Now What?

As  I have been thinking about my Aunt who went to Heaven earlier this week a thought came to me.  “Now what?”

In the case of my aunt there will be a lot for people to divide up amongst themselves.  You never really know how much a person does until they stop doing things.  I know that my aunt was a faithful Church member.  She was a prayer warrior.  She did many things in the Church that may or may not have been noticed.

This came to me as I was reading Joshua 1:1-2, “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”

Well, I have reached the conclusion that all you can do is the next thing.  No matter what the next thing is we need to attack it to the best of our ability with God’s help and do it for the glory of God.

So, how are you doing?

A Gift From God 8

The southern gospel group The Isaacs sing a song titled “Heroes”.   You can watch the video here.  It is a powerful song about being a parent.  It starts out by calling parents of special needs children “Heroes”.  As I shared the other day the life of raising a child with special needs is not easy.  I don’t see us as heroes.  I see us as a family that made a vow to God and we are doing everything we possibly can to keep that vow.  That is serious business with God for sure.

There was a story on the news just a few days ago about a couple that had a child with Downs Syndrome.  The mother left.  So, this father has decided that he will take the child and raise it himself.  My hat is off to this man.  He is a hero.  Maybe, he is not a Bible kind of hero; but, he is to be applauded for his courage and his commitment to care for his child no matter.

What would motivate people to do what we do each day?  There are many reasons; but, I would like to think that you could find the answer in the first phrase of II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:”.  That is what we have been talking about this month.  Love.  Not just some “feeling”.  Take some medicine and that will pass.  What I am talking about is a love that binds us, commits us to someone or something.  That is real Christlike love.  The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance tells us that “constraineth” means “to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); figuratively, to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy”.  You see that is a very powerful commitment.

Do you love the LORD so much that you have been arrested and made a prisoner of His?  What has He compelled you to do?  You see, as we look at “A Gift From God” it just might be that you are God’s gift to someone.  Even more important is the fact that they might be counting on you not even knowing that you are God’s answer to their prayer.  You might be “A Gift From God”.  That is humbling.

So, how are you doing?

Examine

I don’t know about you; but, I am having a hard time believing that the year 2014 is almost gone.  We have less than twenty four hours left. As I am sitting here writing this post a little rhyme came to mind.  I do not know who originally said it so I cannot give credit where credit is due.  It goes as follows:

“Only one life, twill soon be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  Unknown

We have all seen the rubber bracelets that try to challenge us with, “What Would Jesus Do?”.  I find that far too many that wear them are no more concerned with the answer to that then they are interested in flying solo without a space ship to Mars.  Well…

As we close out the year 2014 I must ask myself, “What; if anything, have I accomplished for the Lord Jesus Christ?”  I could be filled with false humility and say that I have done what I could.  I could be a liar too.

Now, you and I both need to take some serious time alone today with God, His Word and a notebook of empty paper and seek God’s answer to our penetrating question.  Oh, it is not penetrating to you.  Well, it very well should be.  Maybe we need to see what the Word says in I Corinthians 11:28, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”

Yes, I am fully aware that this passage of Scripture is linked to the communion practice.  Do not be so blind as to think this is the only time that examination is necessary.  The word “examine” means to test (literally or figuratively); by implication, to approve (definition from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordence).

I am pretty certain that we all need to put our lives up against the Word of God as a test and see where we stand.  My guess is that we will all fall drastically short.  That is just a guess.

So, how are you doing?

Hold Fast 6

It is sad; but, we have become a people of entitlement.  We expect someone else to provide for us.  To give us what we want.  This is far too often way more than we need.  There is a deep and wide chasm between want and need.  As I progress in years I am very, very slowly learning this truth.

It has been said that within the Church that 20% of the people do 80% of the work.  I can see this.  It should not be this way though.  It should be 100% of the people doing 100% of the work.  I know, I know, dream on Preacher.  Just because it is not the reality does not negate the fact that it should be the reality.

We need to “Hold Fast to our Service”.  Look at Hebrews 12:28, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”  I like the phrase “serve God acceptably”.  It is not just being busy in the ministry.  It is; as Jesus said we are to be “about my Father’s business”.  He was not referring to carpentry; unless, you want to say it is carpentry to build the Kingdom of God.

We need to get back to an old fashioned Christianity where God’s people served Him with all their heart and soul.

So, how are you doing?

Third Class Ticket

3rd class ticket holders are problem solvers. They ride along until there is a problem. They get out and help. They creatively address the problem and work to resolve it completely. They roll up their sleeves and work on the problem. They get the job done. They devote their energy to the task at hand.

Look at Luke 10:33, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,”  We have all heard compassion described as someone else’s pain in our heart.  I don’t know who said it; but, I do like it.

3rd class ticket holders encounter the problem and roll up their sleeves like this man. He dealt with the difficult and took a risk and got involved. It comes with the territory. This man went into the ditch to rescue the man and he came out of the ditch with the man. He did what he needed in the ditch and then got out. He saw the seriousness of the need and did all that he could to care for the man to the point of paying the rest of the bill. He did not wait for someone else to go to the ditch. This man was not looking for a reward. He was bonded to this man because the man had a need. He was willing to help and anxious to heal and eager to serve and ready to love. He was bold enough to deal with the problem in a creative and redemptive way. He did not stand off to the side and critically critique. He was not waiting for someone else to go to the ditch to help the man.

So, how are you doing?

Four To Go

As we bring this series to a close we must look at “Four To Go”.  We have seen, “One For The Money” in the rich young ruler, “Two For The Show” in Ananias and Sapphira, “Three To Make Ready” in and “Four To Go” today.

When I think about “Four To Go” I think about the account in Mark 2:3, “And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.”  This man was lame and could not care for himself like other men could.  Out of compassion his four friends did everything they could to get him to Jesus.  I think it is pretty extreme carrying this man to the roof of the house and then taking the roof apart piece by piece to lower him to where Jesus was at.

I find that most people who call themselves Christian don’t even hardly pray for one another.  This is sad.  Yet, these men went to the extreme to get their friend to Jesus.  As I write this post I wonder to myself what I am doing to get my family and friends to Jesus.  We all need Him whether for salvation or something else after our salvation.  We need Jesus and we need to take desperate measures sometimes to get to Him.  Yet, in Hebrews 13:5 we are told that He will never leave us nor forsake us  Once we get to Jesus there is no getting away from Him.

So, how are you doing?

Trust God And Get Busy

Last night I was going through the channels.  This is usually short as we only have over the air television.  I stopped because I saw a Veggie Tales episode.  It was “Gideon – Mighty Man Of Valor”.  This just happens to be my favorite episode of the series.

While I was sitting there our son came in and sat down in the chair next to me and began to watch.  This is no surprise.  I love the music during Gideon and Israel’s battle.  It is like school fight music and would make good music to exercise to (if I were bent on exercising).  I always try to slap my hands against my legs in time to the music and sometimes our son tries to imitate me.  His fine motor skills are not what a young man his age should be so this is difficult for him and it is hard for me to see, truthfully.

I began to think about Gideon.  There is a lot we can learn from him and his life.  We should all take time and make a concentrated effort to study Gideon.  He was told by an angel that God had chosen him to lead the Israelites in battle and then he reduced the size of the army a couple times.

God used Gideon’s great faith and many other characteristics to form him into a great leader.  Look at Judges 6:27, “Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him:  and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.”  Even great leaders have time of fear and failure.  Gideon destroyed his father’s idol worship in the night fearing his father and the men of the city who were involved in the same paganism.  Yet, he did what God instructed Him to do.

Over and over Gideon proves himself.  What about you and I?  God is looking for us to fulfill His plan.  He has called us all to some thing.  We may not see it as great; but, I can assure you it is necessary.  The world needs you and I to stand up and serve God in a way that points them to Him; but, we seem to be failing miserably at this.  May God help us to get back to work where He has called us.

So, how are you doing?

Servant

In all of this computer stuff going on it just seems to keep getting more and more complicated.  I am an old dog and I don’t like new tricks.  It seems that these time saving devices are sucking more and more time away.  I am thankful for my friend who fixed this transistorized tormentor.  I am thankful for the heightened security now to keep the bad guys out too.

There comes a point where the machine is no longer serving me; but, I am now the servant of the machine.  You have to determine that for yourself.  This can be for anything; not just computers.  I think Jesus Himself had something to say about this in the New Testament.  Look at Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  You cannot serve God and material possessions.  There is a whole host of people that need to get this.  They live to work and play.  They go back to work to make money so they can go play.  There is a vicious cycle here that keeps us in bondage.  We don’t like to hear that; but, it is the truth.  What does not serve us is our master.

So, how are you doing?

Bring Back The Glory 8

The other day I received the following message about the current series.  Read the following from a dear friend of mine.  I have on purpose kept his name private as I have not received permission to put it here.  Look at his insight:

“I believe one of the reasons that the Glory has departed is:

We know a lot about the Saving Grace of God, but have forgotten and seldom see the Transforming Grace of God. Most of our “converts” are from the inside of the church and not from the outside, the town drunk is not saved and delivered, the drug addict is not set free, the homeless is not housed, the hungry are not fed…..most if not all our effort and money is used to enhance OUR ministry, build our name and reputation.  ref: Isaiah 58 and Matt. 25: 34-46.”

I can honestly say that I agree with my Dear Brother.  He has hit the nail on the head.  Our LORD Jesus gave us a mission and a commission; but, we sit by idle like we have nothing to do.  We have forgotten the words to the old hymn, “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes”.  We have left off the principle to our own shame.

In II Chronicles 5:11 we read, “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:”  These religious people came out and served.  Now, there is a real concept.  Maybe we should give it a try some time.  Right now would be great.

So, how are you doing?

Bring Back The Glory 3

Today it seems so easy to let things drop.  I mean we have allowed ourselves to get so busy.  I know personally that I struggle with that very thing.  If we are not careful “life” will crowd out the things in life that are good and godly.  I have been there too.

We need to set up priorities that coincide with the Scriptures.  If we do then when we follow them we will not get into so much trouble.  We need to work together too.  I know far too many so-called “brothers” who would not go out of their way to help anyone.  The mentality of “Me, my four and no more.”

We need to get back to Bible Christianity.  I mean really people.  We see the elders and the Levites came together for a common cause.  That cause was to bring back the ark.  The ark symbolized the presence of God.  They wanted to “Bring Back The Glory” and they did something about it.  Look at II Chronicles 5:4-5, “And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.  And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.”  It is high time that we get to work for the cause of Christ and the glory of God.

So, how are you doing?