Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thanks for the Bread

Dear Friend,
I’m writing to say thanks. I wish I could thank you personally, but I don’t know where you are. I wish I could call you, but I don’t know your name. If I knew your appearance, I’d look for you, but your face is fuzzy in my memory. But I’ll never forget what you did. If you’ve ever read Max Lucado’s book, In The Eye Of The Storm, you can recall the story.
A young man was working in a Texas oil field where on a hot day, one of the bosses came out to a group of rough men. Right there he invited them to a church meeting, believing against all odds that not one of them would come. They may laugh at him or make fun of him. But what he did not know, is that his courage and his love for God would later help a young man who was deciding if he could come back to the faith of his youth.
That’s the wonder of our lives, we may never see what good we do when we listen to God’s leading, but our obedience can and might become the bread of life for someone else. I can recall in my own life how others, without them even knowing it, have given me the courage, the desire, the hope to continue on when l wanted to give up. I’m not sure where I would be if not for those who have been a friend to me and have loved me, through their actions and kind words. Just think, when was the last time you invited a person that has no interest in God or the Bible out to your church, or Bible study. I know what you’re thinking. They don’t care about God. Well, that may be true now, but what happens when they are all alone and they are looking for a place to turn, they are asking if there is a God, or can God love a person like them. It might be at that moment that God speaks to them and they remember what you did or said, and because of your action and your words, they give God a chance.
You see, God will meet them in that place and change their heart. I love when Jesus said in the Bible, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE”. All we have to do is give people THE BREAD OF LIFE. He will do the rest. So today let your words and your actions point people to JESUS, and you may one day receive a card, a note, or a letter that starts with Thanks for the BREAD.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Heart of Discernment

One of the things I have noticed in life, is that life is hard. There are so many things that can happen in just a day, and somehow we have to deal with all of them. If we aren’t careful, we will start to focus on the issues of life and stop living life, and that is an unfulfilling way to live life. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that issues in life aren’t important, and we should just blow them off. What I’m saying is that they cannot be the central focus of one’s life. When the storms of life come and the everyday worries are standing right in front of you, what are we to do? How can we deal with the issues, while still keeping them as a subplot to our lives and not the center of it? I believe we can find the answer in the story of King Solomon (you can find the story in the book of First Kings chapter three.) After his father David died, the Lord spoke to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Now I know what you’re thinking, he could ask for money, or long life, or power, or so many other things but he did not. What Solomon said was:
“7Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
Now, I don’t know if you got it or not, but what I get from Solomon’s request was that there are so many issues he has to deal with, and if he doesn’t have a heart of wisdom to guide him, the issues will overwhelm him and that’s not the life he wants to live. So he asked God to give him a discerning heart to deal with the problems that he would face, so that he can continue to keep God first in his life and in turn have a full life. We so often let the problems of life take all of our focus and energy so that there is no time for life itself. We should ask God for a heart of wisdom so that we can deal with life in such a way that allows us to live in the way we were created to live. I’m not sure if God will bless us with the blessing that He gave Solomon, but He will bless us with a life that pleases Him, and after all, that’s what life is all about.