I NEED, I WANT!

WE SEEM TO USE THE WORDS NEED AND WANT INTERCHANGEABLY. IN REALITY WHAT WE NEED AND WHAT WE WANT USUALLY HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON. NEEDING A NEW HOUSE IS PROBABLY MORE ACCURATELY DESCRIBED AS WANTING OF A NEW HOUSE. NEEDING A NEW CAR FOR MOST IS WANTING A NEW CAR. ‘I NEED’ DESCRIBES A NECESSITY. ‘I WANT’ DESCRIBES A DESIRE. DESIRES CAN MANIFEST THEMSELVES AS LUST, ENVY, JEALOUSY, AND COVETING. ALL ARE SINS IN THEMSELVES BUT THEY LEAD TO PHYSICAL SINS OF THEFT, ADULTERY AND HARMING OTHERS. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO STEAL, BE UNFAITHFUL OR HARM OTHERS? PUT YOUR DESIRES ON HOLD AND HAVE A GOOD CONVERSATION WITH GOD ABOUT YOUR DESIRES. IT IS SAID: ‘ALL WE NEED IS FOOD, SHELTER AND CLOTHING.’ I WOULD SUGGEST WE ALSO NEED HUMAN COMPANIONSHIP. GOD MUST HAVE THOUGHT SO WHEN HE CREATED EVE FOR ADAM. BASIC NEEDS ARE REAL. IT IS IMPORTANT TO US FOR OUR NEEDS TO BE FULFILLED. IT IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO HELP FULFILL THE REAL NEEDS OF OTHERS. YOU HAVE ANOTHER NEED THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT. YOU ALSO HAVE A NEED TO BE LOVED AND CARED FOR BY GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE. YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE NEEDING GOD. GOD WILL GIVE YOU ETERNAL LOVE AND LIFE WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH YOU NEED HIM. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED! “DO NOT BE LIKE THEM, FOR YOUR FATHER KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU ASK HIM. THIS, THEN, IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY: ‘OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME, YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE,...

INTEGRITY FOR SALE!

INTEGRITY FOR SALE WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN WE SOMETIMES SUFFERED FROM PEER PRESSURE. ALONG THE WAY, WE MAY HAVE TRADED PEER PRESSURE FOR JOB PRESSURE AND SOME NOT SO GODLY ACTIONS WHICH CAN ERODE OUR INTEGRITY. KATHY’S BOSS TOLD HER TO ALWAYS ASK WHO WAS CALLING AND WHAT THE CALL WAS ABOUT. WHEN SHE RELAYED THE INFORMATION, HE WOULD OFTEN TELL HER TO TELL THE CALLER ‘HE WAS NOT IN THE OFFICE’. IT BOTHERED KATHY TO LIE WHEN THE TRUTH WAS JUST AS EASY. ACROSS TOWN; BILLY WAS A GOOD SALESMAN. HIS BOSS STILL WANTED MORE SALES AND ENCOURAGED BILLY TO ‘SELL THE SIZZLE, NOT THE STEAK’ AND TO EXAGGERATE FACTS OF THE PRODUCT IN ORDER TO CLOSE MORE SALES. BILLY KNEW BETTER, BUT WENT ALONG. STILL, HE WAS NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF MISREPRESENTING THE PRODUCT. BOTH KATHY AND BILLY FELT THEIR INTEGRITY WAS BEING ERODED. WHAT ABOUT YOUR SITUATION? WHEN CONFRONTED WITH AN ISSUE, DO YOU ELECT TO SUPPORT A SUPERIOR OR COMPANY POLICY RATHER THAN SAY OR DO THE RIGHT THING? WHEN YOU FIND A CO-WORKER MISREPRESENTING THE TRUTH, DO YOU LOOK THE OTHER WAY, GO ALONG WITH THEM OR DO YOU COUNSEL WITH THEM THAT YOU WILL NOT COVER UP THEIR MISREPRESENTATION? DO YOU ALLOW DECEPTIONS OF COMPANY POLICIES TO BE YOUR STANDARD? WHAT ABOUT THE TRUTH? WHAT ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR THE RIGHT REASON? IS GOING ALONG WITH WRONG POLICIES OR EXPECTATIONS ROBBING YOU OF YOUR INTEGRITY? IS YOUR INTEGRITY FOR SALE? HOW MUCH IS YOUR INTEGRITY WORTH? WITHOUT INTEGRITY WHAT DO YOU REALLY HAVE? A HALF TRUTH IS A FULL...

GOD ABANDONED ME!

DO YOU EVER FEEL SO ALONE, REJECTED OR DISAPPOINTED IN YOURSELF THAT YOU FEEL GOD HAS ABANDONED YOU? A TRAGIC ILLNESS, THE SUFFERINGS OF A LOVED ONE, A FINANCIAL SITUATION, OR MARRIAGE PROBLEMS CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING DESPERATE AND LESS THAN BLESSED BY GOD. WHEN IT SEEMS THAT GOD HAS TOTALLY ABANDONED YOU, IS WHEN YOU NEED GOD THE MOST. YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH THE POEM “FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND”. THE MORAL IS SO SIMPLE. DURING OUR GREATEST PROBLEMS, WE SEE ONLY ONE SET OF FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND. WE OFTEN MISTAKE THOSE FOOTPRINTS AS OUR OWN. IN REALITY, THOSE FOOTPRINTS WERE GOD’S; MADE WHILE HE WAS CARRYING US. NO MATTER WHAT THE PROBLEM, DON’T STRUGGLE WITH IT ALONE. TURN IT OVER TO GOD. GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING TO HANDLE WHATEVER THE SITUATION BRINGS. ASK HIM. RELY UPON GOD’S STRENGTH, NOT YOUR OWN. NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR GOD. GOD HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU. DON’T ABANDON GOD! “BUT WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY TO SHOW THAT THIS ALL-SURPASSING POWER IS FROM GOD AND NOT FROM US. WE ARE HARD PRESSED ON EVERY SIDE BUT NOT CRUSHED; PERPLEXED, BUT NOT IN DESPAIR; PERSECUTED, BUT NOT ABANDONED; STUCK DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED.” 2 CORINTHIANS 4: 7-9...

SOAP & WATER.

THE TV COMMERCIALS BLARE, PROCLAIMING THE ‘NEW IMPROVED CLEANSER WITH FORTIFIED OXYGEN ENHANCED ENZYMES WITH STAIN REMOVNG POWER’. WE FIND THE GROCERY AISLES ARE PACKED WITH SOAPS, CLEANSERS, DETERGENTS AND BLEACHES. FROM HAND SOAP TO LAUNDRY SOAP TO TOILET BOWL CLEANSERS TO GLASS CLEANERS TO SHAMPOOS, THERE IS PRODUCT MADE FOR EVERY CHORE. THE ADVERTISING CLAIMS OF THE AMAZING JOBS THESE SOAPS WILL DO. EACH SOAP OR CLEANSER IS MANUFACTURED FOR ALL OF OUR NOT SO CLEAN LIVES. THESE SOAPS AND CLEANSERS CAN CLEAN UP THE DIRT AND GRIME WE CREATE. WE CAN SCRUB AND POLISH OUR BODIES, HOMES, CARS AND LAUNDRY. A BOTTLE OF THIS OR THAT AND A LITTLE EFFORT AND THINGS CAN LOOK CLEAN AGAIN. SO MUCH FOR THE DIRT ON OUR OUTSIDE. WHAT ABOUT THE DIRT INSIDE US? HOW CAN YOU CLEAN THE STAINS AND DIRT OF SIN INSIDE YOU? WE OFTEN COMPARE OUR SINS TO OTHERS. PROCLAIMING; I AM NOT AS BAD AS SO AND SO OR ELEVATING OURSELVES BY THE ‘GOOD’ THINGS WE DO. ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED WITH YOUR OUTWARD ‘CLEANLINESS’ TO OTHERS THAN BEING SPIRITUALLY CLEAN TO GOD? SO HOW DO WE CLEAN UP OUR INSIDE…OUR HEART AND SOUL? GOOD ACTIONS START WITH GOOD THOUGHTS. START WITH BLOCKING OUT THE EVIL AND CONDEMNING THOUGHTS. BAPTISM BY IMMERSION IS OUR PUBLIC PROCLAMATION OF OUR ACCEPTING JESUS’ WASHING AWAY OF OUR SINS. BUT, IT TAKES MORE THAN WATER, IT TAKES FAITH AND DEVOTION TO A GODLY LIFESTYLE. SO, PUT AWAY THE SOAPS AND CLEANSERS AND REACH FOR YOUR BIBLE. BATHE IN GOD’S WORD. JESUS WASHES AWAY ALL OF OUR SINS…WITH HIS FORGIVING LOVE....