The best life is a God First life

Month: June 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

How would you feel?

How would you feel? Your daughter’s been a bit of a tomboy most of her life, you love her with all your heart, and she gets engaged to marry. Now, you are a master at sewing and spend months sparing no expense, gathering the perfect materials, designing, preparing, sewing, and tweaking to perfection the most beautiful wedding dress the world has ever seen. With each adjustment, love flows exuberantly from your heart. Your imagination is unstoppable as you visualize your daughter walking down that aisle. You are creating ”A Work of Art,” just for her! And you know in your heart, she’s going to recognize and appreciate all the love you’ve put into creating this gorgeous wedding dress. In this dress, she will be the bride of brides and forever grateful. (talk about precious memories!) When your daughter sees the dress, she exclaims how beautiful it is; she tries it on and is simply stunning. She hugs you, and thank’s you profusely. (You smile!)A few days later, you come home and see your daughter in jeans and a t-shirt doing what she loves working on her pickup truck with tools, parts, dirt, and grease all over the place, which is kind of normal for her, what you don’t expect to see is the wedding dress under feet being used as a drop cloth to protect the driveway.

How would you feel?

Are you disappointed, hurt? I know. This is absurd and would never happen, right? Yet, in a sense, it has happened and does happen. Not, to the creator of a wedding dress, No; It’s much worse. This is how ”Our” creator gets treated by His creation.

God created this beautiful, fascinating universe for us, and after creating each piece, God said: “This is good” BUT, after creating, mankind God called it all “VERY GOOD.” God was pleased with His creation. God also sacrificed tremendously for us. His plan included the life, death, and resurrection of His son through which God extended an offer of grace to everyone that we might all have eternal life in heaven. At some point, many learn of Christ and put on Christ in baptism; we thank God profusely and recognize His love. We put God First in our lives, then often get caught up in skewed self-absorbed priorities and quickly lose sight of what’s really important. We let honoring God trickle down our priority list. This is when we really hurt our Creator. God watches when we treat ”His artwork” as if it was worthless fabric, as we step-on, trample, smudge, dirty, and abuse His perfection, His labor, and Gifts of pure love; God knows our hearts! The Church is the bride of Christ; those who are “In Christ” should always be mindful of God’s precious gifts. God told us how we could demonstrate our thankfulness. Jesus said; if you love me, you will keep My Commandments, and “the greatest command is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. God gave us freedom of choice; the one thing we can offer God that is ours to give is our choice. Our choice to love God by following Christ and keeping His commandments to the best of our ability. It’s all God really asks of us!

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Isaiah‬ ‭61:10‬
May we always keep God First in our lives, every second of every day!
  • Genesis 1:31
  • Exodus 20:3
  • Exodus 34:14
  • Psalm 18:31
  • John 5:44
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • John 3:16
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Romans 12:1-2

God First!

You brighten my day, don’t cheat me, please!

As I looked around the auditorium in our Wednesday night bible study, I saw many familiar faces. People I see at Sunday evening worship, Sunday Morning Bible study and, Sunday morning worship. This is a great encouragement to me. I look forward to each gathering and learning more from God’s Word. I look forward to seeing these amazing people several times a week.

I also miss those who did not make it. I realize some watch from home for various reasons, but when we do so, we miss out on the enjoyment of each other’s company. We miss out on seeing each other’s smile, hearing each other’s laugh, or learning from the thoughts we share.

The attention of Christians often brightens my spirit. If I’m struggling, their love and kindness help lift me up, and I’m reminded I’m not alone, and maybe, my love for God and them can do the same. When Christians gather together, Christ is with us and, we bind in spiritual love through songs of praises, prayer, and study.

When Christians are together, we have the opportunity to share in the strength of Jesus. The strength that helps us fight the good fight and overcome temptations. Together, we help fit and secure the armor of Christ. The armor and shield of faith that helps protect us from the schemes and flaming darts of Satan.

What would happen if everyone decided it was more convenient to stay home when we could be present with the saints? In doing so, we cheat ourselves, and we cheat our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our examples, our actions make a difference!

How long would it be before we decided it’s more convenient to watch at a later time rather than live? How long before our armor becomes loose or laid aside? How long before we made no time. It’s how Satan Works, Little by little helping us to build an invisible wall between us and God, one pebble, stone, or brick at a time.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4::8
  • John 3:13
  • Matthew 18:20
  • Hebrews 6 10-20
  • Hebrews 7:25
  • Romans 12:5
  • Hebrews 10.25
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13-27
  • Ephesians 3:16

God First!

Does your thinking call God a liar?

Sometimes we let our smarts get in the way of the obvious as we seek hidden meanings behind simple words rather than accepting them at face value. We do this with each other and sometimes with God’s Word. Doing so can easily cause issues with each other and with proper understanding.

With God’s Word, we can be certain there is only 1 perfect answer. We can be sure that answer will not conflict with any other parts of God’s word. God is perfect and cannot lie, and according to scripture itself, all scripture is God-breathed. To dismiss or decide that God doesn’t mean what he says in any part of God’s Words is to call God a liar.

Because scripture is all from God, we can rely on it not to contradict itself. For hundreds of years, many have tried to prove contradictions but failed. You can find answers to many supposed contradictions addressed in articles on the website https://www.apologeticspress.org/

  • “For God is not a God of Confusion…” 1 Corinthians 14:33
  • Be not wise in your own eyes; …” Proverbs 3:7
  • Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:21
  • “…God, that cannot lie...” Titus 1:2 (KJV)
  • All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16

God’s Word is full of proof, facts and, knowledge on things to come, Science unknown to men when it was written; please consider it all before dismissing or thinking God’s Word does not mean what it says. Study and evaluate to learn instead.

God First!

Time is precious

My brother and I were truly blessed to be born into such a loving family. Dad’s example was of one who earned respect by his actions; He was far from wealthy by monetary standards yet always did what he could for others though few would ever know.

Dad always stood up for what was right; I wish I had been half the example to my son that dad was to us! The life dad lived was one to be proud of and to be admired. Several years before his passing and before he was diagnosed with ”dementia with Lewy bodies,” I began thinking of how much dad had done for me and seen him do for others.

I did a little bit of self-examination and reflected on how little I had been there for dad. I had become so wrapped up in my own ”wants” in life that I seldom made time to help dad accomplish things in his life, yet Dad would always make time for me or my brother, no matter what.

I’m certain this had to be disappointing to him as I lived only one hour away yet seldom visited or helped him accomplish a task. Sure, I would help from time to time but only at “my convenience.” You know, when there were no parties to attend, tennis to be played, movies, etc. Or, if dad’s problem became urgent enough that he had to ask me for immediate help, then I would step to the plate.

As I reflected on those years, I realized by not reciprocating his love with proactive action of my own, I had been shortchanging both of us. With that, I approached Virginia and said: Dad‘s getting older; I don’t know how much more time he has, but I’d like to start going to Dad’s at least once a month to spend the day and see what I can do to help. It began sporadically and eventually became one day each week. Dad died in November of 2019.

I’m so thankful I made and followed through with that decision. That time, even the difficult part of seeing that horrible disease take his mind, is now time cherished in my mind. I’m so grateful I made that time a priority. During those years during project breaks, Dad and I had many conversations sitting in the yard sharing stories of family, friends, past and new challenges. I was able to make a difference in his later years and help him accomplish tasks. Not everyone can give a day a week, but most can give more than they do, even if it just a phone call. For me, I discovered the best gift we can give our parents and loved ones on any day is the gift of our time.

  • Time spent to make a gift,
  • Time spent to make or send a card,
  • Time spent visiting,
  • Time spent to call,
  • To me, Time Offered is Time Treasured!
  • I treasure my family time, both my related and spiritual families.

When I reread my words above, I can’t help but notice the similarities between how often our Heavenly Father is treated in the same way – At our convenience.

Never give up on doing good!

God First!

Why complicate the simple?

Making the right choices is not Rocket Science! Yet, we can make it seem that way in our efforts to justify bad decisions. As a result, we find ways to complicate the simple. Maybe, it’s to give ourselves an excuse when repercussions occur, or maybe, we are using the wrong standards.

By worldly standards, we are told, “if it feels good, do it” God’s Word tells us to love others as Christ loved us, to never give up on doing good. The Bible defines good; it lets us know what’s right and what’s wrong so we can choose to live a “good life,” a life where our repercussions bring love to others rather than pain.

Christ was all about doing God’s will and teaching us to do the same. Why? Because God’s will is what’s best for us. God knows that some choices will slowly lead us to self-consumption, where it’s all about us, our pleasures, and our desires. God knows that this mindset will harden our hearts and the turmoil that accompanies such selfishness.

God’s Word and following the teachings of Christ therein is the ultimate standard for living. Therefore, with God’s Word as our standard rather than worldly acceptance, the following is a simple question I have learned to ask myself when choosing to or not to do something. Is there more reason not to do it than to do it?

The answers are straightforward! Controlling our emotions and not giving in to momentary, fleeting feelings and selfish desires can be difficult. However, the more we train ourselves to seek righteousness by God’s standard, the less tempting those situations become.

We never need to regret making the right decision.

God First!

Peaks and Valleys

Sometimes situations in life are tough, but with God’s help and our unwavering faith, we trudge forward, and eventually, those hard times become part of our wisdom, our strength, our faith, and good times bless us again.

Some days have peaks, others have valleys, but most are just rolling hills. Plant good seeds along your way, and when you look back, you will find beauty growing in your path.

wAYNE r jOHNSON

In Christ, we have access to the power of God

God: Unseen by the human eye, yet His power and love is evident in all of creation. Through Jesus, we are encouraged to tap into God’s power. Scripture tells us If we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us that we should work toward righteousness and demonstrate our love by keeping the commandments of Jesus. Although we live in the world, we should not be of the world, that so far as it depends on us, we are to live peaceably with all.

If God is with us, who can be against us!

  • IN Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes with our prayers.
  • IN Christ and through Christ, we can petition God in faithful fervent prayer.
  • IN Christ, we have God’s ear; we can turn those burdens ”out of our control” over to Him and trust in Him.
  • IN Christ, the God of all comfort, helps us in times of suffering.
  • IN Christ, we can have peace that surpasses understanding.

Scripture tells us how to be ”IN Christ,”

  • The Holy Spirit helps with our prayers. (In Romans 8:26)
  • The prayer of the righteous is well heard! (In James 5:16)
  • The closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us (in James 4:8)
  • If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (In John 14:15)
  • God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  • Christ disciples are Not of the world (in John 17:14-23)
  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
  • “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:24)
  • To be In Christ (Galatians 3:25-29)
  • They were cut to the heart, and they asked, What do we do? (Acts 2:38-41)
  • Live peaceably (Romans 12:18)

God First!

Faithful Christians in Government

If politicians were faithful Christians, corruption would not be an issue. Lies and Deceit would not be an issue. If we love Christ, no matter our role in this world, we keep his commandments. Love of God and our neighbors are the two greatest commands. The keyword to this statement is “Faithful“- those continuously striving to be Christ-like, to love others as Christ loved us!

You can’t love two masters, such as greed and God.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Matthew 6:24
  • John 14:15
  • John 13:34

God First!

Trudge and gain

Sometimes situations in life are tough, but we simply trudge forward with God’s help and our unwavering faith. Eventually, those tough times become part of our wisdom and strength until the good times bless us again.

For if God is with us, who can be against?

God First!

We really miss out when we predetermine not to listen!

When someone disagrees with me on important issues, especially scriptural issues where we have God’s own words as a standard, it can be aggravating, however; If I am not already familiar with their position, I will still listen and research their assertions to be certain I have not misunderstood something.

I will not take offense if they disagree. If anything, I am challenged. My first assumption is not anger towards them but rather that I need to understand better the facts and reasoning behind my own position to help us both gain a better understanding.

These days the word “Offended” is popular and seems to be used to dismiss reasoning and detour discussion in place of working together to find solutions via reason and research.

In the New Testament, we read that Paul went to synagogues to reason with leaders about fulfilled prophecies of Scripture and tell them of Christ, yet many did not listen. Most likely, some were predetermined not to listen and instead took offense to what Paul demonstrated to them from scripture and explained them from his personal experience.

To me, accepting God’s Grace through obedient faith and acting on that faith is important. We can’t have obedient faith, without understanding and that comes from study and reasoning, not feelings. As Jesus puts it… “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

God’s Word is important; Keeping God’s commands and precepts is important to our souls, our eternal life. For this reason, I persistently encourage everyone to study and reason with truth and love that we can learn together and mature in the body of Christ. We really miss out when we predetermine not to listen.

  • Acts 17 (Paul and Silas in the synagogues)
  • Acts 18 (Reasoning resisted and blasphemed)
  • John 14:15 (If you love Me…)
  • Ephesians 4:25 (We are to speak Truth with others, not avoid it)

God First!

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