The Sweet Stuff Ministry

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gain

     What are our goals in this life?  Are they to gain wealth, fame, job status?  Do we desire to have the things we want at all costs-even if it means doing wrong and sinning against God?  Matthew 6:19-20
 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.   But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." 
     I have come to realize that life here on earth is not about personal gain even though our flesh desires this type of gain.  The world makes us feel that our value and sense of worth is connected to our assets and accomplishments.  As a matter of fact, this life on earth is not about us at all--it is about Jesus Christ.  It is about telling and showing people about Christ, his love for us and his plan of salvation.  No amount of money or possessions will ever substitute for his love.  Our goals should be set on making Jesus first and foremost and to live for him each day.  These are our treasures in Heaven.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Worry

Matthew 6:25-27   "That is why I tell you not to worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"   

What causes us worry?  We commonly worry whether or not we will be able to buy groceries, clothing and pay the bills.  Why do we spend so much time worrying about these particular topics?   In Matthew 6:25-7:12 we are reminded that our basic needs will be met.  With that promise, why do we continue to worry?  Do we not believe God's promise?  Or is it really that we fear that we may have to come out of our comfort zone and make sacrifices?  Will we have to learn to do more with less or change the things that we are used to doing in life in order to buy the things we need.  Are we afraid that our standard of living may change or that we will need to rearrange some material things in our lives. 

Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you."  God will provide the things we need when we seek his kingdom.  No amount of worrying is ever productive.  As a matter of fact, worrying is a distraction from productivity in working for God.  Worry is a time-waster and stressor.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peace

     To have peace within us means that we are able to suffer things that we experience in life while maintaining happiness, faith and hope.  Peace is a state of calmness and security.  Peace does not involve confusion, turmoil or negative emotions.  1 Cor. 14:33 "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people".
     As Christians, we must be able to have peace as well as promote peace.  We must have peace in order to promote peace.  We cannot be peace makers without peace within us.  Matthew 5:9  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. "
     Where do we find peace?  From a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He offers us the peace that passes all understanding Philippians 4:7  "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ANGER

     Have you ever thought about why we become angry?  Not so much what makes us angry, but why it makes angry?   Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure or dissatisfaction.  Anger is usually brought about by a "wrong" or something that we perceive as in injustice.  Basically we become angry when things do not go our way.  James 4:1-2 (NIV) "What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don't get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want."  Therefore, what anger boils down to is a "hissy fit" as the old Southern saying goes.  We have a fit within us because we did not get what we want. 
      Are we angry with other people or God when this happens?  If we are believers of the Bible, then we should believe that God is in control of everything that happens to us, therefore, when things do not go as we would like for them to go, it appears that we are angry with God.  James 1:19-20 "My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone would be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
    I challenge you the next time you feel anger to ask yourself if you are mad at something you have control over or do you need to submit to God's will.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fortify yourself

2 Corinthians 5:1  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.    

This verse refers to the building of our relationship with God.  While we would not want to live in a tent for many reasons, the referral to a tent in this verse is really about our inner self.  Paul, the author of this passage, was a tent maker by trade.  He built tents for people to stay in as they traveled about.  He understood the temporary nature of a tent.  Perhaps in his mind, the occupation of tent making was somewhat of a parable to the building of God's kingdom.  The tents represented the perishable, brief time of life on earth.  Paul encouraged the people to fortify themselves for the eternal life that God promises in heaven. 

The word fortify reminds us of a fort.  A fort is a building that is made to protect.  We think of  forts as existing in the days of early settlers when they feared attacks from the Indians.  The structures were built with strength and covered all angles of the settlers living areas.  In addition to protection from the fort, men were placed at various points to watch for potential attackers.  Forts were also used throughout the 19th century as a means for the military to guard key locations around our country.  I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of these forts.  These forts are magnificent in their design and composition.  They were built of strong materials, usually brick or concrete.  Rooms and angles of the structure are strategically designed and placed to reduce any chances of the enemy getting in.

Do we fortify our minds with the same meditations and planning of which the forts throughout our history were built?  Do we desire to possess fortitude against the wiles of life and our adversary?  Do we completely understand the temporary nature of life on this earth?  I encourage you to read God's word, pray, spend time with Him and develop an intimate relationship with Him.  If you do not know God, then I encourage you to accept Him into your heart and start your relationship today.  This is the means by which we are able to fortify ourselves.

Supporting Scriptures:
Psalm 73:26
Isaiah 25:4
2 Samuel 22:33
John 3:16  *always a supporting scripture