“Who could ever have told God what to do or taught him his business?” Isaiah 40:13
On the first day, God created the dog and said: “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said: “That’s a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten?”
So God agreed..
On the second day, God created the monkey and said: “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.” The monkey said: “Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?”
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said: “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and labour under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.” The cow said: “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day, God created man and said: “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.” But man said: “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?”
“Okay,” said God, “You asked for it; you got it.”
So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we labour in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
The moral of the story is: It’s best to let God do His own work in His own way. He knows what He is doing. When we interject our own ideas into the process, we only mess things up royally!
The king said, "Go home, and I'll take care of this for you." (2 Samuel 14:8).
Once your petition has been set before the King, and He has given you His assurance that it will be handled by Him personally, and in your best interest — well, to linger any longer in earnest angst would be most insulting to His majesty.
Yet we do it all the time!
"Lord, when? Lord, why? Lord, how long?" These, and many other hassling questions too often constitute the bulk of our prayer life. Our hearts flood with dark thoughts which spill from our lips in mournful pleas, as we seek His reply to our unanswerable questions. Our hearts have perhaps been broken by the hammer of relentless disappointments, our minds bewildered by unfulfilled hopes, our eyes blurred by tears that never cease — and we hasten to the Lord with our woeful complaints.
And He says, "Go home, and I'll take care of this for you."
But we linger in our lamentations, stating our case once again in pitiful details, rehearsing the matter over and over, as though He had not yet heard it. It seems in such moments that we are more in awe of our sorrows than we are of our Savior.
"Go home," the Lord says, "and I'll take care of this for you."
There is a faith, noble and true, that leaves the prayer chamber and enters into the day in utter confidence that the Lord will take care of things in a perfect way — if we would only let Him do it.
As children bring their broken toys with tears, for us to mend; I brought my broken dreams to God, because He is my friend. But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone; I hung around and tried to help in ways that were my own. He didn't do at all the things I thought that He should do; He didn't mend my broken dreams; He didn't make them new. In fact He seemed quite nonchalant, as though He didn't care. So, I increased with holy zeal my intercessory prayer. Watching, waiting for His hand to do what I had prayed; but nothing I could say or do helped Him on His way!
At last I snatched them back and cried, "How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He lovingly replied, "you never did let go!"
Oh, hear the Lord's word to you today — "Go home," the Lord says, "and I'll take care of this for you."
“You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!” (see Col 2:6-7, The Message).
The way in, is the way on. The same faith and courage, love and surrender, trust and obedience it took for us to take our first fledgling steps in becoming followers of Jesus — is the same way we continue following Him through all the ups and downs, ins and out, tunnels and hills, on the byways and highways of this thing called Life.
The Bible assures us that we have been given everything we need to not only go the distance, but to make a meaningful difference along the way. “He by His own power has given to us everything we need to live a truly good life, a life that pleases Him” (see 2 Peter 1:3).
The straight talk about the faith walk comes down to this — “School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!”
Reading a manual on sky-diving is not the same as jumping out of the plane. In the same manner, reading and studying the Bible is not the same as living the dynamic life of faith which it celebrates on its pages. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only,” we are told.
When we “get with the program” our lives become the best advertisement for the authenticity of Christ’s Message anywhere. And once we see the effects of grace extending through us to others, our lives spill over into thanksgiving — sometimes like Niagara Falls!
"Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them." (Luke 12:37, NKJV).
Not only will the Lord render to every man the praise his life is due, but — oh, I can hardly write the words, for they are so foreign to our thoughts; and I can only write them because Jesus Himself said that it would be so — but Christ will then "gird Himself, have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them" (Luke 12:37)!
Now you know how Peter must've felt when Jesus stooped to wash his feet; or, how John felt when Jesus bowed before him to be baptized. But, wait, there's more!
God will then reward each one with an eternal weight of glory. As joint-heirs with Christ, we will be made to shine as the sun in the kingdom of our Father, and we will reign with Him forever. But, wait, there's still more!
We will be given crowns that are incorruptible! There is the Crown of Life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (see James 1:12). And then there's the Crown of Righteousness, to all those who loved His appearing (see 2 Timothy 4:8). And also, there is the Crown of Glory, that does not fade away (see 1 Peter 5:4). But wait! There's still one more. It's the Crown of Rejoicing, which we will wear when we see all those who we have helped make it into Heaven with us (see 1 Thessalonians 2:19). Wow!!
And, of course, you know what we will do with those crowns? We will fall down in worship before Him who sits on the throne, and cast our crowns before His feet, saying: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power!" (see Rev.4:10). Oh, what a day that will be!
Heaven; don't miss it for the world!
“For the LORD thy God is a merciful God.” Deu 4:31
“Kindness is a law of God’s universe. The world was planned for happiness. Yes, even in this sin-stricken world there are abundant traces of a Hand skillful to soothe distress and heal disease.
“We may be sure of this – that the Lord has never taken delight in the ills of His creatures, but has sought their good always and hath laid Himself out to alleviate the distresses into which they have guiltily plunged themselves.” (Charles H Spurgeon)
Mercy is God withholding from us what we DO deserve, and giving to us what we DO NOT deserve.
One need only browse the Psalms to see this is true. The great theme of David’s praise was the mercy of the Lord. “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger; and of great mercy” (Psa 145:8).
The Lord is powerful in a generous way – that’s gracious. He is sympathetic in a mighty way – that’s full of compassion. He is patient in a loving way – that’s slow to anger. And, He is merciful in an abundant way – that’s great mercy.
We all NEED mercy, and we each receive it to some measure or another in our lives – for “the Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psa 145:9)
But, in order to FULLY experience the Mercy of the Lord, three things must take place:
First, We Must Ask for It — “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, abounding in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psa 86:5).
This was best seen when the tax collector, standing afar off from the Temple entrance and would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luk 18:13).
Jesus tells us that this man went home justified. I love the way one Jamaican pastor put it – “God, He say him all right.”
Second, We Must Give it Away to Others — Jesus said it plain enough, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mat 5:7). This fits with the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would that others do unto you.”
How can you honestly expect God to show you mercy if you yourself are unwilling to show mercy to others? This illustrates one of the great truths of the Kingdom – if you want to keep it, you must give it away. The Psalmist put it this way, “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful.” Psa 18:25
Third, We Must Honor the Merciful God in how we Live – “The LORD watches over all who honor him, who trust and obey Him, who hope in His unfailing mercy” (Psa 33:18).
God is no man’s patsy. He cannot be played like a cheap fiddle. Perhaps some suppose they can continue in a life of selfish pride, banking on God’s mercy to bail ‘em out anytime trouble hits. They are in for a rude awakening.
The Lord watches over those who honor Him with grateful hearts and obedient lives. Gratitude is the true evidence of experiencing God’s mercy. A thankful heart and a trusting mind will always step forward in the presence of the Lord whenever His mercy is shown.
“The LORD is always merciful and kind to those who worship and honor him, and He keeps his promises to their descendants who are true to his covenant and faithfully obey him.” (Psa 103:17-18).