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October 18th, 2014

How Do You Spend Your Free Time?

How Do You Spend Your Free Time

Free time is not a trivial matter. The activities we participate in during our moments of leisure shape our identity.

The Apostle Paul tells us not to make good use of our time, but to make the best use of our time. His understanding of the present evil age leads him to strong exhortation regarding the way followers of Jesus must manage our time. Our lives are so short. James reminds us that our life is little more than “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

How Are We Spending Our Free Time?

Why then do we fritter so much of our lives away in front of the television screen? Why do we spend every evening playing or watching sports? Why do we spend our weekends roaming the shopping malls, looking at more things we do not need?

Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seeking first the Kingdom means we are not seeking after the same things as the pagan world around us: food, drink and clothing.

We must take a good look at our lives. Do we shop as often, and for the same things, as our non-Christian neighbors? Do we covet all the newest fashions? Are we as drawn to the latest technological gizmos as everyone else? Too often, we give lip service to seeking first the Kingdom, while our lives demonstrate pagan preoccupations.

Structuring Our Free Time

Structuring our free time in a God-honoring way means we will prioritize our leisure activities so that it is clear that Jesus is on the throne of our lives. We will make time for daily Bible study and prayer. We will share meals around the table instead of in front of the tube. We will engage in family prayer and worship. And when our devotion to Jesus collides with the temptation to put something else on the throne, we will demonstrate to the world who is our King.

One way we can prioritize our activities is quite practical. Many organized sports leagues now play soccer or softball on Sundays, as though it were any other day. What should a Christian do in this situation?

Here’s another example: While in high school, my brother played for an advanced soccer league that practiced every Wednesday night during the church’s youth group hour. My brother was faced with a dilemma: should he sacrifice his potential soccer scholarship in order to attend church? Or should he sacrifice Jesus on the altar of his sports ambitions? I was proud of his choice to fellowship with the Body of Christ, even if it meant he sacrificed playing time during the games. (Later, he was awarded a soccer scholarship to a Christian university.)

Sundays Are Important

Too many Christians pay lip service to Jesus as King and yet demonstrate by their recreational choices that something else is on the throne. Ball is Baal. When parents replace Sunday morning worship with a Sunday morning ballgame, they are communicating more to their children through that one action than many years’ worth of words stressing the importance of church attendance.

We declare something to be worthy by giving it our time and attention. Sports, movies, television, video games, shopping — all of these activities may be worthy of a place in our lives. But in a world in which people are bowing down to the Caesar of Leisure, spending so much time and energy in recreation and entertainment, Christians should intentionally seek to undermine the high status given to leisure by showing people that Jesus is more worthy.

What Should I Do?

For some, it will mean cutting out certain forms of entertainment completely. For others, it will mean sacrificing Sunday ballgames for Sunday worship. Our friends who are devoted to leisure might think we are crazy for cutting the cable cord, stopping our shopping sprees, praying at fixed hours, or missing some sporting events. Ironically, it is only when we put leisure back in its proper place under the lordship of Christ that we restore true sanity (the Apostle Peter calls it “sobermindedness”) to our lives.

What we do with our free time shows who is King of our lives.

– – – written by Trevin Wax on his book ‘Holy Subversion’

September 27th, 2014

Jesus Advice To Sinners

Jesus Advice To Sinners

Whether you are Christ follower, a fence walker, or a non-believer who just stumbled on to this post by chance, Jesus Christ has something to say to you right now. He has called out your heart amid a digital stream of millions to make sure you hear His voice and understand how far His love will go to find you.

Jesus’ Advice To Sinners

1. You are my beloved. (Eph. 5:1)

2. I knew you before you were born. As my hands formed you, I whispered purpose into your bones. I can’t not love you. (Ps. 139:1-6)

3. I love you beyond human reason—even at your very worst, steeped in sin. (Rom. 5:8)

4. My love is contrary to all you know of “love.” I Love you “even though” and “deeper still.” My love reaches, pursues, remains. (Ps. 36:5)

5. My Love for you won’t walk out, fail, or ever come to an end. (Deut. 31:8)

6. No matter what you’ve heard or what you’ve come to believe, there’s nothing that can separate you from my Love. (Rom. 8:38-39)

7. I am not like people. So please—don’t put human words in my mouth or apply human behaviors to my character. You will miss me altogether. (Isaiah 55:8)

8. I’ve never ignored you. I’ve been here all along. Protecting. Loving. Waiting. (Ps. 56:8)

9. Your love of _____ (sin) isn’t worth eternity. I will break your chains. I will give you the desires of your heart. (Jn. 8:32, Ps. 37:4)

10. Please forgive some of my followers. People—even Christian people—will fail you. You live in a fallen land, where no one is perfect and all need My grace. Put your faith and trust in Me alone. (Psalm 146:3)

11. There’s no sin I will not forgive. You are the “whosoever believes in me” whom I will give eternal life . . . if you believe. (John 3:16)

12. As resourceful and brilliant as you are, you cannot save yourself. It’s by God’s grace and faith in Me alone that you are saved. (Eph 2:8-9)

13. I understand your pain and heartbreak. And my heart breaks with you. (Is. 53:3)

14. There’s nowhere you can go where my Love won’t find you. (Psalm 139:7-8)

15. The shame and guilt weighs you down has been taken care of on the cross. Your bill has been zeroed out. (John 3:16)

16. The addictions. The pride. The selfishness. The hate. The lust. The jealousy. The critical spirit. The greed. I can heal it. All of it. You can start fresh. Today. (Rom. 8:1-4)

17. I will forgive you. But only if you ask. And I care more about the “ask” than I do about the sin. (Acts 3:19)

18. I will not force you to do or be anything. I want a relationship with you more than I want to rule over you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

19. I will forgive your sin and I will forget it. That’s right—completely erase it from my mind. No replays, no record. Gone. (Ps. 103:12)

20. It’s never too late to turn your life around. I came to give second chances. (Luke 23:42-43)

21. I love you. Let’s talk. (Jer. 29:13)

These are the 21 things every sinner should know. Know that our Jesus is the friend of all, including sinners.

September 7th, 2014

Qualities of Mother Mary

Qualities of Mother Mary

Tomorrow, on September 8th, we celebrate the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary, the Mother of all mothers. On this special occasion when we remember the immaculate conception, we should seek her special intercession for all our prayers and needs.

Let us ponder on some of the most important qualities of Mother Mary.

1. Mary was highly favored. God was with her. She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus’ humanity. This tells us that Mary was a young woman of outstanding moral and spiritual character.

2. Mary was submissive to God. She counted the cost. So far as she knew: she would lose Joseph; she would be a social outcast; she had no idea how she would raise the Child. Yet she said without hesitation, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

3. With thoughts tumbling through her mind and emotions churning inside, Mary arose and raced the many miles from Nazareth to the hills of Judea. She had to see Elizabeth!

4. Mary was a woman of faith. Part of Elizabeth’s prophetic response to Mary’s greeting was “blessed is she who has believed” (Luke 1:45).

5. Mary was humble. She spoke of her “humble state” (Luke 1:48). She realized that she was a girl from Nazareth with no social status.

6. Mary was spiritual. She was a devout worshipper. We see this in the profound and powerful words of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

7. Mary was thoughtful. She kept the words of the shepherds and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). Twelve years later in Jerusalem Jesus made a pointed statement about His true Father that Mary kept also in her heart (Luke 2:51).

8. The most appropriate role model for women. As a motherly figure, Mary exemplifies strength of godliness, strength, and maternal instinct. Mary portrays traits of holiness, piety, and humbleness. As a teacher, Mary instructs women on the importance of trust and perseverance.

9. One of the most valuable strengths Mary possessed was her ability to persevere. She went through many trials in her life, but she never lost sight of the Lord. She used her complete trust in God and her strong will to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

10. The Angel Gabriel greeted Mary as “full of grace” or the one who enjoys “God’s favor”, which is enough to give us an idea of her magnificence! Yes, she who was to become the Mother of the divine Son, our Redeemer, chosen by God from all eternity, could only be endowed with all natural and supernatural perfection, and consequently with all the corresponding virtues.

Have a blessed and wonderful feast of the immaculate conception. Let our beloved mother intercede for even the smallest of our needs. We love you our dearest mom. God bless you all.

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