Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow To Speak! Quick To Listen!

James 1:19-20 (NIV)
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."


In 2010, an African-American woman named Shirley Sherrod was fired from her job as an United States Department of Agriculture employee because of a video tape which appeared to show her making racist remarks concerning a white farm owner. She was fired by the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack after he viewed the video. Within 24 hours of Shirley Sherrod losing her job it was discovered that video had actually been edited. The full video showed her remarks not to be racist at all but instead a testimony of how to move beyond racism and help each other. Tom Vilsack later apologized to Shirley Sherrod and offered her a new job in the department.

This highly publicized incident gives us a good example why we all should be "quick to listen" and "slow to speak". We all should be careful not to rush to judgement in any situation. I have made this mistake many times throughout my life. Things can appear one way at first until we have more information which later can make the same situation appear differently. Even when one person has accused another we must actively seek both sides of the story.

Proverbs 18:13 (NIV)
"He who answers before listening, that is his folly and his shame."

Proverbs 18:17 (NIV)
"The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him."


We must be careful not to take any statement out of context (especially the Word of GOD). Unfortunately there are those who take scriptures from the Bible and quote them out of their proper context to support their own point of view. This is done in order to deceive us. Here is an example where the devil tried to deceive and tempt Jesus by using the Word of GOD out of it's proper context.

Matthew 4:5-7 (NIV)
"Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' " Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."


The scripture the devils quoted is Psalm 91:11-12. However lets read this scripture beginning with verse 9 through 13.

Psalm 91:9-13 (NIV)
"9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge
-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent
.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways
;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone
.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent
."


Verse 10 uses the word "befall" which is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as a verb to mean, "to happen especially as if by fate" or "to happen to". Therefore verses 9 thru 10 are saying if we make GOD first in our lives no harm will come and be successful toward us. The devil decided to only quote verses 11 thru 12 (using them out of their proper context) and tried to trick Jesus to put himself in harms way (or go towards the harm) when the passage speaks about GOD's protection from the harm that would come towards him (and us). By putting ourselves in harms way we are testing GOD. This is why Jesus answered the devil as HE did.

Therefore it is very important that we do not make a rush to judgement in any situations. We must carefully examine all of the evidence and consider both sides of any story before we make a final conclusion. We must be quick to listen and slow to speak. To do otherwise does not bring about the righteous life that God desires for us. Let's love one another and walk in peace!


I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tpbiblestudy@comcast.net.

If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in the name of JESUS, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tpbiblestudy@comcast.net

GOD bless you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Broken But Not Forgotten

Isaiah 41:10
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
."

Dear friend, I know your heart is hurting in a way you have never experienced before. While you are suffering (distressed with great pain and anguish), you think you have made mistakes which are beyond repair. You think you could never be forgiven. You feel you have gone beyond the point of no return and assume your life is now over. Please hear me when I tell you . . . Feeling are not facts, and YOUR LIFE IS NOT OVER! I know right now it is difficult to look beyond the pain you are feeling today. I know it is hard to see any potential of a good life for yourself . . . BUT THERE IS!

I know this is hard to believe, but the creator of the universe has you on HIS mind right now. HE is GOD, our FATHER, and HE loves you! Yes, perhaps you have made some terrible mistakes. The truth is that we all have made terrible mistakes. My mistakes may not be the same as your mistakes, but they are mistakes all the same. As humans we look at each other and judge as if to say, "yes what I did was bad, but what you did was horrible." Here is what GOD says . . .

Romans 3:23
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

This means in GOD's view, all of us have failed to live up to HIS high standard. Not one person walking this earth today is considered by GOD to be "perfect". The only person who met that standard was JESUS. So do not let people condemn you. Do not let others intimidate or belittle you because the know more Bible verses than you. Do not allow yourself to become stressed by the views and opinions of others. Your salvation is a matter between you and GOD (not you and other people). Therefore go to GOD and ask HIM to forgive you, to have mercy on you, to restore you, and to be gracious unto you. All you have to do is ask and it is done at that very moment. When you ask GOD for forgiveness, GOD's says, "I forgive you".

1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Hebrews 8:12
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

You may be broken, but you are not forgotten. GOD loves you and HE can use you (even in your broken condition) to be a blessing to others who are hurting. You cannot see this now, but the LORD has a good plan for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

GOD has blessed us because HE loves us. There is nothing that you, or I, or anyone else could ever do to be worthy or deserving of HIS kindness. HE restores us out of love. HE sent JESUS to reconcile our broken relationship with HIM, Our FATHER. Through JESUS CHRIST you were given a new opportunity to live an abundant life. Yes, my friend, JESUS came all those many years ago to restore you right now in this moment.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Recently the world remembered the terrible tragedies of September 11, 2011. Many people around the world took time to reflect and pray. We thought about those who lost their lives. We thought about their families and friends who may still be mourning their loss. We thought about how the events of that day personally touched our lives. Now many of us have great appreciation for our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Many of the things we took for granted we now have great respect for. In the hours, days, and weeks after the attacks occurred, we reached out with compassion to help strangers. We showed love toward each other more openly & freely. Even our political leaders put aside their differences and came together in unity. If we can come together in the face of tragedy and show love towards each other, how much more will GOD show HIS love towards you in your situation? HIS love goes beyond our human comprehension.

John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

GOD has not forgotten you. GOD did not leave you. HE is here with you right now. HE knows you are hurting terribly. HE will comfort and strengthen you. My friend, all is not lost. There is hope for you for the future. GOD can turn your life around for the better. HE will restore you and bring you out of this dark place you are in. You don't have to be formal with GOD, nor do you have to know Hebrew or Greek for HIM to hear you. Just be yourself and reach out to HIM as you are. HE will answer you!

Stop trying to figure out and navigate through life by yourself. Humble yourself and turn your life over to HIM. Put your life in GOD's hands, and HE will lead you. Ask JESUS to come into your heart and change your life for the good. HE will save you and put you on a good path that will change your life forever.

Romans 10:9
"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

Ephesians 2:4-5
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tpbiblestudy@comcast.net. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in the name of JESUS, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tpbiblestudy@comcast.net

GOD bless you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Keep Doing Good & Do Not Give Up!

Acts 18:1-11 (NIV)

"After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God
."


Have you ever given your best effort on your job but your employer doesn't notice? Have you continued to show love, kindness, and patience towards someone but yet they continue to be mean towards you? Have you work hard at your studies in school but never seem to get a positive grade? Have you worked hard as a entrepreneur but yet your business is going down instead of up? We all have had situations where we have given our best efforts (doing all we know how) only to see no positive results. I know from my own personal experiences this can be extremely frustrating (even painfully so at times). It can also be very discouraging to routinely give our very best efforts expecting to see positive change, yet there is no change at all. We've done all we can, yet things remain the same.

When we are in the peak of frustration we often make declarations like, "That's it! I quit! I give up! I'm done!" That is exactly what the Apostle Paul was feeling in the scripture passage (above) taken from Acts chapter 18. While in the city of Corinth, Paul had been at the church preaching, and preaching, and preaching, and preaching to the people about JESUS CHRIST with what seemed to be no positive result. In fact, many of the people laughed at him, called him names, or simply ignored him. Paul became extremely frustrated and shook his clothes (just as we might throw our arms in the air out of frustration) and basically said to the people, "I'm outta here! What happens to you people is on your heads!"

However after Paul leaves the church and goes to visit Titius, something special happens back at the church. The leader of the church accepted the word of GOD preached by Paul and his family believed also. The Bible goes on to say that many in Corinth believed and were baptized! It is interesting that positive change within the people didn't begin until after Paul walked away. I do not mean walked away as if to abandon his mission. Instead it was more like he moved out of the way. Sometimes we want something to happen so bad we unknowingly try to force it to happen the way we want. While there are times when we need to put in the work, there are also times we need to move out of the way (taking our hands off the situation).

Later on GOD speaks to Paul in a dream and says, "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city". GOD told Paul not to give up! Before this moment, Paul could not see that his preaching was not in vain. GOD encouraged Paul to keep preaching and not to fear. GOD wants us to know that HE is also with us in the very same way. GOD wants us to keep giving our best efforts in everything that we do (towards people, on the job, in business, in school, everywhere). GOD wants us to know if we keep doing the right thing the result will be good. Here is a scripture which sums it up for us . . .

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."


Therefore my friends please do not give up. GOD knows our hearts. HE knows we are hurting, frustrated, disappointed, depressed, and discouraged because things aren't happening as we would like. Just remember that after we have done all the good we can, sometimes we must to get out of the way and allow GOD to work things out for us. GOD will fix it! GOD loves us! Trust, trust, trust, and believe, believe, believe!

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tpbiblestudy@comcast.net. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tpbiblestudy@comcast.net

GOD bless you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

GOD Is Our Hero!

One year ago, the world watched as 33 Chilean miners were rescued from being trapped for 70 days at more than 2000 feet deep beneath the surface. I remember watching the rescue unfold on live television. As each man was brought up from below I kept thinking of Psalm 40:1-4


Psalm 40:1-4
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods
.


One of the miners is a man named Mario Sepulveda. In an interview shortly after his rescue he said, "I was with GOD and I was with the Devil, but GOD won. I held onto GOD's hand; the best hand. At no point in time did I doubt that GOD would get me out of there."


1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


It does not seem right that we must suffer. But in our suffering our faith increases in strength. When we see GOD move in a heroic act to save others it makes an undeniably powerful statement of how great HE truly is! When GOD rescues us, we then become a living example so that others can increase their faith in GOD also. If you are in a situation today that is so deep you cannot see your way out, think about how GOD delivered the Chilean miners. Let their story be a source of inspiration for you today! Initially people thought they were dead, but GOD kept them alive and rescued them. GOD delivered them, and HE can deliver you also! Think about Psalm 40:1-4, be encouraged, and make a decision to completely rely on GOD. Stay positive as you move forward believing that GOD will bring you through! Problems do not come to stay; they came to pass! Trust and believe in the LORD. Let GOD be your hero too!

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tpbiblestudy@comcast.net. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS' name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tpbiblestudy@comcast.net

GOD bless you!