Archive | July 2012

GOD’S TEMPLE

This is St. John Lutheran Church in Allegan, MI.

Many of us attend worship services at least once a week in church buildings. God wants us to meet regularly with other Christians to praise Him and have fellowship with each other. His Spirit is definitely felt in these places when things are happening. But God does not live in these buildings.

God’s temple exists somewhere else. Paul tells us where that temple is in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (I Corinthians 3:16-17)

Knowing that you are God’s temple, which is scared, does that change the way you think about living your life and using your body? Does this give you second thoughts about what you put into your body – drugs, excessive alcohol, cigarette smoke, too much unhealthy food.

God expects us to treat our bodies as His temple; to keep it pure and clean; to use it for His glory, not ours. What changes do you need to make in order to respect God’s temple (your body and soul)? Don’t delay. Make the changes now. Do not be the one who destroys His temple so that you end up being destroyed.

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CUT OFF OR REMAIN ATTACHED

I saw this tree in Allegan, MI. As you can see branches on one side have been cut off. I think this was because the branches were going out into the road and would be a traffic hazzard. The branches still attached are healthy and the leaves are nice and green.

The Bible gives us several examples of how believers and non-believers will be separated by God: sheep/goats; wheat/chaff; good fruit/bad fruit. John 15 tells about branches, “If anyone does not remain in Me (Jesus),he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6)

When the time comes for God to separate the believers from the non-believers which branch will you be? Will you be one that remains attached to the tree, growing and bearing good fruit? Or will you be a branch that is cut off and thrown into the fire? You can determine your fate. Cling to Jesus Christ and receive His salvation or reject Jesus and experience the wrath of God during the end times. Now is the time to make that choice. Please comment, especially if you have questions regarding this all-important decision. I’d love to hear from you.

KEPT PROMISES

A few days ago I heard it raining very early before I got out of bed. When I did get up I was greeted by this beautiful rainbow.  The rainbow is a sign of one of God’s promises. The book of Genesis records the account of Noah and the flood. Once the rains stopped and dry land appeared God made a promise to Noah:

“I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy ALL life.”  ( Genesis 9:13-15)

God didn’t say there would never be floods again. There will always be some floods happening. But there will never be another flood of the magnitude of the one during Noah’s time. God promised the whole earth will not be destroyed by a great flood ever again.

I like that God gives us signs to remember His promises. Signs, like the rainbow, renew our hope and reminds us there is a God who is in control and keeps His promises. When you are going through “floods” in your life remember the rainbows, the promises of God, and He will get you through.

REMEMBERED IN A BOOK

I love to scrapbook. Putting pictures of my family, of trips I’ve taken, etc in creative ways into books to keep forever is a great way to save memories. I’ve made an individual book for each of my kids showing their lives from birth through high school. I cherish all the scrapbooks I’ve made.

There is one very important book in which we should all want our names listed. That’s God’s Book of Life.

“Nothing impure will ever enter into (the new Jerusalem), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  (Revelation 21:27)

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. . . .  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12 and 15)

How can your name be put in the book of life? By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior.

Revelation 3:5 tells us, ” He who overcomes will . . . be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels.” 

Once you’ve accepted Jesus your name is permanently entered into the book of life. Has your name been entered? If not, take the time to learn about the saving grace which can come only through Jesus Christ and then open your heart to Him.

OUT OF REACH?

As you can see in the picture the upper mailbox is totally useless and impractical. It is definitely too high, out of reach to be functional. It’s just something to look at.

Do you think that way about God sometimes? He’s sitting high up in heaven on His throne. He’s way out of reach looking down on us; totally impractical and not functional. He might be good to look at, but that’s it.

If that’s the way you think about God you have a very wrong idea about Him.

In Psalm 139:1-4 Davids writes, “O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”

David also wrote, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.”  (Psalm 68:5)  Does that sound like a God who is impersonal and doesn’t care? Does it sound like He’s out of reach? No! God does care. God does hear us. God is not a trophy on a pedestal just to look at. He is someone who wants a relationship with each of us. Out of reach? Not our God.

ACRONYMS

There are a lot of acronyms out there:  ER = emergency room; CPA = certified public accountant; ASAP = as soon as possible; USA, IRS, the list goes on. Then I saw this sign – ABC = Always Believe Christ.

That is such a good thing to remember. Jesus told His disciples, “. . . if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and muracles to deceive the elect – if that were possible. So be on your guard. . . . ”  (Mark 13:21-23)

We definitely have seen false christs/prophets. How many of you remember Jim Jones in Ghana or David Koresh in Waco, Texas. They gathered  huge followings with their false teachings which only led to their destruction.

Acronyms make it easier to remember some things. Please never forget ABC – Always Believe Christ. Jesus is the only true Lord and Savior. Don’t be fooled by imposters.

STAY ON COURSE

A ship’s helm is very important. A skilled helmsman can keep a ship on course even through storms with the ship being tossed by the waves. A strong grip on the helm is needed. If the hand slips the ship will veer in the wrong direction and find itself in danger of possible destruction.

We need a strong helm for our lives as well. God has provided that in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  (John 14:16-18)

Our helm is inside us. The Holy Spirit is the guide who will keep us on course. Just as the helmsman must keep a strong hand on the ship’s wheel we need to hang on strong to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let go lest your life veer in the wrong direction toward possible destruction. Jesus knew, when He left this earth, the disciples and all other believers would need someone to still be a constant guide and counselor. Cling to the Holy Spirit. Let Him keep you on the right course through this life.