Rooted in Christ

In youth the other night we had the topic “Rooted in Christ”.

By identifying winds of our christian walk, we could find ways to deal with them.  Winds such as worldly influences, doubts, temptations, peer pressure, seeing others blown over and not getting up, media, consumerism and other discouragements.

These winds can destroy our roots in Christ, namely our faith.  We need to be mindful of our doctrine. (“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”-Ephesians 4:14)  We are constantly bombarded with information, theories and ideas.  We need to sift through what is true.  (“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” – Colossians 2:6-8 )

What can i do to become more rooted and established in the faith??  I can excersize applying what i believe.  I can know my Bible, grow in knowledge of God’s word.  I can spend time with other christians.  I can be watchful, be careful who teaches me, what i read, and go back to the standard of God’s word.  I can learn from mistakes.  I can read and pray.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. -James 1:6

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm  Comments (2)  

Complaining while serving God?

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. – Ephesians 6:7-8

This something that i need to be reminded of daily.  Whether it is cleaning up the dishes, or doing school work, it is so easy to complain.  But why complain, when what i do is all for God?  How can i complain to the God who sent his only Son to die so that i could live eternally with Him?

If we realized that absolutely everything we do is for the Lord, would we do it differently?  Would our attitude change?  Even while singing congregational hymns and when working with people we don’t like?

God will reward us.  God can’t reward us for more than we do.  Not only can we do good, but we can do it with all of our hearts only for God.

Heaven’s Treasures

God saved our house and our belongings.  Why?  He could taught us something through losing everything, but He decided to teach us something through keeping everything.  I don’t know the purpose all our material possessions have.  I just pray that somehow God might use them to the growth of His Kingdom.  At the time of the fire, I felt as though i was ready to give up everything.   I was expecting to lose everything and suddenly these earthly things completely lost their value.

The miracle that God did reminded me that we need to store as many treasures in Heaven as we can.  The earth will perish, but God’s home up above is what lasts.  Lord, help me to fully give all my time and efforts to the growth of your Kingdom.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Where could i go?

Where could I go oh where could I go
Seeking the refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Where could I go but to the lord

These are the words of comfort that came to me just now as the firetrucks came to check on the fire.  No where could i go that would be as comforting as to the Lord.

It seems as though when i need Him the most, the Lord puts lyrics in my thoughts that are comforting.  I sing these words over and over again, keeping my faith in the Lord.  I memorize scripture, but it doesn’t seem as though that comes back to me.  It’s mostly those lyrics from church hymns, gospel CD’s, songs from Youth Choir and songs from childhood, such as the ones my parents used to sing to me, or from Sunday School.  Music has made a huge difference in my pilgrimage to Heaven.

A time for everything!

There is a time for everything,
       and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
       a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
       a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
       a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
       a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
       a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
       a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

 a time to love and a time to hate,
       a time for war and a time for peace.

10 Reasons why we don’t pray

  1. Worldliness–Through prayer we can resist worldy desires and influence.  We need watch that we are a light in to the world of darkness.
  2. Busyness— Just like Martha, we don’t take enough time to simply communicate with God like Mary did.  When our lives get busy, prayer is usually the first thing to be left out.  Our daily priority should be prayer, everything else follows.
  3. Foolishness— When we take our focus away from God, we often become confused over what is foolish and what is wise.  We need to stay in constant prayer with our Father in Heaven so that we can pray for wisdom to do what really counts in life.
  4. Distance— Sometimes we put distance in between us and God when our lives get busy.  When there is a problem in between God and me, i am the problem and need to come to God.  God wants me to reconnect because He never stops loving me.
  5. Ignorance— When we feel thaat we can rely on our own abilities, we tend to ignore God.  God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, we just need to ask.
  6. Sinfulness— When there is sin in between God and us, we are afraid as Adam & Eve were and tend to hide from God.  When we confess our sins and pray for each other, our prayers become powerful and effective.
  7. Faithlessness— When we see a situation is hopeless, we lack in faith to our Almighty God.  No situation is to big for God.  Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big God is.
  8. Pridefulness— Because the more we pray, the more we depend on God, we lose our will and our will becomes that of our Father.  Sometimes the very reason we don’t pray is because we feel we are fine and can take care of ourselves.  We need to humble ourselves and enjoy the many blessings tha come form a soul of humbleness.
  9. Inexperience— Another reason we keep silent is because when we don’t pray, we think we don’t know how to pray.  By praying more we learn to pray “better” and we are encourage to pray more.
  10. Laziness— Sometimes we simply waste time doing absolutely nothing with eternal value, when we could be in prayer with our Heavenly Father.  We need to motivate ourselves to spend more time in prayer.

What God wants in Prayer

God wants all my attention during prayer.  Matthew 6:6 – But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

God wants me to know that He will answer if i ask, seek & knock.  Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

God wants me to never give up.  Luke 18:1 – Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

God wants me to be joyful, patient and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

God wants me to be praying all the time in variety. Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

God does not want us to worry or be anxious because God will take care of me.  Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God wants me to be devoted. Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

God wants me to know that He listens.  1 Peter 3:12  – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

God wants me to come to Him in prayer all day long.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 – pray continually

“We wish to see Jesus”

Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. (John 12:20-22)

For many years people have gathered to see someone famous.  The queen of Sheba traveled to see if all she had heard about King Solomon was true.  “She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.  But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.” ” (1 Kings 10:6-7)  Our greatest desire is to see our Master, Jesus.  The two greeks were comfortable talking to Philip.  What could have convinced these two men that Philip could help them see the Lord?   Can people see it in me, so that they may approach me about getting to know Jesus?

People wanting to see Jesus have a longing in their hearts.  What started the desire in the wee little tax collector who climbed a tree to se Jesus?  Why did the women bring their children for Jesus to bless, just because they wanted to see Jesus?  Was their desire out of curiousity or was it a need deep in their heart?  The desire to see Jesus is just as common today.

It is difficult for seeking souls to see Jesus in our “Chrisianity” today.  Jesus saw the importance for the churches to have Jesus in them so others could see Him.  The world cries, “We want to see Jesus!”  Are we a Philip?  Can People see that we are different because of our confidence in Him?  Not every church show Jesus the way he really is.  When Jesus came to a church and found a market in the church, He wasn’t able to be seen or do anything until He was the center of attention.  People were looking in that church that day, but they saw only distractions.

Dear God, may my own church never be cluttered with disraction, but be filled with the Spirit of God.  May every song, sermon, reading, musical piece & and Lord, just everything be done so that others can see you.  We don’t want to run with the world and be an immitation, just because the spirit left us.  We need a house where you can speak.  We need a house without screaming and yelling and rocking.  May God give us the grace that our services will show Jesus only.  The apostels never wanted the attention of listeners, they wanted people to see Jesus.  AMEN

We need homes like the home of Mary and Martha where Jesus came by and taught them.  Our homes should be so that whoever leaves will receive something of eternal worth when they leave.  Have we ever met someone who was different and then later found out that they were a christian?  Our attitude and language will show whether Jesus is really in us.

Would we live our lives if we knew others wanted to see Jesus?  Growing in the Lorf, we become a mirror of Him.   Remember, we never know who is wishing to see Jesus today.


Are we giving God the leftovers?

Proverbs 3:19 ~ Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops.

Give God the best, not the leftovers.  Faithful service has always required our best:

  • Offerings to God – Exodus 23:19 ~ “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.”
  • Hard Things – Exodus 25:1-7 ~ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.
  • Giving to the Church – Exodus 36:2-7Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing,  and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do.”  So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing,  for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.

Why doesn’t God want the leftovers?

  • Giving God the best shows that he will again meet our needs in the future.
  • Giving God the best shows where our priorities are.
  • Giving God the best shows that God has blessed us with more than we deserve.
  • Example:  Abram giving Issac.

Lord, Have I done enough, am I giving you an leftovers?  Is there anything more that I can give you?

The best possible effort:  “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” ~Matthew 22:27

Giving God the best.  This man saw a need and gave everything he had.  “And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles, a Levite of the country of Cyprus,  having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:36-37

Giving God the leftovers.  When we give leftovers, the blessing is missing.  “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.  And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?  While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:1-4

Lord, for you, the best.  “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 
Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,  and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”  Matthew 4:18-22

The difference is visible – “Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 59-62

  • Lord, there is church tonight, but let me first go…
  • Where is our dedication to choir practise?…”For church the song sounds good enough”

People give God the leftovers when they live the best years of their lives for themselves and then wait until when they are older to come to the Lord.

The widow gave all.  She gave her best.  “So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;  for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” ” Mark 12:43-44

For ourselves we have time for everything.  We work long ours to save for a car – it’s for the good of the whole family.

What is needed to give God our best?

  • To be saved by God’s grace
  • Sanctification – experience complete surrender of life.  Not my will, but Thine.
    • we need this to give God our best.
    • by this the apostels endured persucution after Pentecost
    • giving God the best is not hard to give after you have given Him your all.
    • God will ask for what we need to surrender the most : Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  Luke 14:23

“Honour God with your possesions” – What’s in it for me? – Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”  So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Giving God the best will leave an example for generations to follow!

4 Blessings of Salvation

Note:  We do not seek salvation for its benefits.

Note: The list of benefits of salvation could never end.

  1. Blessing of Salvation : pardoned from punishment
    1. Isaiah 55:6+7 -Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
  2. Blessing of Salvation :  peace of heart/mind
    1. Romans 5:1 -Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. Blessing of Salvation : purpose for living
    1. 2 Corinthians 5:14+15 -For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
  4. Blessing of Salvation : a place to inherit
    1. Colossians 3:4 -When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.