Friday Funnies

Subject: Four worms

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol . . . Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke . . . Dead!
Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . Dead!.
Fourth worm in good clean soil . . . Alive!

The Minister asked the congregation, “So, my friends? What did you learn from this demonstration?”

Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . . “As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!”

That pretty much ended the service!id Smith…look at this….

Dictionary of Project Terms

The Project is slightly behind original schedule due to unforeseen difficulties—Means we got so sick of working on this that we decided to do something else.

Major Technological Breakthrough—Back to the drawing board.

Developed after years of intensive research—It was discovered by accident.

Customer satisfaction is believed assured—Means we are so far behind schedule that the customer will be happy to get anything at all from us.

The design will be finalized in the next reporting period—We haven’t started this job yet, but we’ve got to say something.

Test results were extremely gratifying—It works, and we are surprised.

Extensive effort is being applied on a fresh approach to the problem—We just hired three new guys; we’ll let them kick it around for a while.

Preliminary operational tests are inconclusive—The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.

The entire concept will have to be abandoned—The only guy who understood the thing quit.

Modifications are under way to correct certain minor difficulties—We threw the whole thing out and are starting from scratch.

A Few Possible Reasons Why the
Chicken Crossed the Road

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, the chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. There is no middle ground here.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain. Alone.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Bible Study

A DECEIVED HEART Jeremiah 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Here we find one of the most quoted verses of Scripture dealing with the heart of man.  It is not speaking of the physical organ called the heart, but the very soul—the seat of the affections—of a man. 
The word “heart” or “hearts” is found in 875 verses of the Bible.  I have not found one verse that applies heart to a physical organ. 

1.  The First Mention of heart in the Bible – Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2.  The Last Mention of heart in the Bible – Revelation 18:7  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

I have found that the First Mention and the Last Mention of a subject to agree and thus it is with the usage of the word “heart.”

1.  The Bible Speaks Of God’s Heart – Genesis 6:6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
2.   The Bible Speaks Of Thinking With The Heart – Genesis 6:5  and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
3.  The Bible Speaks Of Speaking With The Heart – Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart,
4.  The Bible Speaks Of Comforting The Heart – Genesis 18:5  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts;
5.  The Bible Speaks Of The Heart Having Integrity – Genesis 20:5   in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
6.  The Bible Speaks Of The Heart Fainting – Genesis 45:26  And Jacob’s heart fainted,
7.  The Bible Speaks Of Hardening The Heart – Exodus 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart
8.  Enough Said!  There are hundreds of direct references to the heart as being the soul of man.

Let’s look at several things about my heart, your heart, everyone’s heart.  Every one of us battles with our heart.  Preachers, deacons, song leaders, Sunday School teachers, instrument players, front pew to the back pew—we have problems with the deceitfulness of our hearts.

1.  The Danger of our Heart. The heart is a source of “heartache” for each of us today.  Our “hearts,” by a sinful nature is naturally depraved.  I will be so glad when eternity begins for me and this sinful flesh is gone.  It matters not if you are male or female; it matters not how much you love the Lord; it matters not how godly a life that you try to live; your heart, my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.  That is the total depravity of the flesh.
a.  The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.  It interesting that the Bible says “above all things.”  I have been deceived by others; I have been deceived by circumstances; but the greatest deception that you and I face is an inward one. 
1)  You need to take heed to yourselves.  Deuteronomy 11:16  Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Heed – to hedge about or to pay strict attention to something.  Yourselves!  We spend more time worrying about others than self when the greatest enemy that we face is the one who faces us in the mirror.)
2)  Never trust your heart.  Proverbs 28:26  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (One of the times that God calls a man or woman a fool is when they place trust in their feelings and thoughts.  Right and wrong are dictated by God’s Word, not what we think of feel.)

3)  Never follow your heart.  Isaiah 44:20  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?  (The heart will lead you in the wrong direction.  “If I know my heart” is a deceptive phrase to follow.)
a)  Religion Can Deceive Your Heart - James 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
b)  Promiscuity Can Deceive Your Heart - Job 31:9  If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;
c)  Alcohol Can Deceive Your Heart - Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
d)  Pride Can Deceive Your Heart - Jeremiah 49:16  Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
e)  False Prophets Can Deceive Your Heart - Luke 21:8  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

2 Timothy 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
b.  The Heart Is Desperately Wicked.  Desperate – having urgent need; dangerous.  The desires of the heart of an individual drive them to do hideous, wicked, perverted things.
Matthew 15:19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
c.  The Heart Is Depraved.  Who can know it?  The answer is understood: no one.

2.  The Spiritual Defense of our Hearts.
a.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Spiritual Diligence. 
Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  (Keep-protect with vigilance.  All-priority.  Diligence-Meticulously.)
b.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Desire.
Deuteronomy 10:12  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,   (There are few in these last days who are willing to serve God with all their heart.  Most only follow their heart.  Desire dictates direction.)
c.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Determination.
Acts 11:23  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  (I am in this thing for the “long run.”  Better men than I have fallen to the wayside over the years.  I am not speaking evil of them because they are my friends and I believe that they love the Lord but, for various reasons, they followed their heart instead of determining their hearts.)
Conclusion: a.  The Heart Dictates What We Do – Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
b.  The Heart Declares What We Are – Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

Victory Baptist Church 28 April 2021 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

What Is Your Biggest Regret?

By Ricky Smith

Do you have any regrets? My wife and I once spontaneously spent money we really didn’t have to join a furniture club that we would never use. We gave in to the pressure of a sales pitch and truly wasted money in our first year of marriage. Sadly, we never even purchased any furniture with our membership. What a waste! Oh well, we will chalk that up to a lesson learned.

regret

You may have regrets of a timeshare you bought, a job offer you declined, or a relationship you became trapped in. We often make emotional decisions that can sometimes not work out. While these regrets are painful lessons, they pale in comparison to the regret for some who reject God’s gift of peace and quiet rest. 

Hebrews 4:6-10 reflects on the story of the Israelites who were punished to 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and unable to enter into the Promised Land. This was because of their disbelief. They rejected God’s message, and constantly looked back at where they came from rather than looking to where they were headed. 

The peace from this lesson is the use of the word “Today” in Hebrews 4:7. God is faithful and forgiving and offers peace and rest to us, even if we rejected in the past.

Yesterday’s rejection can be today’s rejoicing

No matter your past, your failure, your current situation, or your degree of sin; you can walk in freedom and peace by accepting the gift of life that is made possible by Jesus’ shed blood on the cross and His resurrection. He died instead of you, so that you can walk in a new life of joy and purpose. Don’t walk with regret. Live with rejoicing. 

If you’d like to learn more about walking with God, check out this link. https://calvaryga.com/its-all-about-jesus/

Today can be your day!

Tuesday With Karen

Praise God, He knows & heals our hurts!! KI

Give God The Pieces
Give God the pieces of your broken heart,
Any time of the day, anywhere you are;
You may be upset by what’s taking place,
But God will be there, giving you His grace!

Give God the pieces if you hurt deep inside,
He hears your prayers, sees when you cry;
Life will send trials as you daily live,
God’s loving hand has protection to give!

Give God the pieces in everything you do,
His love heals a heart that breaks in two;
There is so much you won’t understand,
God is there for all you put in His hand!

Give God the pieces, He can make it right,
The Potter molds the clay, each day & night;
If you need remolding, God is always there,
Working with your heart, until it’s repaired!
                                            4-5-21.

When Things Don’t Go Well

IMG_0887Tunnel in Central Park, used in a lots of Movies and TV, usually when the bad guy was chasing someone

The first words that many people like to quote when misfortune hits are: “Foe we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). But that’s hard to believe in hard times. I once sat with a man who had lost his third son in a row, and I listened as he lamented, “How can this tragedy work for my good?” I had no answer but to sit silently and mourn with him. Several months later, he was thankful as he said, “My sorrow is drawing me closer to God.”

Tough as Romans 8:28 may be to understand, countless testimonies give credence to the truth of it. The story of hymn writer Fanny Crosby is a classic example. The world is the beneficiary of her memorable hymns, yet what worked together for good was born out of her personal tragedy, for she became blind when she was an infant. At only age 8, she began to write poetry and hymns. Writing over 8,000 sacred songs and hymns, she blessed the world with such popular songs as “Blessed Assurance,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” and “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.” God used her difficulty to bring good for her and us and glory for Him.

When tragedy befalls us, it’s hard to understand how anything good can come from it, and we won’t always see it in this life. But God has good purposes and always remains with us.

What trial in your life have you found to be for your good? What good things have come from it? What are you now suffering that you pray will bring something good?

View of Life

IMG_0954Bible George Washington used inauguration 1789

When we become Christ followers, our view of life should change. No longer are we the center of our world; instead, Christ is (Gal. 2:20). It’s essential that we switch our thinking to a Christian worldview because what we believe dictates how we behave. Many of us have a “patchwork quilt” type of perspective, where we have taken some truths from Scripture, some from our upbringing, and some from our culture to determine what we believe. We often don’t even realize we have done this.

As believers, we are to search Scripture to find answers for all of life’s questions, such as: Where did I come from? (see Gen. 1.); What happens when I die? (John 14:1-4); How do I explain human behavior? (Rom. 3:9-18); How can I determine right from wrong? (2 Tim. 3:16); and What is the purpose of man? (Isa. 43:7). If we have biblical answers—a Christian worldview—we will think and behave in ways that glorify God.

The most vital question is, What is important to God? From the Bible, we learn that all of nature declares the glory of God (Ps. 19:1), the chief aim of man is to glorify the Lord, and Jesus’ mission on earth revealed God’s glory. So we know that what matters to God is His glory.

Does this surprise you? We often fall into thinking that the world revolves around us and the Lord’s work has to do with our needs, wants, and pleasures. But the truth is that life is all about God and glorifying Him. Let us humbly bow before Him, change our thinking, and join Him in the pursuit of His glory.

Daily

Daily Walking Close To Thee
Julia Bettencour,Creative ladies ministries


“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation. Selah.”   Psalm 68:19

It’s the start of a New Year so we all begin thinking towards those resolutions. Actually I am not a big fan of them. I think that we generally don’t follow them anyway. When we really resolve to do something to change our lives, it is usually at a time in our life when we are to the point that we see the need for change. Of course if a resolution works for you, then great!

A resolution usually means that we want to resolve to improve or better ourselves and that’s always good, especially in the spiritual areas of our lives. I’m always for anything to improve our lives and relationships with our Lord. When it boils down to it, bettering ourselves as Christians involves bettering our relationships with God. We have to draw closer to Him before we can improve our Christian lives. Sure we can make a New Year’s resolution to do that but I think just resolving, day by day, gets the job done in a better way.

Do you remember the old hymn? “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” I can remember that playing off a record when I was little. Okay, some of you don’t know what those are? Round things us ancient people used to play on machines that went round and round called record players. An old form of a cd:) We had a record in our family, I think by Tennessee Ernie Ford with that old song on it and I can remember learning the words when I was quite young.

I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long, As I walk let me walk close to Thee!
Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be dear Lord, Let it be.

Whenever I think of that song it always turns my thoughts toward David. You all know how I just love Biblical characters as we can learn so much from them and David is among my favorites. There are several passages in Scripture where we can see that David lived the day-by-day way to be closer to God. Yes, he was human and had his faults but he had some good practices in his life.

    1. First of all David prayed daily.Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17
    1. Secondly, David realized the benefit of God’s daily blessings.“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Psalm 68:19
    1. Thirdly, He praised God daily.“And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.” Psalm 72:15 The second verse of “Just a Closer Walk” is as follows:

      Thru this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares?
      Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
      Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it Jesus is my plea,
      Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

  1. Fourthly, David learned that he needed to rely on God daily.David sure went through some “snares” in his life and he too knew that when all else went out the window the only one left who cared was God.“None but Thee” as in the song.

    “Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Psalm 56:1-4

    In conclusion, the last verse of the song talks about when this day by day life is over.

    When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er, To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it Jesus is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.


Conclusion:
We’ve all got to live the Christian life just one day at a time. That in turn will cause us to have that improvement in our Christian life that we all so greatly need. Just resolve to live better for God, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment and that will add up to our best for Him not only for this new year but for our entire lives as well.

So, how close have you walked with the Lord today?

Friday Funnies

First Visit To The Dentist

A shy 4-year-old went to the dentist for his first cleaning and check-up. The hygienist tried to strike up a conversation but no response.

After the cleaning, the dentist was called in to do the final check. The dentist tried to strike up a conversation as well.

“How old are you?” No response. The dentist then asked, “Don’t you know how old you are?”

Immediately four tiny fingers went up. “Oh,” replied the dentist, “and do you know how old that is?”

Four little fingers went up once again. Continuing the effort to get a response, the dentist asked, “Can you talk?”

The solemn little patient looked at him and asked, “Can you count?”

Things you learn as you get older  Some Comparisons

As you get older you realize that a $300 watch and a $30 watch tell the same time;

That a Michael Kors wallet and a Forever 21 wallet hold the same amount of money;

That a $300,000 house and a $100,000 house both host the same amount of loneliness;

That a Bentley and a Ford will drive you the same distance;

That true happiness is not found in materialistic things—it comes from the love and laughter shared with each other.

 

Jokes and Sad Stories

Bill, Jim, and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75-story skyscraper. After a long day of meetings they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room.

Bill said to Jim and Scott, “Let’s break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting. I’ll tell jokes for 25 flights, and Jim can sing songs for 25 flights, and Scott can tell sad stories the rest of the way.”

At the 26th floor Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing.

At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories. “I will tell my saddest story first,” he said. “I left the room key in the car.”

Bible Study

Moderation Philippians 4:5

A. I want to begin by saying that there is nothing wrong with enjoying life and the fruit of your labor!

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (God has given us much here in America. We have been blessed with abundance on every hand and Ice should enjoy having a good time.)

B. Having made that clear, we find that our text is not necessarily to our fleshly liking: Phil. 4:5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Though we are to enjoy the things that God has given us, we are to do so in moderation because these things are not eternal, they are temporal.

  1. Our flesh may not like it but this is a very important verse. Life is made up of priorities and priorities are what make our choices. Therefore, life is full of choices and, in order to make those choices right, our priorities must be right.
  2. The key to our verse is the last sentence: “The Lord is at hand.” You and I know that our Lord could come at any moment and the biblical command to us is to watch and pray. All that we desire and do is to be circumscribed by the promise and possibility of His soon coming.

Luke 21:31-34 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. (33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (34) And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (surfeting) spending to must time, over consuming pleasure:

C. The word “Let” means that we have to allow moderation to be an important part of our lives. Moderation is not natural to the flesh as the flesh desires the things of this life with no regard to eternity. The world cannot have enough! It wants bigger homes, newer and more expensive automobiles, toys galore, etc.: and these things will never satisfy the desires of our flesh.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

D. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is manifested in three different aspects:

  1. There are the inward aspects of love, joy, and peace.
  2. There are the outward aspects of longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness.
  3. There are the upward aspects of faith, meekness, and temperance. (The last of the upward aspects which are Godward is temperance: giving up the “excess” of Ephesians 5:18 for the filling of the Spirit of God. We cannot be filled with the Spirit when our lives are filled to excess with the pleasures of this life.)
    We cannot be full of earthly pleasures and full of the Spirit at the same time.

E. Our moderation is to be KNOWN to all men. It is to be known to our brethren as well as to the world. I believe that one of the things that that are hurting evangelism and missions is the lack of moderation among the people of God.
We do not have time to win souls because we are too busy with the things of the world.
We do not have the money for missions because we are too busy buying the things that occupy our time and efforts.

  1. Life’s Contemplation – The Purpose of Life – Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Eat, drink, and be merry but that is not the reason that we are here. God saved us with purpose in mind; otherwise, He would have saved us and taken us home. The Bible says, “Christ, who is our life.” Our life is not in what we have but who and why we are. Illustration: Think about a Mom.)
  2. Life’s Choices – The Priority of Life – Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Life is full of choices but eternity only has two. When we get up in the morning, we spend our day making choices: right or wrong. The choices we make have to do with our priorities. Right priorities makes for right choices. Wrong priorities makes for wrong ones.)
  3. Life’s Contentment – The Pleasure of Life – 1 Timothy 6:5-11 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (I won’t preach fully on contentment right now, but contentment brings satisfaction and peace. The rich have no peace. My pleasure is in my Lord, family, and church family! I enjoy doing things but my life is found in what I am doing for the Lord, my family, and you.)
  4. Life’s Compensation – The Payment of Life – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (We may not have all that this world has to offer but one day, we will have the world! We are joint heirs with Christ of all that God has made. We will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ, during the millennial reign with Christ, and in eternity with Christ. It will be worth it all when we see Christ!)

Victory Baptist Church 21 April 2021 victoryplametto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Freedom in Christ

By Charles F. Stanley

His freedom is a gift of grace. Most of us know that we can’t earn salvation with good works. We only receive it as a gracious gift from God through faith in His Son. But sometimes Christians think it’s their job to keep themselves saved by following rules.

This is exactly what I thought after being saved at the age of 12. I went to a church that had all sorts of legalistic rules to follow. One of them was that I couldn’t read the comics on Sunday. This was a real problem for me because I delivered newspapers, and the temptation to pull out the comics and read the latest Dick Tracy episode proved too strong to resist.

So every Sunday, I had to confess my sin and beg God to forgive me. I constantly worried that I wasn’t saved because I couldn’t keep all the rules.

Paul wrote to the Galatians because they were becoming enslaved to legalism just like I had been. He said, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). He warned them to stand firm in their freedom and not “be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Keeping rules won’t save us and it certainly won’t keep us saved. God alone does that, and nothing can ever separate us from His love in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38-39).