Why do we crave acceptance? – DP – 03/22/17

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As humans we are hard-wired to compare ourselves with others I think. Am I taller, shorter, richer, poorer, better-looking, smarter or the like. No matter the characteristic, even if we feel inferior or superior when it all is tabulated we want to be accepted for what we are. Yes, acceptance is a basic human need. Some people have had to fight for it, like the African Americans forced into slavery over two hundred years ago during the building of this great nation. Even now in some places their acceptance is still a work in progress.

Can I tell you about total acceptance no matter your station in life? It is something offered by the creator of this world, all worlds really. God gave us a pathway to all encompassing acceptance if we are just willing to submit to Him. We can find the instructions for this wonderful promise in John Chapter 14 and verse 6.

 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 KJV

Jesus came to earth two thousand years ago, lived among men and taught about this very path. All who accept Him and make him lord of their life not only find acceptance but gain an eternal home with Him in heaven. Acceptance for all no matter where you are from, what your bank account balance may be, the color of your skin or any other human marker that can be a source of discrimination.

In fact discrimination is nothing God ever engages in. He sees our heart. Now of course if you reject Him he will leave you alone to consider your mistake. But the acceptance everyone craves is always there for the taking. We just have to get over our stubborn nature and resistance to humility.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/acceptance/

Immerse – DP – 03/14/17

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Do you ever take time to immerse yourself in an activity? Sure you do. I certainly do. Reading, writing, working outside in the garden or with our flower beds, spending time with my wife and kids, the examples never end. When we immerse ourselves in any activity we set aside all other things to concentrate on a single pursuit.

To be sure the example I will share today is nothing like the experience or commitment of men and women around the world who take on the role of being a missionary that shares God’s love and truth of his Word around the world. No, my limited experience, a grand total of 23 days in a foreign country is only a small sample of the commitment of those I have so much admiration.

In 2012 the first opportunity to immerse in another country came to me as I joined another three individuals from my church along with nine others for a mission trip to the country of Belize. Now hold on, don’t get all judgmental on me thinking of the resorts and tourist traps of the beautiful country. Our time was centered around the capital, Belmopan, and the greatest experience for me was meeting a missionary that I have become very good friends with in the time since.

2013 pictures 625When I met Carol Heath on that day in December of 2012 I was just another American visiting the country she has adopted as her new home. What she did not know was that for weeks before I had asked God to show me some way I could affect good in the world. I asked him to lay a burden on my heart when he showed me this truth. When I stepped off our old white Bluebird bus to see Heart House, the place where Carol changes the world for the children of Maya Mopan, the village surrounding, I could feel God telling me to pay attention.

2013 pictures 623Beginning that December the immersion changed with knowledge about what could be done to assist in growing Heart House and the ministry involved. Heart House has changed remarkably, which I ascribe as a testament of following God’s direction in faith. My Christian experience has been enriched by extension. Knowing that my church through our efforts are helping share the burden for Carol and Heart House is some kind of wonderful way to further God’s kingdom.

Looking ahead it is my hope and prayer I can make my fourth journey to this place in December. My first try to immerse was exciting for a different reason. But this time it will be so familiar and anticipated I expect to have a great time.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/immerse/

Record – Can you be convicted?

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Okay so let’s talk about this Daily Post topic, record. I suspect many people will choose to talk about the spinning disc that holds music. I hope so, I will be looking to see what songs people choose to write about. I am taking a different approach. What I have in mind is directly tied to the blog I chose to host this post, Living the J.O.Y. Principle. That’s right I will apply this to Christian faith.

One of the greatest questions I have ever heard from the pulpit goes similar to this: If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? In other words what does you Record show? Can you be held accountable for what you do for Christ?

I suppose there is a dichotomy in how we answer that question. On the one hand we are to do things for Christ without looking for praise. But on another we need to know from others if what we do meets the requirements of service God puts before us. Perhaps one of the most basic things we can do to ensure we are building a valid record is to at least follow the Great Commission.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Go and tell. Pretty basic instructions that are easy enough for anyone to follow. In truth when all the dust settles this will be the piece of our record that will mean the most. Tell everyone you encounter about what God has done for you so they can have the opportunity to enjoy the same.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/record/

 

Nervous – DP – 03/08/17

nervous.JPGDo you worry? So much that it accumulates in making you nervous? Truthfully everyone worries about something I suppose, but we receive instruction in the beginning book of the New testament about how we can handle this all too human tendency.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 KJV
With the overload of information these days we see way more bad in real time on our devices than ever before. Subsequently our minds are filled with the thoughts of all the potential things that could affect our life on a daily if not moment by moment basis. This is really just another tool of the Enemy, albeit a twenty-first century one.
Satan is a master at playing to our weaknesses. He will figure them out quickly and use them to undermine our best effort to serve him. So the above verse can serve us well as a reminder to not pull on extra burdens unnecessarily. Do what you can do the best you can within the guidelines of the god book and begin afresh when the sun rises again.

Oversight – God sees, but you control

There are many reasons identified as to why people will not trust in God to give them life-saving salvation. The promise of eternal life seems pretty sweet to me, but I have been a Christian for more than three decades, so my belief in the concept has been solidified by many hours of learning from men of God teaching from the Holy Bible. Also, I benefit from the experience of seeing God’s movement in my life as I keep his truths as my guide.

Perhaps the most halting thought for those stopping at the deciding line for trust in Jesus is the concept of oversight. It may be  due to the knowledge that God is omniscient, meaning he sees everything: past, present and future.

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139 1-3 King James Version (KJV)

We live in a culture where more is known about us than ever before. Credit cards, online shopping, store loyalty cards, surveys and any number of other subtle devices are used to track any and every aspect of our lives. Yet people will hesitate on what I consider the most important decision of their life because they don’t like the thought that Jesus will see what they are doing or thinking.

I have lived with his knowledge for a long time and I find it very comforting. Why? Is it because I know He will keep me from doing something I shouldn’t? No. It is not like that. God blessed/cursed us with free will. We are blessed because we get to make our own choices. But we are cursed in the same way. God lets us decide what we want to do. But if you choose God to guide your life you should also want to do the kind of things that please Him.

I like the fact that God has oversight. I know he will gently tap my conscience when I am doing or thinking about doing something inconsistent with my faith. Then the burden is on me to make an effort to either step away from the thought or situation. He has oversight, but we still maintain control. It is when people understand that his offer seems more palatable I guess.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/oversight/

Overworked -Jesus Will Give You Rest

Who isn’t overworked in 2017? The race to achieve and keep up with everyone drives so many people to overextend. But I want to focus on a different aspect. I want to talk about being overworked trying to maintain your Christian witness in this busy, mortal world.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthey 11:28 KJV

Jesus already knew we would need someone to take on the burdens of our life, whether work, illness, family issues or whatever accumulates on your mind, heart and body. Let’s face it, sometimes going through a day of life can seem so much like work. Throw in a speed bump are too and we can feel overworked really quickly.

Nowhere in the Holy Bible does Jesus say directly or promise through his heavenly inspired book authors that the path would be easy when you become a Christian. What He promises is that you will not be alone, that He will guide you, under gird you and show you how to complete your life with Christian love and His strength. Will you still have the same situation? Maybe. But you will have the comfort of knowing you are not alone and He can do all things to assist as you navigate your troubles.

The rest he promises will be something you can bank on. A promise you will not get from any other person that means so much. Not to say all of us do not have friends we can count on, but God is there 24x7X365, which is usually when we need the assistance. His promises are more solid than we can comprehend.

Maintaining your Christian witness while you live in a world quickly pulling farther away from biblical values is challenging. But thankfully there are still men of God and churches delivering important instruction on how to keep your witness solid. We just have to be willing to submit to the instruction as we guard our hearts and minds.

I have been able to enjoy this promise for many years and can attest to the richness of Jesus’ promises. Won’t you trust Him with your concerns today?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overworked/

Marathon – A Life Long Race of Faith

Tell us your thoughts about the word Marathon, because that is the Daily Post word of the day today.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:                                            2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)

I find myself more often considering the life led by those I know who have finished their course on the earth and moved on to their heavenly reward. Of course I mean those who have followed Christ in salvation and will reap their eternal reward of a life with Jesus forever.

This mortal life for those who choose to follow Christ can certainly become a marathon as we try to navigate the pitfalls that can complicate your Christian faith. In the verse above Paul is talking about just such a struggle. Sometimes it is more like a fight to get through without compromising your values or beliefs. But Christ encourages us remain strong, stay on the narrow path hold strong to our faith and finish the marathon.

In order to accomplish this we must invest ourselves in learning what our faith requires. Staying true is an everyday, even every minute task. Temptations will come in many forms to trip us up. But as I have written about recently God always provides an exit from temptation. Just as a runner must work and train for their marathon race we must put in the time to prepare our heart and mind. But the marathon victory reward is so sweet that you will be happy you did.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/marathon/