How do we see the people around us?

1 Timothy 3 16

“This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are quite clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels.  He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.”   1 Timothy 3:16  The Message Bible

                What a story to tell!  What a promise to hold onto!  What an opportunity to lift someone out of their circumstances!

                The new millennium is already shaping up as the most wonderful time of our century to share our faith in Christ.  It is pregnant with opportunities to share our knowledge of Him in our circles of influence. 

                Recently, my heart has nearly exploded as I hear the same old call, in a bright and shining ray of hope.  Jesus said, “go into all the world and preach…”.  Never has the harvest been more ready for this commission.  But what will it take to change our “tunnel vision” of life?  What will it take to move us out into those Harvest fields?

                Darrell W. Robinson has written an excellent book on the subject,

People Sharing Jesus

.  It is reminding us of truths already known, but buried in our religious activities.  I share a few of Dr. Robinson’s ideas today.

                “Taking the initiative to see people, hear people and love people will help you build a bridge of understanding to reach them for Christ.”

                “In this impersonal world with its explosive increase of population, we need to take the time to see people as God sees them.  With our busy schedules, it is easy to pass people, speak to them, sit by them, or do business with them without ever seeing them.”

                “The trend of a materialistic, self-centered society is to view them as objects to be exploited for selfish purposes….. some see people as things to be used………. Some see people as objects to be manipulated……… Some view people as dollars to be gained……  Some see people as numbers to be counted.”

                How do we see the people around us?  Are your close associates expendable when they are of no more use to you?  Is your family there for you to control and run roughshod over?  Do we see new converts as the way to pay the bills?  Are we trying to add more notches to our spiritual guns?  

                Jesus saw people with love and compassion.  He truly reached out to them, despite their unloveliness.  Even the leper who had to stay 20 feet away from a “clean” person, Jesus reached out and “TOUCHED” him.  Lord, who will you have me to touch today?

                Pastor Don



God Never Quits

God never quits

“You’ve always been great toward me – what love!  You snatched me from the brink of disaster!…  You, O God, are both tender and kind,  not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.”  Psalm 86:13,15  The Message Bible

                Most of us have had times when we were on the brink of disaster and God had to come to our rescue.  It is amazing that we often say, “I couldn’t do anything else, so I prayed.”  It is a shame that when the most powerful weapon of our spiritual warfare, prayer, gets relegated to the “last” resort.  But God in his Omnipotent Patience is always still there to aid and rescue us.

                Has there ever been a time in your life when God did not extend His love to you?  Notice I didn’t say, has there ever been a time when God didn’t give you YOUR way?…. God’s love reaches us with what James Dodson has often referred to as “Tough Love”.  Not granting us what we want, but giving us what we need.  It is His tough love that keeps on giving and giving and giving.

                And the Psalmist recognized another truth about God’s love.  “He is not easily angered..”  In a day when sports figures fight at the drop of a hat, and most of the time don’t even have to drop a hat, and when violence rules our schools and businesses,  God is not easily angered with our careless acts of disobedience.   If we were to have this same kind of patience, what a different world we would live in.

                Jesus told Peter to forgive “seventy times seven times.”  In other words, you can’t forgive enough times.  But we barely are able to forgive a small injustice, let alone one that hurts or affects us greatly.  God, “immense in love” reaches arms around all of the affected parties and draws them to himself first and then to each other.  No greater love has anyone ever shared.

                And finally, God never quits.  A statement made about one of our pastors touched me yesterday.  It was said that this pastor never quits.  When a member made a mistake, the pastor would be there to restore such him to the kingdom.  The comment was that no matter how many times that member “backslid” that pastor would be at his doorstep.  Today, there are many active Christians, heading for Heaven because that pastor would not quit.  I wonder if there is someone that we have given up on?.. God hasn’t quit, why should we?

                Pastor Don



Views on Aging

aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than ten years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?”

“I’m four and a half.”

You’re never 36 and a half you’re four and a half going on 5. You get into your teens; now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16.” You could be 12, but you’re gonna be 16.  Eventually.

Then the great day of your life; you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You BECOME 21….Yes!!

Then you turn 30. What happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED; we had to throw him out. What’s wrong? What changed? You BECOME 21;  You TURN 30.

Then you’re PUSHING 40….stay over there. You REACH 50.

You BECOME 21; you TURN 30; You’re PUSHING 40; you REACH 50; then you MAKE IT to 60.

By then you’ve built up so much speed, you HIT 70. After that, it’s a day by day thing. You HIT Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

You get into your 80’s; you HIT lunch, you HIT 4:30. My Grandmother won’t even buy green bananas. “Well, it’s an investment, you know, and maybe a bad one.”  And it doesn’t end there….

Into the 90’s, you start going backwards. “I was JUST 92.” Then a strange thing happens; if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half.” 

Happy aging!



A Friend

friend

A friend is someone we turn to When our spirits need a lift,

A friend is someone we treasure

For our friendship is a gift,

A friend is someone who fills our lives

With Beauty, Joy, and Grace

And makes the world we live in

A Better and Happier Place.

 

Luke 11:5 Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. 6 An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’ 7 “The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8 “But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.



The A – Z of Friendship

abc

A Friend….

(A)ccepts you as you are

(B)elieves in “you”

(C)alls you just to say “HI”

(D)oesn’t give up on you

(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)

(F)orgives your mistakes

(G)ives unconditionally

(H)elps you

(I)nvites you over

(J)ust “be” with you

(K)eeps you close at heart

(L)oves you for who you are

(M)akes a difference in your life

(N)ever Judges

(O)ffers support

(P)icks you up

(Q)uiets your fears

(R)aises your spirits

(S)ays nice things about you

(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it

(U)nderstands you

(V)alues you

(W)alks beside you

(X)-plain things you don’t understand

(Y)ells when you won’t listen and

(Z)aps you back to reality

Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.



THIS IS GOOD!

good

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual,

“This is good!”

To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.

As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.

“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown

off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just

happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for

so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!”

“What do you mean, ’This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”

“If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”

Proverbs 17:17  A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.



Believers Out of Fellowship

toy top
 

THE SIN WE SPARE IS THE SIN THAT WILL BECOME OUR MASTER.

A Japanese evangelist once illustrated a message by spinning tops on the platform. He said, “Ministers have to spend so much time spinning up wobbly Christians,

they can’t get time to win the lost.”

THREE KINDS OF BACKSLIDERS

  1. 1. DISOBEDIENT BELIEVERSAbraham in Egypt Genesis 12: 10-“There was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there.” We are most apt to be tested just after seasons of great blessing. It is no sign we are in the wrong place just because famine comes.

Better to suffer in God’s will than take things in your own bands and get into endless complications. See what happened to Abram and Sara until God intervened and got them out of Egypt.      I                                            //’

  1. DELUDED BELIEVERS-Lot in Sodom Genesis 13: 10-11-A man seeking material things, gets spiritual blight. THREE STEPS DOWN: (a) pitched tent toward Sodom (13: 12 )-watch out for first leanings toward the world; (b) dwelt in Sodom (14: 12)-trying to make the most of both worlds won’t work; (c) sat in the gate (19: 1 )-He had gotten on in the world.

Not to be OUT-AND-OUT is to be down-and-out. Lot’s testimony gone, he was mocked (19: 14). God had to drive him out by the sorrows of earth. So it is with deluded Christians.

  1. 3. DISGRUNTLED BELIEVERSPeter by the Fire Luke 22:55-57. Peter’s feelings were hurt when Jesus restored the ear he cut off (Luke 22:50-51; John 18:10).
    Now he warms at the enemy’s fire, after having followed afar off. BUT Peter was upheld by Jesus’ prayer (Luke 22:32). See him later at another fire (John 21: 9) .

Are YOU out of place?

Go back to the point where you took the DETOUR (1 John 1 :9; Psalm 51: 12).


The Resource of the Christian

Muscle strength

THE CALL OF GOD TO ANY PIECE OF WORK IS THE GUARANTEE THAT HE WILL BE THE RESOURCE OF ALL NEEDED

STRENGTH.
Isaiah 40: 31-“They that WAIT UPON the LORD shall

renew [lit., exchange] their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk,

and not faint.”

The KEY is in the word translated WAIT.” The original word means ” to bind or twist”-as rope is made by intertwiningso meaning “to be closely bound up with

the Lord.”
This is

something more than just attending meetings or saying prayers. Do we really CLING

unto the Lord?

HERE ARE THE RESULTS:

  1. 1. RISING“mount up.” Spiritual UPLIFTING causes the Christian to be not content anymore with the LOW LEVELS. He can now soar above the trials and burdens of life, as eagles built for swift flight in the higher altitudes.
  2. RUNNING“run and not be weary.” Life is not all spiritual exhilaration. There’s a strenuous race to be run in everyday life (1 Corinthians 9:24-26).

The RACE of life brings weariness, but CLINGING to the Lord brings an exchange Our weakness for heavenly
power (Philippians 4: 13 ) .

  1. ROUTINE-“they shall WALK and not faint.” Walking lacks the exhilaration of the race course. The soldier in his MARCHING often faints. The humdrum tasks of life sap one’s strength.
BUT, through

prayer “in everything” (Philippians 4: 6-7), we find ourselves made adequate.

DO WE KNOW that

supernatural power that enables us for (1) spiritual RISING, (2) strenuous RUNNING,

( 3) steady ROUTINE?
Psalm 27:

14-“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: WAIT, I SAY, ON

THE LORD.”


The Lost Bible

Bible

“IS THERE ANYONE HERE WHO HAS LOST A BIBLE? ARE YOU SURE?

Read the story of 2 Chronicles 34: 14-32.

THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO LOSE A BIBLE.

AN UNREAD Bible is a LOST Bible. One may have a Bible

in plain sight, yet it is lost

to him. Satan can’t do his work where the Bible has its proper place.

The Bible is a MIRROR to reveal hearts (James 1:23-25).

It is MILK to nourish the soul (1 Peter 2: 2).

It is a MOLD of character (Romans 6: 17-word rendered “form” means “mold”). HOW ESSENTIAL ARE THESE THINGS!

HOW DO PEOPLE LOSE THEIR BIBLES?

  1. 1. DISREGARDING IT. Satan has no end of devices for drawing attention to everything else. Patrick Henry, dying: “My greatest regret is that I never could find time to read my Bible. Now it is too late.”
    Moody: “I never yet saw a useful Christian who’ was NOT a student of the Bible.”

Are YOU reading other books to the neglect of the ONE BOOK? The number of words in the Sunday Newspaper is usually more than the total number in the Bible.

  1. DISOBEYING IT. Israel (2 Chronicles 34) drifted into worldly ways and lost taste for spiritual things. Either the Bible keeps one from sin, or sin keeps one from the Bible.

The Bible becomes distasteful when sin is loved (John 3 :19). Man’s real quarrel with the Bible is because he DOES NOT WANT to obey it.

  1. DISTORTING IT. The Bible is lost to many today because of the tamperings of men with it, as they try to adapt it to shifting theories.

A little girl listened to a modernist preacher. Later she asked her mother, “Mother, was he FOR God or AGAINST HIM?”

HOW TO FIND A LOST BIBLE?

Meditate prayerfully upon it! Psalm 1:2-3; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:11;

Job 23: 12.


What Happens to a Backslider?

backslider
THE CHRISTIAN WHO HARBORS SECRET SIN IN HIS LIFE IS LOOKING FOR TROUBLE.
1 John 1:8-9-“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When a TRUE CHRISTIAN sins, WHAT HAPPENS?
1. His FELLOWSHIP with God is severed. David, when backslidden, mourned, “Day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32: 4) .
As CLOUDS hide the sun for days, so SIN comes between the soul and God.
2. The JOY of salvation is lost. One loses all relish for spiritual things: the heart is empty. David, in this condition, confessed, “My sin is ever before me” and “Restore unto’ me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit” (Psalm 51: 3, 12).
3. Power for service is lost. The Holy Spirit’s power is ESSENTIAL for any real witness for Christ. It cannot be FAKED. David prayed, “Thou desirest truth in the inward parts” and “Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51: 6, 10).
4. The Christian invites divine chastisement. Hebrews 12: 6-7-“Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. . . . What son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Psalm 89:32-33- “I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
5. There is loss of reward. (Read 1 Corinthians 3: 11-15.) Out of FELLOWSHIP means out of SERVICE-
out of service means that one is failing to lay up treasures in heaven. He is building of “wood, hay and stubble” which cannot endure the test of the rewarding day (1 Corinthians 3: 12-15 ). Many will be chagrined in that day by suffering LOSS of REWARD.
TAKE THE WAY BACK NOW. Psalm 32:5; 1 John 1:9.



 

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