The Mouth Of The Godly!
April 24th, 2013
God woke me up at about 3:40 AM this morning. As I often do when God wakes me at such an early hour, I got up. I went into our living room and spent the next several hours in prayer and reading and meditating on the Word of God. One of the places I studied was in the book of Job chapter sixteen.
As job looks back on his three friends and their hopeless counsel he bluntly told them in (Job 16:2) "...miserable comforters are ye all." What a statement from the broken heart of old Bro. Job. In the next chapter in (Job 17:10) Job declares, "But as for you all.... I cannot find one wise man among you." My study of all their counsel to Job in chapters 4, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18, 20, 22, and 25 concurs with Job's blunt assessment. They hurl for all nine painful chapters accusations, condemnation, criticism and judgment on their friend who has endured loss beyond comprehension.
In contrast to the counsel of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, in chapter sixteen Bro. Job tells us what the mouth of the Godly should being saying.
1. The Mouth Of The Godly Should Strengthen The Hurting
(Job 16:4-5) "I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth...."
Is that what you do? Do you strengthen others with your wise and kind advice? Do you avoid critical, judgmental conversations knowing such will spiritually impair those to whom you are talking? You do if you are godly!
2. The Mouth Of The Godly Should Relieve The Hurting
(Job 16:4-5) "I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief."
I love that old English word "Assuage" - It means to relieve. Do your conversations bring emotional and spiritual relief to those with whom you converse? I fear many selfish, bitter, and mad folks use their tongue to dump on others rather than to ease the burdens of others. If you are critical, complaining and negative you're not helping anyone you talk to. Do you inform others of junk, garbage and hurtful facts just to get even with other people? You may feel a sense of relief when you dump on others but just remember the Bible declares your actions the opposite of what is godly and good.
3. The Mouth Of The Godly Should Pray For The Hurting
(Job 16:21) "Oh that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor."
Godly people Pray For others they do not Prey On others with their tongue. Somebody is hurting today, make sure you help them rather than hurt them with your mouth! How about your twitter and face book post? Do they encourage, uplight, edify and bless those that read them? In both our verbal conversation and all forms of social media we all need to remember the words of our precious Saviour in (Matthew 12:36) "...That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
Celebrating A Year Of Hope!April 16th, 2013
For the entire calendar year of 2013 our church is Celebrating A Year Of Hope! Our church theme for this year is There Is Hope! I want to personally invite you to join us at Grace Baptist Church for three very special Sunday morning services – April 28th, May 5th and May 12th. During these three special services we will hear the real life stories of ordinary people just like you who have discovered peace, hope and joy in the midst of very difficult circumstances.
Join us for one, two or all three of these wonderful services. Real People, Real Problems, Real Hope!
Does Jesus Care?
April 11th, 2013
“Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”
So many people have a faulty impression of just Who God is. Some people see God as being so high and holy that He has no time for people like you and me. Others see Him as resembling a doting old grandfather Who winks at sin and just kind of watches His creation with amusement to see what will happen next.
While He was here, He endured more than His share of pain, poverty and suffering. He knows what it is like to do without, (Matthew 8:20). He knows what it is like to be rejected, (John 1:11). He knows what it is like to be hated. He knows what it is like to suffer pain. He knows what it is like to be hungry, thirsty and alone. He knows what it is like to die. Jesus walked through this world and experienced what He did so that He might better help you in your time of need, (Hebrews 4:15).
I. He Cares About The Laboring Saints
There really is no greater thrill in life than to serve the Lord when He is blessing that service. When you stop to consider where you came from and how He saved your soul. Then, to think that He would allow you a small part in His kingdom work, is a blessing too great to comprehend.
The Bible is clear; the Lord saved us to serve Him. He purposely redeemed us so that we might serve Him in this world, (Ephesians 2:10). When He saved us, He equipped us for a special place in His kingdom work, (I Corinthians 12:6-26). Our service to the Lord proves the reality of our salvation experience, (James 2:18; I John 1:7).
It is a wonderful thing to be busy for the Lord! To be allowed to serve Him is a blessing. And, there are no small tasks in His kingdom. No matter how difficult your situation in life, each of us should be busy in the service of our King.
I have always been encouraged by what happens when the disciples returned from their preaching trip to report to Jesus in (Mark 6:30-32), they found Him surrounded by crowds of needy people. The people were coming and going at such a frenzied rate that Jesus and His men did not even have time to eat a meal. That kind of constant stress would wear anyone out.
Jesus knew that His men needed to rest their bodies if they were going to be as effective as they could be in their work for Him. So, He takes them across the lake so that they could be reenergized. There is a word here for the modern Christian as well. God did not design these bodies to go like we force them to. He never intended for us to run through this world with a cell phone to our ear, a day planner in our hand and a schedule so full of activity that no one could possibly get it all done. God expects us to take the time our bodies need to rest. God wants us to serve Him, but He does not want us to kill ourselves in the process! We must take the time our bodies need to rest.
II. He Cares About The Lost Sheep
As Jesus and His men make their escape from the crowds, but they did not slip away unnoticed. The people saw them leaving and recognized that the boat carried Jesus. The people ran around the shore of the lake and were waiting on Him when He arrived on the other side. It was about 4 miles across the lake by boat. On a windless day, it would have taken quite some time to make that trip. It was about ten miles around the shore of the lake. Fast walkers would have made the trip faster than the boat. This is just what happened that day. When Jesus and His men neared the shore, they saw that a large crowd was waiting to meet them. According to (Verse 44), this crowd may have numbered between 15,000 and 20,000 people!
Many people would have been angry if their plans for rest were interrupted by the crowds. Many people would have seen the crowds as an interruption and a nuisance. Some people would have just ignored the people and their needs. Not Jesus! The Bible tells us that Jesus “Was Moved With Compassion Toward Them”. When you see a person with a need, there are several emotional responses you can have. Let me list them briefly. Apathy – This word refers to an absence of emotion. You see the need, but you do not care. You are unmoved by it. There is a lot of apathy in our world today. Sympathy – This word refers to a harmony of feeling. In other words, you see a need and you know how they feel because you have felt that way too. Empathy – This word speaks of an emotion that is stronger that sympathy. When you empathize with someone it means that you hurt with them. It means that you share the pain they feel. Compassion – The word compassion, as it is used in the Bible means, “To be moved inwardly; to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy.” It refers to the deepest possible feelings. The phrase, “moved with compassion” means to be moved in the “inner organs”. It has the same idea as our modern expression, “From the bottom of my heart.”
When Jesus saw the people He was touched by their need and He was moved by a strong desire to meet their need. The Lord’s had compassion for these lost sheep.
As I read (Mark 6:33-34) I get the sense that while Jesus saw the crowd, He also saw much more. Jesus saw a huge group of people, but He also saw the individuals in that crowd. As He looked out at that throng of people, He saw every broken heart, every physical ailment, every emotional need, every spiritual problem; He saw it all! He saw the crippled child. He saw that abused wife. He saw the depressed father. He saw the rebellious teenager. Jesus looked at a crowd, but He saw the individual!
That encourages me today! I praise the Lord that we serve a God Who knows all things, (Hebrews 4:13; Proverbs 15:3). Our God sees everything that happens in this universe, but He still has the ability to focus in on the individual. Friend, He cares about you and about the needs in your life. You can come to Him and find the help you need regardless of the problem you face, (I Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28-30).
Helping The Hurting!
April 3rd, 2013
Everywhere we look today people are hurting. People have been disappointed, wounded, disenfranchised, mistreated, discouraged, abused, criticized, lied to and lied about. The list of injuries that people have suffered at the hands of others both without churches and within churches is heartbreaking to absorb. Is there any end to the sadness that engulfs our world? Of course the answer to this question is not as simple as we wish.
Jesus Christ, of course is the healer of the broken hearted, but do we truly understand how to Grasp and Get His healing message to the broken? Let me give you a simple formula for Helping The Hurting. It all begins by understanding the two most profound statements found in I John 4:8 and I John 4:16. In both of these great verses the Bible states that, “…God is Love…”. That means that intrinsically, God is pure love. He bestows His love on every living soul. His amazing grace for our sin comes through this love:
1. God’s Grace
God desires intimate, unbroken fellowship with us. However, a wide gulf exists between Sinful Man and a Holy God. Considering how far the heart of Sinful Man really is from a Holy God (Jeremiah 17:9) it is mind-boggling that God, longs to unite Himself with us. Yet He passionately pursues sinners. God hates our sin but He never hates us! His love for mankind drives God too relentlessly want to embrace man. It does not matter how often He is hurt, He loves you and I. Call it whatever you wish, I call it Amazing Grace.
2. God’s Compassion
God’s Grace is His first step toward man but His Compassion takes Him a step further. He not only welcomes the repentant, wayward sinner home with a smile and a loving embrace but He has compassion on our addictions, our issues, our failures and our very fallen natures. He sees our struggles and that in our very heart of hearts we want to do right, yet we yield and fall time and again to temptation. A compassionate person sees the needs of others and is moved to do something about it. The Lord is full of compassion toward us. His compassion moves Him to meet our needs.
3. God’s Mercy
I love Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” What do hurting hearts need most? Mercy is the answer. Mercy is what each of us need, and when it is bestowed it is love in action. Grace is the welcoming smile and embrace of God. Compassion is the natural response of a loving God toward our needs. Mercy is the provision for that need. For the hungry mercy is food. For the thirsty mercy is water. For the cold mercy is shelter and warmth. For the discouraged mercy is encouragement. For the rebellious mercy is repentance. For the defeated mercy is victory. For the lost mercy is salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
How can we as New Testament Baptist Churches and Christians truly Help The Hurting? Show them Love, Grace, Compassion, Mercy! This is found in Jesus Christ and Him Alone!