365: Barbara Thurston

What really matters to you

 5.12.15 What really matters to you?  

Today I read the following from Max Lucado:

A man once went to a minister for counseling.

“I’ve lost everything,” he told the minister.

“Oh I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your faith,” the minister responded.

“No,” the man corrected him, “I haven’t lost my faith.”

“Well, then I’m sad to hear you’ve lost your character.”

“I didn’t say that,” the man corrected. “I still have my character.”

“I’m so sorry you’ve lost your salvation,” said the minister.

“That’s not what I said,” the man objected.

“You have your faith, your character, and your salvation. Seems to me,” the minister observed, “that you’ve lost none of the things that really matter.”

Have you ever taken a survey of people in your Church or just on the street and asked them what matters most to you?  After a powerful sermon @ Church most people would probably say God is, if it was someone just on the street or in someones home they may say my family or my job.  What would you say is most important to you?

How much money you make ... how far you get up the ladder of success ... how ideal things are in your life here on earth ... WHAT REALLY MATTERS IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN?? Keeping the commandments of God. "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city," (Rev. 22:14). Amen?

I would not want to live this life without being a Christian.

Life is not worth living without the Lord.

Battles are not worth fighting without the Lord.

Burdens are not worth carrying without the Lord.

What I see in the Scriptures is God begging us to know Him. Psalm 73 shows those who have everything their heart could desire and yet when they come to the end, they have nothing to live for and less to die for.

When you have had your last pleasure, seen your last sight, met your last friend, had your last drink, spent your last night in sin…you will know what you traded for knowing God.

When the last Scripture has been fulfilled, and the last sin has been committed, and the last song has been sung, and the last searching of the Spirit, and the last soul has been saved, and the last saint has entered the portals of glory…all that really matters is, do you know the Lord? When every broken heart is healed and every severed friendship restored, the only thing that really matters is Do you know the Lord?

For the saint, When you've lived in His love, Shared in His grace, Walked in his Word, Stood in His power, and have been led by His Spirit, the only thing that really matters is that you know the Lord.

When you have spoken you last word, had your last victory, kissed your last loved one, breathed your last breath and lived your last day. THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY MATTERS IS, DO YOU KNOW THE LORD? TO KNOW CHRIST IS TO KNOW PEACE, VICTORY, AND FORGIVENESS, AND THAT HEAVEN IS YOUR HOME.

God I come to you again thinking you for being who you are.  I want to think you for loving me even though I don't deserve it.  I just want to say think you for saving my soul.  Lord I love you, and I want to worship and praise you all of my days.  God now I ask that you be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you.  I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen. 

Do I have to go to Church or can I stay home and read the Bible and Pray

4.15.15 Should I go to Church or can I just stay home and read the Bible and Pray?

One of the great blessings in a believer's walk is fellowship with other followers of Christ. Satan knows this and he will do his best to keep you from enjoying the full richness of God's blessings in your life.

Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

God's desire is for us to build each other up and share our experiences so that we may grow together. The body of Christ is not a physical building, there are many ways to have Church such as: having a small group @ someone's home where you can study the Bible, worship and pray together.

Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;

It is important to have regular contact with other believers, study the Word of God and have "quiet time" alone with the Lord, studying the Bible and praying daily.

1 Corinthians 12:12
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:14-23
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Unity in the body of Christ does not mean total conformity and uniformity. Although maintaining unity in the body is very important, it is also vital to value the unique qualities that make each of us an individual "part" of the body. Both aspects, unity and individuality, deserve emphasis and appreciation. This makes for a healthy church body, when we remember that Christ is our common denominator. He makes us one.

So you see you may not have to go to Church but if you are a Christian then you are a part of the body of Christ. So it is important to gather with the rest of the body of believers so we can all grow together just the way God wants us to.

 

God I come to you asking that you give us the desire to meet with other Christians so that we may grow together, so that we may learn about you and see what you want us to do and how we should act. God I ask that you be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen

Religion vs Relationship

 4.14.15 Religion vs Relationship

Religion doesn't solve anything but Relationship does.
Religion is about rituals and man’s idea on how to achieve a certain “spirituality”.
Scripture tells us that God is a person who thinks and feels. He wants to have a deep connection to all of us. He’s not interested in establishing man’s idea of religion. Rather God wants to have a deep intimate relationship with each person that He created in His own image. When Jesus was here on Earth, He basically said that many religious people will not be on His side on the final judgment day. He told us to beware of religiosity. 
Religion keeps God at a distance. There are a lot of people who say they are religious but they don't have a relationship with God. They put God to the side until Sunday in time for Church. Having a true relationship with the Lord means that you are inviting Him into every part of your heart and life. We can’t ignore the Creator when we do things. We need to let Him influence everything: our businesses, our homes, our families and relationships.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Religion can be very different than having a Relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religions are man made, and are based on trying to get to God through rules and regulations and works. Man made religions all are based on people's efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. God's plan for man's salvation and for being right with Him is told throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God's plan is not based on people's efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing Love and amazing Grace for us; His plan involved His precious Son Jesus paying the price and cost for our sins on the cross. You need to put ALL of your trust and faith in Jesus and in what He did for us on the cross, and not in any religion or in your own efforts. Simply put all of your trust and faith in Jesus, and accept His gift of salvation and eternal life, and experience the joy of having a right RELATIONSHIP of love with God.

"Man's way to reach God is religion; God's way to reach man is Jesus."

"I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one may come to the Father except through me." - John 14:6

"For by grace are you saved, through faith; and this not of your own, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

This is what Pastor David Holt says about Religion vs Relationship:

Religion looks like this:
Performing ritual that is not from the heart
Going through the motions
Doing good works in order to try to earn your way to God
Repeating meaningless phrases and prayers and creeds but it not from the heart

Relationship with Jesus looks like this:
You receive Him into your life and yield your life to Him.
You seek Him daily
You love Him and receive His love
You do good works out of love and gratitude and not to earn something
You worship from the heart instead of just going through the motions

Religion                                                   Relationship
Worship that is merely external             Worship that is internal: from the heart
Doing good to earn favor                       Doing works out of love for God
Hoping to get to heaven                        Knowing you are going to heaven
Built on our doing                                  Based on God’s doing
Doing ritual and things                          Relating to God from the heart
Trying to work to God                           Receiving the grace and love of God
External appearance                            Internal heart
Environment of control & fear               Environment of freedom and grace
Fearing punishment for sin                  Rejoicing that Christ suffered punishment for our sin
Thinking heaven = good bad               Knowing heaven is based on Jesus’ work for us

So let me ask you are you religious or do you have a relationship? I know I have a relationship in the One True God who loves me more than I deserve. I hope you can say you have a relationship also.

God I come to you praying if there is one of my facebook friends are family that doesn't have a relationship with you that they make today as the day to ask you to have a relationship with them. God now be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Procrastanation

Have you ever thought well I need to cut the grass, wash clothes, wash dishes, call someone you haven't talked to in a long time, or how about share your faith, but then you say it can wait, I'll do it later.  Well let's see what the Bible says about procrastinating.

When you make a vow to God, don't delay fulfilling it, because He does not delight in fools.  Fulfill what you vow.  Ecclesiastes 5:4

When you see something needs to be done it should be done rather then waiting.  I'm guilty of this also, I know dishes need to be washed and I'll let them sit until later, but if I would've just done them then they would be done and I wouldn't had to do them later.  

Procrastination is “the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done,” and in some people it is a habitual way of handling any task. While the word itself is not found in the Bible, we can find some principles to help guide us.

The Christian should be supremely motivated to be diligent in his work, since he is ultimately serving the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”.  Colossians 3:23

If we put our hearts into our work, as this verse says to do, we will probably find it difficult to procrastinate too much.

Christians must not procrastinate when it comes to sharing the gospel with the lost. There is no time to waste. Jesus likened evangelistic efforts to a man inviting people to a great banquet. As he sent out his servants with the invitations, he said, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (Luke 14:21). The most striking qualities of the invitation are its openness (anyone and everyone was invited) and its urgency (the call to the feast must go out “quickly”).

Why does it seem like we procrastinate especially when it comes to sharing our faith with others:  Is it because of maybe of getting rejected or maybe the person might say something hurtful to you?  

Not what about if you haven't accepted the Lord and the Salvation He has to offer you, you might say no I'll wait until next Sunday or maybe the next when I feel I'm ready.  Well guess what you aren't promised tomorrow so what are you waiting for.  If you died right now would you be certain that you are going to Heaven?  If not please do not procrastanate because it could be too late, you don't have to wait until Sunday you can accept Christ right where you are.  If you don't know what you need to do to be saved please feel free to ask me or find someone who knows what you must do to be saved and don't wait there's nothing like the present.  

Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:17 (NIV)

Rick Warren shares this: The Bible has a lot to say about procrastination.  Just take a minute to read today's verse and really let it sink in.  I know the things I ought to do and I don't do them.  And I know the things I shouldn't do and I do those.  But I procrastinate on the things I really want to change in my life. Why? 

The Bible says you procrastinate for one of five reasons.

1.  Indecision"A double minded man is unstable in all he does."  (James 1:8 LB)  Have you ever sent a waiter away at a restaurant because you couldn't make up your mind?  Indecision causes you to postpone buying a car, choosing a college, getting married, buying new clothes, changing a job.

2.  Perfectionism"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!"(Ecclesiastes 11:4 LB) If you wait for things to be perfect, you're going to wait a long time. You don't have the time or the money for things to be perfect.

3.  Fear"The fear of man is a trap."  (Proverbs 29:25 LB) Have you been postponing going to the dentist?  Or having that needed surgery?  Or getting into marriage counseling?  Sharing your faith at work?  Ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" 

4.  Anger"A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive." (Proverbs 18:9 GNT) Procrastination is a way to get back at people we don't like.  We delay.  Kids are great at procrastination.  You ask them to clean up their room.  They do it but they takeso long doing it. One of the reasons may be that they're resisting your control. Procrastination is passive resistance.  I don't want to do it because I don't like you telling me to do what I have to do.  Anger causes us to put things off.

5. Laziness"Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering."(Proverbs 13:4 LB) One of the most popular words in America is "easy." If it's easy, we like it.  If it's hard, we don't like it.   Can you imagine a best seller titled, "Ten Difficult Steps to Change Your Life" or "Fifteen Difficult Ways to Get in Shape"?  If it's easy, we like it.  If it's hard, we don't like it. 

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, stop and ask yourself why. Then ask God to help you overcome it so you can move forward and do what you need to do.

Wow Rick Warren showed us the 5 reasons we might procrastinate and I'm guilty of these things also and I need to work on procrastinating and I know it.  

 

God I come to you asking that you work with me on procrastinating so when I see something that needs to be done I go ahead and do it and not wait.  God I think you for the patient you have with us because you are such a loving yet a just God.  God I ask that you be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you.  I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen  

 

 

 

Join The Challenge
Add your name and email to join the challenge now.