Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Discipline and Trials are part and parcel of Believer's Life - Be Glad and Rejoice

Discipline and Trials are part and parcel of Believer’s Life – Be Glad and Rejoice
01. We must neither make light of God’s discipline nor lose heart because of it.
Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
And yet ye seem already to have forgotten the exhortation - Wherein God speaketh to you with the utmost tenderness. Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord - Do not slight or make little of it; do not impute any affliction to chance or second causes but see and revere the hand of God in it. Neither faint when thou art rebuked of him - But endure it patiently and fruitfully. Pro_3:11, &c.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
For - All springs from love; therefore neither despise nor faint.

02. God discipline his children to promote sanctification

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

03. No discipline is pleasant, but later on we enjoy its fruit

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Now all chastening - Whether from our earthly or heavenly Father, Is for the present grievous, yet it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness - Holiness and happiness. To them that are exercised thereby - That receive this exercise as from God, and improve it according to his will.

04. In everything God works for the good of those who love him

Rom 8:28 And we know - This in general; though we do not always know particularly what to pray for. That all things - Ease or pain, poverty or riches, and the ten thousand changes of life. Work together for good - Strongly and sweetly for spiritual and eternal good. To them that are called according to his purpose - His gracious design of saving a lost world by the death of his Son. This is a new proposition. St. Paul, being about to recapitulate the whole blessing contained in justification, (termed "glorification," Rom_8:30,) first goes back to the purpose or decree of God, which is frequently mentioned in holy writ.

05. God will never give you more than you can bear
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Common to man - Or, as the Greek word imports, proportioned to human strength. God is faithful - In giving the help which he hath promised. And he will with the temptation - Provide for your deliverance.

06. We can rejoice in our sufferings, which produce perseverance

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
We glory in tribulations also - Which we are so far from esteeming a mark of God's displeasure, that we receive them as tokens of his fatherly love, whereby we are prepared for a more exalted happiness. The Jews objected to the persecuted state of the Christians as inconsistent with the people of the Messiah. It is therefore with great propriety that the apostle so often mentions the blessings arising from this very thing.

07. Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For I reckon - This verse gives the reason why he but now mentioned sufferings and glory. When that glory "shall be revealed in us," then the sons of God will be revealed also.

08. God blesses those who persevere under trials
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Happy is the man that endureth temptation - Trials of various kinds. He shall receive the crown - That fadeth not away. Which the Lord hath promised to them that love him - And his enduring proves his love. For it is love only that "endureth all things."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do your emotions influence you ???

Emotions ; Dictionary meaning of emotions;- mental agitation or feeling, excited mental state
We have many emotions. These include fear, anger, excitement, loneliness, despair, and satisfaction. What emotions motivate you the most
What makes you cry? LOSS PAST

What makes you sing? HAPPINESS PRESENT

What makes you dream? HOPE FUTURE

3. Why are these among the greatest emotions? Because we cry over the past and ask, "What might have been?" This deals with our loss. Then, we sing to reflect our present happiness. Our songs tell everyone our joy. Then we dream of the future, and hope for what might be.


1. We cry because we remember PAST BLESSINGS. "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion" (Ps. 137:1). They wept because they could no longer worship God in the temple, no longer live in the land, they no longer had freedom.

2. We cry because our DREAMS WERE DESTROYED.
Athletes weep when they can no longer compete, parents weep when they no longer can influence their children, businessmen weep when they can no longer go to work, and all ministers weep because they can no longer preach. We weep when our dreams die.

3. We weep because others DISAPPOINT US. "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). Why did Jesus weep?

a. Because of Mary’s UNBELIEF. "If thou hast been here, my brother had not died" (John 11:21).

b. Because of the multitudes’ UNBELIEF. "Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man (Lazarus) from dying" (John 11:37).

c. Because He LOVED Lazarus. "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus" (John 11:5).

4. We weep because we LOSE SOMETHING. We weep at funerals because we have lost a loved one. Parents weep at a wedding because they lose their "little girl." We weep because of loss.

5. We weep when we can’t do what WE USED TO DO. The Jews in Babylon wept because, "We hung our harps upon the willows . . . "

(Ps. 137:2). The harp made the Jews happy and they no longer used their musical instruments.

C. WHAT MAKES YOU SING? (Ps. 137:2,3)

1. The Jews in Babylon could NOT SING. "For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song, and those who plundered us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion" (Ps. 137:3).

2. When you are happy, it shapes YOUR SONG. We usually sing because we are happy. The word "blessed" means happy. All of the Beatitudes begin with the word, "blessed" (Matt. 5:3-11). The first word in the most spiritual book in the Bible (Psalms) is "blessed" which means we must be happy to be spiritual. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Ps. 1:1). If you are a happy Christian, you will sing the songs of Zion. The Jews in captivity were asked, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion" (Ps. 137:3). The people were not singing because they were not happy. "How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?" (Ps. 137:4). Happy Christians sing, whistle, or hum Christian songs.

3. Don’t seek happiness, just to HAVE FUN. The world seeks fun just to "have a good time." A truly happy person has a purpose in life and is working toward a purpose
WHAT MAKES YOU DREAM? (Ps. 137:4-6)- Dream Big for God

1. What you REMEMBER is what you dream. "If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth-If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Ps. 137:6). Our dreams of the future are based on what we remember of the past.

We raise our children how our parents raised us.
How we will treat people in the future, is based on how we were treated in the past.

2. You are KNOWN by your dreams. Joseph was called a dreamer because of his dreams. "Behold this dreamer cometh" (Gen. 37:19).dreams are you known by?

3. Your dreams will get you in TROUBLE. Because Joseph had dreams about his brothers serving him, "they hated him yet the more for his dream" (Gen. 37:8). Good dreams get you in trouble with bad people.

4. Everyone can dream. Peter preached on Pentecost, "Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).

5. Dreams are absolutely NECESSARY. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). If people don’t have a dream, they don’t have a purpose to live.

1. What makes you cry? – U CAN DEFINITELY OVER COME
2. What makes you sing?- U CAN SING ALWAYS –Ps 13:6 I will sing unto the lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.
3. What makes you dream?- When You love God , Dream Big for God, Your dreams shall come to Pass

Friday, April 23, 2010

Self Centredness = Self Deception

Self Centredness = Self Deception

Psalms 36:2-3, "… For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good…"

I want you to know that the man or woman who is truly in right relationship with Jesus Christ will not be full of self-pride. They won’t boast about their own accomplishments or try to show everyone else how wonderful they really are. People who have to boast about themselves often don’t really have much to brag about at all.

If you are truly on fire for God and your heart is right with Him, God will lift you up and people will see Jesus in you and give God the glory for all that is accomplished through your efforts. God doesn’t share His glory! The person that brags on their worthiness has already received their reward!
James 4:10, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

Isaiah 44:19-20, "And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

It is as though there is a chain of spiritual bondage and blindness that is bound around the heart, ears and eyes so that the self-deceived man or woman cannot understand their predicament, hear the voice of the spirit or see the Holy Spirit moving to free them. They are so deceived that they believe they are the only ones right and everyone else is wrong.

I know that God will convict us of certain things on an individual level but the scriptures also say that the Word of God is not any “private interpretation”. That simply means that what God says for one, He says for all for He is no respecter of persons.
One who is caught up in self-deception can only see the faults of others but none of their own faults. They are quick to judge others but won’t judge their own hearts.

By dwelling on their own self esteem and lifting their own lives as shining examples for the rest of us to follow, it isn’t long until they have convinced themselves that they deserve some special treatment. It’s as though they worshipped the ground that they walked on and considered themselves as God’s gift to mankind and they are blinded by their own heart of pride.
--Conceit that is manifest in their lives!

Galatians 6:3, "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."

If there is one thing that is sickening to the ears of another person, its when we like to toot our own horn. When people start saying how good they are, how much experience they have and do so with an arrogant tone and a proud spirit, that’s when I am ready to stop listening.

When are we anything? Only when the Lord Jesus Christ places His anointing upon us and gives us the power to accomplish a work for Him! That work isn’t just work in the church or the ministry, its work anywhere that God places us.

Without the Lord we can’t do anything! I have no ability that is not given to me by God and neither do you! Let’s not get proud or high and mighty about what we think we know or what we think we can do! God knows

--Careless Hearing!

James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers onlyow to bring you down off of your pedestal! deceiving your own selves."

Careless Hearing is when we come to the House of God and hear the message, but we don’t really hear what God is trying to say to us!

Another term that I have often heard is “Selective Hearing”. In other words, we hear only what we want to hear or what lines up with our already established beliefs. We don’t want to hear anything that might tell us that we are wrong. 1 Corinthians 14:38, "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."

A lot of people love to confess their ignorance. My opinion is that, “Its better to let people think that you are ignorant than to open your mouth and prove them right.”
--An Un-bridled Tongue!

James 1:26, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain."
They love to talk about themselves. They love to talk about other people’s error. They love to talk about anything and everyone. I still believe that God have you 2 eyes, 2 ears and one mouth and that they should be used accordingly. Self-deceived people just love to hear the sound of their own voice.
-- Spiritual Poverty!

Revelation 3:17, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

Jesus was speaking from the midst of the 7 Golden Candlesticks, representing the 7 churches in Asia of John’s day as well as the church of all the ages. He was also speaking to each of us individually because the descriptions and conditions of the churches can be found in all of us who are a part of the Body of Christ in the earth.

Jesus, from the candlestick, was speaking to the Church of Laodicea. This was a rich church, satisfied with its own sufficiency. There is where the Self-Deceived person lives. They think that they have it all together. They believe that they are right! They believe that no one can teach them anything!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let’s be on guard against becoming deceived by our own heart! We must stay in the Word of God and let it speak to us, cleansing us like water washing over a muddy path, washing away all the debris and cloudiness that separates us from God. We must not live a life of self-deception but we must make our salvation sure.
2 Peter 1:5-10, "… giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

Pride - If you have Get Rid of It Right now

What is pride? Pride means to act arrogantly; a high opinion of ones worth, self conceit.
"Pride, the idolatrous worship of self, is the national religion of hell."
God has some very explicit things to say about pride that we need to pay close attention to. Let’s look at those verses. Proverbs 6:13 says 16 There are six things the LORD hates.
There are seven things he cannot stand: 17 a proud look…”
The writer of Proverbs puts pride ahead of murder. It’s not that murder is less severe it’s just than on God’s top ten list of things that he hates, pride is number one. Proverbs 8:13 says, 13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech.”

So, God hates the sin of pride. He calls it evil. He does not hate the prideful person but he hates the pride in the person. That’s important for us to understand. Why is it that God feels so strongly about pride? Here are some reasons:

Pride promotes self-sufficiency rather than God-sufficiency. Attitudes like, “I can do it myself, I do not need anyone else” is commonwith prideful
Another reason God feels so strongly about pride it has the capability of destroying our lives. Pride is a ticking time-bomb.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” I like what the Message Translation of this verse says: “First pride—then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”
Pride is destructive. I want to share with you a form of pride that all of us struggle with in our lives and that is spiritual pride. Turn with me if you will to Luke 18:9-13

In this parable Jesus gives us the reason for his sharing it (vs. 9). There are two characters in this story. One of them a Pharasee the other a tax collector. These two men couldn’t be any more different. The Pharasee (which means separated one) was very pious and took stock in his attempt to keep the law. The tax collector in his own eyes and as well in everyone else’s didn’t have a leg to stand on. Both approach the Lord in prayer. The Pharasee boasts about his own-self sufficiency. The other begs for mercy because he knew he was a disappointment to himself, the people he worked for and his God. Here are some things that stand out to me in this passage as it relates to spiritual pride:

1). We are guilty of spiritual pride when we depend upon our merit and not on God’s grace. Notice what the parable says: The Pharasee compared himself with everyone else and thought himself better than they. Four times he mentions the word “I”. But, even though the tax-collector was probably a pretty wealthy man he didn’t bring any of that to God. Only a broken heart. I really believe that pride is one of the biggest factors that keep people from giving their lives to him. It’s pride that says, “I don’t need God, I can make it on my own.”

2). God will do anything to break pride in us. Look at verse 14. God exalts the humble, but he brings low the proud. It’s not that God wants to make a spectacle out of the prideful person he just wants them to see how it’s supposed to be
1). Recognize it—this is the first step!
2). Repent of it (See the example of the tax collector in Luke) Remember do something about it before God does!
3). Ready yourself to fight it every day!
Romans 12:16 says, “Don’t be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
God enables us to stand against pride in our lives. But it can only happen when we understand his grace and mercy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Compromiser - Can't reach the Kingdom of God - Are you a Compromiser ?


Dan 1:1-20 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. .........

In other words, the entire world system. Notice what Jesus said of the kosmos and His disciples. John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
In John 12:31 and in John 14:30, the devil is called the “prince of this world”, or of the kosmos. One of the more famous verses containing this word is Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Again the emphasis is that this world is ungodly, and if the child of God is not careful, he/she will be pulled down by it. Therefore there is the challenge for the believer to stay godly in an ungodly world, and I believe the key to that is something called integrity.

Remember that integrity is being real, or genuine. Are you real? Are you the same at work on Monday morning as you are in church on Sunday morning? That’s integrity.
I believe that God wants to speak to His people from the book of Daniel on this subject of integrity. If ever there was a dark period of history, it had to be in the time of Daniel. The people of God were taken captive by an ungodly, pagan nation, their temple destroyed and their priesthood held hostage

1. These four youth were along way from home, with no parents around and brought to one of the most beautiful cities in the world at that time. Someone wrote that the strategy of the king was to get them accustomed to the good life by offering them the food and wine of the royal household so that they would become so accustomed to the good life that they would not be tempted to return to their old lives. On top of this, Nebuchadnezzar even changed their names. Now you know that names were very important in Jewish culture. Names often displayed a characteristic of that individual. Note the Hebrew names of these four young men and what they meant. Daniel = God is my judge, Hananiah = God has favoured, Mishael = who is what God is or who is like God? Azariah = Jehovah has helped
Each one of these names was a testimony of God’s hand upon His people and that would not do in Nebuchadnezzar’s pagan court. So Nebuchadnezzar attempted to change their names from Daniel to Belteshazzar which means, “the treasure of Bel” or more specifically, the holder of the treasures of Bel, from Hananiah to Shadrach which means “Aku’s command” from Mishael to Meshach, which means He who belongs to the goddess Sheshach, and from Azariah to Abed-nego which meant the servant of Nebo.

2. Nebuchadnezzar, in changing their names, was trying to change their identities as well. That’s exactly what Satan desires to do with you this morning, change your identity as a child of God, to becoming a child of the world. When you compromise your integrity, that’s exactly what happens, you loose your identity. That’s why so many today don’t really understand what Christianity is all about, because they have yet to see a true Christian.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. Daniel had made a decision, he had determined that he would not loose his integrity.
3. Did you know that there are some battles you can either win before you ever fight them? If you purpose that you are going to maintain your integrity, young person, you won’t be in the back seat of that car on Saturday night, you won’t be hanging around the wrong crowd, you won’t be stealing from work, or cheating on your taxes or going to the bar Friday night. Daniel decided that he would not take off the king’s table, there was something more important to him.
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright ...shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4. Why will the integrity of the upright guide them? Because they won’t be in those places where integrity is compromised or the decision is already made before they get there. Those who are wavering are the ones who struggle with temptation the most, they’re the ones who have a hard time saying no. Daniel decided that he was going to do what was right and serve the Lord.
5. What a decision it was! It is a reminder to us that we don’t have to bend the rules to be blessed of God. Everytime you see a compromise struck in the Bible, you also see a loss. Adam compromised in the garden of Eden, and lost paradise. Abraham compromised the truth and lost his testimony in Egypt and almost lost his wife. Sarah compromised her faith and sent Hagar to Abraham and even today peace is lost in the Middle East. Aaron compromised with idolatry and lost the privilege of seeing the promised land. Samson compromised his devotion as a Nazarite and lost his hair, his strength and his victory. David compromised his moral standards and committed adultery and lost his children. On and on it goes, but compromise always results in a loss.
6. Daniel purposed he was not going to compromise and everything that follows in this book is a result of that decision. You never hear anything about the other youths that came out of Jerusalem that Nebuchadnezzar selected. We don’t know how many but there surely was a lot. They lost their success by their compromise.
7. We wonder sometimes why God is not more involved in our lives. Maybe it’s because we’ve not fully decided that we’re going to follow His plan. When we are outside of the will of God, so often we’re on our own, but if we are committed to His plan, then He is committed to us. If we won’t commit ourselves to the Lord, God will search until He finds someone else that He can used for His glory. , I challenge you to make the decision of integrity, “I’m going to serve God”.

1. Remember that Daniel’s name means “God is my judge”. I firmly believe that this truth literally permeated Daniel’s being, for he was totally dedicated to serving the Lord. He lived knowing he was accountable to the Lord.
2. There is a great truth here. We must have dedication in order to live for God and have integrity. The only way to have that type of dedication is to remember that you are accountable to God, God is your judge.

3. Daniel lived in Babylon, while certainly a beautiful city, it was also a wicked city. The city was filled with idols and sorcerers. Many of the so called wise men of Babylon were simply enchanters. However, for over seventy years, Daniel lived in Babylon.


Just as his name said, God was his judge, he was accountable to God. There was a greater than Nebuchadnezzar there. As a matter of fact, one of the things that Daniel warned the king about and Nebuchadnezzar refused to listen at first was that even he, was accountable to God, that God would judge him and we find that God did just exactly that, reducing the king to the life of an animal.
Daniel knew who he was and also who God was. Integrity, or holy living, will always bring faith.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Self Pity = Feel sorry for, have sympathy for
Self Pity is enemy for Joyous Living
Example; Oh I am short, Oh I am not beautiful, Oh I am not talented, Oh I am not intelligent
Oh I am Unlucky, Oh I am not privileged so on so forth !!!!
Luk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. Luk 15:26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. Luk 15:27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. Luk 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. Luk 15:29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:Luk 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. Luk 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
I. We See the Curse of Self Pity (v. 28-30) -. Self Pity destroys our happiness.
“..but he became angry and would not go in….” v. 28
• The older brother was angry and would not go in.
-- Self pity will destroy our usefulness for the kingdom
“..and was not willing to go in and his Father began entreating him..” – v. 28
1. We fail to see where we are needed
2. We can often distract the work of others
3. We can hinder the effectiveness of the whole body
-- Self pity will destroy unity
“..but when this son of yours came..” v. 30
II. We See the Cause of Self Pity (v. 29)
A. Restricted vision causes self pity
1. He could not see beyond himself
2. His favorite words were “I, me and my”
B. Distorted values cause self pity
“…you never killed a kid for me…” – v. 29
1. He did not realize what he had
2. He wanted something that he did not need
C. Wrong virtues cause self pity.
“…for so many years I have served you…”
III. The Cure for Self Pity (v. 31)
A. We need an abiding presence
“Thou are ever with me…”
B. We Should Recognize Our Abundant Provision
“All that I have is yours..”
C. We need to celebrate the achieved purpose
“..for this thy brother was dead and is alive again, was lost and has been found..” – v. 32

Beware of Gossip !!!

"You're Not Going To Believe everything What you Hear"
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
We need to examine the accuracy of the information as well as our motives in telling the story.

- Concerning accuracy, if we’re not sure about the truth of the story, that should be enough to stop us from sharing it. If it’s something that were concerned about because someone that we love is involved, we should proceed not by sharing the unverified story, but by going to the person in question and sharing our concern. “I heard this and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t true.”

- For some people, though, the presumption is that if the accuracy of the information is confirmed, then sharing it is not gossip. “I’m just telling the truth,” they’ll say. But there’s a second factor at play and that is the motive we have in sharing the story. Even if a story is verified to be true, if we are sharing it with the motive to hurt the person, to taint their reputation, or just because we want to be the first to share the juicy news, our motive is bad.
2. Why Do We Gossip?

“We love our insider status more than we love people.”

- James 3:5-6; James 4:11; James 5:9.

- We seldom think about the implications for the person we’re gossiping about. Our thoughts are usually on being the first one to spread the news so that we’ll get (a) credit for being “in-the-know” and (b) others to share their gossip with us when they’ve got some.
3. Why Should We Change Our Words?

- Obviously, what we just talked about a moment ago hints at one good reason: that we should love people more than our insider status, but there are other reasons that directly apply to us.

A. “Realize that everything you say is being recorded.”

- Matthew 12:36-37; Matthew 10:26.

- I don’t mean that Big Brother is watching. I mean that God in heaven misses nothing
And Jesus tells us here that we are accountable for every word that we say.

B. “Understand that a loose tongue equals a useless religion.”
- James 1:26; James 3:2.

- Proverbs 6:16-19 (last one).

- Romans 1:29; 2 Corinthians 12:20; 1 Timothy 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3.
- Here in James 1:26 and James 3:2, we see a similar idea - that the way we handle our tongue represents one of the most difficult tests of the maturity of our faith.

- Many Christians divide sins up into the “really bad ones” (perhaps murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc.) and the “not so bad ones” (perhaps envy, pride, materialism, gossip, etc.). The sin of gossip is deemed excusable by many folks who conside
r themselves to be mature Christians. These verses speak against that and point out the seriousness of the sin and the reality that it is a test of spiritual maturity.

- Proverbs 6:16-19 speaks of things that God hates and the last (and in the Hebrew that makes it the point of emphasis) is someone who sows discord among brothers. When we stir up trouble within the church with our gossip, we are putting ourselves in the line of the wrath of God.
4. What Do I Do When I’m Approached With Gossip?
“Have you talked to [that person] about this?”

- This comes out of Matthew 18:15. Our first step when there is sin involved is to go confront the person about it, not gossip behind their back.
- Come let us find out what is the truth
- Do you have witness about this matter/person
- Please tell him –brother don’t talk about others, Pl stop it

True Repentance - part 1

Repentance is a lifetime discipline necessary for a holy life. Daily a must for a Believer.
Rediscovering HOLINESS IS REPENTANCE . Realizing that I have fallen short of the glory of God and it is only grace that can make up the difference? The sorrow that comes when we realize that we have been called to holiness and we have to live according to God’s will.
2Co 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
A Godly sorrow which brings repentance.
Walking in holiness begins with repentance. That being the case, then maybe we should start thinking about repentance differently. Maybe we should start thinking about it as a discipline of our faith – a lifetime discipline necessary for a holy life. Maybe we should even think of repentance as a daily discipline.
It is recognizing that what we are doing is damaging our relationship with God and so turning away from the behavior, the attitude, the habit – whatever it is – and taking up a new way which promotes our relationship with God.
The classic example of repentance in the Bible is that wee little man Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was real snake of a man – if I may say so. Tax collectors in Israel got the job by bidding on it, in essence selling out their countrymen for their own personal gain. Rome didn’t care how much tax was collected – just so that they got their fair share. So tax collectors were notorious extortionist and ol’ Zacchaeus was no exception. But when Jesus ate with him – something no self-respecting Jew would do out of fear of being defiled – and literally graced his life, Zacchaeus underwent a change of heart. Not only did he stop what he was doing – a legalized form of stealing – he also gave half his possessions to the poor and even made restitution to people he robbed through taxation. So what can we learn about repentance from our man Zacchaeus?

Well, first of all repentance requires that we realize we have disobeyed God. We have violated his law, offended his moral purity, tried to cast off his yoke of authority. This only happens when we stop deluding ourselves . that what we are doing really is not so bad when compared to others. God is not concerned about degrees – he is concerned about sin. The gossiper is just as guilty in the eyes of God as the murderer. The pornographer is just as bad as the adulterer, the fornicator and the practicing homosexual.
Repentance requires that we cultivate a hatred for sin, as God hates sin. How? By the consistent study and meditation upon God’s Word. By continued prayer that God will change your heart to be like his, to hate what he hates and love what he loves. By confessing your sin not only to God, but to a trusted brother or sister in Christ – an accountability partner. Nothing teaches you to hate your sin more than having to admit in front of another.
We like things to grow, don’t we? We mark the growth of our plants, our animals – we’ve already mentioned kids. We mark the growth of our checkbooks – at least we want to, sometimes that doesn’t work out so well. We mark the growth of our reputations, But when it comes to Spiritual life and Holiness we just ignore it or may be we are too busy to follow.
So what’s it going to be? Will you settle for a life that is serviceable, ignoring some sin where you can, working around it where you must or will you go for what is best, uprooting everything so that you can start clean – confess your sin and then purge your life of circumstances or influences that draw you into it? Only one way will lead to the holiness God desires from all of us. Remember, repentance is a prelude for holiness.
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Homosexuality - It is Ok or Sin ???

Dictionary meaning of Homosexuality means; Having sex between Man to Man and Women to Women (which is un natural)
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Idolatry is here placed between fornication and adultery, because they generally accompanied it. Nor the effeminate - Who live in an easy, indolent way; taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this? These good - natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites! We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought the least; nor, indeed, till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell.
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Sexual morality

There is a lot of confusion out there about sexual morality
1. What does the Bible teach about sex? (who it is for and when it can be enjoyed?)
2. Why should you follow God’s plan?
3. How can you follow God’s plan?

1. The Bible teaches that sexual relations are to be enjoyed within the context of marriage only. (Deut. 5:18, Matt. 5:27-28, Heb. 13:4, 1 Thess. 4:3-7)

Matt. 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.“

Jesus tells us that sexual purity isn’t just about avoiding intercourse with someone who is married – it goes to the heart of our attitudes toward other people. If we look at them lustfully we have already committed an indecent act in God’s eyes.

What else does God’s word teach us about sex?

1Th. 4:3-7 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality (greek “porneia” which has a broad application to all types of sexual sin); that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Does this mean that all sex is condemned by God? Far from it. God created sex. He created men and women with sexual organs designed to enjoy sex. But he teaches that it is to be enjoyed only within the boundaries of a lifelong, committed marriage.

Heb. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Many other passages could be quoted – but the clear idea of scripture is that God created sex to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage.

2. God’s plan for sex is for our benefit. (John 10:10)

The reason for any “law” like this is ultimately our good. God loves us and wants us to experience abundant life – not keep us from “the good stuff”.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

God knows the destructive power . of sexual relationships when they occur outside of the commitment of a loving marriage. What is interesting is that it is not just Bible believing Christians who understand this, but secular researchers are discovering that sex outside of marriage carries with it a large amount of baggage.

Sexually Active Teenagers Are More Likely to Be Depressed and to Attempt Suicide

Young people – you need to hear this! Your classmates, and in particular the media portrays that sexual activity is great, fun, exciting, mature. The message our culture is pounding into your head is that waiting for sex will make you UNHAPPY. But that is exactly the opposite of what this study discovered.

I’ll say it again – God’s plan for sex being reserved for marriage is for our GOOD!

But it’s not just teens who need to hear this message. The practice of cohabitating with a sexual partner prior to marriage also has negative long-term effects.

THE NEGATIVE RESULTS OF COHABITATION more likely to enjoy sex afterward than those who cohabit.

If you are a single adult who has bought into the culture’s idea that cohabitating is a good way to prepare for marriage – you’ve been lied to.

Let me say it one more time. God loves you and wants you to experience an abundant life – filled with all the best. He instructs us to save sex for marriage because he wants to save us from all the problems that sharing such an intimate relationship outside of the commitment of marriage causes.

Nearly everything in the media brainwashes us with the ideas that sex is just a physical act, that it can and should be enjoyed by everyone as often as possible, and that there is no reason to reserve sexual relations for your spouse.

But even with all this pressure, you’ve got to understand that…
3. Although staying pure in our society is difficult, it is possible. (Matt. 5:8, 1 Cor. 10:13)

How can we stay pure in this oversexed culture? It starts with a desire to please God and dedicating yourself to following His word and not the culture or your emotions.

But I can tell you from experience that though this is a good starting place – we’re going to need to learn how to defend ourselves from the attacks against our desire to please God that come relentlessly.

Sexual activity is like a freight train. It make take a long time to get started, but once its moving it is extremely hard to put on the brakes and stop. The key is in setting boundaries for yourself BEFORE you get in a tempting situation. As any full-blooded person can tell you – it can be very difficult to make good choices about sexual behavior in the heat of the moment. That’s why I want to help you think through a set of questions that any of us should answer BEFORE we go on a date, or even consider dating someone!

Who will I date? Who will I not date?
2Cor. 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Paul’s context was probably not a marriage relationship here, but a business contract. Don’t get stuck in a contractual relationship with someone whose way of life is so different than your own. But if that is true in business, how much more true is it in a marriage?
What will I wear? (ladies)

This is mostly for the women and young women out there. By “What will I wear?” I don’t mean will I wear the blue shirt or the green shirt. I mean – what principles will guide my choices of ... what clothes I’ll even purchase.

Let’s be honest. The trend in fashion today is for women to dress in ways that show more skin than ever before. It’s not in fashion, it seems, if the midriff is not exposed and the pants aren’t hanging lowly on the hips. And tops and dresses seem to show more and more of women’s chests and shoulders than ever.

What you’ve got to understand is that such clothes send a message. “Look at my body.” And when that message is sent to young men – guess what they are going to do? Yeah…they’ll look – and they’ll begin thinking about how they can do a lot more than look.
At the risk of sounding prudish, I want to read St Paul’s advice regarding clothing to you women:

1Tim. 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety...

When you choose what to wear – go ahead and be fashionable – but dress modestly. If you do you’ll help keep the freight train from getting started.

I’ve got a question mostly for the guys…

What will I allow my eyes to see?

It’s no secret that guys get their freight train started by what comes into their minds visually. The very existence of the pornography industry bears testimony to that. What we need to do guys, if we are striving to follow God’s laws regarding sexuality, is determine that we will not allow our eyes to take in images (whether in the media or in real life) that lead our mind to impure places.

Psa. 101:3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.

Job 31:1 ¶ “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.

Guys – One of the best way to stay sexually pure is to make the covenant with your eyes!

The third question that everyone needs to ask themselves BEFORE they get in a sexually heated situation is this

How far is too far?
As a teenager I always wished someone could give me a quick answer to this question. “OK I know that going all the way is wrong…but what about…?”

What I discovered as I grew up was that if I wanted to make sure not to cross the line into areas that were clearly detrimental to my relationship with God, I needed to draw the line a few steps back from where I needed to stop.

Bedroom is off limits.

Each person has to take a look at whatever situations cause them to be tempted – and create a boundary that will keep them far from it.

What music will I listen to?
What role will alcohol or other drugs play in my life?

The last question you need to answer ahead of time is this…

What will I do when temptation is too strong? (not if, but when)

1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what . you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God will always provide a way out – but it takes a lot of strength and integrity to take it!

What did Joseph do when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife? She had grabbed him and said – “Come to bed with me!” (A fairly direct temptation!)

What did he do? He ran. He got out of that situation.

What change is the Holy Spirit prompting you to make? (Ps. 139:23-24)
Psa. 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Search your heart – is there anything you need to change? A current relationship? Get rid of some immodest clothing? Trash some videos or music that corrupts your thinking? Set some ground rules for future dating relationships? Find a different living situation that will encourage and promote abstinence until marriage?

Christian Character

Character “A quality of Christianity”

• Character is defined - The pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group; moral constitution
• How a Christian deals with the circumstances of their life speaks of their character.
• Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it does reveal it.
• Adversity in our lives is a crossroads where a person chooses one path – Character or Compromise.
• Jesus was the ultimate example of character.
• Every time we choose character, we grow more into the image of Christ.
• Character is who you are when no one is looking.

Rom 5:1-4 – Experience, Trustiness, Proof, integrity. Phil 2:19-22

1. Character Is More Than Talk.
• Anyone can say they have integrity but action is the true indicator.
• Your character determines who you are.
• People that always seem to be at war with themselves have a problem in their character.
• James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
• Prov 20:11 The character of even a child can be known by the way he acts-- whether what he does is pure and right.
• "Your walk talks and your talk talks but your walk talks louder than your talk talks."

2. Talent Is A Gift, But Character Is A Choice.
• There are a lot of things in our life that we have no control over – We don’t get to pick our parents, our upbringing, our talents, our IQ
• But we do choose our character.
• In fact, we create it – every time we make choices.
• Deut 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
• Prov 1:28-30 (28) "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. (29) Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, (30) They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
• Prov 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways;
• Will you choose the easy way or the right way?

3. Character Brings Lasting Success With People.
• Lifestyle evangelism is all about relationships.
• People do not trust those who have flawed characters.
• Good character will open up doors for lasting relationships with those around you.
• 1Thes 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
• 2 Cor 6:3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.
• Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

4. People Cannot Rise Above The Limitations Of Their Character.
• Have you ever seen highly talented people fall apart when they reach a certain level of success?
• The key to that phenomenon is character.
• Success without a good foundation of character is bound for failure.
• The 4 A’s – Arrogance, Aloneness, Adventure-seeking or Adultery.

• Joseph resisting Potiphar’s wife. - Gen 39:7-12
• Paul – Acts 20: 22-24

1. Search For The ... Cracks.
 Look at every aspect of your life; Your relationship with God, your spouse, your children, your peers, your employer.
 Identify short cuts and short comings in those aspects of your life and write them down.
 Pray about each one.

2. Look For Patterns.
 Examine your response to this search.
 What patterns of weakness do you see.
 These are character issues.
 Ask God to deliver you from these patterns.

3.Face The Music.
 The beginning of character repair is when you face your flaws, repent and deal with them.
 This is why so many Christians never get delivered.
 Repentance is a good thing

4. Rebuild.
 Don’t stop by facing up to your actions.
 Begin building a new future.
 Keep praying against your weaknesses, Search the word about these areas, be accountable to someone in these areas.

Anger - Meekness

Meekness from Our Anger – What is Meekness ?
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
Happy are the meek - They that hold all their passions and affections evenly balanced. They shall inherit the earth - They shall have all things really necessary for life and godliness. They shall enjoy whatever portion God hath given them here, and shall hereafter possess the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

A. Meekness is a habit of patient endurance under provocation. Meekness answers the question of how we deal with provocation? How do we handle agitation? How we handle confrontation?

1. The natural reaction to provocation, agitation, and confrontation is anger. We need to understand that anger is a basic human endowment. It is a passion or emotion directed toward on who inflicts a real or supposed wrong. Anger is aroused by a sensory perception plus an interpretation of the perception. It is not exclusively based on physical stimuli but it is a cultivated by our thoughts. Anger is fed by our perceptions; that is, why Proverbs 19:11 says good sense makes a man slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Although it is our natural reaction to get angry when provoke- we must employ good sense and think before we react. Why? Because anger in and, by itself is not morally wrong. It’s what comes from that anger that determines its positive or negative impact. The purpose in anger may be redemptive or destructive. We have 3 misconceptions about anger

a) We tend to believe that all anger is sinful- not so, Scriptures agree with modern psychological studies affirming that anger, though having destructive potential also has positive and redemptive contributions to offer human relationships.
b) We believe that angry feelings are best managed by being camouflaged or ignored. No, the right acknowledgement and expression of anger assists in deepening and developing social relationships;
c) We believe that those angry feelings will eventually disappear if we ignore them. Unresolved or unexamined anger interferes with the effective exercise of relationships and produces confusion, misunderstanding, and alienation. Unresolved anger can produced:
(1) Depression- we internalized our feelings (swallow them) and get in return ulcers, diarrhea, headaches, etc.
(2) Physical and verbal outbursts- we ... become abusive emotionally and physically.
(a) Cain’s hostility against his brother Abel.
(b) Joseph’s brothers’ anger against him.
(c) Saul’s anger at the Christians.

(3) Can cause us to fear anger so we flinch, cry, or withdraw when others are on a rampage.

(4) We can become numb and alienated-Some have learned to anesthetized their feelings so much that they have learned how not to feel. Others have learned to withdraw themselves-they leave.

III. The problem is that many of us, have not learned how to used anger towards our good. There is good anger. Good anger is legitimate when the perception of the evil is accurate; when the excitation is proportionate to the evil, and when the impulse is directed toward correcting the ill.

A. This is where meekness comes in to play. We said that meekness is a habit of patient endurance under provocation. To take it further. Meekness means power under control. Power out of control can become hostility, violence, and destructiveness. (I.e. – hurricanes, tornados, floods, -power our of control.) Power in control is meekness. The root word of meekness was originally used to describe a horse or some other wild animal, which has been broken in and tamed to become useful to its owner. All of is once useable strengths and uncontrollable behavior are harnessed. Prior to being trained and tamed, their talents were useless and dangerous. Because many of us we have not learned how to harness our emotional anger for the work and service of God, we too tend be useless and dangerous.

1. (Mark 3:1-5) Jesus modeled how we should react with anger when provoked. His anger is harnessed to heal.

2. (Matthew 16:23) His anger is harness to rebuke.

3. (Matthew 23:13-30) his anger is harness to correct and reprove.

B. Just as there are situations and circumstances in our lives that causes us to mourn and weep out- there are situations that causes us to get angry. That anger should be used constructively.

1. Anger at diseases- harnessed – find cures.

2. Anger at injustices and social ills- make a change- get involved.

C. If harnessed, our anger, will become meekness and God will fulfill his promise to have us inherit the earth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Spirit of Depression - Are you Depressed - Fear Not

The Spirit of Depression – Are you Depressed – Fear not
Dictionary meaning of Depression is; sadness, misery, hopelessness, dejection.
This spirit of Depression attacks every believer and takes THEM into its SHELL AND AWAY FROM GOD. Fear not you can over come victoriously with the help of the Holy Spirit.
01. Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Gen 4:7 If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted? - Either, . If thou hadst done well, as thy brother did, thou shouldest have been accepted as he was. God is no respecter of persons; so that if we come short of acceptance with him, the fault is wholly our own. This will justify God in the destruction of sinners, and will aggravate their ruin. There is not a damned sinner in hell, but if he had done well, as he might have done, had been a glorified saint in heaven. Every mouth will shortly be stopt with this. Or, If now thou do well: if thou repent of thy sin, reform thy heart and life, and bring thy sacrifice in a better manner; thou shalt yet be accepted. See how early the gospel was preached, and the benefit of it here offered even to one of the chief of sinners.

He sets before him death and a curse; but, if not well - Seeing thou didst not do well, not offer in faith, and in a right manner, sin lieth at the door - That is, sin only hinders thy acceptance. All this considered, Cain had no reason to he angry with his brother, but at himself only. Unto thee shall be his desire - He shall continue in respect to thee as an elder brother, and thou, as the first - born, shall rule over him as much as ever. God's acceptance of Abel's offering did not transfer the birth - right to him, (which Cain was jealous of) nor put upon him that dignity, and power, which is said to belong to it, Gen_49:3.
CAIN’S DEPRESSION WAS DUE TO HIS GUILT. THE SIN WHICH HE HAD COMMITTED HAUNTED HIM. CAN YOU GET AWAY WITH YOUR SIN? NEVER . When you confess your sins from the heart then you can over come Guilt.
02. David was very much depressed until he confessed his sin of Adultery
Psa 32:3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
Psa 32:4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
Silence - From a full and open confession of my sins. Old - My spirit failed, and the strength of my body decayed. Roaring - Because of the continual horrors of my conscience, and sense of God's wrath.
The way out of depression caused by the guilt is confession and seeking God’s forgiveness.
Psa 51:1 , A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Psa 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Psa 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

03. Put your trust in God when you are downcast
Psa 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Psa 42:6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

04 .Words of comfort were given to the faithful of Israel as they became depressed
While in Babylon. They were called to put their faith into action in their dark hour.
Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
Isa 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

05.We can avoid deep depression even though we may experience tough situations.
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
We are troubled,. - The four articles in this verse respect inward, the four in the next outward, afflictions. In each clause the former part shows the "earthen vessels;" the latter, "the excellence of the power." Not crushed - Not swallowed up in care and anxiety. Perplexed - What course to take, but never despairing of his power and love to carry us through.
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

06. Apostle Paul went through without getting depressed, sustained by God’s grace.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
You are Over comer through Jesus Christ who strengthen’s you. Be of Good Cheer

Blame Shifting - Am I a Blame shifter ?

Blame Shifting – Am I a Blame shifter ?
01.Adam and Eve tried to Shift Blame
Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
What is this that thou hast done? - Wilt thou own thy fault? Neither of them does this fully. Adam lays all the blame upon his wife: She gave me of the tree - Nay, he not only lays the blame upon his wife, but tacitly on God himself. The woman thou gavest me, and gavest to be with me as my companion, she gave me of the tree. Eve lays all the blame upon the serpent; the serpent beguiled me. The prisoners being found guilty by their own confession, besides the infallible knowledge of the Judge, and nothing material being offered in arrest of judgment, God immediately proceeds to pass sentence, and in these verses he begins (where the sin began) with the serpent. God did not examine the serpent, nor ask him what he had done, but immediately sentenced him, (1.) Because he was already convicted of rebellion against God. (2.) Because he was to be for ever excluded from pardon; and why should any thing be said to convince and humble him, who was to find no place for repentance?

02.Some Try to Blame God – Do you blame God ?

We have here two instances of men's folly:- 1. That they bring themselves into straits and troubles, and run themselves a-ground, and embarrass themselves: The foolishness of man perverts his way. Men meet with crosses and disappointments in their affairs, and things do not succeed as they expected and wished, and it is owing to themselves and their own folly; it is their own iniquity that corrects them. 2. That when they have done so they lay the blame upon God, and their hearts fret against him, as if he had done them wrong, whereas really they wrong themselves. In fretting, we are enemies to our own peace, and become self-tormentors; in fretting against the Lord we affront him, his justice, goodness, and sovereignty; and it is very absurd to take occasion from the trouble which we pull upon our own heads by our wilfulness, or neglect, to quarrel with him, when we ought to blame ourselves, for it is our own doing.

03.When you fail to acknowledge your own sin do not Judge others – Do you judge others ?

Mathew 7:1-5
We must judge ourselves, and judge of our own acts, but not make our word a law to everybody. We must not judge rashly, nor pass judgment upon our brother without any ground. We must not make the worst of people. Here is a just reproof to those who quarrel with their brethren for small faults, while they allow themselves in greater ones. Some sins are as motes, while others are as beams; some as a gnat, others as a camel. Not that there is any sin little; if it be a mote, or splinter, it is in the eye; if a gnat, it is in the throat; both are painful and dangerous, and we cannot be easy or well till they are got out. That which charity teaches us to call but a splinter in our brother's eye, true repentance and godly sorrow will teach us to call a beam in our own. It is as strange that a man can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be aware of it, as that a man should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; but the god of this world blinds their minds. Here is a good rule for reprovers; first reform thyself.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can you overcome Jealousy? Yes you Can

Can You overcome Jealousy ? Yes You Can Overcome through the Help of Holy Spirit
1Sa 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
1Sa 18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
1Sa 18:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
1Sa 18:9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Jealousy is when we resent God’s goodness in other’s lives and ignore God’s goodness in our own lives. Being jealous means being envious of other people’s blessings. While we take for granted our own blessings. Sometimes we’re jealous of people’s possessions. "How come they got such nice presents for Christmas? While all I got was clothes?"

Or sometimes we’re jealous of people’s privileges - "How come they get to do that and I don’t get to do that? Why do they get that privilege?" Sometimes we’re jealous when people are successful - "Why did so and so get the promotion instead of me? I’ve been here longer! I wanted it more!"

Or we’re jealous of their popularity. They have all the popular friends and I don’t have that many friends.

Or we’re jealous of their appearance and the way they look. "Why don’t I have hair like her? How come I don’t have a body like that? How come I got stuck with THIS body? Why can’t I have a job like his? Why don’t we have their children? Why is our house decorated this way and her house is decorated that way? How come they get to go on those vacations and we don’t?" And on and on it goes.

We have far more jealousy in our lives than we realize. But before we talk about God’s remedy for jealousy, I want you to see the damaging effects of jealousy. I want you to see how jealousy contributed to the self-destruction of Israel’s first king.

We know from reading the Bible that Saul was a flawed king on borrowed time. In 1 Samuel 13, he got impatient when the priest didn’t show up right away. And he offered an unauthorized sacrifice to the Lord. And the prophet Samuel said in verse 14, "Your kingdom will not endure. Your days are numbered."

And then in 1 Samuel 15, the Lord wanted Saul to completely wipe out the Amalekites. Including the cattle and the sheep. But Saul only listened to the first part of the instructions. He wiped out the Amalekites. And in disobedience to the Lord, he kept the cattle and the sheep.

And the Lord said in 1 Samuel 15:11, "I am grieved that I have made Saul King over Israel. Because the man doesn’t listen! He has turned completely away from me!"
But by the grace of God, Saul would go on to be the king for another 25 years. And by the time we get to 1 Samuel 18, Saul has many reasons to be happy. A promising young shepherd boy named David has just killed Goliath. The Israelites have defeated the Philistines in a stunning victory. The king’s son and David have developed a wonderful friendship. And the nation was celebrating the goodness of God. Saul should have been able to enjoy the moment.

But watch what happens. Verse six: "When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King

But Saul doesn’t take it that way. He gets very offended. Very angry. He says "They have credited David with tens of thousands, but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And the Bible says in verse nine that ’from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.’
One of the worst things about jealousy is that you’re so obsessed with keeping your eye on other people that it keeps you from enjoying your own life.
There’s a lesson here. Many of us are wasting emotional energy. Being jealous of people for no reason. More often than not, our jealousy is not motivated by a genuine threat. But by a selfish desire to be number one. To be controlling. Tobe better than other people.

When you’re in the middle of a jealous fit, you need to stop and ask yourself two questions. Number one: Why am I doing this? Is this person really out to get me? Or am I stressing for no reason?"

02. You should ask yourself, "What am I accomplishing? How will being jealous make my life better? How will it make my wife love me more? How will it get me a better job? How will it get me the recognition and praise that I feel I deserve?" I think you’re going to find out that jealousy accomplishes nothing and makes things worse instead of better. Instead of throwing a jealous fit, you need to throw yourself on the grace of God. And ask him to help you to stop obsessing about other people. And to help you to be the best ’you’ that you can be.
The Bible is full of examples of the damaging effect of jealousy. You don’t make it out of the first book of the Bible without seeing the effects of jealousy. In Genesis 4, Cain is jealous of Abel and he kills his brother. The very first murder was caused by jealousy.

And if you look at the New Testament, you’ll see thatthe crucifixion of Christ was motivated by jealousy. Mark 15:10 tells us that "it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.
So what we’re dealing with today is not some petty nuisance. It’s not some minor weakness in your life. The Bible says it will rot the bones! It’s from the pit of hell. The reason Satan got kicked out of heaven was pride and jealousy. He was jealous of God’s power and said, "I want to be God." So when I’m acting jealous, I’m acting like the devil! This is how serious this issue is. We need to cut jealousy out of our lives.

The question is, ’How do I do it? How do I remove jealousy out of my heart so I don’t have to deal with this issue? What is the remedy for jealousy?"

The first thing we should do is to admit that we struggle with this. James 3:14 says "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth." That is far harder than we would like to pretend it is. We’d rather admit to many other things. We don’t find it very hard to admit to anger because it’s so obvious. We don’t find it hard to admit to fear. We don’t find it hard to admit to when we’ve made mistakes or if we’ve been lazy. But I’ve never met anybody who’s quick to admit jealousy. When I admit that I’m being jealous, it opens up and reveals the pettiness in my heart.

But if you want to get rid of the jealousy in your life, you have to come clean before God and before your family. Stop denying it. Stop excusing it. Stop justifying it. Stop minimizing it. This is not some little problem in your life. It’s a major problem. Get it off your chest.

- Remember that you are special in God’s eyes. A lot of times, when people express jealousy, they’re expressing insecurity. Every time I am jealous of somebody else I am revealing an insecure heart. I don’t accept myself. I don’t like myself. I think I need to be somebody else. At its base, every time you are jealous of somebody, you are saying to the whole world, "I’m insecure."

But God says, "You have no reason to be insecure. I made you. I love you. And you are special in my eyes." How do I know that? Because Psalm 139:13-14 says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

- Remember that God is in control. Sometimes we get jealous because we can’t control what is going on around us. But remember this: God alone is in control. Not you, not them, not anybody else. He calls the shots. Matthew 10:29 says "Not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father."

- Put your trust in the Lord. Jealousy at its root is a lack of trust in God. It is doubting God. When you’re jealous, you’re saying, "God, You didn’t do for me what You did for that person. You must not love me. You must love them more than You love me." Whenever we are being jealous, we’re doubting God’s love. We’re questioning His authority and His right to do whatever He wants to do in our lives. That’s why this is a serious sin. Psalm 62:8 says "Trust in Him at all times, O people." That means trust Him no matter what.

- Be grateful for who you are and what you haveEnjoy the blessings that God has already put in your life. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances." Gratitude is a great anti-virus. The more grateful I am, the less prone to jealousy I will be. If I can raise my gratitude, my jealousy is going to decrease.

- Get your eyes off of what everybody else is doing and refocus on what God wants to do in your life. We talk about this a lot. God has a unique plan for your life and nobody else can fulfill it. When I focus on God’s plan for me, competition becomes irrelevant. When I am so focused on just doing and being what God made me to be, it really doesn’t matter what other people are doing.

Most of all, those of you who are struggling with jealousy need to turn to the Lord today. Some of you need to do it for the first time in your lives. You need to trust Christ as your Savior and Lord. And some of you need to rededicate your lives to Christ. You cannot kill the jealousy bug without Christ. It’s impossible. You have to lay it all at His feet

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bitterness Leads to Unforgiveness - Unforgiveness leads to Spiritual Death

Bitterness leads to Unforgiveness – Unforgiveness leads to Spiritual Death

What was your response the last time someone hurt you?
Perhaps you felt the urge to retaliate. Maybe you took no action, but instead harbored bitterness in your heart. If so, you failed to realize that you do great damage to yourself when you have an unforgiving spirit. Failure to forgive is a devastating form of self-punishment—a destructive landmine in the path of the believer.
In Ephesians 4:32, the apostle Paul writes, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” It sounds fairly simple, doesn’t it?
Yet, you and I know the truth that, though it’s simple, it’s not necessarily easy. When someone commits a terrible offense against you—no matter whether the hurt came by way of words or deeds—forgiveness can be terribly difficult. The enemy will entice you to be so angry that you take revenge. As a mature believer, however, you must avoid the enemy’s landmine and choose the peace of forgiveness as Christ has shown you.

Ephesians 4:26–32 Supporting Scripture: Matthew 6:9–15; 18:21–24;1 John 1:9

Scriptural Principles:

1. The definition of unforgiveness.
If you want to understand unforgiveness, you must first know what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is the willingness to give up your resentment toward someone who has wronged you, regardless of how serious or painful that wrong might have been. In other words, you renounce any desire to get even. We can identify three elements to forgiveness: to give up resentment about the wrong; to give up resentment toward the
wrongdoer; and to give up plans for retaliation. Forgiveness is more than just saying some words; it must come from the heart.
Unforgiveness, on the other hand, is a deliberate mindset to do the opposite—to resent the wrong and the wrongdoer, and to seek revenge. In Ephesians 4:31, Paul associates unforgiveness with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice. It is hard to understand why anyone would choose those painful attitudes over tenderness, gentleness, and a forgiving spirit. However, many people today are physically ill because they do just that. They live day by day, year by year, with the cancer of an unforgiving heart.

2. The description of unforgiveness.
The unforgiving heart clings to the past, refusing to extend to others what our heavenly Father has extended to us. In Ephesians 4:32, the apostle insists upon our “forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” As a result of a resentful attitude, there will be certain negative consequences in the life of an unforgiving person. One of the most significant repercussions is that bitterness takes root in the heart, and then it spreads its poison to choke out every godly trait there.
The truth is that people choose to be unforgiving—it is a deliberate decision and a self-inflicted pain. We carry the illusion that other people have caused our misery, but in reality, we have elected to take on a form of self-imposed bondage. It is a spiritual “acid” that eats through the spirit within us. Few people realize the terrible effects of unforgiveness.

3. The disobedience of unforgiveness.
This root of bitterness will keep you from being the person God wants you to be, and prevent you from carrying out ... His will for your life. The refusal to forgive is an act of pride and rebellion—deliberate disobedience to the Word of God. When He taught His disciples to pray, Jesus added, “If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:15). This does not mean the believer loses his salvation, but it does indicate God will hold him accountable—there will be discipline. We are never given the right to harbor an unforgiving spirit. In Matthew 18:22, Jesus
teaches us that we must forgive “seventy times seven,” which means we must always forgive. Paul, too, writes that we should bear with one another and forgive one another because, in the same way, God has forgiven us. All of these passages from God’s Word make it very clear that unforgiveness is never an option for the committed believer.

4. The destruction of unforgiveness.
What are the consequences of an unforgiving spirit? Jesus teaches us that God wants to answer our prayers, but that we must first forgive others. If we don’t, it will make us bitter and will affect our prayer life. Likewise, our worship will be affected. Jesus teaches us that when we are in conflict, we are to stop—even in the middle of our worship—and go to set matters right. Our witnessing, our giving, and our overall spiritual growth are terribly weakened by a heart that carries bitterness. Every other aspect of life is affected as well. When we are loaded down with stress, anxiety, and resentment, physical illness may result. Finally, because others don’t enjoy being around bitter people, our relationships are poisoned.

5. Dealing with unforgiveness.
To confront an unforgiving spirit, the first requirement is to take it seriously and assume full responsibility for our own decisions and actions. We acknowledge unforgiveness as a sin and confess it honestly to God. The next step is to lay our anger down—strip it away—because then we can ask God’s forgiveness. After that, we should begin praying for the other person. If that person has been aware of our bitterness, we should go to them and ask their forgiveness. We can live out God’s grace by asking Him to show us something we can do on that person’s behalf—serving them instead of resenting them. Finally, we prevent the devil from trapping us again by refusing to rehash the same old issue or allowing the bitterness to seep back in. This debt must be forgiven and canceled in the same way our sins are.

6. Demonstrating forgiveness.
Some Christians believe they have forgiven the person that’s wronged them, but the roots of bitterness are still deep in their hearts. So how can you know you have truly forgiven someone? There are two indications that you have been obedient to Christ in this area. First, you know you have forgiven when your feelings toward the other person have changed. When you see him or her, you will be aware that the resentment is gone. Second, you know your forgiveness is genuine when you feel concern for the other person—you care about his or her spiritual welfare and you want what is best for him or her.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Child Abuse - Are you the Victim - Fear not

DO NOT SIN AGAINST THE CHILD! Gen 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
Dictionary meaning of ABUSE is ; mistreatment, cruelty, ill treatment, violence, maltreatment, neglect, exploitation
The text calls us to consider one particular form of sin, namely, sinning against a child. Every man, by his own conduct is educating the rising generation of the nation. If a man behaves improperly, if his speech is foul, if his conversation is polluted, he helps to educate children in the school of ungodliness. If, on the other hand, his ways are right, and by the grace of God he is brought to act morally and to speak truthfully, he is doing something to train up one for virtue and holiness. Our moral conduct sweetens or defiles the general atmosphere of society, and in children. I would declare that every man giving fuel to the fires of his lustful pleasures, if the presence of the angels and the Holy Ghost is not enough to silence your ungodly voice, at least consider the fair haired girls and the blue eyed boys against whom you sin dreadfully. Do not let the leprosy of your sin pollute your offspring. Were you about to utter a lascivious sentence? Withhold it, for it is not proper that little ears should so soon be desecrated by that which has become common enough to you, but will yet be shocking to them. Were you about to blaspheme? Is it not enough to curse your Maker? Why should you bring a second curse upon that harmless little one? Why teach those lips that will be all too ready to learn to speak hideous words? If you have any feeling left in you, respect the purity of childhood, and let the presence of youth be a reason for restraint in open sin. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are crowds of parents upon whose head the blood of their children will certainly descend, because they have launched them on the sea of life with the rudder set towards the rocks, with a false chart, a deceitful compass, and every other appliance for securing eternal shipwreck.” God, help us not to sin against the children!
*WHO CAN SIN? All of us. Every action impacts. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and certainly we are to love and consider those who can not help themselves- whether it be the children whose heads
Abuse: I certainly believe in spanking a child in disobedience, but many have sinned against their children by making them the object of their anger and frustrations. While in their drunkenness they have sodomized, beaten, and scarred their children. I went to school with a girl that had been adopted after being taken from her birth parents. When she was only a couple of weeks old they put out their cigarettes on her body! She was burned and scarred all over. They sodomized her, broke multiple bones, and allowed her to go without sufficient food for extended periods of time. It was a miracle from God that she ever lived to be rescued from their evil clutches! Just last week a couple were convicted of starving their six month old baby to death! Many people today have no scruples whatsoever, and in vicious anger they exert their frustration against God’s precious little children!
IV. Abandonment: Ezekiel 16 tells of an abandoned baby who was lying in a field. This has become far too common today. Every year the Hospitals send nurses into the rooms of mothers to give them their babies to carry home only to find the mothers gone having left her baby at the Hospital. We’ve found them in trash .
God help us today. We have sinned against the children with Careless Parenting, Compromising Preaching, and Crowds of Pressure. We have sown to the winds of unrighteousness and we are reaping a whirlwind of judgment. Leviticus 26:21 22 “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate”. To “rob” our children means to devour them. Our children are being devoured, and we are reaping the judgment of God for sinning against the children. It is seen in the condition of our young people:
May I ask you... Have you abandoned your children in your prayer life? Have you abandoned your children in Bible study and teaching? Have you lived before them an example of a Christian life? If your children do exactly as you have done before them, how will it be when they come to judgment? I implore you today to get it right. DO NOT SIN AGAINST THE CHILD!

Entering into Godly Rest

Are You Resting in Christ?
Hebrews 3:8-19

I am sure that each one in this room looks forward to those times we think if everything goes as plan we might get some rest.
There is so much we have to do that it seems that rest is hard to come by. It is not that easy to find rest now a days. We work long hours; have so much to do after we get home from work especially if we have kids or grandkids to raise that we find ourselves many nights keeping the midnight oil burning.

We try to make time by microwaving our dinner rather than cooking those good old “home cooked meals”. We talk on cell phones as we drive around town to save time. We run through the “drive ins” to pick up our prescriptions, doing our banking or pick up our dry cleaning in the hope that it will save us a couple of minutes.
But despite all that we do, rest is hard to find.
I think that the same thing is true in our Christian lives. God promises us rest. “Come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” But despite God’s promise, many don’t find rest there either. There are many weary Christians walking around.
The Israelites didn’t find God’s rest and I want to know why? Twice the writer of Hebrews tells us in the passage of Scripture we are studying tonight that they could not enter into God’s rest. What may have prevented them from finding rest may be the same exact thing that is keeping us from finding rest! So that is where we are going to learn tonight what is it that is keeping me from finding God’s rest?
Read Scriptures: Hebrews 3:8-19

I. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you can not hand over your problems to God.
Hebrews 3:8 “do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,”
The time of testing for the Israelites occurred when the twelve (12) spies returned from searching out the Promised Land and ten (10) gave the negative report that persuaded the whole assembly not to enter the Promised Land because there were giants in the land and fortified cities.

The Israelites could not hand over their enemies to God; and the Israelites could not hand over the fortification that the enemies possessed to God. And as result they could not enter into God’s rest.
I wonder tonight- what it is that you are hanging on to that you have not given to God and as result you have not found God’s rest?
Let me boil it down to basics for you. It is an issue of trust in God because trust is an act of my will whereby I give my burdens to God. The Israelites could not trust God to deal with their enemies or their fortified cities and therefore they could not give those things over to God and find rest.
I have learned that there are a lot of things that I can not control. I can not control my health. I can not control my financial future. I can not even control the church I attend. So can I trust God to handle those things? If I can, I will find God’s rest. If I cannot, then God’s rest will pass me by and I will have missed it.

II. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you can not see that God is working in your life every day you live.
Hebrews 3:9 “ where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.”
How often did the Israelites see the working of God in their life?...
You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you don’t follow God’s blueprint for your life.

Hebrews 3:10 “That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ’Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.”
Where are you going to find God’s blue print for your life? The answer is His Word. The writer of Hebrews tells us the Israelites did not know His ways. They didn’t know His Word despite Moses telling them all that God wanted to share with His people.

So how do I know if I am following God’s blue print for my life? If you are lost, wandering, or feeling like you are always in a fog or your life seems to be always unsettled you really don’t know God’s ways. If your heart has found what it is looking for and you are at rest then you know God’s ways.

The true is that you can’t be at rest without knowing God’s ways because it is His ways that bring you rest.
IV. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you will allow the voice of sin to drown out the voice of God.

Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
And I am here to tell you today that the deceitfulness of sin is sometimes louder than the voice of God and if you tune in to it you can not hear what God is telling you. You have to make the effort to hear what God is telling you. You have to tune out sin and tune in God.

Listen, sin will offer you everything but it will deliver on nothing. It will tell us that it will provide you with peace but it will never deliver.

If you want to find peace you better be listening to God and not to sin.
Stress at Work
How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress
In this difficult economy, you may find it harder than ever to cope with challenges on the job. Both the stress we take with us when we go to work and the stress that awaits us on the job are on the rise – and employers, managers, and workers all feel the added pressure. While some stress is a normal part of life, excessive stress interferes with your productivity and reduces your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to find ways to keep it under control. Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to manage and reduce stress at work.
You can learn how to manage job stress
There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. These include:
• Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
• Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
• Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers.
Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress
• Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
• Apathy, loss of interest in work.
• Problems sleeping
• Fatigue,
• Trouble concentrating • Muscle tension or headaches
• Stomach problems
• Social withdrawal
• Loss of sex drive
• Using alcohol or drugs to cope
job stress Reducing by taking care of yourself
When stress on the job is interfering with your ability to work, care for yourself, or manage your personal life, it’s time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you’re stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed.
--Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Take things one step at a time, and as you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a noticeable difference in your stress level, both at home at work.
---Make food choices that keep you going and make you feel good
Eating small but frequent meals throughout the day maintains an even level of blood sugar in your body. Low blood sugar makes you feel anxious and irritable. On the other hand, eating too much can make you lethargic.
Get enough sleep
--Stress and worry can cause insomnia. But lack of sleep also leaves you vulnerable to stress. When you're sleep deprived, your ability to handle stress is compromised. When you're well-rested, it's much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with job and workplace stress.
Reducing job stress by prioritizing and organizing
When job and workplace stress surrounds you, you can’t ignore it, but there are simple steps you can take to regain control over yourself and the situation. Your growing sense of self-control will also be perceived by others as the strength it is, leading to better relationships at work. Here are some suggestions for reducing job stress by prioritizing and organizing your responsibilities.