Thursday, November 30, 2006

Throwing Soap

Throwing Soap

David said to God, "Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father's household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued" -- 1 Chronicles 21:17; New American Standard Bible

I will never forget it as long as I live. Once, while in elementary school, some boys and I were having an argument in the latrine when one of the boys threw a bar of soap at me. I dodged the soap and it hit the wall and broke. I picked up the pieces, washed my hands and went into the hallway to go to lunch. As I handed the broken soap to my teacher (our custom was to give the teacher the soap because if left in the restroom it was continually stolen), she angrily said “Who broke this soap?” No one confessed, and since I handed it to her, she assumed it was me. After lunch, she gave a great speech on honesty and respecting school property. She ended the exhaustive diatribe by pulling my pants down and whipping me with a paddle in front of my classmates, boys and girls included.

I had done enough wrong in my time to get a whipping for something I did not do. That didn’t really bother me. I was guilty of enough that the whipping could have served as payment for old debts to society. The embarrassment is what bothered me. I still think that it could have been avoided had the boy spoken up. Better still; had he not thrown the soap, no one would have gotten a whipping.

David should not have thrown the proverbial soap. His pride caused 70,000 (soak that number in) Israelites to die and much of Jerusalem to be destroyed (1 Chronicles 21:14-15a). Finally, David confesses that he is guilty and asks God to give him the punishment. Though a little late, David makes a noble confession. God had stayed His hand already, but let us be careful to note that David’s confession brought healing and David did not make the mistake of leaving his sin unconfessed as King Saul had done (1 Samuel 15).

How many of us have been affected by someone else’s failure to assume their guilt? Who has suffered for our failure? There is great cleansing in confession. Read these words of David from Psalm 32:1-6: “Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment” (NLT).

Who else might be drowning because of us? Children? Co-workers? Spouses? Friends? Church family? It would indeed be better had we not “thrown the soap”, but many of us have. It’s time to make noble a confession. It’s time to take responsibility. It’s time to be cleansed.

Devotion: What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #3

What We Should Know About OUR Jesus!

Advocate

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous -- 1 John 2:1; King James Version

In my PAST I was known to get into a lot of trouble. I got into fights. I liked to drive fast. There are numerable things I could mention, but you get the point. After one particular episode I had to hire a lawyer (AGAIN). I'd had great experiences with this certain fellow, so I asked him if he'd "be my lawyer all the time". He said, "Sure, all you have to do is put me on retainer." I said, "What's that mean?" "It means," he explained, "that you pay me a fee to keep my services available. When you need me for something, your retainer fee insures that you can get me. You'll be one of my regular clients." It sad to say that I needed a lawyer on retainer, but I had one.

I made allusion to Christ as Advocate yesterday when I wrote of Him being our Mediator. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I love the thought of Him serving as both. He mediates to make initial peace and then continues to advocate on our behalf. Easton's Bible Dictionary defines an advocate in this way: Advocate, (Greek, parakletos), one who pleads another's cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia adds this: The Greek word has several shades of meaning: (1) a legal advocate; (2) an intercessor, (3) a helper generally. In the passage before us the first and second meanings are included. Christ in heaven intercedes for Christians who sin upon earth.

It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered “Comforter,”). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered Advocate.

In 1 John 2:1 the Apostle John is telling us that when we sin we have an Advocate that will plead our case. I find this exciting! Does that mean that since we have someone to plead our case we should live a freewheeling lifestyle? Not just "No", but emphatically, " NO!" Grace does abound, but it does not give us excuse to abuse it! Should we willfully do that we are smacking God in the face.

Commenting on 1 John 2:1, Matthew Henry said, "The original name is sometimes given to the Holy Ghost, and then it is rendered, the Comforter. He acts within us; he puts pleas and arguments into our hearts and mouths; and so is our advocate, by teaching us to intercede for ourselves. But here is an advocate without us, in heaven and with the Father. The proper office and business of an advocate is with the judge; with him he pleads the client's cause. The Judge with whom our advocate pleads is the Father, his Father and ours. He who was our Judge in the legal court (the court of the violated law) is our Father in the gospel court, the court of heaven and of grace. His throne or tribunal is the mercy-seat. And he that is our Father is also our Judge, the supreme arbitrator of our state and circumstances, either for life or death, for time or eternity" (quoted from eSword commentary).

So, what does this all mean for us today? We have our Advocate, the Lord Jesus, at the Judge's bench constantly pleading our case. As for our retainer, unlike the kind I paid cash money for, Jesus secured OUR payment with HIS blood and He is ALWAYS there pleading on our behalf. Isn't that wonderful? The Holy Spirit, described as Comforter, is within us telling us how to speak to the Judge while the Advocate is in heaven speaking to the Judge for us! WOW!!!!!

So much could be said and written of these offices of the Spirit and the Son, but, for a short devotion, I hope your interest is peaked. We should all be encouraged that we have Jesus, the righteous Son of God, to CONSTANTLY plead our cause. He is constantly seeking victory for us. I just cannot get over that. There are times when we don't seek to win for ourselves, but Jesus is ALWAYS on the case. He's there, even in this moment, with a LONG list of clients, interceding before the Judge. He's there right now for YOU and for ME; He's pleading our cases, making argument for us, seeking to assuage God's holy justice.

If this doesn't encourage you today; if this doesn't light your fire and warm the cockles of your heart, your wood is wet!



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Devotion: What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #2

What We Should Know About OUR Jesus!

Mediator

For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus -- 1 Timothy 2:5; King James Version

I was studying in my office recently when a person came in who was obviously very discouraged. Honestly, my first thought was, "MAN! Why can't I ever sit here peacefully? I am always interrupted!" I immediately felt convicted, but kind of shrugged it off. I got my preacher face on, smiled and said, "C'mon on in."

I listened to the person for a while and asked God to forgive me for my attitude. This person was in pain and all I was worried about was my schedule being interrupted. Shame on me!

Something dawned on me while I listened to that hurting voice; this person needed someone to draw them near the Lord and I had been given that privilege. I began to remind that one of some of God's promises; comments such as "I never thought of that" and "I needed to be reminded of that" were said.

AFTER they left I began to think of the many times of frustration that I'd had and the many people who God used to comfort me. I also thought of the great privilege I'd just had in standing between God and this person and reducing the space in between.

Jesus does that all the time. He is our Mediator. He stands between our holy God, who is offended by our sin, and pleads mercy. He reconciles, meaning He brings peace, between our soul and the Father. One of the interesting thing about a mediator is that such a one must be a common friend of both parties. There is NONE that is a friend of man and God, save Jesus! Another thing of note is the fact that there is often cases where one party has a condition cannot be met and the mediator will often fulfill that condition in the place of the offending party who cannot. What do I mean? In the case of Lord Jesus as Mediator, He fulfilled God's condition of a perfect sacrifice for sin. He mediates between God and man, claiming His own sacrifice as the meat for the condition. Isn't that amazing?

Jesus, our Mediator, stands as a lawyer always on duty. He is on eternal retainer. "Look here," He says, "this one, Father, this one is Mine. You gave this one to Me. I've met the conditions for this one's sin. You know that Father. But, look here now; this one is hurting. This one needs more grace. This one needs more of Your mercy, Father. Yes, they've messed up again. Yes, they are beaten down. I know all of that. Put it on My account, Father; forgive them for My sake. Draw them near Yourself. They needed You at the moment of salvation and they need You now. Forgive them. Lift this one up. Mend this broken heart."

Does Jesus really say stuff like that? I don't know. But I do know that He loves the Father and He loves people and He pleads our case for us before the Father. Our Mediator is always seeking to destroy the gap between God and man. Some for salvation; some for growth; some for restoration; some for encouragement. He pleads our case because He loves us. Unlike me, Jesus mood never changes. He's always on task and always has our best interests in mind. Thank God for OUR Lord Jesus; Friend, Savior and Mediator! Blessed be the name of Jesus!



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Devotion: What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #1

What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #1

Jesus as King

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will display at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. -- 1 Timothy 6:13-16; English Standard Version (emphasis mine)

It's been a long time since our country has had a king. The last king we had we rebelled against in 1776. As Americans we fail to understand the office and authority of a king. When it comes to political governance, I am glad no one man or woman has singular authority over our nation. I like the system of the republic we enjoy (though a democracy would be better). I digress. All I am saying is that we are generally unfamiliar with monarchies and I believe that causes us to miss some of the richness of Lord Jesus as King.

Make no mistake, however, God is King of kings. Jesus also shares that same title (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Why do both share the title? Simple. Both are God. Furthermore, God has made Jesus "heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2; KJV). Being King of kings means that all authority is in His hands. Most people (rightly) automatically think of Romans 13:1-6 where we understand that God grants any authority who has authority. However, it's more than that; God, and subsequently Jesus, is King over YOU and ME as well! He IS King over every king (or president or prime minister or emporer or whatever), but He is King over every subject.

That's why Paul told Timothy to "keep this commandment". Timothy was to keep it in view of the authority of THE King.

There is an Anglican preacher / professor named N.T. Wright that has written much on the subject of Jesus as King. I agree with Wright when he asserts that Paul's preaching of the "good news" was both the announcement that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic promise of the Savior AND as the world's Lord. Jesus IS both!

That was what was so radical about Paul's preaching. To the world (and specifically the Jew) Paul was announcing that salvation had come through Christ Jesus. To the world (and specifically his Roman listeners) Paul was announcing that a new Caesar was in charge and His name is Lord Jesus, King of kings. Romans were made to affirm Caesar as god and king. Paul's preaching was asserted that Jesus superceded Caesar in both things.

It's hard to say all of this in a few words, but I pray God seasons it with His Spirit. Paul preached, and believed, that Jesus was the Messianic fulfillment of Isaiah 40 and 52 (I'll trust you to read that). It was Jewish thought that already believed that, because they were the chosen people of God, their king was rightly the king of all nations anyway (Psalm 72:8). Jesus was vindicated as Savior and King when He rose from the grave, thus finishing His work as Savior and making His royal succession as King. No other Savior, but Jesus. No King above Him. Thank God that the root of Jesse and the descendant of David was Christ Jesus, God and King and not just another guy inheriting a royal line!

You might be wondering what this has to do with us today. Number one, as our King, Jesus has the royal right to exercise authority over us. (I wish I could enlarge the "." because it's emphatic on this point.) Number two, His authority is not open for vote. Number three, there is none above Him. Number four, as King, Lord Jesus has the power to write His law upon our hearts. Number five, as King, Lord Jesus has the intention to set up His kingdom within us where He desires to rule over our entire life. Number six, we are to bow in respect, awe and obedience to Him. Number seven, we MUST vow COMPLETE allegiance to Him!

Yes, King Father; yes, King Jesus...to YOU be "honor and eternal dominion"! You are our King and we are Your subjects. You have the right to rule and we have the joy to be under Your rule. All hail King Jesus!



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Something Worth Sharing

Friends,

I feel that it is important to tell you, so as not to take credit for myself, that the next series of devotions I plan on writing were inspired by some writing of Charles G. Finney (The Relations of Christ to the Believer; http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Voice/Relations.Christ.Believer.html#LECTURE%2062).

You can check out Mr. Finney's biography here: http://www.charlesgfinney.com/index.htm

I was quite moved by our Lord by some of Mr. Finney's lectures. I understand that God is leading me to expound upon and share some of the things He has taught me through this fresh reading of Mr. Finney's lectures.

The series will be called "What We Should Know About OUR Jesus!". All of the devotions that will follow in this series were motivated by Mr. Finney's writings and understanding of God's word. Where I quote him, Mr. Finney will be credited. The ideas for each devotion would be properly given to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for there is nothing new under the sun. Added to that, I want to be careful to say that most of my thoughts were sparked when reading Mr. Finney's lectures. Feel free to hit the above link and read Mr. Finney's comments for yourself.

I hope you enjoy!


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Give Thanks

1Ch 16:1 And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.
1Ch 16:2 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD
1Ch 16:3 and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.
1Ch 16:4 Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel.
1Ch 16:5 Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals,
1Ch 16:6 and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.
1Ch 16:7 Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.
1Ch 16:8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
1Ch 16:9 Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
1Ch 16:10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
1Ch 16:12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
1Ch 16:13 O offspring of Israel his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
1Ch 16:14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
1Ch 16:15 Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
1Ch 16:16 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
1Ch 16:17 which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob, as an everlasting covenant to Israel,
1Ch 16:18 saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance."
1Ch 16:19 When you were few in number, and of little account, and sojourners in it,
1Ch 16:20 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,
1Ch 16:21 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,
1Ch 16:22 saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!"
1Ch 16:23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
1Ch 16:24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
1Ch 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods.
1Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
1Ch 16:27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
1Ch 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
1Ch 16:29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
1Ch 16:30 tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
1Ch 16:35 Say also: "Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.
1Ch 16:36 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!" Then all the people said, "Amen!" and praised the LORD.
1Ch 16:37 So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister regularly before the ark as each day required,
1Ch 16:38 and also Obed-edom and his sixty-eight brothers, while Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah were to be gatekeepers.
1Ch 16:39 And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon
1Ch 16:40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, to do all that is written in the Law of the LORD that he commanded Israel.
1Ch 16:41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.
1Ch 16:42 Heman and Jeduthun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were appointed to the gate.
1Ch 16:43 Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Devotion: What if He Sat Beside Me?

What if He Sat Beside Me?

Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money -- Mark 12:41a; New Living Translation

Once I lent a young person my car. I instructed him to drive carefully and take good care of my vehicle. He assured me that he would. Later that day, while riding with a friend, I saw the young man "burning rubber" on my car. When I confronted the youth about the incident, in utter disbelief, he asked "How did you know?" I told him. I was tempted to never let that kid drive my car again, but I relented. The next time he borrowed it, I told him to imagine that the whole time he was driving my car that I was sitting right beside him.

Today's Scripture: During the week of Jesus crucifixion, He spent His time in and around Jerusalem. At one point, He spent some time in the Temple watching people make monetary offerings. Rich people, seeking to be very conspicuous, dropped large amounts of money in to the offering boxes. Then a very poor widow comes and gives all she has, which was roughly the equivalent of two cents. Jesus considered this a greater gift than the large amount of money because she gave it freely and it cost her something. Any gift offered with reluctance or for the sake of recognition losses its value.

Like the youth driving my car, I wonder how we'd make our offerings were Jesus sitting beside us. Granted, many folks did not realize that the Jesus that watched them make offerings that day was to be the Savior of the entire human race. If they had known that God Himself sat before them in the flesh, they may have offered differently.

But wait...raise your hand if you believe God is sovereign. If we believe that, then it is easy to recognize that though He may not be in the pew beside us when we offer He still knows our gift and the intent behind it.

What if we lived all of our lives like God was sitting beside us? A dear friend told me that he would not put the Christian fish on his car because he was so ashamed of his driving at times that he would not want people to know that he was a Christian and driving in such a manner. What if we sat on our couches, surfing the channels, with Jesus on the sit next to us? Would we linger on the same channels? Would we work at our jobs in the same manner if Jesus was our coworker? Would we shrug off telemarketers in the same way if Jesus was privy to our phone conversations?

Now I don't mean to regulate Jesus to a glorified babysitter. I pray we all realize that though God is not sitting in the chair beside us, or passing the offering plate to us, or working along side us at our jobs, He is aware of what we do and with what intention we do it.

We can fool some of the people some of the time, but God none of the time. Today...what would you have done or thought differently if God had been next to you?




Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Youth For Christ Roxboro Newsletter


Water From The Rock


Seeking To Give Back While Receiving


It was one of those episodes that could never have been scripted. A young man approached a YFC Staffer, Brett Carver, and asked if he could join the varsity volunteer ranks. Brett said, “Sure; you need to fill out a volunteer application. Sit down right here and I’ll walk you through it.” That’s when the script was ripped from under us and The Producer took over.


As they filled out the general information the conversation was light and quick. That came to an abrupt halt when the young man arrived at the section of the application that requested his testimony of conversion. The young man realized he didn’t have one!


He began to ask Brett questions. True to a form of wisdom, Brett answered those questions with love, faith, and God’s Word. Brett breathed prayers of dependence and hope to our ever faithful God and continued to give the young man the whole counsel of God’s Word, being sure to caution the young man that he should “count the costs” of becoming a disciple. The draw of the Lord was too strong to resist and the young man submitted his life to the Lord. Of all the places, Troy gave his heart to Christ behind the reception desk of The Warehouse.


That’s the story. That’s also the way of serving the Lord. Many of you could tell stories of times you went on mission trips or responded to natural disasters; times when you desired to give and received more than you gave.


That’s how ministry is. Why? Simple; we serve a giving God. Thank You, Lord, for giving us a chance to serve. Thank You, Lord, for giving Troy life! You are good all the time!



Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!


November is a season of thanksgiving that leads to a season of giving. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for your financial support. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for having hearts that follow hotly after God and desire to see young people engaged. To all of you, from all of the YFC Staff and Board, THANK YOU!



More than anything, thank God, our Father for His sovereign care. Thank Jesus for willingly giving His life and for taking it up again. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for your indwelling, guiding work in our lives.



Yes, let us be careful to be thankful to Him who has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light!



HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!



News from CL @ PHS — By: Brett Carver


A new year for Person High Campus Life is underway and it has shown to be very fruitful. The numbers have doubled since last year and the types of kids that are coming have dramatically changed. Last year the typical Campus Life (CL) student was a church going student. Now we have students coming that may have never seen the inside of church walls. Last year’s curriculum ‘Why Believe the Bible’ set the foundation for this year’s ‘Essentials of the Bible.’ This year we are diving deep into what the Bible teaches. Students are using Bibles to look up passages for themselves to see what it teaches. Some goals for this year are to teach students how to read the Bible, from looking up passages to deciphering for themselves what Scripture says, instead of getting scripture spoon fed to them. Mixed in with these Bible lessons are free snacks and fun games. It’s an excellent time for students to have fellowship and to grow in knowledge of the Bible. We are having a great time and would love to see your student(s) there. Encourage them to go and drag their friends in kicking or rejoicing! You come too! (Kicking or rejoicing accepted!)

In Christ’s Love,
Brett



News from CL @ NMS — By: Rev. Sylvester Clay


WHEN,WHEN,WHEN??? That is the question being asked by our youth in Campus Life at Northern Middle School. I am having a fabulous time ministering to all of OUR youth in the school system. New faces are attending in our club, as well as the ones from the year before. You would be amazed at what can happen in one hour and fifteen minutes one Tuesday afternoon each week after school. Believe it or not OUR youth are hungry and thirsting after the Righteousness of GOD!! It is work sowing good seeds, however I don't believe GOD wants me to raise the whole crop by myself. Have you ever seen a farmer plant a garden without any tools at all? No you have not. (THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL BUT THE LABORERS ARE FEW). The only way you can keep a tree from bearing bad fruit, is you have to take time to nurture, feed, and protect it from those bad elements that are just waiting to devour its harvest. What am I saying? The same thing OUR youth are. They want to know when will they be able to leave the school and go to the Warehouse. When will they be able to have Campus Life more than one day, When this, when that. I just answer in my heart to myself and say, when more of God's people realize that it is not about us. When the people start comforting and stop complaining. You know what, I know this is for the newsletter but I’m getting teary eyed right now. I could go on, instead I will ask you one question. WHEN WILL YOU............?

Because of Him,
Sylvester


News from CL @ SMS — By: Rev. Matt Rummage


Greetings from the Campus Life staff serving at Southern Middle School. This month we want all of the YFC supporters to know what is going on with CL @ Southern.
First, I would like to emphasize the blessing the volunteers and I have received from ministering to these students. It’s encouraged us to know God is using you to make a holy difference in the lives of these young students. I have two volunteers who serve each week, Rusty Oliver (Bethany Church) and Rusty Ford (Somerset Church). Overall, we’ve met for nine weeks and we are currently averaging between 18 and 25 students at each meeting. During one of the first meetings we saw several of the students make decisions to follow Jesus.
Second, I believe it’s important to inform you that CL is not a baby sitting ministry or an after school program designed to keep kids busy till their parents come and pick them up. We are serious about helping these students begin and grow in a relationship with their Creator. Our group is extremely diverse. We have students who know Jesus and attend worship weekly. However, we also have students who are radically unchurched. These particular students are skeptical and they raise some serious questions about God and the Bible.
For example, one of the most memorable meetings thus far was the one in which we discussed the question, “How do we know what we know?” This discussion truly revealed the convictions of the students about truth and the Bible. We may not want to admit it, but our culture and its beliefs about truth have greatly impacted our younger generation. The volunteers and I were asked a lot of tough questions during the lesson. Nonetheless, I believe God showed up and enabled all of us to answer each question with boldness and clarity. I could tell the answers made the students think more seriously about the issue. Please pray for the hearts of these unchurched students to be receptive to God’s truth. Pray God will remove the blinders from their eyes so that the light of the glorious gospel can shine through.
Finally, I believe its imperative for all of you to know that my desire is to see the students of this ministry become disciple makers themselves. I do not want this ministry to become like most churches who just sit around within the four walls of their buildings eating doughnuts and playing games while the world goes to hell. I want these kids to first establish a relationship with God and then I want to see them go and be ambassadors for Christ to their classmates, so that they can help them establish a relationship with God through Jesus.
Before I go, someone may ask, “What can I do to help?” Well, the answer is simple. Pray for the students and make yourself available to volunteer at least once a month. Hey guys, I love you, but it’s high time for the church to get busy. Help us go where the kids are and reach them before the devil does.

Right there with you,
Matt



PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR OUR SUPPORTERS

Charles and Lynn Fuller
Dr. Greg and Marilyn Hicks
Earl and Ninez Lee
Mt. Harmony Baptist Church
Warren’s Grove United Methodist Church


IN MEMORY
A gift was given in memory of Luella Bogey by Warren’s Grove UMC.


From The Director’s Chair


A long time ago I was nicknamed “Bulldog”. I like bulldogs. Their kind of cute, in a slouchy kind of way. But, and here’s my problem, I found a breed description that described a bulldog this way: Gentle, friendly, and adoring, with a mischievous dose of stubbornness, the English Bulldog is incessantly loyal to its family. It usually gets along well with other animals, is particularly fond of children, and does best indoors. Highly spirited as a puppy, the English Bulldog grows up to be a calm adult. The breed prefers not to exercise, can easily overheat, and is prone to drooling and snoring (www.bulldogbreeds.com/englishbulldog.html). Wait a minute! I’d like to think I’m loyal and I KNOW I can be stubborn, but what is all this stuff about preferring not exercise and drooling and snoring? I’m offended!


Most churches are full of bulldogs. They are friendly, but easily overheat and snore a lot. C’mon, have a sense of humor!


When it comes to ministry, I want to be a pit bull. Pit Bulls, as a breed get a bad rap. When properly socialized they are loving, protective, intelligent, and loyal animals. The same could be said of Christians!


I’ve had several pit bulls in my life, and ALL of them have been GREAT pets. I never fought them, and I always loved them and they were, in turn, lovable. (Ain’t he cute?)
My favorite thing about pit bulls as a breed is that they were bred to have fierce, unrelenting, unmatched determination. They never give up!


If we are going to reach the youth generation of today we are going to have to be pit bulls. The Bible says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9; ESV). I’ve been talking with our ministerial staff and many volunteers and donors about that very thing lately. We must be unrelenting and unmatched in our determination and effort! We must bite down on the thing God has given us to do and refuse to be shaken loose even as the gates of hell seek to prevail against us.


It wasn’t long ago that I quoted that same verse in this same forum. That’s where we still are, dear friends...we’ve got to lock down and hang on. We will reap if we hang on and refuse to grow weary.


Keep praying. Keep giving. Keep serving. Keep sharing His witness. Keep on keeping on.


I like to slobber and snore; honestly, I do. This is not the season for that. This is the season to serve and sacrifice. This is the season to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus...holding on… determined… together… for His glory! Let’s be pit bulls!

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim
Romans 12:1-2


Devotion: The Great Adventure

Friends,

Last night AND this morning found me very frustrated computerly speaking (yes, I know I just made a new word -- I'm lyrical, it's allowed!). I lost my devotion when I tried to submit it through the very fun graphical editor. What does that mean? It means the devotion is in small, plain text this morning. Sorry!

The Great Adventure

…for you have not passed this way before -- Joshua 3:4c; New King James Version

Have you ever played laser tag? The first time I played was the best. Not because I got to shoot people with an electronic gun, rather the maze we played in was fun to search through. It was generally dark, but lights were flashing. There were strobe lights, and some places on the walls were painted with fluorescent paint. It was exciting to run around looking for different passages. Every time I thought I'd seen the entire maze, I'd find a new hallway or hiding place. I stopped shooting, because I was having great fun "discovering" new places. It wasn't a new maze, but it was new to me.

That's Christian life for me. I am generally in a dark place (the world), and there are bells and whistles (flashing lights and fluorescent paint) every where I turn. The exciting part is that every time I think I have things figured out, God shows me something new. God is not a new God, but He is new to me. I like that. I want to thirst for Him as the Psalmist does in Psalm 42:1.

In Joshua 3, the people entered a new phase in their relationship with God. They went into the land God had promised them. He sent out the Ark of the Covenant before them as a guide for them. Every step they took was a new place that they had not passed through before. How exciting!

Sure, I've been through this world before, but now I'm going through it with God. I have new vision. I am seeing things as He leads me, not as I lead myself. This is great! Joshua told the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you" (Joshua 3:5b). I want that to be my prayer every night…" Lord, set me apart, help me to see the great adventure that You have for me tomorrow!"

Paul said, "To live is Christ…" (Philippians 1:21). He understood that great adventure. As he lived on this earth, Paul was discovering the world moment by moment in Christ's eyes, getting to know Him more all the time.

I know there will be dead ends in a maze, and I know that there will be trouble. Still, I am excited to go through one. In the same way, I know I will experience difficulties in life, but I am excited to go through it with God. I want to pass through a way that I have never been before. I want to experience Him moment by moment as I go through this world. I WANT THIS GREAT ADVENTURE!

Every step with Christ is one that I never made before. The explorer in me can't wait to see what wonders He will do next in my life. Are you enjoying YOUR great adventure?

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Monday, November 20, 2006

Devotion: Let Loose in the Vault

Let Loose In The Vault

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ -- Ephesians 1:3; King James Version

The great Scottish Bible expositor Alexander MacLaren once wrote: "We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor?"

This is an absolutely beautiful verse. Think of it, for those that are IN Christ, we are blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing. Nothing is held back. Nothing is put in reserve. Nothing is denied. All is given freely. However, it does stand to reason; if God the Father has given us His precious Son, what then will He withhold?

You may want to know exactly what spiritual blessings are. Here is a list; being chosen for salvation, being adopted as His children, the hope of living eternally with Christ, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the power to do God’s will, the gift OF the Spirit, forgiveness, insight, transformation, cleansing, and intimacy with God Almighty. WHAT A LIST! All this is for "whosoever" that will take it. It has been purchased at Calvary by the redeeming blood of the Messiah. It has been offered to all peoples. It can be claimed by any who "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead" (Romans 10:9; KJV). Like the bullion in today’s illustration, it is ready to be taken.

The best thing is that these blessings are "spiritual blessings in heavenly places". That means they are not temporary. Originating and being maintained in heavenly places guarantees that they cannot be destroyed, stolen, or corrupted. Jesus understood that these great blessings would be offered. In Matthew 6:20 He said, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (KJV).

I would say with surety that every believer wants these blessings. How, then, may we have them? According to the Scripture above, these wonderful gifts are "in Christ". One can determine that to claim this abundance, one must be in Christ (John 15). We must have a singular focus. According to Hebrews 12:2, we are to look "unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (KJV). Jesus didn't just open the vault; He completely BUSTED the door off!

Go ahead…take it…we’ve been let loose in the vault.



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tell me this isn't dumb...

Signs, signs, every where signs, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind; "Do this"; "Don't do that"; can't you read the sign?

Devotion: I Want to be a Mule

I Want To Be A Mule

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether they will follow My instructions."
--Exodus 16:4; New Living Translation

I lived near the Lawrence family for a few months in my life. They own Percheron draft horses. The Lawrence's are a great Christian family. The father, Tommy, used to let me help out with the horses. I'd work with their oldest two sons, Chip and Scott. I learned a lot from that family. Oddly enough, the thing that stuck with me the longest was something Chip once told me about mules. We would give the horses a scoop of sweet feed once a day. We had to make sure the horses could never get at the sweet feed on their own. I asked Chip why one day. He explained that horses like sweet feed like candy, and if you let them, they will literally eat it until their stomach bursts! That was fascinating to me! Chip further explained that people believed mules to be stupid, but, unlike a horse, given the opportunity to eat all the sweet feed they want, they will only eat until full.

We visit Exodus 16:4 today. The second part of the verse explains to us why God chose to drop food on a daily basis. God wanted to test the people to see if they would follow His instructions. He wanted to see if the people had the kind of faith that would allow them to live hand to mouth. God wanted to see if they trusted Him enough to do what He said.

That sounds simple, doesn't it? Can we say, today, that we trust God enough to do what He says? Can we say that we trust Him to be satisfied with just enough to get through the day? Can we embrace daily provision, or will we rebel and demand more?

The mule is satisfied with enough. The horse wants more, even when damaging itself. I want to be a mule. I want to have my fill of what is provided, and be content. I want "mule faith" too. I want to be satisfied with what God has given me without worrying if more is to come. I want to learn to live, in faith, hand to mouth, knowing tomorrow is in the sovereign hand of God. I want to be challenged and found not wanting when God says, "Trust Me."

I know this will be tough. The key is what Jesus said in John 15:5; "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing" (NLT). The key is to stay near the source. That is what God wanted to teach the Hebrew people; stay near the source and trust in it. That is also the challenge…stay near the source.




Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Volunteers Needed

Hello! We need volunteers for The Warehouse on Tuesday, November 21, 2006. If you are a registered volunteer who CAN and WILL volunteer that day, please let me know.

Thanks!
Tim

More of a Testimony than a Devotion: The Minority Report

The Minority Report

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name. -- Malachi 3:16; King James Version

It is often very difficult to be in the minority of the right. How is that determined, the right, that is? Easily, the right is determined in any age as that which is propagated and approved by God.

The prime example is Jesus. He alone stood for God and was alone crucified, though He was not guilty. Even the authority that condemned Jesus recognized that Jesus was not guilty of wrong (Matthew 27:23-24). He was a minority for sure!

I have seen many minorities of opinion and action that daily go unheralded. I remember many the times a certain Christian man, with whom I used to work, who would walk away from us or refuse to laugh at our lewd jokes. We scoffed at that man's attitude. (I was not a Christian at this point in my life and thought that man ridiculous, but now stand in admiration of his resolve.) That certain fellow held our lewdness, not in contempt, but in pity, refusing to participate. He was a minority.

Offering honest testimony: I feel many times that I must live as a moral minority in order to obey God and honor Him with my life. This is often lonely. I fight the urge to go along that I may get along. Am I saying I am better than anyone? No, and if you hear that, please forgive my lack of ability to express myself in a more proper fashion. Do I always WANT to obey God? Yes. Do I always find it EASY? No. Do I often WANT to jump into situations that would not honor God? Yes. Do I sometimes want to shade the truth that it might fit my desires? No. Yet, do I struggle with doing that thing that I WANT to do? Yes.

Where am I going with all of this? It's hard to express, for sure. I was reading Malachi this morning and found some encouragement there.

You see, dear friends, we live in a world that continues to show disdain for truth, falling deeper into the pit of relevance. There are times when I feel like I MUST be wrong about things if so many people act in opposite of my understanding of truth. Let me illustrate. Take MY understanding of God's view on divorce. I understand God's word to say He disapproves of divorce, BUT everyone is doing it, so it MUST be okay, right? No. I know it's a sin according to God's word, but I often WANT to bend or soften my views. Do you know what I mean?

When I read Malachi 3 this morning I saw a minority that loved God and stood for Him. Judah was in a moral shambles. Furthermore, they were far away from God, though they kept up good appearance. BUT, BUT, BUT -- there was a minority that "feared the Lord" and "spake often" of the things of the Lord and "thought upon His name". THAT was a definite minority in that society. Here is the encouraging part; the "LORD hearkened, and heard it". WOW!

There WERE a few people that loved the Lord and HE HEARD THEM!!!!

As the title suggests, this is more of testimony than a devotion. I am encouraged to be in the minority that stands with God. I feel more free to speak of Him with that cadre that stands with me in the minority. MOST IMPORTANTLY, massive numbers are not needed for God to hear and move; He hears even the minority.


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Devotion: Bigger Than the Bogey Man

Bigger Than the Bogey Man

And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier
than we. -- Genesis 26:17; King James Version

I used to like to follow my brothers down to the local churchyard to
play football. My brothers are all big, tough guys. There was a swagger
about them, a certain confidence in themselves that translated to those
around them. They were bruising football players, especially in the
backyard realm of padless football. They were afraid to hit or be hit
and welcomed competitive pain if it also meant they got to dish some
out. I played with them often, but, in truth, I was much too small to
be effective. Still, I swaggered too. I was, after all, with my
brothers. If I wasn't playing I would stand on the sidelines and talk
junk (a favorite male past time). Why would I do that? Simple; I was
with my brothers.

There is a Veggie Tales song that I love. It goes like this: God is
bigger than the Bogey Man. He's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters
on TV. God is bigger than the Bogey Man and He's watching out for you
and me.

Here we go again...Abimelech and the people of Gerar had their eyes on
the wrong thing. They feared Isaac's strength. I wouldn't have worried
about Isaac at all. Had I been a protagonistic Philistine I would have
called Isaac out for a fist fight. See, I'm a genius. They asked Isaac
to leave instead. Or, maybe they DID have their heads straight. Maybe
they DID know the source of Isaac's strength. Maybe they DID understand
that there was nothing particularly strong about Isaac. Maybe they DID
know that Isaac's strength was God.

I was an arrogant little punk because I knew I had the strength of my
brothers on my side. The wonderful vegetables in the Veggie Tales knew
they had nothing to fear because God is bigger than the various things
they feared.

Now, you ought not fear the Bogey Man, Godzilla, or the monsters on TV.
You ought not walk around life like an arrogant little punk. That's
just not Christian!

But, there is something here that just encourages my socks off. When we
walk with God we can have confidence that causes us to walk with less
fear and more surety that we are protected and watched over by Him who
has unmeasurable strength.

Think about it; it wasn't as if God was blowing Abimelech's property or
subjects into smithereens. He was simply blessing Isaac with wealth and
goods. THAT scared Isaac's neighbors! That amazes me! Who is this God
whose blessings frighten people?

We know God is powerful. We know God is infinite. We know God knows all
things. We know those things. But do we realize that this same God
loves us and is jealous over us? Do we realize that He desires to be
constantly and intimately involved in our lives? That's a blessing AND
outright humbling.

I will not fear the Bogey Man. My God is with me! The world may
misunderstand and become nervous at God's work in my life, but I would
rather be misunderstood than be without Him. I would rather walk with
this awesome God, who's blessings upon Isaac scared the Philistines,
than to walk without Him and have the comfort and trust of every man
upon this earthly plane.

Thank You, Father, for blessing me! Thank You for being involved in my
life. Thank You that You are bigger than ALL my fears. Thank You that
even Your goodness has such power that people become afraid. May people
look to You in response to their fears and worship You and desire to
know You more. May I find favor in this world BECAUSE of You, but if I
find loneliness and become hunted because of You I still choose You.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Devotion: The Right Response to Envy

The Right Response to Envy

(Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we." -- Genesis 26:15-16; English Standard Version

I could easily respond to the title of this devotion with one word: REPENT! But, I really believe there is something helpful for us to learn here.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines envy this way: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/envy).

I mean this to be funny, but I'm serious. I want a new truck. Notice that I did not say "need"; I said "want". There is something in my neo-australopithecine, flat-land-hillbilly blood that equates trucks with success. I never get more riled than when I see WOMAN (of all things!) driving a bigger / nicer truck than mine. (Now, wait a minute, you women-libbers, before you get your nerves in a rattle...the former statement is what we literary types call a joke.) Seriously though, I do often get a tinge of envy. Okay, it's all-out jealousy.

And, here's where the lesson ministers to me...

Today's verses are a clear example of fear born of envy. The people had watched Isaac's fortune grow. They watched his servants multiply. They watched his crops prosper. They watched his flocks increase. They saw Isaac living well among them.

They wanted Isaac's stuff and feared Isaac's strength. I don't know what I would have done had I lived around Gerar at that time, but being the logical man that I am I would like to think I would have asked Isaac what was the secret of his success.

Now, being the modern man that Isaac was, he probably would have handed me the ten scroll set of his "Twenty Steps to Success in the Ancient World." Oh, hogwash!

Here is the cure to envy: WANT THE RIGHT STUFF! While people were envying Isaac's material goods and worldly success and fearing Isaac's potential they were missing the key thing. It wasn't about Isaac. GOD had promised; GOD had fulfilled; GOD had sustained.

One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible is Hebrews 11:6; it says And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (ESV). For those that believe God IS and seek HIM accordingly HE will reward them with the best thing of all...HIMSELF!

Now, we're no different today than were the people of Gerar in Isaac's time. We look at people's stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff! BAH! Stuff, in and of itself, is not bad. When stuff is the thing that lights our fire we are in desperate trouble.

I think the question that should have been asked of Isaac is "How can I draw nearer to this God who has been so good to you?" If one would do that, one MIGHT or MIGHT NOT get the stuff, but one will get more of Him.

Envy is a sneaky beast. Envy will try to convince us that we need stuff. The right response to envy IS to repent. After that we would do well to seek Him who holds all in His hands. We may or may not get the stuff in His hands, but His hands alone will be enough.



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Devotion: What God Does With Our Messes

What God Does With Our Messes

So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." -- Genesis 26:11; English Standard Bible

We've all made messes of things in our lives at some point or the other. I've made my share of mistakes, messes and committed my share of sins. I could tell you story after story after story, but I won't. I could share physical illustrations of this or I could share spiritual illustrations, but I won't. Instead, let's concentrate on the main thing, instead of the man thing; namely, let's put our focus squarely on God.

By now, due to the past few devotions, you know this story. A recap: Isaac and Rebekah moved to Gerar. God promised to bless them in that place. Isaac lied about his relationship with Rebekah, saying she was his sister rather than his wife. He was busted and came clean. Now...

Here, in today's chosen verse, we see clearly how God works our messes out for His glory and often for our good. We see it through continuing to put Isaac's story under the microscope. Abimelech had been pretty upset that Isaac's deception had caused the potential for himself or one of his subjects to commit adultery with Rebekah. Abimelech's response to this was unusual; one would think Abimelech would have punished Isaac. Instead, Abimelech basically says, "Anyone that does harm to Isaac or Rebekah will be put to death." This was the customary punishment for adultery among the Canaanite people. Not only that, but it had the king's personal stamp on it.

You might be thinking, So what? Read the next few verses (12-14) and you will clearly find that Isaac prospered in a big way. His crops produced a hundredfold. He had many herds and flocks and became a very wealthy man.

So, Isaac got lucky, right? NO!!! Don't forget the MAIN THING...GOD made a promise to bless Isaac (verse 3). You see, when Isaac did what he thought was wise to do he messed up. But, as is ALWAYS the case, the story is not really about Isaac. The story is about God. God is a promise keeper. God is a redeemer. God is a reconciler.

God can take our mess and use it. Isaac got the attention of Abimelech with a lie. God used that attention to insure Isaac's safety, which enhanced Isaac's opportunity to excel.

You've made messes. I have too. You might be in the midst of a mess right now. If we will come clean with the Lord, He will forgive us, give us a clean slate and set us back on the road to walking in His promises and receiving His blessings. And, get this, it won't be because you are good; it will be because HE is!

What mess have you made that you need to own-up to today? What thing MIGHT you be in the middle of today that you need to repent of? Do it! Believe me, when we are humble before our God, He can not only set things right, He can do far more than we could imagine or think.

Let God do a wonder beyond your mess today.


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 10, 2006

Devotion: Little Concessions / Big Consequences

Little Concessions / Big Consequences

Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us." -- Genesis 26:10; English Standard Bible

George O'Leary told a lie. He had been newly hired as the coach of Notre Dame University's football team. The university officials performed a background check. They discovered that Coach O'Leary lied about his experience and credentials. Notre Dame discovered that O'Leary did not have the master's degree he claimed to have and they discovered Mr. O'Leary had not even played college football, though he said he'd played for three years at New Hampshire. Coach O'Leary said*, "Many years ago, as a young married father, I sought to pursue my dream as a football coach. In seeking employment I prepared a resume that contained inaccuracies regarding my completion of course work for a master's degree and also my level of participation in football at my alma mater. These misstatement[s] were never stricken from my resume or biographical sketch in later years."

All this went down FIVE DAYS after he'd been hired. Ironically, O'Leary had coached at another high profile school and in the professional ranks for several years under the same lie. It finally caught up with him. His lie cost him his job, it embarrassed him and it embarrassed the reputation of the University of Notre Dame. Commenting further, Coach O'Leary said*, "Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni and fans."

Of course, this being America, he got another coaching job like nothing had ever happened. It's not as high profile as Notre Dame, but a job coaching football.

Abimelech** was obviously a wise man and a moral one as well. He was outraged and bewildered that Isaac would lie about his relationship with Rebekah. If you will allow me a paraphrase: "Isaac, what in the world did you think you were doing? Don't you realize that your attempt at deception could have caused your wife to be unfaithful with one of our people?"

Little lies; little concessions. Rarely do we foresee how far they could go. The best thing is not to tell little lies or make little concessions.

I don't know if we can foresee what MIGHT become of little concessions. Do you think, when Coach O'Leary first sought a job in the coaching ranks, that he ever thought he would be offered the most prestigious coaching job in the entire country? I doubt it. I think he just wanted to get his foot in the door. Little did he know that he would one day work as defensive coordinator of the 1990 National Championship Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Do you think that he foresaw that as the catalyst for many other opportunities? I doubt it, but that's what happened. He probably thought about his lies often, but had gotten too far in to get out.

That's what happens.

I would imagine the same thing happened to Isaac. He probably didn't think he would be in Gerar that long. He only went there because of a famine where he lived (Genesis 26:1). While he was there Isaac got a word from the Lord to stay there (Genesis 26:3). Men asked Isaac about Rebekah; he said, "She's my sister" (Genesis 26:7).

Here is where Isaac failed and where most of us fail as well; he stopped trusting God and started looking around instead of up. God had plainly told Isaac that He would bless him (Genesis 26:3-4). Instead of holding God to His promise, Isaac feared men and made a concession, told a lie. It was just a little thing. Thank God nothing came of it, but MUCH could have gone wrong.

What is the point to all of this today? Let us endeavor to walk carefully, fearing our God in all things, scorning the opinion of men where it might cause us to gain the reproach of God. Tell no lies. Make no concessions that may cause us to sin.

Little lies, little concession MAY lead to big consequences. People may or may not ever realize our wrong. God always knows. Trust Him, even if being righteous in the moment COSTS us something.

Think about it.





*Quotes taken from Sports Illustrated's web site: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college/news/2001/12/14/oleary_notredame/

**Abimelech -- a common name of the Philistine kings (Easton's Bible Dictionary)


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, November 09, 2006

[twbowes-devotions] Wal Mart Supports National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

As reported by AFA (http://www.afa.net/Petitions/IssueDetail.asp?id=210)...

Wal-Mart asks for, and receives, permission to join homosexual marriage group

Read "Wal-Mart Partners With Gay and Lesbian Group"

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has asked for and received permission to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The NGLCC is a leading promoter of homosexual marriage.

Although Wal-Mart has never excluded homosexuals from being employees, customers, or suppliers, the company wanted to be more closely identified with promoting the homosexual agenda. Wal-Mart is now a "corporate member" of the NGLCC, putting their approval on the NGLCC's efforts to abolish the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A Wal-Mart vice president will serve as an advisor to the NGLCC, helping them promote homosexual marriage.

Wal-Mart agreed to give $25,000 to the NGLCC and to pay for two conferences scheduled by NGLCC. Also, Wal-Mart will give homosexual-owned businesses special treatment when making purchases. Companies not owned by homosexuals will be moved down the list.

NGLCC called Wal-Mart's action "part of the company's ongoing commitment to advancing diversity (homosexuality) among all of its associate, supplier and customer bases."

Wal-Mart is offering the same kind of support for homosexual marriage which Ford Motor Company has been giving to homosexual groups for years.

TAKE ACTION

1. Send your email to Wal-Mart.

2. Wal-Mart often blocks our emails. To make sure your voice is heard, please call Wal-Mart's home office headquarters and ask for Chairman Rob Walton at 479-273-4000. Also, call your local Wal-Mart manager and express your concerns. Please, be polite when you call!

3. Print out and distribute our specially produced Pass Along Sheet. http://www.afa.net/wmpassalong3.asp

Send Your Letter Now!


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

HigherVibe Music Video: Kingston outreach

HigherVibe freestyling and rapping in Kingston. Christian Hip Hop music. www.calvarychapelwandsworth.com

Get past the first couple of minutes of freestyling. They were getting the crowd's attention.

See, this is what I like...do something! If I ever pastor again I am going to make the church's motto..."Dag-nabbit, do SOMETHING!"

I don't necessarily relate to rap, but these guys are doing something and I like it!

Mahir Video Clip

I just think this is funny. This guy wants to sue Baron Cohen for his movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan". I haven't seen the movie, but I have seen the previews and it looks funny. This cat is a trip!

Devotion

Behavior Will Confirm or Disprove Testimony

When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. -- Genesis 26:8; English Standard Version

I styled myself a "tough guy" as a teenager. Whether I was or not, I don't know. This is what I do know; I didn't want anyone to really know me. I figured if they knew me, then they knew what sparked me and what hurt me. I figured if people knew what sparked me they could use me. I figured if people knew what would hurt me they would do just that. So, I was closed off. All of that to help you understand the following illustration.

We watched a movie, The Outsiders, in junior high during English class. It was based on a book by the same title written by S. E. Hinton. During the movie a poem (Nothing Gold Can Stay; Robert Frost) was read. I liked it a lot. A childish, school adversary was obviously watching me and saw that the poem moved me. He said, "You like poetry!" out loud, in front of everyone. Now, it's okay to like poetry, but the perception of a self-styled-tough-guy in the rural South hears the resounding, distinctive clang of the death knell if people think that it's true. I heard the chants coming from the future questioning my manhood. So, my intelligent response was, "Uh-unh! Shut-up!"

A few weeks later my English teacher picked up a book of a collection of poems from my book bag. She didn't say much about it, just nodded her head, put it back and walked away. I thought I'd cleverly hid it inside the cover of a western novel. I came into class a few weeks later and found a list of "recommended poets and poetry" sensitively turned face down on my desk. I guess we just can't hide who we really are.

That's what I call a secular story to highlight a spiritual truth. That's what today's verse is really all about too.

It's one thing for Isaac to say that Rebekah is his sister, but brothers and sisters don't act like that! Here's what happened: the verse tells us that Isaac and Rebekah had "been there a long time". At first everyone believed their testimony about the nature of their relationship. Suspicions began and later the fruit of the truth was fully realized. Abimelech saw R

[twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Behavior Will Confirm or Disprove Testimony

Behavior Will Confirm or Disprove Testimony

When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. -- Genesis 26:8; English Standard Version

I styled myself a "tough guy" as a teenager. Whether I was or not, I don't know. This is what I do know; I didn't want anyone to really know me. I figured if they knew me, then they knew what sparked me and what hurt me. I figured if people knew what sparked me they could use me. I figured if people knew what would hurt me they would do just that. So, I was closed off. All of that to help you understand the following illustration.

We watched a movie, The Outsiders, in junior high during English class. It was based on a book by the same title written by S. E. Hinton. During the movie a poem (Nothing Gold Can Stay; Robert Frost) was read. I liked it a lot. A childish, school adversary was obviously watching me and saw that the poem moved me. He said, "You like poetry!" out loud, in front of everyone. Now, it's okay to like poetry, but the perception of a self-styled-tough-guy in the rural South hears the resounding, distinctive clang of the death knell if people think that it's true. I heard the chants coming from the future questioning my manhood. So, my intelligent response was, "Uh-unh! Shut-up!"

A few weeks later my English teacher picked up a book of a collection of poems from my book bag. She didn't say much about it, just nodded her head, put it back and walked away. I thought I'd cleverly hid it inside the cover of a western novel. I came into class a few weeks later and found a list of "recommended poets and poetry" sensitively turned face down on my desk. I guess we just can't hide who we really are.

That's what I call a secular story to highlight a spiritual truth. That's what today's verse is really all about too.

It's one thing for Isaac to say that Rebekah is his sister, but brothers and sisters don't act like that! Here's what happened: the verse tells us that Isaac and Rebekah had "been there a long time". At first everyone believed their testimony about the nature of their relationship. Suspicions began and later the fruit of the truth was fully realized. Abimelech saw Rebekah and Isaac interacting in a certain manner and he thought, "Nah, they are not siblings! Brothers and sisters just down act like THAT!" He confronted Isaac and the truth was told (Genesis 26:9).

The Lord Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit (Luke 6:44). That's a fact.

We can testify of something and we can play the part for a while...you know, keep the facade believable...but, soon enough, the truth will be known. Behavior will always confirm or disprove testimony. If we don't get "caught" by people, we certainly will never fool God. If we don't get "found out" during our time on this planet, we will get exposed come Judgement Day. Fact.

The best thing we can do is to be honest with ourselves, with others and with God. I could produce a litany of examples in the realm of spiritual matters, but it's not necessary. We are either genuine or we are deceivers. Simple. I will list a couple of examples: how about people who play the religious game, but wouldn't know Christ if He walked up and held an offering plate beneath their nose one Sunday morning? Think there are any people like that around? How about people who claim to be "saved" but never produce the fruit of righteousness characteristic of one in Christ? Think that happens?

I've said it a thousand times (at least); BELIEF AFFECTS BEHAVIOR! We can say anything we want about anything we want to say it about; God, friends, work ethic, etc. The proof is in the proverbial pudding.

So, let us ask ourselves very deeply and sincerely today, "Does my walk match my talk?"



Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Good Poem

Nothing Gold Can Stay

By: Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. -- Psalm 19:1 (NKJV)
This is a picture I took one day from Lover's Leap, which is near Meadows of the Dan, VA. I just wanted to share it. What a wonderful Creator we worship!

Wouldn't you like to do this in your free time?

Think about it...I witnessed, and photographed, this young man eating wood...and I did it for the Lord!!!! By the way, he was perfectly uninjured, save his pride. I laugh every time I think about it and when I remind him of the incident he laughs too. "Working" with students is a rewarding thing to do. Working with lost people is the obedient thing to do. Working with students is a FUN thing to do. Rewarding. Obedient. Fun. What more could want? Volunteer.

Fwd: [twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Things Learned and Repeated

Things Learned and Repeated

When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is
my sister," for he feared to say, "My wife," thinking, "lest the men
of the place should kill me because of Rebekah," because she was
attractive in appearance. -- Genesis 26:7; English Standard Version

I often walk with my hands in my pockets. I often do a lot of things
with my hands in my pockets. Apparently, a lot of people think that is
strange because it is constantly commented on. I remember an older man
saying, "Hey, boy, you Billy's son?" "Yes, sir," I quickly reply,
wondering where the conversation might be headed. He laughed and said,
"Yeah, I can tell. Ever since he was a boy he walked with his hands in
his pockets and so do you!" (I always enjoy writing in the
vernacular!) I don't know if I got that habit from my dad, but it's
certainly okay if I did.

My dad has a foul temper. If he reads this he will not like my saying
that about him, but it's true. When my dad gets angry it's an awful
thing. It's not his anger that is so bad, but it's the way he reacts
to people and things when he becomes angry. He shouts. He says
impulsive things. He does impulsive things. I learned how to handle my
temper from dad too. That's not good.

We may not think about it, but we teach people to emulate our
behavior. In particular, we teach our children to emulate our
behavior. You might be a young person who has no children. So? I could
tell you a hundred stories of the ways I emulated uncles, cousins,
friends and my brothers (especially those guys!).

You might be saying to yourself, "What has any of this to do with
today's verse?" A lot.

We find Isaac emulating his father, Abraham, in a bad way. Isaac lied
about Rebekah, saying she was his sister. Check your Bible history;
Abraham did the same thing! Of course, Abraham did it a LONG time
before Isaac was born, but I have no doubt that Isaac had heard the
story several times upon his father's knee (Genesis 20).

What was the sin? Good question. Both men were practicing deception to
protect themselves and their personal interests. What does this teach
a child (or anyone else)? It teaches them that its okay to lie as long
as one is protecting themselves. It's never okay to sin.

We may not want to believe it, but people emulate out example. PARENTS
BEWARE: we cannot afford to teach our children sinful attitudes and
behaviors!

Abraham might have liked to walk around with his hands in his pockets
and Isaac may have picked up on that. So what. Scripture does not
speak on this, and if it did it would be highly doubtful that it would
be deemed sinful. That's a silly, yet clear, example of something we
might pass along that is not a bad thing.

However, there are a host of things we might pass on that ARE sinful.
Racism. Greed. Gossiping. Foul language. Unethical business tactics.
Disrespecting authority. Selfishness. Vanity. Pride. Laziness. How
many things should I list?

Furthermore, I could mention things that are not sinful, but harmful.
Failure to exercise discernment. Choosing good over best. Failure to
execute strength for the weak or a voice for the voiceless. Lots more
could be said.

None of these individual things are the point. The point is that we
pass things on. That's a fact. Our lives show things to be learned.
Our lives will leave things to be repeated. What are we doing? What
will we leave behind?

Tough question. I've got two little blonde-bombshells lying in their
beds as I type. I've got some good living and leaving to do for them.
Furthermore, I've got a world of folks that I want to leave good,
godly habits for. Whew! By HIS grace, I can do it. Holy Spirit,
HELP!!!!

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/

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[twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Things Learned and Repeated

Things Learned and Repeated

When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," for he feared to say, "My wife," thinking, "lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah," because she was attractive in appearance. -- Genesis 26:7; English Standard Version

I often walk with my hands in my pockets. I often do a lot of things with my hands in my pockets. Apparently, a lot of people think that is strange because it is constantly commented on. I remember an older man saying, "Hey, boy, you Billy's son?" "Yes, sir," I quickly reply, wondering where the conversation might be headed. He laughed and said, "Yeah, I can tell. Ever since he was a boy he walked with his hands in his pockets and so do you!" (I always enjoy writing in the vernacular!) I don't know if I got that habit from my dad, but it's certainly okay if I did.

My dad has a foul temper. If he reads this he will not like my saying that about him, but it's true. When my dad gets angry it's an awful thing. It's not his anger that is so bad, but it's the way he reacts to people and things when he becomes angry. He shouts. He says impulsive things. He does impulsive things. I learned how to handle my temper from dad too. That's not good.

We may not think about it, but we teach people to emulate our behavior. In particular, we teach our children to emulate our behavior. You might be a young person who has no children. So? I could tell you a hundred stories of the ways I emulated uncles, cousins, friends and my brothers (especially those guys!).

You might be saying to yourself, "What has any of this to do with today's verse?" A lot.

We find Isaac emulating his father, Abraham, in a bad way. Isaac lied about Rebekah, saying she was his sister. Check your Bible history; Abraham did the same thing! Of course, Abraham did it a LONG time before Isaac was born, but I have no doubt that Isaac had heard the story several times upon his father's knee (Genesis 20).

What was the sin? Good question. Both men were practicing deception to protect themselves and their personal interests. What does this teach a child (or anyone else)? It teaches them that its okay to lie as long as one is protecting themselves. It's never okay to sin.

We may not want to believe it, but people emulate out example. PARENTS BEWARE: we cannot afford to teach our children sinful attitudes and behaviors!

Abraham might have liked to walk around with his hands in his pockets and Isaac may have picked up on that. So what. Scripture does not speak on this, and if it did it would be highly doubtful that it would be deemed sinful. That's a silly, yet clear, example of something we might pass along that is not a bad thing.

However, there are a host of things we might pass on that ARE sinful. Racism. Greed. Gossiping. Foul language. Unethical business tactics. Disrespecting authority. Selfishness. Vanity. Pride. Laziness. How many things should I list?

Furthermore, I could mention things that are not sinful, but harmful. Failure to exercise discernment. Choosing good over best. Failure to execute strength for the weak or a voice for the voiceless. Lots more could be said.

None of these individual things are the point. The point is that we pass things on. That's a fact. Our lives show things to be learned. Our lives will leave things to be repeated. What are we doing? What will we leave behind?

Tough question. I've got two little blonde-bombshells lying in their beds as I type. I've got some good living and leaving to do for them. Furthermore, I've got a world of folks that I want to leave good, godly habits for. Whew! By HIS grace, I can do it. Holy Spirit, HELP!!!!




Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

[twbowes-devotions] Devotion(s): Blinded by the Flash / The Dash

Friends,

If you have Charter internet you know we didn't have service yesterday. I didn't have the time to write a fresh devotion this morning, so I am offering TWO oldies in a new devotion's place. Copying and pasting is easy! I hope you enjoy.

Blinded by the Flash

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 - NKJV).

Has anyone ever surprised you with a quick snapshot at an unexpected moment? That can be traumatizing, especially when caught without makeup! Have you ever noticed how blinding that silly flash can be? It will confuse and disorient you for a few moments. Often, it can cause quite a bit of unrest. What last longer, the flash or the picture? The flash may blind us briefly, but the picture is what lasts.

Frequently, this is how we view our life. The time spent on earth is likened to the flash; blinding, confusing, and getting entirely too much attention. In comparison with the eternity with God that awaits the believer, life on earth is a fleeting flash.

Allow me some freedom for a moment. Paul tells the believers of Rome, "Looking at the awesome picture to come, that flash is not worth getting upset over." Paul says, "I'm not going to get blinded by the flash, because it holds no comparison to the big picture." Whatever suffering Paul had to face, he thought it peanuts compared to what he knew God had in store for him. The apostle understood that this world is a cruel place, but its proportional value was miniscule when laid next to the glory of God.

Now…what are you focused on? Are you being blinded by life (the flash)? Are you focused on the things of God (the picture)? No doubt life is a struggle, but the VICTORIOUS Christian understands that God is bigger and better than anything we may face. We have the Holy Spirit, which Paul calls "a foretaste of future glory" (Romans 8:23; NLT), as a bit of heaven now. We know how good it is to be in the Spirit. What will it be like when we are in God’s presence all the time? WOW!

I love blackberries so much that I don’t mind the briars. I want the picture enough to ignore the flash. I want the fullness of God so much that the mess of this world does not hold candle to His glory! I can endure it. I can rejoice in spite of tribulation. God is so much MORE than all these troubles. The worst of this world is nothing beside the smallest thing of God.

So…are you being blinded? Listen friend, look at the picture…the big picture. Don't let the flash mean more than the picture.


The Dash
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10; KJV).

Have you ever walked through a graveyard? Many tombstones have things written on them, such as; "Beloved Father"; "WWII Veteran"; "Dearest Mother". The ones that catch my attention the most are the tombstones that list the name and dates, and that is all they say. For example; John Doe, 1903-1972. The "dash" that appears between the dates always catches my attention. I have a tendency to wonder what that "dash" encompasses. The dates simply say the year the person was born and the year that they died. Nothing else is determined by those dates. Without comments on the stone, one is left to ponder what happened in between those years. In other words, what does that dash represent? What all has happened in that life between life and death?

We, who are now alive in the body, are in the midst of our dash. What are we composing to represent our dash?

According to the Scripture from 2 Corinthians, we all will one day stand before God almighty and have to give representation for the things we have done in life between life and death. That, honestly, is a sobering thought for me. What will my dash represent? Many people may one day look at my gravestone and wonder that themselves. One thing is for sure, God knows. He knows every second that constructs our dash.

I want my dash to represent a life lived for God. Paul said, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11; NASB). There is one thing God must see in our dash. He must see that it was constructed on the foundation of Christ Jesus. At the judgment seat of Christ, God "will test the quality of each man's work" (1 Corinthians 3:13b; NASB). That work is what the dash is made of.

How do you feel about your dash today? I am concerned about mine. But I have a hope, and it is built on nothing less than Jesus and HIS righteousness! Man may question my dash, but I desire that God see only Jesus blood in mine. It is my sincerest craving that my dash be blotted over by Christ living in me. I want to surrender moment to moment to Christ, so that in that Day of Judgment Christ may look into a mirror.

I find this heart tingling! Of course, I do not see this as easy, and know it must consist of CONSTANT SURRENDER, but I want my dash to mean something.

I care not what man may see when he looks upon tombstone. I do hope that man, too, will see Christ in me. I earnestly hope my dash is a testimony. I pray that much of God will be seen in my life, even beyond the grave. I pray that my stone may record a life lived for God. Beyond that, God knows what man can only assume.

In HIS holy eyes, what does your dash say about you today?




Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/


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Sunday, November 05, 2006

[twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Hands Off

Hands Off

David said to him, "How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go, execute him." And he struck him down so that he died. -- 2 Samuel 1:14-15; English Standard Version

I had one of those conversations recently that should make me feel better, but, in truth, leaves me disgusted. The conversation started like this: "Tim, I wish you were available to pastor our church." (This is where I should have felt better...I guess it was a compliment...I think it was.) The trouble--and here's where the disgust kicks in--was that I knew this person was working against his pastor in their local church. I know that this man, and a small group, were in their own way staging a coup d'tat of their church. Yes, a hostile takeover. I think--and here is some irony (if you know ME at all)--their pastor is preaching the Bible (of all things) from the pulpit and making folks (particularly that small group) uncomfortable (of course--insert dry humor--there is no biblical precedent of God's speakers making people uncomfortable with the truth; Jesus doing it not counting that is, because He's Jesus and that cotton-picking preacher ain't!).

Yes, disgust would describe it. EVEN IF the pastor was not doing a fantastic job; let's say he was (is) a godly man and just needs to grow as a pastor (and needs room and support to do it). I then listened as the man listed all the failings of his pastor (none of which were founded). I smiled. I nodded. I waited. My turn finally came. I said, "Two things: number one, how DARE you lay your proverbial hands against the Lord's anointed; number two, if you want a better pastor, try praying for the one you've got."

Okay...was that rant sufficient enough to get my point across?

David knew the principle well. When King Saul was dogging David's every step David had an opportunity to slay Saul in a cave and David did not do it. His men urged him to do it. David refused. When Saul treated David like an enemy, David treated Saul like a king; more so, David treated Saul like a chosen servant of God. Check the story out yourself in 1 Samuel 24.

We don't spend much time around kings, or do we? According to 1 Peter 2:9 we, who are under the blood, are part of a "royal priesthood". According to Hebrews 3:1 we "share a heavenly calling". I could go on and on. We, who stand IN CHRIST, ARE KINGS UPON THIS EARTH!

HANDS OFF!

Rather than the rough treatment we often offer one another there should be fear and trembling when we think of putting our hands (or mouths) against one of God's chosen people.

Moreover, we ought not to plot against God's called out servants. That's a no-no!

If there is a disagreement among people of the family of faith, much can be learned from David's response; respect them because they belong to the Lord if for no other reason. David was literally hounded by Saul, but David's respect for God motivated his treatment of others. There is much to worthy of emulation in David's example.

Further, David was outraged that someone else treated Saul like this. It would seem that David would be glad that his "enemy" was dead. David never saw Saul as his enemy though. Maybe that's the problem. We treat arguments with The Family like we are arguing with enemies. We can't afford that! I'm not David; I can't order executions...it's a good thing too!

When it comes to God's called out servants, HANDS OFF! When it comes to The Family, HANDS OFF!

If you do lay "hands" on someone, lay hands of love and prayer clothed with kid's gloves. They may deserve something else, but such a one is God's child. Respect them because you respect Him!


Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2
http://twbowes.blogspot.com/


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