Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Don’t give up

John 16:21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

There are things in this life that we pray for, wait for, believe God for. We shed many tears and lose many hours of sleep.  Sometimes we feel like giving up….like we can’t hold on for another moment.

But what if we knew that breakthrough was right around the corner?  If you knew that it would only be a little while longer, could you keep holding on?

One day….maybe very soon…. that which you have waited for in faith, you will see with your eyes. All the pain, the tears and the sorrow will be forgotten…for the joy over what has been gained.

Hold on just a little while longer my friend.  One day soon you will be so glad that you did.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Matthew 1:20  “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

The word “thought” (Strongs 1760) means to ponder or deliberate, but the root word has the meaning of passion, anger and heat. So Joseph’s musings were probably not a calm reasoning through of the situation but rather an emotionally charged review of what had happened. He must have felt so hurt and betrayed. Thank God he didn’t react in the heat of passion assuming (as anyone naturally would) that he understood what had happened. He didn’t understand what had happened, and had that man acted rashly in the heat of anger (which was actually fueled by righteousness) he would have missed the privilege of a lifetime.

Don’t think you always understand what is happening just because you know certain things by your senses. There are spiritual realities at work all around us that we might just miss out on for lack of thinking….pondering….wondering….if there might be a greater reality than what we have observed. Turn aside and see….stay still and listen….make sure you don’t miss out on the glorious thing God wants to do just because it doesn’t make sense to you.

 

Read Full Post »

Acts 19:24-27. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.  He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.  Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.  So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”

I get the sense that Demetrius was not so much a religious man as a greedy man, as he makes several appeals to the financial benefit that Diana worship brings to men of the city of Ephesus.  Surely such a businessman had the intelligence to realize that Paul was correct…a man cannot make a god with his hands. However that was not a profitable stance for him to take and not one that he would lend any credence to. So he appeals to the men on the basis of what he worships (money), and then on the basis of the dangers to their religious culture and warned that Diana’s magnificence would be destroyed by what Paul was teaching.  This is the “greatness” of a man made God- it is ever subject to being demolished and dismantled by truth. Whatever magnificence Diana had was a magnificence imputed by men and could thus be taken away by men. But the magnificence of the true God cannot be touched or diminished.  No man gave it to Him and no man can take it from Him.  The magnificence of Jesus was revealed in greater glory and power after they attempted to destroy Him by crucifixion. Though He is rejected by men still, His magnificence is untouched.  He remains as glorious as He has always been in eternity past and will be in eternity future.  He doesn’t need us to protect His splendor….only to reveal it. Let the world in its vanity scoff and mock if they will.  He loses nothing by their disapproval and disdain. His remains an untouchable magnificence.

Read Full Post »

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

What a beautiful promise of deliverance this is for the child of God….one that many have clung to in the dark seasons of life. Deliverance.  An end to the trial. This is often our sole focus in time of trouble, trial and affliction….the end of it.  But what about the fruit of it?  What about the work of God through it?  That same verse tells us that afflictions WILL come. Many afflictions. It is an unavoidable part of life.  Can we believe there is purpose in it?

Acts 16 – Paul had been in Philippi for many days. He had been to Lydia’s house and to the river, but what about this jailer?  How would he hear the gospel?  The wisdom of God is to put His ministers in jail. Paul’s prison was for this man’s soul.

Paul probably didn’t know this when he was beaten and put in the stocks, but He trusted God enough to leave His suffering to God’s sovereign purpose. How else would he be able to worship in such a situation?

My suffering often benefits me when I allow myself to be instructed through it and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and the experience with God through it. But maybe….just maybe…my suffering is for someone else.  How easy to bear is a prison that brings forth a soul.

Read Full Post »

This morning I got up early so I could spend some time seeking the Lord. I opened my Bible to read for a little while and ended in Acts 15 where Paul and Barnabas had an argument that ended their ministry together because Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark, who had earlier had a little fall from grace, with them in the ministry. But Paul didn’t want him involved. It says that Barnabas and Mark went on their way and Paul and Silas went on their way commended by the church. That little bit of scripture seemed important this morning so I just stop to meditate on it for a while. And as I was just thinking on it I saw how there’s great importance in who you partner with in life and ministry. It can change the course of everything. It seemed at first that Barnabas made the wrong choice and it brought the disapproval of the church. But as I looked into it more and thought on it in the Lord’s presence, the message of this verse became so beautiful to me….especially now. Earlier in the book of Acts Barnabas is called “Son of Encouragement”. He was the one who believed in Paul when everybody else was afraid of him. This same Barnabas was the one who wanted to see Mark restored when others were angry that he hadn’t been faithful. Barnabas’s ministry may not be praised through the generations like Paul’s is, but it didn’t end with his disagreement with Paul. He continued to be a faithful minister of the gospel, maybe just behind the scenes now. The testimony of Mark is that he remained a faithful and useful man. What would have happened to him if Barnabas had rejected him in order to keep Paul’s approval? Thankfully we will never know. What we do know is that it cost Barnabas his partnership with the illustrious apostle Paul to be faithful to his role as a son of encouragement. Yet now, thousands of years later on a cold January morning, he is still encouraging the brethren.

Read Full Post »

Last Friday as a young man was passing by on Third Street, I handed him a gospel tract and tried to start a conversation with him. He seemed eager to enjoy his evening and not very disposed to stop and talk until I mentioned the name of Jesus. He stopped in his tracks and told me that he was a backslider.  He had been raised in church all his life and had made a genuine profession of faith in Christ as a young man. He had been active in ministry and diligent in the spiritual disciplines. But he had a struggle that he couldn’t talk about with anyone….until it overtook him. Having been molested by a family member when he was a young boy, he found himself struggling with same sex attraction for years.   He prayed and sought freedom from these desires but eventually grew weary of the fight. He told me that all through those years he was active in evangelism and discipleship. In the midst of his own personal struggle he was always going after people for the kingdom….he said ”and I wondered when is somebody going to come after me”. All up in the middle of church and ministry, yet sinking into the seeming hopelessness of a besetting sin….battling alone and being overcome.   He wept, right out there in the middle of Baton Rouge’s party street….longing to be free….missing the Father’s house.

We prayed together and I trust that the Spirit of God will complete the work of restoration. Please pray for D. and so many, many like him who are slipping away from Christ in the midst of the house of God. Make no mistake….this world we live in is a battle zone. As the people of God, we must war with one another and for one another so that we can all say at the end….”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Read Full Post »

I “met” Rob recently through some friends. In the last week we talked on the phone a couple of times and exchanged a few text messages. Rob had a history of addiction and described himself as an agnostic. I was planning to pick someone up for church this evening that was staying at his house and Rob actually invited himself to come to church with us. He talked a lot and he talked super fast so it was sometimes difficult to get a word in, but I was able to briefly share the gospel with Rob. Several times in the last week Rob let me know he was excited about coming to church and I sent him a text message this morning to let him know what time I would be there to pick them up. A little while later I got a phone call that Rob was dead…very possibly an overdose.

I never got to meet Rob in person, but his death has affected me.

We have recently experienced the deaths of several people in our church and although there was sadness, it was tempered with the joy of knowing they were with Jesus. There is nothing to lessen the sorrow of Rob’s death. There is no joy, there is no hope.

Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2

Take it to heart, you who live. For there are many who are dead while they live….dead in sin and separated from God. The gospel is their only hope. It is the only remedy. But the gospel is not good news to the man who dies without it. So preach it often. Preach it boldly. Preach it that all may live.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »