RSS

Tag Archives: promises

Building Upon The Rock

Last night, I ran into an old friend of mine from school. We locked eyes and were genuinely happy to see each other. We embraced each other and talked about how quickly time passes and she nodded toward her daughter when I asked if she had grandchildren yet. Her daughter was pregnant with her first grandchild who would be arriving in a few months. She spoke briefly of struggles she had been dealing with but that she was doing better. The new baby gave her renewed hope and direction for her life. I encouraged her and told her that she could continue to come out of her struggles. Hope is often something that seems lost in the moment of struggle. At least it does briefly, until you refocus on the goal at hand, but more importantly hope is found in God.

Our community has been hit lately with some tough weather. We’ve had two weeks of snow and slick roads. Then it warmed up, which was great, but then yesterday morning the rivers and streams began to overflow. Many areas are dealing with flooding and being trapped once again in their homes by weather. Today it is sleeting, so the roads are very icy. The weather is affecting business. It’s also affecting others paychecks because they can’t get to work. But, we can’t let it get us down. We have to still live and do. I started thinking of the much quoted scripture in Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That verse has often reminded me that God’s hand is on my life and that He wants the best for me. But, I decided this morning to explore the whole chapter. I think we should really remember to look at the whole context of the passage. Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylon, this is what Jeremiah 29 is about. He reminds the people that God knows where they are and why there are there. It makes no sense to the people why they are captive and dealing with trouble, but God knows the full picture. Jeremiah reminds them that God hasn’t abandoned them. He also warns them about listening to false prophets. These false prophets were telling them that their captivity would be brief. That wasn’t the case; their captivity would be for seventy years. Jeremiah tells the people that in this time period continue to build homes, plant gardens, and marry their sons and daughters. It’s hard sometimes to continue living even when the circumstances aren’t good, but we have to continue on. If we just sit down and do nothing when things are bad, we would not do ourselves or our future any good. Why does Jeremiah encourage them to keep building, planting and marrying? They needed to continue doing so because they are readying the future generation to come into the Promised Land. When we are struggling, we have to look past ourselves and look toward those who will benefit in our struggling. We have to teach the next generation that hope comes from God. We have to endure, so that we will survive, but more importantly so that the future generation will survive.
Think about your life and tough moments in your life. It was tough to go through those things, but have they helped you to be compassionate to others who’ve went through similar circumstances? Have they given you the ability to feed into someone else who is going through what you have already overcome? I know that through tough moments in the past and even current ones, I question God and ask why. But, we have to be ok with the fact that He knows and that His plans aren’t to harm us. He wants us to call upon Him and seek Him. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to rely fully on Him. He wants us not to be selfish but to think of others. He wants us to build our future through people, our offspring and our community. We need to keep building and planting. Our relationships with mankind need to be reaching and lifting. Our arms need to embrace each other. We need to encourage one another. We need to pray for one another. We need to love one another.

“For the Lord says, ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you and keep My promise to you. I will bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will bring you back and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have made you go,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you away.” Jeremiah 29:10-14

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Promises, Promises

“You have heard that it was said long ago, ‘You must not make a promise you cannot keep. You must carry out your promises to the Lord.’  I tell you, do not use strong words when you make a promise. Do not promise by heaven. It is the place where God is. Do not promise by earth. It is where He rests His feet. Do not promise by Jerusalem. It is the city of the great King.  36 Do not promise by your head. You are not able to make one hair white or black. Let your yes be YES. Let your no be NO. Anything more than this comes from the devil.”  Matthew 5:33-37 NLV

 

Words used to mean something to people.   I remember when I was a kid, I was told not to make promises that I couldn’t keep.  So, I’ve always tried to be cautious of what I would say.  I don’t like to commit to something that I’m not going to follow through with.  Loyalty and commitment seems to be lacking as well.  I guess we live in an age where everything is disposable.  Marriages can be tossed to the wayside if you’re just tired of being with that “true love.”  How many true loves does a person have to go through before you actually find the one that truly is true?  Marriage isn’t easy; it takes two people who are genuinely committed to one another.  My marriage hasn’t been all roses and perfect days.  Life just isn’t that way.  I am blessed enough to have someone that stands by me and will ride the storms of indifference, trials, and life.  Both people have to be committed to the relationship.  Both have to be willing to let go of selfish desires and bend every now and then for the other person.

I find it funny how often people change their “BFF.”  I wonder if they truly know what the acronym means.  People treat relationships the way Baskin Robbins declares, “The Flavor of the Week.”   Friendships become disposable.  If someone is aggravating you too much or doesn’t pay you enough attention, it’s time to trade them in for someone else.

I even see it in the church world.  We treat church like Walmart…..give me the best product at the least cost to me.  Is that even close to what Jesus wants the church to be?  We shop around churches and if they aren’t giving us the deals we want, we find one that will.  Isn’t the church body supposed to be living sacrifices?  Do we even know what a sacrifice is?  Loyalty and commitment is a sacrifice.  Honor and integrity is a sacrifice.  Given up self-agenda is a sacrifice.

I pray that people will start to remember the value of their words.  I pray that people will remember that genuine character is commitment, loyalty, and service.  I pray the church will awaken to the truths of the gospel. 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paradise Lost?

Fruit Juice Dripping from Woman's HandParadise is available to all, but many are decieved and kept from it.  In the Garden of Eden, Satan appeared to Eve with the greatest tool of all that still keeps man from paradise; deception.  Satan enticed Eve with the desire of knowing all and promising that this one little action would not cause death.  In turn, a bite of this fruit that dripped at first with pleasure quickly caused the sour taste of sin to come into existence.  Man was then thrown out of Paradise.

Satan hasn’t changed in his plan, he wants to rob you, me, and others of paradise.  He entices mankind with promises of greatness, knowledge, and pleasure.  We become fooled into believing that this life is the only one we should be concerned with.  We question God and discount His existence.  We get trapped into this web of deciet and wonder why we keep searching for paradise.  We wonder why we feel so empty, even with the “best things in life.”  This is a cheap trade for an eternal richness, everlasting life.

Jesus came to give us abundant life.  John 10:10 says,”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Does this mean that Christians will have the best car, biggest house, and fullest bank account? No, this life is temporary.  The eternal life is where abundance is….where paradise is.  We are just passing through this life to get there.  Don’t loose paradise because there will be Hell to pay and that’s what Satan wants.

“A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life; a man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom; a thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption, but in the Divine plan it was a thief who was the escort of the King of kings into Paradise. If Our Lord had come merely as a teacher, the thief would never have asked for forgiveness. But since the thief’s request touched the reason of His coming to earth, namely, to save souls, the thief heard the immediate answer:

‘I promise thee, this day thou shalt be With Me in Paradise’ (Luke 23:43)

It was the thief’s last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Saviour.” ― Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,