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!
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”?
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?
Thought For The Week…
I wanted to pass along a few remarks by Pastor Paul Chappell. He shared these timely thoughts in his daily devotional yesterday entitled, “Wasted Years”.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:14–18
Someone once observed that a wasted life is really nothing more than a collection of wasted days. As God gives us life, each one of us starts the new year with the same number of opportunities—365—that we can choose to either use and invest in eternal things or allow to drift by without taking advantage of the gift we have been given. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is not found primarily in talent but in diligence and effort.
Each day is precious, and it represents an opportunity that will never come again. Instead of allowing time to pass without effort and productivity, we are to redeem it—to make the most of it. Benjamin Franklin said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for time is the stuff life is made of.” The time of the past year cannot be recaptured, but the pages of the coming year are still blank and waiting for us to write on them.
Because we are living in days when evil is growing, it is more important than ever that we be aware and attentive to what is happening around us. The will of God for each of us in this new year is that we be filled with and controlled by His Spirit so that we can accomplish the work which He has prepared for us to do. Commit yourself to using your time wisely, and you will have a productive year.
Today’s Rooted Principle: Be alert to the opportunities for service and ministry and growth that cross your path—they may not come again.
“THANK YOU, Pastor Chappell!” for your challenge! May God help each of us to not waste time and squander the opportunities which He has given! You can read more of Pastor Chappell’s Devotions HERE!
Thought For The Week…
On behalf of my family, I would like to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS! We are privileged to have a church family like you, and are looking forward to what God has in store for us this coming year! As we enter the service today, I want to challenge us about the subject of TRUTH!
Contrary to popular opinion, truth is not relative. That is, truth is not truth because you or I believe it. Truth does not cease to be truth because one person holds to its authenticity and another does not. Truth is truth REGARDLESS! Though our society demands “TRUTH and JUSTICE,” we really want neither.
As a Christian, we believe that the Bible, God’s Holy Word, is truth! Without this road map of life, we would lose our way along life’s treacherous and slippery road. The Bible is full of axioms, or principles, that we should build our lives around. For example, not only do we believe the Bible concerning its truths about Heaven, but we also believe what it says concerning Hell! The Bible should the sole basis for our faith AND practice.
During this Christmas Season, much objection has been raised about how people have changed their tradition Christmas greeting from, “Merry Christmas!” to “Happy Holiday!” Folks are upset because our Christmas Tree is now referred to as a Holiday Tree. I am not certain the basis for raising these objections, for many, are due to the fear that our society will lose sight of the TRUTH about Christmas or if it is just because of change in general.
These yearly arguments over greetings and descriptive names definitely mean a lot to each of us, but how about the countless other things that we should be guarding and protecting with our lives? We should be concerned about how we read as a LIVING TRANSLATION of God’s Word! How we daily respond to the truths in God’s Word has a direct impact us and our testimony.