Recovery in the Real World Lesson 4.2 by Crossing Barriers Ministry

How many times do we wrong someone in some way, shape, or size?  We apologize and I truly hope you mean it and not just saying it. How many times do we wrong someone in life bad enough that it costs a relationship?  If it is serious, we apologize and ask for a second chance.  Problem is that even if we are offered the second chance, there is a slight possibility that things will not return to the way they were because someone in the relationship will always harbor some sort of negative feelings.

Continue reading

A New Beginning by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Every year we celebrate Christmas and listen to treasures like Christmas Carol (Skip Ewing) or biblical classics like Hark the Herald. The reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus who became our Savior. Seven days later we start to make a list of resolutions as we ring in the new year.  These may include exercise or lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, get organized, read more, travel more and the list goes on. The problem we look at today is that when we make these resolutions, we are committing a sin.

Let us go to the scripture:

Genesis 1:1-31 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Happy New Year! In some ways, we look at a New Year as a New Beginning as we forget about the year we are leaving behind and working towards our new resolutions.  Just like God creation of the earth and everything in it is a new beginning. 

Moses opens the first book of the bible with “In beginning”.  This could mean that this was a specific absolute beginning of all time or it could mean the beginning of God’s work of creation.

All beginnings must begin with God. Always put God first. The first stone in every building, our first thought every morning, the first aim and purpose of all activity. Begin the book of the year with God, and you will end it with the glory of the New Jerusalem.

At first, as in the physical creation, your heart and life may seem to be “without form and void.” Do not be discouraged, the Spirit of God is within you, brooding amid the darkness, and presently His Light will shine through. It is the blessed presence of the Lord Jesus that stirs in your heart and will presently rule your life,

John 1:4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

His Presence divides between the good and evil. You must distinguish between Christ and self. Follow the gleam, and you shall not walk-in darkness, but have the light of life. God’s days begin in evenings, and always end in mornings.

There were successive stages in creation. The days probably represent long periods. It is so with the new creation in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In nature the clouds that float above us are separated from the waters at our feet so in Christian experience we must seek to quench our thirst not only from below, but from above.

Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Our wells must be filled from Heaven. Notice how in creation there are repeated separations, as between Day and Night, Seas and Lands; so, as we live in the Spirit, we are quicker to distinguish not only between white and black, but the different shades of gray. The test of plant-life is the power of reproducing their kind; we are always reproducing ourselves in others, and sowing wheat or poppies. If God maintains suns and planets in bright and ordered beauty, He can keep us,

Isaiah 40:26-27 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names By the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; Not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is hid from the Lord, And my judgment is passed over from my God?

Creation reveals God’s nature, as the picture the artist. His eternal Power and Godhead are visible in His works.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

And all things and beings were made through Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

The hands of the Son of God wove the blue curtains above us and filled them with luminaries. The seas are His and He made them and filled them with living creatures. The woodlands are the outcome of His mind, and He filled them with flowers and birds. He taught them to live without care. He filled the tiny heart of the mother-bird with love to her young and blessed her. His are the cattle on a thousand hills. He molded the red earth into His own likeness and made Man. We were made to have dominion.

Psalm 8:6-8 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, Yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Ask Him to put all things, especially all the evil things of your heart, under your feet. The world is good, and if you were good, you would find it so.

Let us consider this how it applies in today’s world:

  1. New

Today’s reading was a “New Beginning”.  God created something so beautiful out of nothing. There are many instances of a “New Beginning” through the bible but at the end comes this:

Revelations 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2. Simple

Close your eyes just for a moment and think about how simple and beautiful the world was back in the start of Genesis.  There was no need for cell phones, television, radios, or better cars.  Life was simple!

3. Present Day

With your eyes still closed, think about what it would be like for you to live back in the Genesis Day or better yet how would God live in today’s world.

As you make your New Years resolutions, we need to think simpler than trying to add to our material possessions.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

4. Sin

Let us get back to those resolutions back at the start of the message.  You know the ones: These may include exercise or lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, get organized, read more, travel more and the list goes on.

According to a 2019 survey by INC., 80% of Americans did not complete their resolutions. A simple illustration to support this statement:

I do not know how many years I made the resolution to quit smoking. Every year I would try, and it failed.  So, the resolution I made did not meet success because God was not leading.  God finally 42 years later put me in a spot where I had to quit and when I let him help, I have been a non-smoker for many years now.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Sadly, more time with God does not make the top ten. So, make that resolution to simplify your life and then ask God to help you accomplish it so that you are not one of them 80%.

Recovery in the Real World Lesson 4.1 by Crossing Barriers Ministry

How many of us think about death?  I am still young and have a long way to go.  We all take life too much for granted.

We forget that it is in God’s time not ours. Hence the statement “He was taken too soon” or “She was so young and had her life ahead of her”. 

We forget that our life here on earth is like years or days on loan and God is the lender.  It is in his time not ours. 

Continue reading

Putting Thanks Back In Thanksgiving by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Not all people refer to Thanksgiving as a Christian holiday.  The sad thought is that lots do not consider Thanksgiving a Christian holiday.  According to Britannica, Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth.

Continue reading