Brethren, my hearts desire is that Israel might be
Continuing on in my journaling of Romans, I made
it no further than the 1st verse of Romans 10 today. My heart broke
for the Lord. It broke for Him, not because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah,
although that was certainly a part of it; but it broke for my own failures as
His child that He so willingly included into His family. Shari Johnson,
gentile, who He willingly allowed the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ for.
So that I could be a part of His amazing family. And what a privilege!
And so now I turn back to Paul’s burden, that is
my burden too, that Israel might be saved.
Dying and end times can be scary . The world would
love it if we’d just ignore it. It’s way easier than facing the reality that eternity
will come to all. The world would have you believe that you should never ever
read the book of Revelation! It’s far too confusing. That’s a lie. It’s not
confusing if you’re in a good bible believing preaching church that teaches the
Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Will you understand every jot and tittle? If
you do, you’re a better bible scholar than I am. But you’ll understand what the
Lord needs you to understand. And while it won’t take all the uncertainty of
our end days away, it will give you peace. And help you to understand that God
has a plan.
It’s a plan that will restore his precious Israel
back to a right relationship with God. God’s desire. It will happen the same
way it happens to a Gentile. Through belief on Jesus Christ. It will not
however come as easy for those who believe after the church has been raptured
(caught up) to be with Jesus. Which could be any day now. There’s going to be a
terrible time of tribulation. Seven years, that those who believe on Jesus
Christ now will be privileged not to have to go through. Something else I’m
grateful and humbled for.
When those who have not read scripture, or been in
church, hear this teaching it sounds insane. That’s what Satan want them to
believe. But get in the book and read the prophecies of the Word of God and
understand what has come to pass already, that was predicted thousands of years
ago and suddenly it doesn’t sound so insane, but rather reality sits in, that
there is a God. And He has a plan, and it’s playing out just like He said it
The end times will play out like no Hollywood
production ever could. There will be a Hero that swoops in from the sky and saves
Israel. There will be heroes on earth that will take a part of the Master’s
plan and set things into motion that eventually put the Devil into the pits of
Hell where he’ll stay. But not until he does some serious damage on earth by
deception (which he already has). And during that time there will be trials and
tribulations that have people crying for the rocks to fall on them.
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on
us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the
wrath of the Lamb:
But it’s not something that anyone has to fear who knows Christ
Jesus as Savior. Jew or Gentile. It’s why I want and desire, as does the Lord,
for Israel to accept what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Have you accepted that? Do you know where you’d be if God decided
today to call His church home? Would you be with Him and your saved family? Or
would you be left here to face those 7 years of tribulation. That you likely
will not survive. That’s not said to cast fear. That’s said to help you
understand it’s not a fairy tale. It’s real.
I’m trying very hard to stay focused
on the ministry God has set me at task to do. And it’s not hard work when you
love it, it’s just hard staying focused when you don’t always feel valued.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. I just thought perhaps this might help someone else
today too. God even gave me a song to go with the feelings on my heart today,
so I’m feeling blessed, in the midst of being stressed. You know what I mean? It’s
those days when the world tells you title + money = value. And the lack thereof
And then I read verses like Romans
Nay but, O man, who
art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make
one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Did that hit you as hard as it hit me?
Who am I to tell God Almighty that the one he created (me) isn’t of value and
suggest that my purpose isn’t valued. It is God who honors or dishonors and I can
tell you flat footed and bold faced that God honors those who serve. And by
service, I’m not necessarily speaking of preachers, deacons and such, although they
are included. But by service I mean anyone who:
Draws a breath and thanks Him for it.
Gives a glass of water in His name, cup
of coffee, or a jar of scrumptious pears – Mr. and Mrs. Eisley.
Shares the most precious of gift with
someone in need, time.
Tells a child that they’re amazing and
Prays for someone because, or just
Tells someone “I understand.” Or “I
don’t understand, but I’ll try.”
I realize the world doesn’t always understand why Christians do what they do, and some days there are Christians who don’t understand why we do what we do or see little value in it. But it’s God who gives the honor and it is He who has the power to mold us into something amazing. Sometimes He does that by making a little mud with the tears in our lives. It makes the clay more pliable. I hope this word encouraged you today. God sees. And He will honor you in His time.
We do not cross paths in life by happenstance, of that I’m certain.
While we may be there by circumstance, it’s not by happenstance (coincidence). I
look back on my 57 years, with a primary focus on the past twenty-three, those
are the years since salvation; my formative years of serving Christ in the capacity
of me which lead into The Jesus Chick which came to be in about 2005ish. I’m
not very good at dates, but I’m very good at events that made a difference. There are things that happen and people who
cross our paths that leave us saying “I’ll never be the same.”
When my brother was killed when I was ten years old, it
forever changed my outlook of life on earth as to whether or not it was
forever. It was not. At the time however I didn’t understand it all, I only understood
that life was very, very sad and I couldn’t fix it. And I tried in my 10 year
old state of mind to fix it by living in altered realities called my
imagination. It’s what makes me weird and okay in a world that I still can’t
fix. It’s not always healthy. It sometimes leads to not facing reality as one
should. True story. Don’t judge me. 😊
I had another one of those bell ringing moments this morning
as I read a social media post of a friend who just lost her father. One of the
things that made a deep impression on her was the number of people who came up
to her at her father’s service and said “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for
the fact that your dad never gave up on me.”
We need some more Gene Duerksen’s in the world.
But even in a world where there’s a shortage of Gene
Duerksen’s, and we often miss out on taking advantage of those that we do meet
who encourage us in the battle of life, I was reminded through the word of God this
morning that there is one will forever spur us on! Gene Duerksen now see’s Him
face to face…
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him that loved us.
How many times have I attempted to fly and sometimes crash
landed and other times succeeded but with no witnesses for review? Many. But
how many times have saints of God had faith in me even when I had none and
cheered me on or gave me words of advice and encouragement. Too many to count. I’m still privileged to that.
Lynn Stoneking’s testimony of her dad’s character of encouragement
reminds me that I too have the opportunity to never give up. Not on my kids,
grandkids, friends, family and me. Because God will never give up, so how can
I? Did you need that word today? He doesn’t give up on you either! Share this
post. Tell a friend or family member you believe in them. Shoot me a message
and let me know I’ve encouraged you. We need to share and care for each other.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 24-25
I’m pretty sure I have the best teen group in the nation. If you’re a teen leader, you probably think so too… or you should. They stretch me with my idealistic notions of what faith looks like, by granting me the new generations perspective. Just when I think I have it all figured out, we get into a deep (or sometimes shallow) theological discussion and I have one of those “You are not as smart as you thought you were, Shari,” moments. They are really quite frequent if I’m honest.
But last night’s ill prepared teen lesson was on “restoration” of the body of Christ. We skimmed the tops of scriptures about Peter, David, Saul and others whose failures sometimes lead to renpentance and sometimes not. But God’s love of broken people is evident from Genesis to Revelation.
The one glaring fact that comes from muddy pink boots, is that no matter how the world dresses up sin, dirt is still dirt. It aint pretty. The lesson that I learned from my diverse group of thinkers in the teen group last night was, children, (like God) are so quick to forgive the people they care about. And so quick to move on from mistakes understanding that they’re learning! I’m not so quick to move on. I sometimes put my pretty muddy pink boots in the corner as a reminder about that time I didn’t go around the mud, but walked right through it. I walk by my failed attempt at life and kick myself. I try buying a new pair of boots, but they’re not fun to wear, because i really want to wear the pink ones.
I know that’s a very odd parable. But what I hope you learn is what I did: Restoration also has to be done within. Especially if we’re not apt to share the fact that our boots are muddy to start with. Christians seldom want anyone else to know what they struggle with for fear of being seen as “less godly.” Well let me tell, I am for certain less godly. And I struggle with lots of “stuff.” I have a tender heart willing to forgive everyone but me. God is showing me through the youth who love me faults and all, that He does too.
I need to clean off those pink books and get back to walking.
How about you? Do you struggle with self degradation and unforgiveness. Maybe your boots are another color, but they’ll clean up just as nicely if you’ll spray them down with the water of the Word.
Today is Friday, August 30th,
2019. Winding down and the summer and heading into fall. Much like I feel about
life right now! How did I get here, you know… 57 years after the picture of me graffitiing
my Mother’s belly? Time is swift and not for the faint of heart. Beauty is
fleeting, it’s a good thing I never felt that I had it. (Not asking for
compliments or pity, just being real). It wasn’t something that I put a lot of
stock in as a young person.
Now I attempt to beautimitize myself
(totally a made up word) as I travel about and I am concerned a little more
about the flavor of style when I’m up in front of people. But none of the frilliness
of life ever interested me or caused me to want to do make up tutorials and
style videos. Those things were not things I was purposed to do.
My immediate family consists of a
dozen, myself and husband, two grown daughters with husbands, and six growing
grandchildren. Five boys and one girl. The little girl I get… I raised two of
them, the five boys! Oh my stars they are so different from girls for obvious
and not so obvious reasons. But mostly because God designed their hearts
differently from the womb. So when I read a verse like Romans 9:11 it causes me
to ponder what God will do with them, and me!
(For the children being not
yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God
according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)
It draws me back to one of my
favorite verses, Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the
belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
For me, that verse answers the
abortion debate. Before we were even in the belly, God had a plan for us. So,
nobody will ever tell me that a little fella or gal in the beginning stages of
formation in the momma’s womb isn’t somebody. They were somebody, before they
were a body! Glory!
But back to my point of God’s
While I would love it if my plan
for each of my children and grandchildren were God’s plan, I have to look at
the very real potential that it’s not. But understanding that their potential
is God’s to do with what He will.
Paul was teaching the Romans, and
the Jewish people in these passages, that no one can claim to be chosen by God
because of his or her heritage or good works. God chooses who He desires to
choose to use, and He uses those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as
Savior. Jew or Gentile. God uses them all. He can use anyone lost or saved to
accomplish a task, but no one will live up to their potential unless their in
Three Prayers for my dozen
So that is my first prayer for those
that I love and myself. A right relationship with the Lord. It’s the beginning
of every good plan.
My second prayer is the will of
God for our lives. As I said, “I have many ideas about direction for theses
kids.” But if I project my plan onto their life, I may have them headed down a
road to destruction. So, I have to leave well enough alone, and boy is that
hard! But what I always fail to remember is that it’s hard enough to keep myself
in check with God. I’d do well to leave everyone else to Him before I rurally
mess things up.
And my final prayer is that our
potential is made known so that God can be glorified through us. It’s where I
feel parents (myself included) can discourage their children and their selves. Trying
to put anyone into a position that God did not ordain for them, really is like
putting a square peg in a round hole. It will not work.
Social media is the bomb. Until
it explodes in our face. Looking at the seemingly perfect lives of people and
their staged photographs will put unrealistic goals into the minds of anyone.
Yes, me too! I follow artists, speakers, singers and I love it! But then I hate
it. Because I begin comparing myself to their look, style, design and I feel
like an unworthy dirt dog.
I need to stop. If you’re doing
that, you need to stop.
That crazy baby in the womb, who
loves graffiti. That’s me for realsy. I need to love her. And so that’s my
prayer for all my peeps. Let God be true, and social media a liar. He
determines our destiny. Not the numbers or the masses.
you had to describe your state of mind, pre-salvation what one word would you
would use the word “tumultuous.” Meaning unbridled and unrestrained. I wasn’t
connected to anything solid and so I was flailing around like a windsock going
what ever direction the wind blew me in. I didn’t have direction and things
good or bad seemed to jolt me into a new direction without any thought to where
I was going.
think about your world pre-salvation for just a second. What did it look like?
to the knowledge of who we are in Christ is a game changer for the child of God
who happens to be in a place where they can grow in grace and under discipleship
and solid doctrine. But prior to that life seems to be …
birth we have a disconnect from the Creator. The reason I could be jolted in
any direction was because my wires were not connected.
thought the definition of “short circuit” was fitting for a person of a lost
[in a device, an
electrical circuit of lower resistance than that of a normal circuit, typically
resulting from the unintended contact of components and consequent accidental
diversion of the current.]
It was never God’s intention for
mankind to have contact with the low side of life. And once we were, we were diverted from God’s
control. We were severely disconnected. We fell short… as in “for all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
What happens if you grab ahold of a
short circuited wire? Nothing good, right? We’re shocked. That too is a
reaction to sin. As a child we know when we’ve done wrong. We generally feel bad
about the transgression, even thought we seldom confess. The more we do it, is
like getting shocked by low does of electricity. We get used to it. Maybe our
nerves get seared and no longer feel the guilt that we once did for committing
sin. So in order to get a jolt that makes a difference, usually something drastic
has to take place.
What took place in Paul’s life that
made such a drastic difference?
as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about
him a light from heaven: And he fell to the
earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And
he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the
Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what
thou must do. And the men which
journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man:
but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.And
he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
I love reading the story of Saul becoming Paul. That’s what
happens when we reconnect with God. We become an entirely new person!
speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye
have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto
iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto
Paul is helping the Romans to understand that he understands. He totally gets
where they came from. Prior to salvation they were following their sinful
fleshly ways, but now, there should be something new that they have a connection
to – righteousness. They should be drawn to it.
says “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
for that drawing.
illustration of drawing electricity is the power between water and static electricity.
It’s in a like manner that we are drawn to Christ. The Water of life! But also prior to salvation, you were not only short circuited there was a
when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
sin that was in our lives is what kept us from coming to Christ. We felt the
draw, but there was a break in the connection. Sometimes ever after the jolt of
reality that we’re lost, it’s years and years before people come to Christ.
do you think that is?
are probably as many excuses as there are stars in the sky, but the truth of
the matter is rebellion. It’s the same reason that Satan and the angels fell.
Everybody wants to be in charge. The ol’ “You are not the boss of me attitude.”
a funny comment when a parent says “I brought you into this world and I can
take you out.” But that’s illegal. Else it might happen more often. But with God
it’s very much the truth! He kicked Satan and his crew out of Heaven, and He
will now allow those who have rejected His authority to be in Heaven.
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of
those things is death.But
now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit
unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
conduct electrical current very easily because of their free electrons. Insulators
oppose electrical current and make poor conductors. Common conductors and
would be a conductor of the Christian faith?
teachers, social media posts, evangelists, ministers of the gospel, songs…
many! You and I, if we’re doing what we should are conductors of the power of
God. People see it in our lives, we touch people with our actions and words,
just like the wires that carry electricity. We too can jolt people into the
reality that they need Christ. They may break the circuit by rejecting it, but
they can’t stop us from sharing it. Because we are
For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
decision to accept what Christ did on the cross creates within us a hardwire to
the Lord. We can’t disconnect from it.
Verses of reminder:
John 10:27-29 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
John 6:37 – All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
Jude 1:24 – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
1 John 5:13 – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 – Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:
It’s important for us to remind
ourselves that God is in charge of the connection. Not us. We might walk away
from God, but He will never walk away from us.
He will continue to call His
children home when they stray. Because that’s how He loves us.
I read down through the upcoming text, my heart was filled with joy! Thinking
on the beautiful salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ and what that means to me
how we must look at it in order to understand what it was that God did for us.
For me. For you. For the one and the many that you love. Oh, glory to God does that
not make you ever so grateful today?
look back in frustration at Adam and Eve’s very simple sin; the sin of
disobedience; and we try in our best pious way to imagine we would not, in
truth knowing we would. We’re all that weak. That’s why scripture says “for all
have sinned,” in Romans 3:23. That’s every “one” of us. We are all disobedient
read about the beautiful “One….”
Romans 5: 17-21
if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,
as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of
as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one
shall many be made righteous.
the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace
did much more abound:
as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness
unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ our Lord, that beautiful One. As I’m continuing my study in Romans, slowly
making my way through these pages, trying to get a closer, deeper relationship
with the Lord, and wishing I didn’t fail so miserably at it, verses like this that
stop me in my track and cause me to say, “Thank You. I wish I was better at life-ing.”
Lord deserves better. His time on the cross not only took the sin of this one
Shari, it took the sin of a world of people, generation after generation, and
it’s that thought that causes me to hear His cry, “My God, My God, why hast
thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46b)
I hear within my own heart, why have you forsaken Him? Why do you fail? But
then I recall His word that says I’ll reign in this life because of the Lord
Jesus Christ. I’ll have victory in this life. Satan may think he has won the
battle with this girl, but he has not won the war. The word reign is to have
supremacy, power, control over! That’s what we have in Jesus Christ. It’s not
that we won’t mess up, but it’s those messes that are covered by the blood. He
did that so we wouldn’t continually live in defeat. He didn’t die for the
righteous (Romans 5:6-8), He died for sinners. Every “one” of them.”
the one. You’re the one. But Hallelujah! He’s the ONE.
is hard to understand. We want it, we attempt to give it, sometimes tongue and
cheek (meaning we forgive but never forget). We, I speak collectively, though I
really mean me, when I say I often think I’ve messed up past the point of being
offered grace, because life sometimes just flat out stinks.
life gets hard, this Jesus Chick is not so spiritual as to immediately ask the
question, “What is God teaching me in this moment?” That would sound really
good and churchy wouldn’t it? No, I’m
more apt to ask the question, “How long will I be here, Lord?”
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of
the glory of God.
So much is missed in the midst of a struggle. And life is full of
struggles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us that as people of faith (those who
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ) we have access to some things the world is
Access to Peace
There’s a difference between access and acceptance. It’s the same
as salvation, we’re all offered it; but if we don’t accept it, we’ll never experience
it. There is a difference in the end result. Those with salvation will go
Heaven whether they experience the benefits of salvation here on earth or not.
The journey is just a lot more difficult. But those who never accept salvation
are headed to Hell.
I’m not surprised when children of God don’t have peace in the
middle of a storm. Because I’ve been there too. It’s usually a matter of feeling
worthy or letting myself get too far down before looking up. If there’s sin or other
failures in our lives, we don’t feel worthy. Even though neither will keep you
from peace if you talk to God about it. As children of God, it’s ours for the
That’s just the kind of Lord He is.
Access to Grace
I love the acronym for G.r.a.c.e. = God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.
Isn’t that amazing? There’s nothing we can do to earn it. It is however what
makes me be the person I am. I was born with a servants attitude and when God
saved me from the Devil’s Hell, my gratitude went toward servitude.
Grace will do that if you strive to understand it. Many Christians
miss the mark because they’re not in God’s word, they’re not in church and so they
cannot fully comprehend what the Lord did for them. I sometimes avoid the truth
of it myself, because I can’t imagine the degree of pain and humiliation my
Lord took upon Himself for someone like me who adds more too it when I fail Him.
The shame wasn’t only on the day of the crucifixion. It’s on us
when we blatantly fail God, knowing what He did for us. But the grace is still
there. That’s why it’s amazing.
Access to Joy
It’s what we can experience even in times of sorrow. The loss of a
loved one is gut wrenching, but the knowledge that they were saved and now in
the presence of Jesus brings great joy!
The struggles we face are never pleasurable, but the victory is
always a joyous moment and made that much sweeter because of the struggle. We realize
the strength that we have from knowing Christ as Savior. The unsaved may
experience moments of victory, but not as the child of God. Knowing that there
was Someone standing beside us all the way and there was never a reason to feel
alone. That is joy! He has our back here and He’s waiting for us there!
Access to Hope
Not just hope, but we need always reminded that the peace, grace,
joy and hope are always for the glory of God. It’s a privilege only afforded a
child of the King. I wrote on hope yesterday. It’s a subject I could write on
everyday and never grow weary because I need it. I need to know that my aches
and pains, those of the physical, mental and spiritual nature will someday be
lifted whether here or Heaven.
Maybe you needed to know that too. If I’ve encouraged you, let me
know! If I can pray for you, let me know that too. We’re here to be the hands,
feet and sometimes words of Jesus. Use us Lord!
totally get the anxiety and frustration that Abraham and Sarah may have been
feeling. They’d been promised a child, but then, as it does, age crept upon
them from no where and low and behold they found themselves past the fruit
was 90 for cryin’ out loud and Abraham 100. It was a dark day in the land of
Canaan when Abraham continued to believe in the promise that God had given him.
With the point being, he never gave up hoping.
our problem. We lose hope.
4:18 says of Abraham:
Who against hope believed
in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that
which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
There’s nothing like age to make you feel unfruitful.
With every passing year new aches and pains are introduced and your children
start “calling to check on you,” or asking you if you think you’ll “feel up to
it.” Good grief! It’s not that I’m not very grateful that I raised such
concerned children, it’s just that I didn’t think I was that old. And then I
look in the mirror and the age lines that I used to consider laugh lines aren’t
so funny anymore.
Welcome to the silver years Shari. I’m not yet to
the golden years, although they’re drawing nigh.
If I trusted what the mirror says or what my
lying bones say, I’d take off my Jesus Chick hat and consider sitting back and
waiting for Jesus to come and fetch me. Those are physical things against the spiritual
realm of hope. And they are not the only things “against hope.”
Logic is often the enemy of hope. If Abraham had
looked at it logically, he wouldn’t have even put out the candles and turned the
radio onto soft music at 100. What chance did he have at conception with 90 year
This story gives me hope! See, I’m still waiting
for some fruit… not of the Isaac persuasion, but of the spiritual kind. I’m
waiting for God to do a great work in my ministry that will bear fruit for the Kingdom.
I’ve waited a while! But I’m not 100 yet.
Just as Abraham I’m believing in hope. Wouldn’t
it be a sad world with out it. Truth be told, it is a sad world. I’ve listened
to many speak without hope. It is generally the unsaved, but not always. None
of us are immune to losing hope. This world is filled with adversarial demons
to strip even the strongest of a good attitude.
Today I have hope, because today I’ve been in the
word and I’ve read myself happy. But a few days ago, as I traveled down the
highway, I looked in my rear view mirror and all I saw was lost opportunities,
failed attempts and I was in the previous state.
And Jesus said unto him,
No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit
for the kingdom of God.
If a ploughman doesn’t look forward, he won’t
make the proper furrows, nor do his work well. The same is true of the child of
God. If we are continually looking back to see where we’ve been, we might
assuredly miss where we’re going. We need to be forward thinking Christians. Always
looking for opportunity, not resting in the laurels of previous ones, or
sulking in the disaster of errors.
I can find myself sulking if I’m not careful.
Sarah delivered that bundle of hope and named him
Isaac, meaning laughter. There is great joy when hope is delivered.
What does that look like to you?
I know what it looks like to me. It’s a strange
delivery I’m waiting on…
That souls are saved and lives are changed.
That my ministry be viewed as a ministry, not a hobby
by those who should know better.
That it is financially sustaining for my family.
That may or may not sound like much to you. But
there are days when I look back at the furrows I’ve made, and my fruit is
sparse. I lose sight of where I know I’m supposed to go.
Just like the farmer who’s responsibility it is
the take care of the land, it’s ours to take responsibility for this land.
Starting at home and working our way out.
I can’t help but think about J. Vernon McGee:
Following cancer surgery in 1965 at the age of 61,
the doctors gave Dr. McGee six months to live. The Lord gave him 23 more years.
In 1967 he launched the radio program “Thru the Bible” which took 5 years. At its completion the program tapes continued to run, and Dr. McGee and his board determined that the program would run until the money ran out. Through generous contributors it’s still running today.
Dr. McGee died in 1988, falling asleep in his chair
and waking in the presence of Jesus. At the time of his death the bible program
aired in 34 languages, but has since been translated into over 100 and is broadcast
on Trans World
the world every weekday.
At the age of 63 Dr.
McGee continued ploughing and didn’t look back. He was a successful man of God,
but I love that what he deemed as his greatest compliment came at the beginning
His greatest compliment
As a student pastor, Dr. McGee’s first church sat on a red clay hill in Midway, Georgia. It was there he said he received his greatest compliment: “It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, ‘I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!’ He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, ‘Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.’“
I’ve spoken of it on many other occasions: the fact that my upbringing causes me not to say what’s on my heart and mind because it’s seemingly impolite. Never mind the fact that it’s the truth. And especially never mind the fact that everyone else is intitled and can ram their opinions down my throat, in my face and stick it to my heart with a dagger, but I should smile and say, “thank you, have a nice day, please come again.”
Did that sound bitter? It’s really not. It’s just frustrating.
And so today as I study my way through Romans, God laid the deer image on my heart. I hesitated to publish my words. I could just use this as my own personal study; keeping my thoughts to myself rather than risking the chance at offending. But then I thought of Paul. Who was martyred for the Word of God and most of all Jesus Who died for me. Why should I keep silent about the angst in my heart and my desire to see the lost come to the saving grace of Christ. The fact that I want them in Heaven with me. The only way to do so, is through the word of God.
I had just heard Paul say, only a few verses before. “For
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” Verse 16 of Chapter 1.
And so in love, I share my heartfelt plea to those who have made homosexuality their life style. And my honest opinion that the use of the rainbow for the pride agenda is a slap in the face of God, for which someone will stand accountable for.
The rainbow was a covenant symbol between God and man in
11 And I
will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any
more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to
destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I
make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for
perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token
of a covenant between me and the earth.
We don’t speak in that phraseology today. “Covenant” isn’t a
word you often hear. Even by definition, it doesn’t mean in man’s terms what it
meant in God’s. Because God’s covenant’s will stand the test of time.
This weekend is mine and David’s 39th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to imagine that those two kids who walked across my parent’s lawn on August 16, 1980, and said their vows have survived what we have. It’s not been easy, and it’s only been by the grace of Almighty God. Divorce would have been easier at times than fighting through the battles we did. But we made it because we both believe in the covenant of marriage.
That bow (rainbow) God placed in the sky was a promise that God’s wrath toward sin would not come through in the flood again. God’s grace would flow through Noah to a world who didn’t appreciate it and God would offer His Son, Jesus Christ, as atonement one day for all of mankind. It did not however, promise that judgment would not come. It will.
I am sad to say that I will not buy anything with a rainbow
on it. I just can’t. The pride agenda has tarnished that beautiful image of God
for me. But every time I see one in the sky, I think to myself, “They can’t do
that.” They cannot place a beautiful arch in the sky.” Not like my Lord!
And so today I took back the rainbow, and placed it over my
husband’s favorite critters. (although for him he likes them seasoned and
smoked on the grill.) For me I love the fact that they cannot change the fact
that nature knows and obeys God’s design.
And so I shar His word. In truth and love. ~ Shari. The Jesus Chick.
Questions? feel free to message me. Let’s talk about it.
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ