October 2017

10-15               Distractions







Luke 21:5-6 “Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said,  “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

We tend to be a people of stuff.

We tend to be a people of pride.

We tend to be a people who are proud of our stuff.


“Oh, look at this new thing I got”

“Oh, see the pretty decorations?”

“Got me a new truck, jealous?”


We get so easily sidetracked by the stuff of the world; even the stuff at church.

I am not saying that we do not take care of God’s Stuff, or want God’s stuff to look its very best.

But sometimes we humans can go overboard and spend a lot of God’s money building huge, giant glass edifices or brick castles we forget that it is God’s money.

We forget it serves a purpose but is a tool; and not one that will last forever.

The disciples were even caught up in the glitz and glamour of the structure.

They were DISTRACTED by the shiny objects of the world

The Temple Elite were more proud of their beautiful structure than the God who allowed them to serve inside of it.

Jesus had been teaching them some very important lessons about faith, giving, the resurrection and who He really is; but they are distracted by the “majestic stonework” and “memorial decorations”

He is preparing to teach them eschatology, a very important issue for every Christian to understand.

ESCHATOLOGY:  [es cuh TOL ih gih] — a theological term that designates the study of what will happen at the end of history, particularly the event known as the SECOND COMING of Christ. The word comes from two Greek words, ‎eschatos ‎(last) and ‎logos ‎(study) – thus its definition as “the study of last things.” (Nelson’s)

We will dive off into that after our Revival services.

Right now, Jesus wants their attention; they needed to focus on Him and not the building and decorations.

How can we grow closer to God if we are not even paying attention to Him?

Telling them that everything they see will soon be completely destroyed seems like a great way to garner someone’s attention.

What in the World has captured your attention more than God?

What can so easily distract you from seeking God and listening to His Son Jesus Christ?

Sports?            Hobbies?         Facebook?       Games?           Self?                Gossip?           Backbiting?            Boasting?        Alcohol/Drugs

Stop It!

What shiny object does our eternal enemy use to pull you off a life focused on God?


All of that “stuff” is so temporary and meaningless.

What are you looking at or thinking about during Sunday School, Church, Bible Study or your personal devotion time WHEN you should be completely focused on God?

Your phone?  The Clock?

Get your attention back on the King of kings and Lord of lords!


10-8-2017                    Heart

Luke 21:1-5 “While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box.  Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them.  For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”   NLT

I find it interesting that this text is recorded right after Jesus tells us to “Beware of these teachers of religious law!” and one of the reasons given was that they “shamelessly cheat widows out of their property…”

These Temple Elitists would shame the small givers while smothering the big givers with praise and thanks.

Jesus FLIPS THE SCRIPT on the temple thieves yet again!

Jesus speaks of the HEART of a FAITHFUL GIVER

Our true heart is a major issue in our life

We cannot Love God and Love Others without giving…and risking our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Deuteronomy 11:16-17 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. If you do, the Lord ‘s anger will burn against you.”

1 Samuel 12:20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him.”

  1. e poor widow gave out of her heart
    1. Her two small coins represented all she had
      1. But she wanted to give her all to God
    2. The rich people gave out of their surplus
      1. Not out of their income
      2. Not out of their faith
      3. …and you can bet they did it with flourish and an expectation of recognition
      4. You could infer here that if they had not surplus they would be giving no money
    3. Is our giving (money, time, talents, etc.) a gift of the heart?
      1. Is it about us?
        1. Are we giving EXPECTING anything?
          1. Value
          2. Special notice
        2. Is it about God?
          1. Faith
          2. Love
  • Obedience
  1. What little piece of obedience are we giving God while expecting great accolades?
    1. What are we willing to surrender to God?
      1. Funds
      2. Time
  • Self
  1. What are we UNWILLING to surrender to God?
    1. The One who created and provided everything we have
    2. What are we holding on to tightly?
  2. The poor widow gave everything she had
    1. Time
    2. Energy
    3. Faith, Hope and Love
    4. She was not forced, coerced, lied to or stolen from by the Temple Elite
      1. She gave from her faith
      2. She gave from her HEART
    5. All of her was poured out
      1. This is what God wants from us
        1. Whatever we have
        2. Whatever we are
          1. Surrender it all to Him
            1. It will be enough
            2. Even if the world thinks it is small
  • God will see it as a great gift

Priorities, Rights and Political Hay

(note:  DANGER – WORD PUKE Ahead – written quickly so grammar and spelling may not be perfect…or good…unedited)

Every time a person is murdered is a horrible crime.  This horror is multiplied inside us when we encounter events like the recent Las Vegas Shooting and other mass murders we see in our country.  These violent and horrific tragedies remind us that evil is very real and active in our midst.

Predictably a group of politicians and activists become very vocal, calling for more gun control because of these acts of evil that were inflicted through the barrel of a gun.

“Never let a tragedy go to waste” is a montra used by all sides of the political spectrum as they use a disaster or very public tragedy for their own agendas or political purposes.

But are their priorities right and consistent?

Or are they just making political hay on the heartstrings of hurting Americans?

Lets look at some rough numbers and see:

According to the CDC, every year approximately 88,000 Americans lose their lives due to alcohol, and 2.5 Million years of life are lost.  241 deaths per day due to a product that is not Constitutionally protected and is not a necessity for life.  Where is the outcry by our politicians and activists?  Maybe, just maybe, the 26 Million plus dollars of lobbyist money helps keep them quiet….or maybe we are just addicted to our alcohol.

According to the CDC, every year approximately 480,000 Americans lose their lives due to tobacco products  and the survivors lose 10 years of life.  1,315 deaths per day due to a product that is not Constitutionally protected and is not a necessity for life.  Where is the outcry by our politicians and activists?  Maybe, just maybe, the 19 Million plus dollars of lobbyist money helps keep them quiet….or maybe we are just addicted to our smokes and chews.

The Pharmacy, Health Professional, Hospital and Nursing Home lobbyists spend over 5 Billion dollars every year to influence the laws and lawmakers of our country.  Maybe this is why the outcry due to the deaths of medical malpractice, medicine issues and other like issues is not shouted from the wooden podiums of congress….or maybe we just like our meds because they are easier than lifestyle changes.

Over 40,000 people died on the roads of our country in 2016, that is 110 per day.  Where is the demand for the elimination of private transportation in favor of public?  Or do we simply love our cars so much we would refuse to get rid of them, reguardless of the risks?

Every year over 900,000 American lives are thrown away by abortion, yet certain political and ideological groups fight for them and demand they be more available.  That is around 2,500 Americans trashed every day, gone for largely non medical reasons.

75 plus lives were lost in the Hurricane Harvey tragedy, where is the out cry to move people and cities off the coast 150 miles or so?

Between 2011 and 2015 an average of 1,564 people were murdered every year with a gun.  4.28 Americans every day lost their life because someone used a firearm to murder them.  Each one is a tragedy.  Every person who murdered someone by any means should be held accountable!  But, will more laws prevent evil from committing acts of evil?

Every 31 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in Chicago and they have very strict laws.

Every 15 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in California by a firearm and they have very strict gun laws.

Every 20 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in Texas by a firearm and they have less restrictive gun laws than California and Chicago.

Every life is precious and the taking of a life by murder is a horrific action.

We should raise our voice and our culture against evil and death.  We should encourage a culture of life.

But let us start with the biggest issues first, where are the largest number of Americans dying from unnecessary activities occurring?

If we look at those numbers, even quickly, it becomes obvious that our constitutionally protected firearms would be way down on our list of priorities.

We should look at tobacco, alcohol and elective abortions (not medically required) long before we begin to look at other issues.  These are not necessary, not constitutionally protected and could save millions of American lives in just a few years.

As we look at our laws, let us remember that evil can not be legislated under control.  Evil will find a way to perpetrate it’s evil plans.  Evil will seek to steal, kill and destroy; these are the nature of evil and laws will not change the nature of evil.  Evil will use firearms, knives, bats, hammers, water, rocks, sticks, pipes, food, poison, motor vehicles, fuels, explosives, statues, knick-knacks, computers, scissors, paper, rocks, ropes, heights, clothing, and; in the absence of any type of tool, bare hands to commit evil acts.  You can never outlaw evil.

Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, abuse, assault and other like forms of violence are already illegal, more laws will only add to the charges if they are caught but will never stop the evil activity.

Let us get our priorities right.

Let us take a good hard look at our rights

Let us take a good hard look at the biggest issues in America

Let us stop just making political hay out of Americas Heart strings.