Friday, November 28, 2014

Ammunition For The Soul

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).  

Hey Gang:  Paul wrote, “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing us truth, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way” (2 Tim 3:16 Hainley rendition).  In other words, what you say isn’t very important, but what God says has eternal significance! 

Jesus said, "See to it that no one misleads you, For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ, and will mislead many" "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another" (Matthew 24:4-5/11).

The antedote for falling away: 

You say, “It’s impossible”.  He says, “With me all things are possible” (Lu. 18:27).  You say, “I’m exhausted.” He says, “Wait on Me, I’ll renew your strength” (Is. 40:31).  You say, “Nobody loves me.” He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jn. 31:3).  You say “I can’t go on.”  He says, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Co. 12:9).  You say, “I don’t know what to do.” He says, “I’ll direct you” (Prov. 3:5). 

You say, “I can’t do it.”  He says, “You can do all things through Me” (Phil 3:13).  You say, “It’s not worth it.” He says, “It will be – just keep going” (Gal 6:9).  You say, “I can’t forgive myself,” He says, “You can – because I have” (Eph. 4:32).  You say, “I can’t make ends meet. “ He says, “I’ll supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). 

You say, “I’m afraid.”  He says, “I didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but of…power” (2 Tim. 1:7).  You say, “I can’t handle this.” “He says, Give it to me; I’ll carry it for you” (Psa. 55:22).  You say, “I don’t have enough faith.” He says, “I’ll give your faith” (Ro. 12:3)

You say, “I’m not smart enough.”  He says, “I’ll give you wisdom” (I co. 1:30).  You say, “I’m all alone.”  He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Soooo,  my  friends , God honors our choices! He does not tamper with your free will.  There is an adage that I have pinned on the inside of my dome of intellect that says, “My values determine my choices which in turn determines my destiny.  You will make choices today – Who will sit on the throne of your life today?



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Fowl Experience

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8)

Hey Gang:  As you all know from previous morning messages, I spent the first six year of my life way back in the Pennsylvania mountains.  It was said we lived so far back in the sticks even the hoot owls carried knapsacks.  I must admit I do not recall much from those days but I do remember an incident that scared the living hebegebies out of me.  Anyone out there know how to spell hebegebies?

Thanksgiving was just around the corner and dad had left the old Tom turkey out of the pen to roam and pick up a few extra pounds for the dinner table.   Well, Tom Turkey did not like me and tended to nip at me when our paths crossed.  And then one day he decided the nipping time was over and it was time to move to the all out attack mode. 

Fortunately dad came around the corner about the same time that Tom hit me and I hit the ground. Dad picked up a pick- handle and abruptly separated Tom’s head from his body.  I must admit I have had a deep respect for Tom turkeys ever since.

Now how in the world does a Tom turkey attack fit into the morning message mode?  I am not sure I would compare a Tom Turkey to Satan, but in this case their modus operandi were similar.  He is always on the prowl, seeking those who do not have their armor in place, so that he can "devour".  Satan is a chronic picker, continually firing darts into those areas of our lives when we tend to put our guard down. 

And then one day he turns all of his minions loose and fires his best shot.  I do not find Scriptures that tell me God used a pick-handle to drive Satan from us, but I have found many Scriptures that tell us that God will never forsake us or allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can endure.

Peter went on and gave us the good news: "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (vs. 8-9).  

Soooo, my young buckaroos, there is probably not much chance you will be attacked by a Tom turkey today, and, be advised, pick-handles do not work on the evil ones.  James 4:7-8 is our pick-handle "Submit therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". 

Oh, incidentally, I still do not like turkey!



Monday, November 24, 2014

Not My WIll

"And he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the  battle is not yours but God's!  (2 Chron. 20:15).

Hey Gang, Did you know that Satan's greatest tool, in his toolbox that he uses against God's people, is discouragement?  Within moments of enjoying a spiritual victory, every believer becomes a target for the powers of hell.  The devil attacks us with lies about our marriage, our friendships, and our calling; he replays, in our minds, every sin, failure and foolish thing we've ever done.  By the time he's finished, we're crying, "Lord, I'll never make it!"

David was brought so low by a demonic spirit that he was dumbfounded in God's presence:  "I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was a dumb man that opened not his mouth.  Thus I was as a whose mouth are not reproofs" (Ps. 38:13-14).  The last phrase means ‘a man who has no arguments left’.  David was saying, "Lord, I'm too discouraged to even lift my hand.  I can't pray because I'm too confused to speak.  My spirit is drained and empty.  I have nothing to say." Have you ever been there?

Was his trial unique? Not in your sweet bippy!  I have read many biographies of devout men and women whom the Lord used mightily, and every one of these people struggled through the same kind of crippling discouragement.  David voiced the universal cry of the righteous soul that endures an attack of discouragement:  "I am ready to fall and my sorrow is continually before me" (38:17).  David was saying, "Lord, I'm not going to make it.  I'm at my absolute end, about to fall."

If you're enduring an attack from a demonic spirit of discouragement, I suggest you do three things: (1) Do not try to maneuver your way out of your trial; the battle is far beyond your human skill or power to overcome.  (2;) When the attacks come don't think it is unusual:  God allows this kind of fiery testing for all His saints.  (3) Pray, give the Holy Spirit time to do His work.  When you're under discouragement you won't feel like praying, but you still must go to your secret place and be in Jesus’ presence.  It is the Spirit's joy to lift you out of your pit.

When, it seems like you are residing in ‘alligator alley’, keep in mind, "The battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chron. 20:15) and "…you need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf" (2 Chron. 20:17a).    It doesn't matter how downcast you get - God will never forsake you!

In such low times the Lord is very patient with us.  He knows our condition and He sympathized with us.  If you don't have the strength to speak, reach out to Him in your spirit, and trust the Spirit to do His work in you.  Say in your heart, ‘Lord, I know your Spirit abides in me.  I know you have sent Him to comfort me, strengthen me and reveal the mind of Christ to me.  Holy Spirit, I turn to you now in simple faith.  Speak to my heart your words of comfort.  I have no strength left; you have to lift me up and lead me.’ 

Soooo, dare to believe He will speak to you!  You're not going to faint.  Indeed, you'll come out of your trial more victorious because your faith will have been tested and tried as gold.  Watch and see the Lord fulfill every promise He has made to you.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Do You Ever Feel Insignificant?

"God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good" (Gen. 1:31).

Hey Gang:  An astronomer, I am not.  I have become somewhat interested in the blood moon discussions that have become very popular in the past year or so only because I believe they have great prophetic significance.   I believe it is one those signs that Jesus referred to when He said, "When all these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption is drawing near.”

But the bride-of-my-youth brought to my attention a book by Dr. William Allan Dean, titled The Names of God; it caught my immediate attention.  On page one he wrote the following:

     "For years in one of the hallways of the Benjamin Franklin Museum has been a very interesting model of our solar system.  In it we see the sun, and around it revolve the various planets, Neptune, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, and our earth.  Then, surrounding the whole system is a glass globe on which are marked many of the great constellations, the Big Dipper, Orion and others".

    Now the problem with such a conception of the universe is in the distances between the sun and its planets and the starry heavens surrounding it.  If we were to build such a thing to scale and would put the earth six inches away from the sun, representing the more than ninety million miles separating these two heavenly bodies, then Neptune would have to be fifteen feet away from the sun, and on the scale you would have to put the nearest star more than twenty six miles away. (Stars that we know today but we keep finding more galaxies out there as we improve telescopes).

   It is hard for us to appreciate these tremendous distances.  While we measure distances in miles, the astronomer measures distances in light years; light travels eleven million miles a minute and yet takes many thousands of years to reach from a star to the earth.  We might grasp something of the size of it this way: If we were to send a rocket ship from the earth to Neptune at a speed of forty thousand miles an hour, it would take fifteen years to make the roundtrip to Neptune.  But, at the same rate it would take the rocket ship 36,000 years to travel from the earth to the nearest star in the heavens.

   Now check this out!  While our solar system is of such size, our sun itself is so large that if we were to hollow it out, leaving a crust 100,000 miles thick, and put the earth inside the sun, the moon circling the earth would not reach within 100,000 mile of touching the inside of the crust we left on the sun.

    And yet, Alcyone, one of the Pleiades, those seven little stars we find in the cluster walking across the night sky, is as bright as a hundred suns like ours.  Vega, one of the our brighter stars of the sky, gives as much light as 55,000 suns.  Antares, which is really a star cluster, is so large that, if you were to put the sun inside Antares, our earth (circling the sun, more than ninety million miles away) would not come within one hundred million miles of touching the edge of that star.  Yet we look up and say, "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are." 

Soooo, I repeat, "God saw all that He had made" and behold it was very good!"  Now back to the question "Do you feel insignificant".  The God who created all of this, did this because of His love for you!  Not only did He create the universe and all that is in it for the person that stares back at you each morning in your mirror, but also did not restrict His love to our tenure on earth but "…So loved the world (you), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE" (John 3:16).   



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yea, Though I Walk!

God’s Power Principle For Today:  “Give, and it will given to you, They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed on, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38).   

Hey Good Buddies:  Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What does God want of me when I grow up?”  I, at 81, continue to ask that question.  As I have searched the Scriptures, I believe I have found the answer – He wants only for us to be obedient to His word, trust and obey and be a bond servant for Christ.  I determined it was good enough for Paul, and Peter and John, and is certainly a model I should follow.
Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).  In other words - “Be different”. “Be peculiar”.  Stick out like a sore thumb.   Now they tell me that there are no two snow-flakes that are identical.  I haven’t a clue how they know.  I tried once to compare two and they melted as quickly as I touched them. But if the Word tells me there are no two alike, I have no problem believing it. 

This I know, I moved a heap of snow-flakes throughout my life time and admit I did not take the time to do a scientific study of comparisons.  But as I moved the tons of snow (thankfully now with a snow blower)  I thought, ‘Is that not what God wants out of his children – each to be uniquely equipped to do a specific job for him?”  

Paul said we all have special gifts from God that we are to use for His glory.  If that is so, when we fail to use that gift for His glory, do we leave a hole in His ministry?  The greatest glory of the Christian life is that by our life and conduct we can bring glory to Abba Father.

I love the stories of the tough hombres of Scripture that God chose to be His ambassadors.  I think we would all agree that John the Baptist was one tough hombre.  Elijah and Jeremiah were also from the tough fiber class.  And then there were the disciples that Jesus hand-picked to carry the Good News, after His departure and returned to the Father.  All but one (excluding Judas) died as martyrs and often very sadistic deaths.

As I read about the ambassadors God chose to be His representatives, I do not find any that graduated from a school of higher learning but I suspect that all had a common denominator in that they were blessed with ‘good common sense’ and a deep dependence on the Lord.  I do not find any that leaned on their own understanding.   

Sooooo, young lads and lassies, something for you to ponder as you go about your day- Where is your dependence today, in the intellect of the world or in the One who is the giver of wisdom and understanding?  God stands ready to pour into your lap blessings, but in His time and in ways that He knows is best for you!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Obedience - There Is NO Other Way!

 And my God will supply all your and my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

Hey Gang:  Dean Morey, the dean of what was then called Findlay College, invited me in for a pow-wow, a pow-wow that I knew had to come but dreaded it.  Not for my sake but for my mother's sake; she had great expectations for me.  

Dean Morey said, “You have been placed on probation and double probation and, at the rate you are going, it will take you seventeen years to graduate.”  He was wrong, I did it in twelve- but only after four years in the Air Force, four years with the Federal Aviation Agency as an Air Traffic Controller, and married with four little ones.

My desk looks like I am the most literary person on the block.  Don’t you believe that for one minute!  I am an average to poor reader but must admit I have become a better reader in the past 30 years.  The bride- of- my- youth consumes books; I tend to agonize through them.  I love the short books with lots of pictures and large print.   My teachers would not believe the things I have written, but then  again most would be pleased with my progress.

Since beginning to write the morning messages I have been amazed with what God has been doing with my mind. When I began I did not have visions of grandeur.  I believed that I would reach my ability level in a month or two.   After several weeks I began to wonder how I could continue to write the messages, but then something began to happen in my inner most computer – nearly every moment of the day, I encountered things and God reminds me, "If you do as I tell you, I will supply all your needs.”

I struggle each day, not with what God would have me send your way, but which, of the morning messages that are filed away in the recesses of my mind, would He have me send today?  

Soooo, What I am trying to tell you my young friends is- if you are diligent in committing to doing three things, He will bless your sox off.  First, give Him quality time in the morning or evening or whenever your daily planner allows; second, spend quality time in prayer on a disciplined basis; third, give Him the first dime out of every dollar.  Then He will bless your sox off.   I know, I have tested Him and He is faithful and true.  "He will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).



Friday, November 14, 2014

Waiting! Yuk!!

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoice in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant" (Luke 1:46-48).

Hey Gang:  if I asked you what bugs you the most, how would you answer?  For me, it is easy, I hate to wait!  This morning I went to get my license renewed at the Secretary of State Office and was twenty fifth in line.  For the next hour as I waited, I fretted over the logs that were piled in my yard needing my attention and here I sat wasting precious time. 
Waiting is not a malady I learned as I grew more mature, it was inborn in me the day I was born.  I entered the world crying and demanding that I have my way immediately!  If you have ever taken a trip of more than six minutes with a small child in the back seat you have heard the question, "Are we almost there?" about every six seconds.    If you are a woman and have ever been pregnant, very likely you answered the question, "How soon?" a multitude of times.  This is especially so when the due date has come and gone. 

How many know there is a vast difference between the mundane waiting we are required to put up, as compared to the 400 years that the Jewish people had to endure between the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant, when God was silent.

And, when the waiting ended, it came with a scandal.  A young couple, Mary and Joseph, were engaged and Mary announced to her husband,  "I am with child"!  Think about that, he's on a ladder doing the final finishing touch to the dry wall when Mary comes in and says, “You better come down from the ladder, I have something to tell you.  Today it is more common for that sort of thing to happen but not in Jewish society of that day.    Nothing escaped the gossip mill at the local water well.

Most guys would blow their tops but Joseph did not - he wanted to put her away quietly.  What he did not know is God sees things differently.  What was a scandal to Joseph was a solution to God.  God's major theme centered on "I want to give you a way to come back to me, so we can do life together."  Joseph had a minor, but a very important, role in this theme.  God's delivery system was an angel.  I suspect it took an angel to calm Joseph's nerves.  And notice - the angel visited while Joseph slept.

When the angel talked about the line of David, Joseph might have perked up, knowing the prophecies that had been taught through the ages.   There is the question- since God cannot tolerate sin in His presence, was Mary sin free during her pregnancy.  If you get two rabbi's together and ask this question, you would get at least three  interpretations. 
Keep in mind, sin has been in the human creature's DNA since Adam and Eve.  Not hardly that Mary could go sinless for that time, at least in the opinion of a majority of the folks.   As the old country preacher said, "When the hens get ta clucking around the town well, it turns even a saints eyes red".

Soooo,  We are in that period of what we call "mud- slinging"(election over, but campaigning never seems to stop)  when integrity and truth are set aside for the sake of gaining a seat in the ‘Belt Way’.  Each time one of the candidates slings another wad of mud, I am reminded of Jesus’ words, "How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye?"  (Matt.  7:4).



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Steadfast and Confident to the End - Part Two

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exults himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thess. 3:2-3).

Hey Gang:  I recently heard Mike Hucklebee make a very frightening, but I believe, true statement   He said that he has never seen so many churches that have the white flag of surrender flying from their mastheads.  I believe we could all agree there is an all-out attack on Christ and his Word.  

Backslidden theologians are redefining Jesus, attacking his divinity, heaping ridicule on the Bible, raising doubts about the authenticity of Scripture and compromising with the world culture.

The present generation also faces vile, raging temptations that were unknown to past generations.  Godly men and women, who at one time were watchful, are now becoming drawn into all kinds of addictions.  They have been assaulted and overcome, as Satan unleashes his evil principalities in a war against the steadfast faith of every follower of Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews warned of this very day when he wrote, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Heb. 3:10).

All around us in the world today, there is terrorism, senseless violence, mounting financial crises and panic.  The effect upon the church has been one of great apostasy among once steadfast believers.  Satan’s powers of darkness have been sent expressly to wage battles that will wear down the confidence of God’s saints.

And I do not believe we have seen the worst he has to offer. As we grow nearer to the coming of Christ,  I believe this assault from hell is will only increase and become so devastating, so terrifying, we are going to need ever increasing powers from Abba Father, His Word and fellowship of believers to sustain us.   

Now is a time to take Paul's prayer with fervor, "That would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height or depth" (Eph. 3:10-12). 

Soooo,  is it not awesome to know that  "He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.  To whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:13-14)!  We need to remember- when the rubber-hit-the-road, "The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intention of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). 



Monday, November 10, 2014

Steadfast and Confident to the End

“Christ…a son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.  Therefore, just as the Holy Ghost says, today, if you  hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me” (Heb 3:6-8).

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an e
vil heart that falls away from the living God, But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.   For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end” (Heb. 6:12-14). 

Hey Gang:  Recently, we were privileged to share with our Sunday School Class, what the Word says that the world will look like, as we near the culmination of the age.   We have been privileged to share this message before and, listen up folks, The signs of the time are every-where!  All over the world, people’s hearts are failing with fear as they watch the terrifying things coming upon the earth.

Yet, in the midst of all this anxiety and fear, we who trust in the Lord have the assurance of His word telling us, “Be steadfast and confident to the end.”   As children of God we are instructed that, when it appears the sky is falling and mounting fear is all around us, we have an obligation to  show even greater confidence in our Lord to those who have no hope.   When there is gloom and despair, we are challenged to increase our gladness and rejoicing.

Is this not the nature of our heavenly Father?  He has made provision for his people to hold fast and retain their joy in the severest of troubled times.  Yet there is a condition attached to this provision.  Notice the “IF’.    I love the little trigger words of the Bible, for many times they are followed by life challenging and changing truths.

“For we have become partakers of Christ, ‘IF’ we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. …(Heb. 3:14)?  “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house - whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our  hope firm until the end” (vs. 6). Why are we given this cautionary word?  It is because there are powerful forces at work today against every believer who would hold fast to his confident faith.

Soooo, my friends, as I read the Word of God and see what is happening around me, I am increasingly convinced that I am to make sure to keep my armor in place, my lantern filled with oil, remain alert to those around me who need a shirt tail to hang onto, and place my hands in the hands of the one who stills the waters.  It is so very important that we know that, for many, we will be the only 'Bible' they believe.  



Friday, November 7, 2014

Do You Want God's Love?

God’s power principle for today:  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).

Hey Gang:   The woman lived in poverty, much to the chagrin of her lawyer son who faithfully sent her a check each month to cover her every need.  Her son heard of her stunning poverty and called her on the phone:  "Mother, I hear that you don’t have enough money to pay your bills.”  "That’s right” she said sadly. 

“But how can that be?  Don’t you get my letters every month?”  “Yes, I get your letters”.  “Then what do you do with the money?”  “What money?  All you send is those pieces of paper with your name scrawled on the bottom.”  She lived in poverty even though she had thousands of dollars available to her.  All she had to do was cash the checks.

Before you are too hard on the woman, think about your situation.  God has given you promises to cover your every need, but they do you no good until you cash them.  The Bible is filled with promises from our Heavenly Father with checks addressed to each of us, but they are of no value, if you have not plugged your power cord into God’s Power Supply.

Studying the promises of God can be like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant.  They are so powerful and there are so many of them that they may knock us off our feet.

In our workshops with families we always began by giving an orientation on the materials we would use throughout the workshop.  First, we use Biblical principles.  If you reject our using Biblical Principles, we go to option two, which is to use Biblical Principles but we do not tell you they are Biblical Principles.  There was always one or more who asked what option number three was, and our reply “We send you down the road for we have learned there are no other principles that work.” 

Paul challenges our hearts with a tremendous promise that we can take to the bank: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Six verses later he gives us this pearl of great price: “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”    For those who were successful in trying God's way there were successes but, for those whose minds and heart were closed we enrolled in our "Agony and Pain Club".

Soooo, my young friends, take Malachi’s advice: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts.  If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:10).

Wait, don’t stop there, read the blessing that follows: “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your  vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts” (vs. 11). 



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Have You Checked Out God's Plan Lately?

"Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers, For they will wither quickly like grass and fade like the green herb" (Psa. 37:1-2).  Notice his next words, "Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness; Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (vs. 3-4), but he does not leave it there. The Psalmist continues, 

"Commit your way to the Lord, Trust in Him, and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday" (Psa. 37:1-6). 

Hey Gang:  Psalm 37 is one of my favorites, especially the first six verses.  David certainly had a way with words.  Notice there are four very key words in this passage:  trust, dwell, delight and commit.  He used these words as alternatives to fretting and gripping because of the evilness that surrounded him.  I sense he had tested these words, in his many battles, and had learned that those who use devious means to gain, in this world, would soon fade away as the grass of the field.

Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel during the early years of restoration, often wondered why God did  not have the children of Israel make a right turn, when entering the Promise Land, go into Saudi Arabia and claim that as part of the land of milk and honey.  Did you ever wonder why many of those who have been blessed with great wealth do not honor God with the riches?  You would think that they would be first in line to bow down before the Lord. 

What they do not realize is they will "Wither like grass and fade like the green herb" (James 1:11).  Two hobos were sitting on the curb talking when a hearse went by carrying the remains of one who had been the most dominate person on Knob Hill to his final resting place. One hobo turned to the other and said, "I wonder how much he left?"  The other responded, "All of it".   He had withered like grass and now faced eternity.

When we are in the will of God and submit to God's plans, we can trust our desires.  Our assignment is found at the intersection of God's plan and ours.  What do you live to do?  What brings you joy?  What gives you a sense of satisfaction?  I believe we are wired at conception to serve God, in some unique way, and love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control  are attached to our fulfilling His preordained commission.

Paul clarified that point when he taught, "He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ" (Eph 4:11-12).  Now, before moving on, notice Paul does not mention that God designed anyone to be ‘as grass that withers away’ and has no Godly purpose in life.

There is no caste system in God's Kingdom, as there is in India where the Dalet people are confined to the dumps because, in the eyes of the more elite, they have no purpose and do not exist.

As a matter of fact Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians wrote, “Now there are a varieties of gifts, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good, one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, another the word of knowledge; to another faith, and another the gift of healing, another effecting miracles, another the gift of prophecy and another interpretation of prophecy, to another the distinguishing of spirits and to another various kinds of tongues and to another interpretation of tongues.”  

Question, do the desires of your heart come from God, or do they just pop into your head to fill the space?  Are they critical messages from the Throne Room of heaven, indicating  that He has a specific purpose for your life? And, if you fail to fulfill his mandate, you are, As Frank Constantino, a convicted criminal who found the Lord in a Georgia prison and latter became a missionary to the prison population said, "We will leave holes in time”.

Soooo, my good friends, one does not have to be a rocket- scientist see the hand writing on the wall. The Dooms Day Clock is rapidly approaching the zero hour.  If you have never been a seed planter, it is time to plant a seed of God’s love in someone this day.  A simple "good morning" may open the door to sharing the wonderful news that Jesus Christ is alive and seeking to take them by the hand and lead them through this wilderness.  Jesus said the harvest is ripe and the workers few.  Be a worker today.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Challenge TIme (Coming to you from VOM @Bartlesville , OKlahoma)

God’s Power Principle For today:  A Word for troubled times;  “…for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (I Sam 17:47c).

Hey Gang:  Have you been confronted by any giants lately?  If not, you should be the one writing these morning messages.  Years ago we had a preacher man on our board  and his favorite saying was “This too shall pass”.  It was his conviction that problems have time limits and we have much to say about the time we allow the problem to persist. 

I must admit that I have struggled with that little ditty on many occasions.  I tend to lean more to David’s challenge to Goliath when he said, “The battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into my hands”.  I would far rather put my trust in the Lord than into setting a time limit when I will allow a giant to bug me.

When I was a little squeezer, I learned the adage ‘practice makes perfect’.  It certainly made sense to me and I used it consistently with the boys in detention and at the Village.  Notice David also believed in that adage.  When David arrived and found Goliath challenging the Israeli army and there were no takers, he informed Saul that he would take this pesky gnat to the cleaners. (Gramps rendition).

How did he know?  Because he had already tested God and found Him to be true and dependable in every case.  He had tested Him with the lion and with the bear and now would test Him once again - with a giant. 

The point: God can use what you have invested in your relationship with Him, when the rubber-hits -the road.  That is why it is important to be continually inputting the word of God into your heart and mind so that when alligators come calling, the Holy Spirit can pull out one of those pearls of great price that are firmly planted in the recesses of your heart and mind.

Soooo, good buddies, take a word of advice from an old duck that had many conflicts with alligators.  I have learned that I am a lousy alligator fighter and need to have a truly great Alligator Fighter on my side when slue foot comes calling. 

And I hate to admit it, but for the first thirty-two year of my life I was so brash as to think there were no alligators that I could not handle in my own strength.  I have many scars from those battles to prove that I was no match with the evil one.  Get it firmly planted in your brain - when you do find an alligator snapping at your heels, "The battle is the Lord's!