Tuesday, October 20, 2020

ONE EYE UP-----ONE EYE DOWN

 


Mark 13:33 and 37
Watch therefore.....
And what I say to you, I say to all............Watch!

The biggest thing about this new way of living we call recovery, is the need for attention. Attention to the details of our life that we have, in the past, not given one thought to. Paying attention to where our thoughts may roam to. People that we know we don't need to be around. Places that are now off limits because we find a greater value in living sober than in being somewhere.

If you have truly embraced Jesus...some would call it being saved or born again, then you have a dual purpose in watching. Jesus calls us to keep one eye (spiritually speaking) on His promises. Knowing that they are given to us for our safekeeping and to aid us as we walk through our day. I guess you could say that the number one promise He gave to us, is that He is going to return. Yep! That's right. Jesus is coming back. I know that some will pish-posh this notion. Call me loony....a daydreamer...an escapist....I don't care what you call me, just don't call me late when He does come back. Funny part in all this "coming back" is that we are called to watch and to pray. To go about our daily business here in this life, but to be keenly aware of what is going on around us in relation to God's work. By that I mean we need to always be listening for God's instructions. In my life, when God speaks, it is usually a very faint thought that goes through my mind. I have grown so accustom to it working this way, that when those thoughts come to me, I'm just crazy enough to believe God is leading me. Now, one other thing....I believe that God's "voice" becomes clearer as you study the Bible. The things I hear that I believe to be from God, never ever contradict what I have read in the Bible. In other words, God will never tell me...."Hey Michael...it's o.k. to have  beer or twelve." The more I digest the Word of God, the easier it becomes to hear God as I try to follow His leading in my daily activity.

The second part of this "dual watching" is that I am to watch for the plans and schemes of the devil. I Peter 5:8 tells me that my adversary/enemy walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. So, how does a lion operate? He surveys a herd of animals and looks for the weakest, the oldest, the most crippled...He uses his roar to instill fear and hesitation in the herd. It doesn't take a Seminary graduate to see that fear is the chief weapon used in addiction. Fear of the unknown.........fear of the known...........fear of detox........fear of being found out..........fear of well, to put it bluntly...everything. Fear causes us to freeze and we become easy prey for our enemy, the devil. But God gives a promise to those who have made Jesus Christ their higher Power....(that's a recovery way of saying "LORD and Savior)..... II Peter 5:10 - But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. Every one of those things mentioned in this verse are the very things we did not have when we were living in addiction. To be perfected......established.......strengthened.......and settled. These are just a few of the promises from God to us.
Think on this today.....


God on you.....
mb

Monday, October 19, 2020

CARE?

 


Jude : 22-23
You must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Society and culture tells me I should care.
I should care about climate change.....
I should care about the rain forest.....

I should care about gun violence......
I should care about politics.......

I should care about human trafficking.....

Society and culture infers that I am a bad person if.....
I don't care about people who enter this country illegally.....
I don't care about the rights of others who are oppressed.....
I don't care that the Palestinians don't have a homeland......
I don't care about all the many different species of animals that are almost extinct.......

And the list goes on and on, and on and on of situations and causes that I should care about....
Well, there isn't enough of me to care.....
Doesn't mean I don't....I do!
There just isn't enough of me to go around to actually do something about this list.


The one thing that society and culture will never tell me to care about are the souls that enter hell each day when they die.
You'll never hear society and culture rail against sin and the eternal (and final) consequences that seals a persons fate when the die without ever really knowing who Jesus is.......Never knowing what He has done to provide them with an abundant life here and now....as well as eternal life upon their death.


You'll never hear society and culture rail against the injustice of sin....
How it destroys families through addiction......
Oh there will be bills passed, and much chest thumping by speech makers who will talk about our "war on drugs". But the war on drugs is useless when the human heart is not taken into consideration as the cause for a person to use.
When we reject God as the only source of real life to someone trapped in addiction, we place ourselves as "god" to determine the remedy for addiction.


IN fact, I would be as bold to say that SIN is the cause for every problem that this planet faces today. Our solution is to wear different color ribbons on our lapel to show that we care more than others. To go about offering symbolic events that have no effect what so ever to the problem that is our current cause.

Long ago, God showed me that I was to care about one thing, and one thing only.....The souls of people.
The solution? The cross of Christ.....

His death and resurrection....
His blood shed as payment for our sin.....
That is why you'll never hear me teach on the deeper mysteries of God.
He won't let me.....

I have one message,and one message only....

II Corinthians 2:2
For I decided that while I was with you I would know nothing except Jesus Christ , and Him crucified.

Call me a dreamer...
Call me crazy, but somehow I believe if we all could come to the saving knowledge of what Paul wrote about in II Corinthians, all that other stuff might just work out.

God on you.....

mbb

Sunday, October 18, 2020

SPIRITUAL HORTICULTURE

 



Psalm 1:3
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in season.  Whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.

II Timothy 3:1
But know this, that in the last days, perilous (stressful / dangerous) times will come.

One verse speaks of strength and prospering.
The other talks of events and situations that will tax the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of a person.
One verse uses symbolic language that reflects a need to be grounded.....to be established....to be firmly planted.
The other reveals that time is moving close and closer to a definite close. 
Can these two verses coexist in the same moment?
I think so.

In fact, I think we are living them out right now.
Usually when you mention the "last days" people go all crazy with talk of Revelation, the beast, the mark of the beast....and all the other apocalyptic verses found in Scripture. Let's tone it back a bit. Let's take a look at today. Right now. Here. October 9, 2014.

In the past, I have written about how the month of October has always been a time or season of change in what God was doing. It seemed that the spiritual air around me took a new direction and I would see God at work in ways previously not noticed by me. 
Well, it seems that the wind has shifted and people are seemingly under emotional and mental stress. I go back to the verse in II Timothy because of the wording used. In the last days, events will happen that will tax a persons ability to function in every day life. The pressures of the day and our inability to cope with them will reveal exactly who we turn to and who we really believe in.  In other words, the real "US" comes out when we are under stress. What we really believe will be made evident (to ourselves) when we find ourselves in times of great mental and emotional anguish.

The verse from Psalms 1 gives us a wonderful picture of how we can survive, and even thrive during these times of stress. It all comes down to where you are planted. It all comes down to who your foundation is. That would be our Higher POWER Jesus. When the affairs of the day seem to be closing in on us, and we feel as though life is being sucked from us, where do we turn? Do we truly fall upon Christ and let His Power and person become the bedrock of our emotions? Or do we try to weather the time in our own ability and strength?

If you are a person who has come out of addiction, stressful times will stir up old thoughts and emotions if you aren't grounded in Christ. The thoughts of using will flood over you. Why? Because Using was the bedrock of your old life. Hard times come....run away.  Stressful times come.....go use. But now, in this new life, we turn to Christ. IN fact, our need for Him is the same as our need for air to breath. I need Jesus no matter what the times are. I need Him whether I'm have the day from hell, or everything is sunshine and lollipops. I had someone tell me that Jesus was just a crutch from people who are to weak to stand on their own. That person meant it as a sarcastic remark. I took it to be truth. He is a crutch for weak people. The incredible truth was that the individual who made the remark could not even see that he was cripple himself.  In fact, less than a year after making this remark, he took his own life. I wish that he'd met my "crutch". 

And I do not make that statement in a "I told you so" haughtiness. I do so with a broken heart for this person and their family who still struggle with his death. 

The Psalm 1 verse tells us that life is all about location, location, location. 
It's is about who your are planted in and near.
When we place ourselves in Christ, we are plugged into a source of life that will enable us to go through whatever storms come our way. Jesus alone is the only real source of life.
Now it may just be a by product of my age....

getting older....
but it seems to be that times have grown darker spiritually.
It seems that society has lost its way and runs by majority opinion these days.

Good has become bad...
And evil is celebrated with great gusto.
I think our day and time would fall under the II Timothy heading of perilous times, stressful time.
So I guess the question begs to be asked....
"Where are you planted?"


God on you...
mb

Friday, October 16, 2020

NOT SURE WHY I WROTE THIS ONE

 


So much going on around me .....People venting (I want to vent)....People posting words that are tinged with anger and frustration ( I am frustrated and angry). So why don't I join in. Because everyone is yelling (even in their typing) but no one is truly listening. Our attention has been brought down from focusing on heaven to putting it square on this world and the madness that has been loosed.

Some blame the Democrats....Some lay it at the feet of the Republicans. Some want the head of the President........Others wave the flag and say "God bless this nation." In all the madness, the rule and reign of God has been largely forgotten. God is not inept. He is not old and feeble. He has not lost control of this world or the plans He has that we read about in Scripture. If anything, People have taken their heart away from Him.

Oh we can blame the church for what ails us....We can blame the government for all the wrong. We can even divide up and and point to skin color for the pain and wrong in our society. While those things may have some truth, the real problem has been  (And always will be) the state of the human heart.

All the running around trying to redefine marriage or what gender is, is nothing more that humanity suffering from the effects of thousands of years of sin-rule. We don't like the truth so under the influence of sin, we seek to redefine what our hearts truly want.

The 60's was the "free love" generation. Another slick label for "have sex without any consequences" .  As my generation grew older, we saw the damaging effects of this. Why get married? We're gonna divorce anyway. So let's just shuck marriage all together and move in with one another. Poor old white trash folks like me use to call this "Shackin' up" and there was not a good thing about this.At first it carried a shame with it, but now we've become so progressive and enlightened that it is the norm. In fact sex has been reduced to a transaction between two people. Love who you want when you want, then get up and leave. Kind of sad to me.

Then we took it one step further.....we proclaimed a new freedom for women as they found liberty in being able to have an abortion. But you know....no one really wants to talk about the effects that such a procedure has on the woman. Talk use to be about "back alley" abortions....now the "back alley" is filled with women who are having all manner of emotional trouble and don't understand why their hearts are empty and hurting.. Yep! I said it. That which was in the womb isn't fetal material...or a fetus. It was a baby. 

I could go on and on, but I don't think I will. You see, for all the wrong in our nation, our state, our county and our city, there has been and continues to be only one answer. Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation. The world wants to gauge this salvation thing based on how the church is viewed. Can I shock you one more time? Salvation is not dependent on the church as others have defined what church is. Salvation is THE gift of God Himself. He is the only one who can lift humanity out of the muck and mire of a nation drowning in sin.

The world thinks itself to be wise and informed as to the workings of the Kingdom of God. I think maybe Paul wrote it best in Romans..."Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of God for idols to worship."  Right now, the world worships the idol of "SELF"...they bend their knees to it. They give their tithes and offerings to it. but in their blindness and foolishness, they do not see that the real force in such belief is their hidden enemy, Satan.

Am I all "doom and gloom' today? Nope, I'm not. I am confident in God's rule and reign. So today, I will go about my business with one eye here and one on the sky. One ear listening to the sounds of this world, and one listening for a trumpet.  Should I die today, I will do so confident in my going home to be with Christ. Should I live another day,  I will do so in the knowledge that He has given me one more day. 

I Thessalonians 5:18 -  Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

God on you...

Mbb

Thursday, October 15, 2020

"PAY ATTENTION BOY----I SAY PAY ATTENTION"

 


Nehemiah 13:30

"So I purged out everything foreign and assigned tasks to the priests and Leviites, making certain that each knew his work."

Read this verse this morning during my quiet time.
Nehemiah and his group have returned from exile to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Here at the end....
After the walls have been restored....
After the priests have been assigned....
Nehemiah recognizes a great truth.
He gets rid of everything foreign....
Every outside influence that might draw Israel back into sin was discarded.

Now don't read into this Scripture "BUY AMERICAN!!!"
In relation to us and our relationship with Jesus, we need to be aware that there are foreign things in our behavior...our attitude....our very lives that we have allowed to come in. These things do have an influence and they do war for with the things of God. The foreign things (another term would be profane) seek to usurp or overthrow the influence of the ways of God.  The foreign things seek to soothe and feed our flesh (our sin nature), thereby lulling us into a false sense of what is right and wrong.
Nehemiah purges every thing foreign.....
What falls under "every thing? Every thing!
He doesn't compromise with it.
He doesn't seek to appease it.
He casts it out for it serves no purpose to the plans of God.

We must always be vigilant in our relationship and weigh every thing that comes our way as to whether it is from God or something "foreign" trying to weasel its way into our lives.
I truly do want to grow up before I grow older.
I am thankful for these lessons that God is showing me daily.
I pray the peace of God and His mercy and grace be directed to you today!

God on you........
mb

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

THOUGHT'S AND MUSING'S

 

James 5:10-11 /   "Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of Jesus the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

Sitting here with my first cup of coffee, my thoughts tend to roll and tumble in my brain. I love this time of morning when everything is fresh and the day hasn't had an opportunity to compete for your attention.

I have distanced myself from all the political upheaval that seems to be the super-norm of our nation. Don't get me wrong...I have prayed and will continue to do so for God's will to be carried out during this next season. But sometimes, I feel as though we get drawn into a "bigger" picture and forget about the things and people around us.

It's always been my belief that I can only take care of what God has given to me. In this case it would be my family...........the ReCovery Church..........and Northside Baptist, and everything associated with those three things. That is what God has clearly called me to  lay my hands to. So why should I neglect these three things to run around wringing my hands and posting on Facebook all manner of stuff  about the state of our nation. Not saying we shouldn't be involved in our voting process, we should. But sometimes I think we lay hands to things that God never intended us to, at the expense of those He has called us to serve.

My aspirations are very small...To simply reach out and show the way to that one who is still trapped in the darkness of addiction. It's about the one. The church seems to think mass production is the way. If God has called you to that, then rest assured that He will grant you grace to see it through. But that doesn't mean that every pastor........every church......every denomination should strive to become the largest, the most affluent, the one other churches look up to. Seems to me, as I read Scripture, I see Jesus interacting more with "One" person that with multitudes. By the way, the crowds came to Him, He didn't have to promote himself.

Maybe if we simply preached the whole word of God, the crowd might come to see what was going on. Promoting Jesus instead of our next program. Lifting the name of Jesus instead of our own name. 

I never will forget one afternoon after I had started full-time in ministry. I was at the church and received a phone call. Of course it was a nice young man who wanted to help me and show me how I could grow my church. He was all full of vim and vigor, with a bubbly voice of optimism. I listened to his spill, as he went on and on about his ability to grow churches. Finally when his pitch ended, I thanked him for considering me, but told him...."You know, what I read in Scripture is that this is Jesus' church, and He said that He would build it. I think I'll stick to His plan, but thanks for calling."

i know I've kind of drifted from the verse I put at the top of this post.... I guess what I've been trying to say is that "Blossom where you are".  Don't let the cultural winds take your focus off of Jesus. Be patient in suffering and find the heart and direction of God. I don't think we can go wrong if we practice these things.

Sorry 'bout the ramblin'

God on you....

mbb


Monday, October 12, 2020

THE BREAD IS IN THE RED

 


( "The Bread Is In The Red" is a phrase that John Wimber use to say, in referring to the words of Christ in Scripture. John believed that if one simply devoted themselves to the words of Christ, such an endeavor would create growth and maturity if the words were applied.)

Matthew 7:27
And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell and great was its fall.

Things coming down from above.....
Water rising from below.....
Winds blowing from all directions......
Being beaten from every side......
Collapse.
It wasn't sudden.
It wasn't unexpected.
It happened over a period of time.
Signs that a storm was brewing came to herald its arrival.
Temperature drop.

Wind increasing, at first a pleasant gentle breeze, but later it descended with all its fury.


But the outcome of this event was never in doubt.
The house would not be able to stand against the weather.
The house itself was well built.
The foundation that was chosen for it to be built on wasn't.
It had no substance to it. It was not solid.
The foundation itself was subject to the weather.
It was affected by the rain, the flood and the wind.
The foundation offered no protection to those who built there.
It could not save them.

Need I write more?
Jesus.
Just Jesus.
On Him.
In Him.
That is the solid place.
A good place to store my faith.
To put my trust.
To secure my hope.
To bind my love.
To lash my salvation.
Jesus.
Just Jesus.

All else is passing away.
All else is crumbling.
Not my hope.
Hope in Jesus.
Just Jesus.

mb

Sunday, October 11, 2020

YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!!!

 


You just never know.....

After our service last night, Wayne Wimpee, Todd Bagley and I were talking about the current situations when it comes to live meetings. People aren't coming to meetings like they use to before the pandemic hit. 

Then we broached the subject of "live streaming".  Was it a good thing? Was it a bad thing? Did live streaming a service make it easy for some to stay away and enjoy the comfort of their own home? Bottom line of our conversation was..."If one person is helped or reached because of a live stream, then it was worth it. Little did I know how true that statement would be by the time I arrived home.

When I got home, Vicki asked me..."Do you know who was watching tonight's service and from where?" I replied that I had no idea. Turns out a lady from New Zealand was watching. She had a special prayer request for us to pray over.

First off, her name is Sylvia.... Her request centered around her daughter, Caroline......and her grandson, Maui. Sylvia's desire is for both of them to grow and mature in their relationship with Jesus. What she wrote to me in the message that was sent, was more than a casual "pray for my family". It was heart-felt and had passion for her family. I immediately returned her message with a reply that our core family at ReCovery Church would be praying for her and her family.

New Zealand....who would have ever thought that a message that was preached in Gadsden, Alabama would have an impact on a family in New Zealand. This God is something else, isn't He?

Please join with us by adding your prayers for Sylvia and family. Never downplay what you do for God. There are no small things...or small offerings...or small sacrifices when you are obedient.


God on you....

mbb

Saturday, October 10, 2020

CATCH THE FIRE 1998

 

Hebrews 12:29
For our God is a devouring (or consuming) fire.

Is it possible that it really has been 22 years?
Lot has happened since then. 
For one thing, I'm twenty two years older. Not complaining, simply stating a fact.
October 6, 1998, I made a journey to Toronto to attend the "Catch The Fire" conference.
Toronto plays an important part in the history of our church. In fact, I would say that what took place during that conference laid the foundation for everything I do today. Had no clue that such would happen....just a knowing that I needed to go there and experience this move of God for myself.

A good friend of ours, Randy Horvath, had called us in 1994 to alert us to the fact that something was going on at the Toronto Vineyard, and that we'd better get up there to check it out for ourselves. Several from Gadsden Vineyard made the trek to see what all the hubbub was about. Turned out that God had begun a move of His Spirit and it was growing with each passing day. The ones from our church who attended came back changed. They would never be the same. There was a new hunger for God, for His word, and to participate in His Kingdom work. In other words, they were not content to simply sit in church any more. God had let them have the keys to the car (so to speak) and once they had tasted driving they didn't want to go back to the old way of doing things.

I was not able to be a part of these early journey's to Toronto.
It wasn't until the fall of 1998 that I was approached about going.....by myself.....alone....no one else. I said o.k.
Wasn't sure what was going to happen, but I was open to whatever God wanted to do.


I flew out of Birmingham on Monday Oct. 6th. - 7:45 a.m. headed North.
The one thing I felt for certain about was that God had told me I was to go and observe. He would show me what I was to bring back. 

Prior to my trip, I'd been having dreams. May not sound like much, but I really don't dream. Let me rephrase that. I don't remember dreams. If I do, then I take them to be from God. I'd had several dreams in the days before leaving, and they all centered around one thing.....Blue's music. In one, I was in a library looking for a book. Jim Bentley was with me, and we were moving up and down the isles in search of a book that I didn't even know the title. At one point Jim turned to me and said, "Here, you're going to need this."
He handed me a book that had a cloth cover. The cover was a faded blue, almost like jeans that had been washed a gazillion times. The title of the book was embossed on the front..."THE BLUES WAY". I took the book, asking Jim, "Why this one?" He replied, "I don't know. I just know that you're to need it." As I type this, it suddenly dawned on me that Jim didn't say that I needed to read this book....Just that I was going to need it. 




My initial impression of the conference on the opening session, was that I felt like an intruder. Like I had wandered into a private party and was going to be asked to leave at any moment. Of course I tend to feel this way at anything or place that is new to me. As I moved into the main auditorium, my ears were filled with the most wonderful, and beautiful sound I'd ever heard. There was worship going on, but it was a different kind of worship. It was "Blues" worship. Turned out that the worship leaders for the week were Bryn Haworth and Dave Markee, both incredible musicians from England. Both had toured and recorded with the heavy weights of the music world. Here they were together leading the worship for the conference. Blues? The book Jim gave me in the dream was "The Blues Way"....hmmmmm. Are you trying to tell me something? Yes He was. And yes He did. This style of music would become the basis for everything I have done in recovery. Why this style? Because it truly speaks to the heart of those who are struggling with addiction. In the natural, blues music is nothing more than an outlet for the pain and misery one is going through. Take that same music and turn it into worship, and you take the pain and misery and give to the Healer, Jesus. Big difference.

This week I spent there (Oct. 6 through 11) was incredible. The reason it was so wasn't fully realized until later. I'm a person who likes to record his thoughts and experiences on paper. So I kept a running journal during my time at the Catch The Fire conference. This has allowed me to revisit my journey from time to time and see how God's hand was upon the entire event. Like I said earlier, this conference was the foundation for what I am doing today.

I've been in a lot of meetings, but the one I attended in Toronto will always hold a special place in my heart. This was where God gave me direction that is still in play today. He started me on a journey that I could never have chosen for myself. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to go to Toronto and to be changed by a God who is still in love with those outside His will. Those who are living under a cloud of depression and misery that we call addiction. 

Like I've said before...here in 2020, it has been a long strange journey.
God on you....
mbb

Friday, October 9, 2020

OLD FAITH? IT IS SIMPLY FAITH THAT HAS BEEN TESTED

 


II Corinthians 4:17
For our present troubles are small and won't last very long> Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.

II Timothy 3:1
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be difficult (perilous...stressful) times (events, situations and circumstances).

October has always been a time for change for me, and the meetings that I lead. It is as though God turns the page spiritually, and prepares me for the coming days. I've been witnessed to this over the past 22 years. Can't explain it.....don't really understand it.....just know that it is true. With this in mind, if you look at our country,and the direction it is taking morally and spiritually, you can't help but see that God is not very welcomed in society or culture. As the moral climate goes south, and the majority decides what is acceptable, it's not hard to see storms on the horizon. World wide economy is teetering on failure. Governments wrestle with how to keep from failing. People are looking for government not only to define their personal lives, but to take care of their needs.

As a follower of Jesus, I'm sure you've heard the verse from II Corinthians 5:7

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." What if this behavior becomes the very way of life we have to embrace to live. I'm talking about day to day existence. Our reliance on God to show us what to do, where to go, what to say becomes the difference between life and death. Not trying to be dramatic....just saying.

As long as humanity looks to itself, and its leaders, while rejecting God, things are only going to get worse. I think I can honestly pull out to explain this behavior, a line often said when speaking of addiction and recovery......"You cannot be the problem, and the solution." In others words, humanity keeps making decisions that are sin/flesh driven, and not seeking God, thinking they are coming up with solutions to the country's problem.

I think those who can move into a life of faith,while relying on the economy of heaven for their survival, will have a completely different view than what Fox News, CNN or any other news source may be broadcasting. You see here's where I'm crazy enough to believe God. If things do get dark and hard, I truly believe it will be the perfect time for the REAL church to rise up and do what it was called to do. Feed the hungry...clothe the naked....see people healed.....see people freed of demonic oppression.....and salvation coming in waves. I want to be a part of such a move of God. When times of trouble come that affect everyone, the natural tendency is to fear. But fear turns us into a selfish people. We look to our own needs over those of anyone else. If I am trusting God, then I rest in the assurance that He will see me through. What I'm talking about isn't a pie-in-the-sky-rainbows and kitty cats religious view of God. I fall back on the word and believe that when we are instructed to "walk (live) by faith", that is exactly what I want to be doing. Not saying it will be easy...but it is what's on God's heart.


Thanks for letting me share:
God on you.....

mbb

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

INVESTING YOURSELF---WHAT DOES IT "PROFIT" TO GAIN THE WORLD AND LOSE YOUR SOUL?"

 


Isn't it funny how you can read a scripture over and over and yet not really see it. I came across such a verse this morning, reading in Mark chapter 16. I can't tell you the number of times I have read this, and even taught on it, but today it took on a whole other meaning and view.

V.1 - When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.

So what's the big deal? A group of women going to do a good thing, right? Yes, they are going to do a good thing.........a thing that was expected to be done when someone died. An act that showed their love and devotion to Jesus. Take a second look at this verse. You don't see any of the guys there. The men who stood with Jesus and followed him during His time of ministry have all skedaddled. 

The thing I had never noticed was that these women had "BOUGHT" the spices. For whatever reason, my jumbled thoughts always saw "BROUGHT". Big difference. In other words, these women had purchased these spices to honor Jesus. It costs them something. It cost them something personal to perform this act of love. They gave of themselves.

No different today....If I am going to be a follower of Jesus, it will cost me. You may be asking, "What will it cost to follow Him?"  Are you ready for this? It will cost me (and you) everything. When you see and find the true value of who Jesus is, then giving up everything to follow Him seems like a small price. Truth be known, everything of this world either rusts, breaks, or simply disappears over time. Stock markets crash and wealth is lost. Bodies wear out and break down with age and health is lost. Selfishness and being self centered breaks down and destroy's relationships. And the list goes on and on and on. 

I don't even have to mention how addiction is the killer of lives. Yet we refuse to change. we refuse to see the light and the life that is found in Christ. I fear that too many slide over the edge into eternity holding on to the things of this world, believing that such will afford them comfort and safety. What a horrible thought to be awakened to the fact that everything you held dear was merely stubble and had no power to save you. 

Paul, in Romans 12, writes that we are to "Present our bodies as a living sacrifice". It doesn't call for us to present all our material possessions. It doesn't call for us to bring all our investments, stocks and bonds to lay on the altar. No! The altar demands that I climb up and lay down to the will of God and become a "Living Sacrifice".  This is a daily action I take, because doing so removes "self" from the equation of how to live this day. I place myself under the will of God to simply listen, follow and do as He directs me.

Think on these things....
God on you....

Mbb

ONE EYE UP-----ONE EYE DOWN

  Mark 13:33 and 37 Watch therefore..... And what I say to you, I say to all............Watch! The biggest thing about this new way of livin...