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Isaiah 55:9 KJV
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Matthew 10:39 KJV
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Malachi 3:10 KJV
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive.”
I prayed 2 years ago that the Lord would help me get a second job around home that would help us cover all our living expenses. He put me in the OTPQ which is more than I prayed for. I am not away from my family at a job. I get to take them almost everywhere and we make as much or more than a part time second job would have paid. I get to preach, sing and play bass. His thoughts are better than my ideas.
I prayed in the Wahoo BC August Revival that if the Lord wanted me to never play another note on the bass I would lay it down nor sing another song so as not to hinder the call to preach. Then in September He gave me bass students who want to be better musicians for their church and ministry. I even got some conversations about inviting me to preach and the family to sing at some churches. He has given me an assignment for more bass playing rather than less. His thoughts are better than my ideas.
It seems like the more I am willing to give up and lay down at His feet the more He turns toward me with blessings that are more and better than I prayed for. His thoughts are better than my ideas.
Our hope and prayer is that your way has been bright and blessed. But, if it has been darkened and detoured by sin there is a remedy. Let’s talk about that…
The Old Testament prophet Haggai was given a message from the Lord for a remnant of the children of Israel(Ezra 4). They had faced some harsh words and treatment from a group of their adversaries that caused them to cease their labor in rebuilding the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. In fact, to the tune of fourteen years they laid down their tools and abandoned the task that the Lord had commanded, financed, and provided for. It seems that that was quite long enough for the Lord. He sent a message to His children(Ezra 5).
The message to the Remnant Rebuilders was found in verse 5 and 7 of chapter 1 of Haggai. “Consider your ways.” He put their words back to them, “The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built,” while they were enjoying ease in their own finely fitted homes. I believe they fell into a trap that many church folks trip into today. They mistake resistance for God closing a door. A lack of discernment, a lack of diligence, a lack of determination detoured the direction the Lord had given.
Basically, the Lord let them know that the failure of all their efforts since they stopped working had been his hand of chastisement in an attempt to turn them to Him. He brought a message of conviction, “Consider Your Ways.” (v8) Consider the Previous Communication. Obedience to God’s instruction brings lasting joy, fulfillment, satisfaction and provision. (v9) Consider the Consequences. Your Plans don’t Produce, Your Ideas are left Incomplete, your Wants are left Wanting, you Want a Lot and are Left with Little. The battle was now not with an adversary but with self. (v 10-11) Consider His Chastisement. He ordered the judgment of things being taken away with sweeping effects. (v12-15) Consider Re-Commitment. Their response was OBEDIENCE! Their reminder was that The Lord was with them. This allowed the stirring of their spirit and gave them Revival. They Re-Dedicated, Re-Committed and went back to work.
Have you been there? I have. It is easier to pass off a lack of commitment to the Lord with the idea of beginning ‘a new season’ of life. The reality might just be that we need to get back on our knees and pray for the fortitude to fight through the battles of life and finish what God told us to start.
On this Sunday morning, Consider Your Ways.
We Love You!
Let us observe an expository view of a tremendous verse in God’s word concerning His preachers.
“Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” I Corinthians 9: 14 [context of verses 7 through 14]
Even so: In the same context of the previous applications of fruit due to the farmer, is return to the laborer.
The Lord: No higher authority. He calls men to preach. No higher calling.
Ordained: Confer holy orders upon.
That They: The called – I Timothy 2:7 “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets, and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Acts 16:10 “And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”
Which preach: Publicly proclaim to people.
The Gospel: The teaching or revelation of Christ. The record of Christ.
Should: Obligation, duty, what is probable
Live: all encompassed existence. (context) To be fed and “carnally” rewarded (v11). Paid for service.
Of the Gospel: Occupation of proclaiming the Gospel, As a result of preaching, serving, teaching, furthering the Gospel.
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Our hope and prayer is that you have put your shoulder to the wheel of the work of the Lord this week. It is a labor that will someday bring us to sweet rest. Let’s talk about that today as we turn in our Bible to John 9 and grab our Church Hymnal and go to…
Page 361 “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes”
As we look around our society today, there is a divided view on labor. There is an increase in interest for skilled workers in various vocations and an upswing in people who know how to do things with their hands and minds. On the other hand, there is a generation coming up that has no idea what work is. They know how to achieve screen game greatness with an accumulation of new ‘levels’ and ‘coins’ but they have no knowledge or desire to do what is needful; Get To Work!
When Dr. William Miller penned the words of this simple and profound hymn, he was relaying the truth that Jesus spoke in the gospel of John chapter 9 verse 4. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh , when no man can work.” Oh yes, there is an eternal rest that we work toward (Hebrews 4) but, until the summons come where I shall lay my armor by and dwell in peace at home there is work to do. When we to Jesus Christ fled for rest He put us under an assignment till He conducts us home. Work.
Notice in our scripture what the Savior said when His disciples questioned Him about a pitiful situation of sickness in the first 4 verses. This is not the place to stand afar, see and suppose. This is the place where the will of God matched with the work of God will yield the wonder of God. Do we realize how critical it is that our work that is dedicated unto the Father is accomplishing His will? (Colossians 3:23-24) Mankind works for profits, prosperity, popularity, progression of ideology, and to pass along an inheritance without any dedication unto God. If a man does not work as if the Lord is his Lead-man, his supervisor, his boss, then all that labor will be spent up when that person passes through the veil of death into eternity.
What is the directive of our work? What is the direction of our work? What is the dedication of our work? What is the destination of our work? Finally, what is the delay in our work? Why are we doing what we are doing? Are we doing anything as unto the Lord? No matter if it is ministry or manual labor, intercession or I.T., the work that we do should be accomplished from a dedication to please the God of heaven who is making us a home with Him where we can someday rest. Are we working for Him, for ourselves, or at all? Let us join in that chorus, We’ll work till Jesus comes; And we’ll be gathered home.
God Bless You!
Our hope and prayer is that whatever good you have done this week has been done for the sake of the Christ. Nehemiah, the governor, had spent years driving the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and restoring order. In all his labor there was only one desire, one burden. He wanted to do good for God. Let’s talk about that…
In chapter 13 verse 31, Nehemiah has concluded his work and is concluding his writings of the accounts of around 12 years. What great work he did. What a great work is was, to restore a protection that brought security to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the operation of the Temple. None of it was free from opposition. They would have their mortar trowel in one hand and a sword in the other hand at times. Much of Nehemiah’s work was restoring things: walls, gates, civility between brethren, and responsibility of the remnant. There was the return of the Word of God in chapter 8 and the Repentance of a nation in chapter 9.
From chapters 10 through 13 there was a setting in order of offices, overseers and occupations. Along the way there was also a need for separation from practices, political alliances with enemies (13:7-9), and people who would defile the remnant. It was a time of contention that was necessary but not comfortable. None of it was easy. None of it won a large gathering of friends. None of it made him the most popular man in town. But, it was a work worth doing. His only desire was to do what God had burdened him for. His only prayer was that God would remember him for good. Not perfect, good. Good in God’s eyes is greater than the greatest estimation of man.
God looked at His creation in Genesis and saw that it was good. He saw His Son’s sacrifice and it was good. Every good gift comes from Him (James 1:17). His will is good (Rom 12). His commandments are good (Rom 7). The work He has begun in all His children is good (Phil 1:6). It is not unreasonable for all who claim His name to spend their life for the good things of God. Our prayer should echo Nehemiah’s heart. O Lord, remember me for good.
God Bless You!