You’ve no doubt heard the story of the man whose house was caught in a flood. A neighbor came by in a rowboat and said, “Get in, I’ll save you.” But the man replied, “No, thanks; I’m waiting for the Lord to save me.” So the neighbor left.
The flood waters rose even higher and a rescue crew in a boat came by. One of them said, “We’ll save you from the flood. Get in.” “No, the Lord will save me,” the man insisted.
The flood waters finally got so high the man had to climb out on the roof of his house. Someone in a helicopter lowered a rope to him. But the man refused it saying, “I’m waiting on the Lord.”
The flood finally engulfed him and he went to heaven. “Lord, why didn’t you save me?” he asked. The Lord replied, “What do you mean? I sent two boats and a helicopter for you.”
Sometimes we think we know how God should save us, but His plan is to use another method altogether. We must remember that the Lord said through the Prophet Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways” (Isaiah 55:9).
I just started this 10-week Bible Survey course on Wednesday evenings. Last week we had 39 people present and I taught on The Pentateuch (first five books of Moses). As I prepared for that teaching, I was reminded how much the message of the cross is previewed in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The message of sin, penalty, redemption and restoration is repeated throughout the Bible.
Although the Bible is comprised of 66 books and authored by multiple authors, there is still a thread of truth that runs from Genesis to Revelation. As I continue through this Bible Survey course we’re going to be amazed at the invisible hand of God showing His mercy and grace to His people.
This coming Wednesday at 7:00 PM we’ll be looking at the Old Testament Historical Books, twelve in all, and see how they reveal God’s nature to mankind, and mankind’s nature to God.
My aunt passed away a few months ago. Her family went through a box of family photos and divided them up. There were some pictures that were unidentified or had names on the back no one recognized. So, they passed those pictures on to my Mom, who let me look at them. I had seen 90% of them before, but there were a few original photos that were far better quality than the Xerox copies I had acquired earlier. So, I was able to update some of my photo files by scanning new ones.
Many of those photos included pictures of my grandmother, who died when my Mom was 8 years old. Of course, I have no memory of her, so these pictures help me connect with that generation.
The Bible gives us word pictures of God and His relationship with us. As we read through the Bible we can see that God is loving, just, and merciful, but will not let us get away with anything. He is all knowing and all powerful, but works at His own pace and is never in a hurry.
Read the Bible again and update your picture of God. He is new every morning.
“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So He bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them” (Luke 4:38-39).
This incident immediately followed the casting out of a demon we talked about last weekend. I know what it’s like to just unload an anointed message with spiritual breakthroughs. Immediately afterwards I just want to go home and relax. When spiritual power goes out of you it is exhausting. So, Jesus had just withdrawn from the crowd and was wanting to relax and rejuvenate when He was immediately called upon to do it again. There’s no rest for the weary.
But, rather than complain about how unfair life is, He immediately bent over her and rebuked the fever (the first time he had done so). More power went out of Him. And she was immediately healed and immediately got up and served them all.
Sometimes one pressure comes after the next. But God had said He would not give us too much to bear. After we’re drained dry, God sends someone to strengthen us, just as He did to Jesus. And the one who strengthened Jesus was this frail little old lady. Your strength can come from the weakest source.
Yesterday morning after mowing the lawn, I sat down to watch a Caterpiller excavator work on removing a treeline dividing a farm field next door. That huge thing made quick work of destroying trees 75 years old. It lifted trees out by the roots and broke down huge branches like toothpicks. That was a powerfully destructive force.
It reminded me how quickly things can be destroyed that take years to grow. Like your reputation, for example. It takes a lifetime to build a trustworthy reputation, but it only takes a minute or two to totally destroy what people think of you. As Christians, our testimony is everything. If it is defiled, we lose our ability to influence others.
Satan is the Destroyer, but God is the Builder. Don’t destroy what God has built in exchange for a few thrills. Its not worth it.
Fulfilling the role of a mother has its ups and down, but there are always the warm moments with your children, the rewarding times, that make it all worthwhile.
Adelaida Campos of Tulsa, Oklahoma, remembered the time when one of her little daughters saw that she was not feeling well (she was five years old at the time), she took her baby sister and sat her down in front of her. Then she grabbed the Bible, looked at her Mom, and proclaimed, “Mommy, I’m gonna be the preacher.” She opened the Bible, looked at her sister, and in a very serious tone said, “And Jesus said, ‘No, no, no, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin’.”
Art Linkletter used to say, “Kids say the darnedest things.” Don’t forget what they say.
God said, “Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).
Sunday we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day in America. It is a time for us to reflect on memories we have of our moms.
I was the oldest of six kids. My Mom was a stay at home Mom. As the oldest, I was always taunting my younger siblings and testing my Mom’s patience. As the firstborn, I enjoyed my mother’s undivided attention. When my younger sister came on the scene, I suddenly was demoted to number two. My sister got all my Mom’s time and I acted out in a lot of nonconstructive ways to compete for attention.
Although my Dad used a board as a tool of punishment, my Mom didn’t have patience for that; she just used her hand on the fly. Quick execution! But, her punishments were only token punishments and rarely hurt. I remember laughing at her because it didn’t hurt. Of course, pain was never her goal.
But, she did have patience with me growing up: helping me tie my shoes, learn to ride my bike and mow the lawn, and helping me dress stylish for school. Mom helped me learn patience in many ways. Thanks, Mom.
What do you remember your mother helping you do?