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Taking Credit for God’s Blessings


Franciska-21-226x300  woman reading BilbeWith the advent of the religion of Humanism mankind has set himself up as a god by taking credit for the good things that happen in his life.The Bible specifically states that all good things come from above as stated in James 1:17.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above………….  Our skills and our talents are given to us by our Creator.  They are His gifts to us to mold us into the person that He wants us to be.

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View from the Mountaintop


th5NBSTMYG  mountaqintop iiThe view that one gets as they gaze the panoramic scene from the top of a mountain is somewhat breathtaking to say the least.  Miles and miles of a picturesque images filter into the mind as one takes in the vast scope of sightings available through the tapestry of reality that lays before them.  Not withstanding, this scenario cannot compare to the visual one gets after coming up out of an horrible pit.

We all have had those mountaintop experiences when the Lord has blessed us, sometimes beyond measure, after we have gone through a time of testing.  How wonderful it is when our spiritual eyes gaze upon the reality of new lessons learned.  For many this is a time of spiritual growth, drawing us closer to the Lord.  Sightings of new opened doors of opportunity to serve, witness and minister bring joy and anticipation into our heart. It is indeed a welcome relief from the valley of despair from whence we just came.  Unfortunately this is a time when we are often most vulnerable to attacks from the Devil.  With a humble heart it is good for us to take a quick look down into the valley from whence we came to remind us of God’s hand in delivering us from our hour of testing.

Although is it not good to dwell on past sins, testing, and disappointments, we need to keep in mind that those very things were the instruments by which we were chiseled into becoming more Christ-like.  Once the abrasiveness of sin is tempered with the soothing lotion of forgiveness, our fellowship with the Heavenly Father is restored and it becomes easier for us to see that all testing comes from above and is meant for our good.  Those disappointments were roadblocks preventing us from turning away from the will of God our life.  Perhaps the most humbling site that pricks our soul is the evidence of God’s working in our life while floundering in the valley.

th6OI4QTPI  cool springAs we look closer into the pit we can see dredged into the sinking sand are drag marks from the time when the Lord had to literally drag us away from temptation and sin.  Further down the path can be seen only one set of footprints when we were being carried by our Savior.  There at the cool spring waters, Christ refreshed us, providing us with the strength to keep going. As our eyes look upon the side of the mountain we can see Jesus climbing upward carrying someone upon his back…………….  Oh, how he loves us.

Out of an Horrible Pit


“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”—Psalm 40:1-3.

thJ31WTDLF  bottomless pitThere are times in a Christian walk when the Believer finds himself deep down in an horrible pit. Whether it happens because of sin, illness, financial woes,  the condition of the world or a multitude of other reasons, the person suffers from a myriad of spiritual and emotional turmoil.  Perhaps it is a combination of these culprits or even all of them, nevertheless  it leaves one with the feeling of desolation to the point that they feel forsaken by God.

Plagued by self pity, depression and sorrow, one of the first things that tempts the flailing soul is whether to trust in self NazarethBrowOfHill1  hillsor to trust in God.  Sadly many choose the former.  Prayer and Scripture reading is forgotten and even church attendance suffers because of the circumstances thrust upon the backslidden saint.  Floundering around in the mire and dirt, the bruised Christian neglects to look up to the hills from whence cometh their help.  Psalm 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help

Sadly, the tendency exists to blame God for the sad state of affairs that one finds themselves in.  Psalm 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble  Granted, God does allow testing to come into ones life, but it is up to the Believer as to the proper way to respond.  
All the while that the Saint is wallowing in the mire of their afflictions, the Holy Spirit is wooing them back into the fold and prompting them to cry unto the Lord in their distress to deliver them out of their troubles.  God never gives up on His sheep even if they give up on Him.  He knows their foolishness and their sins are not hid from Him.  Without calling upon the Heavenly Father to deliver them from their troublesome circumstances they continue to plunge deeper and deeper into despair.
Thankfully the Lord is patient and longsuffering and has promised that He will never leave of forsake His own.  He continues to woo them until the day that they call upon Him to “turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.  The troubles of my heart are enlarged………..bring me out of my distresses and look upon my affliction and pain and forgive all my sins.  And hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble.  Thou knowest my foolishness and my sins are not hid from thee:

The ‘ME-bola’ of Christianity


me-me-me-md There seems to be an epidemic affecting Christians.  The average person claiming to be a Christian is actually embracing and following unbiblical and contradictory ideas to the gospel.  This epidemic is the subconscious ingrained and errant belief that the Christian life is about “me.”  It’s about what Christ can give me.  It’s about the church accommodating me.  It’s about the worship programs being catered to me.  It’s about the worship style suiting me.  It’s about saving myself from hell in that Jesus is my eternal life insurance, so as long as I go to church and half-heartedly read my Bible every once in a while, I’ll be ok.
Many of us have been infected with the idea that the Christian life should be an easy life and therefore requires little to no effort and minimum obedience to God.  Some Saints believed that they can ease the symptoms of their indifference if they are faithful in church attendance and talk the walk.  This Laodicean approach to Christianity is the foundation on which apathy is built.  It is not the Church’s responsibility to ease the symptoms of carnal Christians, but instead to provide a prescription to worship God and be encouraged and instructed in the Word. When a church does its best to serve its people, it definitely makes the service a reservoir of blessing and instruction in righteousness.  ‘Cool’ music and fancy lighting and the beat of the drum is not what Christianity is about. The world’s music and theatrics are sensuous and feed the emotions and water down the scriptural basis for service.
The average Christian sitting is a worship service on Sunday morning most likely will hear something along the lines of  that God loves me and sent his Son to die for me.  As wonderful as this truth is, there is more to the story.  If we claim to be Christians, we should be following the call to spread the gospel and serve others. We should not allow the infection of our own selfish desires to hinder someone else’s salvation.
 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Mark 16:15 
Some Christians are self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-saturated people who really do not have the burden of  spreading the salvation message to others.  Worshipping and witnessing are the primary responsibilities of redeemed sinners. However, there is one more thing that is needful.  So, what do we do now that it’s been established that Christianity is not all about me? Where do we go from here?

While it is true that works cannot save us, it is a command that we are to work out our own salvation

  “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12 .

We must not succumb to the Moses syndrome of worthless excuses: ” but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue;” for the Lord will say , “What is that in thine hand?”  Each of us has talents given to us by God, that can be used for his service.  In bringing together a fellowship of Believers God was not amiss in providing workers for the ministry.  Some are called to teach, some are called to clean, others are called to tend to wee ones in the Nursery.  Lest we forget, there is the landscaping, church dinners, organizers, planners and greeters.  For those Senior Saints the needful service of prayer is needful for the influence of any ministry. This is far from being an all inclusive list of available ministries in the Church.  Yes, cleaning is a ministry!

As we life for Christ, we must not do so in our own strength  God did not give you new life so that you could run around and fulfill your own selfish desires. There’s a greater purpose here to live your life to serve God whole-heartedly and strive to be Christ-like. It is hard to model Jesus every second of the day, in fact, it is probably impossible to do it. Instead of relying on yourself, let God guide you throughout your day.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Romans 12:2 

 Serve others! This is a huge commandment in the Bible. Your life is no longer about your convenience, comfort, or accommodation. Go into the world and serve others thereby pointing everyone you meet to Christ.

caduceusThe Lord is the Great Physician who can deliver us from the spiritual ‘Ebola’ of Christianity. As we draw nearer to God and come to know Him more, He imparts unto us the antibiotic of selfless service that we might  a workman that needeth not to be ashamed………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Valley


In the Valley.

jesus-hugging-2_1629038576

http://faithful4him.wordpress.com.

There are those times in our Christian walk when we need a “hug from Heaven.”  These are those scenarios when only one set of footprints are in the sand.  May you be encouraged as you read this article on being in the Valley of discouragement.

What does it mean to “put off the old man?”


What does it mean to “put off the old man?”.

http://rickroehm.wordpress.com.

Before we were saved many of us were likened unto an old tire.  Our lives were lived that the tread was worn away by sinful living.  082312-tire1  beforeOnce saved, God was able to take our thread bare lives and turn them into something useful.  The Master-craftsman may have had to clean us up and remove the tar of worldliness that had accumulated over a lifespan;  He definitely gave us a new covering – His robe of righteousness;  and we became a new creation, fit for the Master’s use.  Perhaps the following visual illustration can best exemplify the ‘putting off of the old man and letting Christ don us with the garment of a new man.

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