Corinth Baptist Church

Jesus said, "...I am the Light of the World. (John 8:12)"

Puzzled?

  Did you ever build a puzzle?  If you are like most puzzlers, you probably started with the edge pieces to establish the perimeters first.  After the frame, you probably began to look for recognizable pieces of a particular area of the puzzle, distinguishable by color or content rather than their shapes.  Slowly and painstakingly the masterpiece finally came together to reveal that thing of beauty, message of hope or incentive to smile.

 Here’s an interesting question; if your life were a puzzle, what would the pieces look like?  Would the edge pieces form a basic recognizable shape, or would they be an oddity that would puzzle the puzzle builder?  Would the colors form patterns and schemes to animate their objects, or would they be a menagerie of dissonance?  Would the objects found in the puzzle of your life seem organized and in place, or in disarray?  Would the finished product make a meaningful statement, or occasion only the blank gaze of onlookers for whom your life gives new meaning to the word “puzzle?”

  On those occasions when my life begins to look like what some have called “modern art,” I am reminded that I am not my own, but have been “bought with a price.”  I belong to my Heavenly Father who gives order and meaning to the puzzle of life.  God made me a man, and has given instruction as to how men should conduct themselves.  Before God, I made my vows to become a husband; He has prescribed the duties of a husband.  God has blessed me with children, and with my sons came His instruction to fathers.  God called me to be a Pastor, but did not leave me without His instructions for the Shepherd.  When He calls the shots, life becomes meaningful!

  Our lives do not have to be distorted and meaningless puzzles.  Let’s resolve to know God, to allow Him to set the perimeters, to be all and only what He has called us to be, and to live our lives according to His instruction.  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)”

Later Lord

  Years ago, I was rebuked for answering my father, “OK, in a minute.”  We call it procrastination, and we even use it with the Lord.  He says “Go”, and we say, “Later Lord.”  …but our excuses don’t impress God:

  The boy, Samuel, had been “lent to the Lord” for life.  “…Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. (1Sam. 2:18).”  You are not too young to serve the Lord NOW.

  Martha of Bethany asked, “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? …And Jesus answered and said unto her, …Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42).” You are not too busy to serve the Lord NOW.

  Moses, deliverer of Israel, first contended… “I am not eloquent, …I am slow of speech.  And the LORD said …go, and I will be with thy mouth. (Ex. 4:10-12).”You are not too deficient to serve the Lord NOW.

  Jesus was once asked, “…what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  …Jesus said unto him, …go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, …he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matt. 19:16-22).”  It will not cost you too much to serve the Lord NOW.

  A man once said,  “…Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:59-62).”  There is no greater responsibility than to serve the Lord NOW.

  Joshua once preached, “choose you this day whom ye will serve …but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Josh. 24:15).  and then he “died, being an hundred and ten years old. (Josh. 24:29).”  You are not too old to serve the Lord NOW.

  God calls and equips His servants.  We must obey Him NOW!

Progress?

  On my last birthday I turned 60.  Not exactly old, to those who are older, and not exactly young to those who are younger, but here I am at the peak of my prime.  From here I can see down the slope toward the latter chapters of life, and I can see the past very clearly as well.  From this vantage point, I am amazed at how much has changed around me in my brief journey.

  When I was a child, I remember working in the garden, mowing the lawn, mending fences, going to school, etc.  “Spare time” was a precious commodity in those days.  The ancients that I knew growing up, spoke of life in their youth as harder still.  They spent time doing things that were necessary to sustain life.  They harvested, canned and cured their food for the winter.  They milked the cows and made their own cheese and butter.  There was also sewing, cooking, chopping wood, etc.  A whole day of recreation or relaxation was almost unheard of.

  Today we have the advantage of technology that makes life much easier.  We have microwaves, electric appliances, pre-cooked meals, automobiles and multi-lane roads that take us anywhere within a vast radius of our homes in a matter of minutes.  Our homes are heated and cooled automatically.  We get our water from the faucets located in multiple places within our dwellings, and the list goes on.  With all of the time saving technological advances, we don’t have to spend so much time working to live.

  In spite of the busyness of yesteryear, I also remember that we ate meals together, and were somehow able to visit family and friends occasionally.  We were faithful to the house of the Lord and somehow found time for the Word of God and prayer.  It’s puzzling to me how with all of the time that our modern contrivances have afforded us, these vital elements seem to have suffered decline.  And yet God says we should be, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16).”  Perhaps we should take time to listen.

Blood

  Perhaps you recall riding by an automobile accident, or watching the evening news when someone had been killed.  Generally, where there is bloodshed, the body of the slain will be covered to prevent us from seeing the blood.  Why?  Because even the mention of the word “blood” conjures up all sorts of emotion.

  For many, even the thought of blood can cause a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. Others search the internet to gawk at bloody scenes as if they were some form of entertainment.  Children, and adults who refuse to grow up, are incrementally desensitized by the vile produce of Hollywood or by violent video games which allow them to be the cause of carnage that reaps no consequence, other than to make them the high scorer of a foolish game.

  In real life, for those whose minds are not deranged, blood is precious.  Perhaps you have given blood to the blood bank where your own blood was pumped from your veins by your own heart into a sterile bag, by measure.  Maybe you were the recipient of someone else’s blood after an accident or at the time of surgery.  There is something altogether different about the way we think when blood is properly contained and utilized to preserve life. 

  Satan, the enemy of our souls, is certainly interested in how we think about blood.  He is delighted when we are sickened by the thought of it.  He is thrilled when we measure entertainment by the pints of blood that are splattered on our screens.

 The Bible tells us, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood… (Lev. 17:11).”   Blood is indeed precious and its loss is critical.  How precious?  How critical?  God would have you know that it was the precious blood of His own Son that purchased forgiveness for all that will come to Him by faith.  The story of Jesus’ passion is not to be covered for the squeamish, nor gawked at by the perverted thrill seeker.  Take a serious look; Jesus gave His life’s blood for you.

In The Year Of Our Lord

  Did you ever concentrate on the hands of a watch, trying to detect their movement?  If you make note of the time and then stare at your watch for half an hour, you’ll never see the hands move, and yet at the end of the session, time will have elapsed and the face of the watch will have changed.  It’s quite frustrating isn’t it?  So it is with our nation’s drift away from the God of the Bible.  Though you might compare today to your vivid recollection of yesteryear and see a marked difference, you probably can’t detect any major slippage since last week.

  I saw an article recently pertaining to our classification of dates with respect to the life of Christ.  We grew up with BC (Before Christ) which represents the years before the birth of Christ, and AD, an acronym for Anno Domini, Latin for In the year of our Lord, referring to the years since Christ’s birth.  Seems a fitting system for a nation founded upon Christian principles and that unashamedly boasts mottos like: “In God we trust” and “One nation under God.”

  The article pointed out that not every US citizen is a Christian, and perhaps our terminology will be offensive to those who do not believe as we do.  They suggest adopting more generic terms for referencing dates, such as Before Common Era or BCE instead of Before Christ or BC.  Its counterpart, Common Era or CE, they say, should be used to refer to the years after Christ’s birth.  I took the author to mean that we should be careful not to offend anyone, …unless of course they happen to be Christians.

  You might be asking “What difference does it make?”  Well, perhaps not much, it’s just one almost undetectable tick of the clock.  But if the Lord tarries, in the coming year, like the hands on your watch, the face of our beloved country will have changed in undetectable increments evenly spaced from one day, In the year of our Lord, to the next.

« Older posts