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Coincidence?

No such thing.

 God is in control. God orchestrates everything by giving good or allowing evil, for his glory, because He is worthy.

 Does it make one suspicious when things look overly coincidental, sometimes convenient, sometimes alarming? It shouldn’t be ignored or chalked up to chance.

 There is no such thing as coincidence.

 Sometimes a pleasant blessing. Sometimes a warning of something we should know or be aware of.

 There is no such thing as coincidence.

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Other So-Called gods

I can’t even bring myself to capitalize the g in the title.

Thor, Zeus, Athena, ra, Baal, etc.

There are many of these we know of. Mythology.  Man-made. Worshipped. False gods.

Some were actual people at one time, some did extraordinary things. Some were imaginative and never even existed! Some were, natural occurrences, components of nature, like the sun.

 There is no evidence of other gods being real, actual divine beings.

 There are angels, but those aren’t gods. There are spirits, but those aren’t gods, there is one God, Yahweh, the Godhead, composed of three persons, not humans: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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Money

“Money is the root of all evil.”?

So misquoted and so inaccurate!

 The true scripture is: The love of money is the root of all evil.

 Money is a tool that eases trade. Money is only worth whatever the commodity it is composed of (cotton or metals) is valued at, which is relatively minute compared to the value assigned to it.

 A dollar is a piece of cotton-paper material, worthless for the most part as the physical good itself, but the value assigned to it can be traded for other physical or intangible resources—other people’s time.

It is important to have the correct perspective and understanding of what money is.

 People generally don’t love money. They love what money gets them: physical and intangible resources.

 Loving money itself is silly.

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Idols

Idols become masters.

 “Have no idols before me.”

 An idol is anything we put before God.

 Whether it be false gods—created by man, which are merely man’s, rejection of Yahweh, trying to remove His glory, not acknowledging the truth—our selfishness and ego, putting things in front of God. They are idols.

 Some people turn their children into idols and then make all kinds of excuses to justify it. This is delusional. There is no justification.

 God gave us priority order. Children aren’t even supposed to be in the top two.

 Cars, celebrities, pets, ourselves, our house, sports, our career or job. Literally, anything can become an idol.

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Natural—God’s gifts.

With my outlook: anything that occurs in nature or by a natural process is a gift from God. Do not call things God gave us bad.

 Humans take things to the extreme. That’s when it becomes a sin.

 Marijuana. Beer, wine, whiskey, tobacco. Oh no!

 Again. First Timothy, Genesis.

 Fruit of the Spirit: self-control.

Someone pointed out to me the other day, “Arsenic is natural, too.”

To that, I say, “Everything has a purpose. Humans have a tendency to not make wise choices.”

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Put God First

“Get right with God and the rest will fall into place.” -Randi Miller

 Living out your salvation: trying to live in a way that pleases God can’t be helped by those who truly receive the Holy Spirit and accept who they are in relation to God.

Putting priorities in the proper, biblical order is the first step.

 Doing it is next.

 Actions speak louder than words.

 Don’t just say it. Live it.

 You will make mistakes, keep going. Know what God says—read or listen to Scripture, study it. Knowing what it says is important, but understanding the context, the situation that it was set in is also important.

 Put God first. Make time with him alone. Make time.

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Willingness, Surrender, Honestly

This is the number one requirement to be a Christian. Truly.

 This must come before. Anything else we can do. God will call us, but we probably won’t realize that until later… And everything God does and allows is to draw people to himself. So…

 With all the worldly externals trying to bombard us, we have to be willing and choose God.

 Everyone has a master. Choose your master wisely.

 The choice is conscious and salvation is immediate. The living it out takes longer. Living it out is a process, a journey. Living it out, stumbling does not lose your salvation, but those who are saved and recognize the gift will try to live in a way that is pleasing to God.

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No, Church Attendance is NOT Required for Salvation

 Churches fellowship, scriptural encouragement, accountability.

 Whoa! Don’t have to go to church? What sort of Christian would say such a thing?

 This one, and frankly, any honest one.

 Don’t get me wrong. I highly recommend going to church and going to church services. Scriptural. We are told to gather—We need it.

 But church attendance is not going to result in salvation. It doesn’t matter how many days a week you go, your bodily presence is not getting you saved.

 This is why people should find a congregation they like—not because it’s a neat building or they have a children’s program. People should seek out a congregation that teaches the Bible and is made up of loving people.

 Attending church services should be something to look forward to, not simply a checkbox of things to do.

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Humble and Humility

 It is honesty! It is honest recognition of who you are, what you are, and why. Most importantly, it is recognition of where it comes from. God. The answer is God.

 There is a misconception that humility or being humble is downplaying one’s talents, skills, abilities or contribution. This is blatantly false!

 If someone does something that people compliment, but the person says it’s nothing, what are they really doing? The talent, skill, ability, resource, or whatever else that went into something is discounted! It is disregarded! God is not glorified. The people that do this may as well be prideful and take all the credit! Same result.  

Humility. Being humble is recognizing and acknowledging God for everything good we have and do

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Time – Our Most Important Resource

 The same for everyone: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (except for leap years, but still the same for everyone).

 How you spend your time demonstrates your priorities.

 Multitasking: can worship God in everything you do.

Read your Bible. —if God is your number one, you will be reading or listening to His word. How will you have discernment if you don’t know scripture for yourself?

 Technology has allowed us to know God’s word regardless of our skills or abilities or lack thereof. Even someone who can only sign their name with an X can now listen to God’s word—in King James or contemporary English. Search YouTube.

 No excuse!

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Know Yourself

Know what you like and what you don’t.

 Know what you will and will not do.

 Know your strengths and your weaknesses.

 Know how you learn best—your learning style.

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Power of the Mind

 Jesus tells us the power of the mind!

 The mind is very powerful and you are the boss of it—How powerful does that make you?

 What goes in is what comes out.

 Our environment, what we surround ourselves with—by our choices—is so very influential in what comes out of us.

 Our life experiences influence our thoughts. Our thoughts ultimately manifest into tangibles and intangibles—physical outcomes and intangible beliefs, thoughts, and feelings.

 You can change your mind!

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Control

 “We don’t control anything. We don’t even control ourselves or we wouldn’t eat that cupcake.”  – Tonya L.

Self-control is a fruit of the spirit. Pray for it.

 Don’t expect God to remove all temptation, even Jesus was tempted!

 There are many things out of our control. Don’t fret over those.

 Know yourself. Know your strengths, weaknesses, limitations, your temptations, etc.

 Make choices that will limit your exposure to temptations. Give yourself the best chance for success.

 Be ready, though, the devil knows your weaknesses, he will take every opportunity to exploit them.

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What Goes In, Comes Out

This applies not only to food, but also—especially—our minds.

 What do we allow in? What do we dwell on?

 We are bombarded by negativity. Negative news, negative music, negative, negative, negative.

 No, the world isn’t all rainbows and roses. We should be aware. We do need to limit ourselves—self-control.

 Here’s my helpful saying: I’m aware but I’m not overly concerned.

 Is there bad? Yep. Is there evil? Absolutely. Can I change these overwhelming things? No.

 So what am I to do? Whatever I can, but God’s word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I’m not to worry about things I can do nothing about.

 You are what you eat. You are what you think.

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Moderation

 Seven deadly sins—all are extremes.

  1. Pride—extreme self-sufficiency, self-righteousness.
  2.  Greed—Extreme materialism.
  3.  Lust—extreme  craving for earthly or fleshly desires.
  4.  Envy—extreme jealousy of earthly or fleshly things others have.
  5. Gluttony—extreme overindulgence.
  6.  Wrath—extreme anger.
  7. Sloth—Extreme laziness.
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Beer, Wine and Whiskey

 God gave them all.

 None of those, in and of themselves is sinful or evil.

 Our choices make them sinful, evil, and bad.

 Scripture: Deuteronomy, first Timothy.

 The key is loving ourselves, self-control, and moderation.

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In the world, not of the world

How?

 Priorities, motives, perspective, contrast.

 Have the function—contribute to society: food, shelter, etc on Earth.

 Be different—Not for the sake of being different, but by recognizing and acknowledging Jesus as Lord, boss of your life and function that way. Don’t just say it, act like it, on purpose.

 Not a holier than thou. Not any better. Different priorities, different motives.

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Mother Nature

 Don’t worship nature. Appreciate and admire nature, only worship God, the creator of nature.

 Mother Nature is simply a set of rules God made for the natural world to operate by.

 Genesis: we are to take care and benefit from nature. —water, plants, air.

 The rules are tangible and intangible. They include all the sciences, hard sciences like biology, and soft sciences like psychology.

 We are in the world, but Christians are not supposed to be of the world.

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Motives

Why we do something is as important as what we do.

 Matthew: Pharisees praying on the street corners.

 Doing something you enjoy? Is it something God tells you to do? Thank Him for giving you pleasure in doing His will.

 If you receive praise, compliments, gratitude, etc, turn it to God. Don’t claim the credit; instead, give God the credit–all glory goes to God.

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Willingness, Priorities, Motives, Perspective, Contrast

Priorities and motives are our choices.

 Perspective and contrast are what God gives us by His will.

 When our priorities and motives aren’t aligned with biblical principles, our perspective is skewed and we don’t get the results we desire—truly desire.

We may get Earth results, but discover it is hollow, empty.

When we have priorities in biblical order and the right motives—doing things for the right reasons—God is gracious and merciful to give us perspective.

 Perspective gives us the ability to recognize contrast.

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Self Improvement and Self Help

Core: no, we are weak, helpless, and cannot do anything worthwhile and lasting by ourselves. We need God for everything!

“To do nothing is a choice.” – Dan Duran

Everything we do—OR don’t—has consequences.

“Don’t use your free will to be an idiot.” – Randi Miller.

The success gurus have the right principles, say the right things. The part they leave out is God. They don’t give him the credit. Nor do they point out that regardless of earthly success, it is all for nothing if the motives are wrong.

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Parenting

Objective: raise God-fearing, honest, productive, capable adults.

 Life skills—do life by biblical principles.

 Contribute to society.

  •  God’s gifts.
  •  Everyone contributes in some way.
  •  Positive contribution.
  •  Different body parts make up the church and every part of society too.
  •  No man is an island.
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Are We to Judge? Absolutely!

We have to make judgment calls all the time.

 We are not to condemn other people, but we have to judge their actions. Have to evaluate and use discernment.

 Love the sinner, hate the sin. There is no precise scriptural reference,  but it is a reasonable derivative. Love people—do what is best for them, regardless of how it makes you FEEL—hate sin, don’t condone it, don’t be “tolerant” of it. Easy to say, difficult to live it.

 God hates sin. God loves people and commands us to love Him and love all other people.

 All means all.

 Again, easy to say, much more difficult to do it!

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10 Commandments Simplifed

10 Commandments were reduced to three with the New Covenant.

1. Love God with everything you have, tangible and intangible.

 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

 3. Love your one another— fellow believers.

Love, love, love.

Still the 10 Commandments, but even more.

 Doing can be more difficult than not doing. There is more required with do.

If following the first, will be doing the rest.

 Easier to say than to live it out.

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Who is Your Neighbor?

Lee Byram: anyone you can show mercy to?

The Good Samaritan.