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January 30, 2015, 9:00 AM

A Penny' Worth of Thought: Are You Ready to Meet God

Are you prepared to meet God?  

No I am not talking about meeting Him in eternity when you die or when He comes again to claim His own.  I am talking about are you prepared, are you preparing to meet God in a very real way day to day?  

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.” Exodus 19:10-11

Meeting with God requires preparation.  God is awesome and perfectly Holy.  We cannot expect to barge in unprepared or expect Him to show up when we have been doing little or nothing in preparation for Him to show Himself real and powerful in our lives.  

Before the children of Israel were to meet with God and at Mt Sinai they were instructed to take two days to get ready for the meeting.  Once they were ready God spoke to them with thundering and lightning.  He spoke with smoke, fire and the sound of loud trumpets.  It was during this encounter that He shared with them the truth of the ten commandments. 

It is certainly true, that for the believer God lives in us through the person of the Holy Spirit.  He will never leave us, nor even turn His back on us.  But If we want God to really show himself to us in and through our lives in a miraculous and powerful way we must be prepared.  

We cannot expect to spend day after day in the world without it affecting your heart and mind.  It does not take long for us to become disoriented to the ways of God.  The sin cursed world that we live in has a way of dulling us to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Many of us go to church to “Worship” God with out ever having worshipped Him throughout the week.  Yet, we wonder why are worship services are dull and powerless.  We wonder why God seems to move so little in our lives and hearts.  God wants to move, to work, to show His power but He does so when you are prepared for Him to do it.

How do you prepare to meet God?  You prepare by inviting God’s power through personal prayer, Bible study and meditation on the things of God. 

1.  Spend time first thing in the morning focusing on God, ask Him to guide you throughout the day.  Doing so will help shift your thoughts to Him throughout the day.

2.  Spend some time at the end of the day focusing on God.  The last thing you think about before you go to sleep is often what you will dream about.  Also it is typically what you will wake up thinking about.  

When was the last time you really felt God speaking to your Heart?  When was the last time you really knew God had shown up in your life?  When was the last time you really invited Him to do so and made preparation for Him to do so.




January 28, 2015, 9:02 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: What This World Need's Most

World peace, an end to poverty and hunger, a cure for cancer, aids, ebola and other diseases are all things to strive for.  We should work towards those ends, but that is not what the world needs most.

More generosity, less greed, greater love for others, less hate and an end to racism are all things we that should be sought after.  However, regardless of how badly these things are needed, they are not what the world needs most.

What this world needs most is not more well meaning, good intentioned people trying to do the best as they see fit.

What this world needs most, is for people’s eyes and hearts to be opened to a loving God.  He is the answer to all of this world’s needs.  

There is a remedy to all that ails this world:  His name is Jesus Christ.




January 27, 2015, 10:18 AM

A Penny's Worth of Though: Are You Willing To Pay the Price?

Are you willing to pay whatever price is necessary to be like Jesus Christ?

There are some things that God can only teach you and build into your life through suffering, struggling and pain.   As believers in Christ we may not want or like to hear this but in fact it is God's will that we endure suffering, pain and trials.  The Christian life was never promised to be a life free from difficulty.

Even Jesus the sinless Son of God had to endure the suffering that God the Father set before Him.  It was only after He was obedient and suffered the cruelty of the cross that He became the complete, mature and perfect Savior of all who turn to Him for salvation.

"Though he were a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Hebrews 5:8-9

We all will go through suffering in this life.  The good news is that there is a positive side to the suffering.  Through it we can become like Jesus!

The book of James, chapter 1 says that we should count it all joy when we go through trials and suffering.  It is through hardships that God purifies and strengthens our faith.  It is hardship that drives us to the arms of a loving God that allows Him to develop Christian character that we so desperately need to be like Christ.

The Spirit of God has important lessons to teach you that you can only learn through trials and difficulty.  Saul was made king of Israel without any difficulty, but he never developed the maturity or character to handle God's assignment.  David went through years of difficulty and suffering.  When he finally ascended to the throne, He was a man after God's own heart.  

If we become bitter and resistant to the hardships God allows you to go through, you close off parts of your life from God.  If you do this, you will never be complete.  Don't resent the suffering God allows in your life.  Instead remember that God goes with you and will carry you through the difficulties.  Don't make all of your decisions and invest all of your resources to avoid hardships.  Instead be encouraged to know that God will never allow you to endure more than you can handle.  

God did not spare His own Son.  How can we expect Him to spare us?  Learn obedience, allow God to develop your maturity and Christian Character and teach you obey...

...even when it hurts.




January 26, 2015, 11:20 AM

Sunday Sermon Summed Up: The Experience of a Lifetime

 

Psalm 34:1-9  

1.  Praising the Lord is something that we should do often; in fact the Bible says we should never stop praising the Lord.  Praise Him for Who He is, for what He has done and for what He is doing and what He will do in the future.  If for no other reason praise Him for offering the free gift of salvation through His Son.

2.  Look to God for everything in life, whether you be in good times or bad.  It is easier to look to Him when things get hard if you are already looking to Him when things are going well.  Look to Him, seek Him and Call out to Him in your time of trial and strife. 

3.  When you look to God and call out to Him of you needs you won't need to look any farther for He will save you in from your trouble, He will keep and uplift you and He will satisfy your needs.  Taste and see the Lord is good and you will learn to trust and respect Him for who He is which will lead you back to praise.  

Consistantly following these 3 keys, will enable you to experience God in a specatular way and that will be the experience of a lifetime!




January 23, 2015, 8:57 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: Love is an action packed emotion

Do you love someone or something?

What are you going to do about it?

Love is more than a feeling.  Love always involves action.  If  you love someone then there is action required on your part.  It will be willing action, not action out of obligation.  While it is true that love does obligate us to some degree, it should never be the motivating force of our action for those that we love.  

Few, if any would argue that the above premise is not true.  

Now comes a question:  Do you love God?  

If so, are you applying the same premise of love in action towards God as you do for people?  Or are you like me?  There are times I somehow neglect to apply this love in action principle to a love for my God that first loved me and loved me so much that He sent His only son to die in my place?

His love for us led to Him sowing the greatest expression of love the world has ever known.  His love for us is perfect and unchangeable.  He will never stop loving us and He will never stop acting out His love for us.

We are to love God above all else.  Let us love Him and act out our love to him through service to Him.  Not out of obligation, but out of love.

 

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