Sunday, November 27, 2011

Me and My Broken Wagon:

The day before Thanksgiving day on my way home from work my car breaks down. Not an uncommon thing. Cars break down all the time. With thousands of parts, nuts and bolts. Gears turning and the wear of the road it's something we have come to expect. When ever your car breaks down it always causes confusion and inconvenience. Especially during the holidays and cold weather. 

So I jack-up the car. Put it up on jack-stands and began to inspect for what I thought was wrong with it. Within minutes I realize this is a job beyond my abilities. That's when the frustration kicks in. Here I have a box load of tools I have gained over the past twenty years. A fairly decent knowledge of auto mechanics. Yet, there I am. Standing in front of a mountain with a shovel and a few spoons. At least that is what it feels like. I have the tools to tear it all apart, but lack the knowledge and experience to finish the job. I have only one choice. Seek help and I know it is going to cost me.

As Christians we face the same thing each day in our Christian Walk. As we read and study the Bible we gain knowledge and I pray, wisdom. We might even go beyond that. Say we attend seminary. We study. We interact with fellow Christians and professors. We write papers and dissertations. We enter into theology and doctoral issues. Really get into the spiritual meat of it.

Yet, each day we know peoples' lives are broken. With all this knowledge more often than most we still stand before others as if standing in front of a mountain with little more than a spoon in hand. We have all the tools we need. Yet, we cannot do it by ourselves.

I was recently asked, “What possibly could be the benefits of fear?” One benefit of fear is to know that we must rely on God. We must seek out help, which begins with prayer. Seeking out help will cost you. First price you will pay is pride. It's hard for a man to be beaten by a machine. A chunk of metal and plastic with wires running here and there. It's even harder for a man to step down from pride and reach up for help.

Is prayer going to fix my car? No, God has given me the first step. To pray and rely on Him. Seek help. It will cost me. God has a purpose in all this. I will let you know how it comes out.

Teach, Preach and Reach. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Standing at Your Post:

During the Civil War in the year 1861, Sam Watkins, of Company H in the First Tennessee Infantry came upon a little village called Hampshire Crossing in Virginia. Their regiment was ordered to relieve the 3rd Arkansas. When Watkins' regiment arrived they found the guard. In fact they found 11 of them. Some where sitting. Some lying down. Each and everyone at their posts. Each one was frozen solid, dead. Two of them, sentinels, with loaded guns standing in advance of the others hard frozen as monuments of marble. Guns still in their frozen hands. Watkins noted how horrifying it was to see them all with icicles hanging from their faces and hands. As the cold of death approached them. They must have known what was coming, but remained at their post till the end.

The need for “Watchmen” is found throughout the Bible. Within the Old and New Testaments.

As Moses led the people through the desert, they still longed for the cucumbers of Egypt (Num. 11:5). They planted cucumber gardens in Palestine (Is. 1:8); in this text, the “lodge in a garden of cucumbers” refers to a shelter used by watchmen to guard the crops.
Nelson's illustrated manners and customs of the Bible (239). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Hebrew landowner seldom visited his fields during the growing season. Instead he hired watchmen to stay in crude lounges (also called “towers”—Mark 12:1), where they protected the crop from beasts, birds, and marauders.
Nelson's illustrated manners and customs of the Bible (256). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The men of the 3rd Arkansas, did not die in a famous battle. Their names are not published. The location of their graves unknown. Who will remember them? Not history or will their deeds be sung in songs of victory. Who will remember these men?

God will! How many times as Christians have we stood at our post? It might be just opening a door for others at church, a grocery store, a shopping mall or some mundane task. We stay at our post, none the less. From the one who cleans the bathrooms to the pastor preaching from the pulpit. From the janitor to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Each of us has a task(s). Each of us is part of the body of Christ. One cannot complete the job at hand without the other.

In a world that is “All About Me.” We look down upon others who stand at their posts. Who do the tasks of the mundane. Therefore, ask yourself, Why did Christ come as a servant?

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matt 20:28 (NLT)

Christ remained at His post while others mocked Him. He knew death was coming. He could have called for angels above to release Him. He would have had every right to call upon the complete destruction of man that very moment. He did not. Jesus remained at His post.

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Let us be truly thankful for Christ. Every moment of the day He is at His post. Next to you. Loving you. Seeking you. Can we at least take a moment to seek Him?

Peace be with you.

Teach, Preach and Reach.

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