"...how easy it is to stop going to church and to stop reading The Word when something good happens in our lives because it's almost as if we're saying, "I don't need God anymore". But then when something bad happens, who's the first One we run back to? You know the answer to this one don't you? I thought so. In fact, we all know the answer because if we're honest with ourselves we can all say that we do it.This situation he writes about isn't limited only to those not in church attendance but all sorts of other examples too. There are times even still for me when distractions start taking over and I go into a sort of auto-pilot and am just going through the motions instead of putting my heart into Him each day. That last paragraph really speaks to my heart; well said Jay.
It's kind of like when we take out a loan at the bank. It's pretty swell until we have to start paying back the loan, right? Then the bills start coming and we moan and groan about writing those checks. I'm here to tell you that God doesn't charge interest! If He did, we'd all be in bad shape! Why should we moan and groan about paying back God's loans?
God said, "Here, I'm giving my only Son to pay your debts, all that I ask in return is your faith in Me". If God were a banker, He'd lose the farm on us. Luckily He's no banker, more like a Father giving His children a gift. You're giving God a gift when you give Him your life completely. Let God enjoy His gift as you enjoy giving it to Him."
Friday, March 31, 2006
Thursday, March 30, 2006
There was a group of woman in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says:"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."This verse puzzled the woman and they wondered what this statement means about the character and nature of God. One of the woman offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for the interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the siversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...". She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh thats the easy part, when I see my image reflected in it."
Passed out at the:
Valley Church of Christ
Ladies Retreat 2005
Having my nephew Blake around has got me thinking about it. Last week he spoke to someone close to his heart he hasn’t talked to in a while. The moment the communication started the lump became visible in his little throat and a few seconds later he burst into tears from loving and missing this guy so very much. I was trying to fight the lump in my own throat and hold back the tears in my own eyes. I have never met this person but in moments it became very clear just how great this person must be and how high Blake holds him in his little heart. It was at that moment the word hero came into my head for the first time in years like a frieght train out of nowhere, because it was clear that’s how Blake thinks of him.
He looks up to strong male figures so faithfully, it’s just amazing. Not the TV or radio kind but just about all the men in his life, even a few at church he hasn’t known very long at all. Not that us chicks don’t mean a ton to him, but there’s just something different with the men in his life. I really am glad to see this in him and hope he picks the best qualities of each of these guys and carries them with him through out his life.
Hero’s are great, but it hit me this week… We hear about super hero’s, sports heroes, TV stars, rescue personnel, and even family members; some deserve the title of hero, others (like maybe actors and sports players?) maybe not so much.
But sadly I’ve never heard anyone say their hero was God, or Jesus. I’m sure most would agree they're the ones who deserve the title first, and I'm sure its been said before, its just bothersome that I myself haven't heard anyone give them the credit of hero in my 29 years.
I had thought about doing a post on this whole subject a week ago, just never happened for a few insignificant reasons, but the whole hero topic has been bouncin around my brain since.
Last night while I was reading the bible before bed to my surprise I came across the following verse...
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.
Sorta broke my heart when it all came together. I don't really think any of it was a coincidence either.
So I’d like to give credit to my 2 heroes. Jesus for walking this earth and going through all the trouble, rejection, and pain all to save us from our sinful-selves. For setting a better example then anyone ever could and leaving us his love and teachings. God for making all this possible, for loving us, for guiding us, for forgiving us, and for sticking with us even when we’re so dispicable no one else would have us.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Psalms 32:10 (NIV)Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
Psalms 103:16-18 (NIV)
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children - with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
Jeremiah 3:19-21 (NIV)
"I myself said," 'How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.' I thought you would call me 'Father' and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel," declares the LORD. A cry is heard on the barren heights, the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel, because they have perverted their ways and have forgotten the LORD their God.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Hosea 11:1-11 (NIV)
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them. "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man - the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes," declares the LORD.
John 3:16 (NASV)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 John 3:16 (NIV)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I know there are many more verses showing his love, these are just the ones I know of at the moment. If you have a favorite not listed, please leave it in the comments.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Isaiah 5:22 (NIV)
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks
Wow, that brings me back. Back to high school and the parties that followed through the years and well into adulthood. Some of the things that made us cool turned out to be a real detriment, and I really thought nothing of it.
Since pot and other drugs weren't around back in times when the bible was written I apply verses that talk about being sober to not only alcohol but to drugs as well, because they are all mind altering in various levels. It seems that it's ok for a person to take a sip or have an alcoholic beverage for the taste of it, with out getting buzzed or drunk. However I've never met a person who took a hit of pot with out the intention of getting stoned, I think that same train of thought can be applied to all narcotics. And there lies the problems, so often these things aren't being done to fix an allergy, cure a sickness, or some other true medical purpose; they're being consumed for the purpose of fun, relaxation, or addiction, all while clouding judgment which is separate from God and His teachings. This loss of judgment or loss of control is what the word is teaching against, not against relaxation or fun.
I keep a list of verses that talk about being sober and the consequences that follow those who don't heed His warning. I use them to remind myself and anyone else who needs the help fighting drugs and drinking because they are so powerful. I wasn't aware of the verse above till today and thought it might be time to spotlight all of the verses relating to being sober again.
Luke 21:33-36 (NASV)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Romans 13:13-14 (NASV)
Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Romans 14:21 (NIV)
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19-26 (NASV)
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Ephesians 5:15-19 (NASV)
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 (NASV)
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
2 Timothy 4:5 (NASV)
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Titus 2:1-8 (NIV)
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NASV)
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
1 Peter 4:3 (NKJV)
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
1 Peter 4:7-9 (NIV)
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 5:8 (NASV)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
- What specifically are you going to work on in the next week to become closer to God?
- In what areas of your life do you find it easiest to compromise your standards?
- Does your faith point others to Jesus? If so, how? If not, why not?
- Can you give a recent example of a time you had to depend on God?
- Have you spent daily time in prayer and in the Scriptures this week?
- Who was the last person you shared your faith with?
- How has your walk with Christ changed over the last year?
- Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings this week?
- Have you exposed yourself to any explicit material this week?
- Are you truly a servant to people around you? Explain.
Valley Church of Christ
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Along the lines of "Think before you speak", is what your gonna say...
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Sometimes its better to just zip our lips...
Proverbs 10:19 (New King James Version)
In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
We shouldn't use cuss words, or speak in anger, spite, or revenge. When we do talk it should be for helping and building others up...
Ephesians 4:29 (New International Version)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Back in May of 2005 I heard a visiting speaker at the South Anchorage Church of Christ. Everything above came from one of the nights he spoke (I wish I could have writen faster). His name is Keith Parker from the Church of Christ in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He is an excellent speaker for anyone who may be visiting Hendersonville.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
"used by John Wesley, the noted 18th century theologian, with a group He called The Holy Club."When I read that list it really hit me. I'll be saving a copy to keep me in check, I definitely need it. Thanks a lot Mary for posting it.
With out further ado...
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you..." (2 Cor. 13:5)
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
- How do I spend spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Matthew - Seems to be especially for the Jews, often pointing out the fulfillment of prophecy.
Mark - Short and vigorous record appealing to active Romans.
Luke - Literary masterpiece appealing to cultured Greeks.
John - Concentrates on things not already told.
John 20:31 - "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name"
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The 5 books of Law (Also knows as the Torah)
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon (aka: Song of Songs)
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I really needed some inspiration and reminder; these are the verses that I really liked out of all I could find. If anyone else has a favorite that's not on this list I would love to hear it. I should also say I found some great inspiration for prayers but in looking them up I found many more extremely valuable messages that I was oh so tempted to add being just as important but decided to stick to the prayer inspiration on the website for now. My favorite so far is Matthew 6:5-8
1 Samuel 12:23
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you . And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
"For where two or three gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will but Yours, be done. Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Saints: Holy ones - set apart (Romans 1:7; 1 Samuel 2:9). All true Christians are saints in the biblical sense of the word (Ephesians 1:12-14; 1 Peter 2:5;9). Not perfect people but those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior (Philippians 1:1; 4:21).
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 4:7-8
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
As I was looking all this up and typing it out, I have sounded like a broken record singing a favorite church song (Jesus hold my hand). I don't remember what comes before or after but I've sang over and over "...I need thee every hour, as I kneel in prayer I hope to meet you there, blessed Jesus hold my hand".