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AskMe #2438909 10/29/10 07:23 AM
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Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)
11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

It is a weakness when a person throws open the gates of their frustrations and they act upon whatever thoughts may come to mind. Any thought whether helpful or harmful is spewed forth and vented unfairly upon another. The reflections and thoughts might not even be pertinent. They are quickly mouthed without counsel and will usually lead to greater distress. But those who are wise have learned the proper ways to express anger and not allow it to build to a point of rage. They hold back their thoughts, often seeking out advice and listening closely to others to reserve their words for a proper time and place.

A wife gave her husband a list of items for a Halloween party. She said to be sure to get everything on the list and nothing more. Before getting to the store, the husband misplaced the list and thought instead of calling his wife he would just pick up some items. After all, how hard is it to plan a party? Walking through the aisles he became distracted with the costumes. He thought, maybe I�ll buy one of these, wear it home and surprise the wife. After putting on the costume and parking his truck away from the house, and then walking down the street to his house the husband rang the doorbell. He could hear his wife approaching the door, but before the door opened he heard, �You better not be my husband dressed in a stupid Halloween costume without bringing back those items on the shopping list.� Sometimes it is just prudent not to respond for you know you have done wrong. And while the attempt was to surprise his wife; the husband forgot about the feelings of the wife, the need to bring back her complete list, and not make her feel let down. It was time to be sympathetic to her feelings and acknowledge his wrong and return to buy what she asked for.

AskMe #2439320 11/01/10 05:25 AM
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2 Chronicles 7:19-22 (NLT)
19 �But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 20 then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make it an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 21 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled. They will ask, �Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?�
22 �And the answer will be, �Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why he has brought all these disasters on them.��

God had promised King David his son Solomon would build a great temple to honor Him. Now the temple was complete and had been dedicated to the Lord. In these verses the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream after the dedication. God tells Solomon as long as the people obey and follow Him the temple will remain great, but if the people abandon God then God will abandon them and the temple built to honor Him.

As we read the Old Testament we find that God�s people did abandon the Lord and follow the ways of other gods. Just as God promised the temple was destroyed. Assyrian and Babylonian invasions overtook the people which lead to the destruction of the temple. In America we need to remember God has given us a country and we have shown Him honor for it in the past. But slowly we have allowed ourselves to follow things which do not honor or praise the true God. As we have an opportunity to vote tomorrow do so with God in mind that we should vote for those who place Him first in their lives.

AskMe #2439630 11/02/10 05:54 AM
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1 John 3:20-21 (NLT)
20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don�t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

The apostle writes about when we reflect upon ourselves and we find a court of conviction that passes judgment on our relationship with God. This reflection acts as witness, judge, and executioner. We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves. We will condemn the actions we have taken or we will justify them. Our conscience is a spotlight showing our guilt. However, God already knows our guilt and he wants us to come to Him in bold confidence knowing that He will forgive whatever we confess to him.

Robert Webber writes in his book, Who Gets to Narrate the World, he was traveling on a plane reading Christian material. A man sitting next to him from an Eastern culture asked if he was a religious man. The man responded he was religious also. Robert asked him to sum up his belief in one sentence and the man said, �We all are a part of the problem, and we are all part of the solution. After talking for a bit Robert asked the man if he would like to hear a one-liner to sum up Christianity and man responded he would. Robert said this, �We all are a part of the problem, but there is only one man who is the solution and His name is Jesus Christ.�

God sent His son Jesus to die for our sin. God wants us to confess that sin to Him. However, God does not want us to carry around a burden of guilt for that sin. Instead God wants us to remember He already knows our sin and that is why He gave up His Son Jesus. When guilt comes upon us for sin it is a reminder of our sin, but we should not let that guilt hold us down. We should approach God in confidence knowing He forgives us and reachs out to us in love.

AskMe #2439934 11/03/10 07:04 AM
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1 Corinthians 10:27-30 (NLT)
27 If someone who isn�t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28 (But suppose someone tells you, �This meat was offered to an idol.� Don�t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?

The apostle speaks to Christians about dining with non-Christians in their homes. There were times meat offered in sacrifice would be eaten as a part of the meal. The apostle encourages those who eat in the home of these infidels not to raise questions about the food and to eat it in freedom. The exception would be if the food was presented in a way that says �eat of this sacrificial food and honor our gods with us.� In Christ there is freedom to eat the food for which we give praise, but we must also take care not to give honor to anyone but the true God in what we do. So while we give peaceful consideration to others, we must also be alert to stand strong on our convictions with unwavering posture.

It seems Christians are still stuck on religious rules almost 2000 years after the death of Christ. I remember my grandmother saying dancing and movies were forbidden when she was a teen. There are some who even try to impose self made rules upon others. Yet we have to remember it is our relationship with Christ that guides our lives. If we are reading God�s word, praying, and really taking the time to listen to the Lord; the Holy Spirit speaks to us confirming or condemning our actions. Most of us might say it is our conscience speaking, but it is God showing us the right path and that path has no shame associated with it. We must also take caution if we are not maintaining a relationship with Christ then we are subject to sin and follow in that sin; for apart from Christ we can do nothing on our own. So when you act according to what God would have you do. Remember not to carry ideas conceived by men, instead listen to Christ. An action itself it not sinful unless we know it is what God would not have us to do or we fail to do what He is telling us to do. Back to my grandmother, dancing is not sinful, but it can be made sinful by inappropriate behavior. Movies are not sinful, but they can be when they defile God. So remember to live according to God and not according to the religious rules of man.


AskMe #2440364 11/04/10 06:36 AM
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Ephesians 2:14-16 (NLT)
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

In these verses the apostle expresses the great privileges both Jews and Gentiles receive from Christ. He shows there were a system of laws and commandments separating Jew and Gentile, but now those laws have been put aside in order to bring reconciliation to all. The Gentiles had never been allowed to enter into the court of God�s temple, but now they could enter into the presence of God�s holiness. The death and resurrection of Christ took away the binding of the ceremonial law and placed a law that was much greater upon the hearts of man. The law that lives through Christ in the hearts of man brings conviction and a desire for repentance.

The famous Will Rogers had a quote that said, �Live so that you wouldn�t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.� Many of us try to cover up and hide the sin present in our life. We can be driving to church having an argument with our kids or spouse and as soon as the car doors open we are smiling at the unsuspecting. We can present one image to our coworkers or friends, but then be living a complete lie away from them. The reason this happens is because we are powerless over sin. We try to manage the sin and cover it up as best as possible by our own strength and power. God�s intent is for us to let Christ live through us. Corinthians tells us Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. We know through Christ comes the power of salvation. To quote the first item from the 12 step program, �We must admit we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.� Addiction is just one sin, and there are many sins we are powerless over. Admit to God you are powerless over sin and you need Christ to take control of your life and guide each and every decision. Walk closely with Christ so that you may know how to live life.

AskMe #2441243 11/08/10 06:54 AM
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Genesis 3:1-4 (NLT)
1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, �Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?� 2 �Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,� the woman replied. 3 �It�s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, �You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.�� 4 �You won�t die!� the serpent replied to the woman. 5 �God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.�

This story recounts the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The temptation offered by the serpent was �AND YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD.� Satan understood this temptation well for he himself had fallen to it and so had the angels who fell supporting Satan. Their desire was to be like God and their desire cost them the rewards of heaven.

Let�s take a moment to reflect upon our original purpose. We were created in the image of God, to be with God, to have a relationship and fellowship with God. Our lives were to be unobstructed by the view of sin and our wisdom was to be directed by God. Our lives would have been free from pain and misery. Our burdens would have been simple. God our creator was ready to watch over us and take care of all our needs. Yet man decided he wanted to be like God. Man without thought took on the responsibility of trying to be God without having the power to be God. Man was incapable of dealing with sin, afflictions, suffering, pain and burden, but his choice cost him exactly that. Even now we try to handle problems our own way and seek out our own solutions without God�s help. Overpowered by the burdens of the world we turn to things other than God hoping they will give us support or relief from our suffering. Yet it is all in vain unless we humble ourselves before God, admit our sin, admit our flaws, and seek His wisdom. God still cares about us and wants us with Him in heaven, but God has also given us the freedom to choose because we wanted that choice. And yet that choice cost us dearly and cost Christ even much more. Pray you will turn over the areas of your life where you are trying to act as God. Maybe you are trying to control others or situations. Maybe you are taking on more than you can handle thinking you can do it all. Jesus told us his yoke was easy and his burden was light. Let�s fully turn our lives over to Jesus and live as close to God as He intended.

AskMe #2441534 11/09/10 07:29 AM
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1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NLT)
32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord�s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

The Apostle Paul writes to the church of Corinth about the distractions of life. In these verses Paul does not discourage marriage, but instead encourages to do what is best to serve the Lord with the fewest possible distractions. In Christ there are no restrictions and in our devotion to the Lord we must always choose what is best to serve Him.

Later in the book of Corinthians the apostle gives an example of keeping focused. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 he says, �Don�t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.� Paul kept his life focused on the Lord so as not to get distracted. He saw the goal of eternal life with Christ. He intently served the Lord knowing one day he would be with the Lord in heaven. What distracts you from serving the Lord in this short life here on earth? Some allow life itself to become a distraction. Some allow objects to become their desire that distracts them from God. Some give into addictions because it is a distraction from painful feelings, but also distracts them from connecting with the Lord. So pray with me that we may remove the distractions of life and see the purpose God has given us. Let us serve with intent and keep our eyes on Christ in heaven. May God bless you always.

AskMe #2441901 11/10/10 09:20 AM
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1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (NLT)
1 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that �we all have knowledge� about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn�t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

The Apostle Paul goes on further in Corinthians to explain this comment. So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. Paul recognizes there are some new Christians practicing old rituals. There is however those who knew the one true God and now know Christ that understand the truth in regard to this matter. It is not the food that defiles, but sin. Later Paul cautions about using this liberty of understanding so as not to tempt weaker Christians.

There was a story of a faithful priest who helped the mentally challenged. The priest had gotten a young man into a health facility to help him with his mental challenges. Later the priest wanted to visit this young man and the staff at the facility was excited to hear of the upcoming visit. When the priest arrived he was taken to the Golden Room for lunch. The young man he came to see was not there so he inquired where he was. The staff responded, �Oh, patients are not allowed in the Golden Room.� At that point the priest said he would have to eat elsewhere so he could visit his friend. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to hear this priest speak the staff arranged for the young man to eat in the Golden Room. Isn�t it amazing how rules can be broken when it seems appropriate to do so? In Christ we have full freedom and while we are encouraged not to sin there are rules man has made. These rules often dominate us and we forget that Christ has called us to serve Him and not rules. Make sure Christ is leading you to do what is right, what is necessary, and what is just.

AskMe #2442250 11/11/10 07:43 AM
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Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice�the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don�t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God�s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

In these verses the apostle leads us to our duty to God. We surrender ourselves to God. We must be willing to give up who we are in the world and allow Christ to work through us to transform us into a living and holy sacrifice. We allow God to work in our lives to bring a close and intimate fellowship with Him. Allowing Christ to work in our lives we learn from Him instead of copying behaviors and customs from the world.

In the New Living Translation version of The Bible, it says in Mark 2:15, �Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus� followers.) � From this verse we know Jesus did not separate himself from the sinners of the world. Jesus was around many people who the Jewish leaders considered to be very immoral. However, we also know Jesus was without sin so even though Jesus was in a setting with many immoral people, Jesus was Himself, behaving as He would and not committing sin. He was there to minister to sinners and where else could He minister if He was not right in their midst. As Christians we are called to minister to sinners. We cannot separate ourselves from them, but we can keep from following behaviors of the world. Some of us are at different points in our Christian walk. Some have matured and can restrain from sin. Other may be weak and may need to keep a distance from certain situations. For instance I met a man whose internet company filters out adult material as a service. It is his job to review a website and decide if the site needs to be blocked by the service. There are some people who may not be able to do that job. In the same way there are some Christians who may not be ready to minister to certain people. But as Christ matures us and transforms us we gain the confidence to minister without being a part of the world. Pray God would continue to transform you away from the behaviors of the world and you more towards being like Christ. Minister to those in need and do not look down on sinners, but instead graciously see their need to be removed from the sin they live in.

AskMe #2442529 11/12/10 06:50 AM
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Luke 15:1-7 (NLT)
1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people�even eating with them! 3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 �If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won�t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, �Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.� 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven�t strayed away!

In these verses we find the religious leaders complaining about Jesus associating with noted sinners. They could not believe Jesus would even sit down and have a meal with such people. Jesus responded to them that a shepherd would do all he could to rescue one lost sheep and then rejoice when it was found and brought back to the herd. How much greater is it when a lost sinner is sought after, found, and then brought to fellowship with God. There Pharisees were shepherds of people, but they were not interested in rescuing sinners. Their interest was in condemning them for their sinful actions.


Let's suppose that on your way to work each morning, you usually stop at a Starbucks. You tend to get to the store at the same time each morning, and you usually see a young girl who gets there about the same time you do. On many mornings you find yourselves standing next to each other in line. In fact, you both order the same thing�double espresso with skim milk.

She seems to be into the gothic culture�black hair, black clothes, knee-high jackboots, black fingernails, black lipstick, piercings in the nose, lips, ears, and eyebrows, and scattered tattoos. She usually has a backpack that she has to take off to get her money, and sometimes it seems hard for her to hold the backpack, get the money, and pay for the coffee all at the same time.

She doesn't make too much eye contact with others. You wonder whether you should strike up a conversation with her�maybe offer to hold her backpack while she pays. You're not sure what to do with the whole gothic bit, and you don't know whether she'd give you a dark look and not say anything.

Should you try to be friendly? Maybe find out what brings you both to the same Starbucks each morning? See if she ever tries any of the other specialty coffees? Move toward greeting her each morning? Learn about other parts of her life? Yes! By all means! Move into her world. Make a comment one day about how the barista probably already knows both of your orders as soon as you walk in the door. Offer to hold her backpack while she pays. A couple of days later, tell her your name and ask for hers. If she misses a few days, tell her you hope she wasn't sick the next time you see her.

Why move into her world? Because with the eyes of a doctor, you see a hurt that God can heal. You see an anger and alienation. Maybe it's because of sexual abuse from a stepfather, a brother, or an old boyfriend. But you see the heaviness, the sadness. With the eyes of a doctor, you see a hurt that God can heal.

There's a man at work that everybody shakes their head at. He's been divorced a couple of times, and both of his ex-wives are suing him for past child support. He's a deadbeat dad�way behind on his support, sending them just a little bit, every so often. He's been living with another woman and her small child, but a couple of weeks ago, he slapped her around pretty hard. She called the cops, he spent a couple nights in jail, and she kicked him out and now has a restraining order against him. He's currently living in one of the cheap motels that rents by the month.

Every day at lunch, he goes out by himself to get a hamburger or a burrito, always coming back with mustard or chili on his shirt. Nobody talks very much to him, because he's too quick to complain about how everybody's taking advantage of him, everybody's pushing his buttons, everybody's squeezing him dry. Who wants to listen to that?

You've often wondered about being nice and offering to go to lunch with him. You like the same fast food he does�Burger King and Taco Bell and Subway. And you know Subway has a sale going on�three foot-long sandwiches for $10. You couldn't possibly eat that much, but it seems like a shame not to take advantage of such a bargain.

Should you invite him along one day? Yes! By all means! Move into his world. Go to lunch with him. When you get to Subway and you both sit down with your sandwiches and chips and drinks, ask him if he's watched any of the baseball playoffs. Who's he rooting for in the World Series? Mention that it's been just about the worst umpiring you've ever seen.

Why move into his world? Because with the eyes of a doctor, you see a hurt that God can heal. You see a bitterness at life, failing at relationships, blaming others instead of knowing how to change himself. You sense his fear of the future�no money, a criminal record on the books�and his desperation over being all alone in the world. With the eyes of a doctor, you see a hurt that God can heal.

Your company has a co-ed softball team that competes in the city league, and they're looking for a couple of extra players. You like softball. You like the feel of connecting on a pitch, running down a fly ball, making a clothesline throw on one hop to home plate to nail a runner trying to score. The first game is next Tuesday, and they're pushing you to join them.

But you're not sure. You like softball, but you don't know about playing with the people in the office. You went to a company picnic a couple of months ago, where there was a pickup softball game, and some of the guys were drinking a lot of beer, getting pretty raunchy in their comments about some of the women on the other team. Some of the wives of your coworkers were loud-mouthed, and they flirted with other husbands. The parents yelled mean things at their children but did nothing to control them. And in the parking lot, one of the married men from the office who had come to the picnic by himself was behind his pickup truck going at it pretty heavy with one of the single moms in the office. Do you want to deal with all that every week? Should you join the team? Yes! By all means! Move into their world. Get to the park, shag those balls, and run those bases. Bring some Cokes to put in with their beers. When one of the women on the other team lines it into a gap between center and left for a stand-up double, instead of questioning her sexual preference, shout out, "Great hit! Did you play in college?" Buy a cheap glove for the single mom's kid, ask if he wants to be batboy, have him sit beside you on the bench, and teach him the strategies of the game.

Why move into their world? Because with the eyes of a doctor, you see their hurts that God can heal. You see that the machismo and the raunchiness merely disguise insecurity and failure. You see marriages where there's no love and children that don't have the security of boundaries. You see the single mom's loneliness and vulnerability that puts her at risk of being deeply hurt. With the eyes of a doctor, you see the hurts that God can heal.

In life we can have the eyes of a judge or we can have the eyes of a doctor. The eyes of a judge see a gothic girl, a deadbeat dad, and a foul-mouthed team, leave us thinking, Why have anything to do with them? The eyes of a doctor see the hurts that God can heal. [Donald Sunukjian, in the sermon "The Eyes of a Doctor," PreachingToday.com | posted 7/12/2010]


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Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT)
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ�s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation�the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ�for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

In these verses the apostle speaks of his prayers for the Philippians. He prays their love for others will grow. He prays their knowledge and understanding of Christ will grow. He prays their lives will be lived out in purity and be found blameless. He prays that the Holy Spirit will be at work in their lives developing their character which give God the glory.

In his book, Connecting (Word, 1997), Larry Crabb writes: A friend of mine was raised in an angry family. Mealtimes were either silent or sarcastically noisy. Down the street was an old-fashioned house with a big porch where a happy family lived. My friend told me that when he was about ten, he began excusing himself from his dinner table as soon as he could without being yelled at, and walking to the old-fashioned house down the street. If he arrived during dinnertime, he would crawl under the porch and just sit there, listening to the sounds of laughter. When he told me this story, I asked him to imagine what it would have been like if the father in the house somehow knew he was huddled beneath the porch and sent his son to invite him in. I asked him to envision what it would have meant to him to accept the invitation, to sit at the table, to accidentally spill his glass of water, and hear the father roar with delight, "Get him more water! And a dry shirt! I want him to enjoy the meal!"

God our Father wants the same for us. He wants us to grown in our understanding of Him and to know we are loved. He wants us to become more like his Son and live a good a pleasing life. Pray God will continue to give you wisdom and bring you closer to Him knowing that one day you will be dining and fellowshipping in His presence.

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Hebrews 13:6 (NLT)
6 So we can say with confidence, �The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?�

The apostle summarizes the book of Hebrews with some advice. He has told the people of the church to love others, show hospitality, honor marriage, remain faithful, and to be satisfied with what they have. Then he goes on to remind them of God�s words, �I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.� So next we see the verse above that reminds us we should have confidence in the Lord; for God is our Helper and there is nothing to fear from others when we are with God.

I like the acronym for fear that says, �False Emotions Appearing Real.� So often our fears are based on our emotions and not facts. It may be we had one encounter in life with fear and it defined a part of us for the rest of our lives. Let�s say you share something very close and personal with another person and then you find out they spread that information as gossip. What will you fear the next time you have something you need to share? You know the answer; you will fear your intimate and personal information will be spread as gossip to other people. Even if you trust the person you are sharing with you may be hesitant to share a deep and intimate feeling. Fear of what will happen is what holds you back from connecting in your fellowship with another. But God tells us not to fear and that He can handle any situation that comes our way. Ok, so maybe someone will betray your trust, but God can handle that. Maybe you fear the emotions you want to express, but God can show you someone who will listen. Do not let fear be a hindrance to your life. Instead turn that fear over to God remembering that he will never fail you nor forsake you. In fact God just might show you how strong you are at handling fear if you allow Him to.

AskMe #2443820 11/17/10 07:50 AM
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1 John 2:16 (NLT)
16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

The world is used by the apostle to describe the aggregate of earthly desires. The world is a place corrupted by sin and gives man the desire to crave that which is forbidden. In this verse the apostle lists some of man�s faults, a craving for pleasure, a craving for what we see, and pride that places us and our possessions before God.

I remember the first time I tried out a weight machine at a health club. The gym instructor was showing me how to set the machine. Without paying much attention to the weight or my capabilities he made some adjustments. He said, �Go ahead and give it a try�, and as much as I wanted to I could not push up the weights. The instructor said, �I think I set the weight just a little bit high, let�s start low and work up.� With a lighter setting I was easily able to accomplish the task of lifting the weights, but as the instructor continued to raise the settings I got back to the point where I could not lift them again.

We often think we can handle sin on our own; but the world is continuously making us crave what it offers. As we try to do good to obey God the weight of sin builds up against us. Suddenly we find ourselves trying to lift a burden we cannot handle. It becomes difficult to sustain the heavy lifting of obedience and we find ourselves suddenly unable to budge the burden. It is why Jesus said for us to count on Him. For He tells us �my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.� When you find yourself craving the world turn to Jesus and ask Him to carry the load with you. Pray Christ would always give you the strength to do what is right and good in God�s sight.

AskMe #2445243 11/22/10 07:31 AM
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Romans 14:12-13 (NLT)
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let�s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

The apostle wrote the church about the dangers of criticism. Christians were engaged in various arguments from what day was best to worship; what foods should be eaten and which should not; and how one was to honor the Lord. The apostle said we should quite condemning each other and instead consider ourselves and how we live out our Christian life. The apostle said we should do so in a way that keeps other believers from falling away.

A grocery store check-out clerk once wrote to advice-columnist Ann Landers to complain that she had seen people buy "luxury" food items�like birthday cakes and bags of shrimp�with their food stamps. The writer went on to say that she thought all those people on welfare who treated themselves to such non-necessities were "lazy and wasteful." A few weeks later Lander's column was devoted entirely to people who had responded to the grocery clerk. One woman wrote: I didn't buy a cake, but I did buy a big bag of shrimp with food stamps. So what? My husband had been working at a plant for fifteen years when it shut down. The shrimp casserole I made was for our wedding anniversary dinner and lasted three days. Perhaps the grocery clerk who criticized that woman would have a different view of life after walking a mile in my shoes. Another woman wrote: I'm the woman who bought the $17 cake and paid for it with food stamps. I thought the check-out woman in the store would burn a hole through me with her eyes. What she didn't know is the cake was for my little girl's birthday. It will be her last. She has bone cancer and will probably be gone within six to eight months. [Terrie Williams, The Personal Touch (Warner Books, 1994)]

Sometimes we are quick to criticize because we have created beliefs that are ours and not God�s. We see things only through the eyes of the world and miss out on what God has to say to us. Next time before being critical of someone ask God how your criticism might affect that person and what their criticism of you might be. Live in such a way that you will not cause other believers to stumble and fall.

AskMe #2445661 11/23/10 07:33 AM
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Romans 14:17-18 (The Message)
17 -18 God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

The apostle speaks to the heart of Christianity; the Christian Life is not about trivial rules or laws; it is about allowing God to work in their life through Christ. The Christian should have one purpose in mind and that is to serve Christ. In serving Christ one not only pleases God, but also proves themself to those who see and hear their actions.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:10, �In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.� Propitiation is not a word commonly use in everyday language so I refer to the Webster�s dictionary. Webster�s says propitiation is the act of propitiating, which does not help much. So look a little further to see propitiate is - to gain or regain the favor of goodwill. When man sinned we lost favor with God. Our sin made us unacceptable. However God loved us so much He gave His son Jesus Christ to die as a perfect and holy sacrifice so we could regain the favor of God�s goodwill and be made acceptable once again.

AskMe #2445999 11/24/10 07:39 AM
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Revelation 7:9-12 (NLT)
9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a mighty shout, �Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!� 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. 12 They sang, �Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.�

In the revelation given to John, John sees a crowd to vast to number or count. There are people from every country and different races all standing before The Living Christ. They give praise and thanksgiving to God and Christ for the salvation they have received. Their shouts of praise turned to song as they worship God and Christ, praising them for who they are.

Today is the day before our national holiday of Thanksgiving. However let�s be real for a moment and say there are some people who feel they cannot enjoy giving thanks. They have been wounded and hurt. They have been devastated or grieved by the loss of loved ones. They are overwhelmed by the situations of life and feel no hope. The apostle said in Romans 15:13 NLT translation, �I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.� I offer that pray today. May God restore your joy, may God restore your hope, and may God heal and restore whatever has been broken. May we once again lift our voices in giving thanks to you?

Heavenly Father, You have blessed us with your son Jesus who is our hope of salvation. Let us start there to give thanks. Let our hope continue in Jesus that He would bring joy, peace and trust into our lives. God encourage us to give thanks because you have poured your love, mercy, grace and salvation upon us. Provide hope, a light to show the way, and a smiling, caring face who understands. Lord I thank you for hearing our prayers. Bless us Lord and restore the joy of our salvation. In Jesus name, Amen

AskMe #2447023 11/29/10 07:24 AM
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2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NLT)
20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

The apostle speaks in a metaphor about those who maintain and persevere in their faith and those who have allowed their faith to fall. Either can be used by God, but those who maintain and persevere in their faith can be used for special occasions and are called to perform honorable tasks for God.

While salt is used as a preservative, it is used mainly in present times to add flavor to food. Some foods just do not taste right without the presence of salt. Salt is meant to enhance the taste of food, but it is not used to take away or call attention to the salt. When something is salted properly we don�t say, �Yum that salt tastes good�, but instead we comment on the flavor of the food we salted. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, �You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.� As Christians we are to be salt to others. We are to enhance other Christian lives. We are to bring out the best in them by being the best we can. Be salt to others by maintaining your faith in Christ.

AskMe #2447328 11/30/10 08:00 AM
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Ecclesiastes 6:10-12 (ESV)
10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. 11 The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

Quoting Matthew Henry, �Solomon lays down his conclusion which he had undertaken to prove, as that which was fully confirmed by the foregoing discourse: There be many things that increase vanity; the life of man is vain, at the best, and there are abundance of accidents that concur to make it more so; even that which pretends to increase the vanity and make it more vexatious��. Thoughtful people are in care to do everything for the best, if they knew it; but as it is an instance of the corruption of our hearts that we are apt to desire that as good for us which is really hurtful, as children that cry for knives to cut their fingers with, so is it an instance of the vanity of this world that what, according to all probable conjectures, seems to be for the best, often proves otherwise; such is our shortsightedness concerning the issues and events of things, and such broken reeds are all our creature-confidences. We know not how to advise others for the best, nor how to act ourselves, because that which we apprehend likely to be for our welfare may become a trap. �

Ever since Adam and Eve took from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, man has been searching in vain to understand what is good and what is evil. In fact most of what we call religion is based on man�s search to understand the difference and to establish good in the lives of people. What we forget is God was right there with Adam and Eve to explain the difference. In their walks with God they had the opportunity to listen to God and hear directly what we might tell a child, �Don�t touch that or you will get burned.� Sin burns when we can�t see it for what it is. We need to stop trying to find out for ourselves what is good and what is evil and instead turn to God for the answers. We need to fellowship with God, listen to what He says and put His words into action. The Bible like a diary does not replace teaching us who a person is, but tells us about their thoughts. If we want to know them intimately then we need to spend time with them and grow in our relationship with them. We need to do that with God so we understand His will for our lives.

AskMe #2448034 12/02/10 07:45 AM
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Proverbs 2:11 (NLT)
11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.

Solomon writes on the virtues of wisdom and in this verse points out wisdom will watch over and preserve those who seek it. Wisdom keeps us from the paths of sin that lead to ruin. God is the originator and provider of wisdom and wisdom should be used to guide our life and arm us against the temptations of the world.

In the Autobiography of George Muller the following quote is given on wisdom. �I need not despair because the living God is my partner. I do not have sufficient wisdom to meet these difficulties, but He is able to direct me. I can pour out my heart to God and ask Him to guide and direct me and to supply me with wisdom. Then I have to believe that He will do so. I can go with good courage to my business and expect help from Him in the next difficulty that may come before me.� On the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire the host of the show will ask the contestant, �Is that your final answer?� It is the contestants last opportunity to get the answer right before making a commitment to it. They have an opportunity to ask a friend for the answer, to ask the audience or narrow the choices down. When we face temptation in life God has given us the wisdom to stop and ponder what we are about to do. If we are uncertain we can ask God, we can ask wise friends, or ask those who are wise in the church for guidance. We have the wisdom to face sin and make the right choices if only we make that choice. Pray for God�s wisdom and put it to use in your life.

AskMe #2448401 12/03/10 08:18 AM
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Philippians 2:14 (KJV))
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

The apostle starts this passage with the thought that all of God�s commands should be done without complaint or argument. This is done so that others may see you as �.(v. 15) blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.

A parrot named Charlie could not fly because its wings had been clipped. The owner would put Charlie out in their garden to enjoy the outdoors, but one day a brisk gust of wind helped Charlie take off. According to the news report Charlie was found a day and a half later. It took 30 people with a boom truck to rescue Charlie from a tree. The reaction of the African Grey parrot as soon as it was rescued was telling everyone to �**** off.� The owner said those were his favorite �swear words�, undoubtedly the owners too. The actor, speaker Will Rogers once said, �Live so that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.� Through Christ God has shown us how to live. In His word we have been told to do so without argument or complaint. What would your family,your parrot, say about the way you live?

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