There Is a Prophet

20 06 2008

I’m sorry that my posts have been far and few. Thanks for looking in.  I’ve been working hard trying to get thru my training with Farmers.  Please be in prayer for me because a critical time is coming up in this endeavor that will either make me or break me.  I’ve got to sale a certain number of policies within a certain time period while at the same time preparing for my Series 6 and 63 test.  Through all of this preparation though I want you to know that I’m doing my very best to keep God first and I’ve made sure that before I study any insurance that I study the Word.  Seek ye first…

Today I read 2 Kings 5.  It is the story of Naamanwho was a commander of the army of the King of Syria.  He was not from Israel but he is a man that God is going to show a lot of grace and mercy to.  He is this great commander but he has leprocy, a terrible disease.

Here is some mercy being shown.  In one of Syria’s raids a little Israelite girl is carried off and is placed in the service of Naaman’s wife.  Was this a coincidence?  Absolutely not!  God has a plan that is greater than you or I could ever imagine.  God is going to use this little girl as a means of bringing glory to Himself.  This little girl said to Naaman’s wife:  2 Kings 5:3 (ESV) She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Through this little girl Naaman hears of Elisha the prophet.

Naaman gets permission to go to Israel and he goes to the King of Israel for help.  This confuses the King of Israel because he knows that he has no ability to heal Naaman.  Elisha hears of this and sends a word to the king to send Naaman to him.  And then Elisha says this:  “Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.”  He wants Naaman to come to him that he may heal him but even greater than this he wants his gentile Naaman to know that there is a prophet in Israel. 

A prophet is someone who has a Word from the Lord.  If you look closely in the Scriptures you will notice that nearly all of the miracles in the Bible were for the sole purpose of confirming the Word of God.  God wants all to know that He means what He says when He says it.

Well Naaman comes to Elisha and Elisha tells him to go to the Jordan and wash seven times.  Naaman is upset though.  The prophet’s means of healing him is not what he expects.  He wanted some sort of magic show where the prophet said some words and waved his hand over the place of leprocy.  He leaves Elisha upset saying that he can go back to Syria and wash in a river there.

Here is some more mercy.  Naaman’s servants plead with him to do what the prophet said.  God could have just hardened his heart and let him return to Syria and keep his leprocy.  But He didn’t.  In His mercy he worked through the servants.  Naaman listened to the servants and did what the prophet said and was healed.  He immediately turned around and went back to the prophet Elisha.  He then knew that there truly was a prophet of God in Israel.  God confirmed his Word and brought glory to Himself.

Isn’t the Lord so gracious and merciful to us.  Just think of the people that he has placed in your life much like this little girl that was captured in a raid.  Are they there by accident?  I think not.  Just think of the mercy that comes to us when Godly friends help us do what is right.  That is the Lord’s mercy towards you keeping you from evil.  You see God wants to get glory in your life just as He did in Naaman’s life.  He wants to confirm to you that His Word is true.

I know many believe that the Word is outdated but what God has said in the Scriptures is true.  Sin is never ever good for you.  Sin will destroy you.  If you don’t believe me then read the end of 2 Kings 5 and see what happens to Elisha’s servant who got a little greedy and lied about it.  Sin is a lot like leprocy.  Covering it up won’t help.

Please allow the Lord to prove Himself in your life.


Burning Your Bridges (Oxen)

17 06 2008

In my quiet time this morning I came across some Scripture in 1 Kings that reminded me of a sermon I preached on this subject.  I preached this message to some missionaries in India.  Seems as though I remember Ralph Davis’ book on 1 Kings helping me a lot here.  I thought I would share my sermon notes with you.  I’ve been really really busy with gearing up to open my insurance agency.  Please pray for me.


Shields of Bronze

13 06 2008

While passing through 1 Kings 14 I came across a couple of lines that got my attention and I thought I would stop a moment and type out a few thoughts.  This is what I read:  “1 Kings 14:25-27 (ESV) In the fifth year of King Re-hoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house.”

I remember reading about the shields of gold that were taken away by Shishak, King of Egypt.  These shields were crafted during the reign of Solomon.  For me they represented one of the best times in the life of Israel.  God was blessing the reign of Solomon so very much.  God was fulfilling a promise to Solomon that he would not only give him much wisdom, but He would also provide him with very great wealth.  Shields of gold are a testament of God’s blessings.

Now they are stolen away and Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, must replace them with shields of bronze.  He is wanting to keep up the appearance of blessing but in all actuality he is living a lie.  He is wanting a gold standard life but he is settling with bronze.  Why?

It all began with his father Solomon.  When God promised Solomon great wealth and blessing He did so with a catch.  I will bless you and those who follow you forever said the Lord as long as you walk  in my ways and statutes.  There came a time in Solomon’s life where he did not live up to that request.  He married many times over but then he got caught up in his wives’s false worship.  After sending him many warnings God divided his Kingdom and his son had the southern remnant that was left.

But then it tells us that Rehoboam allowed false worship to spread in Judah.  Judah provoked the Lord for their sins and the Lord punished.  His punishment was the defeat by Shishak who stole the shields.

I just wonder how many times we find ourselves in the place of Rehoboam.  Sin has caused us to find the displeasure of God but we want to keep up the front.  We continue to go on as if nothing has happened and we put a smile on it all.  In reality there is something vitally wrong and we cover it up.  We place a band aid on cancer and hope that it gets better.  It won’t.  You have got to deal with the cancer on the inside.  Solomon didn’t deal with it.  Rehoboam didn’t deal with it.  No longer do they live in their golden world.

Just whistling a happy tune will not make things better at all.  We must admit that we have sinned and go to the one to whom we have sinned against.  In the words of Chris Tomlin: 

We bow our hearts
We bend our knees
Oh Spirit come make us humble
We turn our eyes
From evil things
Oh Lord we cast down our idols

So give us clean hands
and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh give us clean hands
and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh God let this be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob
Oh God let us be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob

Where Are The Weepers?

10 06 2008

I’ve been catching up on my daily Bible reading.  I know.  I know.  If it is my daily Bible reading then why are you catching up?  Because I missed a few days.  Today one of my readings came from Psalm 126.  In that Scripture it says:  Psalms 126:5-6 (ESV) 5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! 6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

The weepers are the reapers in the Kingdom of God.  It got me thinking about a sermon that I heard a long long time ago.  I have forgotten who preached it but he said that in most churches we have traded our weepers for other types of people.  Nobody is weeping over lost souls anymore.  Instead most churches are filled with people who think that church is for them and all their wants and wishes.  I heard a preacher once say and I agree that church is for those who have not yet been reached. 

Getting back to that sermon that I heard that preacher said that we have traded our weepers and like some baseball teams we have made some very bad trades.

We have traded our weepers for beepers.  Beepers are those who always have something to honk about.   They complain complain complain.  We have traded our weepers for beepers but beepers cannot be reapers in the Kingdom of God.

We have traded our weepers for keepers.  They always want to be in charge of the budget.  They are against spending any money unless it benefits them.  They have such a tight grip on George Washing and Abraham Lincoln they have their backs out of wack.  We have traded our weepers for keepers but keepers cannot be reapers in the Kingdom of God.

We have traded our weepers for creapers.  Creapers are those who are so bound by tradition that the church never moves and adapts to those to whom it is trying to reach.  They just want to creap along. Their war cry is, “We never did it that way before.”  They don’t want no singing on the wall.  We hae traded our weepers for creapers for creapers cannot be reapers in the Kingdom of God.

We have traded our weepers for deepers.  Deepers are those who are so spiritual that they don’t need to grow anymore.  I mean they know it all.  Just ask them.  They don’t need Sunday School or small group.  They don’t need any type of Bible Study.  They are deep or at least they think they are.  They are a mile wide and one inch thick.  We have traded our weepers for deepers but deepers cannot be reapers in the Kingdom of God.

We have traded our weepers for peepers.  Peepers are those who like to watch.  They come into the church and watch the choir, watch the preacher, and then watch the watch when it gets close to twelve oclock.  And then they go out and watch people go to hell all around them.  We have traded our weepers for peepers but peepers cannot be reapers for the Kingdom of God.

We have traded our weepers for leapers.  Those are the church hoppers.  They hop from one church to another to find the church that is the best fit for them.  They never think about how they might fit into the church.  If the preacher offends them then they just move on.  We have traded our weepers for leapers but leapers cannot be reapers in the Kingdom of God.

No, it is the weepers that reap the harvest.  I’m not talking about shallow emotionalism.  I’m talking about having a burden for those who are lost and dying to hell to the point that it disturbs us.  It disturbs us to the point of tears.

I must admit that at times I would rather be a creaper or a peeker.  When I become something else I just try to bring my mind back to Calvary and see my dying Savior.  He did that for me.  He did that because He loves me and He wanted me to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  Lord make me a weeper.


Been There…Done That

10 06 2008

Your Not Going To Eat My Kids

3 06 2008

As I continue to go through the Scripture in my reading I came across one of my favorite passages in 2 Samuel 21. The Lord comes to David and tells him that he (David) must right a wrong that the former King Saul had committed. Saul had attacked the Gibeonites during his reign as king. The only thing wrong with this is that Joshua had made a covenant with the Gibeonites that they would be protected from Israel. Because of this sin there had been a famine in the land for three years. God told David that he needed to make it right.

Is it me or do you not think that it is awesome that after all this time God is remembering the covenant made with the Gibeonites. You and I should take a lesson from our God when it comes to keeping our promises. Oh, by the way you do realize that when you make a debt you promise to repay that debt. CHRISTIANS SHOULD PAY THEIR BILLS!!!.

When David went to the Gibeonites to ask them what he could do to repay the wrong they quickly told him that they did not want silver or gold. They wanted seven of Saul’s sons to be given over to them so that might hang them. David agreed to give them.

Let’s just stop right there and make a few comments. Sometimes we as parents do some goofy things without ever taking into account the consequences for doing so. Here you have Saul sinning and his sons paying the price for his sin. Now you may cry out that this is wrong but it is reality. Our sins have a way of costing those we love around us. You see it all throughout the Scriptures but you see it all around us as well. I’ve seen it in my own life. Many times you just wish that you could relive that moment when you failed. Well you can’t. And yes, God can forgive you but the scars remain.

Well the Gibeonites hang the sons. Two of them were the sons of Rizpah, one of the wives of Saul. After they hung the seven Rizpah did a very noble thing. She did something that got the attention of the King. This is what the Scriptures says: “2 Samuel 21:10 (KJV)
10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.” Each day and night she remained there and would not let the buzzards eat away at her children. She did this until after hearing of her sacrifice David took them down and gave them a proper burial.

Rizpah did what Saul would not do. He sinned without thinking of the consequences. She toiled day and night keeping the buzzards away.

Rizpah is a lot like my wonderful wife Candie. Candie is not perfect but most of the time she is going to do the right thing because she has those around her in mind. She tries so hard to be a good mom. I’m so thankful that God gave her to me.

These days parents just let their kids do whatever they want. Most parents feel to guilty to say otherwise because their lives are filled with failure. We have parents who just simply fail to lead because they feel unable. The great thing about the Christian life is that we can change. We can change. Failure does not have to define our future. One of the greatest promises in the Scripture to me is the one that speaks of God’s ability to restore the years that the locust have eaten. God can restore the years of our failure. Praise the Lord!

I say that because I have found myself in the past living more like Saul that Rizpah.