Are You Ready?

Anthony Burger, former pianist for the Gaithers tells a story about his four year old son.  Their Church had an Easter play and his son Austin was Jesus.  He did a fine job until he went back inside the made up tomb.  From inside the tomb he yelled, “Ready or not here I come!”

There is a great amount of truth in what took place.  The reality is that Jesus could come back at any second to take His Church to Heaven.  This is great news for those of us who name Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

For those who do not know Christ as Saviour this is horrible news.  This is worse than a hurricane hitting land as we have seen in the past couple days.  To go out into eternity without Christ will seal your eternal destiny to hell.  This is a real place of torment and it is no matter to joke about.  Friend, you do not want to go there.

All you have to do is trust Christ as your Saviour in the same way you trust a parachute to save you when you jump out of an airplane.  will you trust Him today?

Remember the words ofI Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

So, how are you doing?

I Am Not An Idolator

I Corinthians 10:7, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

The Pastor of a small Church in rural America took off one Sunday morning because he just wanted to go play golf.  He called the Assistant Pastor and asked him to cover the morning services and did not give him any indication as to his absence.  The Assistant Pastor agreed.

The Pastor went golfing that Sunday morning.  The sky was beautiful with fluffy, white clouds.  From the first hole he hit a hole in one.  It was the perfect shot.  This scenario played out for eighteen (18) holes of golf.  Upon completion of the perfect game, the Pastor sat in his vehicle and thought, “Who can I call to tell them about this?”

The Pastor in our scenario is an idolator.  He put his game of golf before God.  Read the words of Exodus 20:3, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  When we put something or someone before God we have made them an idol.  This can even be putting ourselves before God.

What would you put before God?  I can hear the chocking and the cries of allegiance even now.  Don’t fool yourself.  There has been some time in each of our lives where we put something between us and our God.  Admit it.

So, how are you doing?

 

Our Witness

I Corinthians 2:5, ‘That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

We have been watching a DVD series by “Way of the Master”.  It has been eye opening to say the least.  It has caused some of us to stop and reevaluate how we witness to others.  As we watched the DVD presentation you could watch people’s faces and see their countenance change when the Truth bypassed their brain and went straight to their heart.  It was amazing.

Now, I am not advocating that everyone rush out and buy this.  What I am saying is that it is quite possible that in our good intentions we could be leading people to a false belief that they have trusted in Christ when they have done no such thing.  This should scare us to death so to speak.

It is high time that we get alone with God and His Word and let Him teach us how to share our faith with others.  Do you even share the Gospel with others?  If you do not then you are in direct rebellion against God.  He commands us to do so and if we do not then we are rebelling against Him.  Plan and simple.

So, how are you doing?

Provision

The other evening my family and I were invited to a cookout with our Church family.  It was a wonderful evening.  I took a special dip that I recently put together and liked myself so I shared it with them that evening.  It was a real hit.  People could not stop eating it.  It made my heart smile big.

I have had the same experience in my life with things like that.  My problem is that when I start eating something like that I cannot hardly stop myself.  This is exactly what is being talked about in Romans 14:13, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”  It is my flesh that I am satisfying when I over indulge at the table.  It is my flesh that I am feeding when I take too much time in front of the television instead of spending time in God’s Word, the Bible.  The list could go on ad-nausium.

In our lives we make decisions whether to feed the flesh or whether to feed the spirit.  We have to choose because we cannot feed them both.  We must make a conscious decision to feed the one we cherish the most.  God help us!

So, how are you doing?

Tool or Terror

When growing up my uncle and aunt would take me to a local festival every year.  It was so much fun.  I remember going each year early for the pancake and sausage breakfast too.  Good times.

One of my favorite booths was the man who had a wood lathe powered by him pumping a pedal.  I have a miniature baseball bat to this day that he made and I purchased about thirty years ago.  Wow, time flies.

As this man would pedal and the lathe would rotate he took his tool known as a gouge and work it forward and backward and side to side.  Eventually he would eliminate everything that did not look like a baseball bat or whatever project you had paid him to make.

My point today?  Sometimes God uses other people in our lives like a gouge to shape us and mold us into His image.  This is not pleasant!  Unfortunately, it is necessary.

Look at Romans 13:4, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”  No matter whether it be pastor, president or whom ever.  God is using others to shape us into His image.  Will you be shaped?

So, how are you doing?

I’ll Do It

The other day our son was doing something and struggling to get whatever the task was finished.  Being a man; I tried to intervene and help. but he refused to allow me to help him.  He wanted to do this task himself.  He was determined to do it himself.  It kind of reminds me of the old song made famous by Frank Sinatra and later Elvis, “I Did It My Way”.  He is just like his father.

The sad reality is that some people are taking the same approach to salvation.  We are so prone to want to do things on our own.  When it comes to eternal salvation this will not work.  You see, salvation is by grace through faith with no works involved on our part.  The works of salvation were done one the cross.  Jesus died that you and I might be saved.

Look at Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”  In other words it is about God giving us forgiveness through Jesus Christ and there is nothing we can do to add to it.  Will you trust Him today?

So, how are you doing?

It Is Not Worth It

A number of years ago I remember owning a Buick Century.  It was a nice car.  Yet, in my heart I always wanted (and still do) a 1968 Barracuda, dark purple in color with red interior.  I feel the saliva building even now.  It is a sad reality that we lust over so many earthy “things”.  I know people that have re-invented their lives to have some other person or possession and yet if you talk to them today they are more miserable now than they were in the beginning before their giving in to lust. Sadly some people step out into eternity like that.

Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Friend, there is nothing more important than your soul.  You need to get your eternal destiny settled once and for all.  Think about laying your head on the pillow at night with peace filling your entire being.  This is what happens when you know Christ.  You just leave those things up to Him that you have no control over.  This is easily said and not so easily done.

Whatever you want so bad that you are willing to sacrifice everything for is not worth it unless the One you are sacrificing for is Jesus Christ.

So, how are you doing?

Dead Men Don’t Testify

Over the years I have heard many person say that if someone were to break into their home that they would shoot them dead because they would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.  Thus meaning they would rather face a jury of their peers than to be carried to their grave in a casket by six of their friends.

Why is it that we take such a severe stand when it comes to the safety of our family, friends and our person; but, when it comes to our spiritual life we just coast along?  I think deep down inside we feel like we are “alright”.  Yet, we are not.  Look at Romans 6:1-2, ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

We have a sin problem and until we take the same approach with our sin problem as we do the intruder in our home we will continue to struggle spiritually.  It is high time to awake to righteousness and start living like we mean business for God.  Who will take that stand with me.  I see that hand.  Will anyone else?

So, how are you doing?

The Game’s Afoot

One of our son’s favorite shows to watch is Focus on the Family’s “Adventures in Odyssey”.  One episode has Mr. Whitaker being accused of a serious theft.  He is labelled “The Cat Burglar”.  Dylan still believes in him and seeks to show his innocence by video taping people to find someone who looks like Mr. Whitaker.  The perpetrator finds him and pretends to be a retired inspector from Scotland Yard.  When he agrees to help Dylan find the real cat burglar (himself” he says, “The Game’s Afoot”.

This phrase caught my attention.  We do not engage in a “game”.  We are engaged in spiritual warfare.  Look at the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  So why do we go about fighting one another?  Our focus is wrong.  We get focused on the wrong person to fight and this brings a whole myriad of other problems.

Friend, as you read today we are very close to our national election.  As I am typing this there is a Presidential debate taking place in Florida.  The battle for America is raging high.  What are you doing about it.  Will you pray for our nation and it’s leaders?  I beg you with all that is within me to do just that.  The other imperative thing  you must do is vote.  Yes, you must vote.  We need to vote the Bible and not the bank account or anything else.  Vote in accordance with the Word of God and when you stand before Him you will not be ashamed.  Remember, “The Game’s Afoot!”

So, how are you doing?

Death by Power Point

Having served nearly twenty years in either police, fire or EMS, I have endured many training classes.   Some of those have been very memorable and some have been very worthless.  Our tax dollars at work…  Anyway.  I remember on class in particular that was “Suicide Intervention for Dispatchers”.  The instructor really enjoyed teaching and it made the class for everyone.

I remember less than two weeks later receiving a phone call on 911 from a man who was driving around the county and having suicidal thoughts.  Even though he was not in our area I talked to him and was able to use what I had been taught.  I managed to talk him right into the police department where I worked from the opposite side of the county.   I should have transferred him to the county sheriff and let their dispatchers help him; but, I was afraid that they would not care for him like I would.  He arrived at our department safe and sound and two of our officers met him at the door and talked with him for a while and determined he was no threat to himself or anyone else and he was on his way.

My point today is that if I had not paid attention in that class I would not have had the tools to help that man.  The same thing can be said of our spiritual life.

Look at Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”  The word “schoolmaster” means, a servant whose office it was to take the children to school; a tutor.  Just like the instructor in all those training classes I attended;, the law,  was given to God to educate me.  The law tells me that God is holy and that I am a wicked, rotten sinner and I need a Saviour if I intend to obtain eternal life.

Now, you and I have a choice.  We can listen to God’s “schoolmaster” and be convinced of our sinfulness and turn to Christ because He fulfilled the law and made a way for us to go to Heaven or we can turn from the law and be judged by it one day and be cast into hell for eternity because of our failure to trust Christ as our Saviour.  According to the law…

So, how are you doing?