Our Value to God = PRICELESS!

Our Value to God = PRICELESS!
"Allow God to place His own values." - A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Worship the Right God

Tonight I watched a neat sermon titled, "Worship the Right God." The pastor talked about how our view of God's commandments are limited and reminded us of 4 reasons why we were given the 10 Commandments. Here are my notes below if you are interested in hearing more:

10 for Today (the 10 Commandments): Worship the Right God
Heritage Church – John Bray

Hug a Porcupine Skit:
“I just like porcupines.” “Porcupines are dangerous.” “Don’t knock it until you try it.” “I don’t have to try it to know it’s not good for me.” “Can you believe that guy? Trying to impose his judgments on my lifestyle?! If I want to go around hugging porcupines, that’s my business. It’s his job to get rid of my chest pains.”

We tend to do the same thing – we take worldly things that are damaging and hug them tightly to ourselves. Most of us don’t like it when others tell us what we have to do. There’s something in us that makes us want to push back. We tend to think of the 10 Commandments as rules and limits - that are old-fashioned and things that are trying to keep us from enjoying life. But anytime we do something God tells us not do to, it’s like picking up a porcupine. Anytime we violate God’s plan, we bring damage to ourselves.

Exodus 19
Vs. 5, 6 – “If you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be My own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth… You will be to Me a kingdom of priests, My holy nation.” Does that sound limiting to you?

4 Words to Remember (about our attitudes on why the 10 Commandments were given):
1. Protection – the 10 Commandments were given for our protection; they are to act as guidelines to keep us from harm (ex: parent and child relationship – parents tell us no to things they know will harm us; they do this to keep us safe). The Lord loves us and wants to protect us.
2. Promise – “covenant” or treaty; He wants us to obey Him, so He can bless us. We need to remember that we pay the consequence for our actions. We are known to pay attention to Him some of the time, yet we want Him to bless us all of the time.
3. Personal ¬– “Love the Lord YOUR God.” God is a personal God and He wants a personal response.
4. Synecdochical – define: a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole, the whole for a part, the specific for the general, and the general for the specific, or the material for the thing made from it; we have to take God’s Word as a whole and obey all of His commands rather than choosing which ones we will follow.
First Commandment = Have no other gods but Me and Me alone (idolatry – putting our trust in something in place of God)
Examples: Pleasure/Happiness (“I just want to be happy.”) God wants us to be holy and when we are holy, then we will be happy in return. Popularity is another example. We say or don’t say things in order to fit in, because popularity is more important to us than honoring God. Possessions/Security can also be an idol. We need to remember that possessions cannot protect us.

The problem is that we have made God the God of American culture rather than viewing Him as the personal God He has always been.

We tend to use these phrases:
“This isn’t exactly what God commanded, but I think…”
“I know this isn’t exactly right, but I think…”
“God may not be entirely happy with this, but I think…”
Or the ever popular, “This may not be the best thing to do, but I think…”

We think and so we do. And we think that is good enough. But in the end, these things do not provide enough security and they eventually will leave us empty. Seeking pleasure outside of God’s path often messes up our lives. We need to remember how fleeting popularity is.

Let us stop trusting ourselves to know what is right or to make decisions on our own rather than trusting in God and putting our faith in Him.

3 Affirmations to Consider:
1. Say, “God is passionate about me.” In the rest of the world, you matter based on what you can produce, how much money you make, if others feel you can help them, or how much power/popularity you have. But God looks at you and simply says, “You matter!” God values you. Not because of what you look like, how much money you have, or how much power you have. He just looks at you and says, “I am the Lord your God. And because I say you matter, you do.” Your life has incredible value. And since your life matters to God, it matters what you do.
2. “God can be trusted with my life.” God wants us to find true purpose, true satisfaction, and ultimate meaning. He loved us so much that He died for us.
3. Decision – “God is God in my life.” Acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. Place Him on the throne and keep Him there. Do not push Him off so that you can make room for your plans.
So what? So what am I going to do now that I have heard this message?
May we listen to God’s instruction, decide in advance to obey His commands, and stop picking up porcupines and squeezing them and then wondering why we’re in pain. I pray that today we say to God, “You are God, my God. I choose to live Your way.”

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“I Am New” – Jason Gray

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Are His - written by Bobby C.

I was driving home from work today and while I was listening to 103.7(country) the song “If I die young” by The Band Perry was playing (which I recommend to everyone to listen to.) There was one line in the song that really stood out to me. The line is “Funny when your dead how people start listenin’ Take a second to let that verse sink in...Funny when your dead how people start listenin’

In a lot of cases this is a true comment. Only when someone close to them passes away is when they realize how short life really is. It is when people figure out the truth that there is more to life then on this earth. For all throughout the Bible it states that the days are evil. Why do we come together and think about Heaven and God at funerals,but not on a daily basis. How many people do you think take time out of their day to think about God and other people other then themselves? Are you one of them?

For it says in the Bible Luke 16:8-9: And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

This passage was told by Jesus to his disciples. Not only was Jesus warning the disciples, He is warning us. We are ALL children of the light! People who are homeless,poor,middle class, rich, different background, you name it we are all The children of the light. We are all chosen by God to live for him and not ourselves. For when we live for ourselves we will never know the truth even if were right in front of our eyes.

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said,”There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothes in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. The rich man shouted,”father abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. A am in anguish in these flames.’ But Abraham said to him,” Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there’ Then the rich man said,”Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment. But Abraham said,”Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ The rich man replied,” No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.” But Abraham said,”If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.

Brothers and Sisters of Christ I dare you to live outside the box. Extend your hand to someone in need. It could be someone you are very close to or to someone you do not know at all. God knows your heart. He is the beginning and the end of everything you do. Do not lose sight of the fact we are all His.

God Bless

Bobby C.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

“For When I Am Weak…”

Just recently I was listening to a worship set from LifeChurch.tv and I heard the most amazing message. I felt it was well worth sharing! Enjoy

"So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Too many times we focus on our weaknesses, instead of the power and the strength that we have in Christ. You see He overcame all of our sin and our guilt and our depravity and our weaknesses on the Cross through the blood of Jesus Christ. And when we put our faith in Him; when we acknowledge Him as our Savior, that power comes and it lives inside of us. So when we trust in Him to take care of our problems, to be our strength, we can overcome anything. It says, “In Him all things are possible. (see Matthew 19:26) I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. (see Philippians 4:13) But apart from Him we can do nothing. (see John 15:5)”

See the enemy wants to take us over here and isolate us. He wants to get us alone where we surely will fail. He wants to distract us and just keep us wallowing around in our own pride and in everything else. Because we are such a prideful people, we equate weakness with being weak. A lot of times we feel like we need to do everything ourselves.

After reading this message, I encourage us to remember the Truths in God’s Word and proclaim to the Lord the lyrics:

“You are stronger. You are stronger. Sin is broken. You have saved me. It is written, ‘Christ is risen. Jesus, You are Lord of all.’” – Stronger by Hillsong United


Note: I have posted the lyrics to this song on the Day by Day Devotional wall.

I pray you were as encouraged as I was after hearing this message. It is packed with Truth and promises that God can, in fact, get us through any trial when we give our burdens to Him and claim His strength. May we remember these Truths when we face the hardships in life and praise Him for the work that He will accomplish through our difficult circumstances.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“Give Me Faith” – Elevation Worship

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late - Bobby C.

Have you ever heard of the quote, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them?” Everyone lies. Sorry to be blunt, but it is true. Whether it was in your past or is still in your day-today life, you’ve lied. People cover their situations and twist their story to benefit themselves. By all means, who is ever gonna know except for me, right? Wrong.

For this devotional I’m using text from Acts 5:1-11:
“1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.”

After reading this, does it remind you of someone you know? Does it remind you of yourself? Every day Satan is at work, filling peoples’ hearts just as he filled the hearts of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira were not thinking about God, but were thinking about money.

Believers and non-believers all know earthly life does not last forever (All part of God’s design). Know that if you are trying to hide something from just one person or from a whole classroom of people, God knows! Why risk your salvation for temporary earthly pleasure (lying to get: money, girls, guys, etc.)?

Last thing I want to mention is from the last sentence from the reading (Acts 5:11):
“Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.”
God’s mercy is beyond what anyone could ever imagine. He is patient and He is just. He knows your heart and He is willing to forgive no matter where you are in life, but don’t wait. Don’t be the one who waits until you stand before your Creator, continuing to lie to cover things up – the time is now.

God Bless

Bobby C.

One Ear Toward Heaven

Isaiah 30:21
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Today while traveling to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my dad and stepmom, I had the opportunity to hear from God through the sweetest elderly couple, Bill and Phyllis. Once I was sitting down and reading Bill Hybel’s “The Power of a Whisper,” the older man asked me if I knew Bill, the Christian author. Apparently he knew a number of Christian authors and was a retired pastor for a Baptist church.

After talking for a short time, Bill (the older man sitting next to me) spoke some great Truths into my life that I feel are worth sharing. The first thing he said was, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of changing the past.” He then continued to remind me of the famous quote that says, “Love like you have never been hurt.” Bill went on to say that this is how the Lord loves us. No matter how many times we hurt Him or turn our backs and walk away from Him, He is always faithful and His love never changes.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reminds us of this unconditional and sacrificial love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

I am still in awe of this God-orchestrated meeting!! It came at just the perfect time! God seems to do that – always putting the right people in our lives at the right time! :) I had just been reading about shutting out the distractions in life so we can hear the Lord’s still small voice and then this couple came into my life!

“Live in every circumstance of life with one ear toward Heaven.” – Billy Hybels, The Power of a Whisper

As Bill Hybels writes in his book, God did not just speak during creation and throughout the course of biblical days, but He also speaks to us today. My experience of meeting Bill and Phyllis is evidence of this Truth. So this week I challenge us to open our hearts to the Lord and turn one ear toward Heaven. And once we hear from Him, I dare us to have the guts to respond.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“Take My Hand” – Shawn McDonald

I Believe

I believe in a God that is faithful and just. Whose presence I long to remain in. His love everlasting and grace that reaches the Heavens. He can't help but love and nurture His children. Like an earthly father, our Heavenly Father cares enough to discipline us when we need correction, guide us when we are lost, and protect us when we seek shelter. He is a tree that cannot wither and a voice that cannot be shaken. Our different types of laughs, personalities, and sense of humors all express our Lord's creative and diverse nature. When the storms come He remains strong, willing and able to rescue us when we seek Him. Let us praise God for He is good!

The Role of The Church

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 18:10

The other day I listened to a great sermon on LifeChurch.tv. It was called, “Stop Acting Like a Christian and Be One.” The speaker made some great points about God’s intent for His Church.

“When The Church stops BEING The Church, and The Church just starts DOING Church on a Sunday…when we just start going through the motions of some boring, religious ritual or obligation…and stop being engaged in what Jesus is passionate about, then we’ve just become a dead, empty, monument – nothing more than just a ritualistic kind of building that someone goes to and just goes through the motions.”

She went on to say that we need to make sure our heart beats for the same thing that God’s heart beats for and that is for a lost and a broken world. Luke 18:10 (the Bible verse posted above) emphasizes this point. John 3:16 also shows us who God is passionate about. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Since God’s heart is for the lost and broken, we should also tune our hearts to the needs of the least of these. In Matthew 25:40, God says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” May we humble ourselves before the Lord, start BEING The Church, and love the “whosoevers.”

God bless,

“Your Love” – Brandon Heath

God's Plan - written by Bobby

I read through Jeremiah 1 and I was blown away! It really hit the spot if you ever feel your life is like living on a roller coaster. Something very important that everyone needs to realize is that we serve the same God that Jeremiah served, We are praying to the same God as Jeremiah, and most of all our God that walks with us each and every day is the same God that walked with Jeremiah. In this message it talks about Jeremiah thinking he was too young to speak the word of God. A lot of people think the very same thing. Society does have it as the older are much wiser and have lived longer so why would they take advise from younger individuals. Why? because thats the norm. Its not written in any text that older individuals are always right and younger individuals are always wrong.

The Holy Bible is Gods word. It prophesies so many things long before we were even born. Even way before Jeremiah was born. In this message it talks about trusting our God completely with all of our heart, all of our mind, and all of our soul. God’s word says that all throughout the Bible old/new testament and He promises He will be with you and protect you for He will fulfill his plan.

We are Gods plan. Let me repeat this.... We are God’s plan. God knows everyone who he puts in and out of life. He knows every struggle there has ever been. He knows every move you are taking and will take in the future. He knows your heart. For it was in his plan for you to be alive right where you are at. He knew he was going to send Jesus into the world for his plan was to have you alive right now, to spread the Good News of hope. To Glorify His name. To boast about the everlasting God.

One day you are going to give account for your life. Are you going to tell God you were to young or not wise enough to talk to people about the One who put you into this world, or are you going to take the leap out of any comfort zone and know that God has a hold of you?

God Bless

Bobby C.

Jeremiah 1-15

Jeremiah son of Hilkiah.

The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah. The Lords messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son.

The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in you mother’s womb. Before you were born i set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nation.”

-”O Sovereign Lord,” I said,” I cant speak for you! I’m too young.!”

The Lord replied,”Don’t say i’m too young, for you must go wherever i send you and say whatever I tell you and don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,” Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.

- Then the Lord said to me “ Look Jeremiah! what do you see? And I replied,” I see a branch from an almond tree.” and the Lord said,” that’s right, and it means that I am watching, and i will certainly carry out all my plans. Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked,”What do you see now? And i replied,” I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.” “Yes,” the Lord said,”for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdom of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord have spoken.

Warnings from Paul

Here is a devotional written by my amazing boyfriend :)

Have you ever took the time to research all the different religions there are in the world? The number is growing everyday. Reasons for this range from following in parent/relatives footsteps to even popularity. On top of all the religions in the world there are many people that don’t even believe in a God and claim to rely on science itself. I could go on and talk about all the different denominations and what they believe in, but that isn’t the point. The point is that a lot of people lose sight of who God is. Have you ever been in a conversation with a person who thinks he/she has it all together and tells you how things run in the world? I know I can relate to that personally.

Biblically speaking so did Paul as he warns the Churches of Galatia.
Galatians 1:6-10: I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: Of anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Paul, an apostle was not appointed an apostle by any group of people or any human authority. Paul was called by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.( Galatians1:1)

What was then is still today. There are places you can go today where pleasing the people instead of God is the only reason why they stay open. There are places that twist the Truth, not only twisting the Holy Bible around, but also their own religion around to fit their needs. It is also true for many non-Christ followers that focus on science, yet it was early scientist such as:Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and Galileo who thought their belief in God made it easier to do science. All these different practices constantly change. Playing the favoritism card and changing their own beliefs day by day. I agree that today is not the same as yesterday, but God’s word always stays the same. He knows every situation you have been in and will be in the future. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.(Revelation 22:13)

No matter where you are in your life know that God is waiting on you to call upon him alone. No human can say or do what God has already done for you.

God Bless
Bobby C.