This weekend Jim Otis shared the message on Sweet Water. God has a way of turning bad, bitter experiences into fresh sweet ones. We just have to seek Him out and He will show us how to turn all our negatives around. That’s the spirit of resurrection working in us. First comes a death, then a resurrection. There can be no resurrection unless there is first a death.
I’m interested in your comments and feedback to this weekend’s worship service. What did you like and what did you not?
I heard about a wife that invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” she replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife said.
The daughter then bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”
Kids will do what you model for them, not what you tell them to do. Be careful.
Tags: hospitality, humor, mentor, prayer
Understanding God as a loving, heavenly parent is so important in our attitude and approach, for how we picture God will influence what we expect of our Creator in prayer. A schoolboy was asked what he thought God was like. He replied that, as far as he could make out, God was “the sort of person who is always snooping round to see if people are enjoying themselves and then trying to stop it!”
If we, like this schoolboy, picture God as a Cosmic Kill-joy, then we will not go to God very often in prayer. Then there are those who picture God at the other extreme, as a Colossal Vending Machine, whose sole purpose is to give us what we want. Just pop in a prayer and out comes our heart’s desire. A problem arises, however, when prayer does not work out quite so simply, when the expected results are not produced. Then, in disappointment and anger, we kick and scream at our Cosmic Vending Machine for swallowing our prayer.
Jesus likens God to neither of these extremes. To Him, God is like a Good Parent who will give us in prayer what is good for us, not always what we want.
Tags: God, prayer
Years ago I ordered a plant from a mail order seed catalog. At the bottom of the printed form there was the statement: “If we do not have the article you ordered in stock, may we substitute?” The variety wasn’t essential, so I marked ‘Yes’.
When my order arrived, it included something that was worth double the price of the article I had requested, plus several other items. The company explained, “We are sorry we do not have the article in stock which you ordered. We are sending you something better at our expense.”
The neat thing about prayer is that God sometimes substitutes something even better than that which we requested. He is always watching out for our good, and sometimes says ‘No’ for our own good, with a soon coming much better substitute.
Tags: better, prayer, substitute
Bible teacher and author F. B. Meyer was asked to speak to passengers while crossing the Atlantic on a ship many years ago. An agnostic listened to Meyer’s message about answered prayer and told a friend, “I didn’t believe a word of it.”
Later that same day, the agnostic went to hear Meyer speak to another group of passengers. But before he went to the meeting, he put two oranges in his pocket. On his way, he passed and elderly woman who was fast asleep in her deck chair. Her arms were outstretched and her hands were wide open, so as a joke he put the two oranges in her palms. After the meeting, he saw the woman happily eating one of the pieces of fruit.
“You seem to be enjoying that orange,” he remarked with a smile. “Yes, sir,” she replied, “My Father is very good to me.” “What do you mean?” pressed the agnostic. She explained, “I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had sent me not only one but two oranges!” The agnostic was amazed by the unexpected confirmation of Meyer’s talk on answered prayer.
Before the trip was over he had put his trust in Christ. How has God provided for you?
Tags: prayer, provision
Now that everyone knows what I’ve been battling with, I would appreciate your prayers. I have every intention of overcoming this obstacle and serving the Lord for many more years. Satan can’t get rid of me that easily. God is the healer of my soul and my body.
When I was younger I didn’t take care of my body like I now know I must. Now I’m paying the price for that carelessness and am doing everything in my power to reverse these problems. And I’m confident God is teaching me much about Himself, grace, physical health, and compassion for others.
What is God teaching you through the things you suffer?
Tags: healing, suffering
This past weekend Pastor Stine preached on ‘Health Insurance’, an appropriate topic for what I shared about my own battles. Hanging in there and enduring is a tough task. Why didn’t God just allow Jesus to come, die, and be resurrected? Why did He have to spend 33 years on this earth? Why those hours in agony on the cross? Why three days in the tomb? Why over two millenia before He comes back again? Our race is not a sprint, but a marathon. Patient endurance is a characteristic of God, and should be the mark of a Spirit-filled believer.
What would you add to the message on endurance?