Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Are You Offended by the Bible in the Drawer?

Try this out. Go to Google search and type in this phrase "Hotels removing Gideon Bibles". Then just glance at all of the headlines, and you'll see that seems to be a trend among hotels now. All of this all because of complaints from athiests and "freedom from religion" groups saying those hotel Bibles are offensive. Offensive!?!

Wait, mean the Bibles that are not lying out on the bed when you walk in but tucked away in a drawer that hardly anyone opens anyway?

You mean the Bible that just sits there and no one is making you even pick up, much less open it and read it?

You mean the Bible that the hotel didn't even have to pay for, but was purchased by the money of kind-hearted, Christian people who are not beating you over the head with it, but are politely tucking it away in that drawer that hardly anyone opens anyway, that Bible?

The one that sits quietly alone in the darkness of that drawer while there is porn on demand on a wide-screen HD tv and single shots of liquor in the mini-bar, when porn and alcohol have ruined more lives than anyone can count...that Bible?

The Bible that tells the story of God's love for the world as shown through His Son Jesus?

The Bible that even if you don't believe in God has a lot of wisdom that will definitely improve your life?

The Bible that even if you don't want to improve your life, is filled with great stories and poetic verse that rivals anything ever written so much so that Hollywood is breaking its neck to crank out movies based on stories from the Bible?

That Bible is offensive?

Oh....ok. Well, if you happen to be one offended by that Bible, then I will pray for you.

I will pray that you will see God's intent when He illuminated His Words and inspired those to write it was not to offend you, but to love you.

I will pray that one day the eyes of your heart will open so that you will know that it is the darkness of sin inside you that is offended by the light of God's truth.

I will pray that even if you are offended, that you will take a chance, or even take a dare, to just pick it up and read it. What do you have to lose but time? You waste plenty of that on lesser things. And if that Word doesn't penetrate your heart and touch something within you, then you can post it to the world...even right here in the comments, that I was wrong about the Bible....but I know I'm not.

Let us all who believe in the Bible pray that it will stay right where it is so it can be close to people who really need it. But even more, let us vow to keep it in our hearts where no one can remove it, and to show it in our lives where no one can ignore it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Did You Know That You Need a Doctor?

I used to hate going to the doctor. Not because I'm afraid of doctors or needles; that doesn't bother me. I guess sometimes it seemed pointless to go because either what I had would go away on it's own, or they wouldn't be able to figure out what it was. Yet, they'd run expensive tests and prescribe expensive medicines. So, for a long time, I wouldn't go to the doctor when I was sick, much less for just a routine check up when I wasn't. But that was then...

Now, because I have known so many people who've had some serious illness creep up on them without them knowing, I go on the regular. I know people who were walking around with 95% blocked arteries near their heart and didn't know it. Cancerous tumors growing inside and didn't know it. Failing heart valves, and not even know it. All these people were just going through life really, really sick, but didn't even know they needed a doctor. That's alarming to me. So I don't hesitate to go to the doctor now, even for my regular checkups.

You know, there's another kind of doctor you might need and not even know it.

Did you know that we all have a terminal illness that's worse than any deadly disease? It's not a sickness of your body, but of your soul, and it's called sin. It's congenital, that is you were born with it. You may feel just fine spiritually speaking. You feel like you’re a pretty good person, and you probably are. But the Bible says that we “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And though you may have only done some “small sins”, the Bible says that if a person “keeps the whole law and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) So if we are honest with ourselves, we'd have to admit that we are all guilty of sin, our soul is sick, and we need a doctor.

So how do we get cured from this illness?

The Bible says it simply like this. If you confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Then you do what Jesus told the woman at the well, you “go and sin no more”. That’s called repentance. You turn from your sin and strive to live a life according to what God says in His word. That's the outward evidence you display of the inner work that God has done.

So if you realize that you're sick with this sin, and you want to be cured, and you believe in Jesus and all that the Bible says about Him, then that's the sign the Lord is already working on the inside to cure your soul. The Great Physician is doing His part for you, now it's time to do your part for yourself. Pray this simple prayer right where you are right now, and really believe this in your heart as you pray.

“Jesus, I realize that I am sick with sin. I say, think, and do bad things no matter how hard I try not to. Even if I compare myself to others who may seem a lot sicker than me, I'm still a sinner. But I want to be a better person, I want to be cured, and I want a relationship with God through You. I'm sorry for all the bad things I have thought, said and done. Please forgive me. Please change my heart, take control of my life, and cure me from within. I promise to read the Bible, turn from my sins, and tell as many people as I can about You. Amen!”

If you really believe in Jesus, and that prayer you just prayed came from your faith in Him, then YOU ARE CURED! Praise God! You will still show some signs of the disease, but you'll get better and better with every passing day.

Now, you should tell someone about it. And if you're not a part of a local church, find one as soon as you can. They are like wellness centers for recovering sinners. Don't look for the one with the nicest building or the best choir. Those are fine, but you need to make sure you're in one where clear Bible teaching is a priority. Because that's what will keep your sin in remission.


Friday, February 7, 2020

When I Can't Trust My Own Legs to Carry Me

This picture brings back a lot of memories.  It's me and my oldest daughter Ariel on her 1st birthday. At the time of this post, she's now 22. It takes me back to when both my girls were growing up.

Though it seems like almost a lifetime ago, that smile on my face still feels pretty fresh.
I remember going through the phases of them first sitting up on their own, then holding themselves up on their legs, then actually taking a few steps while holding my hand. I remember that magical time when they teetered between needing me to help them and gaining the confidence to walk on their own.

Those precious few days in there when you know they will be walking soon is such a momentous time as a parent. Thoughts of "will she start walking today" dominated my mind and seemed to be the most important thing going on in the world; well it was in mine.

I can still see my babies' beautiful faces as they were standing up, looking around with nervous excitement and thoughts in their sweet little heads that went from "I think I can" to "I know I can't". Confidence would take over for a moment, and they'd lift up that little foot and smile; both hands up in the air, ready to run the world. But...the world must have been turning a little too fast; they'd look back at me as if to say, "I'm not quite ready". Then they would hold out their hand for me to hold it with mine...and they would walk.

I thank God for blessing me with children, and for using my life experiences with them to paint pictures that give me a better view of Him. See, He knows that there are so many times, even as an adult who's supposed to have it all together, that I feel like my babies felt when they were learning how to walk. Some days the world looks so big and I feel so small; and the things I have to do and the responsibilities I have to carry feel like way too much.

But I am so glad that God says to me "For I hold you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you.' " Isaiah 41:13 (NLT). And that reminds me that even when I can't trust my own legs to carry me, I can always trust God's hand to hold me.