Rich Man :: Poor Man

December 13th, 2013

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

December 13th, 2013

The Indian

December 13th, 2013

Our Father

December 13th, 2013

"My Name Is Victory"

December 13th, 2013

Matters Of The Heart

December 13th, 2013



Many believers arrive at places of trial and testing. Sometimes the Lord brings us to places similar to Marah, where the waters of life are bitter (see Exodus 15:22-23).  And once there, we too face unfulfilled thirst, nagging questions and grave doubts. You may protest,  “No, you can’t compare me to those idolatrous, fornicating Israelites! You can’t say I’m like them!”


But the poor Israelites did not recognize these things about themselves; they did not realize what was in their hearts until their time of testing came. I believe the same is true of God’s people today. The prophet Jeremiah writes, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)


Remember, these are the same people who would later tremble before the Lord at Mount Sinai after hearing His commandments. They would quickly answer, “Everything God has said, we will do. We’ll obey every command!” And the Israelites sincerely meant every word they said. They were full of the fear of God, and were convinced they would not fail to honor Him. But they had no idea what was in their hearts; in truth, they were spiritually bankrupt.

You see, Israel was living off the experience of their pastor and teacher, Moses. They had no faith of their own and when God removed Moses from their midst, they backslid within forty days!

The same thing happens with many Christians today. When they hear God’s Word preached, they eagerly pledge to obey it with all their hearts. But in reality, they are living off someone else’s experience. They feed on teaching tapes, seminars, the revelations of their pastors—and they have no deep experience of their own with Christ.

Beloved, you cannot get God’s true revelation from someone else. A preacher can stir and inspire you, and you may learn to spout biblical precepts. But until you have your own experience with Jesus and develop a history with Him, you cannot know Him. His word has to work its way into your heart until it becomes a living experience.

Keepin’ It Real

December 12th, 2013
                      


Artwork by: Art Chances

Years ago, when ice cream was a bit cheaper than now, a 10-year-old boy approached the counter of a soda shop and asked the waitress, “What does an ice cream sundae cost?”
“Fifty cents,” she answered.
The boy reached deep into his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. In her mind, she had “bigger” customers to wait on.
“Well, how much would just plain ice cream be?” the boy asked.
With noticeable irritation, the waitress answered, “Thirty-five cents.”
Again the boy slowly counted his money. “Then may I have some plain ice cream in a dish, please?” He gave the waitress the correct amount and she brought him the ice cream.
Later, the waitress returned to clear the boy’s dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump in her throat. There on the counter the boy had left two nickels and five pennies. She realized that he had had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave her a tip (adapted from A Lifetime of Success [Revell], by Pat Williams).
That story shows that we often treat people wrongly because we judged them wrongly. We need to treat all people with respect and kindness, because we don’t know all the facts. Especially, we don’t know what’s in their hearts. We don’t know their motives.
As we saw last time, the apostle Paul was very concerned that the believers in Rome learned to accept and not judge one another. He spends more time on this in the application part of Romans than on any other subject. After mentioning the issue of eating or not eating meat, Paul brings up a second matter where believers in Rome wrongly were judging one another: observing certain days as holy (14:5). Then, mentioning both issues, Paul deals with the motives behind those who do or do not do these non-essential things. He assumes that they are doing or not doing them “for the Lord” (14:6). Then he explains that all believers are under the lordship of Jesus Christ (14:7-9). As Lord of all, He also will be the Judge of all, to whom each of us will give an account (14:10-12). Thus, we are wrong to judge our brothers and sisters.
So that we’re clear, I repeat what I said last week, that Paul is not condemning all judgment. Rather, he is dealing with the subject of judging others on non-essential matters where the Bible gives no commands)
So on moral issues where the Bible gives clear commands or on essential doctrinal truth, we would be wrong not to judge others. But there are many other secondary areas where we must be gracious and tolerant with those who differ with us. We are not to judge them or treat them with contempt. In our text, Paul is saying,
Since Jesus is Lord and we all will give an account to Him, we must not judge other believers on non-essential matters where the Bible gives no commands. 

Source: Bible.org

The Ice Cream Story

December 11th, 2013

Years ago, when ice cream was a bit cheaper than now, a 10-year-old boy

approached the counter of a soda shop and asked the waitress, 

“What does an ice cream sundae cost?”

“Fifty cents,” she answered.

The boy reached deep into his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. In her                                mind, she had “Bigger” customers to wait on.

“Well, how much would just plain ice cream be?” the boy asked.

With noticeable irritation, the waitress answered, “Thirty-five cents.”

Again the boy slowly counted his money. 

“Then may I have some plain ice cream in a dish, please?” He gave the waitress the correct amount and she brought him the ice cream.

Later, the waitress returned to clear the boy’s dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump in her throat. There on the counter the boy had left two nickels and five pennies. She realized that he had had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave her a tip   (adapted from A Lifetime of Success [Revell], by Pat Williams).

That story shows that we often treat people wrongly because we judged them wrongly. We need to treat all people with respect and kindness, because we don’t know all the facts. Especially, we don’t know what’s in their hearts.  We may not know all the facts and the burdens that they bear.  If we did know  we would  probably have more compassion & understanding.

So remember, life goes along a lot smoother when we learn to accept others and not judge them.   We shouldn’t judge or treat people with contempt but all too often we do; that is unless they are narcissistic psychopaths and then you better run like they say: “exit :: stage right”  In that case, don’t look back; move on and you will save yourself a whole lot of heartache.

We can all  make this world a brighter place, increase our personal happiness and enjoy the journey once we learn to  extend a gracious and tolerant point of view with those who appear different from  us; did it ever occur to you that “1/8 of an inch beneath the skin we are all the same?”

We are not to judge or treat others with contempt.  It doesn’t mean becoming a doormat or the sacrificial lamb either.  Find the balance and aim to walk that line.      

We have to remember that maybe we probably don’t know the whole story after all.  So maybe “just for today” we can just go about our daily duties  with the intention to bless the people that cross our path with some love and kindness and if it within your power to help them; then do that.

I like what Henry James said 

 “3 things in human life are important.  
The first is to be kind.  
The second is to be kind.
  And the third is to be kind.” 

And anther saying is:

“How  do you get to Carnegie Hall? ” 

 “Practice. Practice. Practice.” 

 Keep practicing kindness & Have a good day !

God Bless you. 

-Meg O’ Hanlon

 

 

Mattthew 12:34

December 11th, 2013
Sins of the Tongue

Much can be said of a person’s character by the way they use their tongue. Sanaca once said, “Speech is the index of the mind.” Jesus said that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Mat. 12:34) According to Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” In James 3:6, the Bible says that the tongue is “a fire, a world of iniquity”, and James 3:8 calls the tongue a “deadly poison.”
As a fool would carelessly play and prank with a loaded gun, so many Christians today do likewise with their deadly tongue. If only we could fully realize the untold damage that we are doing to the body of Christ! If only we could see the full effect of the words we use!
Perhaps a closer look into the Bible can help. God made man, and God made man’s tongue, so surely God should be qualified to comment on the subject. Surely God should have some good counsel concerning the use and misuse of the human tongue. Let us consider some sins of the tongue as we find them revealed in God’s word.
The Lying Tongue
Proverbs 25:18 says, “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.” So a lying tongue is a misuse of a deadly weapon. It can be used to harm others near at hand (a maul), a few feet away (a sword), or a great distance away (an arrow). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and God said that he hates a lying tongue (Pro. 6:17). All liars will have their part in the lake of fire, according to Revelation 21:8.
The Flattering Tongue
Flattery is also a sin of the tongue. The Bible speaks of flattery as a characteristic of the wicked, not the righteous: “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.” (Psalm 5:9) Imagine the improvements which could be made in our nation if voters elected leaders on the basis of the RECORD rather than on the basis of the flattering speeches! Flattery is just a form of lying, and it has no place in the life of a Christian.
The Proud Tongue
The Bible also speaks of the proud tongue. Psalm 12:3-4 says, “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” The most annoying Christians in the world are those with proud tongues because a proud tongue usually comes with two closed ears! Proud- tongued Christians are generally so full of themselves that they learn very little from anyone else. A proud-tongued Christian will talk much of his knowledge and service, but very little about the Lord.
In a church, a proud-tongued Christian will make all sorts of suggestions about how the church should function, yet his suggestions, if received, will place burdens on everyone but himself. A proud- tongued Christian is hard to teach or reason with because he thinks he knows everything.
Friend, God hates a proud tongue. Allow the Holy Spirit to use your tongue in the way of humility and kindness because pride will only quench God’s Spirit and damage your testimony.
The Overused Tongue
Some people sin by simply overusing their tongue. Ecclesiastes 5:3 says that “a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.” People think they appear smart by much talking, but the Bible states just the opposite. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” God doesn’t like a blabber mouth. You say, “Well, that’s just the way I am!” Then REPENT! Confess your sin and repent. Stop justifying your wickedness and ask God to help you repent.
The Swift Tongue
Some people are guilty of speaking too swiftly when they really need to wait before saying anything. God’s word says the following in Proverbs 18:13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” How many times have you had to “eat” your words because you spoke too swiftly? James 1:19 warns us to be swift to HEAR and SLOW to speak. Why do you suppose God gave us two ears but only one mouth?
The Backbiting Tongue
Proverbs 25:23 and Romans 1:30 make mention of a backbiting tongue. A backbiter is someone who uses their tongue against you when you aren’t present, yet they will not face you with their charges when you are present. This is a cowardly backbiter who would rather stir up problems than solve problems.
A backbiter would much rather talk ABOUT the preacher than talk TO the preacher. A backbiter would much rather talk ABOUT some weak Christian in the church than offer some words of encouragement TO them. A backbiter is of no use to anyone, and no one has ever been strengthened or edified through backbiting. Beware of the backbiters, especially the ones who sow discord among brethren (Pro. 6:19)!
The Talebearing Tongue
Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Leviticus 19:16 says, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people. . .” Every Christian has the duty to deny his own desires and seek to edify other Christians (Rom. 14:19; Philip. 2:3). Talebearing runs wholly contrary to Christian edification. Talebearing (carrying and telling tales) spreads all sorts of hurtful information around, and Satan uses such information to hinder and tear down God’s work. A victim of talebearing, according to Proverbs, is a “wounded” person. God forbid that a Christian should wound another Christian, but it does happen all the time! Some Christians live as though they think God has “called” them to bear tales on other Christians. Many “Christian” newsletters are dedicated to informing the body of Christ on the latest news about someone’s ministry or personal life. There are many nice words and phrases used to justify such conduct, but the Bible word is TALEBEARING.
The Cursing Tongue
Some people, Christians included, have a nasty habit of using their tongue for cursing. Romans 3:13-14 says, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” This passage deals strictly with unsaved people and their ungodly ways, yet there are a great many professing Christians who curse regularly. Friend, why would you want to identify yourself with someone whom God describes as being DEAD, DECEITFUL, and POISON?
“As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.”(Psalm 109:17-18) Many people curse because their life is miserable. They are unhappy so they make it known with their degenerate speech. This text says that God keeps them unhappy BECAUSE of their speech! God curses those who curse! Christian, don’t expect God’s blessings when your mouth is filled with cursing.
The Piercing Tongue
Another sinful tongue is the piercing tongue. Proverbs 12:18 speaks of this tongue by saying, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” Some people have a sharp piercing tongue which Satan uses to offend and insult others. The Bible commands Christians to have their speech dominated by GRACE (Col. 4:6), yet most churches have a few people who use their tongue like a sword to pierce their brethren in Christ.
It was Teddy Roosevelt who said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” but the truth is that if you speak softly you won’t need a big stick! Titus 2:8 commands us to use sound speech which cannot be condemned. Friend, do you use graceful speech which cannot be evil spoken of, or do you possess a piercing tongue? Every Christian’s prayer should be, “Lord, make my words gracious and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”
The Silent Tongue
A silent tongue is also a sinful tongue because we have been commanded to speak up and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We, as Christians, have an obligation to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus. To be silent about Christ is to sin against Christ. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38) Christian friend, if you do not want to be ashamed of yourself when the Lord returns, then don’t be ashamed of Jesus today. Pray for opportunities to speak up for your Saviour. Don’t be found guilty of having a silent tongue.
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2)

Copyright © 2001 James L. Melton

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

December 11th, 2013

“If It Had Not Been For The Lord On my Side Where Would I Be”