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Joelton Church

Keep your eyes on Jesus

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Minister’s Message

Abundant Life

I love the promise of Jesus in John 10, verse 10:

I came to give you life and life in abundance

When I think of this fulfilling life in practice, five keys come to mind:

  1. Live with contentment which means trusting in God who loves me and is able to do all things.
  2. Be kind to everyone.
  3. Express this kindness with compassion
  4. Be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ always and
  5. Be eternally filled with gratitude for being so blessed.

This sounds like a great plan for our lives.

Joe

Will there be tears in Heaven?

Do you think there are or will be tears in heaven one day? Two weeks ago when we were at Bible Bowl in Cookeville, several folks took a picture of me talking to Horace Burke during the interval for lunch. They asked me if I was correcting the man who read all the questions. I was not. Actually, we were discussing whether or not there are tears in heaven and we both agreed that there are! We think the heart of Jesus still weeps because of what He sees going on in the world just as he did in Luke 19:41 when He approached Jerusalem saying “The days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you and surround you and hem you in on every side and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” The lost condition of the city of Jerusalem brought tears to the eyes of Jesus. I am reminded of the 90 foot tall statue of Christ in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil overlooking one of the dirtiest, most dangerous and decadent cities of the world, and the times that people have covered the shame of Christ so He might not see what is going on in their society. If Jesus is seeing what goes on, surely He weeps even today because of what He sees being done to others. Don’t you think Jesus weeps when He sees how many little babies we kill in our country every day in the name of abortion and women’s “choice to do what they want with their bodies” every day. May we feel what Jesus feels. Surely there are tears in heaven!

Joe

What’s your favorite?

Over the years, I have had several different “favorite” bible verses. Today my “favorite is“ come unto me , all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30). The Bible depicts God as the only source of true and lasting rest. The story of Israel’s ups and downs is a perfect illustration of how our walk with God produces rest. When Israel’s leaders and the bulk of her people followed God and His commands, scripture repeatedly points out that He gave the Israelites rest, meaning the nation was at peace with their neighbors and at peace with self. There is a message here for us and our nation as well as all of us and our lives.

Joe

God’s creation

A friend gave me a brochure that reminded me of Larry Tillman with a couple of sayings based on God’s creation:

1. “Protect your earth suit. It is the only one God gave you.”

2. “God didn’t drop us off with a bag of pills; He dropped us off in the garden.”

Joe

Rest in the Lord

Is there anything disturbing your perfect rest in the Lord? What could be weighing down our awareness of God in our lives? Have you noticed that self-awareness can disturb our God awareness? To the degree that God is our all in all, we will find that He fills our cup. When we are down, He lifts us up. You are my strength when I am weak. You are the treasure that I seek. Seeking You as a precious jewel, Lord to give up I’d be a fool. You are my all in all. Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is your name. My power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Jesus invites us: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Try it and you’ll find it is so.

Joe

Change

If we wanted to change our nation, our families, our health, where should we begin? Should we begin by changing our laws, our political leaders, our military or our elected leaders? Remember that all change will need to be voluntary and it must begin with ourselves. To be practical, we will need to identify what needs to be changed. What do we need to change? What do I need to change? I will discover what I need to change by comparing my life to God’s word. If you know something that I need to change, I would appreciate it if you would let me know the answer.

Joe

What is your favorite translation of the Bible?

After I counted over 23 different translations of the Bible on my bookshelves, I said that I had a favorite but I failed to tell which one was my favorite. As it turns out, my favorite translation of the Bible is the person in whom God’s Word is written. It could be you.

When I see your heart go into a home, a store or a town and I see your hands reach out to touch, to bless the children, to do right by people; I see your life go where the Bible may not go. That’s the way God does it. God reaches people through the life (heart) of Jesus and through our lives (hearts). Paul called it the aroma and fragrance of Christ. Jesus called it the salt of the earth and the light of the world. You are God’s advertisement; We are living epistles. A true Christian is a beautiful translation of the gospel and the best translation of the Bible. Its power is the life of a Christian. What kind of translation are you? What message do people receive who read your life? The only experience that many people will ever have of God is in your life

Mission

We have received a mission from God for today. We are capable and this mission defines who we are. THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT or urgent. We must not forget nor fail. The future of the world depends on it. Jesus expressed it this way: “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Make the environment around you tasty! Let your good works be seen by the world! When your mission is accomplished, God will be glorified. Can you think of any better thing to do with your life today? I can’t.

Joe

Survival Plan

There is a growing movement in the country these past few years called “survivalists”. Participants emphasize storing food, guns and supplies to be able to survive a coming collapse of our country. It reminds me of the fear and hysteria in the weeks before “Y2K”. The apostle Peter, though, gave us a much better survival plan for Christians in 1 Peter 1:13-19:

1. Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

3. Be holy in all you do.

4. If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth, knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Joe

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