Saturday Scriptures

God's CreationIn light of the fact that God is the Almighty Creator of this universe (Genesis 1:1); the one who made us (Genesis 2:7), then we must admit that He is ultimately in charge of us. He created us to have a relationship with him and it was perfect. He is Holy, meaning he is set apart from anything or anyone on this planet. Because he is holy he desired for us to be holy too (1 Peter 1:16 and Leviticus 11:44). He says, “Be Holy, for I am holy.” Unfortunately, because we have a choice in how we respond to God, sin entered the world because people wanted to use their freedom in a selfish way (Genesis 3). They decided to do things their way rather than obey and follow God. Their choice in favor of sin rather than obedience to God caused them to be separated from God. We are now born into that sin and no longer have a perfect holy relationship with God. He is also Just. By this he must be the perfect judge. He cannot merely overlook this sin because it goes against everything that he is. He requires justice and he promises that he will punish sin (Isaiah 66:15 and 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). The wages of sin is death and complete separation from God (Romans 6:23). I’ll say it again, we have no option other than complete separation from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2). Your payment for your sin will be required and that is what Hell is all about. By the grace of God, however, he has provided a solution. Thankfully, God is Love (1 John 4:8). He is the purest form of it. He came up with a perfect solution to the sin problem. This solution is a love so crushing that when you think about it, no human would ever do what he did. This loving, good news is that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, God in living human form (Colossians 1:15), to pay, in-full, the price of your sin by becoming the ultimate sacrifice (John 3:16). He died in the most brutal way possible, death by the Roman cross. He lived the life we could never live. A perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21). He died a death that we fully deserved (1 Peter 3:18) yet he conquered that death by raising again from the dead to prove to the world that only through him could this debt be paid (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Because we still have a choice, it is up to God and you to accept the free gift of grace he is so lovingly giving to you (Romans 10:9-13, Acts 20:21). Living a good life, being kind to others, doing good deeds, and giving to charity will not get you into Heaven, it is only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). You must turn from your sin and trust in Christ (1 John 1:9 and Acts 3:19). Give your life completely to God and have faith in Him (Philippians 3:9). Ask him to forgive you of your sins and ask God to take control of your life (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Thank the Lord that he is Holy, Just, and Loving.

Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

Advertisements

Blessing God ~ Parable of the Pearl

Have you considered what God has offered you? Nothing compares to anything in this world than what he has for us should we choose Him. Take a look at the Parable of the Vase to see a modern day version of this beautiful parable of the pearl.

Parable of the Pearl“Parable of the Pearl”

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
– Matthew 13:45

Photography by Jen O’Sullivan

Blessing God Series
Rain from the Lord
Grass in the Field

Modern Parable ~ Walk the Walk

My dad, Chuck Queener shared this with me and I had to share it with you. Enjoy!

When we ‘talk-the-talk’, we have to ‘walk-the-walk’
Source, Unknown

The light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing,
stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red
light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in
frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the
intersection…dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked
up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her
to exit her car with her hands up.. he took her to the police station where

she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the
door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting
officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind
your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of
you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’
bumper sticker,  the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder,  the ‘Follow Me to
Sunday-School’  bumper sticker,  and the chrome-plated Christian fish
emblem on the trunk, so naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car.”

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 (ESV)

Blessing God ~ Grass in the Field

We are so fully busy every day and every second. Ask anyone you come in contact “How are you doing?” and 9 out of 10 will say something like, “Busy” or “Swamped” or “Just waiting for my vacation” or “Looking forward to the weekend.” Is that you? Do you answer that same way? Take the next 7 days to start answering that question differently. Say, “I am so blessed!” or “How gorgeous is today?!” Take time to remind yourself of all the good that is in your life rather than dwelling on your trials.

Grass in the field“Grass in the Field”

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

– Matthew 6:30-34 (ESV)
Photography by Jen O’Sullivan

Blessing God Series:
“Rain from the Lord”

Fruit Audit ~ What Do You Crave?

What do you crave?

Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Have you ever had the insatiable appetite for something? Chocolate cake, a hot-off-the-conveyor-belt Krispy-Kreme donuts, cold water after a five mile run, the book of Revelation, your bed after dancing all night with your girlfriends, wait, back up, Revelation? What??? Yes, Revelation. Think about it. Have you ever been obsessed with reading your Bible? Have you hungered after it like a newborn is desperate for milk? Here’s what Peter says about it, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)

The pure spiritual milk he is talking about is the Word of God. On the same note, what drives your life? What do you have an appetite for? Where do you spend most of your time? What do you spend most of your time doing? As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” When we diet the first thing we usually have to do is start tracking everything we eat. Have you ever done a diet log? Writing down each day what you eat, how much you eat, and how many calories you eat? You cannot know what to change until you know what your current habits are. You may do this with your finances too. Tracking where every penny goes. I challenge you to do two things.

First, take a look at your checkbook and figure out where most of your extra money goes. Set aside cost of living and then tally up where you spend your extra cash. Do you spend your money on movies with friends, concerts, clothing and shoes, expensive purses, cars (this one is big for the boys but it has gotten increasingly important to us girls too,) how about eating out, or your drinking habits both coffee and alcohol. You can make your own list, this is just a short one based on what most people frivolously spend money on that they claim just disappears

Second, take a look at your waking hours and figure out where you spend most of your extra hours. Set aside your work hours and then tally up everything else. Don’t include your commute time in your work time. That is still yours. Do you spend your extra time watching TV, or how about social media? That one seems to be one of the biggest time suckers even overtaking our TV time. Do you have a long commute where you listen to the news or radio or perhaps your commute is with a friend where you casually talk about nothing important. Right now I bet you are spending tons of time online researching all you can about wedding ideas and finding the right vendors.

Taking inventory on where your extra time and money goes will help you to see what is really important to you. I often hear pastors state that we need to “carve out time for God everyday.” Hmm. That is odd to me. Actually it is pathetic. If I told you I were going to eat just one large meal a week and then each morning I would have just one bite of cereal, but don’t worry because each day I would change up my bite. Tomorrow I might have a bite of banana, and the morning after that I will be sure to eat a bite of broccoli, then the next morning a bite of chicken to get my protein in. You would think I was nuts. You would also tell me if I was serious that I would most likely die from malnutrition. And yes, you would be right.

So what makes us think we are spiritually full by getting 15 minutes of bible reading in, 15 minutes of prayer time, and 1 hour of lesson time from your pastor each week. The timing that I just listed is, I’m guessing, even more than you actually commit to right now. It is what a stronger Christian might serve up to herself. You might be lucky if you even get to church this week let alone open your bible AND pray every single day of your life. Oh, but you pray all the time, in the car here and there, when you are brushing your teeth, and all sorts of other times throughout the day. Oh, I see… well then in your case you are just fine. Keep it up. How’s that working out for you?

So, is carving out 15 minutes or perhaps even 30 minutes a day with your creator fair when you are spending 4 hours watching TV, 2 hours in a mindless commute, 4 hours on Facebook, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. I’m going to challenge you again. After you have completed the first two challenges, I want you to insert time with God into at least half of the mindless time things you are doing. For instance:

  • If you watch 2 hours of TV a day spend one hour watching TV and one hour reading your Bible.
  • If you spend 2 hours a day commuting to and from work, try spending 30 minutes each way praying out load to God in the car or listening to the Bible. You can get quality recordings for free online.
  • If you spend 1 hour reading fiction or magazines, try 30 minutes in a Bible commentary learning something new about God.
  • If you workout at the gym for 1 hour a day, try going on a walk with God in prayer. It is fun to do a gratitude walk where you tank God for as many things as you can think of in beat to your walk pace. Or, at the gym listen to a recorded sermon on your phone. You can find a bunch of amazing sermons by searching for a topic you want to listen to at www.focalpointministries.org or checking out some sermon libraries online.

Blessing God ~ Rain from the Lord

We often ask God to bless us. How do we bless Him back? Through prayer and giving thanks, through reading his word, through our actions and how we relate to others, and through our talents. Here is my feeble attempt to use my God given talents to give glory back to him. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Rain from the Lord, a water kissed magnolia flower“Rain from the Lord”

“Ask rain from the Lord
in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.”
– Zechariah 10:1

Pink Magnolia
Photography by Jen O’Sullivan

Thursday Theology at its Best ~ Francis Chan on Lukewarm and Loving It

Lukewarm and Lovin’ It-Francis Chan from Julie Barrier on Vimeo.

A.W. Tozer Quote of the Day

“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God