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An Urgency For Consistency!

Thought For The Week…

Every morning, whether we see it or not, the sun comes up in the East and sets in the West. Clouds may obscure our vision, but this cycle continues each day as God has decreed it would. Depending upon the Earth’s rotation upon its axis in relation to its orbit around the sun our temperature fluctuates and gives us our seasons. Even to the casual observer this is an amazing subject to contemplate.

There are many things I have learned from observing the sun and watching its behavior each day. One characteristic which stands out is the fact that it is faithful! The sun is faithful to come up in the East and set in the West! Jeremiah was encouraged by the consistent actions of the sun for it reminded him of our Faithful Heavenly Father. Consider what he said in Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” As the sun if faithful to continue its course so God is consistently merciful and compassionate. In fact, each new day brings new mercies and compassionate care from our Heavenly Father!

In view of these great examples of consistency, every child of God needs to be consistent in the right things. Some people fail to realize that 99.999% of the human race is CONSISTENT! The problem is being consistent in the right things. Are you consistent in the “basics” of the Christian life? Many of God’s children desire to serve Him, but are not consistently walking in His ways. Rather, they are walking in their ways and are subsequently hindered in their service for Christ!

I close with a few remarks from Paul Chappell on this subject… “One who has difficulty carrying out the basics of the Christian life may not be ready for the commitment necessary for ministry involvement. CONSISTENCY (emphasis mine) in our Bible reading, prayer time, and church attendance serve as indicators that we might be ready to go to another level in our service for Christ!” 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Will you endeavor to improve your consistency/faithfulness to the things of the Lord? Will you enter this new week with a fresh sense of urgency to be found FAITHFUL?

Safety Is Of The Lord!

Thought For The Week…

Years ago, when Shilo and I were dating, we decided to go and visit the Dam which held back Smith Mountain Lake; located southeast of Roanoke, Virginia. I was pastoring a church about an hour south of Roanoke at the time. We enjoyed eating our picnic lunch and walking around.

The time soon came for us to leave and head back down to Collinsville where I lived. As we were leaving the Dam site, I came around a turn and had to stop for a flock of turkeys somewhere along a desolate stretch of roadway. There were about four to six of them out in the middle of the road, and they took their sweet time moving onto the grassy shoulder. We were held up only a minute or so, but long enough to make it seem like an eternity!

I navigated around my feathered friends when I was able to do so and continued along the winding road back to the State Highway. As soon as Shilo and I got back onto the main road and started West, I looked ahead, about a half of a mile, and noticed a semi-truck coming towards me and slowing to a stop. Most of the tires on this truck were blown out with smoke billowing upwards from the brakes. As I looked back to my right I noticed dirt in the road and the phone poles in the edge of the field were all broken where the semi clipped them. As we slowed down to view the recent damage, I saw a horrific sight. This truck had run over the front of another vehicle which was waiting to pull out onto the State Highway. This vehicle had no place to go! I do not recall anyone being killed in this accident, though I am surprised someone didn’t.

Later in dawned upon me that those turkeys saved our lives! If Shilo and I were 30 seconds to a minute earlier, then we could have been hit, head on, by the Semi! Safety is, indeed, of the Lord! Proverbs 21:31 states, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.” This event should remind each of us that we should be patient when held up from our travels. God might be keeping us out of harm’s way!

What Does Your Name “LOOK LIKE”?

Thought For The Week…

I can remember, as a little boy, sitting beside my mother in a swing at a family reunion. We were having a great time there as we watched everyone prepare the outdoor chicken stew. I vividly remember asking mama to spell my name on a piece of paper so I could see what it looked like. She wrote out each letter and helped me pronounce my name.  For the first time in my life I saw what my full name looked like, and from that point on, I began to pay more attention to what names meant; especially what they “LOOKED LIKE”.

Names do mean something, and God had something to say about that! In Proverbs 22:1 we find the following statement, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” If God said that having a good name was more important than wealth and riches, then I think we would do ourselves a favor by guarding our good name. Our integrity affects our character and both impact our deeds and actions. What is on the inside will eventually come out!

It is very interesting to me when I consider that God values something above His own name. That’s right! God esteems something greater than His name. The Bible declares the following in Psalms 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Have you ever thought about why God magnifies His WORD above His NAME? The answer… His name would be meaningless if His Word didn’t mean anything!

In view of this great truth, may each of us guard our tongue and watch what we say. Our names can be marred beyond repair if we are not careful with the words we declare and repeat from others. If we cannot be trusted to speak the truth and be counted on when we declare we will do something, then our names are MEANINGLESS! Do you have a good name? What does your name “LOOK LIKE”?

Sin IS An Issue

Thought For The Week…

Without a doubt, sin is a difficult subject to preach and teach on. Very few Christians really seek to consistently distance themselves from its influences in a Biblically prescribed manner. In spite of the ever increasing opposition to living right and endeavoring to live a separated Christian life, each of us must seek to be filled with the Holy Ghost each and every day!

Recently, I was reminded of a truth that I must have heard somewhere as a younger Christian. It goes something like this… “When we sin, we must remember that there was also an opportunity to NOT sin. Had we chosen NOT to sin we would be enjoying victory instead of languishing in defeat!” Consider what the Scriptures says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (KJV)

Sin never builds anything in our life worthwhile, but it only erodes and undermines our character and integrity. In reference to the relationship between man, sin and the Bible one man eloquently proclaimed, “Sin will keep you from this Book or this Book will keep you from sin!” If we sell ourselves out to sin, then we will mar our living translation of the Bible… US! We are the only Bibles some folks will ever read.

It is my firm conviction, that each of God’s children needs to keep fighting sin till the day they draw their last breath. It is not just the preacher’s job to stand against sin! No, it is every Born Again, Child of God’s duty to not only stand against sin, but to encourage others to stay clear of sin and its consequences.

Will you endeavor to stand shoulder to shoulder with me this year as we seek to preach against sin and teach others about the narrow way which leads to life everlasting? Will you make it your goal each day to be filled with God’s Spirit and walk with Him? Will you strive to just say, “NO!” to sin?