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Teaching Series: Pick Your Poison

KBOE 104.9 F.M.

8:30-9:00 a.m.

This will be a six week teaching series talking about drugs, alcohol, sex, obesity, work addiction, and internet addictions. There will be special guest appearances talking about the addictions that poison our lives. Through this series, you will learn more about yourself and be encouraged with hope.

Strength and Courage

Michael

Pay Your Taxes

Matthew 22:19-22 (NASB) ‘Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

I have heard this passage referenced many times.  Most every time I’ve heard it, the focus has been about money.  I’ve heard this passage used in the context of idolatry and the corrupting nature of money.  I’ve heard it used to illustrate the importance of paying your taxes and supporting the government (right here, Jesus says to).  In all of the instances I can recall, they were appropriate disseminations, I believe, of part of what Jesus was imparting in this teaching.

But, what about the second part of this?  What about, “and to God, the things that are God’s”?  There’s no doubt in my mind this part in verse 21 has been taught on by pastors, preachers and teachers thousands of times over.  Every time I’ve heard this taught on, it is in reference to tithing, giving to those in need and taking care of the church (big C).  I do not think that it is inappropriate to look at this part in that regard.  However, there’s so many very direct references to tithing, charity and providing for the church.  I believe Jesus’ intent goes much deeper than this.  Reading this passage the other day, for what suddenly felt like the first time, I see it differently than before.  

I had to ask, “what is God’s”.  Well, obviously, everything belongs to Him.  But, what specifically is Jesus referencing here?  God created man and woman in His image, we belong to Him.  In this passage, it’s my belief that Jesus is stating that you are God’s and you must give God what is His.  All of it, not just part of it goes to Him.  He wants all of you, the good the bad, the whole package you are His and He wants you. 

My question to you is, have you done that?  Have you rendered to Caeser what is Caeser’s and to God the things that are His?  Have you given your self over entirely or are you still holding back some for others in which it does not belong?  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace  

Sew What?

This past week, I was challenged and put to the test a few skills I had learned years ago.  When anyone challenges a man to a certain physical task, there often seems to be a certain competition gene that kicks in and gives you the motivation to see what you can do, even if it is a skill you are not great at normally.  If someone challenged you to foot race, a feat of strength, a driving competition, a trivia challenge, or even a thumb wrestling match, depending on the competition, we may give it a manly go.  What if it was something that was not considered that manly?  I had to see if I could still thread a needle, do some tiny stitches and repair a few items that needed fixed (one of which I broke myself).  After about 7 small repairs, I had some success and was ready to take on the world again, or at least stitch up a few wounds, if needed.  What are some of your God-given skills, or untapped talent, that you don’t get to use that often? 

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

Several years ago, I was flying from Denver to San Diego and sat next to a young man in the Air Force special forces who was a good sized, strong looking fellow.  I asked him a little about what he did and his training for his work and one thing he mentioned he had to do a lot of through his training was sewing exercises.  This big, macho dude had been trained to use a needle and thread, really well.  It was important for his work, he said, but also taught him patience and focus on the task at hand.  That is the last thing I would have guessed, but it made sense.  My wife, who is in the Army, also reiterated this and said that you have to learn to sew well fairly quickly, or be a weasel and try to get someone to do it for you all the time.  So, being able to sew, cook, and take care of children will not only help you grow as a man, but it will give you a greater appreciation for what others can do as well. Is there anything that you consider beneath you as a man?

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

In your opinion, what qualities does it take to be a strong man?  There are things that this world says we should be and there are things that God says we should be.  Some are similar and some are not.  By most measures, a man should be strong, not only because of his testosterone and physically being able to do some things that require extra strength, but also to be mentally and emotionally strong and having the determination to address what really needs to be done in any given situation.  Having certain skills to do his job well and to be respected by others is also admirable.  If you can believe a man at his word, and trust that he is telling the truth in any given interaction is also a quality to be valued.  He is as honorable in his private life as he is in public.  Being responsible and putting others needs before his own desires takes strength.  What other things does it take to be a good man?

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.  With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!  Psalm 119:9-12

What qualities did Jesus exhibit to us that is admirable in a man?  He knew his mission while here on earth and carried it out by honoring his Father’s will.  He was tempted and had the opportunity to use his power and position for selfish gain, but instead chose to be a servant to all.  That is the most admirable quality I have ever seen in any person.  Having the opportunity to use position and privilege for selfish reasons and instead choosing to serve others for a greater good takes strength and discipline.  That is love in action!  That takes guts, determination, and being able to see beyond your own self.  May we all strive to do such in our own lives this day and always!

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:15-16

Yours in Christ,
Clark

Live a Better Story- Part 2

If I could only write one last devotional and was unable to write another this would be it.  This is the most important message I know to write.

Jesus was born into a time when men had turned God’s 10 commandments into over 600 laws that no one could keep up with.  It was a time of insiders and outsiders and the gap between was immense.  Jesus tells a parable in a crowd of thousands.  Many were outsiders attracted to the teaching of Jesus and some of the crowd were the very religious.

(Matthew 25:1-12) At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Now the religious people are getting excited.  Jesus is talking about perfect virgins who have not violated their standards expecting Jesus to show the outsiders just how far out they are. 

Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” “No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”

Now the religious people are getting more excited.  Oil represented life and the Spirit.  It is not just about perfection but the anointing of God.  They do not expect what is about to come.  Before we get too harsh on the religious people, it is the same thing when we think we are right with God because we go to church, pray, or are a good person. Jesus was making a point that your church attendance, prayers, and giving will not save you.  Also that you cannot be a good enough person.  Lets keep going…

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”

We get to the end of the parable and you would expect Jesus to day he would have let the 5 others in because they were perfect enough and had enough oil.  But Jesus turns the whole story upside down and says it is, “I do not know you” for why the other women were not allowed in.

So Jesus says the key to salvation is not being a good enough person, going to church, serving, giving, or fulfilling the requirements of the law and morality.  He said it is all about knowing Him.  You see when Jesus died the veil to the Holy of Holies was ripped, showing the separation for knowing God had been resolved in Jesus death. Now we have the same access to God’s Spirit as the High Priest did.  

So where do you stand in knowing God?  I am not asking if you read the Vital devotional, read your Bible, or pray, however those can help.  I am not asking if you know about God like you know about a president.  I am asking do you know God.  The greek word Jesus used for know refers to know intimately like a best friend.  Do you know God like that?  If not don’t feel bad, Just learn to know.  How?  Worship, praise, share your heart, and listen for His voice.  He said His sheep know His voice.  I pray today that you would grow in your know God as a friend. Spend time today and everyday developing friendship with the One who loves you and created you to know Him

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

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