Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Fallacy of a Firm Grip

SAYINGS THAT ARE SCRIPTURAL

“What is that in thine hand?” I realize we must be careful with cliché’s when associating them with Scriptures. They may be true in one instance and not in another. They are always to be taken in their context. One such little saying is, “Let go and let God.” In this case, if we are speaking of Moses letting go of his rod so that God could transform it, then it fits the text.

PRYING LOOSE THE FINGERS

This quip is good for we who like to keep a tight grip on people and things. For some of us, it takes God years to pry our fingers loose from what we’re holding to. As long as we keep our firm grip, they, or it, are not God’s. It is only when we open our hand and let go that God can begin His transforming work. And this ceases when we take that item or person up again, as in Moses case.

FROM OUR HANDS TO HIS HAND

“When it’s in your hands, you get what you can produce; when it’s in God’s, you get what He can produce. “ (rds)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rubbing Shoulders With Wise Men

IT RUBS OFF

"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.” C.S. Lewis writes, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” As the old adage says, “You’re known by the company you keep”. Though it is not true of salvation, wisdom can be obtained through osmosis.

THE STORY THE  POOR WISE  MAN

One of my very favorite Bible stories is found in Eccl.9:13-18. There we find a poor wise man, who, when listened to, was the cause of great deliverance in others' lives. In this case it was not wealth but wisdom that emancipated. Wisdom was found in the form of rags rather than riches.

THE SCENT OF WISDOM

Though wisdom has many outfits in its wardrobe, nevertheless, you can recognize it by the fragrance on the garment it wears. It always has the scent of humility upon it. The companions of Christ had more wisdom than all the philosophers of their day.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Has Your Halo Shrunk?

SHRINKAGE OR EXPANSION

Have you noticed your halo getting a little tight lately? Are you concerned with it shrinking? Don’t be! Halos don’t shrink; but what they sit on has been known to expand considerably. “Big heads” dispel, or minimize, any glory the Lord might have placed upon our pate.

HUMBLE HEADS

The “helmet of salvation” is not, “one size fits all.” It was made to fit only one type-- those who have a humble head setting atop their shoulders. Paul was such a one. Says he, “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind.”

THINKING OURSELVES SOMEBODIES WHEN WE’RE NOBODIES

It is an awful thing to think ourselves something, when we’re nothing (Gal.6:3). How many of us are like the little woodpecker pecking at the telephone pole. When lightning struck, sending both pole and bird to the ground, the dazed bird was overheard saying, “Man I knew I had power, but not that much!”

“As long as one knows one is proud one is safe from the worst form of pride.”
(C.S. Lewis)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Glass Houses

THE REAL THING

It could truthfully be said of Paul by the people of his day, “What you see is what you get.” Being real was uppermost in his mind, even to the extent of making bear his soul. He tells us he did this, “…lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.” Paul was not a man with a thousand spiritual faces, or a variety of changeable religious garments; he had only one of each.

THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES OF TRANSPARENCY

One advantage of living in a glass house is that it cures you (or should) from throwing stones at others. You can no longer set yourself up as “holier than thou,” since your life is seen by all. Transparency allows everyone to behold every little blemish, and opens you up for criticism by those who hide in their stone monasteries. But it also can be a blessing to those with similar failings. It’s comforting to realize those we esteem highly live in the same kind of skin.

We never need fear genuine people seeing our warts; they are much more forgiving of a fault, than they are of hypocrisy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Eternal Present

WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

When Moses asked God “What is thy name?” he answered him by saying, “I AM THAT I AM.” The Lord went on to say, “[T]his is my name forever.” Therefore, God is the Eternal Present. He is not “I Was,” or “I Will Be,” but always, “I AM.” No wonder David could say of Him that He is “…a very present help in trouble.”

IT’S ALWAYS THE SAME

Ask any question you will; the divine answer is, has been, and always will be, “I AM.” Who is going to watch my children when they leave home? “I AM.” Who is going to take care of me in old age? “I AM.” What’s the use in living? “I AM.” Who is going to deliver me and set me free from this bondage that plagues me? “I AM.” Who is going to give me wisdom for my particular predicament? “I AM.” The list is unending, but I assure you, each ends with “I AM.”

WHERE TO FIND WHAT YOU NEED

If you’re looking for the right way, you’ll find it in the “I AM.” If it’s the truth you seek, go to the great “I AM.” If you’re longing for an abundant life, it is only to be discovered in the “I AM.” He’s the One who told us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

He is the eternal and unchangeable “I AM.” The same “yesterday, today, and forever.” He was, and will ever be, what He is; “I AM.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Who Knows Better Than God

FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF PRAYER

"…they called upon the Lord, and he answered them." Sometimes God answers prayer immediately, as in the case of Daniel (9:21). At other times, there is a delay. This is illustrated in the parable of the widow (Luke 18:1-8). Then, there are occasions when we are simply told, "No." Moses is an example of this (Deut.3:25-27). And who among us has not experienced the answer far exceeding our expectations (Eph.3:20)?

THE FIFTH KIND

But what I want to focus our attention on is a fifth avenue, which is when God answers differently from our request. The Apostle Paul prayed three times for an answer to a specific desire. God answered his petition but not in the way he asked or expected (2 Cor.12:8,9). At such times, we need to realize "Father knows best."

AN EXAMPLE OF THE LAST KIND

God's only Beloved Son followed this rule. He, as Paul, prayed three separate times concerning a particular thing in his life but ended His prayer with, "…nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." This is always the safest and surest way in prayer. Express your will but accept His.

C.S. LEWIS HAD IT RIGHT

“For most of us the prayer of Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait.”

Monday, January 2, 2017

Test Your Spirituality

YOU DECIDE

“Greater works than these shall he do.” There are differing opinions as to what Jesus meant when He spoke these words to His disciples. Therefore, I’ll leave it up to each individual to sort out on their own what they believe the teaching of the text to be.

BENEATH THE SURFACE

What I would like to do, if you will permit me, is to bring out something I feel is beneath the text, which does not appear on the surface. Something, I believe, can be very practical and beneficial to each of us, something that will help us evaluate our Spirituality.

EXALTING THE OTHER AT OUR OWN EXPENSE

Whatever the text may mean, one thing it shows for sure; there was not a drop of envy or jealousy in the life of this Man, Christ Jesus. He was not threatened, nor did He try to stifle these inferior men, who would excel Him in work. Rather, He promoted it, and encouraged them.

THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Getting Your Feet Wet

PUTTING IN BOTH FEET

“When ye are come to the brink of the water...ye shall stand still in Jordan...[and] as soon as the soles of [your] feet...shall rest in the waters...they shall stand upon an heap...[their] feet...were dipped in the brim of the water...[they] stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan...[they] stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded.”

HE LEADS US HE DOESN’T PUSH US

The song, God Leads His Dear Children Along, can be seen in the saints’ life of faith. Isn’t it blessed how gently He leads us into the deep waters, the midst of Jordan, so to speak? He does not require we jump immediately in the middle but as in Peter’s case, He takes us from the shore out into the deep. This reminds me of Oswald Chambers’ comment: “Every ocean has a shore.”

THE  OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET’S EXPERIENCE

The prophet puts it this way, “He brought me through the waters; the waters [were] to the ankles...Again... he brought me through the waters; the waters [were]to the knees...Again he...brought me through; the waters [were] to the loins...Afterward he measured...and it was a river...for the waters were risen, waters to swim in.”

A LITTLE AT A TIME

God starts out by getting our feet wet, and then we end up in the middle of the Jordan. It’s like when I was a boy of seven. At a local pool, I began in the shallow part, but shortly after was swimming in the deep end. I have found in my own spiritual life that this has been the custom. I, trembling, dip my foot of faith in the waters, and before long, I am enjoying a good swim.

IT MUST ALWAYS BE FRESH FAITH-NOT DAY OLD

I also have learned in my experience that each venture requires a fresh faith. Yesterday’s faith is a cancelled check. Therefore, with each new endeavor, we begin all over again by getting our feet wet. And why is this? “For ye have not passed [this] way heretofore.”

O, how I pray that when I see my Lord, I’ll be soaking wet from head to toe!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-bye Old, Hello New

HOLDING TO THE OLD

“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” The people the writer is addressing had been brought up on an external system of traditional rules, religious regulations, and rigid restrictions. These were preferred before the “Altogether Lovely One.” External rites are always wrong when chosen over the Lover of our souls.

STEPPING INTO THE NEW ALONE

Many today are in the same situation as these early Christians. They are associated with a movement or group that started out right, but has now ended up wrong. To turn your back on it and walk away is no easy thing. The loss of lifetime friends, the misunderstanding by loved ones, and the reproach of one’s peers, is a price many are not willing to pay. If others would come along with them, they might be willing, but to go it alone is unthinkable.

THE NEW IS BETTER THAN THE OLD

The book of Hebrews is about Christ being better; and, believe me; identification with the lonely Christ is better than association with the popular crowd. God had rejected and abolished their old ceremonial ways and had offered them in its place “a new and living way.” But they refused the new in order to hold to the old. How about you my friend?

Who minds being outside the camp, if you’re inside the veil?

The Last Mile Of The Way-Part One

Dear Readers,

Please do not mistake our lack of recent updating here for a lack of appreciation for the multitude of loving e-mails, cards, text messages, generous monetary gifts and priceless prayers! We (Dad and those family members who are currently able) have simply been devoting our time to Mom's care and company.

The Lord allowed me to fly here again yesterday to, i believe, be privileged to assist my dad in providing the care that my precious mother needs as she travels her last mile here. We all agree that she is not far from her destination and goal, which is the presence of the One she has loved and served so beautifully these many years now. I can tell  you from eyewitness experience that that our Lord is more real to my mother today than He has ever been.

I'll give you a glimpse into one of today's sweet moments with her...

Her dear pastor and his wife stopped in for a short but memorable visit, and she was talking about her times alone with the Lord. She said in her now-feeble voice, "I was reading a passage the other day and was especially blessed by something so I asked my husband to bring me my red Bible-marking pencil. I started to mark the passage and suddenly thought, 'Now, why am i marking this? I don't need to worry about remembering these words; I'll most likely be with the Living Word very soon'!"

This is the kind of Christianity that we all desire, is it not?


~ Leah (Sandlin) Griffis