JUST WHAT HAVE YOU REALLY GIVEN UP

I am sure there are people who think they have given up many things just so they could live a better life, because of their family’s needs, or to help others in some way.

Sometimes one is willing to give up a few comforts. But how many are willing to give up everything? You could probably count them on your fingers. There is a good reference to this found in the Bible in 1 Kings 19:19. It is the account of Elijah, the prophet of God, who finds a man by the name of Elisha, who is plowing with twelve oxen. The prophet Elijah passes his mantle to Elisha to follow him and become the next prophet for God.

Elisha asked for a few days to get his business affairs and life in order because, you see, Elisha was a wealthy man. Twelve yoke of oxen was 24, and most farmers didn’t have but one or two oxen. So Elisha farmed much land. But before Elisha left, he offered the oxen as a sacrifice and cooked them with the wooden yokes, which were also expensive in that day. Why? Because Elisha was getting rid of the things that could still draw him back. He burned the bridge behind him to move on for God.

Think what you or I have to do today if we are ever going to amount to our real purpose for God’s plans for our lives. What do you need to give up so that you are not hindered by what God wants you to do in the future?

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HIS STRONG HAND

God knows where He ultimately wants to take us. But many times, because of circumstances we create or are drawn into by decisions we made, it may take many years to get to where we could have been in a much shorter period of time.

If you really want to see your life become something that God knows it should be, it can. I’m convinced that a majority of Christians want what God really wants them to be right now with their lives. In Exodus 13, God reminds His children that by His strong hand He can lead them. Today, as the day of Exodus, God is still the same and still able to help you get out of where you are and be where He really wants you to be. He can lead you through many places that you on your own think you can’t get past.

Yet, God can still provide a pillar of fire to light your way down the dark passages you may journey on. He can still open a Red Sea of problems that surround you and see you safely through to the other side.

If you really want to move out of your comfort zone and open your life up to God, you can get out of the place you are to where God has intended you to be.

God’s hand is just as strong today as it has ever been. Just as He said to Moses, He says to you: “Do not be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish in you.”

THE GREAT REBUILDER

Many times the result that affects our lives and our churches and communities, and eventually throughout the world, is because of our sins or those of others who will end up having direct effects on our lives. It is not necessarily always a bad thing when a person has to look up from their despair for them to get a better focus on God.

No matter where life has taken us, no matter what hand we’ve been dealt, you can always count on God to be there to help if you’ll look to Him.

When you want to do good and return to your heavenly Father’s kingdom and let Him have the reins of your life, He will steer the matter that concerns you and you’ll find favor and help no matter the obstacles before you.

When we have to start again in life, whether it is a new project or fixing an old one, it is wise to size up the situation, not so you have to have all your plans laid out, but so that you’ll know how to pray and put your needs and requests before God so He can work properly on your behalf.

No matter what you do in life, and especially when you try to rebuild from the mistakes of the past, you’ll find God’s help. You’ll also find critics, and you must always keep your eyes on God and what He says about you. Believe His abilities to use your life in ways you may not understand, but He does.

When you will put your mind to follow God regardless of what people say, regardless of what’s happened in the past, regardless of your own resources or talents, God will begin to repair and join together the parts and pieces of your life and restore from the rubble what life sometimes leaves for us to deal with. Because God’s ways of working out projects always end up in a more secure and greater future.

Be sure and be careful how you answer your critics. God expects His people to always hold a higher standard and honor Him, even to those who don’t deserve it according to your opinion. God is the only one we need to pay attention to.

There is no better report or testimony than what God has done in any matter. There are people who would like to discredit the work of God, but when you remain faithful to the Word and let God get the glory, He will use your life to speak of His great redeeming power and His greatness to provide for you from what seemed to be nothing, and repair past failures.

In all you do in this life, do it for the glory of God. Never take credit away from what God has done. When He is exalted, you will stand amazed at the things that will happen next. It takes our obedience to God’s Word to follow through, to praise Him even in the hard times, for by doing so there will be a much greater praise and results when the work is complete and ready to move forward on the next adventure.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A BAD PERSON TO GO TO HELL

This may be a head-scratching thought to some who believe that- that it is going to be all those bad people who end up going to hell- when that simply isn’t true. Yes, there will be lots of good people in hell; those whom the world believes are really good, decent human beings. But all their works and good deeds will not have earned them the right to make it into heaven. Heaven’s doors are shut to many good people. Being good is not a requirement to eternal life with Christ.

The only way is Jesus; only by a heart of true repentance of one’s sinful life and stopping those practices and allowing Jesus as Master will guide the way to heaven.

This idea that only bad people go to hell is a manmade fable. I’m sure there will be a lot of good, decent people missing heaven because it is all about the end work and one truly turning their life from sin and letting God have His way through them that lives can be changed and heaven a guarantee to eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Don’t get sucked into this wrong idea that you can be a good person and live just about any way you want to and say a few words to God along the way and you are good to go.

Death is not that scary when you know you can just push through one side to the other because Jesus is leading you toward the promised land of eternity. If you’ve repented and your life has been made new, all things are new today and all the best is yet to come.

ARE YOU A GOD WITNESS?

It amazes me how many people say that they are a Christian. From our political leaders to the average person on the street, we often hear how someone claims to be a follower of Christ.

But to be a follower means also you have to be a doer, but not just good works.

Good fruit is not necessarily always the best because even people who grow fruit have to grade the fruit by different types of tests. Only some fruit is marked “Grade A” as it passes the inspector’s regulations.

Way too many claim that they are doing the work of a Christian and living that type of life. But only those that can pass God’s standards will be accepted. When people talk of their connection to Christianity and then do things opposite of what the Bible says, it is really the worst kind of blasphemy against God’s Word, and they are heaping up big trouble against themselves.

All of us that claim to be born again must make sure we can pass the examination of the fruit we produce.

Voters and Candidates

Election after election voters are told that the results will prove to have greater and greater impact on society’s future. There is a growing difference separating what people believe is right or wrong, truth and lies, what marriage is or isn’t, there are democrats switching to the republican party, and vice versa because they can’t get elected their way. The issues of abortion, 2nd amendment rights, immigration, the list goes up the ladder all the way to the Supreme Court, it seems that as each election season arrives more and more, the reality is that this nation and our states are just a vote here or there from turning what has always been moral to immoral, legal to illegal, personal opinions to hate speech or racism, and it’s not stopping. The envelope is continually being pushed till somebody gets their way. People have no problem with lying, destroying another person’s character and in fact their whole family if they can, politicians throw other politicians under the bus. People running for office claim it is experience that matters, but in the end it will be their character that will be the tell tail signs of what they end up doing. A person can claim electing the right candidate is all about their education, their years of work that prepared them to be the next whatever position it is that they are running for. But when push comes to shove, and temptations are made available, when the going gets hard the reactions of those people is what is going to prove who they are, forget experience so much when its character. What a person believes deep down is going to matter the most. Candidates put on their advertising slogans that they are standing up for your values and your family values or states values like everyone in the whole state has the same values, yet what they’re saying is that they are going to push their own values only for those who agree with them.

And when it comes to voting on some amendment we must be careful because no means yes and yes means no, on half of the bills being voted on trying to deceive voters, it never stops because there are many dishonest people wanting their way regardless of truth. It used to be most all candidates affiliated themselves with a church reference, not so much these days because it is not quite as popular, you’ve earmarked yourself if you belong to some church group that actually still believes there is only one way to heaven through Jesus, they say society has become too diverse, well society has but God hasn’t. Most political candidates will say they believe in God, well so does the devil but when Jesus is said to be the only way, then there are not so many willing to stand up for Jesus, oh yes they have a Bible, but they don’t really believe it’s words and actually live by them. God knows who He wants in office, and if they are put in God will qualify them to be able and do the job. But most want to trust in themselves and look at some of the messes we have because they do, very few ever realize that someday they are going to stand before Jesus and have to answer for every dishonest deed, everything you’ve ever done is going to exposed, this is what is going to determine your eternal life all should consider this before running for office and those that vote to elect them to office as well.

Don’t let it be said of you if you are one of these candidates, as it was when one day a woman was walking in a cemetery and saw a big stone marker that said: ‘Here lies a politician and an honest man’ and the woman called to her husband, “look dear, there are two different people buried in the same grave!”

 

 

LOOKING TO MAN

What a troubled world we live in these days. So many struggle with troubled minds. The world has all these antidotes to medicate the problems or institutionalize them. But we all are spiritual beings and, therefore, the problems we really have are spiritual.

People run all over the land to sedate some kind of problem they have. Instead of addressing mankind’s real enemy, billions of dollars are being thrown down the drain because mankind thinks their way is the best way.

How foolish people are. Proverbs 5:21 tells that “the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord,” yet most will never look at life like God does. People cannot outthink God, but most believe they can. The Bible is full of the instructions on how to handle life’s problems.

John 10:9 tells us that if anyone will come to God, He has the answer to life. Yet in the next verse (10) the script says that the thief, which is the devil, seeks to destroy. Satan is behind every problem in this world. Satan is the cause for mental health troubles and, yes, his dark spiritual realm can be somewhat controlled by changes, one way or another, whether it is dope, prescription medicine, alcohol or any other form that can control our mind.

The world is fighting itself. They won’t look to God who has the power to set the captive free. So they’ll never get a hand up on the mental and social problems our nation faces. Sixty-five percent of the drugs prescribed in the world are consumed by Americans.

Most of the people trying to treat people have so many troubles of their own that they’re all caught in this vicious cycle. The only hope to set the minds of our people free is Jesus. He can deal with any issue- and certainly with the devil.

Re-dig The Wells

When I was a young man on the farm we had an old farm house. We fixed it up and there was an old hand-dug well. It was about 30 or 40 feet deep, so my dad decided to put a pump down in it. But before the pump could go in the well, it needed to be cleaned out.
So my cousin went down in the well on a rope. He washed it out. Buckets of junk were hauled up, and when we shined those lights down in there suddenly we could see a stream of water begin to run from one side of the well wall. The water was fresh and clear, and my cousin could actually drink the fresh water that was running in.
In Genesis it says when Abraham entered the land God gave His people, Abraham had to dig wells to have water for his flocks and servants. Then later the enemies of God’s people came and filled the wells up to keep the life giving water from helping God’s people. But then came Isaac who again re-dug the wells, and though Isaac had trouble with others, he didn’t give up until again he found more water that could be used to take care of the people.
God has given us the real water we need, the Spiritual water we must have to refresh our souls. There is spiritual water that comes from a fountain in heaven. It can never be stopped up nor run dry, and for those who will choose Jesus as their Lord of life, they’ll find everlasting life.
I believe God wants us all to know it is time to re-dig, unstop, and let the Spirit of God’s life-giving presence flow. We must be faithful and trust God, as He has chosen such a time as this for His church to come alive.

Where We Are Now

In case you haven’t noticed, the world we live in is changing rapidly due to the knowledge that people believe they have to help other people of this world. In just the last 10 years, there are many things you can no longer do that were common things only a few years ago. We are seeing the emerging of a culture that is going to spin out the results of good people’s neglect.
The Bible has given us example after example of what happens to civilization when it is allowed to have its own manmade ways.
In a recent newspaper article in Russia it was stated that America is the Sodom and Gomorrah of the world. Look to where this nation has gone. China and Russia each now have a larger Christian population than America does today. The people of this nation, and even some of those who call themselves Christians, have thumbed their noses at the Bible and the God of the Bible and now are going to pay the consequences more than ever.
We can blame special interest groups, politicians, Hollywood or many other things for this moral collapse to be known now as this world’s Sodom and Gomorrah status.
But it is the fault of those who say they are Christian, but love another lifestyle, that says something else. We have crossed over the line with God, and trouble is brewing with Heaven.
You better set your house in order now, for the days are changing quickly that will challenge the real foundation you stand on.
A life truly turned to Jesus is the only hope anyone has.

The Story Of The Flowers

Once, a woman went to a funeral of a dear friend. This lady’s friend was encircled in a sea of flowers, placed there by her children. There never was such a sight of such beauty of the array of colors and sweet smells placed there by each of the woman’s children.
Yet this friend well knew this woman and how for the last several years her children had little time for their mother. They were all so busy. But that day as she lay among the flowers placed there by each child, she began to think of how these really now had no real value to their mother. She could not enjoy in any way.
Later that night the woman talked to her own children asking them that if they would please just bring her the flowers that someday soon would be put alongside her casket now so she could enjoy their fragrance and beauty. But most of all, just talking with them and being in their presence now before it was too late to try and make up for days that were too busy that would cause them to pass her by.
This is actually a true story, one that each of us should remember and do our best to honor those who God has placed in our life purposely.