Sunday, October 6, 2013

Value your time, and use it wisely!

As most of you know from last weeks writing, my family and I went on a vacation that could have gone so much better in our minds than the way it turned out. It ceases to amaze me how God will use one situation, to continue to talk to us in ways we can only fully comprehend through reflection, this example is no exception.

I came away last week focusing on the childlike contentment that was shown through our children. After further reflection, and a few things that have happened since we returned, it is evident that God had a much deeper insight for me to see.

You see the weeks before our vacation my wife and I were both praying and struggling with the question of our time, and are we using it to fulfill what God has planned for our lives. It didn't truly hit me until yesterday that the message we were meant to receive was about our time. We had planned a perfect vacation, that was to be a seven day sun and fun filled adventure, that got shrunk down to the last two days. On Sunday, the first day of our vacation, our kids were wanting to do everything possible, we kept telling them we are here for a week we will get to do all of the things you are wanting to do.

Yesterday I realized that in life we say the exact same thing, "we have our whole life ahead of us we can play catch, have a tea party, or spread the gospel tomorrow". The truth is we are only given so much time, and what we do with it gets more important as each day goes by. You can make more money, build new houses, buy more material things, but time is the real commodity.

Matthew 24:42-44
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Ecclesiastes 9: 9-12
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
11 I returned and saw under the sun that--
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
12 For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.

I have come away from our vacation renewed, inspired, and ready to serve God.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Childlike contentment!

This past week my family and I went on our first full week vacation since my son Blake was born, over nine years ago. My wife started planning in March, after we got our taxes back. She looked at places on the beach within our budget, she planned excursions for rainy days, packed food and clothing, checked rental vehicles, and even planned crafts and games to keep the kids occupied on the seventeen hour drive.

I mention all of this as it seems no matter how much we plan, weather always plays a factor, this time was no exception. We arrived on Saturday with sun and great expectations, Sunday evening you could see the changeable skies coming in. The next three days we would be flooded in the house.

My wife and I were disappointed as we had planned the perfect vacation, and now it seemed it was becoming a disaster, our kids however were having a blast, content with the PS3, and movies.

The thing is we failed to see what our kids saw, and that was no matter what the world may throw our way, to have that child like vision and contentment.

This week slow down and see the world through a child's eyes!  

Matthew 11:25,26
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!

Ecclesiastes 1:7,8
Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The end of regulation!

Do you turn off the tv after nine innings regardless of whether the game is over or not? Do you stop watching a football game at the end of regulation? Why is it we make sure our pastors keep a schedule and don't run over on time? Is a good sermon less important than an extra inning baseball game, or a double overtime football game?

Have you noticed how churches are racing through sermons and making sure they keep a tight schedule. Don't misunderstand me, it is good to keep a schedule and try to keep things to the point, but should our church life be so compartmentalized?
If the pastor is on fire, should he stop after forty five minutes? What if the real meat of the message were to happen at forty seven minutes, and God's real message never got heard because we reached the end of regulation?

We rush through life in everything we do, even our time with God. I have found myself rushing through my time with God, instead of giving him the best time. I caught myself this morning jumping the gun to go up to play music for communion, and in a way rushing our pastor through his final points in his sermon.

If we have time for entertainment can't we give the same reverence to our time with God?

This week go tell your pastor it's ok if you run over, Sunday is the Lord's day and I can think of nothing more important than hearing what He has to speak through you.

Psalms 39: 4-7
Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Waiting on God's plans

Ten years ago today, I married my beautiful wife JoAnna. I had been single for a number of years after going through a very bad relationship. Before JoAnna and I met, I didn't think there was anyone out there that would love me for me, or would be by my side through it all.

Realistically I had set the conditions for finding someone pretty high, simple but high. I had a cousin who was sick for years and his wife stayed by his side right to the end of his life. I was looking for what I called, a be with me even when I can't wipe the drool from my mouth kind of love, you know an unconditional love.

Lucky for me God had the perfect plan, and love for me, all I had to do was be patient and wait for her blue eyes to shine my way. Both of us had been in relationships we had planned for ourselves, but I know my life will never be the same after finding the love and life God had planned for me.

Today we are celebrating our tenth anniversary. I know years from now, as we are watching the sunset on our front porch while celebrating our fiftieth, our love will be strong and true, not because we had the perfect plan, but because God had made us for each other.

I know this isn't my normal weekly writing, but I know with two joined together, believing in all God has planned for you, nothing is impossible. I truly believe God brought us together and will continue to work in our lives. I pray to God each day and give thanks for crossing our paths.

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Giving God our best!

Time is money, does this phrase sound familiar? If it is true, as so many think it to be, then why isn't our time seen as a commodity that should be shared with God?

Malachi 1:6-8
6 “A son honors his father,
And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts
To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’

7 “You offer defiled food on My altar,
But say,
‘In what way have we defiled You?’
By saying,
‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’
8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
Is it not evil?
And when you offer the lame and sick,
Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor!
Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Most people when they read this passage of scripture, think of tithes, offerings, and the sacrifices brought to the temples. I think it applies to so much more than just our material offerings to God. I see it as God wanting our best our first fruits, not just our leftovers. When we show up late, unprepared or only set aside time to pray, when we have time available, we are dishonoring God with our time.

Revelation 2:1-7
1“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

You see we have become the loveless church that is spoken of in Revelation. We have fallen away from our first love, which Jesus spoke of, the love of serving.

It makes me think of Jesus last night, when he girded Himself and washed the feet of those who were gathered with Him. In reading that passage it seemed symbolic at first, but in actuality, I believe Jesus was showing us how we should serve Him, without thought of the task, without worrying how others may think of us, serving Him by giving our best at whatever we do in His name.

Colossians 3:22-24
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How do you represent?

With the top news stories involving sports figures, politicians, and even ordinary people, not being good role models, it made me think, are we good representatives for Christ?

John 15: 1-17
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

I have referenced the above scripture, This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you, to me this is the only commandment, after Christ paid the price for our sins. 

I know most of you who work for a company, or represent an organization, have either signed, or been directed to a code of conduct. If you are a confessed, born again Christian, you have made the same promise to God. The difference is there are no physical demands for you to uphold your end with God, only spiritual. If you don't show love and kindness, will God condemn you? If you stumble and fall, will you be lost for eternity? Personally I believe we are led by the Spirit that lives within us to do God's will, but I don't believe we are condemned, as we have been forgiven of our past and future sins, but why wouldn't you want to follow such a simple yet awesome command.

We all interact with people everyday, in our jobs, at restaurants, and through mundane everyday activities. Do people look forward to seeing you? Even when you need to be tough, do you show the compassion of Christ and truly care how your actions affect people's lives?

This week as you interact with people ask yourself, "How am I representing"? If I were Christ would I want me on my team, wearing the team colors?

Remember, I am no theologian, I just read the bible with the direction of the Holy Spirit to guide and speak to me.  I urge everyone to take the time to read for themselves.

You have been found not guilty!

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

What does it mean to be found not guilty in the court of law?

In the world today being found not guilty will get you freedom from the charges that were brought against you, but the world will continue to bring up the crime that you were accused of. We are much the same way, we were found not guilty according to God but our flesh continues to live in the past, constantly bringing up who we were before Christ came into our lives.

Romans 6: 5-11
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we are God's children reconciled by Christ death on the cross, and empowered by the Holy Spirit that lives within us, why do we continue to call ourselves unworthy and act as though we are still on trial?

Don't look back on your past failures, or those things that held you down in the past, renew your mind, and start living in God's love and grace.

This week the headline of the paper reads found not guilty never to be tried again, now we must go out and live your lives life the heirs that we are in Christ.

Through Christ our sins are forgiven, through God's grace our sins are forgotten!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What does your faith mean to you?

Over the past few weeks I have been reading through the book of Acts. I have been reading Acts as the ministry needed a burst of renewed energy, and what better place to find God sent inspiration, than the beginning of the Church itself.

While reading through Acts, it struck me how the early Christians suffered persecution, beatings, and even being banished by their own families, for their beliefs. It got me thinking about my faith and what it means to me. I have to say I hope and pray, that if put in their position, I would be able to stand firm, and I pray the Holy Spirits strength takes over, as I am unsure of my flesh, but I am reassured of my born again spirit. 

None of us can answer as Christians in America as we have never had to worry about our religious freedom, but in countries all around the world Christians are being persecuted as they were in the beginning of the church.

But what if a decree was filed, and effective immediately, speaking the name of Jesus Christ was a punishable offense, or anyone caught with a bible would be subject to persecution? Would you be at church on Sunday? Would you still carry your bible where ever you go, or do you now?

So what does your faith mean to you? Is it something you take for granted? Is it something you would suffer for? If it meant being imprisoned would you still proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, or do you now?

Tough questions aren't they, but ones worth thinking about. This week ask these tough questions, and don't be judgmental on yourself, as even Peter himself denied Christ before being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:13-21
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”

18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Through Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, through God's grace, our sins are forgotten!

Today on the way into work I stopped to pray before starting my day. The phrase that came to mind was this, "Through Christ our sins are forgiven, Through God's grace our sins are forgotten".

I have been studying the books of Acts and Romans as they to me, are the beginning of what we know as the Church. I have been studying these books as we are going through a transition at our church, moving from a building that is financially keeping us from ministering to people, as we are strapped to the note. In this transition it has been made real to me how much we need to emphasize what Christ has done for us, and how God sees us, more than anything else!

Jesus died on the cross, paying the sin debt God knew we could never pay. What that has done for us, most people don't even realize. You see most people in the world today, when you ask what Jesus death on the cross represents, will tell you that  it saves us from eternal damnation. This is true, but it is only part of the story. Jesus death not only paid the price for our sin, but it opened us up to the relationship God intended when he made mankind.

Up til that time, when God looked at man, he saw the sin and corruption that we were born into, because of Adam's transgression. After Jesus' death, God gave us a way to Him through his Son Jesus Christ, that whosoever call on the name of Jesus shall be saved.

But what does that mean? What were we saved from? What were we saved for? That is where Christ sacrifice, in my opinion gets diluted. Many people have been taught once we are saved we are just waiting for Christ to return. That is not entirely true, even though we are all looking forward to His return, we have been given much more than a promised return. We are seen as Christ through God's eyes, our spirits have been reborn, no longer slaves to the things of our past, we are renewed!

Not born of the sin that our flesh was made part of, but a spiritual rebirth into God's holy kingdom as children of the most high God. We are seen as Righteous, Holy,  and Beloved, through the price Jesus paid for our sins.

Through Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, through God's grace, our sins are forgotten!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Who are we?

This is a question that can have many different answers.

I am not sure about everyone out there but I need reminded on a daly basis exactly who I am. I am not talking about my job, my career, or what I am most known for, I am talking about our identity in the spirit, who we are in Christ, who we became when we accepted Christ' gift of salvation.

How many of you still see yourselves as sinners? 
How many have gone to AA meetings where people stand up and proudly tell everyone I'm an alcoholic?

Is that what Christ died on the cross for? So we can relive all of our sins over and over again?

I will not let His gift be diluted by all of the damaged thinking that is out there in the world today, not just in " The world" but in our churches as well. So many people forget that we were bought and paid for with the ultimate price, God didn't sacrifice His only son so we could go around with our heads hung low, He sent His Son to earth so His plan of salvation could be fulfilled and we could have fellowship with the creator of the universe.

This week walk with your head held high, knowing that with your confession of faith, in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are seen as righteous and holy in the eyes of God. Your sin has been cast as far as the east is from the west, never again to be held against you.

Praise God for His love!
Praise God for His Grace!
Praise God for His mercy!
Praise God for Jesus Christ!
In all you do bring praise to His name!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The words we choose: Part 1

In studying God's word and the many different translations, it got me thinking about our language today and the words we choose to use. I bring this up, as we live by the old rhyme of " sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me." If this is true, why do we hang on to the hurtful names we were called in our childhood? If this is true, why is there so much emphasis put on our use of words in God's word, the Holy Bible?

Proverbs 15:2,4,7,28
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,
But the heart of the fool does not do so.
28 The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.

Proverbs 18:21
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

I want to give a fore warning, this first installment will have some words that should offend, but I know no other way to show them than to write them out. Here they are, sh*t, f*ck, b*tch, p*ss, *ss, and one I will not even type, but it is used so often, it is some peoples go to adjective and uses our Lord's name to describe their discontent.

I know George Carlin used these words in a comedy routine in the 70s, but there is nothing funny about where we are today. Why with all the words we have, not only in the English language, but all languages do we find the need to use these words? Do they make us feel more powerful, do we find them funny, do they make us feel smarter by being so eloquent with such language? I don't have the answers to these questions, merely questions myself.

In the coming weeks we are going to look at even more words and what they do and don't do for us, but this week listen to the conversations around you and see just how often these words are used, and what you think and feel as you hear them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Two biblical exapmles of prayer!

Over the last few weeks we have gone over two of the most prayed prayers in the bible. Last week we looked at the Lord's Prayer, this week we will look at what I believe Jesus is instructing us to do within this prayer.

Matthew 6:9-13
9 Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. We should come to God with praise and reverence for His name is high above any name to be named since the beginning of creation.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We should pray for God's plans for our lives to come to pass, and His will to done for us here on earth, just as it will be for us in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. God supplies our needs, we should not get wrapped up in seeking riches, but just knowing that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory, not according to our bank accounts.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This is one that is hard for everyone. We want our debts and trespasses forgiven but it is extremely hard to forgive someone that has wronged us. Jesus is telling us the key to our lives being full is letting go of the things that are holding us back, I believe un-forgiveness is one of the biggest problems in our world and church today.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. I have always had a hard time with this passage as I don't believe God tempts us but that the devil is the one tempting us with the worldly things that rule so many lives today. I do believe that God sent the Holy Spirit to come live in our hearts and that through His strength and guidance we can overcome anything that satan can throw at us.

For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

God has a plan for our lives, not just the here and now part, but every part of our lives. I believe He laid things out in the simple prayers that we looked at over the past few weeks so even the most stubborn and simple among us could see His love and grace in our lives.

This week as you pray get it down to the simplest level and as your pray this prayer, let God speak to you through His words. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Two biblical examples of prayer!

Over the next few weeks we are going to look at two examples of
prayer in both the Old and New Testament.

The first one, unfortunately
most people will recognize from eulogies, as it is mostly used at funerals, but
when we break down this prayer from David we see that it was in reality a vision
of the promised Messiah.

Psalms 23
The Lord
is my shepherd;
I shall not
He makes me to lie
down in green pastures;
He leads me beside
the still waters.
restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths
of righteousness
For His name’s

Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a
table before me in the presence of my enemies;
anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs
Surely goodness
and mercy shall follow me
All the days of
my life;
And I will dwell in the house of
the Lord

The first line, The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, is
giving reference to Jesus being the one who protects, provides, and guides us as
the shepherds of David's time did. I do find it interesting that this Psalms was
written about a thousand years before Jesus' birth, but is unmistakable in who
it is describing as the Lord.

As we read on we find the Lord leading His
sheep like a shepherd of the day would care for his flock. He makes me to lie
down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. This paints a
beautiful picture of how God cares for us and every one of our needs are
He restores my soul; He leads me in
the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Our souls are restored and our
paths are clear of any unrightousness leaving us free to focus on worship
and praise of our Lord.
Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Our
Lord, like the shepherd has His shield over us as we journey through the valleys
of our world. It is so comforting to know God is there in everything we

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the
days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

These lines show me that this is
about our salvation and us living the abundant life now, and it not just being
about our journey into heaven.

Tonight when you pray think about
these words and meditate on them and feel the peace that David felt as he looked
out at a thousand stars spread throughout the sky by our

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finding the zeal of a new believer!

This week we will continue with the teachings from "the parable of the sower" as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13. Over the last few weeks we covered the seed that fell on stony ground, the seed that fell among the weeds, and now this week we will start with the first of the examples, the seed that fell by the wayside and was eaten by the birds.

Matthew 13:3,4 and 18,19
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;
and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

How many of you when you first heard of the salvation of Jesus Christ met with ridicule or harsh words about your new found belief? A lot of us did as people are reluctant to believe what they don't understand and the human tendency is to attack what you can't explain. It does make it hard to stay strong in your faith when you have people come against you in what you believe, but we must stay strong in what we believe, and also encourage those that have decided to make Jesus the focus of their lives.

In the world today it is easy to quit or stop your beliefs when everyone is against you, but no one ever said being a born again Christian would be easy. In fact once we become born again our spiritual world gets easier as we have an advocate in the Holy Spirit, but our worldly life doesn't always follow our spiritual walk. Living a spiritual life in an earthly world is difficult as evident in Jesus parables about the spreading of the Word.

This week take the time to read through Matthew 13 and the parables of the sower and see which of the parables line up with your born again experience, and lets focus on becoming the last of these parables, reaping thirty, sixty, and one hundred fold.


Finding the zeal of a new beliver!

Last week we looked at the ways that as a new believer the world around you can choke or distract you and steal you away from what is important, God's will and plan for your life. This week we are going back to the parable of the sower to look at another way the zeal of a new believer gets stolen away.

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

The sower sowed seed and it fell on rocky ground where it did not have much soil. You see this is the new believer, who in most cases tries going it alone. He may be a person that was never taught about God growing up, so his family may not be supportive of his new found faith. When they first hear the Word of Christ they go at it with both barrels but the heat of their un-supportive friends and family get the best of them and their faith wilts from the heat and pressure.

As Christians we need the fellowship and support of other believers to help us stay strong when the trials come our way. It is good for us to both encourage, and be encouraged as we grow in our relationship with God.

This week if you are in stony ground reach out to someone for support, and if you are grounded be that support.