Posts Tagged ‘ Hope ’

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/22/2012

A simple one is all I have for today, and do not forget Proverbial Thought!. Today’s poem is a message of hope and encouragement from our Lord and God.

Do not be deceived, my child.

All that happens in this world
That is bad is not of my will.

I can make it all work for my plan,
And I do, but it is not of me.

Turn to me and I will help you.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 104.

The Bittersweetness of the Living Water

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John 7:38

There are many songs today that declare the greatness of life in the Spirit, who is often called the Living Water. Many teachings discuss the great life Christians have through the Holy Spirit.

One teaching was lacking in many churches, especially those which reached and some still reaching very large audiences, has been what life in the Spirit was promised to truly be like.

Life is indeed amazing when the Holy Spirit is free to move through us, but a better understanding of “great” should be made clear.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Jesus said we would experience trouble. With or without Christ, life in this world will be hard. In fact, it can be even harsher on Christians due to persecution in many different ways.

In other words, the gift of the Holy Spirit might be exactly what causes much of our grief:

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
John 16:7-11

People do not like feeling convicted. Especially in our Western culture in which we are told we are to love ourselves as we are, that we are born the way we are supposed to be and cannot really help some or all of the things we do, being told we need to change can be dangerous. If the Holy Spirit moves through us to touch the lives of others, we should expect to be on the receiving end of at least some backlash of a frightened and wounded soul confronted with its sin.

When our internet connection slows down, in most cases we blame our computers first, when it is something with the internet itself (such as high traffic).

When the hot water in the shower turns cold, we get upset with the shower head or the knob(s) which control the water, when it is the water heater being unable to keep up with our consumption of hot water.

When we feel convicted, we blame the person delivering the words that reveal our shame and guilt, when God is the One who convicts of our mistakes and sins.

Notice, however, that at the root of all of these is human activity. This, though, is another topic for discussion later!

In all of this bitterness, our Lord has promised sweetness, as well:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

We can have hope and peace in the middle of trouble and persecution through the Holy Spirit. Also:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him
James 1:2-12

Trials help to prepare us. They prepare us for eternity, but, in the more immediate, to help others.

As stated, the Holy Spirit moves through us to convict others and bring glory to God. More often than not, we are used to help people who experience something through which we have been.

There is a definite bittersweetness to life as a Christian, but as the Living Water flows through us we are strengthened and are used to strengthen others. Ultimately this is all to bring glory to God.

Endure. Persevere. Be a part of bringing glory to God.

Will You Go Through Hell with Me?

Last week I started this mini-series with “Will You Go To Hell with Me?” It is not enough to know what the Bible says, we have to live it out. It is not enough to say “Jesus is Lord,” we have to show it. It is not enough to talk about love, we have to share it.

Part 2:

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Jude 17-23

Some of the people I mentioned last week fit the first couple verses’ warning. Some of these people are in conservative churches. Some are in liberal churches. Some in “mainline” churches (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etcetera) and Catholic churches have been around since before the vast majority of denominations and churches ever existed up through today. This is not a new thing, but the evidence seems to be pointing ever more toward us being close to the end. Either people are not showing love, or they are showing the wrong kind of love.

(On an interesting sidenote, Harold Camping, who predicted the world would end last year with Christ’s return, last week publicly repented of his sin of claiming to know the hour and day of said Return. Bravo, Mr. Camping, for owning up to your sins; and praise You, Father, for working in all things!)

People may be stupid, but, individually, people are also really smart. They frequently know when someone is not being real with them.

Here is a rebuke:

Stop offering to pray for people;
Stop telling people you feel for them;
Stop feeling sorry for them;
Stop giving money to them …

Unless you are willing to love them and walk with them in their pain.

At the Rock & Worship Roadshow, Jason Dunn of Hawk Nelson said (of the children from Compassion) “If you look at these pictures and feel guilty, then we ask you not to sponsor one of these children. The Apostle Paul told us that if we are not acting out of love, then everything we do is worthless. You should sponsor a child only because a love inside of you is compelling you to help them.”

This can be true for every other area in which we must show love for others.

The only way we Christians, we followers of Christ, can “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear” is if we climb into the fire with them. We show them we care by walking through their pain and sadness with them. We show them we care by experiencing their hurt, doubt, hatred, and fear with them.

They know when we are just saying “I want to help you,” because they see us not helping.

I am just as guilty of this as the next guy.

And those who are living it out probably will never read this, because they are picking up the slack for the rest of us. This means that our brothers and sisters living out their faith are just as much in need of our love and support! Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” includes Christians and non-Christians, family and strangers, friends and enemies.

Spread the Gospel by being Jesus’ hands and feet … and mouth and shoulder and shirt for runny noses and blanket and socks for cold feet and shoes for hurting feet and legs for the weary.

And do not think you are doing it by yourself and in your own power. There is no way we can climb into the flames to reach others and get back out with help. (Perhaps someday I will share a dream I had about this)

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
Jude 24-25

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 01/15/2012

I have been wanting to post this poem all year! (You know, the last two weeks) But I had decided months ago that I would post poems from my second book roughly in order. This is the third poem (technically speaking, as the “first poem” is a dedication for the book). I hope you find strength in its words.

God, Give Us Hope

Our future is looking grim.
Plans for peace seem far.
We do not know what to do.
God, give us Hope.

There is no peace in the world.
Things are all awry.
Our planet is torn apart.
God, give us Hope.

When things are getting worse,
Though times are getting tough,
We might be spiraling down,
God gives us Hope.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 17.

My Re-Birthday

On this day 12 years ago, at 6:46 PM CST, I began consciously following Jesus Christ as my Savior (arguably, it was another six months and 17 days before I consciously made Him my Lord).

I call it my Re-Birthday, because, at least in the Evangelical world, it is said you become born again when you believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ through His life, death, and resurrection. Therefore, I am re-12!

I like calling it my Re-Birthday, also, because it is fun!

12 years ago today, I began to willfully choose to at least try to listen to God and believe that He saved me through Jesus Christ. I like to celebrate this day as a special reminder (kind of like Christmas or Easter/Resurrection Sunday, but slightly more personal), and I encourage all followers of Christ to do the same. If you are not sure what day you truly believed, you can go off of your baptism, as most churches keep a record of that day. If you do not know what day you were baptized or were baptized as an infant, just use your actual birthday.

Honestly, this is something that should be done continually and every day, but it is also fun as well as one more way to share your faith.

Also, please join me in wishing my wonderful mother-in-law a happy birthday. It is her actual birthday today, and without her I would not have my amazing wife!

God bless you, and remember that Jesus Christ is the reason we live and move and breathe and have meaning!