Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are You Happy Now?

     The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years.  They complained of being under Pharaoh's hard labor and God sent Moses to deliver them.  God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask that he let go of his people, and Pharaoh just laughed and said no, so God sent plagues, and finally Pharaoh let the Israelites go, only to change his mind and chase them.  The Israelites got away.  No problem.  They saw God's hand destroy Egypt.  No problem.  I wonder if God said to the Israelites, "Are you happy now"?  Then comes the Red Sea.  The Israelites were already frightened and complaining about Pharaoh chasing them, and along comes the Red Sea.  Oops!  They said to Moses, "Did you bring us out here to die"?  But God opened the Red Sea.  Split it right in half, and the Israelites made it!  If fact, the Egyptians chasing them all drowned as God made the Red Sea flow again, right over them.  God may have asked again, "Are you happy now"?
     The Israelites wandered the desert and found that there was no water.  They were of course not happy, forgetting their Lord, their Provider.  They came to Marah where the water was bitter and boy the grumbling began!  Moses was told by God to throw a tree into the water.  It then became sweet, and they were able to drink it.  It was as if God said to them, "I told you so".  "Now", He says, "Are you happy"?  Then they were hungry and complained, so God gave them manna from heaven, and may have said, "Are you happy now"?  
     The Lord had Moses go up Mount Sinai to meet Him because He was giving The Ten Commandments to Moses to give to the Israelites.  Moses went up the mountain again after the Ten Commandments was told, to get the tablets to which they were on.  Moses was gone for 40 days and nights, and no, the Israelites were not happy yet.  In fact, they panicked, and made a golden calf to worship.  How many times would it take for God to rain miracle after miracle to make His people happy?  It was never good enough.  In fact, they got so sick of the provision of food God gave them, that they asked for meat, and boy did God rain meat down on them so much, that they were sick of it.  God may have asked again, "Are you happy now"?
     I don't know how many miracles it took, but it took 40 years wandering in the desert for God to get their attention.  They still grumbled and complained.  They were going to a land of Promise and complained the whole way.  God wasn't happy either, so a whole generation died, without seeing The Promise Land.  Don't miss out on God's blessing due to your grumbling and complaining because life is not going your way.  I may have put a little humor in this by the question God could have ask, "Are you happy now"?, but what will it take for you to be happy with God's plan for your life? 

I hope today you see the blessings God has given you.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Funny Thought For Today

I am going to attempt to look at the Christian life in a funny way these next few days.  With everything going on in this world, it is difficult to do, but sometimes we just have to laugh or we'll cry.  And I say attempt to be funny because my humor is a little odd and offbeat at times so bear with me.

Just a thought:

     In Genesis 1:26-31, God created man and woman.  Before that he created everything else, and it was good.  Then God created man, and man was alone, which God said that it was not good than man should be alone, so God took a rib from man and created woman.  Man now was complete.  So we go to Genesis 1:31, after God had made everything...including women, then instead of saying "it was good", He said, "God saw all that he made, and it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning---the sixth day".

     God definitely does not make mistakes, but He knew after creating Adam, that Adam needed a woman's help.  It was only good until He made Eve.  Then because woman came along everything was very good.  Doesn't that tell you that Adam probably wouldn't have tended the garden properly, or fed the animals at the right time without Eve giving him a "honey-do" list.  And when they fell and started wearing clothes, we all know most men don't do well with laundry.  I said most, not all.  And when the children started to come?  God knew men wouldn't handle childbirth very well at all.  So after God man man---and woman, it was all very good.

*Disclaimer:  This was all in good fun.  It may or may not be true, but like I said, I am attempting humor.  And men, no offense intended, it's just for a laugh at life's blunders, after all Adam did let his wife eat the fruit he knew was wrong to eat.  God did know ahead of time.

Be blessed today, and men, don't hate me.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Character in Our Christian Life: Guileless and Holy

Guileless and Holy are the last two characteristics I will cover in this series of our character.  We must remember not only to tell others about Christ, but live it in the character of Christ.

10. Guileless: "I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.  I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, proclaiming aloud Your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds". Psalm 26:5-7.

     To be guileless is to be innocent.  We are not to associate with those who do evil.  We are to be innocent before the Lord.  We live in this world, and we do associate with those who are lost, in the sense that we share the gospel with them, but we are not to be like the wicked.  In the workplace, we associate with Christians and non-Christians alike.  We are to be their "light" to shine Jesus upon them.  We are to set examples instead of going about doing what they do in order to "fit in".  We are not suppose to fit in with the world.  Be an example of the innocence of Jesus in your daily walk with Him.  Live a life that is exemplary to God.

11.  Holy:  "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession".  Deuteronomy 7:6

     We are to be holy and blameless before the Lord.  Yes we are sinners.  Yes we mess up, but we as humans are not holy and blameless as God is.  We have Christ's atonement only to make us holy and blameless.  What our part is; to live as Christ lived, serving and giving, helping and forgiving others, including those who are our enemies.  Most important of all, love one another as Christ loves us.  Live Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law".  Without the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives, we cannot be holy.  It only comes from God.  Be holy as Christ is holy.

I may continue my humor blogs next, just for a little break from the realities of life.  Be blessed this week, and bless someone else.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fearing God, Following Christ, Godly

Our character matters in all our aspects of life.  How we act in our daily lives really shows others how we truly are on the inside.  This blog is the third installment of Character.  This includes fear God, following Christ, and Godly.

7.  Fearing God: "Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His Name".  Malachi 3:16.

     When we fear the Lord, it is not a fear like He will punish you or destroy you if you sin, but an awe of His own character, presence, knowledge, power, justice, mercy, grace, etc.  He is our Almighty God Who is our Provider, and Who loves us so much that He gave up His Son to save us from an eternity in hell, because of our sinful lives.  To show others that we fear God, it shows them that we put Him first, above all else.  It shows we mean business when it comes to following Him.  It shows that He is the One True God.

8.  Following Christ: "When He puts forth all His own, He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice".  John 10:4.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me".  John 10:27.

     Do you think we would be a great witness to Christ or even a Christian for that matter at all if we indeed not follow Christ?  I don't think so.  Christ knows His sheep and His sheep knows Him.  One characteristic is, that we must follow Christ in order to minister the Gospel to others.  How else are we going to do it if we don't believe ourselves?  If we know Christ and follow Him, You need to share the good news with others.  If you don't know Him, then how can you "go into the world and make disciples"?  Know Him, the go.

9.  Godly: "But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him". Psalm 4:3.
"Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment". 2 Peter 2:9.

     We are all made in the image of God, from the very beginning of time.  We are to imitate God, and in doing so, we need to be godly, set apart from the world.  We need to have the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  To be godly is a crucial characteristic to have when ministering to others.  Being unrighteous or ungodly is a detriment to Christ's cause and if the world sees that, they will not receive the good news well, and will reject God even more.

The next time, I will cover the last two characteristics in being a witness of Christ or to ministering to other the Good News of Christ.  There are many other characteristics to cover, but for now I will only cover eleven of them.

Be blessed this weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Character: Contrite, Devout, Faithful

    This is the second set of characteristics we need to have as Christians, in our daily walk with Jesus.  Come with me and look at the next three characteristics we should follow, so that the world will see Jesus through us.

4.  Contrite:  "'For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, Whose name is Holy, 'I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with a contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite...'"  Isaiah 57:15.
"For my hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being'", declares the Lord.  "'But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word'".  Isaiah 66:2.

     Being contrite in spirit because of our sin is a character trait that is honorable to God.  To be sorry for the wrong we do is the first step actually, that we should take.  Humbly accepting our failures and going to God with them.  He will revive us when our hearts are right with Him.  Accepting the fact that we sin, on a daily, if not hourly basis, tells God that we do indeed have to depend on Him to get our hearts straightened out.

5.  Devout:  "Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him".  Acts 8:2.
"A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing near me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight'!  And at that very time I looked up at him".  Acts 22:12-13.

    Devotion to God is a love that is pure and true, and we must be devout in our relationship with Jesus.  It is what keeps our hearts, mind, soul and body in constant communication with our Lord.  Without devotion, there is no relationship.  God honors those who devotes him or herself to Him.  It is a true Christian heart who is devoted.  It is a must when ministering to a lost and dying world.

The last of the three is being faithful.  Are we faithful?  And if not, how can we be?

6.  Faithful:  "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.  These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful".  Revelation 17:13-14.

     Being faithful is being loyal and trustworthy.  Are we loyal and trustworthy to Jesus?  Devotion and faithfulness goes hand in hand to me.  Without loyalty and trustworthiness we are not faithful.  It takes faithfulness to Jesus to witness to the people around us, and being faithful to those people also.  Gaining trust and being loyal to the people around you will show them the true meaning of Christianity, and how a Christian is suppose to act.  We must go and make disciples, as Jesus commanded, and if our character is out of place, we fail. 

Blessings to you today and the rest of the week.  More to come on how our character should be while we walk with Jesus and minister to others.

*Note:  I will not be blogging tomorrow due to me being out of town.  Friday I will resume.  Thank you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What is Our Character?

     I want to take three or four blogs to go through what our character should be as Christians in ministry.  I will start with three today.

1.  Attentive to Christ's voice; 1 John 1:3,4
"What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ".

     Our character must be willing to listen to the voice of Christ and the Father's Will for us.  Our selfishness must banish.  We need to be willing to serve others first, so they may fellowship with Jesus.  Listening and being attentive to Christ's voice is essential in ministry.  Doing ministry in our own way will lead to failure.

2.  Blameless and Harmless; Philippians 2:15 "So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among you who appear as lights in the world".

     Our character must remain blameless and harmless.  Live out our lives the way we minister to others and do not harm one another.  Be doers of the Word and not just hearers.  We are God's children, and must not warp our ministry with our sinful nature.  If we do sin, confess and repent, and always forgive those who sin also.

3.  Bold; Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked will flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion".

     This is the last character for this blog.  Being bold in our witness and not backing down in the face of opposition is very important in our ministry.  Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and we must stand against him with boldness for our testimony for Jesus to stand strong.  God says many times in the Bible to "be strong and courageous".  It is crucial that we stand boldly when facing our enemy.

I hope all of you are blessed by God this week and remember that our character and integrity count for our eternity and others' eternity.