Many ways to be successful

There are all kinds of ways someone can be successful:
You can gain influence and power
You can make a lot of money
You can change peoples physical & emotional lives.
However, none of that means anything if you have to sacrifice what matters most to achieve it.
Time with family
Giving back to your community
Spending time with loved ones
Your health
God.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
Jesus said that. Nothing in this life can be considered a success if we’ve failed to follow Jesus. He knew that we would become preoccupied with striving for success, but He gave us this warning to keep our priorities straight.
It doesn’t surprise me that people will exchange their salvation for earthly treasure. What surprises me is how cheap they sell it.
Jesus warned about this as well as He continued teaching…
“Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:37-38
Let’s keep our priorities straight.

There’s a man who has never been on time to work and the boss refuses to fire him. The reason will shock you!

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I learned of a man who has been working with the same company for more than 10 years. From the day he was hired, he has NEVER BEEN ON TIME. As a matter of fact, he’s been off his scheduled time by an hour and a half!!! A full 90 minutes! I know from personal experience that his co-workers probably hate him for it, but won’t say anything. Can you believe it? Yet, after all these years, his employer has refused to fire him.

This is a 100% true story. This is not a made-up illustration to make a point. It involves an actual person, with a real boss, a real job and real co-workers.

I said the reason will shock you

This person, who has never been on time to his job, and is scheduled to work, at 9am Monday through Friday, comes in at 7:30am every work day, 90 min BEFORE HIS SCHEDULED START TIME!! Now you’re saying, “OOOOH! I get it. He comes in EARLY for his shift.” You also see why it’s shocking. We know it’s a good thing to be on time for your shift or even better, to arrive early, but who comes in 90 minutes early?

Someone once said, “if you’re on time, then you’re 15 minutes late.” Very few people say that today, it’s from a bygone era. Our culture today seems to be asking, “what is the minimum amount of work I can do and still get paid?” Others work as if the minimum wage is the amount of money needed just to get them to show up, but if you want them to do any work they’re going to need more money! These days, it’s normal for the employee to blow through the doors in the very nick of time to punch in, then proceed to put their stuff away, use the restroom, get a cup of coffee and be ready to work within 15-20 minutes of arrival.

Christians are different, or at least they ought to be. We have learned from our Master that we are peculiar people set apart to be different from the world, not to be normal, rather we are to overcome normal.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [Romans 12:2]

As Christians, we also know we ought to do MORE than what is expected of us, even if it means to arrive early for our shift at work. Let it never be said of us that we are just like the world in our thoughts and actions. Our Master taught us to go beyond what is expected of us, to go the EXTRA MILE.

And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. [Matthew 5:41]

He also taught…

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

[Matthew 25:21]

You see, Christians don’t work for people and our reward is not the check on Friday. No, we have a Heavenly Master, and our treasure is with Him.

Servants, obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord: whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ. For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

[Colossians 3:22-25]

There’s another point I could make, but alas, I’ve run out of room so I’ll leave it for you to ponder.

If I only

 

THERE ARE LOTS OF ALIBIS for a weak church, but very few reasons. Churches that are weak have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons they’re weak, and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own weaknesses.

Some of the alibis are even clever, and quite a few are justified by the facts. Unfortunately, an alibi won’t be heard at the judgement [Mat 7:21-22]. All the Lord will want to know is, “HAVE YOU DONE THE WILL OF MY FATHER?” [Re 2:5]

A character analyst compiled a list of the most commonly used alibis. Though this was in context of business, I’ve learned that these alibis are used in any context, even the church.

As you read the list, examine yourself carefully, and determine how many of these alibis, if any, are your own property. Consider this, the teachings of the scripture makes every one of these obsolete. [Ge 3:12,13; Ex 4:1,10-14; 32:22-24; De 30:11-14; Jg 6:12-17; 1Ki 19:19-21; 2Ki 5:10-14; Jer 1:1,4-10; Mt 8:21; Lu 9:59-62; 14:18-20; Ac 24:25; Ro 1:20; 2:1]

  • IF I didn’t have a wife and family. ..
  • IF I had enough “pull” . . .
  • IF I had money . . .
  • IF I had a good education . . .
  • IF I could get a job . . .
  • IF I had good health . . .
  • IF I only had time . . .
  • IF times were better . . .
  • IF other people understood me . . .
  • IF conditions around me were only different . . .
  • IF I could live my life over again . . .
  • IF I did not fear what “THEY” would say . . .
  • IF I had been given a chance . . .
  • IF I now had a chance . . .
  • IF other people didn’t “have it in for me” . . .
  • IF nothing happens to stop me . . .
  • IF I were only younger . . .
  • IF I could only do what I want . . .
  • IF I had been born rich . . .
  • IF I could meet “the right people”. . .
  • IF I had the talent that some people have . . .
  • IF I dared assert myself . . .
  • IF I only had embraced past opportunities . . .
  • IF people didn’t get on my nerves . . .
  • IF I didn’t have to keep house and look after the children . . .
  • IF I could save some money . . .
  • IF the boss only appreciated me . . .
  • IF I only had somebody to help me . . .
  • IF my family understood me . . .
  • IF I lived in a big city . . .
  • IF I could just get started . . .
  • IF I were only free . . .
  • IF I had the personality of some people . . .
  • IF I were not so fat . . .
  • IF my talents were known …
  • IF I could just get a “break” . . .
  • IF I could only get out of debt . . .
  • IF I hadn’t failed . . .
  • IF I only knew how . . .
  • IF everybody didn’t oppose me . . .
  • IF I didn’t have so many worries . . .
  • IF I could marry the right person . . .
  • IF people weren’t so dumb . . .
  • IF my family were less extravagant. . .
  • IF I were sure of myself . . .
  • IF luck were not against me . . .
  • IF I had not been born under the wrong star . . .
  • IF it were not true that “what is to be will be” . . .
  • IF I did not have to work so hard . . .
  • IF I hadn’t lost my money . . .
  • IF I lived in a different neighborhood. .
  • IF I didn’t have a “past” . . .
  • IF I only had a business of my own. . .
  • IF other people would only listen to me . . .

IF * * * and this is the greatest of them all * * * I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me, and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others. [Job 13:23; Psalm 119:59; La 3:40; Hag 1:7; 1Co 11:28; Ga 6:3-5]

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________________________

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2Corinthians 13:5]

_______________________________________________

We know that there is something WRONG, or we would now be where WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IF we had spent more time examining our weaknesses, and less time building alibis to cover them.

The ideas in this article are not new, [Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.] We use the word excuse rather than alibi, but the meanings remain the same. The writer of Ecclesiastes also wrote that time and chance happen to us all [Ec 9:11]. We could add this to the list of alibis, but I believe this proves that every person has difficulties, albeit at different times and in different areas. Rather than use this as another reason for NOT, let’s DO despite the difficulty. Revelations 2:10, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” means that we should remain faithful, EVEN IF IT CAUSES OUR DEATH.

Are we using excuses as a church, and if so, how can we turn that excuse into positive action? Just a thought.

Are we A Strong Congregation?

3-09-15 Eph 6_6

What do you look for in a strong congregation? The scriptures teach that a congregation is made up Christians in a local area who assemble to worship and to work together. Revelations 3:1 calls the church in Laodicea dead and in 3:16 is lukewarm. None of us want to be in dead or lukewarm congregations, so what sets apart a strong congregation from a dead one? 

They Love God

The first and foremost characteristic of a strong congregation is when it’s composed of Christians who, “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” [Mark 12:30]

The most powerful and effective motivation to obey God’s word is a sincere and deep love of God.

They Love God’s Word

A strong congregation loves God, therefore also loves His word. When I speak to “religious” people, one thing I notice is the lack of knowledge of God’s word and His patterns.

Weak congregations are short on giving; “…attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” [1Timothy 4:13] Strong congregations consider FIRST what the will of the Lord is from His divine Word, for it is the truth; [John 17:17]. This enables them to worship in truth [John 4:24], Teach the truth [1Timothy 1:3] and do His work according to the divine pattern [Ephesians 4:12]. 

They Rejoice in the Lord

When a strong congregation loves God and His word, they will rejoice despite the difficulties that come from living on this side of the Judgement.

Paul warned the early Christians that life was tough, and not many others had a more difficult time than he. The Lord teaches, through Paul, to be content regardless of circumstance. [Philippians 4:11-13] The Lord also taught us to be prepared for trials that every Christian will face and to rejoice. [James 1:2; 1Peter 4:12] 

It is Growing and Working

Every congregation has folks that are at varying levels of their maturity. There are new converts, babes in Christ, some more mature, some struggling and overcoming sins and still others that are strong in their faith. [1Corintheans 8:12-31]

All of them, doing their own part in the body [Ephesians 4:11-12], are growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord [2Peter 3:18], so that the body grows [Ephesians 4:16], always abounding in the work of the Lord. [1Corintheans 15:58] 

It Follows the New Testament Pattern of organization

A strong congregation is striving to attain and to follow the New Testament pattern for its organization. [Philippians 1:1]

They have or are qualifying men to oversee as elders [Acts 20:17; 1Timothy 3:1-7; 1Peter 5:1-2], doing the same regarding deacons to serve under elders, [1Timothy 3:8-13]. In whichever state, the strong congregation has faithful men to see that the work of the Lord is accomplished never losing sight of the ideal. 

They’re Proactive

The strong congregation never waits. It continues to be zealous for good works [Titus 2:14; Revelations 3:19]. They want to be found doing and increasing in the Lord’s work [Matthew 25:14-30], never burying their talents or content with just getting themselves to heaven, because they want to others to be saved also [2Timothy 2:2].

What About the Church in Borger?

I bet, that as you read this article, you were also thinking about our congregation. I believe that we have a strong congregation. Perhaps not like the church in Smyrna which the Lord had nothing negative to say [Rev 2:8], but one that has the ability to overcome what is lacking [Revelations 2:7].

I feel that we are strong because we love God and His word, we rejoice and help each other during difficult times. We all desire for the truth to grow in Borger and that folks respond to the Gospel. I am grateful to you and to God for this local congregation.

That’s just my opinion, but what do you think? If you were to rate our congregation on a scale of 1-10, what number would you give us? If it’s not a 10 for being the best, why not? More importantly, what are you doing to change it?

5 things you can do for the church today

One of the problems the Apostle Paul had to deal with was that folks in the church wanted the same job, that is, they wanted the best ones. [1Corinthians 12] He pointed out that every person was important in the church regardless of their abilities. He wanted all the members of the Lord’s church to learn……

  • We are more than individuals; 1Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
  • We are members one of another; Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    • Ephesians 4:25b for we are members one of another.
What can you do?

Some of you may be asking the question, what can I do for the church? Instead of looking for the jobs that seem to be the best ones, or the ones that garner the most attention, look for the work that you can do well. But what is that? How do you find what that is?

If this is you, here are 5 things you can do for the church today as you do your own “one another ministry”.

You can …..

1 – KINDLY affectioned one another —

You can, TODAY, be kind. You can be kind to the visitors by welcoming them in and introducing them to others in the congregation. You can be kind to those leading the public worship and the classes. You can be kind by assisting the mom with the “antsy” child. You can be kind to that ill member that has been unable to attend for some time.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [Romans 12:10]

2 – ENCOURAGE one another –

So many folks are under such stress and pressure these days and need some encouragement. The Bible uses the words comfort, exhort and beseech. You can encourage that young person that is learning how to serve the Lord. You can encourage that single person looking for a way to fit in. You can be that person that encourages folks to continue to build their faith in the Lord.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. [Jude 1:3]

3 – STIR UP one another –

In the King James text, Hebrews 10:24 uses the word “provoke”. Usually used negatively by us, in this text it is an urgent command to “stir up” members of the church to increase in LOVE and GOOD WORKS. Every church needs a lot more of both of these things. Sometimes it requires a person or group of people to get the ball rolling. Of course when the Bible says “good works” it is referring to the works “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:10]

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: [Hebrews 10:24]

4 – COMFORT one another –

Here’s something that you can do that is very much needed by everyone from time to time, comfort. Folks need comfort when they’re grieving, when they’re sick, when they’re facing a challenge at home or work. People get sad, discouraged or down from time to time and need a shoulder to cry on. They need to know that their brothers and sisters in Christ care. Do you?

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. [1Co 12:25]

5 – SERVE one another –

We can all do a better job at serving one another. People need help, physical help. Sometimes they need financial help. The rest of us can be there to provide the service that our brother or sister in Christ needs. I know a man that came to me expressing his fear of leading of public prayer or speaking in public. “But, I can fix cars, put up drywall or do just about any home repair.” WOW! That’s fantastic, this brother wanted to serve is fellow church member. And he did. Every time someone needed help with a car repair or home repair, he was there.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. [Galatians 5:13]

Bonus – PRAY FOR one another –

Before we finish this article, we need to add just one more thing that every member of the Lord’s church can do for the others, PRAY. People often request prayers from the church. DO IT, actually do it. Pray for your brethren. Be specific in your prayers. If a sister is asking for prayers for an upcoming surgery, pray about that surgery. Pray for the protection of the children as they go off to college or off to war, that they be both physically safe, but also psychologically safe. Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.” [1Thessalonians 5:17]

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [James 5:16]

If I had to summarize all of these things you can do into one word, that word would be LOVE. Love in the scriptures is an action word. It’s much more than an acknowledgement in your mind. It’s an attitude that compels you to do something.

spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin Street Church of Christ in Borger Texas.

Unconditional Love?

by Terry Benton

That God’s love is “unconditional” means one thing to one person and a different thing to someone else. The Bible does not use the expression “unconditional love” but does imply it. God “so loved” the world (John 3:16). That would mean that love is what moved Him to give His Son for the sinful world. Paul said that he loved us “while we were yet sinners” (Rom. 5:8). Thus, it was not a situation of God would love us IF….. God loved us when we were at our worst. Thus, in that regard, it was an unconditional love. But, what does that mean? Some seem to think that because God loves us all unconditionally, that therefore He ACCEPTS us unconditionally. Is this what the Bible really teaches?

False Concepts of God’s Love

One clearly false concept is that God only loves us IF we perfectly obey Him. But, that is not the case because the Bible says He loved us at our worst, “while we were yet sinners”(Rom. 5:8). The Prodigal Son’s father loved him unconditionally, but certainly was not pleased with his son’s choices. To love is not to accept any and all behavior. A parent can “so love” a child but not be pleased with the lifestyle of that child. Still, love is what causes the parent to keep hoping for a turn around and return of the lost child. Love longs for a turning point in the thinking of the child, and love is unconditional. But, love does not accept the child in rebellious behavior. The prodigal son’s father never stopped loving his son, but there was broken fellowship and relationship. The father was not glad about the son’s choices and behavior, and did not pretend that relationship remained the same as ever. Perfect obedience was not the reason he loved his son. He loved his son while he was yet a sinner in hope of his son’s coming to himself and returning in humility. Love is that way. God is not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4-6). A person determined to keep practicing sin is certainly not acceptable to the Lord (Prov. 15:8-9). Love means God longs for a sinner who is ruining his life and his potential, longing for the sinner to wake up and turn back to God. God’s love causes Him to also hate what the sinner represents and how that sinner influences others to ruin their lives as well (Rom.1:20ff).

A similar false concept is that “God only loves us BECAUSE we deserve His love”. God’s love is totally unconditional. The character of God is LOVE. Relationship with God is in fact conditional. Love does not equate to relationship and acceptance. As an illustration we might say that George loves everyone. Does everyone love George? And Does George automatically let everyone in his house? Can we not love our enemies without trusting them with our house and our children? Love does not equate with relationship and acceptance.

Things God’s Love Will NOT Do

Love will not automatically accept you “as you are” if that means “as you have been”. Love does not mean I accept my child as a murderer or adulterer or thief. Love means I have “good will” for someone and will help them get right with God. If one is “continuing in sin”, love means that I am sad for them and long for their salvation from sin and ruin.

Love does not automatically forgive you. Forgiveness is conditioned on being “in Christ”(Eph.1:3, 7; Gal. 3:26-27). Love longs for our forgiveness and will provide a just way that it can happen if we want it. There are conditions for coming into Christ where forgiveness is enjoyed.   God’s love longs to forgive, but will not automatically accept you “as you are”, if that means you are going to decide to continue as you are.

Love will not force your love and service to Him. It will not force you to act against your will, but yearns to get you to change your will in His favor. Therefore, love will not, by itself, prevent you from going to torment or hell. God loved even the rich man, but the rich man still went to torment (Luke 16:19f). It was not that God did not love him. It was that the rich man did not love God and therefore did not love his fellow man.

Things God’s Love WILL Do

God’s love will provide a conditional way for you to be saved. (John 3:16; Mark 16:15-16). These conditions do not merit salvation on your end. They are things that you MUST do (Acts 2:37-41), and yet they are not works of merit whereby God OWES us anything (Eph. 2:8-9). Belief and baptism in Jesus’ name are not meritorious works, nor are they works of perfect law-keeping. They are both actions of mind, will, and appeal to God for His mercy. God loves us and will forgive us if we believe, repent, and are baptized in Jesus’ name for remission of sins. God’s love provides the remission of sins and the conditions.

These conditions are within your power to do. There is no excuse for not meeting these conditions.

God’s love will try to attract your better possibilities and potential and will provide the greatest incentives for you to repent (Rom. 2:4-8). Heaven and Hell are incentives, but God’s amazing love and fellowship is a primary incentive.

God’s love is so great that He will do what is painful to Himself in order to be merciful and just in an effort to win your love and fellowship. God IS Love. (1 John 3).

How do we define His Love?

We cannot define it as automatic acceptance. It does not mean that none will be lost. What does it mean? It means that there is “good will”, mercy, and compassion already resident within His character. It is there driving Jesus to the cross for your possible salvation. It is your greatest opportunity in life to have reconciliation with God now so that He can bring you home to glory.

Don’t blow your opportunity to experience and enjoy His greatness of Being. There are conditions for being made acceptable (Rom. 5:1f). We see how 3,000 Jews came from lost and condemned to being acceptable, having remission of sins (Acts 2:36-41) all because of the love of God. You have the same opportunity because of His love. What will your response be?

 

 

Terry Benton, “Unconditional Love?,” in Answering Religious Error, April 15, 2015, http://www.answeringreligiouserror.com/salvation/unconditional-love/.

7 things Jesus said that made me work harder

While sitting in my office here in Borger, Tx, I was wondering, Why does one person seem to be more active as a Christian and another does not?  Said another way, why do some remain faithful and others fall away? Pondering this question, 7 verses of Jesus came to mind that are motivators for me and my faith.

1)“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” [Mt 22:37]

  • Certainly we should start here. This is the ultimate motivator, IF you believe in the existence of God. For me, obedience to an all powerful God makes perfect sense. He created me, He gave me life, He deserves my life service. Related to this saying are these:
  • A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
    • Our love, including our demonstration of love, has an impact on my evangelistic efforts. It reminds me of David’s sin. He certainly committed adultery, lying and finally murder, but his real sin was, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, “ [2Sa 12:14]
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” [Mt 5:44]
    • Elevated even further, love our enemies. This really gets at the heart of the matter because in this one thing we see the truth of the love of God, the love of an enemy. [Rom 5:10]

2)“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mr 8:36]

  • This verse showed me the vanity of worldly pursuits, and that these pursuits can interfere with my ability to win heaven. This verse clearly shows that nothing can be compared to heaven. What’s surprising, not that we sell our souls, but that we sell it so cheaply.

3)“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Lu 9:62]

  • It’s very easy to get lazy and unmotivated as a christian. This verse reminds us that our service toward God is an active service. James reminds us of this when he wrote, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” [Jam 2:18]

4)“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Mt 5:20]

  • So many people believe in an, “I’m ok / you’re ok” kind of life. This verse shows us that our righteousness is to EXCEED another’s. When you also look at this other verse, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Mt 23:23] we see that He was critical of their lack in the heart issues. Please note that He said, “without leaving the others undone.”

5)“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:” [Mt 25:35]

  • How do we do this? How do we feed our Lord? When we read the context we see very clearly that it’s done through the care and feeding of our brethren. He then goes on to say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” / “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

6)“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” [Mt 22:29]

  • Can there be any more sobering words from our Lord than these? “Spencer, you’re mistaken.” In what were these mistaken? You may say, “It’s got nothing to do with salvation.” My question for you is this, CAN YOU BE MISTAKEN ABOUT SALVATION, By not knowing the scriptures or the power of God?

7)“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” [Joh 3:5]

  • When Jesus says things like, “except ye______, he cannot enter….” we need to pay attention. So much verbal gymnastics are performed attempting to explain away baptism. When you take the entirety of scripture, [Mrk 16:16; Acts 22:16] you can only come to the conclusion that baptism is essential.

So, there you go. Seven amazing quotes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ. What will motivate you to serve Him better? If not these, what?

One more bonus quote I will share: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” [Mt 7:21]

10 keys to a balanced life

To a workaholic, Balance is equivalent to failure. A sluggard will bemoan the fact that balance includes work. The truth is, if we fail to take time for important things, we get off kilter and fail to enjoy life to it’s fullest.

Regardless of how busy we are, here are 10 keys for a balanced life…

  1. Think: is the beginning of anything. God gave us the ability to reason, to think, and we fail to do it enough.  Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,Ps 119:148 My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word. The trouble with people is that they just don’t think.
    • Adding this to your day;  take 15 minutes everyday to come up with 10 ideas on how to improve your life and those around you.
  2. Work: it’s the price of success. From the very beginning, man has been given work. Ge 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Retirement is not in the Bible.
    • Adding this to your day;  get a job, and treat it as if you were the owner, or better still, as if you work for God. Eph 6:5
  3. Play: – this can only fully be enjoyed after we’ve worked hard. In order for YOU to play, some work had to be done (usually by MOM).  Ecc 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. Ec 2:24; 3:12,22; 5:18; 9:7; Jesus went to a wedding,  Joh 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  A Friend of mine uses the opportunity of play to meet people, to get to know them and share the Gospel with them.
    • Adding this to your day; All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Use it for exercise, use it to meet people, but never let it separate you from enjoying the rest of life. All play and no work makes jack a POOR boy!
  4. Read; I remember commercials back in the 70’s saying, “RIF Reading Is Fundamental.” How many books do you read? Kings – De 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them. 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God. Jesus asked in Mt 19:4 “Have you not read…”
    A man that refuses to read is no better than the Illiterate man.

    • Adding this to your day; Read a little bit every day. The average person reads less than 1 book a year. Read 1 book a month! (I’m not talking about only reading trashy novels or sci-fi, but include biographies, or I don’t know……..the BIBLE!
  5. Worship; It is for our benefit. It helps to add focus to our lives. 1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
    • Adding this to your day; Pray without ceasing, 1Thess 5:17, Assemble with the saints every Sunday, Acts 20:7.
  6. Help & enjoy friends: our friends ultimately are going to be a major source of comfort and happiness. The cure for most psychological ills come through the company we keep. Consider the friendship of Jonathan for David in 1Sa 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:1-42; 23:16-18. Everything we will ever have or enjoy will come through other people. Do you want a friend, be one. Do you want good service, be a good customer.
    • Adding this to your day; Make friends of God’s people. God calls Christians His CHILDREN, If that is so, how should we treat them?
  7.  Love –Though we achieve all success and substance, Without love, we are nothing.  Yet this is the most missed–element in our lives. In 1Cor 13, Love is described perfectly, never failing, never boasts, is kind and patient. Take time to Love.
    • Adding this to your day; Read 1Cor 13 and compare that to your behavior. Are you patient,  kind, do you envy others, are you rude, do you think evil?
  8. Dream: it is the foundation upon which hope is built. Another way of saying this is to set Goals. Little goals, big goals. The average person only plans til the next paycheck.  Before a ship sets sail, it lays in a coarse, it knows where it’s going. Where are you going? How will you know when you get there?
    • Adding this to your day; Do you feel you’re without hope? In Christ we have a hope of heaven. Rev 22
  9. Laugh; did you know it’s in the Bible? Have you ever seen a laughing baby, so cute. Laughter is healthy and all of us love to laugh. In Ec 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh.  Ro 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore. Php 4:4; Luke 6:21 you shall laugh.
    • Adding this to your day; hang out with your friends, listen to good clean comedians, or look up videos of laughing babies.
  10. Plan: It’s the secret of being able to have time for the first nine things. This is different from dreaming, this is about taking control of your day.  God is a planner – 1Pe 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
    • Adding this to your day; In the morning, get up just a bit earlier, and after you’ve prayed, map out your day. Include time to work on your dreams. If you take control of your days, your life will take care of itself. Today is the only day you can manage.

Before BALANCE can happen, one must be in Christ. Are you in Christ? If no, then your life will always be out of balance.

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10

  

4 step formula for success

The other day in the panhandle of Texas, I heard of a lady that had been kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend. She had called her former employer, this person had only used her once to clean a rental house, seeking help. She wanted to avoid any shelters so as to be able to keep her kids, though her kids were with other people. She had no money, no one to turn, no place to go zip, nada, nothing.

Without trying to sound incompassionate, this question came to mind; How does one get to a point in their life that they have nothing? How do you burn every bridge so that you have no bridge to cross? I’m speaking about people that have options and without disabilities to prevent them from having some semblance of success. (incidentally, I’ve met folks with major obstacles in their lives and have overcome)

How do you live an honest life, lacking nothing?

Would you like a life like that? Honest living, lacking nothing? There are little treasures in the scriptures that God gives us to better enjoy our lives. He said in 2Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, KJV. These “things” are more than just the churchy stuff. He provided information about life.

So, turning to the scriptures we find this little gem…

1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Here we see a worthy ideal, having an honest life toward folks, and a lack of nothing. This verse says “that ye”, meaning that the formula is in the previous verses where we find the 4 step formula….

1Th 4:9 ¶ But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

Let’s break this down for you…..

  1. LOVE – In vs9 He says that we are to love one another, then in vs10 to “increase more and more“. We should do more than just increase, but that He was urging us strongly to make this increase. Notice the word “beseech“.
  2. Pursue PEACE– In vs11 we see “study to be quiet“, meaning that we need to seek peace, a quiet life. Do you see how these first two steps can really change how our lives unfold?
  3. Mind your own business – Also in vs11 we see “to do your own business“. This is about being a busybody, or meddling. I think it’s referring less about what to avoid and more about what to do, take care of your stuff, look after your needs. This is not a selfish ambition, but rather making sure that the beam is removed from your own eye. Mat 7:5
  4. WORK with your own hands – now this may make sense to some of you, but to others this is a four letter word. From the very beginning, man has been assigned work to do. Work is the thing that provides all the necessities of life; food, clothing and shelter. If you don’t work, someone has to. Think of work as a blessing, not a curse. Though work is a struggle for mankind, it’s still the only thing that provides for our needs. On another note, there’s another benefit to work, Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. KJV

Love – Peace – Mind your own – Work

Had I told this to certain audiences, they would reject this formula simply for being from the Bible. If I were to share this without the scripture reference, they would hail it as just good ‘ole common sense. These things work whether you’re a believer or unbeliever……..

……if you’re an unbeliever, then what’s the point of any of this? If you don’t have a hope of heaven in Christ, then you’ve got nothing and that is one bridge you want to keep from burning. He’s told us how to cross that bridge too. Click here to see what saves you.

 

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10

unconventional evangelism

I actually want to look at evangelism in a way that seems to be missing in many Christians, but first let me tell you a story……

I was attempting to eat at a restaurant where I live in Borger, Texas. I say attempt, because the entire staff for this particular restaurant was outside smoking. Had they been in the back by the dumpster, my recommended smoking area for any restaurant, I may have never noticed. Nay nay, they were by the front door!

Since it was a buffet, I seated myself, retrieved my own food and served my own beverage. Oh, you may say that it was a buffet, what do you expect. Folks, the drink dispenser was in the kitchen, had it been self serve I would have no problem. No one cleared my plates, too many by the way (I need to work on that problem), no one offered a refill. AND no one brought me a bill. I even attempted to wait on another table as they were in the same plight as myself.

As I went up to check out and paid my bill with my card I was faced with the dilemma when filling out the “tip” line. ….

Many of these folks would identify themselves as a Christian

Here’s what got me thinking, As a Christian, how should our work ethic be perceived? Another thing I got to thinking about, looking at myself, If I demand such HIGH expectations from the purchases I make, shouldn’t I GIVE the same or better quality in the services I provide?

Is there a guiding Biblical principle for these Ideas? Yes…...the Christian work ethic……

  1. Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: KJV
  2. 1Pe 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: NKJV

All of these are sufficient to show HOW a Christian should work, but I want to show you WHY this is so important. This will also get to the point of the title of this blog…….Evangelism through our work..

  1. 1Pe 3:1  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (lifestyle) of the wives; (speaking of wives, but could easily apply to any spouse)
  2. 1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (this is speaking to Christians having a positive, hopeful attitude in the midst of trouble)
  3. Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Let us remember, we are here to be a light to the world, spreading the Gospel. I will leave you with this……

“Christians should always be preaching the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” unknown

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10