Don’t Love Yourself!

Have you ever heard me say that you don’t need to love your self? I’ve heard people say that if they could love themselves, they would love others. Its true we can’t love very well until we are saved by Jesus Christ and are receiving His love. But the scripture says in 1John4:9 that- ‘We love because He first loved us.’ He does love us very much as evidenced by this scripture- ‘For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.’
We can love , God says, so we just have to go about the work of loving people. Start right where you are and be positive and love. You can make it grow in yourself by exercising your choice to love. If love were a muscle that would work. If love were an emotion then that would work. You could train yourself by loving others, you could deepen it and refine it and make it greater by the exercise of it. Focus on the other person, What does he or she like, what does she or he like to do, be a positive influence in someone else’s spiritual growth. The Bible says love one another, so why can’t you do it if you want love so bad. You have to give love to get love. In other words you reap what you sow.
Many of us agree with that philosophy of the Bible. And many of us believe that you must love your neighbor as yourself. Because we believe that we have to love ourselves first. So now you are following the Bible and now it says that God loves us so very much that He gave His son, to be born to be as a sacrifice so our sins can be forgiven. I have no problem with that. But if we are following the Bible as we have said then maybe you want to hear the rest of it. It says he showed how much He loved us by sending His son. Because He knew what it would do for us. He knew that we would no longer be His enemies if we accept His love. He knew His love would be available to us if we accept His love.
And He knew we could be in heaven with Him forever if we accept that promise.
God has more than enough love for us all to accomplish that goal. Would He have done otherwise? Would He have built heaven for 2000 years and then run out of love to get us there? Never happen! God counts the cost of what He says where we so often do not. If God has got the love you can do anything He wants you to do. If you had the money you would build a house right? And if you wanted it bad enough you would hang in there with all the construction and make all the right decisions and endure all the changes and then you’d have your house. Thats what God wants you to do in His house much the same. Hang in there until His house, your house and your love is built into something valuable that you respect and can give.
You think that when you love yourself your love product will be better and your love you will give. But I’m saying why wait because God’s love is there for the having to support your love. Or not if its the wrong kind of love to give. God’s love empowers and His love is always there for us if we would accept it and His conditions. But what Love we can have and give and because of which have a changed life!
This world is definitely short on love right now. But why, God is love and people have a too short supply of love to go around. So we engage in all manner of evil to get a little. But God’s coffers are full and overflowing to give to each of us. He has no short supply of who and what He is. God is love and God is infinite!
We can’t contain all His love, but we have enough and alot to give. I know I’m loved and I know I am forgiven and I have hope that I’m going to heaven. But I still fail and thats why God’s love turns into tough love because He wants us to live right. My wife lives right and has so much faith that He wants to see it be ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’. Like she knows heaven is near and she knows she is going there but she can’t see it yet but she knows. Its costing her everything and she wants to go even worse when the suffering gets greater. So the love of God is serving her well.
Love never fails, His love is free for the asking. Just say God I know I’m a sinner and if you would forgive me it would mean the world to me and I will serve you for life. Forgive our sins and let us know your love and lead us to life everlasting. If you said that prayer come up and see me or Lacy and welcome into the Kingdom of God.
What a great way to welcome the Savior into the world by getting saved this year, you won’t be sorry. What a great way for a New Year, by serving Him from the beginning. You will be loved, and coming to church this Christmas
will strengthen your heart in the Savior and the right way to go.

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John- Part of the Christmas Story

Mar 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mar 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
Mar 1:3 THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.'”
Mar 1:4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mar 1:5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
Mar 1:6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.
Mar 1:7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
Mar 1:8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

By reading these scriptures I want to introduce you to John the baptist. Who was the one who introduced his people and to all of us the Christ. I want to show you who he was, what he did and what kind of a man he was. He is still part of the Christmas Story. Israel was a religious nation and they had a set of rules and wisdom from God to follow. The knew what it was to prepare their hearts and that is what they did by following John and being Baptized by him. They knew repentance because GOD had told them before. They wanted to follow John and prepare the way for the Messiah.
Another reason for Following John was because he was scriptural. He spoke dependably from God, so they knew he was speaking the truth. He spoke of the messiah and the people were ready for Him to come because of Rome in their land and they hadn’t had a prophet from God for 400 years.

Luk 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,
Luk 1:2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,
Luk 1:3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus;
Luk 1:4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

This is Luke’s intro to his gospel and he gives a very strong witness to it. He says he investigated, he says he went to the eye-witnesses and those who handed down the scriptures and he was able to write a record in the order it happened. He was a scientific man and a doctor. He investigated and knew what he was saying was true. He didn’t want to mislead his excellent Theophilus, possibly his son, who was trained in Judaism and wanted to see the fulfillment of it. So Luke told him the truth.

Luk 1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luk 1:6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
Luk 1:7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
Luk 1:8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,
Luk 1:9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering.
Luk 1:11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.
Luk 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.
Luk 1:14 “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
Luk 1:15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.
Luk 3:20 Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison.

This is Luke 3:20, to tell you what happened to John the Baptist. Herod adding to all his other sins- imprisoned and finally killed John.
But I wanted to talked to you about Elizabeth and Zacharias. In Luke1:6 it says they were righteous in the commandments and requirements of the Lord. They had a measure of their own righteousness but that doesn’t mean they were perfect. They still had to offer sacrifices for their sins and this was following the law too. But the sacrifice that Jesus brought was a perfect sacrifice. He was the perfect lamb, the perfect sacrifice. Jesus was without sin. He died once for the sins of all men for all time and all sin. Whereas the animal sacrifices just pushed the sin aside, but it came back and the guilt. Jesus blood shed for many, forgave sin and the guilt went away and God even forgot it. It was so payed for. We can live a forgiven life with no guilt and a fresh start everyday after we repent. We have just to accept it and believe that our sins are forgiven and that His sacrifice is ample to forgive our sins. Then we can be strong and be loved and not be God’s enemies any more. We need righteousness to get into heaven and to live a good life. By accepting Jesus and turning from your sins you can have the righteousness of Christ before god.
So John is also a child of promise who preceded Christ and spoke well of Him and humbled himself to Him. He knew he was not the Christ but he had an important life anyway. He came not eating and drinking and they said he had a demon. But Christ came eating and drinking and they called Him a wine biber and friend of tax collectors and sinners. Such a double standard from the world. But don’t we all need a friend like that?

Christmas Prophecies

Isa 9:6  For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isa 9:7  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Isa 7:14  “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Mat 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

Mat 1:19  And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Mat 1:20  But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Mat 1:21  “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Mat 1:22  Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

Mat 1:23  “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

Mat 1:24  And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,

Mat 1:25  but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

First we read the prophecy of the Christ-child and His mother then in Matthew the fulfillment of these prophecies.  We have the prophecy of the baby Jesus and who He will be and of His virgin mother.  These things happened just as it was foretold 500-600 years before it happened.  This has great odds that one man could fulfill a prophecy from that long ago.  But Jesus fulfilled 8-10 or so just by His birth.  Then He fulfilled 300 more during His life.  These odds would be in the millions of billions and quadrillions against them ever happening.  So you can be sure it was meant to be- his life, death, and resurrection.

How could a man orchestrate such a thing, even if he knew all the scriptures about the Messiah.  The Pharisees, studiers of the law, didn’t know what He was talking about.  They didn’t know the scriptures that He fulfilled.  In fact they were expecting somebody else- a king with a great army and power and money.  When Jesus had none of these, but spiritual power, and could not free them from the Romans physically.  They were afraid they would lose everything in a weak attempt.

If Jesus was God He could have made it all happen to sacrifice His life with the help of a few obedient men and He may have.  But then we would all know that He was God and would have no problem believing Him.  Joseph was one of these righteous men.  He answered the call of three angels, took Mary as wife, and kept her a virgin until the child was born.  So you see that prophecy and fulfillment is some strong evidence that would leave atheists confused as to how it could be.  But let me assure you that this is very powerful evidence for ’God with us.’  How could it be prophesied and fulfilled and not be believed?

Another prophecy that was fulfilled and you should remember is in Isaiah6:10.

Isa 6:10  “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”

As you recall Jesus said this, that they would not hear His message.  They didn’t of course and this is what led to His death and resurrection.  They couldn’t hear, they had not the knowledge.  They were blind to it because of the lust of their flesh for riches and power.   So they killed Him; but he had to die and be raised again to prove He was God.  It is a short step from here to believe it and not bring up intellectual arguments why you can’t.  It was foretold, it happened, and believing it will change your life completely.  The archaeological evidence is there, the spiritual evidence is there, the historical evidence is there.  Believe.

 

 

Being Grateful and Children

The first thing we should do on Thanksgiving Day is to be thankful to God.  I’m trying to grow that in people at the dinners, is to be thankful to God.  There are many things we can be grateful for:  It is good to give thanks because a grateful person is healthy according to psychologists.  Something about this person being able to make the right decisions to have things in his or her life that they can be grateful for. Or a person, who can find things to be grateful about, is healthy- thankful people are healthy.

There are the wonders of God that He is, and has done.  The way he made this earth and the universe which is so varied and diverse and beautiful.  (2)  Remember when we were young and in church and we walked along with the crowd and led the people into the service.  We thought that this organization is special and really going to do something.  God is with it and he is about to give us a great life.  Then we found pleasure and sin at 13 and we fell away.  But if you were raised with godly teaching then you can be grateful that you will be coming back.  God says they will not depart from it, not forever.

The Jews offered sacrifices of thanksgiving in their day and it became like a key to their holidays.  The entered the city with thanksgiving.  It became like a key to God’s heart He wanted to bless them more, and an intro to praising Him.  Like in ACTS- adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication.  Before we pray we can do these things before we ask God for what we need so that we are thankful for what He has already been given to us.  A thankful heart causes one to sing.

God promises, ‘to make Israel like Eden, her wilderness and desert, joy and gladness will be found in her and thanksgiving.’  It will be like a garden of God.   The New Jerusalem will be in the Middle East and we will have everything we need and peace too.  God will make it for His people- Christians.

In Romans1:21-  Thankfulness is an important virtue and so is glorifying God as God.  It says, ‘Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened.’  Sounds like what happens when we are not thankful for God and what we have.

We can be thankful if we look deeply into our lives then… there are a lot of things to be thankful for.  Sounds like we need God to show us and give us a few things to be grateful for.  For some of us the spiritual things stand out the most.  Be thankful and your heart will have light, be thankful and your imagination will be positive and beautiful.  Your actions will follow suit.  Glorify God as God and be thankful and you will have a light heart and a beautiful mind.

Colossians 2:7  ‘having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed,  and overflowing with gratitude.’   Overflowing with gratitude out to the world and others enough to have joy over, imagine!  There is being under His wings.  There is hope in heaven.  There is meaningful work on earth. The faith is new life that Jesus gives us, not religion!  He makes the foundation, firmly roots and builds up.  There is so much to it.  Love to give and tell everybody, full and overflowing.

That reminds me of another scripture, Hebrews12:28- ‘Therefore since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.’  God can use our ‘likes’ to make a ministry to Him and to others.  What we appreciate, people need to know. They can be thankful for it too in themselves.  You inform them so they can draw near also.  With gratitude for what we have we can turn it into an acceptable service to God and others.  We can use His gifts for the benefit of others.

ITimothy4:4- ‘For everything created by God is good and nothing to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude.’  All food is good and nothing is to be rejected, not even us.  Receive yourself with gratitude.  Be grateful for who you are.  The Lord was pleased to make you just as you are.  He knows how you turned out.  You may have problems or things you don’t like but you are God’s creation.  Only He can make you better or add to you or make one hair white or black.  Only He can make a youngster one inch or one foot taller.  When you put yourself in His hands and let Him work, even you, all of us are appreciative for what He has done.

He gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  He made Him pay for our sins and make salvation in heaven and on earth.  He did it willingly because He loves us and makes us so glad and primes the gratitude pump.  He is so good and caring to let us be ourselves and grow into a people for Him now and for Him in heaven.  He gives good gifts and we can have fun doing His work with them.  It’s only the beginning…

11/19/18

Psa 135:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; Praise Him, O servants of the LORD,
Psa 135:2 You who stand in the house of the LORD, In the courts of the house of our God!
Psa 135:3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
Psa 135:4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession.
Psa 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great And that our Lord is above all gods.
Psa 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

Praise the Lord for He is good. The Lord is our good and He gives us our joy in Him. He is our continuous joy for His work of salvation on the cross. His ways of dealing with us are blessing and helps. His promises, our soul knows full well are what we need. He provides for us and delivers us from our lives we have ruined.
By turning from our sins and not looking back He delivers us from 80% of this when we change our direction. We can be thankful to be on the right road and for being under His wings. With our new conscience He keeps us separate from our old ways.
The author of Psalm 135 is praising the Lord because of what He has done in his or her life. Not just to be doing it but by reason of the Lord, who has proved Himself faithful. He delivered this persons ancestors, the Israelites from slavery and in many wars. He had the ability to listen to God. If you want to hear from God read your Bible, If you want to hear from God in an audible voice read you Bible out loud. If you think His wisdom is not deeep enough, He made it understandable to us. All other wisdom leads away from God. Philosophy over complicates the situation.
Why would you want to believe Nietsche the most popular of our day, who was a drunk and derelict. He may appeal to your sense of irony and he might make you think you can find wisdom anywhere. But his words don’t have eternal value. They just tickle your ears.

What do you think of the fire in Paradise? Nature can be cruel can’t it? God made the laws of nature. But God did not cause that fire. Some people want to make God responsible for everything. He is not a murderer of innocent people. That fire is a terrible tragedy. God was not resonsible for it.
Life is hard is it not? If you don’t know the way then how do you know where you are going? Jesus says nobody goes to the Father except through me. Thats where we are going, to the Father for judgment. All of us have to go through Jesus, the righteous judge with the eyes of fire. But His people, His servants get up there and He says, ‘Lets see where is your mansion, What cities are you going to rule.’
But if life was easy we wouldn’t appreciate it or respect it. Don’t get confused your works, the things you accomplish are not better than faith in Jesus. It is incredibly simple, have faith in Jesus. But to abiding with HIM and enduring to the end through temptation and challenges, it is actually hard to do. Then you do your special accomplishments not to serve your ego but to honor God. Serve God with your life, make Him feel good. Has serving your ego a better reward than serving God? No it hasn’t.
You have to give us that much credit. That you will need God at the end of your life. There is always that chance at the end that we are right. But how are you going to be sincerely sorry for a life of sin if you are not now. Age will change you. God will change you. He will never give up trying to reach you with the Gospel of Christ, no matter how hard you get, He will be ready, I hope you will. Serve God now.

He Who Restrains…

Jer 17:1 The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart And on the horns of their altars,
Jer 17:2 As they remember their children, So they remember their altars and their Asherim By green trees on the high hills.
Jer 17:3 O mountain of Mine in the countryside, I will give over your wealth and all your treasures for booty, Your high places for sin throughout your borders.
Jer 17:4 And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance That I gave you; And I will make you serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger Which will burn forever.

Their children, of the Jews, reminds them of their happiness and their Asherah, a Phoenician god or its garden. They are so entrenched in idolatry, like most people. But there are consequences in the end for their sins. In this case for centuries of idolatry and avoiding God- the one true God, they will lose everything, their wealth and treasures, like America and Europe and Australia, the Middle East. They will give up their special places for a hot and desperate land, where God and the Holy Spirit will be no more with them. You would be surprised how much the Holy Spirit adds to our lives right now.
The earth is a beautiful land full of creatures and creature comforts; with love and peoples forgiveness, a chance to go on and create for everyone. Many people have a lot to live for and medicine that helps if they don’t. Our helper, our advocate is here but will be taken away with the light and the joy and the ability to conquer anger.
I’m sorry but these people are so deluded with ungodliness that they will even give up their inheritances in the Lord and all their material things; and will serve their enemies. The Lord’s anger will burn against them forever.
I always feel like I am talking to the hardest of atheists and that of course is fruitless. When I speak at the dinners there is always much hope and I think the people are just a step from God. But here and to the general public and seeing some of the things that we are all capable of, it seems I can only bring the scriptures and not elaborate on the darker side of God’s will.
There is hope, so much hope for people in this life and in this country. Though langushing here, there is so much more darkness in other places. Some places they have all but thrown out God from there lives and lands and churches. Here’s what happens when you do that and when you put things in place of God. God is good and only wants to bless. We have put sin and darkness and hope in the wrong things before HIM.
The hope is in Jesus, turning to Jesus and away from sin. See what sin is doing to our world and selves. God knows the way of the righteous but our way He doesn’t know and we will perish. Unless we turn to God for forgiveness and help and salvation. We need Him to live a righteous life and afterlife. You believe what He says about destruction believe what He says about reward. No one is too bad.

Please Comment

This morning, today was like any other day.  The sun came out brightly and took the chill off the early hours.  I was bright and hopeful.  My wife was groaning as she got ready for work.  Me, being retired went downstairs to prayer and drink cold tea.  An average start for Calif, then the clouds started moving in, spiritually speaking.  Clouds have another meaning and other colors besides white.  They can do things to your attitude.  And so everything began to change.

I found out that through the trials of daily life we’ve been experiencing, that we’ve both been praying.  Here’s an example of mine, ‘sorry I’ve been falling short.  We are being tested and life has been hard for years.  It’s kind of like Naomi but I pray I don’t get bitter.  My wife has noticed all the trouble and is getting near the end of her patience’.  Together: ‘Why aren’t you taking care of us, Lord?’

There are many trials and tribulations that never seem to end.  Are we in the beginning of sorrows? the end times?  I know God loves those He chastises but this is ridiculous.  I said what I couldn’t believe- We’ll take a lesser place in heaven if we can do better here.

I don’t have the luxury of throwing money at everything.  Life is a burden could we be tested like Paul who despaired even of life?  Only it’s not as bad as Paul who was whipped and had perils wherever he went.  Could it be we are getting close to the Great tribulation?  The signs say we are.  The Third Temple being built is a sign, a world government in process, Europe hungry for a world leader, prosperity coming again to America, all are prophetic signs.  Alliances are being formed that are, the other side, in a war against Israel.  The rapture could be this year in my mind and that’s what I’m praying for.

In the mean time Satan’s forces are busy messing up things for Christians, and spiritual warfare is really necessary.  He is trying to break our determinations, trying to make us lose our first love by wearing us out so that we grow tired of repenting.  If you want to go home keep watching and praying as Jesus said.

Please comment if your life seems uproarious with problems.  This at least partially explains why that is.