Monthly Archives: June, 2013

Sheep Listen

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27 [NIV]

As I was taking my morning walk, I noticed what appeared to be a mother and son exit their home. The mother quickly went to the SUV, entered, and started the vehicle. All this happened while her son was slowly making his way down the porch and toward the vehicle. Though the boy was young and the mother was already in the vehicle, he continued to follow her path, opened the door, and entered the vehicle. He followed his mother in obedience – he knew where she was going and he went with her.

The question I challenge you with today is do you know God—truly know Him—and do you know His will for your life? Do you take the time to listen? Do you make it a point to get to know Him more? The sheep know His voice. The sheep follow in obedience. The sheep know where they are going—with Him.

Today I want you to consider where you are going. Are you following God or something else? Do you know where God is leading you in life? If not, are you trying to listen? Are you actively praying? Actively reading your Bible? There’s no way to follow if you don’t know Who you are following. Spend some time with God today.

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Tribute Poem

This is a poem that I wrote for a very special person. See you soon.

Mary Got A Promotion

God said

“Love Justice & Seek Mercy

And Walk Humbly with your God”

Mary did

 

God said

“Love your Neighbor as yourself

Be Kind and Compassionate”

Mary did

 

God said

“Work Hard at Whatever you do

As Working for the Lord”

Mary did

God said

“Honor your parents

Teach your children”

Mary did

 

God said

“Follow My example

Walk in the way of love”

Mary did

 

Today is a day of celebration.

Today is a day to rejoice.

God said “Good job My faithful servant”

Mary got a promotion.

 

 

1Cor13_13

Careful Thought

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’” – Haggai 1:7 [NIV]

Haggai is a very short book but in two chapters we read four times that we should “give careful thought” (1:5, 1:7, 2:15, 2:18). Something repeated that often certainly cannot go overlooked. It is such a simple command, but one that we cannot hear enough. At that time, the people had no argument with rebuilding the Temple, but they had chosen to do other things before undertaking the task of rebuilding the Lord’s house. They had skewed priorities.

We also need to give careful thought to our ways. We need to constantly be evaluating our own lives to make sure that we do not have our priorities skewed. It is so easy to be turned toward worldly items like the people of this time period. It is easy to allow our focus to shift gears.

The Lord declared that he was with the people (1:13, 2:4). The Lord is also with us. We do not do life alone. Today be sure to give careful thought to your ways, but don’t forget this promise—that he is with us. May that promise bring you peace.

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

So He Got Up

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’”– Matthew 2:13-15 [NIV]

Joseph was told to “Get up” in 2:13 and we read a verse later, “So he got up.” We don’t read of excuses. We don’t read of Joseph doing anything else other than obeying the word of God. Again in verse 20, he is told to “Get up.” Once again in verse 21, it says, “He got up.” Again there is no discussion about Joseph making excuses or doing anything else other than obeying the word of God.

Joseph is a great example of a man who walked in faithful obedience. After a visit from an angel, he married Mary despite considering the possibility of sending her away quietly because of her pregnancy. Now we see him not once, but twice, relocating at the snap of a finger.

Is God calling you to “Get up”? Is God pointing you in a particular direction? If so, is your response to follow? Are you sitting and constructing a list of excuses and other alternatives? Are you dragging your feet? Today, consider what God is calling you to do right now. It might not be something simple or something welcomed—but perhaps there’s something God is working out within His big picture of life that we cannot grasp.

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo

Away with the Noise

“Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” – Amos 5:23 [NIV]

This verse probably is not one that could be found on an inspirational Christian verse card to be given away as a gift to share Jesus. It might be hard to read God saying “away” in regard to the songs you sing. The word “noise” stands out to me, because noise is typically a word we say when we don’t like the sound something makes—when something is troubling us. The car is making a noise so we take it to the shop. The kids are making noise so I cannot hear the person on the telephone. The floorboard is making some noise because it’s out of place. The computer is making a loud noise because it’s been used hard over the years.

So why would God not want the songs we sing to Him? Why would He call our songs noise, as if they are painful to His ears? Like today, the people in Amos’ time thought it was not so bad to sing to God in sinful disobedience. The belief was and still today is that even if we walk in disobedience, that our songs and sacrifices will be sufficient and acceptable.

Yet again and again we read that God desires love and obedience over sacrifices.  We read in 1 Samuel 15:22: “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams’” (NIV).  Hosea 6:6 tells us what God wants: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings” (NLT). First we must love and obey, and then we would want to sing praises out of that love. If we have a heart for the Lord, the rest will follow. We sing with noise when we come before Him without a heart devoted for Him, in willful disobedience. He wants you to know Him. He wants to have a relationship with you. He doesn’t want to be a small part of your life—He wants to be your life. Today, are you offering Him you or are you offering Him some noise?

 

FearNotLogoMotto

All For Him

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Revelation 4:11 [NIV]

Recently, as we were sitting in church awaiting the start of the morning worship service, my daughter was looking at the church bulletin. She saw the names of those who were serving that week listed on the last page and she said, “Mom, isn’t that so cool that your name is there?” Then she circled my name. Although recognition is important, those who serve cannot be given the most recognition—attention should be on Jesus. It is to Him we must always point. I took my pen, crossed out the names on the bulletin and wrote, “Jesus,” in large letters. Then I reminded her that we were there for Him, not for our own glory. That with everything we do, it’s all about Him. It’s all for God’s glory.

Too often we can get caught up with the recognition game. We start to get acknowledged for some great thing we did. It feels good. Our hard work paid off. Our time and dedication have been noticed. People are paying us honor for our achievements. I am not against a pat on the back, an award, a gift card, a name on a paper. What I do see as a problem is when we start to live for our name to be in the spotlight. It is a problem when we aim to get attention, and we do something so as to have eyes on us instead of on Jesus. It is a problem when it becomes all about us.

Today, remind yourself that everything you do is for God’s glory. Is there an area of your life when you are trying to stand out? Are you standing out for yourself or to promote the Gospel?  Is there something that God has done for you, but you have taken the credit? Let us give God the glory He alone deserves. No one can take His glory—it is His.

 

FearNotLogoMotto

Do This Or Else

“As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” – Daniel 3:5-6 [NIV]

King Nebuchadnezzar made this foolish command, a command that basically says “do this or else.” Do this (bow down and worship this image) or else (you are going into the blazing furnace). We all have people who try to tell us that we will do one thing or else we will face the consequences. As a child, we hear this from our parents; however, this continues all through life.

People will try to get you to sway in your faith. People will attempt to pull you away from God. It might not be intentional. It might not seem to be such a bad thing at first. You may not even realize when it is happening. Again and again the Bible tells us to stand firm. There is a reason—there are so many “or elses” given and we find ourselves caving, we find ourselves accepting something we shouldn’t or doing something we shouldn’t because it’s easy, it’s what the crowd is doing, and we don’t want to cause any waves.

Stand firm. Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stood firm and they weren’t alone in that furnace. You aren’t alone either. Today, if you find yourself being told to bow down to something, remember that you are not alone, even through the “or else.”

FearNotLogoMotto

Children’s Ministry Lesson: Fruit of the Spirit (Self Control)

Please feel free to download and/or print the lesson and the accompanying resource(s) and use for ministry purposes. If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to contact. Not for resale.

Image

 

This lesson does not include an activity. We did a red light green light type game using the last part of the lesson. An optional craft could be a sign or door hanger with the Bible verse. Ex: Stop sign with the verse.

For the complete lesson, follow the download links. Please be aware that the items are stored on Drop Box so you will be transferred.

Download Complete Fruit of the Spirit – Self control Lesson

God Gave

“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” 

– Daniel 1:17 [NIV]

Today’s verse says that God gave Daniel and his friends the knowledge and understanding.  Now in this passage, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are all supposed to eat what the king has commanded. It was from the king’s table so one would believe it to be good—fit for a king. However, Daniel “resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine,” and he asked if he could eat his own diet of food (v. 8). The official agreed to let Daniel and his friends eat what they wanted for ten days. After the ten days, they were “healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food” (v. 15). This could cause some people to have problems digesting.

So often we look at Daniel and his friends going against the king’s rules and following a special diet of vegetables and water. We conclude that these vegetables and the water provided the four young men with better nourishment, as the passage states, and that is what we take from this passage. However, we cannot forget that it was God who gave these men the knowledge and understanding. God was and is at the forefront.

There are times in our own lives when we use our God given gifts and resources and find great success. We start to attribute this success to our hard work, our talents, etc., but we need already remember that God gave us everything—God gets the glory.

Today remind yourself of what God has given you and take the time to thank Him.

FearNotLogoMotto