For the is good; his mercy is everlasting;
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
I’ve got this pretty good pound cake recipe I like to use for Mother’s Day because it goes well with fresh strawberries. I say pretty good because it has good texture and flavor, but to make it Mad Dog Pound Cake I have to add the boiled syrup. I pour the syrup over the cake and in the middle. It sits and soaks and mmmmmmmmmmm. With the first bite the syrup is running out the corner of your mouth and dripping off your chin. Of course that’s an exaggeration but it sure seems that good.
Our lives are a lot like good pound cake. Most of us would say we are pretty good people, but is pretty good, good enough to get us into heaven? My pound cake totally changes when the syrup is poured over it and into it. The syrup can’t be removed and no one would want to scrape it off. No one wants the cake without the syrup once they’ve tried it. Jesus said no one comes to the Father but by Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We can’t get to heaven or be a true Christian without first coming to Jesus. When our lives are covered by His blood and filled with the Holy Spirit, we are totally different people, fit for the kingdom of God. Only Jesus makes us good enough. Like syrup, once we’ve experienced salvation, there’s no going back to the old pretty good person and no one would want to.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Have you ever tried to make a recipe and it "flopped"? Once I used the wrong kind of flour in my cake recipe. It overflowed into the oven and created a horrible mess.
I just used self-rising flour instead of plain flour! Not a big deal one would think.
What would happen if I had put in salt instead of sugar? The cake would have to be completely thrown out and started over!
Our lives are like recipes.
God has the recipe for us. We just need to read and follow His plan.
Romans 3:23 says For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Somehow we all manage to add that sin "ingredient" into our lives.
Now, how do we fix the problem? We can't, but God can!
Romans 10:13 says Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 6:17
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14 KJV
Yesterday, I had the privilege of watching my grandson play baseball. The parents were very supportive of the kids, but the umpires took a lot of heat. As I understand it, the ball must pass between the letters and the knees. It must also pass over a 17 inch plate. Those are the rules that everyone plays by from little league to Major league. There's no bending the rules just because your child strikes out or because the pitcher can't hit the mitt. The rules are the rules, written in the rule book.
God has rules as well. We hear a lot of people say, "God is a loving God. He wouldn't send anyone to hell."
" Yes, I'm going to heaven because I'm a pretty good person. My good outweighs my bad."
"It doesn’t matter what I believe so long as I'm a good person."
Remember the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis? God accepted Abel's offering because he brought a blood offering from the best of his innocent flock. It symbolized the offering God would give in sending His sinless Son to die for our sins.
Cain brought an offering of his hard work, the fruits of the ground. There was no blood offering, only his good work. God did not accept Cain's offering. It made Cain mad, but Cain had not followed God's plan, God's rules.
If the baseball team doesn't follow the rules, they lose!
If we don't follow God's rules, we lose eternal life!
There is a sure way to have eternal life. That way is in God's rule book. Repentance and faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven.
Jesus said, " I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. " John 14:6
Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
We wouldn't think of playing baseball making up the rules as we went along. God has a rule book as well. Won't you check it out and make your salvation sure? It's that important.
When I was a kid, I sometimes made up rules for those I didn't already know. When friends came over to play, that presented a problem until we worked out the real rules. We also made up new games. We had to decide what the rules would be.
What rules would you make for a new game?
How would your rules be fair to everyone?
How would your rules allow everyone to play?
How would your rules make everyone feel a part of the game?
Our rules must be loving, yet fair to all involved. God showed us His love when He sent His Only Son to pay the price for our sins, so we could all go to heaven if we chose.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Answers to last week's challenge:
Locust – beans
Kine – cow
Corn – grain
Victuals – food
Compass - surround
Sunday, April 30, 2017
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4 KJV
Did we just read that right? John ate locusts and wild honey? Check another version. Yep, still says locusts and wild honey.
The ferny leafed tree at the edge of my yard reminded me of hunting with my dad in the fall of the year. We snacked from the trees and fields where we hunted. When we came upon frost sweetened persimmons, Dad pulled a few and shared them with us. I didn't particularly care for the taste of persimmons then, but now I like making persimmon jam for homemade bread.
He also taught us to eat locusts. We just split them open and ate the insides.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5b-6
This week I've tried to clear some rocks out of the garden as I made rows and dug holes for transplants. It's amazing how rocks just seem to multiply just like the crops. Some were only gravel size, some larger. Some of the larger ones had been scraped by the tiller tines, others showed no signs of man's touch.
In Elijah's day worship was conducted on alters made by 12 unhewn stones. The stones represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The problem was the nation of Israel had turned away from God and was worshipping the idol Baal. Followers of God were hunted down and killed. One of King Ahab's men hid God's prophets in a cave. The nation was troubled. King Ahab blamed Elijah, but Elijah always managed to escape capture. Until one day God sent Ahab to challenge the prophets of Baal.
The challenge was to prove who was the true God. Elijah wanted the prophets of Baal to call on their god to rain fire down on their alter. The challenge was accepted. All day the prophets of Baal called on their god. They cut themselves and bled hoping that would make Baal answer.
All day, Elijah watched the world try to solve their problem without God. Along about the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah began to prepare to worship.
- He rebuilt the alter with 12 unhewn stones.
- He had the alter drenched with water to make sure no one could deny God's power.
- He prepared the sacrifice.
- He prayed.
- God rained down fire and consumed the sacrifice and the water.
- The prophets of Baal were defeated.
Elijah probably thought that was the end of the story, but King Ahab and his wife Jezebel weren't finished. Their plan was still to kill Elijah. Elijah ran. He felt alone. He felt he was the only one who really loved the Lord. I Kings 18:17-39
I think we too, feel alone in the battle against evil. But God has not left Himself without a witness. You and I can stand strong by first preparing to worship, first with out families, then with our communities. God showed up and showed out in answer to Elijah's prayers and He will answer ours as well.
So do you feel you live in a crazy mixed up world?
How will you prepare to worship this week?
I know you love to pick up rocks and stick a few finds in your pockets.
Why not use them to prepare a reminder to worship the Lord every day?
Elijah prepared at the time of evening sacrifice. Maybe you and your family can have evening as a time of worship as well.
Preparing the evening worship:
- Gather a few rocks to place in your home.
- Set aside a specific time.
- Place the rocks along side your Bible.
- Prepare your heart with prayer to listen, worship and follow.
- Allow God to show you where and how to study.
- Expect God to show up and show out.
- Expect confrontations from those who are following the world. Remember God had to remind Elijah that He was still with him and so were other followers of the one true God.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: Matthew 11:25 KJV
Here at Easter we see lots of eggs and bunnies, but how did a bunny replace the Lamb in the Easter story? Easter is actually a celebration of a pagan goddess, Eostre. Hares are symbolic of her. Her celebration coincides with our celebration of the resurrection of the Savior.
The other celebration this week is Passover. Passover has everything to do with Easter. What is Passover? Simply, it is the remembrance of the night the Death Angel passed over the houses of the Hebrews who had the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintel. The blood placed on the outside caused all in the house to come in under the blood to safety. This was the night Pharaoh finally released the Israelites from bondage and allowed them to leave Egypt. It is also the meal Jesus ate as the Last Supper just before He was arrested.
Jesus the Messiah, fulfilled the Passover when He was sacrificed for our sins. As the Israelites were freed from Pharaoh on that night, so we who allow Jesus to cover our sins by repenting, asking His forgiveness and receiving that forgiveness by faith are freed from the bondage of sin and death by His blood.
Christians as well as Jews celebrate Passover with a Seder meal. As part of the meal, a piece of motzah (unleavened bread) is broken, placed in a cloth and hidden somewhere in the house. At the end of the meal, the children are allowed to search for the motzah. While the meal allows children to ask questions about the celebration with bitter herbs, salty water tears, and a lamb shank, so the bread at last is found. To Christians, this is the resurrection of Christ's body, The Bread of Life, wrapped and hidden in the tomb three days.
Have you allowed Jesus to cover your sins?
CarteeBlessings for your Easter celebration.
Do you know about Passover?
Would you like to have a Christian Seder?
Start by reading Exodus 12.
You will need:
motzah bread (found in the specialty aisles of most grocery stores)
Leg bone of a lamb or chicken.
You may want to check out these sites for a detailed version of how to have your own celebration.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
I could hear the fear in my coon dog's howl. What was there to fear? It was the middle of the night. Then, suddenly, the roar of wind came rushing down into the holler and back to the top where Prince cowered under the porch. All of creation stood still at the rushing mighty wind. Three times Prince howled and three times the wind blew through the hollers as if it would sweep all away. Then the calm, the peeping streak of blue before the dawn. A lone songbird dared to welcome the day, quickly joined by the songs of others.
How did the disciples feel when the sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind filled all the house where they were sitting? Then the appearance of cloven tongues of fire sitting on each one. I, for one, would have been very afraid. But, God was filling them with the power to go into all the world and preach the gospel. He was giving them a gift of languages to speak about the Savior who had changed their lives.
The people gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost were from all over the known world. I live in a community and teach in a school with people from all over the world. Many of the children and their mothers do not speak English. I always try to learn at least two phrases in their language; “I love you,” and “Don’t cry.” Add a smile to those two phrases, squatting down to look them in their eyes and it doesn’t take long to calm fears and begin to build a bond of trust.
A sincere demonstration of love will show the world who Jesus really is. Will we be the lone voice that begins a new day calling out to others to join in the mission Jesus has given us? Preach the gospel to everyone.
Do you know someone who speaks another language?
Are they your age? Younger? Older?
Can they help you learn their language?
Can you help them learn English?
Do they know Jesus?
Building a bond, a trust is the first step in reaching others for Christ.
Duolingo is a free app that can help you learn languages or just use it online at www.duolingo.com
Won’t your friends be surprised when you greet them in their language!
Practicing together makes learning even faster. Auf Wiedersehen!