When we say we will love GOD with all our mind we are saying we will put God at the top of our priority list.
Daniel prayed that Nebuchadnezzar’s mind would be changed to that of an animal that ate grass with the other beast of the field. (Daniel 4:16) GOD is willing and able to change our sinful minds, but we must submit to HIS will.
After Jesus defeated death and had come back to be with the disciples, two of them were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walked along Jesus joined them. They didn’t recognize him because of their grief. Jesus expounded on the scriptures until they reached Emmaus. Then the scripture says “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45)
He can do the same thing for us. The Bible can be hard to understand sometimes in our normal minds, but if we are sincere and prayerfully ask GOD to explain what we have read He is fateful to show us what it means to us.
We have a lot of terrible things happening to our country today. Paul spoke about this to the Romans. “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge GOD any longer, GOD gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are not proper.
People today wonder why people have become so mean, but Paul understood it.
We have taken GOD out of our schools, public places and basically out of our lives. Is there any wonder that minds are depraved.
The soul is the most important part of the human existence. This element lives on after the death of the body, and will someday be reunited with a resurrected body to eternity.
The Psalm writers had a lot to say about the soul.
Psalm 16:10 David prayed to GOD and thanked Him that GOD would ‘ not abandon my soul in Sheol ‘.
In the 23rd Psalm it states “He restores my soul”.
Psalm 42:1 – The sons of Korah wrote “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O GOD.”
And we sing David’s praise all that is within me, bless His holy name.
And Peter warned about keeping away from sinful situations. The scripture tells us to flee from any appearance of evil.
I Peter 2:11says “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul”.
The soul is our most important part of our human existence, and the only thing that will stay with us forever, so it is our number one priority to love GOD with all our soul.
The Bible definition of the word heart is “the mind or seat of emotions, a person’s moral being, a physical organ”.
The Bible speaks of the intent of a man’s heart. What is the most important thing in your life? Hearts can be hardened. The more a person rejects or postpones the gospel the harder the heart becomes. That is the reason it is so important to work with our young people while they still have tender hearts. Their minds and hearts are going to be filled with either the world’s sinful views or the pure truth of the word of God.
The Psalm writer talks about hiding the word of GOD in his heart. Are we storing away the word of GOD in our hearts?
Proverbs talk about a joyful heart and a troubled heart. You can usually tell what is in a person’s heart by the expressions on their face. But in some cases the image on the face was set before the person became a member of GOD’S family. I know a man who had a hard, wrinkled, sad expression, but this person is beautiful inside because he accepted Jesus as his savior late in life.
Jesus told us not to fear anything in this world because “greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world.
Sometimes we hear people refuse a job in the church because they are “burned out”. Galatians tells us not to grow weary in doinggood. GOD will give us the strength.
When we love GOD with all our heart it means we are 100% committed to him.
We are in a season of frantic shopping and are going from one meeting to another. From Black Friday until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve it seems to be a continuous series of “things” that cause panic. But is that what Christmas should be?
We are celebrating the long awaited birth of the Savior, God had promised after Adam and Eve sinned and caused us to need a way to Heaven. Throughout the Old Testament the coming Messiah was mentioned. Isiah gave His name. Micah told us where He would be born.
Jesus didn’t come as a earthly King’s son but rather in humble surroundings. If he had been born in a palace it would have taken less faith than being a poor carpenter’s son.
Although Jesus lived a perfect life (sinless) life He knew that the ultimate sacrifice to God the Father for the sins of each of us was in His future. He knew it would be bad and hard and even prayed to be relieved of His job. But he submitted to the will of His father, and was beaten, cursed, and finally nailed to a cross in the trash dump outside of Jerusalem.
That baby that the angel announced to the virgin, Mary, would be the perfect gift to the world, (The free gift of salvation). But just as Jesus submitted to God the Father, we also must commit our lives to God to receive this free gift.
So the meaning of Christmas is simple. That manger where the baby Jesus laid was in the shadow of the cross. Christmas and Easter go together.
We are living in a time when God’s plan for a family is challenged on every side. We waste so much time on something that doesn’t even make sense. It was the plan that our creator devised to generate the earth, not only for humans but for the animal world as well.
In the l980’s a large nature preserve in Africa was being over populated with elephants. The managers decided to take three hundred of the young elephants away from their parents and move them to another preserve that didn’t have many elephants. They were big enough that they had no enemies. The preserve managers thought that the elephants would get along fine with the rhinos.
After a few months they were surprised to find dead rhinos. They set up a camera blind at a watering hole and were completely surprised at their findings. The orphaned elephants had created gangs that attacked and killed the rhinos, completely against their nature. Without parental guidance, the young elephants had made up their own rules.
I believe a similar situation threatens our children in today’s society. A father and mother are important. That parental guidance is essential in a young person’s development and growth.
Our church works with a tall African-American man from southern South Carolina. He went to Bible College in Texas where he learned Spanish and met his wife. They moved to Central America where he and his wife now work with the street children in the capital city of Honduras. There are many orphaned children in the big city, many who live in the doorways and vacant buildings of the city. Over the years, Alvin Anderson has shown the children that he is their friend and offers to help any of them who show that they truly want to change. Some succeed but sadly, many have such a devastating addiction to drugs and involvement within the gang community that they go back to their former existence. Though, they still respect Poppy Alvin and he still shows them love. Everywhere we go, whether it is the feeding centers, the detention centers or the dark city streets, the cry of Poppy Alvin was heard. The reason these young people love Alvin so much is that he filled a basic need in their lives. God created the family unit in the Garden of Eden. God’s model was a father leading the family with a mother as a help mate. Neither role was more important than the other, but both are important in the growth of a well balanced child to adulthood. If they don’t get the guidance at home they will look for it elsewhere, many times in gangs that give them the false sense of a cohesive family unit.
Father you are needed, if our country is to get back on track.
The word cross is derived from the Latin for crucifixion. The Roans used this cruel means of executing. The cross could be in the shape of a capital T or the more commonly used small letter t. The hands or wrist were nailed to the cross member. The feet were placed together so that a single spike could pierce them both. The victim could rest some weight on a small piece of wood just below his feet. This helped him push up enough to get a little air in his lungs, but it also prolonged his suffering. When the legs were broken the process would be over because the victim could no longer get any air. (Matthew 19:32)
Our Lord knew what was in store for him as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, but He also knew that was why He came to earth as a baby on that Christmas morning over thirty years earlier.
The terrible beating He took, the crown of thorns forced down on His head, the blood He shed all the way up to Golgotha and the blood that dripped from His hands and feet and side, all were done to offer US sinners a way to Heaven. (Romans 5:8) There are some simple requirements. You must realize you can’t save yourself, that you are separated from God and Heaven by a sinful nature. Then we earnestly ask God to come into our heart and take over. We repent of our sinful ways and live for God. And we tell others that Jesus is our Lord (Romans 10:9)
We have the right to do this, because Jesus was willing to shed His blood and give up His life on earth for us.
To me the cross means salvation, not just a church steeple or something to wear.
What does the cross mean to you?
God created the family unit in the Garden of Eden.
It came under attack immediately by the devil. Ever since that time the idea of a family, serving God has had a bull’s eye on it. God knew this would be true when He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and to us. His intentions in the sixth chapter show how the family is to be kept intact. The father and mother are to teach these ten basic laws to their children. They are to be lived to show a living example. The Proverbs tell it simply as “Train up a child in the way that he should go”. Children learn from the grown-ups that are bringing them up. There is an old saying “Monkey see, monkey do”.
The world today through sinful eyes looks down on the 10 commandments and on marriage. They call it a relationship, but a relationship that excludes God is doomed to failure. Homosexuals even promote having children without the father-mother union.
Today we have come to a point where we call good things bad and bad things good. (Judges 21:25) Every time that happened in the Bible the country soon ceased to exit.
The only hope our country has is to come back to the basic laws of God and restore the family unit.
A country where the family unit ceases to exit will soon cease to exist.
For several days after Christmas everyone seems to want to know “what did you get” especially the children. Months before the birthday of our savior, the stores have pushed advertisements by mail, social media, and flooded the television channels. All for that one morning, so it is a natural question.
But for us grownups we received gifts that money can’t buy. The wise men came looking for a messiah, a savior. The people in Bethlehem were not looking for the messiah, certainly not in a stable. They were looking for other things. Today many people still are not looking for a savior. They were born in a prosperous time in a country that men, several years in the making, created using God’s outline.
Just as the Hebrews became prosperous and did not think they needed God. But of course we all need a savior because we are all born in a sinful state.
When we come to a point in our life where we realize we can’t save ourselves we receive the best gift ever. So when we born again children celebrate Christmas we have many gifts from God. First is Salvation, a pardon from our sins. God’s love (John 3:16 & Romans 5:8) Hope for our eternity. Joy – the joy and peace from being a child of God can’t be matched.
Trust and obey.
The little word up has more uses and meanings than any two letter word. Here are a few uses of the little word. If you try to build up a list of uses you might end up with a headache.
At a meeting many topics come up. Some people speak up. The officers are up for election, and the secretary has to write up a report.
On a special occasion we get dressed up. Good smells stir up our appetites and when we are late we think up excuses. A drain has to be opened up because it is stopped up. We open up a store in the morning and we close it up at night.
In the King James Bible the word up appears 2,380 times in 2,164 verses.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we need to spend a lot of time sending our thanks up to God. (Psalm 100)
We need to wake up. (Revelation 3:2-3)
We need to grow up. (John 4:35)
Most of all we need to look up. (Luke 21:28) These things are taking place now.
So stay prayed up, so that you can be filled up, so that someday we can be lifted up.