Strength
by: Dave Hart 

Job 6:11-13
"What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze? Is my help not within me?

  Strength has been very important to me most of my life. I grew up watching larger than life heroes like Superman, Batman and John Wayne. I always wanted to excel in sports and be bigger and stronger than other men. So, I spent most of my younger life training with weights in pursuit of that goal, and have had modest successes over
the years. But now that I'm getting older, I've noticed that my body is starting to hurt from old injuries, and no matter how hard I train, the strength that I worked so hard for is slowly ebbing away a little each year.

  Like Job, my hope is not in my own strength, intelligence, money, fame nor anything else in this world which is fading away, and one day will be no more. My flesh is not bronze, but instead is weak and vulnerable. My hope does not lie within me in this perpetually passing life. Therefore, my hope will be in the perfect and everlasting strength of Jesus Christ. Our physical bodies and all that is around us are perishing little by little; nevertheless, because of Jesus in our life, our sprit (the inner man) can grow and be renewed each and every day as we live. Do not put your trust or your hope in your own strength, but lean on the steadfast strength of Jesus Christ, and He will see you through. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
 Dave Hart

 

 

Resurrection

1 Peter 1 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

  Resurrection, what a wonderful word. In this life things over time tend to become old and ran down until it comes to a point when it is just of no use anymore. Look around you, everything you see will in time brake down and become useless. It can happen faster than what we might think.

  Fifteen years ago when home computers were first becoming popular they looked so modern and new and cost a great deal of money. In a resent commercial for Dell computers, they were making fun of those 15 year old dinosaurs of the computer world. Our bodies are the same way. Like it or not, as we age we start to brake down. We move a little slower and our eyesight may start to dim. We lose muscle mass and tend to gain fat.

  Unless the Lord returns first, we will all pass from this earth someday. But, unlike an old computer which is tossed out, never to be of any use again and never to be new again, when we pass from this life we who are in Christ will be made new with a body that is better than the first one. Jesus makes all things new. No longer will we feel pain or suffering again. Plus we will be with Christ and his followers forever. Yes, to a Christian resurrection is indeed a wonderful word.

-Dave Hart

Revelation 21 5Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me,"Write, for these words are true and faithful."



 

God Bless America?

Proverbs 14:3434 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.

  After 9/11 we saw the saying "God Bless America" everywhere. It was on shirts, billboards and TV. I even saw many of our government officials singing the song together. But, will God Bless America? Is He happy with us as a nation? I believe there is still much good in this nation, and many upright God fearing people in America. I also understand that we as all nations will sin. There has always been sin since the fall of man and there will always be sin until the Lord returns. But who can deny that this world is getting darker. We as a nation have never been perfect, but look at the sin problems that we face today.

  Fifty years ago most of the various religious bodies would have disagreed on doctrinal issues, although most would have agreed on moral issues. Today we see the tolerance and even the acceptance of homosexual leaders in some of the denominations. Our nation is in a midst of a spiritual war like has never been seen before. On one hand there are those who want God taken out of everything public, such as prayers before sports events, the Pledge of Allegiance and our money. On the other hand we have the pressing for acceptance of sinful activities, such as abortion and gay marriage. I love America. I feel blessed beyond belief for living in this country. However, I am concerned that if we do not repent and turn from our sinful ways we will no longer be able to say God Bless America, as God’s favor may no longer be with us.

- Dave Hart

2 Chronicles 7:14 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

                                       

Past Hurts

Jeremiah 29:1111 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  Have you ever made a mistake? Of course you have. We all have. Sometimes it can be hard to forgive and to ask for forgiveness from God. Sins from our past can be some of the most difficult sins to forgive ourselves for. But God is not one who wants us to live with guilt. Have you ever heard the expression "Let go and let God"? This is something that does not come easy for most of us. So much of the time we try to just forget about the sins of the past. Forgetting does not bring healing, only God can bring healing. He wants us to give all of our past hurts and past mistakes to him. When we hang on to guilt it can affect all of our relationships from marriage to being able to work and interact with others. Many people think that the sin in their lives is so bad that God could never forgive them, so instead of turning to the only one that can help them, they run away. They think they could never be good enough for God, and without the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross they never could be.

  As Christians we must never run away from the past, but rather learn from it and use it to help others. We will never be perfect, but God can take our imperfections and our weaknesses and turn them into something good. Just like the Apostle Paul, before he meant Jesus, he was someone who killed Christians. After his conversion he had an amazing testimony to share and he was able to witness to people that maybe no one else could have. Now this doesn’t mean that we are to seek out sin so that we can have an amazing testimony for the future, because the most amazing testimony is living for Jesus and being obedient to him.

  I believe God has so much for us to do for his kingdom. But, I also believe the past holds many of us back.. We must let go of guilt, fear, doubt, regrets, and unforgiveness, because this emotional clutter can paralyze us and make us ineffective for his service. Let us give our past to God and ask for his forgiveness and let us live for the future and count on His promise that he has great things in store for us if we only trust and obey.

- Dave Hart

Monkey Men

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

  Many would like us to believe that we were created in the image of monkeys rather than God. I admit that sometimes men act more like beasts than humans. But, the truth is that no matter what some poorly taught professor might say, we were created in the image of God. So why do so many believe and teach that we came from monkeys? Why do so many supposedly well-educated men and women believe the incurably flawed theory of evolution? Well that’s easy. If there is no God then man has no one to answer to, and is free to live how he wishes. Man in a sense becomes his own God, and therefore makes his own laws, and does his own thing without considering judgment from the one true God. No matter how loud people might scream with their beliefs of evolution, they can never prove what is not true. No matter how hard people try to get rid of God, one day all men great and small will stand before the one true God and be judged.

 - Dave Hart

 

The Church

Acts 20:28

28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

  What do you think of when you hear the word Church? Many think of a building or a particular denomination. What does God mean? Well, we can be the Church whether we have a building or not. It’s not a denomination, for God has only one Church, which is his body. It’s one body made up of all that have obeyed the Gospel and love Jesus. We should love the Lord’s Church as Christ does. Ephesians 5:25-29 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

  I’ve heard some people say they don’t need the Church, that they can worship God without it. Maybe because they were offended by someone or got their feelings hurt. For whatever reason, we must remember that Jesus loves the Church and died for it and we are his Church. He does not want us to forsake the assembling together as his Body. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

  It’s only through the blood of Jesus that we have been given such an awesome gift of being part of his Body. Let us all be encouraged to love and nurture the Lord’s Church, and in doing so the very gates of hell will not prevail against us. Matthew 16:18 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

- Dave Hart

 

Fathers Day

  Galations 4:6-7 

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

  How I miss my father. He’s been gone nearly two years but it seems as if it’s been much longer. I wish I had been a better son to him in so many ways. I wish I could have one more chance to do something good for him. But even with all my faults my dad still cared and watched out for me.

  In the Galatians text God is called Abba Father, and the word Abba is a very affectionate term almost like daddy. My earthly father was a good man in many ways, but he like all of us, had some faults. However, we all have a father in heaven who doesn’t have any faults. He is always there for us and is always doing what is best and right in our lives.

  On this Fathers Day do not forget to honor your dad. If possible let him know how much you care before that opportunity is gone forever. And let us not forget to honor our heavenly Father, not just on special days like Sundays or Christmas or Easter, but everyday and in every way.

- Dave Hart 

 

 

Freedom

Galations. 5:1Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

  Christ died to make all men free. But do all men and women understand what true freedom is? Some think that freedom is the right to do whatever you want and whenever you want. But that doesn’t define true freedom. What if I was driving down the road late for an appointment and I decided to run a red light because I felt that it’s my freedom to do so? Well, the results could be disastrous, and could even take the life of myself or someone else.

  With true freedom comes the responsibility to choose to do what is good and godly. True freedom is having good and righteous laws and obeying them. It’s never doing your own thing regardless of the cost. I have come in contact with people who think that choosing to do ungodly things in this life makes them free. They think choosing to drink, smoke or do drugs makes them free. After all this is America where freedom reigns and they feel they can do whatever they want. However, in reality all it does is enslave them. I‘ve seen the results of these habits to many times.

  I knew a young woman who died from lung cancer and left her young children without a mother. I’ve seen young and old men laying on the side of the road in a drunken stupor. I’m sure that some of us have known of families torn apart because of drug abuse. As Christians we must be careful not to get pulled into the ungodly practices of this world. The world believes that freedom is all about self-gratification. But in reality we know that ungodly habits will only lead to becoming a slave to that habit. The results of these and many other sinful practices can only lead to three things: insanity, imprisonment and finally death.

  The good news is that Jesus died to free us from sin and death. It is he who will set you free if you will only let him. Many have asked me what is the secret. That’s easy, but it’s the doing that so many people have a problem with. The secret is to turn your life over to Christ and obey what he says. That’s it. No gadgets and no gimmicks.

- Dave Hart

 

Gods Holy Word

  How much time do you spend eating, sleeping, and exercising each day? Without these things we wouldn’t stay healthy or happy for very long. These are things we must do in order to survive and thrive. Have you thought of what it takes to survive and thrive spiritually each day? Well, first and foremost we must read God’s word. It’s what nurses and grows our sprits. Without it we grow weak and die just as our physical bodies would die without food. Have you ever tried exercising when you’re really hungry? It doesn’t work to well because without putting that fuel into our bodies it’s almost impossible to have enough energy and strength to even get started. The same happens to us when we’re not being nourished with the Word of God.

  How much time do you spend watching television, listening to the radio, playing sports, using the computer or doing hobbies each week? There's nothing wrong with these things if put in the proper perspective. We all like to spend time doing the things we love. But, how much time do you spend in Gods word each week? Add up the time and compare it with the other things you do and you might be surprised. We need to love God enough to want to spend time with him each day. Often people who do not read their bible very often tell me they pray everyday. Prayer is great and we all need to do much of it, but if you’re praying without reading, it’s kind of like a one sided conversation. We talk to God in prayer, and he talks to us through his word. Have you ever had a friend who never lets you talk? That’s what we do if we’re not reading our bibles and only praying.

Ephesians 4
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Acts 2:38 says all Christians receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit works though his words the Holy Bible. How it must grieve him when we choose not to study his words. Dave 

 

Be Kind

Romans 12
10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

  Why do we find it so easy to talk bad about others? Take a moment to notice in your own speech and the speech of others how often people are spoken bad about as opposed to being spoken good about. This starts young in our life and seems to peak in our teenage years. Maybe someone can’t afford the latest fashion, or isn’t quite as good at one thing or another, or possibly just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the group. So, in order to put them selves on a higher plane they tear at and tear down others.

  At times their harsh and unkind words can cause more damage then any physical pain ever could. With our words we have the power to heal or to kill. I wonder how many lives have been saved by just a few kind words, such as "come on you can do it", or "don’t give up I believe in you." I wonder how many lives have been destroyed by foolish and unkind words that tear down and destroy. I’m far from guiltless in this manner. Far to many times I have said and listened to things that should have never been said. May God forgive me.

  We know there are times we need to say hard truths to one another and to correct one another, but this is not what I’m talking about. We never need to gossip or go beyond what’s loving, caring and edifying to one another. Every word we speak we will be held accountable for.

Matthew 12 36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 

  Can you just imagine what the world thinks about us when we talk bad about one another? Let us build up one another and not tear down. If you have a problem with someone go to that brother or sister and fix it, no one else needs to know the details of your dispute. Let us show the love of Christ to the world by how we talk to and treat one another.

-Dave Hart

 

 

Salvation

  Salvation is such a wonderful and liberating word. At times we all need to be saved from something in this life. Whether it’s our bills, or our health, or maybe even an abusive relationship, we all seek salvation from something.

  Do you feel trapped when you don’t feel safe? I hate the feeling of being trapped. I remember when I wanted to be a police officer, part of the training took me into the county jail. When the steal doors closed behind me, it gave me an uneasy feeling even though I knew I was on the right side of the bars. The first time I rode in the back of a squad car and realized there were no door handles in the backseat and it sent a chill of fear up my spine.

  How truly awful Hell must be, to be trapped in utter darkness and pain forever, with no hope of relief for eternity. Separated and alone without end. But, no one has to go there. In fact, God doesn’t want for anyone to go there. He has provided a way of salvation for all men. No one can ever say that God sent him to Hell, for it is man that sends himself there. God has sent his prophets and priests, his Word, his church and his own son to be sure that men have a way of salvation. It is up to each person to choose that salvation or to reject it.

  I pray that if you have not already obeyed God and his way of salvation you will do that today. If you are already one of the saved, remember what a great gift you have been given and tell others so that they too may have the same gift of salvation that comes only from God. - Dave Hart

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Evangelism

 

  There are many important duties to being a Christian, but non of them are more important than Evangelism. The Lord gave us our marching orders and we have a duty as Christians to carry them out. There are no excuses that will work to get us out of this duty. Paul tells us in his letters what he went through as he proclaimed the gospel, as a reminder that no sacrifice is to great for God’s Kingdom (2 Corinthians 12:22-33).

  We need to test ourselves each day (by both action and word) to see if we are doing what the Lord would have us to do in order to spread his gospel (2 Corinthians 13:5). It’s so easy to let the cares and the pleasures of this world take priority in our life. It’s easy to live for the moment and not think about the future.

  There is a day coming when we will look back on how we wasted so much time on the things we thought were so important, and wonder, "what were we thinking?". One day we will all stand before God and he will want to know what we did about his son. I know Evangelism is tough, and I know it is costly, for it will cost us all time, money, effort and emotional pain at times. When it gets hard and you feel like you can’t take anymore, just remember Christ and that long and lonely walk he took to the cross. He would not quit because he loves us and his father too much to quit. That’s how we need to be with evangelism. We need to love God and love others too much to ever think of turning our backs to our divine duty.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

- Dave Hart

Psalm 255Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

No More Sin.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

  How the world hates the word "sin". When is the last time you read in the paper or heard a news anchorman say, "someone has sinned"? They replace the word sin with many other words such as, illness, sickness, or weakness. They excuse it with phrases like, "he was just born that way", or "he can’t help the way he is". They tell us that moral issues are not religious issues anymore, and the church should just stay out of it. Christians are becoming the bad guys, because we do not run or agree with their wicked ways.

  No matter what the world may want us to believe, there is still right and wrong. Morals come from one of two sources, God or man. The further we get away from God’s ways and take on the morals of man, the faster we will slide down hill as an individual and as a nation. We must stand on the truths of God and proclaim them loud and long. We must not fear or back down to a world that would lead us all to hell if we let it. We need to do what we can to fight the ungodly ideas of this generation. We must let the world know there is such a thing as sin and what the consequences are for living a sinful lifestyle. Hating sin is something we all must do, but at the same time we need to love the sinner and pray for them. Leading the world away from sin and death, and into the arms of the everlasting savior Jesus Christ, is a goal that we all should have.

- Dave

 

 

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