BE LEADING  

If you want your neighbor to see what Jesus will do for him, let him see what He has done for you. -H. Beecher

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

It is our responsibility to lead others to Jesus. We can’t save but we can be leading others by being an example. We lead when we are an example when we go through hard things but we don’t respond the way the world does. We lead when we are consistent on social media, the ones Mom and Dad see and the ones they don’t. We lead when we GET UP, GET READY and GO TO CHURCH when the church doors are open! On Sundays, for Revivals, for Jubilees, for Mission Conferences, on Wednesdays, or anytime there are special services- Be in your place and you will be leading others to Jesus!

            Will you be leading this morning or will you be loafing?

BE FOCUSED  

Man was created with two eyes, so that with one he may see God's greatness, and with the other his own lowliness. -Samuel Y. Agnon

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrew 12:1-2

I am convinced many people are not laying down their weights and sin which so easily beset them. You ask, “What is a weight? What is the sin?” Well the weight is a burden or a hindrance. A sin is offence against God. Scripture says both of these are dealt with when we lay them aside. What this means is when we repent of them God gives us liberty!

When we repent God gives us liberty! We are to live life to the fullest in the liberty Jesus gives, keeping our heart focused on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Focused on His Word, His Work, and His Way!

BE PRAYING  

            The Action of Prayer Leads to Awesome Power!

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

            Our faith in our omnipotent Saviour is on display when we pray and leave our burdens with Him. When we pick those burdens back up, we are saying God isn’t BIG enough to handle our problems. We are saying we are more capable of handling our problems more than He is. We are saying He doesn’t know what He is doing.

            Complete faith in God is making those requests known and leaving them with Him. Rejoicing before the request is made, during the period He hears them, and after the request is made. You see, when we have faith in God, we understand our Lord and Saviour knows our every need. You can rest assured He hears your prayers and He will answer them on His time table! When we put prayer in action, He gives us the power to remain faithful, remain focused, and to remain fruitful!

BE KIND

            The most important thought that ever occupied my mind is that of my individual responsibility to God. –Webster

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

          I’m sure you have heard, “Kindness Kills”. Well, I’m sure it used to but in the violent world today, even when you ask for forgiveness, to some, it means nothing. They can look you straight in your face and say I forgive you but you better watch your back!

            Being kind is done not just with words, it is done by action! It’s love in action! Our motivation is our Saviour was and is kind to us! He doesn’t do lips service, He does leg service!

            So get busy being kinder than you were yesterday!

BE FRIENDLY

           Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.  Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend. –Spurgeon

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

          I am thankful for the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It is that Friend who teaches us to be a real friend to others. He teaches us how to value them. He teaches us to invest our lives in them. He teaches us to help them. He teaches us to love them. He teaches us to sacrifice for them.

            Being friendly is much more than having conversations on social media—it is putting legs on the conversations we have! So, show yourself friendly and earn the right to have friends!

BE JOYFUL

            If you have no joy in your religion, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere. –Sunday

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1 Peter 1:8

                        A joyful spirit in some Christian’s life is missing. I don’t know why! We have a lot to be joyful for! God has saved us. He gave us His Spirit. He gave us His Word. He has Heaven prepared for us. He has given us everything we need to have a joyful life!

            Child of God, quit fretting over life. Cast your burden upon Him and be joyful, for He careth for you!

BE TRUTHFUL

            Don't you know my friend, it is not the most fluent man that has the greatest effect with a jury?  It is the man who tells the truth. - D.L Moody

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Colossians 3:9-10

            Anyone can tell a lie. The problem with a lie is you have to tell another lie to cover up the first one you told. Then you have to tell another and another, until before you know it, you don’t know what the truth is.

            It is honorable to tell the truth even when the truth hurts. You may lose a friend. You may lose a job. It may cost you more than you really want to pay. But in the long run, you will gain more friends being truthful than you had in the beginning.

BE PATIENT

            Patient waiting is often the highest way of doing God's will. –Collier

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

            When we go on visitation I often remind our church of this verse. I remind them it is not up to us to give the fruit. God will give the increase if we just remain faithful. The harvest may not be today or tomorrow. It may not be next week or next month. It may be a year or two from now. Whenever God gives the increase, we just need to be ready for it!

            We need to be ready to share the Gospel. We need to be ready to give godly counsel. We need to be ready to give help whenever help is needed.

            Even though we are being patient that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything! We should still be GETTING UP, GETTING READY and GOING TO CHURCH learning how to be patient!

BE HONORABLE

                 My honor is dearer to me than my life. –Cervantes

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1

                       “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law…” That is the first part of the Boy Scout oath that I learned over 30 years ago. It’s amazing the impact those years have had on my life. I can honestly say, for the most part, my time in the Scouts was good. It helped develop part of the man I am today.

            While the Boy Scouts has changed for the worse in the past 30 years, my understanding of what honor is has not. Is has only gotten deeper and richer. Honor is remaining true to godly core values. It’s doing our best even when no one is watching. It’s doing our duty to our fellow man. Being honorable is still doing our best and doing our duty to God and country!

BE STUDYING

Ever learning of our Saviour is much needed in an ever changing world.   

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business,

and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

1 Thessalonians 4:11

                        This past Sunday we celebrated our Patch Club kids’ accomplishments for the year. Each of the kids worked hard and finished the tasks that were set before them. They didn’t just wake up and find these tasks were finished. They memorized verses and completed many pages so they could pass the books.

Each one of us would do well to follow the lead of these young people. We should never stop learning about our Saviour! We should not retire our learning, we should re-fire it! We should keep on keeping on!

BE THANKFUL

            HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5

            One of the most neglected attributes is the one of being thankful. It’s a neglected expression when someone holds the door open. It’s a missing attitude when given a raise. Many times it’s a missing character when it comes to what Jesus has done for us!

            How thankful are you when it comes to the things The Saviour has done for you? Does your thankfulness show up in your actions? Does your works prove your love for the Saviour?

BE YE HOLY  

            It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. Lighthouses do not ring bells and fire cannon to call attention to their shining-they just shine. -Moody

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 20:7

            When the Lord saves a lost and dying soul, He does more than just saving them from hell. He is saving them from themselves. Left to ourselves, we will always find ourselves not only drifting toward sin but running to it. When we follow the paths of sin, we will eventually find ourselves dying from the very thing that we chose to do in the first place. I am reminded this morning of James 1:14-15, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

            The cure for unholiness is living a holy life. It is walking in His righteousness. But we can’t do it on our own! We have to have Jesus’ righteousness in us. When we got saved, He gave us His Spirit and when we follow the paths of righteousness, the Holy Spirit leads us along the way keeping us from self destruction!

            Want to avoid self-destruction and the old saying, “Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer that you want to stay, and cost you more than you are willing to pay? Then—Be ye holy!

BE FRUITFUL  

            Being fruitful begins at home.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

                        Starting the day off in God’s Word will provide fruit for daily living. You will learn how to love your family by the Word. You will learn how to have faith by the Word. You will learn how to be good by the Word. You will learn how to be fruitful by the Word. Get the drift?

            Being fruitful is more than just hearing the Word. It’s following the Word and watching the Spirit of God use the Word to produce fruit in you and others. You want to learn to be more fruitful? Get in the Word and learn at the feet of Jesus!

BE FAITHFUL  

            Being faithful is more than going to church on Sunday.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2

            A steward is one who has been given a responsibility. A steward or stewardess on an airplane has the responsibility of taking care of the needs of those flying in the airplane. A conductor (a steward on a train) has the responsibility of taking care of the people on the train. As stewards, Christians have been entrusted with the Good News of the Gospel to teach and preach to the sinner and to the saint.

            What a great responsibility! We shouldn’t take that responsibility flippantly. We ought to be faithfully serving our Saviour not just on Sunday morning but every second of every day. There is no time to sit down, take a break, or shut up. We as blood bought, born again Christians need to stand up, stand fast, speak up, being faithful to our Saviour!

            God has put a high standard on faithfulness. As a matter of fact He requires it. What area of your life is lacking in faithfulness? What will you do to get where you need to be with the Lord?

RUNNING BUT GETTING NO WHERE!  

            True repentance hates the sin, and not merely the penalty; and it hates the sin most of all because it has discovered and felt God's love. -Taylor

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:5

            My wife and I use to have a treadmill. I really didn’t like it though because when you got on the thing and started walking it didn’t give me a sense of instant pleasure. I didn’t see any new sights as you get when you walk outside. A butterfly flying around pollinating the flowers, a squirrel chasing another, a beautiful sunset, all bring about a sense of accomplishment. With the treadmill all I got was the same ole view and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

            When we get on life’s treadmill of unconfessed sin, we don’t get anywhere. David said in Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…” In this repentant Psalm, we see David has lost his joy in the Lord because of sin in his heart. The only thing that will cure that and get him back moving forward is true repentance and faith in the Lord. David said, After I repent, God can use me; “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Psalm 51:13

            Have you been trying to do something for the Lord but you’re not getting anywhere? Do you have sins that to men’s eyes are hidden? Do you harbor sin as if some cherished keepsake, afraid of what may happen if you trust and obey God? GET UP, GET READY, and GO TO CHURCH with mindset of, I’m going to confess and ask God to forgive me. Trusting He will do what is right and you will accept the consequences. It is then, and only then, God can and will use you for His glory and your good! It is then you will be getting somewhere!

A FRESH VIEW OF JESUS  

            Jesus Christ is light to the eye, honey to the taste, music to the ear, joy to the heart. –Spurgeon

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

            Many times we get in the ruts of life. We feel as if we can’t do anything right. We can’t seem to mark off another item on the “To Do” list. It gets us in a state of depression that if not taken care of will lead to health problems!

            I have found when I get a fresh view of my Saviour I can get things done! I see how He helped the woman at the well. I see how He healed one with palsy. I see how He saved souls. It is when we get our eyes back on Him and His grace we find out that we cannot do anything without Him anyway!

            Are you battling an uphill battle of unaccomplished tasks? Is depression breathing down your neck keeping you from rejoicing in your Saviour? Invest some time in the Word today! Seek Him in the Word getting a fresh view of His grace! It will help you get out of the rut of life and back on the run for the Lord!

I NEED TO SEE JESUS!  

            Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for, because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. --Peter Marshall

The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: Psalm 146:8

            Oh that we might always see the way to go for the Lord. Unfortunately, there are things keeping us from seeing which way to go. When I boil it all down I find two reasons we are blinded to God’s way; Sin and Sovereignty. When we have unconfessed sin in our lives God’s way is blurred. It’s blurred because He does not hear our prayers. It’s blurred because He will not condone sin. It’s blurred because God is holy and He wants us to be holy as well.

            The second reason is God’s sovereignty. Sometimes, God wants us to trust Him more. It’s not that we don’t but it’s when our faith needs to be deepened. It’s a time to hear what the Spirit is trying to teach us. It is a time we need to get focused a little more on the Saviour. It’s a time when doors are closed, and we need to get alone to see Jesus in His Word.

            Are you in a time when you need to see Jesus? He isn’t that far away! Open His Word and start reading. It won’t be long until He shows up in your life!

I NEED HELP...JUST NOT YOUR HELP!  

            Many receive advice, only the wise profit by it. –Syrus

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15

            These commercials on television about where to find a good contractor are interesting. They proclaim their company is the company to go to in order to find the best plumber, HVAC, painter, etc. Funny thing is these companies have paid a heavy fee in order to get a good referral from said company. Seems a little bias to me that a company you have paid to give you a good recommendation would give you a good recommendation!

            You want a good referral? Find someone who has used the contractor you have in question. Let them tell you about their craftsmanship, their pricing, and their accountability. Someone like that has not been bought to give their opinion.

            You want to know something about Jesus? Find someone who walks with Him, talks with Him, and serves Him. They are the ones who can tell you the most about Jesus. Those are the ones who can help you get your life where it needs to be! Yes, you do need their help! The prayers they offer for you are of more help to you than you can imagine! Those prayers may be what is standing in between you and hell. Receive the help from the wise!

STICK TO IT!  

            Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixedly upright. –Spurgeon

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5

            Looking at creation always amazes me. We see the ants doing their work. We see the birds doing their work. We see the fish doing what God created them to do. But with men, it’s so much different. Man has free will in which he can choose whether he will do God’s will or not. He can run from God’s will for him to be saved. He can say no to God. He can do whatever he wants to and he will live with the consequences.

            I have found when I line my will up with God’s will, my life will is so much better! When I don’t follow my heart, listen to negative influences, or chase empty dreams, God can work in and through my life. This is when God works! He works when we yield our lives over to Him. He works when we stick to His will. He works when we get out of the way. Will you surrender your will to Him today?

CHARACTER HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT.  

            Fame is vapor; popularity an accident; riches take wings.  Only one thing endures, and that is character. -Greeley

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:7-8

            Character has been defined as: who we are when no one else is around. What we watch, what we listen to, where we go, and what we do when no one else is around all make up our character. Interesting thing is our character is put on display when times in our life get rough. It shows up in the classroom when our teacher “gives” us a failing grade. It shows up in the work place when we don’t get that promotion we thought we deserved. It will even show up at the kitchen table when you don’t get the fried chicken you wanted for supper.

            How are you preparing when your character is put on display?