Proverbs 4:10-14 Hear, my son, accept my sayings, and the years of your life will be many. I have d
Both my dad and my grandad offered me invaluable instruction over the years designed to keep me safe and on the right path in a world filled with many deadly detours. One being, Louie, be careful who you run around with when you are out and about in this world! And in doing so, they were attempting to establish a boundary zone of protection over and around me via their experience and counsel.
In today’s Scripture, and in the context of acquiring Godly wisdom, Solomon is warning his readers to avoid bad company which is always a chief threat to Godly abundant living. You may say, I can understand how this would apply to the conversation held between a father and his teenage son, but believe me, the temptation to run with the wrong crowd is alluring at any age. Has anyone or anything been tempting you to question any given truth, or the whole truth, contained in the counsel of God lately? Stay in the Word! Listen to God, not man! Your loving heavenly Father will never lead you astray and He will meet every need you have in His perfect way and plan for your life as your daily put your trust in Him!
Jesus Christ, the Way, Truth, and Life!
The Joy of Being a Christian
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous spirit.
I recently read a devotional by Dr. David Jeremiah on not losing you joy, that really caused me to reflect upon my own life! Here are the highlights intermingled with my own thoughts.
Joy is one of the greatest gifts accompanying our salvation. Professor Lewis Smedes wrote, You and I were created for joy, and if we miss it, we miss the reason for our existence! My paternal grandfather always expressed a joyful attitude in the Lord which has been a witness to me to this very day! It doesn’t mean that Christians won’t experience hard times and great difficulties in life, my grandfather did. What it does mean is that we can live in the power of the Holy Spirit who has equipped and gifted every believer with the fruit of joy of Christ! (See Galatians 5:22). The joy of the Lord is the Christian’s birthright!
Unfortunately, David waited a year after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, before he confessed his sin before the Lord, but via of his open heart and repentance before God, both his joy and his spirit were restored! If there is sin in your life that has been robbing your joy, don’t wait, confess that sin today, and invite the Holy to renew your joy supernaturally and practically for the day to day! God’s joy will assure you that He is in control of your life and that everything is going to be alright! (David Jeremiah’s Turning Points)
The joy of the Lord is my strength!
A Father Who Cares
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:6-7
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
My father went to be with the Lord several years ago, but I will never forget what a friend of the family told me as he was paying his respects to my family the night of dad’s viewing at the funeral home. I played first base on my hometown church’s men’s softball team as a teenager and into my early twenties. Late one evening we were in the finals of a local tournament and the rain had been pouring down for quite some time. Unfortunately, our team was better in the field than we were at bat that evening which resulted in our losing the game, but God touched my heart by what my friend said to me. He said, Louie I was there that night and your dad stood out in the pouring rain to watch you play and after the game was over, he told me, You know ol’ Louie was the only one on his team who got a hit tonight.
Like this story we often forget, or we are not even aware, of how our God cares for us. Read and ponder the Scriptures above. God is pulling for you! He cares about you. Don’t be afraid. Take courage!
Thriving in the Desert
And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. Exodus 16:2
This morning I begin an annual week long adventure that began over twenty years ago, and that being to serve as one of the Elementary camp chaplains for a week during summer camp at the Warren Willis Methodist Children’s and Youth Camp in Leesburg, Florida. Each year the camp centers around an object and a theme used for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to young people. This year’s theme is Thriving in the Desert and the object of attention is the cactus.
Each night I will develop a particular theme applied to children of course, and yet pertinent to all children of God. The verse above is set in the context of the children of Israel’s arriving at the wilderness of Sin one month after having left Egypt. And already we see how the Israelites were grumbling against their God-appointed leaders, Moses and his brother Aaron reflective of their lack of trust in God!
Tonight at chapel, the children and I will consider naming our deserts; those dry places in our lives. Perhaps some of these children have lost a loved one or their parents are separated by divorce. Whatever it may be, we often grumble when we are in a dry place in life, and yet Jesus calls us to allow Him to begin to replenish and restore our walk with Him. Yes, Jesus can even use the driest of deserts to turn our grumbling into thanksgiving and praise for His presence and for His provision. Are you ready to name your desert before the Lord and allow Him to work in your life this very day? I will share Tuesday through Friday night’s themes in the weeks to come.
In Christ’s Name and Power!