This week's Paper Pulpit has been written by Pastor Stewart Dunlop from the Church of God, Ballymena

IN the wake of England's distastrous performance at the recent World Cup, the press and media along with 'Joe Public' have all been analysing the result and all sorts of comments have been emerging as to the reason for such a humiliating defeat of what was reckoned to be the cream of England's footballers.

Friday, 16th July 2010, 12:24 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2010, 4:11 pm

The millionaire football celebrities have come in for a great deal of flack and of course the great Fabio Capello hasn’t escaped either. As a matter of fact this performance nearly cost him his 6m a year job.

The reason suggested; bad management. Bad management can cost very dearly. With management comes tremendous responsibilities. In other words, the buck stops here.

Each one of us as individuals have management of something eternally important.

The Bible speaks of Christ who is the keeper of our souls (Psalm 121:5).

There are 3 great areas of life that require careful management in order for our life to be what God would desire it to be ... sloppy management in any of these will cause us to experience less than God's best!

I.HEART Col. 3:2 STATES SET YOUR AFFECTION (YOUR HEART) ON THINGS ABOVE NOT ON THINGS OF EARTH

"Set your heart" ... language of action and will!

While God gives us a new heart ... keeping it healthy requires some discipline on our part also!

We are responsible for the choices we make!

We can make poor ones ... or good ones, whichever we make will impact the spiritual quality of our walk with God.

Commitment to Christ needs to be complete, or total! Anything less than a total commitment will set us up for compromises that could hurt us later.

Why does Paul launch into such a strong barrage of warnings about sin ... and on being responsible enough to focus on eternal things, not just earthly things?

a.Paul knows the drive of the sinful nature in man!

b.Without a constant effort to keep focus, our sinful nature can take over and control our lives

c.Sin is an insatiable appetite!

I CAME ACROSS A STORY how Eskimo's deal with wolves they have trouble with: First an Eskimo coats a very sharp knife with animal blood, allowing that layer to freeze. He will recoat and allow many layers to freeze until the knife is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next they will take the knife and insert it in the ground blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source he licks the frozen blood, his carnivorous nature kicks in ... and that carnivorous appetite takes over ... he licks faster and more feverishly ... until of course the frozen blood is gone, but by now his passion for blood has aroused a frenzy of licking ... the sharp blade does it's work by cutting the wolf's tongue, but all the wolf tastes is fresh blood ... arousing more intense licking ... by morning it will be dead ... it's own driven nature making it a victim of his own appetite!

WE NEED TO MANAGE OUR HEART.

SECONDLY WE NEED TO MANAGE OUR HAPPINESS

COLOSSIANS 3:15 ‘’LET THE GOD OF PEACE RULE YOUR HEARTS’’

PEACE AND HAPPINESS ARE SCARCE COMMODITIES TODAY.

PAUL SAYS ‘LET’ THIS IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY, AS WE MANAGE OUR HEARTS UNTO HAPPINESS

We are responsible for allowing happiness into our hearts!

a.We must be willing to allow it in!

b.We are not zapped with happiness automatically, like a plant’s needs, we are responsible to nurture and water it along until its fruit appears!

3.We will reap what we sow:

a.If we sow unhappiness ... we will reap unhappiness!

b.What we give is what we receive!

Sir Robert Watson Watt invented radar ... several years after inventing radar he was arrested in Canada for speeding ... caught in a radar trap! He wrote this poem: “Pity Sir Robert Watson Watt, Strange target of his radar plot, and this, with others I could mention, a victim of his own invention!” --

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE BY OUR OWN MAKING AND THE CHOICES WE MAKE.

God loves everyone and desires none to perish ... but if we choose NOT to have a relationship with Christ we will not share heaven with Him! – Source

THIRDLY AND FINALLY WE NEED TO MANAGE OUR HOMES.

COLOSSIANS 3:18-21 INSTRUCTS HUSBANDS AND WIVES HOW TO MANAGE THE HOME (PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT AND READ THESE IMPORTANT VERSES)

The home is of primary concern to God ... we need to understand the importance of managing our home life ... it impacts all of society!

MAYBE YOUR HEART, YOUR HAPPINESS YOUR HOME NEEDS SOME MANAGEMENT. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MANAGEMENT.

BUT YOUR OWN LIFE IS IN TORMOIL AND YOU ARE NOT FIT FOR THE MANAGERIAL POSITION. THE ANSWER IS FOR YOU TO COME UNDER ‘’NEW MANAGEMENT’’ AND BY THIS I MEAN LET GOD TAKE OVER THE REINS OF YOUR LIFE

AND UNDER HIS GUIDING EYE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE THINGS THAT CONTROL YOU AND ENJOY THE FREEDOM OF NEW LIFE IN THE LORD JESUS.