I was thinking about licenses the other evening. We have seen some serious Church bus crashes in the recent past and I usually wonder if the driver had the proper license to operate the bus and a multitude of other things that I think about. Sometimes my background haunts me.
As I was talking with a friend on the phone last night we were talking about his wife. He said the other day a fly got into the torch lamp and burned up. It caused a horrible smell of burning. His sweet wife was concerned for their welfare. She insisted they sleep on the sofa because there is access out of the house by three different doors. She placed her cell phone, keys and their marriage license on the table close to them in case of an emergency exit.
My friend was looking at their marriage license and noticed that the city and county were the same indicating there is an error in the city. He told his wife that their license was void and he was a free man because their license was invalid due to this error. We had a good laugh. He also told me that he not only did he have a marriage license; but, he also possesses a “Pestering Permit”. We had a good laugh over this.
Here is the thing. God created man and woman to live together and perpetuate humanity. Look at Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Now, God did not intend for man and woman to just co-exist. I believe that God intended the marriage relationship to mirror the relationship of Jesus and His Church. So, I also believe that our relationship with our spouse should be one that is modeled after Christ and the Church. There should be joy, gladness, happiness and many other emotions. Yes, there will be trials, temptations and troubles. These make us stronger and should drive us closer to one another. If this does not describe your marriage relationship you are sadly missing out.
There are people in life that are simply fun to be around. They seem to always be upbeat and happy. They encourage others in spite of their own situations. They even seem to always have a song in their heart.
When someone is like that you know when something is wrong. They might seem unhappy. They might even lose their smile and their song. I was reading Oswald Chambers’ daily devotional the other day and something jumped out at me. Look at what he asks, “Have we learned to sing after we hear God’s key-note?” It is so easy to sing when everything is going our way. Life seems to be good.
What happens when life turns upside down for us? We seem to lose our song and our smile among other things. I looked up the word keynote and on of the meanings is “The principal theme in a speech or literary work” according to the Word Web dictionary. It reminds me of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All things are not good; but, God is working them for our good and His Glory.
As I was sitting here and contemplating my next blog post a verse popped into my mind. I will share it shortly. My mind went to the time from Christ’s crucifixion until His resurrection.
I wonder what that time was like. It had to be hell for earth for those who followed Jesus. They expected Him to take over at any moment and declare Himself the King of Israel. Remember the triumphal entry?
Now, all their hopes and dreams were smashed on the rocks of the sea of life. Imagine the confusion. I can see them aimlessly wandering without hope.
Then a verse of Scripture came to me. Look at Luke 22:31, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” If you think this through he is not only trying to get Simon Peter; but, all of the followers of Jesus. As they endured this time I am sure they thought that the enemy had won.
Then came Sunday. Resurrection Day! I love the song, “Then Came The Morning”. I love to sing it and I like to listen to others sing it. My favorite would be Guy Penrod on the Gaither Homecoming series. What a truth! Even Peter at times wanted to go back to the fishing business. He was sifted; but, Jesus prayed for him and he made it through. He did not graduate with honors; but, he graduated non the less.
Maybe your life seems like all hope has fled out the door. Let me share with you that you can find hope and help in Jesus Christ. He loves you supremely and He demonstrated it by dying on the cross in your place. Put your faith and trust in Him today before it is eternally too late.
A couple weeks ago someone sent me an e-mail with links to some music videos. They were all very powerful. One was an acapella performance of “The Little Drummer Boy” that was fantastic. Another one was a man making a video and a homeless man kneels in front of him and joins his song. This was powerful too.
Music has an effect on the heart for sure. It brings me and my family much joy. We like to listen to music and we like to sing music and my wife likes to play music on her piano. Music brings us great joy.
There are many things that bring joy to people. Happiness depends upon your circumstances. Joy comes from a heart full of Christ. There was an acrostic that circulated for a long time that said joy was described as: J – Jesus first, O – others second and Y – you last. There is a lot of truth in that.
Matthew 2:10, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” When these wise men saw the star they rejoiced. The word “rejoiced” means cheerful, calmly happy according to the Strong’s Concordence. It was the leading of God that brought them true joy. Are you filled with joy or happiness?
It is time to take a deep look into our own heart and determine if you have true joy or just happiness. Only you can answer that question. When Jesus comes in He gives joy that is described as “unspeakable and full of glory”. His Joy is so overwhelming that you cannot find words to describe it. You can have joy in the middle of the deepest trials.
Yesterday I posted in part an article from Beverly Leckie email@example.com as shared by my cousin Dale A. Byers. This a powerful article that you can find at Pastor Dale A. Byers blog site here.
We pick up with mom on her way to pick up her daughter. ‘As she approaches the school, her apprehension that her child is being taunted by the approaching storm is quieted. The young girl momentarily pauses every few steps to look up at the sky and smile. With apprehension turned to inquisitiveness, as her daughter settles into the car, her mom asks, “Why were you stopping and smiling and looking up at the sky?” “Oh, Mommy,” came the quick reply. “I kept smiling cause God kept wanting to take my picture!” The story brings on our own smiles, but why would the child smile? There is only one explanation. She was so confident in God’s love for her that a natural expression of that love was picture taking!’
When we experience trials we want people to know that we are so spiritual that we can suffer through them. I mean we have “that look” on our face as to call attention to ourselves. Our response should be to put a smile on our face just like this girl in the illustration did. As parents of God’s special children this is sometimes difficult. It is far more than just pulling yourself up by your boot straps and putting on a fake smile. This goes to the heart! The girl’s smile reflected what was going on in her heart. As you look up at the Saviour and as you look around to those around you put a real smile on your face and remember Jesus Christ is still on the throne and has everything under His omnipotent control. Remember Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It is still in the Word of God and it is still true.
I received a text from my wife the other day. In the text was a picture of our son. This is nothing out of the ordinary. In this picture she told him to pose for me so he did. He posed drinking my chocolate drink out of the refridgerator. We had a good laugh about that.
Sometimes life gets to be such a burden that we think we cannot laugh. Yet, sometimes that is just what we need to do. We need to take life seriously; but, not too seriously. We need to laugh. Sometimes it is the best medicine. Look at Proverbs 15:8, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
If life has you down and is seemingly beating you in the face try with all of your might to find something to laugh at. It does help. If you need some comic relief just drop me a note and I can share some true life experiences with you that will make you think your life is not all that bad.
Yesterday I went to visit my cousin. When I arrived I was met by their cocker spaniel. She was so excited to see me that she left a trail on the sidewalk. That is a reception! Annie has come into the family and is now loved by everyone. She is a real bright spot.
I was thinking about this experience. What kind of reception do we give Jesus? When it is time to go to prayer are we excited? Does your Bible study time come as a joy to you each day. We don’t have to wet the carpet like a dog when it is time to meet with the LORD; but, we should at least look forward to this time each day with joy and expectation.
Look at Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” I don’t know about you; but, I need all the help I can get. It is important to me that I spend time each day in prayer and Bible study. You eat don’t you? I thought so.
Find joy in your daily time with Jesus. He is waiting to spend time with you and it will be a reception far more precious than even Annie can give.
Our Pastor gave the illustration of a friend of Frank Lloyd Wright who had Mr. Wright design his house. The man was so excited that when it was finished he had a big party. During the party it began to rain and the roof leaked. This cause water to come dripping from the ceiling. Mr. Wright’s friend called him on the phone and explained that water was now dripping from the ceiling on his head. Frank Lloyd Wright reportedly told the man to move his chair.
There are far too many people that have lost their joy in life because they are sitting in their chair with a drip coming from the ceiling and hitting them on the head. If this is you, move your chair! One man defined insanity as doing the same thing the same way expecting different results. In other words, if you are miserable in your situation, do something about it. Don’t just sit there, do something! Make the necessary changes.
If you are unhappy, you have the power to change that. You can choose to have joy and not worry about happiness. Our happiness is depends upon our circumstances and the things around us. Joy is depends upon only on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
My dear friend Dr. Larry Lilly posted a great article at this link with a picture of a Bible covered in dust and the words “Read Me” written in the dust. It caused me to think. I was thinking about when I have downloaded programs before on my computer there seems to come with the download something called a “Read Me File”. I found this interesting.
God saves us and then He gives us His “Read Me File” to help navigate the way. The problem is that most Christians, like me, don’t read this “Read Me File”. We let it sit around and gather dust like the picture on Dr. Lilly’s blog. This is sad. One of my favorite bluegrass songs is titled, “Dust on the Bible”. If you listen to the words and get over the genre it has a powerful message.
We have all heard the trite sayings like, “Seven days without the Word of God will make one weak.” Another good one is, “Sin will keep you from God’s Word and God’s Word will keep you from sin.” The truth of these are mountainous.
So, why don’t we read the Word of God? I am afraid we have been sold a bill of goods that says God’s Word is not relevant, it is archaic and many other lies of hell. Honestly, some of us are just too lazy to pick it up and read it. This is tragically sad. Look at Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” It is simple. We want to live life our way and that is it. We don’t want God’s counsel so we don’t read His Word.
Just before leaving the funeral home where his wife was celebrated, a man was asked if he would like for another family member to take his young daughter with them so he could have time to grieve. The father responded, “No, we will go through this together.”
That night as the father was going to bed his daughter called to him and asked if she could sleep in his bed with him. He readily agreed. When the lights went out the daughter asked the father, “Daddy is your face turned toward me?” The father assured his little girl that his face was turned toward her. The little girl said, “Okay, I can go to sleep now.”
When the little girl had fallen asleep the father slid out of bed and on to his knees at the bedside and prayed. He said, “Father, is your face turned toward me?” God the Father spoke to this man in the depths of his heart and said, “Son, my face is turned toward you.” This father replied, “Then I can go to sleep now.”
Dear friend, I don’t know what you are going through; but, rest assured that you have God’s undivided attention and that His face is turned toward you. He loves you so very much that He cannot take His eyes off of you. Remember the truth of Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Hold on my dear friend, joy is coming in the morning.