I GOT THIS

I don’t need any help, I don’t need anyone, I Got This! Have you ever said anything like this? I know I have. With a loud and proud voice we can easily say things like this, can’t we? When the truth is without our God we can do nothing. In John 15:5, Jesus states this truth: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The preposition is “apart” from Jesus. The result is: nothing, not anything,  not single thing without Jesus, nothing of value, is possible!

This is real discipleship — complete dependence on Christ in everything. Our lives should be Christ-sufficient and not self-sufficient. This is the only way to bear fruit as his true disciple.
Living in complete dependence on Christ requires great humility on our part. We must daily humble ourselves before him, and acknowledge that apart from him we can do nothing.
Apart from Christ, we do not have the ability to bear fruit; he has all earthly and spiritual treasures, and can supply everything and anything from his abundant fullness.

May God help us to humble ourselves before him, ask him for help, and see much fruit as we live our lives with Christ, and not apart from him.

Let’s make it our goal, each and every day to depend on God…lean on Jesus.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Remember, when we get to the point where we think “I Got This”, I can do it alone, I don’t need any help. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 NKJV. Just give it to the one who is in control. HE’S GOT THIS!!!

I can’t wait to see you!

— Jason Freed

THE GRACE OF GIVING

Grace and peace to each of you, my brethren!  Melody and I missed being with you, Sunday.  We visited out at Cooper, a congregation going through a really rough time, needing encouragement in the worst way.  Among the blessings of being back at Parkway, that evening, was to see the offering figure on the board up front.  What a shot in the arm!  Now, I know part of that total resulted from a special gift from a family, who have a warm love for our congregation.  But, even aside from that, the liberality of our own membership was good!  I’m reminded of II Corinthians 8:7, where Paul challenged that church with the words, “see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”  I’m proud to see that sweet grace in our midst as well!

Giving is a beautiful thing!  As the Apostle continues to write the Corinthians, he describes giving as “proof of your love”, 8:24, toward both God and his people.  Through this grace we “honor the Lord”, 8:19.  As we sow generously, 9:6, it is promised we will also “reap generously”.  Later, in 9:11, we are told that, as we contribute, God increases our means that in the future we might do even more.  Paul goes on to point out how our generosity not only supplies the needs of God’s people, but results in thanksgiving being offered to the Lord.  It is in giving we best show gratitude to God for “his indescribable gift”, 9:15.  By this grace, we become imitators of Jesus, who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”, 8:9.  Thank God for the liberal spirit at Parkway Drive.

May this kind of spirit become more and more a part of our lives!  Also, even as we drop an offering in the collection plate, may we remember God wants more from us than a mere donation of money.  In II Corinthians 8:5, the passage we have been examining, Paul bragged on the Macedonian brethren, how they not only contributed beyond their means but “they gave themselves first to the Lord”.  Now, that’s the gift God wants most of all!  May we each excel in the grace of giving!

— Monty Huffman

EARTHQUAKE?

Many people doubt there is a God, and many people even doubt that He has power or that He ever existed. Even those who stood at the feet of Jesus or watched him preform miracles had doubts. They had doubts about His teaching, and we find they often questioned the things he taught; all the while, He only meant to help everyone have a better life, a better future, and a better eternity.

I think often times we fall into the same category. We doubt, don’t we? We doubt his teaching and His ability to heal us. We doubt His desire to make us whole. We read His teachings: “come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest” but we don’t show Him the faith He demands by simply going to Him. When we have heavy burdens, why do we try to carry the load alone when he says “cast your cares on me”? When temptation comes knocking at the door, why do so many fall into the trap if we know the word says “with every temptation He will give us a way out”.

Maybe we need God to shake things up a bit? Maybe we need an Earthquake in our lives to reaffirm that Christ is the son of God. When Christ was put on the cross, many were there watching, waiting, and hoping to see something happen. Maybe they were there to see the proof that He was a liar, who really knows? One thing we do know is: God got their attention, God shook things up. Matthew 27:51 says the earthquaked and the rocks were split in half. Why did God do this? The answer is found in verse 54: Truly this was the Son of God!!!

Do we need an earthquake in our lives? When we doubt who holds the power, when we doubt who can heal, and when we doubt who can deliver us from the schemes of the evil one, that’s when we need that earthquake. It’s my prayer God shakes things up to get us on track.

I can’t wait to see you.

— Jason Freed

AN ORCHESTRA FOR GOD!

What a huge contrast! I have driven students, before, who spend the whole time being obnoxious and unruly. Even with a teacher on the bus to supposedly keep order, they never cease to threaten each other, cuss and say all kinds of ugly things about one another’s mamas. Never have I been so glad to say goodbye to a group of young people.

Orchestra field trips, however, are the total opposite. Their training to work together to create harmony at the music competitions seems to spill over into their everyday life. They understand what it means to be assigned a seat and stay there. They know when to make noise and when it is best to be silent. They understand the part they are to play and try to do it to the best of their ability. They know the rest of the group depends on them and refuse to let each other down. I would drive kids like that anywhere!

God intended for his church to be a well-tuned orchestra. One translation of Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in harmony.” To achieve that harmony, I have to know to be quiet at proper times and make certain whatever sounds I do produce are beautiful. In God’s great orchestra hall there is a proper place to sit. I must find it and stay there. To make sweet music, I need to discover my part and learn to play it well.

Sadly, many Christians attend worship for years, but never find their role. They just sit! In school, the director would kick them out of the orchestra. At Parkway, we challenge you to be more than a mere sitter. Pick up an instrument and play it. You may not be very good at first, but you’ll learn. To help accomplish this, one thing the elders plan to do in the near future is pass around involvement sheets. Be thinking of what gifts you have and how they can be used in the congregation. Going on those field trips, the back half of the bus is packed with instruments. Everyone has one! Find yours and use it for God!

— Monty Huffman

GO FOR THE GOLD!

“I’m going for gold!” Reporters had asked the young Porto Rican about her Olympic expectations in women’s tennis. With number one seeded Serena Williams in the field, her optimistic answer caused amusement. In her brief carrier she had won only one insignificant tournament and now she was on the biggest stage of all. She’d be lucky to not come in last! Undaunted, young Monica Puig beat one opponent after the other, finally reaching the gold medal match. Still, no one gave her a chance. Her opponent was the world’s second ranked player. Besides, in all of history, no man or woman from her country ever won gold. It was hopeless! At least, that’s what everyone else thought. Why bother to show up for the match, but she did! And what a shock! With her tennis, she won the gold, then, with her tears of joy on the podium she won the hearts of the world.

We’ve watched many other winning gold, this past week. Hussein Bolt won an unprecedented third consecutive title in the men’s hundred yard dash. Michael Phelps increased his record total of Olympic gold medals. The U.S. women repeated as winners of the team gymnastics title.

It took a lot to win for these to win gold! First, they needed burning and unquenchable desire! Night and day, years on end, they thought and dreamed of winning gold. Next, they practiced extreme self-discipline, eating right foods, getting their rest, avoiding vices, even sacrificing time with family and friends in the drive to win. They sought out the best coaches and trainers. They worked hard, devoting countless hours and days to the pursuit of their goal.

Christians should have this same commitment, striving for our prize. I Cor. 9:25 mentioned the Olympics, almost 2000 years ago. Then, they awarded crowns to winners, rather than medals. Paul points out the Christian’s crown will far outlast any given at the Games. How you and I should want that crown! Refuse to lose! Dream! Work! Sacrifice! Like Monica Puig, never be satisfied just to be in the game, or even win bronze or silver. Go for the gold!

— Monty Huffman

I Got All the Time in the World

A question we need to ask ourselves from time to time is, “How do I spend the time God has given me?” “Right now” is something each one living on the earth has in common and while multitudes of Many are being born into this world “right now,” many are also entering into eternity “right now.” Many of the souls leaving their earthly body wish – “right now” – they had a few more minutes to do things they wish they had not left undone.

“Right Now” Is All We Have!

Right now is the most important time for each one of us because it is all we have! We are not promised next year, next month, next week, or even tomorrow. Right now is important because it is when we can make the “choice” to obey, to encourage a brother or sister, to take the first step in living a life for Christ… to find one’s life in losing it (Matthew 16:25).

What Is Your Life?James says that our lives are as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14). Our life, like the morning fog, vanishes in the heat of the sun. A day in our earthly life is a valuable and precious gift because it is soon over.

Don’t be deceived all we have is “Right Now” Sin may deceive us by telling us, “You’ve got time”. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13 – ESV).” James states, “Come now you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:12-13). The saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” means that intending to take care of important duties at a future time is the road to eternal ruin.

Though we plan to do something good (study the Bible, obey the gospel, teach the lost, call a discouraged brother or sister, visit the sick, minister to the needy) our hectic schedules crowd out our good intentions. We may forget that there will not always be a “tomorrow”.

So let us start living for “Right Now”

I can’t wait to see you and don’t forget live for RIGHT NOW

Jason Freed

PUTTING AWAY SIN!

I don’t know if they had wieners and marshmallows, but I do know a lot of money just went up in smoke!  If you do the calculation, it amounted to several million dollars!  No!  I’m not talking about something on the evening news.  This happened back in Acts 19:18-19, when Paul preached in the city of Ephesus.  Believers were so serious about becoming Christians, they publicly confessing their sins.  Then, those who had practiced magic began to bring their occult books.  The pile grew as others joined their act of true repentance.  Not only did these new disciples now have no need for these perverse books, they didn’t want anyone else using them either.  And so, the heap mounted higher.  Someone tallied the value of the books and the total reached 50,000 days’ wages.  Next, they lit a fire and watched them burn.

When I read that bible passage, I think about the Lord’s church, today.  Just how serious are you and I about being free of sin in our lives?  Jesus taught that if my best eye causes me to sin, I should gouge it out and throw it away.  Similarly, if my strongest hand causes me to sin, I should cut it off and throw it away.  He said, in Matthew 5:29-30, “It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”  The more I understand how despicable sin really is in the eyes of God, the more drastic the measures I will take to be free of it in my life.

Sometime, read Numbers chapter 25.  God’s people, as a nation, had fallen into gross immorality.  A resulting plague from the Lord swept through the camp killing thousands.  To stop the plague, Moses told the tribal judges to put to death all the men who had joined in the sexual immorality.  Finally, Phinehas followed an Israelite man, who took a Midianite woman into his tent.  As the two of them lay together, he plunged his spear through both of their bodies and the plague ceased.

Is sin any less serious, today?  To what lengths should you and I go to be free of it?  May the Lord grant us strength as we strive to be a truly holy people!

— Monty Huffman

The Life

The life that many seek, is not always the life God desires we live. Many folks are more interested in the material things in life, and we see to often people risk it all just to take hold of what the world says is “THE LIFE”. It is such a draw for many to have that life, but the fact is you can’t take it with you into eternity. Satan knows this is a temptation for us. It was also a temptation for Christ. Satan tempted Jesus with this in Luke 4:1-13

This is not what’s important. This is not what God has in mind for us. It’s true, God desires us to be a prosperous people, but as we prosper we must keep our perspective on what is most important in “THE LIFE”: the abundant life that can only be offered by Christ. “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.” John 10:10 (NKJV) God offers His children this abundant life. This is “THE LIFE”!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
I Peter 1:3 NKJV

Let’s all strive for THE LIFE
I can’t wait to see you

Jason Freed

REMEMBERED!

Two thousand years have passed by and we’re still talking about her!  We don’t even know her name, for sure.  She may have even been a woman with a sinful reputation.  She did no miracle, nor did she offer any great teaching, just a simple act of love and service.  Yet, of this humble woman who anointed his head with perfume, Jesus, Matthew 26:13, said that wherever the gospel was preached throughout the world, what she had done would be remembered.

I was reminded of this unknown woman, last week, as my wife and I were in Kermit, Texas to hold a bilingual gospel meeting.  How sweet to embrace brethren who had been so dear to our hearts.  Children, little more than toddlers when we lived there, were now standing to take a lead in worship.  We truly enjoyed our time in their midst.

One special pleasure was talking with Stephanie Lara, at Sunday’s fellowship meal.  She asked, “Do you remember me?”  I didn‘t!  She continued, “You used to ride your bike past my house, on your way to the church building.  You would stop and encourage me and invite me to worship.”  It turns out, after Melody and I moved away, life got tough and she realized her neeed for God and a church home.  She remembered my invitations, began attending, was baptized, and now her children are growing up in the church.

Monday, Melody and I went out visiting.  It was suggested we visit a member, who now cleaned the building, whose name I didn’t recognize.  We reached their house and rang the doorbell.  A man opened the door. I got ready to explain who we were.  To my surprise, he cut me off saying, “Come in!”  We sat on the couch and he began to remind me how I used to come by his house and we would talk in the back yard.  I had a hard time remembering, but he didn’t!

Wednesday, I visited the jail with an elder.  Walking in the door we came face to face with a young inmate, who was a trustee.  He looked at me, smiled and called me by my first name.  I had no clue who he was, but he remembered help I had given his family nine years ago, when he was a kid.

The point is, Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Keep doing those good deeds, no matter how small!  You will be remembered!

God. Always There to Help

Some times we have things going on in our life when it is evident we need a helping hand. When the storms hit hard sometimes we are sent the help we need we just don’t realize it is the blessing we are waiting for. Here is a story of a man who had all the faith anyone could ask for but he failed to see the salvation God was offering. God is always here to help us!

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?” Author unknown

I can’t wait to see you!

— Jason Freed