Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Patience and Pride both begin with “P” but lead in different directions!

Scripture Read: Judges Chapter 6:6-10 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the Lord. Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. ‘I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.” ’ ”

Application: Several issues we should consider in this passage. First, the incredible inexhaustible patience of our Lord! How many of us would love someone, be ignored, then when that person is in trouble, that is when they call out to us, and we come to their rescue? Not just one time, but time and time again!  When would we, not say, but yell, NO! "You made your bed, you sleep in it!” Even the best of us would finally draw a line and move on, leaving that person to reap completely what they have sown. God did allow Israel to reap the consequences of her sin for a time, but when she finally humbled herself and called out for help, God extended grace and mercy. This is a lesson we had better get, because even though we do not like to admit it, we are the same as the Israelites, sinners by nature. Don't ever allow pride to keep you reaping from your sin. Go to God and cry out for His mercy, many times He will deliver you and restore you.  The second issue is the word "fear". Yes it does mean tremble, but it also means respect and revere, which is the issue here. The Israelites knew that a statue could not hurt them, for they knew the difference between a living God and a dead idol. 

The problem is they did not want the accountability that comes when worshipping a living God, so they would ignore Him and give their respect and reverence to a false dead idol. They deceived themselves into believing that they could keep control of their life that way without the interference of a living God, but as it always does, the freedom is only the “hook” the flesh uses, and very quickly it turns into bondage to sin and the idol you chose to serve you, is now your master. We need to examine our life regularly and make sure we only give our respect and reverence to the one God, not some idol we have allowed into our life!  Be careful not to deceive yourself – our idols today are usually not statues or things made out of rocks or wood. Some still have idols like that, but most children of God know those things are nothing. The problem is that we still have idols… whether it be a financial god, a sexual god, a title or recognition god, even a “testimony” god. Anything other than the real God that becomes the driving force in our life is an idol! Most of our idols tend to be invisible and are known only to us. That makes this kind of idolatry exceptionally dangerous! Holy Spirit help us examine our heart with You on a daily basis.

Meditation Questions: Do you see God’s patience toward you? What does your answer show you? Do you realize how patient God is with you? What should that make you want to do? Have you ever been in the middle of discipline from the Lord, desired His help, but refused to ask for it? Why? What does that show you? The next time God is disciplining you for a sin, what will you do? What does your answer show you?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Be a Man!

Probing Proverbs: 5:15-17 Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?  You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. What a vivid picture wisdom paints on the folly of husbands being sexually unfaithful! We dress it up with terms that show we are cowards to face the truth. “A man’s man!” “A great lover!” or “a man of the world!” – when in reality any dog can do that! It takes a REAL man to be faithful to his vow, and a real lover to be intimate with only one woman. Any man can be aroused by a new woman…that makes him a “luster” not a lover! To remain sexually intimate with one woman, knowing every flaw and sign of age reveals that this man is a lover, for that commitment flows from the heart, not the eyes. Men are visual in their romance, God made us that way; and we begin with infatuation. However, if we are mature it moves from our eyes to our heart and we become committed to this glorious gift God has given us…i.e. we become lovers! Don’t be a dog…be a man!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don’t be used!

Scripture Read: Judges 6:1-5  Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. 2 The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. 4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it.

Application: As we look at how Midian treated Israel we can learn some important lessons about sin and how it works in our life. Notice how Midian chose to dwell in the caves and strongholds around Israel. This is what sin endeavors to do in our life. It wants to find areas where it can pitch a tent and live. This is how sin enslaves people and brings them into its bondage. We need to learn where our weaknesses are, identify them and allow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to fortify our lives in those areas. Another important lesson we learn about sin is; how it will steal from us the things we spend our life and time investing in. Like Israel that worked so hard to produce its crops, yet would not get to enjoy the fruit of their labor due to the Midianites coming in and stealing the work of their hands. Two things are important here; First, make sure that our investment is in things that are worthwhile. Many spend all of their time in life involved in things and building empires that will burn because they are temporal in nature. That does not have to be the case. No matter what we do, if we do it unto the Lord it becomes eternal in nature. Secondly, sin will steal the works of your life if you allow it to. 

A life's testimony can be thrown away in 30 seconds because of sin. Lastly, we learn from how the Midianites operated an important fact about sin. The Midianites did not destroy and kill Israel, instead they used them. They would allow the Israelites in freedom to grow their crops and produce fruit in the land, but when harvest time came, that's when the Midianites would invade and take all of the fruits of the labor of Israel. So it is with sin! Sin usually does not destroy immediately, instead it uses the person just as the Midianites used Israel. We will think we are free and able to do what we desire to do, not realizing that when it comes time to reap the fruit of our labor, sin will come in and steal what is important to us. The longer you allow this kind of conquering to occur in your life the harder it is to weed out. We need to be on our guard so that we do not allow sin to dwell in our life and use us. This can only be done through an intimate relationship with our God who will guide us in how we live so that sin cannot get a foothold into our life.

Meditation Questions: Do you know your weak points? What are they? What are you doing about them? What in your life is eternal in nature? What does that say? Do you believe you can paint a wall to the glory of God? Build a business to the glory of God? How? If you build a wall of protection around a city, but leave one area open, how safe is the city? If are weaknesses are spiritual in nature, what must our weapons be?