Jim’s Blog

 

Happy Hearts

 
“Each person should give what he has
decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves
a cheerful giver.”
-2 Corinthians 9:7
 

THE SEASON OF THANKSGIVING IS HERE and should be a time of incredible joy and happiness, for truly we are a blessed people.  We live in a land of incredible opportunity and bounty, and as Christians God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). 

How do we say “thank you” for incredible blessings such as these?  The simple answer, though not so simply demonstrated, is . . .

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Identity Crisis

“This Ezra came up from Babylon.
He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses,
which the L
ORD, the God of Israel had given.”
-Ezra 7:6
 

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What is Truth?

Jesus answered [Pilate], “You say that I am a king.
For this purpose I was born, and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.
  Everyone who is of the truth, listens to me.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
-John 18:37-38 (ESV)
 
 
WHAT IS TRUTH?”  This was Pilate’s infamous, sarcastic and snarky response to Jesus’ statement of purpose—that of bearing witness to the truth.  It is clear that our generation is not the first to lose its grip on truth. 

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Finish Well

My only aim is to finish the race and complete
the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying
to the good news of God’s grace.
-Acts 20:24 (NIV)
 
THIS WEEK I WILL ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE my 7th annual ride of the Ohio to Erie Trail, a 320-mile bicycle ride of several contiguous trails linking the Ohio River to Lake Erie.  There are 12 riders in this year’s crew—most of us preachers.  The comradery and brotherhood alone are worth the trip.

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The House of the Lord

The God who made the world and everything in it
is the Lord of heaven
and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands.
-Acts 17:24

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OTHERS refer to the church building as “the Lord’s House”?   I have, far more times than I can recall.  I have even done it myself.  There is only one problem.  It just isn’t true.

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Thanks, I Needed That

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
 and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
-Hebrews 10:24-25 

LIFE IS SOMETIMES HARD.  Storms and challenges seem to rise out of nowhere.  Sometimes the rains are gentle and sometimes the skies open wide and pour out torrents, much like the rains we experienced in town just this past week—at least over my house.

Then there are seasons that leave us dry and parched, and a single spark would threaten to destroy us.  

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Prayers of the Presidents

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers,
intercession and thanksgiving  b
e made for all people—for kings and all those in authority,
 that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
-1 Timothy 2:1-4

 
WE LIVE IN A GREAT LAND.  We have been blessed beyond measure.  But in that blessing we have become smug, content and arrogant.  We have forgotten where that blessing has come from and even flaunt the grossest of our sins in public.  God has a way of humbling the proud.

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“Have To” or “Get To”

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ,
 not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Hi
m.”
-Philippians 1:29

LIFE IS AN AMAZING ADVENTURE.  It is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows.  We all face challenges and hardships we dread or wish we could avoid but can’t—the “have tos” of life.  There are also a lot of blessings and joys along the way—the “get tos” of life.

I wonder—which list is longer?  Are there more “have tos” than “get tos” in my life?  How about yours?  


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Ponder This

“Those who walk uprightly enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.”
-Isaiah 57:2

YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID, “Sometimes the good die young.”   Well, as I was reading through the Scripture the other morning, a particular passage caught my attention.  It highlighted something we rarely consider, and when we do, we almost always struggle with.

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Redeeming Time

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
-Ephesians 5:15-16
 

HAVE YOU EVER INVESTED TIME AND ENERGY into someone or something only to, in a moment of exasperation, declare, “That was a waste!”?  Through the years I have held that sentiment more times than I can count. 

None of us likes to waste time. . . .   Let me put that another way.  None of us likes having our time wasted by another.   

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