Category Archives: Christian Living

What are you waiting for?

There was a man once that had refused to leave his house during a flood.  He had decided that he was going to wait out the flood and that he would be safe from the rising waters.  As the rain continued to poor down and waters continued to rise rapidly, the man started realizing he had made a mistake.  Since he failed to heed the emergency crews warnings, they were no longer available to help him, promising only to return after the storm had passed and the waters had begun to crest.  Soon, his first floor was overtaken by the water.  With little chance for survival inside his house the man retreated to his attic where he began chopping through his ceiling.  Once through, he climbed out onto his roof to safety, knowing that the waters would not likely climb that high, though now he was on his own island.  Nearly in panic mode the man bowed his head and prayed that God would send him a sign of rescue.  That God would reach down and carry him to safety.  It was only a few hours before a neighbor’s boat came by and yelled to the man to come aboard.  The man replied, “No, its ok.  I prayed and asked God to deliver me from the flood waters; He is going to send me a sign.”  So the neighbor rode off.  Next an emergency services helicopter flew over yelling down to the man to climb in the basket.  The man gave the same response that he was waiting on God and the helicopter flew off.  By now the waters had continued to rise and the temperature had dropped significantly.  He was facing the real threat of frostbite and potentially drowning.  Finally, a large coast guard boat pulled right next to the roof and said to the man, just step on to the boat and be rescued.  The man again denied the help saying that he was waiting on God.  In his frustration he looked up to heaven and declared, “God, I’ve been faithful in waiting on you to send me a sign; to deliver me from my dire situation.  Why haven’t you responded to me in my time of need?”  To his surprise, the heavens opened and he heard a voice say, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter.  How could I have made it any clearer?  While you have been waiting on me, I’ve been waiting on you to step off of that roof in faith, reach out, and take the hand that I’ve offered you.”

Now I know this is an old joke and maybe you’ve already heard it (and realized that I probably butchered it), but the moral is very important, one I’ve given a lot of thought to.  David says in Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.”  God hears our prayers and we know that we should patiently wait for His answer with spiritually sharp ears to hear His voice.  Again in Psalm 27:14 we’re told, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”  In our desperation to hear back from God, I wonder if we’re not like the man in the story above.  So intent on seeing a miracle, that we miss God’s subtle, or sometimes not so subtle, hand working in our lives. 

In the movie Facing the Giants, there is a prayer warrior named Mr. Bridges.  Daily he walks the halls of the school praying.  One day he stops to talk to Coach Taylor, the head football coach.  During their conversation, Mr. Bridges tells him of two farmers and how each of them has been praying for rain.  One farmer goes inside and sits on the couch, waiting for God to send him rain.  The other farmer is outside tirelessly working in the field, preparing the soil, weeding the garden, getting everything ready for the rain.  Both are God fearing, prayerful men.  But I ask you, which one is more faithful to receive the rain?

Are your fields prepared for rain?  Are you more than just praying for rain, but are actually prepared for it?  Has God sent you a rescue boat that you refused because you thought He would send a cruise ship?  The Bible tells us to wait patiently on the Lord, but sometimes, He’s really waiting on us…to step out in faith.

Lamentations 3:23-25 “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;”

Micah 7:7 NKJV “Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.”

God is Love

“The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch, the world says, ‘This is love.’  God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, ‘This is love.’ – Joshua Harris

 

That quote kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it?  It’s for this reason Jesus tells us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Not only is he speaking directly to his disciples and teaching them of the second greatest command, behind only, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30, but He is prophesying about His pending death on the cross for each of our sins.  He was telling them, and us through His word, that He loved us so much He was willing to die for us.  We learn again of this great love in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  While we were still sinners, while we were caught up in selfishness, pride, immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, drunkenness, adultery, murdering,….raping…., every single filthy disgusting act that man can think of and has done.  While we were doing all of that, Jesus loved us so much that He died for each and every one, as he hung on that cross at Calvary.  How can we know that and not love the Lord with all of our heart?

We once got into a discussion in my Bible study about love, how can we define it?  The answer to this question is simple, God is love.  We see His love in sending His Son to die for us.  We see His love in granting us mercy when we least deserved it.  We see His love through grace when we deserve to be condemned.  We see His love through the cross.  God is love.  Think about that the next time someone is so quick to throw around the word love as a though its meaning were trivial.  Do they really know what love is?  Take the time to show them that God is love.

Have a Blessed Day!

“God is Light.” “God is Love.” That which professes to be light yet lacks love, is not of God; while that which calls itself love, but is not according to light is equally not of God. – J. Charleton Steen

Compromise: The Great Divide

 

Is there ever a time when it’s okay to compromise your beliefs and values?  I say unequivocally no and when it’s phrased that way you’d probably agree.  Why then is it so common place?  Why do so many people claim Christianity, yet not only contradict their own personal values, but more importantly those outlined by the Bible.  How is it that so many people are persuaded to do so?  Is it merely to appear “politically correct” and to fit in with society’s worldview?  Or is there a deeper issue involved, such as failing to understand and apply rightly the Word of God?

We’ve seen such examples with supposed Christians openly supporting gay marriages, pro-choice abortion, not advocating for abstinence, etc, each of which is inconsistent with Christianity and contradictory to the Word of God.

Jesus says in Luke 6:43-44, For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.”  There’s a clear distinction here, either you’re a good tree and produce evidence of such, or a bad tree and likewise evidence of that will show.  Jesus goes on in the verses that follow to condemn the Pharisees for their duality and provides the following as insight into those whose words compromise their beliefs, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

It becomes easy to negotiate one’s values when the Word of God is not hidden in our hearts, instead compromise ensues when our hearts are selfish or filled with worldliness. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Probably one of the best known biblical examples of standing up in the face of compromise is that of Daniel.  In fact, I firmly believe that the agendas taking place in our country now are soon to result in Christians experiencing the same trials as Daniel.  Daniel was such an exemplary citizen that administrators at that time tried to find fault with him.  Having been unable to do so they concluded, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:5  They went to the king and urged him to declare that anyone caught praying to any god or any man, other than the king, over a thirty day period should be thrown into the lion’s den.  Daniel, being a man of God, was caught praying, during one of his 3 daily praying sessions.  As a result of his decree, the king had no choice but to throw Daniel into the lion’s den for his disobedience to societal law.  But what we have to understand is that even the laws of society do not outweigh the laws of God.  Because of his faith in God, Daniel was not harmed by the lions.  Daniel refused to compromise his beliefs and stood strong on his foundation in the Lord.

Are you (or am I) like Daniel or like so many people who waffle and waiver in the wind, scared to take a stand for what’s right, for fear of offending or appearing controversial.  It is never wrong to stand up for your beliefs in the Bible, never.  In light of the homosexual agenda and the overwhelming societal outcry against the sanctity of marriage, combined with the soon to be legislated hate speech laws (perhaps targeting those that speak out against issues like homosexuality), we’ve seen evidence of Christians being placed in situations more and more like Daniel.  Will you yield to demands of those around you and compromise your beliefs as a matter of convenience?  Or will you stand strong on your foundation in God, even to the point of death?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

*Edited 6/5/2015

**Image Credit – www.handdrawnwords.tubmlr.com