Archive for the ‘christian living’ category

Morning

January 17, 2012

I’ve never been a joyful riser in the early hours. I try to have only one 7:00 in my day. However the past two weeks my wife and have been going to the gym at 4:30 each morning.

It is interesting how the world comes to life. Birds are already singing at 4:30. This gave me the idea that maybe that is the way I should start my morning. So I quietly sing a hymn of praise and thanksgiving while my body tries to begin the day.

Songs in the morning don’t have to be songs of mourning either. In facts as the new day brightens so do the prospects for greater accomplishments during the day.

I don’t know if I am a total convert to early rising but I am for singing and cheerfulness for each day.

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Assurance for the Fainthearted

December 28, 2011

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

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It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

Assurance for the Fainthearted

December 28, 2011

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

.

It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

Giving My Best to God

November 17, 2011

Can you imagine someone standing before the altar of God to give a second rate sacrifice? Israel was guilty of that in Malachi’s day.

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:6-8)

Singing, praying, giving, serving and any other sacrifice to God must be our best. We have to watch ourselves carefully because the devil certainly tempts us to give less than our best. I remember an older preacher saying he always tried to be in bed before 10:00 on Saturday nights so he would be completely rested and be able to give his best the next day. I wonder if we might not benefit from that mentality? Do we sometimes stay up too late so we are bleary-eyed during worship? Can we be so rushed from getting ready that our hearts are not able to focus on the Holy One? My mother always layed out our clothes when we were children so everything was ready first thing Sunday morning. As we grew older she encouraged us to do the same.

Can it happen that we get so involved in recreation that our financial contribution to God suffers? Do we give only what is left and not what is right? Do we use all our energy earning a living so that God’s work gets only the leftovers at the end of a hard week? So often the Devil fills our lives with urgent things that steal away from the important and necessary. Our Father deserves much more than the minimums and the scrapings of what is left over.

Pray today for God to help us order our lives so we can give Him what is rightfully His. God gave a principle that should still be observed today…

But if ithas any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 15:21)

It’s Cool

November 5, 2011

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It was 37 degrees this morning here in East Texas. I wore a jacket and a hat. It is nice.

Cool is a blessing. God made us so we can feel temperatures. We rejoice in the cool and are driven to pray for relief from oppressive heat. Pretty cool that cool is so cool. Enjoy the simple blessing of feeling the cool.

Remember even God enjoyed the cool of the evening (Gen. 3:8ff).

Becoming Less

October 22, 2011

Theodore Monod penned the lyric “None of Self and All of Thee.” That song has always been a hard one for me to sing with complete honesty. It is a lot like “I Surrender All.” I believe you can sing a lie as easily as tell one. The very genesis of sin is selfishness. We are often seeking “What do I want today.”

It is a purposeful person who seeks the Lord over self. The life of “More of Thee” is certainly one of self-denial. How do I learn to seek God first and then my own desires? How do I develop my mind to put away desire for selfish pursuits and fulfillments? I’ll admit that I am not really that good at it. Far too often I put my wants ahead of my duty to God. My weakness shames me more often than I like to admit.

The writer of Hebrews tells us of a few power things that will help us live “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:12)

 

  1. The Powerful Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). Spend time treasuring up the word of God will help us not to sin (Psalm 119:11). Bible knowledge and obedience sets us free (John 8:32). God’s book certainly reveals to us how to “flee lust” (2 Tim 2:22), hold fast to righteousness and scriptural instruction (2 Thes 2:15). It is an anchor to bind our affections to the Lord. Daily use of God’s Word will certainly help us to give less attention to our evil desires and more to the Lord’s will.
  2. God’s All Seeing Eye (Hebrews 4:13). Knowing that God watches us should give us pause before we jump into selfish, self-willed living. As children we were much better behaved when our parents watched than when they were absent. Remember also that God is not watching us to just to crush us for wickedness. He is there to help us live better.
  3. The Great High Priest Jesus (Hebrews 4:14, 15). Jesus offered sacrifice for our sins. He is in the presence of God working on our behalf. This perfect high priest who is the source of our salvation written in his innocent blood (Heb 5:9; Acts 4:11,12; 1 Peter 1:18,19). You could never ask for greater help or motivation for putting God first. Gratitude for all that Jesus is doing will drive us to submission more and more as we contemplate it.
  4. The Power of Prayer (Hebrews 4:16). Don’t discount the help that comes from asking the Father for help. He loves to give to us all things that pertain to life and godliness (Jam 1:5; 17; 2 Pet 1:3). If we ask anything in the name of Christ we can receive it (Luke 11:19; John 16:23). Try asking God to help you become less you will receive grace to become just that.

 

Through Jesus I ask you Father please help me put you and your reign in my life first. Help my desires to dissipate while a love for you flourishes. Thank you for all the help you’ve already provided.

 

Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”
All of self, and none of Thee,
All of self, and none of Thee,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”

Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’ accursed tree,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Some of self, and some of Thee,
Some of self, and some of Thee,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”

Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Less of self, and more or Thee,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”

Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
None of self, and all of Thee.”
None of self, and all of Thee,
None of self, and all of Thee,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
None of self, and all of Thee.”

 

If you need prayer or help serving the Lord please contact me at Contact Me By Email


 

You Will Mess Up, What You Need to Know When You Do

September 27, 2011

The Devil really loves to blind us to simple truths. When he can get us to forget the nature and work of God he can discourage us enough to give up. Don’t let that happen. You should treasure these thoughts in your heart so you never forget them.

  • You are loved by God (Eph 5:1; John 3:16)
  • He showed his love when we deserved it the least (Rom 5:8).
  • There is nothing in this world or the heavens that can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).
  • The sacrifice of Jesus blood covers all the sins we confess before God (1 John 1:7-9).
  • You can repent of any sin and God will remove it from you (Acts 3:19).
  • Once a sin is forgiven it is gone for good you’ll never be held accountable for that sin again (Psalm 103:12).
  • It’s not to late to change and follow Jesus (Heb 7:25).

Confession and asking for forgiveness brings back the “joy of God’s salvation” (Psalm 51:23). It restores us to God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, we can easily forget that when we head away from God into sin.

The Devil is a liar (John 8:44), he deceives you into living below the privileges given by Christ. Don’t let him win when you falter and sin. Instead, turn your heart toward God and bask in his forgiving grace. God loves the contrite and penitent (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). He is overflowing with love for all of us (Psalm 51:1). He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), including those who have fallen back or fallen away.

Restoration and full fellowship comes to all who seek God’s forgiveness. No matter what your sin is God’s kindness, grace and mercy is greater.
God is calling today, he is pleading with us to come partake of His mercy and love. What are you waiting for? Come home today!