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March 13, 2019, 8:00 AM

The Small Stuff


The Small Stuff

 

I picked up “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson recently. Even though it is not an overtly Christian book, it is a book that Scripture will support.

 

Some of the topics are:

Make Peace with Imperfection: warm up to the fact, demanding perfection is a hard and unenjoyable task master. Appreciate the contribution of others even though it is not what you would have done.

Other chapter titles are:

Develop Your Compassion

Don’t Interrupt Others or Finish Their Sentences

Let Others Have the Glory

Become More Patient

Set Aside Quiet Time, Every Day

Become a Better Listener

Choose Your Battles Wisely

And, my final example from Richard Carlson is:

Allow Yourself to be Bored: learn to relax. Our world is constantly running without time to smell the roses, enjoy the coffee, or spend time with the ones you love. Relax.

 

Please understand, it is not just what we do for Jesus, it is HOW we conduct ourselves in accomplishing his work. Being obedient with a chip on our shoulders is actually wrong. Working on the attitude of our heart is critical to proper worship and service.

 

Paul writes:

2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best,” does not mean run over people in the process of whipping them into shape. The Holy Spirit of God has much experience in speaking gently to lives leading them to Jesus the Savior.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-25 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

 

2 Timothy 4:2 Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

 

2 Timothy 4:5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

Notice the attitude that Paul says we are to have. No excuses, but I think you will agree there are overwhelming challenges. Small Stuff doesn’t seem very small at the time.

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March 13, 2019, 8:00 AM

Who is Your One?


The North American Mission Board is promoting "Who's Your One?" this is an Evangelism Emphasis to assist and inspire us to pray for someone to come to Christ. 

This is a Personal Commitment in the exercise of our Faith in Jesus Christ.

I spoke with a farmer recently. He was not always a farmer. But, when he became a land owner caring for his own farm, he became a better farmer. There was commitment to succeed. There was risk involved and obstacles to overcome. 

In much the same way, until you are personally invested in the need to share Christ, you are merely a critic or an observer with a commentary.

Someone once criticized Dwight Moody for the way he shared Christ with lost people. He asked, "what is your system for sharing Christ?" The response was, "I don't have one. I just don't like yours." Moody followed, "I think I will stick with my method."

Stop criticizing, start sharing Jesus. It all begins with a personal commitment. Ask Jesus Christ to give you the words, the right person who is open to the Gospel Message, and the right attitude in presenting Jesus. Who is Your One?

 

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February 19, 2019, 11:25 AM

Jonah 5


Jonah 5

    As I share some information about Jonah I want you to think about this: How would you conclude Jonah’s life and ministry. We are not told the conclusion of his story in the Bible. How do you think it would go?

   Jonah is known for running from the presence of the Lord, being swallowed by a big fish, and reluctantly preaching in Nineveh, then complaining because the city was not destroyed as he had predicted.

   Jonah’s message is what the focus must be on. The message from God is what changed the people. Jonah was merely the messenger. The message contained God’s judgment and grace. God saw a great number of people and animals needing His grace which would come through repentance. And God sent Jonah. God prepared the messenger, so his message would be delivered and believed.

   God’s message of His grace traveled all over the known world westward to Tarshish and eastward to Nineveh and beyond. Sailors became the messengers going west. They were transformed by a mighty act of God through their encounter with the Reluctant Prophet Jonah.

   Nineveh was transformed through this prophet’s story and message. Just like our day, we marvel at an amazing story of transformation. Jonah has survived inside the big fish for three days and three nights. Jonah had to have looked like he was in the big fish’s belly for three days and nights. Think about it, he was bleached from head to toe from the stomach fluids of the big fish. His clothes were a mess. He smelled like he had been fishing and had yet to completely clean up from the ordeal. He looked very different from the regulars that came out of Israel in those days. He definitely was noticed and talked about by everyone. Every coffee shop, caravan, and shop keeper talked about this strange man and his appearance. Then they heard the message.

   Some very good things took place from his ministry. I am very thankful the message from Jonah is open ended. We only have a chapter telling of his frustration over the kindness God was showing to this wicked city.

Did Jonah go back to Jerusalem?

Did Jonah live out his days in Nineveh?

Did Jonah preach the good news God had sent their way and celebrate with them God’s grace that was provided?

My thoughts on Jonah:

  1. Jonah was worn out from his experiences in the sea, the travel to Nineveh, and the preaching crusade that had just taken place.
  2. Jonah was just like us, after a strenuous period of time, you break down. You need rest in order to worship and received direction from the Lord.
  3. God speaks to us from a state of rest, not a state of frenzy. God provided the message for Jonah to speak. And God also used it to bring them to repentance.
  4. Jonah had a very hard time celebrating the repentance that took place. Repentance is where the relationship with our Savior begins, yet Jonah was not able to accept their repentance as genuine.

Jonah 5      Now it is your turn. How would you finish his story?

 

 

 

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August 8, 2018, 2:11 PM

Enjoy a Good Prune


 

A Good Prune: What to throw out, cut, and cull from life. 

It is a fruit snack that produces good results. 

The worn out shoes as stained shirt need donated to the trash can. This is a prune. 

Years ago someone gave tables to our retreat center. I donated they to the dumpster. Moldy tables are an unacceptable and unusable gift.

Recently we sent a charcoal grill to the scrap iron pile. It had rusted through. It was a good prune.

I asked Jesus to help me with my attitude. I have been extra critical on some issues lately.  Confession is a good prune.

The Bible is a mirror to my soul. It speaks to me. I am the subject with the flaws and obstacles. I need things cut off, cut out, and thinned so the good fruit God is creating in me can grow. 

Stuff, can be an obstacle. What I thought I needed so badly, now has become a ball and chain dragging me down. 

Some things I cannot do without are Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. His blessings and strength produce good results. The blessing of my wife. She and I make a good team. The worship and intercession of God’s church family. We arrive together in God’s kingdom. When Jesus returns we arrive together. 

By pruning as you go, the blessings arrive sooner rather than later.  

Giving is a way of pruning. you don’t have to carry the extra weight of selfishness and you receive the joy your giving provides to God’s people.

 

Have a Prune!

 

 




May 9, 2018, 10:03 AM

Did Jesus Really Say That?


Did Jesus Really Say That?

Mark 10:17-31 gives the encounter Jesus had with the rich ruler and then with the disciples.Jesus told this rich person the very same thing that he had previously told his disciples. He told him to sell off everything, give it to the poor, and come follow me.

The disciples left their boats to follow Jesus, but they were astonished when Jesus told the rich person to do the same. They thought this man did not need to leave everything to follow Jesus. They were willing to make an exception to Jesus’ demands to “leave everything behind” and follow me.

The rich person missed out on so many things that could have been, if he had followed Jesus:

the joy of selling off the things that we are stewards of to be able to give to others

the joy of giving to others and to the Kingdom of the Savior

the truth he had experienced in Christ could now be duplicated in new believers

the future encounters and experiences also carry the future vision (Mark 10:30) into every equation, difficulty, and challenge in life

the blessing of empowering fellow believers with the knowledge and permission to achieve great things to the Lord Jesus

The basic direction for every believer is found in moving forward in Jesus Christ. This is the only direction. You can give everything away as God empowers you and move forward in Jesus Christ.

“For with God, all things are possible.”

Living for His Return,

Bro. Bob