by Terry Broome
Warming by a fire we did not build
An article in a Christian publication several years ago carried these words on behalf of Christian Education: “Christian Education prepares the mind and body for Christian service.
by Terry Broome
Trust And Obey
When I was a youngster, possibly the very favorite song in our hymn book for the little fellows to try and lead was “Trust And Obey.” It was still so in most of my early years of working with young boys in leadership training within the church program. There’s something about that song that touches parts of our lives that don’t often get reached, something hopeful and reassuring to us. What a glorious thing it is to bring hope to people. The song admits that there are shadows and clouds – doubts and fears in our lives, yet it thunders with the blessed hope that Jesus can drive those clouds away.
We’re very familiar with shadows and clouds. They often signal that a storm is coming. Shadows make us wonder what is looming ahead, or sneaking up behind us! After the horrible tornado siege of April 2011 when hundreds of lives were snuffed out in Alabama, we all are precautious when we see the storm clouds building up in the sky. Also, we’ve watched too many horror movies and then read too many real-life stories about the evil lurking in the shadows. Clouds and Shadows can be very unnerving.
Friends, too often our lives are filled with self-contradictions. These can produce our spiritual shadows and clouds. We may profess to believe that a certain thing is true but then act in a totally opposite direction of disbelief when it comes to the application of that belief to our lives. For example, we can be both confident that good can come but pessimistic whether it will come for us. We can feel both encouraged that things will get better and yet discouraged about the state of our life facing the same situation. We can look at circumstances and express a real sense of hope, and moments later declare feelings of profound hopelessness about the same circumstances. According to some, a situation may provide real opportunity (for others, but probably not for me), or real advantages but no advantages for me.
We’ve probably all observed someone who demonstrates such contradictions, but have you ever noticed yourself doing that? I fear that we do this with Jesus, and the power of God at work in our lives. We avow that “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28) and yet we are consumed with fear thoughts as to how we’re going to possibly survive the situation.
We avow that we believe that God is at work in us (Phil. 2:13) “both to will and to do according to his good pleasure.” and yet we sometimes act like, “Well, He does that for other people, but I have no talents that God or this church can use; nothing to contribute.” We must remind ourselves often from Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV) 12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Or consider one who says: “I believe that Jesus can forgive a person of their sins,” and then we shy away from God, the church, and sometimes from our fellow man as if we’ve committed an unforgivable sin. It’s almost as if we hold back a little parenthesis that says “Yes, But!” – “I believe God can save sinners, but I doubt if he can forgive me.” What a contradiction of faith! As God’s children, we should claim the words of Jesus for ourselves: Mark 9:23-24 – 23 “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
More to come on this timely subject. May God help us with the part of our faith that is lacking. “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489
by Terry Broome
Learning To Obey
The story is told of a certain farmer who lived beside the railroad tracks. One day he heard a fast train approaching.