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The Treasure Hunt

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The treasure hunt

The treasure huntMy mother has always had this saying that has stuck with me over all these years. When I was a young child, I would always ask her what heaven will be like. She always replied “Everything you love that is good will be in heaven.” I think she is right.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

There are so many good things in this life that you will see on the other side of heavens gates. Things that you love in this life that are of God will follow you. Your friends and family that you love so dearly who died in Christ will be there awaiting your arrival. Have you ever lost someone that you loved and could not bear to loose? You have only lost them for a moment. They have gone ahead of you so that when you arrive in heaven, what you love will already be there waiting for you. What about your pet(s)? I strongly believe that your four legged friend who you love will be there ready to welcome you. There is plenty of evidence in the bible to support this. Jesus comes back to earth on a white horse does he not?

Most importantly you will see Jesus! You will finally see His face. You will see Him for who He truly is. Who could not love that? The One that we love the most will be there expecting us with love.

and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. (1 Peter 1:4)

What are your thoughts on mansions? Wouldn’t you love to live in a mansion? Jesus said that when you believe in Him He starts to prepare a mansion just for you. Do you love joy, peace, rest, happiness, and laughter? All these things are good and of God and they will be in heaven where you are.  Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 6 to not store up treasures on earth but to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where you will be soon enough. Now popular belief is that He was speaking of money and fortunes but I believe that He meant much more than that. I believe that He was saying to store up the treasures that are in your heart in heaven. There will be no monetary exchanges in heaven. We will have Christ; what good is money?  What does your heart love? Who does your heart love? Store up these things in heaven! Remember that wherever the treasures of your heart are, you will be also!

The more you love the more you will store up for yourself in eternity. Be rich in love so that you will be rich in heaven!

Verse of the day:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to store up treasures in your heart so that you will have them in heaven. Love your friends and family. Love that which brings you joy, peace, happiness. Think of every good thing that you can in this life that you want to see in heaven and fall in love with it. Real love. Go on a treasure hunt!

Do You Believe In Make-Believe?

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faith

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. (Hebrews 11:3)

Do you remember what is was like when you were a child and anything seemed possible. You could let your imagination run wild and you believed in things that you had never seen but you knew that they existed. Where did you lose that kind of passion? When did the hope and faith of your youthful heart slip through your fingers and fade away? Somewhere along the path of your life you snapped into reality and grew up. You listened to the world who told you that what you felt in your heart was not real and could not be obtained. The world would have you believe that not all things are possible. That what you see is what you get and anything else was just a fairy tale.

In the book of Mark chapter 8, Jesus was in Bethsaida when He encountered a blind man. The blind man asked Jesus to heal him but He did not do it right away. Jesus did something unique and something that He had not done anywhere else that is recorded in the bible. Jesus first grabbed the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town of Bethsaida. Once they were outside the town He placed His hands on the blind mans eyes and asked him “Can you see anything now?” The blind man replied that he could see everything clearly now.  Jesus then told the man not to go back into the town of Bethsaida.

So why did Jesus lead the man out of the town before He healed him? Jesus did not want the blind man to hear the whispers of the unbelievers. He did not want doubt and unbelief to enter the heart of the blind man. He did not want the blind man to snap into reality and start to believe that the unseen world was only make-believe. Jesus told the man not to go back to the city because he did not want the man to hear the nay sayers and the words of the unbelievers. Jesus wanted him to hang on to his imagination, hope, and faith in the unseen world. When Jesus lead him out of the town and healed him the blind man said “I can see everything clearly now.” The blind man could not only physically see now but he could see with the eyes of his heart. He was removed from the world of unbelief and he could now see everything clearly. Nothing was impossible.

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23)

So can you see everything clearly? Not with your physical eyes but the eyes of your heart? Everything and anything is possible through Christ. All those hopes and dreams that you had as a child are very real. You just need to stop listening to the world and their reasoning and step into the unseen again just like when you were a child. Let your imagination run wild with the thoughts of what you cannot see.

Verse of the day:

11 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to play a game of make-believe with me. Lets make-believe that  something invisible became visible. Crazy right? Do you believe me? I will prove it to you. Go to Colossians 1:15 in your bible and read what is says. After you read it I think you will believe that make-believe is real. Do you believe in make-believe?

Were Just Getting Started

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Salvation

Salvation24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. (John 5:24)

Have you found Jesus? If you have then praise the Lord! You will never be found guilty of your sin. Talk about reassurance. Those words came from the mouth of Jesus Himself. You will be saved! In fact, you have already passed from death into life. That is the Lord’s promise to you and to me.  It is the best gift that you will ever receive.

The Lord is so kind and merciful in all His ways. He has given us everything that He has, including heaven and everlasting life.  Doesn’t it just amaze you how awesome God is? How loving and generous He is?

32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? (Romans 8:32)

That verse just shouts everything else! Everything promised to you in the bible will be given to you in due time if you are a child of God. He sent His only Son to die for us to prove it. Nothing is unattainable when you have God in your corner. His blessings are everlasting and His love is unconditional. Don’t we have the greatest Father and King? Nothing compares to Him! The mountains give Him praise and the birds of the air sing His songs. The oceans declare His power and the sky reveals His majesty.

What more could we ask from Him? He has already given us everything including Himself. This is just the beginning. Prepare to stand in awe when you see Him as He really is and what He has prepared for those who love Him. Were just getting started!

Verse of the day:

Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord! Praise him, you who serve the Lord, (Psalm 135:1)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to Praise the Lord! Praise Him for all that He is and all that He has done for you! Thank Him for all the kindness and generosity that He has shown you. Thank Him for being the awesome God that He is. We serve a mighty and merciful God! Let Him know how you feel for His unfailing grace.

Clothes in Our Darkest Hour

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Clothes in our darkest hour

Clothes in our darkest hourThe third chapter of the book of Genesis is one that we all know too well. It is the reason that were are all here. It is in this chapter that we learn of mans betrayal and introduction of sin into the world. It is a heart breaking chapter in which Gods anger is revealed for the first time.  He gave everything to His creation and it was shoved back in His face. What a sad and hopeless chapter it is.  But is it all doom and gloom? On the contrary. It is also in this chapter that God’s unconditional love is revealed. Though we became His enemy, He still provided for us.

21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. (Genesis 3:21)

Just prior to God casting Adam and Eve out of His beautiful garden, the bible tells us that in the midst of his anger and disappointment, God took the time to sow them clothes to hide there nakedness. This verse is so easy to overlook but it speaks great volumes of God’s character and love. Adam and Eve just betrayed their creator and sent the perfect world that God made plummeting toward death and decay. Their disobedience would send God’s one and only Son to the cross to be brutally killed and God knew this. This one act against God changed everything that God had made and was proud of, and He still provided even the smallest need that Adam and Eve had.

Wow what an act of generosity and kindness. So let me ask you; If God took the time to sow clothes for Adam and Eve after what they just did, will He not provide for you in any circumstance? I think people get to a place in their lives where they have committed so much sin or have been distant from God for so long that they sometimes feel like He will not provide for their needs. If He provided Adam and Eve with clothing in the world’s darkest hour, He will surely provide for your needs even in your darkest hour.

Verse of the day:

19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to trust God with your needs. He already knows what you need before you even ask Him. He provided clothes for Adam and Eve though they did not ask Him too. He knew what they needed and He knows what you need now. Trust that He will provide for you. Remember that when you are weak, He is strong!

Outcast

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Outcast

OutcastOutcast: (1) One that has been excluded from a society or system; (2) A person who is rejected or excluded from a social group; (3) Anything thrown out or rejected (4) Rejected, abandoned, or discarded; cast out.

When I was in the third grade there was a boy in my class who suffered from a severe physical handicap.  He was always quiet and kinda just kept to himself. He could not run or take part in many of the fun games that all of my classmates would partake in. His legs were crooked and all the other students were always laughing at him. He took the blunt of many of their harsh jokes.

Like any other normal kid, I spent my days in school trying to elevate my popularity with the other kids. I had excelled rather quickly in my endeavors to gain social acceptance. I was asked out by the prettiest girl in third grade and was moving right up the social ladder. When it came to my school life, everything was going exceptionally well.

Then it happened. The day I will never forget. The day that I lost all that I had worked so hard for.

Everyday at reccess, all the boys would play football in the school yard. We would quickly split into two teams and kick off the game. On this paticular sunny day as the game was in full swing, the handicap boy that spent all his time alone walked onto the feild and said “I want to play.”  All the boys laughed at him and told him to get lost, but again he said “will someone play football with me?” I felt great commpassion for him but my fellow students again mocked him and continued to play on. I desperatelty wanted to play catch with him to lift his spirits but i kept thinking “what would the other boys think of me?”

As we kept playing the boy just stood their watching us run around and having a good time. The look on his face was gut wrenching. I couldn’t take it anymore! I had gotten to a point where I no longer cared what the others thought of me. I no longer cared that I would give up everything I had accomplished in regards to my social status. I was going to play football with the outcast.

I played wide receiver on the next play and was able to get open long enough for the quarterback to throw the ball to me.  I caught the ball for a first down and my team quickly hurried to the line of scrimmage for the next play. With the football still in my hand, I walked off the field to the side line where the boy was still standing.  While everyone was watching, I stood about ten feet away and tossed him the football. He then tossed it back to me the best that he could. After the first couple of passes back and forth, I started hearing the cursing and the jokes being hurled at me from the other boys.  They were relentless as they all stood there mocking me. One of the football players walked over to the handicap boy and stripped the football out of his hands. He was my best friend at the time. He looked at me with the football in his hands and asked if I was going to stop fooling around with the crippled boy and get back to the real game.  I told him to give me the football back! The crowd that had congagrated became deafly silent as my best friend and I had a short stare down with each other. Finally, he handed me the football, called me a certain name and they all walked off. Me and the outcast then resumed our game of catch.

I lost everything. From that day foward I became the outcast. My girlfriend broke up with me, I lost my best friend and I could not longer play football with the other boys everyday in the school yard. (I think not playing football was what hurt me the most!) I gave it all up and it was my choice to do so.

The point is this. In today’s world, if you are a Christian then you are the outcast. Jesus was an outcast and He was mocked and hated by the world just like that little boy. Jesus warned us that if we follow Him we to will be hated by the world and deemed an outcast. Was it worth it for me to give up everything and play football with that boy? Absolutley! Though I lost everything, I was filled with a feeling of happiness, joy, and peace that I will never forget. That feeling vastly out weighed the ridicule that I recieved from the world. It was the right thing to do. I could not imagine how bad the anguish and guilt would have felt if I had walked off of that field and back to class when the game was over, and never played catch with the outcast.

When you associate with an outcast, you become an outcast.  Have you been cast out?

Verse of the day:

17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. (Luke 21:17)

Challenge of the day: 

Today I cahallenge you to be an outcast with Jesus. Go against the grain of the world. Do not follow suite with what society and the world would have you do. Instead, live by God’s word. Don’t try to impress man but strive to impress God!

I Hope You Can’t Swim

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I hope you cant swim

I hope you cant swimPeople from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:5-6)

There is a very interesting and symbolic parable that I would like to point out about baptism besides the obvious.

God is so awesome; watch this. John the Baptist was the first to baptize with water and he did it in the Jordan river.  The Jordan river flows from north to south and it dumps into the Dead Sea. Do you see the irony there? People from all over were coming to see and hear John and when they confessed their sins and turned to God, their sins were washed away and cast into the depths of the Dead Sea. They were now dead to sin and this world and the Dead Sea was a perfect representation of that.

19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (Micah 7:19)

The Dead Sea got it’s name because if its high salinity which is a fancy term for, it has a lot of salt. Too much salt in fact that it cannot support life, not even aquatic organisms. So what does that have to do with your sins and the way you live your life? When you confessed your sins and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you Died to sin and this world. Your sins and cares for this life were washed away and cast into the depths of the Dead Sea. There is no going back! There’s nothing to go back to! Why would you even want to? You will not find yourself there because nothing can survive in the Dead Sea.

Don’t dive back into sin and don’t even think about it.  In fact, I hope you cant even swim….

Verse of the day:

Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? (Romans 6:2)

Challenge of the day:

Today I challenge you to fill up your kitchen sink half way with water. Then take some ground pepper and sprinkle some into your hand. (The water represents the Dead Sea and the pepper represents your sins and old way of life). Then bow your head while standing over the sink and pray to God. Confess your sins to him, ask for forgiveness and tell him that the rest of your life belongs to him. Then open your hand and pour out the pepper into the sink and pull the plug. Once the water and the pepper are completely gone and pulled into the depths of the sewer you will see that there is no pulling it back.