Sunday, January 31, 2010
By The Way, the same is often true in the spiritual realm. I remember so many times when I was a much younger pastor going to conferences and state Baptist gatherings, and inevitably some one would ask, “How many you running in church?” Or “How many did you baptize last year?” We would always try to give the “ministerially speaking" answer and make it as large as we could without feeling we were actually lying. The truth is, there is nothing spiritual at all about this. The older I get the less these things appeal to me, but before I start feeling proud of my spirituality; I still have to deal with this comparison thing in other ways. Perhaps they are a little more subtle, but they are present none the less. Now I am more apt to look at life accomplishments, places I have been, people I have met, important decisions I was part of, or awards I have or have not received.
Spirituality is not how we do in comparison with others. It has nothing to do with doing more, having more, experiencing more, or being better known that someone else. It has everything to do with our daily intimate walk with God. The greatest and most important call from Jesus Christ was, “follow me…”
I feel I must include a quote from one of Dr. Henry Blackaby’s devotions. It speaks to the subject at hand. Dr. Blackaby is talking about the appearance of Jesus on the sea shore after His resurrection. Here he addresses Peter. He had just given Peter the command to “Follow Him.”
“Rather than responding to what Jesus told him, Peter looked around at his fellow disciples. His glance fell upon John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Peter asked. Peter had just been given the somber news of his future death. How natural to compare his assignment with that of the others! This is the great temptation of God’s servants: to compare our situation with that of others. Did God give my friend a larger house? Did God heal my friend’s loved one and not mine? Did God allow my friend to receive appreciation and praise for his work while I remain anonymous? Did God allow another Christian to remain close to her family while I am far removed from mine?
Jesus assigned Peter and John to walk two different paths, but both Peter and John have enriched our lives. Jesus knew how dangerous it is when a servant takes his eyes off the master to focus on a fellow servant. Where is your focus? Have you become more concerned with how God is treating someone else than you are with how He is relating to you?”
I have heard criticism of another pastor or Christian worker with the words, “They are so heavenly minded they are of little earthly use. Can we be too heavenly minded? The problem all too often is, we are so earthly minded, we are of little heavenly use.
The Model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples contains the phrase, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” We are to be so in step with our Lord, so intimate with Him that we can be a conduit to bring Heaven’s will to our earthly situation. That would eliminate any human comparison of “spiritual” service.
Note these Scriptural references. John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.(NKJV)
John 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.(NKJV)
We should be doing only those things we see the Father do, and speaking only those things we hear the Father speak.
THOT: IF WE DO COMPARE OUR SERVICE WITH ANOTHER LET IT BE THE LORD CHRIST
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Snow can be an inconvenience, a hazard, and a danger to be on. But it can also be beautiful and a great way of covering up all the ugly.
We Notice some interesting references to snow in the Scripture
Job 38:22Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?...
Psalm 51:7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Isaiah 1:18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
This recent snowfall was beautiful as it came down and as it turned the landscape into a pure white blanket. No longer could I see the grease spot in front of my car, the crack and chip in the pavement in front of our apartment, dirt and debris that had fallen off cars traveling on the street, nor the dead and broken stems on some of the evergreens planted in our flower bed.
Oh, By The Way, God has a covering for the ugly of our lives. Sin is the one thing that cannot be removed by good deeds, reformation, or resolution. It takes something from God to cover our sin, our guilt, our spiritual ugliness.
In the Old Testament, the only Holy celebration for the Hebrews which was a fast instead of a feast was Yom Kipper. Yom Kipper means "day of atonement." It was when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies with the blood of sacrifice and sprinked it on the Mercy Seat, which was above the Ark of the Covenant, between the two Cherubim or Angels. Atonement and Mercy Seat both refer to covering. One very important item in the Ark was the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. We could never be saved by those commandments. They simply show us how ugly and sinful we really are. From God's point of view, He looked through the blood to see the law.
The Scripture says in Hebrews 9; 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.or(NIV)
All the ugly is under the snow, but of course the snow is temporary. But all the ugliness of sin is under His blood, and this blood is permanent.
23 So the copies of the real things in heaven had to be made clean by animal sacrifices. But the real things in heaven need much better sacrifices.
24 Christ did not go into the Most Holy Place made by humans, which is only a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself and is there now before God to help us.
25 The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once every year with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not offer himself many times.
26 Then he would have had to suffer many times since the world was made. But Christ came only once and for all time at just the right time to take away all sin by sacrificing himself.(New Century Version)
The road to that New Jerusalem, that New Israel is a blood sprinkled way, It is not paved with good intentions, creative engineering innovations, or man's artistic and architectural wonders, but it is paved with the blood of a once for all Savior. Praise His Holy Name!
THOT: WE ARE EITHER UNDER THE BLOOD OR UNDER JUDGEMENT
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Several years ago when were "church planters" in Illinois we were ask about certain words and phrases that were common to us in Arkansas, but sounded rather odd to our friends in northern Illinois. One such phrase was, "gettin ready." So often I would say to some of our mission attendees, "well I'm gettin ready to ....." You get the idea. One day Angela Callan, a full blood Italian, ask me, "Pastor Edwards, why is it that you are always getting ready to do something, why don't you just do it?" I really did not have an answer except just to say that it was one of those Arkansas idiosyncrasies.
The problem is there are a lot of folks getting ready to do something, but never get around to actually doing it. James says in
James 1: 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Have you noticed that there are industries that have grown up around the popularity of walking or jogging. There are sports store chains that specialize in the latest equipment for the avid walker. Now in order to make my point let us say I have this special friend who really wants to get into the walking craze. He goes out and buys the best walking shoes he can find. I ask him, "How do they feel when you walk?" He replies, "Oh, I have not walked in them yet, I am still getting ready, but don't you think they look great, and stylish, and comfortable?" "Yes," I say, "let me know how they work as soon as you start using them." I don't see him or hear from him for a couple of weeks. Then we cross paths at Walmart. "How are those shoes working out?" I ask. "Oh," he said, "let me show you what I have just purchased, "the latest in walking clothes." They are so comfortable, and I am told they will make my walking so much more rewarding. They are the right color, so it make them safer for me because drivers can see me at a greater distance." "Have you used them yet," I ask. "Oh, no, but I'm getting ready and I will let you know how they work out." I met him a few weeks later, and he was quick to show me some safety head gear. He was still getting ready. Later I met him and he showed me a magazine that was devoted exclusive to walkers and he assured me was really getting some good tips on how to make the most of his walks. It has been a year now, and he is still getting ready.
By The Way, folks do the same thing spiritually. They intend to get started walking with the Lord. They buy the most expensive leather backed, referenced, annotated Bible they can find. They look for a church that suits their musical taste, and look for a pastor that gives encouraging messages and humorous stories. They are just spectators, but they really intend to get involved one day really soon. Years later, they are still getting ready. the truth is, IF YOU WANT TO WALK WITH GOD YOU NEED TO START TODAY, AND HE WILL GET YOU READY.
I remember several years ago, witnessing to an elderly gentleman about his need to accept the Lord as Savior. He was 83 years old. Before I left him he told me he really wanted to accept Christ, but he was not quite ready, and as soon as he got things ready he would make his decision. In less than a year I was preaching his funeral. And to my knowledge he never got ready.
THOT: THE BEST TIME TO DO ANYTHING IS NOW
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
What tied all those events together for me is that in each case there was at least one other person to share the moment with. I went to Paul's Barber Shop this morning and there is where I had my hair cut and beard trim. It was also there that I met three other gentlemen besides my barber that I had meaningful conversation with. None of the three were strangers to me, yet it seemed providential that our lives intersected at just the right moment. In the case of each of the three men the conversation turned to spiritual matters. One gentleman even showed interest in attending our church. In fact I was so caught up in conversation that I left without paying the barber. Don't worry, I did return and honor my debt.
Later on I met Bro. Sam, who would take me out for lunch. It was during our time together that some important topics were discussed and settled upon. Again, the lunch was planned but not what we eventually talked about. But before I finished my lunch I developed a nose bleed, and that prevented us from doing what we had planned to do the rest of the afternoon. As it turned out Bro. Sam made perfect use of his time alone by making a needed pastoral visit. I went home with my nose in the air, only to find someone else, my wife. It was good because she had not been feeling well and I was able to check on her while she helped me with my nose bleed.
By The Way, by now you are asking, where is all this headed? Just hang onto your hat if you have one. My day did not go as I had planned it. I managed to walk 15 minutes instead of my usual 30 minutes and did not get to do my weight room work out at all. But was my day, this one day of walking with the Master a flop? Not on you life. My life intersected the lives of others that I could not have planned if I had worked on it for a year. it was a God thing. These were divine interruptions. Paul in Philippians says something that speaks to this issue.
Phil 4:11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
When Paul talked about being content in whatever state he was in he was not speaking of Arkansas or any other state in the USA. He was talking about circumstances.
So often when things do not go the way we had planned them we get frustrated, and feel our day was wasted. If God is in charge of our walk, if He is doing the leading, if he is our spiritual GPS, then the day is never lost. I believe that often we accomplish more for the Lord by what others may see as accident or coincident, than we do by our rigorous planning.
When we let the Lord lead the way, life becomes an adventure and we simply wait with anticipation for the next divine intersection or divine interruption.
Join me on the road to the Golden City and have the time of your life.
THOT: GOD'S PLAN SHOULD ALWAYS SUPERSEDE MY PLAN
Monday, January 25, 2010
Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. 14 But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road.
(New Century Version)
Life is like a super highway
But the lanes one way they go
You may pass a lot of on ramps
On your journey here below.
All mankind is on that highway
The last exit means their doom
If you fail to take an off ramp
Then God’s judgment you assume
You got on this super highway
By a ramp when born on earth
You may pass a billion on ramps
Each one for One babe of worth
We are growing as we travel
Understanding signs much more
Soon we understand an off ramp
We must take before life’s or’r
If we fail to take an off ramp
To our journey comes an end
We will wail and cry with sorrow
Hell awaits around the bend
But to take a precious off ramp
Puts us on another drive
It is not so broad and pretty
But this road leads us to life
On this road are many rest stops
Where we stop and sit a while
Where we talk to fellow travelers
And share stories of each mile
There are many places for us
To reach out to those who still
Drive upon that deadly broad way
And ignore God’s precious will
We can see those on that old road
And it often breaks our heart
Just to know if they keep going
We will ever be apart
There are points of intersection
Where we try to those persuade
Take the off ramp that is nearest
Lest all hope begins to fade
Join us pilgrims on our journey
That will end at heavens shore
We’ll enjoy the trip before us
Be with Christ for ever more
THE REALITY IS THAT I AM NO LONGER ON THAT BROAD ROAD THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION BUT AS A 16 YEAR OLD BOY I TOOK THE OFF RAMP ON TO THE NARROW ROAD THAT LEADS TO LIFE. AND I AM TRYING MY BEST TO GET OTHERS TO GET ON THIS SAME ROAD. HOW ABOUT YOU?
THOT: THE ANALOGY IS NEVER AS IMPORTANT AS THE REALITY.
Acts 18: 1After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.[a] 6But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
7Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." 11So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. (NIV)
If we are not careful we will miss something. Paul is on his second missionary journey. He and his party had been thrown out of many of the towns they had preached in. He left Silas and Timothy in Macedonia. He went to Athens alone (except for the presence of the Holy Spirit) Then he traveled to Corinth and waited for the rest of his group. While waiting he discovered a couple who had been run out of Rome at the order of Caesar Claudius. They were Priscilla and Aquila, who were also tent makers like Paul. After his team arrived he began preaching Gospel. But again the Jews began to make it hard for Paul. They actually became abusive. So in verse 6, Paul essentially says, “I have had it! You Jews can just go to hell. It’s the last time you will hear from me!” Now, Paul was speaking from discouragement. How do we know? Look at verses 9-11. In a vision God said to Paul, “do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent.” The word “afraid” in the Greek is Pho bi’a, hence the English word phobia. It is in the passive voice, which means it has no object. He is not afraid of anyone or thing, he is just afraid.
Now, you ask, “how do we get the idea of discouragment from this? Look at the word, "dis-couraged." What does it mean? It means a loss of courage. Discouragement is 99% phobia or fear. In this case it was a fear of failure.
By The Way, all of us who are walking and praying toward that golden city, the New Jerusalem (all who have been born again) sometimes become discouraged. And what happens is that it retards our progress, it hurts our influence on others, and it takes away our joy. Oh yes, we will make it to heaven, but the journey is not what God intended.
If we have become discouraged, how do we get our courage back? How are we encouraged?
1. For one thing we have the partnership of friends. Paul had just met Priscilla and Aquila. That had to be some encouragement. Then finally Silas and Timothy made it. They must have helped. The partnership of friends is very important but Paul needed more. We need friends in our walk with God. They can encourage us by their words, their presence, and their prayers.
2. But Paul had something else, and sadly he had overlooked it. He had positive results. He did what we sometimes do; instead of focusing on the positive fruit our efforts have born, we gaze at what we consider failures. That, my friend, will lead to discouragement. Yes, Paul was perhaps in the wickedest city of the Roman Empire. The temple of Aphrodite was located there. Temple prostitutes served “worshipers” twenty four hours a day. But even in that sinful place there were those who believed.
I remember a missions meeting in Illinois several years ago while we were serving as church planters. Several in the group were bemoaning the fact that 50% of all new church starts died before they could really get established. After much discussion, an older gentleman in the back stood and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have a solution for the problem.” He paused for several seconds as the rest of the group tuned in to hear what plan the old man had. Said he, “Just don’t start any more churches.” You could have heard a pin drop. But everyone got the message. We were focused on the 50% that failed when we should have been acknowledging the 50% that succeeded.
3. But the most important thing that encouraged Paul is found in verses 9-11. It is The Promises of God. Note: (1) God said, “I am with thee.” We have the promise of God’s presence. (2) God said, “no man shall hurt thee.” We have the promise of God’s protection. (3) Finally God said, “for I have much people in this city.” God was saying to Paul, "if you stay the course and preach, there will be a harvest of souls. Many will come to know Christ." Paul stayed on for a year and a half. And what God said was true. You see, we have the promise of God’s power.
What a promise! We have God’s presence, God’s protection, and God’s power. Think about it! If this does not encourage us, and take away the phobia, the fear, the discouragement than nothing will.
THOT: GOD DOES NOT GIVE THE SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF LOVE, PEACE, AND A DISCIPLINED MIND. IF YOU ARE UNDER DISCOURAGEMENT YOU DID NOT GET IT FROM GOD.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I enjoyed the time because I made it a prayer walk. I noticed as I had before several others walking, but By The Way, I realized something else. None of the walkers were walking in the same way. Some walked with a faster pace, some with a slower pace. I noticed also that people of different ages were walking. Both men and women were walking. Some who walked were heaver, some were thinner. We were all walking in the same direction, but all in different ways. One elderly lady was simply shuffling along, her stride very short. One gentleman in particular was walking with a walker.
I suddenly realized the spiritual application. All God's children are walking toward that eternal Jerusalem, but we are all different. It does not matter exactly how we walk, but that we walk.
Growing up I was always a slow runner. I was sometimes embarrassed that I often came in last during a running game. When several of us boys at school were on the play ground and someone sayed, "I'll race you to the fence," most often I was the last to make it. I later realized that I was just not built for fast running. Although I am not club-footed my feet tend to turn outward more than perhaps the average person. It make running for me a little awkward. But I can walk just fine, thank you.
God does not look at the outside He looks at the heart. We walk with our feet, but even in a greater sense when walking with the Lord, we walk with our heart. Can you imagine back to the time you were dating, and you and your sweetheart were out for a walk? Did you critique the way she walked or did you simple enjoy the time with her?
I especially enjoyed seeing this one man who had to use a walker. He could not move very fast, had a harder time navigating the slopes, but his walk was just as real, and genuine, and I am sure just as rewarding as everyone else.
Yes we are all different, and yet the Lord loves us all the same. Paul says in Roman 14:10 So why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you think you are better than they are? We will all stand before God to be judged, 11 because it is written in the Scriptures:
" 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'Everyone will bow before me;
everyone will say that I am God.' " — Isaiah 45:23
12 So each of us will have to answer to God.
13 For that reason we should stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin.(New Century Version)
Judging a brother or sister because of how they walk or how they look while they walk is simple wrong.
Years ago an ad came out advertising Boys Town in Nebraska. It showed a larger boy caring a smaller boy, with the caption, "He's not heavy, he's my brother." There may be times when we have to help someone up who has fallen on the trail. We may even have to carry some folks, but the wonderful thing is that we are walking with God and toward the city of Gold. We all have the same father if we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, and that makes us brothers and sisters.
We're marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion
We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God
It is important that we are walking with God, but it is also vitally important that we pray for and help others along the way who are also making that journey. Who are you praying for and helping along?
THOT: IN HEAVEN I KNOW WE WILL SING, BUT MAYBE WE WILL BE PART OF A GREAT MARCHING BAND, WHO BEGAN PRACTICING HERE.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Well, today was day two of my walk in preparation for the trip to Israel. I invite you to walk with me. Your immediate destination may not be Israel or Jerusalem, but your ultimate destination should be that heavenly city that John saw in Revelation 21: "1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
By the Way I pondered upon the whole idea of walking, particularly a passage of Scripture in Genesis 5:"24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
Not much is known about Enoch, but what we do know is vitally important. There are many in the Bible that it is said of them, “they walked with God,” but this is the first person the Bible mentions in that respect.
Walking, unlike other things we do is strictly voluntary. Our heart is an involuntary muscle. Our breathing is done by involuntary muscles. Our heart beats and we breathe while we are asleep or awake. But walking requires a decision. I make the decision to walk physically and I make the decision to walk with the Lord. I make a decision each day to be disciplined enough to do what I have already decided to do.
Walking with God implies several things.
1) First it implies progress. I am not stuck in one place but I am moving. And I am moving toward a goal. I am moving in the right direction. Enoch was not just walking, he was walking with God. He was not running ahead of God, nor was he lagging behind. He was walking with God.
2) Second of all it implies effort. The Christian life is not a sprint, but a marathon. It takes effort and energy all the way to the end. I noticed I was somewhat sore from yesterday’s workout, so it took a bit more effort today.
When we make the spiritual application, we are promised the strength of the indwelling Holy Spirit to make that walk. We could not make it without Him
3) Thirdly it implies relationship. God asked Amos in Amos 3:"3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" There is no question but that Enoch had an intimate relationship with the Father. We must have that relationship (a personal relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ) if we are to walk with him. We must be in unity and agreement with our Lord. I wonder if the reason our devotional life suffers, and we find ourselves not walking with the Lord, is because there is something in our life and heart that is not in agreement with God.
I noticed as I walked today in the mall, there were some couples walking and they would deliberately speed up or slow down so they could stay together. They were walking together. God loves it when we walk in lock step with Him
4) Finally, it implies communion. Can you imagine Enoch and God walking together and not talking to each other? Of course not. There were probably times of silence, just to enjoy each others presence. We need to do that in our devotional time with God. We need to listen to God and not do all the talking ourselves. But then there are those times of deep expressions of our desires, of our needs and of our feelings. There are times when we just need to tell the Lord how we feel about Him. And we need to hear ourselves say it. Oh, yes, the communion was sweet
There is one other thing. It is important to enjoy the trip. Maybe these days of preparation are as important as being in Israel itself. How may of us remember our children’s incessant question when we were on long road trips, “are we there yet?” God wants us to enjoy the trip as well as the destination
THOT: A PERSON WALKS A LONELY ROAD WHEN THEY WALK BY THEMSELVES
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Well, today I walked 30 minutes in our hometown mall. And I worked out with the weight machine for about 30 minutes. Our apartment complex has a weight room. Not many use it, so I had it to myself today. I cut back on the size of my food portions
By the Way, I have rediscovered something I already knew. The key to discipline in any thing is 95% mental. The Scripture says in 2 Cor. 10:4 We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy's strong places. We destroy people's arguments5 and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.6 We are ready to punish anyone there who does not obey, but first we want you to obey fully.
You talk about a battle! My body sends certain signals to my brain, and my brain thinks of all kinds of reasons I do not need to do this. The food thing seems to be more difficult for me than the physical exercise or the spiritual time with the Lord. I cannot watch TV without seeing a myriad of advertisements about "foooooood." I must refocus. I drive through town, and there are the billboards advertising "eeeeating" places. I must refocus. Big signs at restaurants are just begging me to stop. I must refocus. I am determined to not be defeated by a thought.
Paul says in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. When the thought comes my way to give in to the temptations I must Refuse the thought, Redirect my attention to something wholesome, or holy. And I must Replace the thought with a promise of God. Finally I must pray through the experience and not let that thought land on the runway of the airfield of my mind.
I must stay busy, not just minding my own business, but minding God's business. I must not pray FOR victory, but pray FROM victory. I am already an over comer.
What kinds of thoughts lead to your defeats? Do not make a resolution, or promise to start tomorrow. Just START.
THOT: TOMORROWS VICTORIES NEVER COME, THEY ARE ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT.
By the way, I know someone who proclaims their love for their mate, but it seems to always be a demonstration for others to see. A kiss, a hug, a word is given, but it is more for public consumption than a genuine expression toward the one they say they love. Love is expressed to God in your intimate time with Him, your service for Him, your attitude toward others, and a genuine sense of total dependence on The Lord and a willing to follow where he is leading.
I have included a quote from Oswald Chambers taken from his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest. This seemed so apropos to our subject.
“God is saying to His people, "You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were. He says, ‘I remember . . . the love of your betrothal . . .’ (Jeremiah 2:2) Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?”
My prayer for you and myself is reflected in some of the lyrics of a song by Bill Gaither, “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows. The more that Love Him more love He bestows. Each day is like Heaven, my heart overflows. The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.”
THOT: IF YOU LOVE CHRIST LESS TODAY THAN YOU DID YESTERDAY, YOU ARE GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION