Pat’s Ponderings…

 

When is Enough Really Enough?

 

“Whoever comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and brothers and sisters—yes, even one’s own life—cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:26

 

“I go to church every Sunday, I help out in any way I can at the church, I read my Bible, I pay my tithe, and I pray.  Isn’t that enough?”

 

God wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind.  “But that’s really hard!” many would say. We need to understand that God sets the standard, not us! 

 

How can we do what obviously is expected of us to be His disciples?  Understanding some things can help. We need to understand that God knows what is best for us.  That takes faith.  Also, we need to remember that heaven offers far better than anything we have here.

 

Do we really have to “hate” our family and life?  Newer translations say that we are supposed to love God more than family and self.  Many missionaries have done this when they have left home and gone to foreign countries.  God wants us to show proper respect, but nothing should come between us and God.  We’ve all seen instances where family members died and those remaining were devastated.  If we love God more, we can trust Him knowing that He knows what is best.

 

What about our hobbies?  We love to shop, go fishing, go hunting, watch our favorite movies, etc. Are they wrong?  They are wrong if we like them more than we love God.

 

When we watch teen couples do all they can to please each other, we see an example of persons doing things because they want to do them—- because they care for the other person.  It is like that with God.  If we really love Him, we will want to do the things that please Him.  We won’t be saying, “I think it’s okay if I do—.  We won’t even want to take the chance.  Our desire will not be to see what we can do and get by with.  Our desire will be to find things to do to please God. God knows.  He looks into the heart.

 

It is easy to trust more in what we can immediately see than what is in the future that we can’t see.  That takes faith.  God wants us to have faith.  Heaven offers far more than what we have here.

 

There is a beautiful element in giving up things for God.  He blesses us for it!  Quite often people have given up things only to be blessed with more than they gave up.  The paradox is that if we give to get, we won’t get it.  If we give out of love for God, not expecting a blessing, that is when He blesses.

 

He wants all of us.

 

Pat Lamb
blog: raisingkidsonline.com
“Love never fails”  I Corinthians 13:8
We practice what we believe; all the rest is just talk.

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Musing a Music Message

 
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Psalms 98:4 (NKJV)
 
My dad really liked to sing.  Although he didn’t sing solos in church or other places like that, he sang a lot while working.  There was no avoiding the feeling of gusto and sincerity he had in his songs.  The lyrics of many of those songs have stuck with me to this day and often guided my behavior.  It seems that the songs he sang were actually sermons meant to guide Christ-like living.  One of those songs was titled, “You Can’t Do Wrong and Get By”.  Here are the lyrics:
 
There’s a God who’s standing at heaven’s door
  He’s looking this universe o’er;
And He sees each mortal with a searching eye
You can’t do wrong and get by.
 
Refrain:
You can’t do wrong and get by,
No matter how much you may try;
Nothing hidden can be, everything He doth see,
You can’t do wrong and get by.
 
Out into the darkness you alone may go,
And seeds for the wicked one sow;
There’s an eye that’s watching from the throne on high,
You can’t do wrong and get by.
 
Yes, He knows your secrets, everything you do
He knows that your life is untrue;
You can ne’er deceive Him, there’s no use to try,
You can’t do wrong and get by.
 
Some people joke about how God will “zap” us when we do something wrong. It took me many years to realize that this is not the way God works.  I understand now that when God created the world, He set up certain results of behavior just as He made the law of gravity.  We can argue that if we turn loose of something, it won’t drop.  But if we try it, we find that it will drop.  His rules of behavior are similar.  Sin brings bad results.  We are foolish to try to get by with things that the Bible tells us not to do.  Because God loves us,  He gave us His Word to help us avoid bad consequences.  We are wasting our time and energy to try to get by with things contrary to His advice in the Bible. 
Pat Lamb
“Love never fails”  I Corinthians 13:8
We practice what we believe; all the rest is just talk.
 
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In All Ways?

 
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
  Proverbs 3:6
 
Yes.  The Bible tells us that we are to acknowledge God in all ways.  That means voting, too.  
What does it mean to acknowledge God in voting?  Does it not mean that we should always consider the candidate who most nearly follows God’s teachings in his/her own life?  Does it not mean that we should check to see the background of the candidate up for reelection to determine if past voting records have been in accordance with Biblical teachings?
What are some Biblical teachings and questions that should be considered in choosing a candidate for public office?  I would suggest the following:
1) The sanctity of human life.  When Mary went to visit Elizabeth while pregnant with Jesus, John jumped in Elizabeth’s womb at Mary’s entrance, the bible tells us.  That, alone, is enough to make us understand that a baby in a mother’s womb is a human and should not be murdered.  King David said that God knew him while he was still in his mother’s womb.
There are other Scriptures that bear out the value of human life in the womb.
2) Does the candidate seek God’s guidance in making decisions?  Some candidates simply follow party lines and are not willing to take a stand for what is right should it go against party lines.
3) Does the candidate support freedom to worship as a Christian worships?  In many cases now, the Quran is allowed in schools where the Bible is not!
4)  Does the candidate support prayer in public places?  
5)  The apostle, Paul, said that those who did not work should not eat!  How does the candidate view Social Security benefits? (“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”  2 Thes. 3:10)
6) The Bible teaches that we are not to participate in rioting.  Does the candidate support this teaching?(“…having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” Titus 1:6.  Also, I Peter 4:4, 2 Peter 2:13, Proverbs 23:20, and Proverbs 28:7.)
7) The Bible says that we should not bear false witness.  Is the candidate truthful? (Many TV ads are sponsored by groups rather than the candidate.)
8) The Bible teaches that we are to be good stewards of resources.  Is the candidate wasteful or frugal with taxpayer money?
9) God wants us to use wisdom in helping others.  Of course, we should love and care for everyone, but if we give away all we have, there is nothing left for anyone.  There are better ways to help people in other countries than to let everyone come here.  
 
It is not God’s way for us to vote for those we think will give us the most.  That is selfishness.  We should, first of all, acknowledge God’s teachings and God, Himself, by praying before we vote.  Christians have a big responsibility in this respect.  
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Shining the Light

 
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:16
 
 
It’s difficult to be patient while waiting in line to check out with a purchase.  It’s easy to get a little cranky.  The person doing the checking may have had a rough day and be in need of some encouragement.  “I hope you have had a good day”, is a nice thing to say.  A compliment on the checker’s efficiency may just help make the day more pleasant.  So what if the total is a few cents off??  Is it worth arguing about?  What if the checker knows we attend church and gets the idea that the people at that church are grouchy?  “I don’t want to attend that church!” the checker may be thinking.  
Our attitude as we go about our daily activities may make the difference between a person attending our church or not. Being pleasant is a good way to “shine the light” to glorify God.
 
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What if…???

 

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Matthew 10:7 (NIV)

 

Does it seem like we are always on the go?  As we go, what if we really did proclaim the message about the kingdom of God?

What if….When we go to Wal-Mart, Country Mart, the doctor’s office, or wherever, we strike up conversations with clerks or customers and get around to asking if they go to church?  We could say, “You seem like a churchgoer.  Where do you go to church?”  If they tell you a place, remark about how glad you are to hear it.  If they tell you they don’t go to church, you could say, “I attend FBC in Kimberling City.  You would certainly be welcome there.” The conversation continues from there.

What if…You can’t tell them exactly how to get there or don’t remember the exact times of meetings?  (Even if you remember well enough to tell them, will they remember?) Wouldn’t it be nice if you had something to hand to them with directions and time of services?  Actually, we do have some very nice business cards in a basket on the shelf in the entry of Main Campus that gives that information.

What if…You just happen to have some of these business cards in your wallet?  After all, we carry business cards for our own personal businesses.  Aren’t we supposed to be about the Lord’s business?  Why not carry business cards for witnessing?  

What if…You always carried some of these cards and stayed alert to opportunities to tell others about our church?  We might see some immediate church growth or we might not see results.  Either way, we have obeyed our Lord’s instructions.  We obey and leave the results to God.

What if… Several, none, or only one comes to know Christ?  The one is someone’s son or daughter.  

What if…That one were your son or daughter?  If we do our part, maybe someone somewhere will witness to our loved ones.

What if…We do nothing?  Do we really care if someone dies and goes to Hell?  God will hold us responsible for what we do or don’t do.  There are sins of omission as well as commission.

What do you say?  Shall we be members of God’s army, and, as we go, proclaim Him to others?

 

What’s in your wallet?

 

Pat Lamb patlee@centurytel.net www.patlambchristianauthor.com blog: raisingkidsonline.com

“Love never fails”  I Corinthians 13:8

We practice what we believe; all the rest is just talk.