under it and see that the Tooth Fairy left $6000 for you the night before. Yes! So, you decide to invest it. You’ve heard about this fellow who is a really good broker, hard-working and wise. He’s a bit expensive but by all accounts his results are always good. You invest $5000 with him. Then there is this new fellow. You don’t know a lot about him but investing is gambling, so you place $1000 with him to see what he can do. You do worry a bit, though, when you see that his name is “Lazy Jones.” At the end of the year you get your statement from the first broker and you discover he has made you $5000 off your investment. He doubled your money. A Letter From Lazy You also receive a letter from the second fellow—a personal letter no less. “Wow, that's a nice touch,” you think. But things go downhill from there. “Dear David,” he writes. “The economy was so bad last year that I decided not to invest your money because I was afraid I would lose it. So, I’m sending your money back (minus my broker’s fee). If you want, I’ll try to invest it for you this year as things seem a bit more hopeful with the economy. Hope everything is going well for you and your family. Sincerely, Lazy Jones.” Here is a financial question for you. That $1000 which Lazy sent back, who are you going to invest it with? The first guy where you know you’ll get a good return? Or maybe in your kindness you want to give old Lazy Jones a second chance? The lazy guy? Well, you might like him, you might pray for him, and you might sincerely wish him well. But, are you going to let him invest your money again? Only if your mother rocked you too close to the wall when you were a baby. Now, I’ve got a second question that’s a bit more uncomfortable. Do you think God is dumber than you are? You see, this story is adapted from a story Jesus told (Matthew 25:L14-29). Not one of us is an accident. God planned for you to be on this earth. He has a reason for your existence. He’s equipped you with abilities and opportunities to do what you were born to do. In the story Jesus told, their money was called, “talents.” That is fortunate for us because that is exactly what the Lord gives each of us. Some have a ton of talent and ability. Others not so much, but EVERYONE has something from God. Poor Fellow ... I used to feel sorry for the fellow who didn’t use his talent. I thought, “It’s not fair Lord. You take from the one who buried his one talent and you give it to the ten-talent guy.” “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’” (Message version) In the King James version his lord calls him a wicked and lazyservant. The Lord is not dumber than you and me. He’s not going to invest anymore with Lazy Jones. Sure He gives second chances, but when someone has never even hinted at being serious about serving God, He’ll give that person’s gift to another. And if we goof around or live our lives centered on ourselves, will He invest anymore in us? There is a penalty if you don’t use what you’re given. That’s what you were born for. If you don’t use your gift or if you only use it selfishly, you lose it. Would the Lord invest in you again, based on your fruitfulness record? If you’re not giving Him any return on the investment of love, and gifting in your life, stop right now. Think this through. What gifts do I have? (I don’t want to hear, “I’m can't do anything? I’ve got nothing to give.” That’s the excuse of the lazy person). How are you going to multiply that investment in order to have a good return for the One who invested so much in you? If you would like to receive Coffee Stains by email each week, just send an email to: fdavid.porter@gmail.com and say “subscribe. (If you're already subscribed you don't have to do anything) _________________________________ Hmmm ... "You are what you repeatedly do, therefore excellence ought to be a habit." John Bevere "You reap what you sow. In fact, you always reap more than you sow--you plant a seed and reap a bushel ... It is one of the truest laws of the universe. Decide what you want out of life and then begin to sow it." Jim Rohn Image: Unsplash, Victor JakovlevParalia Garakas, Greece: Flickr, Creative Commons, Sherene IMG_0010 Stop pretending to be asleep!!
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