3/8/13

From Gary... Grandkids always welcome; Children by appointment only


I have been thinking a lot about my daughters and their children today.  It started in the restaurant this morning when I saw a new sign some one had placed on the wall: "Grandchildren always welcome; parents by appointment only".  But when young grandkids come over- WOW! Can they make a mess or what? And talk...
remember this song? 


(Click on the above link to listen)

Now, I have a confession to make - they get it from me!!! If I am quiet, I am either sick or upset, so I can't really complain.  On the contrary, I am very happy with my life, as God has forgiven me and I am loved by not only HIM but by a great many others as well.  For God has made me his child and likewise all who obey him.  Check out this passage from Paul's letter to the Romans...

Romans, Chapter 8
 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.  3 For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh;  4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; 7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be.  8 Those who are in the flesh can’t please God.  9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.  10 If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.  12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.  15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba!Father!” 

I was once a child, so I can understand my children and my grandchildren.  Only thing is... my family says I never grew up!!!  Confession time here - they are right!!!  And I have no problem with it, because in my heart I can cry "Abba! Father!"  Can you?

From G,V. Womack...


"...AND THEIR WORKS FOLLOW THEM"



Rev. 14:12-13 TEXT What we do will follow us to the grave.

DORCAS REMEMBERED AT HER DEATH FOR HER GOOD WORKS

Acts 9:36-39 Dorcas - full of good works & charitable deeds (acts of love)

WHAT WILL WE BE REMEMBERED FOR?
WE MAY NOT BE REMEMBERED FOR GREAT THINGS, BUT WE WILL
BE REMEMBERED FOR GOOD THINGS.

MARY (MARTHA'S SISTER) ANOINTS JESUS. SHE IS REMEMBERED FOR IT.
She is be remembered "throughout the whole world...wherever this gospel is preached."

Mk. 14;3-9 What others viewed as a wasteful act, Jesus called a good work.

"She has done what she could" WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Mt. 10:42 "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water
in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no
means lose his reward."

WE ARE IDENTIFIED BY OUR FRUIT (Like a fruit tree is recognized by its kind of fruit.)

Mt. 7:15-20 "You will know them by their fruits" (vs. 16)

WE CONTROL HOW WE WILL BE REMEMBERED:

...IN REARING OUR CHILDREN "IN THE LORD"
HOW WILL THEY REMEMBER US? WHAT EXAMPLE DID WE SET?

Eph. 6:4 "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring
them up in the raining and admonition of the Lord."

HOW WILL WE BE REMEMBERED BY OTHERS THROUGH OUR
CHILDREN?

2 Tim. 1:5 "when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which
dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am
persuaded is in you also."

A GOOD NAME CAN BE CARRIED ON FOR GENERATIONS

Eccl. 7:1 "A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death
than the day of one's birth."

Prov. 22:1 "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor
rather than silver and gold."



...BY OUR CO-WORKERS
HOW WILL THEY REMEMBER US? WHAT EXAMPLE DID WE SET?

Eph. 6:5-9 What kind of employee were you? What kind of coworker were you?

Eccl. 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no
work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are
going." (NOW IS OUR OPPORTUNITY TO DO GOOD)

...BY OUR NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS, BRETHREN
HOW WILL THEY REMEMBER US? WHAT EXAMPLE DID WE SET?
Will we be remembered like Dorcas?

Gal. 6:9-10 "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we
shall reap if we do not lose heart. [10] Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the
household of faith."

WILL WE BE REMEMBERED IN THE EXAMPLE OF THOSE WHOM
WE INFLUENCED?

2 Cor. 3:1-3 No need for letters of commendation from others.
"You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all
men."

...IN THE JUDGMENT
HOW WILL GOD REMEMBER US?
WILL HE CONFESS US TO THE FATHER, OR DENY KNOWING US?

Mt. 10:32-33 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will
confess before My Father who is in heaven. [33] But whoever
denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father
who is in heaven."

Rev. 20:11-ff The final judgment scene. Books opened - the record of our
deeds for all to see. WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THAT BOOK?

From Gary... Bible Reading Mar. 8


Mar. 8
Exodus 18

Exo 18:1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, how that Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt.
Exo 18:2 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, received Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her away,
Exo 18:3 and her two sons. The name of one son was Gershom, for Moses said, "I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land".
Exo 18:4 The name of the other was Eliezer, for he said, "My father's God was my help and delivered me from Pharaoh's sword."
Exo 18:5 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the Mountain of God.
Exo 18:6 He said to Moses, I, your father-in-law Jethro, have come to you with your wife, and her two sons with her.
Exo 18:7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and bowed and kissed him. They asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent.
Exo 18:8 Moses told his father-in-law all that Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardships that had come on them on the way, and how Yahweh delivered them.
Exo 18:9 Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
Exo 18:10 Jethro said, "Blessed be Yahweh, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
Exo 18:11 Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all gods because of the thing in which they dealt arrogantly against them."
Exo 18:12 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God. Aaron came with all of the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.
Exo 18:13 It happened on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from the morning to the evening.
Exo 18:14 When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, "What is this thing that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning to evening?"
Exo 18:15 Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
Exo 18:16 When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God, and his laws."
Exo 18:17 Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good.
Exo 18:18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you; for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to perform it yourself alone.
Exo 18:19 Listen now to my voice. I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You represent the people before God, and bring the causes to God.
Exo 18:20 You shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and shall show them the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Exo 18:21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God: men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:22 Let them judge the people at all times. It shall be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge themselves. So shall it be easier for you, and they shall share the load with you.
Exo 18:23 If you will do this thing, and God commands you so, then you will be able to endure, and all of these people also will go to their place in peace."
Exo 18:24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.
Exo 18:25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:26 They judged the people at all times. They brought the hard causes to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
Exo 18:27 Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land.

From Jim McGuiggan...


Apollyon and Forgetful Green

I believe that God through the tinker, John Bunyan, has given a gift to all who are weary with the brawl against the world-spirit. The battle has been going on so long and they feel they can stand no longer and are sorely tempted to lay down their arms and drift with the current to places they do not love and don't want to love. You might think his gift is something some poor soul you know could use right now; if so perhaps you could pass this on.
It's from Pilgrim's Progress of course and I've adapted it only a very little. Nobody tells this piece of the Story better than this. Christian is on his way to Zion and meets one of Satan's right-hand men. So Christian went on, and Apollyon met him. Now the monster was hideous to behold: he was clothed with scales like a fish, and they are his pride; he had wings like a dragon, and feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke; and his mouth was as the mouth of a lion. When he was come up to Christian, he glared at him with a disdainful look and began to question him.
APOLLYON: Where did you come from and where are you going?
CHRISTIAN: I am come from the city of Destruction, which is the place of all evil, and I am going to the city of Zion.
APOLLYON: Ah, that means you are one of my subjects; for all that country is mine;
I am the prince and god of it. How is it, then, that you have run away from thy king? If I were not sure that you did it so that you could do me more service I would strike you to the ground now with just one blow.
CHRISTIAN: I was, indeed, born in your dominions but your service was hard, and our wages such as a man could not live on; for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). So when I was come to years, I did, as other wise thinking persons do, I took stock to see how I could do better for myself.
APOLLYON: There is no prince that will so easily lose his subjects and neither will I as yet lose you; but since thou complain of your service and wages, be content to go back, and what my country will afford I do here promise to give you.
CHRISTIAN: But I have let myself to another, even to the King of princes; and how can I with fairness go back to you?
APOLLYON: Hah, in doing this you have fulfilled the proverb, you exchanged a bad for a worse; but it is ordinary for those that have professed themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip, and return again to me. You do the same thing and all will be well.
CHRISTIAN: I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him; how then can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor.
APOLLYON: Thou did the same by me, and yet I am willing to pass by all, if now you will yet turn again and go back.
CHRISTIAN: What I promised you was in the days when I wasn't old enough to have sense; and besides, I count that the Prince, under whose banner I now stand, is able to absolve me, yes, and to pardon also what I did while I served you. And besides, O destroying Apollyon, to tell the truth, I like his service, his wages, his servants, his government, his company, and country, better than yours so you can stop trying to persuade me: I am his servant, and I will follow him.
APOLLYON: Consider again, when thou are in cool blood, what thou are likely to meet with in the way that you choose to go. Thou know that for the most part his servants come to an ill end, because they are transgressors against me and my ways. How many of them have been put to shameful deaths! And besides, thou count his service better than mine and yet he has never yet come from where he is to deliver any that served him out of their enemies hands. But as for me, how many times, as all the world very well knows, have I delivered from him and his servants, either by power or fraud, those that have faithfully served me; I delivered them right out of his hands! And so will I deliver you too.
CHRISTIAN: The reason He doesn't deliver them at present has a purpose: to test and enrich their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end; and as for the bad end you say they come to, they think and call it glory! They don't much expect present deliverance and they are happy and content to wait for their glory; and then they shall have it, when their Prince comes in his and the glory of the angels.
APOLLYON: You have already been unfaithful in your service to him so what makes you think you will receive wages of him?
CHRISTIAN: In what way, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?
APOLLYON: You fainted at first setting out, when you were almost choked in the gulf of  Despond. You attempted wrong ways to be rid of your burden when you should have waited patiently till thy Prince had taken it off. You sinfully slept and lost your choice things and you were almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions. And when thou talk of your journey and of what you have seen and heard you inwardly desire vainglory in all you say or do.
CHRISTIAN: All this is true, and much more which you have left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful and ready to forgive. But besides, these infirmities possessed me in your country for there I greedily sucked them in but I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.
APOLLYON: Then Apollyon broke out into a grievous rage, saying, I am an enemy to this Prince; I hate his person, his laws, and people: I have come here with only one purpose: to stand against you!
CHRISTIAN: Apollyon, beware what you do, for I am in the King's highway, the way of holiness so take heed to yourself.
APOLLYON: Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter. Prepare yourself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that you will go no farther: here will I spill your soul. And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger of that. Then did Christian focus his mind for he saw it was time to bestir him and Apollyon, just as determined, made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail, by which, in spite of all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded  him in his head, his hand, and foot. This drove Christian back little back so Apollyon pressed after him even more strongly but Christian again took courage and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day and by this time Christian was almost quite spent for you must know, that Christian, by reason of his wounds, was bound to grow weaker and weaker. 
Then Apollyon, seeing his opportunity, began to gather up close to Christian, and wrestling with him slammed him down in a dreadful fall and Christian's sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, "I am sure of you now!" and with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life. But, as God would have it, while Apollyon was just about to deliver the killing blow, to make a full end of this good man, Christian reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise," (Micah 7:8) and with that he gave him a deadly thrust, which made him recoil as one that had indeed received his mortal wound. Seeing that, Christian made at him again, saying, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us." (Romans 8:37) Hearing that, Apollyon spread his dragon wings and flapped away and Christian saw him no more. (James 4:7). In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard, as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all through the fight; he spoke like a dragon while and on the other side, what sighs and groans burst from Christian's heart.
During that whole time I never saw him give so much as one pleasant look until he saw he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged sword; and then he really did smile, and look upward! But it was the most dreadful sight that ever I saw. So when the battle was over, Christian said, "I will here give thanks to him thathas delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, to him that did sustain me against Apollyon." And so he did!
Then there came to him a hand with some of the leaves of the tree of life, which Christian took and applied to the wounds he had received in the battle and was healed immediately. He also sat down in that place to eat bread, and to drink of the bottle that was given him to him earlier so, being refreshed, he got ready to journey on with his sword drawn in his hand; for he said, "I know not but some other enemy may be at hand." But he met with no other affront from Apollyon all the through this valley.

Later Samuel, Christian's son and his mother Christiana are travelling in that area with Greatheart and the young man asked if this was the area where his father had had the combat with Apollyon. His guide confirmed that it was. "Your father had the battle with Apollyon at a place yonder before us, in a narrow passage, just beyond Forgetful Green. Listen, that place is the most dangerous place in all these parts." "The most dangerous place in all these parts." Hmmm.

However hard it has been, however painful, however many losses you have sustained, however many times your sins have cut you and bruised to till you cried out in your pain, "I am leaving, I am leaving" and yet here you are. Reading such things and vowing to get back up.
Remember the losses every now and then but never forget that here you are!

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.

From Mark Copeland... Matt 20:20-28


                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

           Served By Greatness, Serve To Be Great (20:20-28)

INTRODUCTION

1. What good mother does not desire the best for her children?
   a. The mother of James and John was no different
   b. She desired great things for her two sons - Mt 20:20-21

2. Yet she was not aware of the significance of what she was asking 
   Jesus...
   a. Serving in His kingdom would require great sacrifice and 
      suffering - Mt 20:22-23
   b. Her request could only be granted by the Father - Mt 20:23

3. This request in behalf of James and John displeased the other 
   apostles - Mt 20:24
   a. Upon which Jesus used this opportunity to teach an important
      lesson - Mt 20:25-28
   b. I.e., to be great in the kingdom one must serve, even as the Son
      of Man came to serve

[This is a lesson that every Christian needs to remember, yet it goes
against what the world would have us believe.  To encourage us in being
willing to serve, perhaps it would help to recall that we have been...]

I. WE HAVE BEEN SERVED BY GREATNESS

   A. SERVED BY JESUS...
      1. He came to serve, not to be served - Mt 20:28
      2. He served by giving His life a ransom, dying on the cross for
         our sins
      3. He serves even now, as our High Priest who intercedes for us
         - He 7:24-25

   B. SERVED BY THE PROPHETS...
      1. The prophets spent their lives in service for our benefit 
         - 1Pe 1:10-12
      2. Thus we have been served by men like Moses, Samuel, David,
         Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and many other "heroes of faith"!

   C. SERVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT...
      1. It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophets - 1Pe 1:11
      2. He also inspired the apostles to reveal the gospel - 1Pe 1:
         12; Jn 16:13

   D. SERVED BY THE APOSTLES...
      1. They are the ones who preached the gospel to us - 1Pe 1:12
      2. Through them, we have come to believe in Jesus - cf. Jn 17:20
      3. Thus we have been served by men like Peter, James, John, and
         Paul, who suffered greatly in their ministry to us! - 
         cf. 1Co 4:9-13; 2Co 11:24-29

   E. SERVED BY ANGELS...
      1. They had a keen interest in the things being revealed - 1 Pe 1:12
      2. For they had a part in the process of revelation - cf. Dan 8,
         9; Lk 1:11-19,26-38
      3. Thus they too have ministered to us - cf. He 1:13-14

   F. SERVED BY OTHER CHRISTIANS...
      1. Someone taught us the gospel, others continue to teach us and
         our children
      2. Some have made it possible for us to assemble, and each week
         clean up what we leave behind
      3. In times of sickness, many have prayed and rendered various
         forms of service

[With so many rendering so much service, it is easy to feel pampered.
Indeed, we have been "served by greatness"!  Do we take it for granted?
I hope not.  We can show our appreciation by emulating those who served
us.  So let me offer just a few ways that we can serve others...]

II. LET US SERVE TO BE GREAT

   A. SERVE OTHERS IN EVANGELISM...
      1. Someone led you to Christ, can you not lead another to Him?
         - cf. Jn 1:35-42
      2. Begin by being hospitable, offering acts of kindness and
         service
      3. At the very least, invite to services, offer a Bible 
         correspondence course
      4. Hone your skills in personal evangelism, seek to improve your
         ability to teach the gospel to others

   B. SERVE OTHERS IN EDIFICATION...
      1. Many have contributed to your spiritual growth, can you help
         others? - cf. Ep 4:16
      2. Begin by being present at every service, greeting every one
         present
      3. Take a special interest in those who are new, encourage them
      4. Offer to help teach our children, even if it only means to
         assist another teacher
      5. Volunteer whatever service you can render in the work and
         worship of the church

   C. SERVE OTHERS IN BENEVOLENCE...
      1. Has anyone ever showed you kindness?  "Be kind to one another"
         - cf. Ep 4:32
      2. Visit the sick or elderly in hospitals, and at home
      3. Render service such as cleaning, transportation, errands, etc.
      4. Minister to the poor, hungry, or those otherwise in need

CONCLUSION

1. The important thing is that we be people of service...
   a. People who serve others, not just benefiting from the efforts of
      others
   b. People who are producers, not just consumers

2. Serving others is not just the path to greatness in the kingdom, it
   is also the path to happiness  in life:

   "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you
   must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
   that He said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
                                                        (Ac 20:35)

Shall we not follow both the example and teaching of the Son of Man,
and live to serve others?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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