Life Blogs Archives - GraceAndWorks

VERSES THAT SEEM TO BE LEFT OUT OF LIFE…..

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As I live my life and watch others live theirs, I tend to see some of God’s Words and Commands seem to get left out of lives. The Bible is VERY explicit on those that will gain a home in Heaven. (P.S. not everybody will make it!!)

A look at some of these verses:

1) Jesus said, “He who BELIEVES and is BAPTIZED will be saved: but he who does not believe WILL be condemned.” It takes more than just believing to be saved. The Commands here are not only believing, but, also being Baptized. Mark 16:16

2) Then Peter said to them, “REPENT, and let EVERY one of you be BAPTIZED in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Repent means to do away with the sin in our lives. The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to us at the time of Baptism. The Command here is not only doing away with our sins, but, also being Baptized. Acts 2:38

3) The writer of Hebrews says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, NOT forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another.” The assembly being spoken of here is Worship Services and Bible studies. The Command here is, attend all Worship Services and Bible studies where God’s people are assembled. Hebrews 10:24-25

4) Paul tells the Church at Corinth, “On the first day of the week, let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.” The example here is to attend Worship every (Inclusive) first day of the week. The command is to give back to God as you have prospered, thanking Him for the blessings He has given us. 1st Corinthians 16:2
This, further impresses the Command for us to assemble together for Worship on the 1st day of the week.

5) In Acts, Paul says, “Now on the 1st day of the week, when disciples came together to break bread.” The example here, is meeting on the 1st day of the week. The Command is Communing with our Lord and remembering the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. If we don’t assemble and Worship on the 1st day of each, how do we pay this tribute to Jesus as is commanded? Acts 20:7

6) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: ANGER, WRATH, MALICE, BLASPHEMY, and FILTHY LANGUAGE from you mouth. I see these thing going on 24/7, yet, the Command is to get rid of them. Colossians 3:9

7) Paul tells the Corinthians, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? (Those not keeping God’s Commands) Do not be deceived, Fornicators, Idolaters, Adulterers, Homosexuals, Sodomites, Thieves, Covetous, Drunkards, Revilers, and Extortioners will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.” That is what God’s Word says, BELIEVE it!! 1st Corinthians 6:9-10

There are many more passages that could be used. The point here is many are not living according to what God wants and says. Take heed, NOT everyone is going to Heaven. God says!!

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

WHY ATTEND SUNDAY NIGHT WORSHIP??

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I was talking with our preacher Sunday about Sunday Night Worship Service and what we could do to increase attendance. As I researched the subject, I found that most congregations deal with the same problem. Decent attendance in the morning Worship and 25 to 30 percent of that number back on Sunday night.

                           IS THERE HINDRANCE FROM GOD?

The only hindrance that should keep one from the assembly is hindrance from God. If we are ill or otherwise hindered by the Lord, He does not expect us to assemble.

However the truth of the matter is that we often stretch an excuse to such an extreme that we create a hindrance and say it is from God. Parents may run around with their children all Sunday afternoon, but when evening comes the “children are just too tired to go to church.”

Sometimes personal work is done at the time of church meetings when it could just as easily be done at other times. Or sometimes we knowingly schedule ourselves for nonessential activities that will regularly keep us away from church assemblies on Sunday nights. Have we ever considered how insulting to the Lord it must be for us to feel well enough to go anywhere and do anything, except to meet with the brethren?

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM

It is a strong congregation whose members can be counted upon to assemble together unless they are truly hindered from the Lord. The principle that Jesus stated in Matt. 6:33 to “Seek first the kingdom of God” is the basis that faithful Christians should use in determining whether or not to assemble with the church. Placing the Lord’s church before the other things that compete for our time and energy is certainly the proper attitude.

THE LORD IS IN OUR MIDST

If we believe Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three have gathered together in my name there l am in their midst,;” we will then realize that if we absent ourselves from the assembly, we remove ourselves from a meeting where the Lord is present.

WE MISS INSTRUCTION

When one misses the assembly he not only misses meeting with the Lord, he also misses the receiving of valuable instruction. Since he is not there, he will not be edified with the rest of the saints. (1 Cor. 14:12.) Who, among us, is so filled with information and wisdom that we have no need for further study or a need to be built up in the faith?

The Christian life is one of constant growth (2 Pet. 1:5-7). One may learn something from every lesson taught, or at least be reminded of great Bible truths. So often a sermon is preached or a lesson taught, but many who need to hear it have chosen to stay home, go fishing, play golf or be elsewhere. Building a strong congregation is the work of every member. A strong church cannot be built by a weak membership. It is difficult to build strong Christian character by sporadic attendance.

WE MISS COMMUNICATION

When one does not attend all the services of the church he also misses communication with other Christians. Some members feel like “outsiders” because they never seem to know what is going on in the congregation. The reason for this is quite simple. They fail to attend the assemblies where congregational news is given.

WE MISS ASSOCIATION WITH CHRISTIANS

When we do not attend the various assemblies we also miss association with other Christians. We all need the association of brothers and sisters in Christ so we can encourage others as well as be encouraged. We need to comfort others as well as be comforted. “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” (Heb. 10:24).

 

                          JUST A PRIVATE MATTER?

Attendance is not just a “private matter” as some would like to think. Other Christians are looking at us, and they are affected by our examples. It is a very serious matter when a poor example is set before a weak brother or sister. A poor example in the matter of attendance might well set a new or weak member on the road to a complete falling away.

Our own children are being told by our pattern of attendance what we consider important and what we consider unimportant. If we allow the smallest thing to keep us away from the assemblies, surely we are giving a message that is loud and clear to our children. The attitude of the parent will likely become the attitude of the child. Camping, fishing trips and recreational activities are good and beneficial, but surely they can be arranged so that the Lord will not be neglected.

ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER TO ATTEND

We can become stronger individual Christians, and stronger congregations if we will all become faithful attenders of all the assemblies.

The exhortation of the Hebrew writer is just as applicable for us today as it was for the church of Christ over nineteen centuries ago: “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some; but encouraging one another; and all the more; as you see the day drawing near.”

Please DO NOT neglect God!! SMILE He loves YOU!!

 

PAUL’S ADVICE ON ANGER–“PUT IT ALL ASIDE!”

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Chances are, almost everyone here was angry at least once this past week. It may have been minor frustration with another driver or being irritated with your kids for not putting away their toys. It could have been a situation at work. Some husbands and wives live with daily anger and hurt feelings. Some parents and their children are in a constant battle of outbursts of anger and abusive words. Many adults have hurts from childhood that keep bubbling to the surface. Every time they think about them, they seethe with anger.

If you’re thinking, “Who, me, angry? I’m a Christian. I don’t get angry,” then you probably have a more serious anger problem than those who readily admit, “Yes, I struggle with anger.” A person’s face was red and the veins on his neck were bulging out as he angrily told me with a clenched jaw, “I’m not angry!” I thought to myself, “I’d hate to see you when you are angry!” Anger is a problem for every Christian.

Think of what would happen if everyone learned to deal with their anger! Child abuse and divorce would be gone. Murder, terrorism, and war would stop. And many health problems would clear up. Doctors believe that anger can harm the heart as much as high blood pressure does. The number one problem in cardiovascular disease—more important than cholesterol—is mismanaged anger (Los Angeles [3/88]). Besides high blood pressure and heart disease, anger can result in many other serious health problems. So the text is very practical. Paul says, Christians must put aside all sinful anger and abusive speech.

Colossians 3:8: “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.” If you’re honest, your reaction to this verse is probably, “I agree! But, really, how do you do it?” It’s easy to say, “Put all your anger and abusive speech aside.” But it’s another thing to do it! Paul seems to say, “You’re angry? Just stop it!”

“But, Paul, when I was a child, my parents took everything out me. So now I have all this anger. “Put it all aside!”

“But, Paul, my wife nags me constantly until I explode with anger.” “Put it all aside!”

“But Paul, my husband is a workaholic who leaves all the housework and dealing with the kids to me. He’s so inconsiderate! I’m so angry with him!” “Put it all aside!”

“But, Paul, my kids sass me and don’t do what I say, no matter how many times I ask them to do it. The only way I can get them to obey is to yell at them!” “Put it all aside!”

“But, Paul, you don’t understand. My boss at work has favorites and he treats me unfairly. I get so angry. I just hate him!” “Put it all aside!”

Paul doesn’t say that it will take years of psychotherapy to work through your anger issues. He doesn’t tell these new believers to sign up for an anger management class. He simply tells them, “Put it all aside.”

I wonder if we’ve made things more complicated than they need to be.  Paul writes to people who had been involved in some pretty serious sins which undoubtedly left them wounded and scarred (Col. 3:5-7). They didn’t have study Bibles and Christian books on how to deal with anger. There were no video series by famous Christian counselors. In fact, there were no Christian counselors! There were no magazines offering self-help articles on anger management. And all Paul says is, “Put it all aside.” That’s amazing! Awww…what we can learn from this verse in the context of this letter.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

DOING THE RIGHT THING

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I’m sitting on my couch, this evening, watching Golden State and Houston play the 6th game in their playoff series for the right to move on to the next series and maybe a championship. When someone does something against the rules, there are consequences. Foul a player and he shoots free throws. Travel or double dribble and the ball goes to the other team. When the team isn’t playing well, the coach calls a time out. The coach will calm them down and tell them what needs to be done. He will call plays as the game progresses so the team can be successful in scoring. All the players, on each team, are dressed in the same uniform. The announcers try their best to keep me in the game and let me know what is going and maybe what should be happening.

As I was thinking about all the different things that were going on, I was thinking how I could apply that to my Christian life. Here’s what I came up with:
1) The announcers telling us what’s going on, seems to be the same as God giving us His written Word in the form of the Bible.
2) The coach calling time out when things aren’t going right, seems to be the same as I do with prayer. I call a time out and talk to God to get calmed down and start doing things right.
3) The coach calling plays as the game goes on, seems to be the same as the instruction I get when I go to the scriptures and let God tell me the plays I need to be implementing.
4) The players on each team having the same uniform on, seems to be the same as Christians all on the same tn the same page. We have the uniformity of all being on the same team.
5) When the players commit a foul, double dribble, or travel, there are consequences to be paid. This seems to be the same as life. When we do things that are contrary to what God wants done, we have consequences to pay. For every action there is a reaction. Every choice we make, good or bad, there is a reaction and a consequence.
6) Both teams are well prepared so they can win. Are we prepared so we can win? God promises us the crown of life and a place in Heaven. All we have to do is obey His commands and be prepared.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

STOP LIGHTS!!

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Driving in Vegas, I have to wonder WHY do we even have Stop Lights. People blow the red light to turn right, in front of traffic. They run the red light to turn left. Then, a car is 50 feet from the intersection the light turns red. Do they stop? NO!! They speed up and run the light. The city could save a lot of electricity, if they just shut the lights off. Seems to me no one cares anyway. I guess maybe that would play GREAT havoc with our driving. If you wait a couple seconds to go after the light turns green, some idiot behind you starts honking. GIVE ME A BREAK!!

As I see all this red light running, I started to think about all the red lights God put in the Bible for us to stop what we are doing, but instead, we just carry on like the people in traffic. RUN the red light signals.

The Bible says–“Attend Worship on the First Day of The Week.” People think, nah, we don’t need to go. Run the red signal.

The Bible says–“Repent of Your Sins.” People think, nah, I’m not giving up what I want to do. Run the red signal.

The Bible says–“Be Baptized to Wash Away Your Sins.” People think, nah, I don’t need/have to do that. Run the red signal.

The Bible says–“Put others considerations before yours.” People think, nah, I’m putting myself first because that is all that matters. Run the red signal.

The Bible says–“Pray without ceasing.” People think, nah, I don’t want/need to because I can do everything on my own. Run the red signal.

The Bible says–“Honor Your Father and Mother.” People think, nah, I don’t have to do that because I don’t care about their feelings, knowledge, and wisdom. Run the red signal.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. People just DON’T care about anything but themselves. The other drivers don’t matter. God doesn’t matter. What in the world have we come to? It’s becoming a disaster!!

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

T’was The Night Before Jesus Came

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T’was the night before Jesus came and all through the house not a creature was praying., not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care, in hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap, was watching the Late Show, while I took a nap.

When out of the East, there came such a clatter. I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash!

When what to my wandering eyes should appear, but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun, sending forth a bright ray, I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head, it was Jesus! returning, just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life, which He had in His hand, was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name; When He said “It’s not here!” My head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love, He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready, He rose without a sound. While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late. I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and cried as they rose out of sight; Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear; The coming of Jesus is drawing near. There’s only one life and when comes the last call, we’ll find the Bible was right after all.
Author unknown.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a GREAT day all.

It Doesn’t Matter How You Say It…..

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WHAT are you doing?
What ARE you doing?
What are YOU doing?
What are you DOING?
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

I love you.
I LOVE you.
I love YOU.
Even thought different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

WHY did you make that call?
Why DID you make that call?
Why did YOU make that call?
Why did you MAKE that call?
Why did you make THAT call?
Why did you make that CALL?
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

Acts 2:38
REPENT and be baptized.
Repent AND be baptized.
Repent and BE baptized.
Repent and be BAPTIZED.
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

Mark 16:16
BELIEVE and be baptized to be saved.
Believe AND be baptized to be saved.
Believe and BE baptized to be saved.
Believe and be BAPTIZED to be saved.
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

Hebrews 10:25
DON’T forsake worship service.
Don’t FORSAKE worship service.
Don’t forsake WORSHIP service.
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

1st Corinthians 13:8
LOVE never fails.
Love NEVER fails.
Love never FAILS.
Even though different words are emphasized, the statement means the same.

One can spin God’s word however they want to, but God’s words will always mean the same. He, and His Word, was the same yesterday, today, and will remain the same tomorrow. Nothing in His Word is “Old fashioned” or “Out dated.” The way to Salvation has not changed. The path remains exactly the same for everyone. The statements we hear about, “you do it your way and I’ll do it my way and we’ll all end up in the same place” is not true, according to God’s Word. There are over a 1000 commands in the New Testament, and God expects us to adhere to them. God has made us a promise, that IF we keep His commands, He will prepare a place for us. Disobey and He’ll send you to Satan.

IT is your choice.
It IS your choice.
It is YOUR choice.
It is your CHOICE. Make the right one!!

Have a good day all. SMILE God loves YOU!!

 

PRACTICE????

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I’ve been wondering about this word for quite some time. A short definition  means to do something over and over to get better. I’ve always wondered why people say that a Doctor is “Practicing” medicine or why Attorneys are “Practicing” law. Shouldn’t they know what they are doing? I’ve thought to myself that I would just prefer a Doctor instead one who is still “Practicing.” Same would go with an Attorney. Soooooo, I’ve decided that they are still practicing, doing things over and over, so they get better at what they are doing ( sure hope by the time I would need one, that they would know what they are doing. lololo). Then I  thought, why don’t we have “Practicing” teachers, sales people, secretaries, business owners, preachers, coaches, etc. In athletics we have, football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, and track “Practice” so the players can get better by doing the same plays over and over until they get them right. All that “Practice” is done so they can be prepared for the games they play. Hopefully being able to win their games.

The next question I had was, why are Christians just called Christians? Shouldn’t we be called “Practicing” Christians. After all, doesn’t God want us to get better at what we do for Him? His scriptures tell us to listen, not only listen, but HEAR, attend Worship services, study to show ourselves approved, go forth and Preach His Word. He also instructs us to be kind, gentle, loving, forgiving, tolerant of others, and compassionate. How can these things be accomplished if we don’t continue to “Practice” what God  says? We can’t just “Be Christians”, it takes work!! Sooooooo, don’t just be a Christian, go to work and “Practice” what is to be done. Become a “Practicing” Christian!! Hopefully we will win the race and receive the Crown of Life that God has promised (Providing we are obedient to Him).

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

TRUST!!

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We trust our friends, until, someone lies or misuses us in some manner. We trust our family, until, something goes astray and breaks that trust. We put our trust in banks, government, cars, electricity, gas lines, media, etc., until, someone lies or somehow breaks that trust. As I was driving down the highway today, I was thinking about the hundreds of cars that were traveling on the road and the ABSOLUTE trust the drivers had in each other. That trust gets put in question when someone cuts you off or even worse yet causes an accident. Then we get very cautious and take a moment to reflect on what is going on and eventually the trust is regained.

I started to think about if we have the same kind of trust in God that we have in our fellow human beings. Then asked myself:

 “How can I learn to trust in God?”

Answer: We cannot trust someone we don’t know, and that is the secret of learning to trust God. When someone says, “Trust me,” we have one of two reactions. Either we can say, “Yes, I’ll trust you,” or we can say, “Why should I?” In God’s case, trusting Him naturally follows when we understand why we should.

The main reason we should trust God is that He is worthy of our trust. Unlike men, He never lies and never fails to fulfill His promises. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Unlike men, He has the power to bring about what He plans and purposes to do. “The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand” (Isaiah 14:24). His plans are perfect, holy, and righteous, and He works all things together for good for those who love Him. If we learn to know God through His Word, we will see that He is worthy of our trust, and our trust in Him will grow daily. To know Him is to trust Him.

We can learn to trust God as we see how He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in our lives and the lives of others. The record of God’s promises is there in His Word for all to see, as is the record of their fulfillment. Historical documents verify those events and speak of God’s faithfulness to His people. Every Christian can give personal testimony to God’s trustworthiness as we see His work in our lives, fulfilling His promises to save our souls. He comforts us with peace and understanding as we run the race He has planned for us . The more we experience His grace, faithfulness, and goodness, the more we trust Him.

A third reason to trust God is that we really have no sensible alternative. Should we trust in ourselves or in others who are sinful, unpredictable, unreliable, have limited wisdom, and who frequently make bad choices and decisions swayed by emotion? Or do we trust in the all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful, gracious, merciful, loving God who has good intentions for us? The choice should be obvious, but we fail to trust God because we don’t know Him. As already stated, we cannot hope to trust in someone who is essentially a stranger to us. God has not made Himself difficult to find or know. All we need to know about God, He has made available to us in the Bible, His holy Word. To know God is to trust Him.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.

Braving The Storm

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When I went to bed, it was drizzling rain outside and this morning that had frozen and it was snowing. I HAD to get to work!! Sooo, I started the car and let it warm up while I scraped the ice from the windows. WOW, I thought, this is bad. The sky is full of of clouds and now it is REALLY snowing hard. I backed out of the driveway and started on my way. The streets are nasty slick and I’m just inching along. There are cars off on the side of the road. Sure am glad I left early so I could be on time for work. Then I come to a little hill in the road and it was so slick I couldn’t go any farther. Cars were stopped in front of me and they were stacking up behind me. I’m STUCK!! I look in my mirror and see a big sand truck coming. The cars started moving around and we got going. Finally I made it to work. By the time work was over, it had quit snowing and the streets were all sanded and I could make it back home. WHEW!!

I was thinking about this and life is kind of the same was. You get up in the morning, get ready for work, go outside to leave, and the world you enter into is FULL of sin. You inch along trying to find your way, people are “Off in the ditch” not knowing what they are going to do. Finally things become so bogged down you get stuck in the same muck as all the others. Now, what to do?? Try to get out by yourself? Talk to friends about it? Hey, why not talk to God? I remember reading in the Bible that He will never leave me or forsake me. Maybe I’ll try talking to God and see if He can get me unstuck from all this sin. It’s starting to help, I feel better already. Work is over and I’m ready to leave and head home. The clouds of sin are gone from my mind and the sun is shining. YAY!! Made it home and feeling much better. The difference is: The snow only comes around once in a while–Sin is there every day. The battle with it is every day. How we fight it is up to us. Do we succumb to it? Or, do we let God help us fight it? Don’t let the clouds of sin get to you–turn to God and let the sun shine!!

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.