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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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Are You A People Pleaser or, Are You Trying To Please Gold?

September 14, 2014

Are you a people pleaser?
I admit; I can be. I don’t like it but it’s true.
I’m guessing all Ministers have a little of that in them. The nature of our jobs as Ministers sort of make us people pleasers. The same is probably true of politicians.
While we may have that tendency, we have to be careful that we don’t please man and not please God.
In Galations 1:10, the apostle Paul says “I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were goal I would not be Christ’s servant.”
That’s a good verse. Paul says his goal is not to make people happy but the Lord. Obviously, that should be our goal as well but, at times, we can slip into people-pleasing mode.
Is there something going on in your church and you are afraid to take a stand because you feel like it could cost you friends?
Is there something going on in another aspect of your life that you feel, may mean the lost of friends?
If your friends are true friends, while you may disagree with them, they will stick with you… even if you disagree. But, if they aren’t true friends…
Years ago a man told me a story about a time he was in the Mississippi legislature. He said there was an issue that had divided the congressman. During this time, one guy got up and said, “I’ve got friends on both sides of this issue… and I’m for my friends.”
He refused to take a stand. That’s a good story and a nice thought but that option may not be there all the time. Sometimes, you have to take a stand.
If so, follow the example of Paul. Try not to be a people-pleaser… focus on pleasing God.

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Be Aware Of The Devil!

September 13, 2014

Every day… every minute, we deal with the devil. Satan is our adversary. He doesn’t want anyone to receive Christ as Savior; he doesn’t want anyone to live for Christ.. he tempts us and opposes our Christian walk.
But where did Satan originate? In Isaiah 12, the prophet says, under the inspiration of the Lord; “How you are fallen from heaven,O shining star son of the morning!…For you said to yourself I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods…”
Go back to the beginning of time… Satan was originally an angel but he wasn’t content with that. Satan wanted to be God. Notice he said, “I will ascend… I will preside…” Satan had an “I” problem. As a result, he was cast out of heaven.
Sin is still an “I” problem. Notice that the middle letter of the word “sin” is “I.” When we sin, we are putting ourselves before God.
As Christians we need to understand how Satan works. Satan tempts us to put ourselves above everything else. Satan tells us, we shouldn’t listen to those in authority. We have our rights! Satan tempts us to give in to temptation and have the affair. Satan tempts a teen-ager to give in to that moment when hormones are flying and have pre-marital sex. Satan tempts us to forget about the warnings of drugs and alcohol and have just one. Satan tempts us to watch the movie, to visit the website… after all.. no one will know…
Satan tempts us to put ourselves before God. This also happens in the church. Satan can use people to “oppose” something that is God’s will because they don’t like it.
There may even be people who don’t like something and they use another Christian to be their spokesperson. The person that acts as the spokesperson enjoys the affirmation they get from being used and they cause problems in the church.
We all need to understand that Satan is real and Satan is cunning and deceitful. Be careful and don’t give in to Satan’s temptation.

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“Peace In The Midst Of The Storm”

September 12, 2014

Recently I read an article that said the nation’s mood was not good. A survey was done or something of that sort, and people revealed that they were concerned about the country. I think there are two primary reasons for this; one is the economy and second is the fact that our congress men and women can’t seem to get much done in Washington. These things have contributed to a national despondency. As a result, many are discouraged and some may wonder, is there any hope?
The answer to that is that there is most certainly hope!
In the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, the Lord told the people of Israel they were going to be punished for their disobedience. The people had been warned and warned and they had not repented so, God was bringing the nation of Assyria to conquer the people of Israel. So, the outlook isn’t good, right? It seems that way. But, then the Lord says to Israel;
“Out of the stump of David’s family[e] will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:-).

In the middle of a time of despair, the Lord promises that a Messiah is coming. The Messiah, is Jesus. So, seven hundred years before Jesus would be born, Isaiah is predicting his birth. And the coming of the Messiah gave the people hope.
Today, are you down? Are you discouraged? Does there always seem to be more month left at the end of the money?
Just like He did with Israel, the Lord promises to be with us and give us hope.
There is an old gospel song entitled, “In The Shelter Of His Arms” that describes the peace the Lord gives us.

Dealing With The Things We Cannot Change

September 11, 2014

Have you ever prayed for something but it didn’t happen? Most of us have experienced that. We pray and pray and pray but the heavens seem to be closed. So why does this happen?
In II Corinthians 12:8-9 the apostle Paul talked about a thorn in the flesh that he had. No one is certain what the thorn was; some have suggested epilepsy; others poor eyesight and other things. But whatever it was, God didn’t remove it from Paul. Instead, God said “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
There may be something you have prayed that God would remove. Maybe you want a new job but it hasn’t happened. Maybe it’s something physical… Maybe you would like more money.
Whatever it may be, you have prayed but it seems God hasn’t answered. God may well have answered but the answer is “no.” Instead, God is giving you the strength to handle it.
Today, if you are living with something that is a challenge, God promises you the same thing He promised Paul; “My grace is sufficient for thee.” God is going to give you the strength to handle it.
There is an old prayer that is known as the “Serenity Prayer.” It reads;
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
May God give us the serenity to accept the things we can’t change today.

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