Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Now is the time of year that we make our New Year’s Resolutions. It has been said that most people will only keep their resolutions for three months.

No mater how many new resolutions we make, none of them matter as much as God's new resolution.  One day all of the things we cherish will pass away and God will make everything new. 

Today, we will address some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions in a spiritual way.

10 Common New Year's Resolutions. 

1.  To loose weight.

Matthew 10: 21-39 "Brother will betray bother to death, and a father his child;  children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can not kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Psalm 68:19 “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government  and peace there will be no end.”
2.  To improve memory.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 "Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one God.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates." 

 3.  To increase strength.

Isaiah 40:  28-31 - "Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, my way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?  Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 

4.  To stop worrying.

Matthew 6:  31-33 "do not worry saying, 'what will we eat?' or 'what will we drink?' or 'what shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

5.  To make new friends.

Proverbs 18: 24 "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Proverbs 19: 4 "Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man's friends deserts him."

 6.  To make more money.

Matthew 6: 24 "No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money."

1 Timothy 6: 3-10 "If any teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

7.  To maintain good health.

Proverbs 3: 7-8 "Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." 

Proverbs 4: 7,22 "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost you all you have, get understanding. ... for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." 

8.  To be more productive.

Colossians 3: 23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord Christ you are serving."

 9.  To rest & relax more.

Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."   

10.  To do something for someone else.

Romans 10: 4, 9-13 "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.  ... That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, 'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' "  

This year, we have all made New Year’s Resolutions. Some of them we will keep and some we will not. But most importantly, we should all make leading someone to Christ a New Year’s Resolution that we keep.

The plan of salvation is simple:

1.  Confess - "Jesus is Lord." 2.  Believe in your heart - "God raised Jesus from the dead." 

CONFESS - Jesus is Lord. 
REPENT - of your sins.
BELIEVE - God raised Jesus from the dead. 
RECEIVE - Jesus as Lord of your life.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

There's A Pill For That!

Today, there are drugs or medicine for everything! TV commercials are full of various kinds of medicines to supposedly give us relief from whatever ails us. Some come with strange side effects, such as “oily discharge.” Some have serious and even fatal side effects.

Many people today have tried many different things and ways to be healed. Some traditional and some are very unusual. Some methods of healing may provide temporary relief. However, true healing is found only through Jesus Christ.

There was a man in the bible who was an invalid for 38 years. Then he met Jesus while he was lying beside the pool of Bethesda.

John 5:6-9  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. 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.

Jesus Christ is the only one who can heal, unfortunately, He does not heal everyone. He does heal those who have faith in Him according to His will.

Do you believe that Jesus can heal you today?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Sold Out!

Often, when we hear the phrase, “It’s sold out!” we have a feeling of great anxiety. Maybe we were looking for that final item on our kids back to school shopping list or maybe we have waited in line for an hour for that must have perfect gift or latest cell phone. Either way, we are left feeling frustrated.

In a different sense, being sold out for Jesus is a good thing. What I mean by being sold out for Jesus is that we are completely devoted to Jesus Christ. One thing that the Lord hates is a double-minded man.

James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

The Lord also hates a lukewarm Christian.

Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

So, we who are believers in Jesus Christ need to be sold out for Jesus and be devoted to Him with all our heart.

Are you sold out for Jesus?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Neapolitan Ice Cream

As a child, I enjoyed eating Neapolitan Ice Cream. What a great concept to include three flavors of ice cream in one box! You could choose which flavor you liked the best or you could try a little of each one. Either way, it sure was a fun way to eat ice cream.

What is great about our God is that He also reveals Himself to us in the three persons of the Trinity. He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The bible teaches us that after we make disciples, we are to baptize those disciples into the Trinity of God.

Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in (into) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

The Father is the “Great I am.” The Son is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God that dwells in the lives of believers. There are three persons of God, but there is only one God!

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”

The bible mentions the three persons of the Trinity in several places. Here are two of them:

Jude vs. 20-21 “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Neapolitan Ice Cream is good if you like that sort of thing. However, there is no comparison to the benefits that Christians receive from the Trinity of God.