Sorry about the late blog. I have a new schedule at work and everything I used to do at a certain time has changed to accommodate. This may affect how and when I post until I get it ironed out. Hope you all understand.
I gained a little more insight into the scripture this past Sunday as Brother Keith Franks brought the message. This week it was on the differences between goats and sheep, and how in the End of Days God shall separate the goats from the sheep.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Matthew 25(KJV)
I had always thought of the verse to mean that the saved people were the sheep and those lost souls who did not accept Christ as their Savior was the goats. The Pastor (Keith Franks) brought a little deeper insight, though. The goats and the sheep were all part of the same being. Most people do not realize or do not accept that a human being is two parts; a physical being and a spiritual one. These two parts are always at war within us. The Pastor brought it to my mind that even though we are saved, we still fight that battle. The sheep represented the spiritual being and the goats the physical. When the judgement has come, he will separate the sheep from the goats.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25(KJV)
Thus our physical forms will be separated from our spiritual ones. No more warring within ourselves! I have read that verse hundreds of times and never saw that. I don’t think I will look at those two anmals quite the same way ever again.
As we gear up for the coming week let’s not forget what the season is truly about We live in an age where it is becoming a popular trend to be offended by something Even if it is something as simple as someone wishing us a Merry Christmas and even worse we are teaching it to our children. As we move on through this fallen world,, we must take everything by a case by case basis. It is the only way I have found that keeps me sane (yes I am sane Did we fool’em? I think so. Shhhh! You’ll give us away). If someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, thank them and go on. They thought enough about you to wish you happiness during the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you believe or not. If someone says Happy Hanukkah I am glad that they thought enough of the well-being of their fellow man to send good thoughts my way. I wish everyone believed, but some will not see and I have to be content with doing what I can to reflect the light of Christ. So now I wish you all a “Merry Christmas!” If sending hopes of a joyous holiday offends you…trust me, you’ll be okay. I don’t believe I have ever heard of anyone dying from hurt feelings.
We all know the story of how Peter walked on water with Jesus (Matt 14:22-31). This particular story has been on my mind the last couple of days. I thought about Peter and how much faith it took for him to step out of that boat onto those surging waves. I thought about what made him doubt. What made him take his eyes off of Jesus, and focus back on the waves around him? What made him doubt? Was it the waves lapping up on his legs? The spray of the sea on the wind? What? Then my mind leapt (as it is wont to do on occasion) to the men standing on the deck of that ship he left behind. What were they thinking? Did one of them say “He looked away! Look! Peter looked away from Jesus, now he is sinking!” As I thought about those men I placed myself there on that deck. I could see Peter step out, and I watched him cross the boisterous sea. I knew the exact moment when he failed. I saw the moment he took his eyes off of Christ and I knew his doubts as he started to sink. You see; it’s really easy to see the whole picture when you are not there among the waves. It’s easy to watch, when you’re not in the midst of the action, and to say “There! That is where he made his mistake!” We must refrain from doing that, though. We mustn’t persecute someone for their mistakes while we sit safely to the side without anything on the line. It was when I thought back through the story and realized I had pointed the accusing finger (“There! That is where he made his mistake!”), that I had to stop and tell myself to shut up. Who was I to criticize? After all at least Peter got out of the boat.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Eccl 1:2-3 (KJV)
King Solomon was the wisest king to rule over Israel, yet he remained unsatisfied with all that he did He was unhappy with all his accomplishments Wealth flowed into his kingdom’s coffers as freely as water fell from the sky, and yet he remained unhappy, seeing nothing worthy in anything he did. When money didn’t suffice, he turned to drink. When that didn’t work, he turned to pleasures of the flesh. When that didn’t work, he threw himself into his labors, and still nothing helped. Nothing made him happy. I find myself in that same rut sometimes. What’s the point? Nobody is seeing these words. Why bother writing them down? What do you gain by doing this? DING! There is where we go wrong. Happiness is not something you can gain for yourself. Happiness is given to you by God as a reward for faithful service. If you start into a venture wondering what you will gain from it, you probably won’t be gaining happiness out of it. Satisfaction, maybe. Maybe even pleasure, but not true happiness. Solomon realized this by the end of the book, but the first section makes you wonder if he is going to live long enough to learn. Gloom and doom rides him like a tangible cloud. The things that give you true happiness can’t be bought and they are treasures you will only find by giving of yourself.
I had the opportunity to watch God work this past weekend. I watched how things that seemed coincidental to start out with fell into place and lined up to make a beautiful plan work and become fruitful. As these things unfolded before my eyes, I heard Him speak.
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matt 6:26 (KJV)
While I heard this, He led my thoughts a little deeper, promising that He had more knowledge to share with me just a little further on. What He showed me made me stop and ponder anew. The main idea of all that He was showing me was ‘I am faithful. All that I have said that I will do will come to pass.’ The parable about God taking care of the sparrows was just the tip of what He was actually saying. I like to say that Science is just man’s way of describing God’s paintbrush. For some reason I thought about that as I watched Him provide for His children this weekend, and the context of the two thoughts collided drawing back a curtain and revealing a new secret to me. Think about it; God made everything. So if God made everything, He also made science. Science is basically man’s interpretations of the rules that make life possible and sustainable. The rules that make the sun rise in the east and set in the west. The rules that say the moon has power over the tides of the oceans. The rules that say a ship can float and a plane can fly. The rules of reality. The rules of everything. That’s a really big concept to break down. Now add this into the mix. If God created science, then every time a scientist succeeds in proving a theory, or recreates an experiment, God is proving to be faithful. Every time science is used, it points back to the Creator. Think about that for a little bit. The next time you drop your car keys and they fall down and not up, God has been faithful. When you turn on the light switch as you come home from work and the room is bathed in light, God has been faithful. When you say your name and sound are formed by the expelling of air though your mouth, God has been faithful. So no matter how often science tries to prove there is no God, it will never be able to, because it cannot deny it’s Creator. God is faithful.
With all my running around, and prepping for the convention Friday, I forgot it was Monday (until it was Tuesday). So I’m afraid it will be a retro post this week. Here is one of my favorites that was originally published in 2012 (wow has it been that long?);
I recently went to the eye doctor. Since I have worn glasses most of my life, I decided I was ready for a change. I tried contacts when I was younger, but they were the hard lenses and were a lot of trouble. With all the advances in the field of optometry, I thought I would give them another chance. I tried them today, and was amazed at how much clearer my vision was. I was also how much less of a hassle they have become. I started thinking about how much trouble I’ve had with my eyes and then realized that God was showing me things from another angle, yet again. I’ve always had eye trouble, and I’ve always had I trouble. “I” tends to get in the way of so much that God wants for us. We think we know what “I” needs. We think we know what “I” wants, but when we get it, we are only happy long enough for the new to wear off of it. When God gives us things, they are things that keep on making us happy. The new never wears off of them and it fulfills us. I’ve been facing these “I” problems for the past couple of months without realizing it. “I” was focused too much on what “I” thought God wanted for me. “I” kept thinking “Why would God lead me this way?” when it seemed so contrary to the way “I” thought He would take me. “I” forgot that He knows better than “I”. “I” forgot that He can see farther than my “I” will ever be able to. I’ve finally decided I need to stop trying to see things through my “I’s” and just let Him lead the way. Amazing how a trip to the Eye Doctor can bring things into focus for you, isn’t it?
I read a mime (I think that is what they are calling them now) the other day that said; A man asked a Christian what he had gained by praying to God. The man replied ‘nothing, but let me tell you what I’ve lost; anger, ego, greed, depression and fear of death.’ I like the thought behind it to an extent. It didn’t really completely convey what I thought it should. I think it should have read more like; The man replied ‘that is yet to be seen, but I know what I’ve lost…’ I’ve heard people say that a Christian is crazy because he/she believes life starts after death. Every time I see that I try to correct it. We do not believe life starts after death, only that it gets better. Can I tell you what I’ve gained? Eternal life I know, but what shape will that life take? I can only imagine, but I do know all happiness comes from him. If you don’t have Him, then what you have is a pale imitation of happiness.
9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Heb 1:9 (KJV)
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13 (KJV)
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:11 (KJV)