There are many times in our lives that we will be challenged to try to not be angry and sin. We have people do things that may be unkind or say things that are not true and are hurtful. Some may cause sinful, hurtful or physical harm to you or someone you love. How do we handle these people when the time comes that it happens to you? We can't return evil for evil. We must treat an enemy as a lost soul, as hard as that may be. Maybe you can tell them how their actions have made you angry and you are working very hard to not sin due to anger. Being humble is not always the easy thing to do. It may be easier to show your anger and strike out at a person that wronged you. It won't help you feel better and will not help bring them to Christ. Let's look to the scriptures to help us with this.
1 Peter 3:8-12 (To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, "The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.")
Being what we should be, doesn't come easy or everyone would do it folks. Life as a Christian is a wonderful and challenging life to pursue but what a reward. There will be bumps in your road as there are for us all. If you need help, reach out for it but strive to be angry and not sin no matter how much you are tempted. Surround yourself with those who love you and bury yourself in the word for strength.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.)
Humble yourself, for the world watches. Remember so does the Lord. Pray for me and I'll pray for you.
In Him, Chuck
At our jobs many of the things we do, have to be repeated or done again. Some are done daily, some are done weekly, some monthly, and some quarterly. Regardless of how often it is done, it becomes a routine thing you do after time. Like cleaning the house, fixing meals, fueling the car. If you’re a little older like me, taking your meds. All the things we do over and over in our lives usually become very routine after time and we do it without a lot of thought. There it is, the point, doing it without a lot of thought.
When we come together at the assembly we should not be here to just do things routinely without thought. We should be excited to join together and build one another up and sing praises to our God. Not just singing but thinking of the words we sing with melody in our hearts. Listening to the words spoken by the preacher and meditate on them, applying them in our daily life. When we commune together for the Lord’s supper to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for all our sins, shall we never allow it to just become routine in our minds. I write this to show the importance of doing all these things we are told to do by God’s word with meaningful purpose and very deep thought. Think of all the things that the Lord, whom had all the power of God while on earth, allowed man to do to Him.
Read in Mark’s account, in Mark 15:13-ff, of all that our Lord had to endure for us to be forgiven, the unjust trial, the mocking and being spat on. The crown of thorns being pressed down piercing His skin. Then being beaten and scourged until you could see the bone through the deep cuts on His back. Then He was turned over to the crowd to be led to Golgotha to be crucified. Nailed to a cross to die a death that He chose to die for you and me. A debt we can in no way repay but a sacrifice that we can remember. How can we as the beneficiaries of such love and sacrifice ever let our remembrance of His love become routine.
I hope and pray that each of us every Lord’s day think deeply on the love poured out on that cross. The sacrifice, the empty tomb and the ascension to heaven so we too may be with Him someday on His return. Never allow such an important part of our service to become routine. Love Him as He Loved you with all your mind and all your heart.
In Him, Chuck
Have you ever thought back on a day and wished you could get another shot at it so you could get it right? I know I have. I'm sure we all have moments we would like to do different or better.
The problem is, of course, once it's done, it's done. When you have put yourself out there and said or done something it is out there. This is why as Christians we should be careful in speech and in our actions. The truth of it is if people know you are a Christian, and they hopefully do, then they watch how you live, what you say and how you act. Sometimes you feel like you’re under a microscope but we should be ok with it because as Christian people we need to strive to be that example of how God wants us to live. You may only get one shot at helping someone find Christ and we want to plant a positive thought in one’s mind.
When I was young and not yet a Christian, I had friends that went to church and friends that did not go. The problem with what I was seeing is that there was no differences between them except some went to church on Sunday. When church got out we would go hang out and there was no difference in speech or in actions. So what is a person to think then?
Why should a person spend time in church if we all act and live the same anyway? Now there are some that live a good moral life and still don't know Christ and there are some that don't have great morals and values. The friends I had that went to church were not being the example I needed to bring me to Christ, if anything they were probably allowing me to influence their lives. Not the way God would want us to be in actions or speech. Not that I was a terrible person but I was no Christian and needed someone to teach me, not get out of church and be like me.
1 Peter 4:1-2 "Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God."
When you become a Christian some will not understand why you don't run in the same circle with them anymore and may give you a hard time, maybe some in your family. Believe me, I know. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged just surround yourself with the Christian love and strength found in God’s family. If you fall down it’s ok as long as you get back up on the right path and keep living for Christ. We are not perfect, no one is but He. So we will mess up at times and want a do over. Say you’re sorry and move forward and don't try to relive a day that can't be changed.
In Him, Chuck
It's an old saying in the sports world but in many cases it is very untrue. Pain is something that can last a lifetime here on earth due to injuries or illness. Great way for a coach to push his team a little harder and motivate them to work harder to win the game. If they win they get some bragging rights and stories of glorious wins for many years. I still remember how good the 1976 Ripon High football team was and how far they went with their wins in the state playoffs. Those kind of stories will be remembered a long time here by some and may seem like a glory that lasts forever, but what happens here is very temporary but can determine whether the pain or the glory lasts forever.
Life here on earth can seem like a long time to our mind, at least when we are young. It seems the older you get the faster it goes. For our mind to understand forever is hard for some minds very hard to fathom. To live in pain and torment forever, even if that were just your time here, should frighten anyone.
We can choose, yes it’s our choice, to spend our forever in glory or pain. 1 John 2:17 (The world is passing away, and also it's lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.) Hebrews 7:24-25 (but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.) Jude 1:20-21 (But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.) Living forever with God sounds like a glorious loving way to go.
What if we choose to not live for God or not have Jesus to intercede for us because we separate ourselves from God. Revelation 14:9-11 (then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a load voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night.) This kind of torment certainly does not sound like the way to spend forever.
Pain is temporary, and glory last forever. Or does it? It is our choice on our forever. Live for God forever in glory or in His wrath forever in pain. I pray you choose to have glory last forever and if you’re not sure how, let us help you find your way. Please don't choose pain forever for some temporary glory in this short life here.
In Him, Chuck
When it is announced that someone is sick, DO YOU send them a card, offer help, visit them in the hospital, or get irritated with announcements about people you don't even know?
When new souls are added to the church, new members place membership, or people respond asking for prayers, DO YOU introduce yourself and welcome them and encourage them?
When there isn't enough fellowship, DO YOU invite Christians into your home or plan and carry out activities for others?
When no one seems friendly, DO YOU become a friend to someone in need, make it your place to greet visitors, or invite people who are weak into your home?
When Bible classes are provided, DO YOU attend faithfully and encourage others to do so, prepare your lesson, contribute to the class discussion or sit with your mouth shut waiting for the class to become more interesting?
When someone is absent from the assembly, DO YOU call to find out why, exhort and encourage them, offer transportation or even notice that they are missing?
When there is a special program, DO YOU help advertise the meeting, invite others to come, encourage others to participate in a Bible study, support the effort with your attendance or ignore the whole thing?
1 Thess 3:11-13 11 aNow may bour God and Father cHimself and Jesus our Lord ddirect our way to you; 12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and aabound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 1
DO YOU abound in LOVE for your fellow man? We cannot always do all that is on this list but let us try to do all we can.
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