Thursday, April 26, 2018

Whose Hands Are We Holding Up?

"And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed,
But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it.  And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
Exodus 17:11-12 (NKJV)

There are many kinds of public transportation systems that are found in the European countries that I have been to.  When using some type of public transportation, there have been times I saw someone struggling with luggage, a baby stroller, or something else.  Whenever I had the chance, I would help them.  With my assistance they were able to do what they needed to do.  But, when I helped that person I was not just helping them but anyone they were with and even the overall public transportation system because I helped things move quicker than they would have otherwise. 

When we have the ability to do something that will help another person, with whatever they are doing and we can make their task easier, we should.  In the story from Exodus 17, Moses got tired so two people helped him by holding up his hands.  When Aaron and Hur helped Moses, they were not just helping Moses, these men were actually helping the people of Israel and even helping God's plan come to pass.  When we help someone, like with what Aaron and Hur did, we are directly helping that person, but it can also be that we are involved in something bigger. 

Do we realize that when we help in our church on some team that we are really helping the Pastor and also helping God?  Every person is an important part of their team, each team is an important part of their church, and each church is an important part of God's plan.  Every person on a team is a part of the team, a part of the church, and a part of God's plan.  If we don't work together then we won't fulfill the overall will of God because God's plan is bigger than just one person.  The question for us today is, whose hands are we holding up?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Light And More Light

"For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light."
Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)

If you were in a dark place, with very little or no light, and a distance away from you there was some light, would you move towards that light?  Normally the answer would be yes, usually we want more light and not less.  As you move towards the light you would be able to see things better due to the increase of the light.  If you just stayed where you were you would not have any more light than you did at the beginning, and if you moved in the opposite direction you would have less and less light.  For most people the simple thing to do when it is dark is to get more light. 

God's Word will give us light, it will give us understanding (Psalm 119:130).  Psalm 36:9 tells us how in God's light we get more light.  The more light and understanding we have from God's Word, the more light and understanding we will be in a position to receive from God's Word.  In other words, as we come to better understand what God has said in His Word, we can then receive even more light, wisdom, understanding, and clarity from God's Word.  But, when we do not follow, or even reject, the guidance we receive from God's Word it is like turning off the light.

If we do not receive the light and understanding that God's Word can give us, the less we will understand what God is saying to us through His Word.  This is the reason some Christians struggle, they have received some light from the Bible but they have ignored, rejected, or failed to act on that light and they have put themselves in the dark.  But, no matter where we are today, more light is available to us and God is ready to help us understand and follow His Word.  When we walk in the light and understanding of what we know from the Bible it is like bringing more light into our lives.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Strategic Positioning

"For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south.
But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another."
Psalm 75:6-7 (NKJV)

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch someone play chess who is very skilled at it?  Some people even get to the level of being a Chess Master.  One thing that all good chess players have in common, especially if someone is a Chess Master, is that they play the game thinking well ahead of their current move.  Often someone who is very skilled at the game of chess is planning their next move while considering several moves beyond that.  Many times what may look like a very ordinary move is actually a setup for something bigger that is coming later. 

Like a skillful chess player, God moves people around and strategically positions people for His plan.  For most people, the movements do not look significant, but there is a reason for every move.  We may not see the purpose to it, but God is orchestrating something.  We may not always understand why God moves us or others into different areas or directs us to get involved in different things, but God knows exactly why.  God is often organizing something that we do not recognize until it all falls into place.  God is strategically positioning and preparing us and others for something great.

God moves people into positions just like a master chess player moves pieces.  There are times that God will move us geographically to prepare us for something that He wants to do and there are times that God will move us spiritually, so to speak, by helping us grow and develop certain things in our life that He will put to use at a later time.  This is why it is so important for us to learn to follow the course of life God has given us in His Word and to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.  We may not see or understand exactly what God is doing in our life now, but we can be sure that His strategic planning is at work. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

This Is Not An Actual Emergency

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;"
Psalm 46:1-2 (NKJV)

When I was growing up, from time to time the television channels we received would run a test of what was called The Emergency Broadcast System.  When these tests happened, an announcement would be made that a test was about to take place and this would be followed by a test signal, a tone.  Once that was over there would be another announcement reminding everyone that this was only a test and if it had been an actual emergency further instructions would be given about what needed to be done.  Because it was not an actual emergency there was nothing to worry about.

Everyone faces challenges in life, no one is exempt from this.  We serve a wonderful, loving God, but this world is under the influence of sin and we will have problems.  But, no matter what difficulty we may be confronted with, God is with us to help us.  When we find ourselves in a difficult situation the devil will always tell us how bad things are and he will do everything that he can to persuade us that we are in a crisis that is too big, even for God to help us with.  This is when it is good to remind ourselves that no matter what we face in life it is no surprise to God and nothing is too big for Him to help us with.

Regardless of what we may face, we can be confident that God has already been working to prepare us for it.  Through His Word and by the Holy Spirit He will help us to overcome any negative situation.  God is constantly working in our life to help us live the life Jesus provided for us, and when a problem arises we can be sure that God has either already equipped us to deal with it or the answer is on the way.  If what we faced had been an actual emergency, then God would have already instructed us about what to do and further instructions would definitely be coming our way.  No matter how bad things may look, we can trust that God is with us and He will always deliver us.