Archive for April, 2012
When I woke up Sunday morning, I realized I had just had an amazing dream. In this dream I saw what was a room full of people on gurnies. There were loved ones gathered around them, and everyone seemed to be at some differing degrees of death’s door. When I asked someone what was going on, they said this is the waiting room for those who are dieing. Wow, I remember thinking, I have to get busy and make sure they all know about Jesus.
So I began to go from gurney to gurney and share the Gospel with each person. It was extremely vivid. When I woke up, it occurred to me that people are like that. We are all in the process of dieing. From the moment we are born, we begin the death walk, so to speak. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, and we encounter people everyday that we may never see again.
In my dream, sharing the gospel was extremely urgent. Why isn’t it that urgent without seeing people on a gurney looking almost dead? Why don’t we sense the urgency of sharing with everyone we meet?
We may never have another opportunity better than the present. I suggest we see each person that comes into our lives as a divine appointment and an opportunity to tell them about the incredible love of God for them, and the urgency of placing their faith in Christ.
Is it just me, or do Mondays seem to come around more frequently than any other day of the week? I know that we have an equal number of each of the seven days, but it just seems like it is always Monday. For some of you I know Mondays means the end of the weekend and back to work. For me, well as a pastor, everyone knows I only work on Sundays. (A joke, for those who don’t know me well.)
Actually Monday mornings always seem to confront me with the Blues. The Monday morning, “preacher blues”. I haven’t figured it out. It can be a great Sunday at church, a mediocre day at church, or even a not so great day, but it is the same. It is such a joy to me to worship, and to have the privilege to share the Word of God, that the thought of Sunday being seven days away is, well, it seems so far.
Maybe there are days that you struggle more than others. Maybe it is the day that you have a test at school, or a doctor’s appointment. Maybe it is a day at the office that you anticipate will be especially challenging. Maybe you have a day that you think will bring some form of sorrow.
But God’s word says, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” It seems so many emotions are a part of our “response mechanism”. I think we can choose “joy.” After all, it is my conviction that God never asks us to do something that He has not equipped us for or will not enable us to do. In Philippians, Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice.” The Bible teaches, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
God is on His throne. That is true today, and everyday. We learn from Job’s experience (ch.’s 1 and 2) that the enemy can only do what God allows. We know that God desires welfare for us according to Jeremiah. We know that God loves us unconditionally. So I believe we can choose joy.
We can begin to worship in prayer. We can break out in positive songs of faith. We can give thanks and praise the Lord no matter what circumstances we face. So today is Monday. And tomorrow is Tuesday, and then the others follow. Each day is a precious gift of God. I will choose joy. And I will seek to honor God with how I spend the minutes of this day.
It seems in the Bible that when it comes to mankind exercising dominion over the crreated order, that God puts limits on physical matters. In the garden if Eden, God said to Adam and Eve, you can eat from all the trees of the Garden, except for one. The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil is reserved for me.
The Bible says that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” (Ps. 24:1.) I cannot find anywhere in the scripture a record of transfer of ownership to anyone else. God entrusts to each of us a certain amount of time, talent, and treasure. We will stand before Him one day and give an account of how we spent all of those things. Did we waste them? Did we just use them? Or did we invest them wisely in His Kingdom?
God gave us seven days a week. He said one of those days is to be set aside to rest and to worship Him. Are we stealing God’s day? He said, “One hundred percent of what I entrust to you is mine, but I will let you use all but 10%. Ten percent off the top, first fruits, is to be given to Me, God says, to remind you that you are responsible to use it all fo rmy glory.
Tithing predates the law, as we see Abraham tithing to Melchizedek. It is given in the law as Leviticus tells us ten percent is holy, that is set apart and reserved for God to use. Then in Malachai 3:10 the prophet calls it as it is. He says to God’s people, You are robbing God” by not giving His ten percent. He reminds them to bring the full ten percent into God’s storehouse.. In the Old Testament that was the temple treasury. In the New Testament, I believe it is the local church to which we belong. In fact, in the NT, we are to begin with the tithe and go on to do so much better.
God promises that the 90% will take care of us. But He promises to provide when we are obedient. Who ar eyou trusting in today? A company paycheck, or the Lord. Government provision, or the Lord? Your retirement package, or the Lord?
Tags: brownies, celery, heaven, Jesus
We had a “game night” with some friends last night Desert was some incredible looking brownies. But I am on a quest to lose weight. I need to lose a lot, actually. So I started this past week. I have replaced breakfast each day with a nutritious shake. I have cut out the fattening foods as much as possible. Back to game night. Brownies! Are you kidding me? And they looked awesome. Moist and extremely chocolate, walnuts. So I consoled my self with a pinch for taste, and some more celery.
The Bible speaks of sitting down at a great feast in heaven. Surely there will be brownies, and key lime pie. I am expecting cocunut cake, and lots of ice cream. In my mind there must be all kinds of wonderful food with no calories, and zero cholesterol. I cannot quote you a chapter or verse in the Bible, but I am hopeful.
What I do know is there there is no sorrow, no sickness, and no pain. There are no homeless people, and there are no hungry people. Most of all there is no sin. There is plenty of room, and there is beauty beyond cmopare. We are not going to be angels in search of wings, and we won’t be playing harps floating around on clouds. We will live in the Presence of God, and we will enjoy this wonderful world made new without the curse of sin.
Jesus promised in John 14 that He was going to prepare us a place. (A promise to those who are his followers). He has had quite some time to work on that. Look at the beauty of this earth that He fashioned in seven days. So imagine what Christ has done with the last couple thousand years. I hope you have made your reservations.