Friends

If you are like me, you have been watching TV trying to keep up with the disaster in Texas.  I want to encourage you to pray daily for our friends there.  It is hard to believe what has happened.  Our denomination, Southern Baptist, are already on the ground helping the SBTC Disaster Relief program.  I want to share a statement to show you what they are doing.

“SBTC Disaster Relief has joined emergency response teams including Texas Baptist Men, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the American Red Cross and police and fire departments.

Southern Baptists in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi also are readying volunteers and equipment.  Around 3,000 to 4,000 SBDR volunteers nationwide are have already responded.” 

"SBTC Disaster Relief has pledged to help Texans recover from the aftermath of the hurricane," Leyerle said. "Feeding units are capable of preparing up to 80,000 meals a day if needed.  Recovery units stand ready to help remove fallen tree limbs, clear roadways and tarp homes. Other units are poised to provide showers for survivors and volunteers, purify water, assess needs of homeowners and provide childcare.  Chaplain teams are prepared to provide spiritual counseling."

When you see people on TV wearing yellow shirts they are your friends helping.  We will be updating you with more information in the coming days and weeks.  Please pray!

This coming Sunday I am going to bring a message called “One Question.”  There is the most simple question you can ask, but it has such a profound answer.  “What would happen if I started seeking Jesus daily?” 

Life is a series of choices.  We can choose wisely or unwisely as we are confronted with decisions, temptations, and priorities.  Sometimes we will make the wrong decision, but hopefully we will learn from our mistakes in order to make better choices in the future. We learn which choices lead to eternal blessings and which lead to short-term happiness.  We learn which choices lead to spiritual success and which lead to failure. While some decisions are minor, others have eternal consequences.  We must learn how to choose wisely because many decisions will determine the quality of our lives. Poor choices lead to a life of misery, while wise choices lead to peace and contentment. God wants us to make life decisions based on what will have eternal benefits, what will bring Him glory, and what will expand our faith

There is a promise in the Bible that I want to share with you.  It is founded in Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.  ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you,’ says the Lord.”

One of the greatest choices we make is to obey Christ in all things.  Obedience does not come naturally for us.  Our sinful nature often influences our decisions, choices, habits, and priorities.  We must consciously strive to follow Christ every day in order to live a life of faithfulness to God.  We must choose to walk by faith.  We must choose to spend time with God.  We must choose to fellowship with God in prayer.  We must choose to feed upon the Word of God.  We must choose to be witnesses for Christ to our neighbors and friends and co-workers.  We must choose to live for Christ instead of ourselves.  We must choose to place God and only God as the top priority in our lives. We must choose how to use the talents, resources, and opportunities that God places in our lives.

If you were to read Hebrews 11:23-29, Moses was a man who was given great advantages in life: he held power, wealth, and prestige.  Moses was the adopted grandson of the ruler of the world's most powerful, wealthiest, and advanced country of that time.  And he was faced with a great dilemma.  Moses had to choose between two completely different lives: the life that led to him one day becoming pharaoh with untold prestige and power, or the life that would abandon everything he knew in order to lead God's people out of slavery.  His choice was between the temporary earthly wealth and the everlasting rewards of heaven.  The Bible tells us that Moses choose wisely: "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward"   Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV

Where do you seek your honor—in the eyes of society or in the eyes of God?  Heavenly rewards are eternal, but they often come with a price.  When we choose to obey and honor God above our own selfish desires, we will sometimes sacrifice our comfort, the opinions of others, and our social standing.  People may reject us, ridicule us, and despise us for our faith.  Committed faith is not always easy in the short-term, but our rewards will be eternal—and God's rewards are always better than the world's rewards.

Today you and I can say, as David did in Psalm 40, "I take joy in doing your will, my God." (Psalm 40:8, NLT).  We can seek God, and follow Him, and obey Him, with gladness and joy.  Knowing that no matter how much we give, or sacrifice, or suffer, we will receive far more from Him in return.  Because He loves us.  More than we can possibly imagine.  Let us, therefore, seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, every day of our lives, that we may receive from Him all He desires to give us.

Make every Day Count!

Barry