There was a Pastor's wife who wanted a dog, but it had to a Baptist Dog. So, they went to pet stores looking.
At each store they stated their request for a Baptist dog, but didn't have much success, until they went to one small store. The owner said," I have just the right dog for you."
He brought out the dog and told it to fetch the Bible, and sure enough he did. Then he asked the dog to find Acts 2:38 in the Bible. The dog pawed thru the pages until he found the verse and pointed to it. Wow said the couple, "We'll take him!"
Once home the Pastor and his wife had some church friends over and wanted them to see the Baptist dog. They had him fetch the Bible and look up several verses. The friends were impressed and said he was a real Baptist!
Then the Pastor wanted to see if he could do more, so he commanded the dog to heel. "Heel!" commanded the Pastor. The dog immediately jumped up on the Pastor's lap and placed his paw on his forehead and began to howl!
At that the Pastor said loudly, "Oh no, he's a Pentecostal!"
A Car's windshield is larger than the rear view mirror, just like the present is more important than the past! Don't focus on everything behind you
Ps 27:14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD! NKJV
After you call upon the name of the Lord, God generally requires some waiting time to receive the answer and/or provision. I was looking at this scrip for yesterday's service and saw the phrase,"Be of good courage" In this passage this phrase is sandwiched with WAIT on the Lord........never thought about needing COURAGE for the waiting process. Most of us are too busy dealing with PATIENCE in the process of waiting. Our part is to be courageous while we wait, His part is to strengthen us as we wait...............
The Apostle Peter wrote to the churches that scoffers would come, saying “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:4). The ongoing normalcy of the world seems to be an indicator that everything has always been this way, and always will be. The expectation of a returning, triumphant Christ seemed to be just as ridiculous as the Mayan calendar.
Peter acknowledged this, but pointed to the same event our Lord Jesus pointed to earlier: the flood of Noah. Unlike the prophecy charts of all the pagan nations and the Christian television evangelists, the kingdom of God doesn’t come with, as Jesus put it, “signs to be perceived.”
Jesus said this age will go on and on, seeming as though God has forgotten the just and overlooks the wicked. As in the days of Noah, we’ll have weddings and funerals, and on and on it will go. Until, suddenly - everything changes (Matt. 24:36-44).
There’s something embedded in the human conscience that knows there’s a day of reckoning. In the heart God has implanted a witness to the coming judgment (Rom. 2:13-16). I think that’s why we take note of old prophecies of the end, wherever they come from, and why every culture tells stories, sings songs, makes movies and television shows about the end of it all.
The Mayans were wrong about the calendar. But they weren’t wrong that the arc of history is headed toward something cataclysmic. That’s a word of judgment. God sees and knows and will call to account. But it’s also, for the people of Christ, a word of promise. God hasn’t forgotten you. Jesus hasn’t left you as an orphan. Yes, it seems to have been a long time from the Roman empire to the digital age. But a thousand years is as a day, and a day as a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:8).
And even the delay is a sign of God’s goodness and kindness. Every morning the sun comes up is another opportunity for the lost to be welcomed home by the God who is “patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Today’s probably not the end of the age, and we ought to have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, the coming of Jesus isn’t the end of anything, but the start of a new earth liberated from the reign of death. So we ought to groan, “Come Lord Jesus.” On the other hand, the delay means there’s still room for more.
An excerpt from Russell Moore's blog
Notes from the Message Trusting in the Midst of Trouble
Listen to the Podcast for the full message
8 Benefits of Trusting in the Lord
1. Trust in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalms 37:3-5 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
2. Trusting in the Lord brings greater happiness and joy in life –
Proverbs 16:20He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
3. Our mind stays in peace when we stay focused on the Lord.
Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
4. Fruitful in all times, not anxious in the year of drought or famine
5 Thus says the LORD:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. NKJV
5. Those who trust in the Lord will be delivered from wicked schemes and plans of evil people
39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them,
Because they trust in Him. NKJV
6. Mercy of the Lord surrounds those who trust in Him –
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
7. Those who trust in the Lord will be prospered
Prov 28:25, 26
He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.
8. Those who trust in the Lord will be safe and security –
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
How do we trust Him?
1. With all your heart and do not focus on your own understanding. Prov 3:5-6
2. Its learning to dwell in the secret place of prayer and worship and His presence. Psalm 91
3. Its learning to say with our mouth, our heart and what we really believe. Its in the fire what we believe will come out of our mouth.
4. Children trust in their parents with humility or dependence.
Our government is helping to decide in favor of abortion everyday by subsidizing Planned Parenthood, so why is it government intrusion to change the law back to the way it was since our nation's inception. Government wouldn't be intruding if it were illegal. Why is it murder for the doctor to kill the baby delivered outside the womb and to leave the body of the child in the womb and expose the head so you can evacuate the brains of the blob of tissue, known as the FETUS, which they would say is not a person yet. Friends of mine in Alabama walked and talked to many a young lady in front of several abortion clinics until the city and the feds made it impossible to have a safe zone to keep out of jail. My biggest QUESTION is,"What would Jesus say and do?" Government intrusion STARTED with Roe v Wade in 1973. To me it isn't a lot of difference from the gas chambers of WWII and the Jews; barbaric and demonic forces working. There have been 55 million people killed in the name of abortion, accepted because its legal, unaccepted by God because its taking innocent life.
1 Cor 4:14-18
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. NKJV
There are many people today wanting to give voice to what they believe the Bible to say by having their own websites so as to have their own followings for books ,cds, etc. They take up the role of wanting to be teachers of God's word,but they arent in any RELATIONSHIP with the people that may read their thoughts and teachings/beliefs. Just like days of old, there are many who may teach the word in eloquent form, but believers need more than just a teacher. Timothy was a spiritual son of the Apostle Paul who lived and breathed what he had been taught by his father in the Lord. Fatherhood implies hands-on training and nurturing and the OBSERVANCE of spiritual fruit and an empowerment to advance the gospel from the anointing that's being passed down. I am amazed as to how much deception is coming into the beliefs in the BODY of Christ from self appointed teachers who may not have been fathered and discipled themselves.
This is not something you force on someone, it naturally should come from people leading others to Christ as an ongoing experience. Just as it takes NATURAL parents to bring up children, it takes spiritual parents as well, This is simply not something that is taught or talked about much. Every believer should learn and be discipled by someone and then in turn, learn to disciple someone else.
The PROBLEM is that many people are wanting to just teach without giving any real help in guidance and direction or training. This is one of the missing or weak links that needs great improvement in the CHURCH today.
If it took the 5 fold ministry (apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor, evangelist) to raise up the BODY of Christ in the 1st church, it requires the same today. This why so many new believers seem to backslide to go back to the old self life within a short time. Spiritual orphans seldom grow up on their own.
“If you (or a church) have an orphan spirit, as I did for a long time, you feel as though you don’t belong. Love, value, honor, and acceptance are foreign concepts to you. You believe you have to act right, dress right, talk right, and do right in order to be loved and accepted; and even then, it still doesn’t happen. You feel as if there is something more you have to do or put in order to find rest and feel valued. With a spirit of sonship, however, you feel loved, valued, honored, and accepted for who you are as God’s creation. You have no need to “prove” yourself to anyone. As a son or daughter, you feel a sense of total love and acceptance. Contrarily, as an orphan, you feel like you are on the outside looking in, trying as hard as you can to perform and be good enough to earn a place in someone’s heart.
“When wanting to cast out an orphan heart, remember that you can displace it only by introducing it to a loving Father. Even then, an orphan heart must choose to embrace the spirit of sonship by willingly becoming interdependent in relationships and embracing God’s community of love. This is not a once-and-for-all choice. You choose sonship over and over because orphan thinking doesn’t surrender easily, and it often comes back and tries to assert its influence once again. The orphan spirit tries constantly to weaken our families, relationships, and the nations by deceiving us into becoming subject to our own mission rather than living life to experience God’s love and to give it away.”
This past Tuesday I had an opportunity to take my boat out for a short fishing trip to my favorite saltwater "honey holes" to catch a few fish. Over the last 50 years of my 59 year span, I've learned various ways of catching fish. You can gig em, net em, snag em, use live bait or dead bait, and you can throw artificial baits as well. Having done all of the above, I must tell you that my favorite way is the latter. There is something about using artificial lures that is both fun and challenging. Come to think about it, I haven't used anything else for 38 years. The sport of finding the fish and presenting a lure to entice a strike is so much more fulfilling than waiting on something to hit a natural bait.
For 2 hours on this trip I caught my limits of both 10 trout and 3 redfish. By nature I fish for trout and occasionally catch a few reds now and then. This trip was so entirely different and special from normality. It was because I caught 25 redfish during this time while trying to catch my 10 fish limit of trout. The action was fast and furious as I released fish after fish in the 22-29 inch size bracket. They all hit the same lure which looks similar to a small mullet, a bait fish they love to feed on. It's amazing to see how hard and fast a fish would hit a bait that wasn't natural. It caused me to think and meditate on a scripture found in James 1:14 which says," But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."
We, like those fish can be tempted or lured and drawn away from common sense, Godly wisdom, and doing right things in life. While none of us are perfect, we seldom realize that our enemy the devil uses a weakness in our flesh to go after the lure that is placed in front of us. It can be another person in your marriage, or property that is not yours, words and thoughts come from things we look at. Getting hooked on a line will take you to places you really don't want to go. My icebox and ultimately my filet knife and freezer are the final resting place for that fish that didn't get away in time. I can personally remember some of the stupid choices I've made through the years.
We never have a chance to think about the consequences of our choices before we choose them. So before you take a bite out of the "temptation apple"be sure you aren't hooked into a direction or place you don't want to be.
I have been meditating on relationships over the last week or so and the Holy Spirit took me to this chapter today. The first couple of verses in this chapter describe what is expected of us as we learn to relate to God, verse 3-13 illustrates how we are to relate to other believers, verse 14-18 discusses how to react to persecution from an unbeliever and people in general, but verses 19-21 definitely define what we are to do with our enemies.
Four different kinds of people as they relate to us and us to them. I have always loved this chapter and the metaphor used to describe our roles in the BODY of Christ. Apostle Paul uses the human body and all its members as an illustration of our diversities of inherent giftings placed within us all. The other day I saw the movie"Soul Surfer" and I marveled at the beautiful one armed surfer girl. Watching her after a shark attack, it was difficult as she learned to adapt to one arm and the loss of balance on her surf board. It reminded me of this passage of scripture.
If you get something in your eye and your hand was not available, how could you remove it. If a mosquito was biting you on the back, without a hand, we could only wish we had a tail to get rid of it. It all comes down to the knowledge that all God's children have a responsibility. We are responsible of finding a body of believers to get together with on a regular basis. We cannot grow to completeness without the other giftings God has given to others. We have ours to contribute, but no one has them all anymore than your body. No part is unimportant when it takes all of them to edify and encourage the whole. Jesus is the head of the CHURCH that directs the body of Christ just as the brain directs all of our body as a unified symphony.
Just as God has made all of our body parts needful, he has also placed importance on everyone of His children. Sometimes we don't know what we've got until it's gone. Until you lose an arm or a friend, we usually take them both for granted.
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. 9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him." 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.NKJV
You know you are preaching a barn burner of a message if you can preach like paul until midnite and not put anybody in dangerous sleep to where they fall out of a window dead, Paul just went down there and resurrected him and then preached til morning.
I see people asleep every once in awhile, thats why its important to preach with the unction of the Holy Spirit, so you arent boring, some stay up too late and some can only pay attention as long as their posterior doesnt fall asleep, Its important to keep people out of a 2 story window if you are a long winded preacher who puts people to sleep. Its ok if you can raise them from the dead.
This is such a great read on this subject that I posted here today for others to read
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.” (Revelation 20:11)
If you are a Christian, the idea of a final judgment shouldn’t frighten you. Here is the good news: Though it is true there will be a final judgment, it is also true that you won’t be there. Christians will be judged, but it will be more like an awards ceremony that will take place in heaven as rewards are meted out for faithful service to the Lord. It will not be a judgment as to whether or not you go to heaven.
You see, when believers die, they don’t go before God to determine whether they will get into heaven. Let’s see if your name is in the book. . . . Okay. You are in. Come in. That is not how it works. When believers die, they go straight to heaven. They are in. It is done. It is sealed.
On the other hand, the people who stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment are not getting in, and that judgment will demonstrate why they are not getting in. The reason is because their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life: “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
It doesn’t matter who you are, how important you are, how famous you are, or how wealthy you are. None of that will matter. You will stand before God. And the big question will be, what did you do with Jesus Christ?
So here is my question to you: Are you ready to meet God? Jesus came to this earth to die, to pay the price for our sins, and to rise again from the dead so that we don’t have to be afraid when our lives come to an end. We can be ready to meet God.
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
I was thinking about this scripture today after recently dealing with different situations in people's lives. The opposite is true also, which means that the man who does walk in their counsel will not be BLESSED. Our internal spiritual and emotional makeup is based on what and who we consider to be trustworthy, sensible to us, whether it's Godly or not. The world's advice focuses on a mixture of what is popular culturally and what is generally completely opposite of God's word.
It should be simple to understand but discernment today has turned into deception in so many ways. If you are having marital troubles, why take advice from people who have had numerous marriages or relationships without any lasting fruit. If you are in need of learning money management, why seek the counsel of someone who just filed bankruptcy and can't save or manage money themselves. They need counsel themselves. If you are having health problems, most people understand they need to see a doctor who specializes in the problematic area of their health.
If one is a believer in Jesus Christ, then our immediate source of wisdom and strength should be from the BIBLE or someone whose life is Biblically founded. There's plenty of scornful people who do not appreciate or honor God, whether they say they do or not. It really comes down to who are you going to listen to when it comes to life's trials and tribulations. In determining the ungodly and the scornful vs. the Godly and the righteous, it again is all based on His word. Believers who Biblically base their lives aren't perfect and sinless, they simply have learned to rely and trust in Jesus Christ and His word as absolute TRUTH. This truth is the deciding factor in knowing the difference. The CHOICE is ours........
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
I was meditating on this scripture today after watching a news show assassinate the character and name of another conservative, Bible believing presidential candidate. Over the last several elections there has been an ever increasing attack on the people of faith and their views on issues of our day in America. They are daily painting a picture of these people as lunatics, misguided, out of the mainstream of societal viewpoints. This they have done despite the historical narrative of what has made our nation successful through the last two hundred plus years.
One important truth I have learned is that I am not God, but He is. The news media as a whole has denigrated into a mindset of no longer reporting the news but trying to be and make the news itself. This being said, what is the source of this continual assault on any political candidate who professes to believe in God. It is called PRIDE and ARROGANCE, it is having a perverse mouth, one to continue to slander others for a particular gain. The word slander comes from the word diaboli, which is the word we use for the devil himself.
Afterall, Satan is the accuser, the one who slanders. When our society and culture continues to slide away from Godly principles, there is only one direction in which we are headed. In the book of Hebrews, Esau was said to be an ungodly, very profane man with a root of bitterness in his life. It would seem that most people in the media do not acknowledge who God is. The very bottom line is that we are to hate evil as we acknowledge the Lord, remembering that it is He who has blessed our nation and protected us through the years. To demean people of faith so as to achieve your goals of framing your cultural viewpoint is wrong.
To the news media, I would say that you need to remember to "dance with the one who brought you". In my humble opinion, I believe you need to do what you do best, just report the NEWS..............
24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.NKJ
Today I was thinking that i need to get back to blogging which is a little difficult with all my responsibilities. That being said, I've been thinking about the Kingdom of Heaven and giving into it. Many people who call themselves believers have a hard time parting with their money or their precious time to advance the Lord's Kingdom. Jesus had more to say about money and what we do with it than most any other subject. That's because money represents our time, our wealth. You can falsely believe that if I give to the Lord, I'll not be able to pay my bills or buy my play toys that the rest of the world has. Jesus made it plain, you can't serve Him and serve money too. In Luke 6:38 Jesus said:"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." He said this in the context of sowing and reaping in the previous verse. You need forgiveness, you need to forgive, you need money, you need to give to others. Jesus told His disciples that it was hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom but not impossible. I have watched overall giving in our church drop over the last 3-4 yrs considerably while employment stayed the same. Believers are instructed in the word to give tithes, offerings, and alms(money and help to the poor and needy) It's all about FAITH in a Kingdom we cannot see.
In 2 Cor 4:18 Paul says " we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." That's what Jesus was referring to in serving God or mammon. This present realm is seen, but giving unto the Lord is saying that my heavenly bank account is important to me just like my earthly one. People today are skiddish when reminded of these truths. I'm reminded that if eternity is real, I want some money deposited for future use in a place that is permanent and more real than this worldly life.
I like to say it this way, we need to put our money where our HEART is and where our MOUTH is. This is the beginning point of understanding selflessness and being obedient as a FOLLOWER of Christ. Where is your real treasure stored? Here or there?
19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.