VIDEO Comedy of Errors – Making of a Mature Adult

Comedy of Errors

Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. Proverbs 8:14

Last fall, a man in Colorado planned to rob a store, but he drew attention to himself by pacing on the sidewalk, gathering his courage. Then he entered the store and pulled a gun from his clothes—it was a BB gun—but he lost his grip and sent it tumbling behind the counter where the clerk picked it up. The man then ran from the store, but his pants, once held up with his BB gun in the waistband, fell around his legs.

It’s amazing how our foolish deeds start multiplying on us.

It’s also amazing how our wise deeds multiply. Our actions flow from values and convictions, and our wisdom comes from God. He says, “Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength.”

Life is confusing for us, but we don’t have to bungle our way through it. Ask God for wisdom for each day and study the counsel of His Word. The fruit of righteousness abounds with each passing year; instead of a comedy of errors, our lives become channels of blessing.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It is in our coming before the Lord that we see the true nature of all that we observe around us. W. A. Criswell


Making of a Mature Adult (Proverbs 8-14)

Is There A Dead Dog Hanging In Your Life?

1 Corinthians 10:13    James 1:14-16    1 Peter 5:8

 

As we start out a brand new year, 2019, I want to remind you that without question, the biggest problem a Christian has by far is temptation.                                                    

If you can eliminate temptation, you can eliminate sin.

A pastor told his congregation, “I learned a great lesson from a dog.”

He said, “His master used to put a piece of meat or a biscuit or some kind of food on the ground, and say to the dog, ‘Don’t eat that,’                                                                                  .   – The dog would run over and eat it, so he’d spank the dog.

He put another piece of meat on the ground and say, ‘Don’t eat that.’

The dog would go over and eat it, and he’d hit him again.

After awhile, the dog got the message: eat meat, get spanked.                                                                 .   – So the dog decided he wouldn’t eat the meat.”

The dog finally got to where he didn’t look at the meat.                                                                             .   – He felt if he looked at the meat, the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he                         .      constantly looked into his master’s face and never took his eyes off him.                                    .      – Then the temptation didn’t cause a problem.

Temptation works like that.

As long as we stare at it looking at the baubles or the bangles Satan dangles in front of us and entertain ourselves on that and feed on it, we’re susceptible.

Temptation’s a common problem for all of us — often victory over temptation isn’t so common.               .    – 1 Corinthians 10:13

We have the same problem the dog had.                                                                                              .   – If we entertain the temptation rather than keeping our eyes on Christ, we’re going to fall.

The strength of a temptation is in how long you play with it and think about it.                                 .   – The longer you toy with temptation the stronger it becomes and the harder it is to resist.                                                                                                                                                       .     – If you dismiss it immediately, you’ll not have a problem.

How do you do that?                                                                                                                               .   – Many radio towers all around Phoenix, sending out different frequencies.

If you don’t like the programming on one station you change to another station!                                                                     .     – When Satan bombards you with temptation you can change the station too.

By Praising Jesus, quoting  scripture, testifying to Satan how God’s forgiven your sin, plea the Blood, sing a hymn, and remembering you aren’t having a private moment.  — Hebrews 12:1

There are surveillance cameras watching us everywhere, but that’s nothing to what Hebrews tells us — There’s a great host of witnesses watching how you’ll respond!                                                           .   – Knowing this has always helped me resist temptations.

Remember when Satan offers you a temptation, he wants to destroy you. — 1 Peter 5:8         .    – Bait on a fish hook.

Whatever Satan has to offer might gratify for a moment — when it’s over you’re not satisfied.     .   – You’ll deal with guilt, feel miserable and know you’re out-of-step with God.

Any deal Satan offers you is a bad deal!

I know people who think God is too restrictive — they don’t want to be tied down to a bunch of rules — they want more freedom to indulge in what the world offers:

A German Shepherd lived with his master who loved him very much. Every day when the master went to work the German Shepherd would be on a long chain in the garden, long enough to cover all the grounds and be able to go inside through the dog-door if need be.

One day when the German Shepherd was keeping watch over his Master’s property, a Bulldog came bouncing up laughing and taunting.

The bulldog said, “Ha! Ha! Look at you, all chained up. Not free! I’m free; I can do what I want. If I’m hungry I go to the garbage cans and find food, I can chase all the lady dogs. You can’t be happy!”.

“Actually”, said the German Shepherd, “you have a point. I do wonder what it’d be like to have more freedom and go beyond the boundaries set by my master. But my master’s good! He takes care of me and loves me — I’m secure in his care.”

The Bulldog came every day with the same old tactics. Finally, the German Shepherd started listening to the bulldog and said, “OK, if I want to be free how’s it possible? I’m chained up!”.

“Ah!”, said the Bulldog, “You’ve got to be smart like me. When your master is out you go into the living room, right to the center of the rug and do a big job”

“But my master will beat me!” gasped the German Shepherd.

“He’ll beat you a few times, then he’ll let you loose!”  Said the Bulldog.

The German Shepherd couldn’t sleep that night.                                                                                       .   – He tossed and turned deciding whether to listen to the Bulldog or not.                                     .      – The next morning his master hugged him and left with the usual loving words,‘Be a good .           .        dog, look after my house’.

But the German Shepherd was under the spell of the Bulldog — he went to the center of the living room and did big business!

The next day the Bulldog saw the German Shepherd still chained sitting silently in the garden.    .   – His nose was bright red!

“What happened?” asked the Bulldog , “You did it didn’t you ? What happened?”

“My master was so angry, he took me to the living room and rubbed my nose painfully in the mess!”  replied the German Shepherd.

“Ah! That’s just the first step. You do it a few more times and you’ll be free”, said the Bulldog running circles around him.

“No”, said the German Shepherd, “This experience taught me one thing”.

“What?” inquired the Bulldog.

“Now I know why your face is like it is!”

Satan tries to tempt us away from the safe boundaries God’s set for us (His commandments, His Word and His Will for us).

He tempts us to make a mess in the house of God instead of being watchful and caring for our Master’s house (the Church). The devil will come time after time to tempt us and tell us we’re not really free.                                                                                                                                        .   – However, true freedom only comes in being a servant of the Lord!

We should recognize Satan’s tactics and resist him and he will flee – Martin Luther did. One night he woke up and the devil was the end of his bed. Martin Luther said, “Oh! It’s only you!”, and he went back to sleep.

Satan knows the bait you’ll go for and tries to entice you with that!                                                            .    – Beth George was assigned to make me fall morally while I was in Cheyenne.                                                   .      – Annette (big brown eyes and long black hair) wanted personal counseling — she wanted to   .       “sit at my feet” and learn about spiritual warfare!                                                                                 .        – SORRY SATAN, I SEE A TRAP!

LISTEN!  Temptation IS NOT SIN!Every Christian is tempted.                                                            .   – If the Devil’s leaving you alone check your relationship with Christ because evidently Satan’s .     not worried about you!

Satan works harder at church than at the neighborhood bar or brothel because he already owns those people! — James 1:14-16

Temptation is when the Devil says, “Will you?”                                                                                              .   – Sin comes when we say, “I Will!”

Flip Wilson drew laughs by saying “The Devil made me do it!”

– Satan can’t make you do anything — James 4:7-8

– You choose to live for Jesus and do His Will or to disobey Christ and fall prey to Satan.

 

Pastor, I try, but the battle’s too great.  I find myself constantly giving in to temptation and I’m constantly defeated.

– The Christian life isn’t working for me!

 

The problem is you’ve never totally committed your life to Jesus!

– You need to be sanctified! — Romans 7:21-8:10

 

Romans 7:24 (KJV): O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

– Paul’s referring to the practice Rome had of chaining prisoners together.  If one died he

remained chained to the living one who had to drag the dead one every place he went until

that rotting carcass poisoned and killed him too.

 

Paul’s saying the sin you refuse to let go of is a horrible burden like a rotting corpse which will eventually bring your death too.

 

The reason you’re struggling with the Tithe, witnessing, prayer, devotions, turning your life over to Christ 100% is because you’re still fighting for what you think are “your rights — “the body of this death.”

 

That attitude will take you right to Hell!

– You’ve no rights to fight for when you belong to Christ. — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

If you’re fighting for your “rights” and refusing to give God everything “that body of this death” is decaying in your spirit and will eventually destroy you.

 

A man wanted to buy a house in Haiti for $2000.

– The property owner wasn’t sure he wanted to let the house go permanently, but was willing

to negotiate a sale on the condition he could buy the house back if he ever wanted to.

– One stipulation for the sale was he could put a nail above the front door which he’d    .

continue to own.

– The buyer thought, “What could one little nail hurt if I own the rest of the house?”

 

The buyer agreed to the condition of the sale and paid the $2000 asking price..

 

2 years later the first owner wanted his house back.

– By then the new owner wanted to renege on the agreement.

 

The previous owner said he owned the nail and could do what he wanted with it.

– He found a dead dog and hung it on the nail.

 

The new owner protested, but was reminded the contract read the nail belonged to the previous owner — he could use it anyway he wanted to.

 

The dog carcass continued to hang — rotting and decaying and smelling horrible.

 

Finally, the new owner could take it no longer and moved his family out and sold the house back to the original owner.

 

When you hold something from God, you’ve a nail Satan will use to hang his poison on and defeat you. — Romans 7:24

 

Is there something dead hanging in your life today?

– Are you being defeated by “that body of this death?”

– God can clean it out for you and restore your relationship with Him.

 

by Bill Woods

Called to Edify One Another

Colossians 3:12-17

Your spiritual growth isn’t just about you—it affects your entire church. Consider this: What would your church be like if everyone in it was as hungry for God’s Word as you are? I’m not saying we must all be spiritual giants, but we should all be growing and increasing in our knowledge and love for Christ, as well as in our love for each other.

One of our responsibilities as members of Christ’s body is to edify each other in the faith. Sometimes we think this is just the role of those in ministry and assume the rest of us can sit back and take it easy. But today’s passage clearly says to “let the word of Christ richly dwell” in us so we can teach and admonish one another with wisdom (Col. 3:16).

Opinions and advice are often casually dished out without much thought, but as believers, we’re called to give wise counsel based on God’s Word. There is no other source that’s as sound, because Scripture alone is absolute truth. Building others up could simply be a matter of pointing out a passage that speaks to an issue they are facing, or it could involve admonishing or warning against an action or attitude the Bible condemns.

To some people, this kind of care for one another may seem unwanted or intrusive, but it’s actually an act of obedience to the Lord. It demonstrates our love for others and our desire to see them become the people that the Lord designed them to be—believers who accomplish what He’s called them to do. And if we are on the receiving end of such care, it helps us develop a humble, teachable attitude.

Just Pray Anyhow

“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (1 Samuel 12:23) 

Samuel had served the children of Israel as their faithful judge for many years, and the Lord had blessed them and their land. Nevertheless, they began to want a king and pressed Samuel to get one for them. Finally, Samuel anointed Saul to be their king, but both Samuel and the Lord Himself were displeased with their demands.

Nevertheless, Samuel’s great heart, both for the Lord and for His people, is revealed in the promise of our text. Although he was hurt and disappointed, because he had led them successfully and justly his whole life, he would still pray for them and teach them. This is a great example for Christian leaders or workers today who, through no fault of their own, have been replaced by someone else.

Intercessory prayer is not easy, especially if our prayers are not appreciated by those we pray for. Nevertheless, it is a type of prayer ministry that especially pleases the Lord, and that is more important than human gratitude. “I exhort therefore” said Paul (no doubt reflecting God’s own desires), “that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul would even urge prayer for the emperor, Nero, who had imprisoned him and would eventually have him put to death.

Even Jesus had said that we should “pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). The Lord Jesus is the greatest intercessor of all. For when we sin (and all sin is sin against the Lord), He is our “advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1), and in fact, “he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Therefore, should we not also be prayer intercessors? HMM

Face Down, Listening

And Aram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

—Genesis 17:3-4

The Scriptures declare, “Abram fell on his face” as the Lord talked with him (Genesis 17:3). Abraham was reverent and submissive. Probably there is no better picture anywhere in the Bible of the right place for mankind and the right place for God. God was on His throne speaking, and Abraham was on his face listening!

Where God and man are in relationship, this must be the ideal. God must be the communicator, and man must be in the listening, obeying attitude. If men and women are not willing to assume this listening attitude, there will be no meeting with God in living, personal experience….

Yes, Abraham was lying facedown in humility and reverence, overcome with awe in this encounter with God. He knew that he was surrounded by the world’s greatest mystery. The presence of this One who fills all things was pressing in upon him, rising above him, defeating him, taking away his natural self-confidence. God was overwhelming him and yet inviting and calling him, pleading with him and promising him a great future as a friend of God!   MMG021-022

Lord, we don’t spend nearly enough time facedown before You. Draw me to a position of humility and reverence, I pray. Amen.

 

Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee, The Lord be magnified

Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; let such as love Thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.—Psalm 40:16.

Then will I go unto the altar of God; unto God, my exceeding joy.—Psalm 43:4.

 

We doubt the word that tells us: Ask,

And ye shall have your prayer;

We turn our thoughts as to a task,

With will constrained and rare,

And yet we have; these scanty prayers

Yield gold without alloy

O God, but he who trusts and dares

Must have a boundless joy!

George Macdonald.

 

Tell them that, until religion cease to be a burden, it is nothing,—until prayer cease to be a weariness, it is nothing. However difficult and however imperfect, the spirit must still rejoice in it.

Edward Irving.

 

From a weary laborer, worn with slavish and ineffectual toil, I had become as a little child receiving from God the free gift of eternal life and of daily sustenance; and prayer, from a weary spiritual exercise, had become the simple asking from the Heavenly Father of daily bread, and thanking Him.

Elizabeth Rundle Charles.

 

Rest On His Promise

“The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it.” Gen. 28:13

No promise is of private interpretation: it belongs not to one saint, but to all believers. If, my brother, thou canst in faith lie down upon a promise, and take thy rest thereon, it is thine. Where Jacob “lighted,” and tarried, and rested, there he took possession. Stretching his weary length upon the ground, with the stones of that place for his pillows, he little fancied that he was thus entering into ownership of the land; and yet so it was. He saw in his dream that wondrous ladder which for all true believers unites earth and heaven; and surely where the foot of the ladder stood he must have a right to the soil, for otherwise he could not reach the divine stairway. All the promises of God are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus; and as He is ours, every promise is ours if we will but lie down upon it in restful faith.

Come, weary one, use thy Lord’s words as thy pillows. Lie down in peace. Dream only of Him. Jesus is thy ladder of light. See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God; and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion, and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee.