My God Delivers Again

Tonight’s post will be quire short. It has been another difficult week with health issues much like what has been going on for the past month. I believe heart problems have been ruled out and the pneumonia is now gone. But there still are some things happening that cannot be explained. Had my follow-up visit with my primary care physician and he has referred me to a GastroIntestinal Specialist. I had an appointment with him on Thursday and now have been scheduled for an upper GI scope procedure commonly know as an endoscopic inspection. This will be a look down my esophagus and into my stomach and hopefully the real problem can be found. Please pray that it will be so. So much to do and so little time.

Even with all the health stuff happening, an untimely death of a friend we have been praying for, and then throw-in all of the rain we’ve seen, God has still taken care of me and my family and all of the other friends I have. Not one time has He left my side but there is no doubt that I have left Him out through some of all of this. And as I have sat down to write this post and reflect back on the week, I have realized again how he uses the negative events in our lives to make us stronger. He has been taking His time to teach me things along the way. I think it might be worth reminding of all of us of a couple of those things.

Number one. If we place all of our faith and trust in Him then we are guaranteed that all of the promises that He has ever made he will keep. He has told us that He will never leave us or forsake us and in addition to that he has promised that He will make all things work together for good for those of us who love Him and are the called according to his purpose. In spite of how we may let Him down, He is always faithful in His wonderful promises.

And number two. He tells us that the good work He has begun in all of us He will continue and then will complete one day. For all the failures that may we have had in our lives He will remove them as wood, dirt and stumble and they will be destroyed forever. As my pastor has said numerous times, He what will call us up, clean us up and then we will live forever with Him as His adorned bride. What A Day That Will Be! 

God’s Word In Action

I find it interesting how we can go for days and weeks without taking the time to really  appreciate how God takes care of us. We are so wrapped up in our own little world that we fail to see how He is involved in our daily lives. The past few weeks have offered me a number of reminders that I am one of those very people who I have just described. But I suspect there are others that find themselves in the same predicament. And If that is so how do we make the adjustments necessary to bring us back to reality? Well, I choose to turn to the only truly reliable source, the Bible. I have found through the years that God’s Word provides the answer to any and all questions and problems that we encounter and that even includes our own complacency.

There is no situation that we can find ourselves in that takes Him by surprise and when we turn to Him and His word with repentant hearts, He is quick to restore us. His word is filled with promise after promise and He never fails to keep any of them. When we are hurting, He soothes the pain. When we are discouraged, He brings us hope. When we are lonely, He fills our lives. When we are disobedient, He disciplines us like a loving Father should.

It never fails to amaze me how His word is applicable to any unwelcome situation we find ourselves in or to any bad circumstances that surface, even those of our very own making. In any and all of those instances we should be reminded of what happened to us when we were saved. If we truly turned our lives over to Him and put all of our faith and trust in Him, we can rest assured that He will be faithful to us just as He promised. He is the Rock of our salvation and in Him only do we trust.

So when we’ve let the world and our flesh take us where we don’t need to be, we can find comfort in the fact that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We can’t ask for anything better than that. To God be all the glory, honor, and praise!

Something’s Missing!

As I have mentioned before, I am part of a Saturday morning bible study group of men who love getting together to read and study the Word of God. We have completed studies of the Gospel of John in the New Testament and the book of  Esther in the Old Testament. At the beginning of the year we returned to the New Testament and began a new study of the book of Acts. As most of us realize, Acts is a very important book because it details the beginning of the church. We are right now in the middle of chapter two and have just covered one of the most remarkable events in all of the bible. We see the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the scene just like Jesus had promised not many days before. The Holy Spirit was heard, He was seen, and then was felt as He filled and indwelled the believers on that day. Amazing things began to happen with those early believers because the Holy Spirit was in control. And this forms the basis for our post tonight.

Immediately following the appearance of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood and preached that great Pentecost sermon which resulted in so many being saved. Later we see the first apostolic miracle with healing of the lame man, the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira after their lying to the Holy Spirit, Stephen’s address to the Sanhedrin and his ultimate stoning and Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Therefore the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and control is much too great to deny. Many years have now come and gone since the early days of the church and there is no doubt there have been outpourings of the Holy Spirit down through the centuries at different times and different places. However, it has been quite some time since I have witnessed or even heard of a such an outpouring in this country of ours like there has been in the past. It seems to me that there is something missing.

I remember times when I was a boy and even into my teenage years that the Holy Spirit was present in just about every church service I attended. I remember prayer meeting times when men would be on their knees and faces praying for God to intervene in the lives of others as well as their own. I’m not talking about one man at a time but many and all praying out loud at the same time. The Holy Spirit would fill the place and you knew it. I’ve heard people testify and weep because of what God had done for them. And yes I have seen and heard people shout on many occasions. People who overflowed with gratitude for the blessings they had and for answered prayers. The Holy Spirit was in the midst. No put on. No embarrassment. Just filled with the Holy Spirit.  So what happened? What has changed?

What I have described above may sound somewhat strange and may be foreign to some of you. But I know others of you can attest to and have witnessed some of the same thing. But something is missing today. And I believe it is the presence of the Holy Spirit. If I am correct in my assumption then what has caused this to happen? Well, my guess is the problem lies with us. We have changed. The church has changed. We and the church are so full of the world we left no room for the Holy Spirit to do His work. We have grown complacent and unconcerned about our spiritual life and many have fallen for the lies of false teachers. We’ve neglected personal study of God’s Word and have almost totally abandoned our prayer life. God help us! Sin is still sin, disobedience is still disobedience. We have a problem and something needs to be done about it. We should be reminded that we may have changed but God has not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the problem is us. So what do we do?

Folks, we, and especially me, need real revival. We need to come to our senses like the prodigal son and return to our father. We need to humble ourselves and pray, then repent and turn from our wicked ways just as we have been instructed to do. If we do, God promises that He will not only heal us but He will heal our land. I long to see another real outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I know that in order for that to happen revival must first begin in my own heart. God give me a true desire for that and help me to be open and willing for it to happen. Can I get a witness? 



What It’s All About

Last week’s post, “What’s Next?”, centered around the new law in New York state that allows for an abortion to be performed all the way up to birth. I believe we all have been shocked by such a law that would protect that kind of atrocity but as we have seen this week there are others that advocate it is even okay to murder a baby just after it is born. When I asked that question last week I never imagined that someone would suggest that we should now go to another extreme. What is our nation coming to that we would sit back and even allow someone to voice such as thought and still consider them a public official? So I ask the question again. “What’s next?” Hold on to your seats because I’m sure there is more coming. As it does we will discuss and we will bring it to the table for consideration.

Tonight I want to change gears a little bit and look at something that is much more positive and simply an extension of how we should live out our lives as Christians. I want to share with you an experience that I had this week because it brings to life what our Christian life is all about. This not only involved me but several other guys that I am very close to and their thoughts about the experience are the same as mine.

On Thursday evening our group Reassurance had the wonderful opportunity to minister to an elderly couple from my church and one in which the husband has been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. I learned some time ago that he was an avid fan of southern gospel music and had certainly expressed an interest in hearing us sing. When I heard about their situation God almost immediately revealed to me that this would be a great opportunity to use our talents to truly minister to and encourage another believer who was facing some very difficult circumstances. After discussing with my pastor he called the couple to find out what they thought about the idea. And they were delighted to have us come. We were eventually able to work out the date and time for us to come to their house and this is where things began to unfold.

We met at my house before going over to their home and we went over the four songs we were prepared to do and then prayed that God would use us to encourage an bless them. When we arrived they were very gracious and welcomed us to their home. After some small chat and setting up our equipment we began to sing. Almost immediately tears welled up in their eyes and it was a struggle for us to get through the very first song. It was as if the Holy Spirit had surrounded us with His presence and had not only prepared their hearts but ours also. We sang those four songs we had prepared and then we had coffee and pecan pie with these sweet folks. But it didn’t end there. They wanted us to sing some more and by the time we had finished we had sung for almost 45 minutes. We finally ran out of music tracks that we had brought so we had to stop. We then all gathered in a circle and one by one we prayed for them and thanked God for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their lives. We also got to hear their personal testimonies of how God has been faithful to them in everything and these circumstances were no different. Theres were lots of smiles and lots of tears and for the record, when it was all over we were the ones who received the greatest blessing because they ministered to us as we ministered to them. What a great evening it was and what a lesson we learned again. God uses people to bless His people.

When I got home and had a chance to unwind, I was reminded of what God’s Word says about bearing one another’s burdens. I realize even more now how important it is to be willing to be used by God to do so and that we would always be alert and aware of those opportunities that present themselves. I’m always amazed how when we are obedient to His instruction and follow His will the outcome is always a blessing. I thank God for again providing another teaching moment in our lives. All the glory and honor belongs to Him. And I long for more of those opportunities!

I have shared this story not to boast or in any way bring any accolades to myself or our group but to provide another example of how God ways are so much higher than our ways and His Word is perfect and true. What an awesome God we serve!