God’s Grace

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”  “Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.
They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”
“How much?” the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

“How much? He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”
Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.
I pray, for everyone who sends this on, whether to their entire address book or just a few, that God will bless them in a special way.

And for those that just deleted it……… And I KNOW there will be…… ?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

I thank God everyday for my blessed life. I’m not rich, don’t live in a mansion and don’t have the nicest of material things, but, I’m healthy, have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table, a family that loves me and lifelong friends to get me through. I’d say I have a lot to be thankful for.

What can we think of to be Thankful for Today?
For me, it is God’s Abundant grace in saving me! 

Has Your “Doing Good” Become an Idol to You?

If “doing good” has become all important to you, then you must ask yourself this question.  Am I doing good apart from Jesus?

If so, you have become a god unto yourself, deciding who should be a recipient of your good and who should not.  For a season, it feels good to be your own god.  But as usual, it isn’t long before the system we’ve created breaks down or just doesn’t work anymore.  It creates pressure on us that is too much for us to handle.

Whenever we do good apart from God himself instructing us to do that good deed, we are walking in the program of “Be Your Own god”.

Only God knows how much we can give a certain somebody, or family, etc before they see us as their source and not God as their source.  I never want to replace God in anybody’s life.

Giving does make us feel  loving and “all-powerful”, but we must remember our resources are limited, and God’s are unlimited.
Idols are things/people that replace “God” in my life, and in other people’s lives. 

Owe No Man Nothing But To Love Him

Owe No Man Nothing But To Love Him
This includes the man/woman in the mirror –YOU.
What do I mean?

Well if we love our fellow brother or sister but are not loving ourself at the same time, then something is wrong.

For instance, when we let others use us — we are not loving them because we are allowing them to walk by the flesh and prosper from it.  God says walking in the flesh produces death.

And when we let others use us, we are not loving ourself.  How can you love and respect yourself when you allow others to walk all over you?

For instance, you keep giving to certain people that are not just in a one-time moment of need, but in continuous need due to irresponsibility.  Letting them not take responsibility for themselves as an adult is not loving them.  Why would I say that?  Because part of being an adult is to know when to give a man a fish to eat, and to know when to teach the man to fish for his own dinner, and then it becomes his problem if he didn’t go fishing that day for himself.  It is no longer your problem when they refuse to learn the lesson.  They will learn the lesson if they get hungry enough, necessity is the mother of all invention.

So don’t let yourself be dooped into constantly providing for other adults who are only practicing irresponsibility at your expense.

PS  God only gives back to us when He told us to give it in the first place!
He is not obligated to you to give back to you when you gave where God did not want that money, or car, or house given to that person or people.

When we allow people to be overly dependent on us, we hurt them from learning to be completely responsible for themselves and their own wants and needs, and for needs and wants not met yet, lean on God only.

We also hurt  and disrespect ourselves.  God blesses us first, and out of that we are to honor God with the first fruits, and remember that God gave us that wealth for our provision.  When we waste our own provisions by giving excessively to others, we are disrespecting ourselves, because those provisions should be available for things/situations that we will need in the future.

 

It’s All About Love

This morning I went to Starbucks and got my favorite drink. I like my frappuccino a certain way with no whipped cream. I wound up getting my drink with whipped cream and tipping the girl anyway because that is the way love is. I drank my drink and enjoyed it but it wasn’t my best drink ever because it wasn’t made according to my tastes. This was a good example of the whole issue in the Bible, which is LOVE.

The Bible is about the relationship with the creator and the creature. The relationship was one with the potential of fellowship between a Heavenly Father and his Son.

However the potential son called Adam, walked away from the relationship and as a result, the whole human race within his loins DIED. Now all the descendents of Adam are born into planet earth spiritually dead (separated from God). From that day on God began to teach the human about how he would make a way for man to come back to him and enjoy the fellowship which was lost. The whole issue of the Bible is about love. God loves us and wants to fellowship with us.

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