Posts Tagged ‘sin’

Over the weekend, a small group of guys and a staff member had gone to Guymon, OK to do a couple of storefronts for fund raising purposes. While they were there they met up with a gentleman that had come through the Teen Challenge center that I work at. Jack (not his real name) didn’t graduate as he decided to leave early.

Jack invited them to go out to dinner. While there, he told them some of the things that had happened to him after he left the program. Jack told them that he had to go jail for 30 days for not completing the program. While he was there, he had the opportunity to witness to a gentleman. This gentleman that he was witnessing to had come to the Lord. They both read the Bible everyday.

Jack was also able to go to his mother’s grave and forgive her for what she had done to him. Jack was also for the first time in a long time, able to call her MOM. That is the power of God in Jack’s life.

I don’t often hear stories like this. It is good to hear that while a student leaves early it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get anything. Sometimes, God puts a person only for short time and not for the full time that they agreed with when they enter the program. The successes are less if they don’t go through the whole program. But every once in a while stories like this do happen.

When I was at Cape Girardeau, MO a similar thing happened. During the apple picking season the police showed up to pick up one of the other guys. Before I go on let me relate to you how this came about.

The students that come into Teen Challenge are usually here for one of three things. Bear in mind that it is not a program for just teenagers. Men and Women also need help. Anyway, the students come in for one of three different reasons. They are family ordered, court ordered (which is not our program), or they are wife ordered.

This guy had come in due to court related issues. So to make sure that his PO knew where he was at, he wrote him a letter saying that he was in the Misssouri Teen Challenge. Which, then meant that his PO sent the police for violation of his parole by leaving the state he was supposed to be in.

Anyway, Dave (not real name) was picked up by the police while he was out picking apples. The whole time he had a peace about having to go to jail. While he was there, Dave witnessed to every person that they put in the cell with him.

He had a “revolving door” for the cell that he was in. Every day he had a cell mate. Every day that person was gotten and another person was brought in. The last guy that was brought to that cell, came to the saving knowledge of Christ.  Dave had to go to jail in order to witness to this guy. God had tested him to make sure that he would do so with others that came in before the “main event”.

Dave was brought back after that. He said that the whole time he was feeling peaceful about where he was at. He also knew when he was going to return to the center. He knew that he had to go jail for a week for just that one moment.

What is the moral of both of these incidents. It doesn’t matter what happens. If you are in God’s will, He will cause good things to happen when it seems that things are going south.

Both of these men followed this command of Jesus:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Come to the cross that still stands

And look at the gift given to you

He died with a back covered in bands

Through heaven’s gate he will allow you

Come all to the standing cross

A symbol of sin that is broken

He gave us all a bridge to cross

All this in the past was spoken

Now come to an empty grave

To see His power even over death

He gave to all who are depraved

And gave freedom to the oppressed

Come look at this empty grave

Death could not keep Him down

That death we all can brave

And soon He will wear a crown

Come and look at the standing cross

For He was a gift given to us

That when we die we’ll cross

The chasm to our eternal bliss

Come and look in His empty grave

Only then will you truly believe

Only then your life He’ll save

Then one day your grave you’ll leave

It is amazing how some things work, especially in the ministry that I work for. So many times we try to do things because we know that no one will find out. We tend to put one of these up in our minds and believe that this will be enough to keep what we do private.

Sorry, this is for me and me alone

 But God has some things to say about things done in secret. He says that He will blast out the news of the hidden things when we do them in secret. He will bring them to light. (Mark 4:22 “For everthing that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

All too often we think that we can do things in secret when we are alone and it is okay.  At least to a degree. I say to a degree because technically, we are never alone. We have someone looking over our shoulder all the time. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we are doing anything wrong. But, if we are in ministry, that ministry after a time will suffer. If we help out in church, eventually we won’t want to do that. Why? When we do something that we know that God does not want us to do, He will step in if we continue on with it.

I have seen this before. I have said that I work for a ministry called Teen Challenge. I saw the effects of what one staff member was doing when he was by himself. Though no one knew what he was doing, it was still affecting the shifts that we worked. Things were becoming chaotic. When he admitted to what he was doing and was released from his part in the ministry, things seemed to calm down almost immediately.

Strange as this might sound, what is done in the physical world affects the spiritual and vice versa. When you work in ministry it can be felt and seen in a way that is hard to ignore. What we do will affect us in all areas of our lives no matter how good we hide what we are doing. Be careful what you do when you think you are alone. The Holy Spirit is looking over your shoulder. God will not let things go for too long before he steps in to deal with it.

We all have those areas that we want to hold on to and God will let us. But He will also bring these things to light if we don’t deal with them. Trust me when I say, it is easier to deal with them ourselves. It is much harder when God has to step in and deal with it Himself. It may be difficult either way, but why would we want to carry around baggage when we don’t have to.

Really. Does the title even have to be said or asked? Unfortunately, I think it does. All too often we see images in movies, videos, or those who think that they are saying what they are supposed to be saying. At least in their eyes. For instance look at this picture. The message is quite obvious. There is no way to misconstrue what is being said.

Now my question is this, if God hates fags, then what did He come here for? Why did He live like us and die? If God hates certain groups or certain people, then would that not make what He did useless? Now I don’t know what Bible the church who pickets with signs like these are using, but I think that there are a few verses that have been taken out of them.

For instance the Bible I use says this:

1 John 4:16 And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.

Is this missing in some Bibles? If so this needs to pointed out so the publishers can get it fixed. Because if God is love and a God of love then where is the hate coming from? Is it any wonder that people want nothing to do with the church, God or Jesus Christ? Is it any wonder that we are looked down upon or seen as a joke?

God is a God of love. He proved it. “But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) I don’t recall John 3:16 saying “For God so loved certain people, that He gave His only begotten Son. That only these people who believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Did or would God really only talk about certain people? I don’t think so. I recall the verse saying something completely different. Something along the lines of: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The word “world” means just that, world. It means the whole of planet earth. Everyone. No one is excluded. Everyone has the same chance as the person next to them. But they have to choose. God doesn’t. Does He want people go to hell? No! Does He force people to go to hell? No! That is our choice and no one else’s.

But for some reason there are those that think He does. There are those that think there is no reason for an army. (Soldiers are going to hell as well. At least to some people.) We can’t draw people to Christ if we are pushing them away. If we push them away or treat them with contempt or even worst, hate, how are we drawing them to Christ. We can’t claim to hate certain and then claim to love God. It doesn’t work out that way. God says that the person who does this is a liar.

I work for Teen Challenge. I deal with people that have gone to church. I deal with people who probably wouldn’t set foot in church any other way. Most of the time it is just plain bad choices that ultimately cause them to cross paths with me. Other times I believe it is because of a bad incident with someone at church that ultimately brings into my “orbit”. I believe that the reason many people don’t go to church is because of the hatred felt towards them.

After Thursday night Bible Study at the church I go to, some of the people went out to fellowship and get something to eat. Towards the end of their time there, the waitress said that she did not know they were Christians. Why? Most of the Christians that she had as customers were hateful. This was one of the few times I am sure that she had met some truly great Christians.

Ghandi could have been truly great as a Christian. But why wasn’t he? He read the Bible, quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. It was because a church elder would not let him in church the one time that he wanted to go in. The church elder was hateful to Ghandi and he never tried to go to church again. It is also telling when he says “you Christians are so unlike your Christ”. You can read this story at John Mark Ministries.

We need to quit hating people or groups and start loving them. We need to have the mind of the one who let an adulteress go. We need to have the mind of the one who loved the sinner while hating the sin. Jesus Christ played no favorites, so why do we? Our job is to bring people to Christ. Not push them away. I do not want to be called a liar because I have said, shown or claimed that someone is not worthy of God’s love. Thereby, His grace and mercy follows. I have known many people with lifestyles that God hates, but I never hated the person. You will never find me being like that. I have chosen to love in action as well as word. Where do you stand?

I am sure that you have asked yourself that at some point. What if I had gone right instead of left? What if I had gone here instead of there? What if I had never met that person or if I had met this person instead? Many times we ask these things because we are not happy with where we are. Sometimes we are happy with the place we are at, but we like to think about where we could be. How different things could be if we just made a different choice here or here. We like to think that things would be better if we are not satisfied with where we are at now.

The thing is, we are the sum of all those good or bad things that have happened in our past. Who we are today comes from our choices and our memories. They have a huge bearing on who we are right now. The way we think comes from what we have been taught or learned. Yes we all have regrets. We all have those few things that we would like to change. In the smallest ways or in the biggest ways. But those changes could very well have a greater impact than we realize.

There have been many stories and movies that touch upon the “what if……” scenarios. The Butterfly Effect franchise, the Ray Bradbury story “The Sound of Thunder” and many others. But from watching these movies or reading the stories we see that changing one small thing can make big changes later. Sometimes it can be fun to think of how things can be different. But as we all know, we can’t change the things of the past. But, we do have control of what our future can look like.

Yes, yes. I know that we don’t know what the future holds. But why should we allow our past keep us from making an impact in what our future looks like. We do not have to let the past control where we go. You may know what I am talking about. We get so close to success, we quit. It seems like we get in a perpetual cycle where it looks like we don’t like success. To be fair, many of us don’t get in these type of ruts. But all to often many of us allow our past to control what we do.

Now this is ok, if we learn from those things that don’t work. Gordon Ramsey wouldn’t be the success he is if he had been successful the first time he tried to open a restaurant. By having a few “failures” he was able to figure out what does not work and find what would work. We need to realize that just because one thing doesn’t work doesn’t mean we won’t find anything that will work. Thomas Edison “failed” over 2,000 times before getting the right filament for the light bulb.

What we need to do is use our past as a way of saying, “This will not work. Is there something that will work?” Then try something different. We need to learn from those times that we were not successful and try different things. We should not allow our past’s to hold us back. All too often we beat ourselves up. We allow our past to keep us down. Ephesians 4:22-23 tells us to forget our past when it relates to who we were. ” You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds.”

Yes this is talking about the “S” word, sin. But it can also be applied to the person we were in our past. We are no longer that person that made that mistake. We have learned some things from that time. We need to use our past to show us that, yes, we made mistakes, but we can make different choices to have a better future. In the book “Soul Print” by Mark Batterson, God uses the bad things in our lives as well as the good to make His print in our lives. That print is what makes us unique. It is this uniqueness that is a gift that God has given to us. It is God’s thumbprint in our souls or soul print.

We have to be willing to learn from our mistakes. In fact, we learn more from the mistakes than we do from our successes. When we fail to make the right choice we are forced to look for another solution. A different way to do things. Mistakes were never meant to be used as excuses to not go forward. In the classic Doctor Who, the doctor was talking to Romana in the City of Death. He said that in order to know where we are going, we have to know where we have been. We can learn from our past. We can’t learn from our future. We can embrace all that is in our past and use that to shape where we are going. We can take control of the lessons learn and not let the lessons control us. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The mistakes can give us a greater opportunity for learning.

Hate and Death

Posted: 02/27/2011 in Message
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Matthew 5:21-24

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill: and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring the gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you; Leave your gift at the altar and go your way; first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Anger is very dangerous to a Christian. Anger can destroy your testimony in front of others. Especially when you think of all the things that can get you angry. Needing to be somewhere ten minutes ago and finding your tire flat. Driving down the road behind someone driving slow and you are in a hurry. Saving up money for something that you want and having to buy something to replace what just broke. In today’s world there are many things that can make us go off.

There are times when anger is appropiate and when it is not. Being angry in the middle of a dangerous situation can cause you to save someones life, yours or someone elses. Anger is able to give you just what you need to make a dangerous situation not so dangerous. But being angry at a person is not appropiate no matter what. Even if that person allowed or caused that dangerous situation you are in. Verse 22 of this passage says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without just cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

Jesus bore this out near the end of his life. He could have been angry at Judas for betraying him to the religious leaders and authorities. He could have been angry at Peter for betraying him three times. He could have been angry those that whipped him and mocked. Even the guy on the cross beside him did this. He could have angry, but he was not. He still loved each of these men.

He showed the very love he wants us all to show. He showed the love that he taught his followers to show. “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, do good to them which hate, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28) He told his followers to love those that hate them. As a follower of Christ that is a lot of people, especially today.

Many times when we get angry at someone, we say that we hate them. Is this alright? Of course not. 1 John 2:9,11 says this about hate. “He that says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now…. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes.” This seems to be pretty clear cut. Those that profess to God are really in darkness if they hate their fellow brother. It also says that they are blind. Verse 10 of this passage says this, “He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in them.” Why? Because they are not blind. They can see.

The Bible gives other clear cut warnings about hate. 1 John 4:20 says, “If a man say , I love God, and hates his brother, is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he hasn’t seen?” The answer is he can’t. And if he says he can the scripture calls him a liar.

The Bible also says that “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murdurer: and you know that no murdurer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14-15)

But didn’t Jesus kick out all those people selling goods in the temple? He was angry when he did that, wasn’t he? Yes, he was angry. But would it not be more accurate to say that he was angry at what was going on and not angry at the people?

What about the verse that says that “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and yes even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” ? Well when we get married we still love our parents. Our love for them does not change. But, we love someone more than them, but our love for our parents does not lessen. In this case, we love our spouse more than our parents. So hate in this context means that we are to love Christ more than anyone or anything.

We are also allowed to hate sin. Hating sin is ok. God hates sin and cannot even be around it. He even expects his followers to be the same way. The problem is when we hate the person that is sinning because we equate the sin with the person. We have to be able to look beyond the sin and look at just the person. This is what Christ did. If we were to hate the sin as well as the person then what Jesus did on the cross was useless. It does not amount to anything.

He came here to reconcile us to himself. He didn’t come here to hate us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He hated no one. He showed his love to his friends. Who are his friends? All those that love him.

We must, as Christians, begin to see people the way God does. We need to be able to separate the person from the sin. We can only do that by looking with eyes that God gives us. A different pair of eyes. Ones that are spiritual. We need to allow God to begin to work through us. We have to pass from death to life. Are you able to love others as Christ loves you? Or are you wanting to stay a blind, lying, murderer? Allow Jesus to change your heart and mind. He is holding out his hand as a gift. Accept his gift and allow him to bring you into the land of the living.

Go For The Gold

Posted: 07/11/2010 in Devotion
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2 Kings 18:4 (KJV)

4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

Nehushtan=”a thing made of brass” or “brass object”

     This was the very serpent that Moses had built on God’s command when the children of Israel were under judgment for complaining once again. They were complaining about the direction they were travelling, Moses as leader, and lack of water. They were also complaining about the food, the manna, God supplied them each day. As a result, God caused serpents to enter the camp to chastise his people.

     When enough people were bitten and had died they realized that they had messed up once again. They went to Moses to tell him of their sin of complaining against him and God. They asked if he would go to God and ask for the judgment of their sin to be removed. Moses did as the people asked. God then gave Moses instructions on what to do. Moses was to have a serpent made of brass made and placed on a pole. Then this pole with the serpent was to be placed in the middle of  camp where everyone could see it. Then when anyone who was bitten looked upon the brass serpent they were healed. (Numbers 21:4-9)

     This in and of itself is not a problem. The people sinned. They turned from their ways. God supplied the relief. But the text from 2 Kings gives the idea that as the years went on, something went wrong. The people had begun to worship the brass serpent. They began to burn incense to it in worship as a god. It had to go as it had become something that it was never intended to be.

     The people had forgotten why the brass serpent was made to begin with. It was made as a way of keeping punishment from death from taking place as a result of the peoples sin. They took their eyes off the creator and turned to something that was created. This causes some problems that we may not be aware of.

     This is what happens to many of us throughout the week. We go to church on Sundays, Wednesdays, or whenever our church service is and give God everything we have. Then as we live out our lives the rest of the time we give God far less than we should. I am not saying we try to do this. But as a fallen creation we tend to let things get in the way of our relationship with God. The sad thing is we don’t have to do this.

     We promise that we are going to get up early and do a devotion in  the morning or just read the Bible. Or we promise that we will  this before going to bed. The next morning comes around, we hit the snooze alarm. We read the paper. We turn on the TV. We forget about that meeting we promised we would have. We forget to read the Bible. Or the day is stressful so we put God on the back burner or we push him aside. But hey, we will get up early in the morning to have that time with God. And if we do this, we only give him a couple of minutes because we are in a hurry. Or we get overwhelmed by trying to catch up and read as much as we can.

     Peter had a similar problem. Read with me Matthew 14:22-33,

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitude away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cried out in fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship, came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

     Peter was able to walk on the water when his eyes were on Jesus. We are able to make it through the day, no matter how bad it can get, if we keep our eyes on Jesus. It’s when we take our eyes off of him that the day gets worst. That is when we begin to sink. That is the point that Peter began to sink, when his eyes started to look at the circumstances around him. For us that means ded we keep our focus on him through a tough time by taking a time of quietness with him through devotion or just reading his word and/or praying?

     I had a Sunday school teacher ask us this question in class, ” What is your NEHUSHTAN?” What he was really asking was this: “What have you placed or are placing in front of your relationship with God?”

     We all tend to have them. Maybe it is just a small thing. It is a show that comes on once a week. Or your friend calls at the time you set aside for you and God. Or a song, girl/boyfriend, sports and so on. But to God that does not matter. Anything that comes before him constantly or consistently is an idol.

     Now are any of these things wrong in and of themselves? No, of course not. The friend may need help. You may be looking for something online for church and so on. But when these begin to take the place of God, then there is a problem.

     What about the movie you have been waiting to see? But it starts when you are supposed to be in church. What about that concert you heard about on the radio? Or you can’t go to church because your favorite magazine came in the mail and you have to read it before doing anything else. It is sad to think about, but there are Christians that would do just that. They put God in second place. The thing is God does not play second fiddle to anyone. The Bible has many examples of what happens when His people put him second. He gave and still does give warnings today. Check out Exodus 20:5 (KJV)

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I tthe Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

     But that is because of what he said in the verses before that one.

Exodus 20:3-4

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

     We are not to make idols to worship. We are not to make a likeness of anything God created to worship. It seems like more and more we worship a tree, rabbit, fish, hawk, worm or what have you. We worship things we are not supposed to worship.

     We begin to settle for things that are inferior. In effect we settle for things that are made of brass. Brass has one thing going for it. When it is cleaned and polished, it will shine just like gold. But the truth is, it is not gold. It is brass. We tend to go for the shiny that looks like gold. When we get it we can that it is not gold. But we keep and hang on to it like it was gold. This what we do in our relationship with God. He is the better thing. He is the gold. We settle for things far, far less.

Romans 1:25

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever amen.

     We see this everywhere. Churches don’t have an evening service on Super Bowl Sunday due to many people staying home or going to a friend’s house to watch the game. Churches don’t have a Wednesday night service due to lack of attendence. I am too tired to go to church tonight. I have to work on my vehicle. And it goes on and on. We allow too many things to come before God. We remove Him from His throne and place ourselves or something else or someone else there. Is this a new thing? No. Satan started this at some point in an unknown past.

Isaiah 14:11-15

11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 12 How thou art fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high. 15 yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Ezekiel 28:12-15

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of they tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created. 14 Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

     He even used the same kind of thinking in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:1-5

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

     Satan does not really care what we put on God’s throne as long as it is not God himself. He wants us to settle for the brass object. He wants us to stay at home and not go to church. He wants us to follow a preacher instead of God. he wants us to stay home and watch the ball game on Sunday. He whispers in our ear that it is OK, God will not mind.

     But God is trying to give us the better things. He is trying to give us the things made of gold. But we throw these things away. We put our hands up saying, “No thanks. I want this instead”. He tries to give us Himself and we say we are not interested. We don’t want you. We would rather have that guy or that girl. He frees us from “Egypt” and we want to return because it was easier and better there. He says, “How about that land?” And we say, “This piece of junk? No thank you.”

     We need to get our priorities right. We need to get ourselves and those things we placed onto God’s throne off of it. We need to put Him back on His throne. We need to be like Peter and say, “Let me come to You.” We need to be willing to go and receive when He says OK.

     We need to let go of the things made of brass like Paul did and reach for the gold. The things that matter are not just for the moment are what Paul wants to reach for.

Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I also am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

     We need to take our eyes off of the things of this world. We have to place our eyes on Jesus Christ. Otherwise we will sink and the cares of this world will bury us. The throne belongs to God and God alone. We have no business sitting in it or placing other things on it. We have to “forget” about all the other things that we allow to grab our attention. We have to reach with everything we have to those things that God has for us. We have to drop the Nehushtans, the brass objects, in order to reach for the gold. We must be willing to press towards and reach for the more excellent prize of Jesus Christ.