Mud in Our Eyes

(Romans 8:28)

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose."

After posting this verse this morning I could not get it off my mind all day, if we truly understand this verse it can help us understand life and truly change our day to day walk with God. We all have had our share of ups and downs in this life. As long as we are still breathing we will still experience ups and downs in life. Romans 8:28 isn't just an automatic promise, our lives must line up with God's word and his conditions and exercise both obedience and faith in this verse.

A few weeks ago I was mixing concrete in a mixer. As I was pouring water into the mixer I got my head too close and it splashed the mud in my eye.  It didn't take me very long to turn and run to the water hose. Dad asked me, “Do you have mud in your eye? Here wash your eyes out with this water hose.” He didn't have to tell me twice because the irritation was painful.  In John chapter 9 Jesus and his disciples came across a blind man who had been blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus I wonder if this Man has sinned or his parents, Jesus said neither but that the works of God should be revealed in him. You see sometimes we get in situations in life because of our sin and rebellion and then sometimes it is just called life. Jesus could have said to this blind man be healed and the blind man would have been healed right there on the spot! Jesus wanted the man to do something, to exercise obedience, so he sent him to the pool of Siloam, but Jesus did something before he sent him off to the pool, Jesus smeared mud on his eyes!

I am talking about Spit; saliva whatever you call it, Jesus made mud with it and put it on the blind man's eyes. The mud made the man want to obey. It was a nudging and irritation for the man to go to the pool of Siloam to wash his eyes. The mud provided the motivation for the obedience Christ required.

We don't always understand why mud gets in our eyes, but sometimes if it weren't there, we would never obey Christ. We would never bring our hang-ups and our hurts or burdens of life to God so his power would never be revealed in our situations. God, and his infinite grace and wisdom, sometimes uses mud to restore our sight.

Then we see the promise of Romans 8:28 become real in our lives!



Beefing Up Your Attitude!

(Romans 8:28)

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, those who are called according to his purpose."

As a child of God this is the verse we need to stand on in our everyday walk with God, even during times of suffering and trials we can be assured that God is at work in our situation. God has two purposes in his plan: our good and his Glory! In this verse that Paul is writing about he is not talking about some hocus-pocus, abracadabra, raising a magic wand and instantly making our problems disappear. But we do have a God-given assurance that every single circumstance will sooner or later turn out well for those who fully are committed to Jesus Christ. When we understand that, it changes our whole attitude about life and circumstances and our faith and trust in God are turned up to another level. Romans 8:28 is the promise that morphs us into resilient people (It is "God’s dark room" in which negatives become positives!)

We have all seen those type of people, their faith in God really amazes us and they don't even have to preach, or quote scriptures, no matter what life throws at them they always Praise God and give him Glory!

I was blessed and honored a few months ago to preach a funeral service for Ms. Pat Jones, a precious Godly woman that was a member of our church. The next day in our Sunday morning services her husband, Bro Chuck, thanked the church for their prayers, food, friendship, how God had blessed him with a great wife, spent the rest of his testimony speaking and praising God for everything he has done in his life and how God was working all things out for his good and it was all in God's plans. Even when this was one of his greatest losses in his life, nothing could ever separate him from the love of God. As I was sitting there and listening I said Lord forgive me for whining about the agitations in life that get me down at times, this man has lost his wife (temporarily) he can still praise you! As a child of God, God is in the ALL of our lives. Nothing in our lives can ever be outside those three letters. Everyone throughout history that has put their faith in Jesus Christ has Romans 8:28 banner over their lives, for God’s people who love him and are called according to his purpose is the flag that flies over the castle of their lives!



God is Able!

(Daniel 3:17)

"If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from your hand O King."

This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible of deliverance, and how the three Hebrew boys’ faith in their God stood strong. They could have used any excuse to the king to keep from burning in the fire, but they had drawn a spiritual line in their lives and they weren’t going to cross it. They could have said (everybody else is doing it, We are going to go with the flow and not rock the boat, Let's be politically correct, Or let's stay popular with the king in the community!)

But look how their faith took the lead in their lives in their one and true God. (vs18-But if not) Let it be known that we did not serve your gods (That's a lot more faith than we have in God sometimes and we're not even being thrown in a fire.) The Nebuchadnezzar's of this world will come at you every day, Just look around what's happening now at your job, at our school, even in our churches.

The world and its worldly ideas are always going to try to mold believers and get them to Bow down to a false god. But when you stand on the word of God, God will bring deliverance, And deliverance is impressive to a dying world, Three times in these verses the word BOUND and fire appear, While our faith is being tested in the fire. We are being watched by the world, other believers community, people everywhere.

But here is the good news for a child of God, God will always be in the fire and test with us, loosening what has us bound down and frees us to be the testimony we could not have ever been by ourselves.

The Bible says that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Remember when we go through trials and tribulations we do not get the Glory but God does! God's power is still the same as it was in this old testament story, God's power can be just as real in your life if you will just let God be God!



More Than These!

(John 21:15)

"So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Son of Jonas, LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN THESE? He said unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee."

Jesus spoke these words to Peter one night around a campfire after an all-night fishing trip. What did Jesus mean when he said, "more than these?" More than your friends, your family, the other disciples your nice fishing boats, all your rods, tackle boxes, baits, nets, your lifestyle. When Jesus asked Peter this question it stirred the one thing that Jesus is after the most in our lives, "THE ALL" in our hearts. (Matthew 22:37) "You shall love the Lord your God with (all) your heart, with (all) your soul, and with (all) your mind.” When Jesus has our (all) that is in our lives we experience a real walk with him.

No matter how much we know, how much we do, how much we talk, or how much we work to show that we have a great relationship with Christ; if we don't love Jesus with all our hearts all our works don't count for a thing.

People respond to Jesus when he is real in lives and churches.

We need to experience Jesus in 3-D!(We saw the new Spiderman movie a few months ago in 3-D, I wasn't too excited about the movie, about a man jumping from building to building in a suit with a web coming out of his hand acting like a spider. I know what you're thinking you (Old Scrooge), but when we got in and they give us our 3D glasses the movie started. It felt so real; I imitated Spiderman all the way to the car! The same should be true in our relationship with Jesus, when we love Jesus "more than these," we should feel excited and Jesus should be real and we should imitate him in our lives. If Jesus himself looked us in our eyes and asked LOVEST thou more than these, what would our answer be? Does Jesus have our (all) today? Jesus gave his life (his all) because of his great love for us. Can we do any less than love him "more than these?"



Fighting for Priority

(Nehemiah 4:14)

"Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes."

As God lead Nehemiah and Gods people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, during the process of building the wall things got busy, there were many distractions and enemies were opposing the work. Nehemiah knew that during the process of building the wall the family had to stay together.

The same is so true today for our families; we can get so busy in life, jobs, and our hobbies with our busy schedules, ball practices, dance practices, band practices, clubs, and meetings. Mom, dad, and the kids are all running in separate directions, and the home is just a sleeping place where everyone says "HI.” We need to thank God for our material blessings and the opportunity to have them. But during this process we have to "Fight for priority in our family.” Aside from God, nothing is more important than our families. God didn't create dysfunctional families, people did! Satan knows if he can keep us busy, burden, and burned out, that he can win the battle of priority in our lives.

On the TV show, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” they took a poll of 8 to 12 yr. olds and ask them, “What do you most enjoy about the holidays?” A) Decorating the house B) Spending time with family and relatives C) Receiving presents. What do you think most of the children said? Answer B! If you ask your children what they would desire most if they could have anything they wanted, most kids would rather have our time and our support instead of the latest toys and games. They would rather have our presence at one of their school functions or extra-curricular activities than all the gifts, money could buy. Dr.Phil can't restore our families, media, or government programs. It will only happen when people make the decision to get back to doing what God said concerning their homes (Joshua 24:14) Is a good place to start. I pray today that God will search our hearts as parents, and if our homes are out of order, we as parents have to point the finger right back at ourselves. It's our responsibility to make sure our homes are functioning the way that God intended. So let's stop, take a good look at our priorities, and start putting our focus back where it belongs on the family! Just remember the Lord who is Great, and Awesome, will help us fight for priority in our families!