HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ANYONE SAY, "I DON'T NEED ANY MORE WISDOM." NOW WE DON'T BELIEVE ANY REASONABLE PERSON WOULD EVEN THINK SUCH A THING, LET ALONE SAY IT. BUT THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, IN A GENTLY WAY ASK THE QUESTION: "IF ANY OF YOU LACKS WISDOM, HE SHOULD ASK GOD, WHO GIVES GENEROUSLY TO ALL WITHOUT FINDING FAULT, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO HIM." JAMES 1:5
THIS IS ONE TIME WE SHOULD NOT HESITATE, BECAUSE GOD WANTS SO MUCH FOR US TO ASK, THAT HE HAS GIVEN US THIS PROMISE; THAT HE WILL NOT FIND FAULT WITH US FOR ASKING, AND THAT HE WILL GIVE TO US GENEROUSLY.
WISDOM IS A WORD THAT HAS BEEN LOST IN OUR CULTURE, OR REPLACED BY INSIGHT, INTELLIGENCE, KNOWLEDGE, INTELLECT, LEARNING, ETC. HOWEVER, NONE OF THESE IS WISDOM. WISDOM IS THE ABILITY TO USE KNOWLEDGE, TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS, AND IT IS DISCERNING. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US THAT THERE IS SAFETY IN WISDOM; WISDOM TO KEEP US ON THE RIGHT PATH, AND I BELIEVE THAT IS WHY THE GOOD SHEPHERD WANTS TO GIVE US WISDOM.
PROVERBS 2:9-15 "THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT IS RIGHT AND JUST AND FAIR - EVERY GOOD PATH. FOR WISDOM WILL ENTER YOUR HEART, AND KNOWLEDGE WILL BE PLEASANT TO YOUR SOUL. DISCRETION WILL PROTECT YOU, AND UNDERSTANDING WILL GUARD YOU. WISDOM WILL SAVE YOU FROM THE WAYS OF WICKED MEN....WHO LEAVE THE STRAIGHT PATHS TO WALK IN DARK WAYS....WHOSE PATHS ARE CROOKED AND WHO ARE DEVIOUS IN THEIR WAYS."
BECAUSE JESUS WANTS THE VERY BEST FOR US, HE WANTS TO GIVE US HIS WISDOM. ASK HIM TODAY, BE BLESSED AND REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
THERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF HEARTS. THE STONY HEART SEES SIN AS: "OH WELL, THAT'S PART OF LIFE." BUT THERE IS A HEART OF FLESH THAT GOD GIVES TO THE REDEEMED, THE CONVERTED. IT REPLACES THE OTHER, THE STONY HEART. THIS HEART OF FLESH IS SO SENSITIVE TO ANY OFFENCE TO THE LORD, HOWEVER SLIGHT IT MAY SEEM TO OTHERS, THAT IT MUST BE DEALT WITH. A. B. SIMPSON BEAUTIFULLY DESCRIBES THIS TRUTH AS FOLLOWS:
A heart of flesh is known by its tenderness concerning sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, or to have allowed a wild desire to tarry even for a moment, is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.
As any evil comes up and the consciousness of any unholy thing touches our inner senses, it is our privilege at once to hand it over to the Holy Spirit and to lay it upon Jesus as something already crucified with Him. Then, as was done with the sin offering, it will be carried outside the camp and burned to ashes. There may be deep suffering, there may be protracted pain, and it may be intensely real; but throughout all there will be a very sweet and sacred sense of God's presence, of intense purity in our whole spirit and of our separation from the evil which is being consumed. Truly, it will be borne outside the camp, leaving not even the smell of the flames upon our garments. It is so blessed to have the Holy Spirit slay things. No sword but His can pass so perfectly between us and the evil, so that it consumes the sin without touching the spirit.
Lord Jesus, my sin offering, I lay my sin, myself, my whole nature, upon Thy cross. Consume me by Thy holy fire, and let me die to all but Thee!
"A NEW HEART ALSO WILL I GIVE YOU, AND A NEW SPIRIT WILL I PUT WITHIN YOU: AND I WILL TAKE AWAY THE STONY HEART OUT OF YOUR FLESH, AND I WILL GIVE YOU AN HEART OF FLESH." EZEKIEL 36:26
We must not allow anything, not anything, to come between us and our Savior. The Lord bless and keep you, and don't forget that you are loved!!!
THERE IS JUST SOMETHING RENEWING ABOUT SUNDAYS. OUR CHURCH FAMILY, AND OUR CHURCH SERVICES HELPS US FACE, WHAT CAN BE AT TIMES, AN UNFRIENDLY WORLD ON MONDAY MORNING. A GREAT WHILE AFTER THE WORSHIP SERVICE IS OVER, IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE AT DOGWOOD LINGERING AT THE CHURCH TO SHARE SOME TIME IN CONVERSATION, LAUGHTER, AND JUST FRIENDSHIP. IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS, AND HIS SAVING GRACE.
"I ONCE WAS AN OUTCAST STRANGER ON EARTH,
A SINNER BY CHOICE AND AN ALIEN BY BIRTH.
BUT I'VE BEEN ADOPTED; MY NAME'S WRITTEN DOWN;
AN HEIR TO A MANSION, A ROBE AND A CROWN.
I'M A CHILD OF THE KING, A CHILD OF THE KING.
WITH JESUS, MY SAVIOR, I'M A CHILD OF THE KING."
"IF CHILDREN, THEN HEIRS; HEIRS OF GOD, AND JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST" ROMANS 8:17a
MY HOPE IS THAT YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT WEEK; BE BLESSED AND NEVER FORGET THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
"When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath." Esther 3:5
A group of people were shown a large sheet of white cardboard with a small, black dot in the center. The leader of the group asked them, "What do you see?" Everyone responded that they saw a black dot. "Yes," replied the leader, "but what about all the white cardboard around it?"
It's easy to focus on the "black dot" and forget the rest. Haman did. The multitudes were bowing to him, but he focused on Mordecai, and in the end, it did him in. In fact, after sharing with his family and friends about all his wealth and honors, he concluded in Esther 5:13 "Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate" One negative outweighed all the positive.
How foolish we are when we allow a single flaw to destroy the many blessings that God has brought into our lives. We discredit our family when all we can see are their faults. We show disrespect for our pastor when we focus on his weakness and forget his many strengths. Most of all we do a disservice to God when all that is negative engulfs us and all that is positive escapes us.
Are we letting the negatives in our life outweigh the positives? Let's focus on all the good that comes from your circumstances and thank God for that. You may be gratified to discover that the "white space" in your life is far greater than the "black dot."
COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS, EVERY DOUBT WILL FLY,
AND YOU WILL BE SINGING AS THE DAYS GO BY.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS; NAME THEM ONE BY ONE.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS; SEE WHAT GOD HATH DONE.
May the Lord bless you richly today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
First there were sundials. Then came water clocks, hourglasses and mechanical clocks. Now we have digital clocks and watches that split time into hundredths of a second. Our culture certainly is concerned with time. Maybe you feel like your life is rushing away too fast. Moses spent forty years in Egypt, forty years in the desert, forty years in God's service in the wilderness. How often he may have thought of wasted time. But hear his perspective: "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.... For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" Psalm 90: 1-4
It's good to contemplate God's eternity in the light of man's frailty. We are creatures of time, but God is eternal. He is our dwelling place from generation to generation. The eternity we face is in His hands.
"He who does the will of God abides forever" 1 John 2:17
God bless all, and remember that you are loved!!!
Do we know where we are going?
Billy Graham was in a city to preach a revival, and had some time before the meeting to take care of a little business. Looking for the Post Office with a letter in his hand, he ask a young boy for directions. After getting the directions, he ask the little boy to come, hear him preach tonight. He was going to tell people how to get to heaven. The lad said: "I don't believe I'll be there, you don't even know how to get to the Post Office.
In our Sunday morning Bible study, for the next three months or so, we will be studying the allegories found in "The Pilgrim's Progress". The story starts with Christian walking through the fields near his hometown, reading a book, "the Bible", looking one way then another, knowing he needs an escape, but not knowing were to start. He meets a man, "Evangelist", who points him to the path leading to the heaven. Do we know where we are going? We will find the answer by reading the Bible, and hearing it preached.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." John 14:1-4
God bless, and remember that you are loved!!!
The church at Dogwood was near capacity yesterday, and the Spirit of the Lord was there from the start. We heard some great music from Beth and Brant on the piano and guitar with three songs, and then a message from Anthony on healing, which brought healing from the Lord's word to many of us. We do feel equipped, with God's help, to face this new week, and equipped to help those around us that need a healing touch from the Christ of Glory.
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
Another day was waiting me
With challenges galore,
And I knew that opportunity
Would knock upon my door.
A chance to do some kindly deed
Before the day would end,
A chance to help my fellowman
A chance to make a friend.
So as I went about my work
I'd plan to give a smile
And if a neighbor needed help
I would go that extra mile.
Ernest Henry Thomas
God bless you, have a great day, and remember that you are loved!!!
What a mighty God we serve! He is worthy of all praise. Take a moment this morning to think about He creation. Scripture says it is for man's enjoyment and God's glory. The variety of tastes He has created for us, the variety of colors in the mixed hardwoods in the fall, the flowers in the spring and throughout the summer, and the different colors on the fish and song birds here in Southern Indiana. But then consider the tropical fish and tropical birds, with their unending brilliant colors. Our gateway to all this is our eye. "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them." Proverbs 20:12.
Each Human Eye....
Has over 100 million rods
Has six million cones
Handles 1.5 million simultaneous messages
Moves 100,000 times each day
Has automatic focusing
Can distinguish among seven million colors
Let's just honor Him today with our thanksgiving.
God bless and remember that you are loved!!!
"Guide me, O Lord, that I may be true to thee and follow thy path." Psalms 86:11
We just returned from our favorite place east of the Rockies, the Smokie's. We love mountain ranges because mountains have mountains streams and the mountain streams have trout. There can be solitude in the mountains, but for a trout fisherman, he must decide to find it. For the climbing up and down of the steep banks, over the boulders, and wadding through the strong current can be a struggle. He must decide to stop, lay the pole down, set on one of those monstrous boulders, and get quite.
Our hectic lives involve many changes, and changes require decisions, and decisions must often be made in the midst of a multitude of confusions. We run here and there asking advice. Often we make decisions without sufficient deliberation because we simply haven't time--or so we tell ourselves.
There is a marvelously helpful practice that we usually overlook. It is quietness. Notice how often in the gospels we find Jesus going away alone, even when people needed Him. He deliberately chose solitude. The more hectic our lives become, the more necessary is this quietness. When it is impossible to break away physically to a place of solitude for a day or so in order to think and pray over a hard decision, there is something else that may helps--do not speak about the decision to anyone but God for a couple of days. Just hold it before Him alone. Keep quite about it to anyone else. Pray. Listen. Seek his counsel.
Find fifteen minutes to wait before Him, focusing your mind on the words of "Guide me, O Lord, that I may be true to thee and follow thy path." Psalms 86:11
God bless all, and always remember that you are loved!!!
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." 1 Corinthians 1:27
Have you ever felt like a cheap fiddle? How about a cheap, worn-out fiddle? Maybe one that the world has played over and over again until you feel like you don't have another tune left? We have felt that way, but there is hope for us in the Lord. Let me share a story with you we heard recently.
A famous violinist announced he would be playing one of the world's most expensive violins in his concert. The first composition he played flawlessly. And each one after that was better than the performance before. The audience was thrilled and enamored with his perfection performance.
After bowling during the applause, the violinist suddenly picked up the priceless violin and smashed it to the floor, completely destroying it. The audience gasped and looked on with horrified expressions. That is, until the famous violinist explained he had been playing an inexpensive violin all along.
The musician then picked up the truly expensive violin and began playing it. The sound was just as beautiful as before, and most people couldn't even tell the difference between the two instruments. You see, the quality of the violin was secondary to the skill of the violinist.
If we are willing to let ourselves be placed in the Masters hands, He wants to, and He will, use ordinary instruments like us. In 2 Corinthians 1:27, Paul states that God chose foolish and weak things to shame the wise and strong. And did that so no one would "boast before Him" (1 Corinthians 1:29.)
God bless you and yours, and remember that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!