Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bitter Root

Hebrews 12:20

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.


Recently I was on a youth retreat and two teenagers were having difficulty getting along. As one of the teens was explaining to several adult leaders about many of the events that had happened during the week, I began to recognize several destructive things at work. There was a tree forming, from the bitter root that was filled with anger, gossip, lies, deception and misconceptions. What started out to be a disagreement between two teenagers was now affecting many people. As each of them told their stories to friends at school and within the youth group, there appeared to be opposing teams of people building. The bitter root was causing trouble and affecting many people's lives.

Although feelings of anger and rejection are very real and hard to deal with at times, we must choose to do the right things in these types of situations. Most importantly, we must zip our lips and NOT GOSSIP about others. What he said, she said, you said and we said; needs to be kept under control and expressed to trusting adults, teachers, pastors, or youth leaders. What other things would be important to do in this situation? Also, what does the bible say about love and what are the fruits of the Spirit and of the sinful nature? Look up 1 Corinthians 13 and also Galatians 5:16-22 to answer these questions

Question: What the Bible Says About... Appearance

Question: What the Bible Says About... Appearance

Fashion and appearance reign supreme today. Advertising bombards us with ways to improve our appearance on a daily basis. Shows like “What Not to Wear” and “The Biggest Loser” show people changing the way they look for big ratings. People are being told they are not good looking enough, so why not try botox, plastic surgery like their role models?


The Bible tells us that we need to take a different approach to appearance than fitting into society’s idea of beauty.

What God Finds Important

God doesn't focus on our outward appearance. It is what's on the inside that matters most to Him. The Bible tells us that God's focus is on developing our inner beauty so that it can be reflected in everything we do and what we are.

1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (NIV)

James 1:23 - "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror." (NIV)

But, Trustworthy People Look Good

Do they always? Outward appearance is not the best way to judge how "good" a person is. One example is Ted Bundy. He was a very handsome man who, in the 1970s, murdered woman after woman before he was caught. He was an effective serial killer, because he was very charming and good-looking. People like Ted Bundy serve to remind us that what is on the outside does not always match the inside.

More importantly, look at Jesus. Here is God's Son come to Earth in as a man. Do people recognize His outward appearance as anything but a man? No. Instead he was hung on a cross and died. His own people did not look beyond the outer appearance to see His inner beauty and holiness.

Matthew 23:28 - "In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."(NIV)

Matthew 7:20 - "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."(NIV)

So, Is it Important to Look Good?

Unfortunately we do live in a superficial world where people do judge on appearance. We would all love to say that we are not in the majority, and that we all look beyond what's on the outside, but virtually all of us are influenced by appearances.

Yet, we need to keep appearance in perspective. The Bible tells us that it is important to present ourselves as nicely as possible, but God does not call us to go to extremes. It is important that we remain aware of why we do the things we do to look good. Ask yourself two questions:

•Does your focus on your appearance take your eyes off the Lord?

•Are you more focused on your weight, clothes, or makeup than you are on God?

If you answered, "Yes," to either of the questions then you may need to take a closer look at your priorities. The Bible tells us to look closer at our hearts and actions rather than our presentation and appearance.

Colossians 3:17 - "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (NIV)

Proverbs 31:30 - "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."(NIV)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gospel Of Power

Preaching With Power


1 Thessilonians1:4,5
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

Through this  scripture we see that sharing the gospel is also accompanied with power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. My desire is to see God move upon people in this way. I believe with all my heart,  that if we ask God to reveal himself  in these ways to the people we interact with, that he will. We all need to have  full experiences with the Lord that go far beyond  just another sermon about the bible. Experiences that are  filled with power, Holy Spirit and conviction. May God reveal himself to you in a powerful way today.

God Will Not Listen

God's Closed Ears

Psalms 66:17-18
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This is an important lesson to remember! If there is sin in our life, our prayers will be hindered. Genuine repentance, (recognizing our sin, and turning from it), will allow our prayers to be heard by God.  When we continue to live in sin, it hinders the effectiveness of our prayers.  Take a good look at our scriptures and see if you agree. Examine your own life, is there known sin that you have not yet turned from, this sin will prevent your prayers from being heard by God. God is a loving God and will hear us if we turn from our sin. Don’t allow sin in your life keep you from the blessings of God.

Give A Smile

Acts 20:35 the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "


What do you have to give to someone today?

There are two things I really like to give!
1) a smile
2) another smile :)

Some times the littlest things make the biggest difference.

Father Foirgive Them

Luke 23: 34
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

I was thinking today of someone in my life who has treated me very poorly and who has chosen to hold bitterness and unforgiveness in their heart towards me. I sometimes wonder if this unforgiveness will keep them out of heaven.  The bible says in Mathew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Jesus’ words).  When I think of this possibility, I am quickly led to pray for them, father forgive them for they do not what they are doing, have mercy on them for the way they have treated me. Please Lord; do not send them to hell for eternity because of their unforgivness towards me. It is a mystery that only God has the answer to and only he can be the final judge of who will enter heaven and who will not. If God will not forgive someone for their sins as this scripture says, then it is possible they will not enter heaven, God is the final judge, and it’s my responsibility to pray for them.


Desire / Envy

Galatians 5:19
  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy;

Sometimes we can have a tendency to envy others. It is okay to desire to be like someone else, the important thing though is to not compare yourself to others and get discouraged  because you are not like them. Here is an example. Joe may be an incredible piano player and you don't play quit as well. When you watch Joe, if your desire is to keep practicing until you can play like him, it is okay to want to be like him. On the other hand, if you get upset ,discouraged and cry because you think he is better than you and you will never be that good, that is envy. Mixed in with your envy is jealousy as well. God has created you to be exactly who you are with unique gifts talents  and qualities. If   maybe you are unsure of what they are, ask God to help you understand and learn who he has created you to be in this life.