Friday, January 24, 2014

You Must Choose

Make 2014 a year of Sharing
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“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. “ – 1 Peter 4:11

  Looking through the glass, she dreams of a life outside of these walls.  The cold concrete that surrounds her offers no glimpse of hope, and has scarred her knees more then she leads on.  It wasn’t long ago that she had a room of bright colors and flowers.  A dollhouse in the corner, a dresser, desk and lampstand used to be a welcome sight when her Mommy would tuck her in at night.  Hours and hours had been spent in her room playing with Barbies and make believe. The memories flood her mind from a life that seems so very distant at this point.  She remembers when the policeman came to the door and told her of the accident.  The nightmare continues every single night as she lies down on the cot amongst strangers and cries herself to sleep.  Her only true possession is a necklace of a heart locket with the words – “I will always love you – God”  At the age of 9 her chances of adoption are significantly less than the others around her who range from newborn through 5.  So she sits and stares out the glass at the rusting swingset and litter covered playhouse and she dreams of tomorrow.

There are over 400,000 children living in foster care or orphanages across America today and substantially more around the globe.  Many living in conditions that are unbelievable; filthy, overcrowded and unloving.  It’s nothing short of devastating when you think about how many children don’t have a loving mother or father to hug each night or morning.  No bedtime story, no laughter, no imagination, no prayer around a dinner table, no cuddling up for a warm hug.  These are the forgotten ones.  These are the children that will always question Why me?  What did I do to deserve this?  Why can’t I be in a family?

What are you doing this weekend?  Perhaps you’re going to the mall, perhaps you’re working around the house, perhaps you’re going to the movies or you’re favorite restaurant.  Perhaps you’re working or you have some major projects due on Monday so you’re camping at the kitchen table all weekend like me.  What if I asked you to take time out of your day on Saturday and bring some joy to others with your time?   What if you called your local orphanage or Women’s and Children shelter and took them some games or coloring books or toys?  Christmas has come and gone again, but these children are still in need of love and blessings throughout the year. 

This week we’ve discussed the pursuit of living a legacy rather than just living.  Live in a manner that makes a big difference in God’s Kingdom by loving and serving others first. 
STEP 1: Make a list of the things you can do for God without any limitations
STEP 2: Evaluate what is keeping you from pursuing those things
STEP 3: Make a list of the things you can do for God with no means, no material possessions, job, family or money,
STEP 4: Evaluate and prioritize your time 

The final STEP 5: Take action NOW.  You have made a list of things you would do for God, and you have evaluated what gets in your way from taking actions.  What I’m asking you to do today is take a step toward fulfilling one of the things from your list.  You might not have the funds or time to complete the fullness of your plan, but you have a full day on Saturday to give to the world and represent the love of God to someone else.  You are choosing how you spend your day, and you alone can prioritize others ahead of yourself for this one day.  The real question is will you.  Will you take one step closer to fulfilling God’s command to love others as God loved you?  Pray about what God wants you to do tomorrow.  Pray for Him to break down any and all obstacles preventing you from delivering.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Commodity of Time

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” – Luke 9:58

Serving others in a manner that brings glory to God has very little to do with your means and/or lack there of.  Your heart, your passion and your love is your strength in this world.  It comes down to your desire and your willingness to execute on the plans, when He places them in your heart and mind.  We are called to love God and love others as He has loved us.  This doesn’t take money, time, vehicles or technology.  It simply requires a servants heart willing to hear God’s call and follow through.

Her purpose was to help others feel the love that God had shared with her.  She had spent the majority of her life as a missionary in South Korea where the Lord had sent her and her family.  Upon returning to the USA she realized that there was as much need here, if not more, for God’s love and word to be taken to the people.  In 1986 she started Mission Arlington, just outside of Dallas, Texas.  Her heart’s desire and passion was to take God’s word to the people who could not or would not come to the church.  It has become one of the largest Missions in the United States and is branching out across the globe.  Here we are 28 years later and Mission Arlington provides food, clothing, medical, dental, vision, legal advice, job placement, spiritual enrichment, training for missionaries, child care, education, transportation, youth and sports camps, and financial assistance to tens of thousands of people every day in and around Arlington.  Her name is Tillie Burgin.

The amazing fact about this Mission is that it doesn’t cost Tillie Burgin or her family anything; other than their time and heart felt sacrifice of serving God.  Everything is donated to them, so they in turn can serve the community.  Every morning they open the door for donations and stand in prayer for the needs of their community.  It is amazing how God answers the exact needs of the people through prayer and donations of clothes, furniture, vehicles and other household items.  Medical doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Teachers and volunteers show up every day to give of their time to help those in need.  They have worked with local church congregations to expand their reach.  In 2012 they were able to touch over 400,000 people with the word of God and many accepted Christ and are now in turn, helping spread the word even farther.  Tillie, is doing this today, giving everything she has to serve God.  It’s not a story of 100 years ago when life was simpler and times were less stressful.  She is a committed example of what the love of God is able to do with one person’s life if only we are willing to let Him.

This is an amazing story, but it isn’t because of anything Tillie Burgin does.  It is God working through her and her family, coupled with volunteers to impact the world around her.  Any one of us could do the same thing tomorrow if we could put the world behind us and focus on God.  The only limitation to succeeding in spreading God’s word, love and grace is self inflicted.  I believe that many of us have become comfortably complacent in our Christian walk and focused on how it is helping us individually, rather than taking on the servants heart and prioritizing our time around serving and helping the greater community. 

Rich Mullins once wrote a song titled, “Homeless Man”; but was tragically killed in a car accident before he recorded and published it. This home video was recorded just 1 week before he passed away in September 1997.  In the song he sings about the fact that Jesus Christ was a homeless man and each day would find His rest and sleep wherever He was.  He was fed through the love and charity of others and the work of His hands. He trusted His Father completely with every moment of every day as He continuously walked the roads of Israel. 

So what are we dependent on?  Over this week we have taken time to think big for what we can do to serve God in a more fruitful with means and without.
STEP 1: Make a list of the things you can do for God assuming you had no limitations
STEP 2: Evaluate what is keeping you from pursuing those things
STEP 3: Make a list of the things you can do for God with no means, no material possessions, job, family or money,

Now on to STEP 4: Evaluate and prioritize your time.  With or without means we are all given the same 86,400 seconds in a day.  You have to make choices on how you are going to use the linear timeline of each day.  The choices all boil down to one of two things: Serving God or Serving yourself.  You can make every excuse you want to about why you have to do what you have to do, but in the end it is an excuse.  We are called to Serve God with our time, treasure and talents.  The bible talks about giving back 10% to the Lord.  If you gave 10% of your daily calendar to serving God, what would it consist of  (8,640 seconds= 2.4 hours).  Where can you find it?  What will you do with it?  Is it really asking too much to give God just 10% of your life?  I know your day is full of things that have to be done so that you can pay the bills, raise a family, and find rest.  We are all consumed with busyness, but we also allow ourselves to be consumed with distractions: TV, Internet, computers, dining out, entertainment, and so on.  We waste no less than 2 to 3 hours a day doing something for ourselves, yet struggle to find 10 minutes to give back to God.  Perhaps we have prioritized incorrectly        

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prioritizing is Painful

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

The second hand on the clock on the wall continues to move in a methodical manner as I weigh the impact of the life spent walking in these shoes.  We aren’t given this life to just make it through, cross the finish line and then kick back in heaven with John, Paul, Peter and the boys.  We are given this life to make a difference to those around us, to influence them with the same love, grace and salvation that we are experiencing.  Accepting Christ was the most important decision I have ever made in my life and it is something I must commit to every day.  As I reflect on the inventory of my life, I realize that it is all temporary from an eternal perspective. 

We measure time on a calendar, a watch or a smartphone; God measures time on an eternal scale.  The 80 years or possibly 100 that we have on this earth is but a mere fraction of an instant in the eternal window of time.  We think in terms of infinity being the largest number of measurement because we realize that once we start counting, there is no end to it.  Infinity is nothing but a blip on the eternal scale.  It’s impossible to grasp the extent of the word forever, because we are a human being with very little patience.  But, eternity is forever and forever; and the choices we make in this life will have an impact on that life.

We are born with an inherent righteousness of the Lord within us.  We are created for His good works and His purpose, planned long before the garden of Eden and the fall of mankind.  We are the embodiment of God’s holy church and called to fulfill that which was placed in us.  In contemplating this life and your impact on those around you, we must ask ourselves if we are furthering the Kingdom, or just making do.  As the last week has passed by, my mind has been on expanding my horizons and thinking bigger than the obvious.  Why should I put limits on what God can do?  He is the Almighty Creator of the universe and everything therein, what is there that He cannot accomplish through those of us willing to submit to His plan?  Nothing. 

With that in mind I began thinking of what I would do if I could get my mind past the obstacles that this world puts in my way.  No limitations, no responsibilities to anyone but God, nothing to stop me from living for Him completely – what would I do?
1.      Be in the Word non-stop, studying, memorizing
2.      Preach the Good News from every possible stage, corner, mountaintop around the globe
3.      Start a Christ based Sports Camp for the underprivileged children with big name coaches donating time and resources to helping put kids back on the right track.
4.      Create a Non-Profit organization to centralize and make available ministries from around the globe to educate others interested in ministry fields, and to provide help where needed.
5.      Use Social Media and Technology for God through virtual conferences, education, Webinars and online Bible Studies. 

These are just five of my thoughts on things I would like to do in His Kingdom.  Even here I am still limiting my vision to something I think can be achieved, which is well short of what God can actually do through me.  With this list in mind, the next step (STEP 2) is to capture your fears and what is stopping you from executing on these things.  Some will say it’s finances, others will say it is time, and for some it may be work, school or family commitments.  Regardless the issue, be honest and write it down.  This is not an easy step because it takes deep evaluation of your priorities in life.  It is very likely that you will not necessarily like what comes out of this STEP, but I promise you when we get to the end of the week you will be glad you have gone through this.  Tomorrow we will cover STEP 3 and creating the model of living a legacy.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Living to Serve

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

For most people it takes a significant event in their life to realize that they are here for a much bigger purpose than they realize.  I hypothesize that when time has drawn to a close for your life, you will not want more stuff or a larger portfolio of investments, you will want your loved ones by your side and the opportunity to share with each of them how much you love them.  I still have faith that most people in the world have a dream of helping others, of being charitable and living a life that has an impact on this world.  Are you in that camp?

I sit here today and contemplate what have I done in my life that will have a lasting impact.  If I were struck terminally ill today, I have significant regrets for things I haven’t done.  I’m not talking about a bucket list of the wants and desires that would represent the extreme selfishness of my heart, but rather I am talking about the things that will influence generations to come and further God’s Kingdom on this earth. 

I am a self-proclaimed Christian.  I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  Yet, here before you today, I can confess that He is much more of a Savior to me than the Lord of my life.  Jesus Christ died so that I can be redeemed to the Father and spend eternity in heaven with Him.  He also died and was resurrected to be the Lord of my life.  I find myself a very selfish individual to take the goodness of salvation from Jesus Christ without giving back and expanding His Kingdom.  Perhaps you feel the same way.  Perhaps you are in the same situation and with all good intentions to help others and to live for Him, you are troubled with the burdens of life and the complexities of work, kids, school and bills.

It is this chaos, this self-created and accepted life of busyness that we have all become addicted too.  This week I will share from the heart on the steps I am going to take to break this habitual self centered lifestyle.  Do you want to join me?  If so, take step 1:
STEP 1:  Self Evaluation
- Imagine that you have no limitations on your life.  No financial restrictions, no job, no family, no responsibilities, no school, no illness and endless financial resources.  What would you do with the next year of your life?  Write those things down, don’t take the easy road and dream in your head, write it down on a piece of paper or two or however many it takes.

Do this tonight.  Make it a priority and spend the time to think about it, dream about it and think big.  Tomorrow I’ll share some items from my list and walk you through STEP 2.  I suggest that you make this a family event.  Forward this to your family members and friends, or invite them around the table and each make a list.  I promise you, this will be worth it.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Stop Looking for God

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.  For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matthew 24:26-27

“Stop looking for Him and see Him.”  We spend time seeking the Lord’s purpose in our life.  Should I be a missionary, should I be a teacher, should I help out at the nursing home, should I reach out to the homeless; you get the point.  We plan, we dream, we want to help but don’t know how to fit it in, so we set back and excuse ourselves from getting involved because we don’t think it is our “purpose”.  There are so many Christians today waiting for some revelation to fall from the sky, or a voice in their head to say “Go here” or “Do this”.  If you have been a Christian for more than a few weeks, you have asked the most common question already, “God, what is your purpose for my life.” 

Do you believe that Jesus Christ will return?  Matthew 24:30 tells us, “…
they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.   I have no doubt in my mind that He is returning.  I don’t know the date, nor do I care to be honest with you.  For between today and that day (tomorrow, next week, next month or 10 years from) I want to be busy doing the Lord’s business.  Distractions keep us from living for the Lord.  We are distracted by work, by school, by chores, by commutes, by entertainment and yes even by our friends and family.  We strive to achieve success in these things and less time focused on serving God in the limited time we have each day.  You see I believe that serving God is not a huge major purpose that changes the world, it is the thousands of opportunities that cross your path each day in your daily walk. 

Here are the three questions I am asking myself each day:
1) What will I do today to further His Kingdom?
2) Have I cleared my reconciled my sin with God today?
3) How am I strengthening my relationship with Christ today?

We are told to be ready at any moment for His coming.  This doesn’t mean we should walk around looking to the heavens for a His arrival, it means use every moment of every day serving Him so that you are spiritually ready.  Our flesh is not going to heaven with us, neither is our car, home, boat, clothes, bank statement or job.  Our spirit is in relationship with Jesus Christ and will be drawn back to Him in the due time.  So, what does it mean to be “spirit ready”?

When you accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you entered into a covenant with God almighty and your spirit was made heaven ready.  Once you have received this new spirit of salvation and grace, your life must then be transformed into the image of the One you have accepted.  This cannot happen over night, it is a journey that each of us must walk independently with God.  Many people believe that once they have accepted Christ and signed the card (so to speak) that they are done.  It’s a check box mentality, “Check the box, and move on to the next step in my life.”  There are millions and millions of people who will never get beyond that step in their Christian walk.  Is it sufficient to enter heaven?  I’m not the judge of that, but I do have an opinion.

We are not here on this earth simply to check the box and store it away for the day Christ returns.  We are here for so much more.  Just like anything in life, you must own the depth by which you are engaging in it.  This requires studying, learning, growing and maturing.  Your bible, your church and your mentors in the faith are here to help you become stronger.  What do you do with this new found faith then?  You have a circle of influence in your life.  Start there.  Let the salvation change in your spirit influence those in your circle.  Tell them, share with them your experience and why you have made the choice you made.  This is the most important decision in your life, and shouldn’t you want those closest to you to have the same opportunity?

Next, look just beyond your circle of influence into your neighborhood and community (work, school, sports and friends).  You influence them through actions, changes in your walk, your attitude and external persona.  Let your outward life demonstrate the peace, love and joy of your Savior, Jesus Christ.  Be helpful, be loving, be willing to share with them if they ask.  You don’t need to have the answers to every question they ask, you simply need to be able to share why you made the choice.  Let them see your life as an example of who you believe Jesus Christ is.  If you accepted Christ and continue living your life as before, those around you aren’t going to see His love.  Over time, let your circle get bigger through social media, through the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Every day you need to strengthen your walk and prepare for what lies ahead. 

With your eyes open for the Lord, you will no longer need to spend time looking for your purpose in life, you will see Him and His opportunities before you every day.  This is why I say, “Stop looking for God and see Him.”

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Your Help in Trouble Times

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.” – Proverbs 5:21

Aren’t you thankful for the Lord’s loving grace and forgiveness?  I sure am.  To realize that in my sin filled existence I am given the opportunity for redemption and reconciliation with the Lord is overwhelming at times.  The simple fact that I am incapable of living a sin-free life, and achieve the perfection required for eternity in heaven; I am holding onto my Lord, Jesus Christ, as my mediator and strength to overcome my weakness.  For it is only through this relationship that I am able to turn away from the sinful temptations that project themselves into my life each day.  By no means am I capable of resisting each, but it is a journey that the Holy Spirit is walking me through. 

For you see, despite the perception that Christians walk without sin or temptation, the truth is that we are struggling with it every single moment of every day.  The difference is that we have the realization that God is with us always and that every thought, every inclination and every action is known.  Whether you are in a room by yourself, or in a crowded bar, on a business trip far away from home or in a classroom with a hundred other students, your Creator is with you. 

We use the words Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnipresent (ever present) to describe God the Father.  In my human intellect I can’t explain it to you, but I have complete faith and acceptance that He is all of these things.  Is God hovering over the earth like a layer of the atmosphere, or is God so large that the earth fits in the palm of His hand allowing Him to see it all at once?  Or is it as simple as the Holy Spirit dwelling within each of us, as a part of the triune God?  When Jesus was in the upper room with His disciples He told them,
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26).  This I can wrap my head around.

The Holy Spirit lives within each of us.  You are never separated from Him and He is sent by the Father.  It is this truth that I hold onto and rely on when temptations arise in my life and unrighteous thoughts enter my mind.  For in the flesh we are weak and unable to control the sin in our lives, but in the Spirit we are mighty and strong, fully capable to overcome the evil in this world.  You will sin when you are in this world, because we give in to our flesh all too many times.  God is loving and forgiving, and the Holy Spirit is willing and capable of helping you overcome these as you intentionally choose to repent and turn from them.  The key is that you must want to turn away, and put it behind you.  The evil one in this world is not going to stop tempting you and trying to convince you that you have failed in God’s eyes.  That is His strength, lies, but your strength is greater – the truth of God with us, Immanuel.  Rest on that, and use it as your weapon against the evil in this world.  For nothing is greater than God’s love for you.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

From the Waters

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.” – Proverbs 3:19-20

As the foam rolls over the edge of the beach my eyes are fixated on the sun.  It’s amazing brightness fills the sky as far as one can see with hues of orange, red, purple, blue, yellow and white.  Blinding in it’s radiance and yet fully enveloped by the great expanse of endless space behind it.  To imagine that there was once nothing but darkness of incredible depth.  From that darkness God brought forth light and placed it into the heavens, to separate the darkness.  Since the beginning of time our Creator has provided a sunrise and sunset for his children.

We were sitting at the table the other night and Emma (now 6) looks up with an amazing wonder in her eyes as if she had the answer to all of life’s questions.  “Daddy – did you know that the earth is spinning around and around?  We’re not really sitting still, even though it feels like we are.”  The wonder in the eyes and the heart of a child as they begin to comprehend the greatness of the habitat the that Lord has created for us, is truly refreshing and inspiring.

The rotation of the earth on it’s axis is in perfect alignment with the vast galaxies and universe that surround us.  We take for granted the impeccable detail of God’s creation of the solar system as we look up at the stars at night.  We often fail to recognize the absolute perfection of design that makes the earth inhabitable, and provides our life sustaining balance of oxygen, water and foliage.  But from the time of creation God’s plan was not that we inhabit the earth for eternity, but that we spend it with Him in heaven.

Consider the art of creation.  From the watery depths He created all things.  He flooded the earth and covered it once again in water to start over, when mankind had turned away from Him.  We are born from the waters of the womb.  We are baptized under water to represent the new birth after salvation.  Water poured from Jesus side when the Roman soldier stabbed him.  Jesus, Himself calmed the raging sea and represented His authority over all things.  The hydrologic cycle was created by none other than God Almighty to provide cloud covering, to replenish the earth with water, to feed the foliage and to sustain life. 

The next time you pick up a bottle of water, it may have a brand name on the label, but I can assure you it was created by none other than your Father in heaven.  So hold it in your hand for just one minute before drinking it and thank Him for His masterful creation.  Similarly He created you in a manner that only He could, so that you could bring Him glory, worship and share His love with others.  This day, let’s give God the glory He deserves as the creator of all things.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Find Your Path

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." – Galatians 5:14

When the wind blows across the night sky, and the moon rises over the horizon, what is it that occupies your thoughts, your dreams and your vision?  The rose will bloom with or without the tender care of the gardener, but is even that much more beautiful when fed, nurtured and protected against the elements.  Consider the stars painted across the sky on any given night and the majestic manner by which they light the path of sailors, captains and adventurers across the globe.  If the simple expectation of those that chart their paths by the very presence of God’s glory, shouldn’t we consider that while we set our next steps in this life.  If you are striving for growth, advancement and improvement in your life this year, what are the factors that led you to set those goals and targets? 

Is your life being directed by the very breath and essence of the Lord or are you “winging” it on your own?  If the latter, I sincerely charge you to reconsider where you are heading, for the Lord’s plans are so much grander than you can even envision.  Set bigger goals for God.  Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone this year and live for Him.  Look around your neighborhood.  There are 5 homes, 10 homes or maybe more with families that may or may not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  You see them walking their dogs, riding their bikes and going for a morning run, but have you taken the opportunity to really get to know them? 

I’ve come to the realization that every single one of us were created in the same exact manner.  I don’t care if you are from China, America, Australia, Africa, Israel, Germany or any other country; or if your skin is white, black, brown, tan, olive; or whether you are male or female; you were created by God in your mother’s womb and born into this screwed up world that mankind has evolved since God’s perfect creation.  You and I breathe the same air, bleed red and hurt when things go wrong.  Through our life experiences we have either grown closer to our Creator or farther away.  The same goes true for every person you come in contact with.  That is why God is so intent on us understanding the need to “Love One Another.”  You don’t have to like the actions or mannerisms of your neighbors, but you do need to love them and let them see God’s love through you.  If you are searching for your purpose on this earth, start there and then let God show you the pathway to growth.  Make that your resolution and goal for the year. 

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Sodom’s Got Nothing on Us

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.” – Isaiah 34:2

We are captivated by the love of God and the mercies He has bestowed upon us.  We look at the end of the world and think little about the incredible wrath, death and destruction that will take place.  Through His Son, Jesus Christ, God has provided a sacrifice for mankind to lay claim to, yet the bible is clear, His wrath will be poured out upon the earth.  How long will He continue to be patient?  If we look at the immorality, the debauchery, the complete disregard for His supreme authority that is taking place in this world today; can the end be too far away? 

When Abraham argued with God over the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah there is scriptural evidence of the unrighteousness and sinful lives of those living there.  Abraham argued that if only 10 righteous could be found there, than God would have spared the entire cities. (Gen 18:)  To no avail, we know the story that God reigned down burning sulfur and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  What makes you believe that Armageddon will be any less spectacular?

Those that oppose the Lord and His outpouring of love for mankind will suffer the damnation and hell that is promised in the scriptures.  Make no mistake.  His love is unmeasurable, and this is why He has given you and I the opportunity for salvation.  Just as the angels came to Sodom and took Lot and his family away before the destruction, Jesus Christ has come to provide a sanctuary for you from the coming wrath of the Lord.

What is happening around you is nothing short of what was happening in Sodom in those days.  The 10 Commandments hold little value in the eyes of the masses.  Adultery and lust, murder, stealing, lying, jealousy, day of rest, respect, idolatry, cursing and the blatant denial of the one and only God Almighty, is commonplace in today’s world.  Is there anything that tells us that these laws are no longer valid, no longer applicable?  We have chosen to ignore them and apply them loosely to our own lives, no different than the children of Israel who wandered in the desert for 40 years and never saw the Promised Land of Canaan.  He gave us His law because it is righteous and good, not as a suggestion, but as the law of the Lord Jehovah.

Yes, Jesus Christ’s blood is an atonement for our sinful actions and thoughts.  This is a fact that we all rely upon so that we may be redeemed to our God and live holy and righteous in heaven one day.  The lack of repentance, turning from our sin, though should require us to carefully evaluate our spiritual commitment and salvation.  As Jesus Christ told the woman caught in adultery, ““Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  We love the fact that Christ forgives our sins, and washes us clean, but we often forget the second part of His statement – ”Go and sin no more.” 

I don’t know if God’s judgment day is tomorrow, next week, or 20 years from now.  The reality of it is that He will come to judge all mankind; every one of us.  You have no way to avoid it.  If you sincerely believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, than you must believe His words are 100% truth.  This means everything He said in the scriptures will come to fruition and woe to the man who does not hear.  As we start this New Year of 2014, I highly recommend you check yourself; your desires, your wants, your lusts, your passion, your sins and take them to the Lord in prayer now.  Lay them on the table and ask for Him to help you overcome these things this year.  Make this your New Years resolution, and forget about the whole diet fad of the century.  I promise when your 6 feet under, nobody is going to care if you had high cholesterol or not.  This flesh body we have has no future in eternity, perhaps our goals and resolutions should have more of an eternal impact.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Number One Resolution

Make 2014 a year of Sharing

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  - 1 John 4:11-12

When he walked into the room, there was a hush and stares.  His clothes were tattered and his shoes had holes in the toes.  He hadn’t shaved in years and the small wool hat on his head barely covered his greasy, tangled grey hair.  Missing a front tooth, he smiled as he made his way to the table in the front of the elegant room and began filling his plate with food.  The others gathered at this extravagant ball stared in shock as he proceeded to move down the buffet line, and shoved a few rolls into the pocket of his large oversized coat.  He was wearing one glove, missing the tips on a few of the fingers, and his other hand was covered in dirt and grease; looking weathered from the elements outside.  With a plate in one hand and a styrofoam cup of coffee in the other, he turned to walk back through the silent crowd towards the door.   Murmuring and gasping could be heard around the crowded room as his stench floated about the room.  Many turned away and covered their nose with their diamond adorned hands and handkerchiefs.  As he neared the door, he stopped and picked up a bulletin/flyer from the small basket which read, “Wellington Charity Ball for the Homeless - $1,000 donation per plate”.  He looked at the plate in his hand and then set it down.  He turned to the group behind him and said, “I’m sorry, I thought the food was for the homeless.”  With that he stepped back out into the snow covered street.

How do we expressing our love to those in our sphere of influence?  How are we impacting the lives of those around us to demonstrate the love of Christ, that was poured out for them as much as it was for you and I.  We are blessed, despite how unfortunate we might feel at any given time.  Consider that if you own a home, a car, a TV and have a computer on the Internet; your net worth places you in the top 15th percentile of the World’s wealthiest people.  All around us are people suffering from job loss, health issues, tragedy, homelessness, abuse and so many other things.  We are the body of Christ and it is our job to reach out to help those who are hungry, hurting and struggling.  You and I are blessed for His purpose and to advance His kingdom.  As Jesus stated in Matthew 25:34-40:
““Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

In 2014 I am going to make a more conscious effort to improve my efforts to love those around me as Christ loves me.  It is at the top of my 2014 Resolution list, won’t you also consider putting it on your list?


© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Packing Up Christmas

Make 2014 the year for Sharing


The lights are down, the ornaments are back in the boxes and the tree is no longer filling the living room.  My wife has done an amazing job putting the house back together after putting all the Christmas decorations away.  It depresses me every year when we transition from a neighborhood filled with twinkling lights, manger scenes, inflatables and music synchronized displays back to the same old concrete, trees and grass throughout the subdivision.  We spent a significant amount of time over the Christmas break looking at Christmas lights and displays this year.  There is something magical about the beauty and the festive spirit of decorating at this time of year, but alas the New Year has come and it’s time to move on.

In another 325 days or so we will trek back up into the attic and bring down the green and red boxes, the garland, the tree, the inflatables and the animated deer; and go through it all again.  Often times though, once those boxes and bags are put in the attic, so is the spirit of Christmas.  Without the daily reminder of shimmering lights on the horizon and twinkling in the darkness many of us will fail to acknowledge that the Christ child that we celebrate still lives within us throughout the year.  At Christmas time we have an excuse to go out of our way to discuss Jesus Christ, His birth, His life and resurrection.  As Christians, we are more willing to mention His name and talk about Him, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed by our neighbors, friends and co-workers during this time.  Those who don’t believe, or refuse to accept are more tolerant to the topic for those 30 to 40 days around November and December each year.

So what if we didn’t stop talking about Him, but continued throughout the year?  As the lights come down and the ornaments are boxed away, are you boxing up the King of Kings as well?  Christmas is nothing more than the celebration of His birth.  It’s not even the most significant event of His life, yet we go out of our way every year to decorate, sing, and carry on without fear or abandon.  He was born so that He could demonstrate the love of God the Father to mankind and die for our sins to be reconciled.  By all practical purposes His death and resurrection were the most significant events of His life.  Yes, I realize we celebrate those in April; but I propose we should be more outgoing and demonstrative of His love and purpose throughout the entire year.

I understand we are not all called to be evangelists, preachers and teachers of the Word.  It is not within the comfort level of most Christians to introduce friends, co-workers and neighbors to Jesus Christ or invite them to church on Sunday.  You see, most Christian have an excuse at Christmas to carry the Good News throughout their sphere of influence.  But, once those lights come down, so does their evangelistic spirit.  It is apparent that many are unwilling to share the salvation story beyond their own household and in some instances they won’t even do it there.  Many, if not most, are willing to accept the redemptive grace of the Father for themselves, but are unwilling to help others come to an understanding.  Once the box has been checked on their life, many feel their work is done and leave others to discover this salvation on their own.  They don’t want to offend someone, or bring tension into a friendship.  They have a comprehensive knowledge of the eternal outcome facing loved ones and friends who don’t believe, yet they are unwilling to have a conversation about it. 

We are all called to share the Good News of the Father’s grace, plan of salvation and eternal peace with others.  In Mark 16:15 Jesus tells us directly,
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This message was for all believers, not just for the few gathered in that upper room.  That includes you, me and every other individual who has gratefully accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  For to accept Him as your Savior and not be concerned about the salvation of those around you, is an example of prideful arrogance and self-righteousness; not the love and peace that Christ has instilled within you.  Do not allow the spirit of Christmas to fall into the shadows of your attic this year.  Nurture it, grow in your faith and in your confidence to boldly stand before those around you and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and will come again to enter us into a day of judgment. 

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Stepping out of the Fire

Read It, Learn It, Live It, Share It

“Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”  - Mark 3:28-29

I woke up this morning and I once again sinned against the Father.  In numerous ways throughout the day my heart is filled with different emotions and judgment against others in the world and against myself.  If I were sitting on the Great White Throne and judging my own eternal fate, I can assure you I would be destined for eternal Hell. The scriptures tell us that the very thought can be as sin, and not just the action.  The mind sins before the lips speak, or the feet take to the street.  The truth of what I speak is that we are all condemned to the lake of fire, based on any number of sinful actions every day.  How many sins does it take to send you to Hell?  One.  Yes, only one.  God accepts nothing but pure perfection and righteousness.  In any given day I am going to commit no less than 300 sins (1 about every 5 minutes or so).  If I live to be 80 years old, I will have committed 8.76 million sins.  I, therefore, will stand before God on that judgment day, and in be required to provide an answer for every one of them.  Yes, every single one of them, from the least to the greatest.  What can I do?  What possible righteous acts must I execute, and how many righteous acts, then to overcome this mountain of sin?

Romans 3:9-11 tells us,
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands;  there is no one who seeks God” I am not righteous, you are not righteous, your parents, your children, your neighbor, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Phil Robertson; none of them.  There has been only one person in the History of the world that was righteous, and that was the Son of God, Himself.  It’s not a matter of how great the sin, it is a matter of being outside of the righteousness of God’s perfection.  You may have committed adultery, you may have murdered, you may have been an alcoholic, you may be a homosexual, you may be suffering from drug addictions, you may have anger problems, you may have lied to your parents or stolen a piece of candy from the store; the list of sinful actions outside of God’s righteousness is endless.  All are forgivable through the saving grace of our Lord, through His provision of a sacrifice.  That sacrifice is His Son – Jesus Christ.

Despite the depth of depravity of your sin in life, in His loving grace, you are still worthy of salvation, with the exception of those who have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.  This is the only unforgivable sin.  But, to those who call upon His name and acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, they will be saved and their sins will be washed away.  The act of giving your life to Jesus Christ though requires your commitment to Him as your Lord, not just as a get out of jail free card.  It requires your repentance from your sinful life, which means turning away from that which separates you from Him.  Continuing in your sin with no desire for becoming more Christ-like is outside of accepting Him as the Lord of your life, and should cause one to carefully question the truth of their salvation.  It is completely between you and the Lord to reconcile your sinful actions and lifestyle, but I offer only this advice – do not take this lightly for the ramifications of your perceived salvation is eternal. 

Acts 4:11-13 tells us, “
Salvation is found in no one else {Jesus}, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Many will deny Jesus Christ, claim that He was a prophet, a nice man, a carpenter or even a lunatic.  Others will claim He never existed, and claim the whole salvation story as nothing more than a fable.  To this group of individuals, their fate is determined by their choices and arrogance, for they have no other means to reconcile the sins that exist in their life each and every day.  It is them that I will pray for this year, as I make out my list of resolutions for 2014.  If you are willing and committed to serving God in this world and the next, than consider your role in this purpose as well.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2014
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