365: Barbara Thurston

Say yes to Jesus

12.20.15 When are you going to say yes to Jesus?
How long must He wait before you say yes? That's all He desires is to hear you say yes Lord. 
Saying Yes! to Jesus is very simple and, at the same time, is very profound. As Pastor Wayne Cordeiro often says, it is the most eternal decision you will ever make. Saying Yes! starts with a person's desire to know God in a personal way. The Bible says that we can be in God's family, adopted as His sons and daughters; like any parent, He wants to be a part of your life.

Once you know your heart is turning to God and you want that relationship to be strong, saying Yes! is as simple as making that declaration. The Bible says it this way - "If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved." Very simple.

Saying Yes! means you acknowledge that you have fallen short of righteousness and God's example of holiness; we call that sin. Then, you believe and confess (say) that Jesus paid for all sins by His death on the cross, and you want His payment to be applied to your life. You have repented (changed your mind, turned and started going back toward God), confessed and believed. That's all it takes to become a child of God, a part of God's family. It is the beginning of a lifelong journey to become more like God, to love Him fully and to live the life you were created to have. Welcome to the family of God!

The most important question that you ever need to answer is, “Do I belong to Christ?” If you belong to Christ, all of God’s promises are “yes” for you in Him (2 Cor. 1:20). If you belong to Christ, you are reconciled to God, your sins are all forgiven, you can enjoy fellowship with Him every day, and you know that if you were to die today, you would be with the Lord in the glory of heaven forever.

So, do you belong to Christ? You may say, “Yes, I invited Jesus into my heart at Vacation Bible School when I was a child.” I’m glad to hear that, but do you belong to Christ? “Yes, I prayed the sinner’s prayer after a campus worker shared the Four Spiritual Laws with me in college.” That’s fine, but do you belong to Christ? “Yes, the worker told me that if I prayed that prayer, I could be assured that I’m going to heaven.” Really? Where does the Bible say that praying a prayer will get you into heaven? You need to make sure that you belong to Christ based on what the Bible says.

One of Paul’s main reasons for writing Romans 8 was to give assurance to us who believe in Jesus Christ that we belong to Him for time and eternity. He begins with the most wonderful statement imaginable (Rom. 8:1), “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then he explains (8:2), “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” The new life that the Holy Spirit imparts frees you from the condemnation that resulted from your sin. Jesus, God’s eternal Son, bore the penalty that the law demanded, so that its requirement of perfect righteousness is met in Him (8:3-4 a).

You are in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you, which is a mark of everyone who belongs to Christ (Romans 8:9).
IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLING IN YOU, BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT, YOU DO NOT BELONG TO CHRIST.

Jesus’ opening words to him were (John 3:3), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He went on to say (John 3:7), “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” Peter spoke of the same thing (1 Pet. 1:3): “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (see, also James 1:18; Titus 3:4-6). So when we are born again, the Holy Spirit imparts new life to us and takes up residence in us. Thus it is a matter of spiritual life or death to have the Spirit of God dwelling in you or not.

Without Christ, life is grim and futile. As the bumper sticker says, “Life is tough and then you die.” Even if you make it to 100, so what? But if you belong to Christ, no matter when you die you have the certain hope that the God who raised Jesus from the dead will raise you through His Spirit who dwells in you.

So let today be the day of your salvation, God is waiting for you.

 

Lord I come to You thanking You for my salvation. I love being a part of Your family. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

How Marvelous

12.19.15 How marvelous 
I stand amazed in the presenceOf Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

Chorus:
How marvelous! how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed, “Not My will, but Thine;”
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweatdrops of blood for mine.
(Chorus)

He took my sins and my sorrow,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone.
(Chorus)

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
‘Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.
(Chorus)

A song that we frequently sing at FBC is “I Stand Amazed”. It’s a new setting of a hymn from the late 1800’s, also known as “How Marvelous” or “My Savior’s Love”. Charles Gabriel wrote the hymn. Cyberhymnal.orggives this short biographical sketch:

“Growing up on an Iowa farm, Gabriel taught himself to play the family’s reed organ. He began teaching in singing schools by age 16, and became well known as a teacher and composer. He served as music director at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, San Francisco, California (1890-2), then moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1912 he began working with Homer Rodeheaver’s publishing company. His edited some 43 song books, 7 men’s chorus books, 19 anthem collections, and 23 cantatas.”
The exact circumstances that prompted the writing of this hymn are unknown. What is evident from the text itself is the writer’s continual “amazement” that Jesus, the Son of God, would die for sinners. Verses 2 and 3 are a poetic description of Jesus’ sufferings in the garden at Gethsemane and on the cross. Verse 4 points to the eternal praise that will be on the lips of those sinners who have been cleansed and ransomed by Jesus. In the version that we sing, verse 2 is omitted.

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime ~ Martin Luther

Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be? ~ Charles Spurgeon

What have you seen of God’s creation today that made your heart leap in appreciation of our loving Creator?

God’s masterpiece of creation inspires our worship. ‪#‎MarvelousCreator‬

You ever thought about those words? How marvelous, just how marvelous is our God? I think He is the most marvelous of all. After all He created everything, He even created us. So I'd say He's pretty marvelous wouldn't you?

 

Lord thank You for being so marvelous. We can't even imagine what it would be like to create all that You have created. I wish we would show people even a tenth of the love You show us. If that would happen Lord then there wouldn't be so much violence in the world. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Drinking

12.18.15 Well last night we talked a little about drugs, and tonight I'd like to see what the Bible says about drinking. I don't know how many of you know the amount of people who drink and drive. Do people not realize how dangerous it is to drink and drive and not to mention it's not only your life that is in jeopardy, you could have an accident and someone might die. Let's see what God says. 
Alcohol, consumed in small quantities, is neither harmful nor addictive. In fact, some doctors advocate drinking small amounts of red wine for its health benefits, especially for the heart. Consumption of small quantities of alcohol is a matter of Christian freedom. Drunkenness and addiction are sin. However, due to the biblical concerns regarding alcohol and its effects, due to the easy temptation to consume alcohol in excess, and due to the possibility of causing offense and/or stumbling of others, it is often best for a Christian to abstain from drinking alcohol.
The Bible is clear that our bodies are temples of the living God via the agent of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received of God? . . . . Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV). God is concerned with how we treat our bodies, including what we eat or drink. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV). The wise Solomon said, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1, NIV). “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper” (Proverbs 23:31, NIV).
More than 2 million Americans suffer from alcohol-related liver disease. Some drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, as a result of heavy drinking over a long period of time. Its symptoms include fever, jaundice (abnormal yellowing of the skin, eyeballs, and urine), and abdominal pain. Alcoholic hepatitis can cause death if drinking continues. If drinking stops, the condition may be reversible. About 10 percent to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. People with cirrhosis should not drink alcohol. Although treatment for the complications of cirrhosis is available, a liver transplant may be needed for someone with life-threatening cirrhosis. Alcoholic cirrhosis can cause death if drinking continues. Cirrhosis is not reversible, but if a person with cirrhosis stops drinking, the chances of survival improve considerably. People with cirrhosis often feel better, and liver function may improve, after they stop drinking. About 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which can cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Some heavy drinkers also have HCV infection. As a result, their livers may be damaged not only by alcohol but by HCV-related problems as well. People with HCV infection are more susceptible to alcohol-related liver damage and should think carefully about the risks when considering whether to drink alcohol.
The moderate use of alcohol has been reported to have beneficial effects on the heart, especially among those at greatest risk for heart attacks, such as men over the age of forty-five and women after menopause. However, it is very important to know that these reports are based on observational data, but there is insufficient evidence to prove causality. It is also significant that none of these investigators has recommended those not using alcohol begin doing so! Heavy drinking increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and some kinds of stroke.
Long-term heavy drinking increases the risk of certain forms of cancer, especially cancer of the esophagus, mouth, throat, and larynx (voice box). Research suggests that for some women as little as one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancer. Drinking may also increase the risk for developing cancer of the colon and rectum.
The pancreas helps regulate the body’s blood sugar levels by producing insulin. The pancreas also has a role in digesting the food we eat. Long-term heavy drinking can lead to pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis can cause severe abdominal pain and can be fatal. 
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). By using alcohol we participate in destroying not only our own life, but often the lives of others. Even in moderation, alcohol use causes significant problems—physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s no wonder the Bible consistently warns against it. God says, in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now and let us reason together." With alcohol use we temporarily and permanently stupefy our reasoning powers. So, for a Christian, is it drinkable, or unthinkable?
Well there you have it, please if you do drink don't drive. 
Lord I come to You thinking You for allowing me to live another day. I think You for allowing me to spend this time with You this year every night. I have had the best time listening to what You would have me write and doing research. Please Lord be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Drugs

12.17.15 I see a lot of people who do drugs and they will do about anything to get the next fix. I guess I don't get it because I've never really messed with drugs. I just think we need to pray for these people that God will show them Grace and give them the Hope they need. I also want to say it's not just young people, it's all age groups. 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
The Bible does not directly address any form of illicit drug use. There are no express prohibitions against cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), or methamphetamines (Meth). There is no mention of marijuana, cannabis, peyote, magic mushrooms, or acid (LSD). Nothing is said about huffing, snorting, dropping, smoking, shooting, licking, or any other method of ingestion. This is not to say, however, that recreational drug use is permissible. On the contrary, there are several very clear biblical principles that place drug use well outside the realm of acceptable behavior.
Christians are all required to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, regardless of our national identity (Matthew 25:13-30). This includes our earthly bodies. Unfortunately, illicit drug use is an extremely effective way to destroy your health, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Any time spent kneeling before the god of drugs is time spent with your back towards the God of the Bible. 
Drugs take control of our bodies, and our lives. We are to live under the control of God's Spirit, to His glory. Drug use thus have no place in the life of the Christian.
We live in a drug using society. Many people have turned to chemicals as a way of life. They may have started out of curiosity or experimentation or escapement but after a period of time they find themselves enjoying the experience. The drug is making them feel the way they want to feel! Now, they're trapped!
There's no use trying to "con" anyone. Drugs do make people feel good and provide a means of escape. However, that good feeling and escapement is only temporary. It doesn't last. No matter how high we get, when it is over we still must come down to the real life with its real problems. Running from a problem never solved it. We may prolong it or make it worse, it won't go away.
You may have reached that lonely time in your life when you feel empty, useless, unloved, unwanted and unnecessary. So, what are you going to do about it? Bury your head in the sand and hope the feeling will disappear, try an artificial filler such as drugs, or stand on your own two feet and deal with things realistically.
Everyone gets that vacant feeling at some time in his or her life. You are not the only one to go through this. The only difference is that some people know where to turn for help. They manage without that artificial filler provided by drugs, You must learn that solutions to any of life's problems do not come from the "far-out" world of chemicals. The answer can come through a four letter word that isn't spelled D-R-U-G , but is spelled L-O-V-E. It is through God's love that people like yourself have come to grips with their problems. They've learned that it's the "greatest thing in the world to be a Christian", because in Jesus you and I can find the love, care, concern and understanding necessary to fulfill our human needs.
It really can be a good life if we want it to be despite all the problems it presents. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God hath given us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness".
Look at the potential physical and psychological danger that drugs present to the abuser. The physically addicting drugs deteriorate the body and overdose can result in respiratory failure and death. Psychologically, drugs can cause us to lose all sense of control. We switch our entire dependence and reason for living to the chemical. The Bible teaches in I Corinthians 6:19-20 that God has given us our bodies; our bodies belong to Him. We are also told in Romans 12:1 that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God". Can we do this and be drug dependent?
Let's put the blame where it really belongs. What we-are actually talking about is a PEOPLE problem, not a drug problem. People make the drug problem what it is by letting the drug gain control of their lives, thus, they lose control and are unable to face reality with these artificial fillers to bridge the gap.
1. Think Positive: Life is not dull. Everything that is fun is not a no no. You can enjoy life and feel good about it by using the Word of God as your guideline. A negative attitude can destroy you, but tell yourself you can do whatever you set your mind to, including being drug free. If you are not sure of yourself, you are in trouble.
2. Fill Your Life With Joy: Don't go around with your chin dragging the ground. Hold your head up with enthusiasm. Don't let life drag you down.
3. Get Involved: You get out of anything exactly what you put into it. If you are not willing to sacrifice, don't expect life to be a rose garden. That's why religion is dull to some people, they don't put anything in it.
4. Discipline Yourself: Bring your body in subjection. Control your own life. Don't allow a chemical to rule you.
5. Be your own person not a reactor to others.
6. Handle everything with prayer.
It's your life, no one can force you to do anything against your will. Do you really want to use drugs or do you want the good life? It's up to you. Say yes to God and no to drugs.

 

God I come to you tonight with a heavy heart knowing how many people have a drug addiction and doing whatever it takes to get that next fix. God it's not just young people it is all ages. Lord whatever happened to the older people being an example. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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