Wednesday, November 27, 2013

With Thanksgiving

Philippians 4:6 -- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication (humble request or prayer) with thanksgiving let your requests be made unto God.

Prayer and supplication should be made with thanksgiving. We are to thankful when we pray before we get an answer. Sounds a little different. But the Word often stands the world's logic on its head. If we haven't got an answer yet, or we asking with thanksgiving, what could we be thankful for?

I would venture that we could be thankful that we as human beings can even approach Almighty God with our prayers and supplications. And, we can be thankful for the peace and comfort of bringing our prayers and supplications to a God who cares.
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." I Peter5:7

And, we can be thankful for the measure of faith He builds in us, when we bring our prayers and supplications to Him and are able to surrender our care and control into His hands. At these times we can be thankful for the relationship we have with Him, that we are close enough that we might ask of Him as little children of God. What a great thing to be at the feet of Jesus, to learn of Him, to experience Him, to have relationship with Him, to be love and cared for by Him. So much to be thankful for.

We can be thankful that in His infinite wisdom, He will answer our prayers and supplications. We can give thanks-if we have matured enough in Christ - that we are able to willingly accept His answer, be it yes, no, or wait. And, we can be thankful that in our humble, and earnest prayers, in our dependence and obedience to Him and His will, "all things will work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) Thanksgiving: so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gathering or Scattering

Luke 11: 23
He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.

There is not middle ground; no straddling the fence with Jesus - no politicians here. You are either "all in" or you are all out. On a secular level I have found this to be true with ironman training. The cost and reward are high, the training rigorous. A half-hearted ironman attempt can lead to serious problems out on the race course. You can't be "almost an ironman. The time limit is 17 hours. Finish within that time and you are an Ironman. Don't finish within 17 hours and you are not.

And one who does not gather is one who scatters. If I call myself a Christian, claim to be "all in " for Jesus, yet my life is no different from the way of the world, am I gathering or scattering in the expression of my faith to the world. And, when the world hears my profession of faith and does not see the evidence of Christ acting through me, my confession and my witness can appear as hypocrisy, driving some away from knowing the true Love of Christ.

As I go about my little life because I need the guidance of the Holy Spirit because with each choice, with each encounter, I demonstrate whether I am gathering or scattering.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Chosen and Ordained

John 15: 16 -- "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you."

He has chosen me. How great is that? When I was a kid playing sports, I was puny and when teams picked players, I was one of the last to be chosen. Sometimes, I wasn't chosen at all. One time I tried so hard at the try outs yet at the end of the day, the team coach took me aside to tell me I would not be chosen. I was heartbroken. However, someone must have been watching me try so hard yet not be chosen. A few days later I got call from another coach ask me to come to come to another try out. This time I was chosen. I was so grateful that I just played my heart out for this team. In fact, I even chosen to be on league's all-star team.

I believe Jesus knows our heart, sees our struggles, knows we have little talent on our own, yet chooses us for His team anyway. We have been chosen and ordained too. But we are not chosen to be bench-warmers; we are chosen to play our hearts out for Jesus because we love Him and because He has chosen and ordained us to be His witnesses that bear fruit long after our playing days are over.