Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Excited or Depressed? YOUR CHOICE!

"But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28)  "Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night" (Luke 18:7)

Hey Gang, Are you excited about what God is doing in our world today or does your blood pressure sky each time you turn on the news.  Do you agree with the old country preacher who shouted from the pulpit, “something's fixing to happen, something's fixing to happen and I am fixing to be part of it?” 

Do you have it firmly tucked away in the recesses of your heart and mind that in the not too distant future Jesus will appear suddenly in the air, without warning, to rapture His church and take those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, to the Father's house.        

Notice Malachi's words, "For Behold, the day is coming burning like a furnace, and all the arrogant and every evil doer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the Lord of hosts.  So that it will leave them neither root nor branch.  But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go forth and skip like calves from the stall."  That skipping like a calf, at my tender age of 80, kindles a fire deep in my gizzard.

Does that get your blood to boiling?  Noooo, well read on "You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the Lord of Hosts

When you read of a sadistic acts of violence that has become very common in our news media's do you not get a wee bit excited when you Malachi's words that "They will one day soon be ashes under the soles of your feet?”

I challenge you to read the entire book of Habakkuk, all three chapters, four pages;  it would take about as long as twitting a message.  Notice he begins by crying out to God, "How long, O Lord, will I call for help and You will not hear."  I believe this has become a common plea as our world gets more violent and that violence gets closer to home.  

He goes on, "Violence, iniquity, wickedness, destruction are before me.  The Law is ignored, justice in not upheld, the wicked surround the righteous, justice is perverted" (vs. 2-4).  Does that not sound like today, like the days of Noah?   God's response, "Look among the nations!  Observe! Be astonished!  Wonder!  Because I am doing something in your days-you would not believe if you were told!”   (vs. 5b)

Choice time!  You can put your faith in the things of this world which is like building your house on the sand or you can follow Habakkuk's example when he said, "Yet I will exult the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength.  And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk in high places"  (vs. 3:18-19).

Soooo my friends, Malachi closes the Old Covenant with a promise that is the desire of my heart: "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers".  (Mal 4:6)  How I look forward to that day when all the daddies of the world will go home to their children.   My young friends, are you ready to go skipping like a calf this morning.  I ask you again are you excited this morning of what God is doing and going to do?  



Friday, September 26, 2014


 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ (Matt 28:19-29).

Hey Gang:  In the last three Gramps Morning Messages I addressed subject areas that are of growing concern ‘that everything that can be shaken is being shaken’.  As I researched to write these messages, I felt a growing urge to conclude with a challenge to you given by Paul.  He said our task is to"… equip the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12).    Oh, but that is only for pastors, teachers and evangelist, right?  Not in your sweet ‘bippy’! 

Jesus shot that stinking thinking down when Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, you did it unto Me".  (Matt. 25:40).  Did what? "For I was hungry and you fed Me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited Me, in prison and you came to Me!" (Matt. 25:35-36). 

Soooo, I got into the archives and recovered the following teaching that was the back bone of our workshops with the Village boys and most workshops with parents.  We learned that when we placed the materials in their hands and referred to them often, principles began to sink in.  It is my opinion, (which, with two dollars will purchase a cup of java in most hash houses)  that this works with most people, so I have attached this ,teaching that has worked so well for us in this morning message..  Now I realize I am probably preaching to the choir in these morning messages but perhaps there is one who needs a refresher course and a shot from the Throne Room to get their thumpers thumping again.

But I also have another motive for sending it along.  I am positive that everyone of you know, or come in contact with someone who is in great danger of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire.  When I read of what awaits those who "have chosen to go their own way", even an enemy, my heart cries out, "Jesus stand at the door of your heart waiting to bring salvation into your life. 
Soooo, my friends He, Yeshua, did say "Go" and, if you "go, “ I will be with you always, even until the end of the this age”, which I happen to think is just around the corner.

Plan of Salvation
A.  We need a Savior
      1.  Because we are sinners - Romans 3:10, 12, 23
Romans 3:10  "As it is written, There is none righteous, not even one";  verse 12 "All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good. There is not even one."  Verse 23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".
     2.  Because of the consequences of sin - Romans 6:23; John 1:15
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".
James 1:15 "Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death".
     3.  Because you cannot save yourself - Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 21:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as the result of works, so that no one may boast."
a.       You have a divine Savior - John 20:31; Acts 4:12
John 20:31 "But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."
Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
b.      Conditions of Salvation - John 3:16; Acts 16:31
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life".
Acts 16:31 "They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household"

B.  Steps to Salvation
     1.  Come to Christ - John 6:37; Matthew 11:28
John 6:37 "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me, You have neither heart His voice at any time nor seen His form".
Matthew 11:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear Him  who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
     2.  Repent - Luke 13:3; I John 1:8
Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
I John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."
     3.  Receive Christ - John 1:12-13
John 1:12-13 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
     4.  Believe - John 6:47
John 6:47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life".
    5.  Confess - Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:28-29; I John 1:9
Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
 Matthew 10:28-29 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  And not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."

C.  Assurance of Salvation - John 5:24
John 5:24 "Truly, truly. I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."

D.  Kept safe by His power - John 10:28-29;  Jude 24
John 10:28-29 "And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.  I and the Father are one!"
Jude 24 "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy".
     1.  Deliverance - I Corinthians 10:13; James 1:12
1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also; so that you will be able to endure it."
James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
     2.  Strength - II Corinthians 12:9
II Corinthians 12:9  “And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
     3.  Comfort - I Peter 5:7
I Peter 5:7 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
     4.  Meets every need - Philippians 4:16
Philippians 4:16 "For even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs".

E.  Guidance in life - John 14:16/18; Mark 11:22-24
John 14:15/18 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." I will not leave you as orphans; I will  come to you".
Mark 11:22-24 "And Jesus answered saying to them, 'Have faith in God.  Truly I say to you, whosoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.  Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you".

F.  Reward with eternal life - John 3:36; Matthew 25; I Corinthians 2:9
John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the son will not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
Matthew 25 Parable of the Ten Virgins, Parable of the Talents; The Judgment
I Corinthians 2:9 "But it is written, 'Things which eye has not seen and ear has heard.  And which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him’".  

Soooo, my friends and neighbors, I pray you have invested the time to get to this point in this epistle.  I am a slow reader and I checked out the time it takes for me to read the entire plan of Salvation and, if I don't get side tracked, which I usually do, it takes me less than ten minutes.  Keep in mind that Jesus said the needs are many and the harvest few because those willing to share the Good News are few.

Jesus concluded this teaching with these word "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you do not do to one of the least of these You did not do it unto Me" (Matt. 25:45).  



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WHat If Today Is the Day?

"When you see these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (Matt. 24:33-36).

Hey Gang:  Could it be today?  You bet your sweet bippy!  It could be right this moment! BUT, every moment He delays gives us a moment to fulfill His command to His children, "Go into all the world and share the good news that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords".  

No warning, folks.  One will be gone and the other left.  While still an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Agency there was an airline that made sure at least one of their pilots on board every flight was a non-believer, in the event Christ would come an collect all those whose names were recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life and take them to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. 

The disciples asked Jesus, "When will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?"  (Matt. 24:3).  Notice His first response, “Be very careful that you do not buy into the things of this world and be diverted from the truth for many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another, many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”  (Matt. 24: 11-12).

Jesus also gave us an iron clad formula to prevent or allow (by our choice) slue foot to take us down the road to the pit: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).  John goes on and gives us a formula for testing the spirit:  "By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God" (V.2).

During the cold war years there was a group of world guru's that got together each year to set the hands on the "Dooms Day Clock".  Man, through the advent of the nuclear age, had now found the key to annihilating life on planet earth.  It is said that we now have the power to annihilate every human being on earth many times over and, we are learning through the barbarism of Isis, Boka Haram, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezballah and other terrorist groups, there are those that have the will to do just that!    

Jesus said,  "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into, for this reason you must be ready, for the son of Man is coming at an hour when you don't think He will (24:42-42).

Soooo, I ask you again, could it be today?   No man knows the day or the hour, not even the Son of God, Yeshua.  Is your lamp filled with oil and your armor in place this morning?  Have you honed your defense by spending time with the Lord and in His word?   Jesus said,  "Behold when I come, I come quickly and the door of salvation will be closed"          



Friday, September 19, 2014

Time to Wake up and Take Notice!

"I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me.  And how I may reply when I am reproved.  Then the Lord answered me and said, "Record the vision and Inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.  For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.  Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay." (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
Hey Gang:  I just celebrated my eighth decade plus one birthday.  My eyes have seen many wondrous things, both good and bad in my sojourn on this earth.  I have seen great deception leading mega multitudes down the road to the fiery furnace;  I have seen false prophets and false teachers spreading the blasphemies of Replacement Theology, Prosperity theology for believers, and  there is more than one road to God and to believe is enough .  

I have seen increases in hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, floods, wild fires, mud slides that have taken the lives of multitudes of people.  I have seen many wars and heard many rumors of war.  And with those wars I have heard of famine and pestilence that are the brothers of war.    I have seen diseases that have no cure come out of the pit of hell, AIDS, Ebola, Parkinson's, Cancer, Alzheimer's, Crones, and a recent rebirth of Tuberculosis and Polio. 

I have seen the world preparing for the coming battles of Psalm 83, Gog Magog and Armageddon.  When I was born none of the countries listed as participants in the final battle of Armageddon were in existence.  Today they are all in place with great armies - armed with weaponry that could annihilate the world’s population many times over.  
I have seen the rebirth of the nation of Israel and the ever increasing flow of Olim making Aliyah back to the land of their heritage;  it was privileged to play a tiny role in helping to make that happen.  I have seen God's mighty miraculous protective hand in interventions in four wars, where Israel was out manned and out gunned.  I have seen the eternal city of Jerusalem returned to the hands of God's chosen people.

I have seen the fulfillment of Matthew 24:9, even as I pen this, "…then they will deliver you to tribulation from the four corners of the world, and will kill you" (the Jews).  Thousands upon thousands of believers have been martyred in this year alone and that number is continuing to grow as barbarians such as ISIL, Boko Haram, Hamas, Fatah  Al Qaeda and Hezbollah gain in strength and resolve. 

I have seen a czar rise in the bear of the North and seen the rapid coming together of the Gog Magog confederacy.  And tragically, it saddens me to report, the rapid decline of America as a ‘light unto the world’.

I have seen the rapid deterioration of moral code in our nation where anything goes that brings pleasure.  I have seen the rapid decline of the church as a force for good in our nation.  A pastor recently wrote, "How tragic that so many of our churches have placed flags of surrender to the evil one on their steeples".

It saddens my heart when I look at the world I am going to turn over to my children, grands and great grands.   I truly believe judgment is just around the corner.  But, it is about more than judgment.  God said through Ezekiel, "I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord" (Ezek. 38:23).  He also said, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went" (Ezek. 36:23). 

Sooooo, my friends, if after seeing all these things come to pass that are clearly described in the Word of God, would I not be a fool not to follow the Author and Finisher of these words?  Jesus said:  "When these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 23:28).   I repeat,  it is time to wake up and take notice!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Days?? or Last Hours???

"See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will mislead many" (Matthew 24:4b-5). Many false Christ will arise and will mislead many". "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience: (Eph. 5:6).

Hey Gang:  She said:  "Your devotion to God is not really about God, but about yourselves.  "I just want to encourage everyone of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God - I mean, that's one way to look at it - we're doing it for ourselves, because God take pleasure when we are happy....That's the thing that gives Him the greatest joy..."

She continued: "So, I want you to know this morning - Just do good for your own self.  Do good because God wants you to be happy....When you come to church, when you worship him, you're not doing it for God really.  You're doing it for yourself, because that's what makes God happy.  Amen?"
And the congregation responded with a loud "Amen".

Who is she? "The co-pastor,  Victoria Osteen,  with her husband head a huge mega church that literally fills their sports arena church every Sunday".

He said: "In our catecheses, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but be being born and nurture in the faith in the midst of the people of God,  that is the church.  She is the true mother who gives us life in Christ and in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with our brothers and sisters".

"The model of motherhood for the church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God. He continued, “Motherhood continues through the church, who brings forth sons and daughters through baptism, whom she nourishes through the Word of God."   Who is it who uttered these words?  The Pope.

He said,  "The Arab World recognizes the growing threat of terrorism that is being carried out by groups like the Islamic State.”.  ”The Arab world can join forces with Israel, the United States, and the European Union in the united front against terror in which religious leaders play a pivotal role, lead by Your Holiness."  Pope Francis said the Vatican would study the suggestion.
"The U.N. has had its day".  "What we need is an organization of religions, a United Nations of religions".

Who said these infamous words?  Past president of Israel, one, Shimon Peres, who also advocated the giving away lands to gain peace,

He said: "This meeting  (meeting of church leaders and Pope at Vatican City) was a miracle.  He, the co-host of the "Life Today" TV program and the host of "Believers Voice of Victory", along with a barn full of religious leaders  from around the country, met with the Pope for more than three hours.   
Who is he?  James Robertson and esteemed leaders Betty Robinson and Kenneth Copeland.  Rev. Robinson said, "This is something God has done.  God wants his arms around the world and He wants Christians to put his arms around the world by working together."     

He said:  "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits , and doctrines of devils,"  (1 Timothy 4:1).
Who said these warning words?  Paul, an Apostle of Christ.

 He said. "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction" (2 Thess. 2:3).
Who said these warning words?  Yeshua Hamashiah, King of kings and Lords of Lords.

Soooo, I close this Gramps message with words of Franklin Graham, "We are no long in the latter days, nor even in the last days, we are in the last hours!  He quoted: "For false Christ and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, it possible, even the elect" (Matt. 24:24).  Who said,   Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Are you ready?  



Friday, September 12, 2014

Final Thoughts on Integrity

"A righteous man who walks in his integrity - How blessed are his sons after him" (Prov. 20:7; "Better is the poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool" (Prov. 19:1).

Hey Gang: One of the great hero's of my life, Five Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower, wrote the following piece of wisdom: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.  And, to that, I would add as President of the United States.
Warren Buffet, a very successful man by world standards, wrote this bit of truth that we see acted out in reality each day: In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities- integrity, intelligence, and energy. And, if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you."
Abraham Lincoln said, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Harry S. Truman, who I believe was a man of integrity, said the following: "A person who is fundamentally honest doesn't need a code of ethics. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all the ethical code anybody needs."

Alexander Solzehnitsyn shared this piece of wisdom: "In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers . . . we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations."

All of these are important if you are going to write a term paper on ‘integrity’.  But, unless you place them in the "Our God is a God of Integrity" column, they will be just so many words.  In this day when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, God is calling His people to be people of integrity, to show His character to the world through everything we say and do!

Soooo. my friends, in closing these epistles on integrity, we need to remember that God promises  blessings to those who live according to His desires.    In Proverse 10:9 we read of one of those blessings: "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out".  In Proverbs 11:3,  "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.  And in Proverbs 13:6 Solomon tells us, "Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner".

 But also notice the second half of these Proverbs.  Those who  don't walk in integrity receive exposure for their falsehood, destruction and are overthrown by wickedness. Just as there are always blessings for obeying God, there is always a price for disobeying Him.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Is Integrity? Continued

"You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage, only in the throne I will be greater than you" (Gen. 41:40).

Hey Gang:  Probably one of the greatest examples of a man of integrity that we have in the Bible is Joseph. Wow, I wonder where our leaders would rate on ‘the Joseph Scale of Integrity’today?  Even though his brothers treated him wrongly and sold him into slavery, he maintained his relationship with the Lord, and continued to walk in integrity.

It is these two characteristics that caused him to be raised from the lowest, to the highest position in Egypt, as Pharaoh's prime minister (Gen 41:40). Pharaoh saw the hand of God on Joseph's life, and saw in him someone with both wisdom and integrity; someone in whom Pharaoh could place his trust to do what was necessary.

Integrity was not a spur of the moment issue with Joseph.  He didn't suddenly wake up one morning and receive integrity as a gift from God when he needed it to serve Pharaoh; he lived in integrity throughout his life. We see examples of a life of integrity throughout the Biblical account of his life.

Is there a better example in the Bible, beside our Lord, of someone who went through a series of bad raps but kept his head and heart glued on right?  Sold into bondage by his brothers, but God had the right buyer in place to bail him out.  Potiphar saw something special in Joseph and soon moved him to the top of his administrative team.  He placed his entire household under Joseph's command.  "So he (Potiphar) left everything he owned in Joseph's charge and with him did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate" (Gen 39:6).

I suspect Satan knew he could not entice Joseph to do evil so he set up the devious plan to trap him.  Potiphar's wife was attracted to him and enticed him to "lie with her" (Gen 39:7). Not only did she do this once, but the Bible says she did this daily (Gen 39:10).

Joseph's response, "He refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master has total trust in me and has placed all under my command but you, HIS WIFE..... 9 Because you are his wife: how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?  (39:8-9).

Frustration!  The plot thickens! She lays a trap for Joseph. Clears the house of all the staff, to get him alone in the house. She was one determined lady. She grabbed him by his robe, ripping it off,  releasing him. He cut and ran!   He was so adamant about protecting his integrity, that he didn't let her hand on his clothing stop him. She literally tore his clothes off him in his escape.

There is often a price to be paid for maintaining our integrity in a sin filled world.  Although Joseph acted with integrity, it resulted in his return to the slammer. 

Soooo,  I suspect Joseph did not have opportunity to defend his integrity with Potiphar or perhaps he thought it in the best interest to remain silent.  Jesus, when accused did likewise.  There are times when we might feel the price of integrity is too high, but we will see the rest of the story in the next blog on how God did not leave or forsake Joseph, but rather prepared the way for what He really had in mind for Joseph.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Integrity! WHat Is That?

“But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Behold with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house,     and he has put all that he owns in my charge.  There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  HOW THEN COULD I DO THIS GREAT EVIL AND SIN AGAINST GOD?” (Gen. 39:8-9).

Hey Gang:  How sad that it has become so common to hear, "Another warrior for Christ has fallen". Yesterday, as I traversed the day, the thought of  why things happen, or why we allow them that to the bank- what it will do to those who have trust in us?  I believe with all my heart the things that grieves Father God the most is when one of His faithful warriors succumbs to the  offerings of the evil one. 

 A cartoon in a local newspaper depicted two executives sitting in prison.  One turns to the other and says, “And all along I thought our level of corruption fell well within community standards.” Another said, “We can tell the success of our people by how many toys they have.”  

As I listened to the news tonight, which I might add is the most depressing part of my day, I got the feeling that I was sitting in one of the deck chairs   on the Titanic.  As one announcer said, ‘The biggest problem for the news media today is which crisis or break down in the law should they cover.’     

 The question then is, what is integrity? Everyone can probably give a definition of integrity and they'll probably all be different in some way or another.  The dictionary says that integrity is "the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity."

Okay, so integrity has to do with being moral, so now we need to see what moral means. Again, according to the dictionary moral means "capable of making the distinction between right and wrong conduct." That's man's definition, but what about God's?

Integrity is doing what God would say is the right thing, even if it costs you. It means obeying God's law, speaking only truth, and putting the other person ahead of yourself. It means displaying the character of God in your daily walk, and that means setting us apart from the world, and role modeling of the character of our God.

A man of integrity would rather die than deny, or turn away from, his integrity. Job said, "I will never admit you are in the right; till I die,   I will not deny my integrity" (Job 27:5). Why? Because even in the midst of torment, Job held on to his integrity.

Soooo, The point that I believe God was driving home into the depths of my heart today is, if someone has integrity, you can count on them in whatever situation. Why? Not because they'll do what you want, but they'll do what is right, no matter what the cost.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is the Following Scripture Bound on Your Forehead?

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your foreheads.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your grates" (Deut. 6:5-9)

Hey Gang:  Read it again and again and again.  Our nation is going into the dumpster because we have failed to instill Deuteronomy 6:5-9 into the hearts of our children.  Let me share a story that has been tucked away in my heart and mind for more than fifty years. 

Amos Zook, an Amishman was helping little Amos to build a rabbit hutch. Little Amos was about to begin making a contribution to the family by raising rabbits.   His neighbor, a local business man stood watching from his porch and sauntered over to see what Amos and son were doing.  When He saw they were building a rabbit hutch, he said, “Hey, Amos, they sell those at the elevator in town and probably cheaper than you can build them.”  

Amos did not hesitate in his response to the neighbor, “Well, we are in this for the long haul and the one at the elevator is probably cheaper but will fall apart and require constant attention, this one will last as long as little Amos wants to use it.  But that is not the bottom line reason for my helping little Amos build the hutch - it gives me undivided time with him and teaches him something he can use the rest of his life to earn a living.  It is called learning a work ethic.”

There was a story in the Washington Post about a woman who wanted to have a house built.  She asked her friends for names of good trust worthy contractors and one included the name of a local Amish man.  She drove to his home, for he had no car or telephone, and they discussed what she wanted included in her house.

After the discussion period was over and it was time to seal the deal she was amazed first with the price which was less than half of the other builders, and secondly that there would be no contract or written agreement but a mere hand shake to seal the deal. The most shocking thing was there would be a two year lapse in time until he could build her house.  His work schedule was booked that far ahead.

Soooo, I have a request to make from each of you.  Turn with me to the last verses of the Old Covenant and read these words with me "Behold I am going to send you Elijah, the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible days of the Lord.  He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." (Malachi 4:5-6).   I ask you this morning - are we not deserving of a curse from God?

One last point, in my many years of working with children who were hurting inside, never, no never, did I see an Amish child in the treatment system.  (Read and heed 2 Chronicles 7:14).