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!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

And Behind door number 2!

OBEDIENCE – Each door opens to a deeper life!

Whenever you open a door that you have never seen before you never know what’s behind it!

Reminds me of a newspaper story I read - about a burglar who stalked the neighborhood watching for homes left unguarded by people leaving for vacation. He watched as a family loaded their suitcases into their car and departed. He waited until dark and approached the front door and rang the bell. There was no answer. The burglar neatly picked the lock and let himself in. He called into the darkness, `Is anybody home?'  He was stunned when he heard a voice in reply, `I see you, and Jesus sees you.'  Terrified, the burglar called out, `Who's there?'  Again the voice came back, `I see you and Jesus sees you.' The burglar switched on his flashlight and aimed it in the direction of the voice.  He was instantly relieved when his light revealed a caged parrot reciting the refrain, `I see you, and Jesus see you.'  The burglar laughed out loud and switched on the lights.  Then he saw it.  Beneath the parrot's cage was a huge Doberman pinscher.  Then the parrot said, `Attack, Jesus, attack!!!'"

What’s important is to know that when we open a door we have the confidence that where we are going is better for us and will take us to where we want to be! This is what obedience guarantees. We may not know exactly where it leads us, but we can count on the fact that it will be where our heart desires!  We saw that the first door that is opened is the Door of Repentance. Let’s look at two other doors:

Obedience opens the Door of Blessing

Deuteronomy 11:26–28 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

Jesus – the only person that expressed unconditional love in history  – makes it clear that – although we are unconditionally accepted when it comes to relationship, yet, when it comes to fellowship, that is based on how we live moment to moment!

John 15:7–11 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Obedience is also the Door of Purity

We want to be Pure, but to live this way is not only a desire; it is an action of life! When we choose to be obedient we will experience our life becoming Pure!

Deuteronomy 13:4–5 “You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.

We are commanded to make a choice:

1 Thessalonians 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.

2 Timothy 2:16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,

1 John 2:15–17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

This is the most significant insight I have ever heard on the subject of motivation. It is almost "unheard of". It comes from a card picked up at a medical clinic by a member of the Skyline Wesleyan church:

"We hear it almost every day. I just can't get myself motivated to lose weight, test my blood sugar, etc., and we hear an equal number of sighs from diabetes educators who can't get their patients motivated to do the right things for their diabetes and for their health.  And we have news for you:  Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning, and motivation is not something that someone else (nurse, doctor, family member) can bestow or force upon you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then guess what. After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it. Motivation is like love and happiness. It's a by-product. When you actively are engaged in doing something it sneaks up on you, and zaps you when you least expect it. Or as Harvard psychologist Jerome Broomer says, `You are most likely to act your way into feeling, than to feel yourself into action.'  So act!  Whatever it is that you know you should do, do it."

Meditation Questions: Do you make excuses for your sin? Why? Do you think God owes you anything? What? Do you desire His blessing? What do you need to do to see that happen? Salvation is by grace alone, is Blessing also? Explain. What does it mean to you to Pure? Explain. Can you be pure without being obedient? Explain.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What you want is behind the door.


I remember once Priscilla was making faces. After she had finished she said: "Now daddy I will do them backwards.” So she turned her head around so we could not see her and made those faces. We laughed very hard! Why? It was humorous because it is so simplistic. Keeping it simple makes things easy! How can I live the Christian life? Simple – Obey!

Vance Havner wrote in Moments of Decision  page 110

"Some Bible teaching is like swimming lessons on dry land. We have been taught all the things commanded of the Great Commission but not to observe them.  Some know so much doctrine that an encyclopedia could not hold it, but what they know by experience could be put in a pocket notebook. We are afflicted with rocking-chair religion and shade-tree theology. We are like a man whose suitcase is covered with foreign hotel labels but who has never been out of his home state."

Obedience is a door for many things

(1) Opens Door of Repentance

We will blow it, because we are fallen and have a very strong sin nature. When we have fallen into sin, the door that leads to repentance is obedience. Yes we feel remorse, yes we feel regret, but that is confession. Repentance is a change of direction, which is a matter of action. When we, through our will and our faith, choose to obey, the door of repentance has been opened.

Deuteronomy 4:25–31 “In the future, when you have children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time, do not corrupt yourselves by making idols of any kind. This is evil in the sight of the Lord your God and will arouse his anger. 26 “Today I call on heaven and earth as witnesses against you. If you break my covenant, you will quickly disappear from the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. You will live there only a short time; then you will be utterly destroyed.27 For the Lord will scatter you among the nations, where only a few of you will survive.28 There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.29 But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. 30 “In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the Lord your God and listen to what he tells you.31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.

Deuteronomy 30:1–4  “In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions.2 If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today,3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you.4 Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again.

* We spend too much time on sorrow and not enough on obedience. What that shows us is even our sin is all about “US”! We need to be proactive in how we handle our failures – obedience is that door! When we look at our sin, the best thing we can do is do the opposite of what our sin is.

For example: If we covet and gossip and are judgmental: we should do what Phil 4:8 instructs:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

If we waste time:

Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400 that
carried over no balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash on
account, and every evening canceled whatever part of the sum you failed to use during the day, just what would you do?  Draw out every cent of course. 

Well, you have such a bank and its name is "Time". Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off, as lost, whatever part of this sum you have failed to invest to good purposes. It allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the record of the day. If you failed to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

Repentance is difficult, but it accomplishes what our inner man desires! Like a coach – it makes us build a discipline in our life that...when arrived at...we realize this is what we wanted from the beginning!

Tom Landry was a great American Football coach. He said this  - "The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don't want to do in order to achieve what they've always wanted to be!"

Is repentance your coach? I know if you love Jesus you hate your do I. But the question is...what are you doing about it. Confession is good, but it is only talk. Repentance is action. Think of a sin you are struggling with. What is 1 action you could take to change your direction away from that sin?