What God did for me!

Have you ever wondered what if a person is really changed after they gave their lives to God?  When God speaks to you, listen.  Listen, because you have nothing to lose if you do.  If you ignore God calling you to be His child, you will lose eternity.   Eternity is forever and ever.   Is the risk to listen to God to small for you?  I just want everyone to know that God did change my life.  I now have a reason for living, a purpose on earth.  I look forward to moving on from this life into Heaven.  Sometimes the devil starts to tempt me that I won’t make it.  I need to continually look to my Savior for the courage to face each day as a lamb in a pack of wolves.  God never promised that the life on earth would be easy, but He did promise eternity with Him for those who are faithful. 

“Praise God I am free, free, free from this world of sin,”

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Distractions on the Highway to Heaven

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 38-42

As Christians, we find ourselves on a highway to Heaven.  We are on a journey and our vehicle is headed to Heaven.  Along the way we are faced with many distractions.  Because the devil hasn’t succeeded on keeping us off the highway to Heaven, his goal is to distract us that our goal becomes unclear and we soon drive off the highway.  But because the Lord goes on before us, it is possible for all of us to make it.

There are natural conditions such as wind and rain and other poor road conditions and sometimes there are steep hills.   There are road conditions that we can’t avoid no matter how good of a driver we are.  God never promised that the highway to Heaven would be easy.  Distractions to watch out for:

  1. OTHER DRIVERS.   Along our highway we will find other drivers.  Often they are helpful and help lead us, but more times than not, they can become distractions.  Mary had become a distraction to Martha.  It is up to us not to let the other drivers to become a distraction.  “Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”  Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” 
    Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” ” – John 21:20-22  We are to follow Jesus because there are hypocrite drivers.  Let’s move forward following Jesus because He is the driver we can always rely on.
  2. ACCIDENTS.  On the christian highway there are car wrecks.  Timothy writes about believers  “concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck” – 1 Timothy 1:19.  When others have accidents, instead of stopping to help, some drivers simply gossip about the person with the spiritual accident.  If we can’t help, let us drive on.  Because if an accident can happen to others, it can happen to us.  Roads can be icy.  Temptation is that our nerve to keep driving will slip away.  The devil wants us to pull over to the side of the road and stop.  We need to trust God is with us and will help us to move on.  God has given us everything we need to get to Heaven.  He has given us all the information we need to keep driving.   Sometimes we need new tires.  Often we need to refuel ourselves by spending time with Him.
  3. FAMILY.  What about those backseat drivers in our lives?  At times the family can be a great help on the road.  May God help us that the entire family is on the highway to Heaven.  Is our love for our family more that our love for God?  We need to make our backseat drivers second priority to God.   It is impossible to take our family along if we don’t give priority to our Pilot.  We are personally responsible to not let others be a distraction.  Matthew 10:37-38 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
  4. REAR-VIEW MIRRORS.  God wants us to look ahead at His Will, but if we continually look back at the past, it is impossible to keep driving.  Maybe we are boasting about our past successes after many years of serving God.  Many people lose it just before there final destination.  Maybe you are looking back and thinking that you should be farther.  Maybe you feel as though you haven’t done good enough.  Look ahead.  “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” – Philippians 3:12  Maybe you are focusing on failures, but look ahead, he will guide you doe as long as you are on His Highway.

May God help us on the Highway to Heaven that we may never get distracted by the devil.

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.

God Uses Little Things

Years ago, it was spring time when we got our two baby rabbits. One we named Blossom because he was a runt, and we hoped he would “blossom”. God blessed him, and indeed he did ‘blossom’ into a beautiful bunny, with very gentle, expressive eyes. The other we named Grizzy (Grishilde). We enjoyed watching them run, hop and nibble grass in our backyard. They grew quickly and before long were full grown. Blossom and Grizzy were good friends. They would lie down in the sun together, and groom each other. We noticed that Grizzy was the protector, watching for danger. Blossom was the adventurous one. He loved to discover new things! God blessed them with many happy years together. One very sad day, Grizzy died because a cat had bitten him three times. The cat had come into our backyard and Grizzy, as the protector, had faced him so Blossom could hide. Grizzy died a very noble death, because he helped his friend and brother Blossom. Blossom, now all alone turned to his human family for friendship. I became his close friend and we spent many happy times in our backyard together. Blossom especially loved it when I sang to him. He also learned to trust me. He showed me his bunny love by licking me, nuzzling me, doing ‘happy runs’, and just by his quiet obedience and trust. Then, last winter, Blossom became very sick. Before my Dad took him to the vet, Blossom gave me one more nuzzle. For me, it was as if he was saying, “Good bye, Cheri. I love you. Keep singing.” That evening, my Mom and I visited him in the veterinarian clinic. They had put him in a special oxygen box so he could breathe better. He was so weak that he could not eat, but he moved himself so he could see us. As we were leaving, something very special happened! He positioned himself, this time so that he was facing the direction we had come from and would be leaving in. We both went back one more time so that he would know that we had come back from that direction. Later that evening, he died. We were very sad, but God used Blossom to leave us with a very special and important lesson. Acts 1:9-11 describes how Jesus ascended into heaven:
” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
After Jesus went back to heaven, the disciples were looking in the direction in which He had gone. Blossom had positioned himself in the direction from which we had come, and were leaving in. We also, need to position ourselves in the direction in which Jesus left earth, and is coming from again – heaven ward. The Bible tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to set our minds on things above. We were Blossoms masters and our Master – Jesus – is coming back! We also need to position ourselves so we are ready when He comes!
Read Luke 12:35-40

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.

9 Reasons why Prayers are unanswered:

Jesus Christ said:  And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

Facts:

  • God(through His word) repeatedly calls us to pray
  • God invites us to ask
  • God promises to answer our prayers
  • God is able to help in any given situation

Question:

Despite the Lord’s willingness to answer prayer, it is obvious that some prayers have gone unanswered.  Why is this?  Why doesn’t God grant all our petitons?

Reason #1–“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” says the Lord.  (Isaiah 55: 8 )Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  (Matthew 6:10)

Reason#2–“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59 :1-2)

Reason#3–“If I had thought about doing anything sinful, the Lord would not have listened to me.”(Psalm 66: 18 )

Reason #4–“When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reasons-for your own pleasure.” (James 4:3)

Reason #5–“Therefore if you bring your gift ot the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-25)

Reason #6–“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as  being heirs together of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off” (1 Peter 2:7)

Reason #7–“For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].” (Mark 11:24)

Reason #8–“The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” (James 5:16)

Reason #9–“Also Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought  always pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).” (Luke 18:1-2)