When A Backslider Gets Right

When A Backslider Gets Right!

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Psalms 51:13

This passage is in reference to David getting right with God. His heart wanted to see the lost get saved.

God can use you again if you turn to him. Living among the sinners as a backslider sometimes is like being bait on a fishing line. It is very uncomfortable and I wouldn’t recommend it. It often cost the bait its life or extreme discomfort yet the fishermen catches his fish.

Can you see Elimilech and Naomi backslide and go to Moab to escape a famine? Elimilech and his two boys die but Naomi when Naomi gets right with God she will bring home Ruth! Ruth was quite a catch! All because Naomi got right with God! Ruth didn’t make a decision for the Lord until Naomi got right!

I don’t recommend backsliding to win souls, nothing is guaranteed when your backslidden except chastisement. I am saying that if you are backslidden and under conviction repentance may bring others to God with you!

Can you see Jonah running from the Lord on his way to Tarshish? He pays the fare to sail away only to experience a storm that could kill the whole crew. Jonah finally confesses his sin and takes responsibility and the men on the boat turn to the Lord because he got right!

Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. Jonah 1:16

We had a young lady in my youth group years ago who was not spiritual by any means. She came to church because of her parents and a friend or two. She would come to Sunday school with a new boy each month. She probably met him at some wild party but she brought him to church. Often the boy would make a decision for the Lord and she would dump him later and go get another one. I remember one of her boyfriends who really seemed genuine when he got saved. I could see the conviction on his face even afterward when he knew he wasn’t living right. If she had a heart for God I could see the both of them really doing well together but she eventually dumped him. Looking back it was kind of funny how the Lord could use someone’s foolishness for good. She would pay a price for her sins. It was costly for her to backslide but God made use of the fact that she kept coming back to church.



I Am Doing A Great Work

  I am doing a great work!

And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Nehemiah 6:3
Those who were opposed to the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem sought to lure Nehemiah out into the plain of Ono to converse. That would have been an Oh no, if he did it! We learn some things from this passage about staying motivated in the work of God.

                              The fact that Nehemiah thought the rebuilding of the wall was a great work kept him away from the wrong crowd

                              The fact that he thought he was doing a great work kept him going in the right direction.

                              The fact that he thought it was a great work kept him faithful in spite of adversity.
 
Pastors and people quit on the work of God oftentimes because they lose the sense of its greatness! The work that Nehemiah was doing was brick by brick stone by stone. The goal was to remove the reproach of God’s people and bring glory to God.
The temple had been restored but the walls and the city were still in shambles. The work involved removing a lot of rubble. It was dirty work it was not a glamorous job. But when the project was complete it would honour the Lord in a great way! God was with Nehemiah in this endeavor.
No matter how dirty his hands got, no matter how monotonous the work seemed at times it was still a great work! Nehemiah did not lose the sense of its greatness! Have you?
The bus ministry is great work! The nursery is a great work! The Sunday school is great work! The Junior church is great work! The nursing home ministry is a great work! The Mission is a great work! May God help us remember this as we get back to normal! Somebody has to serve in these ministries. They are ministries that glorify God and help in the furtherance of the gospel!
The Christian who is steadfast unmoveable and always abounding in the work of the Lord knows the Lords work is the greatest work! As admirable as the fireman, police officer and EMT are, their work is no greater than the Lord’s work! God’s work rescues souls from hell! God’s work has the touch of eternity on it!
It’s great because of its eternal value, its great because of who it represents, and its great because of how long it will be remembered by God!
All other achievements and worldly accolades will be forgotten in a thousand years but not the work you have done for Christ!
So when you flesh the world and the devil try to sidetrack you, just say, Leave me alone! I am doing a great work!


Working with His Hands

Working with his hands

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28

What fantastic instruction! This is good for anybody not just those who have a pilfering problem. If you would take some time and read the before and after scriptures you might think this verse is out of place but nothing in God’s Holy Word is out of place.

The scripture in verse .26-27 speaks about anger and how the devil can take advantage of a bad temper. Verse .29 instructs us concerning tongue control and the proper use of our words. There is more to verse .28 than initially meets the eye. Obviously the remedy to greed is to give what you have earned. The passage infers that we should work with the motive to give to those in need. To be a giver is an attribute of a Christian. The chapter concludes by admonishing us to be Forgivers!

Our motive, “to give to him that needeth”, and manual labor, “working with his hands the thing which is good” are aids to tongue control.

When we speak words of vengeance and vindictiveness because of a wound we received we steal from God! Vengence is mine; I will repay saith the Lord – Romans 12:19. To seek vengeance is to steal from God. Yet doing something that is profitable with your hands so as to be a blessing to someone else is a great remedy for temper and tongue control!

Mark it down! The most critical people are the least busy with their hands! They are people with too much time on their hands. They spend their waking hours stewing over a wound, a hurt, or a disappointment and therefore cannot help but to say something corrupt!

Get busy being a blessing to someone and let God take care of those who have hurt you. Who knows you may forget all about it as you share the wealth of your hands with someone in need. It may be the wealth of a pastry! It may be the wealth of a dinner! It may be the wealth of cookies! It may be the wealth of cash! It may be the wealth of a mowed lawn! It may be the wealth of a washed car! Hopefully you know where I am going with this.

Get the hands busy for something good and the heart should follow!



A Worthy Man!

A Worthy Man!

And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him he shall die. 1 Kings 1:52

These were strong and authoritative words from the king. Solomon meant business when he said these words to Adonijah. Adonijah had tried to undermine his father, and God’s will for the kingdom. He would have had no problem executing vengeance on Solomon after David, his father, died. But it was too late! God overruled and King David threw his support toward Solomon, and thus, the next king of Israel was established.

After David died, Adonijah fled to the house of God and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar seeking mercy from Solomon. It is at this point Solomon gives Adonijah the condition of mercy and warning. If thou shew thyself a worthy man was the condition.

Let’s consider Adonijah’s error; He was self-willed and presumptuous before God and man. He thought to make himself king rather than seek the will of the Lord. Is that not the sin of most men! They would be king of their lives and refuse the will of God. They live self- centered lives only to self-destruct most of the time. Then the day comes and they are confronted with Jesus the King of kings. They must make a decision. They can accept his mercy and yield to him or they can continue doing their own thing, only to bring more trouble to their lives!

If you are a recipient of the mercy of Jesus Christ, the command for you is: SHEW THYSELF A WORTHY MAN! We are not to take the mercy of Christ lightly but we are to make the most of it for his glory! If you want more mercy and grace, shew thyself a worthy man! Don’t think you will get mercy in the hospital bed if you’re not interested in shewing yourself a worthy man! Don’t think your prayers will be answered if you’re not interested in shewing yourself a worthy man!

Jesus is looking for men who will shew themselves worthy! When Israel faced a Goliath, they found a worthy man! Every time a crisis came, God looked for worthy men to bring deliverance! What our country needs today is Christians that walk worthy of the Lord!

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10



The Energy of the Chase

The Energy of the Chase

While visiting my daughter and son in law in Florida I had taken a few walks around a local soccer park. It was a large park with about ten soccer fields. On one particular day out, I happened to see a soccer ball that was not in use. There was nobody around so I didn’t think anyone would mind if I gave it a kick. Once I did, I found myself chasing after it like a kid. I kicked that ball around that park at least five times. I found energy I didn’t know I had. I would kick it ten to fifteen yards then kicked it again, constantly running after it not considering I should be winded.

If I were to run the distance without kicking that ball I doubt I would have had the energy but the fact that I was chasing something made all the difference. Most people are motivated by a tangible object that interests them. Whether its money, position, muscle or a relationship if we have something in front of us that is reachable with a little effort, we might find extra motivation. Sometimes it’s just fun to go after it.

When hall of famer Jerry Rice came out of college as a wide receiver, he was known for great hands and average speed for that position. The forty-niners discovered something about Rice that had not been noticed in his work outs. He had an extra boost of speed when chasing a football that made him faster than those who out ran him in the forty-yard dash. He actually ran faster while chasing after a football than while he was being timed in the forty-yard dash. Though his forty-yard dash time was average his run toward the ball and after the catch was exceptionally fast!

Goals that are desirable and tangible are motivating! If you want to excel in life or just improve your present living condition consider setting some goals while you have time to think about life.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despised the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God– Hebrews 12:2

The Lord Jesus endured because the joy of accomplishment was greater than the painful experience! We have redemption because he kept his eyes on the goal!



Take Ye Away the Stone

Take Ye Away the Stone

Said Jesus to those gathered around the tomb of Lazarus. Unlike the resurrection of Christ, Lazarus would not rise until the stone was rolled away. It is notable that our Lord would not call Lazarus to come forth until the stone was rolled away. Is there a lesson in it for us? Absolutely!

The story of the raising of Lazarus holds a great lesson concerning the transfer of the gospel from the living to the dead. Those without Christ are dead to God (Ephesians 2:1) that was our condition until we received new life in Jesus. Now that we are saved we are called to serve! Especially as soul winners! Yet, in our flesh dwelleth no good thing. How shall we impact the heart of someone who is dead to God? Only Christ can awaken the soul of a lost man. Here is where we find the practicality of the text.

The living must remove the stone that separates him from the dead man. The Lord will let you know which stone it is. It is not up for the dead man to remove it. It may be the stone of unbelief. Yes, a believer may struggle with enough belief to share the gospel. This appears to be Mary and Martha’s stone as we hear them both say, “Lord, if thou hast been here my brother had not died”. The Lord Jesus had to help them overcome their unbelief. Even when he told them to take away the stone, Martha said, “Lord, by this time he stinketh”. As if to say, it’s too late but you and I know it wasn’t.

Pride may be the stone that must be taken away because it hides Christ from the lost. Even religious pride is a hindrance. Pride exalts self not the Savior. The Lord will not speak to the lost around you as long as you live self-absorbed. Humble yourself and he will lift you up. God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble.

Fear may be the stone that must be taken away. The fear of man is a snare says the wise man. Once again fear manifest unbelief and pride.

Bitterness and the unforgiving spirit are stones that must be removed for the Lord to speak to the dead. Why would you allow anger for an enemy, hinder a prayer for a friend?

It may be open sinful behavior that you have not confessed and forsaken. The lost man sees your testimony as a sham and you feel the quenching of the spirit in his presence. You know what stone the Lord is dealing with you about. Take ye away the stone, says Jesus! Watch the miracle of the gospel when you do.

Read: John 11:34-44



The Benefit of Complaining

The Benefit of Complaining

My beagles were great complainers. Every time I left the house or returned home I would hear them complain about their living conditions. They just couldn’t seem to find contentment in their environment. You know, with all the rabbits running around the neighborhood and the occasional stray cat that would drop by the house it just magnified their confines.

Now be sure to know that they were treated with utmost care and security. They had food, water and a nice home, as dog houses go. They had a sixty foot pen that was ten foot wide, what more could a creature that weighed forty pounds need? For some reason, they just weren’t satisfied with their lot in life. It didn’t help when the neighbor dogs roamed through the yard as though they were on possum patrol. My dogs would yelp, bark, cry and agonize about a quick release, you would have thought that someone was squeezing the life out of them. Like I said, they were great complainers. You know why? Because they often got their way!

I would get to the point to where I couldn’t handle the complaining. The gate would open and they wouldn’t even take time to thank the warden for their furlough, they just ran!

Now don’t get me wrong, there is bad complaining and unnecessary complaining. We don’t have to think too deeply about that, but it’s the good complaining I am talking about. The kind of complaining that gets what it wants.

The residents of Philadelphia had complained about the dark streets and Benjamin Franklin decided to implement street lights.

The widows complained about being neglected and the disciples implemented deacons.

If you don’t complain now and then you may never get what you want. The squeaky wheel gets the oil! We all agree that somethings are worth complaining about especially if change is possible.

The Lord tells us of a woman who complained to an unjust judge until she received justice. God said that he heard the cries of the children of Israel while suffered in Egypt and therefore he did something about their release. Hannah complained to God about being barren and God gave her a baby.

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. Psalms 55:17 David was a complainer of the good sort. He complained to the one who cared and could make a difference. He was determined God was going to hear his voice until the prayer was answered.



Little Disciplines That Make A Big Difference

Little Disciplines That Make a Big Difference

Dawn had an uncle who was struggling with his weight but he didn’t want to exercise or get on a rigid diet so he tried something simple. He quit drinking regular coke and started drinking diet coke. It was a little discipline. In two months he testified that he had lost ten pounds. It was a little discipline that made a big difference.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the process of change. We think we need to be radical and we either, try and fail, or we don’t try at all because it seems too daunting.

You need to understand that positive change can be made with little disciplines. There are many disciplines that will help but you need to start with one. Below is a list that will help you experience spiritual growth and find the favor of God. The objective is to eventually add them all into your life.

  1. Bible reading– It’s God’s word and it is meat for your soul- Job 23:12/Matthew 4:4
  2. Memorizing scripture– Meditation is more than reading -Joshua 1:8/Psalms 1:2-3/Psalms 119:11
  3. Separation– sometimes you have to remove yourself to improve yourself- 1 Peter 2:11
  4. Church attendance– His people ought to be your people- Psalms 122:1
  5. Giving– We can expect no more than what we are willing to give- 2 Corinthians 9:7
  6. Prayer– Prayer does not fit you for the greater work prayer is the greater work! Jeremiah 33:3
  7. Soul winning– When His business becomes my business I’m in business- Matthew 4:19
  8. Burden bearing– You pick yourself up when you pick others up!- Galatians 6:2-3
  9. Physical exercise– It will serve you well to sweat now and then- Genesis 3:19
  10. Goal setting– those who fail to plan, plan to fail! Proverbs 4:26

This really is not difficult anybody can do it. Start a little discipline today and experience a big difference!

You know how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line: here a little, and there a little. Isaiah 28:10  



The Spirit and the Bride say Come…

The Spirit and the bride say come…

Revelation 22:17

Here is a final invitation before God concludes the revelation of himself to man. It is an invitation for salvation. The theme of the Bible is “redemption through Jesus Christ”. In this passage we find two parties that work together to invite sinners to Christ. The Spirit and the bride work together, the Spirit is not subordinate to the bride but the bride is to be subordinate to the Spirit! When this happens then the invitation is as follows; the Spirit and the bride say come.

The bride is the church and when the church ceases to seek the lost you can be sure the church is lost. The church that is inviting sinners to come to the water of life (JESUS) is the church with God’s power.

The Lord Jesus said before he ascended, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth – Acts 1:8.

The work of the Spirit in the church is to echo the gospel as the church preaches and reaches the lost around them. It is only by the Spirit of God that sinners will hear. Some might say, it is the church that is to echo the gospel, not the Spirit. I am not going to argue that point only to say, if that is the case then the church that is not witnessing is not echoing the Spirit. Why? Probably because it is not listening to the Spirit of Christ!

Don’t expect revival within the church if the church is disobedient in this area. You might have a service with an emotional frenzy, with music that stirs and preaching that entertains but until your heart and body go after dying souls around you, you’re not even on the same highway as the Spirit of the Lord.

If you want the power of God to be activated in your life, Go soul winning!

A man was given money from his boss to go on a business trip and convince a client to buy his company’s product. He went but put no effort into selling the product. He enjoyed his company’s dime. He ate well, slept well… all with the company’s money, but he didn’t even try to convince the man. Word got back to his boss and he was fired! No more wine and dine on company time and dollar. He didn’t realize how good he had it until he was fired! All the company perks were to help him sell! No sell! No perks! Now no job!

 Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, …I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:4-5

 

 



Spiritual 20/20 Vision

Spiritual 20/20 Vision

Spiritual 20/20 vision is seeing things as God sees them. I had to get my license renewed this year and of course they have to check your eyes. For the first time in my life I was made aware of my faulty vision. They told me my license would be restricted to vehicles with side mirrors. No biggy! I can live with that.

That was no problem with the car and the mirrors to help aid my view but the lesson was that my sight was worse than I thought and it took an eye exam to detect it. God’s word is how we detect our spiritual eyes. If we want to see things as God does, we need to read and learn his Word. The word of God is not only our telescope into the future but our guide for today. B-I-B-L-E could stand for Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. The fact that God has provided his Word for us is called revelation. The fact that God used men to write his word is called inspiration.

The blessing with spiritual vision is no matter how skewed it may be, it can be cleared up by getting close to Jesus. Remember that spiritual vision starts from the heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God– Matthew 5:8.

Where the heart is pure the vision is clear! Judas was close to Jesus but did not see people or situations like Jesus did.

When our hearts seek the Lord he will reveal his book to us. That is called illumination.

King Josiah inherited a kingdom that was in a mess. Idolatry prevailed, the house of God had been closed, wickedness was everywhere. The Word of God had disappeared from the people. And spiritual darkness was upon the land that he would rule.

Josiah began to seek the Lord at an early age, and as time progressed, he found the book of the law of God. God new he had a man that he could trust with his Word.

…While he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David…2 Chronicles 34:3.

…I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD…and Shaphan carried the book to the king… 2 Chronicles 34:15-16

There are so many blessings God has promised to those who love his Word- Joshua 1:8/Psalms 1:1-3/Revelation 1:3.

Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he– Proverbs 29:18

The vision referred to is the law of God.