Love Not the World, but the Word.

Good morning!

I hope you all are off to a great start on your weekend.  David and I will be sharing the Word of God in song today with some fine folks at the assisted living in Herrin.  The people there really are a blessing to us.  Riches can be found in all areas of life, and in some unlikely places when we have the right frame of mind.

This morning I would like to share some Scripture with you about the dangers of being too concerned with the things this world has to offer, and what the world sees as wealth.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness the devil had this to offer: Luke 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.   There are one or two possibilities here; either Satan was trying to deceive Jesus into thinking he was in control of the world, or Satan truly is the one in control of this world. I don’t believe Jesus could have been deceived by Satan, and a quick read of the news headlines leaves little doubt as to Satan’s grip on this world.  What can this world offer that we would owe it our love?  Jesus knew that all this world is going to come to nothing.  Everything here is subject to destruction.  All the gold, fame, and fun this world has to offer will be meaningless when we are called into eternity.  The most disturbing part of this verse is that the person who loves the worldly gains does not have the love of the Father!  Jesus was asked in Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  There is no room in the human heart for love of the world when God is our first love.  God has placed our feet on a journey’s path.  We are just passing through this world; we are citizens of a different world.  Paul gives us some advice on how to cope in this foreign land.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  To be “conformed” to this world means to accept this present world with all of its wickedness.  To become comfortable in this world is a real danger.  Little by little Satan has been on the attack in our nation.  The book of Genesis says that he is more subtil, (as the KJV states) or subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  He is crafty and persistent in his attempts to turn this world into his playground.  If it had been a sudden change it would have been thwarted, but he has slowly achieved his goal of conforming our country to what he wants.

Paul says the only way to combat this is to be “transformed” by the “renewing of your mind”.   To be transformed is to undergo a dramatic change into a new creature.  God is the One who transforms the heart and mind of His people.  The mind is the battlefield.  How can we renew our minds?  Paul knew well the struggles of trying to live for Christ in a body of flesh.  Without focusing our minds on the things of God, we would soon be conformed to this world.  By studying His Word we can “prove” or experience the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  God’s will in all things is for the good of His people.  The trials and troubles of this world may seem insurmountable, but He is always in control.  Seek His will in your life.  Jesus’ only defense that He used against the temptation of Satan was the Word.  It will do the same for you!

Take my word for nothing; go to the Source and read it for yourself.  And as always to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be all the Glory forever.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Trip Home.

Good morning!

It has been a while since my last post.  David and I went to spend some time with our daughter and grandkids in Ohio.  It had been almost a year since we had seen them and the Lord blessed us with a wonderful visit.  It was the trip home that I would like to share with you all this morning.

We got a late start leaving our daughter’s house.  It was 4 p.m. our time and 5 p.m. her time, which is the beginning of rush hour on  Friday evening so let’s just say we were not the only ones trying to get out of the city. As we traveled westward the skies became more ominous as well.  I checked the radar several times for Indiana and saw that they were having heavy rains right across the area we would be going.

As we left Ohio and crossed into Indiana the sun was setting below the thunderstorm clouds in  magnificent shades of orange and red.  Traveling as we were due west it was straight ahead of us.  The lightening was the kind that splinters and spider-webs across the sky tracing the outline of the clouds.  I tried to get pictures of it but my camera could not do it justice. It was tempting to just pull over to witness the incredible show the Heavens were displaying.   David and I talked about the power that was behind the sunset and the lightening for quite a while; both of us exclaiming our amazement  at each lightening bolt.  People all around us were flying by on the highway as if we were standing still; the speed limit seems only a suggestion to some.  Of course I do not know what the other travelers were thinking as they headed toward the sunset, but it made me wonder how many were actually thinking of the power of God being displayed around them.  We were all traveling the road for a reason.  Some like David and I were trying to get back home; some were no doubt leaving home for another destination.  We all had a plan in our own minds of where we wanted to end up, but was it God’s plan?

On the highway not far from Courtney’s house there was a lighted information sign about the number of highway deaths in Ohio this year.  We passed the sign several times on our visit with her and watched the number steadily climb.  We passed it as we went to the local mall, to her spa appointment, and to get gas.  Each time we had a plan as to where we were going.  We would get in the vehicle and head out with no fear.  We were as certain that the setting sun would rise again that we would make it to where we intended to go, but we do not know for sure.  Each one of the people represented by a number on that sign thought they were going somewhere else; they never expected to be on the highway to eternity.

I have heard people ask for a sign from Heaven that God is for real; friend, the signs are all around us.  From the magnificence of the setting sun, to the flash of lightening the universe proclaims the power of our God.  I know that without it being His will for us to make it home we would have been a number on that highway sign.  Is that hard to come to grips with?  Maybe for some.  But I understand Who has made me, and by His will I draw my next breath.  This life is uncertain to us, but there are no surprises in Heaven.  Trust in the Lord to guide your footsteps.  Pray to be always in His will.

Take my word for nothing; go to the Source and read it for yourself.  And as always to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be all the Glory forever.