A word of encouragement from a sojourner for Truth

Archive for May, 2012

Remember

II Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:  
Remember….
Sorry my devotionals have been slow in coming. I have been plumbing my house. It first started when I discovered my dog was wet n muddy. I knew it had been dry for two weeks at that time. So I went to investigate. She had found a small lake behind my house. Now I had more to investigate. Eventually three days, three hundred dollars, a few minor plan changes mainstream, n hacksawing n gluing pvc, sawing iron pipes we now r plumbed n no leaks. One lesson I learned is one I knew but had forgotten. Daddy always said be prepared. Not being prepared meant not having the right tools. U know wat he said abt that. If ur gonna do a job do it right. Anyway I got under the house w hacksaw n light in place. What I should have done was take an extra hacksaw blade n extra light bulb for my drop light. After sawing rusted iron pipes I broke my blade. Now I had to get put n get another one. Then after sawing n getting abt half of the plumbing fixed I like the three stooges turned my light up through the floor to see if I had any leaks. Wouldn’t u know it a drop of water on a hot light bulb means an explosion of glass. It sure is better to have too much than not enuff. Not having enuff meant a lot more trips in and out underneath the house, sorer muscles n one grip session at myself. Sometimes u have to be reminded.
What lessons have u forgotten? Bible study, prayer, quiet times w God. What about the fact u can’t run from hurt u must face it n embrace it to get well? What about church attendance, church work, scripture memory?  U can’t overcome by running. U can’t read ur bible by keeping it closed. U can’t have time w God wo taking the time. All the truth u know to be true. Remember it by choice practice it by action. Don’t wait till ur under stress n working on a problem to remember it. It’s much easier to remember n practice it now. Later it causes much more pain.

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Everybody has problems

Everybody has problems n pain
Nehemiah 6:1 Now it came to pass, when….our enemies, heard that I had built the wall….6:2…. Sanballat and Geshem….thought to do me mischief.  

Everybody has problems. But everybody does not overcome n become victorious in the fight. Why is that? There are several ways people deal w trial. First they might try denial. But that does not equal success. Second they can try running away from it. However the problem still exists. Third they can embrace it n overcome. Whether it is false accusations or failures in ur past the first response described is wrong. Avoidance never works. Let’s say u have maxed out ur credit card, lied about something or have symptoms of a disease that needs treatment. Denying these exist will only be worse for u in the long run. The second response is equally bad. I have known people who did some terrible things. These just don’t go away. Be sure ur sins will find u out. Maybe it was something bad or painful done to to you. Ignoring,  running from bad experiences, replacing the truth w new experiences only covers the wound. Problems, they can’t be avoided. In fact, Dave Anderson – founder of Famous Dave’s restaurant chain –suggests that “Instead of running away from problems ….go after them…. That’s the way to get ahead, by solving problems.” Wounds, false accusations, bad experiences n even blatant sin all must be embraced n owned to be overcome. Problems existence in this world are nonnegotiable. The only controllable factor in the face of problems is your response. If u cover problems, hide from them, deny them, ignore or replace them, u r living reactionary living. That is not victorious. Responding w godly thoughtfulness requires a careful response…..Not a simplistic reaction to pain or the undesirable. Nehimiah, when lies were told, n even enemies threatened to attack he did not react but responded wisely. 1. He stayed on track. He built the wall. 2. He confronted problems wo denial or running in fear but w integrity. He relied on truth. 3. He trusted God n waited for his vindication. Think of ur problems. Denying or replacing them will not make them go away. The only way to right wrongs Is to face them n clean them up. My granny used to say….”Spilled milk must be cleaned up it it will smell.” Think of ur problems. God can, will, n is ready to help but u must not hide from ur problems or past.  Follow nehimiah’ s example. Become victorious.

Resist shortcuts

Gen 16:1
1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

Resist shortcuts.
God promised Abram n Sarai a child. God said thru this son the nations of the worlds would be blessed. Further God told abram he would be the father of nations. Now abram heard n obeyed Gods call. Except for a few blunders abram lived up to his name as the father of faith very well. Tho he never doubted Gods strength he did doubt Gods timing. He took the easy path of the shortcut.
Richard Hendrix said, “Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality most of us ever encounter.” When we hurt or have been made to wait a long time for Gods promise to come to pass the avenue of shortcuts tempt us deeply. Surely since gen 11 declaration of Sarai’s barreness she n abram were discouraged. N wat began as a simple step in survival became the avalanche of mistakes. Normally abram asked God wat direction he should go. However during a drought abram headed to Egypt w/o Gods direction. While there Sarai picked up a handmaid named hagar. One day 70 year old Sarai, defeated by the long wait for Gods promised son, gave abram the solution. He could have a child by hagar. At this point conveniently they interpreted Gods promise for abram alone. N since taking a handmaid culturally found acceptance abram followed his wife’s advice shortcutting the plan of God. Satan’s great defeat for Christianity has often been a rush to get the fulfillment of Gods plan for our lives. With abram it was a shortcut to get a family thru hagar. It ended in jealousy, envy, hatred, n later even war. Satan deployed this same tactic against Jesus. In the temptation.of Christ he promised him the kingdoms of the world. Jesus refused. Satan’s plan left out the cross n salvation. Gods plan included the cross n salvation. Short cutting the plan of God is too costly. Learn to trust the words n promise of God. If he promises it he will bring it to pass. Learn to wait n endure w anticipation. His timing is perfect. He is never late. He is always right. Don’t get in such a hurry. The wait will be worth the end blessing when it comes.

Prayer

I pray today you have strength n refreshing of spirit. I pray u look beneath the surface issues of ur life n find the riches of God. May hope swell in ur spirit so darkness is dispelled, doubts r replaced w faith, despair is rejected for delight, discouragement is displaced by courage n finally defeat is supplanted by victory. May God protect u n urs. May ur joy overflow. Luv to u

U can know for sure

We can know for sure
Rom 8:16
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

Do u ever doubt? Of course u do. We all do. It may be because circumstances r not what we would desire. When we do not feel blessed of God we can experience doubt. When we think his favor has been removed we wonder if we really r his child. It may be due to unconfessed sin in our life. Peter tells us a person who does not mature his faith not mature he …. lacks these qualities is blind or short- sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 2 peter 1:9. Thus he has been saved
( purified from his sins) but forgets his salvation n considers himself lost again. Health problems, medication, unanswered prayer, n great trial can cause us to doubt. However those whom God saves he does not lose. Jesus promised he gives his sheep eternal life n they shall never perish. John 10:28. The early reformers believed n I do likewise, once ur saved n then begin a close walk w him that God will assure ur heart that u r saved. First u believe His word n work. He says never perish. He says whoever calls upon his name shall be saved. He said it; he does that work. Then as u mature u get to know him n u experience his presence n answered prayers. These assure u of ur relationship. Then I believe as they do that when ur walk in the spirit is habitual he speaks sonship to ur heart. He says u r his n he is urs. U may deny ur relationship. U may not feel ur relationship due to broken fellowship or sinful breaches but once born into the family u r his child. Instead of not maturing or hiding unconfessed sin in ur life why don’t u seek this last confidence. Walk so close to him, commune w him, experience him n hear him say ur my son forever.

Too often we forget

Heb 13:3
3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Too often we forget
We often gripe n complain at the trials of our life of which many r inconsequential. Trial comes to everyone but all do not suffer persecution to the same degree. What amounts to a little bullying, a brush off, or some hateful actions usually comes against us on a daily basis. However these do not constitute the suffering many of our brother n sister Christians suffer. In Indonesia 798 churches have been burned or closed. Sixteen new Christians have been arrested in Odisha for converting to Christianity. April 26th in Gaza on the west bank a 16 yearold boy was beaten for not converting to Islam. We r not far from such persecution in America. The government is considering legislation to cause churches to be under government control. Because they use public buildings n r open to anyone to come to worship they will soon come under rules for hiring, teaching, n ministry rules that r already in effect for other public organizations. Under the guise of laws meant to protect the Gov will wind its way into local church autonomy. We can see in the near future persecution moving from words to actions against true Christians. Sad to say that hate longer who call themselves Christian have not done any good for the name of Christ easier. How then do we respond? The same as Christ’s commands. Speak truth in love n bless them that persecute you for his cause. And never, never forget to pray for for brothers n sisters in lands not as free as ours is right now.

That he may give Account w joy

Heb 13:7-25
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God:….
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account,…..22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation:…..I have written….

Reporting to God in Joy or Sorrow

Preachers r given a tough double responsibility. First when we stand before God we must give account of our own lives. Paul exhorts that all will stand before the judgement seat of Christ. That is not for account of our worthiness to get into heaven. That was taken care of when we got saved. Because  none of us could ever be worthy on our own. We r not saved by our good works. We r saved n qualified for eternity w God thru the work of Christ on the cross. However we must give account of our lives whether failure or success for Christ in ministry. Then we must give account for those we have had the great responsibility to serve. We can either give a report w joy or sadness. That is based upon yur obedience to the work of God ministered to u they our ministry. Sad to say some people do not heed the warnings. I have warned young men against ministering willfully n w arrogance. Some have listened n some have not. I have warned young men how to save their ministry n their families. Some have listened while others have not. I have warmed young ladies on how to conduct their lives for God in the area of relationships. Some have listened n others have not. What kind of report will ur pastor give of ur life? Will it be one of joy or sadness? I encourage u to pray for true pastors. I also encourage u, that if ur pastor is a man of God n the word, u better obey the word thru his ministry to u. Cuz one day he will give an accounting. May it be given w joy.