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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

You Want to be Careful About This

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever tried to save some money by staying in what turned out to be a seedy hotel or motel? I guess there has been a rage of bed bugs that the industry has had to fight recently. Could you ever imagine yourself ever, on purpose, checking into a hotel that you knew had bed bugs? Of course you wouldn’t! You wouldn’t want them jumping all over you. Here are other things you don't want jumping on you: gossip, an onslaught of bad news and evil reports, and the temptation of ungodly behaviors. 
You don’t want to hang out in atmospheres or participate in activities that you know are contrary to God’s word and let them jump all over you and drag you down. BED BUGSIf you do, then like a bed bug, they will jump on you, and like a wood tick, get under your skin or into your head. When they do, it will have its negative affect. Then like the flu, it will make its way from you to others. You know you wouldn’t purposely check into a hotel infested with bed bugs, so why open yourself up to things in this world that jump all over you, discourage you, and steal your faith?
This entire world may seem like it’s gone crazy, and it has in that it drifts further and further from the godly life the Lord wants us to walk out. But, the Lord has news for you today—you are not of this world!  Jesus said, John 15:18-19 (NLT) “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you."  

What worldly behaviors and attitudes are you exposing yourself to that tempts you and works to steal your faith and joy? Whatever it is, the choice to invite it in or surround yourself in atmospheres of it, is yours! You have to purpose to make right choices and cast out ones that will invade and infect you! Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
John 15-19 (NLT) The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.How do we live in this defiled world without it infecting our attitude and stealing our faith? Romans 12:2 tells us, “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is."
“We have to keep focused on why God brought us into this world. We have a purpose in this earth and a very finite amount of time to walk it out. Our purpose is to be an influence for Jesus Christ in any and all the ways we can be. Our lives are to be a written epistle that mankind can read. In 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NKJV, the Apostle Paul said it like this: “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ…written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God..." 
If my goal is to indulge myself, I will become worldly and like the world around me. I will become discouraged. I will lose focus of the purpose of my life. I will let my faith wane until my life seems totally ineffective for the Lord. I will be unhappy because I know the world is leading me to the very things that infect and defile me—the things Jesus saved me from. If I don’t live wholeheartedly for Him, I’ll feel useless and ineffective. So, the thing to do is live wholeheartedly in this defiled world and don’t let bed bugs or the world jump on me. I’ll create my own atmospheres of worship, time in the word, and time with other excited Christians. I'll pray daily to be used of God. “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others of the gospel of grace of God – the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.” Acts 20-2I’ll keep a song of praise in my heart, and know that God is with me, helping me no matter what is going on around me. I will live with the purpose of taking what the devil meant for evil turning it for good! That is exactly what 1 Corinthians 7:31 NKJV encourages us to do. “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.”
Your individual life can make a difference in the plan of God. You are the light of Jesus Christ and you can keep your focus and “let your light shine before men.” It is with this focus and purpose that you stay strong! It is in the place that you look back with no regrets and finish your course of life with joy!
Acts 20:24 NLT “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others of the gospel of grace of God – the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.”
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