Wednesday, September 30, 2009

*Messianic Complex

“I know that [when] Messias cometh...he will tell us all things.” How many of us like to play the part of this Divine Personage. We have the answer for everyone’s problems. We are real problem-solvers. That is, unless it relates to our own lives. If those we try to impress with our deep understanding knew this, they would say to us, “Physician, heal thyself.”
We may act like “miniature messiahs,” but we are, at best, poor replicas. Many times while we are attempting to unscramble eggs, we make a bigger mess. I’m finding the best way to help those who are hurting is simply by listening. I do not want a place among Job’s so-called enlightened friends. I don’t want to come across as a know-it-all to those who are suffering. I’m not a messiah; I’m a man. May God help me to be “swift to hear, and slow to speak.”
It doesn’t matter what the question is; the answer is always Jesus.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

*Our Created God

In the “Seed Book” of the Bible we’re told, “So God created man in his own image.” But in today’s culture we’ve made it to read, “So man created God in his own image.” This is not something new to our age. Way back in the Old Testament God indicts the wicked by saying, “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.” In spite of being told we are not to make an image of God, we create a mental one.

Invariably, we bring God down to our level. By doing this, we tell ourselves we see everything “eye to eye.” It is easy to fashion God after our natural temperament. For example, to some He is syrupy; others have made Him rigid. We constantly fall into the trap of imagining God responds and reacts as we do. But, says the Lord, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

Once we have created God in our own image, we become the creator, and He our creation. Thus, He becomes subservient to the likes of us. We need to follow Elijah’s admonition to “Let [God] be God.” After all, the only things you and I ever created were messes that He had to clean up in the end!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bastards

One reason for many not caring for the old A.V. 1611 King James Bible, is its crude language…so they say. This was the same argument the people of Paul’s day used against his preaching. But though a perverted world uses such terms as vulgarities, the Bible presents them as descriptive. One modern dictionary gives the following definitions of the word: 1. Born of unwed parents; illegitimate 2. Not genuine. 3. Resembling a known kind or species but not truly such.

The writer of Hebrews tells the professing Christian’s of his day that when they sin, “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.” In this twelfth chapter of the book of Hebrews, Paul goes on to say that such chastening not only proves our relationship to the Lord, but also shows our Father’s love to us, as well as making us partakers of His holiness. Therefore, it is not to be despised, nor should we grow weary when we are taken for a visit to the woodshed.

My mentor and dear friend was a man by the name of Joe Henry Hankins. He was the most compassionate and tender-hearted man I’ve ever known. Once after a sermon on how God spanks his wayward children, he was confronted by a woman who irritatingly told him she was a Christian, but lived like the world, and had never experienced God’s chastening hand upon her life. To which the old evangelist simply turned to our text and let her read it for herself. After reading it, she immediately left the church, telling people the awful name Dr. Hankins had called her; not realizing, as many reading this article, it is not I, but God Himself who calls you by this name.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Living God Out-Loud

I got the idea for our title from an old book in a used-book store I visited recently with my wife. Upon seeing it, my first words were, “How Christians need to follow this advice today.” There are far too many Wooden-Indian Christians running around.

We need a fresh touch from our Lord, that it may be said of us what is recorded of the man in Mark who had an impediment of speech, “And straightway…his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.” You’ll be hard pressed to find any “mute witnesses” in the book of Acts.

Some years ago, we were peddled a teaching referred to as, “Life-style Evangelism.” Most certainly, we should walk what we profess to believe, but let us never forget Jesus taught we’re to talk it also. The advocates of this philosophy argue, “It’s doubtful you’ll win anyone to Christ, until you have first won them to yourself.”

As convincing as this may sound, I’d remind you those primitive witnesses were, for the most part, hated by the ones they spoke to, as well as the Saviour they were presenting. The very meaning of the word “Witness” carries with it the thought of telling something you have experienced first hand.

The early saints were threatened and told to, “Speak henceforth to no man in this name.” It seems most of God’s people today, including preachers, have shirked their Lord’s Commission, under their peer’s intimidations. How can we ever be ashamed of the “Altogether Lovely One,” who was not, and is not, ashamed of the likes of us?


"We ought to obey God rather than men," is good advice in any age.

Friday, September 25, 2009

*My Legacy to My Grandkids

I’ll turn seventy-six the fifteenth of this coming month. I do not know how old I’ll be when I pick-up (not pack-up) my empty suitcase to go home. But I do have one thing I’d like to leave my grandchildren. And that is, the memory that their Papaw never let his spirit get old with his body. I want them to say one to another at family gatherings, “Pap robbed us of enjoying him getting old.”

Caleb has always been my favorite Old Testament character. He soared like an eagle in his youth; he ran without growing weary in mid-life; and when aged, he walked without fainting. In fact, it was in his advanced years he did his greatest work! At eighty-five he was still claiming God’s promises, “Give me this mountain,” says he to his old friend, Joshua. When young, he stood alone; in old-age he climbs alone.

May God help me to die climbing!

The Choice Should Be Yours

A pastor once remarked to me that he had something going on at his church seven days a week. He thought this was something to boast of; I thought it something of the opposite. It seems whenever you find a totalitarian ministry, individuality is sacrificed for conformity. It would seem the Scripture “Christ who is our life,” is substituted, in many instances with “The church is our life.” We are in danger of having a church-centered life rather than having a Christ-centered one. We forget “He that built the house is greater than the house.”

I have known (and do know) churches that demand much, if not all their members’ spare time, leaving them very little for anything else, not even their families. There are ministries that knowingly, or unknowingly, so lock a person in that their choice of associations, and even to their recreation, is controlled by them. In such cases, Lordship has given way to a leader who lords it over God’s heritage. When this happens, individual priesthood also fades.

No believer’s life should be so monopolized by a church (or any organization) that they can’t enjoy friends of their own choosing, go to events of their own choice, and determine before God how to use their spare time. Avenues ought to always be open to explore. When exploration ceases, so does advancement.

I like the way our church does things. Sunday School is selective; worship is collective; and the various ministries and meetings throughout the week (some at church, some in homes) are elective. Your church may do it differently, but make dead certain you have some elbow room. If not, you might as well be in prison, with a warden watching and dictating your every move.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

*The Big Bang Theory

While the world’s heart are failing them for fear, worrying about those things which are coming on the earth, our Lord’s admonition to His people is, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” Jesus tells us that there will be wars and rumors of wars till the very end.

Some try to convince us that everything started with a “big bang.” The fact is, Peter tells us in his second Epistle, just the reverse will happen. It’s going to all end with a big bang. There’s much discussion today as to whether Christians will go though a tribulation period, or be kept from it. That’s not the question. The question is, “Are you ready for either?”

I heard an old preacher years ago say that the worse thing that can happen to a Christian is for a bomb to fall on him and blow him into the arms of Jesus. This thought doesn’t disturb “Gutsy Christians”; who, like Paul, can say, “Neither count I my life dear unto myself.” But it sure upsets “Toy Saints” something awful!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Devil's Playground

In Philippians chapter four and 2 Corinthians ten (as well as in many other places), we are taught that a believer has control over his or her mind. We can think good thoughts, and we can also put down the bad ones. As my old Granny used to say, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in it.”

When Jesus defeated the devil at the cross one of the effects was that He stripped our adversary of his armour (Luke11:21-22). Satan’s main weapon and strategy today is to corrupt our minds. He does this by planting an evil seed in it, and then tempting us to cultivate it. During the cold war with Russia a manifesto was found showing ways to defeat the West. The main point of the document was that wars are not mainly won with weapons, but by ideas. Therefore, it concluded, get a person to think your way and you have defeated him or her.

The scripture says, “As a man thinketh…so is he.” We are what we think, and so the battle is for the mind! And remember, the mind affects the body (Hebrews 12:3b). The mind should never be in neutral; it should always be in gear. Again, let me quote my sainted grandmother, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” So don’t put it in park J.

I have a note in the fly-leaf of my Bible which says, what we visualize will materialize. Therefore, if we are not careful, our fantasies will become realities in time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daily Visits with the Baker

One of our daily duties is to pray. When our Lord taught His early followers to pray, He told them to ask God each day for their daily bread. It goes without saying that He expected them to visit and commune with their Heavenly Baker on a daily basis. I, for one, do not like old, stale bread; I like it fresh, hot out of the oven. When we neglect prayer, we end up eating moldy bread (Josh. 9:12,14).

Many of us feel like Job of old when he asked the question, “What profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” That is, does prayer really work? Does it pay to pray? Well, stop doing it and find out, but it will be to your own detriment if you do. Many do not pray because of the fact they cannot understand it. But we are told to trust God and not lean on our own understanding. It’s, “…by faith we understand."

I find in my own life that when I feel I need prayer least, I need it most. Until a person realizes his or her great need of God, they will not pray. They have a false sense of security, never suspecting they are, “… wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” David was a king, yet when he came before God he always characterized himself as being, “…poor and needy.” He would not have fit with our modern day Laodicean Christians who boast, “I…have need of nothing.”

“One way to get comfort is to plead the promise of God in prayer, show Him His handwriting; God is tender of His Word.” (Thomas Manton)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Better Trumps Best Every Time

“…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 Christ.

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 books of Hebrews is about Christ being better; and, believe me, identification with our 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.” Will you accept it?

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

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Greatest Fear of the Flesh

The one great fear of the flesh is it being dragged, kicking and screaming, to the Cross. It will subtly submit to any and all propositions, except taking a trip to Calvary. At the very mention of “The place of the skull,” it shutters and draws back at the thought of climbing that dreaded hill of execution. The flesh seeks to be coddled, not crucified!

But if the child of God is to truly “Belong to Christ,” there must of necessity be such a visit. Paul tells us “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” As the song writer so aptly put it, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone, And all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for everyone, And there’s a cross for me.”

Agag of old is a type of our flesh, and just as he came to Samuel “delicately,” so our “old man,” as Agag, will daily come to us thinking “the bitterness of death is past.” But we must emulate the old prophet’s actions, if we are to be victorious, “Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord.” There can be no quarter; if you give self an inch, he’ll take a mile. If you really want to please God, then take Sword in hand and start hacking.

“The flesh will brazenly follow its victim into the very sanctuary and kneel along with him while he communes with God” (A.W.Tozer)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Trickle-down Effect

“And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” God starts from the top, down, not from the bottom, up. Everything originates with God, and trickles down to us.

For example, we begin with the local church, move on to the Body of Christ, from there to God’s Kingdom, and finally to God Himself. Using this method, most never get past the first or second thing. A few advance to the third, but hardly any ever reach God, the reason being that they stop short, and spend a lifetime enjoying and emphasizing one, or possibly two, of these particular entities.

The mistake lies in the fact that they do not start from God and work down. All these things come out of God. We start at a tributary and never seem to be able to work our way back to the mouth of the river. What we need to do is start with the Origin, and then follows the flow downstream. This, I believe, is common sense. Anything else, to me, is nonsense.

God doesn’t work to the source; He is the Source.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Lord Cometh

I have known prophetic Bible teachers so dogmatic about every little detail of Christ’s coming that those who were not of the same mind were treated like dogs! There is never an excuse for being uncharitable to a Christian brother. Great and godly men have differed on minor details throughout the centuries. The early Christians greeted one another with, “Maranatha” (The Lord Cometh). Not how or when He was returning, but the fact of His return. They were not dogged over details of little consequence.

It is possible to lose the blessed of the Blessed Hope. It’s not a rapture we are to look for, but our Redeemer; not a Kingdom, but rather, the King. We are not to be enthralled with an event, but a Person! Much of what is written about the Second Coming today needs to be put in the fiction section of bookstores, not alongside books about facts. To some, prophecy is no more than a novelty.

Many things about prophecy we will not understand until after it comes to pass. Jesus told His disciples, “I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it come to pass, ye might believe.” The implication is that they would not understand the full significance of foretold things until they were fulfilled. Hindsight, if you please.

Maranatha!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

*That's Life.

A country singer was listening to a friend complain about all the various difficulties that were transpiring in his life at that particular time: marital problems, wayward children, health, finances, etc. To which the country boy replied, “My daddy used to say, 'Sounds a lot like life to me.'” Thus, a song was born.


Some poor souls never come to the realization that “Life is not a bed of roses.” Life consists of bittersweet experiences which balance out one another. And without the former, we’d not appreciate the latter. None who belong to Adam’s clan are exempt from this roller-coaster ride of life. Whether rich and powerful or poor and beggarly, all are allotted their ups and downs.

The one great difference between the world and the Christian is, the world has its “Ups and downs,” while God’s people have their, “Downs and ups.” The first will invariably end wrong-side up, while the other always ends right-side up. This undoubtedly is what David was referring to when he wrote, “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising.” Be assured, God’s elect will stand upright, after being down.

It’s a wonderful life, if Christ is your life. (Col.3:4,a)

*Upon Whom Do You Lean?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” We can’t have it both ways. We either lean on Jesus, like John of old, asking our questions; or trust in the bruised reed of our own understanding. Our wisdom must be relinquished, and be replaced by His. This does not mean we turn-off our own brain, ignoring our God-given intellect; but it does mean we sanctify (set apart for God) the thing that sets atop our shoulders.

Because of the fall, our natural understanding is shadowy at best. And to trust in it only brings greater darkness and confusion. To understand properly, our trust must be entire and exclusive. There can be no confidence in ourselves or others' fleshly wisdom. Our testimony must be as that of the lover in the Songs. We’re told she “Lean[ed] upon her beloved.” David painfully tried to understand something on his own; but to no avail, until he went to God, then he understood. And so will we!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

*Relegated to the Past?

“Is thy God…able to deliver thee...? This question reverberates down the corridors of time to our present age. Every child of God, as Daniel of old, must give an answer; there can be no shirking it. Strong’s Concordance has five lengthy columns for the word “deliver” and its equivalent. God would have each of us know that He is distinctively in the deliverance business.

Our age is infested with addictions such as drugs, drunkenness, immorality, gluttonies, and a host of other sins of the flesh. It seems that many have come to accept these life-destroying habits, feeling they will plaque them till death do them part. They believe this is to be the norm. But if this be true, what are we to do with such statements as, “He hath sent me to…preach deliverance to the captives?”
Are Gods promises of deliverance only written to torment our souls? They are either true or not. If we believe the latter, then we have resigned ourselves to live a miserable and torturous life of defeat. But He has not left us to grovel, groan, and despair; to tantalize us with the impossible and unattainable. There is no chain so binding that He cannot break it, nor yoke so burdensome that He will not remove it.

When Paul says, “Let not sin reign…” He is not speaking of sins banished presence, but rather its broken dominion. Though sin will always be present in our lives, its power over us has been broken. But to argue with the Spirit over this, will inevitably result in one’s downfall. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”

“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me…I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Friday, September 11, 2009

Contempory Christianity

Generally, we speak of Christianity in collective terms, but actually, it is distinctively individual. From our salvation at the beginning, till the Judgment Seat of Christ at the end, God deals with us one on one. And this is true of all that goes on in between.

Most certainly, our Heavenly Father has some basic rules that all the family is to adhere to, but these are for their well-being. Like any wise father, God does not dictate to his children’s preferences in tastes and likes. He allows them to be their own men or women in these.

One mark of a cult is seen in its strict regimentation. As one of my daughters used to say as a child, “They’re same-a-likes.” There is no elbow room in such collectivization for individualism. If you’re different in any way from the other robots, the Gestapo will report you to the Fuhrer.

Another characteristic of a cultic Christianity is that dedication is gauged by the things you give up. It matters little what kind of person you are, subtraction of things is the criteria for acceptance. These morbid members cannot give up a thing, without wanting everyone else to give it up.

There is a little tract entitled, “Others Can; You Can’t.” It leads one to believe spirituality is based on asceticism. But how about, “You Can; Others Can’t”? What a servant can or cannot do is between him and his Master, not another slave (Ro.14:4).

If God doesn't like the way I live, let him tell me, not you. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Shameless Society

“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God.” When I was a boy I remember both boys and girls could blush. It was a pleasant teasing point. And, I might add, even adults were not beyond manifesting this crimson glow when finding themselves in embarrassing situations. But it seems to me that today’s society is void of any and all shame. It appears to be a shameless society.

But I have no problem with non-Christian’s losing this essential character trait. That is to be expected; it’s no great shock. But when God’s sinning people are no longer ashamed, and cannot blush before a Holy God, something is drastically wrong. The inability to do so is a mark of superficial spirituality! The Lord says through Jeremiah “Were they ashamed when they committed abominations? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.”

The problem, says the Lord, was that they didn’t want “…the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.” Like this present generation, they thought the “old time” way of doing things was out-dated. They follow the proud Pharisee’s pattern, rather than the humble Publican. When you live in Babylon for awhile, you first accept their way of life, then approve it, and finally indulge and enjoy it yourself. When this happens, Christian’s lose their saltiness, and their light is hid under a bushel.

It seems today’s Christian accepts and excuses sin when it has do with them or theirs; but the same sin is condemned when they see it in others.

Monday, September 7, 2009

All Our Ducks in a Row

The Bible speaks of, “…line upon line.” Repetition is necessary to learn truth. Therefore I repeat certain crucial truths from time to time. Things we need to be reminded of if we are to get through this life with any semblance of being sane.

One area that can lead a person to lose his or her marbles is when they attempt to get all their ducks in a row, so to speak. I have tried to achieve this impossible feat most of my life. Is it any wonder then that I spent much of my waking hours in frustration?

A thought came to me some years ago that has been a tremendous help to my persnickety personality. It goes like this, “There is nothing perfect; there is nothing lasting; and I will never get it altogether”. I like things just right. I want them to last. And I like all the loose ends tied up.

But that is not true to life. It’s a fantasy I created in my own mind. I’m to always work toward perfection, but realize it’s not attainable in this life. Everything is ultimately headed for the junk yard; I can’t keep it indefinitely. And there will always be a loose end I haven’t tied up.

Because of this we need to take everything in its stride, if not, we’ll always be out of step with life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A New Face on Suffering

“Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” You can still hear this shallow question being asked in our age. Be assured; shallow questions always originate from shallow beliefs. Such people cannot see anything below the surface. There exists today in Christendom the same superficial belief of bygone years. It is that all suffering is related to some sin committed.

The people who advocate such nonsensical beliefs do great harm and damage both spiritually and psychologically to the sufferer. An affliction becomes doubly burdensome when given a false interpretation. Our conception of a thing determines its weight in our lives. If I look upon my ailment as from an offended God, I will carry it around like a prisoner does a ball and chain. But if I see behind it my gracious Refiner, I can calmly wait, knowing it is beneficial.

Thankfully, our precious Lord still continues to relieve the sufferer of the callous crowd’s false interpretation of his infirmity. “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents.” The stormy winds of winter now become the fresh breeze of spring. All becomes transfigured when Jesus puts a new face on suffering. He says it’s for the glory of God. Who can’t bear up through the pain and tears when they hear these words?

Job’s miserable comforters know nothing about Job’s merciful God.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Devils Delight

“I am weary with repenting.” Matthew Henry says of this text, “...it is a strange expression; they [Israel] had behaved so provokingly, especially by their treacherous professions of repentance, that they had put even infinite patience itself to the stretch.”

Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul all preached repentance. It is a doctrine that you hear very little about today. In fact, one group of Dispensationalists teaches that repentance is not for our age. By observing the life styles of many Christians, it seems they would agree!

Repentance is a turning about. Some think of it as simply “changing lanes” and continuing in the same direction. But it is not flowing into a different line of traffic; it is making an abrupt U-turn and going the opposite way. God is tired of those people who are always repenting, but who never change. It is this kind that the Devil delights in.

Some of us need to repent of our repenting.

Friday, September 4, 2009

To Whom Do You Belong?

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, becau ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.The text seems to be self-explanatory. No act of kindness, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant goes unnoticed by God. That is, if it is done in Christ’s name. What’s easier than giving a cup of water to a thirsty soul? The poorest of saints can provide a brother or sister with this refreshment. But it must be done out of a motive of love for Jesus Christ, not just human kindness. The world can do that. This humblest of acts, the lowliest of service, will be rewarded, we’re told.

But how are we to know the recipient “Belong[s] to Christ?” It’s not by wearing a cross around one’s neck; pagans can do this. Nor is it a bumper-sticker of a fish, or a bracelet with W.W.J.D inscribed on it. I believe Paul gives us a hint as to our Lord’s meaning of the passage. The apostle tells the Christians at Galatia, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” When you meet this person, I guarantee, you’ll “…take knowledge of them, that they [have] been with Jesus.”

The word “belong” carries the meaning of relationship, ownership. Like the old gospel song says, “Now I belong to Jesus…” DO YOU?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Originality

“I am verily a man...brought up...at the feet of Gamaliel.” One of the greatest thinkers in history, was without a doubt, Saul of Tarsus. His teacher, Gamaliel, was not just a religious man, but very learned, with a show of wisdom and understanding, who’s teaching and advice was adhered to by many. I wonder how much of this man’s teaching and philosophy Paul took with him through life.

When I was yet a “babe” in Christ, an older preacher said to me that seventy-five percent of my life and ministry would be made up of those who influenced me along the way, and only twenty-five percent would be original. If this be true (or even close) how important it is for us to be original in our lives, especially in our thinking. If you don’t, then you will never know you. It’s important to assimilate from others, but make sure you put your own ingredients into the mixture, or your life will lack originality and be tasteless.

Remember; when someone speaks of another as being original that person is an amalgamation of the influence of parents, teachers, friends, etc., and, if a Christian, the indwelling Spirit. We are products of many others. Let us be grateful they crossed our paths and that some of their attributes rubbed off and were infused into our makeup. But don't forget, you are not them, you are you!

If you don't control your mind, someone else will. ~John Allston

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Tribute to Tina

You may not know her, chances are you don’t; but I hope to God you are acquainted with someone akin to her. If you aren’t, I can guarantee, you’ll go through life a pauper for not having among your assets such a rare jewel. I consider myself richer for having the privilege of calling this exceptional human being my friend.

As her pastor many years ago, I saw her grow from childhood and blossom into womanhood, a beautiful specimen of the feminine gender. She had just turned eighteen, and after being married only a few months, she and her young preacher husband, riding in a bread truck, were hit head-on by another vehicle. The accident almost took her life. As a result, it left her paralyzed from the waist down. Some weeks after, after being told she would never walk again, she said to me from her hospital bed, “Preacher, whether I walk or am in a wheel-chair, I’m going to serve God.”

This was all a long time ago, and since then, Tina and her dear husband, John, have served God faithfully. They also raised two adopted sons. Over the years, Tina has been in and out of hospitals numerous times, and has suffered many things, one of which was having one of her legs amputated at the knee.

Tina Jane Green is my hero, and has been for most of my long ministry of fifty years. Her overcoming life has kept me going through the tough times. She gives testimony that if God gave her the choice of walking or staying in her chair, she would choose the latter, believing it to be God’s Perfect Will for her life. In all these many years, I’ve never heard her complain. Certainly, this is a display of Grace on God’s part; and old fashioned grit on hers!

A PERSONAL NOTE: Thank you, darlin’, for being a crutch for me to lean on these many years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our Great Temptation

“Ye shall be as gods…” This was (and is) Satan’s greatest spiritual temptation. A god knows more, has more, and is more. Whenever you are discontent with the spiritual person God has made you, you can be sure the devil is at work in your life. The cause of Lucifer’s fall was, “I will be like the most High.” He was not content with the spiritual person or position God had bestowed upon him.

We are to have God’s disposition, not his position. There are little “gods” running around who would like you to believe they are omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and by the speed at which they move, you would think they are trying to be omnipresent (everywhere at the same time)! Spiritual pride is at the root of wanting to be miniature gods. But need I remind you, the Bible does not teach a plurality of gods, but just one God. “Beside me there is no God.” So says Jehovah.

It was a milestone in my own life when I realized I was never going to be an Apostle Paul, or some great Bible saint. Nor was there any hope of my ever emulating the physical Christ, other than in spirit. I’m just me; and God has seen fit to indwell this vessel of clay. My one main goal is to obey God, not be God.

“To obey is better...” Ask Adam and Eve.