Giving

The teachers have been preparing for 2 weeks on starting school Monday. Our school year goes from mid-January until November. Graduation and the Quinceaneras will be November 23rd. The kids do not seem too excited about the new school year. Hopefully that will change on Monday.

I wrote thank you letters to dozens of folks today.

We are getting a trickling of new children but the government is still sending others back to their families.

 

University boys helping with the ceiling

What motivates Christians to give? Giving is an expression of love.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”.

The way you think is will become the way you act.

  1. We give because we love God. You are not expecting anything in return.
  2. We give because of gratitude. Thankful for his mercy & gift of salvation.
  3. We give because we are obedient. “If you love me, keep my commandments”
  4. We give because we trust Him. Confidence He will bless & keep us.
  5. We give because we are guardians. Everything belongs to God.
  6. We give because God is faithful. We know He will keep His Word.
  7. We give because we want to worship Him. We worship what or who we value.

 

Any one of these points is cause enough to make you a giver. I believe that one of the greatest blessings of being a child of God is to be a channel to a world of hurting people

Listen as worship

Mike and Jessica, board member arrived today for a week.

Jacobo was admitted to dental school today. He is beyond himself with joy. He has studied so hard to get this opportunity. He won the scholarship offered his senior year in high school.

It was a day without event so it was nice.

 

How do you listen?

Make your listening an act of worship. Make it as important as the music or prayer. Go to church with the idea that your presence there is an act of worship.

Listen from first to last. Do not doze or play games in your mind or daydream. Put all of your attention on each sentence because God make speak only one sentence to you so do not miss it.

Look at the speaker. I love it when I can make eye contact with the congregation.

Read along in your Bible. Follow the sermon in the Word itself and God may share a truth with you the pastor had not thought of.

Listen with faith. You have to believe that when you enter that place where a teaching is going forth that God has come to meet with you personally.

Listen with a mind of action. James tells us that faith without works is dead. Apply to your daily life what you have heard in that teaching. Do not be a hearer only BUT be a hearer in deed.

listening

Alex, in dialysis, will have his kidney transplant on January 29th. We need 24 blood donors. Pray that Alex and his father, the donor, will stay healthy as we await the surgery.

Josue took Dottie to the city to buy uniforms for the high school girls.

 

People do not listen!

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear” is found in multiple scriptures such as Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 13:43 and Revelation 2:27. Evidently like Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun”. Jesus was having trouble getting people to listen to Him.

Hebrews 5:11 says that some people are dull of hearing. They just cannot grasp and neither will they take time to understand what is happening. It goes over their heads because they will not stay tuned to what the Word is saying.

II Timothy 4:3-4 says that there are those who have itchy ears. They just want to be scratched. They hear what they want and they do not want you meddling by teaching anything that could bring them to conviction. They pick the pastor who less offends and they sit comfortably in the pew.

Acts 17:11 shows a noble and good hearted listener. They listen to learn and to apply what is being said.

Good listening is essential be you being blessed. If you do not listen well you will not hear what Jesus is offering to you personally.

Good listening is essential to saving faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:14,17)

Good listening is essential to bearing fruit as attested to in Luke 8:15. You hear the Word and you go forth to allow others to hear what God is saying.

Contridictions

It was 45 degrees and the wind blowing hard while we were in church. That is cold here on the mountain.

Four different children who now have spouses came for me to meet their families. It is an awesome blessing to have children who have succeeded come back to be part of our family.

Petting a chicken

Contradictions! People often contradict one another. When my stories of my youth get out of hand Dottie will straighten me up by contradicting me. But contradiction of God is rebellion and a great offense to God. Here are a few:

  1. “God does not love me” but Jeremiah 31:3 says “I have loved you with an everlasting love. The Word declares God’s love for the entire world. His miracles show his compassion and love. His suffering on the cross shows His compassion and love. The forgiveness He provides shows His compassion and love. His death for me personally shows His compassion and love. His resurrection shows His compassion and love. His love is seen in creation and in His plan of redemption.
  2. Another contradiction is “It’s impossible”. The Word says that there is nothing impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26). Pharoah’s armies were behind Moses and God destroyed them. The Red Sea was in front of Moses but God opened it up. The disciples doubted when they were in the boat and a storm arose but Jesus just simply said “Peace be still” and the winds and rains obeyed Him. We often pray as though God is not going to come through for us.
  3. A third contradiction is “I cannot overcome this trial or temptation”. But             I Corinthians 10:13 says that He limits the temptation because they are common to man. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen to you. It has happened before to someone else. God is faithful when we are tempted. God allows us to overcome. God always provides an escape.

 

Stop being disobedient by contradicting your Heavenly Father. Trust Him!!

 

Fear not

Brandi took the girls in her dorm to Panajachel where they took a boat across the lake and stayed in Santa Maria. They will return tomorrow afternoon. Great trip!

On a horse

Matthew 1:18-25 A fear not for Joseph.

Christmas had ‘fear nots” to Zacharias (Luke 1:13), to Mary (Luke 1:30 and to the shepherds in Luke 2:10. Joseph needed a fear not because he was totally confused by an angel telling him that Mary’s pregnancy was not of man.

  1. He needed a “fear not” because he felt let down. Have you ever felt let down? He thought Mary had been immoral. I often come to the wrong conclusion when I assume I know what is going on. But while Joseph was worrying God was working a mighty plan for his life. What Joseph thought was sinful was actually sacred. Just like me many times he did not have all the facts. We need to not worry about the failings of others. Jesus is in control.
  2. He needed a “fear not” because he was worried about public opinion. He did not want to make Mary a public spectacle. He did not want Mary stoned to death for her supposed sin. He feared what others would think about him. Proverbs 29:25 says “The fear of man brings a snare.” Do not let what people think trap you.
  3. He needed a “fear not” for times of mental anguish. He probably thought on her pregnancy constantly. He certainly had an emotional crisis. This was so very terrible in the eyes of the church folk. What he thought would bring death brought deliverance. What he thought would ruin Mary’s life immortalized her. He thought people would call her bad but we call her blessed.

 

What about us? Do we need a “fear not” today? Cast all your cares on Jesus. Let Him carry these burdens. God can meet you in your fears & make them “Fear nots”.

Just-as-if

Another cold morning that warmed by early afternoon. I took the opportunity to make radio shows for KAJN in Crowley.

Jose Eduardo, a great young man, returned to his family today. He was a huge help in Dottie’s garden and the children’s ministry. We will miss him.

The staff had a time of praise, prayer and the Word.Jim preached.

Jose with Dottie

Justification is Just-as-if-I-never sinned. The evidence of justification is the works. Your life changes. Romans 5:5.

  1. An open door to peace. V1 “peace with God”. When Christ enters our lives and removes our sins forever there is a tremendous amount of peace. There is no turmoil or fear about what is coming because we know it is already done in Jesus.
  2. An open door to grace. V 2a “Access by faith into this grace”. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not know the mercy of God. I love all the traits of our heavenly Father but His mercy thrills me. I deserve nothing good. It is all a gift from God.
  3. An open door to joy. V2b. “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. How can anyone have lasting, daily, 24-hour joy without Jesus? The hope of eternal life thrills me with joy and happiness.
  4. An open door to glory. V3. “Glory in tribulations”. Only a believer can rejoice in the midst of problems. Normally our glory comes in victory so God is telling us His glory comes when we stand tall in trials.
  5. An open door to perseverance. V5b. “hope maketh not ashamed and love of God maketh not ashamed”. You are able to continue in the face if difficulties. You put your head down and push on towards the prize that Jesus has for you.
  6. An open door to power. V5b. “By the Holy Ghost which is given to us”. There is not doubt that we cannot do any of the qualities God desires for us without His power. The Holy Spirit is the power of God in my life.
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