Archive for March, 2008
COMMENT: The other day I ran across a news story that seemed unbelievable, but there it was. Well, I’ll give you the bare facts. . . .literally! As you know, there are organizations like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals which are quite fanatical about people who kill animal to use their fur for warmth. They make many protests against the use of animals for that purpose. One of the most bizarre protests I have ever heard recently occurred at a fashion show in Paris where protesters, after gaining access to the function, stripped off their clothes and paraded on the runway sporting only posters which read:”I’D RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR FUR” (The Washington Post) If I were a wagering man, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the majority of these same people who are so sympatric about the plight of those “poor fury animals” firmly believe in a woman’s right to murder her unborn child. To me, this seems to be such a contradiction in reasoning. . .it is okay to kill a human being, but don’t touch a single hair of a fox, sable or mink. As a Christian, I see things God’s way. When Adam and Eve sinned and became aware of their nakedness, God made them tunics of skin….and where do you think that skin came from? You are very perceptive. . . . YES, FROM ANIMALS!!!! In fact, God had Adam name them in Genesis 2:20. Also,take note of all the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament which were foreshadows of the Lamb of God Who gave His life for the world.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Psalm 106:37 & 38, Matthew 5:21 and James 4:2
WISE SAYING: WE ARE TO WORSHIP THE CREATOR, NOT THE CREATURES.
I [Jesus] am the true vine, and My father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away and every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:1,2,6)
COMMENT: As I see it, there are three categories of people who approach Jesus. Firstly, we have those who diligently seek the Lord to follow Him and the evidence of their conversion is a changed life; they bear much fruit. The second group are those who are sincere about their salvation, but they are ‘half-stepping” with one foot in the world and the other appendage in God’s Kingdom. The Bible calls them carnal Christians. (1 Cor. 3:3) They will be saved, but as if through fire (1 Cor. 3:15) and they also will not avail themselves of the abundant life right here on earth that is available to those who follow closely after the Lord. (John 10:10) Finally, we have people who confess the Lordship of Jesus with their mouths but their hearts are not in it. They’re only interested in some “fire insurance” just in case this “Hell thing” is real. You may see them at church every Sunday looking pious and spiritual, but in their everyday lifestyle, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. I believe that this latter group will be the ones who will be taken away and thrown into the fire. Periodically, we all might want to reexamine ourselves to make sure of our standing.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Matthew 7:22,23 and Matthew 25:31-41
WISE NEGRO SPIRITUAL: EVERYBODY TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HEAVEN AIN’T GOIN’ THERE. . .HEAVEN.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27,28)
COMMENT: When Jimmy Carter became President in 1976, he made a statement I found to be weird and extremely funny; he talked about sinning by lusting after women. I had a big laugh at his expense and I’m sure I had plenty company. After becoming a Christian, I was dumbfounded to find out that there was scripture to back up his statement. We can sin with our thoughts. At first I didn’t think that it was fair, it seemed to me that only overt actions should qualify as sins. However, since then the Lord has opened my eyes wider. Our mind is where all the action is; it’s the spiritual battleground. If the devil can get us to continually concentrate on some particular sin, it won’t be long before that sinful seed that has been planted will make its grand appearance in the natural. I believe that this is the reason God wants us to be immediately alert to sinful thoughts, repent of them and ask for forgiveness.
Philippians 4:8 gives us some great advice: “. . . . .whatever things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and are of good report, if there is any virtue and if anything is praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Proverbs 6:25, 2 Cor.10:5 and 1 John 3:15
WISE SAYING: GIVE THE DEVIL AN INCH AND HE’LL BE A RULER.
“For all those who are led of the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
COMMENT: Have you ever purchased some item of clothing that quickly became your favorite? Well, that happened to me some three years ago. I bought a pair of casual black pants with white stitching and eight pockets. About three weeks ago I noticed there was a hole in the back pocket where I keep my keys. I purchased some of those iron-on patches but they didn’t work. I am really sad that I will have to relegate that garment to yard work. We all have seasons in our lives. We may really enjoy the calling of God in which we are currently participating in a similar manner that I had a passion for my favorite pants; but when God tells us it is time to move onto a “new thing”, there is a natural tendency to want to stay with the familiar. I worked with a prison ministry for about 8 years. Then it seemed as if God was closing the door because they changed the facility in which we were ministering into a boot camp for juveniles. In addition, the couple with whom we were partnering decided to retire and move to Texas. I got the hint. . . that assignment was over. Let me tell you Folks, I really have a passion for sending out these daily messages, but if it becomes apparent that the Lord would have me move on to something else, I pray that I will be obedient. Similarly, God will often talk to us about cutting out particular friendships that might be hindering our spiritual growth. Our flesh will object and suffer lost but “Father Knows Best.”
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Proverbs 3:5,6 and John 16: 6,7 and John 16:13
WISE SAYING: GIVE UP WHAT YOU CANNOT KEEP TO GET WHAT YOU CANNOT LOSE.
Not a sermon, just a thought!
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” Isaiah 54:17
COMMENT: There are a lot of adages floating around that many uninformed people take as being the gospel truth. One of the most quoted is “God helps those who help themselves.” Christians know that God helps those who know that they desperately need His help. How about this one: “God looks after fools and children.” I think we can all agree with the latter, but not unnecessarily the former. Proverbs 10:10, 18, 23 paint a rather depressing picture of the destiny of a “fool”. However, I think God’s mercy is present when His children act foolishly and get themselves into danger. King Jehoshaphat, ruler of Judah, is a prime example. This guy was very faithful to the Lord and his people followed his example. However, he did something very foolish, he joined Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, in battle against the Syrians. Just listen to this: Ahab decided to take off his royal garb to disguise himself. However, he told Jehoshaphat that it was alright for him to wear his kingly apparel. That Ahab was a rather shady character. He knew that the enemy would go after him, so he arranged for his “friend” to have a ‘bull’s eye” on his back. In the battle the Syrians zeroed in on Jehoshaphat because of his clothing. The king cried out and they realized he was not Ahab and left him alone. However, “. . .a certain man drew a bow at random and stuck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor.” and he died. (2 Chronicles 18:33) So you see, God will show mercy to us even when we don’t use very much wisdom. Also, the wicked cannot not hide from retribution.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: 2 Chronicles 18:28-34
WISE SAYING: GOD IS GOOD AND HE WILL SHOW UP WHEN YOU NEED HIM. (Pastor Amos Dodge)
Not a sermon, just a thought!