Stay Away From These People

2 Timothy 3:1-5

1. You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. 2. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, 3. and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. 4. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. 5. They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.

The first four verses sound as though they are those to whom Jesus would seek out for conversion – those in most need of salvation. But in verse five we see their true nature. They know the good news. They even pretend to follow it’s principles. However,they continue to resist real change. In their heart of hearts they resist the will of God for their lives. They deseave others and possibly even themselves. They will be judged buy their fruit. Having the appearance of godliness, they sow seeds of evilness. They are the weeds planted by the enemy in the field of God’s good grain.

Matthew 13:24-30

24. Jesus used another illustration. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field. 25. But while people were asleep, his enemy planted weeds in the wheat field and went away. 26. When the wheat came up and formed kernels, weeds appeared. 27. “The owner’s workers came to him and asked, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’ 28. “He told them, ‘An enemy did this.’ “His workers asked him, ‘Do you want us to pull out the weeds?’ 29. “He replied, ‘No. If you pull out the weeds, you may pull out the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest. When the grain is cut, I will tell the workers to gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned. But I’ll have them bring the wheat into my barn.'”

God has a place for these deceitful disruptors amongst the congregation. Matthew 25:46 “These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

John 15:27-16:4a

“You will declare the truth, too, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Jesus continued, “I have said these things to you so that you won’t lose your faith. You will be thrown out of synagogues. Certainly, the time is coming when people who murder you will think that they are serving God. They will do these things to you because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I’ve told you this so that when it happens you’ll remember what I’ve told you.”

Let’s say that you are bebopping along — dota dota dota do — and suddenly a big hairy beast comes running toward you — what do you do? I don’t know about you, but after peddling down my leg, I’d run.

Now, let’s say that you had been warned that big hairy beasts were in the area. You were told that, if you encounter a big hairy beast, absolutely DO NOT RUN AWAY. If you run from them, that triggers a predictor response in them and they will chase you and eat you all up. Further you were told that you should RUN AT THEM ENDS GROWL. That triggers the prey response in them and the will ruin and hide from you.

Wouldn’t you be better off knowing in advance about big hairy beasts? In either case, you are going to encounter big hairy beasts. However, forewarned is forearmed.

In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells his disciples their duty, declare the truth. Now the hoped for outcome is that, having heard the truth, people will be set free from their sins. (John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”) However, not all who hear will believe. (John 8:47 “The person who belongs to God understands what God says. You don’t understand because you don’t belong to God.”) And Jesus warns his disciples that those non believers will throw them out of places out worship and even try to kill them, and in some cases succeed in murdering them. But through it all you won’t lose your faith because you were forewarned.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for calling us to be your disciples and for trusting us to tell your truth in a world that badly needs the truth though they may refuse to hear it. Protect us or give us the strength to endure, so that we not lose our faith. Amen.

Parable of the Glowstick.

I found this on Facebook

Author unknown

Gracefully Broken!

I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one; which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow sticks and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said: “I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it.” I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.”

That little baby was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow stick around in the air because he didn’t understand what it was created to do which was “glow”.

There are some people who will be content just “being” but some of us that God has chosen, we have to be “broken”.

We have to get sick. We have to lose our job. We go through a divorce. We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend/sibling, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created..

so when you see us glowing just know that we have been broken but healed by his Grace and Mercy!!!

Love As You Are Loved

Luke 10:25-28

Then an expert in Moses’ Teachings stood up to test Jesus. He asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What is written in Moses’ Teachings? What do you read there?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” Jesus told him, “You’re right! Do this, and life will be yours.”

As I study this verse, I try to restate it in my own words.

  1. Love God for who He is. Seek to be pleasing to Him. To love and obey Him, not as a robot but as His loving child.

  2. Love others and seek what is best for them, even if that requires a personal sacrifice. To go beyond what is required, to give out of love.

  3. Love self, but not boast of self worth. But do not demean myself. I am a child of the King and loved by Him. He values me and has a job for me.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I seek to lovingly obey You. I trust You to re-form me, re-make me, to re-create me, to re-center my life around loving you and loving others. Do your work of grace in me. Amen.

Also visit my other blogs.Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.comMy NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time. ©2020 Thomas E Williams

Hidden Sins?

Proverbs 28:13
Those who refuse to confess or admit their sins will not prosper, but God acts mercifully and kindly toward those who confess their sins and turn away from their sinful behavior.

As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather, I have been lied to by children who are trying to hide things that they know are wrong. As a general rule, I’ve seen through their attempts at deception. However, I’ll admit to being fooled buy them sometimes.

However, God, our Father, is never deceived. Deeds done in darkness are seen as if in the light of day. Indeed, even our thoughts of sinful things are made known to Him. Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Prayer: by Karen Kennedy

Lord, please don’t let me ever forget the price You paid for my sin. Thank You for the forgiveness and freedom You purchased with Your death on the cross. Please bring swift awareness and conviction when I sin. Give me the strength and power to deal with and turn from the sin in my life. Help me to be kind and loving to all those around me and be a light to those in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Tell The Older Men

Titus 2:1-2

But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.

As an older man (73) I am reminded that the author of Titus can some sound advise for men/people on thirds agree group.

  • Be in control in all situations,

whatever happens. That doesn’t NOT mean “control all situations.” It also does not mean “control others.” No! It means control yourselves/ourselves in whatever situation we found ourselves. Do not not let circumstances control us.

Behave in a respectful manner

Control what we say and do.

Instruct others in the correct teachings

We should sincerely love others.

Prayer

Lord, God, king of the universe, I am thankful that we older followers have a place and a duty in your kingdom.

Amen

©2020 Thomas E Williams

Salutation

Romans 1:1-7 1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an Apostle, separated for the Gospel of God, 2. which he had promised beforehand, through his Prophets, in the Holy Scriptures, 3. about his Son, who was made for him from the offspring of David according to the flesh, 4. the Son of God, who was predestined in virtue according to the Spirit of sanctification from the resurrection of the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, 5. through whom we have received grace and Apostleship, for the sake of his name, for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6. from whom you also have been called by Jesus Christ: 7. To all who are at Rome, the beloved of God, called as saints. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.



In this one sentence, at the very beginning of his letter, Paul lays out so much of his beliefs and theology. He could have just said, “Dear Church at Rome, it’s me Paul.” He could have, but he didn’t.


He begins by identifying himself. He is Paul not Saul. No longer is he the zealot Pharisee and persecutor of Christ’s followers. No longer is he sent forth by the power of the Jewish leadership. He is now Paul, an apostle (meaning “one who is sent off”) not by the Great Sanhedrin, but by Jesus. The same Jesus who was persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, and executed at the will of the Jewish hierarchy.


As Paul gave witness to his transformation through the power of Christ, so are we to share our testimony of our transformation. For some of us it may be a dramatic 180° turn around. For others it may have been only a 1° adjustment in our life path that sets us straight with God’s will. No matter the degree of change, our transformation is what we are to share. This is not the gospel according to long dead men, but OUR gospel of what Jesus means to us.
  • Prayer. Most gracious and loving God, we praise you and thank you for our salvation. We recognize that even if we were only slightly off your straight and narrow way, we would have missed the way that leads to life eternal with You. Help its to show others the Way the Truth and the Life. Amen
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http://TomAndEllaJournal.com
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  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Be United

    1 Corinthians 1:10 “Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions.” I was a member of a church that was split into factions. Most members were descendents of the original founding families of this century old church. This fact was a symptom of the largest situation facing the church. There was no out reach seeking new souls for Christ. Even worse, they resisted letting anyone in. It was a de facto exclusive club. And within that club were families warring against family like the Hatfields and McCoys. There were a series of ministers who came and went. Some Loved by one group while hatred by others. I imagine that each of them stopped on their way out to shake the dust from their sandals. (Matthew 10:14) And then a new minister arrived and, through the power of the Spirit, had people united in outreach to the community. They began to behave like true brothers and sisters of Christ.

    (Prayer by Karen Kennedy)

    Lord, I humbly pray to you for your holy church, and ask that you fill it with all truth. Where hypocrisy exists, help those who suffer it to see their fault and correct it. Where disputes exist, let them be resolved in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, help us to establish and nurture it through your mighty power; where it is in want, provide for it; and where it is divided, reunite it. All this I pray for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever lives to intercede for our very souls, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

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    • and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.com
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  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Fatherly Advice

    2 Timothy 2:1-7 NRSV You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things. Paul wrote to Timothy and gave him advise as from a feather to a son. Here are the bullet points of that advise.
    1. Stay strong in what you’ve heard and seen.
    2. Teach others what you know to be true.
    3. Endure the sufferings while continuing your mission.
    4. Do not be sidetracked by the day to day. Focus Inn the future.
    5. Stay true to the commandments of Christ.
    6. Accept the fruit of your labor.
    7. Meditate and pray, seeking God’s guidance.
    These same wise words I now give to you. Prayer: Lord, by Your Spirit, keep me always focused Your path and Your will. Give me all I need to do the job before me. Teach me that I may teach. Lead me that I may lead. Give me wisdom and understanding as I sell Your will. Accept my praise and works for Your glory. Amen Also visit my other blogs
  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
  • http://TomAndEllaJournal.com
  • My sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Renew My Spirit

    Psalm 51:10
    Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

    Lord, I pray that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease. Please let our divisions be healed, and let us live together in peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen