There are so many people that live in turmoil. Their lives just seem to be like a boat rocking and rolling on the stormy seas. Many people today are searching for peace. Nations are seeking peace (or at least that is what they say). We live in a day when peace is at a minimum.
Yet; if you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you can have great peace. Remember, peace is not the absence of trouble and trials. Peace is that calm assurance and confident trust in Jesus Christ in the midst of the troubles and trials.
One of my favorite lighthouse pictures shows a lighthouse out in the sea. There is someone standing in the doorway as an enormous wave crashes against the back of the lighthouse and is coming around to the front. This speaks to me of peace. It is a picture of life.
David; the shepherd boy, wrote Psalm 23:2, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Even thought the grass might be too tall to see over we can have peace. Even though the waters are troubled and no longer calm we can have great peace. The choice is all ours to make.
I shared yesterday that the most ill attended party of all is the pity party. Sometimes we seem to just fall into one. How can we encourage ourselves in this situation. Let’s look.
The 7-Ups of Encouraging Yourself In The LORD – Look Up! If we get our focus in the wrong place the we can get very discouraged. If you are alive in this day and age and you look around you can get horribly discouraged. There is hope! If we change our focus then we can encourage our self.
Look at Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” If we are constantly looking around us we can get very discouraged. When we change our focus and begin to look to Jesus we will be encouraged.
We look to Him because He has all the answers. He may choose not to share with us the answers to our questions; but, that is where faith comes in to play. We must take in faith what God says is true. Then we need to live like it.
Far too many people walk around like they have no faith. They seem to have no focus. They just drift around from here to there. We need to look to Jesus. Then we need to stay focused on Jesus. Then we will be less likely to be discouraged.
Yesterday I was listening to music. When I woke up it was time to make lunch. The song on at the time was by Greater Vision and is titled “I Know A Man Who Can”. We are needing a miracle in my family right now. We are watching as one of our dear members slowly transitions down in health and upward toward Heaven. This is a painful process. I have not been able to make it to the hospital for several days due to schedules and shift changes.
With this in mind I was listening to this song; which is a favorite of mine, and some thoughts came to my mind. Let me share some of these thoughts.
I. I Know A Man Who Can – heal the broken heart.
Look at John 20:15, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” For the most part those who followed Jesus believed He was who He said He was. Then they watched Him be crucified and then buried. How would you feel? You and I would be crushed. We would be disillusioned. There is an entire gamut of feelings associated with what these people had and were going through.
Then Mary in this state goes to the tomb of Jesus. She sees a man that she thinks is the gardener. When she speaks to this Person she finds out it is Jesus. Then all the feelings fade away in sight. The disillusionment drops off like rain off a duck’s back. All the wrong feelings disappear at the revelation of who Jesus really is to Mary.
Now, let’s make this personal. I don’t know what is happening or not happening in your life. I can tell you this for sure. If you will come to faith in Jesus Christ the trials of life will probably not get better. What changes is your perspective on the problems and your response should change also. This will make all the difference in the world. You see, “I Know A Man Who Can.” Take your needs and cares to Him and let Him work in your life.
Last night my wife and I sat and watched “Love Worth Finding” on television. This is the television ministry of Dr. Adrian Rogers. He is a wonderful preacher and Bible teacher. He said that in order for a marriage to work you need two things. They are foundation and flexibility.
He was telling about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, CA. He shared that what holds up the entire bridge are two pillars. Those two pillars are built on bedrock. In other words they dug down deep until they found solid ground to build these two pillars on.
Friend, what is your marriage built upon? If it is going to be successful in this dark day we live in your marriage (and mine) must be build upon solid bedrock. The only place you can find solid bedrock for marriage or anything else this day and age is in Jesus Christ. In the Scriptures He is called “the Rock”.
As a Pastor I have performed weddings. Before I will commit to do a wedding the parties wanting to get married must agree to and complete a few weeks of counseling. Why am I so strict? Because I understand that the world’s system is seeking to destroy the family and I want anyone I perform marriages for to at least have what they need to form a strong foundation upon which to build a marriage. If you and i are like the wise man Jesus spoke about in the New Testament we will build upon a rock. Not just any rock; but, upon The Rock, Jesus Christ.
This bridge works because it has flexibility. The bridge is built to have twenty feet (20′) of sway in each direction side to side. Concrete and steel will sway back and forth, up and down because it is build to be flexible. It is the same in our marriages. We must be flexible. Men and women are different in many ways. This is a gift from God. Think how boring life would be if we were all the same.
Once we understand how each person is wired (men and women) we can begin to understand them completely and it will make our marriages and relationships much better. Look at I Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
What we need to do is follow the plan God has for marriage and we can enjoy fulfilling marriages that will last a lifetime. That is a gift from God.
Yesterday I had the privilege of filling in for a Pastor who terribly sick with what is going around. After the Sunday evening service we were all standing around talking. The subject of our son came up and I shared that one of my biggest concerns for our son is who will take care of him when my wife and I are no longer able.
A young girl in the Church was listening to this conversation. When we finished she looked at me and said, “You need to read your tie.” I thought to myself, “Okay”. Then she pointed to my tie and said, “With God all things are possible.” Yes, you guessed it. I was sweetly and kindly rebuked by this little girl who is probably eight or ten years old. She was reading my tie and quoting Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
This really caught my attention as it would most people. I have to agree with this dear heart. She is right. So, why do we doubt? This little lady sure didn’t. Oh, to have the faith of a little child and trust Jesus like that.
Is there something in your life that you need to trust Jesus for? If there is maybe it would do you good as it did me to take another look at Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
In the past two days we have looked at Jesus is the man of Sorrow, the man of Sympathy. Today we will look at another attribute of Jesus.
Jesus is the Man of Salvation. If it were not for Jesus there would be no salvation. He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John:1:28). He is our sin bearer. Jesus took our sin to the cross and paid the ultimate price for my sin and your sin. We have to make it personal.
Too many people want to generalize things and by doing so they can avoid putting themselves in with all the others. It is like they think they are too good or something. Every person born since Adam is infected with sin and only Jesus has the cure for sin. He gave Himself to be sin for us. He never knew sin; but, became sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21).
The Bible tells us what Jesus did to cure this sin problem that we are all infected with. Look at John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Now, you and I are at a crossroad. We can choose to trust Jesus as our Saviour or we can choose to reject Him. The choice is your’s to make.
I heard someone the other day ask another man a question. He asked, “If you do anything you want without failure what would it be?” That is a good question. As I pondered the man’s question my mind went in a few different directions. Then came the penetrating Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. Ouch!
I believe that almost all of us fear failure. We have such a fear of failure that we don’t attempt anything. It is easier to just sit, soak and sour. Where are the men like Hudson Taylor? D. L. Moody? Spurgeon?
We have come to a place where Christians are so afraid of offending someone, anyone that we are now just trying to safely tip-toe through the tulips to the end of our life. I want to slide in to Heaven with my earthly body dirty and tattered saying, “What a ride!”
Peter took are real ride once. Look at Matthew 14:29-30, “And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Peter at least got out of the boat. None of the others spoke to the LORD as the Scripture records this event. Only Peter spoke to Him and asked Him to bid him come to Him.
What are you asking God for? Remember we serve a big God and He is able. Ask Him for the big things, the enormous dreams. He can handle it.
If you are going to walk on water, get out of the boat.
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.
I was reading an article a few days ago about a popular rap artist (this is a great contradiction in terms). It seems this “artist” was annoyed that a couple of his concert goers did not stand when he took the stage. In a ploy to get them to stand he tried to embarrass them into standing. It turns out that one of these people was confined to a wheel chair and the other had a prosthetic leg. The prosthetic leg was waved in the air so as to alert this intellectual midget that standing was not possible. He then said, “My bad.” and went on with the concert. I would have immediately vacated and vehemently requested a refund.
These persons with disabilities overcame obstacles to be in attendance that evening. Then they were punished by the pride of yet another self-righteous, sin loving pig. In case you are wondering I don’t take lightly when others mistreat persons with disabilities.
Hy hat is off to these who have overcome their obstacles to go to such an event. We often face obstacles in our lives that at times seem insurmountable. Here is the thing. We have to keep going. We never know when we might be the inspiration for someone else that is battling uphill, both ways, in the rain. What joy it would be to find out that we were someone’s inspiration.
Look at Numbers 13:30, “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” I think Caleb is on to something we need today. We need to see ourselves as people who with God’s power can overcome any obstacle that is in our way. Someone (possibly Hudson Taylor) said, “God and I make the majority.”
There were two farmers who needed rain. One farmer did nothing. The other farmer went out and prepared his fields for rain. Which one believed God? Obviously, the farmer who made preparation for rain is the one who believed God.
What about you, my reader? Are you trusting God? We live in a day that we have no choice but to trust God. I seems to me that you cannot hardly trust anyone around you anymore. It is sad to say the least.
The Apostle Peter gets a lot of grief because he sank while walking on the water. Here is the thing. Nobody else got out of the boat. I don’t see any of the people I hear talk down about Peter getting out of their boat and walking on the water either. So, my counsel to you and I would be to “Put your money where your mouth is and start walking on the water yourself.”
Look at Matthew 14:28, “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” It is high time for Christians to take God at His Word and get out of the boat and trust Him. We want to do it ourselves and that is not trusting God. It is one thing to do what you can and trust Him for what you cannot. It is a whole different thing to sit back and expect God to do it all. He will not. You and I have to trust Him and do what we can and let Him work and do what we cannot.