As the children’s Sunday School teacher, I often call upon the kids to help with object lessons. This particular lesson required 2 helpers. So I chose one girl and I asked her to choose the other helper. This girl had two good friends in the class and they both stood up, waving their hands and loudly shouting “Pick me, pick me!” As the teacher, I wondered to myself how she was going to choose between these two girls. And to my surprise, she didn’t choose either of them! She chose another girl who was sitting rather quietly probably thinking she didn’t have a hope of being chosen over these other girls. Needless to say, this girl was rather surprised and I was very pleased. Sometimes you may feel like you might be God’s last choice for a task. You feel like maybe others are more qualified, more deserving, or even more bold and thus are more suited for God’s purpose so why would God choose you? God takes notice of a mild, gentle, meek spirit. A humble meek spirit is a teachable spirit. It is a precious thing to the Lord!
4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. Psalm 25:9 (NLT)
We used to have what we called Healing School on Monday nights. A woman walked in one night who was obviously very ill. She was very weak and had a friend along to help her. She was asked if she believed that God can heal the sick and she answered “yes”, which was encouraging. But then she followed it with “but I don’t know if He will heal me.” Faith – many people struggle with it. They either don’t think they have enough of it or else they don’t think God will honor theirs, especially when it concerns themselves. The Bible says God has given each person the measure of faith. There has been debate about this, but regardless, whether this means every single person was given the same measure of faith or it means that each person was given their own measure of faith, God is perfect in everything He does, so He gave you exactly the perfect measure of faith. Faith is not about how hard we believe, it is about God’s faithfulness to do. If what we are praying and believing for is according to God’s will (we can find it in His Word, healing for example), then the burden of the manifestation of that prayer is God’s, not ours. It’s not our faith that heals, it’s God that heals. Our faith is the igniter. It’s like striking a match that lights the fuse that sets off the firework. Our faith is the match, the fuse is God at work honoring our faith, and the explosive firework is our answer! Don’t doubt your faith! It is enough!
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3 (NIV)
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
The Revolution of Love – that is how one celebrity started out her speech a few weekends back, referring to the women’s march on Washington. Sounds good, right? Then she proceeded to tell her opposition to do something that I cannot even print. I don’t know much about a love revolution, but I’m pretty certain this is not how love is expressed. To say that America is divided is an understatement. But one thing is certain, this kind of speech will never narrow that divide. And there is one thing that seems to have been thrown out the window in our culture today and that is self control. Self control is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Daily we must develop this fruit in our lives because daily we encounter situations where we will have a choice to exercise these fruit – or not. Each time we are successful, it is like a spiritual workout session. Just like 30 minutes of exercise a day will strengthen and develop your body, each confrontational situation we encounter is an opportunity to develop the fruit of our spirit-man. Each day it gets easier and stronger. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” is a lesson most of us learn early in life referring to our speech as well as our actions. This lesson has been lost in today’s society. Folks spew whatever vile thoughts come to mind. We all have wrong thoughts that pop into our minds. But we must be careful in allowing which thoughts we give voice to. Because once they are spoken, they create a reality that either builds up or tears down. Let your words not cut to the core but bring healing to your life and your nation!
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:12 (NIV)
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there is a scene where Indiana Jones must take a leap of faith. He is in a race against time to save his father’s life and he is facing a deep crevice and needs to get to the other side but it is much too wide to jump over. His instructions tell him only a leap will prove his worth but in the natural, this leap seems impossible. But he ignores what he sees with his natural eyes, places his hand over his heart signifying he is going completely by faith and takes a step. As his foot meets solid ground, he realizes his eyes had deceived him and the path he thought had ended was there all the time. We have all found ourselves in similar situations. We are following along the path of life that God has set us on and all of a sudden we encounter an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome. At that point in time, we have a choice. We can allow what we see before us to defeat us and quit, or, we can believe what God said and fully trust that He will provide the necessary means to complete the course. The Word of God doesn’t say we will have what we see. It says we can have what we believe! Do you believe God? Do you believe His Word? Keep your eyes on God when you face obstacles along your path! That is what faith is – ignoring what we see with our natural eye and keeping our spiritual eyes on God believing what He said no matter what.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; Matthew 9:29 (NIV)
13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” Matthew 8:13 (NLT)
7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT)
24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:24 (NLT)
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” This was the one moment in history that forever changed everything. Adam and Eve had it all, provided to them by a God whose greatest desire was their fellowship and their obedience. And here, they were confronted with three things: The lust of the flesh (it was good for food), the lust of the eyes (it was pleasant to the eyes) and the pride of life (desirable to make one wise or be like God). These are the same three temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness (command the stones to become bread – the lust of the flesh, all these kingdoms will become yours – the lust of the eyes, and last, prove you are the Son of God and throw yourself down – the pride of life). The lust of the flesh refers to things that satisfy our carnal nature. The lust of the eyes is concerned with coveting. The pride of life is concerned with position. Any sin you can think of probably falls into at least one of these three categories. Adam failed the temptation at a tremendous cost to not only himself but to all future mankind. But, Jesus prevailed! Temptation is a tool the enemy uses against us daily. But you can prevail because God’s word says you can! When you are tempted, He will show you a way out. Allow God’s power to work in your time of weakness!
” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (SOHLS). It seems odd that we would have to set aside a day to remind ourselves that life is precious. But these are indeed changing times. All life, whether inside the womb or out, is precious life created by God, our maker. On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a legal, fundamental right. So for any reason at all, the life of the unborn can be terminated. National Right To Li…fe estimates that, since this Supreme Court decision 44 years ago, more than 58,500,000 unborn children have lost their lives. And this estimate is based on data reported through 2015, so the number is likely approaching 60,000,000. President Ronald Reagan, a strong pro-life advocate, said that in Roe v. Wage, the Supreme Court “struck down our laws protecting the lives of unborn children”. In 1983, President Reagan established SOHLS by proclamation. The day is held annually on the Sunday that falls closest to January 22. Since 1983, the SOHLS proclamation has been issued by Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama declined to issue this proclamation. As a Christian, the Bible should always be the basis for our beliefs on any issue. So as we turn to the Word, we find – “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deut. 30:19. It is clear that the choices we make in our lives should always be on the side of life! Almost 60,000,000 babies were not only stripped of their lives, but of any opportunities to make a choice. Let’s pray that our new president chooses to honor life!
“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 (NLT).
Do you ever hear a great message at church or from an evangelist on TV and immediately one or two people come to mind and you think to yourself “I wish so-and-so was listening to this!” Why is it that we have no trouble finding fault in others, but it is difficult to see fault in ourselves? Or maybe it would be better said we refuse to see it. The story of David comes to mind when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan about his adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband so he could have her for his own. (II Samuel 12:1-24). Adultery and murder! As far as sins go, these are what most folks consider to be two biggies! David’s first response to Nathan’s story about the rich man, who owned many sheep, killing the poor man’s only lamb was indignation – “How could someone do something like that!” But when he realized Nathan was talking about him, his attitude changed. Many folks might stomp off shouting “Don’t judge me!” But the reason David had a heart after God was his willingness to judge himself. He confessed his sin before Nathan and before God. The next time you hear that juicy sermon, don’t allow your mind to wander. If it’s for you, confront it and if not, resist the urge to determine who the offender probably is. The only one we are to judge is ourselves! And thank God that He has to deal with everyone else!
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:31 (NKJV)
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-5 (NLT)