|Posted by email@example.com on October 26, 2018 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
Have you ever taken out a loan from a bank, a credit company or even a pawn shop? We all know too well what the general expectation is: at some agreed upon point, the amount you borrowed (plus interest) will have to be repaid. Consider that at the time the funds were lent, there existed a certain honor system whereby the lender had to trust you to honor your end of the agreement, or they would never have released the funds to begin with. Many people promise to repay a loan that they never do. Everyone can seem to remember when they need to borrow money. The strange thing is how time plays with their memory the moment they receive the help.
The thing about lending and borrowing is, that the lender is typically in a better financial situation than the borrower, which is how the need arose in the first place. However in the Bible we are shown a quite different situation. Proverbs 19:22 tells us, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again." There are things that strike me as strange about that scripture. First of all, who repays someone from whom they have not borrowed? Secondly, since when is God in a position that He has ever had to borrow from ANYBODY? It's really quite simple. God is self sustaining and always has been. He has never needed anything, and even if He did, we don't have it to give. All we ever had, it was He Who gave it to us. But He uses situations as opportunities to bless us through our obedience to Him. So one of the things He commands us to do is to have pity on the poor. We should know better than to think that this means to merely feel sorry for the less fortunate. Faith and love are both action words. So to have pity on the poor does not mean to just feel bad because they have less, but to take decisive action to alleviate their impoverished condition. John the Baptist explains it well when He says in Luke 3:11, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." In other words, if you have it to spare, don't hesitate to share. God's people were never intended to be miserly, greedy and selfish hoarders, but conduits of blessing to those who have not received the good of this life that we were so privileged to have and enjoy. The beauty of it is, when we are obedient to the Lord's command to share our abundance with those who do not have, God equates it to lending it to Him--not because He needs us to, but because in doing so, we position ourselves to be blessed by Him. We are promised that what we have given, He will pay again. Think about that! God promises us that if we give to the poor, that He would repay us, as if we had extended Him a personal loan! Now we can be assured that if anybody keeps their promises, God always does, always has and always will! Consider that, especially as we embark upon the time of the year that for so many are the toughest of all--the holiday season. If God has been good to you (that is rhetorical, NOT hypothetical!) then make it a point to share part of that goodness with someone who needs it more. However He chooses to bless you back with be worth so much more than whatever you released. On that, you can depend!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Looking back on your life as a Christian, have you had the experience of remembering when you were so much more on fire than perhaps you found yourself at the moment you pondered it? You recalll some times in your life that God used you mightily--you were always ready for whatever He had for you, always equipped with a word for whoever needed it, given to study and prayer on a moment's notice--only to find yourself today struggling to find the words to articulate in a five-minute prayer? This is the very uncomfortable place where I found myself recently. But when called upon, I was able to manage to make a prayer circle, and when asked to pray, I did not refuse. After praying what I felt to be a generalized blanket prayer (compared to what I was more used to) it turned out that many responded that what was said was exactly what they needed to hear and receive. That blessed me greatly, and yet, it did not quite impact me that way. I came to my desk, and wept, realizing how far I had fallen, and asked the Lord to bring me back to where I knew I needed to be. I am trusting for that, and beyond at this present time. And I know that God is faithful, as already there is a refreshing rising up in my spirit. I believe we all go through that as some point in our Christian experience. As Iceman King Parsons the wrestler used to say, "It bees that way sometimes." But the thing we have to know and remember is that we serve a God Who is faithful to restore, and take us beyond all we ever thought possible. If you are one that is going though a dry spell, I offer up this prayer for you: "Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for all You have taught me through this recent experience. Now I pray for every reader that You will lead to this blog today who is facing a similar difficulty in their walk with You. I pray that You will lift their spirit and know that You are not unaware of any eventuality in their life, but You are with them ordering their every step. As they continue to walk with You, make Your enduring presence known to them in ways that only they understand, and restore the joy of their salvation. Renew the stength and power of the Holy Spirit operating in their lives that they once knew, and take them spiritually beyond even their own expectation. Not only that, but meet them at the point of every other need in their life. Bless them physically with optimal health and vitality. Bless them in their relationships, most of all their marriages, their children, their prefessions, their finances and their emotions, especially considering what so many are going through in the present time. Lord, please look uopn their individual trials and challenges, and bring them through as pure as gold. Raise them up as a beacon before the world, shining a spotlight on the God that they serve and love. Strengthen their resolve to go with You all the way, come what may. Lord, bless, anoint and ever increase their ministries to this dark world and provide every need that they have that their ministries might be effective and produce much fruit for Your kingdom. Cause their enemies to be at peace with them, and prosper the very works of their hands. Most of all, for all of this, may you get the ultimate glory and You mane be magnified among the nations. For this and other blessings, we thank You, praise You, and love You with all of our lives. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen."
|Posted by email@example.com on April 25, 2017 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
As I sat here, reflecting on what felt to me like a totally wasted day, I began to express remorse for all the effort that I had put into accomplishing some things that all but collapsed to the ground. Have you ever had a day like that--where you set out to do so much, but in the end, you look around to see that all your effrots add up to is the fatigue from having run around in circles and jumping through hoops--with nothing in your hands to show for? Well for me, today seemed like such a day.Suddenly a breakthrough came into my thought pattern with words from the song "I'm Not Tired Yet" which said, "Your grace is sufficient; Your mercy endures." That's been known to happen to me a lot!
Of course, being an evangelist forces you to mentally expound on thoughts like that, as you would guess. So in my mind right now I take a little trip through the Word of God to the Scripture where Paul is praying to God to remove a certain thorn from his flesh, but God replies to him simply that "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Today, dealing with the runaround that I got, the lax attitudes of people, the perceived ungratefulness of the very ones I was trying to help, seriously invoked that sticky feeling just past my spleen. But then, along comes that fresh cool breeze to disrupt a totally parched state of mind: God's grace is sufficient!
You'll recall that the early Church (of which Paul was a part) endured some inordinately harsh times. Look--they were literally being slaughtered, their faith being their only capital offense. It sort of makes what we call suffering almost seem humorous. Yet they were able to face death-the ultimate trial--with total resolve and composure. How were they able to do this? God's sufficient grace! You see children battle some of the most adult-like situations there are-- cancer, missing limbs, deformities of every kind, and can still manage to muster up a friendly smile while many complain about the most petty matters. How do they do it? God's sufficient grace! And how will we overcome whatever challenge in this life until the Lord decides that it's our turn to receive our eternal reward? I think you get the point!
The second part of this healing reflection refers to God's enduring mercy--and you'd better believe that's something e need on a daily basis! Because whether we choose to admit it or not, sin is ever present, no matter how good we try to be. Take today, for instance. Throughout the course of my running around in circles, and jumping through hoops, I went off on a few people! That wasn't very nice! So repentance was definitely in order. But not only that--if I expect God to pour out His mercy on me as much as I need it, I have to also extend it to any and everyone who offended me...don't balk at me like that--that's Scripture! God's word lets us know that if we want His forgiveness, we must also forgive, or else, we are in danger of not being forgiven ourselves (Matthew 6:14-15). So of all the sins we find ourselves guilty of in a given day (that's not an endorsement, just a grasp on reality), make sure the one you are NOT harboring is unforgiveness, because that will block God's mercy for all the other stuff. But as long as we practice a forgiving lifestyle (even if it means that some take your kindness for weakness--get over it!) then we can experience the assurance of knowing that God's mercy endures in our lives.
So in all of this, all that is left to say is, let every day be a blessed one, because no matter what you may face, God's grace is sufficient, and His mercy endures!