What Matters

www.bible.com/1713/pro.21.21.csb

What really matters to you? What are you willing to sacrifice anything for to achieve or receive it? What really makes a difference in your life that you will allow nothing to interfere with?

Do you have one of those priorities? I’ve known heroin addicts that know exactly what this is like. There is no relationship, no possession they own that will not be sacrificed in order to get their next fix. They will rob from their mother and their grandmother to get what they need. That is the power of addiction. They will justify any act, any act, that will satisfy their need. Is there anything in your life like that?

Would you want a passion for Jesus like that? Could you?

Most people tend to rule their lives with the common good in mind, as long as it benefits self. I will go to work like everyone else, and I will endure that work as long as they continue to pay me every two weeks and I can take the occasional vacation. I will endure the twenty-odd years of marriage and have children like I am expected to, and then if I’m still happy with the person I married, I’ll stay with them. That’s what is expected, and as long as I am happy, I will continue. Do you see the nature of this addiction yet? This person is just as addicted as the Heroin addict. They are addicted to happiness, and are willing to do anything, even endure the ordinary, to keep it. This is the same person that will divorce because they are not happy anymore. They will find a better job because it will make them happy. Happiness, that ephemeral quality which cannot be grasped or kept, is an addiction.

So what does this verse tells us? Pursue righteousness (before God) and kindness (before men) and you will receive life, righteousness and honor. Life and righteousness come from God (This is the joy of living) and honor comes from men (being a voice that is respected is a powerful witness for the gospel).

Is it possible to be addicted to Jesus? Let me tell you that addiction to Jesus is the only true addiction you can ever have. Everything else will be governed by the law of diminishing returns. Every attempt to satisfy the need will result in less satisfaction, so you have to get more. With Jesus, the returns increase with use. He gives more every time you give Him your time. He becomes more profound, more satisfying, better with worship and study. Better with prayer and with service.

What is your priority? What matters to you? Maybe it’s time to examine yourself. Check your priorities. Ask others what they seem to be. You may be surprised.

God bless you today.

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His Good Purpose

www.bible.com/1713/php.2.13.csb

This verse follows on the phrase that we souls work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We find in this verse that God too works in us too. I want you to be encouraged this morning that you are not alone. You have an ally in your faith and in working through the hard times. God loves you and wants to encourage you according to His purpose.

God bless you today!

The Beginning of Wisdom

www.bible.com/1713/pro.9.10.csb

After listening to Proverbs, I have come to an understanding that wisdom (the understanding of how things work generally, including human relationships) includes physics and observational science. As the Bible uses this word, it assumes that wisdom begins with God (the author of wisdom and of all things) and we learn it by paying attention. For example, Solomon instructs the sluggard to observe the work of ants in collecting food. Solomon is employing the natural world for moral instruction. If the ant can collect food for lean times, then ought not we do the same? That is arguing from lesser to greater based on a natural truth. Solomon learned much wisdom by observing the order of God in the created world. Newton and Galileo also observed the same. Wisdom is more than knowing the right things to say, but in this ancient sense, to know why things are the way they are. This kind of wisdom does not begin with assuming we know better than God.

God bless.

Hope Yet

www.bible.com/1713/2co.4.16.csb

Our outer shells are wasting away. I see this every day and this verse is of special hope to me. I find as I am getting older that my warranties on my parts are coming to their end of life. Not wore out yet but wearing thin. Every day I find this verse a good life verse, because it reminds me that my inner man is being renewed every day. My inner man, who walks with the Lord and the Water of Life, finds new strength.

God bless you today.

Peace of God

www.bible.com/1713/php.4.7.csb

Conflict and crisis are what we consider normal. Our lives move from crisis to crisis, with short stretches of peace in between. We call this “peace” just because nothing is happening and life is ordinary. When life gets too ordinary, we travel, just to “get out of Dodge” and go do something different. But even being away for a few days makes us crave the ordinary. Emotional stability requires the ordinary. We need a safe place, a same place that never changes. Some find this at home. Others in their local church (ever wonder why some folks resist change in their church so much?). Some try to keep ordinary in their work, and resist changing jobs even when the offer is more lucrative. But there is really only one place that change will never touch, the immutability of God. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In God we can find that peace and tranquility we can’t find here. Those who trust in the Lord will find His peace which passes understanding, like all things divine. This is a peace that will guard hearts and minds (but bodies is not mentioned, because we cannot half change in our flesh, as it is corrupted by death). Our hearts, the indwelling place of the Spirit, and our minds, renewed by the presence of that Spirit, both find peace in God. That peace will protect their tranquility from the onslaught of change in the world. It doesn’t matter what changes we face in the world, what crisis or conflict. We have God’s eternal peace as an anchor for our souls.

God bless you today.

Submit to God; Resist the Devil

www.bible.com/1713/jas.4.7.csb

Two basic instructions that will help you throughout your whole life. Submit to God and resist the devil. That’s all there is to it. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, if it was easy, everyone would do it. The world follows a different mantra: submit to the devil and resist God.

Did you know that every time you sin you become a child of the devil? Every time temptation sucks you in, your father is the prince of darkness. You keep sinning you become his slave, because he has no love for you. All he wants is to spite God. He is so angry at God and so petty that he will send temptation to rob God of you. For we all belong to God in the beginning. But as soon as we commit that first sin, that first willful act against His authority, suddenly we switch sides.

I want to counsel you today to read that verse above. If you are in the devil’s thrall, there is a way out. His name is Jesus. He paid for your sins with His own blood, to ransom you out of the devil’s hands. Resist the devil in the name of Jesus, and He will flew from you.

God bless you today.

Clearly Seen

www.bible.com/72/rom.1.20.hcsb

God has not left Himself without evidence. Natural selection and random chance cannot explain why all there is exists. We know without thinking that a watch found on a seashore was made by a and probably lost by a person, not the random creation of tide, seashells, sand and wind. Why? Because without considering whether such a thing was randomly ordered over billions of years, we begin to look around to see if anyone dropped it. We recognize intelligent design instantly. We don’t have to be taught it

Likewise, when we view the order of the natural world, and discover the laws that apply there, we understand a Lawgiver must have been behind it. That things aren’t as random as they seem.

We are without excuse. Just as He said. God bless you today.