Waiting On God

And it shall come to pass, that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

(Isaiah 65:24)

The God that is with me on top of the mountains is the same God that is with me in the valleys.  He has promised He will never leave me nor forsake me.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!!
Yesterday, at 7:45 in the morning, my wife assembled my children in the living room because we needed to pray.  We were facing a difficult situation, and quite honestly I was a little bit discouraged.  A few minutes before, I had told my wife that I did not want to take matters in to my own hand, but I wanted to see God “deliver us.”  She said that we shouldn’t take it into our own hands, but leave it with the Lord. So, the five of us gathered together to pray and we laid our burden at the feet of the Lord.
Thirty minutes later, my wife called me from the church academy to let me know that God had answered our prayer, and that it had been answered several hours before…..we just didn’t know it. Before calling me, she want to each one of our children and let them know what God had already done.  Speaking with our son, James, he said, “Really, that was fast.”  Cate then let him know that God had answered the prayer before Daddy had prayed. His eyes lit up with amazement, as he said, “Wow, really. That’s cool.”
How precious it was for my wife to have that moment with each of our kids and to show them that our God is a personal God who delights to work in the hearts of men and to answer their prayers.
I’m thankful that I did not take matters in to my own hand.  You see, if I would have done it my way, I wouldn’t have a testimony to share with others, and my children would have missed out on an opportunity to see God work in their own lives.  Let us not run ahead of God and miss out on what He’s doing.

I Remember The Day

I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  Twenty-five years ago in a small town located in Central Illinois at Elmwood Baptist Church, an Evangelist by the name of Jim Broom preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I, a 13 years old boy, went forward and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to be MY personal Saviour!!  Hallelujah, what a Saviour!!  He said, “YES!!”  With His own blood He washed away my sins and placed upon me, His own righteousness.

Tomorrow, with joy & thankfulness, I will remember that day.  My life was forever changed at that moment.  No, I have not been the perfect Christian in the last  2 ½ decades.  I have played the part of the prodigal son, I have wandered from the fold, I have left my first love, I have ran from God.  But when I knelt to pray, when I repented, when I confessed my waywardness, God, the gracious Heavenly Father, with opened arms welcomed me back into the fold.  He never gave up on me!! He’s so good to me!!

Beyond all that I could ever have asked or hoped for, God has blessed me.  Almost 13 years ago, he gave me a wonderful & godly completer, my wife, Cate.  Just over 10 years ago, he blessed us with our daughter, and He has given us two more sons since then.  I served as the pastor of a church in Nebraska, and I now serve Him in North Carolina.  My children have all been saved and baptized!!  Surely, my cup runneth over!!

Lord willing, if Jesus tarries, I look forward to celebrating my 50th “birthday” in another twenty-five years!

I REMEMBER THE DAY
WHEN THE LORD SAVED ME
ALL OF HEAVEN CAME DOWN
I WAS HAPPY AND FREE
GLORY FILLED MY SOUL
FOR I KNEW THE LORD HAD MADE ME WHOLE
I SHALL NEVER FORGET THE DAY WHEN THE LORD SAVED ME.


Elmwood Baptist Church


              

Clean Up This Mess

Do you remember when you were younger and you would walk past a mess in your house that you hadn’t made?  It wasn’t your responsibility, so you weren’t going to put forth the effort to clean it up. Finally, your mom would ask you to clean the mess.  When I was younger, such scenarios played out in my home from time to time and the following statement was often made by me or one of my siblings, “I didn’t make the mess, he did.”

I’m so glad that I am not a child anymore and that I no longer behave that way….Or, do I?

Have you ever found yourself playing this game when it comes to addressing a problem between you and someone else?

For example, your wife/husband has done something that upset you and the two of you just had a verbal WWIII. The war is over, the wounds are fresh, and the anger is still simmering. You are angry that he/she did what they did and now you are impatiently waiting on them to come and clean up the mess.  When all of a sudden, a “small still voice” begins speaking to you and nudging you towards making the first step. “But, Lord, I didn’t make this mess! She started it. It’s his fault. He needs to come to me and apologize! Why do I ALWAYS have to clean up the mess?”

In the greater scheme of things, such as God being glorified in your life, is it really that big of a deal?  The longer the problem festers, the greater opportunity the Devil has to continue to drive the two of you apart.  The longer you wait, the harder it gets to really deal with the issue.  The longer you wait, the easier it gets to forget about it and to continue in the “Crazy Cycle” that Dr. Eggerichs talks about in his book and at his blog, Love & Respect.

When there is sin in your life and your relationship with your Heavenly Father is not what it should be, whose fault is it?  YOURS.  Have you ever noticed that it is God, through the Holy Spirit, that comes to us to fix the problem and restore the relationship?  Adam & Eve where hiding in the garden…God was seeking them out.

Just as maturity and responsibility would say that you should clean up the mess on the floor, the same is true in your marriage and other relationships.

Got Confidence?

Romans 4:21 “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” & Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing; that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Abraham (who is being spoken of in Romans 4:21) and the Apostle Paul where two kindred spirits in the matter of faith. Both of them were convicted & persuaded that the promises of God would come to pass as God had said they would.  You could not shake the faith of either of these two men

The faith of both of these men was a tried & true faith. It was a faith that went through the fire of trials and did not crumble. Both of these men knew how to stand alone with God and cling to His promises.

Christian, today is the Lord’s Day. Sunday is the day of the week that is set aside to worship the Risen Saviour and to celebrate the victory that He has given us because of the resurrection. “Let not your hearts be discouraged; be not weary in well doing. Let us come boldly before the throne of Grace and seek first the kingdom of God.” No matter the trial that you and I face in life, let us follow the examples of Abraham and Paul, and let us exercise our little faith towards our Great God! He Has Promised, He Will Perform, and We Will Prevail!!

As If I Had Never Sinned

In the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, we read these words spoken by Jesus Christ, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  In this statement, Jesus was making it plain and clear that there was no way of entrance into the Father’s house except through Him.  Man says that there are many ways to God. The Bible tells us that there is only one way to God.  If we seek to enter heaven, then we must come on God’s terms, not on terms that we contrive in our deceitful hearts.

Ever since “The forbidden fruit”, man has sought his own way instead of God’s way.  They way of man is as diverse as the creatures of the seas and is ever evolving as man tries in vain to satisfy his inherent need for God in his life.  However, the Way of God has never changed and never will. God’s Way has always been the same and will remain so, forever. The Apostle Peter tells us that God’s plan “was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” (I Pet. 1:20)

You see, man is the one who stands in need of an entrance into Heaven. But, due to our sinful nature inherited from Adam, we are defiled and unable to enter into the presence of the thrice Holy God. Yet, God, in His loving kindness and mercy, created THE WAY that would enable sinful man to be purged of his sin and to be able to enter not only Heaven, but also into a personal relationship with Him while we are still alive on this earth.

But how can I, a wretched sinner gain God’s favor & be justified in His sight?

Rom3v26

The word “justified” is a beautiful expression. It means to be declared righteous, or without sin.  A nice little play on words is this, “Just if I’d” never sinned ~ that’s what “justified” means!!

The wonderful thing about the verse pictured above is the truth that God is the one who justifies, He is the Justifier!!  It’s not up to me to justify myself before Almighty God. I don’t have to balance out the scales and make sure that my good outweighs my bad, I don’t have to measure myself against Mother Theresa or my spouse!!  All I have to do is repent of my sin and call on the Lord Jesus Christ, and when I do this God declares me to be justified.  In the eyes of God it is as if I’ve never sinned. My sins are all gone, gone, GONE!!  Hallelujah, praise the Lamb of God which was slain before the foundations of the world!!

Friend, have you been justified?  Have you personally come to the Risen & Living Saviour who took your place and suffered the punishment for you so that you might be saved?

If not, why not? If not, why not now? If not, don’t delay. Jesus is waiting to save you today!!