Just Do What You Are Supposed To Do

Just Do What You Are Supposed To Do!

Sometimes thinking too long about a project just allows for more excuses to enter your mind. Just do it! There are many things we could get done if we would not stress about it but do it.

You may have an unpleasant project that needs to be done and you are the one to do it. Remember if you have to eat a frog don’t look at it too long!
 
I have a list of things that I need to do at church and at home. I have discovered if I wait too long I can justify their neglect. I am rattling the keys on the key board of my typewriter just trying to write a pastors pen. It is not an original or a unique subject but it is a necessary subject. Just do what you are supposed to do.
 
I have plenty to do and I always feel better when I get things done. If I go to bed knowing I have to do tomorrow what I could have done today I don’t sleep well. The reason is I have things tomorrow that need to be done and now I have added to the list with today’s undone projects. I have to tell myself, just do what you’re supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. Do it the best you can and move on. On other days you may do it better but it needs to be done now so do it!
 
Zig Ziglar says, if you learn to do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it, the day will come you can do what you want to do when you want to do it!
 
Remember work is a privilege from God. Consider the alternative?
 
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you say, We have are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10
 
 


Learning From Defeat!

Learning From Defeat!

Successful people did not reach success without experiencing some degree of failure and defeat. They are people who learned from defeat. Joshua would lose one battle in his military career. It was a battle that would teach him a grave lesson. Those who are familiar with the battle of Ai know that it was Achans sin that brought the defeat. At least it was the primary reason.  As we take a careful look at the chapter there was another factor that led to the defeat of Israel against Ai. Joshua neglected to pray. Isn’t it interesting that after the defeat Joshua went to pray and revealed his discouraged heart to the LORD yet all the Lord said to him was, Up, there is sin in the camp. If he had prayed before the battle the way he prayed after the battle a number of things would have changed:

  1. He wouldn’t have had to send scouts- Joshua 7:1-2
  2. He wouldn’t have listened to the strategy of the soldiers. God would have given him the battle plan as he did with Jericho.- Joshua 7:3 
  3. The military strategy would not have been based on fleshly wisdom. He would not have underestimated the enemy, as God’s people often do.
  4. The sin that doth so easily beset them would have been removed. God would have revealed Achan and his sin before the battle. Joshua 7:10-13

  Joshua did not get bitter because of defeat but rather he got better! Though defeat cost him he would learn from it and never experience defeat again. Have you been defeated? Defeat does not have to be final! Seek the Lord and learn from it. God wants you to be victorious. Remember, Faith is the victory that overcomes the world! 1 John 5:4



I was Free Born!

I was free born! And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

Acts 22:28
 
I was free born! That’s my testimony too. I thank God for the liberties I have as an American citizen. I thank God for men who were willing to pay the price for this country to enjoy these unalienable rights from God. I have the freedom to work, purchase property and pursue happiness. I have the freedom to worship the Lord Jesus Christ according to the dictates of my conscience. I am the recipient of great freedom that was purchased and maintained by those who have gone before me.
 
If I fail in my pursuit of happiness it is not because there was no opportunity. It is not because God has not provided. The fault must fall on me. Men with far less advantages than I have accomplished far more than I. Men with far more obstacles have enjoyed far more happiness. Who am I, to complain? Who am I to gripe? God has been better to me than I deserve.
 
I have a twofold freedom going for me; One, the freedom that my American citizenship affords me, two, the freedom that my heavenly citizenship affords me.
 
I was free born into American citizenship August 4th 1967 in Traverse City, Michigan. I have a birth certificate to prove it. What a blessing that has been.
 
I was free born into the family of God around 1980 in Fife Lake Michigan. I wish I had the exact date but I have the evidence of God’s Spirit (Romans 8:11/16). I have the evidence of the scriptures and I have the evidence of my personal experience. God gave me a new nature at salvation.  I am free in Christ to live for him!
 
In both cases my freedom was purchased with a great sum. Somebody else purchased it with blood!
 
  May God help us to be thankful and watchful! So the next generation will have the same freedoms! 


Playing Catch With My Dad

Playing Catch With My Dad One of the fondest memories I have with my dad was playing catch. I was eight years old when he signed me up for Pee Wee baseball. I had never thrown a baseball before this time. I remember him buying a glove for me and breaking it in with oil and a ball inside it. The day came when I got to officially use it. He said, let’s play catch. We tossed it back and forth and he was very patient as I threw it over his head. Each time we’d play catch he’d stand back farther and throw harder. He would throw grounders to teach me to field the ball. He would throw high flies that I’d have to run down to catch. I remember every now and then I would throw a wild ball back and it would sail over his head. He would look at me as if to say, that’s it I’m done, but he would go get it and say one more. Meaning one more over the head and we are done for the day. This always made me work on accuracy!
 
Eventually I got to the point I could catch about anything he threw at me. I could also throw it back accurately and hard. We would tease if one of us flinched. As I got older, every now and then dad would say, Merv, you want to play catch? I always said yes. There was something about throwing the ball back and forth that united us. We didn’t talk a lot, but it helped create conversation. I felt a bond between us that stuck with me. Dad didn’t just help prepare me for Pee Wee baseball he helped me prepare for life. I believe God used this simple act of playing catch to help build my self-confidence which every kid needs. Much of the appreciation and affection I have for my dad was developed by playing catch with him. I love him and miss him but I know he is in heaven. He put his faith in Christ a few years before he died.


Be Strong in Grace

Be Strong in Grace!

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. II Timothy 2:1
 
My beagle had gotten sprayed by a skunk and he, nor I liked it, but it kept the coyotes away from him. Grace only smells bad to the devils crowd and we would be served well to have a strong scent of grace in our lives.
 
Grace has an appealing scent to those who seek God and wish to know the truth. I have been around some women who over sprayed their perfume and it was hard to be near them but not so with grace! You can’t be over sprayed with grace. Its smell is like a candle shop that relaxes your senses and puts you at ease. It is like a coffee shop (for those who like the smell) it makes you want a cup.
 
Grace is what sustains us and makes us useful for God. It is our spiritual fuel that keeps us running the race set before us. It is strength from God to do his will. Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
 
Timothy is admonished to be strong in grace because it will protect him, it will make him welcoming and it will sustain him.
 
Now where is this grace to be found that we might be strong in it? In Christ Jesus! We can only receive this grace from him. He only bestows this grace upon those who are humble and holy!
 
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble. James 4:6
 
So if you would be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you must understand your need of his fellowship. The degree of your strength will be determined by the degree of your fellowship with Jesus!
 
Without grace in your life you will exude an effervescence of the flesh. Have you ever had to sit by someone with extreme body odor? Then now you know what will happen if you try to serve the Lord without his grace!


Take A Selah Moment

Take a Selah Moment

In Psalms three the word Selah is used three times. It is the first mention of the word in that usage. I have heard numerous definitions of the word but I like what Charles Spurgeon said about it, it means to pause and reflect about what has been said and what is going to be said.  
 
If we look at verse .1 and .2 LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. Selah
   
David has just shared his complaint before the LORD he has been thinking about his problems but now he pauses to reflect about what he is going to say in verse .3 and .4 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me: my glory, and the lifter up of my head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah  
The Selah allowed him to think about his burdens in the light of God’s goodness and power. If they were placed opposite on the balancing scale the goodness of God would outweigh the burdens.
 
He needed the Selah moment to put things in perspective because his troubles were overwhelming his soul.
 
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do your problems seem to be getting bigger? Maybe you need a Selah moment where you can take your burdens to the Lord and compare them with his love for you and faithfulness to you. Compare them with his ability and his promises and you too will find rest for your soul. Verse .5 I laid me down and slept…


The Daughters of Zelophehad

The Daughters of Zelophehad “Then came the daughters of Zelophehad …” Numbers 27:1-7 These young ladies had listened to Moses attentively to Moses in chapter 26 now they had a question. They had no brothers and their father was dead. The question of inheritance was at hand. There was no mention concerning who would receive the Canaan land inheritance if there were no men in the family. If they received no inheritance, that would be slap on their fathers reputation. The girl’s boldness to enquire brought the blessing of God to their family. They would receive an inheritance by the authority of God. There are three things about the girls that stand out for learning and benefit.

  1. They listened to the man of God speak the Word of God. Had they not been listening they would not have had any questions about the inheritance policy. How important it is for us to listen to God’s word and search the scriptures when we do not understand. The Lord often admonished his followers to have an ear to hear the word. We listen if we believe it to be important. God has magnified his word above his name (Psalms 138:2). When we listen to someone we show them respect and honor. The best way to win with people is learn to be a good listener and the best way to win with God is to be a good listener!
 
 
2. The Believed the Word of God. It is one thing to listen it is another thing to believe what is being said. I have listened to some tall stories about people and couldn’t believe what they a had to say. The credibility of the one speaking makes all the difference. In the case of the daughters of Zelophehad they were listening to someone very credible. God’s word promotes faith and often demands faith. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). The children of Israel were not even in Canaan land when the announcement was made. There were still enemy occupants in Canaan land that had to be removed to possess the land. It took faith. Had they not believed the promise of God they would have had no reason to question their father’s inheritance. Faith moved them to enquire and the Lord blessed them.
 
3. They were concerned about their father’s reputation. Our father died in the wilderness and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves against the LORD… Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family…?” (Numbers 27:3-4) Are you concerned about your Heavenly Fathers reputation as you sojourn here on earth? Those who are will always find the blessing of God. The Father is jealous of you because he loves you what a blessing when you are jealous of the Father’s reputation because you love him.
 

My oldest daughter heard someone say something critical about her mother and I while at school and it bothered her. It bothered her enough to speak up about it and clarify the error. Are you concerned about you Father’s reputation?



Are You Looking For a Novel Remedy?

Are You Looking For A Novel Remedy? Naaman the leper had been told to dip in the Jordan seven times and he would be cured of his leprosy. Apparently he didn’t like the idea of jumping into a dirty river. He thought the prophet would gladly come out and do something miraculous and the leprosy would disappear. He was so disappointed in the prophets remedy that he left in a rage. Somewhere down the road one of his servants was able to reason with him, he said, if the prophet had bid you do some great thing you would easily have done it but now all he requires is that you jump in the river seven times, that’s easy. Naaman almost missed miracle he was looking for because he expected something novel in the remedy. How often the people of God miss out on a miracle because the remedy is too bland or monotonous? Go to church, read your Bible, pray with your family, tithe and serve others, seems too simple to solve a marriage problem but it works, seems too simple to solve an emotional problem but it works, seems too simple to solve a financial problem but it works. The main thing is that you get your heart right with God. Some people are more patient with a new diet plan than they are with God. Some people are more patient with the U. S. Post Office than they are with God. Remember, they that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint– Isaiah 40:31 God’s way works and God’s timing is best! Those that have given God time can testify to it. You may be waiting for God to change a person’s life and you have tried to be patient but they don’t seem to be changing. Friend, the question is; are you changing? If you are waiting on God he wants to change you first! It is amazing what you can handle when he changes you. Read: II Kings 5 and let the Lord speak to your heart.



The Release of Jehoiachin

The Release of Jehoiachin

“And it came to pass…that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him out of prison, and spake kindly unto him…”               Jeremiah 52:31-32   What a picture of God’s grace! See him coming with long dirty hair and an unshaven face. See him with tattered prison clothes on his body. He looks nothing like he did when he first arrived as a youth. Jehoiachin has been in prison for thirty seven years. He is most likely fifty five years old now. He has known nothing but the hard prison life of Babylon. The memories of his life in the Jerusalem palace have been far removed. His day to day grind has changed him inside and out.   He is noted as a man who only reigned three months in Judah and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. This is all we know about his character before God. Yet God would not kill him but cleanse him. Jehoiachin had no idea he would ever be released, yet, the day came in his twilight years that he would no longer be a prisoner. He is released by a king of kings and is given words of encouragement from this king. He is allotted a seat at the kings table and is positioned ahead of all other kings who have been taken captive.  

He is given a change of clothing for he is no longer to identify himself as a prisoner but a prince. He is given provision for all the days of his life. God moved the heart of the king of Babylon to show grace to Jehoiachin.
 
“And changed his prison garments: and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life…every day a portion…” .33-34
 
Can you imagine the new perspective he has after thirty seven years of prison life? Do you think he had an overwhelming sense of gratitude in his heart? Do you think he missed the prison life and chose to spend his days there instead?
 
The other day I ran a stop sign while out canvassing a neighborhood to invite people to church. A police officer pulled me over and had every right to give me a ticket but he gave me grace. Grace not so I could do it again but to be more cautious the next time.
 
The grace of the king was not to give him permission to go back to prison but to live in the palace. Do you know that when Christ saved you it wasn’t because of anything you did? You were saved by his marvelous grace. God wants you to live in the palace with his people and eat of his table (the Bible). He will feed you all the days of your life.
 
 
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in hrist Jesus. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towrd us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”  Ephesians 2:6-8


Removing Suspicion

Removing Suspicion

While tossing, turning and unable to sleep, he heard his wife’s phone ding. She was sound asleep, and she had just received a text message. While she slept, his curiosity got the best of him. He couldn’t help himself. He wanted to see who was texting her at that hour. It was sent at 1:00 a.m. from someone he did not know. The message was very personal, and the timing made it more suspicious. Needless to say, this did not help his insomnia.

 

In the book of Numbers 5:12-28, we find a law that God gave the children of Israel called the law of jealousy. This law was for the man who struggled with suspicion about his wife’s fidelity. In this law there was a protocol to help remove the suspicion. God promised that if the protocol was followed all suspicion would be removed. The woman would either be proven guilty or innocent. If the woman was innocent, she would delight in proving it. She naturally understood that you can’t have a happy marriage where there is suspicion. Trust is the foundation to any good relationship, but especially, in marriage. The home that is filled with suspicion is no longer a house of shelter, but a house of shadows.

 

You may say, why does the Scripture emphasize the suspicions of a husband? From the spiritual perspective, this refers to God’s relationship to his bride, Israel. It also refers to the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship to his bride, the church! We know that God is faithful, but it is his bride that is the suspect in suspicion. That should clarify the subject for those who misconstrued the meaning of the Scripture. The primary issue in the passage is the principle of removing suspicion. If a spouse has a difficult time trusting the other spouse, then it is imperative for the suspect to remove all suspicion of infidelity. There must be extra care taken to prove your love, when you know there was a problem in the past. There ought to be extreme transparency on the behalf of the suspicious spouse (unless you are a secret agent, and your transparency would jeopardize national security)!

 

When we disclose all of our social media information to our spouse, we help build trust. When we communicate any time there is a change of plans at work, we build trust. Open and constant communication builds trust. We should not feel offended if our spouse asks questions about where we are or where we have been. Our body language conveys messages, and if we appear irritated by personal questions from our spouse, they may think we have something to hide. If you work with people and listen to their problems for a living, then it may not be wise to share all you have heard that day. Even in this situation, there is still a right way to communicate without exploiting anyone.

 

My counsel for the man struggling with insomnia is this: God’s love for you is never ending- Romans 8:31-39. God is able to expose the truth in his time-Matthew 10:26. Therefore trust him to do his work. Get to sleep. Show God you believe he is able. Pray about a good time to talk about the text, and let her answer- John 16:12. If there have been no prior infidelities, then give her the benefit of the doubt. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Finally, seek godly counsel, if you’re unable to resolve the problem-Proverbs