A weekly posting by Rev. Alan Thompson
“Telling Others About God"
November 28, 2018
How can I use my own personal experiences to tell others about God?
“I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and know, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord.”
If the Bible stories about people we’ve never met teach us about God, how much more can your personal experiences be used to explain God to those you know? No one can argue with what you have experienced. Telling stories about what God has meant to you is one of the most powerful ways to attract to attract others to believe in God also.
Jesus said: “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” ( don’t stop there, tell your friends and anyone else that will listen.)
November 20, 2018
“How Can I Show My Thankfulness to the Lord?”
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim you’re your unfailing love in the morning; your faithfulness in the evening.”
There are many ways to show your thankfulness to the Lord—through praise, prayer, singing, worship, giving, obedience and service.
Like you though, God often likes to hear a simple “thank you.”
“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness.
Let the whole world know what He has done.”
1 Chronicles 16:8
May 9, 2018
I’ve made some terrible financial decisions. Will God still help me deal with my debt?
“So do not worry, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ’what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom first and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
(Matt. 6: 31-33 NIV)
This text is not a “get out of jail free card” for over spending and not living within ones means. You will honor God if you make a budget so that you may live within your means and pay off your debts. God wants to help free you from the burden of heavy debt because it makes you worry and it distracts you from what He is doing in your life and what plans He has for your future. Ask God the wisdom only He can give! He knows your needs and will help you meet them if you are willing
to make the needed sacrifices.
May 4, 2018
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
The Old Testament Law made it clear that God wanted His people to tithe, to give Him the first tenth of their income to demonstrate their obedience and their faith in Him to provide for their needs. When Jesus came, He made it clear that He loves a cheerful giver. This means that He loves a generous heart. Whatever the amount, you should honor the Lord with your wealth so that His work on earth can boldly continue. God promises to bless you just as lavishly as you give to Him.
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken down and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
April 25, 2018
Where do I get the courage to deal with life’s obstacles?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will
strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
The more convinced you are that you can overcome an obstacle, the more boldly
you will attack it. If you are convinced that God will help you overcome your
obstacles, then you will be even more courageous in moving ahead. This
conviction that God will help comes mostly from reading and studying God’s
Word, where you discover His desire and power to accomplish great things
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
April 17, 2018
How does accountability help me avoid foolish mistakes?
“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)
There are probably some dark corners in your life—secret habits and private thoughts that you don’t want anyone to know about. If they were to be exposed, you know that you would have to deal with them, even give them up and flee from them. Accountability means giving someone permission to ask you the “tough” questions and hold you accountable for your words, thoughts and actions. Accountability can be painful in the short run, but the lack of it will destroy you in the long term. Your secret sins will gnaw away at your character, integrity and reputation until your whole life comes crashing down, and rarely do we see it coming. To avoid such disaster, find a wise friend or mentor to keep you accountable. Don’t let the darkness take over your heart.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
April 8, 2018
What will my body be like after it is resurrected?
“But someone may ask, how are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”
1 Corinthians 15:35
“Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so there is spiritual ones.” 1 Corinthians 15: 43-44
You may not be able to walk through walls as Jesus did with His resurrected body, but more important than walking through walls, your body won’t ever decay from the effects of sin. You will never be sick or in pain again, nor will your mind think sinful thoughts. You will be fully and finally perfect in God’s sight.
“.in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-53
April 1, 2018
What happens when I die?
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV)
Whatever happens after you die depends on whether you believe that Jesus is who he said he is. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, and if you let him forgive your sins, and allow Him control of your life, he guarantees that you will live forever in Heaven.
When you’re traveling it’s comforting to know that there is a place to stay at the end of the day. This same comfort is yours as you think of your life journey—you will end up in Heaven.
What happens after you die is the most important issue you must consider. If you don’t want death to be the end of life with God, you must live as though eternal life with Jesus is already beginning.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, will live, even though he dies…” John 11:25 (NIV)
March 25, 2018
When is Ambition wrong or harmful?
“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.”
James 4:2 (NIV)
There’s a difference between being a part of God’s great work and wanting personal greatness through God’s work. If you’re not sure where you fall, examine your motives. If the greatest benefactor of your achievements is yourself, then perhaps your ambition is out of control. Seek to honor God and others, not yourself.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny
himself and take up his cross and follow me.' ”
Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
March 18, 2018
Can We Really Hide from Our Sins?
“Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine and Jacob soon heard about it.” Genesis 35:22 (NLT)
If you do something wrong and no one finds out, or no one gets hurt, is it really wrong? Did you get away with it? Reuben may have thought that he got away with sleeping with his father’s concubine. No more was mentioned of Reuben’s sin until Jacob mentioned it on his deathbed and took away Reuben’s double portion of the family’s inheritance. Sin is wrong whether or not another person notices, and God ALWAYS knows what we do. The consequences of our sin may
not always be immediate, but they are inevitable.
“For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all
that is secret will be revealed to all.” Matthew 10:26 (NLT)
March 11, 2018
Is it okay to try and get rich?
“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered and lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did.”
(Genesis 39:2&3 NIV)
The Bible mentions many rich people who loved God without saying anything negative about their wealth. Scripture doesn’t focus on how much money you have, but rather on what you do with it. One thing is clear, wherever your money goes; your heart is sure to follow it. (paraphrased) (Matthew 6:21)
So work hard and succeed without guilt, but then work just as hard to find ways of pleasing God with your generosity to others.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
(1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
March 4, 2018
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 2:1&2 (NIV)
Your failure doesn’t surprise God. No matter how many times you fail, you can trust God to help you move forward. The best response to failure is to get up again and ask God what lesson you need to learn from that painful situation. Don’t lose hope in the God who promises you ultimate victory through eternal life.
“…Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”
Micah 7:8 (NIV)
February 18, 2018
When I’m in trouble, how do I talk to God and know that he will hear me?
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Psalm 18:6 (NIV).
You don’t need special words to talk to God. You can simply talk to God as you would to a trusted friend. God understands your emotions ( He made them) so don’t worry about getting too emotional with God. Tell him your fears and worries, and claim his promise to rescue you from temptation and danger and to stay with you no matter what comes.
“He will call upon me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”
February 11, 2018
Does suffering mean that God doesn’t care about me or that He’s punishing me?
“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
~Psalm 22:24 (NIV)
It is likely that no one has suffered more than God’s own son when he was crucified, yet no one doubts God’s love for Jesus. In the same way, our suffering does not mean that God has ever left us or stopped loving us. Your suffering matters to God because you matter to God. He may not remove the suffering from you, but he has promised to help you to get through it and to be with you always.
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Psalm 126:5&6 (NIV)
February 4, 2018
What should we do when we feel that God is far away?
“Why, oh Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in the times of trouble?”
Psalm 10:1 (NIV)
When God seems far away, its often because you have moved away, not God. The GOOD NEWS is that just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, God is eagerly awaiting your return. You can follow David’s example in the Psalms and draw close to God in prayer.
Listen to God’s promise to us in Jeremiah 32:40, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them; I will never stop doing good for them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.”
“How do I come into God's presence?"
January 28, 2018
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
If you’re a Christian you’re already in God’s presence. But if you need help in feeling God’s presence, begin by worshiping Him. Approach him with gladness, with a joyful song in your heart. Praise and thank him for what he has done for you. This will make you more aware of God around you in nature, in moments of peace, in acts of kindness, and in the strength he provides to help you through tough times.
Listen to what Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with Him and he with me.”
“What does it mean to have intimacy with God?"
January 14, 2018
Some people would have to choose between quality time and quantity time. The intimacy of any relationship is a function of both the amount of time spent together and the quality of what is accomplished or shared in that time. If a husband and wife spend three hours a day together, but those hours are spent watching television, it is hard for them to establish intimacy. So it is in our relationship with God. An intimate relationship with God grows out of both the quantity and the quality of the time that we spend focused on Him. So ask yourself, “do you intentionally and consistently spend time alone with God?” Is it QUALITY time or QUANTITY of time?
Gods Promise: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 NIV
“How does God show His love For me?"
January 7, 2018
If you lose something precious to you, you search everywhere till you find it. You never give up looking for it. Likewise, you are precious to God. He pursued you when you were lost in sinfulness, and he continues to pursue you whenever you wander from Him. He shows his love for you every day by drawing you to himself.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only son into the world so that we might have eternal live through him. “This is how God showed his love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” John 4:9&10 NIV