Wade’s Wednesday

The Sacredness of
Circumstances

By Oswald Chambers

We know that all things work together
for good to those who love God
…Rom. 8:28

The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands.

God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you. Never put yourself in front of your circumstances and say, “I’m going to be my own providence here; I will watch this closely, or protect myself from that.” All your circumstances are in the hand of God, and therefore you don’t ever have to think they are unnatural or unique.

Your part in intercessory prayer is not to agonize over how to intercede, but to use the everyday circumstances and people God puts around you by His providence to bring them before His throne, and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them. In this way God is going to touch the whole world with His saints.

Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being vague and unsure, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession—utilizing the circumstances in which I find myself and the people who surround me. I must keep my conscious life as a sacred place for the Holy Spirit. Then as I lift different ones to God through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for them.

Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, “…but the Spirit Himself makes intercession” in each of our lives(Romans 8:26). And without that intercession, the lives of others would be left in poverty and in ruin.

Tuesday With Karen

Put Your Trust In God

Put your trust in God, everything you face,
There’s no trial greater than God’s grace;
Life causes storms & raging winds to blow,
Just being His child gives peace to any soul!

Put your trust in God, He’ll keep you safe,
Sheltering your life, showing you the Way;
Nothing His hand does ever goes wrong,
His loving grace makes your spirit strong!

Put your trust in God, for He never fails,
His mercy & grace will always prevail;
All the promises God has ever made,
Are still standing true, even now, today!

Put your trust in God, fully with your heart,
He walks with you, in love that won’t depart;
He gave eternal life when you asked Him in,
Many blessings come when you trust in Him!

Stand

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

• I am a Christian. If I don’t tell the unsaved how to keep from spending an eternity in Hell, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that sin is wicked and destroys our lives and those around us, who will?

• If I don’t tell them what God says is sin, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that abortion is against God’s commandments, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that homosexuality is a chosen sin-style that angers God, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that God’s way is right, and all other ways are wrong, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that God planned for man to have one wife, and that both should be faithful to each other until death, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that God has preserved Has I is will and way in the King James Bible, so we will know exactly what He wants us to know, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that everything that names itself “Christian” is not necessarily of God, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that there is a real devil that doesn’t want them to do what God wants them to, who will?

• If I don’t tell them that it is the same devil that tempts, confuses, and deceives them so they won’t know God’s way or want to obey it, who will?

• If I don’t show the world that there is a proper, rewarding, God-desired lifestyle, who will?

• If the unsaved world can’t see that I am different from them, who will show them that there is a difference between those bound for Heaven and those bound for Hell?

• If my life is not an example of how good God is, and that He is alive and still working in His children’s lives, whose will?

• If I don’t have the “guts” to stand up for what I believe, and what God’s Word commands, who will?

As a Christian, I have many responsibilities. Instead, of sitting around and not being the Christian I should be, I need to be a light in this sin darkened world.  I need to start telling them — now!

Oh, and by the way, I am not telling you these things because I think I am better than you or that I think you are a terrible person.  I am a saved sinner and know that I also displeased, and at times angered, God. I tell you these things because I love you and want the best for you!  Hopefully, you would do the same for me if you had the Truth!

Equipped to Serve

By Ricky Smith

I can’t do it! This is what I thought right before I actually did it. What is it? Well for some it may be overcoming the fear of public speaking by making the presentation. For others, it may be overcoming the insecurity of singing the solo by stepping out to the microphone. 

mic

God has gifted every person with a skill, an experience, a story, a talent, and resources to share. You may not recognize that you are capable of making a difference, but you are. When we compare ourselves to others we may find another person more talented than we think we are, or more equipped than we may feel. That observation doesn’t change the fact that God invites each of His children to advance His story of redemption and He further equips us to serve.

The question is not whether or not He desires for you to make an impact. He expects it of us.  We tend to be like Moses. In Exodus 4 we read of his reluctance to obey God. Granted what God told him to do was crazy, yet God had promised He would go with him and had even demonstrated amazing and supernatural signs of power.

I confess that I am often like Moses. I think of reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t do something. Instead, I should simply listen to what God has said and then act. He is able to complete His mission and is patient with my insecurity. 

There is good news. When we surrender what God gifted us with initially back to His control, we will be amazed at how He uses us for His glory. 

Friday Funnies

Direct Object

In a grammar lesson in eighth grade Mrs. O’Neill said, “Paul, give me a sentence with a direct object.”

Paul replied, “Everyone thinks you are the best teacher in the school.”

“Thank you, Paul,” responded Mrs. O’Neill, “but what is the object?”

“To get the best mark possible,” said Paul.

~ ~ ~

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s possible you have not grasped the situation. —Jean Kerr

~ ~ ~

It has been said that “The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed”.

~ ~ ~

Chauffeur Billy Graham

Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home. As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver. “You know” he said, “I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?” The driver said, “No problem. Have at it.” Billy gets into the driver’s seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap. The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo.

The young trooper walked up to the driver’s door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, “I know we are supposed to enforce the law—but I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person.”

The supervisor asked, “Is it the governor?” The young trooper said, “No, he’s more important than that.” The supervisor said, “Oh, so it’s the president.” The young trooper said, “No, he’s even more important than that.”

The supervisor finally asked, “Well then, who is it?” The young trooper said , “I’m pretty sure it’s Jesus, because he’s got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!”

Bible Study

Waiting with Patience James 5:7-8; Romans 8:18-25
 
A.  Verse 7 of our text speaks of both “be patient,” which is the present, and “long patience,” which is endurance.  Paul spoke of this in the Book of Romans:
 
Romans 8:22-25  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  (23)  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  (24)  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  (25)  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
 
B.  Waiting in patience is tough to do.  There are times when we wait because we have no choice, but we do not wait in patience.  These are two words that we do not like:  Wait and Patience!
 
C.  One of the hardest things that you and I will ever do, is wait “open ended.”  To wait for something to happen but not knowing if it will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year.  It is so much easier to wait for something when you know the time of the event you are waiting for. 
 
D.  The Old Testament saints, with a few exceptions, waited for a period of 4,000 years—gave up on the promises of God and slept spiritually before Jesus came to earth. 
 
E.  God’s men have preached over 2,000 years concerning the Second Coming of Christ. 
 
1.  In John 14, Our Lord said, “If I go away, I will come again.” 
 
2.  In Acts 1:11, the angel said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” 
 
F.  2 Thessalonians 3:5  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
 
G.  God is not in a hurry, we are.  If God can accomplish anything immediately and He can, then why does He often make us wait for the answers to our problems?  Often, His silences are hard to understand because His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are higher than ours.
 
H.  The word “patient,” in one form or another, is found 15x in 14 verses.  All but three are found in the New Testament.  Not that the Old Testament saints had no problem with patience, but the New Testament saints live in busier times with more things to distract.
 
J.  By being patient, James is not saying to just sit still and do nothing.  While we wait, we have things to do. 
 
1.  Rest In Patience – Psalms 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  (I began with this one because I dealt with learning to rest in the Lord as we wait this morning.)
 
2.  Pray In Patience – Psalms 40:1  I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  (God has a time and we have a time.  Thus the human problem arises when we expect immediate answers to every prayer.  As the widow before the unjust judge, we need to continue to pray until the answer comes.)
 
3.  Continue In Patience – Romans 2:7  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  (Patient in godliness is one of our greatest witnessing tools.  People watch to see how long we will last.)
 
Hebrews 6:15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
 
4.  Suffer In Patience – Romans 12:12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;  (One of the harder aspects of patience is patient in suffering.)
 
1 Peter 2:20  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
 
5.  Fellowship In Patience – 1 Thessalonians 5:14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.  (Love the brotherhood, though they may say and do things that offend.  (Be ye kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.  Christ set the example to follow.)
 
6.  Labor In Patience – 1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  (We plow, sow, water, watch, and wait for the fruit of our labors.)
 
7.  Witness In Patience – James 5:7-8  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  (8)  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  (Never give up on a lost loved one!)
 
8.  Hope In Patience – Hebrews 6:15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.  (“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 14:3) 

Wade’s Wednesday

Pain With A Purpose

By David C. McCasland

[Jesus said,]” And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” —John 16:22

I asked several friends what their most difficult, painful experience in life had been. Their answers included war, divorce, surgery, and the loss of a loved one. My wife’s reply was, “The birth of our first child.” It was a long and difficult labor in a lonely army hospital. But looking back, she said she considers it joyful “because the pain had a big purpose.”

Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His followers they were about to go through a time of great pain and sorrow. The Lord compared their coming experience to that of a woman during childbirth when her anguish turns to joy after her child is born (John 16:20-21). “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (v.22).

Sorrow comes to us all along the road of life. But Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2), purchased forgiveness and freedom for all who open their hearts to Him. His painful sacrifice accomplished God’s eternal purpose of opening the way to friendship and fellowship with Him.

The joy of our Savior outweighed His suffering, just as the joy He gives us overshadows all our pain.

Dear Father, Your precious Son Jesus chose suffering for me. Thank You for His sacrifice on my behalf. Thank You that even my pain can be a tool in Your hands to make me more like Your Son.

Suffering can be like a magnet that draws the Christian close to Christ.

Tuesday With Karen

Even Now

Even now, God’s hand still works in lives,
Healing broken hearts, drying tears cried;
He stays beside us in every step we take,
Giving wisdom for all that comes our way!

Even now, God comforts the hurting soul,
When circumstances seem out of control;
He knows the things we don’t understand,
We’re safe & secure if we just hold His hand!

Even now, God answers our deepest requests,
Doing things for us, He knows what is best;
Even if we feel like we’re in deep despair,
Anytime, anywhere, God’s presence is there!

Even now, God keeps us under His wing,
Giving us many reasons to shout & sing;
If Satan tries to cast us to the ground,
God’s grace helps us to win & abound!

Where’s Jesus?      

search                      By Michael Halleen

Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2)

There’s a story that has become legend in a small southern Minnesota town. I can’t vouch for its truth, only that people tell it as though it really happened. It seems that a man who was retiring from his position as mayor was to be honored at a midwinter party as he left office. He had served for more than a decade during which he had been responsible for a number of significant improvements to the downtown area, and so it seemed good to have the community pay tribute to him.

The party was held at the VFW hall west of town, and all agreed it was a great celebration. The music was loud, the room crowded and noisy. The finger food was unusual in its quality and liquid refreshment was available without restraint until late into the evening.

Conversation the next morning over coffee in the Main Street diner was about what a wonderful event it had been, a fitting tribute. Someone wondered if the mayor had enjoyed it, but no one knew. No one in the diner had talked to him or, they discovered, had even seen him there.

After asking around, they learned that the mayor had checked into a hospital the previous day and had missed the party in his honor. It seems no one had noticed.

The parallel to our modern celebration of Christmas is all too obvious. People come together, the food is great, the music warms the heart, but has anyone seen the guest of honor?

The season has become about us; our menu, our travel plans, our expenses. We’ve lost perspective. The themes of Christmas are often forgotten. Perhaps our celebration might be more authentic if our hopes were not only for good sales figures but also for good will among mankind. Perhaps we might notice the Christ more truly among us if our prayers were not only for peace in travel but also for peace on earth.

Our church set out its nativity scene the other day. Life-sized figures of all the familiar characters are in place, kneeling around the manger, all but one. Seems the baby Jesus is missing. We couldn’t find him this year. Mary and Joseph and the Wise Men are gazing reverently at some wisps of straw.

Sign of the times. Hopefully the Christ child will be found by Christmas.

Friday Funnies

Humor in Uniform
Reader’s Digest
The Deadliest Job in WWII
My high school assignment was to ask a veteran about World War II. Since my father had served in the Philippines during the war, I chose him. After a few basic questions, I very gingerly asked, “Did you ever kill anyone?”
Dad got quiet. Then, in a soft voice, he said, “Probably. I was the cook.”
–Marian Babula, Penn Run, Pennsylvania
Never Lose a Tank
When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me $85. That’s why in the Navy, the captain goes down with the ship. —Comedian Dick Gregory
At Ease and April Fools
We were inspecting several lots of grenades. While everyone was concentrating on the task at hand, I held up a spare pin and asked, “Has anyone seen my grenade?”