When Robinson Crusoe was wrecked on his lonely island, he drew up in two columns what he called the evil and the good. He was cast on a desolate island, but he was still alive – not drowned, as his ship’s company was. He was apart from human society, but he was not starving. He had no clothes, but he was in a hot climate where he did not need them. He was without means of defense, but he saw no wild beasts such as he had seen on the coast of Africa. He had no one to whom he could speak, but God had sent the ship so near the shore that he could get out of it all the things necessary for his basic wants. So he concluded that there was not any condition in the world so miserable but that one could find something for which to be grateful.
During this Coronavirus pandemic, let us keep our eyes on the One who knows all about you and what is going on. He is faithful to provide everything you need one day at a time, but behind the giving is the presence of our most beloved Giver of life and hope.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
Psychologist William Marston asked 3000 people, “What have you to live for?” He was shocked to discover that 94% were simply enduring the present while they waited for the future…waited for something to happen…waited for “next year”…waited for a “better time”…waited for “someone to die”…waited for tomorrow”
“Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, and hope without an object cannot live”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Proverbs 29: 18a KJV
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Many people today are searching desperately for hope – a hope for the present day! Their lives are empty, fearful, and dying for lack of an appropriate “object” to satisfy that quest for hope. The problem is, however, that an object in and of itself will never suffice one’s present and eternal longing for hope and peace. Many people in and outside of the church look for an object: alcohol, drugs, success, money, fame, sex outside of the covenant of marriage, etc., but objects will never do!
Paul says in Romans 15: 4-6 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus; that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our hope is not in an object, but in a person! This hope is individual and continual among the church body. The human heart, as well as any local body of believers in Christ can never be “one” with the Father and “one” with one another without the hope of Jesus Christ positioned first place in thought, attitude, and action. Without Christ, there is no hope, and with Christ we have been given, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, all the hope we need, one day at a time to lead the lost to Christ, and to be the light God has called Trinity UMC to be.
Paul said, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
In Christ’s Hope and Glory!
Pastor Louie Mabrey
Most Precious Possession
Matthew 6: 19-21
Most Precious Possession
Pastor Rittenhouse and his family were on vacation traveling down the highway when they saw a suitcase fly off the top of a car going the opposite direction. They stopped to pick it up, but the driver of the other car never stopped. The only clue to the driver’s identity was a twenty-dollar gold piece inscribed: “Given to Otis Sampson at his retirement by Portland Cement Company.”
After extensive correspondence, Otis Sampson was located and contacted. He wrote a letter telling them to discard the suitcase and all its contents and send only the gold piece. Mr. Sampson used the phrase “my most precious possession” several times to describe the gold piece. Pastor Rittenhouse sent the gold piece and wrote a cover letter telling Otis Sampson about his most prized possession, Jesus Christ.
A year later, the pastor received a package. In it was the twenty-dollar gold piece. Mr. Sampson wrote, “You will be happy to know we have become active members of a church. We want you to have this gold piece. I am seventy-four; my wife is seventy-two. You were the first one to tell us about Jesus. Now He is our most prized possession.”
Matthew 6: 19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.”
May your heart be so full of Jesus that you will want to share Him with someone.
In Christ’s Hope and Glory!
Pastor Louie Mabrey
There is corn in Egypt
I offer you today this recent devotion from Charles Spurgeon that touched my heart. I believe this will be a great encouragement to you during this time of COVID-19.
There is corn in Egypt. Genesis (42:2)
Famine pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of providence, who never forgets the objects of electing love, had stored a granary for his people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Little did Jacob expect deliverance from Egypt, but there was the corn in store for him. Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf; in the roll of thy griefs there is a saving clause. Somehow, he will deliver thee, and somewhere he will provide for thee. The quarter from which thy rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come in thine extremity, and thou shalt magnify the name of the Lord. If men do not feed thee, ravens shall; and if earth yield not wheat, heaven shall drop with manna. Therefore, be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if he pleases and make the source of distress the channel of delight. The corn in Egypt was all in the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the granaries at will. And so the riches of providence are all in the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to his people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succor his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in his faithful care for his brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency but bestir ourselves. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of our royal Brother: once before his throne we have only to ask and have: his stores are not exhausted; there is corn still: his heart is not hard, he will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this evening constrain us to draw largely from thy fullness and receive grace for grace.