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January 13, 2015, 8:50 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: Please Excuse Me God

God, please excuse me from reading your Word the Bible.  

You see, many times it is uncomfortable for me when I read it.  It seems that often while I am reading I am convicted by what I am reading.  It seems that it pierces me way down deep and uncovers things about myself in a way that I just am not comfortable with.

Yes, there are certainly times when I am encourage in what I am reading.  There are also many times that I read a promise or of an event that I either had not read before (or at least don't remember reading) or had forgotten about and it encourages me, lifts my spirits and gives me hope but...

To be honest God, I know I don't read the Bible like I know I should.  I know what I was taught about it being good for me so that I can grow as a Christian.  I even know that my friend who was not a believer began reading it on a dare and was convicted and got saved!  I know that it would help to live this life I live if I would read it more.  I know you have said it is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.  But, God there are just so many other things to take up my time I just don't seem to have time to read it even if I wanted to.  Work, cleaning, kids, spouse, friends, vacations, errands, life is just so busy.  

The reality is God, is that even when I do read it and even when it does not make me uncomfortable by pointing out things in my life that I need to change, there are other times when I just don't understand what it is trying to say.  

Maybe if I prayed more, I would understand it more.  Maybe if I asked you to help me understand it I would and then enjoy it more.  Maybe I would learn that I can't really understand what you are trying to tell me in your Word unless I ask you to give me understanding through your spirit.  

Maybe my excuse is that I don't really want to change, maybe my excuse is I really don't want to understand what it is you desire for me because then I would also understand that you would give me a desire for what you want and the understanding to know that you would give me the strength to do and live as I should.  Maybe my excuse is that as long as I don't know I can't be held liable for it.  Maybe my excuse is that I find all kinds of other things to do instead of spending time with you.

I know these are probably not great excuses God, I admit that.  God I want to be a good person, I want to know you better. I want to know what your will is for me.  I really do want you to show me the areas of my life that are holding me back from being all that I can be in you because of you and your love.  

Wait...What is that?  You are still working on me?  Even now?  What do you mean that this conversation is a prayer and you have heard me and will help me?  You mean that my being honest with you is what you have wanted all along?  You love me just the same anyway?  

I didn't realize you loved me like that God?

Maybe this can be a new start God?  Maybe if you will help me I will read my Bible and pray more.  Because, God if you can love me like that no matter what...

I want to know you more.

January 12, 2015, 9:14 AM

Sunday's Sermon Summed Up in 3 Statements

Hosea 14

1.  God’s people (the church) as fallen because of sin, but God has called His people to return to a right relationship with Him through turning back and repenting from sin.

2.  By turning from sin we are to turn from our own ways and man’s ways and rely on God for all that we we need; we are to become dependent on Him.

3.  When we turn from sin and turn to the Lord in dependance, He has promised to heal us, restore and revive us and to bless us in a mighty and miraculous way so that all the world will know that it could only be God

January 6, 2015, 6:00 PM

Give Your Best!

God’s love moved Him to sacrifice His one and only son, that which meant the most to Him.  Our response to God first loving us, if we truly understand His love, is to offer back to Him that which matters most to us; our best.

Duetoronomy 17:1 “You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing the LORD your God”

In the Old Testament, God set high standards for the sacrifices He required of His people.  That which they gave to God as a sacrifice aught to cost something.  But as the people began to turn away from God, they began to bring cheap offerings: blind sheep, lame oxen and other sick animals.  They assumed God could not tell the difference or it did not matter to them anyway even if He could.  God rejected their sacrifice.  

Why?  God demanded a perfect sacrifice.  He would one day send the perfect sacrifice in the form of Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt.  

But God also rejected their sub-standard sacrifices because He knew that the sacrifices that are given are also a representation of the condition of the heart.  

When we care and love much, we do and give much.  When we don’t…we don’t.  

A heart that overflows with gratitude for God’s love will respond in selfless devotion to God.  God does not desire us to give or do anything out of sense a sense of duty or obligation.  

He wants us to give and do abundantly of our very best, that which matters to us the most; out of love.

Charles Stanley is known to say: Look your best, do your best, be your best.  And I would like to add to that, Give your best.  

Why?  Because it is What God in His great love did for you?  Yes He did, but no that is not why.  Do it because of your great love, that He has enabled you to love, for Him.

December 31, 2014, 10:48 AM

A Penny' Worth of Thought:

A Penny's Worth of Thought: It is the Last Day

Today, December 31st is the last day of 2014…But, What if it was your last day, period?

If you knew that today was the last day you would have on this earth, what changes would you make?  How would you live your last day?  What would you do?

The Bible says in James 4:14 says:

"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away"

So if today is your last day, what changes?  Anything?

Would you tell someone that you loved them?  

Would you make amends with someone who you haven’t been getting along with and acknowledge that life is to short to fight and hold grudges?

Is there someone you need to forgive?  

Is there someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness?  

Would you tell someone about the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ, or tell them one more time?  

Would you ask God to forgive you of something you have been refusing to ask forgiveness for?

Perhaps you have never turned to Jesus yourself in repentance of sin and asked Him to Save you?  He will.

Chances are that although it is the last day of the year, it is not the last day of your life.  But, why wait to do the things and make the changes you need to make until it is to late?  

One day, should God delay His coming, we will all face death in this life.  Before that time comes and before it is too late.  Turn to God and ask Him to help you learn to really live and live for Him.

He came that you might have life, and life abundant.  He came that you might have a right and loving relationship with Him.  Every day we aught to live as though it might be our last.  

Won’t you ask Him to help you live life the way God intended you live, fully alive!

December 30, 2014, 10:46 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: Let Each of Us Think This Way

It’s my right!  I have a right to that!  I will fight for my rights!

Sound familiar?  In a day when people are so adamant about THEIR rights and what is FAIR, I think we should find this verse of scripture especially compelling.

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus"  Philippians 2:5

When the world that does not know Jesus Christ seems to fight and argue more than ever for their own way, their own perceived rights or for what they view as fair, it is disappointing but not surprising.  

What is a shame is when the Church, God’s own people and professing believers in Jesus Christ and followers of God’s word fight for the same things it is worse.  And make now mistake, the church is as bad if not worse when it comes to fighting with each other over each person’s perceived “rights.”  Fighting over things that most of the time just aren’t worth it.  Paul in this passage encourages us to change our attitude to be like that of Jesus Christ.  

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  His place was on the throne at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven and ruling the universe.  No position in all the universe could be more glorious or more honorable than being at God’s right hand.  Jesus relationship to God the Father gave him the RIGHT to this honor.  

Yet Jesus did not chose to hold on to this right.  Nothing, not even His position in the perfection that is Heaven was so precious that He would not GIVE UP HIS RIGHT if the Father asked Him.  His love for His father compelled Him to sacrifice His rights so that He could become the spotless sinless sacrifice that God required to pay sin’s debt owed by you, me and all mankind.  Jesus did not hold tightly to what was rightfully His.  He did not scream or fuss or fight about how it was not fair that He, being sinless should have to pay a debt that was not His own.  Instead, in obedience and out of love, he relinquished His right and humbled Himself to be born as a man.  He did not hesitate even when he was laid in a manger because their was no room for him in the world of men.  He did stubbornly hold on to His right even though he would have to live in a sin filled world, be whipped and crucified in a cruel fashion and pay the ultimate price to pay our debt in full.  

Jesus adjusted His life to obey God the Father willingly despite the putting aside of His rights and the suffering he would have to endure in doing so.  

We are tempted to hold on so tightly to the things that God may have given us.  Our attitudes, our ways, our possessions, our position, our rights.  We say, “I would give up anything that God wants me to give up” but we also say, “I just don’t think He would ask me to give anything up that is rightfully mine.”  

The Father asked His Son to make radical adjustments to His life.  Should we not expect God to ask us to make adjustments to our lives and give up our rights as well?  Jesus put the well being and eternal destiny above that of his own rights, well being and comfort.  Shouldn’t we give be willing to give up our rights for others as well?

When you feel resistant to God asking you to give something up that is rightfully yours, or to put someone else and their “rights” first before yourself, ask God to help you have a Christlike mind and attitude.

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