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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Inaction reaps what it sows!

Probing Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.

I remember when I first started playing guitar; my big brother Mark was one of the best. He was a lead guitarist for a band that later became famous, they moved to California, but he stayed because he was just a Senior in High School. He won every “battle” of the bands he entered, including solo guitar. I wanted to play like him…but I did not want to work like him. From the time I was 7 years old I could remember Mark practicing and practicing. He gave himself to learning that instrument and it shows to this day. 
I on the other hand started strong but became lazy…I carried my guitar everywhere, but did not work at learning to master it. I thought the little I knew would grow by itself! That is laziness. Anything of REAL value does not just happen. My laziness shows – today I can pluck a tune or two, but I am not a guitarist!

This is the second aspect of being lazy; we expect results to just happen.

For example: We think that because we can have the ability to have children, we will be parents and our children will grow up as good, sensible adults. Nothing is further from the truth. That kind of lazy thinking only proves that we know we can have sex…parenting is a lot of intentional action. The Scripture gives the formula for being a parent:

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

The picture the Scripture draws is one of Proactive, Intentional living. This does not mean have a 5 minute Bible study / lecture with your children everyday. It means interweaving the Truth of God’s Word into your life and sharing that with your Children. Every moment can be a life lesson moment. As examples:

I was driving Chris to school when he was nine. A woman at the intersection had a head on with another vehicle. She went through the windshield! After I made sure Chris was okay and gave a report to the police, instead of driving Chris straight to school, I pulled into a park and talked with Chris. I asked him why that woman was thrown through the windshield. He said because she was not wearing a seat belt. I then went on to explain to him how God’s Word is like a seat belt for our life. By keeping the Scriptures close to our heart, His Word will teach us how to live which will keep us safe, even when there is an unexpected accident.

When Chris was 10 and Zach was 5 we had a war going on at the house. Chris was constantly complaining that he had so many more chores then Zach did, and it was not fair. Dee came to me and said she was at the end of her rope; nothing she did stopped Chris. I went into my study and asked God for wisdom.

James 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

He keeps His promises, as I prayed an idea entered my mind. I went out to the dinner table and announced to Chris – for the next week he would be Zachariah. I would do Chris’s chores and he would only do what Zach had to do. As I was doing the dishes that night, Chris was dancing and singing that he did not have to do the dishes because he was Zachariah, he asked me if he could go play at Chuck’s house. I said no, because I did not have time to walk him across the street. He said. “Dad you taught me how to cross the street when I was 7.” I said “No, no, your Zachariah!” Later that evening I went downstairs to vacuum the family room…another chore of Chris’s…I found all my electrical items turned on. 
The CD player, the TV and the game center; I said, “Who told you, you could turn on Daddy’s electrical things?” Chris said “Dad you showed me how last year.” I said “No, no, your Zachariah!” He hated going to bed so early also, the next morning he knocked on my office door. When he came in he fell to his knees saying, “Please let me be Chris again, please let me be Chris again!” I then shared with him the biblical principle, “Much responsibility brings much freedom, little responsibility bring little bitty freedom!” Chris never wanted to be Zach again.

God desires to guide His people to be great parents, helping their children to grow into stable, loving and mature adults. If you become a student of God’s Word and live close to Him, the Holy Spirit will help you live Deuteronomy 6. If you lack wisdom, just ask and God will give.

If you choose to be a lazy Parent…or lazy about anything in life, be sure God’s Word will stand sure.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

There is one more aspect to laziness that we will look at next time.

For now ask yourself these questions: Am I putting in effort to live the life I am living, or do I expect it to just happen? What actions am I taking to impact my walk with the Lord, the direction of my life, my family, and my career?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Probing Proverbs - $0 + $0 = Something?

Probing Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.

One of the habits I had when I was younger was when I walked I would put both hands into my pockets. At one job I had, my boss called me into the office to talk to me. His office looked down on the entire floor so he could see me when I was walking. He said, “Nate I know how hard of a worker you are, but when I see you walking with your hands in your pockets it drives me crazy. Lazy people walk that way!” I asked him if he felt I was slow in my work or lacking in any area. He said no. Then he said it was just his problem and excused me. For the next week I would look up and see him just fidgeting as I walked by. 
Well, I had become a believer by then, and the Holy Spirit was teaching me to be “all things to all men.” So I felt bad that this bothered him, even though I produced like everyone else. So the next week I sewed my front pockets shut on my uniform pants. After a few days he called me to the office and asked me why I stopped putting my hands in my pockets. I showed him my pants. He just started to laugh and asked why. I told him that as a Christian I did not want to offend anyone if possible. He smiled and said, “you’re a nice guy and a hard worker.”

Although God afforded me the opportunity to give a testimony about Christ, which I appreciated, it also reminded me that “laziness” is not a position of the body, but the condition of the spirit.

This Proverb states an obvious truth: When someone is counting on you and you are lazy about what you are doing, it irritates people! No secret there, but let’s investigate what this means and how does it surface in our lives.

Here are the meanings of “Lazy”:

·      Unwilling to work or use energy.
·      Characterized by lack of effort or activity.
·      Showing a lack of care.

Where do these tendencies show up in our life and in our society? There are several foundational mindsets that lead to this kind of behavior.

·      First: When we want something for nothing. This is completely contrary to reality, yet the flesh craves this. I have a weight problem, I want to lose weight, but the effort required is difficult. My flesh wants to just take a pill and still live like I have – that is why I am still struggling! Whenever I succeed to lose weight, I know it because it requires real effort. Consider:

In our Society, we give money to those that cannot and will not work. The one’s that cannot work are receiving what a caring society should do. However, the ones that will not work are being enabled by a society that has lost the discipline to demand proper behavior. The people that do work are being punished to pacify people who are too lazy to put effort into living. Paul warned of this:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

In my country we have what is called “Welfare.” The intention was honorable – to help those that could not help themselves, but it has become a system to enable the lazy to live for free off the work of others. I once wrote a politician suggesting this idea:

Dear Sir,

My concern is that we give healthy men money for doing nothing. These men have 40 hours a week more free time than those that work, what do you think they will do with it? What has history shown they do with it, why are our prisons and rehab centers filled with these men. How can a man build integrity and self worth when he produces nothing, instead he leeches and consumes? I would suggest an answer to this dilemma. Anyone that desires assistance must work. When they explain that a job at MacDonald’s will not support their family, we will agree and inform them, when they get the job we will supplement their income to a level where they can support their family. This removes this person from being idle 40 extra hours a week, and builds their integrity and self worth, as they become a provider for their family.

Sadly, most politicians are not after societal improvement, they are after votes and job security. Instead of building a path to freedom for the poor, they have enslaved them to nurse off the giant breast of mama welfare, YET, some brilliant mind figured out how mama can get most of that tax-free money back from the poor, the LOTTO! Check the stats – they will show you that the majority of people that play the lotto are those that receive tax free funds! 

Individually we approach much of life this way. Let’s look at believers. We pray for patience, yet become angry when we have to wait in line! We pray for unconditional love, yet whine because we have difficult people in our life! God is answering our prayers, but we do not see that because we want it with no effort, because we are spiritually lazy. 
We say we want to grow spiritually and become more like Christ, but when I counsel the average believer I find that they spend little if no time in the Scriptures, hardly pray, are not in discipleship and their idea of worship is usually whatever the latest flavor of the week is…most are not Biblically sound, if not heretical. How can anyone expect to grow with an effort like that? We need to face the fact that NOTHING is free! Not even Salvation! Wait! Before you react…THINK! Is Salvation totally free? Do we get something for nothing? Is the death of Christ nothing? Salvation is free for US…but it cost God His Son! Anything of worth always involves effort and cost! Jesus sweated blood to go to the cross; it was the greatest effort in the history of the universe. Yes, it is offered as a gift to us, but do not insult God by thinking we got something for nothing.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Philippians 2:5–8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Let’s seek to give an effort in our life to attain the “somethings” we desire.

Next time we will look at two more foundational mindsets that lead to laziness.