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When You’re Going Through Hell… Keep Going

September 2, 2014

Several years ago, I was going through kind of a tough patch. I called a Pastor friend who lived in Texas. I was expecting at least a little sympathy. I didn’t get it. :)
My friend reminded me that Paul faced tough times. Paul went through adversity. In fact in II Corinthians 6:4-6 Paul tells us about his hardship. He wrote; “We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.”
That’s a tough verse! Paul experienced all of this for the gospel.
Most of us have experienced some adversity. Maybe someone at church disagreed with you on something. Maybe you were working on a project and not getting a lot of sleep and someone said something that irritated you. When it did, you almost quit.
Whatever you are facing today, someone else has faced. You are going to experience some hardship. You are going to face some trials. But that doesn’t mean you quit. You hang in there. You ask the Lord for strength and He will give it to you.”
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
– by Author Unknown

Hang in there, Christian! Don’t quit!

The Greatest Work That Has Ever Been Done

September 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day. A holiday that focuses on the American worker.
I have visited with lots of people and many times, a person will tell me about their work. Some may even have a picture on the wall in their office or house that tells about their work. Some may have been involved in special projects. Everyone should be proud of their work. But, the greatest work that has ever been done took place two thousand years ago on a place called Golgotha.
On that day, Jesus Christ was crucified because the Jews thought he was guilty of blasphemy. He said that He was God and they refused to believe it. But, Jesus was God. He was the Son of God and He had been sent to do the most important work man has ever done… Jesus paid the price for the sin of mankind. Jesus did the work none of us could do.
Paul says “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus did the work that was necessary for us to be reconciled to God. Now that we have been reconciled to God, God wants us to share His love with others so that other people can be reconciled as well.
Today, we should all thank the Lord for the greatest work that has ever been done.

When We Don’t Have The Answers… Trust God

August 31, 2014

Throughout history, some have questioned the existence of God. These people are known as “atheists.” Others, are not sold on everything related to the Christian faith. These people are known as “skeptics.” And, some are believers yet, they question things related to faith.
Job 38:4 has an answer to this. God asks, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.”
Think about the verse… God is saying to the atheist… “So, you know everything right? If so, where were you I started everything?”
And, to the skeptic God says, “Since you think you are so intelligent, where were you When I created the heavens and the earth?”
There may be things about the faith that you question. Things you aren’t sure about. But, none of us were with the Lord in the beginning. We may question something, we may not understand something but, we most definitely should trust God. There are some things we won’t know until we get to heaven.

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When You Get Knocked Down, Keep Getting Up

August 30, 2014

Are you going through some trials? It’s likely that you are. Trials are a part of life. We certainly wish they weren’t, but they are.
When we go through trials we can think that we, are the only ones that are struggling. But that’s definitely not the case. In the book of II Corinthians, the apostle Paul talks about the trials he went through. Paul wrote; “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (II Cor. 4:8-10).
Think about what Paul wrote…
“Pressed on every side but not crushed…”
“…Perplexed but not driven to despair…”
“…Hunted down, but never abandoned by God…
“…Knocked down, but not destroyed.”
That’s a strong verse. Paul was going through some major adversity. But, he didn’t stop. He said, “… I get knocked down.. I get up.”
Whatever you are facing today, know that Paul faced it as well. But he didn’t let it whip him. He stuck with it.
Hang in there, Christian. You may be going through some times… ask the Lord for strength and He will grant it.

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Be Careful; Sexual Temptation Is Real

August 29, 2014

Unless you are living on a remote island you struggle with sexual temptation. We all do. We are human. We in a HIGHLY, HIGHLY sexual world.
And, sex sells. Many times television ads have beautiful men or women. Why? Because advertisers know that sex sells.
Prime-time television shows have more sex scenes than in the past. In the midst of this environment, the Bible tells us to remain sexually pure. But how do you do it?
Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes never to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:). That’s a strong verse and a great challenge but let’s be honest; it would be TOUGH to do.
Now, someone might ask, “Is it wrong to look at a beautiful lady or a handsome man? No, it’s not. We are all human and it’s natural to notice a beautiful lady or man. That’s not wrong.
What is wrong is if we take a LONG look at someone and then, our minds begin to run wild. That’s wrong and can easily lead to sin.
One night Holli and were watching TV and there was a beautiful actress on the show. At some point, I admit I felt guilty and told Holli, “I hope it’s not wrong, but so and so.. (can’t remember actress name) is a BEAUTIFUL lady.”
Holli responded, “Not wrong at all. I think Matthew McConaughey is a handsome man.” I didn’t know I was battling Matthew McConaughey for my wife’s attention. :)
The point is that sexual temptation is big time real. And we must be careful.
Again, nothing wrong with noticing a beautiful man or woman but, a long look.. a stare… with your mind going wild is wrong. So be careful.

We Can Have Peace Of Mind

August 28, 2014

Do you have peace of mind? If not, you can.
In the book of II Corinthians 12:13, the apostle Paul says that when he was in the city of Troas, he had no peace of mind because his friend Titus had not yet arrived.
There are three ways we can experience peace;
There is the Peace WITH God which we experience when ask Christ into your hearts;
There is the Peace OF God which we experience when we have made the right decision;
There is Peace WITH our fellow man.
So, this morning, do you have those types of peace? Paul talked about “peace of mind.” Do you have that today?
Lots and lots and lots of people are struggling for peace of mind. Some turn to alcohol or drugs to get some peace of mind. Or, maybe they are taking some type of prescription drug to give them some peace.
Our Lord wants us to have peace. Now, someone may say, “I understand that but, in the situation I’m in, I’m not going to have peace.” You may be in a tough situation but, you can still have peace. You can have peace in the midst of a storm.
Today, whatever is bothering you, try to give it to the Lord and experience peace of mind.
Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden said, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
Today, the Lord wants us to have peace of mind.

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You Can Have A Clear Conscience

August 27, 2014

“They must have a guilty conscience.”
Ever heard something like that? It refers to someone who had made a mistake and their conscience was bothering them. Of everything God created, man is the only part of God’s creation who has a conscience. Our conscience bothers us when we have made a mistake. Our conscience can keep us from doing something wrong.
Job said, “My conscience is clear for as long as I live.”
Job was suffering and his three friends had suggested that he must have sinned because people don’t suffer like he was unless they had sinned. Job answered this by saying “my conscience is clear.”
What is your conscience like? Do you have a guilty conscience? When we have done something that is wrong, we can have a guilty conscience. If you have a guilty conscience, it doesn’t have to stay that way. If we will confess our sin before God we can be forgiven. There is nothing any of us have done that God won’t forgive. So, you don’t have to harbor old sin… you don’t have to dwell on old mistakes… you CAN be forgiven.
Your conscience can be clear. To do that, repent of your sin and confess it and the Bible promises our sins are washed away. Do that today. Our Lord wants to help you have a clear conscience.

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