Pruning Time

Our text is from Mark 4:18. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

PruningSometimes our spiritual life gets wild and wooly.  That is, it needs pruning and trimming.

 At my house I have Knock-Out roses.  They look good at their first blooming but soon after that they get all kind of wild stems that shoot out and they get real wild and unshapely.  They just get to the point where they need a good pruning.  They need cutting back.  They may not like this at the time, but a good pruning gets them back in shape and under control. It causes them to get thicker and stronger and they produce more blooms. As a result, they are more desirable to look at.

Sometimes we as Christians get that way.  We at times get all messed up with the things of this world and then we become backslid-den and quit bearing fruit. We need a little pruning to get back where we need to be.  The Lord knows just where to prune and just where to cut.  It may not be pleasant at the time but it is for our own good and the good of others.

In other words, for many

…it’s pruning time.

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Things You Don’t Loose in the Fire

Our text today is drawn from Luke 12:15.

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

destructionJust this week, I received news that a lady with whom I work with, lost her belongings in a house fire.  I’m sure she is going through some major trials and depression because of the devastation involved.   I’m not sure what all she lost.  If her house burnt down completely it will be categorized as a total loss. However, here are some things that she didn’t loose in the fire.

  1. Her life and the lives of her loved ones.  Everyone got out alive and no one was killed.
  2. The love between her and her loved ones.  Fire can’t put that out.
  3. Her health.  Many don’t have that either.
  4. Her job.  Many have lost them too.
  5. If she is saved, her faith in Jesus Christ.  Fire down through the ages has been known to strengthen faith.
  6. If she has been born again she didn’t loose her relationship with the Lord.  When you walk with the Lord, in times like these, the relationship will get stronger.
  7. Finally, she didn’t loose her home in Heaven.  Trials like this make you appreciate Heaven because it is eternal, not temporal, subject to the laws of nature.

 The Bible tells us that we are in everything to give thanks.  Perhaps that is easy preaching and hard living but remember always, though we may loose material possessions down here, there are many things that are far more valuable than can never be lost.

So in trials like these you have more than you think, and for a Christian,                                 it will never be a total loss.

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No Joking Matter

Our text is from Luke 16:24.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Our text is from the famous passage of Luke 16 where a man named Lazarus and a rich man (unidentified), dies. Lazarus ends up in a place of rest and the rich man wakes up in hell.  Death doesn’t discriminate against status, popularity, or wealth.

Perhaps there were joyous times in the house of the rich man while he lived among his family and friends.  He had anything he desired and more.  No doubt he may have seemed happy and had a happy-go-lucky life style.  There were times perhaps that he made fun of those that were not as well off financially as him and he may have even joked about those less fortunate then him.

But as will happen to all one day they both died.

Here is where our text picks up. It’s no joking matter.                                                            While Lazarus ends up in a place of comfort and rest, the rich man now is in a place of torment, loneliness, unhappiness, regret, and damnation forever.  No joking matter.           I suppose just knowing that you are there forever would certainly be no joking matter.       Torment is no joking matter.                                                                                               Unhappiness is no joking matter.                                                                                         Knowing that people you once knew and joked about is much better off than you will be no joking matter.                                                                                                                                  Regretting that you could have gotten saved and didn’t is and will be no joking matter.        The rich man knew that many of his own family members where heading to the same place as he was.  Certainly no joking matter, as a matter of fact Hell and the lake of fire in any since of the word is no joking matter.

May God help you to see the importance of getting saved now while you have time because going to Hell is… no joking matter.

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Father’s Day

Our text is from 1st Thessalonians 2:11.  As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

As we approach Father’s Day I want to say to all those that have good fathers that you have something to be grateful for because not everyone had a good father or did not have one around at all.  Due to some unfortunate event many don’t have a dad.  To you I want to say I’m sorry.  It must be a difficult thing to have never had a dad, or have the one you did have ripped away from you.

P1040806Is is a wonderful thing to have a good father.  If you have one you should thank God for him.  I have a great dad.  He is always there for me and even though right now at age 92, if I needed him, he would do what he could for me.  He has encouraged me many times when I needed it and has helped me out many many times.  He instructed me on many things in life, that to this day, has helped me.  I could never repay him for all he has done for me and if somehow I could pay him back monetarily, some things you just can’t put a price on. 

Dad took us on some great vacations over the years and even now that he is 92 we got to go to Minnesota on a fishing trip one more time.  We will always have some great memories. 

Remember God is the greatest father we could have.  He is always there for us and wants to have fellowship with us.  He always listens and is ready to encourage us, comfort us, help us, talk to us, and even correct us when we need it.  Yes, we all need correcting once in a while.  But he does it in love.  I’m very thankful I have had a good earthly father and a great heavenly Father.

Remember your dad this Father’s day.  You may not have him next Father’s Day.

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The Truth Is…

Our text today is from John 17:17.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Swearing on the Bible --- Image by © Jupiterimages/Brand X/Corbis Truth.

There are all kinds.                               There is religious truth.                               There is political truth.                        There is scientific truth.
There is philosophic truth.  And finally,
There is God’s truth as given in the Holy Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ. He said that he was the truth in John 14:6.  So you can believe what ever you want to believe.  Which do you think is the most reliable?

In court we used to say that we will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.

God did help us tell the truth.  It comes in his word, the Holy Bible.  It tells us to be honest and be up front with things.  The truth can be told although there are those that have lied for so long that they don’t know how to tell the truth.

As given in the Holy Bible,                                                                                                               The truth is… we are liars because we have a sinful nature.

The truth is…we are born sinners.

The truth is…our first birth is no good.

The truth is…we need to be born the second time.

The truth is…we, without God have “no hope.”

The truth is…apart from the grace and mercy of God we will face an eternity in hell, fire, and brimstone.  This is what the Bible calls the second death.

The truth is…one can’t save himself because his goodness doesn’t measure up to God’s holiness.

The truth is…you couldn’t look God in the face knowing what you have thought, done, seen, heard, and said in your lifetime without having a guilty conscience.

The truth is…you could not have fellowship with him in your present state.

The truth is…in this life we can choose to get saved…or not.

The truth is…God wants to save us.

The truth is…there is only one way to heaven and that is through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The truth is…God will not save us if we don’t want him to.

The truth is…we must call on him while we have a mind and a will to do it.

The truth is…if we put off salvation, one day it will be too late.

 And that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.

 

 

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The text today is from Revelation 20:12.   And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

deleteThe Bible tells us of a coming judgement day in which there will be a number of books that will be opened.  One book is the Book of Life where names will either be there or blotted out.  Another book, no doubt will be a book of tears, where all the times we hurt for others are recorded. (Read Psalm 56:8)  Another book will be there, is where all of the places where the Lord delivered you from harm are recorded. (Study Numbers 21:14.)  Then a book will be there where our words are recorded. (See Job 19:23.)  A book of remembrance will be there, where all those that think about the Lord will be recorded. (See Malachi 3:16.)  And then finally, a book of our works will be there according to our text, where everything that people do are recorded, “according to their works.”

You will either have a bunch of sins to show up that you will have to give account for, or you will not have any sins to show up at all.

The Bible says that the blood of Christ “cleanseth us from all sin.”

So, if we have been saved, there perhaps will be a book there of all our sins which will say on the front cover, “All Items in this Volume have been Deleted.”  What a blessing that will be!  And who is it that will not fall down and worship the Lord at this point?

Want to find out how your sins can be deleted?   Read the entry entitled, “My Old Account was Setteled Long Ago.”
 Acts 16:29. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

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