“Cracked Cisterns”

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12  The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord.  13  “For my people have done two evil things:  They have abandoned me — the fountain of living water.  And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! — Jeremiah 2:12, 13 NLT

We look around us and see all the violence, evil and chaos and we wonder why?  Why is this great nation that God has so abundantly blessed  for over two hundred years in such disarray?  Could it be that we, as a nation, have “abandoned the fountain of living water”?  We, like King Solomon have gone out over all the earth looking for pleasures and “new” things only to find that every earthly thing is really meaningless.  Solomon, the wisest man in the world “set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly”.  His discovery was that greater wisdom brings greater grief and more knowledge brought more sorrows.   He learned that nothing was really new, it only seemed new because we did not learn from history and that there is little hope that future generations will learn from  our mistakes.  In the end, Solomon found that  it is best to “accept the way God made things for who can straighten what He has made crooked?”   Let us be wise and learn from Solomon’s misadventures.  Any thing we do on earth that does not advance the kingdom of God is like pouring water into a broken bowl or putting our money into pockets that have holes in them.  All of those efforts will net us nothing in eternity.  Instead of spending our time and money seeking earthly pleasures and adventures, let us do the works of the Father which will make us rich in rewards in eternity.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. ​ — Matt.6:19-21 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-06-2018

Our Daily Bread

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21 because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matt. 6:21 ISV
We spend the majority of our time working to make money and another good portion of our time figuring out how we are going to spend that money. Plans, goals and budgets are good things. Our goal is to make it to heaven, but Jesus understood that it takes money to make the trip.  After all, Judas was the “treasurer” for Jesus and His disciples. But Jesus also told the rich young ruler to sell all that He had and give it to the poor.  So, the question is how much is enough and how much is too much.  The writer of Proverbs put it this way:

 

8 Keep deception and lies far away from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Feed me with food that I need for today, 
9 so that I don’t become overfed and deny you by saying,

​ “Who is the Lord?” or so that I don’t become poor and steal,
​ and then misuse the name of my God.— Proverbs 30:​8-​ISV

Jesus taught us to pray “give me this day my daily bread”.  When God sent manna from heaven, He instructed the Israelites to collect only enough for each day (except for the day before the Sabbath when they collected enough for two days). If they collected more, it rotted and was of no use.  How much is enough is a question each of us should ask the Lord.  We just need to remember who we are serving and be sure we allow Him to be Lord of our lives.  Then, when the bank account is overflowing, it won’t be too much and when it is empty, it won’t be too little.  He has promised to provide and if we are obedient, He will do just that.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-01-2018

Overflowing With Thankfulness!

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6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Colossians 2:6 7 NIV

The most important thing to be thankful for is salvation.  So, from the very moment we are saved, our hearts should begin to be filled with gratitude.  From that point on, all the blessings that we receive daily should continue to fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  To the extent that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our evil thoughts and desires are changing to good thoughts and desires.  There has/will come a day when we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude because of the goodness and greatness of the God that we serve.   Each day should bring less complaining and more reason to give God praise and thanksgiving. The praise and gratitude that fills our hearts will be reflected in the words that we speak.


 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV

Every time we bring our petitions before the Lord, we need to remember to bring with them an offering of thanksgiving and praise!  

 

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  
— Psalm 100:4, 5 NKJV

This is for now and  all generations, not just the future when we enter into the gates of heaven and the courts of God. Every time, we speak His Name, we are entering into His gates and His courts. Let our hearts and our mouths overflow with praise for His goodness and mercy!

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-09-2018

Where Is Your Heart?

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11 Also, make it your goal to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, – 1 Thess. 4:11 ISV
 

God hates sin, all sins, but He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die for us. And not just die, but to be crucified cruelly and mocked publicly.  This is His example to us of how much we should love others, not just family and friends, but also strangers and enemies. The people that Paul was writing to at this time were those who gave of their resources to others who had needs and also gave to support Paul in his missionary work so that he could meet the spiritual needs of others and spread the gospel.   How do we show our love for Jesus? By being obedient and helping those in need.  Not just physical needs by giving of our resources, which we should do, but also giving of our time in caring for those with spiritual and emotional needs. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a word in season, a minute listening are all gifts that we can give each other and they are often much more appreciated than any monetary gift that we could give. These gifts we can give over and over since they don’t affect our budgets. So, we can do more and more.  We need to be very careful of how we spend the time God has given us. The majority of our time should be spent in doing those things that will win the respect of outsiders and build up the Kingdom of God. By making it a habit to do these things, we will soon find that it is our heart’s desire to do them more and more. Not only will we receive a great blessing here and now, but we will also be laying up treasures in heaven.
 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matt. 6:19-21 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-16-2018

Laying Up Treasures

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10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
— Hebrews 3:7-12 NLT

This passage should not be interpreted to mean that we must work for our salvation. That would be in direct conflict with other passages that clearly state that we are saved by”grace through faith”. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that doing good works after we are saved is how we lay up rewards in heaven. This should encourage us to help our neighbors and others that we see in need of food, housing, clothing, etc. God gave Adam and Eve the job of tending the Garden of Eden. Work in and of itself is not a curse. God expects each of us to be busy doing good works. We are instructed to “redeem the time”. James tells us that we show our faith in Jesus by doing good works. If we want to enter into the rest mentioned earlier in Hebrews, we must continue in faith and be patient. The day will come soon enough when we will receive our rewards.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-01-2017

Meditating on God and His Word

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1 Blessed is the one    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,   
and who meditates on his law day and night. — Psalm 1:1-2 NIV
 

How do we show Jesus that we love Him? To love someone, it is necessary to get know that person, to get to know a person requires us to spend time with that person. When you love someone, you want to spend as much time as possible with them. How much time do you spend with Jesus each day? He has written a book full of love letters to us, have you read them? When we love someone, we think about them most of the time. How much time do you spend meditating and thinking about Jesus? If we examine our lifestyles and find out where our heart is, what treasures would we find? Don’t hang onto temporary, worldly “treasures”, fix your thoughts on eternity and Jesus. Nothing can separate us from God’s love and those treasures we lay up in heaven.

Post 01-03-2017

Treasures

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21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

 — Matthew 6;21 NLT
 

A lot of people spend most of their lives making money. It is true that we need to work to take care of ourselves and our families. But when making money becomes our obsession and our goal, we need to step back and take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. When we spend too much of our time making money that we don’t need for our livelihood, perhaps we are laying up treasures in the wrong place. It might be time to spend more time with our families and with God. Since God has blessed you with money and most likely a good family, shouldn’t you stop to give Him thanks every day? Remember that everything belongs to God. He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust alike. He can also stop the rain if He so desires. You could be a millionaire today and a pauper tomorrow. So, don’t spend all of your time laying up treasures that will fade away, spend some time laying up treasures in heaven and those treasures will last forever. As you practice this, you will find that the desires of your heart change from an earthly, material, temporary focus to a heavenly, eternal one.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 10-31-2016