Archive for July 2015

THE WAY OUT

July 30, 2015

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I have never taken part in walks through complicated mazes.

I feel claustrophobic just contemplating such an adventure. The closest thing to a maze I can remember is dimly lit fun houses at Central NY field day events or at Suburban Park, a nearby amusement park.

I prefer to take a direct route out, especially from dark places back into familiar light.SEPTEMBER 2014 002

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJ).”

The shepherd of wandering lost sheep called me out of spiritual darkness. I took the direct route through the opened door.

“Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep (John 10:7 NKJ).”

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TAKE NOTES!

July 23, 2015

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Do you take notes during your pastor’s sermons? I’m a note taker from way back. I not only stay focused; I save valuable teaching for future meditations. Pastors use varied methods in the delivery of their messages; the changing of methods is of little consequence as long as the message remains founded upon scripture. SEPTEMBER 2014 002

I am a fan of three-point sermons…

If you take notes, jot down this scripture verse from a KJV,                        1 Peter 5:10.

Message Outline:
I. Stablish
II. Strengthen
III. Settle

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect , stablish , strengthen , settle you (1 Peter 5:10 KJV).”

I’m flexible; I see a fourth point in the passage. I just might drop Stablish into second position and place Suffered in first place.

Keep pens and highlighters handy; take notes and hide God’s word in your heart. [Psalm 119:11]

1-2-3

July 16, 2015

1-2-3

1. One church member resigns him or herself to sittin’ in their self-assigned pew. At the conclusion of the worship hour, he or she exits the sanctuary unmoved by the pastor’s call to sacrifice and service.SEPTEMBER 2014 002

2. Another, in the same congregation hears and decides to volunteer, to start servin’ others in their congregation. If a brother or sister in God’s family has a need, they will reach out a helpin’ hand.

3. The 3rd hears and hurts. He or she grieves over the indifferent and lost and as the Lord leads, will be sowin’ seed unto salvation.

“But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times [what was sown] (Matthew 13:23 HCS).”

UNITY EXPERIENTIALLY

July 9, 2015

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“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJ).”

Are we, as Christ followers, making a diligent effort to guard cherished unity of the Spirit? Most of us never give unity a thought, or if we do, think it would mean forfeiting individuality.

We might better understand this passage when taken in by small bites.

Paul, though often a prisoner to Rome was willingly held captive by Christ. He felt a sense of urgency when addressing the church. Christ had called them to follow Him; they had answered His call to holiness and evangelism. In all endeavors, they were to be compassionate.

When will I experience unity of the Spirit?

Undoubtedly, I will know it experientially when tenderly bearing the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Where might I discover unity of the Spirit?

The LORD safeguards such unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…

SEARCHLIGHT

July 2, 2015

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My Dad liked flashlights; well to be honest, he was obsessive-compulsive about flashlights.

He could never have too many. I have no idea how or when the obsession began. I recall one flashlight with a beam so bright it could have served as searchlight at a small airport.

I have enjoyed occasional airport searchlight sightings on cloudless nights. The lights slowly moved back and forth across a large expanse of the sky. Much like windshield wipers clear a rain streaked window, a searchlight clears the way for approaching air traffic.

I want a heart clear of sin…

“LORD, turn on Your searchlight!”

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”
                                                             Psalm 139:23-24 (HCS)

A careful search would reveal the sin of worry over finances, family, and the future. How foolish! The Father knows my needs and is faithful to meet them.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
                                                           Matthew 6:33-34 (HCS)

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