Archive for December, 2018

Dear Friends,

I have been studying the Psalms in the past few weeks and today I was reading Psalm 50 when I felt to share these words with you.

Psalm 50: 7-14 (NLT)

“O my people, listen as I speak.
Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 I don’t need the bulls you sacrifice;
I don’t need the blood of goats.
14 What I want instead is your true thanks to God;
I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High…

23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

We often focus on pleasing God by giving Him things such as money. In the past, when there was no money, people sacrificed animals and gave items made of gold, silver, and bronze. Today, we give money. The Bible tells us that we must give God the first fruits of our increase. Malachi 3:10 clearly tells us to “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!”

But even though tithing is a command from God, and we should do it to honor Him, He’s truly after our hearts—our thankful hearts. So, why does God say that “giving thanks is a sacrifice”? You would think giving thanks is just a gesture and it’s easy to say the words “Thank you” to God. But it’s not. The reason is that a person with a true thankful heart recognizes that without God we are nothing and have nothing. A thankful heart acknowledges our dependence on God and God alone. A thankful heart surrenders ALL to God and is willing to give it ALL to God because He owns it all anyway. That’s why it’s hard to have a true thankful heart and that’s why God calls it a sacrifice.

So, in this New Year, purpose to not only give of your treasure to the church and to other ministries that are bringing the Gospel of Good News to the world, but also purpose to give God thanks—each day, each moment, and for every thing and every person He’s blessed you with in this life. Try it! And you shall be blessed beyond your imagination.

Happy New Year!

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As I returned from a recent business trip, I listened to one of my favorite Christmas songs called, “Where’s the Line to See Jesus?” sang by Becky Kelley. I love listening to this special song because it reminds me of the real reason for Christmas. I listen to it every time I’m on the plane going somewhere, even when it’s not Christmas. For some reason, this song gives me peace and calm as I go off to my destination.

This song tells the story of a boy who is at a shopping mall during the Christmas season looking for Jesus, but he can’t find him anywhere in the mall. Instead, he finds a huge line to see Santa. So he asks a young woman, “Where’s the line to see Jesus?” but she couldn’t answer. He then asks her, “If Christmas time is his birthday why don’t we see him more?” But again, the young woman didn’t know what to say as there was no line for Jesus. Lastly, the boy says, “He was born for me. Santa Claus brought me presents but Christ gave his life for me!”

This Christmas let’s not focus on the busyness of the season and the stress from shopping under the pressure of a tight timeline and a short budget. Instead, let’s give thanks to God for giving us the ONE gift that will change our lives for eternity—Salvation.

There is no greater gift than salvation. There is no present that we could ever give to anyone that compares to this one. So this season you can go to malls and visit Santa with your kids. You can buy presents for your children and loved ones. But I encourage you to also seek “the line to see Jesus!” Seek Him first and all the other things will be added to your life (Matthew 6:33).

Salvation is for Everyone (Romans 10:5-14). If you haven’t accepted the gift of salvation yet, I’m giving it to you right here, right now. Read these scriptures and you will know exactly what to do and say. If you have received this amazing gift, then bring Jesus with you wherever you go and share Him with others. “Pay it forward,” as they say, and don’t keep the Good News to yourself. Don’t be afraid of giving this gift. Don’t be ashamed of this gift as it is the most valuable and priceless gift you can ever want for yourself or give to others once you have it.

As you do all these things during the Christmas season, ask yourself the question: Whose birthday is it anyway?

Merry Christmas!!

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