“GO PEACEFULLY, NOT SCREAMING!”

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  John 3:3 NIV   Read:  John 3:1-21   As the old comedian said:  “I heard a funny story.”  I recently heard a funny story too.  The story was told of lady overheard at her grandfather’s funeral.   It was told she said; “I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his sleep, not screaming like the others who were in his car.”   O.K., maybe just a little twisted humor, but it tells an important story.   Whether we are ushered home as a result of a sudden accident, a lingering illness or after a long and fruitful life, we are subject to GOD’S plan.  We may not have a choice of the how, when or where we are when JESUS welcomes us into Heaven, but we do have a choice of going to Heaven or spending eternity in hell.   Do you know where you will spend eternity?   Are you sure or are you just hoping?  There is only one way to know for sure.  While we are told repeatedly in scripture, many continue to live their lives the way they want.   Many have bought into a popular world view that GOD would never allow anyone to suffer in hell.   If you believe that, you are believing one of Satan’s lies.   There is only one way you will spend eternity with our TRIUNE GOD.  In order to spend all eternity in Heaven, you must accept JESUS as your LORD and SAVIOUR.   There are no other...

“SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK?”

“Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”  2Kings 20:11 NIV   Read:   2Kings 20:1-11   We went through the motions of resetting our clocks last night and maybe a few more today.  Now, we will spend days adjusting our bodies to the time change.  Then in a few months, we will do it all again.   We seem to think we can adjust the time.   We can’t.  The time does not change just because we turn our clocks back or forward an hour.   The sun rises and sets at exactly the same time.  GOD planned it that way and we can’t change it.  We cannot stop the clock.   We cannot stop the earth turning on its axis, just as we cannot speed it up.   GOD set it all in perfect motion as HE created and only HE can change it.   We can play with our clocks and deceive ourselves into a schedule change, but we cannot do what GOD alone can do.   It is only when we resolve to follow GOD that we can succeed in changing anything.  The anything we can change is our self.  We cannot change anyone else…just us.   We can change our depraved lives to be more like CHRIST.   We can turn from the temptations of this earth.   We can be more of the original Adam and Eve as GOD created rather than as they turned listening to the evil serpent’s promises.   When you turn your clocks back, turn...

“1 800 I DON’T CARE!”

“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.”  Psalm 27:6 NIV   Read:  Psalm 17:1-9 Have you called “1 800 I DON’T CARE’?  There is no such number, but it may seem like that when you call a company’s 800 number.   Have you bought something or had a problem with a product and called an 800 customer service line?   After waiting on hold for what seemed the better part of the day, you are connected to someone who displays an attitude of:  “I am only here for what they pay me and I really don’t care what your problem is.”   Congratulations!   You reached the imaginary    ‘1 800 I DON’T CARE!’   Some companies’ customer service lines seem to fit the imaginary number.   Aren’t you glad that you don’t get such a response when you call GOD?   GOD always answers.   You never get a busy signal.  HE never puts you on hold.  You are never forced to listen to music that you dislike.   You never have to give your social security number, your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name or a pint of blood.   GOD knows who you are without you telling him.   HE wants to talk with you.  Chances are HE has been waiting for you to call HIM up.  Of all GOD has to do, HE wants nothing more than for you to come to HIM in prayer.   Prayers are always welcomed.  Prayers of thanks, prayers for the needs of others, prayers for your needs and yes, even prayers for your...

“JUST A LITTLE MORE!”

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:41-42 NIV   Read:  Matthew 5:38-48   Do you want just a little more than you have?  Would an extra weeks pay be helpful?   How about a weeks worth of groceries for your family?  Could you use a few days off?   What about a little more forgiveness or being a little closer to GOD?    Being closer with GOD is easier than you might think.   Just a little more effort will give you a little more…more physical strength, more emotional strength and much more spiritual strength.   Most in this world are looking for more of everything, but want to give a little less or a lot less, rather than just a little more.  Those who give a little less will get a little less and all too often will get a lot less.  Just a little more will give you a little more or a lot more.  A little less will eventually give you less and less and less.   Are you giving GOD enough?  Is it just enough or a little extra?   Is your ‘just a little more’ not just an extra twenty in the offering plate?   A little more is just a little more time in prayer, just a little more volunteering at church, just a little more time with someone going through a difficult time and just a little more time reading and studying GOD’S Word.   There...

“DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!”

“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”  Psalm 91:5 NIV   Read:  Psalm 91     As kids, “I double dog dare you!” was a phrase we never wanted to hear.  It echoed in our ears at a time we were too scared to act.  Sometimes, the fear was for good reason and sometimes the fear was from Satan himself.   What we call fear may not be fear at all, but instead a good judgment of what we should and should not be doing.  The other fear is being afraid of something which we have no reason to fear.   The fear which is good judgment is not really fear at all.  It is respect.   I met a south Texas rancher who said he was not afraid of rattlesnakes.   He said he had a deep respect for them and gave them a wide berth.   What things in your life do you give a wide berth out of logical respect?  And what things in this life to you have a fear that comes from Satan?   We don’t have to fear those things that seem like obstacles and we don’t need to be ‘double dog dared’.  All we need to do is to trust GOD.   Satan can turn simple fears into phobias.  If we allow them, phobias can alter our relationship with others and with GOD.   GOD gave us the common sense to know the difference in fears that plague us and in the respect...

“OUT OF TIME!”

 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17 NIV    Read:  Psalm 90: 12-17    Do you ever feel you just don’t have enough time?   Are your days just too short?   We all have the same amount of time.   The clock is not extendable.  GOD gave us all the same time; 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in a hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 4.3 weeks in a month and we still think we don’t have enough time.   How much time do you need?  You have enough.  It is not about having enough time.  It is all about using your time more efficiently by setting priorities.  So, what are your priorities?  Are you setting priorities?  Every morning, set out with your list of priorities.  Establish the list from the absolute requirements to those things which are not so important.  One priority is scheduling time to help others.   Is it get job done at all cost?   In order to know success, we need to work smart not hard.  We spend too much time correcting our mistakes when we did not do something right the first time.  Distractions also have a tremendous impact upon our ability to complete a task.   Scripture tells us to rest.  JESUS left HIS disciples many times to go alone to rest and to pray.   We need to follow HIS example.  Rest is essential for the body.   Prayer is essential for the body, mind and spirit.   GOD has...