Posts Tagged ‘duty’

  

“Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

It is an epidemic that has been spreading around the world. MILLIONS are caught in its clutches. It is costing people some $600k a day. It is creating health issues, loss of jobs, and even the UK has reportedly seen rehabilitation centers open up new wings to bring needed treatment to give people their lives back! What is this infernal presence that’s taking over the world and ruining lives?! It’s nothing other than that sinister ploy called… (spooky music intro inserted here)Candy Crush!

We’ve all seen people’s lives devastated because of life-controlling issues and addictions. While some seem worth the outrage, the simple or petty things, like social media or video games, still cause not only significant damage in personal lives, but spiritually too! Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Just as Jesus made sure He was moving towards His life purpose (crucifixion) while He lived among us, so we must do the same thing. Play time and hobbies are good stress relievers, but if it is keeping us from our life objectives (to know Him and make Him known), then the enjoyable has become an enemy. Live your purpose, not your pleasures! Eternities hang in the balance! You are loved! 

  

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“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭23‬ NIV)

In 1821, a young Louis Braille heard an address at his school, the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, given by Captain Charles Barbier, a retired army captain. Barbier had been inspired to create a system of page bumps for soldiers to read and write messages in the dark of night. Unfortunately for Barbier, his dot system was clunky, the French language had too many symbols for him to effectively translate, and the army didn’t seem to be interested in it. 

Frustrated with the embossed lettering system at his school, 13-year-old Braille certainly was interested in the dot system, and he soon began working to make it better. Reports suggest that Louis devoted all his spare and vacation time towards this goal, over a period of two to three years! His sacrifice was worth it, creating a better way for blind individuals to learn and live, and all while still a teen!

The cornerstone of Christian living is the sacrifice of personal ambition to accomplish the greater works of God. While this may seem harsh or unjust to some, remember that God thinks and sees much better than we do, with better ends in mind! Walk daily with your cross of sacrifice! It will lead you to touching lives wherever you go! You are loved! 

  

“Love each other as I have loved you.” (John‬ ‭15‬:‭12‬ NIV)

I stood at the chain link fence, watching the football coaches work the high school boys hard. I say “work”, but my sons might say “punish”! It was a grueling workout. But the coaches knew how to win, themselves having been “punished” by their coach years ago that turned them into champions. 

God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show that same love to others, to those that can be hard to love. It’s easy to love those that are easy to love. But what about those that act towards you the way you act towards God, good at some moments but not so much most of the time? Like the coaches, we must give as it was given to us, if we would see Christ truly exemplified. 

As you start your week, do it with God’s love in mind. We deserve nothing but punishment for falling short of God’s reachable marks of holiness. And yet, He bears with us, not wanting to destroy but to refine, having seen in us the true champion caliber of Christian we can be. Love & be loved today! 

  

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Yesterday I preached a sermon about the extravagant love of the alabaster box offering. One year ago, I preached an illustrated message of Jesus’ last hours called “The Whip, Hammer & Cross”. Ten years ago, I preached a message entitled “The Prayer of Evangelism”. Fifteen years ago, I preached “The Corruption Of Good Character” to my first church in Hereford, TX. There’s been a lot of sermons I’ve both preached and heard in my lifetime!

As believers, you and I are not the product of a new ministry or a word come lately. We stand firmly on the shoulders of men and women that have preached, taught, and labored to share the Gospel since the days of Jesus Himself. We can trace this hope through history all the way back to then! We stand on the shoulders of a long legacy of faith!

So don’t let this word become dormant in you. Remember that yours is an ancient and strong faith, passed down from generation to generation, all the way to you. Be sure to do you’re part and keep passing it on! Continue the legacy by standing firm! You are loved! 

  

John did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.'” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NIV)

A pastor friend once shared with me a humorous hospital story. One of his members had been in an accident and was rushed to the ER. When my friend got the call and arrived at the hospital, he found the frantic family. As he walked through the doors, there was the loud, collective, audible sigh of relief from this large group as someone spotted him and cried out, “Everything’s gonna be okay; the pastor’s here!”

The danger of a Messiah Complex is that we truly begin to believe we are “saviors”. And we really run afoul when we try to deliver people out of predicaments that God NEEDED for them to encounter to build their faith! We are not saviors, but Hands of the Savior, being used by God to touch lives so that their allegiance is given to Him, not us. 

Attention feels good, and to be seen as important to others is flattering. But the life of a servant is a life hidden in the Master’s shadow. We fail by accepting the spotlight. Point the way to God by impacting people’s lives and you will share in the Master’s joy! You are loved! 

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Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, He graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” (Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ NLT)

Paul Chrzan has THE Dream Job: A Lego Master Builder. Master builders, of which there are 40, often have backgrounds in some area of three-dimensional design like sculpture or architecture, and most often have the complex task of building larger-than-life models or designing the official LegoLand sets. Past creations have ranged from a scene from one of Laurent de Brunhoff’s “Babar” books to the U.S. Capitol building. Cool, huh?!

There is a privilege above getting paid to play with toys or any other “dream job”, and that is to save someone’s eternity. This is a role that every believer has the privilege of becoming, but few live up to. And while we may not feel qualified to do it, it takes FAR less training that building a Lego masterpiece, and brings with it blessings that overpower any paycheck!

In this life, few of us will ever get the chance to live out our dream occupations, like testing chocolate or being a rock star. But you do have an eternal privilege to change lives! Do it! You are loved!

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Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Nipton, CA, was originally founded on February 9, 1905, with the coming of the first train on the newly constructed San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. It served as a cattle-loading station for several local ranches; the town and depot also supplied numerous mines in the area, becoming a social center for the sparse population of the region on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert.

In its final rigor mortis-stage of existence, doomed to become another Western ghost town, one man’s dream is turning it around. Gerald Freeman, 81, a geologist/gold prospector, purchased the town in 1984, and has worked to revive its historic charm. Using solar energy and other natural resources, he has made the town self-sufficient, giving the town another chance to make a difference and live again.

Wherever God has allowed you to live, quit griping! Let your life be so influential that it makes a difference, even in your community. Then as the town or area is blessed by your sacrificial work, God gets the glory! Let your life make a greater-felt difference! You are loved today!