Stewards4Christ

February 24, 2009

Refreshing to hear!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:00 pm

Honesty and integrity…these are values that seem to have almost totally disappeared in America. What a shame! I once heard a Christian person say that it “is impossible to be totally honest all of the time!” I disagree. I believe God requires honesty and integrity…at any cost…and it is not impossible if a person really wants to be honest!

You may not be a Glen Beck fan…I happen to be one of his fans and I was encouraged this evening to hear his monologue on this subject. Take a look at this clip: http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videolandingpage&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=3723221&referralPlaylistId=playlist. I’m thankful that Glen Beck is still willing to go on a national television program and proclaim the truth! Thank you Glen for being faithful to what is right.

I remember when I left Sprint, about 12 years ago. Sprint continued paying me after I quit and was no longer one of their employees. I could have not said a word…and it would have been nice to have the extra $$. However, my desire to be honest all the time caused me to call my former boss and let her know about the error. It was my responsibility to do what was honest…all of the time! I didn’t get to keep the extra $$, but I did get to go to bed that night knowing I had a clear conscience. That was worth much more than the extra $$.

The Bible contains hundreds of verses that tell us that God requires that His children be completely honest. Here are just a few:

“The Lord loathes all cheating and dishonesty” (Proverbs 20:23, TLB).

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 12:22, NASB).

“The Lord hates…a lying tongue” (Proverbs 6:16-17, NASB).

I grew up being taught this principle, honesty is always the best policy, and I believe that to still be true – even if the whole world seems to be dishonest!!

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February 23, 2009

A Full Surrender!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 7:43 pm

Several days ago I posted some thoughts about half-way religion. My devotional thoughts today take me back to this particular area – that of making a full surrender to Jesus Christ. Don’t shoot the messenger! I didn’t write the Bible – I’m just reading and studying it and trying my best to apply what I learn to my spiritual walk with a holy God. What I’m reading certainly makes logical sense to me as well. I’m a very practical and logical person! Logically, how could a holy God that has a very high standard of holiness allow people into heaven who are not living a holy life? It would make heaven an impure place…heaven would become what this old world has become.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV).

I like what Dr. David Jeremiah says about this passage of scripture in his monthly devotional magazine, Turing Points: “Surrendering our ‘all’ to Christ doesn’t mean we’re dispirited prisoners waving a white flag. It means we’ve come face to face with the King of Kings, and we are willing to defer every preference to Him. Knowing He is all-powerful, we submit as a servant to a king. Knowing He is all-loving, we yield as a child to a father. Knowing He is all-wise, we gladly choose His will over our own.”

The question for me today, and the question I pose to you the reader, “Have I (or you) chosen His will over my (or your) own?” Making that full surrender to God completes your experience of full-salvation. Being saved is the first part, making that surrender to God and allowing him to cleanse your heart of that carnal nature is the second part, or the second half.

Jonathan Edwards, that great preacher said, “I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God; so that I am not, in any respect, my own… I have given myself clear away.”

Who is going to see God? We know that answer from the words of Jesus in Mathew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (NASB).

I close this post with these words from Edwin Hatch in thy hymn Breath on Me, Breath of God:

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

February 18, 2009

God Knows What Lies Ahead

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 10:25 pm

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring–what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:13-15, HCSB).

“As Christians, we are blessed to have a God who knows what lies ahead, and we can trust Him because the Bible tells us He plans to give us a future and a hope. All we have to do is live according to His Word, leave the details up to Him, and all Him to guide us into His will.” (Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah, 2/18/09)

Henry Ward Beecher said, “Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.”

Which handle are you holding onto as you face tomorrow – if the Lord wills?

 

February 17, 2009

“The wicked man earns deceitful wages!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 9:43 pm

“The wicked man earns deceitful wages, but he who sows righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) shall have a sure reward [permanent and satisfying]” (Proverbs 11:18, The Amplified Bible).

There couldn’t be a timelier devotional for today, 2/17/2009, than this one:    

Succeeding on the job (3)

      If you want to succeed in life practice honesty! One poll cited by Paul Harvey stated that 40% of American workers admitted stealing on the job, and 20% felt justified! Their rationalizing includes: “Everybody’s doing it, why shouldn’t I?” “The boss can afford it, he won’t miss it.” “It’s only small stuff, it won’t make any difference.” “The company owes me, I’m just taking what’s mine.” “I deserve it, I’ve worked hard and never been acknowledged.” What does God’s Word say about this? “The wicked…earns deceptive wages.” God says deceiving your employer by stealing time and materials, or delivering an inferior product and service, is “wicked.” That’s strong language! Of all people, employers and customers should be able to trust followers of Christ to be honest, work for their wages and provide the highest quality service.

      And for the record, it’s not smart to steal, even if you don’t get caught. “Ill-gotten gains do not profit” (Pr 10:2 NAS). You may take it but you won’t benefit by it. “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles” (Pr 13:11 NAS). You can’t do the wrong thing and get the right result. Not only will you have trouble, you’ll bring trouble on those who love and need you most. “He who profits illicitly troubles his own house” (Pr 15:27 NAS). The job loss, damaged reputation, humiliation, legal costs and consequences are a “bill” the whole family pays for, often ending in shame and divorce and affecting several generations. Your spouse deserves an honest partner. Your children deserve a role model they can emulate, confident the path you walk is safe for them to follow.

Source: http://www.bobgass.com/word/default.aspx

I read with astonishment of yet another fraudulent scheme making today’s headlines!

SEC charges Stanford in alleged $8 billion scheme

Antigua-based bank offered ‘improbable’ rates on CDs, regulator says

This makes me think of one of the Apostle Paul’s strong warnings: “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9).

How many people, and unfortunately, even Christians have fallen into financial traps…all in an attempt to make a “good return” on their investment? In my 38 years of living, I’ve seen this happen more than once to good people. It seems like the best of people are very susceptible to about anything when it comes to “making a buck.” May the Lord help us to seek His wisdom when it comes to how we invest the money He has entrusted to our stewardship.

But, back to my devotional…honesty – it is so needed today in our world! I’m amazed at the level of dishonesty everywhere around us, but even more amazed at dishonesty from those who profess to be Christian! God’s standard for honesty is absolute. The Bible makes it quite clear that God demands honesty from us. I like the last two sentences from the devotional above, “Your spouse deserves an honest partner. Your children deserve a role model they can emulate, confident the path you walk is safe for them to follow.” I desire to be an honest employee, an honest father, an honest husband, and an honest Christian! (For that matter, I don’t see how you can be a Christian and not be honest!) I’m thankful for the promise in Proverbs 11:18, “…he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward” (NKJV).

February 14, 2009

Do I have halfway religion?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 8:11 am

Today I’m starting a series of blog posts that will contain thoughts I have from my daily devotions. Do you have daily devotions…a time where you read from God’s Word and other Christian authors and a time where you pray and listen to God’s voice? If you don’t take time for daily devotions, you are missing out on one of the most special and rewarding things in life! On top of that, you are giving the devil an easy road into your spiritual life. A sure way of allowing Satan the opportunity of defeating you spiritually is to starve yourself spiritually. Just like not eating properly makes getting sick more likely, so not eating a healthy spiritual diet will cause you to be a weak Christian – in fact, you could be so weak and sick that you slide back into the life you were living before you became a Christian.

We all know that this world is not a friend of Christians! Everything in the world is stacked against us and positioned to cause us spiritual defeat. I’m thankful for my daily devotional times…I only regret that I cannot find more time to spend with God. But, He chose to bless me with four wonderful children, so I have to realize that my personal alone time is going to be limited right now. It is during these quiet times that God helps me know what I need to do to be more like Jesus Christ.

You know, one of the things I think Satan really wants is “Christians” who think they are “good to go” but in reality they are very unstable and actually may not be really serving God with the entire heart, or worse yet, not even a true Christian! Please God, help me to never be in that category. Let me share some important verses I read last night from The Living Bible:

“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it. But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you turn first this way, and than that. If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer. A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight. But a rich man should be glad that his riches mean nothing to the Lord, for he will soon be gone, like a flower which has lost its beauty and fades away, withered – killed by the scorching summer sun. So it is with rich men. They will soon die and leave behind all their busy activities.” (James 1:5-11)

The words in verse 8, “doubtful mind” are translated as “double-minded” in the KJV…in fact, in that translation the verse continues and says that the “double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Are you trying to live a double standard with your life? In the one hand are you trying to hold onto things of this world…things that the world places a lot of value on but “mean nothing to the Lord” while in the other hand trying to serve the Lord? Has Satan deceived you into thinking you can “have the best of both worlds?” It is impossible…don’t let Satan deceive you in this way!

Jesus told us in Luke 16:13 that it is all or nothing! He demands all of our affection, or else we are not serving Him, it is that simple. “No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money” (HCSB).

“Money can easily take God’s place in your life. It can become your master. How can you tell if you are a slave to money? Ask yourself: Do I think and worry about it frequently? Do I give up doing what I should do or would like to do in order to make more money? Do I spend a great deal of my time caring for my possessions? Is it hard for me to give money away? Am I in debt? Money is a hard and deceptive master. Wealth promises power and control, but often it cannot deliver. Great fortunes can be made—and lost—overnight, and no amount of money can provide health, happiness, or eternal life. How much better it is to let God be your master. His servants have peace of mind and security, both now and forever.” (The Life Application Study Bible)

A.F. Harper, in his book Holiness And High Country, says, “God has something better than halfway religion. When we give ourselves wholly to Him, He gives himself fully to us.” What our world needs, what America needs is stable Christians…Christians that are really a Christian! Christians that are determined to “go all the way” with God!

My prayer for today comes from the words to a gospel song by J. W. Van Deventer:

All to Jesus I surrender. Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; let me feel the Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine.

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