Browsing "Spiritual Growth"

THE FOLLOWER, THE FAN, THE HATER AND THE TRUE DISCIPLE

HAVE YOU EVER felt rejected or misunderstood?  Then, you can imagine how Jesus felt at the end of his public ministry. The hostility against him had risen to an all time high. His compassion for the Gentiles and numerous miracles were met with oppression and violence. Jesus knew – that he was about to die. In spite of the fleeting attempts of the crowd to make him King, Jesus chose the way of the cross for sinners.  What way have you chosen?

If you knew for sure that you only had one week to live, what would you do with that week?  

LET US LOOK TO THE WORD OF GOD FOR WISDOM 

John 12:1-19

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.  ” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of himmany of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Hosann”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

WILL THE REAL YOU COME FORWARD?

After reading these verse from the Bible, it should be clearly evident how fickle we are as humans.

Wherever Jesus traveled, a crowd was sure to be seen following behind.  The interesting thing a about followers is that there is no difference between the followers in Jesus time and now.  The trouble with just being a FOLLOWER is that they continue to follow so long as it does not cost them anything.
The minute they are called to make a sacrifice that will cost them, they end up falling by the wayside.  The FAN is really not much different from the follower.

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Nov 25, 2016 - Prayer, Spiritual Growth, Worship    3 Comments

THANKSGIVING, IT’S IN YOUR PRAISES

As you read this, I want you to do this one thing.  I promise that once you do what I am about to tell you by faith in Jesus, it will energize and revolutionize your perspective on THANKSGIVING.  Here it is …

GIVE GOD PRAISE:  GIVE HIM THANKS FOR THREE THINGS.

Things that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that GOD is the only one who helped you out of a difficult time, blessed you, rescued you, etc.

I’m challenging you to give it some serious thought.  To go beyond the knee jerk responses of He woke me up, He gave me life.  Don’t get me wrong; I am not minimizing these things at all. I just know from my own experience that these were my responses when I didn’t want to really put much effort into my thinking.  If this isn’t you, by all means go there!

IT’S IN YOUR PRAISE

My prayer for you and me is that the Lord Jesus Christ will help us to give Thanks To God In Adversity.  Whatever the circumstances, we are to give thanks unto the Lord our God for He alone is good.  My point today is that being thankful is a condition of the heart not our circumstances.  It’s in your praise.  Notice that I said give thanks img_2179while IN adversity, NOT FOR adversity.  You see as a child of God you can praise God while facing difficulties because you know that you are not alone. God is with you, praise Him for His faithfulness right now!  It’s In Your Praise.

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FORREAL FRIENDS II

Recently, a friend of mine came over to my house the other day and asked me if he could borrow my projector for a presentation he was giving at work. It was his visit that got me to thinking about friendship. When my daughters we small, they loved these toys called “FurReal Friends.”  They were little stuffed animals with mechanical bodies that mimicked the sounds and movements of a real animal.  Amy and I have been suckered in to buying several of these over the years.  We have a FurReal cat, panda, polar bear, and a couple of FurReal dogs!  I guess that’s why when I got thinking about friendship, my mind went to this idea of, not FurReal Friends but ForReal friends.

In case you haven’t a clue about what I’m talking about, here are a couple of examples that may help you understand what I mean when I say FOR-REAL FRIENDS.  There are people who are “FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS” and then there are people who are “YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I’LL SCRATCH YOUR BACK FRIENDS.”

FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS are those people who say that they are your friend but their friendship is shallow.  It’s without any depth to it because it is based on just the right conditions… their conditions. Conditions that satisfy their needs only.  So long as you meet the conditions of what they think the relationship should be, they’ll remain your friend. These types of people are concerned mostly about themselves. The slightest disagreement will be treated as a change in the temperature of the weather and they are ready to end their friend with you.  People who lack self-esteem quickly fall into this type of relationship.

The YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I’LL SCRATCH YOUR BACK FRIENDS are always looking at what’s in it for me.  These relationships are built on each party’s ability to mutually use each other.  These friendships are often full of friction because one of them usually gets tired of being used by the other.  One of them will have figured out that they are the one who has been getting the short end of the stick most of the time.  There is no true friendship when the friendship is based on what someone can or will do for us.

THE VICIOUS CYCLE

These relationships that I’ve mentioned are easy to get into but, not always so easy to break free from.  They can become a vicious cycle without the help of God.  Ask me how do I know … Been There And Done That. I imageregrettably admit that I have been on both the receiving end and giving end of these types of friendships.  At the time I didn’t realize what they were. But when the Lord revealed to me where I was and where I was headed, I knew that the relationship had to end.  Nevertheless, I was caught up in this vicious cycle.  Like a vortex, the more you struggle to set yourself free the more you get sucked back in.  It wasn’t until I cried out to the Lord for His help that I was set free.

Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story-those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Psalm 107:6 Then they cried out to the lord in their trouble, and he delivered then from their stress.

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