Yielding

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will
of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Tonight was my
appointed night to preach at my home church. Unfortunately the
weather didn’t cooperate and turned bad on us. So I thought I would
share a few thoughts with you here. Dwight L. Moody, in his youth,
heard a preacher state that the world had never seen a man that was
totally yielded to God. Moody decided that he would be that man.
Years later, shortly before his death, Moody recounted this story
adding that the world still had yet to see that man. I believe that
we are prone to balking at yielding to any thing, God included. I
often think that we fool ourselves with just how yielded, or
surrendered, to God’s will we really are. Picture this: a person
singing “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” as loud as they can while
running as fast as they can away from what/where God has told them.
That is how we act often times I think. The Bible tells us that we
are to be living sacrifices, that it is our reasonable service
(Romans 12:1). In the latter part of John 4 our Lord explains that
our spiritual nourishment comes from doing the Father’s will.
Instead of running away, as the person in my example, we ought to
be rushing toward the Father’s table! God bless, Greg [youtube
http://youtube.com/w/?v=TCSUKIhjevo%5D

Merry Christmas

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

As we prepare to exchange gifts over the next 24 or so hours with our loved ones I begin to think about what these gifts mean to us, or me personally. Of all the gifts that I receive the most precious ones are the quality time I get with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the “stuff” but nothing can replace the time and memories both made and recounted.

I am also reminded of the wonderful promises God has made to us in His Word. Pondering in today’s verse, particularly at thus time of year, makes it so much more real and vivid just how great His love for His children really is. I am so grateful to Him for each gift, each blessing He has bestowed. But I’m especially thankful for the saving grace He has given me through and by the blood of Jesus Christ.

What If…?

Mark 10:27 … with God all things are possible.

One day a man was watching his young son struggle with the zipper on his coat and thought “What if there were a zipper without teeth? How much easier that would make it for children to dress themselves.”. And thus the “zipper-less zipper” was born, or Velcro as we now call it.

Of course this isn’t exactly how Velcro came to be but it serves our purpose. And you can look it up of you really want to know the true story of the invention. Nevertheless, the invention of Velcro revolutionized many products: every thing from cables ties to medical devices use it now.

I believe that our Father knew how desperately we would need help to make it through this life. I think that is one of the reasons He gave us the Bible, to guide us along life’s path as He would have us to go.

Now, lets look at our own “what if” questions: What if we all went back to Scripture for our guidance? What if we all believed God’s Word to be just that: the Word of God? What if we all lived each moment by the precepts that Scripture teaches? What if we prayed in trusting faith like Jesus taught? What if… we could go on and on but I think you see where I’m going.

Do you know folks that you long to see saved? I do, plenty. What if we shared these truths with them? What if we let them see us living our faith, crying out in prayer, walking the walk Christ walked? Maybe, just maybe, we would see more folks saved, stronger disciples, greater fellowship and love. By doing these very things the early church, a relatively small group if folks, revolutionized the world. Maybe we could revolutionize some lives for Jesus.

Loneliness During the Holidays

Loneliness During the Holidays
Devotional thought from the messages of Adrian Rogers
BIBLE MEDITATION:
Psalm 116:8 – “For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I believe that the holidays are the loneliest time of the year. Everywhere you look, people are told they’re supposed to be happy and they realize they’re not. They see everybody else acting happy, and they feel so lonely. Just walking down the mall can make you feel lonely. But Jesus has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). When I’m discouraged, His presence sees me through. When I’m lonely His presence cheers me up. When I’m worried, His presence calms me down. And when I am tempted, His presence will help me out.

ACTION POINT:
Write down the last portion of this devotional thought and personalize it. Now use it as a prayer of faith and trust.

I don’t usually add any comments to Dr. Rogers thoughts buy today I have one. I agree with his statement: the holiday season can be a very lonely time for folks. Many don’t have families or many friends to get love and support from. I thank God that I do have family and friends. But I thank Him equally for my church family. The love, strength and support I get from them is a blessing that I really can not put into words; I hope and pray that you know that feeling for yourself. There is just nothing like being around God’s people at the holidays or any other time.

The “W”- Part 2

2 Timothy 4:1 …the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead…

Yesterday we looked at a heart-warming story that ended with the accidental display of the message “CHRIST WAS LOVE”. But this story doesn’t give us the whole picture and, as Paul Harvey would say, let’s look at “the rest of the story”.

Jesus most definitely was love; the Bible asks what greater love could you have than to lay down your life for another, which He did. But Christ still is love today; He is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us even now, and He still has the power to save any and all who will come to Him. Truer love than that of Jesus Christ will never be known!

However, there will come a day that that love as we know and understand it will cease. When a person stands before Him for judgment the Door of Mercy will be closed; if they had yet to enter it there will be no other chance then to do so. I imagine that He will still love that person and there will be no joy in His sentence. But the way has been clearly laid out for us all; He paid the price so we won’t have to. If we choose to ignore His mercy now it will be us, not Him, sending us forever from the presence of God, into an eternity of pain and sorrow.

Gifts are some thing we receive from someone with no merit on our part. We give them because we love the recipient. Christ did the same for us with salvation. What better gift could anyone receive this Christmas season than the free gift of salvation through Jesus? We will all most likely see folks we don’t usually see on a regular basis in the coming days at family get-togethers, parties, etc. Take time out of your schedule to share the Good News of this most precious gift with someone when God gives you that opportunity.

The “W” in Christmas

This is part one of two emails. This first one was forwarded to me by a friend. Tomorrow I plan to add some thoughts to this illustration.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The “W” in Christmas

“Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations – extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old.

For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then.

Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the
holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up
the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W”.

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little
one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”.

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

“C H R I S T W A S L O V E”

And, I believe, He still is.
Amazed in His presence…humbled by His love.”

Focus

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

The other day I was trying to take a photo of an ornament on our Christmas tree. I wanted to frame the ornament among the lights and the garland, with the lights as a soft, blurred background. I took several shots hoping to get just the right angle to make a great photograph. When I downloaded the photos to my computer I was sorely disappointed; none of the pictures were focused on the ornament but all on the garland. In my attempts to frame the shot I forgot to make sure I had my intended subject focused on properly. I think some times we do similarly in our walk of faith.

Things in our lives cause us to loose focus on our relationship with Jesus. We are so busy with every thing that we feel like we “have” to do that we let those things blur our sight of Christ. Instead of being our main focus we allow what should be incidental or background items to draw us away from His will for us.

There isn’t much that our adversary likes more than to distract us from our relationship with God. We must watch and guard vigilantly what we have as our main focus. Thankfully if we see we are drifting a bit all we need do is call out to our Father and draw nigh to Him and he will mercifully draw nigh to us.