Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shake Well; Settling is Natural

Pulp free; high pulp; with mango. Though our taste preferences differ, most of us enjoy a nice glass of orange juice to start or end our day. Written on the label of almost every kind of Orange juice is a small warning. "Shake well, settling is natural." It is easy to see why this label is there. After time, the pulp some of you love in your OJ, has all drifted down to the bottom of the bottle. In order to get the great taste you enjoy, you have to give that container a good shaking. Here is a news flash for you; even as Christians, we all need to be shook up from time to time. As we journey down this path called life, it is not uncommon for us to settle. All of our zest has collected at the bottom and we are just a watered-down rembrandt of what we should be. At one time, we had the taste of an on-fire-for-God-Christian, but now, nothing. In our hearts, we know we are saved, we know who we are, but on the outside, everyone can see through our personalities and see nothing but a watered down wannabe. So how do we get "shaken"? How do we go from orange water, to orange juice? It is rather simple actually. Put your hands in the Father and he will take care of the rest. Wait, is that it? That's all it takes? Yes. There is nothing that orange juice can do to itself that will ever get it back to its tasteful state. Only when it is placed in the shaker's grip does the pulp make its way to the whole substance. The fire that might have died down a little can be resurfaced in our hearts. It just takes a little shaking, but not only that, a constant shaking. We can not let ourselves become shaken, then let the pulp resettle. We need to keep our hearts in constant shaking in order to stay on fire for God. When we are on fire, people look at us and see orange juice. I want people to look at me and see God through my life, and not be diluted in my walk with God. Who's with me?

"And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness"- Acts 4:31

"The voice of the Lord shook the wilderness, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh" Psalm 29:8

Adam Semple-A Young Man on a Mission From God

Saturday, October 22, 2016

When No One Is Looking

"If a tree falls on a mime in the forest, does it make a sound?"
We have all heard this saying. Basically, we are asking if when a tree falls when no one is there to see it, does it make a noise, or is it something that will only be heard if it is seen. Of course it does. Just because nobody is looking or nobody cares at that moment, the tree will still create a large THUD when it hits the ground. With this in mind, why do we act with integrity when people are watching, yet forget about it when we are by ourselves. If we only operate in integrity when we might be praised for it, is it really integrity, or merely self-praise coming from others. "Oh, I will be a good Christian on Sunday when I am in church. I'll come to Wednesday night service. I'll help out in Kids Church, or the Food pantry. What about the rest of the week, when you are by yourself, or even surrounded by people who don't know you as a Christian? Upon looking at you, do they see that same integrity? Would they use that word to describe you to other coworkers, or your boss? When questioned if you would do the right thing even when the wrong way of doing things is much easier, would they trust you could do it the right way, even if it took a little longer? Imagine you were assigned to do a task entirely by yourself. You know that there are two ways to accomplish the task, the easy way, and the right way. Nobody will be grading or watching how you do the work, as long as it gets finished. Is your first response to take the easy road, or the road of integrity that will ultimately give you a better end result. Merriam Webster dictionary gives this definition for integrity-firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; an unimpaired condition; the quality or sate of being complete or undivided. In simpler terms, this is saying that even when no one is looking, you still hold the integrity as if someone were looking in from the outside. Not because someone is looking, but because even when they aren't we should walk the same path with or without an audience.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."- Philippians 4:8
"To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."- Proverbs 21:3
"Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1 Peter 3:16
"I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 Because of my Integrity, you uphold me and set me in your presence forever."-Psalm 41:11-12

Verse after verse of examples in the Bible showing that if we walk in integrity, we will be in God's favor and grace. Living a life of integrity ensures that though accusations will arise against us, the people around us will testify about our integrity and know these accusations are false and have no ground to stand upon. Live a life of integrity for in the end, it will be the strongest witness in your walk.

Adam Semple-A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit-dlotravelblog@blogspot.com

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Junk In The Trunk

"Come on out and let's make our junk, your junk. Yard sale today from then to now"

Last week, my family had a yard sale in our new home. Did you catch that? Our New Home. A new season has begun and it was time to move some things on. Whenever someone is planning a yard sale, it usually starts with a box or two of junk that is taking up space in your home and you need to get rid of it. As you prepare, more things accumulate until you have enough stuff and then some to fill your yard with. Most of the time, the stuff you decide to get rid of is just stuff that doesn't have any significant value to you. Old clothes you have outgrown. toys you have not played with since you were in diapers, and so on. But what about the stuff that is harder to just thrown away? Could be something special to you, like a gift from a family member, or something of great value. How can you justify giving these things up? In life, we go through many seasons. Some are cold and dreary, some are full of new life, but in every season, we need the right equipment. In order to make room for the right, we must first remove the wrong. I'm not saying the things you have held onto are necessarily bad, just space takers for the good. If you have a garage full of beach toys and scuba gear, but you are going on a ski trip, you need to change what you have otherwise you will freeze tumbling down those big slopes. In the same way, God is telling us to switch out the old things so he can give us the new. "But God, this stuff is important to me, I could never part from these." "Ok God, i will get rid of the stuff I don't want, but the things of value, i will price it so high that nobody will want to take it off my hands, only if someone pays really well for that thing will I be ok parting with it." Have you ever considered that the things you have held onto for so long are the things stopping you from moving forward. The old habits you used to partake in are getting in the way of the better journey God wants you to walk out. Sometimes, God puts it on our hearts to have a spiritual yard sale. To clean out our trash to make way for his treasure in our lives. Are you ready to part with your junk so God can give you something better? I know I am. I just hope that when the time comes, you will be too. Give God your all, and he will give you things you never knew your life needed because you were too busy looking at the old. Lose the junk, Find the Joy.

"What is more, O count it all loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ"- Philippians 3:8

Adam Semple- A young Man on a Mission From God