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2 Thes 2:16 May the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace give us eternal encouragement and good hope.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Ephesians 4:29b Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

So, Im going to go ahead and apologize… this post may be a little, “In your face”, but God has been “IN my face” about this lately so Im just relaying the message! 🙂 Here’s the deal… Satan is working overtime. He is using anyone and anything. I’ve realized that he sometimes even uses Christians, Strong ones at this to tear others down. Often times they do not even know it… I heard a speaker talk on this the other day and she made the point of how whether or not it is our “spiritual gift” to be an encourager or not we are still called to do it! Yes, some people are naturally better at it than others. Reality is though…. people are longing for love and one of the main ways we can show them Gods love is through encouragement. What good is saying, “I love you” if you are then saying degrading things towards the person? Absolutely nothing!!! A young girl committed suicide yesterday. I have to ask myself… if someone would have shown her the love of God would she have felt so hopeless? Would she have thought that the only way to handle life was to just end it? I honestly doubt it… I did not personally know her, but i wonder if I had would Gods love have shown through me enough to make a difference? To be totally honest, I’m not sure…. I hope so, but there are many times that I’m sure it wouldn’t. Its worth a thought… We are bombarded moment by moment with lies that we are not worth anything, worthless, and that life is all about us, so when life gets tough it doesnt seem like the only way out is to give up. Do you get this?! People are dying… not just because of natural causes, but also because they feel hopeless and unloved. What are we doing about it? I propose that we change that… I know I’m going to do my best to.

So, Ive been learning a large amount of things lately and God has been doing AMAZING things in my life, but one of the main things that has been on my mind. How am i finishing? I’m about to be finished with Highschool and how am I finishing? What have I done with the time I had in High school? Some of you may have thought about this, but this is one of the first times that it really seems real to me.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Can you truly say that? One thing that I realized the other day though is that we do not have to wait until the end of the year, end of a decade, until the end of something big, or even a lifetime. We can ask ourselves this at the end of each day! Do you care that you glorify God with your life each and every day? I do! With that said, I have made it a point that when I lay down in my bed at night to ask myself these questions… I even wrote this verse on an index card and posted it above my bed. This may be something that you have always thought about, but this is one of the first times for me! 🙂

Sheep and Goats

I was thinking about this Keith Green song this morning, so I was looking it up on Youtube, and also found this video of him talking about the song and the Bible passage that inspired it.  The passage is Matthew 25:31-46.  His song is kind of a different take on it than I had ever heard before.  He directly quotes the passage… and adds some.  What I understand his main point to be is, as Pastor Jim says, “We aren’t saved by works, but we are saved to work.”  Anyway, it’s a very convicting, challenging song.  I hope you’ll listen to it.

Here’s him talking about it:

Here’s the song:

First, I apolagize for my sporatic posting this week. I was out of the hous efor two whole days this week. So, i’m sorry things have been odd this time around.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
-Psalm 24:3-6 (ESV)

Graduation is growing close, and with it I”ve been thinking more about next year, which will be my Senior year. I’ve been thinking, if there was one thing I could tell this years graduating class and my own, what would it be? Yesterday my dad read Psalm 24 to us. And this passage in particualr struck me. Have you ever heard the song Give us Clean Hands? It’s based of this Psalm and the wording of it turns the psalm into a prayer.

So give us clean hands
and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh give us clean hands
and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh God let this be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob
Oh God let us be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob

This is my prayer for the classes of 2010 and 2011, and all those to follow. Oh God let US be a generation that seeks your face! AS we graduate and go out into the world, we will be faced with so many trials to our faith. The world does not believe as we do and we must remember that. I encourage yall to all write the words of this Psalm on your hearts. And pray to God and ask that he keep you hands and hearts clean, that he let us be a generation that seeks His face. And let me tell yall this, if we truly are a generation seeking the face of God, He will bless us and the world through us.

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

So yesterday we were dirving down the road near my grandmother’s when I saw a sign that had this verse on it. I got me thinking about the verse. Sometimes we get really worried about stuff, we fret over the little things, and stress over the big ones. We rush about day by day trying to get everything done, trying to make everything perfect. Sometimes we find ourselves so busy we aren’t making time for God. But this verse says “be still.” And not just that “be still, and know that I am God.” We need to take time out of our daily lives to be still and know God! So don’t get so busy that you put that off, always find a time to retreat and be still.

The Tale of Two Men

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 5:18-21 (ESV)

Okay, so REALY cheesy title, I know. But hang in with me a sec.

Genesis 1: God creates Heaven, Earth and all things

Genesis 2: God creates man (or rather, we see more details of the creation of man.)

Genesis 3: Man sins.

Catch that? Three chapters, that’s how long it takes for Adam and Eve to fall. THREE CHAPTERS. One man, three chapters, and all of mankind is cursed and thrown out of God’s prencense.

Sounds pretty bleak now huh?

Well it doesn’t stop there.

God uses one man to save tose whom He calls.

He used our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.-John 3:16 (ESV)

Hallelujah!

Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.-1 Corinthians 14:20 (ESV)

So the other day I was reading my Bible and this verse caught my attention. What caught me first was the part about infants in evil. This caught my eye, because so many times I have heard people say tuff like, “how will I know what evil is if I haven’t tried/seen it?” 1 Corinthians 14:20 tells us that we are to be infants in evil. What does this mean? Well, if we are infants in something, we are not at all skilled in that area nor do we know it’s inner workings. So first of all, we are not to be skilled in evil. We aren’t supposed to know evil by experience. We shouldn’t have to practice evil to know evil. Does this mean that we always act like infants? Absoluetly not! 1 Corithians 14:20 tells us twice that our thinking should be mature. We are not to be children in our thinking. I know it probably seems like I harp on this a lot, but here I go again: WE ARE NOT CHILDREN ANYMORE! So our thoughts should not be childish any longer. In the chapter before this Paul writes,

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11, ESV)

Now I will point out that “mature” in this sense means simply “not childish” and does not mean “that which should be censored.” I know that some of yall may think it strange for me to make that distinction, but there are those who will call you childish or niave if you are being an infant in evil. If your still have trouble grasping the whole “mature thinking” thing, let me put it to you this way. Whe nyou were young at some point your favorite toys stopped being fun and suddenly meant nothing to you. Your thoughts were maturing as you realized that some things were more important.

I talk a lot about not being children anymore, but you no what guys? Even though some of yall grasp that, there are those who don’t. So I’m going to keep harping on it till God calls me to stop. If you haven’t heard the story behind my harping and wat to know, just ask! I’ll be glad to share.