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Enjoy the messages of Pastor Peggy right here (below)

 

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Perspective of Perception

Mrs. Toplov was complaining to Mrs. Weinstein about her new daughter-in-law. “My poor son,” she moaned, “his new wife is a leech. All she does is sit around all day. She has maids to do her cooking and cleaning. My son is going broke buying her expensive gifts. She sleeps late every morning. He even brings her breakfast in bed!”

 

 

 

“A blessing, she isn’t,” Mrs. Weinstein concurred. Both ladies talked and said that it was terrible. Mrs. Weinstein said, “So, how is your daughter?”

 

 

“My daughter – she is a lucky girl. She married a man who treats her like a princess. Hey buys her anything she wants; he hires people to take care of the house. She doesn’t have to dirty a finger. Every morning, he brings her breakfast in bed.”

 

 

Both ladies agreed with a smile on their face – “Isn’t that wonderful?”

 

 

It is perspective. It is how we view life. It is how we decide, each morning, to view life. What do you commonly see in your life? Are you constantly witnessing error and negative things? Or do you bear testimony of the inherent goodness of God and God’s creation? These are important questions, because by your answers, you can get a better understanding of yourself.

 

 

Have you ever noticed something – maybe an odor or a feeling and thought it was coming from far away – from somewhere outside of your space. You may even think, “The whole world smells.” Isn’t that the way it is? We think IT is not in us; IT is out there, in the world. Depending upon our perception, everything we see is bad or good.

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go to the eye doctor and ask for a new set of glasses, when we have a negative perception – Glasses that would be God-view glasses, the positive view? When we put them on, we would see anew. What was bad before would be positive now. We would see God’s good that to our old eyes was invisible before.

 

 

There is an American saying, “I’m all eyes.” That means I am paying FULL attention.

 

 

Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:22, “The eye is the lamp of the body. . . .”   What is Jesus saying here? Is this eyeball in your head a lamp or a light? Just not seeing with the eyeball, Jesus talks of having spiritual sight. Jesus is referring not to the physical eyeball, the lens, or the optic nerve, but to PERCEPTION. The way you view life is what creates the light inside of you.

 

 

Jesus goes on, “. . . if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matt 6:22) That means you must look to God; then you are looking to the good. Jesus continues, “But if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt 6:23)

 

 

We have all known people who get up in the morning and everything they see is dark and wrong. They view life and they say, “Oh, my life isn’t any good.” Many others on their life path will see positive and good, but they will say, “Oh my life isn’t any good; look at that problem there.” They will focus on the darkness instead of the light, and how great the darkness is inside of them.

 

 

We must strive to perceive the good in everything we view. We have to look in a loving way. We have “perception praise.”  When we look at another, even if it is for the first time, use our eye to perceive praise, blessings; see God working in others’ lives. May we always see the God-view.

 

 

In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God IS among you.” Jesus does not say “maybe;” He said it is a fact. This is a certain truth in your life. If this is so, how do we increase our awareness of it? In today’s language, heaven means expansion. How do we expand the awareness of God working in us? We use our eyes and use them in Godly ways.

 

 

In Mark 9:47, Jesus says, “And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out. . . .” Of course this is not saying to tear out our eyeball. The eye Jesus talks about is our perception. If our perception is wrong, then we should remove it and change it.

 

 

Jesus continues: “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell.” (Mark 9:47) Jesus is saying that if we have both of our eyes focused on what’s wrong in our life, our life will become a literal hell. Of course it is better to have both sides focused with the perception of God; but if we must, through our own free-will, keep one eye focused on the appearance of the problem, we are at least 50% ahead and even more if we learn to shut the eye that is perceiving ONLY the bad.

 

 

Jesus goes on to talk about the unquenchable fire, “where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.” (Mark 9:48). In the Bible, look at the word “hell.” Look to the letter after the word or the number, then look down at the bottom of the page and you will see where it says “Gehenna.” He is saying, “Look, either you have the right perception or you will go to the valley of Gehenna.” Gehenna was a trash dump outside of Jerusalem. The stench was strong, and the fires to burn the refuge – including the dead bodies of the castoffs of society – burned night and day, for hundreds of years. In Jesus’ day, that was what the literal hell was. Where we live is often caused and fueled by our perceptions of our life. We must have God’s view, His perception. Otherwise, our views and our lives are not going to mean any more than going to the trash dump where the worm never dies and where the fires have been burning almost forever.

 

 

Practice having gratitude sight, looking around on a beautiful day or a terrible day, and seeing God in the ordinary, or the extraordinary, and finding that special, wonderful thing. All of us want to be happy, and all of us want to be content. We want to give the highest and best of which we are capable to life. We want to make our special contribution. Let us take God as our partnert in everything we see. Then we have true in-sight!

 

 

We will have the gift of joy and insight, we see beyond appearances to things that the human alone would be blind to see. We will see anew again in a brand new way.

 

 

What we see in the outer world is but a reflection of the inner world, because we surround ourselves with a picture of our own beliefs. In other words, we manifest, in general, what we seriously think and believe. So, if we want to find out what our thinking is, all we have to do is look around us and ask ourselves the question, “How’s life?”

 

 

 

 

The Bible says we shall not bear false witness; but that is just what we are doing, for example, when we do not see the presence of God in every situation or when we accept “the appearance” as the only reality.

 

 

On the other hand, we are a witness for God when we see the whole human where a sick one seems to be what is the appearance; when we forgive someone who has injured us and then see God’s love for him or her – when we see prosperity instead of the appearance of lack, knowing God supplies our every need; or when we see harmony and peace, regardless of the seeming appearances.

 

 

Perhaps you recall the lines of William Shakespeare. He said, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Are we seeing good everywhere we look?

 

 

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:24-25 says: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”

 

 

 

We pray your life is founded on firm ground because things happen in life that can easily throw us off kilter.  Jesus said the rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house. He did not say the rains may come, the floods may come, and the winds may blow and may beat on the house. We must have firm footing in our perceptions, and we will not be throwing down permanently by what happens. Our perception will be founded on the rock of faith.

 

 

Jesus goes on to say: “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!” (Matt 7:26-27)

 

 

When we are on firm ground, when we are perceiving God in all things, we are empowered to do what we need to do in life, because God is with us, constantly, every moment.

 

 

Have your error cataracts removed, once and for all, to stare until you see the God’s view.  Know when you see something bad there is always another view you are not seeing. Stare at the black cloud long enough until you see God’s given opportunity through that dark cloud where there is golden light shining.

 

 

There is a true story of a Catholic nun. She would visit at least twice a week in the minister’s church. She was about 80 years old and always had a smile on her face. She was a truly holy woman. They would talk about life and about the teachings of Jesus. One day, they walked out of the back door of the church and she stopped in her tracks and said, “Oh isn’t that beautiful?” The minister looked around. All he saw was the parking lot.

 

Finally, the clergyman said, “What are you looking at?” She said, “That red thing over there. I don’t know what it is, but isn’t it beautiful? It is so beautiful, it just makes my day.”

 

He said to her, hesitantly, “Sister,that is the new dumpster. That is what we put trash into.”

 

She said, “Oh, it is so pretty.” They stood there and looked at it with holy sight. It was pretty. It was the prettiest dumpster they had ever seen.

 

 

Right now, am I putting God first with my eye sight? Let us promise never to put our human mind first, churning up worry, anger, or fear.  Say in your heart with me, “I seek God-sight and all its perspective in all I see and think.”

 

 

The Bible teaches about taking the high watch. When circumstances seem less than ideal, it can be difficult to maintain a clear perspective. In such times, it is helpful to remember that things will appear differently when viewed from a different perspective. Approaching difficulties may appear ominous, but they will seem much different once they have passed.

 

 

It’s easy to have a spiritual experience when you are in the rose garden looking at the roses. I am going to ask you to have a spiritual experience looking at the ordinary things in your life by changing your perspective – with the view of God and seeing them … perhaps for the first time.

 

 

Many people become frozen and fearful of the future. They whine and complain about their daily activities and responsibilities. We have all known people who have become psychologically drunk from whining. Let’s put our lives into perspective with the Divine order of God. Look at these facts:

 

 

The moon is approximately 240,000 miles from earth (238,852 miles). The sun is 93 million miles from earth (92,960,000 miles). Scientists have concluded that if either one of these astronomical bodies was 100 miles closer or further away from the earth, life on this planet would not be possible. Likewise, the earth spins at 1,000 miles per hour, while orbiting the sun at 60,700 miles per hour. Just a two-mile-per-hour difference would prevent life on earth. The amazing handiwork of God is not only perfect but perfectly balanced.

 

 

I am going to ask you to join me in a commitment dedicating your eyes to God’s will and work seeing ONLY good.

 

 

Please join me in prayer.

 

(Listen to these words of truth about who you are as a child of God. You are, in truth, inherently good. Goodness is welling up in your soul seeking to find expression in your seeing of the good, in your actions, and doing everything to make you radiant and happy.)

Lord, help me to have a true life change; renewing my eyesight so my perception is brand new. As Your child let me see wonder everywhere, see good everywhere, see YOU everywhere.

Help me to be and remain a loving, joyous being…truthful and honest in my thoughts, in my spiritual eyesight seeing all as loving, joyous beings. Let me be a blessing everywhere and make people happy everywhere I go. Let the spirit of God be my perception and let it be the source of all I see . Grant me this privilege, I pray.

 

So it will be.

In Jesus Christ’s name, we so dedicate. Thank you, God. Amen.

Don’t Forget

When faced with any challenge, don’t forget about God. Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. A lot of people think it is. We say, “Oh God, you are so reluctant to give me what I want.  ” Please God; please can I change Your mind in any way?” It is not overcoming God’s reluctance; instead it is laying hold of our own highest willingness. There is a huge difference. The power of God Almighty is waiting to give to us and to bless us. But we have to be willing to turn to God and accept, and God says, “Yes, I  will open up the windows of heaven for you.”

 

 

 

Whoever rises from prayer a better woman or a better man has already had his or her prayer answered.  God wants to give it to us; we can have the ultimate prayer of life answered.   Prayer is our key. It unlocks the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and  power. All that God is, and all that God has, is at our disposal. We might say, “Well now, it is the priest, or the rabbi, or the minister who has God at his or her disposal.” No, it is us too. We have it right  where we are.

 

 

 

 

Often, we say, we are too busy to pray. We are just too involved with our busy lives to have time for God. Do you know what that really means? We  are too busy to have power from God because we run out of power quickly, but God never runs out of power.

 

 

 

A kindergarten class went to a fire station for a tour and some  instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case  of fire.   The fireman said, “First go to the door and feel the door to see if it is  hot. Now fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you should fall to your  knees?”   One of the little children said, “Sure, to start praying to ask God to get us out of this mess.”

 

 

 

We have a great deal of activity in our lives, but we accomplish little when we try to accomplish it without God. When we have God in our lives,  we can accomplish greater things than we ever dreamed possible. Nothing is impossible to God’s giving grace.
It has been said, there is more religion in some men’s curses than there is in some men’s prayers, especially if the former is sincere, and the  latter is just ritual. When we pray, when we talk to God, we have to talk to God like God is our very best friend, and talk from our heart. Then we  have a connection.

 

 

 

There was a man who took his little six-year-old son fishing. They put the  line into the river and then they went up to the cabin. After about an  hour they went back to the river to see if they had caught anything. Sure  enough, there were several fish on the line. The boy said, “I knew there  would be Daddy.”   The father asked, “How did you know?”
The boy replied, “Because I prayed about it.”   They baited the hooks again, put out the line, and went back to the cabin  for supper. Afterward they went back to the river again. There were fish  on the line, and the boy said, “I knew it Daddy.”   The father said, “Son, how did you know?”   The little boy said, “I prayed again that there would be fish on the
line.”   So they put the line back into the river and went back to the cabin.   Before bedtime they went back again and this time there were no fish. The  child said, “I knew there wouldn’t be any fish on the line.”   The father asked, “How did you know?”
The boy said, “Because, I forgot to pray this time.”   The father said, “Why didn’t you pray?”   The boy said, “Because Daddy, I forgot.”

 

 

Don’t forget!

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t ever forget the first and foremost thing in your life is God. Put God first; don’t ever meet any situation alone. Don’t  ever go into a problem turning like a tornado in your mind, or outside of yourself without God. Go with the power, the awareness,  and the consciousness of God’s help, and  everything will change. Everything will be better. Sometimes better than you can ever imagine, receiving the Grace of God.   Our failure to think of prayer as a privilege may be partly due to the fact we can pray any time. The door to prayer is so open, so continuous,  that we fail to avail ourselves of an opportunity which is always there.   We take it for granted. Yet it is the most incredible thing in the whole universe. Each one of us, even if we are reading this for the first  time, can take this knowledge with us as a gift of God. We cannot be  alone. God loves us, and God is with us every single moment. We can talk with God. God is not way out there somewhere. God is not reluctant toward us. God is with us, right where we are.

 

 

 

We have heard commercials on television say for years that what is important for a good life is a strong portfolio of stocks. There is  nothing wrong with this, and over the long term it is probably very wise.   But it is even more important to have a strong portfolio first of prayers and investments in faith.

 

 

 

A lady said, “I can’t pray for more than two minutes at a time. I try, but I just can’t. I run out of things to pray  about.” She said, “What can I do?”   Her minister asked her, “What have you been thinking about or worrying  about this week?”   She said, “Well,” and then she talked for 15 minutes.   The minister said, “Change all that into a prayer.”
Instead of thinking and worrying about things, talk to God in a solutions oriented positive way, and ask God’s help to see your challenge in a new light.   She had a spiritual solution, and right then they sat down and prayed. She led the prayer and prayed for 15 minutes easily and could have talked for an hour about things that had been bothering her in her life.   We can estimate the weight of the world. We can tell the size of a certain city. We can count the stars in heaven. We can measure the speed of lightning. We can tell the time of the rising and the setting of the sun. But we as humans cannot estimate the power of prayer. The power of prayer, when it works in and through us, is beyond anything that the  human mind of any time or any age can comprehend. It is more because prayer is as vast as God is, because God is behind it. Prayer is as mighty as God is, because God has committed all that God is, to answer our prayers.

 

 

 

Remember the parable of Jesus Christ from Matthew 22:1-14.  

 

“Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: `The kingdom of heaven
may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent
his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but  they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who  have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fatted  calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding  banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm,  another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated  them, and killed them.  The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and  burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, `The wedding is ready, but  those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and  invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out  into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 

 

 

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, `Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the  outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For  many are called, but few are chosen.”

 

 

 

There is a book written by author Elizabeth Sand Turner, that explains this parable of Jesus. She says in her book, “Your Hope of Glory,” that the  parable of the wedding feast and the wedding garment, relates that God has  prepared a feast for us, and invites us to it. Those in lower consciousness make light of God’s invitation. They not only pursue their worldly interests, but definitely reject God’s summons. They kill the  king’s messengers. They reside literally at the bottom of the glass in the sediment of life. This is a spiritual meaning of the fall of man, our highest thoughts are often allowed to sink to our lowest realms.  In other words, we have Divine urgings inside of our minds, but we kill those thoughts. We say, “Not now, not now.” Then we go our own way. The  price we pay is death to the good we would have had; the good God has already prepared for us. Those who accept God’s invitation must prepare themselves properly and wear a wedding garment. 

 

 

 

We must prepare ourselves in awareness. What does it mean to put on a  garment of God? It means to know God is one with us, and to accept the good God has for us. Our preparation for God’s good consists of spiritual thinking and living. The robe of righteousness is the only fit wedding garment. Without this we shall not be permitted to eat at God’s table.   Does God choose? No, it said earlier that the good and the bad were  invited. God cares more about our present moment, our future, and our
willingness to change than God does about our past. God invites all to this banquet. God wants all to accept it; but in order to accept it, we must synchronize our mind with God. Otherwise we cannot even comprehend the good that God has already prepared for us.

 

 

 

Once, some years ago, a five-year-old girl was attending a formal wedding.   The child was sitting with her grandmother. She had been in Sunday school,  but had never attended a formal church service. During the wedding the  minister said, “Let us pray.” Each person bowed his or her head in prayer.  The little girl looked around, saw all the heads around her bowed, and  everyone’s eyes toward the floor. She cried in her loudest voice,  “Grandma, what are they all looking for?”

 

 

 

What are we looking for when we pray? Let us seek God first all the time.   Sometimes in our mind we try to twist God’s good.   There was an overweight businessman who decided it was time to shed some  excess pounds. He took his new diet very seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. However, one morning, he  arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffeecake. His co-workers all scolded him, but a smile remained on his face. He said, “This is a very special coffee cake. I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning. There in the  window was a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed,  “Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffee cakes, let me find a parking place directly in front of the bakery. Sure enough,” he  continued, “The eighth time around the block, there it was.”

 

 

 

So often we want something our own way, which may not be to our highest good. We must  pray to God first. Second, we must move as God directs.  In Matthew 6:10  the Bible states “Thy will be done.”

 

 

Sometimes a person will say, “I want to do God’s will but how could I know whether the leading that comes to me is God’s will or my will?” This  implies that our will and God’s will must necessarily conflict. When we pray to show the will of God, our will is illumined. God acts through our will. And we know that it is God’s will because of the  feeling of peace we have, because of the sense of rightness we have. We know that it is God’s will because of the good results that show forth in us and in our lives.

 

 

“Not my will, but to Thine be done” is one of the most far-reaching positive affirmations of Jesus, and those who follow Jesus are finding great peace and relaxation in daily life. We are to pray that  the will of God enters into us as the great clarifier allowing all the old sediment to fall to the bottom of our hourglass of life.   This will become a moving factor in our life towards real solutions. God does not take our will from us; rather, God gives us the utmost freedom to find creative solutions.

 

 

There is a story of an old Scot who was quite ill. The family called for  their minister and as he entered the sick room he sat down. He noticed  another chair on the opposite side of the bed, a chair which had been drawn close. The minister said, “Well, Donald, I see that I’m not your  first visitor for the day.”   The old man looked up, was puzzled for a moment and then he recognized  from the nod of the pastor’s head that the pastor had noticed the empty  chair. “Well Pastor,” he said, “Let me tell you about this chair. Many years ago, I found it quite difficult to pray, so one day I shared this  problem with my minister. He told me to not worry about kneeling or  placing myself in some posture such as a Lotus position But instead, sit  down with a chair opposite me, and imagine Jesus sitting in that chair.   Then he said to talk with Him as I would a good friend.” The aged Scot  then added, “I’ve been doing that ever since.”   A short time later the daughter of the Scot called the pastor. When he  answered, she informed him that her father had died very suddenly. She was quite shaken because she had no idea that death was so very near. Then she continued, “I had just gone to lie down for an hour or two, for he seemed  to be sleeping so comfortably. When I went back, he was dead.” Then she  added thoughtfully, “Except now, his hand was on the empty chair at the
side of the bed. Isn’t that strange?”

 

 

The minister replied, “No, that is not strange at all. I understand.”   When we are in the hospital, we may be in pain, or not feeling well, and during such times we may find it is hard to pray. Place an empty chair in front of you, and in that chair, place in your mind the presence of Jesus Christ. Reach out to the chair and pray with that Presence. Try praying with an empty chair, with the presence of Jesus Christ. You know something? It is a mystical thing, but the chair wasn’t empty. The presence of Jesus Christ was there. It can be in your life too because nothing is impossible for YOU.

 

Let us pray.

“Give me, oh Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag
downward. Give me an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out. Give me an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.   Teach all of us here–good wonderful God–to serve Thee as Thou deservest. To give and not count the cost, to fight and not heed the wounds, to toil and not seek rest, to labor and not ask for any  reward except knowing that we are doing Thy will. ”

Thank You, God.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

The Abundant Difference

“Why doesn’t God help me?” The woman shouted out when her life was in chaos, when things seemed to be going strangely, and she was confused about what to do next.

 

One of the things many people do, in the state of confusion is to TRY HARDER, WORK LONGER,  WORRY ALL-NIGHT and try make things happen themselves, believing that they alone are the ones who are responsible for everything.  Sound familiar?

 

 

People often forget to ask for God’s help in stressful times. The best time to ask
for God’s help is BEFORE chaos.

 

 

Read this letter that a man wrote to his insurance company because it really epitomizes where some people are. “I’m  writing in response to your request concerning block 11 on the insurance form.   It asks for the cause of injuries, wherein I put ‘trying to do the  job alone.’ You said you needed more information, so I trust the following  will suffice:

 

 

“I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of injuries, I was working alone,  laying brick on top of a four-story building. At the end of the job I had  about 600 pounds of brick left over, so I thought I would lower the bricks  on a pulley rather than making several trips to carry them down. I went  down below, secured the rope at ground level, went back up and loaded all  the bricks into a barrel, and then I swung the barrel off the side of the
building.

 

 

 

“Then I went back down, untied the rope (holding it tightly with my right  hand so I would assure a slow descent). You can imagine my shock at being  jerked off the ground so rapidly that I lost my presence of mind.

 

“Somewhere between the second and third floors, I collided with the barrel  coming down. This explains the injuries to my head and shoulders.   Colliding with the barrel only slowed my ascent momentarily as I  proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right  hand was jammed in the pulley, which accounts for my broken thumb and  fingers.

 

 

“Regaining my presence of mind, I held tightly to the rope. About the same  time, however, the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the  barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed about 35-40  pounds. At this time I began a rapid descent. I met the barrel somewhere between the second and third floors as it was coming up, which explains  the injuries to my legs and knees.

 

“I landed on the ground on the pile of bricks which caused minimal back  injuries and internal injuries. (Fortunately, they were only minimal.)    At this time, however, I’m sorry to say that I lost my presence of mind,  and I let go of the rope. As you can imagine, the barrel crashed down on top of me. I am happy to report, however, that I am finished trying to do the job alone.”

 

 

Doesn’t that say a little about how many of us have been trying to do the job alone, without God’s ever-present and willing help? We feel that we  are responsible for everything that is happening in our lives, and everything that is supposed to happen. We take it all on, like we are the ones doing everything. God’s in charge! We are here today to remember God’s help.

 

 

One time, there was a lady who was on a passenger ship in the high seas.   There was a fairly violent storm raging, when she happened to see the  Captain going up to the top deck and said to him, “Captain, how serious is  this?”

 

The Captain said, “Madam, if I were you I would just say some prayers.”
She says, “Oh no, has it come to that?”

 

 

We have been taught that if all else fails, pray. Has anybody else heard  that before? We have heard about the power of prayer, but we seem to have it in the wrong order.   The ideal is to put prayer first because we are putting God first.

 

 

In 1 John 5:4 it says, “For whatever is born of God conquers the world.”
Whatever is born (or begins) in God can overcome any and all challenges
that face us.

 

 

Put God first in prayer and meditation.

Remember that God answers your prayer even before you ask. Your part is to make prayer an open awareness within your mind through which God’s answer can come to
you easily, understandably, and without personal human struggle. Prayer is power. All power of God is available to you. Your prayer should not be a wish but a conviction.

 

 

A wise gardener prepares the soil before the gardener plants the seed. Those  who pray must prepare their mind to receive that which they plant in the form of prayer.

 

 

Putting God first in our lives makes a lot sense. Whatever is born of God  overcomes anything in the world. The whole idea of putting God first comes  down to the basic premise that we are all on this journey on this  classroom called life, and everybody’s main lesson is the same–to awaken  to the presence of God.

 

 

There are many ways to pray, as there are many ways to God. The way of the  bird is not the way of the fish; the way of the baby is not the way of the  adult. Advanced souls always pray in advance to relax themselves and keep themselves receptive to the guidance that is from God.  That is the basic, underlying thread that we all have in our lives. We are to awaken to who we are — as beloved children of God.   I am going to invite you to say that and feel what you are saying.

 

“I am a beloved child of God. I am a beloved child of God.”

 

Get the spiritual feeling of what you are saying.  Prayer is the most effective method of renewal and transformation in the human. In prayer, the human associates with God instead of the problem.   We teach that you must pray in positive expectation. Negatives add up to negatives and negatives have no part in successful prayer. Do not pray in
desperation, but in confidence and expectation of the best.  You are responsible in your attitude for at least half the answer in prayer.

 

 

 

Jesus says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask for when you  pray believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” Mark  11:24

 

 

 

Jesus told us that He came that we may have life and have it abundantly.   That means everything – the perfect, radiant health of God that is already with us, perfect employment, a comfortable home, perfect  transportation, all good things are what our Divine birthright entitle us to.

 

 

To get there, we have to be aware of who we are in our relationship with God. As we get into the habit of putting God first in our lives, we see  things from a higher perspective.

 

 

Putting God first, in prayer and meditation, is the most effective and  quickest way most of us will awaken to the presence of God, in all areas  of our lives. Get into the wonderful habit of praying or meditating in the  morning. It sets the tone for the day.

 

 

We wake up in the morning in an awakened state. That is the perfect time to do the most important work that we do throughout the day, which is putting God first. Set the tone for the day. Invite God to go before us and do whatever is ours to do.

 

 

When you go to bed at night go through the things you are going to work on
tomorrow, inviting God to guide you to the perfect outcomes.   Turning everything over to God, you realize that you cannot do it at all,  but God can do it.   Have the inspiration to put everything in God’s hands each night and every  morning – that makes your life special.

 

 

Putting God first in all areas of our lives. How important is it to put God first in all areas of our lives? I would like to share a piece of  poetry with you that really sums it up beautifully. It is called “The  Difference,” and it was written by one of the most famous authors of all  time — Anonymous.

 

THE DIFFERENCE

I got up early one morning,
And rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t take time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
She said, “You didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence.
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
So, I got up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.

 

 

If you do not have time to do everything that you have to do in a chaotic life, then you must take time to put God first. When life gets chaotic and out of control, look back and say, “What did I forget to do today?” We  usually know the answer — We get up in the morning, and hit the floor with our feet running. So, we make a minor adjustment, and we create a quiet prayer time every morning. Most of the time, we will remember to
take time to pray first. But the days we don’t pray first, we will be able to tell the difference.

 

 

A good nutritious meal feeds the body and mind. Good prayer feeds the soul.   So, put God first in every situation. As you go through  whatever you are going through during the day, keep inviting God to go before you to make your way safe and enjoyable, to have clear guidance, or  whatever you have to ask for. Ask for God’s help and God will respond.

 

God will respond to you! God will help.

 

 

So let’s close with this acknowledgment:  “I am open and receptive to
putting God first in all my activities.”   Will you do this with me?  Always put God and prayer first.

 

Close your eyes and please join me in prayer.

 

Dear God, I come to You in total expectation of the best. I believe in miracles because I believe in You. I cooperate with You by holding in my mind the very best outcome. I do not come to You in desperation, but in gratitude and excitement of the result given to me ahead of any need. I live my days in prayer and my days bless me. I go to You first each day to prepare my mind for the blessed life. I live my moments, day by day,  in positive expectation and overflowing gratitude as I witness and take  part in the miraculous results. I believe that spiritual power is the most important activity that I can take part in. I give myself to it, and it  gives its power to me.   I am grateful and thankful for every moment spent in sacred prayer.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name …Amen

 

 

God bless you!

 

Christ’s name. . .

And so it is . . . Amen.

First, Pray!

How many of us have felt that our life at any specific moment was in chaos or known someone who was.  I think most of us can identify.  I have known those who live in that state of mind.

 

 

“Why doesn’t God help me?”  The woman shouts out when her life is in chaos, when things seem, to be going strangely, and she was confused about what to do next.
One of the things many people do, in the state of confusion, is to TRY HARDER, WORK LONGER, WORRY ALL-NIGHT and try make things happen themselves and magically, believing that they alone are the ones who are responsible for everything.   People often forget to ask for God’s help in stressful times. The best time to ask for God’s help is BEFORE chaos.

 

 

 

I want to share a letter with you that a man wrote to his insurance company because it really illustrates where some people are coming from.   “I’m writing in response to your request concerning block 11 on the insurance form.   It asks for the cause of injuries, wherein I put ‘trying to do the job alone.’ You said you needed more information, so I trust the following will suffice:

 

 

 

“I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of injuries, I was working alone, laying brick on top of a four-story building. At the end of the job I had about 600 pounds of brick left over, so I thought I would lower the bricks on a pulley rather than making several trips to carry them down. I went down below, secured the rope at ground level, went back up and loaded all the bricks into a barrel, and then I swung the barrel off the side of the building.

 

 

 

“Then I went back down, untied the rope (holding it tightly with my right hand so I would assure a slow descent). You can imagine my shock at being jerked off the ground so rapidly that I lost my presence of mind.

 

 

 

“Somewhere between the second and third floors, I collided with the barrel coming down. This explains the injuries to my head and shoulders.   “Colliding with the barrel only slowed my ascent momentarily as I proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley, which accounts for my broken thumb and  fingers.

 

 

 

“Regaining my presence of mind, I held tightly to the rope. About the same time, however, the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed about 35-40 pounds. At this time I began a rapid descent. I met the barrel somewhere between the second and third floors as it was coming up, which explains the injuries to my legs and knees.

 

 

 

“I landed on the ground on the pile of bricks which caused minimal back injuries and internal injuries. (Fortunately, they were only minimal.)

 

 

 

“At this time, however, I’m sorry to say that I lost my presence of mind, and I let go of the rope. As you can imagine, the barrel crashed down on top of me. I am happy to report, however, that I am finished trying to do  the job alone.”

 

 

 

Doesn’t that say a little about how many of us have been trying to do the job alone, without God’s ever-present and willing help? We feel that we are responsible for everything that is happening in our lives, and  everything that is supposed to happen. We take it all on, like we are the ones doing everything. God’s in charge! Today and always let’s remember God’s help.

 

 

 

One time, there was a lady who was on a passenger ship in the high seas. There was a fairly violent storm raging, when she happened to see the Captain going up to the top deck and said to him, “Captain, how serious is this?”

 

 

The Captain said, “Madam, if I were you I would just say some prayers.”
She says, “Oh no, has it come to that?”

 

 

 

We have been taught that if all else fails, pray. Has anybody else heard that before? We have heard about the power of prayer, but we seem to have it in the wrong order. The ideal plan is to put prayer first because we should be putting God first.

 

 

In 1 John 5:4  it says, “For whatever is born of God conquers the world.”

 

 

 

Whomever is born (or begins) in God can overcome any and all challenges that face them.  Put God first in prayer and meditation.  Remember that God answers your prayer even before you ask. Your part is to make prayer an open awareness within your mind through which God’s answer can come to you easily, understandably, and without personal human struggle.  Prayer is power.  All power of God is available to you. Your prayer should not be a wish but a  conviction.

 

 

 

A wise gardener prepares the soil before the gardener plants the seed. One who prays must prepare their mind to receive what they plant in the form of prayer.  Putting God first in our lives makes a lot sense.  Whatever is born of God overcomes anything in the world. The whole idea of putting God first comes down to the basic premise that we are all on this journey called life, and everybody’s main lesson is the same–to awaken to the presence of God.

 

 

There are many ways to pray, as there are many ways to God. The way of the bird is not the way of the fish; the way of the baby is not the way of the adult. Advanced souls always pray in advance to relax themselves and keep themselves receptive to the guidance from God.

 

 

That is the basic, underlying thread that we all have in our lives. We are to awaken to who we are — as beloved children of God.

 

 

 

I am going to invite you to say that and feel what you are saying. “I am a beloved child of God. I am a beloved child of God.”  Get the spiritual feeling of what you are saying.

 

 

Prayer is the most effective method of renewal and transformation in the human. In prayer, the human associates with God instead of the problem.   We teach that you must pray in and with positive expectation. Negatives add up to negatives and negatives have no part in successful prayer.  Do not pray in desperation but in confidence and expectation of the best.  You are responsible in your attitude for at least half the answer in prayer.

 

 

Jesus says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask for when you
pray believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” Mark
11:24

 

 

 

Jesus told us that He came that we may have life and have it abundantly. That means everything – the perfect, radiant health of God that is already with us, perfect employment, a comfortable home, perfect transportation, all good things are what our Divine birthright entitles us to.   To get there, we have to be aware of who we are in our relationship with God.  As we get into the habit of putting God first in our lives, we see things from a higher perspective.

 

 

 

Putting God first, in prayer and meditation, is the most effective and quickest way most of us will awaken to the presence of God, in all areas of our lives.  Get into the wonderful habit of praying or meditating in the  morning.  It sets the tone for the day.
We wake up in the morning in an awakened state. That is the perfect time to do the most important work that we do throughout the day, which is putting God first. Set the tone for the day. Invite God to go before us and do whatever is ours to do.

 

 

 

When you go to bed at night, go through the things you are going to work on tomorrow, inviting God to guide you to the perfect outcomes. Turning everything over to God, you realize that you cannot do it at all, but God can do it.   Have the inspiration to put everything in God’s hands each night and every morning – that makes your life special.

 

 

Put God first in all areas of our lives. How important is it to put God first in all areas of our lives? I would like to share a piece of poetry with you that really sums it up beautifully.  I may have shared this with you before, also.   It is called “The  Difference,” and it was written by one of the most famous authors of all  time — Anonymous.

 

THE DIFFERENCE

I got up early one morning,
And rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t take time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
She said, “You didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence.
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
So, I got up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.

 

 

If you do not have time to do everything that you have to do in a chaotic life, then you must take time to put God first. When life gets chaotic and out of control, look back and say, “What did I forget to do today?” We  usually know the answer — We get up in the morning, and hit the floor with our feet running.   So, we make a minor adjustment, and we create a quiet prayer time every morning.   Most of the time, we will remember to
take time to pray first. But the days we don’t pray first, we will be able to tell the difference.

 

 

 

A good nutritious meal feeds the body and mind. Good prayer feeds the soul.  I invite you to put God first in every situation. As you go through whatever you are going through during the day, keep inviting God to go before you to make your way safe and enjoyable, to have clear guidance, or  whatever you have to ask for. Ask for God’s help and God will respond. God will respond to you? God will help.

 

 

So let’s close with an acknowledgment that “I am open and receptive to putting God first in all my activities.”

 

Will you do this with me?

 

 

Close your eyes and please,  join me in prayer.

 

Dear God, I come to You in total expectation of the best. I believe in miracles because I believe in You. I cooperate with You by holding in my mind the very best outcome. I do not come to You in desperation, but in gratitude and excitement of the result given to me ahead of any need. I live my days in prayer and my days bless me. I go to You first each day to prepare me for the blessed life. I live my moments, day by day, in positive expectation and overflowing gratitude as I witness and take part in the miraculous results. I believe that spiritual power is the most important activity that I can take part in. I give myself to it, and it gives its power to me.    I am grateful and thankful for every moment spent in sacred prayer.

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name …Amen

 

God bless you!

What is God Like

Genesis: 17: 1. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blamless.”

 

 

I am sure we have all heard this lovely little story: A six-year old child looked into the crib of his brand new baby brother and said, “Quick, before you forget, tell me what God is like? I am starting to forget.” What the child was asking about has been the pursuit of scholars for many centuries Scholars call it “theology.” Theology seeks to answer the question, “What is God like?” I want to give you a very brief insight into the theology of the Bible. You may find it much more interesting and understandable than you think.

 

 

 

When we, as Christians, speak of God, we frequently refer to a “trinity” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is Biblical. If we compare Genesis 1:1-3 and John 1:1-14, we see that the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Word (Who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, the son) were all present before the creation of the universe. Ephesians 4:4-6 refers to the concept of “Trinity.” Jesus told His apostles to baptize in “the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

 

 

 

This is a difficult concept to grasp. However, man is also a trinity of body, soul, and spirit; “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess. 5:23) We do not fully understand how the three are united and what their interrelationships are. And. if we can’t understand our own nature, how can we hope to fully understand God? Let us accept what God has revealed and seek to learn what we can of the things we can understand.

 

 

 

Here are three questions about God for this day:

 

The first question is the question of Moses: “Who is God?” Ex. 3: 13-14. …………. and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then, what shall I tell them? God said to Moses, ‘I am Who I am.’ We can learn something of His nature from His names:
He chose to answer Moses’ question by giving the name first “I am” then later “Jehovah,” the self- existent One. This means He was neither created nor born, nor does He depend on anyone for His existence. He had no beginning and will never have an end. He has always been the same and always will be. This provides certainty and stability every human spirit seeks.

 

 

 

This name was so sacred the Hebrews wouldn’t pronounce it for fear of taking the Lord’s Name in vain in violation of the commandment in Exod. 20:7. When this Name appeared in the Scriptures, the Jew would read another name. They might substitute the Hebrew name “el” “The Mighty One.”. This is the most common name for God and frequently used in the plural, “Elohim” to indicate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Exodus 23 uses the name “Adon” (Lord or Master). God is stressing His authority in ordering every Jewish male to report to Him 3 times a year.

 

 

When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, besieged Jerusalem and threatened to destroy it, Isaiah asked the question in II Kings 19:22: Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!

 

 

 

“Holy One” means one set aside. One separated from sin and corruption. Wholly apart from men and their misdeeds. Isaiah’s favorite name for God is “The Holy One of Israel.” He is the One venerated and exalted above all others by God’s people. When the priests abused their power and oppressed the people, Malachi asked the question, “Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us?” (Malachi 2:10) He is Father in the sense of founder and creator of the race. In the Old Testament, God’s relationship with His people was patriarchal. He ruled as a Father. In the New Testament, it is paternal. He adopts us as His children and loves us as a parent. A higher level of fatherhood. Jesus taught us to call God “Father.” He used the expression frequently, taught us to pray to “our father in heaven, and pictured him as father to a prodigal son.

 

 

 

God is spirit. When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he said, since we are the offspring of God we cannot represent Him with gold, silver, or stone . Acts 17:29. He is not material. Jesus told the woman of Samaria “God is Spirit.” Spirit is real and living, although invisible. Not an impersonal power or “Force.” Spirit indicates personal, intelligent life. A personality Worship is contact between two spirits; the spirit of God and that of a man.

 

 

 

God is also represented by light. In I John 1:5: “God is light.” This relates to His character: Darkness is sin, ignorance, injustice, and unrighteousness. There is none of this in Him . God provides enlightenment for every aspect of our lives; physical and spiritual, temporal and eternal. To put it simply, He shows us how He wants us to live out our lives. Hence the warning of I John 1:6, If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live in the truth. His people are not permitted to participate in the “fruitless deeds of darkness.” Eph. 5:11
Next God is described as love: I John 4:8. This is His character and His main motivation for all He does.

 

 

Nature would not teach us this. The creation is cruel and unforgiving. The lion eats the Impala, the snake eats the mouse, disease ravages all species. There is suffering everywhere; we see it daily..: But God is love.   John 14:9. Jesus has revealed this aspect of God’s character. I Jn. 4:9. To know God is present in our lives and accept His love and redemption, we must show His love to others.

 

 

Heb. 12:29our God is a consuming fire.” We would be remiss if we do not warn people of the coming judgment of God. This describes His attitude and destructive power against sin and disobedience.

 

 

There is a judgment coming on those who do not know God and obey the Gospel. II Thess. 1:7-9. Fire is connected with this judgment. Jesus expressed God’s love when He came to earth the first time. The next time, He will express God’s wrath on the disobedient.

 

 

 

What does God do? Richland Center Wisconsin has a warehouse which is reported to the first work of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Just a brick warehouse. Near Somerset, PA. is the famous Kaufman mansion at Falling Waters, another Wright creation. They have little in common, but to an expert, the hand of Frank Lloyd Wright is obvious. Just so, we can see God in what He does, as well. Look out your window and you will see the Love.

 

 

 

Gn. 1:1, 2. There was a beginning. Things have not always been as they are. All science seems to agree on this. There was, therefore, an originating cause. No one doubts this. It is common sense. Faith takes over when we seek to know that originating cause. Heb. 11:3

 

 

Colossians 1:16, 17 names Christ as God’s agent in creation. It was by the power of His Word God created the world out of nothing. We see it in providence. His is the hand that holds all things together. Col. 1:17

 

 

 

When the sun rises and sets. When it rains and grass grows, when a baby is born or your body is healed of disease, God is at work. He rules and sustains the universe, yet, He has time to note the fall of a sparrow and number the hairs on your head. He cares for you. He makes the plans, all of them, and He makes things happen according to His will. He alone is able to work the work of redemption:

 

 

 

We have all been alienated from Him by sin and guilt. We are under sentence of death because the soul that sins dies. He paid the price of our redemption with the blood of His Son. I Cor. 6:20 Our redemption is God’s greatest work. It restores us to the fellowship with Him for which we were created. We belong with God. And we belong to Him, our Father, Elohim, Adon, Jehovah, only because of the Amazing Grace He has offered us. It is through grace you are saved, not through works. It is the GIFT from God. All you have to do is accept it.

 

 

 

Only God can make life worth living. That’s why it’s important to know Him. Accept Him as your Lord, today; accept the gift of grace He offers and then – Live for Him.

 

 

Maximum Spiritual Impact

Let’s look at the last words of Paul to his followers before he took leave of them, never to return:

I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.  I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.

 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me,  except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.  But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

“And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. (Acts 20:20-27)

How can we live our lives for the maximum spiritual impact while on our journey?

Serve the Lord with humility. (V 19), having a servant’s heart. I most impact the lives of others by serving them. Serving the Lord IS serving others.

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:7-8)

Have a MINDSET of humility.

“Though he was God,  he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

The people saw Paul’s tears. He exuded love, patience, and understanding. In other words, his life was a demonstration of the life of Jesus Christ.

Grow in your knowledge of the Lord. (V20,21) .

Grow PERSONALLY: be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1). Personal growth is beneficial to ourselves because it allows God to change us and to develop within us the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). Our character is changed, and we become Christlike.

Grow PUBLICLY: Share your life in Christ with others, fulfilling Acts 1:8.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Our lives are to be clean, not wavering, not lukewarm. We are to have clear intentions and be a bright light.

“so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:15)

Other people’s lives are at stake! Like Paul in Acts 20:20 and 27, we are to keep back nothing, not shrinking away from sharing all that they need to hear. We speak out what we are living out.

Live a selfless life (Acts 20:22-24), sacrificing self for others’ benefit. Before acting or speaking, ask, “How will this help the cause of Christ? Let nothing—none of our own creature comforts—hold us back from living unto Christ, not unto self.

“Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)

We can be bold for Christ because “living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Philippians 1:21)

We need to present ourselves daily “as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) as it is our “reasonable service”. (This word reasonable means logical.)

Let us pray that we may finish our course with joy!

Lord, we want to be like Jesus. We want to be so totally committed and surrendered to You that others will be able to just look at us and be able to see You and follow You. Create in us that humble mindset coupled with self-sacrificing boldness that we need to fulfill Your Kingdom purposes in our lives. We pray that every life that crosses pathways with our lives will be impacted TO THE MAX for You! Thank You Lord. Amen.

Enjoy this beautiful worship song by Emmanuel Live (the worship group of our church)

 

The Good and Faithful Servant

My resource for this writing is my notes from my Pastor’s sermon last Sunday.

Our life has a purpose, and God is interested in us. We are to be in a state of constantly reshaping, growing, regrowing, expanding, re-upping, updating, and making “something out of nothing.”

ENTROPY is defined as the tendency for things to fall apart if unattended. We ask the Lord to teach us to value our days, our lives. The opposite is to devalue. If we devalue, things begin to dissolve and fall apart.

Ps 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[b] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![c]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  1. Everyone is given something.
  2. God gives us freedom to do what we want with His gift. He does not make us do anything.
  3. God returns to evaluate what we did with His gift.
  4. God’s reward is based on our actions (no on the amount or worth of the gift in our eyes)

Principle: When we use well what we are given, more will be given. If we do not, what we have will be taken away.

Our culture is based on entitlement. (Everybody gets a blue ribbon). God wants a return on His investment. He isn’t particularly interested in the amount of money or talent He invests in us, as He is in what we choose to do with it. We cannot sit on our progress, but must grow and make the most of each opportunity. We have the opportunity to change our thinking from “I have to” to “I get to.”

Rene Braithwaite, a college professor, said: “You are an axe in God’s hands. God will wield you as an axe whenever He can. Your role is to work to become as sharp as you can. The sharper you are when God wields you, the deeper the cut.”

Ecclesiastes 10:10: “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”

A dull axe saps your strength, and you will be found to be trying too hard and accomplishing little.  Lord, sharpen me! Swing me!

My church’s Mission Statement reads: “Empowered to reach those away from God, to grow in faith and to live a life of purpose.” We come together at church to grow, so that we can succeed outside the walls. Just hearing the word on Sunday does not fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. We are building  “Redwood Faith”: The root system of these giant trees is interconnected. We need accountability and connectedness; we cannot grow in isolation.  If you are retired, don’t give in to the temptation to entropy (quitting and deteriorating), but remember you are a part of the biggest mission field, the Baby Boomers. There is much to be done. God has invested talents into you which can be used to reach those who do not yet know the Lord. Use your God-given talents to bring the love and blessing of the Lord into the lives of others.

Phil 1:9: “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.”

How can I sharpen my axe? How can I renew myself from a fixed mentality (Im OK the way I am, I can’t change; negativity) to a growth mentality (I can stretch and grow and learn new things; positivity)?

  1. SHARPEN APTITUDE. Become better, learn new things, prepare for future, break the chain of “It’s always been this way; this is how I am”. Search for ways to grow, such as mentorships under people whom you would like to imitate. Increase the capacity and the skill set.
  2. SHARPEN EXCELLENCE. Excellence is a reflection of who we are and what we are called to do. We are to set up new boundaries. Rest is necessary to be at the top of the game. Attention is to be given even to how we dress and prepare for the day. We must teach ourselves optimism, and say no to things that prevent excellence.
  3. SHARPEN MOTIVES. Why am I here? What is my assignment and purpose? What is my platform? (way to get something done to accomplish the real purpose. Col 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
  4. SHARPEN ATTITUDE.  Sharpen speech and communication. Eph 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  Don’t be myopic (short-sighted). Work is to  be a sanctuary where ministry can take place. Have an attitude mentor, someone who you can follow, who lifts you up. Phil 2:7: “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being, when he appeared in human form.”
  5. SHARPEN DISCIPLINE. Discipline is the ability to finish as if to win. Know your own quitting points or failure points ahead of time, and push through obstacles. Get a new grip. Persevere.

Heb 12:11-13   No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

Let’s pray together:

Lord we thank You for the talents and resources you have invested into each one of us. No matter what our age or circumstance, Your investment in each of us can be used to reach people who do not yet know Jesus. We ask together that You would show each one of us what our talents and resources are. Give us clear definition and insight so that we may know ourselves as we really are in Your sight. Help us to let go of preconceived self-image. Then, show us ways we can sharpen these things in our lives and use them to the maximum. Let us not be found burying Your gifts out of fear or insecurity. Show us how we can connect with others and combine our faith and resources to accomplish Your purposes. Nothing is too small for You to use and bless. Show us our infinite value to You. Let us step forth into a growth mindset and put all of our faith and trust in You, and what You wish to accomplish through us. Amen.