Doing the Word

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What does it mean to “do the word”? Does it mean going to church every time there is a service? Does it mean being nice and praying for others? These are all characteristics of those that believe they are “doing the word”. Most of us are spectators lost in a crowd of other observers. We hope that one day God will do something in our lives as we passively forget what He has already done.

 

What is the word? The way I understand it, the word is God’s way of speaking to us. Doing the word is how we act on what God says. The word is illuminated through the scriptures. It is not enough to skim over the pages of the Bible. Asking God for direction and then telling Him where you want to go is counter-productive.

 

Reading the word or hearing the word is a lot like reading about cars. I can read every book ever written about cars. This will not make me a mechanic. Getting my hands dirty while applying what I’ve read will put me on the path of learning how to repair automobiles. The word comes to life as we begin practicing what we read.

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James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror, for he looks at himself, goes away, and right away forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts –  this person will be blessed in what he does.

Overfed and unconcerned

Very appropriate

We are the church

I learned today that you can be skinny-fat. I was fascinated.

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While driving in the car, my wife was listening to a Lisa Bevere CD. She was telling how badly her assessment went when she signed up at the gym. Her instructor told her that although she wasn’t overweight, she was skinny-fat. Because of her busy lifestyle and excessive travelling, she never bore much weight, causing her muscles to fade, making her as unhealthy as someone who overate and under-exercised.

Ezekiel 16:49
New International Version (NIV)
“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

When I read this verse, I couldn’t help but think of the the church. We don’t need more knowledge, we need to live more of what we know. We have muscles that we aren’t using and they are…

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Get Your Own God! I’m Not Sharing Mine!

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Get your own God!  I’m not sharing mine!

Yep, found Jesus the other day. Got my ticket to heaven. No worries. Guess everyone else will have to figure it out on their own. Sure is nice knowing where I’m going. My Facebook status now reads …“Just hangin out with my new church FAMILY.”

Excuse me; I got a little praying to do.

I’m back. I’m surprised your still here. What cha waiting around for? I told you I got nothing for ya. Now tweet this…. “For God so loved ME he gave His only son for ME.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how it reads. Hang on, I’m getting a text from one of my church brothers; says we need to get together and talk about how thankful we are that we found God. Seems like now I got instant friends. Who would have thought Religion would be so cool.

You probably think I have lost my mind. Maybe it’s a stretch, but this is the way, we as Christians sometimes act. We treat God’s grace like some lottery winning that we need to collect in private. We fear sinners may come out of the wood work to get some of what we got.

Newsflash! By the way some of us act, it should come as no surprise, that no one is standing in line.

We are called to share the good news. The gift was meant to be shared. Just in case you’re wondering; the verse reads…” For God so loved the WORLD…

Make no mistakes, if we don’t share the one true God with the world, they will find a God of their own.

What type of fishing line are you?

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What Type of Fishing Line are You?

19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” English Standard Version (ESV) Matthew 4:19

Fishing line is the most important piece of equipment that a fisherman uses. Hooking fish and landing the fish one hooks is all greatly dependent on the strength, agility and overall composition of the fishing line.

Although not an avid fisherman, I find it very interesting the many types of fishing line that are on the market today. Monofilament, Braided and Fluorocarbon are all different materials used to make fishing line. Each type has different characteristics that make them suitable for different needs. Some are stronger than others, some are almost invisible. An ability to avoid snags is a benefit of using some types of line. No matter what a fisherman’s needs may be, there is a fishing line that is designed to meet that need.

With the same excitement that a fisherman casts his line into the water in hopes of landing “the big one”; so should we be excited about telling someone about Jesus.  We all respond differently to different situations. It should come as no surprise to us that sharing what Jesus has done for us may need to be shared in different ways for different people.

Some will respond through watching our lifestyle. They will notice things that we choose to say or not say. They will notice places that we go and who we hang out with. Many will respond to stories that we share with them that parallel stories from the Bible. A direct approach may pique the curiosity of some.

As a Christian we are all called to be fishers of men. God is the ultimate fisherman. He uses us as the fishing line. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t seem those you hope to influence don’t catch on at first. Pray that God will have them respond the way He desires. Only He can prepare their heart. In the meantime keep casting your net.

Self Worth : An Oxymoron

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Self-worth: An Oxymoron

 

Where does your value come from? What makes you feel important? Most of us would like to look back on our lives and hope we had said or done something that may have made a positive impact on the world around us. Some of us get so caught up in our jobs, activities and the overall rat-race that we fool ourselves into believing that we are capable of achieving something of greatness all on our own.

Question: “What does the Bible say about self-worth?”

Answer: The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God. Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed, and in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.

But notice the wording in each of the above phrases: “are made,” “are fearfully and wonderfully made,” “were written,” “God chose His children,” “we are God’s own possession,” and “we have an inheritance.” These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.

The Bible tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In fact, we “were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. But—and here’s the miracle—He actually loved us in spite of our condition (John 3:16), and because He did, we now have infinite worth.

John 1:12 tells us that to those who received Christ and believed in His name, God gave the right to become His children. First John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we’ll come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we’re really worth as children of the most high God.

Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.

While researching this topic, I came across this article. It was so well written that I decided to share it. This is not original content. You may read the article in its entirety at

: http://www.gotquestions.org/self-worth.html#ixzz2pcV6iduN

Mary or Martha?

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Mary or Martha?

The story of Mary and Martha’s visit with Jesus in Luke 10: 38-42 resonates very well with me. Men, if you are reading this, don’t stop. It has no bearing on your gender.  For those unfamiliar with this passage, I will summarize.

Jesus and his disciples had been traveling for quite some time. They stopped at some of His friend’s house; Mary and Martha to be specific. They were sisters. Martha strikes me as a type A personality (very driven). Mary on the other hand: (somewhere between a B and C). Martha was very busy making sure her home was clean, meal prepared, and all of her guests taken care of and comfortable. Mary was helping Martha with all her tasks until Jesus arrived. When He came on the scene, Mary dropped everything, sat down, and began listening. Needless to say, Mary’s disappearance did not go well with Martha as she was left doing all the work.

Keep in mind, it is not that Mary decided not to help Martha. She didn’t instantly think that her job was unimportant. She realized that there was something more important. Martha, on the other hand, couldn’t see past her distractions. All of the cooking, cleaning, getting the kids back and forth to soccer practice had dulled her senses to a bigger purpose.

We are all busy. Much like Martha we can become so busy that we reach a level of being worried about not getting it all done. We can get upset when our “to do list” doesn’t get enough things checked off. Listen as Jesus speaks to Martha in Luke 10: 41-42, but insert your name in the blank.

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 “(Your Name Here),  you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary, Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

If you identify with Martha, like I do, listen to Jesus and make the “right choice”. Choose what and how you serve wisely. What you serve can become your god. There is nothing wrong with working hard. Jesus wants our priorities to be in the right place. Don’t forget the whys behind all of your whats.

Changing your life requires… “Allowing your life to be changed”

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Changing your life requires… “Allowing your life to be changed”

The title alone will prevent many from reading. Unfortunately there are some in today’s society that do not associate actions with consequence. I can catch myself in this category when not careful. Everyone wants to get rich without working. How many of you would like to lose weight without exercising or eating healthy? You know people like this. They are all around you.

How does one get off of the sick cycle carousel?  (The pattern of behaviors that continually lead to undesired results.) For Starters you must understand that you can’t do it alone. “Self Help” is an oxymoron. When left to ourselves we are helpless. The God of our universe put particular laws and consequences into place. Have you ever heard of gravity?  It would only make sense that we would trust that same God to help us change and be more like Him.

The origins of actions are thoughts. That is where it all begins. I encourage you today to ask God to control your thoughts. The word advises us well in Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. (Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Despite all you hear, your life can be changed. The ones that say they are incapable of changing have reached this conclusion based on their thoughts. My prayer for you today is that God would remove any negativity from your thoughts; that He would put a new song in your heart, and a fresh outlook on the life he has blessed you with.

The only Bible ever read

If you were the only Bible that someone else ever read; would you be believable? I believe the true answer to that question would make many of us uncomfortable. When I write I always try to include myself in the same group that I am writing about. I don’t forget who I was not to mention who I have been before I had a relationship with Christ. Christ makes the difference. I am so thankful for His forgiveness and grace.

I was talking with my wife the other day about situations that make me uncomfortable . I was sharing with her how it finally occurred to me that God had revealed to me that I felt uncomfortable in certain situations for a reason. It’s when I began to feel comfortable in environments that go against my grain, I should worry. Unfortunately, many times in my life I have found myself compromising. It never occurred to me that others were watching  and making observations about my character. 

I understand now and for quite some time that a person’s character reveals who that person truly is. I have a  sunday school teacher that says…” Character is something that you judge from a distance”. Character is something that should be observed void of the drama it is so often wrapped up in. My prayer for myself and anyone reading is that God would make me more like Him, that I would practice what I preach, that I would love others the way He loves me. I also pray that I live my life as though I may be the only Bible that someone else may ever read. Amen.

I think I hear You knocking

 

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The air was cold or so it seemed
One brisk October Day.
As I awoke to the same routine
I thought I heard You say…

Your voice was soft.
I could barely hear,
But I’m sure  You were there.
You said, I’ve missed you.
Where have you been?
There was such stillness in the air.

At first I thought I imagined;
I was just talking to myself
I said “I’ve been busy
Trying to make a living for my family and myself”.

You said “ok”, “I understand”,
But I’ve been trying to give you a life;
More than cars, houses, and toys
There are some things
Money can’t buy.

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This message struck a chord.
It resonated down deep inside.
Suddenly there was no importance
In the things I used to prize.

Continue on I must hear more
I heard my voice respond.
“The things you’ve treasured
Will pass away.
Someday they’ll all be gone.”

It was as if someone was gently
Knocking At my door;
Trying to get in, but
More forceful than before.

Finally, you’ve slowed down;
Enough to let me in
The entrance into your heart
Can only be opened from within.

Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

Christians: The Walking Dead

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Christians: The Walking Dead

I would like to begin this article with a prayer from Psalms…

Psalm 80:19

New International Version (NIV)

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

Our church is in the process of planning for a revival. Notice I say “planning for a revival” and not “planning a revival”. There are major differences. (The latter being impossible) We are praying that God would revive us and feel us with the Holy Spirit.

We are asking that He would rekindle our flame. In order for a revival to occur we must first understand that we need to be revived.

So many Christians have become the walking dead. We wander from here to there all the time thinking we have arrived.

Many of our hearts have grown cold and calloused affected by indifference. We were called to be salt and light.

Matthew 5:13-16

New International Version (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

It is time for Christians to allow Jesus to live through us. We need to practice what we preach. There are those that crave a true love and relationship with Christ. This group looks at us, and instead of finding what they seek, they find confusion.

There is a hope for us. We do not have to live our lives in this ineffective zombie state of mind. We find that hope in 2 Chronicles.

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.