The best life is a God First life

Month: April 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

Letting Go allowed Change for the better!

In a journal, I began writing when my mom passed away in 1995. The spelling, punctuation, and handwriting are atrocious. (No spelling or grammar check software).

I don’t remember logging any of my life until this point, but I believe 100% writing down my feeling helped me trudge through some overbearing times.

I did not do a good job of maintaining this journal. At first, I had a few long logs followed by sporadic entries spanning years until the last one on July 5, 2002.

One of the things I found most interesting was recognizing my Growth since then. Not as a writer but as a person. It’s interesting to compare how I analyzed situations, feelings, perceptions of others, and how they felt towards me. The awareness of how I learned from some failures but, most importantly, seeing my growth. By reading this history, I could recognize that it took letting go of myself for me to grow and change for the better.

At some point, I began suggesting to others they write their thoughts down, read, and reread their own thoughts, especially in difficult times. For me, it was beneficial.

I believe reading and rereading my thoughts were just as important, maybe more so, as writing them initially. Today, almost 19 years since my last entry in that journal, I find reading these entrees very satisfying. In reflecting, I now see a much bigger picture.

A painting of events that led me towards God and the decision to put God First in my life. I’m so thankful to God and for each small brush stroke of that picture that led me to recognize the importance of living a God-centered life.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 ESV

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:37

God First!

Seen by God, Rewarded by God

Have you ever gone out of your way to do good and help others in difficult times only to be overlooked or forgotten? Maybe as they recall the experience, you find your efforts credited to someone else or not even in their recollection. This forgetfulness sometimes happens in different situations. Stress can definitely affect what we remember. Maybe, you’re just so close to them that their mind categorizes your efforts differently as we sometimes do with family members.

I remember several times thru the years when my wife would become annoyed with me because I shared something with her I had recently learned from another.

Virginia’s annoyance was not with the info but rather, the fact that she had told me the same thing herself (maybe more than once), and here I was, giving all the credit to someone else and excitingly telling it to her as if it was the first time I had ever heard it. Yi yi yi!

The point is, not being credited, thanked, or having the credit given to someone else can be slightly discouraging, but it happens.

We just need to ask ourselves, why do we do good things? We see a need, and we step up. Are we looking to be praised? No, for most, we simply want to help others through the love and compassion in our hearts. It’s not about us. It’s about them.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:9-10
  • Getting Credit doesn’t matter
  • Being forgotten doesn’t matter

What really matters?

  • Sharing God’s Word matters
  • Continuing to do good matters
  • Showing love matters
  • Making a difference to the glory of God- these are the things that matter.

Jesus tells us:

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:3-4

God First!

Writer: Wayne Johnson

Worldly means vs The good life!

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

This verse really stands out to me; why? Because I spent years with my priorities skewed. I spent years doing what I wanted, seeking more fun, money, adventure, and things. I attempted to find and express my worth to self and others through what scripture refers to as “worldly means.”

At this time in my life, I found wisdom in my own eyes. It was self Indulging manipulating wisdom.  As a result, I spent those years treating Our Creator as if He only mattered when nothing else did.

The big issue here is I knew better! I had an understanding of “The Good Life,” The one that is given to us by God through scripture, and I knew much of what I was doing went against God’s will for us. As a result, I lived those years apart from God, not truly realizing the negative impact I could have on others.

To look back and pine for those old times and start longing for that old lifestyle indicates my love for Christ is neither hot nor cold but rather lukewarm, and by not looking toward Jesus, the path I plow would become crooked. I would effectively be longing for a time when I was ”apart from God.”

How then would I be fit for the Kingdom of heaven?

Jesus Tells Us:

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

Revelation 3:16-17

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,”

HEBREWS 10:26
  • Proverbs 3:7 (wise in our eyes)
  • Isaiah 59:2 (separation)

God First!

Satan is the evil one

One of the most ridiculous things we can do in this world is to blame God for Satan’s actions.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 5:20

God made us in his image, he gave us the freedom to choose, and the one thing God wants from mankind that is ours to give isOur love.” 

“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Acts 17:24–28

”We love Him because He first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1

God First!

FAKE NEWS

Fake news is nothing new to Christians. We have been bombarded with Fake News since the beginning of Christianity. Jesus’s disciples and apostles spread the Good News of our salvation through Christ by telling of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They established congregations all over, giving us examples of Church actions, worship, and leadership. Many of the letters we find in the New Testament are addressing “Fake News” and it continues today. Our world is full of Fake News in Christianity, but there’s good news. We don’t have to be gullible!

God has given us the means to discern the Truth from the Fake. We have 66 books of inspired words from God to study so that we can discern God’s Will, God’s teachings, through His holy word, comparing them to the desires and teachings of mankind. The answers are not found in what someone says is of God’s Word but in what God’s word actually says.

God First!

Writer: Wayne Johnson

“will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”

Some spin God’s word to accommodate their desire rather than God’s plan, and others follow them. There are many reasons people do this, but I personally believe the main reason is not intentional but rather willful ignorance. Willful in the sense that one must have a willingness to study and accept scripture as a whole, and this takes effort and time. When we hear or read something different than what we actually practice, then why? For me, I want to know what Scriptures support that practice. Does it add or take away from God’s Word? Deuteronomy 12:32 and Revelation 22:18

The Lord’s path is straight and is available to us through God’s inspired word. We have no excuse for not exercising due diligence with self-study.

We are always learning, so; we can be mistaken; the real question is: Do we seek to correct ourselves when we realize we are wrong, or do we decide it’s a non-issue and do nothing? The bible is an accumulation of God’s Word and took thousands of years to come about. When we dismiss any of it as a non-issue, are we not effectively telling God His words are not important, we know better? (2 Timothy 3:16)

Paul is addressing the false prophet Bar-Jesus in Acts 13:9-10…

“But Saul (also known as Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at him and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness – will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”

God First! Every second of every day!

Written by: Wayne Johnson

Worldly Wealth Ends, but Love Transcends

I read an article about a man who was the founder of many U.S. companies. I read of the great wealth he amassed, the many jobs he created, the respect he had earned. The man died in 1934, and today… Virtually NO ONE knows him or his name.

Jesus tells us:

  • ~ It’s not about this world.
  • ~ to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven.
  • ~ Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.
  • ~ if you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.
  • ~ The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  • ~ the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • ~ there is no greater commandment than these.

When we love as described in these commandments, we love as one who is “poor in spirit” as we recognize the power of God’s Love and know we are unworthy, yet we are grateful for God’s Grace. We embrace the need for God’s help rather than thinking we can do it on our own.

While there’s nothing wrong with amassing great wealth, The real challenge is to keep our hearts focused on the treasures of heaven, keeping God First in our hearts, keeping his commandments, doing his will through actions of love for Him and Others.

Earthly treasures are but a mist in time while love transcends for eternity

Thank you, Lord, for loving us!

  • John 18:36
  • Matthew 6:19-21
  • John 14:15
  • Mark 12: 30-31
  • Matthew 5: 3-12
  • Mark 16:16

God First!

written by: Wayne Johnson

How many times does God have to say something in the Bible for it to be true?

God’s Word is Truth and nothing but Truth! It has been from the beginning and will be through the end of time as we know it. God is Unchanging, God is Love, God is Good, God does not Lie, He is NOT a God of Confusion, but Peace.

When you discount the importance of Scripture or flat out dismiss it, as if it no longer applies, you dismiss God, effectively deciding you know better than God. According to scripture, all of scripture is God-breathed. In other words, all of it is inspired by God giving us what He wants us to know and follow (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you don’t believe all scripture is from God, are you not calling God a liar?

If scripture tells you something is wrong, yet today’s society or culture tells you it’s ok but wrong to say it’s wrong, who’s right, God or Culture. My answer is God!

  • Hebrews 6:17-18
  • Titus 1:1-2
  • 1st John 4:16
  • Psalm 136:1
  • 1st Corinthians 14:33

The Joy of seeing our Children Lead

It is incredibly uplifting and heartwarming to see our children being led to lead and serve. Many youths from our congregation and others participate each year in a non-profit program called “Lads 2 leaders”(L2L). Recently, several of our youth attended this convention where they demonstrated the leadership skills they’ve been developing. 

They participated in Scripture reading, leading prayers, leading songs, giving talks on specific subjects. Reciting scripture from memory, Bible bowls, etc. 

We are blessed to have so many dedicated parents. Parents of very small children through high school seniors are very involved in the training and encouragement of their youth to work hard and prepare for their presentations.

The Covid situation created hardships and challenges to the L2L conventions the last two years making it nearly impossible for spectators to witness and encourage these young leaders but hopefully, this will improve in the near future.

It is an incredibly joyful experience to see and hear these children as they learn to lead, understand and grow through the study of God’s Word. To watch them take action to present and Share God’s word according to God’s Word.

If you would like to learn more or help support the efforts hear is the link to their home page. https://www.lads2leaders.com/

Carried by the Angels

Many people have been separated from loved ones in care facilities because of Covid-19, powerless to be with their loved ones during those final moments on earth; this saddens me. I empathize with the hurt and pain of their hearts as they wanted to be with their loved ones. So, I leave you this thought in hopes that you will find comfort in it, as I do.

Our family was not physically with my dad when his soul departed his failing body and mind on that trip to Paradise back In Nov 2019; Although we were not physically with him when he passed that morning, I’m confident dad was not alone. I believe angels of God carried his soul to Paradise just as they did Lazarus in the illustration story that Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22).  Jesus said: “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.”…

Dad was a Christian. He lived the life of a Christian, so we look forward to that day when we see each other again apart from physical bodies and mind and get to spend eternity together.

God First!

written by: Wayne Johnson

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