i'm just about to walk out the door, get in the car and drive to the next pit-stop that God has lead me to. over the past 4 months i have been greatly blessed with being able to work with the church in New Castle as a Gospel preacher, and it has been such a wonderful experience that has given me the first taste of type of life i am pursuing. i am very thankful to all the brethren there, for the encouragement, guidance, and prayers. i am very excited for the opportunities that are waiting for me in Morgantown, WV. even though this will be a large change from what i have been exposed to thus far i am comforted by the fact that God is constant and that He will watch over me. your prayers for a safe trip and a successful stay in WV are needed and appreciated! you all are in my prayers!
the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27 should open our eyes to the realization that everyone of us are indeed builders. but instead of building physical houses, we are builders of something far more important: our lives, character, and our very person.
everything that we do goes into the making of our "house". every commitment i make, every friendship i enter into, every skill that i progress or neglect, every promise that i honor or break contributes to the building of my "house"(character). and as christians, we are not free to decide what kind of house we want to build for ourselves. we are given an architectural blueprint for what kind of house God demands for us to be.
-not a barn
-not a outhouse
-not a whitewashed tomb(matt 23:25-28)
-not even a nice little house on the prairie
we are to be a TEMPLE of the Lord!(1 cor 3:16-17) are we using the materials that are worthy to be used in the holy and sacred dwelling place of God? are our thoughts, motives, words, and deeds the type of building materials that is adequate to be used in such a house?
lets live our lives with understanding that EVERYTHING that we do either contributes to the sanctification, or the desecration of our temple's.
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which you are." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Gods hand truly does work in very mysterious ways. it amazes me how the Lord works within our lives to bring forth the certain outcome that not only provides the greater well being of His servants, but more importantly, brings Glory to His name! it is a true testament to our shallow minds when we see a situation that seems dark, and without hope. but out of that chaos God ALWAYS brings good out of that (in our eyes)bad situation.
in 2 Kings 6:8-17 a servant had this same despairing perspective on a seemingly hopeless circumstance. now, this man was never mentioned by name, so, for the sake of story telling we'll give him the name "Bobby". we enjoy, and often wake up to the sound of birds singing and the sunshine blazing though our bedroom windows. but Bobby woke up not to the sound birds, but the sound of marching troops and horses. and though, Bobby might have woken up with the sunshine surrounding him, he also was surrounded by thousands of enemy soldiers and an entire army sent for the one purpose of killing him and his traveling buddy. this dude was in a tight spot. needless to say, Bobby starts to lose his cool. he awakes his master and asks him how in the world are we gonna get out of this mess?! and then Elisha tries to give his helper a comforting word "don't worry, Bobby! we got them out numbered!". to those of us that know the end of the story, this is a statement gives us courage, but to a half asleep, wigged out servant, i'm sure this was less then then comforting. right about then i'm sure Bobby was starting to wonder if Elisha was drinking something other then just water last night, or if he's not awake yet and just sleep talking. but Bobby knows that this Elisha dude is pretty smart, so he plays along and starts to count.
"ok" he points to himself and says in babytalk "one" and then points the finger at Elisha "two!" "two against..." he looks over the army. "... one, two, three,...5 thousand, six thousand..." "Eli, you crazy!"
Bobby had about given up that anything but bad could come out of this. then he saw Elisha mumbling something under his breath and suddenly Bobby not only understood what Elisha had said, but he understood that no matter how dreadful it seems through our human eyes, God ALWAYS brings good through it! and that which Bobby saw was the army of God! we need to see through Gods eyes! we need to mature in our perspective of this world and it's happenings.
i have been through some very, very rough times these past several months. and i feel like reacted even worse then Bobby. and through Gods wisdom and providence i have gained a new attitude and mind set on the trials on this earth. which finally brings us to the title of the post. my prayers have been answered, i am working with the church in New Castle as a gospel preacher! i'm very blessed that God has saw fit to use me to proclaim his word and truth! i ask for prayers for my time here as i take the next step in my service for the Lord!
God bless you all!
"For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.(19) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with all the saints, and are of God's household,(20) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,(21)in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,(22) in whom you also are being built into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."
what makes a great leader? what are the most essential qualities and attributes that a leader must have. one of them would be to serve, leading by serving. another might be to be bold and willing to speak up and say what is best for the group he is leading. but another quality that is most essential to any leader, is the ability to unite people. i think all of us have been in a situation where the leader you were following had a good plan, that would have been in every ones best interests but he couldn't get the people to work together. and vice versa, on a rare occasion, we are lucky enough to be part of something special, and thats being part of something that everybody is working together to obtain the goal. and it's amazing what is able to get accomplished when that is the case. but who has the ability to unify all people on this earth? who can possibly unite so many different cultures and languishes? God does! i've had the pleasure to meet Christians from all over America, and i've even met a few from Peru, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia and probably a few other country's. and when i hear of all of their different customs and traditions that so many of Gods children have. and even those in America, how different are we! and also we can think of the differences of the Jews and Gentiles. the people that lived back in the time of Christ would have thought that their was no way that any force could unite them together. but their is one force, and thats the force of Jesus Christ. HE brought us together that we would "no longer be strangers and aliens". and through HIM we are able to fit together, and be building blocks that makes up a temple for the Lord.
i'm gonna let you all find the application to this passage. theres plenty in there.
the following article i didn't write, but i try to read it every month just to refresh my perspective. so this month as i read it, i thought i'd write it for you to read too.
Give Me The Truth!
If you are my friend, if you are concerned about my soul, give me the truth. Do not flatter me do not praise my virtues while remaining silent about my vices. Do not fear that that the truth will offend me. Do not treasure our friendship, our friendly relations, above my salvation. Do not think that by ignoring my sins, you can help me. Do not think that being blind to my sins will prove yourself charitable. However i react to it, whatever may be my attitude toward you after you have done it, GIVE ME THE TRUTH! For the truth, and only the truth, can make me free from the shackles of sin, strengthen me in the pathway of righteousness and lead me to the joys of heaven. If i am wavering, weak, lukewarm, indifferent, neglectful; if i have been overtaken by trespass; if i have been drawn into the pleasure of the world; if i have left my first love; if i have been led astray by error; or if i have done none of these, but simply need to grow in knowledge and to be edified, GIVE ME THE TRUTH!
i certainly hope that this sentiment is help by each and everyone of us!
have a blessed holiday!