Tag Archives: Maintaining

With God Nothing is Impossible

 

Nothing is too difficult with God

 

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“For Nothing is Impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 

OUR FESTIVAL MIRACLE

Unknown author

We were at Lake Ozark, Missouri, for our churches annual 8 day celebration. My husband Leo and I sang in the Choir. On Tuesday morning we sang backup music to open the worship service. We had just finished practicing for choir and I came down from the stage to my seat for church services. It wasn’t long before Mrs. Petcu (my daughter’s mother-in-law) was at the end of our isle motioning for me to come to her. She said, “I noticed you smiling and waving and thought maybe you haven’t heard.” I said, “Heard what?” She said, “Ronda (my daughter) and Matt (my grandson) were in a camper that blew-up and have been taken to the hospital.” My heart just almost stopped! She continued saying that they were in an explosion/implosion and they were burned. I started looking around for Stacy (my daughter) and she was looking for me. We found each other just about the same time the announcement for prayers for my daughter, her son and the Mitchell’s, some good friends of ours, came over the speaker. My heart fell to the floor and my knees went weak.

I asked my husband and my brother to watch Stacy’s son. Stacy and I went to the hospital. They weren’t there. They transferred them to another hospital up in Columbia. They were immediately placed in the Burn Unit. Now I was frantic and the only thing I could think was , “Oh God, please let them be OK!

I came out of that driveway and went the wrong way to Columbia, which turned out to be good because Stacy saw our friend, Donny, who pulled over, so did we, and we found out what happened.

Ronda and Matt were having breakfast with Donny and Donny’s parents and Grandma. As they were eating their eggs, Mrs. Jean Mitchell (Donny’s mom), smelled gas, and Mr. Don Mitchell (Donny’s dad), said he would check it out. He lit a match and the gas exploded. Donny was telling me that Ronda was O.K., but Matt was burned a couple of places on his face and that he was coming from the hospital and Ronda needed clothes for her and Matt, and Donny needed to go see how Mom and Grandma were. I said, “O.K., you go see about them. We’ll get clothes and go to Columbia.

I still didn’t know what to expect on how bad Matt had been burned, so I was in a hurry. I’m glad Stacy was driving.

We got to the hotel and got a little resistance until I told them the circumstances, and the lady at the desk said oh she hoped everything would be all right. She heard about the explosion/implosion over the CB radio.

It took forever to get to Columbia! We went into the ER and they said they weren’t there yet. The ambulance they would have traveled in was outside, so after waiting way too long in the ER I was going to find admitting or someone else who could tell me something when the ER person said, “Oh, they took them straight up to the burn unit.” It scared me some more! I think I held my breath going up the elevator!

The doors opened and with instant relief but still much concerned, I saw Matt standing down the hall with this way too big blue hospital shirt on. He was burned on the left side of his face, his hair was matted where it was burned, his eyelids were red and puffy, and he was just standing there drinking some water. Then I turned and saw Ronda sitting on a chair with hardly anything wrong, just some minor cuts and matted hair. Then she told me they still had Don, Sr. in the room. I got permission to see him. His hands were bandaged and IV’s were going. He had some second degree burns but that didn’t stop him from giving me a big smile! Then the nurse came in and said after he got a shot he could leave too.

I thanked God and I thanked God and I thanked God!

Later my husband and I went over to the trailer camper and when we saw it we couldn’t believe it! It was TOTALED! The camper had glass blown everywhere, the walls were bowed out. Cabinets were off the wall. It was a mess!

Mrs. Mitchell told us that she smelled gas, she was standing at the sink and her husband was below the sink looking at the tank. Matt was sitting behind them and to one side. When Don Sr. went to check the pilot…BOOM…. Matt said he saw a blue ball come right at him as cabinets blew off the wall and fell into the chair where he was sitting. (He ducked his head which kept a cabinet from hitting him.) The fire wrapped around Jeans ankles as Ronda grabbed Matt and raced out the door. Donny pulled grandma out while he was trying put out the fire in her hair at the same time. Don, Sr. took the full blast on his face and hands, and then had to get into his pocket for keys to get to the big tanks to shut them off, breaking blisters that had already formed. I didn’t know until later that Donny’s ear was burned in the fire also.

People who were camping to one side of them emptied 4 fire extinguishers and put out the fire, keeping it from the big tanks. People on the other side were catching victims as they jumped out of the demolished camper. The fire department said they expected to find everyone dead, that with an explosion/implosion like that usually no one survived. The EMT’s said that they must have been protected by angels.

God had His angels there protecting them!

An angel stood between Don,Sr. and the blast!

An angel held the cabinet just long enough to protect Matt as Ronda pulled him from that chair!

An angel directed the blast towards the back window, blowing it out of the camper, and keeping everyone from being severely burned!

An angel kept the fire away from the big tanks until Don could turn them off!

Yes, the angels were very busy that day, and so were the thousands of members who were praying for all the injured people heading to the hospital.Before they were transported from the accident scene they were all anointed by our minister. Mr. Petcu had anointed Don, Sr. and Matt and Ronda at Lake Ozark Hospital and on the ride to Columbia, Mo. Don, Sr. said he couldn’t feel the pain. God was already intervening and healing!

For the remaining 6 days of that Festival I thanked God every day! When we sang praises to Him I sang with all my heart! There were six people in that camper trailer, and I don’t know how many angels, but to this very day I thank God, and I thank God, and I thank God.

 

Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?

From: My Utmost For HIs Highest

03
28
2014

’Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to Him, ’. . . are You going there again?’ —John 11:7-8

Just because I don’t understand what Jesus Christ says, I have no right to determine that He must be mistaken in what He says. That is a dangerous view, and it is never right to think that my obedience to God’s directive will bring dishonor to Jesus. The only thing that will bring dishonor is not obeying Him. To put my view of His honor ahead of what He is plainly guiding me to do is never right, even though it may come from a real desire to prevent Him from being put to an open shame. I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter into my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God. This will only result in my concluding that His instructions to me were not right. Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything (see Matthew 14:29). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.

Are you debating whether you should take a step of faith in Jesus, or whether you should wait until you can clearly see how to do what He has asked? Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy. When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn’t. Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him? Are you faithful to what He says, or are you trying to compromise His words with thoughts that never came from Him? “Whatever He says to you,do it ” (John 2:5).

 

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR ACTIONS

Author Unknown

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Thanks!”

There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.

We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. “I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

From: gatewaytojesus.com

The Link To Life

 

The Link To Life

According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. —Titus 3:5
Bible in a Year:
Judges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30

By the time he was 16, Morris Frank (1908–1980) had lost his sight in both eyes. Several years later, he traveled to Switzerland where he met Buddy, the canine who would help to inspire Frank’s involvement with the Seeing Eye guide-dog school.

With Buddy leading the way, Frank learned to navigate busy sidewalks and intersections. Describing the freedom his guide provided, Frank said, “It was glorious: just [Buddy] and a leather strap, linking me to life.” Buddy gave Morris Frank a new kind of access to the world around him.

God’s Holy Spirit gives us access to abundant spiritual life in Christ. When we accept Christ as Lord, God washes our sins away and renews us “by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6 niv). Once we know Christ, the Holy Spirit helps us experience God’s love (Rom. 5:5), understand God’s Word (John 14:26), pray (Rom. 8:26), and abound in hope (Rom. 15:13).

Today, as you think about your relationship with God, remember that the Spirit is your guide to life in Christ (Rom. 8:14).

Holy Spirit, Light divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine.
Chase the shades of night away;
Turn my darkness into day. —Reed
The Holy Spirit guides us into knowledge and spiritual growth.

Luke 11:1-13
For everyone who asks, receives (Luke 11:10).

Read Matthew 6:9-13 for the longer version of the Lord’s Prayer.

How will the Lord’s Prayer guide you in your prayers as you go through troubling times? What does it mean for you to know God as your heavenly Father?

I tossed and turned on my bed. My heart was troubled and my mind disturbed. I was deliberating a decision that could set my life on a whole new course. In this scary time, I found myself praying: Lord, teach me how to pray!

The disciples made a similar request to Jesus (though for a different reason). Jesus’ answer is recorded for us in Luke 11:2-4.

It never fails to amaze me that Jesus taught us to address God as Father. He could have picked “Lord” or “Almighty God,” but He didn’t. This is significant. The term “Father” contains the intimacy and love found in a personal relationship with the Sovereign Creator of the universe.

Of this reality Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “If you should ask me to state in one phrase what I regard as the greatest defect in most Christian lives, I would say that it is our failure to know God as our Father as we should know Him. . . . Ah yes, we say; we do know that and believe it. But do we know it in our daily life and living? Is it something of which we are always conscious? If only we got hold of this, we could smile in the face of every possibility and eventuality that lies ahead of us.”

Jesus gave us an illustration to help us know our Father better (Luke 11:11-13). In essence, He said, “Whatever is for your spiritual benefit, your heavenly Father will surely give you.” As I continued to deliberate over my big decision, I’m glad that I could commune with my Father and seek His heart and wisdom.

So, as His child who desires to love Him, I pray that His name may be praised, His interest be advanced, and His will be done!

Time For A Change

 From: Strength For The Journey
This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner. —Luke 7:39

A friend once told me, “In my lifetime I’ve seen a lot of things change, and I’ve been against them all!” Perhaps he overstated the point, but many of us would agree that we don’t like change—especially if it involves altering our habits and attitudes.

That’s one reason Jesus was so unpopular among the Pharisees. He challenged their long-established system of good works and self-righteous living. Consider the incident when the town “sinner” entered the home of the town “saint” in Luke 7:36-50. Simon the Pharisee wasn’t impressed with the woman’s lavish display of affection for Jesus. Reading Simon’s self-righteous thoughts, Jesus immediately challenged his flawed perception of his own goodness by telling the story of two debtors—one who owed much to his master and one who owed less. “Which of them will love him more?” Jesus asked (Luke 7:42). Obviously, the one who had been forgiven more. Speaking to Simon’s I-feel-pretty-good-about-myself attitude, Jesus said, “to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:47).

The challenge is clear. Lulled into thinking how good we are, our love for Jesus wanes because we have forgotten that we too are among the ones “forgiven much.” And when that happens, ready or not, it’s time for a change!

Forgive us, Lord, for failures past,
Then help us start anew
With strength and courage to obey
And closely follow You. —Sper

When God starts changing things, He usually begins with changing us.

 

How Much Will This Choice Really Cost Me?
Lysa TerKeurst

From: Crosswalk.com

“… in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)

A few years ago I sat at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with my daughter Ashley while an officer told her the importance of good choices. Ashley was getting her learner’s permit and entering the scary world of teenage drivers.

“We’ve had 320 teens killed this year in fatal car accidents so we want to do everything possible to keep you safe,” the officer said sternly as she highlighted for Ashley all the many rules for new drivers. Then she suggested signing a contract with her parents incorporating these rules.

I’ve never wanted to hug a DMV officer. But, it was all I could do not to reach across the desk and throw my arms around her. For you see, my husband and I had already created a driving contract that we’ve made each of our teenagers sign.

I’m sure our kids have thought our contract was a bit over the top. After all, none of their friends have had to sign such a document with their parents. So, it was good to hear another adult speak truth into the life of my child.

And what I loved most about the officer’s sermonette on safe driving was her emphasis on the cost of wrong choices.

How I wish we could all see the cost of our choices as clearly as a price tag on items in a store. If I know how much something is going to cost me, I make much wiser choices. But we have an enemy who schemes against us to keep the cost of dumb decisions concealed until it’s too late.

Satan wants to defeat, discourage and destroy our families. His attacks are not just willy-nilly attempts to trip us up or knock us down. He wants to take us out.

That’s why, as parents, we’ve got to boldly fight for our families. We must get intentional with teaching our kids to think through their choices. And we must get intentional about modeling good choices as well.

Do you know why Satan’s tactics are called schemes in 2 Corinthians 2:11? A scheme is a plan, design or program of action. Satan’s schemes are well-crafted plans specifically targeted to do three things:

1. Increase your desire for something outside the will of God.
2. Make you think giving in to a weakness is no big deal.
3. Minimize your ability to think through the consequences of falling to this temptation.

Satan is a master of keeping that cost hidden until it’s too late.

Sweet sisters, this is something worth thinking about. And it is something worth talking about with our kids. Consider age-appropriate examples of how costly wrong choices can be. Be real, raw and bold as you walk them through different scenarios of temptations they might face.

That DMV officer was certainly bold in her explanation of the cost when a teen driver gets distracted by their iPod, cell phone or friends acting silly. Hearing her explain to my daughter how costly others’ poor choices have been made these “rules” seem more like life-saving gifts.

Think how different life might be if we all paused and asked ourselves this crucial question: How much will this choice really cost me? If we teach ourselves and our kids nothing else this week than to ask this one question, we will have invested wisely. So, so very wisely.

Dear Lord, I am reminded that boldly following You is so much better than any short-term experience that’s not pleasing to You. Give me Your eyes so that I can see temptation and its many different faces. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Spiritual Vision

 

Spiritual Vision Through Personal Purity (1)

From: My Utmost For His Highest
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God —Matthew 5:8
Purity is not innocence— it is much more than that. Purity is the result of continued spiritual harmony with God. We have to grow in purity. Our life with God may be right and our inner purity unblemished, yet occasionally our outer life may become spotted and stained. God intentionally does not protect us from this possibility, because this is the way we recognize the necessity of maintaining our spiritual vision through personal purity. If the outer level of our spiritual life with God is impaired to the slightest degree, we must put everything else aside until we make it right. Remember that spiritual vision depends on our character— it is “the pure in heart ” who “see God.” God makes us pure by an act of His sovereign grace, but we still have something that we must carefully watch. It is through our bodily life coming in contact with other people and other points of view that we tend to become tarnished. Not only must our “inner sanctuary” be kept right with God, but also the “outer courts” must be brought into perfect harmony with the purity God gives us through His grace. Our spiritual vision and understanding is immediately blurred when our “outer court” is stained. If we want to maintain personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean refusing to do or even think certain things. And some things that are acceptable for others will become unacceptable for us. A practical help in keeping your personal purity unblemished in your relations with other people is to begin to see them as God does. Say to yourself, “That man or that woman is perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend or that relative is perfect in Christ Jesus!”

March 26 Give Out The Blessing “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his inner being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Some of us are shivering and wondering why the Holy Spirit does not fill us. We have plenty coming in, but we do not give it out. Give out the blessing that you have, start larger plans for service and blessing, and you will soon find that the Holy Ghost is before you, and He will present you with blessings for service, and give you all that He can trust you to give away to others. There is a beautiful fact in nature which has its spiritual parallels. There is no music so heavenly as an Aeolian harp, and the Aeolian harp is nothing but a set of musical chords arranged in harmony, and then left to be touched by the unseen fingers of the wandering winds. And as the breath of heaven floats over the chords, it is said that notes almost Divine float out upon the air, as if a choir of angels were wandering around and touching the strings. And so it is possible to keep our hearts so open to the touch of the Holy Spirit that He can play upon them at will, as we quietly wait in the pathway of His service. –Days of Heaven upon Earth *** When the apostles received the baptism with the Holy Ghost they did not rent the upper room and stay there to hold holiness meetings, but went everywhere preaching the gospel. –Will Huff *** “If I have eaten my morsel alone,” The patriarch spoke with scorn; What would he think of the Church were he shown Heathendom-huge, forlorn, Godless, Christless, with soul unfed, While the Church’s ailment is fullness of bread, Eating her morsel alone? “Freely ye have received, so give,” He bade, who hath given us all. How shall the soul in us longer live Deaf to their starving call, For whom the blood of the Lord was shed, And His body broken to give them. bread, If we eat our morsel alone!” –Archbishop Alexander “Where is Abel thy brother?” (Gen. 4:9).

Price Tags

 From: Getmorestrength.org
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” Philippians 3:8 You may have heard the story about the pranksters who broke into a hardware store. Strangely enough, they didn’t steal a thing. Yet what they did created chaos of epic proportions—they switched all the price tags! The store owner was unaware of anything amiss until the first customer stepped to the cash register with a hammer that rang up at $199.95. Naturally, the customer’s jaw dropped. “What’s that thing made of?” he demanded. “Platinum?” On further inspection, employees noticed that a big screen TV in the appliance section was selling for $14.95. The goods were all the same, resting on the same shelves as the night before, but the assigned values were hopelessly jumbled. I can’t help but think that Satan likes to pull the same stunt with us. Unaware of his stealth work, we go through life with mixed-up price tags on our accomplishments and accolades. We assign the wrong value to who we are and what we have—not to mention the lack of value we assign to God who unequivocally deserves the highest value. Paul had the price tags right when he wrote to the Philippian believers: “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. . . . I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him” (Philippians 3:7-8, The Message). There’s Paul at the cash register, looking at all the price tags attached to his experiences, achievements, and treasures. He’s got a red pen in his hand, and all those things that used to be so valuable, so precious, so terribly important to him have been slashed down to zero. In fact, Paul’s loading them up in boxes, headed for the dumpster out back. I find it interesting that this same Paul who once assigned no value to Jesus at all—and in fact hated Him—now can’t even put a price on the privilege of experiencing Him. After his unforgettable personal encounter with the living Christ (Acts 9), Paul’s whole world was reordered, and he never looked back. The value of his relationship with Jesus became “priceless.” What’s more, he lived like he really meant it. And for us, it’s more than just giving mental or verbal assent to the “surpassing value” of knowing Jesus. Many of us have been doing that for a long time—and then we go on to live like He is eighth or ninth on the list. Unfortunately in this glitz-and-glamour world, we are far too prone to place great value on all that is temporal and seductive. And believe me, we pay a high price for that. It means that we miss out on the most valuable asset of all—the joy of a deep, abiding relationship with the only One who can meet all of our needs and fill us with His joy. His invitation still stands: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Maintaining Good Relationships

 

Maintaining the Proper Relationship

From: My Utmost For His HIghest

. . . the friend of the bridegroom . . . —John 3:29

Goodness and purity should never be traits that draw attention to themselves, but should simply be magnets that draw people to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing others to Him, it is not the right kind of holiness; it is only an influence which awakens undue emotions and evil desires in people and diverts them from heading in the right direction. A person who is a beautiful saint can be a hindrance in leading people to the Lord by presenting only what Christ has done for him, instead of presenting Jesus Christ Himself. Others will be left with this thought— “What a fine person that man is!” That is not being a true “friend of the bridegroom”— I am increasing all the time; He is not.

To maintain this friendship and faithfulness to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful to have the moral and vital relationship to Him above everything else, including obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey and our only task is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, seeing that nothing interferes with it. Only occasionally is it a matter of obedience. At those times when a crisis arises, we have to find out what God’s will is. Yet most of our life is not spent in trying to be consciously obedient, but in maintaining this relationship— being the “friend of the bridegroom.” Christian work can actually be a means of diverting a person’s focus away from Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends “of the bridegroom,” we may become amateur providences of God to someone else, working against Him while we use His weapons.

Not Too Young

1 Timothy 4:7-16
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

Read what Paul wrote to a friend in Titus 2:7 and consider how you can be an example to other believers—particularly younger ones.

Today, how will you encourage some younger believers you know? What example have you been setting for other believers in Jesus?

Recent research has revealed what teenagers truly desire from the adults in their lives. The Search Institute study found that teens want parents and other older influencers to do the following: 1. Look at us. 2. Spend time talking with us. 3. Listen. 4. Be dependable. 5. Show appreciation for what we do. 6. Relax. 7. Show that you’re interested. 8. Laugh with us (and at yourself). 9. Ask us to help you. 10. Challenge us.

I believe the apostle Paul did many of those things as he built into the life of a young man named Timothy. And, as number 10 on the list states, he truly did challenge him, writing, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). What’s impressive is that Timothy was dealing with the difficult challenge of tackling false teaching in the church at Ephesus, along with some bitter persecution. Yet Paul told him to boldly live out his faith—to be an example. And Timothy needed to look no further than the great example provided by Paul himself (Philippians 4:92 Timothy 3:10-11).

If we want those who are younger to walk confidently in their faith, we must provide for them a living model. We need to show them the “living God, who is the Savior of all people” and “keep a close watch on how [we] live” (1 Timothy 4:10,16). As they witness Jesus alive in us, it will help them take their own bold faith steps.

Let younger believers know that they can be an example to all believers. And, as you do, “stay true to what is right for the sake of [your] own salvation and the salvation” of these precious younger ones (1 Timothy 4:16).

You WILL be OK
Jennifer RothschildFrom: Crosswalk.com

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)

I was stunned. This was not the news I expected.

“You have atypical ductal hyperplasia, or ADH,” the doctor said. He explained that ADH is an abnormal growth of cells within the breast ducts.

“You need a bilateral lumpectomy as soon as possible,” he concluded.

My first thought was, “Seriously? I’m blind, for heaven’s sake! Haven’t I already met my quota for suffering?”

Well, that was my first thought, but it was followed by all the “what ifs.” You know — What if it’s cancer? What if they don’t get it all? What if I need radiation? What if this is only the beginning of something far worse?

While my heart was racing, my husband Phil’s Ph.D. mind was calculating. He broke the silence and said, “It will be OK.”

It didn’t feel OK, though. And maybe the reason was that we really didn’t know it would be OK. None of us really knows if it will be OK, do we? Life is uncertain.

We want to live out a story that makes sense. We want poems to rhyme and puzzles to be solved. We just want everything to be OK. But the truth is, we really don’t know whether or not “it” will be OK.

After the call with the surgeon, Phil and I continued to sit in silence. My soul was churning. When all the pieces hadn’t fallen into place, a tidal wave of fear washed over me. But instead of being a wave of emotion that drowned me, it cleared my head and awakened me to a vital truth I needed: It may not be OK, but I will be OK.

I had a deep, inner knowing that within the uncertainty, I could be certain that God cared and was with me.

During the lumpectomy, the doctor removed two golf-ball-sized lumps and I emerged a 34 used-to-be-B! And this may be too much information, but I was only tennis balls to begin with! (Big goofy grin.) A few days after my surgery, Phil and I met with the surgeon for the results of the pathology. All benign!

Thankfully, that chapter of my story had an ending that was genuinely OK. However, during the uncertainty, my emotions vacillated between fear and faith, peace and panic. Yet, my soul remained OK even though it, my situation, wasn’t. Why? Well, it wasn’t because of my great faith! I did trust God, but I was scared too. It was because of the Lord’s great love, I was not consumed; His compassions never failed (Lamentations 3:22).

My friend, because of His great love, you will not be consumed either. Fear, anger or insecurity will not overtake you. His compassions will never fail you. Even in the midst of your heartache, you’re still cradled in His compassion. You are as cared for and protected as a baby in a mother’s womb.

That’s why you will be OK, my friend — no matter what.

When we trust the compassion of God, our problems and fears do not consume us. Because of His love and compassion, we are not overwhelmed.

I was grateful to be among the 70 percent of women who emerge from lumpectomy surgery with a cancer-free result. Many women receive far more difficult news. I couldn’t imagine enduring a series of biopsies and surgery just to find myself facing more surgery or radiation, like many women do. Oh, how my heart goes out to them!

You may be one of those women. You may know and love one. Do God’s compassions fail if the diagnosis isn’t good? Is a bad diagnosis evidence of God’s failure to be compassionate?

No.

A surgery may fail, but God’s compassions will not.

A treatment may fail, but God’s compassions will not.

A relationship may fail, but God’s compassions will not.

A dream may fail, but God’s compassions will not.

My friend, no matter what you’re facing, God cares for you and will carry you. It may not be OK, but, because of the Lord’s great love, you will be OK.

Lord, carry me today. Show me Your care for me. If I begin to feel overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace and presence. Reassure me that no matter what, I will be OK. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).

We all need faith for desperate days. The Bible is full of such days. Its record is made up of them, its songs are inspired by them, its prophecy is concerned with them, and its revelation has come through them. The desperate days are the stepping-stones in the path of light. They seem to have been God’s opportunity and man’s school of wisdom.

There is a story of an Old Testament love feast in Psalm 107, and in every story of deliverance the point of desperation gave God His chance. The “wit’s end” of desperation was the beginning of God’s power.

Recall the promise of seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sands of the sea, to a couple as good as dead. Read again the story of the Red Sea and its deliverance, and of Jordan with its ark standing mid-stream. Study once more the prayers of Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, when they were sore pressed and knew not what to do. Go over the history of Nehemiah, Daniel, Hosea, and Habakkuk. Stand with awe in the darkness of Gethsemane, and linger by the grave in Joseph’s garden through those terrible days. Call the witnesses of the early Church, and ask the apostles the story of their desperate days.

Desperation is better than despair. Faith did not make our desperate days. Its work is to sustain and solve them. The only alternative to a desperate faith is despair, and faith holds on and prevails.

There is no more heroic example of desperate faith than that of the three Hebrew children. The situation was desperate, but they answered bravely, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” I like that, “but if not !”

I have only space to mention Gethsemane. Ponder deeply its “Nevertheless.” “If it is possible…nevertheless!” Deep darkness had settled upon the soul of our Lord. Trust meant anguish unto blood and darkness to the descent of hell–Nevertheless! Nevertheless!

Now get your hymn book and sing your favorite hymn of desperate faith.
–Rev. S. Chadwick

When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be,
I do the little I can do
And leave the rest to Thee.
And when there seems no chance, no change,
From grief can set me free,
Hope finds its strength in helplessness,
And calmly waits for Thee.