“SAGEBRUSH ADVICE?”

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”   2Timothy 3:16 NIV Read:   2Timothy 3:10-17 Have you ever driven through the southwest United States and seen the tumbling tumbleweeds rolling across the highways and bare fields?  These dried and uprooted sagebrushes tell us a life’s story.   They have no purpose and are being tossed about by the whim of the wind.  There are a lot of people like that.  They seem to have lost their purpose in life having given up on all GOD has for them. Let’s look at two types of advice.   First is sage advice.  Sage advice is what we all should seek.   Sage advice comes from someone we respect.   We acknowledge them as wise beyond their years, prudent and reflecting quality reasoning. Sagebrush advice is based loosely on street smarts.  It may not be of wisdom or of quality reasoning.   It may be good or bad advice and may come from someone like the tumbling tumbleweed.  That is why it is called sagebrush advice.   At one time it was well rooted.   Now it is dead and may have no value since being uprooted and tossed around. The world we live in is full of sagebrush advice.  Don’t listen.  Scripture is sage advice.  No one can be more trusted or respected than GOD.  No one else is GOD.   No one can even come close to GOD’S reasoning.  Real sage advice is GOD breathed. Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU, LORD, for giving me YOUR word, YOUR Holy Bible, as perfect advice.   Help me discern the difference of YOUR sage...

“JUST NO DISCIPLINE!”

“If you are not disciplined-and everyone undergoes discipline-then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”   Hebrews 12:8 NIV   Read:  Hebrew 12:1-15 ‘Semper Fidelis’ is the motto of the United States Marine Corps.  We usually see it or hear it shortened to ‘Semper Fi’.  Two Latin words that mean ‘always faithful’.   If you utter these words to a Marine, you will see the hair stand on the back of his neck, his shoulders will go back and his chin will come in and a star studded fireworks show will immediately appear in his eyes.   You are likely to be greeted with a billowous ‘Semper Fi’ in return, a big hug or a sharp salute.   Once a Marine, always a Marine.   Wouldn’t it be great to see all Christians display this pride?  We should.   We should all come to attention when introduced to another Christian.   Respect…not just for the other person, but for what the other person stands for…The Reverence of GOD with us. We live in a society that in general has little or ‘just no discipline’.  Personal ‘rights’ are taking over and are considered more important that what is truly right or wrong. Remember what JESUS told us in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”.  When you are with another Christian…one or one thousand, do you feel JESUS with you?   You should. Do you have ‘just no discipline’ or are you faithful to the discipline of CHRIST, your LORD?  Are you ‘Semper Fi’, always faithful? Today’s prayer:  “DEAR GOD, Thank...

“GIFTS ARE NOT OFFERINGS”

“You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep.”  Deuteronomy 18:4 NIV   Read:  Deuteronomy 18:3-13 We often confuse gifts and offerings.   Gifts are those special donations over and above a tithe or scheduled offering.   Old Testament scripture tells us ten percent of our ‘firstfruits’.   Notice the Biblical word is firstfruits, while in English we write it as two words.   There is a reason.   First fruit is our worldly interpretation.   Firstfruits is correct as it tells us the uniqueness and non-divisional qualities of the offering.   Gifts are those things which we never expect to have returned.   They are given out of love and respect not out of obligation.   Offerings are the firstfruits of our labors.   Your offering may be a ten percent tithe or another scheduled amount of your income.  Gifts are much over and above any offering. Offerings are the returning to GOD of what HE has already given to you.   Offerings are not gifts.   You cannot give to GOD what is already HIS.   If you are not repaying GOD for what is HIS, why not? The firstfruits of your labors are exactly that…first.    We return to GOD HIS righteous portion before anything else.  Return to GOD what is already HIS before you pay for food, mortgage or other things you feel are necessities.   Trust and return to GOD all that is HIS and then you will find HE will bless you in the balance of your finances. Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU, HEAVENLY FATHER, for all...

“ONCE IS ENOUGH!”

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”  Romans 3:25 NIV Read:   Romans 3:21-16 Have you ever done something and said: “Once is enough!”?   After one experience, you immediately decided there was no need to do it again. JESUS told us this…over and over.  For centuries, the Jewish people held the law of Moses close in truth and in ceremony.   Bulls, goats and other small animals were sacrificed.   The blood was evidence of an offering to GOD for the cleansing of sins they needed.   JESUS changed all that. HE knew HIS purpose. HE knew the sacrifice HE was to make. No longer would mankind need to routinely and repeatedly spill the blood of animals in asking for the forgiveness of their sins. JESUS did it all.   Once was enough!   One sacrifice forever and ever.   Once was enough for every believer.   The price is paid in full.   JESUS, OUR LORD, accepted all your sins; past sins and future sins. All your sinful debts are stamped with the blood of JESUS: “PAID IN FULL!”…if you are a believer.  Are you a believer?   Are all your sins truly forgiven? They are if you have trusted JESUS to be your personal LORD and SAVIOUR. If you have not accepted JESUS’ invitation, today is your day!   Once is enough! Today’s prayer:   “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for your greatest sacrifice.   Thank YOU for taking on all my sins and giving me eternal life with YOU....

“HAVING A BAD DAY . . . OR A BAD LIFE?”

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”  1Peter 3:17 NIV Read:  1Peter 3:8-17 Are you having a bad day or have you given up and settled into the idea you are just having a bad life?    We all have a bad day.   We shouldn’t but we do.   If you have given up and accepted you are having a bad life, ask yourself why.   Some days things go wrong.  The alarm did not go off.    Putting your shoes on and your shoelace breaks.   One of the kids does not get out of bed.  You get caught on the freeway behind a five car accident.   Your boss wants your project due next week on his desk today.   Then, you discover you left your wallet at home and have no money for lunch. What really went wrong was GOD gave you a way out and you did not accept it.   We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday, the day JESUS fulfilled HIS promise to take on all our sins.  The negative way we respond to all of our problems of a bad day can be one of those sins.   Our attitude can make a bad day a good day when we take it all to JESUS.   If you think you are having a bad life, reread the above paragraph and multiply it by 365 and again for the number of years things have gone wrong.  A bad life is the total of number of bad days we allowed to control us.  GOD gave us a way out....

“$6,960.00 FOR YOUR SOUL?”

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.”  Matthew 27:3 NIV Read:  Matthew 27:1-10 Would you sell your soul for $6,960.00?   People lie, cheat and steal for a lot less than that everyday.   But, we are not talking about what others have done or would do.   The question is for you to answer personally…just for yourself. If we equate the 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid to turn JESUS over to the authorities to what then was about 120 days pay, at minimum wage in the U.S. this would total to about $6,960.00 in today’s dollars.   $6,960.00 would not make you rich.   It would not buy a house or even a new car, but we might still consider it to be a lot of money.   Is it enough for you to sell your soul?   Would it be enough for you to abandon your LORD and SAVIOUR?   What price do you put on your moral conscious?   Does life have a price?  Is there a difference between what your life is worth and the value of another’s life?   All serious questions for you to ponder…. Judas was so plagued with his guilt, he returned the 30 pieces of silver to the priests and threw the 30 pieces of silver into the temple.  The priests considered it blood money and would not put it into the temple treasury.  Instead, they bought a field to bury the poor. And Judas?  He knew what he had done and could...