It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Can You Hear Me Now?

And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Mark 4:9

Numerous times Jesus includes the equivalent of saying, “Listen up!” when He speaks. His expression, He who has ears to hear,”makes us realize how often we use our ears for other purposes—to secure sun glasses, to keep our hats from falling over our eyes, and to hang jewelry. But we’ve got ears in order to hear. Jesus wants to provoke attention, even though He knows some will not listen.

When we look at the reasons why people don’t listen, we can group them into four categories. As you read them, do a spiritual hearing check-up by asking yourself, Am I like that?

Immaturity. People of all ages can have this problem. Immaturity is the inability to connect actions and consequences. The immature person doesn’t get it. They can’t make the connection between their choices and what comes because of those decisions. They need to discover the unbreakable law of cause and effect that God has established in the universe. If you choose to sin; you choose to suffer. That’s what’s coming. People frequently say, “I’m going to beat the odds. I’m going to cut the corners.” Then they hit a brick wall or disappear in a bottomless pit. Often, painful experience is the only effective teacher to improve an immature person’s hearing.

Rebellion. “My will. My thrill. You chill.” Those are the proud declarations of rebellion. “No one’s going to get between my will and my thrill! This is what I want to do. You back off! Don’t tell me anything.” Rebels won’t listen and they try to cut off any attempts by others to help. They are stuck in overdrive, headed for a wall—and they don’t care! But hardship and humiliation can make a rebel’s heart attentive.

Woundedness. Hidden hurts close hearts and ears. They can’t hear because something happened that left unseen scars. Sometimes in a family or a church things happen that few know about. The person holds it all inside and drifts away. They’re hurting, but don’t bring it out in the open. They can’t listen to reason because all they hear is their hidden wound.

Relationships. Peers could be the problem. Peers in the ears block fears. Warnings we should hear and be afraid of don’t register on our radar. Like a teen who feels the need for speed, with a friend in the passenger seat shouting, “GO!! GO!! GO!!!” There are many times we should be afraid, but we’re more concerned about impressing our friends and the people around us.

Most of us can relate to one or more of the reasons above. But He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus’ words remind us He has spoken even when we are not listening. And His Word is always ready when we’re ready to use our ears for their designed purpose—to listen. Until we’re willing to respond to the truth He has for us, we’re not really listening.

How did you do with the hearing check-up? If you realize you are being influenced not to listen to the Lord because of one or more of these causes, it’s time to let God do some hearing correction. Ask Him to tune your ears to hear His voice.

Pastor James MacDonald

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Prayers & Patriot Missiles

Prayers are like Patriot Missiles!

No matter where they’re sent off from, they always hit the target!

God Answers our prayers in 3 ways:

1.  He says yes and gives you what you want.

2.  He says no and gives you something better.

3.  He says WAIT and gives you the BEST!

 

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Wasn’t it SMART of God to:

Give the Bombardier Beetle the ability to defend itself by shooting boiling liquid out of its abdomen.  (Thankfully this is an ability HE withheld from people.)

Design a few folks to be ambidextrous — a rare ability found in mostly ravenous growing boys anywhere free hotdogs are found!

Create cats and humans with very different ideas when it comes to personal hygiene.

Make nose hair not grow as long as the hair on our heads . . . and small scissors to keep it that way.

Make us unable to tickle ourselves so we can wash the bottoms of our feet and under our arms without uncontrollable laughter.

Give us the capacity to breathe around 23,400 times in a 24-hour period without giving it a lot of thought.

Design the human heart with enough pumping pressure to squirt blood 30 feet (but not for long).

Make some species of ribbon worms capable of eating themselves if they can’t find food.  (Be thankful God didn’t design us that way or “finger foods” would have a totally new meaning.)

We have an amazing creator that saw that all HE created was very good.  May we enjoy all HE has created and be thankful for all HE’s done to and for us, and NOT DONE!   Have a blessed day!

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Wasn’t It Smart Of God To:

Make the palms of our hands flat so we can write notes to ourselves on them — and give us the ability to fold our hands when we don’t want anyone to know what we wrote.

Design the human brain to triple in weight between birth and adulthood — but wrinkle as it grows so it will fit inside our skulls.  (Speaking of brain wrinkles, if you removed your brain and flattened it with an iron it would cover an extra large ironing board — but that would really hurt!)

Make 300 million cells die in the human body every minute.  (Many preachers wish God would do the same for cell phones during sermons!)

Create a world that contains more chickens that humans — and then make us big enough so we won’t get eaten by them.

Give the alligator 2,000 to 3,000 teeth during its lifetime so we won’t complain about having to floss our measly 32.

What are you grateful for today?  Make sure you take every opportunity to laugh at yourself and love God!

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Wasn’t It Smart of God To:

Make our nose holes go down instead of up so when it rains we won’t drown.

Make aging a slow process instead of a sudden change, like while at youth camp.

Make our knees knobby so that we feel just enough discomfort to keep us alert and focused.

Give us nails to bite when we are nervous that aren’t made of metal and don’t taste like Brussels sprouts.

Cover our entire body with skin that flakes and sheds at a rate of up to 105 pounds during 70 years of living — and thankfully not all at once.

Have the spider be the first “web site” designer.

Design human legs perfect for straddling a horse or a Harley.  (Both are safe to ride if handled with respect.  Leather goes well with both.  And neither one needs a windshield.)

Not play “hide and seek” with us.  (Instead He plays ” seek and find” and promises our success!)

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Wasn’t It Smart Of God To:

Design Esau to be a skillful hunter and Jacob to be a quiet man living in tents so we know it’s okay to be country folk or city slickers!

Send us into the world with nothing and then take us back with nothing so we’re reminded that the most valuable thing in life is that we belong to HIM.

Make children washable and guaranteed not to shrink!

Design the human body to self-maintain by feeling thirsty when it needs water, hungry when it needs fuel, tired when it needs rest — and grumpy when any of those needs aren’t met.

Give instructions to parents to not spare the rod of discipline so the rest of us won’t mind being around their kids.

 

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Wasn’t It Smart Of God To:

Give us fevers so we will know when we are sick or in love.

Give us two eyebrows instead of one — and tweezers to help keep them that way!

Give us tongues so that when we talk we don’t “hown ike ikh”.

Make the human blood cell able to make a complete circuit of the body in about 60 seconds — guaranteeing that at least part of us is getting exercise!

Give us chiggers so that scratching feels good.

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Wasn’t It Smart of God To:

Make a single strand of DNA into an information storage unit that is a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair yet capable of holding enough information to fill a stack of books that would stretch from the earth to the moon 500 times!

Design us to sing when we’re happy and cry when we’re sad, and at other times, to cry when we’re happy and sing when we’re sad.

Not allow wisdom to be purchasable.  Otherwise only the wealthiest of us would be wise.

Make dirt and then create man from it so that whether we’re unlearned or intelligent, poor or wealthy, we all know where we got our start.

Let us know that HIS “power is made perfect in weakness” since weakness is one thing we have plenty of.

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Wasn’t It Smart of God To . . .

Make our lower jaws move when we talk instead of our upper jaws, so that when we talk our heads don’t violently bounce up and down!

Make our bodies using enough phosphorus to cover 2,200 match heads, but not ignite while filing our nails.

Make tooth enamel the hardest thing in our bodies.  (Some of us have skulls that run a close second).

Give us sweat glands on our foreheads that produce a different kind of moisture than our armpits so when we get nervous at least our faces won’t stink!

Design boy babies to not grow beards.  (It’s hard enough to potty train them, much less teach them to use a razor.  And the image of toddlers with full beards would be way too weird.)

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