Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Have a Laugh

Go to http://lifeonprospecthill.blogspot.com/
read "I Know You're Gonna Laugh"
Love, Howard

Friday, November 12, 2004

About Jesus and Me

The Preachers Kid

Jesus now is the focus of my life. It wasn't always that way. I was a reprobate hypocrite.

I was a Pastors son, born in a parsonage, brought up in church. My religion was environmental not personal. I was always interested in science, particularly, electronics. I was employed by the Army Signal Corps as an engineer during WW2. After the war I started a Two Way Radio business in Ferndale, NY. Built a house for my wife and family of three girls and a boy. I joined a local church and became a very good hypocrite. Many nights I wept in my pillow for I didn't know the Lord. An evangelist from Pittsburg called Rusty came to our church, he was the son of the largest beer distributor in that city, but he had found the Lord because he was infatuated with a pastors daughter who wouldn't date him unless it was to go to church with her. When he did he heard the Gospel for the first time gave his life to Christ.

He was so full of the love and compassion of Jesus. It just spilled out of him as he spoke. He showed that love to me and my wife. And we gave our lives to Christ.We wanted that Love. That changed my life. I loved my new life, Church became a joy. Sunday school was a blast. Prayer meeting was delightful.
As my business grew, the burdens of running the business, supporting a growing family was hard. But temptations of putting temporal things before spiritual things. Short cuts on integrity etc, etc. Skipping my devotions. Coolness set in and I had lost the joy. A brother-in-law reminded me that something must be wrong with me, he said I lost my tenderness. After a while I began to admit it to myself. I decided to spend some time alone with God and get this thing settled. As I poured out my heart before Him I promised to sell my beloved business, become a missionary or do anything he wanted me to do no matter what it cost. I was desperate. This was the turning point. I can never explain it, but Jesus spoke to me as if we were face to face. He said "I want you to give your family and business to me. You run things for Me. You are my friend I will be with you and show you the way!"
He did, and He does yet. There are still hard times. But since I determined to have that "ruthless trust" in Him and obey His Spirit completely. I have a source of power that spans the universe, and I know a LOVE that is unconditional and unshakable, followed by a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

I am now 86 years old. God has been so very good to me. I live in Florida, attend a wonderful Church where people realley love the Lord Jesus. Visit us : www.zhillswesleyan.org

Love, Howard

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Pure Love

Love Is The Goal!

Paul always taught the principles that Jesus taught. Loving God and loving our neighbor is one of these teachings.

In 1 Tim 1:5 Paul says to Timothy that love is the goal of the commandment. The commandment that just precedes this statement is"
"Command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
He is saying that if men have pure love they will never teach false doctrine, nor do anything to harm the kingdom of God. What these "teachers" needed was a revival of Christ's love in their hearts.

He is teaching here that three things will characterize those who have God's love.

What is a pure heart?

Psalm 24:4: He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.

Psalm 51:9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

A heart filled with pure love; No hypocrisy. No hidden agendas, No insincerity, but pure (agape) love for everyone. Jesus said:
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."

What is a good conscience?

A conscience trained by the standard of pure Christ-like love. Paul's example of a good conscience is this: "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." He also wrote "Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace."

No offense toward God or man that has not been confessed and repented of and forgiven. The slightest offense not forgiven causes the conscience to pain and hinders our love.

What is a sincere faith?

No hypocrisy, no facade, no mask. The faith has to be in Jesus. Not in our own wisdom and pride or even in our church or pastor. Total commitment and trust in God. God is the source of our love and faith, if we are not fully committed to him his love cannot work in our lives.

How can you know that you have this kind of love? How is our love tested?

Here is how Jesus' was tested:

Matt 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

The first temptation was a test to see how much love we have for physical satisfaction.

4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

This was Jesus' answer. It showed that his highest love was not for physical things but for God's word.

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

The second temptation was to determine how much love we have for emotional satisfaction.

7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

This was Jesus' answer. I t showed that Jesus first love was not on himself, but on God.

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down
and worship me."

The third was to determine how much love we have for God.

10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

This was Jesus' answer. It showed that His highest love was for God his Father.

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

If you are responding, as you ought to the pressures of life, God's angels will minister to you too.

Our trials and temptations test us every day. How are you doing? Check out how you are reacting to the choices of everyday life.

My prayer for you, personally, is: Lord, please make my friend more like Jesus every day. Amen.



Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Greatest Fact

The single most important fact in the world for you is that:


How do you respond to that fact
So what?

Do you realize that this one who loves you is Jesus, the only unique Son of God Almighty, the Creator of the universe? He has a good reason for loving you. He created you, then He sacrificed his life to pardon your sins and has a wonderful plan for your life.

I couldn't care less!

But he cares very much, and knows that unless you respond positively to his love your future is very much in doubt.

Leave me alone!

If you insist, Jesus will leave you alone and you will never find the joy and peace he has in store for you. Do you know that you are dependent on him for your life and breath, your strength and skill and all you ever want to accomplish in this world?

But it’s my life. I'll live it as I please.

You certainly will as far as he is concerned. He loves you too much to ever take that privilege away from you. But do you think you can do a good job of it? Don't you think some of his wisdom and truth would help you find the way to happiness and fulfillment?

But I want to be in charge!

Of course you do. You think you know better than God what is best for you. That is the same mistake that Satan made. By that mistake he brought sin, evil, and death into the world. Don't you think that God, who designed the universe knows the best way to direct your life?

I don't need him or want him in my life!

Who or what are you going to trust? Is it luck or chance or the odds? Maybe you trust your own wisdom or your instincts, but who gave you these and who is in charge of this universe. Remember, He loves you and whatever success you may attain, He has been there behind the scenes all the time and enabled you to do it. Whatever failures, mistakes and messes you make are your own responsibility because you have not allowed his love and wisdom to guide you. If you have hurt people, abused yourself and rejected Jesus. God will make sure you pay for it.

Leave me alone !

Wouldn't you rather have a clear conscience and peace? He is ready to forgive you and make you one of his family and lavish his love and favor on you until you wonder how you ever lived without him.

Yes! That sounds good to me.

Just confess your need to Jesus and tell him you love him and ask him into your life. Because he loves you so much he will forgive your sin, give you his Spirit to guide you. He will fill your heart with his love and the desire to live right in his sight.

Just ask him for this. You will never regret it.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1John 4::9-10