Archive for March, 2021

Cutting Away Sin

JESUS SPEAKING

    “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5: 30)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  Sin is defined as any act of willful disobedience toward God. Sin is very serious because it separates us from our Heavenly Father. Because God loves his children, He desires for us to let go of our sinful practices, that we may be reunited with, and grow closer to Him. Any grievous sins, such as fornication, adultery, lying, stealing, lewdness, etc, must be abandoned. In order that we may live, we must cut away the sinful portions of our dead flesh.
   In April of 2003, an experienced mountain climber named Aaron Ralston was hiking alone in a remote mountain pass in Utah. While maneuvering through one of the crevices, a giant boulder dislodged and pinned his arm against the canyon wall; for days he attempted to free himself. He had not told anyone where he was going, so he knew that no one would be looking for him. When he had finally run out of water, Aaron was faced with a terrible choice […] He could severe his arm with an ill-equipped pocket knife; or he could keep his arm and simply lay down and die. The only thing standing between Aaron and the rest of his life were two bones, several muscles, and some tendons in his forearm. Aaron chose to break both bones in his arm; he then proceeded to saw through his own flesh with his dull knife. After nearly 127 hours of confinement, he left his severed arm behind and climbed out of the canyon. Until that day, Aaron had lived selfishly. He had been a ‘loner’ who continually pushed others away. Shortly after his experience he came to believe that the boulder had been waiting for him his entire life (that it was destined to transform him.) He said, “I left my hand behind in that canyon, but I gained my life back.” His experience allowed him to see what was truly important. He began to put the emphasis on personal relationships; he eventually married and started a family. He now travels the world telling other people about his inspiring story.
   Like Aaron, there are boulders in our lives; giant rocks that pin us down and keep us from knowing complete freedom. If we have entered again into serious sin, and we have been separated from God then we have some cutting to do. Cut away the dead flesh, so that you may live. Ask God to reveal to you any sinful practices that have crept back into your life and He will. How you respond to what you find, will determine your eternal destination. May God help us all to make the right choices.
  “Lord Heavenly Father we recognize that sin can cause us to become separated from You. We know that we have received forgiveness through Your Son, but we also have a responsibility to refrain from willful acts of disobedience. If we have become defiant, then please give us the strength to put these sins to death, that we may eternally continue to live for You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Destination

JESUS SPEAKING

    And when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus spoke to him saying, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to rest his head” (Mathew 8: 18 – 20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Jesus Christ was born as a human being and raised in the house of Mary and Joseph. Yet His true home was with God in heaven. He was a sojourner; a traveler, perpetually mindful of His eventual destination. With no earthly residence, every miracle, act of love, and profession of truth brought Him one step closer to home. As He traveled, He sought to persuade others to join Him on his journey toward the Kingdom of God.  Thankfully today, through his faithful followers, this divine mission continues.
    In the Old Testament, Moses led millions of Israelites out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. After passing through the Red Sea, they wandered in the desert for 40 years; roaming the wilderness; living in tents, with no stable place to call home. Yet God swore an oath to eventually provide them with a permanent dwelling place; a promise that kept them alive as they embraced a life of hardship. After many long years of sacrifice, God fulfilled His pledge; safely guiding them into the land of Israel.
    Similarly, Jesus Christ leads many out of bondage to sin.  In turn, we become travelers; reliant upon God’s provision. As believers, we must begin clinging to the promise that we will one day enter His permanent dwelling place. During our journey toward the Kingdom of God, we must embrace a life of sacrifice, humility, and service. By denying our love for this world, we can lay hold of the world to come. The road to heaven is long and the way is hard; but the destination is more wonderful than anything we could ever imagine.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, may we cling Your promises. May we deny our own desires and embrace sacrifice. Strengthen us as we continue journeying toward Your kingdom; make us ever mindful that we are merely travelers heading home. May we always reach out to the lost and persuade them to join us on our journey. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Being a Good Steward

JESUS SPEAKING

    “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who is will commit to your trust true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16: 10-12)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    There are two kinds of riches; earthly riches and heavenly riches.  The heavenly riches are eternal; and thus far more valuable.  The word ‘Mammon’ that Jesus uses in this scripture is a reference to earthly possessions; things entrusted to our care by God; like jobs, a car, a home, a wife or husband, money, a career, etc.)  God has given the earth and everything in it to mankind as a temporary possession.  Every man and woman is a steward of what God had given them.  A steward is defined as ‘someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else.’   How someone handles this mortal life, indicates how they will handle eternal life.

    Many years ago my dad worked for a large beverage distributing company.  They owned many trucks, necessitating the hiring of individuals to drive them.  He would often interview the prospective employees.  As part of the interview he would accompany the person out to the parking lot where he would peer into their automobile.  If there car was neat and orderly they might be hired.  But if their automobiles were messy and in disrepair, they wouldn’t get the job.  Some of them would complain; but my dad would tell them, “If this is the way you take care of your car, this is the way you’ll treat our trucks.”  They had failed to take care of their possessions, so they were denied the opportunity to care for the possessions of others.

    Today, the things that we have in this life are not ours.  Our wives, our kids, our houses, our cars, our friends, our families, our bodies, and even our money; it all belongs to God, and we are tasked with taking care of what we’ve been given.  If we succeed in being good stewards of our current possessions, then we will receive for ourselves, eternal possessions from the living God.  If we haven’t lived as Christians in this life, how can we expect to receive eternal life?

    “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You would please give us the desire to serve You; that our possessions in this life might serve your purposes and further the spreading of the gospel.  May we be good stewards of what you have given us; that we might one day inherit true riches.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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