Punctuality

_85378500_clockIt has been said that the scourge of the pulpit is laziness. As true as that may be, today, one of the scourges of the pew is tardiness.  In our Christian school, we have gone to great lengths and efforts to reduce tardiness.  We have even imposed a “Class disruption fee” for habitually tardy students.  We call it this because repeated tardiness not only shows and develops poor character, it is a major distraction and problem for the teacher and fellow students. All work stops while”Tardy Tommy” comes in, gets situated, turns in his homework, and makes a general nuisance of himself.

As inappropriate and annoying as this is in a classroom, it is even more detrimental and disrespectful when done in the church and the work of ministry.  Here are a few thoughts to help us all develop better habits as it relates to being punctual.  Can you image Jesus being late to all events and appointments?  I think not!

Purposes for Punctuality

Redeem the time

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:15-16)

We are all complaining about how we do not have enough time in a day.  Let’s not be a waster of time by missing those precious moments of instruction, work, and even pleasure by being late.

Respect the time of others

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Php 2:3)

When we ar 10 minuets late and 6 people are waiting on us, we have wasted one man-hour of time in total, but six minutes of each persons life.  Let’s not “steal” life and time from others.

Reverence 

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:31)

When we are late to church or our assigned ministry, we are being disrespectful to God.  We are saying to God, “Your time is not important to me, God.  Your place, God, is to wait on me.”  How irreverent?  We say that with our actions every time we are late to a meeting with and for God.

Retain a good testimony

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. (Ecc 7:1)

No one likes to always wait on the same person.  What is YOUR reputation as it relates to punctuality?

How to be more punctual12625438_f496

Schedule

You must adjust and apply these thoughts as it relates to your own issues.

Make a time-based agenda for the day or that portion of the day.

  1. Know when you are to be there.  (Include time to park, walk, put up coat etc.)
    • A leader should always be 10-15 minutes early.  On time for a leader is late.
  2. Know and add how long it takes for you to shower and dress.
  3. Know and add how long it takes to load all in the car.
  4. Know and add how long it takes to drive to the appointment.
  5. Know and add typical distractions and delays you experience
  6. Add 15 minutes.

Submit to your schedule. Make your calendar your boss

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Co 9:27)

 


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How to Deal with Disappointments

Then Davidisappointed-1024x683d the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (1Ch 28:2-3)

David was Disappointed in his Desire to Build a Temple for God.

David’s desire emanated from a good and godly heart.  It was a desire for God to get glory through this house.  But in spite of it being a good desire, God told David no.

How we respond to the great disappoints that God permits in our lives determines if it will make us bitter or better, stronger or weaker, confident or cracked.  Let’s look at David’s heart for some guidance on how to stay right, even when our dreams are dashed.

Do not let your Affection for God be Dampened

Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.(2Sa 7:22) 

Too many times we let disappoints and perceived disasters in our lives quench our love for God. David, however, knew God’s goodness, greatness, and care for him was in no way altered by God’s refusal of David’s proposed plan.

Let your Appreciation to God be Deepened (1Ch 28:4-5)

Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (1Ch 28:4-5)

 

Recognize, consider, and thank the Lord for His many blessings and the things He HAS given us and allowed us to fulfill in our lives.  In David’s response, he rejoiced and considered that God had allowed him to be king and God had given him many sons.  Always remember, God is good, all the time.

Do not let your Activity for God be Diminished (1Ch 29:2-3)

Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. (1Ch 29:2)

Although God was not permitting him to build the house, it did not diminish David’s anticipation or love for the work.  If he could not build it, he would help build it by planning and provided the means for its building.

When God says no, let us not quit our service or work for the Lord.

  Do not let your Awe of God Decay 

Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? (2Sa 7:18-19)

He kept his reverence for God (2Sa 7:18)

He kept his rest in the Providence of God  (2Sa 7:19) 

Let God be God and make sure our hearts remain soft, pliable, and right with God when disappointments come into our lives.


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As for Me – I Choose to Serve (part 2)

qwlinkAnd 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.(Jos 24:15)

The Choice of Service 

It is a personal choice – as for me…

We choose to serve individually – as for me…

No one can choose for us.  No one can serve for us.

The fields go un-harvested.  The pews remain mostly empty. Positions of service go unfilled.

If not you, who?

If not now, when?

If not here, where?

Will you choose to serve?  Not to choose to serve is refusing to serve.

We must choose to serve independently – as for me…  

We all know and sing that verse of “I have Decided to Follow Jesus”… Though no one join me, still I will follow…Yet God is still searching for those that will follow and serve, even if they must serve alone.

We should choose to serve influentially – and my house… 

God expects us to exert godly and compelling 1200influence over those for whom we are responsible.  Parents?  Pastors?  Teachers? Are we influencing our charges to serve?

It is a pointed choice – will serve the Lord

We have the liberty to choose – we have a choice who or what we will serve.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.(Mat 6:24)

We all serve something.  We serve the flesh, the world, or money, etc.  Let’s choose to serve the true and living Lord!  As for me…


See the previous post in this series – As For Me, I Choose to Serve


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay 

 

 

As For Me, I Choose to Serve

Aqwlinknd 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. (Jos 24:15)

In this famous challenge that Joshua gave to the children of Israel, Joshua makes a bold, brave, and binding declaration regarding his choice to serve the Lord. In this short series of blogs titled, “As For Me” I am asking us all to consider our own decision about serving the Lord.

Not to decide to serve the Lord is invariably a decision NOT to serve Him.  Service to the Lord does not happen by accident.  So will you join me in consciously and definitely declaring, “as for me, I  will serve the Lord”.

Let’s examine Joshua’s statement.


The Chooser to Serve – Joshua

The choice was by a man of faith. (Numbers 14:6-9)

Joshua, probably at the age of about 20, maybe one of the youngest of the twelve spies sent my Moses to spy out the land, was one of only two to believe that God could fulfill His promise to give them the land.  He stood and spoke for God against all of Israel.  It takes courage to sound off in faith against millions ready to kill you for your faith.

Serving God takes faith.  Even just committing to serve God requires faith in Him to help and strengthen our resolve when the times get hard.

The choice was by a man of fight

And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. (Exo 17:9)

Although Joshua had never been in battle as far as we know, he must have demonstrated his willingness and courage to take on a fight for the Lord.

To make a decision to serve the Lord will require a fighter’s heart.  You will need to fight the flesh, fight the Devil, and fight the world and its temptations and taunts.

The choice was by a man of faithfulness

And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. (Jos 24:29)

From age 20 to this pronouncement, he had already faithful served God as a soldier, Moses’minister, and the general and leader of Israel for nearly 100 years

Ask God to mold us into the kind of Christian that will decide by faith, willing to fight, determine to remain faithful as we serve our Lord?

Look for more in this series.

Visit us online – Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

 

When Discouraged, Consider the Future

temple_of_jerusalemIn the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (Hag 2:1-4)

Solomon’s grand temple had been destroyed when God’s people had been taken into captivity.  Now, some 70 plus years later, a number had gone back to rebuild the temple.  Because of opposition, the work had been suspended.  Now with the prompting of the preaching of Haggai, work was recommencing.

The problem was, the older folks that had seen the original temple in all its glory and splendor, could see that this temple was not going to be so elaborate and exquisite as the previous.  They had wept and now were obviously discouraged and discontent with their situation (Ezra 3:10-13).

God gave then a solution to this discouragement.  So let us learn it as well.

Things to CONSIDER when discouraged

Recognize the truth about glory

Glory is more about what is “”inside” than what “it is inside”. (Hag 2:7, 9)

God said that this new temple would be more glorious than the first, because Jesus would enter its doors.

Do not let the past stop you from doing what you should in the present. (Hag 2:3-4)

There were two issues that may have hindered the folks that remembered the original temple. One was remembering the GOOD of the past. Too often our short range vision keeps us from working in the present if we see that today’s will never be as good as the “good old days”.

Secondly, maybe their shame and knowledge that it was because of their sin that the first temple was taken away hindered their willingness to work on the new one.

Let us be sure we do not let the good, or the bad, of our past keep us from doing what we should for today and for the future.

Do not let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can. (Hag 2:8)

They did not have the resources that Solomon had to build like before. God reminded them that He still had it all, but was not at this time going to give it to them.  We need not refuse to do what we can for God because we feel we cannot do all we want to.

She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mar 14:8-9)

Things to BE when discouraged

Be strong and constant (Hag 2:4)

Three times Moses said to Joshua and people to be strong  (De 31:6, 7, 23)

Three times God said to Joshua to be strong  (Josh 1:6-9)

Three times David said to Solomon to be strong  (1 Chron 22:13, 28:10, 20)

Be busy and productive – work (Hag 2:4)

Be sure – operate in faith (Hag 2:4-5)

Considering His presence – that God is with you

Considering His prophecies (Hag 2:6-7)

Be courageous – fear not (Hag 2:5)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist of the East Bay

 

Do Not Let the Hurt, Hurt

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Everyone hurts, it is how we react to those hurts that matters.

An old-time preacher once taught that everyone gets hurt, but it is important not to let the hurt, hurt. In other words, as Christians, we are not to let the hurts and trials that enter our life hurt what God is doing.

We should not let the hurt;

  • Hurt our walk with God.
  • Hurt our relationships with others that are innocent or not related to the cause of our hurts.
  • Hurt the work of the ministries in which we are involved.
  • Hurt our trust in God and His goodness.
  • Hurt our future faith or willingness to be vulnerable and love others.
  • Hurt the … (you fill in the blank where you are apt to let the recent hurt, hurt).

How to keep the hurt from hurting.

1. Crucify the carnal (Gal 5:24-26)

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.(Gal 5:24)

It is impossible to hurt a dead man – Lester Roloff

Too many of our hurts” are simply the flesh and old nature raising its ugly head and complaining we are not getting what we deserve or want. “I” was mistreated, “I” was let down, they did not care about “me”. You get the idea.

2. Cast, do not carry, your care (1Pet 5:7)

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:7)

Cast your hurts onto Jesus. If you cannot kill your hurts, give them to the Lord and leave them with Him.

3. Cultivate contentment (Phil 4:11)

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Php 4:11-12)

Not getting your “needs” taken care of by others?  Be content.

Not receiving the “so deserved” thanks and accolades? Be content.

Not being appreciated or considered? Be content.

4. Conform to Christ (1Pet 2:21-23)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1Pe 2:21)

Feel hurt? Consider Him and follow His example in responses, prayer, forgiveness, sacrifice, and looking for the joy in the ahead.


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Eat Bay

Keys to Abounding

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (Act 9:31)

3keysThe churches “multiplied”.  They, being blessed of God, were ABOUNDING.  We all want to be abounding in our lives.  We want our church to abound.  We want our homes to abound.  We want our Christian life to abound.

In this verse we find three keys to abounding.  These  apply to a church, a home, and an individual.  Here are these keys.  Find them in the verse above.

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Key 1 = Find Rest

This rest is not an absence of activity but a lack of strife. A life with peace in our hearts. It is this rest that is the environment that fosters and permits abounding

How to find rest? – Be saved (Heb 4:1-6,  Col 1:20-21, Rom 5:1, Eph 2:14-15)

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, …. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Col 1:20-21)

How to find rest? – Be spiritual

Be spiritual in your mind

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3)

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom 8:5-6)

Be Spiritual in your manner

– In our dealings with others

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.(Rom 12:17-18+)

– In our purity

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (Isa 48:22)

Be spiritual with your money

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. 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. (1Ti 6:9-10)

How find rest? –  Be in the Scriptures

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165)

How find rest? – Be in supplication

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Php 4:6-7)

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Key 2 for abounding – Find Edification (to build up)

We are to lay the foundation and build up

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. (1Co 3:11-13)

Building must be priority

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (1Co 10:23)

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Key 3 for abounding – Find your Walk

Walk in the Fear of the Lord

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Mal 1:6)

Walk in the Comfort of the Holy Ghost

Walk in truth = Spirit of Truth (John 14:6)

Walk in the right way = Led by Spirit (Matt:4, Rom 8:14)

Walk protected and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:13-14)

Walk bold and with our hearts full of the love of God = spread by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5)

Are you abounding?


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay