Archive for April 2010

Keep on Keepin’ On

April 28, 2010

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." – Galatians 6:9

I read a story recently about a teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on. He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked and, sure enough, they were.
It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on-this time on the right feet. He then announced, "These aren’t my boots."
She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them."
She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots…"

That story reminded me of the passage above.

Do you ever get tired of doing good? At times it seems those who cut corners, do evil, cheat and scheme and cut others’ throat get ahead and seem to suffer no consequence for their actions.

God knew we would face that form of discouragement. We know that because He inspired the Apostle Paul to write these words of encouragement found in the book of Galatians.

So we should continue to strive for good and justice – and when we begin to lose heart, we can draw strength from these words and the fact the One who really cares for us and about us is watching us and sends these words encouraging us to “keep on keepin’ on.”

My prayer for you this week is that you will draw new strength in your efforts to do good – not only will you not grow weary, but you will be given new confidence and courage in your endeavors.

Peace

April 1, 2010

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27

It is the worst day of your life. Everything, everything, you’ve worked for appears to be gone. Everything you believed in appears to be shattered. Everything you’ve invested in appears to have vanished. The person closest to you in the world has been killed and you have few friends and they are in the same boat with you.

You and your friends left everything a little over three years ago to follow this man called Jesus. Even though He had never received any formal education He taught the Scriptures with authority and knew more about life than the scholars twice His age.

He gave of Himself regularly but asked His followers to do the same. He had high expectations, yet was also so full of grace when you failed Him. He took every failure as an opportunity to teach you how to grow. And, lately, it seemed you were “getting it” more often. You were seeing the point before He had to point it out.

Now this. One of your group has betrayed Christ. The authorities came and arrested Him and took Him before the religious and civil authorities (both pretended a “trial” for Him) and then yesterday they crucified Him. Crucified Him.

Not only was He not guilty of the trumped up charges brought against Him in the trial – He was innocent. He had never once in all His life sinned, and now He was dead. You’d watched it. Almost as if a dream, you watched as they nailed His beaten, naked body to the cross and then lifted Him up in mockery to die. And die He did.

Today you feel as empty inside as one of these abandoned shells on the shore. There is talk of them coming for you and your friends next. It doesn’t even matter to you now. What else is there to live for?

These thoughts reflect what any one of the disciples may have been thinking after Jesus’ death on the cross. Despair to the “nth” degree.

But, aren’t you glad we know the rest of the story? Just a couple days later Jesus would rise from the tomb and defeat the final foe – death.

Some of you are facing challenging, difficult and even desperate days right now, but know that Christ has overcome whatever is causing you pain. Just as He promised His disciples in the verse above, He will give you peace, if you will trust Him with your pain.

My prayer for you this week is that you enjoy the victory which comes from knowing that peace and you will experience the joy and freedom found only in a personal relationship with Christ.