Have you ever wondered why you have struggles in you life or do you just accept them as a part of life? There are times that we might say why is this happening to me? Often we are taught that each struggle that we go through will help build our personality and our ability to cope with life. Often how we go through the struggles we have will be determined by our mind set. I have come to think that most of the struggles that we are going through are one of to kinds. The first is that they are to guide us to God and the other is to help build our faith. In 1 Peter 1: 6-7 we have these words which deals with our struggles: You are extremely happy about these things, even though you have to suffer different kinds of trouble for a little while now. The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again. For Christians our struggles are for a purpose to test our faith. God is not the one who causes our trials but he allows us to go through these trials that our faith might increase. When you come to a struggle count it a joy that you are able to go through it know you will become stronger in your faith through it. God will not let you go through more than you can handle but when we are weak He will give us the needed strength. Our spiritual strength is determined by how much we reach out to God in our weakness and the power that God gives us to overcome. God has the power and He wants to give that power to us; so take that power He gives you. May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams.
Sensible people foresee trouble and hide. Gullible people go ahead and suffer. Proverbs 27:12
One day dad had sent me out in the pouring rain to bring the cattle in for milking. Sortly after that dad came out in the pickup to get me. No sooner had I gotten into the pickup than it started to hail.
The road crew was trying to fix the road in which a bridge had been washed out due to the heavy rains we had a few days before. A man in a nice new car came down the road and decided to go around the road crew. A few moments later the driver was very upset because he had run through the barricades and into a deep hole where the bridge had once been.
Just as our experiences in life have taught us to avoid many of the dangers in life so the scriptures help us to avoid the traps of sin.
As I was growing up sin was often referred to as the things that we were not to do. The definition of sin in the Bible is not only what we should not do but is anything that distracts us from our relationship with God. A wise man will learn what the temptations are and how to avoid them. Often the temptations seem to be harmless but they are just as destructive as the sin itself in the end because they end in sin. A fullish man pays no attention to the warnings but will continue on a destructive path. Many temptations seem to be a lot of fun, the right path to go, or to help us accomplish or plans. When we give into the temptation we will at some time reap the penalty. We may feel that we are succeeding in this life but we will not be able to inter the kingdom of heaven unless we repent of the sin and flee from the temptations. We need to learn to be wise men. The study of God’s word and a deep relationship with him will make us wise. As we become wiser we will be able to flee more temptations and hide ourselves from trouble.
Have you ever wondered how we are to receive the grace of God? What do we need to do to be able to have God bless us in all the aspects of our lives? These question have been pondered, debated, analyzed, and confused man for years. One of the problems is that we do not have the mind of God and therefor do not understand the love that God has for us nor do we understand how much He wants to bestow His grace upon us. In Ephesians 2 we are told that all of us at one time did not live according to the will of God. It says that we “were dead in trespasses and sins” . Often we are instructed that this means that everyone is an evil person. When we look into the Greek we can see that “ trespasses” are those times when we fall short of acting in a righteous manor. In the scriptures righteousness refers to the righteousness that is set by God which is different than man’s idea of righteousness. “Sin” is when we deliberately chose to violate the righteous standards of God. As we try to understand this with our human understanding we can see that there are many who are moral and do great things but are not righteous in God’s sight. According to scripture we are doing what seems right in our way eyes and what we think will be good for our society. We may be accomplishing great things that benefit the world but do those things glorify God? As much as we have turned against God’s righteous, He still wants to bestow His grace upon us. So how do we receive this Grace? All we can do is to respond to that Grace. Vs. 9 says it is “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Tim 3 will help us in this understanding. Tim 3: 14 tells us to continue in the things we have learned from the scriptures because: “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim 2: 15 continues with these words; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” When we couple this with 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 which says that we need to be in an attitude of prayer continually, we will be in a place to receive the grace of God. God has already made the first step and has called out for us to respond to His love, all we need to do is respond. As our faith in God increases so does the amount of Grace He will bestow on us. If you have not chosen to follow the ways of God may you chose this day to do so. It will change your life forever and will give you a stability in the rough times. This is not something that we do once and then go back to the way we were living but it is a change in our life style – it is a way of life for us. God is ready and willing to give us His saving Grace and all we need to do is accept that grace. May God bless you with His grace!
I was setting by the river the other day just watching the waves. The fog started to roll in and it became harder to see the other bank. The fog had gotten so thick that I was glad I was not on the water, it would not take me long to be grounded. The fog also reminded me of a story that a lobster fisherman had told me. He had been on the water most of the day and was returning home when they were caught in a thick fog. They knew that they were in the right channel but were afraid that they would hit the ledges that were not seen. As one of the steered the boat the other one let down heavy weights on each side of the boat to test the water depth. This helped them tell where the ledges were as well as how close they were to the dock. The pilot of the boat needed someone to guide him safely into port. How often have we found ourselves in a situation where we could have used some type of guide? Maybe it was what to study in college, the new car to buy, or which job to take. What is the correct action for us to take? Sometimes the answers are not that easy for us to know so we make a choice that we think will be best for us. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have someone that knew our future and could guide us in the right way to go? We really do have someone that can guide us into the correct pathways for our lives. In Psalms 32: 8 God says ”I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go : I will guide thee with mine eye.” God knows our future and He knows what will be best for us. He can guide our children in the right career path, or prevent us from buying a lemon. God can even direct us to the perfect spouse (that would be nice). Because children are so different God can also teach us how we should raise and discipline our children. How do we hear the voice of God? God tells us that if we have a heavy load, concern, or dicision to make we should come to Him and He will give us rest (peace over the dicision). He also tells us to be still and know that He is God. In other words to stop worrying over our problem and allow Him to work as only He can work.
I was watching some kids jump off the dock just having a great time. They seemed not to have a care in the world, they were joking, laughing, teasing each other. Most of us would like to be like these kids; just enjoying life. As I was watching I realized that there were hidden dangers in the river. This river was raised and lowered by the tide which caused the river to have whirl pools and other unseen dangers from the effects of the tide. Although the dangers are there they are for the most part ignored until it is too late and tragedy strikes. Then they ask “why were we not warned?” The game wardens had put out the information, signs were posted of the dangers, but because the water was so inviting, the weather was hot and nothing had happened recently these warnings had been ignored. Our walk with God is much the same way. We have the word of God, we have great preachers that preach the God’s Word, we have great teachers that expounds the word of God and yet we wonder why our lives are in such a mess. Could it be that we have heard these great truths for so long that we have ignored these truths? In our world we live with so many distractions that appeal to us, we often forget about the warnings in God’s Word. How many of us drive to fast until we see the blue lights? How many people have too much to drink and say it isn’t a problem until they have an accident? Are we careful of the shows we watch, music we listen to, the conversations we have? There may be other areas of life that you can think of that you may say it doesn’t really matter. It is true that we do a lot of things in this life that does not matter spiritually. Many think that God’s word is full of does and don’t but if you look into why they are there you will find that it is really about a personal relationship with God. The first commandment (Ex 20: 3) is to have no other god’s before God, Jesus said it this way “love God with all of you heart, body, and soul.” Consider this: there is a way of life that would seem right for us to live but in the end it will lead to destruction. God has given us an instruction manual to live by. He has also told us what will happen if we do not follow it and He has told us what will happen if we do follow His word. The trouble is that we can not live up to the standards that God has set for us on our own power but He has provided the help that we need. God has sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct our pathway. All He asks in return is that we love Him With our body, soul and spirit, and He will guide us around those hazards of life that can destroy us. May your relationship with God grow stronger each day.
Sixteen turkeys and what do you get
A whole lot of laughter and better yet
(yah, better yet)
Turkey season comes and out folks go,
Camouflage on and a gun in tow.
(yah, that gun in tow)
They rise up early before the turkey can see,
They sit down by a big old tree
(yah, that big old tree)
With that turkey call in their hands
You can’t tell if it’s turkey or man
(oh, yah, turkey or man)
They squeak and squawk and make a lot of noise
It sounds like babies playing with toys
(oh, yah, playing with toys)
The fun begins when old tom calls back
It makes your blood run hot and things like that
(oh, yah, things like that)
Old tom moves in with a fearful eye;
He doesn’t know he’s about to die.
(poor thing about to die)
They move – he’s gone.
They’re bewildered and so forlorn.
(oh so forlorn)
The mind clears, These words they say,
“OK, turkey, there’ll be another day.”
(oh, yah, another day)
If you go out courting as most folks do,
I have a word just for you.
(yah, just for you)
With the key in the car and you leave the garage
Make sure it’s not a turkey in camouflage.
(yah, be careful of the turkey in camouflage)
W. C. Haley