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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday November 24, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday January 20, 2013


Dedication

                This book is dedicated to God’s inspired Word and to my wife, Leigh Anne.  God allowed an angel to dwell on earth and be my soul mate, I’m sure of it!  Without this God fearing Christian woman by my side this book couldn’t possibly have happened.  She has stood by me when no one else would and lifted me up when most would run.  She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  She loved me when I had forgotten how to love.  She prayed for me when I had forgotten how to pray.  She always stood strong for me in the midst of all my weaknesses and as Jesus loves His church, so will I love my wife until the day I die.  Thank you for never leaving my side and for being my wife and best friend.

                                    You’re Husband,
                                    James Boening



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dedication

Chapter One
The Setup

Chapter Two
Stage One

Chapter Three
The Aroma

Chapter Four
The Pitcher of Coffee

Chapter Five
Exact/Narrow Minded

Chapter Six
Questions & Answers

God’s Cup of Coffee
“Can you imagine a better cup of coffee?”
                This is a short book in parable form.  I believe Jesus rarely answered with a yes, no or one liners for many reasons.  But, I think He spoke in parables to get and grab people’s attention and to give the people continued dialogue when He stopped speaking or left that town He had traveled through.  You see, as far as I know, Jesus never wrote anything down.  That’s a book within itself.

            Unlike Jesus, I am going to give you the meaning to the Words and phrases first.  I want to do this so that you can think as you read or maybe even pause to see how that looks in your life, instead of getting to the end and piecing it all together.

1.      The apparatus of the coffee maker is us.

2.      The coffee grounds are God’s inspired Word, “The Bible”.

3.      The water is our prayer life.

4.      The coffee pitcher is how God wants us to live our lives.

5.      The aroma of the coffee is the Holy Spirit.

6.     The coffee, the finished product, well, we will get to that.
            God gave me this precious parable on December 24, 2009, the morning before His celebrated birth over 2000 years ago.  That’s just like Him, isn’t it? We are the ones supposed to be celebrating Him and He is giving us gifts. 

            So my re-gift is to share it with whoever will listen.  May your cup overflow and spill onto those around you.

This book comes with instructions:

            Take 30-40 minutes out of your life to read the whole thing in one sitting, all chapters. (There are only six).  There are some of you that could probably read this book in five minutes.  If you can or if you do, I’m not sure if this book is really for you.       So please, slow down, turn the cell phone, TV, radio, and computer off.  If possible, make yourself a cup of coffee and make it just that special way you love to drink it and find a quiet spot and let God speak to your heart.

So, the parable begins!

            For us coffee drinkers, it is rare to start our day without a fresh cup of coffee.  I would say the majority of us wake-up thinking about it.  My wife at times can’t wait till morning just so she can wake to the house being filled with the aroma of fresh coffee brewing.  (You see, we have a tradition in my house, my wife makes and serves every meal in our home; but it is I who makes and serves the coffee to her each morning.    This is something I love to do for her and she loves to start her day this way).
            For us Christians, we should embrace each day with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the same way we embrace our coffee.  We should wake with that same type of excitement, to get on our knees and start our dialogue (prayer life) with Jesus.  We should be bubbling with what God has in store for us that day.  Seeking His will, His purpose for our lives and laying our burdens at His feet. 

            For me, I didn’t always believe or maybe understand how this next statement could be true.  It often sounded a little corny or cliché and over used with no meaning behind it. 

            I have been a Christian, born again, a child of God for 21 years.  I have been blessed with great abundance and have had the lack of.  I have been true and Faithful to Him, but I have also walked away from Him, down wrong paths and strayed away from His presence and protection.  With all of that, I can finally say this next statement and understand its true meaning.  “No matter what the circumstances or what the world throws at me, I can have Peace in all things and all situations”.  Remember I said peace, not joy or contentment.

            There is only one way to achieve this true inner peace, a peace so unshakable people on the outside looking in just cannot grasp. 

            Obviously this next statement isn’t literal, but the only way to achieve that peace is to start everyday with a fresh cup of coffee. Let me show you what I mean.

It doesn’t matter whether you make your coffee or go purchase it; the same steps are taken to achieve the finished product.
2
Stage One

            You only need two ingredients, coffee grounds and water.  That’s it.  For us, “A type” personalities don’t jump ahead in your mind and start listing all the ingredients one can add, I will get to that.  As stated earlier, the grounds are God’s inspired Word “The Bible” and the water is our “Prayer Line”.  There are days in our lives when we use a little more water because perhaps we think we know what the day ahead of us looks like and we need to have two or three cups, or maybe there may be that day we add more grounds to make the coffee have a stronger punch.  There have been and will be times a single cup of coffee just won’t be enough to get us through a long and stressful day.  Please note, we must learn to step away in the middle of a day, when the world is bearing down and it seems too much to bear and pray and pray some more.  Jesus in His darkest hour when He knew it was more than His human body could bear, He prayed. 

Mark 14: 32-36
32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.   34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”   35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.   
36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Philippians 4:6-7
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.   7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Mark 11:24-25 (Jesus is speaking)
24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.  25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

•What would happen, if you used the same grounds and just ran new water through them every morning?  Obviously over time, the coffee would be weak and have no flavor. 

God wants an intimate relationship with each one of us; reciting an exact prayer each day is not building an intimate relationship.  He wants to hear our hearts, not our heads. 

•What would happen, if you poured new coffee grounds in, but never ran the water through them?  You could never achieve a finished product. Your pitcher would be empty.  You would have started the process but never reaped the benefit of a filled pitcher.  Some of us might even get angry at the coffee maker, I put new grounds in, and why can’t I get what I want????  Perhaps we read the Word every day, maybe a snip-it of scripture and pray on Sunday.   Shouldn’t that be enough, I’m reading the Word and praying on Sunday?

            Let me interject by saying this; Our God is a God of balance.  Many of us Christians sit on our “sides”, instead of building an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior.  We may say, “I read my bible everyday or I pray every day” this may be true, but what I have learned is God doesn’t fit into our box.  This isn’t a test or an action for a re-action, it is about a relationship.  We are incapable of earning God’s love, but we are capable of loving Him and being loved by Him.  We cannot hug Him or hold His hand (even though I would love to), but we can read His “Word” and pray from our heart every day. 
So often we stop here, these are only the first steps to building our relationship and carrying out His will for our lives. 

            Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever been in a hurry to get out the door, and because you were running late you just didn’t have time for your morning cup of coffee?   I’m sure we could all say “yes” to that question.  Now, let me ask you another one, have you ever stopped as soon as you could to finally go get that cup of coffee because you seemed a little sluggish and you just knew that if you could just go get some coffee it would help you finish your day?  Once again, I am sure we could all answer “yes” to this one too.  Our daily prayer and reading are no different.  God wants an intimate, personal relationship with us and the only way to achieve and stay in His presence and protection is for us to start, continue and finish our day with Him.  If we really want something in this life, what do we do?  We focus our thoughts, energy and inner drive to seek out the things we want in this life.
           
            Well, you may not want to hear this next statement, but…instead of saying “I wish I knew what God’s purpose and will for my life is” stop wondering, and start doing!  We focus too much on making money, acquiring things, climbing the corporate ladder, earthly relationships, hobbies and the list goes on and on.  If we put the same type of focus and drive on our Lord, although sometimes very difficult because of the fallen world we live in, we would join with the Lord with the greatest calling of all humanity, the harvesting of souls for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I can say with great confidence, the homes that we should be building, yet unseen, are the homes we will live in for all eternity and we have the choice to live in Heaven or Hell.  Let me ask you a question, at this stage in your life, what does your home of eternity look like?  Have you laid your foundation or do you even have a piece of property with your name on it?  We cannot earn Gods’ love, only by His grace and His son Jesus Christ can we spend eternity with Him but the Bible tells us that through our actions and obedience to Him, we are however, building our treasures in heaven!  What does your home look like?  What condition is it in?  What street is it on?  What is the view like?  How big is your piece of property and more importantly, is your property in Heaven? 

           
The awesome news is, the answer to these questions require no money whatsoever to be able to acquire the greatest treasures in Heaven!  All He asks is that we put Him first in all things and to love one another.  It is not about being most popular, best looking, fame, fortune, status or titles after our name. 

Mathew 6:33
33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

It is about our service to Him.  That’s the greatest news we could ever want to hear. 

 Mathew 6:24
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

We have a choice, on “what” and “how” our homes will look in eternity by our actins here on earth.  Our choice and actions wow!  Don’t you wish it was that simple here on earth?

Mathew 6:19-21
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

 3
The Aroma

            Let your imagination run and watch the Holy Spirit work here.  All the coffee grounds have that wonderful aroma whether packaged air tight or brewed.  Have you ever walked down a grocery isle and gotten to where the coffee is sitting on the shelves and smelled it?  This coffee may be in cans or other kinds of packaging, different shapes and sizes, but all is sealed air tight but get close enough, and you can smell it!

            Now, if you break the seal, you would not have to get as close to smell it and if you were to brew the coffee grounds, well the aroma would fill an entire house or restaurant.  Well, as Christians the Holy Spirit is just like that!  The very second we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is within us and more than likely if others get close enough to us and engage in a conversation, they would see that you are of the Christian faith.  That is the aroma of God.  It’s in there, but the seal hasn’t been opened yet, still child-like in faith.

            Now, break the seal and start the process.  Have you ever opened your coffee from its original packaging just to transfer it into a particular canister in your home, but not started the brewing process?  Let me ask you again but with the literal term.  Have you ever read the bible, took the information from God’s inspired Word and transferred it into your mind.  There may be many of us that have read the bible from front to back, quote scripture and can tell you the exact layout of the bible, but that is just a piece of building a relationship with Christ.  It is only the foundation, without prayer and witness you cannot live God’s purpose for your life.  Please don’t get me wrong, I know and believe God wants us in His Word every day, digging and asking questions, that is how we learn.  But to read daily, without prayer is to take a shower and not use soap!  Just like in the case of the coffee, when you break the seal I’m sure you would not have to get as close to that person to smell the aroma of God (the Holy Spirit).  The same would be true in our Christian walk.  Once we allow Christ to flow through us in our everyday speech and our everyday actions, we would not have to get as close to that person to know they are walking with the Lord.  Don’t misunderstand me, the Christian walk is not about performance and achievements,
but instead, letting go of the flesh and allowing God’s divine will for each one of our lives to be revealed to us.

Here is where it gets fun.  What happens when we brew the coffee?  Put the coffee grounds in, add the water and brew?  We get an aroma that goes far beyond what the visual eye can see.  You see, now the coffee can move and fill the entire house, just because it has been turned on!  That is exactly how the Holy Spirit works.  Through a daily relationship of study and prayer, we allow God to work through us; through our obedience and worship He uses us as a beacon of hope to others, through our successes and failures.

            Have you ever walked into someone’s home or even a church and felt the Spirit of God at work? 

Ephesians 5:1-2
 1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Trust me when I tell you, it is because of someone’s obedience and prayer life you just haven’t seen them yet.  The coffee maker is on, you just haven’t seen it!  Do you want to change you, your family, your community or the world we live in today?  Start brewing your coffee.  Let the Holy Spirit work through you.  Be obedient and faithful and let God work-out the details.  Please understand this doesn’t mean we get up every morning and wait for God to miraculously give us our daily agenda.  It doesn’t work that way.  He wants us to have plans, set goals, and move forward and trust in Him to redirect us if we have stepped onto a wrong path.  Maybe one of the most important Words one can use, to truly have a personal and intimate relationship with Christ, is “Trust”.

            God has given all Christians His spirit, the Holy Spirit, it is up to us to activate it, turn it on.  It is up to us to cultivate the aroma!  We all have the ability to fill our homes and hearts with the love of God. 

To have this type of personal and intimate relationship, we must read daily, get on our knees and pray and let the Holy Spirit, the aroma, fill our homes, communities and even our workplace!


So far we have talked about “the coffee” God’s Word, “the water”, our prayer life and “The Aroma”, the Holy Spirit.


                Just remember, we can’t get the full fulfillment of the aroma without turning on the coffee maker and adding fresh coffee grounds and water daily. 

This next phase is interesting.  So far in the process of brewing the coffee; it has all been about us and God, you and God, building our personal intimate relationship with Him.  This next phase or next process in brewing the coffee may be the most beautiful part.  It happens, by default, if we take the time to scoop out the coffee, pour in the water and turn the coffee pot on, what happens?  We get fresh brewed coffee, right.  Well, what happens if we wake up, read the Word, get on our knees, pray turn ourselves on for the Lord, lay down our personal wants and desires and seek out God’s will and purpose for our life for that day?  Blessings and miracles, that’s what happens, the actual apparatus, the “coffee maker”, because of the way it is built on the inside, makes fresh hot coffee.  There are no other steps, somehow by taking the time and the action on the first three steps, the rest takes care of itself.  Don’t get ahead of yourself, this is nowhere near finished, but we do have a finished product because of our actions.  Because we made the choice to pray, read and turn ourselves on (submit) to the Lord daily, we do not have to wonder how this will come together.  The way He made us, in His image, allows God’s Spirit to work through us by default.  It is impossible to genuinely take these first three steps and not have God’s will and purpose manifest in our lives.

            Think about this, there are all different makes of coffee and all different ways to serve coffee, but you know what?  It is all just coffee.
           

Let me break it down like this, there are different makes and different ways to serve it.


1.      The different makes of coffee, different flavors, different strengths and definitely different ways to package it.   God’s people all come from different backgrounds, shapes and sizes, different looks and smells, different skin colors, different traditions, different abilities and most importantly, we are all different, Thank God!


2.     The different ways to serve the coffee: Some people give more financially than others, some give their time, some are prayer warriors, some work within the church of Christ and some have given their life for Him, literally.  We all have a part, what is yours? (Some people like it black, some with sugar only, some with cream only, some with sugar and cream, some with different flavoring and some even like it cold, personally, yuck)!  So how does this look to us literally?  The different ways to serve coffee is God’s wonderful churches and denominations!  Thank you Jesus for allowing us to worship you in so many different ways and platforms. 


3.    Thank you Jesus for allowing us to drink our coffee the way that is dear to us, because the bottom line folks is this, it is all about HIM, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost!  There is only one way and there is really only one coffee, yes served differently and served with different flavors but it is still,” just coffee”.


 4


                The “pitcher” is how God wants us to use our lives.  An empty pitcher without the coffee is just another pitcher, for the most part, useless without the coffee.  First, it cannot be used without us taking action:  We must take action to add the coffee grounds and water.  Secondly, we must have faith:  We believe that by our actions of adding the coffee and water that, (the person who made the coffee maker) made it right and although we don’t necessarily see the process, we always have a finished product and a pitcher with coffee, ready to be served.


            I’m sure your minds are all running at this point in the parable, but let me share with you how God laid this on my heart.  First, when we are all prayed-up and have studied the Word of God, our pitcher gets full. 

Let’s stop here:

What would happen if that is all we did?  What if we just let the pitcher full of coffee sit there?
Answer:  No one would receive His blessings, more than likely this person would be self –righteous.

What would happen if we never served the coffee?
Answer:  I believe we would find self-indulgence and a person of abundance without compassion.
What would happen if we kept all the coffee for ourselves?
Answer:  Here I think we see some of God’s great warnings for our lives; Greed, envy, fear, and self-centeredness, (the opposite of love)!

            Back to the pitcher, once we’ve taken action and had faith in the process to have our pitcher filled, not only does God want us to share this with others, He expects us to!  He wants us to pour out everything onto everyone and start the process all over again tomorrow or possibly later that day.  God wants us to give it all.  He has promised to give us what we will need for tomorrow, tomorrow. 
Exodus: 16 give us some prime examples of God’s directions and provision for our daily lives. 
 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.   5 On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.” 
19 Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.”   20 But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.   21 After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared.
23 He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”   24 So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor.   25 Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today.   26 You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.”   27 Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. 28 The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?   


29 They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.”   30 So the people did not gather any food on the seventh day.

God cares about us enough to provide the things we so often worry about.  The Israelites were told to eat as much as they wanted; God even gave them quail at night, and even with this daily abundance of food we read about complaints and hoarding.  We have all done this in different seasons and may be doing these things today.  We will never be find out Gods purpose for our lives by complaining and comparing our lives to those around us and not bask in Gods great daily blessings.

Blind faith and total trust in the Lord is not always easy, but is ALWAYS worth it!  If we can keep our eyes on the cross instead of the World and the circumstances we find ourselves in, it becomes easier to walk with Him daily.  I can’t stress enough that your walk must be daily and often minute to minute.  Don’t wait for tragedy or misfortune to strike to seek Him.  Start today; start making your coffee today.  God’s greatest commandment is to love one another.  Well then, let me scream from the mountain tops, for all of us Christians sitting on the sidelines, it is time to start serving your coffee!  God has given us so much.  We are so often scared someone might end up with more than us that we have forgotten the true meaning of Christianity, or we say I just don’t have the time to serve or enough resources’.  Just in case you didn’t know….. IT IS ALL HIS, your body, your things, your money, and especially your time!  This is how simple God makes it; He gave every one of us an equal playing ground, a body and time.  We all have the exact amount of time in each day.

 Charles Stanley said “we can always make more money, but we cannot make more time, once it is gone, it is gone forever.”

            Our time may just be one of God’s most precious commodities here on earth.  Look at it like this, everything here on earth can be stripped from our bodies, by another man.  No man can decide to shorten the hours in a day, not even 1 second.
  
            Often times we fill our lives with so many things; (debt), that we rob God of our time, the more debt the less time we have available for God.  That’s why He tells us not to acquire debt.

            If any of you have ever spent any time in marketing, I’m sure you have heard the expression “K.I.S.S.”.  I envision God K.I.S.S.ing me every morning and with that is this reminder, (Keep It Simple Stupid).  So often our carnal minds complicate things.  He really made it simple; love me first above all things and love one another.  If we will learn to walk in Faith, God will work out the details.  The call of God comes in many different shapes and forms, but I can say this with great conviction, I know He hasn’t called you or me to sit on the sidelines!
  
            I challenge all of you to ask yourselves these questions: (Before answering, take a deep breath and get really honest and think before answering).

1.      Are you adding fresh coffee every day?

2.     Are you adding water every day?

3.     And more importantly, are you sharing and serving that full pitcher with others?         

4.     Have you embraced God’s will and purpose for your life?

5.     Have you asked God what that looks like?

            I have learned in my relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior that He can’t show me how deep the waters are without me, first getting in the water.  I also know that somehow, someway, as long as I am truly walking with Him, He ALWAYS works it out to HIS good in all my successes and all my failures.  He is always there and always awesome.  I thank Him for these Words I have written and I thank Him for my salvation.  If you are a Christian that needs to engage or an individual who has not yet accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, Jesus has already pre-prayed for you to find and live a fulfilled life with Him!

            Embrace, engage and stay under Gods umbrella of protection and allow the blessings to flourish in your lives and others.  My hopes and prayers are that God will use these Words to ignite or re-ignite His calling and purpose for your life.  May you prepare your coffee and may God open the flood gates of Heaven and rain down His great glory, mercy, favor and peace over you and your families.

  
5
Exact/Narrow Minded

                I heard a guest speaker at our church say it like this, “so often we Christians are called narrow minded, so narrow minded that a gnat could land on the bridge of our nose and peck both of our eyes without moving.”   He went on to talk about how all truth is narrow.   Look at it like this:  2+2=4.  Four is the only answer to this equation.  If a first grader put the number five down as his answer, what would happen?  Now, five is really close to four and he almost got it right, but what grade does the first grader receive?  Now think about this, what happens if that was the only question on the test?  As sad and as unfair as it may seem, the young boy would fail.   How many of us know good people, kind people, and even loving, caring people?  People that feed the hungry with their riches, people that donate their time and money to orphans around the world, but these people are not Christians.  Just like that innocent good hearted first grader, that great person that seems to give and do so much, will end up failing and miss the most important question.  Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?  He is the exact truth to the ultimate question. 

Mathew 7:21-23
 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.   22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.    
23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Please don’t take this the wrong way but, more often than not, there are many of us Christians that could take a lesson or page out of a non-Christians’ life and ask ourselves, why don’t we as Christians act more like that.  But remember this; all the great and gracious acts in the world won’t get you the correct answer to the most important question in humanity. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and acknowledged that He is the only way to Heaven?  Exact and Narrow.

            There are many different ways to get the answer of (4); 6-2=4, 3+1=4, but all the different equations are narrow with truth.  They all have an exact truth.  Don’t think I’m saying that there are different ways to Heaven, there is only one way to enter the gates of Heaven: Accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  So, there are many different ways to serve the coffee and different ways to worship the Lord, but the truth to both is, it’s all just coffee and for us Christians, the truth and the only answer is Jesus Christ, He is the only answer and the only way to Heaven!  Exact and narrow truth.

            What I love is that He made it so easy and so exact that all can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  So often, we as Christians make it difficult or confusing with our religious and denominational beliefs.  The different denominations are for our human benefit on how we enjoy our worship and teachings, but so often it causes division.  I can say this with great confidence, when our Lord, Jesus Christ comes for us, denominational lines will fall and we will all worship and serve Him the EXACT same way.  However, it is important to find a church home, but it’s more important to read the inspired Word of God, “The Bible” and pray daily and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  We all need a church home for support, worship, service and teachings, but I will say this, God’s church is our neighbor next door, our co-workers, our communities, the orphans, the widows, the hungry, the homeless and the poor.  Jesus did not have a traditional church as we have today.  His church was the people in need, the towns He traveled and the disciples He taught!
  
            I believe our greatest calling outside our personal salvation is to serve others in need and truly love one another through Christ.    James 2:14-16 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well feed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

  
6
Questions and Answers

Do you have the coffee to begin the process, (do you belong to Christ)?

John 3:3-8
 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born gain.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
John 3:3-8
 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Are you starting everyday with a fresh cup of coffee, (is Christ first)?

Is your coffee still in its pretty packaging, (are you saved, but sitting on the sidelines)?

How close would someone have to get to smell the aroma of your coffee, (intimately, just hearing your name or maybe somewhere in-between)?

Have you turned on your coffee maker, (are you seeking God’s will and purpose for your life)?

Are you sharing your coffee with others, this one is a dozy.  (Outside yourself, is there anyone that would say you are living up to your potential on what Christ has for your life)? 
Before answering this question, hear me out.  We are not all called to be ministers or leaders of many.  As a matter of fact, if we used this as a measuring stick to live for Christ, we will more than likely constantly walk around feeling defeated.  What are
your gifts?  All of us have at least one if not many.  We all have a part in “The Great Commission”!  What is yours and how are you using it?

 When was the last time you “loved”, what the world we live in call or categorize as, “the unlovable”? I know this isn’t my wife’s original saying but it is used so often with me, I feel like it is hers.  Often times when I don’t walk daily with Christ, I have traits or tendencies to be very firm and uncompassionate towards others.  When this happens, my wife will often look at me and very discreetly say in my ear “it’s easy to love the lovable”.  These six Words, “it’s easy to love the lovable” really are powerful when you find yourself on the opposite side of how Christ has made us in His image:  LOVE; love everyone, for we are all God’s children.  Back to the question, when was the last time you loved the unlovable?

            Know this; I say this next statement to all of us.  Often, we ration our love or give our love with conditions behind it.  i.e.:  I will love you until you hurt me, but then, I am gone; You haven’t treated me that well lately so I will hold back some of my love; The list can go on and on.  What I have found to be true in my own life, not just through the Lord’s teachings but through the most precious person in my life (my wife) is that we can love unconditionally.  We can love firmly with compassion and we can love others regardless of what they have done or haven’t done to us.  Christ gave His life for all of us.  Not just for what we perceive to be good but for every one of us regardless how good one may look from the outside, I can promise one thing, we all have our battles.

            I leave you with one final question and I ask that you pause before reading it, clear your mind and ask yourself this very simple but complex question:


“Can we take what we need and take less than we give?”

Let me expand on this question, so you do not miss the point.  Can we take enough to get by, but give more to others than we keep for ourselves?  Can we give more than we keep?  Have you ever given until it hurt?  For most of us this would be difficult to do for a lifetime, but have we ever done it for even a season? 

          Christ has called us for so much more than our daily routines.  Where are you stuck and what are are you doing about it TODAY? 

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ constantly lived within the embodiment of this question!  So the answer is yes, we can!
          Remember this:  We were not called to be religious, but to love.  Love and honor our Lord and Savior and one another.  Helping those in need is always the first step in sharing the Good News.  (The Great Commission)  Help someone and expect nothing in return.  Do this in private and build treasures in Heaven.

The Great Commission is not for just the heads of church, but for all of us.

Mathew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus has called all of us to spread his teachings to all nations till the end of time.  All of US!!!


          My hope is for all of us that have read or will read this parable, Christians or not, that you will never be able to see an ad or coffee product, smell the aroma, even for that non coffee drinker or taste a fresh cup of coffee without thinking of Jesus. From His miraculous birth,  His sacrificial life to His greatest gift; SALVATION, a chance to spend eternity in Heaven, in worship and praise, and experience an inner peace that can only be achieved through Him.  I pray for all of your eyes to be opened and your hearts to be filled with God’s amazing and unconditional love, so that it can spill onto everyone around you.  Make sure your next cup of coffee, is a cup of Heaven!

THE END!