Monday, April 20, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. 
                                  Romans 12:13 (NLT)

This may seem like a foreign idea to many of us.  Many of us eat on the run so much that we don't think about inviting guests home for dinner.  We surely don't often think about people we know needing lodging and are hesitant of making our place of residence a homeless shelter.

The concept here is hospitality.  How might you show hospitality to people today?  Look for ways, not forgetting that being hospitable can often times be inconvenient.  Are you willing to give up a little to give a little?  God was!  As a matter of fact, He gave up a lot!

In the love of Christ,

greg

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
                                    Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

It seems as though there were people in the first century like many people of today.  They quit coming together to worship.  They might have been afraid of persecution.  They might have gotten lazy.  They might have fallen away from the faith.

Today people have their own reasons.  Something more important has come up; a fishing trip, a ball game, a weekend away enjoying life’s pleasures, something.  Or maybe they don’t feel the need because, as we know, the bible doesn’t teach that we must go to church to be saved.  Or maybe they’ve gotten mad at someone in the church or not agreed with a decision and have decided simply not to be a part of it.  Or maybe church seems boring to them and not relevant for their life.

I could go on and on with excuses why people won’t come to church.  There are, however, a few facts to consider.

1) When you join a church, you make a commitment before God to actually attend.

2) The Church was formed so that people could show love of God in worship and care for each other’s needs.  When we neglect to meet, we tell God that we don’t need the very thing He gave us.

3) Worshiping together is not only defined by making it to this church on Sunday mornings.  We are called to meet together.  Meeting together for worship can be done in a church, in a home, or wherever two or three are gathered to pray and praise and learn about God.  

4) Worshiping together is by God’s design a way of learning about Him and experiencing Him. 

5) God created us for relationships.  We were not meant to be alone.  This is made clear in the Bible where Eve is created to be Adam’s helper and in Ecclesiastes where the author calls being alone “meaningless”.

So let's not neglect meeting together as some have done.

In the love of Christ,

greg

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 
                      1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Have you ever felt troubled and spoke to a friend or loved one about it?  It can help to get things out in the open.  This is definitely better than keeping them bottled up where your blood pressure goes through the roof and you can explode at any given moment.

Talking with people can help us deal with our problems, and it's the same with God.  He wants you to bring your problems to Him just like Jesus explains when he tells those who are heavy laden to bring their burdens to him.  He will listen and will offer you relief if you will listen to Him as well, and give yourself over to Him.

What might be worrying you today.  Take your cares to God...to Christ...through the power of the Holy Spirit by way of prayer.  His ways are best for you.  He will listen.  He will lighten your load.  He will do this "because He cares for you".

In the love of Christ,

greg

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
                                    Matthew 16:22-23 (NIV)

Oh how I wish I could be less like this Peter and more like the Peter who, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached at Pentecost with confidence and power.  I wish I could be like the latter Peter who was used to bring thousands into the Church on that same day.  I wish I would not be like the pre-Pentecost Peter who continued to see things from a human point a view.  I wish I would be more like the Peter, who after the Resurrection and ascension actually saw things from God's perspective.

Each day we’re tempted to see things from our own perspective, which is highly influenced by the world around us instead of the teachings of Jesus.  We determine that things are right or wrong, acceptable or not by the set of values we decide on.  Sometimes these values that we hold dear are greatly in line with the will of God.  Sometimes there are some areas where they are in disagreement.  And then there are those times in which our value, our view, is simply contrary to what God teaches us through His Word. 

Will we be courageous enough to seek God’s ways even when they are contrary to all of what our mind and heart is saying is right?  Will we strive to understand better what He desires for us instead of what we think is best?

Believe it or not, God’s ways are better than our ways.  Everything that He teaches us, even the things we do not like, is for the benefit of us, and those around us.  Yet we continue to be like the pre-Pentecost Peter who did “not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 

Let us strive to be totally devoted to God’s will in our lives.  Let us fight the temptation of thinking that we know what is better than what Jesus teaches.  Let us be like the post-Pentecost Peter and be used by Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit to affect lives around us.

In the love of Christ,

greg

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before.  You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message.  And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it. 
                             1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NLT)

We all love Good news.  It might be the host of a banquet that says "Mr. Hazelrig, you just won the door prize and it's a new car".  It might be the daughter and son-in-law who come in and say "Guess what Mom & Dad, we're pregnant.  Your gonna be grandparents."  It might be the letter that you open that announces that you made it into the college you have been dreaming about all your life.  It might be the doctor who cheerfully tells you that the tests are back and everything looks fine. 

Yes, we all love good news.  And that's exactly what Paul had been spreading.  His was the good news that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day." (Verse 3)  And then he appeared to many as proof of this resurrection.   

If Jesus had merely died and was buried, the process wouldn't be complete.  We wouldn't have a risen Savior who had defeated death for us.  But instead we would have had a man...a great man maybe...but still a man.   

But the Good News is that our Savior is for real.  People may try to disprove Him.  Some my claim He was nothing other than a prophet.  Others will claim that the miracles, including the resurrection, never actually occurred.  But those with true faith will not be bent...will not be persuaded otherwise.   

Let us remember Jesus this day as a friend, a king, a brother, our Lord and especially our Savior.  And then let us continually give him thanks for this Good News the rest of this day.

In the love of Christ, 

greg