Saturday, June 24, 2017

Get Right or Get Left …


That’s the message Noah preached for more than 100 years before the flood came. Sadly, people didn’t listen back then but fortunately people are much more willing to hear what preachers have to say today. Funny thing is, the message hasn’t changed one bit in all these years …

Key Scripture: Matthew 7:21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
22  “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24  “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25  “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26  “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27  “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28  And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29  for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

I must admit this scripture has always scared me a little and given me some cautious concerns. I do not doubt the power of the blood of Jesus to save my soul however I have rightfully and reasonably questioned myself and examined my heart to make sure: #1) I have recognized how lost I am without Christ; #2) I have repented of my sins; and #3) I have received Jesus as my Savior and made Him my Lord.

Claiming to be a Christian, having Christian parents and hanging with a Jesus crowd will not save your soul. There will come a day when Jesus will gather all those who have claimed to be Christians and separate them one from another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. Jesus knows His sheep and He calls them by name. He will set them on His right side and those who have been living among His sheep with empty hearts and false claims to Christianity will be set on His left hand.

Many will claim to be a Christian in that day because they did Christian stuff however, unless you have a personal relationship with Jesus, all the works in the world won’t help you in that judgment.

Just two days before Jesus was crucified He made it very plain to His disciples when they asked Him what would be the sign of His coming again.

Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Jesus gives His answer in Matthew 24 and 25. If you are familiar with these passages you will recognize the signs of the last days:
·        People going about daily lives
Matthew 24: 37  “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
o   Like in the day of Noah
o   People getting married and starting families
o   Working in the fields
o   Working in factories
o   Busy with life …
·        Some people who are faithful servants and some who are hypocrites
·        Some wise and some foolish virgins …
·        Some who are diligent and faithful servants and some who are lazy and unprofitable
·        Then unexpectedly the Master will appear …

Text for Today: Matthew 25
31  “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32  “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33  “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34  “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35  ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36  ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37  “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38  ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39  ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40  “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

1.  Jesus is coming!
2.  He knows who belongs to Him.
3.  If Jesus is your King you will be found helping others.

We do not work to become righteous we work because our hearts have been made right with God and we have given our lives to Him to represent Him and do His will. Not everyone who feeds the poor will go to heaven. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian will go to heaven. But, everyone who is a born-again child of God will care about the poor and will live a life pleasing to God because of the heart change and a heartfelt conviction that salvation brings. Only conversion will save the soul … you must be born again.

Conclusion: Today you will be given Two Great Opportunities.
1.  Be Born Again
2.  Help Others

For the first to happen you will have to believe in Jesus from your heart and ask the Father to save your soul.

The second one will take you getting one of these backpacks and filling it with one item from each table, writing a simple personal note of encouragement and praying over it so that together we can all be a blessing to the homeless in our surrounding communities this month.

Adult Sunday School - The Blended Family

Golden Triangle Church on the Rock
Adult Sunday School

Date: June 25
Monthly Theme:      Family     
Monthly Theme Scripture: Genesis 18:19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.

Weekly Topic: The Blended Family
Scripture Reference: Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

The traditional family model, as seen in the Bible is original to God’s plan for family. This model is built around a husband and wife, who become father and mother to their children. God’s best for every adult is that they were raised in a traditional family according to His design and therein equipped to raise the next generation in accordance with the same standards, benefits, and blessings. Unfortunately, God’s intended original family model has not been every family’s experience. The 21st Century family experience is often anything but traditional.
The documented rise in the rate of latch key children, two parent income households, divorce, pregnancies outside of traditional marriage, and same sex marriage union laws in America has left many children without the benefits that the traditional family model is intended to afford. As well, the ever increasing demands on time, along with the attractions that cell phones and the internet offer, create extra hurdles for families and rob the family of opportunities to get to know and grow with each other.
Interaction between siblings and shared experiences are no longer a given within a family. These things are added to the fact that most children in America under the age of 18 do not live in a home with both of their biological parents.
Just because a family does not follow the traditional model does not in and of itself make the family dysfunctional. However, it can serve to add complexities not normally encountered by the traditional family setting. Step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, single parents, and children in categories of his kids, her kids, our kids, and their kids all weigh in on the issues many 21st Century families experience.
Christian families and the Church as a whole desperately need to get back the reins on the family and provide some basis for growing the family God’s way, without respect to the type of family they have. The complexities blended families encounter are a fact in America and the church and this is not going to change. One of the biggest contributors to dysfunctional families is the fact that many parents today, without respect to what category of parent they are, weren’t parented themselves. Our hope is to recognize the value of every family and give them tools to grow in the grace of God to best benefit their future.

Growing families will benefit from:

1. Attending Church and worshipping together as a family.
        a. Children need to see Church as a family activity
b. Children will find it difficult to keep from imitating their parents.
c. There is a need to know what your child is learning about God.

2. Family time around the dinner table eating together.
a. One of the four pillars of Church growth and continued Church health is the act of breaking bread together. (Acts 2:42)
b. There is something special that happens to a group of people when they eat a blessed meal together that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
c. The Israelites were commanded to observe the Sabbath each week as a time to be spent with the family. Among the Jewish culture today the Sabbath still begins with the whole family sitting down to eat together at Sundown on Friday evenings.
d. God is even now preparing a feast in heaven for us to all sit down and eat together as a family. This will be the marriage supper of the Lamb.

3. Building memories during planned family vacations together.
a. Vacations force the family to spend time together in an inescapable and unavoidable controlled environment rather than separating themselves in their rooms or otherwise away from the family.
b. Vacations allow families to build memories that add strength and health to the family experience. One day every person is left with only the memories they have made.
c. Travel together forces some family dynamics that help to hone and sharpen life and give parents opportunity to solidify relationships within the family.

4. Family recreation and spontaneous fun together.
a. God designed group recreation to help develop social structure. Whether in the animal kingdom or with mankind, from goats butting heads to dogs playing chase, kids wrestling to friendly group competitions, learning both how to win and how to lose in a safe setting is important to personal skill development and mental health.
b. When a family takes time to play games and enjoy outdoor recreation together children get an opportunity to see their parents on a new level which will one day become valuable as the child develops into an adult. Children need to realize that adults don’t always win and kids don’t always lose.
c. Recreation allows the parent to assess each child’s strength and offer opportunities for each child and parent to show and sharpen their personal skills and demonstrate their individual knowledge so that every person is given a realistic chance to be a winner.

Points to Ponder:

·        The Bible is filled with blended family accounts.
·        The family of God is a blended family … we are all His adopted children.
·        Family is the will of God.
·        God ordained the family before He ordained the Church.
·        Nothing else is designed to nor can anything else take the place of family.
·        Family is a biological, spiritual, or covenant bond between people.
·        Family is the pattern of God’s will for mankind … in heaven and on earth.
·        The only thing God is working for is family.
·        Society has adopted a politically correct approach instead of a biblically correct approach to define what constitutes a family.
·         A family is not determined by legal statutes but rather by God’s design.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Adult Sunday School - Family/Parenting

Golden Triangle Church on the Rock
Adult Sunday School

Date: June 18, 2017
Monthly Theme: Family  
Monthly Theme Scripture: Genesis 18:19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.
Weekly Topic: Parenting

Scripture Commentary:

Parenting is the most like God you will ever become.

God’s Word, and indeed the following commentary, is designed to be an encouragement to parents and not an indictment on parenting. Unless our aim is redemption, we will certainly miss God.

God has ordained that every child be born into the nurturing hands of parents. God’s hope for life begins and ends with relationship. Parents are not only the progenitors of life but also of growing and lasting relationships. Something has gone terribly wrong when the parent/child relationship breaks down. To guard against creating a dysfunctional family, we must begin parenting with the end in mind. Unfortunately, many parents were not correctly parented themselves and therefore have no model to follow. This fact does not excuse and will not cover a repeated failure.

One of the major reasons why children decide that they will not raise their families the same way they are being raised is because they haven’t been raised right. I realize this could sound like a harsh and condemning word, however, to recognize anything less would not address the problem or offer solution. The goals of parenting should be to raise up and release healthy adults who are fully following Christ and who are committed to raising their children the same way. In order to accomplish our goal, we must make it our solemn responsibility to:

          1. Lead our children to a saving knowledge of Christ
2. Teach them prompt and cheerful obedience and to respect authority
3. To be responsible citizens of the community and productive servants to the Church

For example, a daughter should see in her mother the godly woman she wants to be, submitted to her husband, committed to her family, and serving her community and her God. When the daughter begins to consider marriage, her goal should be to find a man like her father, a man who loves his wife, provides for his family, and leads them and others to Christ. Anything less is less than the best.

I know these are high goals but what other goals should a parent have? Young and adolescent children do not need friends for parents during their formative years … they need parents to instruct, nurture, encourage, correct, discipline, and release them to do the same all through love looking to the future and depending on God. This is both the will and the word of God.

There is no time better than today to begin acting like the parent God intended your children to have. Take responsibility for the past and begin parenting as God intended.
If you are unsure of what it takes to become a successful parent, it’s worth asking someone for help.
Parenting holds the greatest potential for us to be like God. The primary responsibilities are to:

1. Lead our children to a saving knowledge of Christ
Genesis 18:19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.

2. Teach them prompt and cheerful obedience and to respect authority
Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise.

3. To be responsible citizens of the community and productive servants to the Church
           Mark 12:17 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Things My Father Told Me


Our theme for this month at COTR is “Family”. The family structure begins with a father. Every son and daughter wants and needs the approval of their father. In fact, we were all born with an innate desire to make our daddy proud of us. I think one of the most debilitating absences in life is the absence of a father.

Perhaps you were never sure what you could do to please your father or maybe you felt he was too hard and unable to be pleased. I know what that’s like. I too have battled those feelings after realizing I had disappointed my dad. However, the older I get the more I realize what makes a father happy and proud of his kids. I have no excuses, it’s not like he didn’t tell me over and over. He wasn’t fussing so much as hoping. He could see a little farther than me and he was hoping I would make something of myself. At any rate, I want to take a few moments before we get to the Word today and tell you some Things My Father Told Me.

These aren’t in any order of importance but just a list I’ve put together. (And, the few things on this list today are not near all the things he told me… I’ll give you 5 from my list.) He said son,
1.   Be kind to others …
2.   Don’t let anger control the things you say and do …
3.   Don’t talk bad about other people …
4.   Don’t be the guy who tells dirty jokes …
5.   Don’t make excuses when you have done something wrong …

Let me give you two more from this list quickly before we get to our text for today. And by the way, this is not my only list … my father knew I needed a lot and he gave me a lot.

6.   Fill your life up each day with love and forgiveness …
7.   Don’t just do what I say but watch me and do what I do.

I tell you what, why don’t we turn to the book of Ephesians chapter 4 and we’ll just read a few more from my list together.
Ephesians 4
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
32  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 5
1 ¶  Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
2  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
3 ¶  Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.
4  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes — these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
5  You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
6  Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.
7  Don’t participate in the things these people do.
8  For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
9  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
10  Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

I’m so glad we have such a loving and caring Father and that He has not left us without knowledge of some things we can do to please Him.

You might say, “Preacher, I don’t know God as my Father.” My reply … “You can!” (Share the plan of salvation and rededication … Pray)

As we go through the summer, remember family is the most important thing God ever gave man. Family here on earth and especially family throughout eternity. The only thing God ever wanted to be was a Father. Absentee fathers are the antithesis of God’s heart and desire for families on the earth. What can you do to help God make and maintain those critical connections this summer? You can do it … just start pleasing your Father today!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Family Matters


Genesis 18 NLT
17  “Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the LORD asked.
18  “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.
19  I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”

The month of June is Family month at Church on the Rock. The next three Sunday mornings our Adult Sunday School classes will focus on aspects of the Family. The topic this coming Sunday will be Marriage; the following Sunday – Parenting; and the last Sunday in June the topic will be Blended Families. Either you or someone you know has a family and the information gained in these classes will become valuable tools both to use and to share with others. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.

This evening we are going to begin a study of the life of one of the most prolific characters in the Bible, Abraham, who is often called the father of our faith. To begin our study let’s go to the New Testament Book of Romans, chapter 4, and hear the Apostle Paul expound on this great man.

Romans 4  NLT
1  Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God?
2  If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way.
3  For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
4  When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.
5  But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

What did Abraham discover about being right with God? The Apostle Paul continues to expound on the life and faith of Abraham. Before we hear more from Paul, let’s do a brief survey of this man named Abraham by going back to the first time we see his name mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps it will help broaden our understanding concerning the things Paul will mention further along in the 4th chapter of Romans.

Genesis 11:26  And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

This verse is situated at the end of a long line of names in the genealogy of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. Some scholarly studies of the scriptures indicate that Abraham, given the name of Abram at birth, was born 292 years after the flood which coincides with 1948 years after God created Adam. We cannot know for certain and there are varied opinions as to the exact year Abraham was born but no one disagrees that Abraham was a direct descendant of Shem, the son of Noah. After the ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, Shem’s descendants moved south along the Euphrates River to the fertile land known as Ur of the Chaldees. This is where Abraham was born.

Acts 7
2  This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran.
3  God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’
4  So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live.

God spoke to Abraham while he was living in Ur and told him to leave his family and travel to a land God was going to give to him and his descendants. Abraham evidently did not leave immediately. (Acts 7:2-5) It seems after Abraham’s eldest brother died in Ur that Abraham’s father decided to go along with Abraham as well as several other members of the family. This was not what God told Abraham to do. Abraham was most likely about 50 years old.

Abraham’s father, Terah, which means delay, became the leader of the group by default and led the family, along with Abraham and Sarai, Abraham’s wife, not to the promised land of Canaan but rather to the city of Haran along the Syrian and Turkish border along the Euphrates, in the Ararat Mountain range, probably close to where Noah’s ark had landed almost 400 years earlier.

Genesis 11:31  One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there.

The scriptures indicate that Abraham may have lived in Haran for perhaps 20 to 25 years with his father and his family. However, after his father died, (Terah = delay), God spoke once again to Abraham. Guess what God said? The very same thing God said to him 25 years earlier …

(Verse by Verse)
Genesis 12  NLT
1  The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.
2  I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.
3  I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
4  So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
5  He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth — his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran — and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan,
6  Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
7  Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
8  After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the LORD, and he worshiped the LORD.
9  Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.

This evening we have discovered and confirmed that Abraham found out:
1.   God calls greatness out of obscurity.
a.   There were perhaps 15 million people on planet earth then.
b.   We do not know how many God called, we do know who said yes.
2.   We may delay the will of God but we cannot change it.
a.   God may change the man but not the plan.
b.   Children of Israel in Exodus; Young Rich Ruler/Zacchaeus
3.   God is the God of another chance.
a.   As long as there is life, there is always something we can do.
b.   God calls and corrects with grace and mercy …

c.   God has a plan and He needs help – He fills willing vessels …

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Blessed Family


Acts 17 NLT
11  And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
12  As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

It is very important for every Believer to choose a Bible translation which is both understandable and scholarly. Not all Bibles are the same. Some Bibles are not intended to be translations of manuscripts or early writings but are rather personal commentaries or at best doctrinally slanted paraphrases of the Holy Scriptures.

This may seem like a small thing but I assure you not every book contains the Word of God as He intended just because it has “Bible” on the cover. Even when it comes to accurately translated study Bibles, marginal notes can at times weigh heavily and even sway the reader’s notion towards the beliefs of the one making the notes. This is helpful and good when the notes are based on a scholarly exegeting of the scripture but not always so helpful when the commentator has a personal point or church doctrine to defend.

Without going into any specifics which would only serve to tear down some other person’s or denomination’s beliefs, allow me to simply encourage you to be studious in your approach to the Word of God and check out your thoughts and beliefs with a credible, tested, tried and true translation of the Bible. Don’t lay the foundation of your faith on a paraphrase or a commentary or even on a good sermon which you have not vetted by the good Word God. The Bible only tells one story, the story of redemption. No one verse can be interpreted outside of that one story.

That being said, there are several ways which are openly available to check out any scripture or principle you may wish to make certain. The internet holds a vast supply of translations and study aids to insure the lay person gains access to the truth of the Gospel. If you need help with your studies you can always contact me or our office.

This morning we begin a new theme for the month of June. June is a busy and a fruitful month for our Church. We have in June 2017 at COTR:
·        Summer Camps
·        A Crawfish Boil
·        A Quarterly Fellowship
·        Vacation Bible School
·        Father’s Day
·        An Outreach to the Homeless

With all that is ongoing at Church this summer I felt led by the Holy Spirit to make this month’s theme a Focus on the Family. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. we will have an adult Sunday School lesson aimed at strengthening the family. Sunday School Topics for June
·        Marriage – Sunday June 11th
·        Parenting – Sunday June 18th
·        Money – Sunday June 25th

Today we are going to read one verse in the Bible and draw a wealth of truth and direction for our lives and families from that one verse. We will read it in the Amplified Classic Edition of the Bible. (“The Amplified Bible uses a unique system of punctuation, italics, references, and synonyms to unlock subtle shades of meaning as found in the original languages.” Zondervan Publishing/Lockman Foundation)

So, the Amplified version of the Bible attempts just what the name of the version suggests … it amplifies. Key words in several scriptures are given amplified reflection mainly through the use of synonyms. These shades of meanings supply greater perspective and broadens the reader’s consideration on the subject contained in that verse.

To show the difference between the Amplified Bible and a strict translation, let’s first read the verse from a universally trusted translation, the New King James Version of the Bible:

Proverbs 28:14 ¶  Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

That little ¶ after the verse number 14 is a designator put there by the translators to indicate that a new subject or thought begins right here.

A simple reading of this verse teaches that a person will be happy if they are always reverent, while a person who does not open his heart in respect to God will fall into trouble. If we took the scripture apart we would find that the ancient Hebrew word “ra’rah” for masculine or “ra’ah” for feminine was used by the original writer, King Solomon in this case, and translated into our English word calamity. This ancient Hebrew word basically means to be adversely disfavored and become grievously sad because of something you did or didn’t do. In other words, it is the sadness that comes from not having done something you know would have made you happy.

That’s all well and good if we have the time to take each scripture apart and dote on every word and then put it back together into one intended and complete thought. Either that or else we all must learn ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek … but that’s probably not going to happen – yet … God wants us to all know what can make us enjoy a happier and more fruitful life.

Now, let’s look at this same verse in the Amplified and conclude today’s message with some things that you can do to make you have a happy and blessed family.

Proverbs 14 (AMPC – Amplified Classic)
14  Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man who reverently and worshipfully fears [the Lord] at all times [regardless of circumstances], but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Blessed, happy, fortunate and to be envied is the: Man; Woman; Child; and/or Family. Whoever reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord at all times regardless of the circumstances, will be blessed, happy, fortunate and is to be envied. We must realize that the converse is also reflected in this verse. Those who close their hearts towards God will fall into calamity.

With the busyness of summer and the demands that will be made on the family, I want to encourage each of us to do our part for the family.

Men, I have a question for you. Are you leading your family to reverently and respectfully and worshipfully trust the Lord at all times regardless of what is going on in their world or the world around you?

Women, same question … Are you being the example you need to be to your family? Remember, we are not raising children, we are raising adults!

Young person … Perhaps you are the one chosen to turn your family from a sad family to a happy family. Who knows but that God has chosen you and will give you the opportunity to change your family or friends by being a better example. Trust in the Lord at all times … especially when others don’t, won’t or even when they think your respect for God is strange.

I’m going to ask each one of you to personally check three things in your life today and throughout this summer.
1.  Your primary focus
a.   Are you focused on what God can do or what others are doing?
b.   Are you looking for the good or focusing on the bad?
2.  Your choice of words
a.   What are you saying to yourself and to others about the circumstances and situations you face?
b.   What can you say that will help the situation?
3.  Your witness under pressure
a.   Check your attitude. (under pressure)
b.   Check your gratitude. (under pressure)
c.   Let the light of Christ shine in and through your life especially under pressure.

This is how we and our families can enjoy the summer:
·        Blessed
·        Happy
·        Fortunate

·        To be Envied