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March 4, 2019, 9:30 AM

A Resting Place


 

East Texas is a wonderful place to live. No matter where the Lord may lead us over the course of the rest of our lives, it will always be where I consider home. One of the special things about living in East Texas is the way you can experience all four seasons of the year in a single 24 hour time frame. Recently, the weather went from the high seventies and sunny to the high twenties and rainy in just over 12 hours. Thankfully, God has blessed us with a place to live where we can escape the elements of the weather. Our home is modest and, while we don’t have a lot of extra amenities, we do have the basic comforts of an American family. In our home, we can change the thermostat to make the air cooler or warmer to counter the temperature outside. The roof is new so we don’t have to worry about rain leaking in on us. We all have comfortable places to sleep and lounge around and the kitchen has all the necessary requirements to provide adequate meals for our family, in spite of my limited cooking abilities. What I’m trying to say is this, we have a place that we can go to escape from everything going on outside. We have a place to rest peacefully regardless of what the circumstance may be like around us. The author of Hebrews describes a similar rest that is available to everyone who will place their faith in Jesus. He exhorts his audience to not be like those who have heard the Gospel but chose not to combine it with faith, and thus forfeiting their opportunity to enter into the rest afforded by God through faith. The rest given by God is a perfect rest that can’t be attained by human works or merit. It can only be experienced through salvation in Jesus Christ. It is in this rest where a person can find protection from all the circumstances life may present. The author goes on to say in Hebrews 4:10 that anyone who enters this rest can rest from their work as well. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to go to your job tomorrow, but what it does mean is God gives a rest that you can’t get on your own through your own efforts so you can stop trying and embrace the rest in God. There is one caveat to this rest however, while the enemy can’t take this rest away from you, he can keep you from enjoying the fullness of its benefit. It doesn’t matter how comfortable my recliner is, I won’t be able to sit in it and rest if worry or anxiety have control of my mind and emotions. Don’t forfeit the rest you can have in God through Jesus Christ. As long as it is today, there still remains a hope for you to enter God’s rest by placing your faith in Christ alone. The Lord may not remove you from your troubles but He will give you rest in the midst of them.

Robert

https://youtu.be/mQru8LBQaKY




November 20, 2018, 10:45 AM

Our Father


Our Father. The two words that Jesus begins with in teaching the Model Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6. These words should bring a warmth and comfort to the hearts of people, but for so many, the idea of a father provides anything but peace and security. Fortunately, as Jesus continues, God is a Heavenly Father and far surpasses the greatness and glory of any earthly father. Unfortunately, not everyone can truly claim God as their Father. I understand that is a statement than some may find offensive, but as always we should look to the Scriptures for clarification. First of all, all of humanity is created in the image of God. God, in the creation account says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Gen 1:26,NIV). So beginning with Adam and continuing with his posterity, all people bear the image of God but not all people are the children of God. Secondly, Jesus, when speaking to the Pharisees, clearly delineates between those who are historical and biological descendants of Abraham and those who are the children of Abraham through the covenant made with him by God. In John 8:37, he uses the Greek word “seed” in recording Jesus words describing the Pharisees. In verse 44, Jesus tells them who their father is based on their rejection of Him, and leaves no room for doubt in v. 47. Finally, John 1:12 defines who the children of God are. Those who have believed in the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior have been given the right to be children of God, not because of natural descent or by human will, but having been born of God. Only those who have placed their faith in Christ alone can declare the words of 1 John 3:1 and can enjoy the benefits afforded by being His child such as those described in Psalm 103:13, Mt. 7:7-11, Heb. 13-5-6, and Heb. 12:5-11. All of these and so many more are given by God to those who He recognizes as His children. It’s not about whether you call God your Father, but does He recognize you as His child is what’s important.

https://youtu.be/qlsQrycKKsY

Robert




September 5, 2018, 11:06 AM

That’s Not What I Ordered


There was a man on vacation in Paris who went into an upscale restaurant and demanded to have the chef’s best culinary concoction and money was no object. He spoke in such a way that everyone in the restaurant could hear his boasting of having the chef’s specialty made just for him. As this man had thoughts of fine French cuisine dancing in his head and continued in his braggadocios behavior the waiter returned repeatedly and tried to convince the man to order something from the menu. After an hour of anxiously waiting and eventually becoming an annoyance to everyone else in the restaurant, the dish was delivered. As the waiter removed the top from the silver serving tray the delicatessen was revealed for all to see. You can imagine the disappointment of this man when he saw the plate and the waiter informed him that, “The chef says to tell you that his young daughter says his grilled cheese sandwich is the very best dish he prepares.” Many know the saying about not praying for patience because God will teach you how to be patient through trials and testing. The same is true for other characteristics such as wisdom – Solomon was faced with a difficult decision almost immediately after asking for wisdom. Another one that I have been reminded of recently is humility. At the root of all of us, there is a struggle with pride. The pride that comes from a promotion we received because of our merit or the number of followers we have on social media, or the attitude of authority that comes from being in a position of leadership. Scripture tells us that God resists the proud and draws near to the humble. I want to be in the group that God is near but it it’s often for selfish reasons. I order up a double portion of humility as if it were an item on a menu in a fancy restaurant but then I ask God to cut the humbling from it. You see, there is no way to have humility unless God humbles us when we need it. Having God humble me is a very difficult, but a required aspect of having humility and humility is a characteristic to be exhibited by Christians. The rub comes from my idea of humility being different from God’s. The Bible doesn’t teach a false humility that declares, “I’m really proud of how humble I am,” or the type that lessens the glory of God’s creation that I am, but the humility that acknowledges every good and perfect gift comes from God and on my own I am capable of nothing good. So, take it from me, humble pie isn’t as sweet as it sounds but if it is the thing that draws me back into a right relationship with the Lord, I’ll take it.

Robert


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