Are you a procrastinator? Do you put off doing something as long as you can? Are you constantly last minute doing something?
In the book of Joshua, Joshua has been dividing the land of Canann and giving it to the various tribes of Israel. After he gives land to many of the tribes, there are seven tribes that had not gotten their land. Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the lord, the God of your ancestors, have given you” (Joshua 18:3).
The text does not indicate WHY these tribes had waited. It just says they had waited. They had not taken action to get some land that was there’s.
It may be there is something you need to do but you have been putting it off. Maybe there is someone you need to talk to and try to resolve some conflict. Maybe you need to say “yes” to a volunteer position you have been asked to fill at the church.
The list could go on and on.
In the book of Exodus, God sent a plague of frogs on the land. There were frogs EVERYWHERE. Pharoah called Moses in and asked him to remove the frogs. Moses said, “Ok, tell me when.” Pharoah responded, “tomorrow.” Pharoah could have asked for immediate removal but the people of Israel had to put up with the frogs one more night because Pharoah said “tomorrow.”
Don’t wait for tomorrow! As the Nike commercial says, “Jost do it!” Do it today!
Years ago, there was a pop song that went;
“Money, money, money, MONEY!”
Money, it seems, makes the world go round.
There is an old expression that, if a person is asked “how much money it would take to make them happy?” The reply would be, “Just a little bit more.”
Money is an American god. We think that if a person is making lots of money, they must be happy. We think that if we could just make more money, we would most definitely be happy. When we hear of someone winning the lottery we think, “Man! they are going to be happy!”
There is nothing wrong with money. But, we shouldn’t worship money. On one occasion, a rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life? Jesus told him to obey the commandments. Then the young man said that he had done that all his life. Jesus then added, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Luke 18;22). Upon hearing that the young man walked away sad because he was very rich. This young man worshiped his wealth and his wealth kept him from believing in Christ.
Again, there is nothing wrong with having lots of money. There is nothing wrong with wealth AS LONG AS, we don’t begin to worship it. We need to check our hearts. If we think a little more money would make us happy, we are wrong. If we think a new suit of clothes would make us happy, we are wrong. If we think taking a trip will make us happy, we are wrong.
Jesus told us, “No man can serve two masters; he will either hate one and love the other or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24).
There is an old saying, that everyone is trying to keep up with the Jones. The problem is when we catch up with the Jones, they re-finance and take off again. Today, in the days ahead… be careful and don’t let money or materialism become your God.
This past year I’ve participated in Leadership Bartow. It has been a great opportunity to meet new people And learn about Bartow county. I have enjoyed it
Yesterday we visited the jail. It ought to be mandatory for children and teens to visit the jail. It is an eye-opener. As we toured the jail, a verse of scripture popped in my head. It was, “I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:31-46). As I thought about that verse, In that section of scripture Jesus also said “I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, a stranger and you took me in, naked and you clothed me….”
I’ve read those verses many times. I’ve preached on those verses. But yesterday the Lord taught me something new….in those verses, Jesus is telling us to do things for people who can’t do anything for us. Visiting a jail is not easy. Helping a homeless person requires some work. When we do these things we are helping people who can’t help us. The stranger you help is not likely to join the church and start tithing but, they still need help.
The Lord used my visit to the jail to help these verses come to life in my mind. Lord, help me, help us all, do better at helping those who can’t help us or our churches.
Gratitude is a very important character trait. Some have said it is THE most important character trait… That it is the root of all other traits.
In the Bible there was a time when ten lepers asked Jesus to heal them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest and as they were going, they were healed. Jesus healed ten lepers but only one leper thanked Jesus.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 1Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.'” Ten were healed but only one thanked Jesus. These guys had a MAJOR problem with ingratitude. But, we can be like the lepers.
Our society is spoiled and consequently, people complain. I’m not suggesting that everything is wonderful and none of us are facing adversity but, we are a blessed people.
Your job may not be perfect but you have a job – be thankful
You may not be rich but you have enough money for the essentials – be thankful
You may not have the most luxurious house but you have a roof over your head – be thankful.
You may not agree with lots of things going on in America but, it is still the greatest country on earth – be thankful.
You may not like the position the coach had your kid playing but your child is healthy enough to play – be thankful.
Today, join me & let’s live with an attitude of gratitude.
Have you ever done something without first, asking the Lord if you should? You probably have. Most of us have.
Maybe you bought something you didn’t need. Or, you took a job you shouldn’t have takn. The list could go on and on.
There are times when if we want to do something bad enough, we can pray and even if God hasn’t given clear directions, we interpret it as clear directions. For most of us, if we want to do something, we can justify it. But, making decisions without the Lord is foolish.
In the book of Joshua, there was a time when, the Bible says, Israel acted without talking to God. Some men from Gibeon approached Joshua and Israel and deceived them into thinking they lived a long distance away. The Gibeonites actually lived close by but they were afraid Joshua and Israel was about to destroy them. So they deceived Joshua into thinking they lived far away.
The Bible says, “So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord” (Joshua 9:14). Notice the words, “…they did not consult the Lord.” Israel didn’t pray… they didn’t ask God what they should do and they made a mistake.
We can and will do the same if we don’t pray and ask God’s direction. Maybe there is a job you are thinking about taking? Have you prayed about it? Maybe you are considering proposing to someone to be your wife. Have you prayed about it? Maybe you are considering making a major purchase. Have you prayed about it? Maybe you are considering leaving a church. Have you prayed about it?
Two of my favorite verses are, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct Thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
So, don’t act, without talking to the Lord. Make sure you pray and get direction from the Lord.
Years ago, there was a very popular song that went;
“Ain’t too proud too beg, sweet darling,
Please don’t leave me girl, don’t you go.”
Just those two lines may have someone humming that song to themselves. :)
Think about the first line… “… ain’t too proud to beg…”
Are you too proud to ask for help?
In Luke 18, Jesus is telling a story of a rich man who had a manager handing his affairs. One a day, there was a report that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So, the employer called the manager in and said, “What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.”
Hearing that, the manager thought to himself, “Now what? My boss has fired me, I don’t have the strength to dig ditches… and I’m too proud to beg.”
Think about those last lines… “I’m too proud to beg….”
Is there something you need help on and you are too proud too ask? Have you made a mistake but you are too proud to admit it?
The scripture says “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
In the movie “Remember The Titans,” there is a scene toward the end of the movie when the Titans are playing for the state championship. The opposing team has a new wrinkle in their offense and Coach Yost wasn’t prepared for it. At halftime, as the team is going to the locker room, Coach Yost’ daughter meets him and says (the quote went something like this), “Coach don’t let pride keep you from making an adjustment.”
Coach Yost goes in the locker room and asks the Head Coach to give him some help on defense, something that wouldn’t have happened earlier in the year. Of course, the Titans make the adjustment and win the game.
Today, tomorrow… whenever, don’t let pride prevent you from asking for help if you need it… or, from admitting you made a mistake.
“I’m ashamed of myself.”
Or… “You ought to be ashamed of yourself!”
Have you ever done something that was wrong and you say, “I’m ashamed of myself;” or, you did something wrong and someone said “I’m ashamed of you.”
When we say “I’m ashamed of myself,” it means we have done something was wrong and we are embarrassed… we are convicted that we did it. It was wrong and we know we shouldn’t have done it.
In the book of Joshua, God told Joshua to circumcise the Israelites in order to remove the shame they experienced from their years of slavery in Egypt. After they were circumcised, God said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day.”
Is their something you did years ago or maybe even recently, that you are ashamed of? You know you shouldn’t have done it but you did. You are ashamed. The Bible says that if we ask him to, God will roll away our shame.
So, today, if you are ashamed of yourself for something you did… you may even question if you can be forgiven… if you are ashamed… that’s a good thing… you are bothered by what you did. Ask the Lord to forgive you and He will roll away our shame just as HE did with Israel.