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).

Tuesday with Karen

We’ll Be Leaving

We’ll be leaving a world of turmoil & sin,
And go to a place to be forever with Him;
Our fellowship with Him won’t be severed,
When we’re in Heaven with Him forever!

We’ll be leaving behind sickness & sorrow,
No one knows when, it may be tomorrow;
It will be a wonderful, magnificent day,
When His loving voice calls us away!

We’ll be leaving an earth of Satan’s allure,
Going up to Heaven, to be safe and secure;
We won’t know sin or its trouble anymore,
When we go to Heaven to be with the Lord!

We’re believing this soon will take place,
But while we’re here, God is giving us grace;
He cares for His own, daily meeting our need,
When He returns for us, what a day it will be!
                                      2-19-21.

Getting Old

The Truth About Life

by Max Lucado

Hair transplants, surgery, color in a bottle. All to hide what everyone already knows—we’re getting older.

If you ever want to stall a conversation at a party just say, “How’re you feeling about your approaching death?” It won’t put much life into the conversation.

I have a friend who has cancer. He’s in remission. A nurse unaware of his condition was asking a question for his medical record. “Are you presently ill?” “Well yes, I have cancer,” he said. She looked at him and asked, “Are you terminal?” He responded, “Yes, aren’t we all?”

You’d think we weren’t, the way the subject is kept hush-hush. Jesus does His best work at such moments. Just when the truth about life sinks in, His truth starts to surface.

The next time you find yourself facing the undeniables of life, whisper His name. He is nearer than you think!

From God Came Near
Reprinted by permission of Crosswalk.com

His Way

I cannot imagine how excited the Jews were when they heard that the redeemer, the savior was finally here on earth. After all, they had been waiting their whole lives for this moment, waiting for the almighty Son of God to come and free them from their captors.

I also cannot imagine the confusion, when 30 years later this almighty king remained “powerless” against the ruling government, and instead of leading a rebellion, taught peace and co-existence (Luke 20:25). Instead of praising the pharisees, and appointing them to high positions in His kingdom, He condemned their actions (Matthew 3:7), and taught what real love was… sacrifice (John 15:13).

And finally, I cannot imagine the disappointment, when this almighty King died at the hands of the very kingdoms He was to rule over. It seemed that after all the promises God had made to the Jewish people, that none of them would be coming true. Then all of a sudden, 3 days later, the king that they had killed was back! (Acts 10:40)

I think that we can learn a very valuable lesson from the Jews of Jesus’ time. The first is that we often look at the promises of God, and ask ourselves how we would fulfill them… then we expect God to act the same way, and often in a way that ends up praising us and not Him (just as the pharisees). Even more often, when these promises are not fulfilled the way we expect, we often start to question God, asking if He really cares about us, or even if He is capable of keeping His promises. Just like the Jews of Jesus’ time, we end up disappointed and discouraged, before God has finished showing us His plan (Jeremiah 29:11).

Instead of fulfilling the prophecies and expectations of the Jews of Jesus’ time, God freed them from a much bigger captor, their sin. Instead of giving them a wonderful life on earth for a short time, He gave them the gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus (John 3:16). And instead of saving a few, God gave His Son to save the world (Colossians 3:11).

We have an amazing God, one who not only keeps His promises, but also has greater plans than we can even imagine. A God, who doesn’t do things our way but will do them the right way (1 Corinthians 13:12). A God who, no matter the situation, you can rely on to get you through. Just like the Jews of Jesus’ time, we may not always understand what is going on, or why God seems to be “failing” in keeping His promises, but we can know that in the end, He will not only keep His promise, but amaze us in how He did it (Romans 8:28).

You Can’t Do This

By Ricky Smith

I can do it! Any parent has heard this from their child numerous times. This struggle for independence is critical for growth and development. At the same time, when an adult says it we view it as confident, or in the extreme as arrogant. Personally, I am a fan of positive thinking, hard work, drive, and determination. The attitude of “you can do it” is strong.

success

Conversely, this attitude can infect faith in a way that is destructive. As a matter of faith there is one thing that we must confess we cannot do. I cannot save myself. I cannot keep my salvation. While we may know that in our head, we live as though our eternal security depends on us. This core doctrine is essential that we grasp and confess.

True rest and peace is discovered when we recognize that our salvation is fully made possible by the work of Jesus. It was His atoning sacrifice that made the way for me to be in right standing with God. It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that it is a gift of God. He is the source of our salvation.

Beware of the natural human tendency to think that I have any power in my salvation or that I have any power to keep my salvation. This is a human tendency and a lie that the Devil would love for us to accept. Furthermore it is compounded by Scripture that can be interpreted to suggest that one can be cast off, or that one can abandon their faith.

For example, Hebrews 3:7-19 recounts the story of the Israelites and provides a case study for apostasy. We can look at research which reveals young adults that abandon faith. We can look at the rise of the religious unaffiliated. We can read stories of faith deconstruction. We can reflect on personal relationships with those really seemed to be saved and who now really seem to not be saved.

You and I should be careful to judge one’s faith, as only God knows the heart of a person. The bottom line is that it is possible to be around Christ and not be in Christ. The proof of sincere faith is the evidence of faith that is kept until the end.

The thought of losing my salvation is a contradiction of reality. The thought is contradictory to the doctrine of Justification, the nature of Christ. God is not a God you do a transaction with and have to keep your part of the contract. You can’t pray enough. You can’t believe enough. You can’t be good enough.

God is a God of covenant who does all the work for you! He chose you. He adopted you. He saved you. He keeps you! We are blameless because of Him, not because of us. And all God’s people said, Amen!

Friday Funnies

DRIVE

Junior had just received his brand new drivers license. To celebrate, the whole family trooped out to the driveway and climbed into the car for his inaugural drive. Dad immediately headed to the back seat, directly behind the newly minted driver.

“I’ll bet you’re back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive,” said the beaming boy to his ol’ man.

“Nope,” came dad’s reply, “I’m gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you’ve been doing to me for sixteen years.”

WALK

The room was full of pregnant women and their partners, and the Lamaze class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, along with informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the plan.

The teacher then announced, “Ladies, exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn’t hurt you to take the time to go walking with your partner!”

The room really got quiet. Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand.

“Yes?” replied the teacher.

“Is it all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?”

ANOTHER DRIVING

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”
After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father, if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut.”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samsom had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair!”, to which is father replied, “Yes, you’re right, and they also WALKED every where they went!”

Bible Study

CHOICES Proverbs 1:22-33

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 
I fully believe in the complete sovereignty of God. He is a sovereign God and asks counsel of no man. God does as He pleases, when He pleases, and how He pleases! PERIOD!!!
The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is not at risk in this lesson. If fact, the sovereignty of God has everything to do with our personal choices that we make each day because He has given us—in His sovereign will—both the ability and obligation to make those choices!.

You and I make choices, important choices, each and every day of our lives. Our choice begins as we awaken. Choices about getting up! That is more difficult for me because I do not “punch a clock.” Choices of apparel. Choices of food. Choices, choices, choices!

Some choices do not have a lot of either temporal or eternal value, but some choices are of great importance and, therefore, must be made right.

God did not simply give us choices to be made without giving us explicit guidelines and help in making right choices. He wants us to react rightly to the truth that He has given us and make God honoring choices.

  1. God gives us the guideline of natural laws written within every man, woman, and child. Conscience – Romans 2:12-15 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish ithout law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (Most of the time, we know what is right and what is wrong before we even begin!)
  2. God gives us the Scriptures – 2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (The Bible has the answer to all of life’s choices.)
    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  3. God gives us the Holy Spirit – John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (His inner witness will never lead us wrong. It is our obligation to listen to Him!)
  4. God gives us godly counsel – Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (People who do not want to do right seek no counsel. People who want to do right seek counsel!)

F. There is no excuse for the child of God to make wrong choices. It is simply a matter of obedience or disobedience! Either wanting to do right or not wanting to do right. I could use many choices in this sermon but I want to look at just a few very important ones.
Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  1. Making Right Or Wrong Choices About Salvation (It is about Heaven Or Hell)

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

God will not force you to be saved!
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

b. God has done everything necessary for you to be saved! John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

c. God gives you the choice: eternal life or eternal death in hell! Joshua 24:15… choose you this day whom ye will serve;…… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

  1. Making Right Or Wrong Choices About Sin (It Is about Peace And Safety Or Consequences And Regrets)

Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

  1. Making Right Or Wrong Choices About Marriage (It Is Heaven On Earth Or It Is Hell On Earth.
    a. Do not make quick decisions – Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

b. Do not simply go for looks – Genesis 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. (Leah was God’s choice! Jacob was buried by Leah.)

Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

  1. Making Right Or Wrong Choices About Service (It Is Happiness Or Unhappiness)

Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Conclusion: Wrong choices can have tremendous consequences! God will not force our choices! “God will always give you what you want but it will always cost you what you’ve got”

Victory Baptist Church 14 April 2021 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Who is My Neighbor

His phone rang in church by accident during prayers. The Pastor and the worshippers scolded him after church for interrupting the silence. (And his wife kept on lecturing on his carelessness all the way home.)

You could see the shame, embarrassment and humiliation on his face as he walked out of the church. He never stepped foot in the church ever again.

That night he went to a bar and, still nervous over his experience in church, accidentally spilled his drink. The waiter apologized and gave him a napkin to clean himself up. The waiter also mopped the floor and offered him a complementary drink. He has never stopped going to that bar since.

You can make a difference by how you treat people. Cheer people on and don’t put them off. Make things easy and not difficult for them.

If you cannot be a pencil to write anyone’s happiness, then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness.

Tuesday With Karen

Thankful for His touch when I need it! KI
Touch Me, Dear Lord

Touch me, dear Lord, as only You can do,
Thy mercy & grace is leading me through;
If my feet are weary & too weak to stand,
Thank You for holding me inside Thy hand!

Touch me, dear Lord, by wisdom You hold,
Guide my decisions in the right way to go;
In everything I do, help me seek Thy face,
I know You will show me the Godly way!

Touch me, dear Lord, in heart, soul, & mind,
Shelter me each day, with Thy grace to find;
Thank You for hearing if I cry out in prayer,
There’s not one day I live without Your care!

Touch me, dear Lord, if a great storm rages,
I know I can stand upon the Rock of ages;
Thank You for blessing my life without end,
I love You, Lord, for being my Faithful Friend!

Let Your Light Shine

A little girl wondered what a saint might be. One day her mother took her to a great cathedral to see the gorgeous stained-glass windows with scenes from the Bible. When she saw the beauty of it all she cried out loud, “Now I know what saints are. They are people who let the light shine through!”

Some of us might think that saints are people of the past who lived perfect lives and did Jesus-like miracles. But when a translation of Scripture uses the word saint, it is actually referring to anyone who belongs to God through faith in Christ. In other words, saints are people like us who have the high calling of serving God while reflecting our relationship with Him wherever we are and in whatever we do. That is why the apostle Paul prayed that the eyes and understanding of his readers would be opened to think of themselves as the treasured inheritance of Christ and saints of God.

Ephesians 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

So what then do we see in the mirror? No halos or stained glass. But if we are fulfilling our calling, we will look like people who, maybe even without realizing it, are letting the rich colors of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control of God shine through.