DO NOT IMPRISON GOD

Your life has great value here on earth. You’re not just a social security number or a name to receive mail from the post office.

God has ordained your life to be here and to serve His purpose. Some, it’s sad to say, never even know their Creator. Oh, they know about Him, but there is no personal relationship.

But I believe the saddest of all are the ones that have known their Creator. There has been a place in time where they’ve come to accept His son, Jesus as their Savior. They’ve asked for forgiveness of sin. They’ve tried to live a good life, but that’s about it.

But that’s not all of it. Yes, it all starts with Jesus, and from there God wants to grow us into so much more than we can ever grasp. Our lives are to be like the water cooler that constantly needs to be refilled because it’s giving out so much the life of water to thirsty souls.

But then I found that there are those whose valves are shut off or just trickle a little here or there, all because after they received from God what they needed, they then did little to share that experience and blessing with others. They seem to imprison the life of God within them and do so little for His kingdom when there’s so much to do.

Examine your life today. Take a real good look at it. Is there more real heavenly evidence that Christ Jesus is really alive in your life? Or is He just put in His place among other things? If so, let Him out of you more and enjoy the freedom.

Do not seal Christ within you. Let Him live and love and manifest Himself through you in whatever ways He desires, to whomever He chooses to touch. You have great possibilities regardless of your opinion otherwise.

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YOUR WORD

How good is our word in a society that is continually having moral decline?  Today, a person’s word seems to have little value.  Are we guilty?  Are we part of those who make up society that are lacking in integrity?  Proverbs 16:11 says, “The Lord demands fairness…”

These days when we find someone who can be counted on to do what he says; there is a rare person.  We all have the ability to be that person.  God values His children.  When we don’t give our best, we display how little we value His character, because honesty is His character.

God wants you to have integrity with the lives you touch.  Our honesty speaks volumes for who we are.  For those who struggle with integrity; there is help!  By allowing God to make changes in our lives, we become honest messengers in a world that needs to hear His word.

Reputation is what most people think of you.  But character is what matters most to people.

Discover all God has for you and you’ll be amazed at what happens to your character.

BE ABOUT GOD’S BUSINESS NOW

We realize that all of us have our days of challenges and also of victories.

Today the church in America is under many pressures.

Know that regardless of the outlook of the day, God holds the day.

He keeps the upper hand no matter what’s happening today or is coming tomorrow.

If we are a true follower of Christ, we are going to accomplish great things.  This world, as we know it, could be wrapping up.

The real believers, as servants of Jesus, will do great things to see God’s Kingdom expanded and miraculously touch lives.

Remember Jesus told us in John 16:33, “In this world we will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We are overcomers. We will prevail.  This world is not our true home, but because of our relationship with the Kingdom of God, the true followers of Christ will be the ones that are getting ready now to impact the world like never before.

Be about God’s business now!  Forget your own agendas and the cares of this world and be now about the Father’s business.  Let God fill and refill your life with the spiritual power He has available for you for such a time as this.  God wants you to participate.  If you don’t, He will still do His part but it will cost you for not doing yours.

Never underestimate to power of God.  No matter what problems the world throws at Him, He can handle them all and every one of yours as well.

He will never leave you or forsake you if you don’t forsake Him.

DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY

This statement used to have a more general meaning than it has today. You find the scripture to this in Psalm 133:1 where it says, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” When we do this in Christian unity great things can come from it. But when we do this in religious unity the purpose of the scripture gets diluted and is not as effective.

You see, Christianity is only one way. Its origins and future are established by God. There is only one God, one truth, and one way to God through His Son, Jesus. Now religion can say there are other ways, different forms of God, depending on what your particular group believes. We all have the right to think this way, but is it right?

The Bible gives us clear directives on what is true and not. We are the ones that choose to be in unity with it or bring our own form of unity from bits and pieces that we like from it.

True unity among the brethren is true to God’s Word, regardless of what we like or don’t like about it. God’s Word is the standard that He set for us to live by, and many try to make changes but that doesn’t change God.

We all get a free will to think with and base our decisions on. The influence of the Bible is the only true ingredient that makes the difference in the end, and how we’ve applied the Bible to our life will determine our eternal life to come.

HE DOES SPEAK BUT CAN WE HEAR?

God’s ways are not our ways. The Bible tells us this in Isaiah 55:8. So how God decides to do things will be as He knows best. God does speak, but it is rarely as man speaks because God uses His own methods to do so without man’s help.

The Bible again and again tells us this. In 1Kings 19:12, it says He spoke in a “still small voice.” In Job 40: 9, it says “Who can thunder with a voice like His?” So, sometimes God speaks loudly and with more force. Psalm 68:33 reminds us He sends out His voice, a mighty voice, and He does this in ways to get our attention. And then in Psalm 95:7, He says “Today if you will hear His voice…” God wants you to hear, but the world wants to shut His voice out.

What will you do? Are you going to listen above all that tries to crowd Him out? If ever people, especially Christians, need to hear God’s voice, it is now. Our times are changing quickly and God is trying to speak to many of us. Our ears and minds were made by Him. He knows how to get our attention, but He prefers not to do it harshly. But He will use what methods it takes because He loves us and wants to see our lives become what He created us to be, if we will choose to listen.

You still have an opportunity to hear. Listen now while there is time.

You Didn’t Arrive by Your Choice

No matter how you want to believe, you’re here by the choice of not just anyone, but God Himself. Not one person was ever an accident to be born into this world. You didn’t arrive on this earth by your choice. You had exactly nothing to do with it. Believe it or not, neither did your parents.

You think that sounds weird. Why? Do you not believe in God? If you don’t, then you must believe in something, and that belief will determine your life everyday. How is that going for you? Is everything working out for you 100 percent?

God is your true Father. He took a man that had the characteristics he needed and a woman who had other characteristics and united them. God still gets the benefit from this as well as whomever is born into the world this way.

Man violates God’s principles and pays a high price for it, but it still doesn’t mean God is any less in control. Your life is an opportunity to serve His purpose, or you can choose to do it on your own. It still doesn’t change the fact that He will take your life and do something great with it if you let Him. So are you?

COOKING THE SPIRITUAL BOOKS

We all know what it means when someone is being dishonest with money, and the term “cooking the books” lets us know that someone that oversees this area is arranging numbers to make it look like there’s money where there is not.

Proverbs 20:10 talks about how God hates dishonest weights. That, too, means someone who is not being truthful and is cheating others.

So how can the term “cooking the spiritual books” have any meaning here? Well when those who pretend to be Christians say one thing yet do another, they pretend to live a life as a man or woman of God, yet behind the scenes they are dishonest and deceitful. They go to church. They even read some in the Bible. They look morally pretty decent. But behind the scenes, they are being dishonest about the life they are really living.

Now, one that is good at it can get away with making things look good on the outside, but when the examination of what is on the inside starts to take place, eventually the truth will be revealed.

Some can fool man for a time, but nobody fools God even for a second. To call yourself a Christian will draw a deeper examination by God, and He can see what no other person can see. And His judgment has eternal implications.

WHAT IS REAL BAPTISM?

There are many different denominational opinions of baptism but where do we, as Christians, find what we consider the 1st example of baptism?  Of course, most will point to John the Baptist, who did go to the River Jordan and baptize many people including Jesus Himself.

So let’s use this also as the starting point.  John the Baptist was the last of the prophets from the Levitical line of priests, therefore, really bringing an end to the Old Testament, the Law.

Now Jesus arrives as one that breaks the traditions of the Law and offers a really deeper way.  John said of Jesus when he saw Him that “behold the one who takes away the sin of the world”.  Remember John also said that he baptized with water but one would come after him whose sandals he wasn’t even able to untie who would baptize with fire and power, one who had the power over darkness.

So why did Jesus come to be baptized?  Not for the remission of sins.  Jesus was sinless.  He was the new man.  Jesus was now to begin His God-ordained daily earthly ministry and by His baptism Jesus was showing that we are baptized to take on the Spirit of authority Jesus had over sin.

He was now ready to take on the authority, just as we are.  We are not to go and get baptized and then sit around or be ineffective.  When we are baptized, it is time for us to take on the power that God provides.

Jesus said, “Old things pass away, but I come to make all new.”  Jesus was the real separation on the Old Testament period passing and the New Testament period beginning.  And we should be baptized, not just to wash off the old to put on the new, but to truly be changed.  Because we have the authority to change the world and defeat sin for we are to take on the image of Jesus and His victorious life.

John baptized the people unto life with God but that changed and began the baptism to the life of Jesus in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the power to follow this new life and bring to pass the miracle-working power of God’s Kingdom.

When Jesus exited the scene and turned it over to man, He did so by fully releasing the powerful ability of the Holy Spirit to work in us and then through us.  When baptism comes to its fullest, we are to be completely obedient to the will of God.

In the Old Testament, the priest would take a goat out into the wilderness and for 3 days lead him until he would fight no more for his will but the will to only be led.  Then the goat, who had yielded himself to his master, was left as a sacrifice for the sins of the people.

Then when Jesus came on the scene, He fasted and prayed forty days after His baptism.  He was tested and tempted to have His own way on the last 3 days but He yielded to the spirit and was then ready for His next journey of 3 years preparing Him for the sacrifice of all mankind.

It took Jesus to the place of having to sweat drops of blood to give Him the strength to endure the death He would face for the sins of the people of the world.  Jesus was a spotless lamb but no coward.  He had learned to be obedient to the will of His Father.

Baptism is more than just a ritual.  It is a complete new way of life.  Unless you are truly willing to get rid of the old and be willing to accept the new, the responsibility of living for God’s Kingdom, baptism is only an act not a life changing point.  But if you’ll be serious about wanting to become different and serve the Lord Jesus as a real disciple, then your true life’s journey has begun.

THE LAST SHOULD BE BETTER

This question, I believe, is a must, especially in a Christian’s life: How will you finish out your last days on earth? Ecclesiastes 7:8 talks of this, that the end of a thing is better than its beginning. Can this be said of you? As the years begin to pile up in one’s life, what your life says toward the end will speak greater volumes than how you began.

For some, it is not easily accepted to grow older, but it is a process God set up for life. It is your life, and what it says makes a great difference.

There are some as they grow old that complain and think they need special treatment, and they are unpleasant to be around. There are others who use their many years to be an example of how to live a full life.

Some get more helpless and need attention while others fight over possessions and feel like they are losing control, but of what? Some even want to set their estates up so they can somewhat rule from the grave.

These are areas of control, adjusting to an uncertain future that affects everyone in their latter years.

God says finish well, live your best years at the end. Touch lives in ways that will have a good impact upon those generations coming behind you. And, if you can, do all that’s in your power to fix previous offenses.

The things in this world and the future are uncertain. But what’s to come for those who do truly know Jesus is much better. Touch those lives behind you, family or friends. Leave a Godly taste of your life with them. Show them the example of finishing out well so that they will too.

YOU HAVE KEPT THE COMMANDS – WHAT ELSE?

There was a great event told to us in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 19, in the Bible, about a very wealthy man who came to Jesus and asked a simple question, “What must I do to be saved”?

Jesus said, “Well, we must keep the commandments.” Jesus mentioned some of them: “You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The wealthy young man said, “No problem. I’ve done this.” But then Jesus said, “One more thing, go and sell everything you have and follow me.” But that was more than the young man could do, so he left Jesus and went his own way.

You know, that man probably was a better man than I was. I couldn’t say I’d kept those commandments. Back in Matthew, chapter 7 and verses 13 and 14, we’re told the way to God is narrow and few find it- and that Jesus is the only way.

This young man wouldn’t go with Jesus. He had too much of this world’s ways that he just couldn’t give up. Jesus forgives. I know He has forgiven me, and He will anyone who truly will repent. Only Jesus can get us to God, and only when He draws us to Him can we be saved.