Dec 8, 2009

December 8th: Mark 8:35-37 -- GAIN OR LOSS?

“POINTS TO PONDER” – December 8th
Written by M. Hall
Please feel free to agree or disagree with points made, and feel free to comment if so desired.
If you would like, you could write your own thoughts on the verse of the day, and include that in your own comments below. Thank you and may you be blessed!! =)

GAIN OR LOSS? Your choice...

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:35-37 NIV

Losing and gaining… what a challenge. We just finished watching the BIGGEST LOSER FINALE, and it sure is a challenge to gain weight, and then to lose it. One of the past winners has unfortunately gained a lot of his weight back, and is now working on a personal challenge to be thin again for the finale of next season’s B.L. WOW! Winning and losing, it’s one of the only times you have to lose to win. CONGRATS to DANNY this season’s Biggest Loser, we were totally cheering for you! This has all got me thinking about this above verse in the Bible, about losing & gaining. What good is it to gain the whole world, yet lose my soul? Jesus means the world to me, and He is so much better than ANYTHING that the world can offer. Knowing Jesus as my King is the best gift ever!

We need to humble our own lives, and choose to pick up the life that God has for us. His will and His ways are so much better for us, then our own. However, sometimes we let our own fleshly desires take over, and slowly that kills us. Just like on Biggest Loser, we all allow our flesh to take over, and we feed it with so much food and stress, and we gain the world’s weight, and are closer to dying than really living. BUT… through Jesus we can live again! We can lose the world and gain an eternal life with Jesus. WOW! What an opportunity, and what a choice to make. Some people make the choice easily, and choose as a young person. Others however, it takes a lot to overcome the desires that the world throws at us, and some even choose not believe, and therefore have eternal death! It seems like an easy decision to me, but I guess that’s because I was one of those who chose this decision as a young person. At the age of 5, I chose to allow Jesus to have a special part in my life. Some people think that children should not be able to fully make that decision, because they do not understand, but they do. They understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Those are the years where the mind-shaping begins, and they need to be taught the truth. I think that’s part of the reason I love being a teacher so much. I love sharing Jesus with them, and having them understand who He is, and what He has done for them, and what He can still do for them.

The world has nothing really to offer us, and we have to come to accept that. No matter if the world offered me millions of dollars, I would still choose Jesus. No matter if someone had a gun to my head, or any other of the brutal things that have happened to Christians past, I would still choose Jesus! Good or bad, I choose to lose… lose the world and gain eternal life… gain the Heavenly blessings or lose the material blessings?

Really, what is more important in the end?
His PRESENCE or the PRESENTS the world has to offer?

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:7-9
Rubbish… I consider them rubbish. That is trash, garbage, things that are not important. WOW! Considering everything loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ! Do you know this feeling? If not, then take time now to look at your life, and give it all to Christ. Lay it at the foot of His cross. He is not on that cross anymore, He has risen, and He sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. He is there petitioning for us, or in easier terms, telling the Father what we are asking for. He is the go-between, the gate for us to enter into the throne-room of our Heavenly Father. Thank you Lord!

I pray right now that as you read these words, that you are inspired to LOSE the things of this world, and to GAIN the Heavenly blessings that God wants to share with you today! Stop trying to gain the world, and what it has to offer you… your soul is much more important, and worth way more than that!

PRAYER: God in Heaven, we thank You for your unconditional love for us, that while we were still sinners You sent Your Son to die for us. Through You we can live that life of righteousness through our faith in Christ. Help us now turn to You, and to desire the things that You want for us and our families. Encourage us in times of trials where we look to our circumstances (like the recession, or job loss, or physical problems, etc…) and help us to look to you, our Saviour and Redeemer. As this Christmas season approaches, remind us of how Your Son humbled Himself and came to earth just for us. WOW! You and He want the best for us, and You have way more blessings up Your sleeve for us, if only we step out in faith. There is so much that You want to pour out on Your children, if only we converse with You in daily prayer, hear from You when we read Your Word daily, and if we seek Your face, and not the things from the world. Help us to love others like You love us, and not place conditions on our love. Guide us and direct us with Your Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ precious name,

Dec 5, 2009

December 5th, 2009 -- The Gate to Forgiveness

“POINTS TO PONDER” – December 5th
Written by M. Hall
Please feel free to agree or disagree with points made, and feel free to comment if so desired. If you would like, you could write your own thoughts on the verse of the day, and include that in your own blog or comments below. Thank you and may you be blessed!! =)


“Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”- John 10:7, 9-10

According to, a gate is a point of entry to a space enclosed by walls, or an opening in a fence. Gates may prevent or control entry or exit, or they may be merely decorative. Other terms for gate include yett and port. Larger gates can be used for a whole building, such as a castle or fortified town, or the actual doors that block entry through the gatehouse. Today many gate doors are opened by an automated gate operator.

The Bible tells us that the only way to get to Heaven or to God is through Jesus (God’s Son). This is why Jesus is considered the gate. We can only enter through Him because of His blood. Jesus is also our Good Shepherd, and we are safe in Him and with Him. However, when we choose to take paths that God does not want us to take, or try to go off in our own will and way, we may get roughed up a little, but Jesus is always there to save us. The road to Heaven is like the road less travelled, in the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. (Words below…)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

There is another verse in the Bible that states, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Which road or gate have you chosen to walk on or through??

The narrow gate and the narrow road lead to life, and life more abundantly. (As stated in another translation of the Key Verse, John 10:10 – “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” NKJV) No matter what decision you make… you are in fact in charge of that decision. God gave us the willpower to choose. He offered us two main choices… well, actually He offered one choice, and it was a sacrifice on His part. The devil offered the other one, and it is sad to see that more people are choosing that way of life. It seems to be the easier route, so people are quick to jump through the wide gate, and take the broad road. But in the end of that road is destruction. There is a BIG ‘Road Ends’ or 'Bridge Out' sign at the end and in the end is a lake of fire. But thankfully, God has placed ‘U-turn’ signs along the broad path, that allow you to u-turn and come back to the narrow path. There is no end to the narrow path, but eventually the road beneath your feet turns to gold. What a great deal that is! We have all sinned, so none of us deserve to take the narrow path, yet Christ (the gate) died for us, and removed our sins from us, as far as the East is from the West. So through the grace and mercy of God, we are all able to choose to take the narrow path that leads to abundant life. It doesn’t matter what you have done, God can love you no less. He loves us all the same, and that makes it great. God can and will still forgive you from your sins, if you choose to repent!

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart, that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9&10 NIV (Ten, Nine & Ten - this verse as seen as T.N.T. the dynamite verse of the Bible) There is so much truth in this one verse alone, that you can study it further for yourself.

Choosing to take the ‘road less travelled’ starts with a single step, make that choice today!

Prayer: Father God, we thank you for giving Your Son as a WAY for us. We would die in our sins, and be lost eternally if it wasn’t for Your sacrifice of love. We thank You for Your love and mercy, and grace that allows us to enter through the narrow gate, and to travel along the narrow path that leads to abundant life. As it says in Your word, whoever enters that gate of life, through Your Son will be saved. You lead us on paths of righteousness, and we thank You for that as well. What a privilege it is to be called the ‘children of God’. We thank you as well that You accept all of us, no matter what we have done, as long as we take the time to repent. We take the time right now to ask for your forgiveness for things we have done in thought, word and deed; intentionally and unintentionally, that have gone against Your Word and Your ways. Please forgive us, and allow us to step boldly into Your throne-room, so that You will indeed hear our prayers, and that we may walk that narrow road that leads to You in Heaven one day where we will rejoice around your throne! God, we also pray for those who may be reading this, or are a part of our family and friends, who have not made this awesome decision yet. We pray for them, that You will allow Your love and forgiveness to just overflow their spirit, and that Your Spirit will convict their spirits, and reveal the truths from Your Word to them. Help them choose the narrow gate, through Your Son Jesus. Praise You Lord, and thank You for Your many benefits. We ask all these things in the powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

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