As man thinketh

The book that was written in the early part of the twentieth century that has a similar name tries to get us to believe that we can cause our problems to go away simply by thinking rightly. Does this sound like it would work? Not really, at least not in my experience nor in any of my friends either.

Think and grow Rich” was another of the books that wanted people to believe that the way that you think about life and your situation in it can be changed by your thoughts. I want to ask a question in that regard and if you wish you can comment on this: “Since we are not gods, how can our thoughts have any effect on our lives?”

I know that how we perceive the world is governed by our thoughts and by our beliefs, but perception of something doesn’t affect what you perceive. Whether it is life, money, relationships, jobs (careers) or the amount of wealth that you accumulate. I know that there are many “self-help” books out there that have championed thinking about wealth and the “stuff” that you want, the life that you want, etc. so that you could “program” yourself to move toward these things. In some aspects of your life, this might work, but what kind of life would you have while achieving those lofty goals? Do you really want to live life as a greedy, self-centered person?

It might be fun for a while, but what happens when, like the prodigal son, the life that you have been living comes crashing down around you? You might have enough cash saved up for a cushion to get you through for a while, but what happens when that runs out and all of those credit cards and other bills come due? Thinking about it won’t help then!

I am not going to tell you that your life will be all roses and wine if you are a Christian, but it couldn’t hurt! Being self-reliant and not depending on others or on Jesus for your self-esteem, is a real American way of thinking but does it get the job done when you are given some really bad news? Relying on yourself does you very little good in situations that you have no control over and cannot exercise control over.

What would you be thinking about if you or your spouse went to the doctor’s office and came back with a diagnosis of stage two or three cancer? I really don’t think that positive thinking will help much during chemotherapy. I must apologize here because I know that there are many people out there who are going through this same situation right now, young and old, cancer doesn’t care what age you are.

The point that I am trying to make here is that the only way to truly have peace in your soul and calm in your life, regardless of the situation, is to have Jesus as your anchor and your Rock! He is also the Greatest Physician because He didn’t stop performing miracles when He went back to the Father. He is still in the healing business, if it is part of His will to heal you. But, it will be done His way and in His time, not yours!

Many people get frustrated when they turn to Jesus during an emergency or crisis and He doesn’t come through for them in the way that they think He should. He is not a Creator that is on call to do your bidding, He does whatever it is that is in line with God‘s will for your life. So, if you have to die in order for God’s will to be done, it will happen, if He sees fit for you to be healed then that will happen but it will still happen on God’s time-table and not yours!

It is God Who can see your life from beginning to end and not ourselves. We can’t change the length of our lives or the color of our hair (without chemicals), but many people act like they are in charge of their lives and nobody else. This is why Jesus said that we are not to worry about tomorrow because by worrying we can’t change anything about tomorrow. Whatever is going to happen then, will happen, whether we worry about it or not. All that worrying will do is give you an ulcer or make your health worse in some way. It will not make any difference in your situation, regardless of what it is.

Belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins on the cross is the only way to get into Heaven, and that is where most of us desire to go when we die. So, if that is your ultimate destination, why not prepare for it now while you can? After all, the only chance that you get to make that eternal decision is while you are alive. Once you have passed through the door of life into the life that comes after this one, you can’t fix a bad decision or no decision at all.

 

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A very small sermon

“For God loved the world so much and each one of us in it, that He gave (sent) His only Son. That whosoever will believe in Him and His sacrifice shall not perish (die), but will have everlasting (eternal) life.”

Paraphrase of John 3:16

Believe it, read the Word, pray to God for your forgiveness and ask Him to come into your life. Then tell others what you have come to know.

Matthew speaks (part two)

When we arrived on the opposite shore from Galilee in the Gadarenes, a man which had been living in the tombs came upon us quite suddenly! He was wearing no clothes and was possessed by devils and had not lived in a house for a long time. There were pieces of chains on his arms that showed that he had been bound but had loosed himself by breaking them.

¬†When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and with a loud voice he said, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high. I beg of you, torment me not!” For Jesus had commanded that the spirit come out of him. It seemed that the spirits had caused him to cut himself and do other injuries to himself, yet Jesus asked the spirit, “What is your name?” The spirits within him said, “Legion, for we are many.”

The demons begged Jesus not so send them into outer darkness. At that place there were some herders which had a large number of pigs eating on the mountainside. The devils pleaded with Him to send them into the swine, so Jesus said: “Go!” When they did, the entire herd ran off down the mountain and into the sea where they drowned! Those who were herding them ran back to the town and told what had happened to their herd.

The people came and found Jesus and saw the man who had been possessed of demons in his right mind sitting with us and talking. They asked Jesus to leave ¬†because they were afraid of Him. Isn’t that weird? The man that was healed of the spirits wanted to come with us, but Jesus sent him away saying: “Return to your house and tell of the things which God has done for you.” So, he did exactly that. He went round about telling everything that Jesus had done for him!

So, we got back into the boat and traveled back to Galilee and the people greeted Him gladly for they had been waiting for Him to return. Later, a man named Jairus who was a ruler of the synagogue found Jesus and fell at His feet. He begged Him to come and lay His hands on his daughter because she was ill and at the point of death, and she was his only daughter! He said that she was about twelve years of age too, so we set off toward his house but the people were crowding around Him as He went. A woman, who had an issue of blood for about twelve years, who had spent all that she had on physicians yet none had healed her, came up behind Jesus. She had thought to herself that “if I can just touch His garment, I will be healed”.

When she did this, Jesus noticed power issue out of Himself and asked, “Who touched me?” We were all astonished at this for the crowd was all around Him, yet the woman came forth and told Him of her plight and that it was she who had touched Him. He said, “Daughter, be of good faith and go your way. Your faith has made thee whole.” About this time, someone came to the ruler and said, “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore, your daughter is dead.” But Jesus heard it and said, “Fear not, but believe only.”

When we came to the house, he did not allow anyone to go in except Peter, James and John and the father and mother of the girl. There were many who were weeping and wailing and He told them to “Weep not, for the girl is only asleep.” They laughed at Him because they knew that she was dead, but He put them all out and took her by the hand and called out to her saying, “Maid, arise!”

Her spirit came again unto her and she got up right away! He told her parents to give her something to eat and they were astonished. Although He told them not to tell anyone what He had done there.

Prologue: Our Lord, Jesus, can still do miracles even today. Prayers are answered every day in ways that we may not know and in some we do. The point of this story is that Jesus can do all things. He did them when He was here with His disciples and He can still do them today. All that we have to do is believe and have faith in Him. As Jesus said, “If you have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, all things are possible”! Won’t you place your faith and your life in Jesus’ hands today?

Matthew speaks…. (part one)

My name is Matthew. I was a tax collector in Judea during the time when Jesus was teaching and healing in the country. Oh, those were wonderful days, but I digress. He had asked me to follow Him and I felt that I should. I am not sure why, but I did and I learned so much from Him and His teachings! We, that is his disciples and I found out that He really is the Son of the Living God! Can you imagine being instructed by Him?

One day as we were going through the cities and the countryside around Jerusalem, He was healing many of their infirmities and teaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. Some women that He had healed and who also were disciples of His, were tagging along with us and helping us with our mission to Israel and its people.

Many people were following us, so we sat down on a hillside and He taught them with this parable about a farmer sowing seeds. He said, “Some of the seeds fell along the roadside, but with little soil they were eaten by the birds. Some fell on good soil, but they fell among thorns. They sprang up with the rains, but were choked by the thorns and were not fruitful at all. Some fell on very thin soil on rocky places and they sprang up but since their root was so shallow, they weren’t able to bear the heat of the day and withered. But some of the seed fell on good soil and they produced a harvest of thirty, sixty and one hundred-fold. The people looked confused about this so we asked Jesus why He was teaching them with parables.

He told us that it was given to us, His disciples, to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God but unto them it is not, because by seeing they might not see and by hearing they might not understand. He explained that the parable was like this: The seeds are the Word of God and the ones that fell by the wayside are those that hear but the devil comes and steals the word away lest they believe and be saved. Those which fell on the rock with the thin soil are those which receive the word with joy but they have no root and so believe for a while but when temptation comes they fall away. Those which fell among thorns are them that have heard but are choked by the cares and riches of life and they produce no fruit. But, those which fell on good soil are they which have an honest and good heart and having heard the word bring forth fruit with patience.

Then Jesus said that we were not to light a candle and put it under a basket but to put it on a lamp stand so that the whole house could receive its light. Meaning that when we have received the Word of Truth and have taken it into our hearts, we are to let others see its effect in our lives so that they will want that light too! He also told us that when we are given this knowledge, we are not to keep it to ourselves lest we lose it, we are to give it away so that others may have it too.

Jesus’ mother and his brothers came to see him, but they could not get to him because of the crowds. It was told to him that “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside desiring to see you.” He told them that His mother and His brethren are those which hear the word of God and do it.

The next day, Jesus told us that He wanted to go to the other side of the sea of Galilee. So He got into a ship with us and we set out for the other side. As we were sailing, Jesus fell asleep on a cushion in the rear of the ship and a storm came up which was casting water over the sides of the ship!

We all felt that we were going to sink and here He was sleeping through all of this! We went to Him and woke Him saying, “Master we are about to die!” But, He got up and rebuked the wind and the waves and it became calm again. Then..He said, “Where is your faith?” We were afraid and wondered “What manner of man is this? Who commands the waves and the winds and they obey Him!”