Saturday, February 28, 2009

The invitation

All too often we don’t want the light. What causes us to stay in the shadows? Is it the fear of change? We know that the light is warm, it is inviting. If we will just pick it up, take it with us we will never see things the same ever again. It does take effort on our part though. It will call for changes not just in our hearts, or in our everyday lives. Old relationships will be lost, new ones will form, and some will change with you as change, and they will be stronger than ever. While the transition from darkness might take some time, and effort we need to remember that there is nothing to fear. The Lord is very reassuring of this in Jeremiah 29:11-13 when he says: 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

So here is the Light, telling us plainly that there is nothing to fear. Yet, we still hesitate….So if there is nothing to fear, then what could it be? Maybe God is just no that cool? What? Did I really say that? Well, that is exactly what a lot of people say….well that is the way they act, we jump at the chance to talk trash about our co-workers, and we don’t think twice about passing along the e-mail that is a little risqué. Yet bring up Christ, bring up God…..heads turn, and eyebrows go up. If you look at Christ….I mean really look at his time before he came to Earth, His time here, and after He died, and was resurrected, how could you say he is not cool?

He was there when heaven and Earth were created, He was there when live was breathed into man, He feed many with nothing, and changed water to wine, He cast demons out of people, and raised the dead…….He died and took on the sin of every man, woman and child…..He became sin, so that we all could have life everlasting……how could you even allude that Christ is not cool? If he were walking the Earth today, wouldn’t you want to hang with him? A man that could do all of these things, that could give you so much…..A man that loved so deeply….You are going to seriously try to say that Christ is not cool?

I suspect what the problem is; I have talked to a lot of people, and picked their brain on this. A very large reason that many do not want to answer the call has noting to do with Christ himself. It truly has noting to do with faith, of belief in God. A big reason that people do not want to come to Christ………is other people, “church people” people that are in the church all of the time…..but have forgotten why they are there. Yes, I am saying that Christians that live preach, and judge by legalism are keeping many people away from Christ. I have a friend that was born and raised Catholic; they do not go to Church anymore, not because they don’t believe in God, but because they feel looked down upon when they are there. They have tried different churches, yet run in to the same thing at each place. Another person was telling me that it really bothered them that seldom did they really feel welcome at church. Oh they got the obligatory welcome, the big smile, the handshake, or pat on the back…..but when it came time to really join the church, to really share in the lives of others, and relate the joy, peace, and love of Christ, they felt shut out.

I’ll give you and example:

There was a very well off church the members there were always dressed nice, they always “kept up appearances” in the community. One morning a fella comes in. He is looking pretty rough, faded jeans with a hole in the knee, Boots, flannel shirt, and a cowboy hat. Well he comes in and makes his way to a seat in the back. Many members of the congregation are very upset. This man is just not dressed to honor God…..they write quick notes to the minister, something must be done, this is just unacceptable!

The Minister comes out, olds service, and then as the man is leaving, he pulls him to the side. The Minister tell him that he should really reflect on how he is dressed, he tells him that he should prayerfully consider what to wear to church, and let Jesus guide him.

The next Sunday rolls around, and just before service starts the same man walks in. Sam boots, jeans, shirt, and hat. After service the Minister catches him, and asks, well did you pray about your appearance here at church? What happened? The man looks at the Minister, and says well you know, funny thing. I did pray on it. I talked to Jesus and asked him just what should I wear to this church? And what was the answer you received the minister asked? Well Jesus said he did not know what I should wear to this church……He said he has never been to this church before.

This same story unfolds each and every Sunday through out our Country. People are excluded instead of included, they are left out in the cold, instead of brought in to the fold. Many people have traded the cross of Christ, for a laundry list of laws. Laws not created to help others find the Lord, but laws created to exclude and judge others. Theses are not the laws of the Lord, they are laws of man, and they have kept many people far away from Christ for far too long!

Many of us have turned our quest for Christ into a search for justification. We have let our hearts become aged and hard. When Christ was in Judea, he was talking to a large crowd. The people started bringing children to him, and the Apostles rebuked them, they did not want Christ to be “bothered” by children. Christ was not irritated; it did not just bother him. In Mark 10 we read that Christ became indignant, and He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

So what does that mean? Be like a child? Are we to be foolish like children can so often be? No, of course not but we can all learn something from watching a child.

A couple was sitting in a restaurant having lunch with their child one Sunday afternoon. There a couple of boots away was an old man, his clothes were tattered, he was dirty, his eyes were bloodshot, and his nose looked like a road map, although they were not close enough to smell him…..they were fairly certain he smelled. As they sat there trying not to notice, the see their child taking great delight in something, he is giggling and cooing, just smiling from ear to ear, they look to see what has caught his attention and see, it was the man. They try to ignore it, but he old man plays along, “hey there baby he says with his hands flapping around in the air, hey you beautiful little boy, do you know peek a boo? Do you? What are you doing today?” needless to say the couple was not amused. They go about their lunch, and try to finish up as quickly as possible. Their child is having nothing to do with his lunch, because he is lost in play with the old man. When the check arrives the husband takes it, and tells his wife, to go on to the car, he would pay the check and meet them there. As she gets up to leave, child in tow, she realizes that she has to walk right by the man. As she hurries past, her son let’s go of her hand, and as se turns she sees her child reach out to the man, arms outstretched in the universal sign for pick me up! Before she can react it is too late, the man picks up her son, and hugs him. Her son, grabs hold tightly and buries his head in the crook of the old mans neck, and as the mother looks she see the tears rolling down the old mans face. He holds n for a moment longer then pries the unwilling child away and hands him to his mother. “You take care of that boy he says” all she can squeak out is an ok, the man looks at there and say thank you, you have given me wonderful gift today.

The mother hurries out to the car, tears streaming down her face repeating forgive me God, please Jesus forgives me. In that one moment seeing her son in the arms of the man she was so disgusted by she saw and under stood what Jesus meant by you must be like a child. He son only saw a man who loved, and needed love. In that moment she heard God asking, can you spare you son for just one brief minute, I gave you mine forever. Children do not see the dirt, they see people as they are, creations of God, perfect in his likeness.

You see we all are imperfect, we all need forgiveness, we all have flaws, yet we all have the same invitation. Following in Christ’s footprints is not about making a list of laws then beating everyone over the head with them. He has written His laws on our heart. We know that all we have to do is say yes to the invitation.

I leave you with a story of a restaurant I went to, I want each of you to try to stop by there some time. It is the best place on earth to go. The service is impeccable, and the owner takes every little detail into consideration.

I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn't be the right place. After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn't be the right place.
Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required" and found the location. Yes, I was at the right place. I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant.
Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me ... "Come as you are. No jacket required."
I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium. "Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile. "Jimmy D. Brown," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains.
He didn't seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, "Very good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?" I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!" He led me to a table and, sure enough, there was a placard with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance," "hope," "love," "faith," and "mercy." I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant! I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was at ... "God's Grace," was the name of this place!

The man returned and said, "I recommend the 'Special of the Day'. With it, you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu." You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean, I can have ALL of this! "What is the 'Special of the Day' I asked with excitement ringing in my voice. "Salvation," was his reply. "I'll take it," I practically cried out.
Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick, painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes. Between my sobs I said ... "Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty. I'm unclean and unworthy of such things. I'd love to have all of this, but, but, I just can't afford it."

Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there," he said as he pointed to the front of the room. "His Name is Jesus."
Turning, I saw a man whose very presence seemed to light the room. He was almost too much to look at. I found myself walking towards Him and in a shaking voice I whispered, "Sir, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I'll do anything I can do to repay you for all of this."

He opened His arms and said with a smile, "Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me. Ask me to clean you up and I will. Ask me to take away the stains and it is done. Ask me to allow you to feast at my table and you will eat. Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is accept this gift that I offer you." Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, "Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life. Please change me and sit me at your table and give me this new life."
Immediately, I heard the words, "It is finished." I looked down and white robes adorned my squeaky clean body. Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at His table.

"The 'Special of the Day' has been served," the Lord said to me. "Salvation is yours." We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him. He told me, me of all people, that He would like for me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God's Grace.

He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible. As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "real world." He whispered to me softly, "And Lo, I am with you always." And then, He said something to me that I will never forget. He said ... "My child, do you see these empty tables throughout this room?" "Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?" I replied. "These are reserved tables ... but the individuals whose names are on each placard have not accepted their invitations to dine. Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet?" Jesus asked.

"Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations." "Go ye therefore into all nations," He said as I turned to leave. I walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin. My righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out a brand new man ... robed in white, His righteousness. And so, I'll keep my promise to my Lord. I'll go. I'll spread the Word. I'll share the Gospel ... I'll hand out the invitations. And I'll start with you.
Have you been to God's Grace? There's a table reserved in your name, and this is your invitation.

Will you go? Will you step out of the shadows? You don’t have to live like the cavemen did. Step into the light. There is nothing to fear, The Lord is waiting for you. Will you accept His invitation?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Answering the call

John 1 :35-39

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

When we hear the stories of the disciples leaving all of their homes, jobs, and lives behind to follow Christ, do you notice one thing that is Missing? Hesitation. All of the people that Jesus invited to follow him said yes without a second thought. Nathaniel might have questioned in a round about way, but when Christ extended the invitation, he took it. These men jumped at the chance to follow Christ. Now you have to remember at this time Christ was not well known. John the Baptist had been professing from the wilderness that Christ was on the way, but Jesus was not a household name. Yet these men followed Him.

The question that I pose is not why did these men jump so quickly, or why did they not ask more questions. My question is why can’t more of us be like that today? People recoil when you want to talk about Christ today. They have to be convinced, they have to be reassured. They have to have all of the whys and the what ifs and the but what abouts answered. There is nothing wrong with questioning, and I do want to be clear about that; what I am point out is that not many people seem to be looking for the answers anymore, and when the answer is given to them it is met with much skepticism.

It reminds me of a story I heard once about a group of cavemen. You see there was a group of Cavemen huddled in a cave, it was cold, it was wet, and it was dark. They were miserable, but they did not know it. This was the only life they knew. They were cold, but to them it was normal. At the mouth of the cave a man appeared, he began arranging something on the ground, and he told the people in the cave I have what you need. The people shouted what is it that you have, and He said what I have will give you light, and warmth, and with that He reached down and lit the wood.

The cavemen shouted, put it out! It hurts our eyes! The man said that it is always painful to leave the darkness but you will become accustomed to it, come closer it is warm, the light will not hurt you. Then one woman drew near, and she said He is right, it is warm, my eyes have adjusted and now I can see. Come closer and see for yourselves. The people shouted NO leave take your fire with you we will all lose our sight.

The woman look at the man and said why do they not want to come to the light? And the man said the darkness is all they have known, they do not want to leave. Even though it is warm, they would rather be cold the woman asked, and the man said yes. The woman told the man I don’t want to be away from my family. The man answered, then go to them. The woman said but I cannot bear to leave the light. The man reached down, took a stick that was on fire, and handed it to her. Here He said then take the light to them, and show them that the light is good.

We are a lot like those Cavemen today. We are so comfortable in what we know that even the thought of changing freaks us out. The change might promise wonderful new opportunities, that we want and need, but we are blinded in the darkness. We all need to step to the fire and grab a stick. Not only will we have light to travel by, but also we will have the proof in our hand for others to see. The light is good!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

this week

OK I have to offer my apologies; I have neglected this blog for the week. I will start back up on Monday. I have started up 2 other blogs, one with some friends from Psalm 22 ( Ministries. and the other is a blog to post my daily devotionals stop by when you have a chance, and I will be back to posting here next week.

God bless,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

diversity and love

We all have low points in our lives, we all feel less than our best. It is what we do with it that counts. When all of the dust settles, can we still love what we are left with when we look in the mirror. Mary Sullivan wrote a wonderful story called the carrot, the egg, and the coffee bean. It really does a great job of showing how we react to diversity, and what is left when the storm clouds clear.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if as soon as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen.The mother filled three pots with water.In the first, she placed carrots.In the second she placed eggs.And the last she placed ground coffee beans.She let them sit and boil without saying a word. About twenty minutes later, she turned off the burners.She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.Turning to her daughter, she said, "Tell me what you see.""Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. (You known the tone of voice.)She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did, and noted that they felt soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg inside.Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "So, what's the point, mother?" (Remember the tone of voice.)Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently.The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid center. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its insides had become hardened.The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water...they had changed the water."Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on yourdoor, how do you respond? Are you a carrot , an egg, or a coffee bean?"Think of this: Which am I?Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wiltand become soft and lose my strength?Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?

Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financialhardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my outer shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstances that bring the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of the bean. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you instead of letting it change you.

I am quite certain that God loves coffee! SO often though we end up more like the egg or the carrot, and sadly enough we don’t really like that. If we look inside ourselves and don’t like what we see, how can we like let alone love anyone else effectively?
We have to let go of that pain that we are holding on to. God sent his son to pay for that pain you are holding on to. He sealed the deal with his death. All of that pain, all of that doubt, all of the little subtle whispers you hear telling you that you don’t deserve what you have, or that you are not good enough……drop them off at the feet of Christ. HE will take them, he does not want any of his children carrying that burden around. When you let go of that baggage, you can start to see the child of God that you are. If God love s you enough to offer up his son, than I promise you that you are worthy of love, better than that I would say that you deserve love!
Tonight when you are talking to the Lord, make it a point to leave your bag of bricks with him. Wake up tomorrow and step out of bed with your load lightened. Love yourself and the life you have been given. Then you will free yourself to love others.

Rev. Thetford

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love; I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Valentines is right around the corner, the day of Love. Everyone will be running out buying cards, stuffed animals, and chocolate. Maybe some jewelry….who knows, but make no mistake about it people are going to have love on the brain. Love is a wonderful mysterious thing. Everyone wants it, many people have tried to buy it, reason for it, even live their life in search of it. It is as if Love is the pinnacle of life, and everyone is after it. Paul here is telling everyone no matter what you have, no matter how smart you are no matter how much you give without love all is worthless.

If love is so important that nothing else matters, why is it so hard to find? We know that Paul is putting its importance above anything else you can obtain, Jesus agreed with Paul. Christ told the Pharisees that the two most important laws were to love your God with all your strength, all your heart, and all your might, then turn and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Therein lies the problem.

We can love God. God is prefect, God uses everything in our lives for the good, God does not make mistakes……but we do, we often work to destroy our lives, we often make mistakes, and we are far from perfect! Loving God is not where we are lacking. We fail to love others enough because we do not love ourselves.

Maybe loving ourselves is not the right term….I know a lot of people who love themselves! More to the point we have a hard time forgiving ourselves so that the love of Christ can grow within us.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Rev. Thetford

Friday, February 6, 2009

Temptation for all

The race we run is not a race against our peers, it is not really a race at all, but we are in fact running….running with the Lord, and from the one who is waiting for us to fall. The one I referred to as competition is not in competition with as much as for us! When we look at the last part of the verse we see 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. Ahhh yes the great tempter, the liar of liars, the fallen angel….it does not really matter what you call him, the devil works just as well as any name, but know for a fact he is in direct competition for your soul.

God helps those who help themselves you hear that quote a lot…..only God did not say it, as a mater of fact you will not find that quote anywhere in the bible! Benjamin Franklin said that. What the Lord did tell us is that when we are weak he is strong, He told us that He will not forsake us…..He told us that if we will let him help he will. Paul is reminding us that we will be tempted….everyone is tempted, but first it is normal, and second, when we are tempted there will always be a way out.

The Lord might allow things to happen, but he is not the one that causes the hardship in our lives, it is us giving in to the temptation of the devil that causes our pain. See the devil has a distinct advantage on this earth. All he has to do is get you t0o turn your back on the Lord. You do not have to pledge yourself to the devil, you do not have to follow any teachings of the devil…..all you have to do is give in, and turn from the Lord, and he wins.

Of course no one thinks they will do that, but it is a pretty easy thing to do if you are not looking for that way out. There is always an escape hatch, a side door, or an open window. I often think of Job, talk about a man of faith, God let the devil inflict all types of pain physical, mental, emotional pain on Job, yet he did not break, he did not curse God. Of course God knew Job, he knew that he wouldn’t. God knows how much each one of us can endure, and what might seem like too much for you, might very well be nothing more than in inconvenience to another. Many might think that God was cruel to allow that type of pain, yet for someone who loves the Lord that is not pain, but an opportunity to show your conviction.

This brings up an interesting point, it seems that the more faith you have, the bigger, or more tempting the temptation…..weird huh? I can remember back to a time where I would say I was not tempted very much at all, not because I did whatever I wanted, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the devil knew that I just was not that big of a challenge. Now, well it seems that there is an opportunity to fall at every turn. Now things have changed, the devil realizes he will need all that is at his disposal just to try and get my attention. Remember, it is not that he wants me to turn to him, just turn from God, and he wins. This is nothing to fear, but a welcome challenge, let the devil do his best! He lost the race when Christ died on the cross; it’s just that he, and many people today do not realize it!

As we go into the weekend remember, God does not make mistakes, everything that has happened, and continues to happen is a learning, and a warning for us, continue to strive to know God better in your life, never get complacent, as if your race is over, everyday hit the ground running, remember that we all will be tempted, the devil is looking for a few good men…..but you will not be tempted beyond what you can withstand, and there will always be a way out, look for it, and USE it. The Glory is His, the Power is His, and the Honor is his, may we sing the praises of his name.

Rev. Thetford

Thursday, February 5, 2009

free will and the race

Continuing on this thought from this week, I do want to point out here that I talk often about God’s plan. I will tell you that he does not make mistakes, and he knows what you ware going to de before you do it. I have been asked “well, what about free will?” If God knows everything we are going to do does that mean that we cannot make our own choices?” We always have free will. God might know us, and what we will do, but we are free to make whatever choice we want.

Let’s say you have a friend….we will call him Johnny. Everyday Johnny comes over to your house. As soon as he comes into the house, he says hi, and goes straight to the kitchen pantry for something to eat. Now you have known Johnny for years, and that is what he does. One time a group of people are meeting at your house, and before Johnny shows up to tell your friends, “watch, when Johnny gets here he is going to say hi, then go straight to the kitchen for something to eat.” Sure enough Johnny shows up, says hi, and goes straight to the kitchen! Now just because you knew it, and you told everyone he would do it, does that in some way hamper his free will? Of course not! Johnny has the choice to not go to the pantry every time he comes over, but you know Johnny so well, that you know he is going to do it, before it happens.

That is what happens when you love someone, you know them, and you know their habits. That is how much the Lord loves you….and then some. God knows what you are going to do when you get to that crossroads in life, he also knows what choice you are going to make. It is your choice, but the Lord knows if you are going to head to that pantry! The difference is the Lord waits patiently, he knows if on trip number 4 million you are going to head to the pantry or not, and regardless of you choice, He has already planned out how to use that choice for good. You have free will, every hour of everyday, and the Lord knows the choice you are going to make, not because he controls you, but because he loves you so much that he knows you better than your brother, or sister, better than your spouse, he knows you better than that friend you have that you tell all of your deepest darkest times with. HE knows you and loves you that much no matter how much you love Him, if you love Him at all. He has put his plan into action, and he knows how it will end, even though we do not.

Now comes the next point we should listen to. “If you think you are standing firm be careful that you do not fall” Now you are thinking great, so I jump on this path, I am heading in the right direction, but now you are saying that I can lose everything I have worked for? Well… a nut shell….yes! Think of it like this. Let’s say there was a guy who ran faster than anyone on the planet. No one could even get close to him. Every race he ran he won by a huge margin. One day the runner is thinking about it, and says to himself “ya’ know….I am so fast that I don’t have to train like I do now. I am safe, I can beat anyone….in other words he feels that he is standing firm. So he quits waking up at 5 in the morning to go run, he quits running at the end of the day. What does he have to worry about? HE is the fastest in the world. On the next trip out, he wins, but he notices that the gap is not as wide, this continues to happen, each race he runs the competition gets a little closer, until finally it is a tie, then the fateful day comes and he is beaten. He thinks what happened? I was the best I could be, but now I am not even second!

We have to persevere, we have to continue to walk the path and search out Christ, just because we feel comfortable with our relationship with Christ that does not mean that the race is over. We have to keep striving to get faster. Our competition is always chasing, and always looking for an advantage. HE will exploit any weakness he can find, so the idea is not to let him get close enough to touch us, go hard after God, and the adversary will be left in the dust.

Rev. Thetford

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The compass

1 Corinthians 10: 11-13

11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God does not make mistakes, nor does he leave things to chance. His plan has been plotted out long before he put the first piece into action. Many people think that God flooded the earth because he made a mistake. As if you say, oops, let’s start over. That cannot be further from the truth. The flood, the plagues, the forty years in the wilderness, it was all known to God well before it took place.

Paul tells us plainly here in verse 11: these things happened as examples and were written down as warnings for us. That is the key, these events were recorded. If God had made a mistake, would it not be easier for him just to kind of sweep it under the rug? Maybe a quick lapse of memory, or perhaps just blot out all of society, and start over…..No that would not serve the point. God wanted to make sure that the world knew exactly what happened, so that we might not be so quick to fall away.

Think about it, we humans are not exactly quick on the uptake, if you know what I mean. It takes us years just to master the simple things like walking, and not eating paint chips! God knew that it would take thousands of years for us to start getting on track. HE has given us a road map, and a compass in the bible. All we have to do is open the map, and use the compass.

Rev. Thetford