Live in Peace

Live in Peace

I was never comfortable when people would tell us, “You have such great faith.” During our years of raising our son with disabilities and his eventual homegoing, we continued to try and be a testimony for the Lord. At times I know that I failed to be all that I should have been, but as a family, our faith was in the Lord. I never felt that we had any more faith than most people who know the Lord. People would tell us that they could never do what we were experiencing. The truth is, we can do what the Lord calls us to do by His grace and power.

Not long ago I was in a church and was hearing a friend of mine preach and he mentioned that in our times of need and trials, we don’t need more faith, we need God’s peace.  That is when I realized that it has been God’s peace that has carried me and my family through the difficult times in life…not our faith!  We have been able to deal with some of the most trying times of life by having peace in the midst of the storms.

Yes our faith is put to the test in the trials of life, 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: but our faith is not what sustains us in our trials, it is the promise of peace.  The trust that we have in the Lord produces a peace that the Lord promises that we will have in our times of heartache and grief.

Jesus gave us this promise in John 14:26-27 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. The Lord has given us a Comforter in the person of the Holy Spirit.  He brings us peace when we are troubled and afraid.

At times of affliction, pain and grief we feel as though we must muster up a greater faith to believe that God will change the situation.  The truth is that the situation may not change and possibly can become worse.  The Bible never promises that our circumstances will change.  However, we have the promise of peace in all our problems. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. The promise of God is to comfort us in all our troubles.   Peace is the byproduct of comfort.

There is a peace that is promised to us when we take our circumstances, fears, and anxieties to the Lord. Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

During times of trial, we need to live in the peace of God.  He has promised that to us.  We may not fully understand it, but it will be there for us as we walk with Him through the valleys of life.  Sometimes we can’t seem to muster up greater faith, but we can live with a perfect peace.

The Truth Is…

The Truth Is…

John 18:37-38 “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”

In the world in which we are living, many people are looking for the truth.  Today it seems as though truth is relative; people believe the truth that they want to hear.  I can almost hear people ask the same question that Pilate asked Jesus before he crucified the Lord, “What is truth?”  Is it your truth or my truth or is it truth because someone shouts louder than another person?  People can refer to “facts” that they have heard to back up their truth and another person has a different set of “facts” to back up their claims.  Sources abound, yet none seem to be fully trusted.

As a Bible believing Christian, my truth is derived from the Word of God.  I know that some will discount my opinion immediately because they don’t believe the Bible.  Fair enough.  However, the Bible has never been proven wrong.  Much of the history that is in the Bible was written as prophecy, hundreds of years before it took place.  Truth is never relative, it is either true or false.

The truth is (pun intended), that the Word of God changed my life and the lives of countless other people.  When I chose to take the Bible for what it said, it transformed my life.  The main theme of the Bible is, the Word that was made flesh, Jesus Christ.  It was Christ that died on the cross, was buried and rose again, according to the Scriptures.  He came and lived a sinless life and died for the sins of the entire world, so that mankind could be reconciled to their Creator God.

Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Jesus said of the Word of God “Sanctify them through thy TRUTH: thy word is TRUTH.” (John 17:17) The Bible says of Jesus, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and TRUTH.” (John 1:14)

Many today would claim that they believe in Jesus.  But is your Jesus the Jesus of the Word of God?  Again, TRUTH is not what we pick and choose, it is either true or false.  Friend, you can trust in the TRUE Savior Jesus Christ and The Word of God.  It has never failed me personally and I know it will never fail you.  People will let you down, religion will disappoint, but Jesus and the Bible are fully dependable.  Place your faith in the Lord Jesus today! Then the Bible, the truth of God, will become clear to you and change your life…for the better! And that, my friend, is the TRUTH!

November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Since 1997, November has been designated by presidential proclamation as “National Family Caregivers” month.  In recognition of the work that over 90 million people in the United States do 24/7 caring for a loved one.  As caregivers for more than 28 years, my wife, myself, and our other two sons experienced the challenges and the joys that caring for a child with special needs brings to a family.

Caring for someone you love isn’t a burden, but it is hard work.  I, for one, am grateful that the work being done by many of our fellow citizens is being recognized this month.  They go about their tasks without complaining and without any compensation, other than the love they receive from those they care for.  In our case, it was our son with special needs, but so many others are busy caring for a parent that is aging, or a spouse that has need of extra care.

The work that family caregivers do is exhausting.  They put in many hours: organizing medications, planning, and going to doctor appointments, ensuring that their loved one’s needs are being met.  All the while, juggling jobs and their own household responsibilities.  Even if their loved one is in a care facility of some type, the stress of making sure they are cared for can be overwhelming.  They truly are the unsung heroes of our day.  From time to time you may notice them out in the community doing the work, but for the most part, you would never notice them as they go about their day.

So this month, if you have an opportunity, tell a family caregiver “thank you” for the labor of love that they do. We all must realize that at some point in time we will probably be in their shoes, caring for someone we love.

Below is the link to the 2020 Presidential proclamation honoring Family Caregivers.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-national-family-caregivers-month-2020/

God bless the Family Caregivers!!!

 

The Heart of the Shepherd

The Heart of the Shepherd

I have had the privilege of sitting in on some conference calls and to speak personally with several pastors since the beginning of the “pandemic” that the world is going through. To a man, the biggest desire on all of their hearts is to see the flock whom the Lord has made them overseers. They struggle with not being able to tend to the needs of their people. They may be able to preach using technology that is available or even has drive-in services, but it’s not the same as being together as a body or a flock.
Jesus compares His followers to sheep. Sheep are very dependent animals. The shepherd leads feeds and protects the flock. Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd.
John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so, know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
The Lord cares for His individual sheep and the sheep are called to follow Him. He even spoke of the shepherd that would leave the fold of 99 and search for the one that was lost. His care for us is never-ending.
Those of us that are part of a church body or flock need to understand the heart of the man that the Lord has made overseer of his local flock. These men are not just hurting at this time because things are so different, but, they hurt for each church member. This is a time of anxiety for many of the flock and the under-shepherd wants to minister to the needs of the sheep. That goes beyond just preaching and praying. They have a heart of wanting to lead, feed, and protect those in his care. Pray for the Pastors that have the heart of a shepherd today. They are not only experiencing their own individual pain but, also they feel the hurt of every one of the sheep he leads.
Be sure that you are part of the flock of God. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for you so that you can be forgiven by the grace of God. He paid the price for our sin so that we can be in the fold. Won’t you trust in Christ today? Ask God to forgive your sin and accept as Jesus is the only way of having your sins forgiven and receive Him as your Savior. Make Him your Shepherd and you will know His heart.

Unexpected

Unexpected

I want to share with you an excerpt from a new book that I am in the midst of writing, “Unexpected.”  Considering the days that we are living in, the timing of this book may be perfect.  This passage is from the second chapter, “Reacting to the Unexpected.”

I find it interesting that Job had to rise up after hearing the devastating news. Some have speculated that in his sorrow he fell to the ground, it may mean that he was seated when he heard the news. I believe that he may have been in prayer for his children at the very moment that he received the news of his great loss. His habit was that he prayed for his children when they would gather together.
Job 1:4-5 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 1:13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
This is purely speculation on my part, but it could be that Job was sacrificing and praying for his children as they were killed when the house they were celebrating in collapsed from a strong wind.
What a perfect time for Satan to attack Job as he was in prayer. Remember, Satan’s purpose was to get Job to curse God to His face. Not only did God not protect Job’s children from cursing God in their hearts, but they died at the celebration. The thing that Job feared the most happened to him.
Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Never forget, child of God, you have an enemy that will never fight fair.