IS THIS YOU?
Have you ever been treated badly by someone? Do you have a grudge or are you upset with someone? Are you estranged from someone like a family member or friend? Do you deliberately avoid someone? Are you over them, fed up with them, or are you vowing to never have anything to do with someone? Are you ticked off, mad, fuming, brooding, or pouting because of what might have been said or done to you? Are you stuffing hurt deep down in? Have you been the one who has initiated these type of feelings and reactions? Have you caused any of these things, are you guilty? Is it possible that a misunderstanding caused any of these feelings or reactions? If you said no to all the above, I'm not calling you a liar but! For me, the answer would be all the above at one time or another in my life. The real question is, is this the behavior of a Spirit-filled Christian? I think not! What to do about it. If the Lord calls you home, do you want to be carrying these hurts, grudges, anger, resentment and the like with you? Do you want to leave a wake behind your wake? Here are a few scriptures that speak of this. They will keep this article from becoming a book. Luk 6:41 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but does not notice the log that is in your own eye? (Mar 9:42) And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. (Mat 18:21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (Mat 18:22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mat 18:15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. In my own family, all these things have happened. Many times, it was just a miss understanding. I know emails, texts, letters, and tweets don't always come across the way they are meant. Don't be so quick to judgment. If it bothers you that bad, go to your brother or sister; don't assume negative. Maybe you were offended and it wasn't a misunderstanding. Go to your brother or sister and see if it can be worked out. Don't stuff it. If you are right and they are wrong, you must forgive. When you have bitterness, anger, or hatred, that's on you. If you caused bitterness, anger, and hatred, that's on you. I remember my Dad got angry with his brother for something he did which he was justified in being angry . He didn't speak to him for several years, and I know he cared about him and it was eating at him. At my mother's funeral, I spoke to my Dad about it. I told him we are all sinners and we are all guilty of wrongdoing and Jesus forgave us and died on the cross for the remission of our sins. We are to forgive as he forgave us. You need to forgive your brother. I am happy to say they made up. Don't carry around baggage unless you're going on a trip. When we go before the judgment seat of Christ we are not going to be a prosecutor of those that hurt us. Don't let anything create a root of bitterness in your heart. Resolve it within yourself through communication or forgiveness. (Eph 4:31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Eph 4:32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
CALLING ON OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
Eden is our 10-month-old baby girl and the youngest of our three children. She’s the only girl and of course, has made a pretty big impact on our entire family. As a father of two sons, I never imagined there’d be a little girl added to the mix but oh how our Lord knew what was missing in our little family. I think my favorite part of having a little girl is hearing her sweet voice call out my name. “DaDa” was her first word which she often shortens to simply “Da” and so far it’s also her favorite word. Now, I know I can’t take any credit for that but I sure do love it. When I FaceTime her during the day or walk in from a day at the radio station she beams with delight and shout’s out “Da.” Oh, how my heart surges with joy when I hear her tiny voice and I try to scoop her up into my arms as quickly as I can. Just the other day my wife texted me a video of Eden playing in her playpen just shouting out my name and carrying on a conversation in her own imagination. She was so happy and I was certainly happy to watch the short clip. I began to think about my own conversations with my heavenly Father and pondered whether or not I come to him with the same joy and enthusiasm as my little Eden does with me. She can’t wait to tell me all about what’s going in her little world and when she’s ready for her bottle she’s got a great way of communicating that too. I love those moments and I love providing for her various needs. Our great God and Father does too. He desires us to spend time in fellowship and conversation. He desires us to pray and seek him for the many cares and needs that accommodate this life. It’s not that he needs to be informed but that he’s made us for a genuine and true relationship. Jesus told his disciples, in Matthew 6 that the Father already knows what we need even before we ask. I don’t think Eden is telling me she wants her bottle because she doubts I know it’s time for her next meal. She’s just doing what she was made to do, live in a dependent relationship with her earthly father and mother. We’re happy to provide her every need and I pray that I’m even happier to instill in her the everlasting need that she has to humble herself and depend upon the Heavenly Father for every need, in this life and in the one that’s to come.
I think a subject that gets overlooked in our prayer life is praying for our pastors. I know I’m guilty of it, and I’m not alone, right? I love and appreciate my pastor dearly! I get to work with a pastor who is currently on his way to acquiring his Masters In Divinity (hint hint- he’s located on the page to your right.) Not only do the pastors in my life need to be lifted up, but yours also and pastors around the nation and the world! Ligonier Ministries has a great article on how you can pray for our pastors! I have listed the ways below. Please add them to your prayer list this month and commit to praying for them daily!
1. Pray for their spiritual protection from the world, the flesh and the Devil.
2. Pray for their deliverance from the physical attacks of the world and the Devil.
3. Pray for doors to be opened to them for the spread of the gospel.
4. Pray that they might have boldness and power to preach the gospel.
5. Pray that they might have a spirit of wisdom and understanding. * I would add to pray for their families as well
HEAVEN'S GONNA BE GREAT, Y'ALL!
Have you ever heard the expression, “She’s so heavenly-minded, she’s no earthly good?” I’ve heard a pastor or two say this from the pulpit as some kind of cautionary expression. Maybe because people can be? If they focus so much on how great heaven is going to be they might forget they still have work to do for the Lord here on earth.I used to shy away from thinking about heaven because I didn’t want to resemble that remark. Well, now that I am likely past the halfway mark of my life here on earth, I am giving myself permission to ponder. My mom just left for there, and I am consumed with thoughts such as she will be standing face-to-face with the most Holy God Almighty; did I say all the things I should have said to encourage her salvation? Did I do all the things for her I should have done?
So, I have been thinking more about my mortality and realizing how small we people are and how like dust, that we could be blown away by the Lord’s mighty breath. Being so, just how thankful can we be that the God of the Universe would allow us to enter His perfect, eternal, magnificent dwelling place? His love is so intentional, deep, wide, and high that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us so that we could dwell with Him in heaven forever after we die. What will heaven be like? Every tear wiped from our eye. A banquet table. Bowing at God’s feet in worship. Fully knowing- no more walking by faith. (Rev 21:4, Luke 14, Rev 4, 1 Cor 13:12) In heaven, we Christians will be in the presence of Jesus on His throne. He is awesome, wonderful, and worthy of our reverence every day (both here and in heaven). Are you motivated to talk about it? To invite others to come?
Give yourself permission to think a bit about the greatness of heaven today. Life seems long when you are in the thick of it, and I will be the first to advise anyone to be about the Lord’s business. But when we get to the end of life, I’m sure we will find it to be quite brief. Don’t waste time. Do what God says to do. Help someone know Jesus and heaven. That’s what I’ll be working at. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Cor 4:17)