T.G.I….M?

Thank God, It’s…Monday!

What? A good friend asked me not too long ago, “Are you glad it’s Monday, or do you long for Friday?” Most people would say that they can’t wait for Friday.

The reason most people do this is because of the “stuff” they do on the weekends. It’s like they work all week (Mon-Fri), so they can “celebrate” on Saturday/Sunday (drinking, partying, etc.)

However, if we consider a truly Chrsitian perspective on the week, it goes like this.

Sunday – Praise God in Worship Assembly

Monday – the first opportunity at work/school to witness to someone about God

Tuesday – another opportunity to witness and follow-up from Monday

Wednesday – another opportunity, PLUS a night at church to re-energize our spirit.

Thursday – yet another opportunity to tell about how good God is

Friday – the last work/school day to witness, better make this good

Saturday – the Sabbath – REST, REST, REST…in preparation for Praising God on Sunday.

How does that compare to your week?

Let’s make Monday the first day of the work week to celebrate God’s goodness and TELL SOMEONE about it!  “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

T. G. I. M!

 

Shhh!

“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going and they did not even have time to eat.) And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.” – Mark 6:31-32

This is a story about Jesus reminding us, as Christians, that we must sometimes get away from others in order to refill our spiritual gas tanks. The disciples had just returned from being in the countryside preaching, teaching, and healing (Mark 6:7-13). Now that they had spent so much time ministering to others, it was time to refill their spirits again.

Ministering to others is very fulfilling, but it is also very exhausting. If we don’t stop once in a while and take time for our own daily devotions, we will run low on spiritual fuel. We, too, must stop and refuel our own spirit in order that we can continue witnessing to others.

Even Jesus took time alone to be with God and pray (Mark 6:46, Mark 14:35, etc).

It’s best to take time EVERY day to sit down and spend just a few minutes alone with God. You will find that after a few days of starting this habit, and realizing the rewarding outcomes, it becomes addictive and you will want to spend even more time with Him. Start today, take just a few minutes, right now and be with God in His presence. Go away to a private place and speak to God, but also take time to listen.

Who is Jesus?

In Mark 8:27, Jesus asked His disciples “Who do people say that I am?”

Jesus’ disciples knew who He was because they had spent years with Him during His ministry on earth. They knew who Jesus was, but many people still doubted, saying He was “John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet, etc.”

Today, many people still ask, and answer, this question in a variety of methods. Some say he was just a “great man,” while others confess Him as the Son of God. So what does this have to do with “me?”

Well, the answer lies in: who is Jesus to you? Is He the Son of God? If so, I applaud the knowledge of truth you have in God’s only begotten Son. However, Jesus is MORE than that. He is a redeemer of life that provides forgiveness of our sins. What more could one ask for?

Again, the answer is deeper than it appears. You see, Jesus is all these things and MORE. He is the Lord and Savior of all true Christians. Note, He is not “just” Savior – Yes, what He provides is a fire insurance policy against burning in the pits of hell. However, there’s more than that. Christ is LORD of our life. He should be the reason we do what we do.

Everything we do should honor God. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…therefore GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY.”

Who is Jesus to you? Hopefully you can testify that He is your Lord and Savior and that you will glorify Him. If you don’t yet know Jesus, PLEASE read through the information found at this link: http://whativaluemost.com/Gospel_main.aspx  and call me with any questions if I can help in any way. God loves you and He wants you to have eternal life with Him in Heaven.

No Excuses!

When I was a freshman in college, I was told I could say 4 things:

1) Yes Sir…, 2) No Sir…, 3) No Excuse Sir…, and 4) Sir, I do not understand.

That’s pretty limited in what you can say, but it reminds me of the story out of John 5:1-9 when Jesus asked the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to get well:

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there…He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool….While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured, he picked up his mat and walked.” – John 5:5-9

This man wanted to get well, but didn’t know what to do. What he did do, was make an excuse: “I have no one to help me…someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Unfortunately, we also make excuses why we CAN’T. But how often do we try? And how often do we ask God for help?

Once this man listened to Jesus, he got up and walked – healed of his disease.

Do you want healed of your disease (whether it’s physical or spiritual)? Do you want to be able to witness to others, but are tired of making excuses? Then listen to Jesus, follow Him. You will find that He WILL HELP YOU!

God’s Answering Machine

Imagine praying and hearing this:

“Thank you for calling My Father’s House.
Please select one of the following four options:

Press 1 for a request.
Press 2 to praise God.
Press 3 to complain.
For all other inquiries, press 4.”

So you press 1 and hear: “We’re sorry. All of the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

Or what if you heard the following responses as you called God’s answering machine?
“Our computers show that you have called once today already. Please call back again later.”
or “This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again Monday.”

Thank God you can’t call too often. You only need to ring once and God hears you.
Because of Jesus, you never get a busy signal. God takes each call personally. God knows each caller personally!

“THEN YOU WILL CALL AND THE LORD WILL ANSWER; YOU WILL CRY FOR HELP, AND HE WILL SAY: HERE AM I” (Isaiah 58:9).

Moreover God often calls us. Are you waiting for God’s call, or will your answering machine pick up the call? If you listen carefully, you will hear music in the background and God singing, “I just called to say I Love you! I just called to say how much I care….”

One nation under ?

“Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD” – Psalm 33:12

Maybe you’ve never read that scripture, or just needed to be reminded of it. But in today’s world, I am concerned about the state of our nation. Our leadership is moving and leading in such a manner that promotes our nation as not Christian. Yet our forefathers were devoted to God:

“We the people of the State of   Alabama…, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution…” 

In fact, every state’s constitution in some manner all acknowledge God (most of them within the Preamble). So, why today are we declaring our independence…from God?

Aren’t we a democracy?

I guess it’s our fault – the silent majority. You see, in 1948, 91% of Americans called themselves Christian. Now only 77% of America claim Christianity as their beliefs. So why do we still not call ourselves a Christian nation?

Let’s speak up about our beliefs. We ARE a Christian nation!

“May Your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in You.” – Psalm 33:22

Eyes wide open

Ever notice how you can’t sneak up on a fly? He sees you come up and flies away right as your raise the swatter. You might wonder, can the fly see around his back? You’ll find the answer is yes, but so can you…if you have your eyes wide open.

Want to see what’s going on around you? Stop and look. Take time to examine your life from another person’s perspective. Next time you have a moment….wait, ok, so you think you don’t have a moment. Next time as you lay down in bed, put down the phone, stop texting, and before you say your bedtime prayers, think about what you did that day. I’m not talking about those required chores (i.e. school, housework, work, etc).

I’m talking about how many hours did you spend talking with friends, watching TV, texting, playing video games, etc. Add it up. Now, if you consider that an average person sleeps at least 6 hours a night and works or goes to school 8 hours a day, then 14 of 24 hours don’t count. That leaves 10 hours (maximum) that you are in control of.

Did you give the first tenth (one hour) to God? You see, you really don’t even need to add up how much time you spent doing whatever. Because it’s the “first things” that prove what’s important to you.

Where did you spend your first “free” hour? What was the first thing you did when you….a) got up in the morning, or b) got home from school. Did you log on to Facebook? Upon walking out of school, did you pull your phone out and start texting somebody? When you got home, did you turn on the X-box and spend mindless hours trying to achieve a high score?

I’m not saying that doing “fun” things is bad. I’m asking you to take account of your actions. You do have free time. Even I do – while working full-time and going to school. It’s what you do with that time that matters.

Unbelievers (and even Christians) are watching YOU. Then, as human as we are, we judge each other for our actions, good and bad. Therefore, next time you decide to go do something – anything, stop and think twice about what other people are seeing you do. Keep your eyes wide open, people are watching.

As a special note to Facebook users, PLEASE stop posting anti-Christian quiz results on the web. First of all, nobody wants to know how many beer you can drink or what kind of drug you act like, but most of all these type of postings make Christians look like hypocrites. We preach God to the lost, but then we post stupid and vulgar comments all over the internet. What do you think says about us? Let’s START posting CHRISTIAN comments and really have a POSITIVE impact on the world. I believe Jesus said “Go and make disciples,” not “Go and make distractions.”

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now? You’ve heard him say it on TV for years. The Verizon dealer who walks all over the world trying to make sure Verizon’s cell phone coverage is leaps and bounds above other carriers. Yet, Verizon will never get better coverage than God. He is everywhere all the time, and no cell phone tower is needed to talk on God’s phone line(s).

The only remaining question then, is “Can you hear Him now?” Are you listening for God to call you? Are you having conversations with Him, meaning…do you listen to him? That’s right, are you listening?

Jesus said “But when He, the [Holy] Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and Hhe will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” –John 16:13-14

You may be talking to God – that is praying, but are you having conversations with Him? Conversation requires communication in both directions. If your prayers are always “Dear God, I need….” or “Dear God, thank you for this food…” then you may be missing the point of prayer.

Prayer is NOT just something you do because you’re supposed to, or because you need something, or even just because you want to thank God for something. Yes, those are reasons to pray, but prayer involves more than talking. It should involve listening. Can you hear Him now?

Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 4:9

Next time you pray, slow down, don’t just recite something you’ve heard somebody else pray. Don’t just say a habitual “Dear God, thank you for this food.” [I didn’t say NOT to pray like this, I said don’t JUST pray like this.]

When you pray, really mean what you say. Take time to speak to God from your heart. Pause and reflect on what God has done in your life. Dwell in His presence and listen for Him to give you wisdom and knowledge so that you can carry out His duties on earth.

Simply put, make sure your prayers honor God, and live out your life to glorify Him.

The Christian Barber

OK, so you’ve decided to witness for Christ. Great! Just be careful how you do it. Make sure the words you use and the actions you display reveal Christ.
———
There was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, “Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door.”

Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, “I want a shave!” The barber said, “Sure, just sit in the seat and I’ll be with you in a moment.” The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, “God, the first customer came in and I’m going to witness to him. So give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen.”

Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying “Good morning sir. I have a question for you… Are you ready to die?”

“U!” -the Reality TV show


What if a TV show producer offered to give you $1 Million to videotape your life for TV? What if all you had to do was live your life the way you do now, they’ll do all the work. They’ll come into your house, your school, your job, and videotape anything and everything you did for 30 days.

The catch? They’ll videotape 24 hrs/day, 7 days a week – everything you do will be visible to the public. Still want the $1M? Are you willing to share the intimate secrets of your life to the world?

What would the show say about your life? Would it be pleasing to others? To God?

Well, your life is “ON AIR” right now…to many people. The way you live is currently being seen by people around you, and they already know much of what might be revealed on that TV show. But what does it say about “who you are” and “what you believe?”

Does it say that you follow God? Are you obeying His commands? Do you trust Him and give back to Him the glory He deserves? Or does it show that you are living a double life? A life devoted to the world 6 days a week, and only returns to God for a couple hours on Sunday, and one hour Wednesday…?

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. – Galations 5:17-25

If we truly want to follow Him, we must do it 24/7!

We can’t be a Christian only when we think we’re being televised to others.