“10 CENT COKES!”

“Their children will be as in days of old, and their community will be established before me; I will punish all who oppress them.” Jeremiah 30:20 NIV   Read:  Jeremiah 30:17-24   A dime coke and a nickel’s worth of peanuts was a great snack in those ‘good old days’.   Or maybe, you remember bread for fifteen cents a loaf or gasoline for nineteen cents a gallon.  Mrs. Baird’s bread bakery in 1975 had a customer counter with a row of stools where you could get two slices of toast (right off the bakery line) served with butter and honey for a dime and a cup of coffee for another dime. According to a recent internet story about the ‘good old days’, we may have selective memory…or maybe even a bad memory with a very active imagination.  Remembering those good old days, do you have a bad memory or a very active imagination?   Not all of those good old days were good.  In fact, if you really ponder, some of those good old days were pretty bad and full of regrets and heartaches.  Now, life expectancy of a newborn is 20 years longer than a newborn a few decades ago. Scriptures tell us of those good old days and not so good old days as well.  Good and bad.  We can recount in our own lives times we held GOD close and times we rejected HIM.   HIS people, in the short days after GOD rescuing them from Egypt, turned on GOD asking to be returned to Egypt as slaves so they would have food to eat.   They remembered...

“WHERE ARE YOU?”

“GOD said to Moses, ‘I AM who I AM……This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.'”  Exodus 3:14a, 15b NIV Read:  Exodus 3:1-15 How close to GOD are you?  Most of us would be quick to answer; “Very close!”.  Are you really?  Would you like to be even closer?  You can be. To get closer to GOD, you first have to understand where you are.   It starts with faith.   Where are you in understanding your faith?   You have established a doctrine.  Part of it may be from your understanding of GOD when you were a child.   Part of your doctrine may be from your studies of your Bible over the years on your own or as part of a study group.   Part of your doctrine you may have taken from the church you attend. Can you imagine a bull’s eye target with GOD in the center?   That is where we all should want to be.  In the next circle out is where our faith doctrine is.   How accurate your doctrine is determines how close to GOD you really are. The next circle out is your opinion.   You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but opinion is just that; an opinion which everyone has.   Opinion is not based upon theology or doctrine.  This is one step further from GOD than your doctrine. If you want to be closer to GOD, depend less on your opinion and more on what you have to do to be close to GOD.  Your opinion can be keeping you from being close to GOD.  Your doctrine is...

“NOT SAFE AND NOT SECURE!”

“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.”  1John 5:18 Read: 1John 5 All the doors are locked with double dead bolts and the burglar alarm system is activated.   You feel safe and secure these things are going to protect you from all evils.   Wrong! You have saved and budgeted wisely.  There is six months of income in your savings account and your retirement account should support you for 30 years after you retire.   You feel financially secure.   Wrong! You try to eat right with few fried foods and you have cut back on the amount of your salt intake.   If time allows, you even walk around the block once a week.  Your recent physical was not too bad.  You think you are healthy.   Wrong! You go to church almost every Sunday and you tithe most of the time.  You even read your Bible two or three times a week…some weeks.   You are more faithful than a lot of others so you must be going to Heaven.   Wrong! Your locked doors and security systems are deterrents but are not absolute protection.  In an economic collapse as we have seen, a dramatic part of your savings can be gone in hours or days.  And your health, are you kidding yourself? Health is a temporary situation. What about your faith or your lack of faith?   Going to church and tithing will not get you into Heaven.  Reading your Bible is good for you, but will not get you into...

“I AM BETTER THAN . . . “

“I AM BETTER THAN….” “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”   John 13: 14-15 NIV Read:  John 13:1-17 How often do you compare yourself to someone else?   Do you envy their new car or how many vacations they take?  Maybe, you wish you were as tall as they are or if only you had their job. The opposite is also true.  With a bit too much ego, you might find yourself feeling more important than someone else.  You think, ‘I spent 8 years in college to get where I am so I am deserving of being treated better than others.’   Maybe, you were born very poor and pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and you feel more worthy because of your hard work. GOD created us all alike and still all so much different.   HE created us the way HE wanted.   Then, HE gave us each free will to things our way or HIS way.  Feeling we are better than others is not GOD’S will.   If you ever feel you are better than someone else, that feeling alone is proof you are not.  Let’s read this last sentence again.  If you ever feel you are better than someone else, that feeling alone is proof you are not. We are not to be better than.   We are to be servants of our TRIUNE GOD.  In Mark 9:35 we read: “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be...

“UNCLE! UNCLE!”

“I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey your decrees.  I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.   Psalm 119: 145-146 Read:  Psalm 119:137-152 As a boy, I remember being forced to yell “Uncle!, Uncle!” during friendly scuffling matches.  It was that final cry announcing to all the world that you gave up.  This is not just an American custom.   It is reported to exist in several countries around the world in several languages. Did you know this cry of defeat probably dates back to the time of CHRIST from the Roman empire?  In Roman custom, the defeated would cry out “Uncle!” begging for their uncle (actually their father’s brother, not their mother’s brother) to come to their defense. We all have that time in our lives when it seems there is no way out of a situation and we are exhausted from all the efforts to regain our strength.  That is Satan’s plan.   He intends to wear us down so we don’t call on the ONE who can help us.  Who do you call out to when you are attacked and it seems like all is lost? When you are near defeat, do you call out “Uncle, Uncle!” and give up?  If Satan can beat you down physically, emotionally or spiritually, there is someone to call upon who can really help you. Don’t call out ‘Uncle, Uncle’ and never get an answering help.   At those times of depression, rejection, feelings of defeat and failure, call out “JESUS!, JESUS!”.  JESUS will come to your rescue. Today’s prayer:  JESUS, Thank...