Chirping

That cricket on my back porch is chirping loudly and persistently. He doesn’t let up. This has been something I’ve loved about moving to the Village. I can hear the sounds of nature instead of traffic!

Now, back to that cricket. Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup … The joker’s chirpper just keeps on a-chirping!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV

I was meditating on that verse when I noticed the little chirpper chirping. What an insight! Our believing, trusting, rejoicing, hanging tough, and praying ought to be persistent just like that chirpper!

Rejoice in hope.

Hope is the confident assurance of our salvation and destiny of heaven! Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, …!

Be patient in tribulation.

Patience is being able to see the big picture and hanging tough till the prize at the end is revealed in spite of the troubles along the way. Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, …! (Thanks Polly for the “Hang Tough” Sunday School lesson this past Sunday!)

Be constant in prayer.

Prayer is communication and communion with the Father in such a way He can tell us at any moment what to do and we do it. We mistake prayer often as only trying to get God to do what we want him to do. Pra-y, Pra-y, Pra-y, O-bey, O-bey, Pra-y, O-bey, …!

So, do some spiritual chirping today!

Our Father, we rejoice constantly that you have provided complete hope and confidence in our salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ! We hang tough with patience in the troubled times of life because we know how it all comes out in the end! We commune with you all day ready to obey at a moment’s notice.

Oh, What a Day that Will Be!

Oh, what a day that will be! 

Imagine it.  Well, it’s hard to imagine. Every human speaking the name of JESUS in holy reverence. Those who cursed him, those who killed His followers, and those who swore He was just another shyster, will declare Him LORD!

Oh, what a day that will be!

In light of the great false religion of Islam, in light of their violent murders of Christians today, in light of the great deception of Satan in millions of people’s lives, all will declare with reverence the most holy name of JESUS as Lord.

Oh, what a day that will be!

All the wrongs of this world, every misunderstanding, each frayed emotion, all maimed bodies, every broken relationship, will be resolved in a moment when in unison JESUS is declared Lord of the universe.

Oh, what a day that will be! 

It will wash over us in sobering reality when some will instructed to stand to His right and some to His left. The separation will be for an eternity.  Some will hear, “Depart from me for I never knew you.”  Others will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter your Master’s happiness.”

Oh, what a day that will be! 

A day of rejoicing beyond imagination for His followers. A day of unbridled worship like we have never known on this sin-sick earth.  A day of total reconciliation of all things.

Oh, what a day that will be!

As the great hymn says, “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!” Click here for Hymn

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:9-11 ESV

 

I Don’t Do Drugs

I have never experimented with illegal drugs.  Of course I take the occasional over-the-counter stuff when needed and my doctor’s prescriptions.  But I have not experienced the drug-induced high of marijuana, cocaine, and the like which sadly, addict many people.

But yesterday, I was on a high.  But what a good one!  Six people, precious in God’s sight, came forward at invitation time. Three of them seeking baptism!  I shared the gospel with two of them yesterday afternoon.  They prayed, believing the Gospel wholeheartedly, and received Christ as Lord & Savior!

Dozens of people encouraged me that the messages are hitting home.  Even in the 2.5 hour Personnel Committee meeting, God gave me a sense that these people are passionate for excellence in serving God in and through this congregation called Balboa Baptist Church!  That’s really amazing, huh!?

Forty years of experience in local church ministry has drilled into me another reality.  Enjoy the emotional high of days like yesterday, but emotions DO subside.  A coming-down always follows.

Jesus led Peter, James, and John to a mountaintop. An amazing meeting with God, Moses, & Elijah unfolds.  The divine Jesus glowed brightly with the shekinah glory of God.  I would have done the same thing as these three disciples wanted to do!  They wanted to build a house and STAY there!

But Jesus immediately took them back down to the valley of reality.  They encounter a demon-possessed man. Jesus healed him.  Jesus confronts the disciples with their small faith.  Wow, what a spiritual gut-check. (Click here to see Mark 9)

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am still rejoicing in the victories!  I am praising the Lord at 4:00 a.m.!  Praise the Lord!  The spiritual high is still real! God is SO good. God’s mercies endure forever.

I believe God took pleasure in His people yesterday.  Many of you invested in these six persons’ lives through Sunday School, ministry, friendship, and love.  You have been doing this for months or years before I ever came on the scene.  I praise the Lord I got to see the fruit of your labor!  You planted, watered, cultivated, and weeded.  Fruit!  Excuse my grammar but, “You done good!” God gave the increase and honored your labor of love.

I believe God adorned your humble acts of kindness with the results of salvation. Committees sort out the nitty-gritty details of church life behind the scenes. But keeping our eyes on THIS prize is why we do it all!  This is the big WHY!  This is the GOAL!  This is the BIG PICTURE that keeps pulling us into the future with faith.  We are to make disciples.  Jesus said He would build His church.

Let’s marinate in what God has done!  And then let’s get back to work.

“For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” Psalm 149:4