I Promise

Don’t you love how when you reprimand a little child for doing something wrong, they quickly promise they’ll never do it again, and they don’t … for at least 5 minutes. Promises, easily made, not so easily kept. How many promises have you broken over the course of your life? Did you know there are over 3000 promises from God in the Bible? If He made them, you can count on them! Let’s go over a few that Pastor Curt mentioned yesterday. He promises salvation for anyone and everyone who seeks it, Mark 16:16. He promises His presence, He will never leave you or forsake you, Matt 28:20. He promises His continued forgiveness, we have but to confess to Him to be cleansed, 1 John 1:9. He promises His provision for our needs (needs, not necessarily our desires) Luke 12:27,28. He promises to help us through temptations and provide a way of escape, 1 Cor 10:13. And He promises us eternal life, John 10:27,28. God’s Word is His Word, He promised it, He’ll do it! Next time you’re feeling down and discouraged, make your own list of God’s promises, look up and write down Scripture references yourself. Thank Him for all the undeserved guarantees He has promised you and the next time you sing “Standing on the Promises”, it will be with a renewed joy!
 

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You Talking to Me

When you speak, do people listen intently or do they have a blank yada yada yada look on their face? When Jesus spoke people listened. When the temple guard reported back to the Pharisees, they told them they had never heard anyone speak like Him before. When He taught the crowds, He spoke as one with authority not as an itinerant carpenter. When He walked among the hurting people, He spoke and touched them with love, and as John wrote, “through Jesus came grace and truth.” Authority, love, and truth… as in all things, Jesus’ example is the one to follow. You want people to listen to you? Know what you are talking about. Speak with knowledge and confidence in that knowledge. Speak with love and back up those loving words with loving actions. Telling someone Jesus loves them is great. Showing them Jesus’ love is much greater. Speak the truth, with love. Truth can be hard to take, yet truth is truth, but you don’t have to beat people over the head with it. Jesus reiterated He was telling the truth many times. Course He did have an edge seeing He was the way, the truth, and the life. So, speak with authority, love, and truth and watch those yada yada looks go away.


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Possessed

What is your most prized possession? What is it that you don’t have that you would give anything to have? I hope none of you are like Esau, who gave away his birthright, a most highly prized possession of that time, for a pot of beans! I mean, lentils are good, great source of protein, but Esau was hardly about to die of starvation. He was only concerned with his immediate needs and obviously didn’t have a very high value system. So, what is your greatest possession? You know what God thinks it is? Your soul. He gave His Son for your soul. He gave His Son for everyone’s soul. that’s how prized He considers it. He doesn’t care if you’ve amassed wealth, ran a Fortune 500 company, or own a jet. He is only impressed with your soul. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Want to have both of those things? You have but to give your soul to Jesus and you will have this whole world and the next one too! There is no possession greater than to have the Lord in possession of your heart!


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Salvation Is For ALL

It’s hard to understand when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but easy to understand when bad things happen to bad people.
Everyone is quick to say they got what they deserved, which may be true, but life happens to everyone, sickness, accidents, tragedies, to the good and the bad. Yet do you think things happen to people because some are bigger sinners than others? Is a murderer worse than a malicious rumor? Is an adulterer worse than a homosexual? Is someone who covets worse than someone consumed in lust? Sin is sin in God’s eyes, He doesn’t rate sin on a sliding scale. He doesn’t want any sinner, which we all are, to perish. That’s why He gave us Jesus, that’s why salvation is free! So many people think their sins are so much worse than others that God can never forgive them and when they hear “repent” thrown at them, they cringe. But there are two parts to repentance, and the first is the most important. People need to repent (change) their opinion of God. He needs to be seen as the awesome Creator and loving Father and Jesus as His Son who paid their sin debt and freely offers grace. Then they can repent (change) from their sins because He will help them do it. Jesus died for all us sinners, salvation is offered to everyone. Don’t get caught up being holier than thou because you have repented and received His salvation but instead get caught up in showing the world who God and Jesus really are that they may change (repent) their hearts toward Them and accept Their marvelous grace!

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Keep Going

Perseverance is easy, for a little while, but a little while won’t get you too far. Do you think Stephan Curry would be the all star he is today if he gave up when he didn’t get a scholarship to a major university? Do you think Albert Einstein would have accomplished all he did if he gave up because he didn’t get accepted into the illustrious Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich? Do you think Joseph would have become the second in command of Egypt if he had given up after his brother’s betrayal and settled to being just a slave? We are to keep praying, keep believing, keep going! As James wrote, we are going to have trials, but they will only strengthen us, keep going! As the widow nagged the judge for justice in one of Jesus’s parables, her persistence paid off, keep going! Jesus said to ask, seek, knock, and then sometimes wait, but while you are waiting, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking! God wants what’s best for you and your loved ones and He will provide what is needed at the precise time. Believe in His promises, believe He will answer what you are praying for, be strong and firm in your prayers, and keep going!

 


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Your World

It’s amazing how many worlds there are within the world. Like there is the world of sports, the world of art, literature, education, music, acting, the world of boating, sailing, fishing, cars, racing, motorcycles, and on and on. These are all worthy pursuits but they can become all consuming. After spending however much time in your world, how much time do you give to God’s world? Whose world always gets first priority? Do you only pass through on Sundays or do you make yourself available? If you have given your life to Jesus, you are a part of His church. His church, the body of Christ. is God’s vehicle on earth and He wants you on board. Whether you’re a finger, a toe, or an eye, you are an important part of the body. We need to be a part of other worlds so we can be a witness for the Lord, but don’t get so consumed in your world that you don’t have any time for His! We are to love God and serve God, and love others and serve others and that begins at the household of Christ!


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May Your Blessings Continue

After celebrating our Independence this week, a great Saturday morning breakfast honoring our veterans, and a moving cantata honoring and thanking our Heavenly Father for blessing our great country, let’s not let it stop there. Make sure to continue to honor and thank the Lord, not just for our nation, but for His blessings in your life each day. Continue to pray for our country’s leaders, even though God already knows they need it! Continue to pray for our servicemen and women, our police, our firefighters and EMT’s, all those who provide self-sacrificing service that we may live in peace and safety. Our way of life does come at a cost, make sure you are honoring and praying for those that pay that cost for you. We thank You Father for the freedoms we enjoy, for the blessings You’ve bestowed on this land, and for all the men and women who have served so proudly and brave. May You continue to bless America!


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Standing Tall

The world casts a wary eye upon those that claim the name of Christ, that call themselves Christians. It’s always watching, waiting to point out any fault or miss-step we might make. Once you have accepted God’s gift of grace, you are called to a higher standard, His standard, and if we are to win the world for Jesus we need to live what He preached. Do you strive to do your best at whatever you do? Do you work the extra mile to get the job done for your employer? Are you kind, quick to forgive, non-judgemental but welcoming to those that don’t know the Lord? Are you spending time in His Word, ready to answer any questions of why you believe in Him? Remember Paul’s encouragement to Timothy that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man (woman) of God may be complete, thoroughly equip ed for every good work.” You say, hey wait a minute, I’m not an evangelist, probably not, but you are an ambassador! From everywhere you go to everyone you meet, you are representing the Lord. Make sure you are standing tall before the Son, living up to His standards, and giving the world nothing to cast it’s wary eye upon!


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Easy To Be Bad

Why do people choose to be bad rather than good? Because it’s so much easier and fun to be bad. Like, who am I hurting if I drink too much sometimes? How many fatalities are caused by drunk drivers, how many families, abuses, lives are destroyed by alcoholism? Hey, it’s only a joint, it’s not addictive, until it is, until you need something stronger and stronger, until you’re selling your soul for the next fix! It’s only sex, everybody is doing it, it‘s no big deal. But how many abortions, how many marriages, relationships, friendships, how many hearts have been devastated by no big deal? So many people see God as this judgemental figure with a big black marker checking off their sins instead of a loving Father who has set boundaries to protect His children. He didn’t make up rules so He could judge us, He gave us guidelines so we may enjoy life to the fullest. Sometimes the lure of being bad and it’s self filling pleasures hide the self destructive consequences. Don’t be blinded to the truth, life is so much more enjoyable living in the good. Thank You Father for Your loving hand. Thank You for Your boundaries. Thank You for forgiving us when we test those boundaries. Thank You for Jesus!


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He Set the Bar

Fatherhood is not for the faint of heart.It is full of awesome joys but also awesome responsibilities. Father’s are to set the bar for their children, but sadly, over the last few decades the bar has been dropping like the ball in Times Sq on New Years Eve! It’s time for father’s, men, to live up to the role to which God has called them. Love your wives as Christ loved the church. Let your children know and see that! Spend time in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom for your children, your family, yourself. Don’t be afraid to discipline your children. They need boundaries, limits, and sometimes a spanking. Whoa, don’t let Dr. Spock hear that! Provide for your family but provide more than just the physical needs and toys to keep them occupied. They need you, your attention, your presence, your love, kindness, and gentleness, and your unconditional forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father has provided us salvation through Jesus, He will provide all our needs (not necessarily our desires), He gives us unconditional love, and is always there when we need Him. You want to see society change? This is the standard we need to attain with our families, wives, and children. God set the bar, now we need to be men and live up to it!


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