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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “islam-awareness-month

Treasure

My husbands mother was one of those people who take the presents given them and put them in drawers and closets, instead of using them. I never understood the reason that she did so. Perhaps it was because she was very poor growing up and felt that she needed to save them, or perhaps somehow she just felt she didn’t need them. Nobody really knew how much she put back until she died and the family went through the things she left. In a way I can understand this, but in another way I think that it is such a shame. She could have used her treasures, but she didn’t seem to miss them.

I wonder if we are all that way to a certain degree. We try to build up our treasures and perhaps leave something for our loved ones. But are our treasures really the ones that will benefit us? Are they treasures from the earth, or treasures that will benefit us in heaven?

Mark 8:36
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Here in America we are richer that almost all the world no matter how poor we think we are, but perhaps we are poorer that we know! How many people who claim to believe in Christ our Lord, simply go through their days working  during the week, attending their church on Sundays and spending their free time engaged in frivolous activities that will mean nothing when the reach Heaven’s Gate? Do we take our freedom for granted, our ability to accept God as our Savior in relative ease and without fear? Where will we be when we are truly tested? We hear reports of Christians in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and even now in Europe, being forbidden to openly practice their faith or even being killed for their beliefs.

What treasures do we have to compare? When they get to heaven God will open His arms wide and proclaim them His. But where will we be who have had the easy road? Will we stand before Him and say “Lord, my God, I stood when they persecuted others and cried out?” Or will we simply continue on our way blind to the real treasure? Jesus tells us:

Matthew 5:10

King James Version (KJV)

10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I pray that we have true discernment and realizes that our earthly treasures are nothing but empty promises, like the promises given by politicians. Nice for a time, but when the rubber meets the road, they won’t mean a thing when we knock on the door. I personally, do not want to be one of those going through the motions, living the life of a Christian, but without laying up the treasure that will wait for me when I reach that blessed door and face my Master. I do not want him to say:

Matthew 7:23
“And then will I profess unto them, never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

So many seem to think that earthly riches are what Jesus is talking about when he said:

Luke 18:25
“For it is easier for cameto go through a needle’s eye, than fora rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

We are truly rich here in America! Churches abound, there is usually one just around the next corner. Unfortunately what they preach is often that once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Master, nothing else is required and all you have to do is show up.  They sometimes don’t even care if you bother to read the word of God. As long as you are adding to their coffers they are happy. When it comes down to it, you realize that the treasures they are worried about are not in heaven but here on earth. And to top it off, it isn’t you who they care about but themselves. The prosperity that they teach is for them and not God. When you get past the surface you realize that He doesn’t even enter into it except as a cover sheet to their webpage.

Can we be truly blessed if we have no conception of the pain and suffering that so many others endure in order to serve God? Can we be truly blessed if we have no real idea of how strong our faith is because it hasn’t been really tested? Can we be truly blessed if we have never been asked to sacrifice anything?

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Seeing the Ordinary as Extraordinary (via YOU DECIDE)

Seeing the Ordinary as Extraordinary Seeing the Ordinary as Extraordinary TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Thursday, September 08 2011 "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our Lord never saw the mundane activities as ordinary. Whether He healed the sick or sat around the fire with the disciples, He did not see one activity as spiritual and the other non-spiritual. Life was lived as a holy service to His Heave … Read More

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The Place of Tears (via YOU DECIDE)

The Place of Tears The Place of Tears TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Thursday, September 08 2011 "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (Mt 26:38). Often the place of our greatest pain becomes the place of our greatest triumph. Gethsemane was the place of Jesus' greatest trial. Three times He asked the Father to let this trial pass. It was not to be. The Father sent His Son to the cross to pay a debt owed by humanity. Jesus was faced with … Read More

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When Service Exceeds Devotion (via YOU DECIDE)

When Service Exceeds Devotion When Service Exceeds Devotion TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Wednesday, September 07 2011 "She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said" (Luke 10:39-40). A story is told of a western missionary group that was sitting with a foreign visitor planning strategy for an upcoming evangelistic trip to his country. One man led in prayer, asking for God's help in planning their activities. The visitor w … Read More

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Dying for Lack of Knowledge (via YOU DECIDE)

Dying for Lack of Knowledge Dying for Lack of Knowledge TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Wednesday, September 07 2011 "The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God." 1 Chronicles 13:10 A business friend of mine confessed that he did not like to read. He found it a difficult discipline. I replied, "If you do not commit yourself to knowing what is in God's Word and following it, … Read More

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The Necessity of the Desert (via YOU DECIDE)

The Necessity of the Desert The Necessity of the Desert TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Tuesday, September 06 2011 …"I have become an alien in a foreign land." Exodus 2:22 God's preparation of a leader involves training, extended times of waiting, pain, rejection, and isolation. Are you ready to sign up? Moses was brought up in Pharaoh's court. He had the very best of everything-education, clothing, food, and personal care. But there came a time when the ma … Read More

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Creating Your Niche (via YOU DECIDE)

Creating Your Niche TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Tuesday, September 06 2011 "Sixty queens there may be, and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; but my dove, my perfect one, is unique…" (Song of Solomon 6:8-9). Every business must have a unique niche if you wish to separate yourself from others to compete in the marketplace. This is especially true if you are competing in an industry that is very crowded with competition and low price is … Read More

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Called to the Ministry (via YOU DECIDE)

Called to the Ministry Called to the Ministry TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Monday, September 05 2011 "Usually a person should keep on with the work he was doing when God called him" (I Cor. 7: 20 TLB). We've all heard stories of men or women in the workplace that left their jobs for the "ministry." Certainly God does call people into vocational ministry. However, many times this move is more rooted in dissatisfaction with a career combined with a spir … Read More

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Significance (via YOU DECIDE)

Significance Significance TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Monday, September 05 2011 "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17 Many of us begin our careers with the goal of achieving success. If we haven't entered our work as a result of God's calling, we will eventually face a chasm of deep frustration and emptiness. Success flatters but does not p … Read More

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The Perfectionist (via YOU DECIDE)

The Perfectionist The Perfectionist TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Sunday, September 04 2011 "Moses said to the LORD, 'O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue'" (Ex 4:10). One of the greatest affronts you can commit against God is to refuse His calling that He has placed upon you. Imagine arguing with your Creator and telling him you know better than Him. That … Read More

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Changing Our Paradigm (via YOU DECIDE)

Changing Our Paradigm Changing Our Paradigm TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Sunday, September 04 2011 "While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'" Acts 10:19-20 Peter had never preached to the Gentiles. In fact, he believed it was against Jewish law to associate with the Gentiles. God needed to change … Read More

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Are You Useful? (via YOU DECIDE)

Are You Useful? Are You Useful? TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Saturday, September 03 2011 "Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me" (Philem 11). Paul's letter to Philemon reveals something about a man named Onesimus. At one time, Paul viewed Onesimus as useless. But while Paul was in chains he treated Onesimus as a son. Something changed in this man that made him useful instead of useless. When Jesus me … Read More

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Beware of Mixture (via YOU DECIDE)

Beware of Mixture Beware of Mixture TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Friday, September 02 2011 "Then they said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt'" (Ex 32:4). Moses had gone up onto Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive the Ten Commandments. He left his brother Aaron in charge. Aaron had been mentored by his brother Moses. However, we learn that Aaron still has vestiges of Egypt residing in him. He had not had a compl … Read More

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Faithfulness to Convict (via YOU DECIDE)

Faithfulness to Convict Faithfulness to Convict TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Thursday, September 01 2011 "When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." John 16:8 I had recently come back from a mountaintop experience. As I attempted to get back into my routine, I found a great cloud of oppression come over me. Each day I attempted to press through it, but with no success. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and u … Read More

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True Repentance (via YOU DECIDE)

True Repentance True Repentance TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Wednesday, August 31 2011 "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."2 Corinthians 7:10 What does it mean to repent? When you or I wrong another person, or we sin against God, do we simply say we are sorry and move on? A few years ago I was involved in a business situation that taught me a great lesson. A client sever … Read More

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Confronting Your Industry Culture (via YOU DECIDE)

Confronting Your Industry Culture Confronting Your Industry Culture TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Tuesday, August 30 2011 "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, 'My house will be called a house of prayer, but you a … Read More

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Defining Moments (via YOU DECIDE)

Defining Moments Defining Moments TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Tuesday, August 30 2011 "As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him."Acts 9:3 For Moses, it was the burning bush. For Peter, it was walking on water. For Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, it was walking through the burning furnace unt … Read More

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Giving and Receiving (via YOU DECIDE)

Giving and Receiving Giving and Receiving TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Monday, August 29 2011 "Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account" (Phil 4:17). The apostle Paul had a tent-making business. However, over time, it was evident that more and more of his time was being given to vocational ministry activities. Tha … Read More

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Motivations to Call (via YOU DECIDE)

Motivations to Call Motivations to Call TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Sunday, August 28 2011 …"Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Mark 10:49 Do you recall the circumstances when God first called you into relationship with Him? Were you in need of something? Were you in a crisis situation? Every day God calls someone into relationship with Him through dif … Read More

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Sharing Your Faith with Others (via YOU DECIDE)

Sharing Your Faith with Others Sharing Your Faith with Others TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Saturday, August 27 2011 "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ" (Philem 6-7). There is a strong correlation between those who publicly share their faith with others and an increase … Read More

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Grace (via YOU DECIDE)

Grace Grace TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Saturday, August 27 2011 …"Peace be with you!" John 20:19 How would you respond to a group of fellow workers if you were their leader and you poured your life into them, teaching them all you know for three years, only to have them disband and go their own way when troubles came? What would you say to them … Read More

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Having a Great Number Two Man (via YOU DECIDE)

 Having a Great Number Two Man Having a Great Number Two Man TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Friday, August 26 2011 "Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent" (Ex 33:11). An organization cannot grow without a trusted and skilled second in command or "number two" man or woman. Joshua was Moses' "number two" man. He could t … Read More

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Our Plans and God’s Plans (via YOU DECIDE)

Our Plans and God's Plans Our Plans and God's Plans TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Friday, August 26 2011 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 Have you ever heard of someone who spent years of preparation for one vocation only to end up doing something completely different? Perhaps this could be said of you. Qu … Read More

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When His Work Exceeds His Presence (via YOU DECIDE)

When His Work Exceeds His Presence When His Work Exceeds His Presence TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman Thursday, August 25 2011 "If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here" (Exodus 33:15). One of the great dangers in Christian service is to move from a presence-based work to operate purely on our natural skill. Once we become established in something, the dai … Read More

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