Life Blogs Archives - GraceAndWorks

THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLID ROCK!!

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We have desert landscaping in our yard and I was looking at all the rocks. They are different sizes and shapes and it got me to thinking about “Rocks.” Rocks make up sand, pebbles, boulders, and mountains. They lay in the yard, on the sidewalk, out in the street, on the highway, and make up beautiful scenery in the way of mountains. We can step on them (Ouch), throw them, kick them, build sidewalks, streets, highways, and buildings, view them in mountainous landscapes, and sometimes have them break windshields and windows. They come in a multitude of different colors. We, often times, refer to precious stones , as rocks. They have a variance of different sizes, shapes, and colors just as the standard rock. There are a multitude of problems with rocks, however. They can erode away, be moved, reshaped by human hands, cause destruction, lose their luster, and their color. By now you all probably think I have “Rocks” in my head. Maybe so…….

There is, however, one rock that is unmovable, doesn’t cause destruction, won’t lose it’s luster or color, won’t erode away, can’t be reshaped by human hands, and never changes shape or size. That “Rock” is JESUS!!

2nd Samuel 22:2-4

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So I shall be saved from my enemies.” Thank you Jesus for always being there and being the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

WHY ATTEND BIBLE CLASS??

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It is always disappointing to me that these kind of articles are necessary. It seems to me that every Christian should love to attend Bible study. Bible classes should be just as full as worship services. The truth, however, is that in most local churches some people just do not come out for Bible study. On Sunday morning they feel like the assembling does not get started until the worship service that includes the Lord’s supper begins. On Wednesday evenings (or whenever a church has mid-week Bible study) many who attend on Sunday feel it unnecessary to come out for the Bible study. Why is that? I can’t say because I do not have the ability to read the hearts and minds of men. It does give an impression, however, of a lack of commitment to Christ and an overall lack of interest in the Word of God and spiritual things. It would be wonderful if, at least on Sunday mornings, we had just as many attending Bible study as we do in the worship service. A little drop off on Wednesday nights is understandable because some are not able to get out at night, but there is no legitimate reason, so far as I can see, for Christians not to come out an hour earlier on Sunday morning to study the Word of God.
Just why should you attend Bible Study anyway? Let’s look at a couple of good reasons.

1. Bible study is profitable. It is in our own best interest to study the scriptures. It is good for us spiritually to make an effort to come out to Bible study and to have the opportunity to search the scriptures as often as possible. Paul tells us that the scriptures are profitable (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Five things are mentioned by Paul in this passage. The scriptures are
profitable for (1) doctrine, (2) reproof, (3) correction, (4) instruction in righteousness (5), and to furnish unto all good works. These are not five insignificant things. They are all very important to the welfare of our souls. At any given Bible study, we can profit in one of these areas, and many
times more than one. This alone is a good reason to attend Bible study.

2. Bible study causes growth. Every Christian who is concerned about growing will attend Bible study. Sufficient spiritual growth is impossible without a proper diet of God’s Word. There are too many Christians who are not as mature as they should be because they do not spend enough time in the Word of God (Hebrews 5:12-14). Do you study the Word of God like you should? Do you take advantage of opportunities to attend services that might enhance your spiritual knowledge? I have observed that people who avoid making a commitment to attend Bible study usually do not study very much outside of Bible class. They become stagnant and grow weak spiritually.
Are you allowing that to happen to you? If so, the only person who can do something about it is you. Make a commitment to Christ. Make the effort to start going to all Bible classes so that you can grow in the Lord the way you should.

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

CHRISTIANS BEWARE….

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As we deal with all the different types of media, we need to be aware of what we are doing and saying. Here are some verses that tell us what God thinks, says, and wants from us as Christians.

Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with ALL men.”

Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish disputes”

1st Peter 3:3-4 “Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” Christians possess a quiet and gentle spirit.

Colossians 3:8 “But now you yourselves are to put off ALL of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Matthew 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement. And whoever says to his brother, `Ra’ca`! shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says `You fool!` shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, wrath, ANGER, clamor, and EVIL SPEAKING be put away from you, with all malice.” No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort.

2nd Timothy 2:23-24 “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, KNOWING that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord MUST NOT quarrel but BE gentle to ALL, able to teach, patient.”

1st Peter 2:1 “Therefore, laying aside ALL malice, ALL deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and ALL EVIL SPEAKING.”

Be careful what we are posting (That is us speaking), especially political. Don’t let words and speech cost us our salvation.

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

HELP!!

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Soooo…There was this scientist that thought he had everything figured out so he didn’t need God. He told God that he didn’t need Him anymore because he had figured out how to make animals from cloning and from test tubes. He told God because of that he would have plenty of meat to eat. Then he told God that he had developed seeds to grow crops for him and the animals to eat. God asked him how he was going to grow the seeds because they would have to germinate in order to make edible plants. He told God he would plant them in dirt. God said, “That’s My dirt and if you don’t need Me, you can’t have/use My dirt.” As you can see, the scientist did indeed need God.

In Matthew chapter 7, there is a story about a Centurion. After Jesus preached to the crowd on the mountain, the Centurion approached Jesus and asked for His help to heal his servant. Jesus told him he would come to his home and heal the servant. The Centurion told Jesus to just speak the words and he knew the servant would be healed. Jesus commended him on his great Faith and told him when he got home the servant would be healed. Even as powerful as the Centurion was, he still needed Jesus’s help.

In our lives today, we tend to think we don’t need all that God can do for us and proceed to do things on our own. How does that work out? OK, most of the time, then we get in a pickle and ask for Gods help. We can’t do as the scientist did and basically tell God we don’t need Him. There will be times that we do need Him.

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

YOU’VE BEEN ROBBED!!

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You wake up and the sun is shining brightly. All is good, you think. Made it to the kitchen and got some coffee brewing, smells good. Got the paper off the porch and read it. Now time to get in the shower. Boy, that feels good. Got all clean and dried off. Looked in the closet and found something nice to wear to work. Get a little breakfast ready, tasty!! All ready to go to work and make it out to the car. What’s this?!?! It was broken into and they took the radio, stereo, laptop, and they even took the cash you had tucked away in the console. Well CRUD!! YOU’VE BEEN ROBBED!! Called into work and told them what had happened and that you would be late as you were waiting for the police to show up. The police took all the information and finally you’re off to work. The boss called you into his office and told you he was going to make your day a little better. He gave you $1500 raise and a $250 bonus. He also said he had a fairly new laptop that he wasn’t using and gave it to you. WOW, was that ever good. You thanked him and went to work. Now, a couple days had gone by and you and some of my friends  stopped by the local pub and had a cocktail (or two). Late getting home and when you opened the door–Yep you guessed it. Someone broke in and took all your electronics and some of your keepsakes. Well, CRUD!! YOU’VE BEEN ROBBED!! Called the police, AGAIN, and after they got all the information, it was time to get some rest, that didn’t work well, couldn’t sleep at all. Waited to hear from the police for about a month. Finally called them and they said they didn’t find anything and are closing the case. Your stuff was gone forever. UGH!!

Now, you got to running with a group of people that liked to have “fun.” You opened your heart and mind to them because this stuff was great. Satan had entered the scene. Started partying every night, had some one night stands, and then drugs got introduced. Couple of my friends were homosexual and now you seem to think this is OK. My life is a WRECK!! Did you mention you quit going to Worship? You were raised in a Christian home and had good values. WHAT has happened?? Satan had gotten a hold of you and and all your principles were gone. YOU’VE BEEN ROBBED!! Your salvation is at risk. The difference between this and all your stuff being gone is that God will forgive and give you everything back, if you repent and get back to doing what He wants you to do. YAY!!

Smile God loves YOU!!
Have a good day all and DON’T GET ROBBED of your salvation!!

IT’S JUDGEMENT DAY!! NOW WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

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God has rules and He is going to send Jesus to uphold them. All will stand in judgement and in that calling few will be chosen. Jesus will say to many, “Go away, I never knew you.” Matthew 7:21-23

Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” According to scripture, not everyone is going to Heaven.

1st: We’ll look at who is not going.

1st Corinthians 6:9-10; Do you not know that these will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

The unrighteous

Those deceived

Fornicators

Idolaters

Adulterers

Homosexuals

Sodomites

Thieves

Those who are covetous

Drunkards

Revilers

Extortioners

1st John 2:15-17:

Lovers of the world

Those who have the lust of the flesh

Those with lust of the eyes

Those with a pride of life

Do not love the world or things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

2nd: Those who will inherit the Kingdom of God:

Romans 10:17, Hear the word of God

John 8:24, Believe that Jesus is the Son of God

Matthew 10:32, Confess that belief

Luke 13:3, Repent of your sins

Mark 16:16, Be baptized

Revelation 2:10 Remain faithful.

John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

1st John 2:3-6:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

The Bible is our map and lays out very plainly the plan God has for our salvation. Are you on the right road?

Have a good day all!!

SMILE God loves YOU!!

TWO GRAINS OF WHEAT

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Imagine two grains of wheat lying on the floor of a warm cozy grain bin. One day, the farmer comes in and tells them, “I want to take you out of this warm comfortable bin and plant you in the earth. I’m going to place you in the cold ground and cover you with dirt. It’s going to be dark, and you will die. But, I promise you that you will multiply and become very fruitful.”

The first grain of wheat turns down the suggestion, “No way!” he says. “Count me out. I like my comfort, and I don’t want to die.” The second one, after carefully considering the pain and discomfort of dying, decides the promise of a future harvest is worth the sacrifice. So, the farmer takes him outside and plants him in the ground, allowing the first grain of wheat to remain inside the bin.

A few days later, a small green sprout begins to appear where the seed had been planted. It then grows and becomes a tall stalk of wheat that produces more grains. For the next few years, the farmer plants all the seeds that came from that first grain of seed, and year after year the harvest multiplies. Meanwhile, the grain of wheat that stayed in the bin remains there all alone, never growing or multiplying—BUT, he has stayed very comfortable.

Here’s the question:
Which grain of wheat are you? Are you playing it safe, or have been planted in the world walking with Christ? The only way to become useful and fruitful in God’s Kingdom is by abiding in Him and trusting that His wishes for your life are worthwhile.

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

HUMILITY?? What Does That Mean?

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There can be a lot of confusion that surrounds humility. Often, humility is associated with quietness, submission and thoughts of inadequacy. But, what does the Bible actually say about it?

Here are four Biblical points that every Christian should know about humility.

1. Humility means submission, but not groveling

Humility and submission go hand in hand.  God’s Word tells us that, as Christians, we are to submit to one another in lowliness of mind. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5-6.

By being submissive and “clothing ourselves with humility” we can create peace and unity with the others. We are not to be so proud and high up that we can’t accept correction. Neither should we think our own opinions and thoughts always are better than the others. Such thinking won’t lead us to unity in Christ.

At the same time, being submissive and humble does not mean that we are to bow down to other people. Paul was very clear when he said that we are to serve God and God alone. For, “you were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23. He also writes: “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.

While it is important to be submissive: to accept correction and remain lowly in our own eyes, as Christians, we are to seek to please God with our lives. We need to fear Him and keep His word. This should be our focus: to humble ourselves under God’s will to keep His commands, not to try to meet human demands and expectations.

2. Humility does not mean that we are silent, or passive people

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4. God desires that Christians possess a gentle and quiet spirit, so that we can hear God’s Spirit speaking to our hearts throughout the day.

However, possessing a gentle and quiet spirit does not mean that we should be passive people. God also requires action in our lives. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is taken by force. (Matthew 11:12) All those who want a deeper life with Christ realize that they need to be active, as well as humble. Sin cannot be allowed to be in the heart of a disciple! If we are humble, having a desire to do God’s will, then we will do whatever it takes to keep our hearts and minds pure. Paul writes that we are not to be “…lagging in diligence [zeal],” but rather “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

Likewise, while we should always have a quiet spirit before the Lord, there are some situations where God wants us to be bold and speak up before others. Here, we need to forsake our own honor, reputation and natural expectations, and obey the Lord. We should not question our own authority or ability to say or do something that God wants to be accomplished through us. Instead, we should allow God to use us as He pleases in every situation.

3. Humility means we use our talents and capabilities

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12: 3. To have a humble mindset is to think soberly about oneself. This means that we don’t boast of our own accomplishments and abilities. Rather, we acknowledge that our sufficiency is of God in all of things. (2 Corinthians 3:5)

Nonetheless, this does not mean that we should neglect the gifts and the  calling that God Himself has given to us. God wants us to do a tremendous  work through our lives! He has equipped us each with our own talents and gifts and bought us with the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-20)

God desires to be able to use us to His glory and for His purpose, and each of us should be aware of this. Humility is that we use our talents and capabilities under God’s direction and leading, giving Him the honor and glory for what is accomplished through our lives.

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11.

4. Humility is the key to progress

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:6-8, 10. God works according to laws. It is a natural law that if we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, giving up our own will and honor, then He will give us the grace that we need to live a Christian life in truth, as well as lift us up in His time.

To be humble is to have the same mindset as Jesus Christ. He existed in the form of God, but did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, or held onto. Instead, He took on the form of a servant, and came in the likeness of men. “And, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:7-8.

Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. He did not value His own self-importance or honor, but freely gave it up in every situation so that God’s will could be carried out and God could be glorified through His life.

If we are of this same humble mindset, forsaking our own reputation and honor in order to be obedient to God’s word and will, we will be able to make unbelievable progress in our Christian lives! God pays very close attention to our hearts and is ready and eager to strengthen those who desire to live unto His honor and glory. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist, says the Lord. ‘But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.’” Isaiah 66:1-2.

God desires that we be among these, those who have a humble mindset and a desire and need to do His will, who tremble at His word. We are not to be rich and satisfied in ourselves. That is pride and stops God from doing a transforming work in our lives. Rather, we are to be humble and lowly of heart. Then God will regard us and give us the grace we need to make true progress in our Christian lives.

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

BEING A SOUND CHRISTIAN….

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We live a good life. Treat everyone with kindness, help where needed, not judgemental, don’t stress about things we can’t control, keep complaining at a minimum, etc. But, does all of that make us a sound Christian? Let’s see…

Let’s look at Titus chapter 3:

Verses 1 and 2 tells us we need to be model citizens. (Good so far)

Verses 3-8,  Sound Christians are motivated:
Verse 3–By their past.
Verses 4-7: By their Salvation
Verse 4–The source of Salvation (Jesus)
Verse 5–Basis of Salvation (Obedience)
Verse 6–The means of Salvation (Study and acceptance of God’s Word)
Verse 7–The results of Salvation (Heaven)
Verse 8–By their actions. (Living a righteous life)

Verses 9-11, Sound Christians reject unsound teaching
verse 9–Stay away from foolish contraversies
Verses 10/11–Reject factious men

Verses 12-15, Instruction to Titas
Verse 14–Let Christians maintain good works, meet urgent needs, that they not be unfruitful.

Sound Christians are obedient and strive to do the Will of God at all times.

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

 

 

 

PATIENCE–MY FRIEND–PATIENCE

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Patience is a problem for most of us and is hard to acquire. It is a learned attribute and is not something that happens quickly. It is a virtue. I have said, and maybe you have also, that I want patience and I want it now!! Today I want to share a few verses from God’s word about patience.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

God has patience with us. Shouldn’t we have patience with Him as well as others?

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