God's truth for today's world.

A television crew was filming the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew in southern Florida. In one scene of damaged and destroyed homes along the coast, there was only one house still standing on its foundation. The reporter approached the owner, who was out cleaning up his yard. “Tell me, sir, why do you think your house is the only one standing? How did you alone in this area manage to escape severe damage from the hurricane?” The man replied, “I built the house myself and I built it according to the Florida State building code. When the code called for 2×6 trusses I used 2×6 trusses. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane I built it according to code and it withstood the hurricane.”

Jesus likened our lives to houses. Our lives can be built on a good foundation the right way or they can be built on a poor foundation the wrong way. How your life is built will determine whether it will survive the storms of life and the final judgment. Lives, like houses, are built upon a code. Not the code of Florida, but a code of what a person believes to be truth.

There is a right way and a wrong way to build a life. There is a truth that will keep you standing no matter what happens and there are many other ways to build your life that will lead to disaster. Sadly, only 1 in 4 adults in America believe in absolute truth, a truth that does not change with the situation or the person. Most people think that what is right and wrong depends on the situation. They’re quite wrong.

God has shown us what is right and wrong. He has shown us how we should live to be happy and fulfilled. Those who are wise will follow God’s truth. NLT Ecclesiastes 10:2 The hearts of the wise lead them to do right, and the hearts of the foolish lead them to do evil. There is right and wrong, it’s not just personal preference. When someone chooses to do wrong there are consequences. Listen to what Isaish says in NLT Isaiah 5:20 Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Today, many people’s lives are being destroyed because they have called evil good and good evil.

God wants you to be wise. God wants you to know His truth, a truth that never changes. In fact, God’s truth will transform you into the person God created you to be. As you apply God’s truth to your life, it will change you into the person, deep down, you want to be. God’s truth will enable you to build your life so that it will last for eternity.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 31, 2005 message entitled Can The Truth Change Me?

A little boy came to his father and asked him, “Dad, where is heaven?” His father, engrossed in the evening paper, responded, “Beats me, son.” The boy thought a minute and asked another question, “Dad, why is the earth round?” The Dad answered, “I don’t know.” His son played few more minutes, then asked, “Dad, is there life on other planets?” His father patiently answered, “Nobody knows the answer to that.” Finally, the boy asked his father, “Dad, do you mind me asking you all these questions?” His father put down his paper, looked at his son and said, “Why not at all son, how else are you going to learn?”

Not exactly the perfect father-son relationship, but questions are important for children and for us. Children have questions for their parents, we have questions for God. Sometimes, we think that everybody else has it all together, except us. We have questions, but we’re afraid to ask. The truth of the matter is that we’re all far less than perfect. And to understand that is good. Only people who realize that they’re imperfect can change for the better with God’s help. Only imperfect people ask questions of God and get answers. God wants us to ask questions, as a little child. Unless we ask like a child, we won’t learn, we won’t receive from God. NIV James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

God wants us to ask questions. We will miss God’s best if we don’t ask questions. So we want to ask the right questions of God and we want to hear God’s answer Today, we begin a new message series entitled “Jesus Is The Answer.” If you want to learn, if you are seriously asking God honest questions, this series can change your life. The Gospel accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are full of questions (616 to be exact). Jesus loved to ask people questions. People loved to ask Jesus questions. Many times Jesus did not directly answer a question, but he answered a deeper, unspoken question. The same will be true for us. Sometimes we ask the wrong question, that’s OK. God will give us the answer we really need, not always the answer we may want.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 24, 2005 message entitled Questions For God

As adults we often laugh at our children’s fears. That noise at night that scares them is simply the creaking of the boards in the house. The monster on the wall is simply a shadow from the clothes hanging on a chair. Yet there are things that we are afraid of as adults, things that are not so simple to explain away.

Fear comes when we perceive danger, real or imagined. Worry is simply a form of fear, fear of some danger harming us in the future. Now, the vast majority of the things that we fear, that we worry about, will never come to pass, they are simply mirages. However, there are real dangers in the world, there are things, there are people, there are situations that can cause real harm to us. Should we just dismiss them? If we try to ignore them will that make the danger go away? No, the Bible never tells us to ignore reality, but it does tell us to not be afraid. NLT Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger– so why should I tremble?

The reason that a believer does not need to fear, the reason that a believer does not need to worry, is not because there is no danger in the world. The reason we should not fear is that the Lord is our protection. However, God’s protection of the believer is not automatic. We need God’s protection, you don’t know when or where you or your family will face danger. My wife’s parents were on a trip in England when the terrorists bombs went off last week, but they were not injured. They were protected. NLT Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe.

Do you want to be protected from harm? Do you want to be secure in a strong fortress? Do you want to be safe and unafraid in this world of danger? Protection is found in God alone. You can be surrounded by body guards and not be safe. The only truly safe people in the world are those who are godly, those who are following God’s purpose for their lives. Nothing can deter them from fulfilling God’s mission for their lives as they release God’s power of protection.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 17, 2005 message entitled Releasing God’s Power Of Protection

We’ve all been hurt in our lives by other people,may have been by our parents, by friends, by relatives, by employers or by our spouse. Often-times the deepest hurts are by those we are closest too. The ones we really want to love us the most sometimes hurt us the worst. How do you handle it when someone hurts you? Do you get angry, look to get revenge, give the silent treatment, hold a grudge, become bitter or make a vow to never forget? NLT 1 Corinthians 13:5b Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

One guy said to a friend, “Whenever my wife and I get into an argument, she gets historical.” His friend said, “you mean hysterical,” “No,” he said, “historical, she tells me everything I’ve ever done wrong.” But God doesn’t want us to keep historical records of the wrongs done against us. When we hold grudges, when we focus on our hurts and the people who have hurt us, we come into bondage to those things. We become unloving, bitter people. We become just like those who have hurt us. Whatever we focus our minds and attentions upon, we become like.

We’re all going to get hurt by people, we don’t have a choice in that. Our choice is how to respond to those who hurt us. Forgiveness opens the door to living in freedom. Our forgiveness of others releases God’s forgiveness toward us. In our current message series, we’re looking at the prayer that Jesus gave us as a model prayer, the Lord’s prayer. NLT Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Our relationship with God is dependent on our relationship with other people. Whether we forgive others or not determines our relationship with God.

Many people don’t understand the principle Jesus is teaching here. They live their lives in bondage, wondering why there is no joy in life, wondering why their prayers are not answered, wondering why God seems so far away. The key is to forgive those who have hurt and sinned against us, even if it is very difficult to do. Forgiveness is difficult, but with God’s help you can do it. You can release God’s power of forgiveness as you put into practice three keys to living in freedom.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 3, 2005 message entitled Releasing God’s Power Of Forgiveness

Some years ago I was working at Monsanto as a research chemist. My job was to design new research projects to discover herbicides to control weeds. After I worked out the science behind the project, I had to plan what resources would be needed. How much money would be needed for equipment for chemicals for testing? How many people would work on the project? How long would the project last? Then I had to present the proposal to management to see if they would give the resources necessary to launch the project. The more ambitious the project, the bigger the resources needed. The project had to be in line with company objectives in order to be approved. If management did not OK the resources, the project would never be started. Resources were needed to accomplish the project. I’m sure that many of you have seen the same thing in your work place.

Just as resources must be allocated to accomplish a company’s project, so God releases resources to accomplish His projects, His purposes. God has a purpose for your life, but it will never be accomplished unless you receive God’s resources, God’s provision. So you must present your proposal to God to see if He will approve your project. You present your proposal in prayer. If you are asking in line with God’s will, the objectives of the Kingdom of God, Inc., you will receive the required provision. NLT Matthew 6:33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Such a key verse. If you can grab hold of it, you’ll never have to worry about anything again. God will supply your needs, as you live for Him. Prayer will change your life

To hear more about this topic, listen to my June 26, 2005 message entitled Releasing God’s Power Of Provision