What a Waste!!

I have written before about our family’s journey with our grandchild, Aaron James. (AJ)  He flew  home to Jesus just a few days after his 2nd birthday.  He was a most precious gift for those brief years. He had turned our lives upside down even before he was born, but that is a story for another day.  He was severely afflicted in a most mysterious way, with seizures, paralysis, a ventilator, feeding tube, monitors. His continuous, frequent emergencies requiring our intervention to save him, became commonplace to us.   We know that it is a far better thing for him to be with the Lord than to be in our arms, but, still…grief is never far below the surface. We do not grieve like the world, without hope, because we know we will see him again one day…but, still…it creeps up on you when you least expect it.

Tears in Your Bottle

And so it was on Sunday night in church.  It seemed to me that God reached out and put His finger right on that tender spot in my heart. Right on the spot that is rubbed raw with the guilt of not seeing that sweet boy healed. That spot that cries out, “Oh, ye of little faith.” and “You didn’t pray hard enough!” “You should have done this or that.”  All that believing and hoping and loving!  All those nights walking the floor, crying out to God, rebuking the devil!  What a waste!

Sunday night’s lesson was on 1Corinthians 13.  You know, the “Love Chapter.”  I’ve heard a lot of teaching on this passage of scripture over the years, so I wasn’t expecting to be undone by the truth here. But, still…  I was.  This is what the scripture says here, in part: Charity (love) does this —

      7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

     8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

and further on…

     12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”  KJV

  And suddenly I was thunderstruck with the clarity of it!!   All of the other gifts shall cease; even knowledge shall vanish…but, all of your faith, all of your hope, all of your love…abides forever.  These are eternal graces that abide with you in eternity.  Never a waste!  Even when you do not receive the desired result.  Even when your loved one dies, or is not healed!  Even when your prayer doesn’t seem to be answered, or you feel all alone, and abandoned.  Faith, hope, and love remain! They are treasure! They are gold! You are laying them up in heaven!  They are working an “eternal weight of glory!”

Treasure

You see, Hebrews 11, “The Faith Chapter,”  tells us that some of God’s people “through faith subdued kingdoms…obtained promises… receive their dead raised to life again.”  But, others “received not the promise!”  But still were counted to have had faith!  They will still receive the answer to their prayers..in another time and another place.  Their treasure is laid up for them.

One of the ladies in our church testified that her granddaughter would have died without a kidney transplant.  They prayed with all of their hearts. Praise God, her father was able to give her a kidney. She is a beautiful young woman now, living a full and happy life.  They received the promise! We rejoice with them!  Our boy left us for heaven.  We didn’t receive our promise…yet.  But our faith, hope, and love was NOT wasted!  We will find it waiting there in eternity with Aaron James. God’s Kingdom is not subject to the constraints of time. Friends, He isn’t finished yet!

2 Corinthians 4:17 explains it like this:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; KJV

Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God!  Sorrows, afflictions, prayers, tears, faith, hope, and especially, love.

Never again will I let my enemy accuse me of wasting my faith, my hope, my prayer, my tears and my love.  All will be waiting for me when I see Jesus one day.

Let’s pray:  We look to You, Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to lead us into all truth; to touch the sorrows that we carry; to heal our hearts of  guilt and regret.  Though  we see through  shadows now, when the daybreak comes we will see clearly. We look for You!  In Your name we pray,

Amen 

What’s for supper?

“What’s for supper?”  Like a lot of wives and mothers, those words are VERY familiar to me.  Go past a certain time on the clock and I am bound to hear those  words from someone in my house. Every day!  Well, like a certain fast food ad goes:  “Ya’ gotta’ eat!”  Of course you do!  So it is in the spirit, too.  “Ya’ gotta’ eat!”

Some people wait a whole week between meals of spiritual food!  These are busy people with jam-packed lives who are trying to get stuff done; making sure everyone is taken care of.  I get that!  In fact, I’ve been so busy in certain phases of my life, that I didn’t take time to eat my natural food, let alone take time for my spiritual food.   My Bread from Heaven!   So, yeah, I’ve been there and done that!    You wont’ tell on  me, right?

Here is the verse that got me to thinking this week: Revelation 3: 20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. KJV

heavenly cottage

Think of that for a few minutes!  He is going to sup with YOU!  You are going to be the host/hostess! He is coming to supper at your house!   And THEN, you are going to sup with HIM…His treat!!  I bet you didn’t picture Jesus standing at the door with a picnic basket over His arm, did you?

The most important point here is that He wants to sup with YOU!!  I know you have eagerly opened your door to Him!  Soooo, what’s for supper??  What will be on your menu for King Jesus?  Will you be serving up thanksgiving with a side of hallelujahs?  Worship, with a bowl of gratitude?   Or, will there be a burnt offering of bitterness along with big dollop of doubt for dessert?

This is an exchange, my friends.  He is dining with US and WE are dining with HIM.  What can we possibly offer to Him, since that Great Exchange that took place on Calvary?  The one in which He took our sin and gave us His righteousness.  Our death for His life.  Now, what can we give to Him?  There is one thing left to give.  One sacrifice left for us to make….the sacrifice of praise.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13: 15 KJV

So spread your banquet table for the King of Kings.  Make it a bounty fit for the King of the Universe!  Pile the table high with the fruit of your lips!  Fill Him up with your love and gratitude!  Entertain Him with words of adoration & praise!  Offer Him your heart on a platter!  “Make mention that His name is exalted!”  (Isaiah 12:4)

And then….He will open that basket of His and share with you out of His abundance: Bread of Heaven, Water of Life, New Wine, Milk and Honey, “every good and perfect gift,” fruit of the Spirit.  “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

The fruit of our lips

Lay the table with an abundance of your fruit!  He is looking foward to an exchange!  A feast for two! An intimate dinner party to be shared between just you and the Prince of Peace.

Your good fruit…that’s what’s for supper!

Let’s pray:  Father teach us to realize that You have come dine with us.  Help us to prepare a hearty helping of praise and worship for you every single day.  May we practice our skills until we become good  “cooks”  and servers!!  May our words be a sweet savor to you. In Jesus’ name,

Amen!

Here are a few reasons to praise Him to get you started!

Fight the Good Fight!

You either love it or hate it…BUZZZZZ!!! BUR-ING!!!   The sound of the alarm going off in the morning! Do you hit the snooze button and roll back over, hating to leave your cozy bed?  Yawn; stretch; snuggle back in?

wake up!

Well, there is another alarm being sounded! It is the sound of the trumpet of God to get up to the battle! Now is not the time to take our leisure! We must wake up, and fight the good fight of faith!

We know from the signs we see that we are living in the end times; that God is working His plan; that Jesus is coming soon. This does not mean that we should just sit down and wait for whatever is going to happen. NO! We must gear up! Pick up the weapons of our warfare, and fight!

God works through the prayers and faith of His people! He has given us the gifts of the Spirit for a purpose. Darkness must be withstood!  Souls must be won!  Redeem the time, for the days are evil! (Eph. 5: 16)

Sound the alarm!! It is not time to give up the fight!  Recently, I read a blog post by Monica Boyer, http://monicaboyer.com/when-religion-surrenders-to-tyranny/ a Christian Warrior, who has been standing against the onslaught that is attacking religious liberty, especially in her home state of Indiana. Here is what she has to say about being passive and taking the path of least resistance in these times:

Nowhere in scripture do I see passivity. I simply don’t. When I read about the heroes of the faith, I’ve not seen any moment where they sat together singing Kumbaya in a rocking chair waiting for Jesus to come back. Today the pews and stadiums are packed full of passive people who are doing just that. Biding the time “waiting for Jesus to come back.”  Passive.” 

And:

“In order to fight in a battle, a warrior must have something he is willing to give his life for. For the 20th century Christian, this battlefield looks much different than the heroes of the past. Instead of fighting the enemy, we negotiate. We’ve trade things like religious freedom, holiness, liberty, even our spiritual armor (which isn’t politically correct anymore) for better cars, smart phones, jam packed calendars, pride, bigger churches and bigger houses.

We’ve been tricked.

We’ve become weaponless.

Warriors without armor.”        Her picture of a defeated knight struck a chord in my soul:

Knight defeated

My friends, there is a battle to fight!  And we must be fearless and faith-full. Sharpen your sword by reading and memorizing the Word. Polish your shield of faith in prayer. Strap on truth and never let it be compromised.  Maintain your righteousness, and be not led astray.  The world, the flesh and the devil are all conspiring to draw you away from Jesus, and thus from the battle!

I heard James MacDonald on the radio this week exhorting us to understand that this is not a life of ease.  He referred to the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”  MacDonald’s take is that He isn’t calling you to take up a sword to do violence, but He is calling you to be able to withstand the sword that will come against you!   To stand fast in the evil day!  Are you able?    If persecution comes to your church, your Christian school, or your business.  Are you ready to fall on your knees and fight?  Or stand in the public square and speak up? Ask Christians in the Middle East if you think this could never happen. Would you be ready??

There is good news here!!!  The battle is NOT yours, but the Lord’s!  We are in agreement with Him!   “Thus saith the Lord unto you: ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  2 Chron.20:15 KJV  Believe it or not, the army in this chapter did not have to fight at all…they had to fix their hearts on the Lord and sing praises!!  The enemy turned their weapons on each other!  All Israel had to do was collect the booty left on the battlefield!

Here is another way we will fight without “fighting:”Psalm 149: 6-9  “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword  (that’s the Word of God!)  in their hand: to execute vengence upon the heathen and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgement written: this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the Lord!” KJV

Not only is spiritual warfare your job, it is your honor!  AND you are executing the judgement written by God against those that oppose Him!  You see, they are coming against Christ…and  in the Christ that is in you.

So, Wake UP!!  Get UP!  Look UP!!  We are not finished yet!! Yes, Jesus is coming!  But,we are not to be lounging in the waiting room, playing with our smart phones until we hear the trumpet call.  We are to be about His business…winning souls, exhorting one another, and doing warfare  on our knees, girded in our armor.   So:  “Finally, my brothers, (and sisters!)  be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!” Ephesians 6:10 NIV

 

Let’s pray!  Lord of Hosts of Angel Armies, teach us to fight!  Teach us to stand on the Rock and not be shaken by the wiles of the devil and the ways of the world.  Blow the trumpet of alarm loudly in our hearts, and awaken us to the battle…YOUR battle.  You have shown us in Your Word what is to be our part.  May we be found faithful to do it!  In Jesus’ name,

Amen