1. November 2018

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Pursuing Empty Things?

Samuel continues his farewell address to Israel. (1Samuel 12:20-21 ESV)

“20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.”  {Bold added}

Humans. What is it about us? God, the True King, wanted His Chosen People to love Him, follow Him, serve Him, and trust Him. What do they do? They offend their Almighty God and commit great evil by asking for a human king! What an insult! What a kick in the teeth!

Men and women who prefer the things of this world will always follow the path of sin and that which feels right to them.

As we pray today, and pray for each other, let us be reminded to pray for our hearts and minds that we would seek the things above and not the things of this earth. Our God, the Lord Jesus, is a far better King and Lord than any man or woman here on earth or the trinkets they promise us.

Please share. Send comments / prayer requests / feedback to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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30. October 2018

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Old Samuel Might Ask: Will You Rebel or Obey?

Old Testament Prophet Samuel’s farewell address to all Israel is as good for us today as it was for those people back then.

“14 If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.” (1Samuel 12:14-15 ESV) {Bold and color added}

Here is a clear example of “choices have consequences”.

In Galatians 6:7, the Apostle Paul says it plainly: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (ESV)

Sadly, many times throughout their history, God's Chosen People rebelled and went their own way. If the truth is known, so have I…so have you.

As those of us who claim to follow the Lord Jesus Christ as born again Believers, we need to walk with and before the Lord with repentant hearts, pure minds, and humble dealings with others.

Most of us have strong convictions, but we must be gentle, respectful and kind in our deliberations with others. Where there is penitence and admission of brokenness, there is joy and the helping, affirming hand of God. Let us pray this for each other today.

Please share. Send comments / feedback to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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30. October 2018

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Be Still

“He said, ‘Be still, and know that I am God…’” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;…” (Psalm 37:7 ESV)

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39 ESV) {Bold added}

Have you ever found yourself spinning around from task to task, project to project, and conversation to conversation? My approach to life is to act first; think later, if required. Like many of you, I am a “Doer”, an “Achiever”, a “Get-er-done” kind of guy. Spending time in quiet solitude before the Lord or even just in the quiet is not my natural bent.

I’m like the Tasmanian Devil in the cartoons running around in a tizzy… hoping God is somehow ‘with’ me. However, having turned 67, I must tell you that my body and my energy levels are screaming at me to slow down. My Doctor said to me just a few weeks ago, “Jim…you’re not a Spring Chicken anymore.” Ah…encouraging words but I needed to hear them. I know a number of you can relate. 

My problem is not so much one of physical or emotional frenzy, but rather is of a spiritual nature. Notice in the verses above, the Lord is issuing a command. It is my role to simply obey whether I feel like it or not. Typically I don’t see immediate results from being still before the Lord. Pray that I change my mindset. I will pray the same for you. God bless!

Please share. Send comments / feedback to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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11. May 2018

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What Are You All About?

What is your passion? What drives you? Why do you wake up in the morning? What might you weep and pound the table over? Perhaps it is making money to pay bills and live comfortably. Perhaps it is to become somebody the world will remember. Could it be to avoid anxiety, have some fun, and be liked? For some, it may be to serve God faithfully with integrity and honor.

 

Lately, I’ve been discussing with Barbara, my wife, and our middle daughter, Anne, about spiritual gifts in light of what it says in 1 Corinthians 12 – 14:1. Consider reading this passage for yourself.

 

Remember these things. God's gifts are good. They are given to His children for His glory, for the building up of His Church, the Bride of Christ, and He will shine through you to reach souls for salvation, discipleship, and service. 

 

If you are a Believer (a saved, born again follower of Jesus) you have at least one gift of the Holy Spirit for He resides in you, His Temple.

 

Also remember that it is God who determines which gift(s) you receive. Yes, you can pray for and desire gifts, but no one determines the gift(s) except the Lord for His reasons alone.

 

I do want to zero in on one key verse, 1 Corinthians 14:1a.   (ESV) 

 

“Pursue love,”

 

Other versions say, “Follow ye charity”, “Make love your aim”, “Make love thy great quest”, etc. The idea here is actually beautiful and quite deep. If you have an out-building on the farm with 5 large sealed Bell jars (representing different spiritual gifts) on the shelf. This building is supposed to be your honey storage building. What good are the jars unless they are filled with honey? The honey is the love of God and, thus, His love for people…through you.

 

Let us pray for each other that we pursue God and sinful people with His love regardless of the spiritual gift.

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”   

(1Corinthians 13:3   ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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Do I Have The Joy?

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where?” How many of you remember singing this song at camp or in Sunday school? What a great song with a great message. I am learning (the hard way as usual) that “Joy”,  like love, is a choice. It is not so much a warm, bubbly feeling I get from people, things, or experiences. Rather, it is a moment by moment decision to hold the hand of my Savior Jesus and choose by faith to possess a glad heart.  

 

 

Now it is time for True Confessions.  I am not joyful or glad much of the time. I find that I have allowed the disappointments in life, the set backs, and the outright royal shafts that come to cloud my judgment and my faith. Like the Apostle Peter on the Sea of Galilee and during the night of Jesus`s arrest and mock trial, I tend to quietly groan in grumbling and, at times, fear.   During these times, I take my eyes off of my Jesus, my Great Shepherd, and lower them to this world, with its intrigues, its pressures, and its troubles. I might not be alone in this. Right?

I do confess I am ‘missing the mark’ for this is what sin is. Sin is an archery term. It is the ‘sin’ distance which measures by how much my arrow misses the mark of perfection on the bull’s eye.

 

  Sin is a condition which misses the perfection of God.  

 

Like Peter, whether, sinking in the drink or slinking in denial, I am the opposite of joyful when I do this. I really desire that God gives me the Spirit-directed power to choose joy as well as to choose love. These two are like loyal roommates. One is not without the other. Please pray this for me. I will pray this for you.

 

“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   (Nehemiah 8:10c  ESV)  

 

 

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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God’s Not Finished

As I’ve gotten older, almost 67 now, having experienced one heart attack and other health issues, I have come to the humbling conclusion that I’m not 21 anymore. Why…I’m not 40, 50, or even 60 anymore. Those of you brave souls who’ve hit 60 know what I’m talking about. I’m not the man I used to be. Well…that might actually be a good thing. Ha! Thank God He is not nor has He ever been finished with me. In terms of godly character, I know I am not yet the man He is making me to be. That is good news!

My physical status does, however, affect my emotional condition. I don’t  have the strength nor the energy that I once had. Cleaning out the eaves on that ladder just doesn’t motivate me anymore. I am learning to face reality. I cannot do everything I used to be able to do. I get tired much more easily. This is humbling. Can some of you relate?

 

My God is not finished with me yet. That’s the great news. Seasons of life change. But His desire to extend the Kingdom of His Son never changes. He, if we are willing and available, will use us and our prayers to reach many souls for Christ.

 

I want Heaven populated with as many souls as possible. I pray you do as well. Let’s serve Him with the strength and character He gives us. Let’s pray for each other that we fill Heaven together.

 

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6  ESV)

 

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  

                                                                                                      (Philippians 3:14  ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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Through The Storm

Is it just me or is Wednesday the toughest day to get through? I remember back when I was a cadet at the Academy. Wednesday was like being half way on a swim across the English Channel... during a storm! My studies, parade practices, Obstacle Courses, room inspections, inspection in ranks, and the general ongoing pressure of the Spartan academy lifestyle left me drained.

 

Even now, Wednesday is my longest day with leading aBible Study at 7 AM 25 minutes from home. Sometimes I crave a nap because my energy reserves are depleted by mid day. Do you like Wednesdays? Some call it Hump Day. Wednesday dinner in the Cadet Mess Hall was the best meal of the week. It was steak night. Occasionally, they’d toss in a lobster. I guess they were trying to help us get through the week. It helped.

Sometimes life throws us more than just a tough Wednesday. Some of you, right now, are going through rough seas that are weeks, months, and even years long. The drain and pain of life is bitter and, at times, almost unbearable. We’ve been there. Barbara and I want to be in the prayer trenches with you. Remember two things. First, you are not alone. Jesus is with you and so are many others, in spirit and in prayer. Second, this difficult time will not last. There will be an end.

 

The Lord cares. He will not abandon you. He will carry you through the storm.

” You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah”   (Psalm 32:7 ESV)

 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10  ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

Here is the Gospel:  http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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