The Cover Up

The other day I was making two double batches of my homemade BBQ sauce.  Someone had requested some of both the honey hickory and the honey mesquite.  When I finished the second batch I tuned off the burner.  Then I removed the lid from the stainless steel pot.  Then I moved the pot to a cooler burner.  When I removed the lid; before moving the pot, the BBQ sauce boiled violently for a couple seconds.  A splatter about the size of a dime hit my right arm.  It hurt badly!

I wiped my arm off and it turned a little red.  Then it began to blister and hurt terribly.  I ran cold water over it in an attempt to stop the burning and cool things down.  For several days I put medicine on it and it is healing.  Upon going to Church on Sunday my suit coat rubbed against this area of my arm.  It hurt horrible.

I began to think.  The suit coat was covering the burn mark.  Unfortunately, the thing that was hiding the burn from sight was the one thing that was irritating it.  Then my mind ran to Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

We need to quit covering up our sin with whatever we can find.  We need to confess our sin to God and forsake it.  Then we can move on and live in freedom. The problem is that too man of us love the pleasure of sin and we don’t want to forsake it at all.  Yet, this is what is bringing an irritation into our lives whether we realize it or not.  It is time to quit covering up and get it out in the open before God and get forgiveness and freedom.

So, how are you doing?

Consider Him 8

I am guessing that most of us have heard the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  There is a lot of truth to that; unless, you are hard of hearing like I am.  Then, it might get it and it might not.

As a parent you know when your child cries if it is just for attention or if there is really something wrong.  Mothers are highly skilled in this area.  Fathers just look for the trail of blood.

There is one cry that has impact for all time and eternity.  Today let’s “Consider Him in His Cry”.  As Jesus was nailed to a Roman cross and dying for sin He never committed He said some things that need to be considered.

Look at Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”  This is ultimate forgiveness!  There have been a couple times in my life that God has poured out great grace on me and I was able to forgive someone that had wronged me.  I thank God for that.  Consider what Jesus is saying here.  He is confirming that we are sinners and sinners sin.  Because of this we need forgiveness.  Jesus was the only one to provide such forgiveness.  “Consider Him in His Cry” as He said, “Father, forgive them,”.  Maybe it would be a good exercise to replace the word “them” with your name or my name.

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 6

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

This next principle is a tough one too for sure.  After we take the first step to go to the person we have offended or injured this should help the next step come easier.  I don’t say that it will.  Remember there is an adversary that wants to put thoughts into your mind and tell you that you cannot do this.  I say you can with God’s help.

The next principle is to Request their forgiveness.  This is a big piece of humble pie.  Nobody likes to eat humble pie; but, because of our own sinfulness we often have to suck it up, swallow our pride and eat our piece of humble pie.  Humble pie has the worst taste; but, the greatest after taste.  I think you understand what I mean by that.

It is not easy to humble one’s self and admit wrong doing?  I mean, it shows we are not perfect.  It shows we might not have it all together.  Really…  What it shows is that we are human and we all make mistakes.  We are sinners!  Remember this is why Jesus came and died.  He knows we need a Saviour.

Don’t continue to live under the sin that has you burdened down.  Confess it, forsake it and make it right with the person offended.  Once you have requested forgiveness it is up to them to forgive you.  They might not forgive you.  If this happens you can live your life knowing that you tried to make it right.

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 4

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Today we will look at the third principle of falling down and getting back up.  Today’s principle is Request God’s forgiveness.  Look at I John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  The idea of confession is to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it.  It is not that we are letting God in on our sinfulness.  He knows.

There are many reasons that people do not request God’s forgiveness.  One is shame.  They are ashamed to admit to God what they have done.  The thing is that the sooner you confess it and forsake it the sooner you can move on in life.  Don’t expect to go anywhere or do anything for God with known sin in your life.  It will not work.  Once the confession is made and God immediately forgives you then you can move on like it never happened.

So, how are you doing?

 

Humbled

Yesterday I spoke to you from my heart.  Today I would like to continue my thoughts.  My heart is still aching after that incident.  I am sure that you can imagine my pain.  As I began thinking about this whole thing I was reminded of Matthew 21:37-38, “But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.   But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.”

This is where I began hearing from my Father.  He spoke to me about how His Son Jesus was treated by his own people.  The tears began to fall.  I know it is a whole different situation.  Yet, I now feel like I have a better understanding of how my Father felt when people reject Christ and say all manner of evil things about Him.  Oh my!

Sometimes in life we experience things that are unpleasant.  We wish that we had not experienced them.  The Father tells us that these are for our good and His glory.  Well, I dropped the ball in our experience the other day for sure.  Thank God for forgiveness!

The people of Jesus’ day did not understand Him.  Not even His own men.  How this grieved the heart of Jesus and Father.  Just like I sat in the van grieved only on a far different plane.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I am sharing this from my heart to yours in order that we might understand the heart of the Heavenly Father.  He loves us supremely and He allows these things into our lives to drive us to Him.  I know in my life it caused me to see some things differently.  If people would not reverence and respect Jesus why would fallen man have any respect for God’s special people like our son.  The rhetorical answer there is, “They will not.”  God help them!

So, how are you doing?

From The Heart

Today I would like to just sit down at “The Pastor’s Table” with a cup of hot tea or coffee with you and share something with you.  A couple days ago I had the pleasure of taking my wife grocery shopping.  In the day we now live I find it important to take her and to protect her from some evildoer that might seek to take advantage of her.  This is a big part of my role and responsibility as her husband.  It is a role I take very seriously and with much pride.  I have the same role and responsibility over our son.  This is intensified when you factor in that he is one of God’s special children.

As my wife shopped, our son and I sat in the vehicle waiting for her to return.  When i backed in I noticed that the vehicle in the next parking space next to the passenger’s side of our vehicle was parked almost right on the line between the two spots.  I just centered up in my spot (maybe getting a little closer to the line than I would normally have gotten).  After sitting there for a few minutes music began to come screaming loudly from this vehicle.  Music that I personally cannot stand.  No it was not rap or rock and roll.  Inside this vehicle were at least three teenagers about thirteen or so and maybe they were younger.  They acted about three years old if you ask me.

They made one fatal mistake.  The one sitting by the window on our side began to mock our son as he jumped and squirmed and gyrated like a complete idiot.  Now, to say I was angry would be the understatement of the ages.  I could feel myself beginning to boil.  I was so angry that I had visions in my mind of putting my hand through the window of their vehicle and pulling the “intellectual midget” out of the vehicle and beating him senseless.  Then it dawned on me that this was not a proper Christian; let alone, a proper pastoral approach.  So, I asked God for forgiveness and I started a staring contest with the little, future felon of America.  I even pulled out of the parking spot at a crawl staring a hole in the little dirt bag as we slow rolled toward home.

Then something dawned on me.  Look at Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  Now, this poor child could not have heard a “soft answer” due to the volume of the sickening music he was trying to share with the entire state of Indiana.  Yet, I received the message that the LORD was speaking to me.  My response was totally wrong.  “But; LORD, he mocked my son!”  I thought to myself and Him.  There I drove and was deeply convicted and still deeply angry.  Yes, I finally settled down and asked for forgiveness.  The great part is that I received forgiveness.  Now look at the next verse He shared with me in Proverbs 15:23, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”  Ah, yes.  Conviction is a wonderful thing.  Don’t sit there on your own throne of judgement and look down your boney nose at me; because, you know if it were you that you would have responded nearly like that.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 7

There is a post floating around the popular social media site facebook that talks about people that complain all the time and then for the month of November they daily post things they are thankful for.  I have to admit to laughing when I first read that.  Then I began to think about the tragedy of this.

One thing I am thankful for is forgiveness.  It is horrible to walk around being filled with unforgiveness.  I know first hand.  Twenty-five years ago something took place in my life that was tragic and I was filled with unforgiveness for a few years.  Then one day I realized the truth of Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

It took me some time; but, I was able to get victory over the unforgiveness.  Praise the LORD!  I hope that you are not struggling with unforgiveness.  If you are take it to the LORD and let Him help you with it.  He will.

So, how are you doing?