There is a lot to think about with our topic today. From a martial arts standpoint feet are important. As you engage in battle you need to widen your stance. I mean you need to stand with your feet about shoulders width apart. This makes you more stable and less likely to be knocked over. We need to protect our feet. Like the child’s song says, “Oh be careful little feet where you go.”
Look at Ephesians 6:15, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” The word “shod” means to bind under one’s feet, i.e. put on shoes or sandals. If we are going to engage in battle then we need to have our feet protected and placed in the right stance to make sure we have stability.
As I am preparing this post today I am reminded of the parable of the Good Samaritan. This man lay on the side of the road left for dead. The religious crowd walked by. One even moved to the other side of the road to walk on by. God forbid! God has equipped is to walk over to those in need. He especially wants us to walk over to them in the heat of battle because they might need to be rescued or encouraged.
A number of years ago my wife and I were in Church and a great man preached a great message that I still today remember the title to. Brother Bob Carrico preached a message titled, “All Because of Another”. I wish I could say that I remember the rest of the message; but, I don’t. I am going to take his thought and develop it here.
As I am thinking about this today I think I remember the original message being about King David taking care of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. Traditionally, the new king would destroy all the family of the former king to eliminate any uprising from them. Look at king David’s response in II Samuel 9:11, “Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.”
Mephibosheth is a picture of salvation. He was given what he did not deserve. He was made a son to the king. What an awesome account. This is not just some Bible story in a book. This is a real life event. Now, imagine how Mephibosheth felt. I cannot. He was summoned to the king and probably expected to be executed. What he did not know was that David had made a promise to Mephibosheth’s father Jonathan. David meant to keep his promise because of the relationship he enjoyed with David. Now that David is king he has the power and authority he needs to make good on his promise.
What about you my reader? Do you feel abandoned? If you will humble yourself and realize that you are a sinner and that you need a Saviour you are on the right track to finding WHO you need. You see, Jesus will never abandon you. If you will realize you are a sinner and you need a Saviour then you can put your faith and trust in Him and be saved. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). The wages of this sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible tells us that while we are in the very act of sin that God showed us His love in Jesus as He died on the cross (Romans 5:8). We can have eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). All we have to do is realize we are a sinner, confess that to Jesus and call upon Him in prayer asking Him to save us (Romans 10:9-10). Will you trust Him today?
The other day I was talking to one of my dearest friends on the phone. I was calling him to update him on how the process was moving at the Church I am currently preaching at. They are looking for a Pastor and I hope that I am the man God has for them.
As I told him how encouraged I was he made a statement in jest that stuck in my mind for the next day or more. He said, “I will finally have a friend in the valley.” The valley he refers to is a literal valley in the landscape. This kept repeating over and over in my mind. I thought to myself, “He knows he has a Friend of friends in Jesus. He is kidding me.” Yes, I know he was kidding; but, truthfully there are multitudes of other people who have no friend in the valley. This valley is the valley we call life.
The thing is as we go through life we need friends, desperately. Now, I mean good friends that will walk with us, cry with us and even share ice cream with us (their treat or ours). Good, solid friends are few and far between.
Let me ask you a penetrating question. Are you the kind of friend that walks into someone’s life when everyone else is running out? I mean will you be tried and true no matter how bad your “friend” messes up and makes a shambles of their life (and others)? These are questions to ponder in light of our friendships.
Jesus is the Example of a friend! Look at Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” I do not have brothers or sisters by blood; but, I do have brothers and sisters by Christ’s blood by the bus loads. I thank God for them. A very few of them are God’s kind of friend and for them I shout, “Thank God!”
I had the privilege of attending a revival meeting at another Church recently. It was a good meeting. I found myself sitting in the second row of chairs back from the platform. My hearing is not what it used to be, so I try to sit closer occasionally.
It was interesting. My cousin was leading the congregational music as it was at their home Church. As I sat there I glanced around and noticed that I was the only one in the row of chairs. When my cousin finished his responsibilities he took his seat next to me. I appreciated that.
The next night I sat in the same place. Another man; who is a dear friend, came and sat next to me. I don’t think he just did that. I think he on purpose sat there. I appreciate that too. Nobody wants to be alone, normally.
I felt important sitting there with these men making a definite effort to come sit with me. I know that I am nobody special. These two made me feel special by such a small act of kindness. They made my cup run over. Look at Psalm 23:5, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
As we continue our thoughts on “I Know A Man Who Can” I thought about another group of people. Look at our third installment of this series.
“I Know A Man Who Can” – help the broken.
The other day I heard someone preaching on the parable of the Good Samaritan. This person said that he believed that the man beaten and left for dead was a picture of you and I. Well, I can relate to this. I am not going to say this man was right or wrong. I understand where he is coming from. He went on to say that he believes that the Samaritan is a picture of our Heavenly Father. Again, I will not say that he is right or wrong. I do see why he would think this.
I am sure that in your life you feel like this man on the road. You have been beaten, bruised and even broken by a cold, cruel, calloused world that hates Jesus Christ and anyone who stand for Him. As the days get spiritually darker we can associate with this man. I am sure that we have been on the side of the road so to speak and watched as those who should stop to help pass on by. How hurtful and discouraging this is.
If we find ourselves in this position we must cry out to God Almighty. He will “help the broken”. Now, if you find yourself in the position of seeing some beaten, bruised and broken soul on the side of the road be the hands of Jesus and do what you can to help. You will not be sorry.
As a Pastor I interact with many people of all kinds, shapes and sizes. There is one thing that people are looking for. They are looking for people to be real. A little boy was scared in a thunder and lightening storm. He went into his parents room and asked to sleep with them. His mother said no and told him to go to bed in his own room. A little while later the boy called to his mother for mercy and asked once again to sleep with his parents. His mother said no. He again asked; but, this time he asked her to come sleep with him. She said no because she had to sleep with the boy’s daddy. The boy said under his breath, “Chicken!” He was speaking of his dad. Again the boy tried to get his mother to come sleep with him in his hour of terror. The mother tried to comfort him by telling him that Jesus is with him. The boy replied, “But Mom, I need somebody with skin on.”
This idea came to me after reading a photography article. You can read the article from Digital Photography School here.
When we deal with people they just want us to be real. There are enough fakes in this world. It does not matter what it is there are fakes. I mean, counterfit money are everywhere it seems. The news is filled with police impersonators, physician impersonators and the list goes on.
When we talk to people they know if we are being real or just spinning them a line. So, when we deal with people we must be who we are and if we cannot answer all their questions then we need to say so. Then we need to find the answer and get back to them. I am guilty of forgetting as I get older to get back with people. I will be working on something and get an answer and then I cannot remember who I am supposed to tell.
Jesus was real with people. When He confronted the woman at the well He shot straight with her. If we are going to have an impact on people we must speak the truth to them. They will know it. Look at Ephesians 4:25, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”
As we continue our study on the thought of “Consider Him” I would like for us to “Consider Him in His Care”. The songwriter penned the words, “Does Jesus Care?”.
How would you answer this question? My guess is that most of us would filter our response through our circumstances. If we feel that God has been good to us then we would say, “Yes, He cares!” If we feel like God has somehow shorted us and we have not gotten something we really wanted then we might fell like that God has not been good.
We need to find ourselves in the attitude of the writer of Psalm 23. Look at what he says in Psalm 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We need to get our eyes back on God and quit looking at other people and think that God loves them more than He loves us because that person has more stuff.
God loves us all the same no matter what or who we are. He cares for us all the same.
There have been times in our marriage of over twenty years that times were lean. Most times we would tell family about it and they would come to our rescue. God has used them many, many times to deliver us.
The other day I received a message that a friend wanted to bless us for Thanksgiving. I knew that meant food. I was excited. I like to eat for sure. So, Tuesday evening I went to pick up the food. To my surprise there was double the amount for one family. I knew what that meant. It meant that we could either keep a double portion or find someone to “bless” with a feast also.
So, at 9:30 at night I drove twenty-five miles to a relative’s house who I know struggle with finances and she has children. It worked out that my Grandmother got out of the hospital on Wednesday after having three stents put in the back side of her heart. My Dad was staying with her after she got home from the hospital. So, I because someone blessed my family and I we were able to bless my Grandmother, my Dad and my cousin and her family.
On my way home God spoke to my heart about a dear Pastor friend in our area that has fallen on hard times and is struggling financially and is living with their youngest child and their family. God told me to bless them with the food that was given to us. I talked to my wife and she immediately so yes, let’s do it. So, Wednesday evening we met this dear Pastor and gave him the food we had been given and we even purchased a little more to go with it.
Why am I sharing this? Please know that I do not share this so you will know how wonderful I am and what a good person I am. Not at all! I share this in order to help you see the truth of God’s Word. Look at Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I promise you this is true. I have lived this for the past four days and I cannot describe how I feel.
After looking at the pictures flooding social media it appears that the candy makers won again this year. I think that some of the children should bring us some candy to save themselves for having to eat it all. Just kidding.
Now that Halloween is in the books for this year we can begin to focus on the real holidays. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hate the commercialization of these holidays. It seems to get worse each year.
Thanksgiving should be a time that is more than football or hunting. The holidays should be a time for families to get together and enjoy one another. We need to appreciate one another and we need to let our loved ones know how we feel about them because we do not know if this will be our last time to meet together.
I have been thinking about Mephibosheth. He is the son of Jonathan, Saul’s son. He was made lame by his nurse when they were fleeing for their lives. Mephibosheth lives every day with his disability.
One day, David wants to honor his best friend Jonathan. He makes inquiry if there is any of Jonathan’s family still alive. It is discovered that Mephibosheth is alive. The king sends for him. I cannot imagine how he felt. I would be filled with fear that the king was really wanting to eliminate all of the former king’s relatives.
David does the right thing and honors Jonathan by doing right for Mephibosheth. Look at the words of II Samuel 9:5, “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.” The word “Lodebar” means pastureless. Mephibosheth was living in a bad place. He probably felt inferior. Then one day the call comes that the king sent for him.
You never know what it might do for someone to receive a gift out of love. Maybe we need to do things for people that have no way of repaying us. I believe that Jesus did that for every single one of us.
Joel Hemphill shares a story on one of the Gaither Homecoming DVD’s that caught my attention. He said that he received a message on their answering machine from a lady that was upset because some organization that had left a box of food for she and her family was stolen by someone else.
He tells that the lady only left her address on the message and no telephone number and he had no way of getting in contact with the organization. He tells how he decided to do something about this. He told of getting a ham and a large box of food together. He tells of walking through the projects of Nashville, TN as he looked for the address. He tells how much the family appreciated the gift and how they responded to he and the gift. He said, “I just remember walking away from that apartment thinking, God don’t ever let my number be a wrong number.”
I am sure that there have been times in my life that people have metaphorically dialed my number and received the message that it was a wrong number. This really breaks my heart as I sit here thinking about that. There have been many times in my life that I was not able to help someone. Yet, was it a faith failure that kept me from helping them? All this time later I could not tell you. This one thing I know, if God will give me the faith then I promise to help whoever He directs me to help.
All too many times I have been on the needing end and I know what it is like to be turned away by even family because their resources are gone too. If you have not made Jesus Christ the object of your faith then life will seem impossible. Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation? If not I beg you to do that today.