The best life is a God First life

Category: Goodness (Page 1 of 3)

Time and Love

Yesterday’s lesson from the pulpit was about showing brotherly love to one another. One of the points made is that being the recipient of such love reminds us we are loved. This is true whether the love expressed is on a grand or minuscule scale.

Whether it’s a card, a visit, a gift, or simply a caring wave from across the way, showing our love for others can make a positive difference in someone’s life while at the same time making one in ours. Don’t discount the little stuff, like a simple phone call. It says we care enough to call.

Let’s take time to reach out, don’t think of the call as obtrusive but rather inclusive. You’re not making a sales call; you’re making an “I Care Call.” Why wait for sickness or turmoil to make a call. If they can’t answer, leave a short message; if they are busy, simply let them know you are thinking of them. The call says: We care!

Phone calls are such simple actions and easy ways to do good and express Christ-like love for others; you never know how much your phone call could mean in someone’s day or even how it could provide comfort precisely when someone needs it most.

Time is one of the most precious gifts we can offer others. It’s a reminder that they are loved.

  • Hebrews 13:16
  • Philippians 2:4
  • Galatians 6:2
  • John 15:12
  • Proverbs 3:27
  • Acts 20:35
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • Matthew 5:16
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:15
  • Hebrews 10:24
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1

God First!

The Best Part of our Story

I don’t like giving “Off-the-cuff” answers to questions as my response often seems inadequate; I prefer to think before responding. Last night was no exception when a young man asked: “What do you think is the best part of being married for so long?(We must have really looked old, to him) I had just met the lad about 90mins before when Virginia and I were standing at the restaurant counter reviewing the menu. We were trying to decide, stay or leave.

It was Valentine’s day and our Anniversary. So far, the evening was not going according to my plan. I intended to have an early dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, but we started late. The restaurant website indicated they were NOT booking reservations, so I assumed “first come, first serve,” but when we arrived, I saw the dreaded sign at the doorway “call for reservations.” It was about 5:30 PM; the place was almost empty but, they would not seat us. This snafu put me under pressure to find someplace quickly; Virginia was hungry, and I still hoped to beat the main crowd.

We found a restaurant we had never tried before. It was not fancy nor the type of food we typically eat; In fact, entirely out of the norm for us. It was a family-style Cuban Restaurant called Papis. We entered and talked with a young man behind the counter, mentioned it was our Anniversary, looked at the menu, got his recommendations, and decided to stay. They sat us in a quiet booth where we enjoyed some flavorful dishes. Although we were apprehensive at first, we found that being out of our norm added to the evening and made it even more enjoyable and memorable by night’s end.

We showed our waitress a FB picture I’d recently posted of us over the years. Then, before we left, she presented us with a complimentary dessert, one of our favorites, “Flan.”

As we were leaving, Virginia went to the lady’s room as I waited at the counter. I thanked the young man for his food suggestions and began some casual conversation when he asked: What do you think is the best part of being married for so long? (I was not prepared for that question). I thought for a brief moment looking for a quick answer and said: Contentment – We are both very content with each other now. Then, a short moment longer, I added: When you’re young as you are, jealousies, and things like that, often get in the way, but with a good wife, you don’t have to worry about that. Shortly after that response, I finally hit the nail on the head and Stated: but actually, the best part was when we decided to include God in our lives and live that type of lifestyle. The young man acknowledged my final answer and said: Really? Yes, Really!, Putting God first is the best thing we ever did for our marriage. The young man then thanked me and said: I really appreciate it. I wish my last response had been my first so I could have expanded on it.

Choosing to make God’s Word “The Standard” for our lifestyle has been the most important decision Virginia and I ever made in our marriage. I could expand for hours on all the facets of why our marriage is strong, but the bottom line is: The decision to put God First has by far been the best part of our story!

  • Matthew 5:6
  • Acts 5:29
  • Proverbs 16:3
  • Matthew 6:24
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • 2 Corinthians 8:6
  • Acts 10:35
  • Matthew 13:44-46
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Proverbs 19:14
  • Proverbs 31:10
  • Ephesians 5:44-33

God First!

Phone calls are a way of doing good!

Doing good does not require wealth or gestures of grandeur. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with such efforts as they can help the masses, but doing good can also be something as simple as a greeting, a smile, or a phone call.

Did you know that it’s good for someone with dementia-type issues to receive 2 or 3 phone calls a day? Phone interactions engage the mind and brighten both the caller and recipient’s day. As I ponder this revelation, it makes sense that doctors would include phone calls among the list of recommended efforts to battle forms of memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Simple phone calls are ways of doing good; They can help friends and family battling memory loss, not to mention the depression that can sometimes accompany the challenges of each day. Phone calls, text, bible classes, Church services, prayer, games, and puzzles are all activities that engage the mind—these efforts, along with healthy foods, exercise, vitamins, and medications, can help slow memory decline and improve the lives of those living with such issues.

Both of my grandmother’s and my dad had dementia of some type, which makes me a candidate for such problems myself someday. However, had I realized the impactful role a simple phone call a day could make, I would have probably made a nuisance of myself calling dad daily to chat a few minutes.

So, I invite you to consider the following; Take time to identify a few people and add their phone numbers to your contact list? Then, make a point to reach out to someone on that list each day? Spend a few minutes checking on them to see how they are doing. Even if the conversations seem difficult at times, the call alone demonstrates the fact that they matter to you!

Whether it’s a dementia patient, grandparent, parent, sibling, or just someone you know doesn’t get out much, Phone calls or even texts are ways to do good by engaging them in life; it’s very easy for people in these situations to become reclusive and for others to unintentionally follow the adage “out of sight out of mind.”

Phone calls may not seem like much, yet such actions demonstrate the mind and the heart. They show you care enough to give a little time.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Galatians 6:9-10, Which states in part, “let us not grow weary of doing good.”

Communication is free, and it’s an opportunity to do good!

  • Hebrews 10:24
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13
  • John 13:34
  • 1 John 4:8

God First!

Why Rules Daddy?

As loving parents, why do we create rules? Is it for the fun of it? No, we initiate rules to help keep our children safe while teaching them to discern what’s right and wrong, safe or dangerous. However, if we don’t hold our children accountable for their actions, are we truly showing them, love? Are we really demonstrating love if there is no consequence for disobedience? Love is much more than hugs, kisses, smiles, jokes, and fun times.

Since the beginning, God has shown love and exhibited what love truly is. In Scripture, we find many examples that although God’s Love includes all kinds of blessings and kindness, punishment and expectation are not mutually exclusive of that love.

Meeting expectations helps build confidence, and punishment helps us make better choices on our lifelong paths. Godly punishment is not done out of meanness but out of love. Righteous punishment helps us learn and understand that we are accountable for our choices and, thus, deserve their consequences, whether good or bad.

Our Heavenly Father gave us free will that we might follow His instructions found in God’s Word (The Bible). His Son (Jesus) became flesh and demonstrated that love to the point of extreme pain and anguish when He was sacrificed for us. Jesus is the only sacrifice that could give us eternal life in heaven if we follow Him.

We may be adults in this world, but we should remember we are God’s children as Christians. I recently heard the point made that God has no Grandchildren. We are all his children, and he wants the best for us, similar to how we want the best for our children.

Since God created mankind, He has blessed, punished, and sacrificed that we might live eternally with Him. Therefore, God gave us every word of the bible, The God-breathed absolute truth for our benefit. God is Love, His precepts show that love, and in my humble opinion, our gratitude should make us want to excel in adhering to God’s Will by truly doing our best to put God First!

  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Hebrews 12:5-17
  • 1st John 4:16
  • John 14:6
  • Romans 8:12-17
  • Galatians 4:1-8‭‭
  • 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭
  • 2 Timothy 3:16

God First!

Children need interaction more than a distraction.

Our children are the future! So we need to invest in the next generation. Help them be better than us. The investment needed most is our time. Children need our time. We need to teach, lead, listen and pray with them. Children learn not only by our words but largely by our examples. They need to see Christ in us all the time.

In our high-tech world of conveniences and distractions, money is often thrown at children at a very early age instead of our time—money for electronic games and entertainment. Some electronics are marketed and purchased in the name of education. Unfortunately, many adults fall prey to using these electronic gadgets as child sitters. When this happens, what the child learns most, is “how to be alone,” – distracted from human interaction.

Children need us to invest our time. They need us to have listening ears. They need our attention and direction. Of course, we all enjoy games and entertainment, but our play needs to be balanced, not all-consuming.

Children need interaction more than a distraction. They need our personal efforts as much as possible, helping them learn how to study and the importance of balancing priorities. This hands-on effort helps our children realize they are loved.

Children need our time and discipline in love to learn to share it with the next generation and build a better tomorrow.

God First!

Little by little

Have you ever opened your mouth and said things you didn’t really mean to come out the way they did? Well, I did this recently. I listened to a presentation regarding the ongoing efforts of one of the missionary works our congregation help’s support and was amazed at all the accomplishments of this ministry. It touched my heart with the desire to help them continue and do more to the glory of God.

In talking with the missionary, I asked what the best way to give additional help is? right after his answer, I made my regretted statement to the effect: “I was not as blessed as others, “financially, but….”

Instantly, I did not like my statement and how it sounded as I am fully aware that I am very blessed, including financially, when compared to many in this world, and I thank God daily for every blessing.

I was trying to convey that I realized there was a great need for the help they were providing and appreciated seeing how they were helping. Recognizing this made me wish I had thousands upon thousands I could offer to help meet the overwhelming needs.

I didn’t want my question to be misleading as to what I meant by: “additional.” So, I attempted to clarify my question poorly and decrease any expectation of grandeur I may have accidentally implied. I hope I never make such a foolish statement again!

This scenario did remind me of a question my wife once asked me. I had just recently started going back to Church services, and she was not yet going but saw a check I had written, and asking very pointedly, she said;

What are you trying to do, buy your way into heaven?

Well, honestly, no, but my donations at that time were very sporadic, so for us, the check she saw looked big. My wife began attending, studying the bible, and later chose to be baptized according to Scripture.

As our faith and understanding grew, we realized although sporadic giving was helpful, it was not nearly as much as it seemed when we wrote the occasional check. So together, we budgeted a small amount for weekly giving. In comparison to previous years, we found that by doing this, we were helping far beyond those periodic checks just by giving a small amount each week that we could manage.

I should have remembered this lesson before my regretful statement to Mani. And, I pray God continuously blesses those who can write the large checks and that they will never give up doing so.

I need to keep in mind that if I budget small amounts, I can still help in significant ways, and if others do the same, we can all humbly make a vast difference within our abilities. Then, as our blessings increase, so can our help.

In the end, those small amounts can help spread God’s Word, Save lives and bring soul-saving truth to the masses.

Galatians 6:9-10 says:

“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.”

To God be the glory,

God First!

Doing our part – takes work!

Believers in God don’t sit around waiting on God to provide everything for them!

No, that would be sluggishness (laziness) and is not the role we find endorsed by God in Scripture; God expects us to work! It would be misrepresentative of scripture to believe it’s all about what God can do for us when so much is about what we can; Go and Do!

God expects us to do our part in providing physical and spiritual nourishment. God has given mankind a working role since the beginning. (Gen.2:15) Throughout Scripture, we find being a sluggard has been condemned while effort has been rewarded. (Matt.25:24-30)

Working towards righteous goals may take much patience; on our part, and we should be mindful of that fact that seeing the full results of our efforts may never happen; even so, in our ongoing, consistent unrelenting effort, we can know that working for good; will reap good in time if we don’t quit.

How can we know this? Because God tells us so.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for, in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

If we do our part, God will always do His!

  • Proverbs 18:9
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • Proverbs 26:14
  • Proverbs 26:16
  • Proverbs 24:30–31
  • Mark 16:15-16

(Several proverbs address sluggards)

God First!

Be Prepared to Protect and Fight!

If we don’t know what tools we have or how to use them, It’s like taking a water hose to a house fire and telling a fireman you have it under control.

Satan’s easiest targets are those ill-prepared to fight. Satan has been honing his skills, enticing, tempting, and deceiving us to the point that many don’t even recognize sin, but call evil good and good evil. Being prepared does not come by osmosis; it takes action on our part. God’s Word is our tool, sword, and shield of armor against the evil one.

Taking time to hear the gospel of Christ and practice it in our daily lives is how we build our faith. It’s how we help our children, friends, and families and build our country towards a better tomorrow.

Faith comes by hearing, which leads to understanding and increases our desire to do God’s will in every way. When we have God’s will in our hearts, souls, and minds, we will have every desire to love God with all of our strength and keep his commandments.

We DON’T have to be easy targets for Satan if we will pick up our sword (The Bible) and take action for good, one day at a time. In doing so, we learn how to apply the defenses of God’s love to our lives and be examples that will help others do the same.

Small ants carry tiny pieces of dirt, and by themselves, this could seem so daunting and pointless, yet in time as more ants carry, they build large mounds of protection for the colony. Knowing God’s Word is our protection; let’s learn and share piece by piece helping to protect ourselves and those we love.

  • Isaiah 5:20
  • Ephesians 6:13-20
  • 2 Timothy 3:16
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Romans 10:1

God First!

Wipe that smirk off his face!

Have you ever wanted to wipe the smirk right off of someone’s face? You both know they did you wrong, and they think it’s funny; they think they got away with it. (So they grin)

This grin or smirk is what I imagine is on Satan’s face when he thinks he’s winning. 

But, I know there is a way to wipe that smirk right off his face. That’s when We focus on God’s Word. When We do God’s Will; when We live as the Christians were taught to live in the New Testament. When We humble ourselves to the Will of Our Heavenly Father rather than our own will.

When WE overcome temptations, depression, anger, etc., by focusing on good things and studying that which is perfect, “God’s Holy Word,” applying the teachings within to our daily lives, sharing them with others, making this world a better place.

This is when We wipe that smirk right off satan’s face with the most powerful weapon ever known.

——- LOVE ——-

God’s love for us and our love for God united with the blood of Jesus

  • 2nd Timothy 2
  • Philippians 4:8-9
  • 1st Corinthians 13
  • 1st John 4:8

God is love, God First!

40 Christians on a bus

40 Christians on a tour bus for the week, a day has come and gone. How many of us will get to know the bus driver’s name? Is he married, does he have children, is he a Christian? Does he believe in Jesus? Is he In Christ?

By the end of the week, will the bus driver think of us as “good samaritans”? As 40 Christ-loving, Christ-sharing Christians concerned for his well-being, for his soul, Christians willing to vest some of our vacation time sharing the love of Christ with this stranger, or will we be just another group of people he drove around for the week?

This is a challenge for all Christians as a group or as individuals. So that we plant the seeds of truth in all that we do, will those we meet know more about Christ’s love for them after we’re gone than they did before we met them?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34

Rhetorical question: How can we claim to love others and not seek every opportunity to share the most important message of our lifetime? The saving message of Christ, the message that can bring eternal life in heaven with our creator.

Let us plant Seeds in all that we do

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

God First!

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