Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Will God Stop the Storm from hitting you? No…but

Probing Proverbs 10:25  When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

In 1999 at 5:30am, Zachariah woke me saying there was water in his room. I smelled septic. I got out of bed and walked out to our kitchen – our septic tank was under our kitchen. I turned on the light and saw one of our mousetraps floating by. The water was brown so I did not step in. I went into the living room and saw water pouring into our garage. At that moment water began coming in under the front door. I woke my family up and yelled to my sleeping neighbor who is a brother from CCF. The water came in 2 inches every ten minutes. I claimed the water out of there “in Jesus name!” It kept coming! 
I asked God to blow from His nostril and divide the water…that would keep my house dry, but swamp my neighbors! I hung my head and said “Why?” Normal emotions…which quickly moved to prayer for wisdom as I became conscious again of Who my God is. So I began to plan our escape in case this was going to swallow the house. It stopped rising when the water got above our knees in the house. Our fridge and freezer were floating, the kitchen was lower, so the water was deeper. Even the boys’ waterbeds were floating? My car was out on the street, which was deeper, and it came up to the hood. Our community – “Riverside” had become “In The River!” Minutes later I was with my neighbor looking to help any that needed it. As we walked back to our flooded homes, we stopped and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving…not for the flood, but that as we went through this storm in our life…like everyone else does on the planet…we did not have to travel that path alone!

This Proverb brings out two Truths that we should consider; Reality and Foundations.

First, consider the first phrase of this Proverb: “When the storms of life come.” There is no greater reality than this, yet most live in denial of it. “Life” WILL have storms; it is not a matter of “if” but “when!” Many hope that “luck” will last and become incredulous when the storm comes. Some try to stay so busy to enable themselves to outrun the storm, only to fall hard when the storm overtakes them. Sadly, even those that claim a relationship with God, due to the overwhelming unbiblical teaching in the world today by wolves in sheep’s clothing, think because they are a child of God, they live in a bubble and that will keep them from the storm. When that storm hits, they have a crisis of faith and may even forsake the One that redeemed them. The reality is “Storms happen!” Not just to some but also to everyone: rich, poor, famous, unknown, Atheist and Christian. The question is not, “do you want to go through a storm?” because reality makes that question moot! We all will, no matter how badly we do not want to. So, the real question is, “when you go through that storm, do you want to go through it alone or with God there beside you?” This leads us to the second Truth of this Proverb: What is your foundation? This Proverb points to only two:

“the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.”

One foundation is built without God; the other is built on Him! Jesus spoke of this:

Luke 6:46–49 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The storms of life will hit hard and if our foundation is not built on something stronger than this temporal life, disaster will be the end. The word “whirled” describes well the experience of that destruction. Here are the meanings of this word:

·      to spin, turn, or revolve or cause to spin, or revolve
·      to turn around or away rapidly
·      to have a spinning sensation, as from dizziness

When the storm continues it’s attack on our foundation, when built on ourselves or a lie, we become disorientated and sense ourselves loosing control. The best meaning I read was “confused movement.” As that foundation crumbles there is movement, but we do not know to where. In that state of confusion we become very vulnerable to any attack of the enemy…and he will take advantage of that!

However, when our foundation is God and God alone…the storm still comes, it is still painful and even frightening. Yet, because we know the One that controls the storm and that He is our foundation…an eternal foundation during a temporal storm, we do not become disoriented! Why? It’s true we do not know where we are going through the storm, but we know the One that does know, which is why we can be calm and go through the storm, because we know that God…and God alone, is the One guiding us through the storm! When the storm dissipates, there will be an eternal lesson that builds our faith in the One that took us through the storm!

Storms are no fun, but they will come! Make sure that when they do, your foundation is built on the God “over” the storm, not the god “of” the storm!

Consider the History of one of my favorite Hymns: “It is well with my soul!

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. At sea his family’s ship collided with another ship. The cable he received from his wife stated: "Saved alone. What shall I do..." As soon as he received Anna's telegram, Horatio left Chicago without delay to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that "A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." That night, alone in his cabin Horatio G. Spafford penned these words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

…It is worth looking up this Hymn and reading the rest of it! Storms will come, but the wellness of you soul can have this same foundation.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Longsuffering 2: Do we have to put up with ungodliness? YES!

Does it ever feel to you that if you do a certain thing there will always be a certain direct result? For example:

You have no money, so you go to the bank machine…it can be at 2 AM  = Long Line!
You tell a child not to do something = He will do it!
You are late leaving for an appointment or work = no fuel in the car!
You forget your umbrella during dry season = it rains!
You bring your umbrella during rainy season = no rain!
A member of the opposite sex you are crazy about = can’t stand you!
A member of the opposite sex you can’t stand = is crazy about you!

Obviously those are exaggerations, but longsuffering/patience does have real direct results.

As we consider these results let’s keep these questions out in front of us.

·      What are some of the direct results when patience is expressed?

·      What areas do we need patience for in our lives?

·      Why is the Lord so patient?

James 5:9-11 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.  As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

James ties the lack of patience to our complaining against each other. He points out two examples of believers that suffered and were patient about it; the prophets and Job. Isn’t interesting that both examples were attacked by there own brethren! The prophets were attack by the people they were sent to help. Job, while being attacked by Satan, looked for help from his friends, yet they turned on him. We need to remember that, this is where our patience will be most tested…from those close to us.

·      Paul exhorts us:

Romans 12:9-12 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

Patience is listed often in a group of Characteristics that express Christ likeness.

2 Peter 1:5–6 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,

Ephes. 4:1-2 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,

In the first century the Apostles encouraged the Church to be patient concerning the return of our Lord. Why? There are two reasons:

·      First: We know what being in eternity is going to be like in some extent, because Scripture describes that. The reality of being face to face with Christ is a great driving force, and it is not unusual to want it ASAP. However, if not careful we can lose focus of the purpose the Lord left us here on earth for. We need to remain true to the race He called us to, patiently waiting for His timing of our meeting Him.

James 5:7-8 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

2 Cor. 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

·      Second: The Lord desires as many as are willing, to come to salvation by grace through faith!

1 Tim. 1:15-16 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

2 Peter 3:14-15 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

Romans 2:4  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

If God is soooooo patient to the ungodly…as He was to us…how should we treat those that most offend us? If the unbelieving world witnesses the children of God being impatient with each other…why would they want what we have? They already have that! We need to be like God to those that reject Him…He was patient with us!

Do you pray that unbelievers will come to know Christ easily? When you see behavior that makes you angry, do you wish God would strike them, or save them? When someone close to us…someone we count on, let’s us down, what should we do? What does Christ do? Can He not do that very same thing trough you…if you let Him?