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In A World of Books, The Bible Is THE Book!

September 22, 2014

Confession; I love the smell of old books.
Yeah, I know; that’s a little weird but, it’s true. In fact, this past Saturday I went to an event in Cartersville and one of the books being sold was old books. I browsed through the old books for a few minutes and found two that I liked.
When we think of books and especially old books, there have been lots and lots of great books written. Many old books are classics. Some may not be classics but they have been widely read. Some books were re-published numerous times due to the demand for the book.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of books have been written. But, there is one book that stands head and shoulders above others; that book is the Bible. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
I encourage you to read the Bible. There is no other book like the Bible. It was written thousands of years ago but it’s relevant to today. Some books go out of print. The Bible never does. It stands.
The Bible guides us.
The Bible convicts us.
The Bible tells us of a loving God who sent His Son to die for us.
The grass will wither and the flowers will fade but God’s word stands. I encourage you to build your life on it.

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Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

September 20, 2014

As Christians, we are free in Christ.
We are free to drink alcohol if we want to.
We are free to watch a television program or see a movie that has lots of sex scenes in it if we want to.
We are free to view pornographic internet sites if we want to.
We are free in Christ… no one is going to walk up to use and say “You have to stop doing this.”
But, just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.
Just because we are free to do it doesn’t mean we should do it.
In Galations 5:13, the apostle Paul said, “But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
Paul was affirming that we are free in Christ. We are not bound by the law. We are free. But, notice Paul said “…don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature…” In other words, don’t let your freedom get you in trouble. There are things you are free to do if you desire… but it doesn’t mean you should do them.
In these verses, Paul says we are free in Christ. But in I Corinthians Paul said if eating meat sacrificed to idols offended his brother, he wouldn’t eat that meat.
So, be careful what you do. We need to be mature enough that if something is offensive to a weaker brother or sister, we don’t do it because we want to glorify God in all we do.

America Desperately Needs To Return To God

September 19, 2014

America has drifted. Church attendance is down and giving. We have erected a golden-calf in the form of sports in our nation.
It seems the only time we cry out to God is when we need something. America desperately needs to return to God. Isaiah wrote; “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.”
Where have you drifted from The Lord? In worship? In giving? In Bible study? We cry out for God to bless America…why should HE? America has forsaken God. Morally, what is right seems to be wrong and what is wrong seems to be right. We need to return to God. Join me and let’s do that today

“We Are The World”

September 18, 2014

Back in 1985, a group of American musicians wrote a pop song that was used to raise funds to feed children in Africa. The song was “We Are The World.” The song spoke of the world as a place where lots of people live and we are one. We aren’t divided by races… instead we are all God’s children.
The apostle Paul said the same thing two thousand years earlier. Paul wrote, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female” (Gal. 2:20). God loves everyone regardless of their background.
Maybe you have struggled with this. Maybe you have had some bias. If so, we need to confess that and ask for forgiveness. Maybe you have been the recipient of bias. Maybe you still have some bitterness as a result of it.
God made everyone. God loves us all. Background does not matter. God doesn’t see Asians or Hispanics or White people or African-Americans. God sees people.
Watch the video of the group of musical artists singing “We Are The World.”

Adrian Peterson Is Wrong But Discipline Is Needed

September 17, 2014

In the last week, one of the lead news stories has been that of Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, reportedly abusing one of his children as a result of spanking him excessively. Reports are that Peterson took a branch from a tree and went too far in disciplining his child. This story has brought the discipline of children to the fore-front in our nation.
Before I go any farther, let me be clear; CHILD ABUSE IS WRONG AND PERPETRATOR’S SHOULD BE PUNISHED.
With that said…as I have thought about this story, my mind goes back to my childhood and teen years. I was spanked. Daddy didn’t use a branch from a tree but instead, a western belt. Momma used a fly-swatter. And it worked. I needed both at times.
And, I have spanked our kids and I believe spanking to be correct. I know that lots of people don’t agree with that and that is your opinion. There are various forms of discipline. Some use “time out” where a child is to sit by themselves for a period of time. Some have their toys taken away. Maybe a teen ager will be grounded or have their cell phone taken away or their driving privileges away.
While I DO NOT agree with what Adrian Peterson did, we need to understand that the discipline of children is necessary. The Bible says, “Don’t fail to discipline your children. The rod of punishment won’t kill them” (Prov. 23:13). I believe that verse to be true. Honestly; I’ve seen more harm done by NOT disciplining children than by disciplining them.
The discipline of children is necessary but it should not be excessive or abusive. The purpose of a spanking or any other form of discipline is to hopefully, teach a child that certain behavior is wrong. That is still needed in our day, within the appropriate parameters.

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We Have To Ask The Lord To Kill Our Old Life!

September 16, 2014

There is an old saying that explains our salvation. It is;

We are saved from the PENALTY of sin – meaning death and hell.
We are BEING saved from the POWER of sin – meaning temptation.
We WILL be saved from the PRESENCE of sin – meaning heaven.

So, every day, even though we have asked Christ into our hearts, we face the power of temptation. So, how do we deal with the power of temptation?
Paul wrote in Galations 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God.”
Based on this text, every day… every minute… we have to ask the Lord to help us crucify our flesh. I’m not referring to our skin… but instead our old way of life. Someone may say, “But I accepted Christ… why am I still dealing with my old way of life?”
It’s because even though we ask Christ into our hearts, we still deal with the flesh. Every day we ask the Lord to help us crucify it. If we don’t, the flesh is powerful and will cause us to sin.
So, what are you dealing with from your old life? Maybe it’s our temper. Maybe it’s alcohol. Maybe it’s porn. Maybe it’s sex. Maybe it’s our tongue. And it could be a number of other things
All of that stuff is powerful… so, ask the Lord to help you crucify it. It won’t go away on it’s own. Ask for help and crucify…kill… your old flesh.

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God Doesn’t Play Favorites … He Loves Us All!

September 15, 2014

Do you think God plays favorites? Do you think there are some people that God loves more than others? You may at times think that but, it’s not true. God loves us all the same.
In the book of Galations, Paul is talking about what happened with him shortly after he became a Christian. He said that he went to Jerusalem where he met with the leaders of the church. Then, Paul said “By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.”
God doesn’t have any favorites but, from our human perspective, we can think God does. We may think, “God loves that person with the beautiful voice more than me.”
Or, “God loves that person who is a GREAT teacher more than me.”
Or, “God loves that person with the GREAT personality more than me.”
Or, “God loves that person who is well off and can give more than I can, more than me.”
Or, “God loves that BEAUTIFUL family… the husband, wife and their four darling kids…” more than me, a single Mom or Dad.”
To each statement, God says “No, No, No, No. & No.”
God doesn’t love anyone more than us. God loves us all the same.
Today, maybe you weren’t in “Who’s Who” in High School. Maybe you weren’t even in “Who’s not.” It doesn’t matter, God loves us all the same.
Today, rest in God’s love. He loves us. He accepts us. He knows our flaws. He knows our limitations. He knows our mistakes. And He loves us anyway.

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