Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Our world needs a lot of love!  I have been reading much about love in the Bible this week.  Romans 13:8-10 tells us that love is the fulfillment of God's law.  We are being most like Jesus and most like what God desires for us to be when we love our neighbor.  Love is the glue between the bricks of all our good works that erects a temple of God in our bodies.  I Corinthians is a great source of looking for love in the exact, right places--Chapter 13!  As you read each potential act of love as we know it, we will find ourselves on empty if the act is not preceded by genuine love of God and love for others!  Love is the greatest!  Happy Valentines Day! 

Combating Temptation II

In the Bible that I grew up with I discovered something I had cut out from a devotion when I was younger that helps us decide if something that tempts us sinful.  Well, now that I am older, that answers it right there.  If I am wondering, it probably is!   But I hope these three tests help you.  I wish I could identify the original author, but I didn't have the source.  When in doubt, ask:
Test # 1--Universality Test
What would the world be like if everyone was doing what I am doing or tempted to do?
Test #2--Secrecy Test
What if everybody found out what I was doing or tempted to do?
Test #3--Blessing Test
Can God bless what I am doing or about to do?
These should lend all of us great clarity in fighting temptation.

Combating Temptation

The other day I memorized a verse I addressed as "Combating Temptation" at 4:7-8 James.  "Therefore, submit to God, but resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, sinners; purify your hearts, double-minded people."  This would be a good one for all to memorize.  You will need it.  I preached on combating temptation the last two weeks.  I wanted to be really practical, you know, 3 points and four take homes.  Here is the bottom line though folks.  We have to love God more than we do our sin.  We have to cherish God's Word and hide it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). We must draw near to God and put distance between ourselves and the things that tempt us.  In James 1:13-14 we discover that God doesn't tempt us but we set our own traps, pamper our pet desires and bait our own hooks that then entice us and draw us away from God.  Do you want to resist temptation?  That is the starting point. If our answer is yes, then I think the above advice is really practical and helpful.  Strive!
More Later!!!!

Enduring Pain

The other day I read a devotional by Adrian Rogers from II Corinthians 12:9 "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me."  I have many friends enduring loss, pain and suffering right now.  Three encouragements Adrian shared that I think will help us all:  1) Praying for Escape from the pain makes it your enemy, 2) Praying for endurance in your pain treats pain and suffering as your master, but when we are 3) Praying to enlist the pain for our good and God's glory, we make it our servant.
Love to all and hope this is comforting!
Coach/ PJ

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coffee Stains

Recently I had the opportunity to preach the message at the funeral of a dear lady in our church, a saintly disciple of Jesus Christ.  As is my habit, I like to ask the family for the Bible of the passed loved one.  As I perused this lady's Bible, I turned the page to Proverbs 15.  Go read it sometime!  On this page, was a perfect circle and then some spill spots of coffee.  I paused in great joy and wonder.  Evidence of the morning custom of starting her day in God's Word was right there before me. I was reminded of Jesus' custom of rising early in the morning to pray and be with His Father.  Have you the habit/custom of rising early, cup of coffee, God's Word and the day ahead prepared by aligning your life/will with God's?  I was encouraged.  Careful with the coffee, but no worry...someone just might learn from your mess!