STRAIN AT A GNAT

I DON’T CARE ABOUT MOST OF THE THINGS THAT A FEW OF THOSE PREACHERS ON TV DO.  For instance, I really don’t care if the earth was formed 6,000 years ago or 10 Billion years ago.  I don’t think the Lord God inspired the Bible to be a book of irrefutable science. If it was important for us to know exactly when and how the earth was formed he would have made it abundantly clear.

If Jesus had wanted us to know the exact date of his coming he would have told us.  And yet I have heard a few TV guys and others laboriously trying to find in Scripture and signs in the sky when we will see Jesus coming.  I’m ready!  Are you?  Maybe those speeching-preaching entertainers are too busy raising money for their $50 million dollar jet plane to

“Preach the word; to be prepared in season and out of season; to correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy 4:2 (niv)

I heard a guy on TV say that we are going to be in heaven exactly the way we are on earth, but without the limitations.  Reeely?

As for me, I don’t want to be like I am now.  I like myself, kinda, but I’m not a narcissist.  Being free of limitations may be great, but I would need to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel to find anything like that in the Bible.  I’ll guarantee you that when Jesus comes – whenever that may be – and he introduces me to my heavenly body,   🎼🎶🎹

“there’ll be singing, there’ll shouting

When the saints come marching home,

In Jerusalem, in Jerusalem,

Waving palms with loud hosannas

As the King shall take His throne,

In the new Jerusalem.”

(C. B. Widmeyer)

Much of that preaching is designed to either raise money or scare the living daylights out of people.  My heart and life are ready.  I love the Savior and he loves me, and his saving grace makes me unbelievably happy.

🎼🎶🎹

“Whenever I am tempted,

whenever clouds arise,

when song gives place to sighing,

when hope within me dies,

I draw the closer to him;

from care he sets me free:

his eye is on the sparrow,

and I know he watches me;

his eye is on the sparrow,

and I know he watches me.

“I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

for his eye is on the sparrow,

and I know he watches me.”

(Civilla D. Martin)

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I Know What You’re Thinking

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING – one or more of the following questions as it relates to your relationship to Christ:

1. “If I behave myself and be a good little girl (or boy), God will accept me and all will be well.”

“If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise [of God] into an ironclad contract! [But] That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal.”
Romans 4:13-15 (msg)
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Ephesians 2:8 (kjv)

2. “Who? Me? Everybody does it! Are you accusing me? You’re not perfect either so don’t go preaching to me!”

Nope.  Not preaching because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 3:23 (kjv)  and,
“I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Psalms 51:5 (kjv)

3. “I don’t think you know how bad I’ve been; in fact, how bad I am now!”

Well, Abraham was a liar.
Moses, David and the Apostle Paul were murderers.
Jacob was a deceiver.
The Apostle Peter was a denier and a bully.  You know what, through God’s amazing mercy and grace my life was changed, too.

4. “It can’t be that easy.” I agree. It was Jesus that took it all.  And that’s what makes it so hard because you think you need to be punished.  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
Romans 5:8-9 (niv)

5. “O, so I can just accept and I don’t have to change anything? I’m really not that bad.”  I’ve heard that before. It’s as old as early humanity.  “They tell their spiritual leaders, ‘Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.’ They tell their preachers, ‘Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with [holy things].’”
Isaiah 30:8-11 (msg)
If you want to deceive yourself or go on living like the devil, if you want to be an inch deep and a mile wide, if you want to have bouts of stupidity, if you want to go from hurt to hate and back again, or if you are arrogant enough to think you can stick your finger in God’s eye, then stay with your old lifestyle.  You’ll be up and down without peace, without real joy; dirty inside. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (kjv)

6. “You may not believe this, but I tried being a Christian one time and it didn’t work.”

What, were you doing a performance or something? Were you trying to use a can opener?  Is that what you think the Christian life is like, a “trying out” for a job?
“For this is how God loved you: He gave His one and only Son, so that when you believe in him you will not perish but have eternal life. God gave his Son to you not to judge the judge you, but to save you through him.”
John 3:16-17 (nlt-paraphrase)
“If you confess your sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive  your sins and to cleanse you from all wickedness.”
1 John 1:9 (nlt-paraphrase)

7. SO WHEN YOU ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY CONFESS, REPENT AND BELIEVE, He will be right there to love you, support you and give you strength and hope!

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
Isaiah 30:21 (nlt)

🎼🎶
“OUT OF MY BONDAGE, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.”
(William T. Sleeper)