Personal Lessons - Knowledge Based on Experience
Some will see me as “preachy.”
Some will see me as brave.
Some will choose to ignore me.
Others will listen
And may be saved.
All I know is that I hear You.
All I know is that You speak.
Use me, Lord, as Your vessel.
I know there are many to reach.
Regardless of man’s reaction,
To You, Lord, I must be true.
Anything that goes against You
Is nothing that I want to do.
Despite the world decaying;
Regardless of what others may choose;
I will continue to study,
So that I can show myself faithful to You.
I am not saying I am perfect.
I am not saying all others will fail.
I am simply saying You’ve called me
And, we have a story to tell.
Mere words will not change the world,
Regardless of how well-said they may be.
Our actions speak louder than words
Our behavior and witness are what they see.
I’d rather err on the side of love
Regardless of what others may say.
For I believe love points to God.
Anger and hate point the opposite way.
Regardless of how others choose to live, Lord;
Regardless of who accepts me;
I want to live for You, Lord.
I pray they see You when they look at me.
I am grieved by a world that forfeits You.
I am grieved by the choices we make.
Regardless of difficult decisions,
My devotion will never be fake.
“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” Matthew 18:7
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“and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20b
It’s only part of the verse. What I’ve quoted above is the very last part of Matthew 28:20; thus, the “b.” It’s only part of a verse and a very small part of Christ’s message in the very last chapter of Matthew, but it speaks volumes to me today.
“and,” is not capitalized because it stems from the original thought in Matthew 28:20a. The “and” to me says, “By the way….” As I pray and as I wait for God’s answer, He reminds me “and” or “by the way,” “I’m here. I’m listening.”
“lo” is the bible language’s way of saying, “Look!” or “See!” It’s the sign that an announcement of something exciting is coming. If we look at what comes next, “I am with you always,” that’s pretty exciting! Christ promises His presence. Everywhere and always.
The next part of the portion of this verse is what I needed to hear today: “even unto the end of the world.” Christ was talking about the coming of age – the true end of the world. Today, however, in my prayer time, the end of the world means something altogether different for me. My soldier son flew out of Alexandria, Louisiana for his next military assignment in Korea. His 8th deployment. Although, I’m told now that he is a SGT Major, he will no longer be termed “deployed.” He will be “assigned.” What’s the difference? He still feels a million miles away. For me, it seems that he is at the end of the world.
But you know what? Christ is there! He promised eternal presence everywhere for His children – Christians. There is only one response to that promise: AMEN!
TEACHABLE MOMENT: I’ve blogged today as a way to find comfort. That is what writing does for me. I’ve also blogged today to encourage you, my reader. There is a third reason I blogged in this manner today. I want to show all the doubters, the unbelievers, the scoffers, that the bible speaks to each of us differently. Yes, the main message in this small portion of scripture is that Christ remains in our hearts and minds until He returns in physical form at the end of the world. (His Second Coming.) Yet, when I need a message from Him, He can take even the “part b” of His teaching and transform it into a customized message of encouragement. My Christ Jesus is in Korea! Even though it feels like my son is at the end of the world, his Jesus goes with him where his mama cannot tread.
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:21
Sometimes it feels as though we live life upside down. What is wrong seems right and right is portrayed as wrong. I’m not talking about the sins of others. I’m taking about the sin in me. I’m talking about our willingness to look the other way when our own interests are upheld. Interests and opinions aren’t the same as Christian conviction.
As a person brought up in church raised by Christian parents in a Christian family, I often forget I am as guilty as the next guy. My days of evangelism reveal that it is easier to reach the drunk on the streets as opposed to confronting the sinner sitting in a pew each Sunday. Most of the time, we are so busy talking that we stopped listening to God’s voice a long time ago. Most of the time, we are supporting what we think as opposed to what God commands. Most of the time.
Want to know the difference between right and wrong. Read God’s word. Don’t just listen to it or sing it. READ IT. What does it say to you? It may not say the same thing to me because God’s word is living, breathing and customized.
Could it be that we are so busy trying to convict the world around us that we miss the Holy Spirit’s conviction of our own sins? I’m not sinless. Neither are you.
God’s word is clear: to know what is right and not do it is sin (James 4:17). Instead of watching and pointing fingers at others, as God’s children, let’s watch and see what He points out in our life. Then, let’s correct our mistakes.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:15-17
How sad that we live in a country where the person that is supposedly representing all people doesn’t, and many are okay with it. How sad that we have someone at the helm that schmoozes dictators while attacking Americans. How sad that many applaud him for doing so.
Just when I think I can step away and ignore him, he does something else so outrageous and so stupid that I feel God’s Spirit within me rise up. How sad that the majority of those that claim to be the vessels of Christ’s Holy Spirit ignore his immaturity and vicious attacks on our people. How sad that my brothers and sisters say they like the fact he isn’t politically correct. He’s not just being politically incorrect, friends, he creates chaos.
The truth is the current administration has helped us financially. The truth is we are living under one of the most divisive leaders of all time. The truth is he will win again because he pads our pocketbooks and has provided a Conservative resurgence, a.k.a. his sheep’s clothing of choice. How sad that we claim to live in a country where free speech was at the bedrock of its formation, but many of us applaud a leader who uses belittling and anger to shut up his opposition. How sad we insist everyone stand for a flag that was designed to represent the UNITED States while many of us support and applaud division.
How sad that the very people who should see through the wolf in sheep’s clothing choose instead to embrace the wolf while kicking many of the sheep. Now, that’s sad.
How sad that many of you will read this blog with a political eye as opposed to hearing it through spiritual ears.
One day we will celebrate the sheep, shoo away the wolves, and reach out in love to the pasture at-large. You remember. Like Jesus did.