Archive for March, 2009

Such likeness between men and swine!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Rowland Hill illustrated the folly of sinners, by the story of a butcher who was followed by the swine right into the slaughterhouse. As pigs are not usually in the mind to go where they are wanted, it seemed a mystery how these animals were so eager to follow their executioner; but when it was seen that he wisely carried a bag of corn with which he enticed the creatures onward–the riddle was solved at once. Unsuspicious of impending death–the hogs cared only for the passing gratification of their appetites, and hastened to the slaughter.

Just in the same manner, ungodly men follow the great enemy of souls down into the jaws of hell, merely because their depraved passions are pleased with the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of sin which the devil gives them by handfuls on the road. Alas, that there should be such likeness between men and swine!

The joys of sin are so short and so unsatisfactory, that they can never be thought of for a moment–as a fitting inducement for a rational being to lose his immortal soul. Will a few hours’ foolery, gambling, drinking, or immorality — compensate for eternal fire? Is the momentary indulgence of a base passion, worth . . .
enduring of flames which never can be quenched,
eternally moaning in vain for a drop of water,
being tormented by the never dying worm,
being shut out from heaven forever,
being eternally cursed by God!

Is any sin worth all this? Can any gain make up for this?

Sword and Trowel

Be Careful What You Say

Monday, March 30th, 2009

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:8 King James Version

Have you ever said something to someone without meaning to hurt the person? I have done that. Just yesterday, I said something to someone and then I realized how terrible it sounded. I didn’t mean to hurt the person. I was just expressing my opinion. I have apologized to the person but even if the person is gracious enough to forgive me, the words I said can never be taken back. We need to be careful what we say realizing that we can apologize but the words can never be unsaid.

This is why it is so important to keep our eyes on Jesus. None of us are perfect. All of us fail Jesus. The greatest Christian you know is just a sinner saved by grace. There was only one perfect person who ever lived or ever will live and His name is Jesus. Instead of getting upset when people hurt us, we need to remember that we also hurt people. If we want them to forgive us when we hurt them, then we need to be willing to forgive them when they hurt us.

Heavenly Father, please forgive us for saying things and doing things that hurt people. Put a lock on our tongues when we are tempted to say things that will hurt someone. Help us to be loving and compassionate like Jesus. Remind us, Heavenly Father, that when we hurt people, we also hurt Jesus. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for being compassionate, tenderhearted and full of mercy. Thank You for forgiving us when we sin and fail You. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

A Love Story

Friday, March 27th, 2009

One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise.
Ah! The beauty of God’s creation is beyond description!
As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work.
As I sat there, I felt the Lord’s presence with me.

He asked me,
“Do you love me?”
I answered,
“Of course, God! You are my Lord and Saviour!”

*******************************************

Then He asked,
“If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?”

I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest
of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn’t be able to do,
the things that I took for granted.

And I answered, “It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You.”

*******************************************

Then the Lord said,
“If you were blind, would you still love my creation?”

How could I love something without being able to see it?
Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of
them still loved God and His creation.

So I answered, “Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you.”

*******************************************

The Lord then asked me,
“If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?”

How could I listen to anything being deaf?
Then I understood. Listening to God’s Word is not merely using our
ears, but our hearts.

I answered, “It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word.”

*******************************************

The Lord then asked, “If you were mute, would you still praise My
Name?”

How could I praise without a voice?
Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and
soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not
always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise
with our words of thanks.

So I answered, “Though I could not physically sing, I would still
praise Your Name.

*******************************************

And the Lord asked, “Do you really love Me?”

With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly,
“Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!”
I thought I had answered well, but God asked,

“THEN WHY DO YOU SIN?”

I answered, “Because I am only human. I am not perfect.”

“THEN WHY IN TIMES OF PEACE DO YOU STRAY THE FURTHEST?
WHY ONLY IN TIMES OF TROUBLE DO YOU PRAY THE EARNEST?”

No answers. Only tears.

The Lord continued: “Why only sing at fellowships and retreats?
Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly?
Why ask things so unfaithfully?”

The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.

“Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good
news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer
My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you
opportunities to serve in My Name?”

I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.

“You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away.
I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to
turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain
in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed.
I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away.
I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed
away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all.”

“DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME ?”

I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief.
I had no excuse. What could I say to this? When my heart had
cried out and the tears had flowed, I said,
“Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child.”

The Lord answered, ” That is My Grace, My child.”

I asked, ” Then why do you continue to forgive me?
Why do You love me so?”

The Lord answered,
” Because you are My creation. You are my child.
I will never abandon you.
When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you.
When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you.
When you are down, I will encourage you.
When you fall, I will raise you up.
When you are tired, I will carry you.
I will be with you till the end of days, and I will
love you forever.”

Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold?
How could I have hurt God as I had done?
I asked God,
“How much do You love me?”

The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands.
I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Saviour.
And for the first time, I truly prayed.

–Author Unknown.

We Need Each Other

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

“They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.” Isaiah 41:6-7 King James Version

I received an email from someone who said “I don’t need anybody.” That is a lie straight from the pits of hell. We need each other. People who say they don’t need anyone are not being honest with themselves and they are also deceiving themselves. There are times in all of our lives, if we are honest, when we get discouraged. Have you ever felt as if all of your friends had deserted you? It doesn’t matter if it was true or not; it still hurt.

Joyce Landorf Heatherley, a speaker and author, said on one of her teaching tapes “There are times when the pain wipes out my caring ability and if I am going to make it through, it’s going to have to be because of you.” Yes, we really do need each other. We must be an encouragement to one another. Look at our Scripture verse again “and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.” We need someone to take us to Jesus when we are hurting.

Sometimes the pain is so overwhelming that we can’t pray or read our Bibles. It is then that we need someone to pick us up and carry us to Jesus. We must become more compassionate and caring Christians. Jesus also gets discouraged and lonely just like we do when people reject Him and refuse to fellowship with Him. Open the door of your heart wider and ask Jesus to fill your heart with more compassion for Him and for others.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

He will Bind Up Your Wounds

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

“Casting all your care upon Him–for He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow, when we can feel–“HE cares for ME!” Christian! do not dishonor God, by always wearing a brow of worry! Come–cast your burden upon your God! You are staggering beneath a weight–which your Father would not feel. What seems like a crushing burden to you–would be but as small dust to Him. Nothing is so sweet as to,
“Lie passive in God’s hands,
And know no will, but His.”

O child of suffering–be patient! God has not overlooked you in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows–will also furnish you with what you need. Do not sit down in despair.

There is One who cares for you!

His all-seeing eye is fixed on you!

His all-loving heart beats with pity for your woe!

His omnipotent hand shall yet bring you the needed help!

The darkest cloud–shall scatter itself in showers of mercy.

The blackest gloom–shall give place to the morning light.

If you are one of His family–He will bind up your wounds, and heal your broken heart. Do not doubt His grace, because of your troubles–but believe that He loves you as much in seasons of distress–as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead–if you would leave providing–to the God of providence!

If God cares for you–why need you care also? Can you trust Him for your soul–and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens–He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! Be done with fretful worry–and leave all your concerns in the hand of your gracious God!

–Charles Spurgeon

Pleasant Words

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb,
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 King James Version

I have been very sick with the flu for a week. I was getting a little discouraged because I couldn’t sit at my computer to email people and encourage them. Yesterday, my sister emailed me. She was concerned about me and she said kind and loving words to me. About an hour after I received her last email, I started feeling much better. I didn’t hurt and ache like I had been hurting and aching for a week.

Our Scripture verse tells us that “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” I believe if we want to see people get better who have arthritis that if we would start encouraging them on a daily basis that they would start feeling better very soon. We don’t know what is going on in a person’s heart and life. We only know what we see and what they tell us.

We don’t have to go very far to find someone who needs encouragement. Our spouses, our children, our parents and our families need encouragement. They need to know that we love them and care about them. More important than that, they need to know that Jesus loves them unconditionally. When is the last time you hugged your spouse and said “This hug is not from me? It is from Jesus.”

If we would stop discouraging our families with criticizing and judgmental remarks and start encouraging them with kind and loving words, I believe that our homes would be filled with love, warmth and laughter instead of being filled with violence, hatred and anger.

There are too many homes that are filled with cursing, violence, hatred and anger. These things not only hurt our families; they also hurt Jesus. His heart breaks when He hears the terrible things that we say to one another. When He sees us being cruel and mean to someone, He hurts and He has tears in His eyes and in His heart. It is time that we stop hurting our families. We also need to stop hurting our precious Saviour. He deserves to be happy after all that He has done for us.

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not loving unconditionally as Jesus has commanded us to love. Please fill our hearts with compassion and unconditional love for our families and friends. Help us to do something kind and say something kind to them every day. May we be children that bring joy to You instead of hurting You by the harsh and criticizing remarks that we make to one another. Remind us, Heavenly Father, that when we say unkind things and do unkind things we are breaking Your heart and the heart of our precious Saviour. Grant that we will have the compassion to love others unconditionally just as You love us. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

I Am Addiction

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I Hate meetings…I Hate higher powers…I Hate anyone who has a program. To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am the disease of addiction. I Am cunning, baffling, and powerful. That’s Me. I have killed millions and I am pleased.

I love to catch you with the element of surprise. I love pretending I am your friend and lover. I have given you comfort, haven’t I? Wasn’t I there when you were lonely?

When you wanted to die, didn’t you call on me?I was there, I love to make you hurt. I love to make you cry. Better yet, I Love to make you so numb you can neither hurt nor cry. When you can’t feel anything at all. This is true gratification. And all that I ask from you is long term suffering.

I’ve been there for you always. When things were going right in your life, you invited me. You said you didn’t deserve these good things, and i was the only one who would agree with you.

Together we were able to destroy all the good things in your life.

People don’t take me seriously. They take strokes seriously, heart attacks, even diabetes, they take seriously. Fools. Without my help these things would not be possible.

I am such a hated disease, and yet I do not come uninvited. You choose to have me. So many have chosen me over reality and peace. More than you hate me, I hate all of you who have a 12 step program. Your program, Your meeting, Your higher power. All of these things weaken me, and I can’t function in the manner I am accustomed to. Now I must lie here quietly.

You don’t see me but I am growing bigger than ever. When you only exist, I may live. When you live I may only exist. But I am here… And until we meet again, If we meet again, I wish you death and suffering.

You are Made in His Image

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

One of our gravest mistakes is forgetting the foundational truth of Genesis 1:26—that God made US in HIS image, and not the other way around. As a result, we go through life imagining God as some larger version of ourselves.

Personally, I’m not too excited about trusting or serving a God who’s just like me, only bigger. I know me, and I’m not worthy of being trusted or served. Neither are you. When we receive Christ as our Savior and begin to grow in our faith, we become more like Him, and that’s a good thing. But if the situation were reversed and God became more like us, wouldn’t you agree that’s NOT such a good thing?

Yet we reverse the process in our minds, each time we question God. When something doesn’t turn out as we hoped or thought it should, we wonder why God let us down. Isn’t that why unbelievers shake their fists at the heavens and declare, “I will never believe in a God who allows such awful things to happen”? Aren’t they really saying, “I know better than God because my ways are the right ways. If He doesn’t line up with what I expect, then He’s either an evil God, or He doesn’t exist at all.”

But how different are we as believers? I doubt I’m the only one who has heard other Christians proclaim, “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God why He…” Fill in the blanks: “allowed my business to fail, my health to deteriorate, my child to die.” We are so finite and myopic while we live on this earth—and so me-centered!—that we actually think God owes us an explanation for things that don’t go our way. In reality, He owes us nothing, but we owe Him everything. As a famous preacher used to say, “After all God has done for us, anyone who goes to hell deserves to be there.”

Ah, there it is—what we really deserve. Not answers or explanations from a non-performing God made in our own image, but separation from Him and an eternity in hell because we have marred the image of God stamped upon us at creation. And that, my friends, is where mercy and grace come in. Remember, mercy is not receiving the bad things we deserve; grace is receiving the good things we don’t deserve.

God is not a heavenly butler in the sky, waiting for us to call on Him, demanding blessings and explanations, but a merciful Judge and Redeemer who loved us enough to create us in His image, and then to extend His mercy and grace to us to begin the image-restoration process when we rejected Him.

What an amazing God—and how grateful I am that I am made in His image, and not He in mine! May we all cooperate with Him in that restoration process so that those who are still shaking their fists at the heavens will look at us and see the awesome and magnificent Lord of the universe shining through.

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

Our Mistakes are Gone Forever

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:8-12 King James Version

Sometimes we are our worse enemy because we dwell on the past and put ourselves down because of all the mistakes we made. We need to understand that Jesus is not a liar. If He tells us that he has removed our transgressions from us, which He has told us, then they are gone forever. When we live in the past and refuse to forgive ourselves, what we are really doing is saying that Jesus is a liar. May God forgive us for not believing Jesus.

Don’t let satan lie to you. The next time satan tells you that Jesus can’t forgive you for what you did, tell him that he is a liar. As soon as satan starts to lie to you and discourage you, run as fast as you can into the waiting protective arms of Jesus. Our precious Saviour is more than able to protect us from the vicious attacks of satan. Jesus doesn’t forgive like we forgive. He forgives from His heart.

There are times when we tell people that we forgive them but we still have resentment and bitterness in our hearts. We need to forgive them from our hearts just as Jesus forgives us from His heart. Unless and until we forgive those who have hurt us from our hearts, we have not forgiven them. We are only giving them lip service. Are you forgiving the ones who hurt you from your heart just as Jesus forgives you?

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

The Most and the Greatest

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The most useless thing to do ………..Worry
The greatest Joy………………………….Giving
The greatest loss……………..Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work…………….Helping others

The ugliest personality trait………………….Selfishness
The most endangered species……………….Dedicated leaders
The greatest “shot in the arm”………………Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome………….Fear

Most effective sleeping pill…………..Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease………Excuses
The most powerful force in life………….. ……..Love
The most dangerous pariah……………………………A gossiper

The world’s most incredible computer… …The brain !
The worst thing to be without……………….Hope
The deadliest weapon……….. The tongue
The two most power-filled words……………”I Can”

The greatest asset……………..Faith
The most worthless emotion…………….Self-pity
The most prized possession…………….Integrity
The most beautiful attire……………….A SMILE! The most powerful channel of communication……..Prayer
The most contagious spirit……………..Enthusiasm
The most important thing in life……………GOD