Friday, February 24, 2017

Don't Forget It

Psalms 37:40
And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

With everything that goes on in our daily lives we sometimes forget things. We forget the groceries for our pantries if we don't make a list of them. We forget sport practices and games if we don't have a schedule of them. We forget a birthday or anniversary if we don't put them on our calendar. We are a very forgetful people.

I wonder if some of you reading this today have forgotten just how great our God is? I wonder if you think that maybe God has forgotten you? Don't you remember how God saved you and brought you into His family? He has taken care of your needs everyday. He has provided for you and protected you over and over again. In some ways that you didn't even realize until it was all over.

When you needed help and had no one to understand, didn't the Lord help? When you were lost without hope and without Him, didn't He redeem and deliver you? What about when the wicked world was caving in around you and you didn't think you could take another step... Didn't He come through for you? What about when you were lost and Satan could think of nothing better than for your life to be destroyed... Didn't Jesus place His life on the cross for you so that Satan couldn't destroy you?

Our scripture says that the Lord shall help them, deliver them, and save them because they trust in Him. If God has brought you this far, why would you even think that He has forgotten about you know? God will help you, deliver you, save you and love you... Don't You Ever Forget It! Just trust in the Lord this morning.

I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know God could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I Quit, Won't You?

1 Corinthians 16:13
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Isn't it funny how a word that you have heard your whole life could carry such a different meaning?  I mean, my whole life I heard quitting in a negative term. I was raised to never quit at something. To the point that when I played sports and quit I seemed to never live it down. Even today in my life I can't handle quitting. I try so hard to never quit in anything, ever. 

Quitting in the form we have always heard means, to leave or walk away. How many things have you quit in life? Sports, jobs, etc... People are even quitting on marriages and family. We don't need that kind of quitter. But we do need to quit!

First we need to quit trying and start trusting. Quit trying to do it on your own. Remember quitting means to give in or give up. Give in to the Holy Spirit this morning. Tell the Lord that you can't seem to do it and you are going to start, from this moment, to trust totally in Him.

Second, quit also means to behave in a specified way. When our scripture says, "quit you like men", it is speaking of fighting. Fighting the enemy as well as fighting with yourself. We must quit, give in to Christ, and quit, behave as Christ, like men. 

A man walked up to me the other day after hearing me preach. He said, "Brother, I would like to add on to what you preached. Stop trying and start trusting."  I told him that was the best thing that I've ever heard. The world will tell you never quit, but God's word says, quit trusting in yourself and start trusting in Jesus. It says to quit you like men. In other words, start behaving like a man, a man like Jesus. Lord, today I quit trying to handle or run things and I'm gonna trust you.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Proverbs 11:2
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

I was employed at a place once where a person that was in leadership always tried to "one-up" you. This person would always come around to where you were working and try to show you how they could do it better. If you were telling a story, their story was better. If you were digging a hole, they could dig it much better. Well as a matter of fact one day another guy and myself were digging a hole together. This person stopped by in their work vehicle and began to inform us on proper shovel and hole digging technique. After he was finished with those two shovels of dirt he moved he left again. The other man I was working with was much older than me and the boss that drove away. He quietly began to sing, "Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you..." I choked laughing so hard.

Well the day came... We were on a huge job that required much work, much careful work. Everything was rolling smooth and then all of the sudden that old truck pulled up. Eyes began to roll and moans began to roar. He came straight to the backhoe and told the person on it to move out of the way and let him show you how it's done. I smiled! He placed that bucket into the ground and began to pull out a huge pile of dirt when all of the sudden it happened. Water began to shoot straight up in the sky and people ran for cover. He had hit the water main and busted the pipe. I'll have to admit that my smile seemed to touch my ears now. He had tried so hard to be better than everyone that his pride brought him shame. As long as I worked at this place no one, and I mean no one, let him live that down.

I wonder how many of you are trying your best to be better than those before you, or even beside you? As soon as you mess up or make a mistake you are going to feel this same discouragement that this man felt. You're going to suffer defeat because you set yourself up. You have lived that, "Anything you can do, I can do better" lifestyle far too long. I don't understand why, but ever since we were born we desire to be better than others around us. Don't get me wrong, we should strive to be the best we can be but not strive to be better than the one beside us. Well let me say this... The best you can muster up isn't enough! You need the righteousness of Jesus.

Stop trying to be better. Stop trying to out-do those before or around you. Surrender to Christ and allow Him to mold you and make you into what He desires for His will and purpose.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Landfills and Nursery Workers

Ephesians 4:16
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Why is it that we view certain jobs greater than others? We see the doctor, engineer and other careers more respectable than maybe those of the McDonald's worker or the hole digger. Because of society and they way we are raised we see certain jobs lower or higher than some.

Think for a moment of the position of a doctor. Let's take into account the heart surgeon. He/She opens the body and begin work on the heart. They take tools and pry open the chest, take tools and remove blocked arteries and go throughout the leg and find replacement parts. After the procedure is completed all praise and glory (even paycheck, which I am not complaining) goes to this surgeon. But if it were not for the ones who placed them under anesthesia this could not be done. If not for the ones who stand beside the doctor and assist in preparing the room and every tool used, this procedure couldn't be successful. We may not hear of the assistants. Those who have come in and sterilized the room after a surgery in order to prepare for the next patient may never be known by name.

I see this everyday! A few examples are: The CEO seems above the employee, the employee above the one who works in the copy room, the copier man above the copy machine repairman, the copy machine repairman above the garbage man who picked the machine up on the curb, the garbage man above the landfill worker, the landfill worker above the McDonald's cashier, the cashier above the fry cook, etc... When all these are positions and jobs. Without all of these positions, we could never accomplish the tasks that need to be done.

Don't let this bleed over into the church. Pastors seem above Deacons, Deacons above members, members above the lost...? We are the BODY of Christ. We should realize that not all preach and not all work in the Nursery, but ALL are a part of the body of Christ. What we really need in the body of Christ today is less mouths and more hands and feet.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Clearly Seen

Proverbs 12:16
" A fool's wrath is presently known:
but a prudent man covereth shame."

Oh me!  Right off the bat this morning let me begin with Oh, me!  So many, many times I've been this fool. Look at what God is showing us today. He says, "A fool's wrath is presently known." In other words, it is clearly seen and immediate. 

Anger is something that attacks everyone of us. Anger within itself is not a sin. The Bible teaches us to be angry and sin not. So the anger is not the sin. It's our reaction to the anger. Many of us would say we are not really angry people. In most cases we are generally nice and calm. But then when something happens, or someone says something we don't like, or even if someone shows us that we are number one with the wrong finger, we react!  It could be because we simple take, take and take until we finally explode like a volcano. But really it's because of what this scripture is showing us today. 

We are the "immediately" world. We want everything yesterday. We are told to be quick. To think and respond quick. God's word teaches just the opposite of that. It says that we should be slow to speak and swift to hear. James 1:19 - "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

I can't say I have always done it this way. I often find myself saying, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that." more so than being proud of the way I handled it. You see a fool speaks immediately and without wisdom. A wise man or woman doesn't speak out but listens and then waits. Notice the scripture again... "A fool's wrath is PRESENTLY known".  It shows up so quick. 

I saw a sign once that said, "It's better for people to think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all their doubt".  Lord help us all today. Help us to take our anger and control our tongues. Help us not to react to anger or angry situations but rather be calm, quiet and then respond. Lord you know me and you know that I need much help in not being a fool. Thank you Lord and I love you. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

Exodus 20:16
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Everyone is a reporter of news.  Whether good or bad, true or false, people report news. Facebook, Twitter and all other forms of social media are full of posts and tweets with this media style garbage everyday. From weather reporters, to on the scene of an accident breaking news. Professional photographers and film makers have nothing on us now with our smart phones. Just the other day, a friend on Facebook wrote this... "I wish people would check their facts about things before they post them.  People at least Google it". I couldn't help but laugh because of the reliability of Google and some of the other sites.

Our problem is an age old problem. It deals with the ninth commandment of God to the children of Israel. Bearing false witness against our neighbors. False witness is enough to talk about all morning. But I want to look at another word in this scripture. The word, "bear". I think of bearing a burden or bearing a load. You see, when we speak things of others, especially if we have no clue of the story, then we become an assembly line of lies. We actually "bear" them. We carry it around with us. Sharing it, reporting it, re-posting it, tweeting it, carrying it like a load of rocks. With nothing but empty results.

My son Andrew loves a song from when he was a little boy. I found him singing it the other day (he is now 17). We can learn much from it. Take time to read it this morning.

The Rumor Mill

Well, let me tell you a story about a local enterprise,
there's one in every town, no matter what size.
It doesn't turn a profit or bring any revenue,
it's good for one thing and that's the damage it'll do.
It's called the rumormill (called the rumormill).
If it can be twisted, you can be sure that it will,
'cause there ain't nothing sacred ...... at the rumormill.

The people that work there are all volunteers,
their only qualification is a mouth and two big ears.
If the story's not clear enough, that's OK,
they just doctor it up and then send it on its way.
It doesn't matter who's involved or who is gonna hurt,
as long as folks are listening, they'll keep shoveling dirt ...
... at the rumormill (at the rumormill).
If it can be twisted, you can be sure that it will,
'cause there ain't nothing sacred ...... at the rumormill (the rumormill).

Now listen, my children, to this warning I make,
we've got a lot to lose, there's a lot at stake.
The Bible plainly states you're gonna reap what you sow,
and you'll be shown mercy by the mercy you show.
So shut your mouth and ask your friends to kindly do the same,
for you'll wind up as victim with no one else to blame ...
... at the rumormill (oh, the rumormill).
If it can be twisted, you can be sure that it will,
'cause there ain't nothing sacred ...... at the rumormill

Watch it here if you would like...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Look At What The Rock Did!!

John 18:10-11
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Have you ever been driving down the road, doing a good deed for someone or just simply enjoying the day, only to have a rock from out of nowhere fly up and hit your windshield?  Your excitement, joy, peace and good Samaritan deed quickly turns into anger, frustration and cost.  I'm not talking about a huge windshield that just falls to pieces or even a crack that runs the length of your windshield.  I'm talking about those small chips or scratches that just drive you crazy. 

Every day after you climb into your vehicle, turn the ignition, get the radio set like you like it and then look up... only to see that crack or chip.  Immediately, you return to that day, hour and minute that it happened and some days your anger or frustration begins to build again just as it did on that day.  (sometimes this can go on for years, especially if your as cheap as me... haha) 

Look at the scripture this morning... Peter first of all thought he was doing a good deed for his Savior.  He was defending Jesus by cutting a man's ear off and then gets instructed by Jesus to stop.  Jesus said His death on the cross must happen because it is the will of God.  But imagine Peter... "I was minding my own business, I was just driving down the road thinking I was doing right and BOOM! A rock, or better yet, THE ROCK (Jesus) stopped me in my tracks". 

Many a preacher has preached about Peter. We have preached about his boldness and then how he denied Christ.  We have preached about the faith that he lacked to walk on water.  I imagine Peter reliving these moments often.  May I say, I relate to this very well.  It's kinda like getting into a vehicle and looking at one small, tiny chip in a windshield that is full of clarity and beauty. 

Remember this... Those rocks and chips are lessons.  Stay further back... Watch out for road hazards... Watch for trucks hauling trash, rocks, etc... We can choose today to be angry at that little rock and chip every time we see it, or we can choose to accept what that rock did and the lesson it teaches us. Just the same, you can choose today to see what THE ROCK is doing in our lives and the lessons HE can teach us. Sometimes those chips and scratches can bring us down, if this happens remember that just means when you are down your are closer to your knees. Ask THE ROCK what it is He wants to teach you.