Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Try Thanksgiving

If you were to ask me one the secrets of God’s perennial blessings upon the lives of David and Paul, my answer would be a simple, “Thankfulness.” It would be among my top three reasons. They lived hundreds of years apart, had completely different temperaments as well as ministries, but O how appreciative to God they both were. Who could read the book of Psalms or Paul’s epistles, and not be aware of this? You can be sure both came before the Lord’s presence with thanksgiving.

I think David said it best, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good.”  It is recorded of Israel, after God had blessed them abundantly, “They soon forgat…” I’m afraid many of us are like God’s people of old, we have short memories.

No matter what your situation may be, as my dear old mother used to say, “There is always something to be thankful for.” I encourage you to list the many things you can be thankful for. They will dwarf whatever circumstance you may be experiencing at the present. 

I read of a missionary who was despondent and ready to leave the field, but before doing so he visited an old veteran “warrior” in the faith. As he entered the older missionary’s hut, on the wall he noticed a plaque which read, “Try thanksgiving.” He did, and stayed on the field thirty more years.

It's Not Mandatory

“If he offer…the sacrifice of thanksgiving…” A number of the Levitical offerings were mandatory, but the thank offering was voluntary. It was not “when ye offer,” but “if ye offer.” As far as I can find, no one offered this voluntary sacrifice of thanksgiving until David—not Moses, not Aaron, or anyone else. For close to 500 years, God had not smelled a sweet savor of a thank offering. Is it any wonder this shepherd boy, who became a man of God, had wiggled his way into God’s heart? How pleased the Lord was with such sacrifices.

God seems to have an affinity for those who are most appreciative.
The Scriptures abound with the subject of thanksgiving. “In everything give thanks”; “Always giving thanks..;” “Come before his presence with thanksgiving.” If the Bible did not teach the giving of thanks, common courtesy would demand it for all God’s goodness to us. “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good.” In Jesus’ prayers, He said, “I thank thee, O Father…” That’s an excellent example to follow. Let me suggest the next time you have the hum-drums, to try thanksgiving.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"

Friday, November 21, 2014

REVIVAL

Revival, I believe, touches three spheres of life: 1) National, like in Psa. 85:6, "Revive US"; 2) Institutional, as in Hab.3:2, "Revive thy WORK"; and 3) Individual, found in Psa. 138:7, "Revive ME." Many are praying for the first two, but if they're to come at all, it will only be when the third is true in our lives. It is the one live coal that sparks the other two. The gospel song could be applied to our need of personal revival, "It's not my brother, nor my sister, but it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of...[revival]"

The word revival, as found in scripture, has to do with a coming alive. When Jacob heard Joseph was yet alive, we are told "the spirit of Jacob...revived." Revival then, in the true meaning of the word, as someone else has said, is a "rediscovery of Jesus Christ." How many a sad saint's spirit has come alive, as the two disciples on the Emmaus Road, when reminded, "HE'S ALIVE." 

The resurrection of Christ is the foundation stone of Christianity! 
When Jesus ceases to be a living reality in a Christian's mind and heart, then all surety flees away, leaving him or her like the worldling, with a sandcastle life! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Never Say Never-To Jesus

"Thou shalt never wash my feet." Someone said, "You can get so sweet, you're sticky." I say, "You can get so spiritual, you're sickening." Refusing to allow our blessed Lord to minister to us is the height of pseudo-humility; it's sickening to see. Telling Jesus what He can and cannot do in our lives is to deny His Lordship. On another occasion, Peter, like many of us, said, "Not so, Lord." It always is lawful for our Lord to do with His own as He pleases.

In reference to Christ, there are two types of ministering: We ministering to Him (Acts 13:2), and He ministering to us, as seen in our text. But, the latter is to be first in order. This is seen in the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. Jesus first ministered to her in her sickness, then after being raised up, she ministered to Him. Only after He ministers to us are we fit to minister to Him and others.

Jesus is the "Eternal Servant (1Cor.15:28). He told His disciples He came to minister. He enjoyed ministering to them and us. As I have grown older and feebler, along with my sickness, I find myself quite often saying, "Lord you're going to have to come and minister to me today; I don't believe I can make it." And I almost immediately hear a knock at the door, the Great Physician standing there, making one of His many house calls.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE

"For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." What higher compliment can be given a godly man or woman than that these words be spoken of them in a eulogy or inscribed upon their headstone? Fifteen brief words that sum up the entirety of one's existence while upon this earth. Their life in a nutshell, so to speak. When all is said and done, this will more than suffice.

Notice the first part of our text has to do with humanity, "he was a good man"; the latter with Deity, "full of the Holy Ghost." The former is man-ward, the latter is God-ward. It is possible to be the first without possessing the second. But you can't have the latter without displaying the former. It is said of our Lord, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."   

Several things can be said of those who are blessed with Barnabas's noble spirit. First, they're the underdog's best friend. Secondly, they promote others at their own expense, even if it means living in the shadow of the one they advance. Thirdly, when there are needs among God's people, they're the first to give sacrificially. Fourthly, these stalwart  characters are always encouraging others to, "cleave to the Lord". And lastly, everyone whose lives they have touched give testimony to the fact they're sons (and daughters) of consolation.

Yes, these gallant souls have their shortcomings; but when you look at a life, like a spot on a piece of white paper, you don't look at the spot but all the clean around it!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

No Ones Perfect

"I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad." Anyone in the least familiar with the temperaments would place David under the melancholy category. And by doing so would automatically place him in the perfectionist group of individuals. As you can see from our text, God's "darling" had come to the place to see the end result of all perfection, and concluded the Lord gives us a lot of elbow room, so to speak, in His demands. Deity never forgets our humanity.

Perfectionists can be a very unhappy people, as well as make those around them miserable, if they do not possess the strength of character to face and admit to the fact, "No one is perfect." True, some confess to it but not in sincerity, for you can see the pride peeking through their self-righteous garments. On the other hand the imperfect who constantly give testimony to the fact of their shortcomings, often flaunt the fact to excuse their apathetic lives. Human frailty is no excuse for sin.

Those who feel they're a notch above others in their impeccableness are in great danger of not feeling the need of betterment. Being satisfied with the status quo. And on the other hand, those who care little for keeping all their ducks in a row should at lest make a worthy attempt of lining them up. Accepting one another, whether it be a perfectionist or one to the contrary, would go a long way in solving problems. There is no disgrace in being human, nor should there be in attempting to produce to perfection.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

God's Dependable

“Nevertheless…will I not…suffer my faithfulness to fail.” Psalm 89 is all about the faithfulness of God (see vv.1,2,5,8,24,33,37). You can depend on God. He’s always there when you need Him. You can be guaranteed that He’ll show up whenever and wherever there’s a need.

David failed God, but God would not fail David. All the times we are unfaithful to Him, “…he abideth faithful” to us. His faithfulness to us will never fail. In spite of our infidelity with the world, as with Hosea’s unfaithful wife, God says to us, “I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.”

God pledged His faithfulness to us at the alter of our souls when we made our vows in the day of our salvation. He cannot, and will not, fail to keep His covenant. His faithfulness depends on His truthfulness; and, “God cannot lie." Jeremiah knew this; and in spite of his viewing the utter destruction of Jerusalem, he reaffirmed, "Great is thy faithfulness," He did not judge God by what he saw or how he felt. Nor should we!