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The Word For Today

Don't Embarrass Jesus

'The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.' John 18:19 NKJV

If Jesus 'can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities' (Hebrews 4:15 KJV), can He be embarrassed by our actions and attitudes?
How embarrassing when Mary and Joseph interrupted Him as a twelve-year-old boy, sitting in the temple confounding its best scholars. They took Him away, saying, 'Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you' (Luke 2:48 GNT). How embarrassing to stand up in your home church and announce that you're the Messiah, then have people you grew up with march you out of town and try to throw you off a cliff (Luke 4:29). How embarrassing when He told Jairus that his dead daughter was merely sleeping and those in the house 'laughed him to scorn' (Matthew 9:24 KJV). Now think about this. When the high priest asked Jesus about His doctrine, He replied, 'Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me...' (John 18:21 NKJV). Whereupon one of the officers standing next to Jesus slapped Him in the face. How embarrassing! But the supreme embarrassment in the life of Jesus may well have been when the high priest asked Him not about His doctrine, but about His disciples. Where were they? Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and the rest ran for cover. What could He say?
So here's the question: Are your character, your conduct and your commitment to Christ a source of joy to Him, or an embarrassment? Gandhi said, 'If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, all of India would be Christian today.' When it comes to doctrine, you may stand tall. But when it comes to discipleship, where do you stand?

SoulFood: Deut 11-13, Mark 4:26-41, Ps 37:16-24, Pro 11:30-31

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Put Your Heart into It! (2)

Solomon says there's '...a time to keep silence and a time to speak' (Ecclesiastes 3:7 NKJV). Now, you shouldn't interrupt the church service and draw attention to yourself, but when it's time to praise God you should give it 100 percent: 'I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart' (Psalms 9:1 NKJV).

The story's told of an old man named Joe, who'd been a drunk and a derelict most of his life and, as a result, he could barely make ends meet. During a Sunday morning service he gave his life to Christ and the transformation was so radical that everybody in the congregation noticed it. Joe had a problem, however; he was so thrilled with Jesus that he sang louder than everybody else. And when the pastor made a point that touched his heart, he'd jump up and shout, 'Hallelujah!' Concerned that the dignity and decorum of the church were at risk, the pastor said, 'Joe, you've got to be quiet. As a matter of fact, if you'll just sit in church next Sunday and say nothing, I'll buy you a new pair of boots.' Joe needed the boots, so he said he'd try. But after restraining himself through several high points in the sermon, he couldn't stand it anymore. He jumped up and shouted, 'Boots or no boots, I'm gonna praise the Lord!'

You say, 'But I'm the quiet, reserved type.' Sorry, there are no exceptions based on personality types. 'Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!' In other words, unless you're dead, you're supposed to praise the Lord!

Soulfood : Deut 8-10, Mk 4:13-25, Ps 37:8-15, Prov 11:27-29

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Put Your Heart into It! (1)

If you shout your lungs out at a ball game on Saturday, but sit silent and subdued when it's time to worship God on Sunday, maybe you're more excited about sports than spiritual matters. Ouch!

A great definition of worship is 'worth-ship'. What worth do you place on God and on your relationship with Him? You say, 'But sometimes I don't feel like praising God.' Feelings have little to do with it! A good relationship isn't based on emotion but on commitment. The Bible says, '...Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name' (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV). Note the words 'continually' and 'sacrifice'. With God, the praise that costs is the praise that counts! Imagine someone with a good job, a good family and good health praising the Lord in church. Now imagine somebody living alone, shut in by sickness, who raises his or her feeble arms and lifts their voice in praise. Which of them is making the sacrifice?

The Psalmist said, 'From the rising of the sun unto its going down, the Lord's name is to be praised' (Psalms 113:3 NKJV). This Psalmist scheduled praisebreaks throughout his day: 'Seven times a day I praise You' (Psalms 119:164 NKJV). We have tea and coffee breaks; he had praisebreaks! If you want to change your environment and your attitude, start praising God throughout the day. Not only will you bless the Lord, He will bless you in a hundred and one different ways. Don't take anybody else's word for it - try it and see!

Soulfood : Gal 5:22, Lk 6:27-36, Ex 23:1-9, Rom 12:14-21

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