Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lord, Help Me to See You More Clearly

My Morning Prayer: Good morning Lord. Thank You for another day. I'm glad to know that had this day not showed up, I would have been alright with You. But I am glad that it showed up.
Lord, yesterday at lunch, I walked into the fast food joint sort of tired from a busy morning and pretty hungry from working off breakfast. I know that You saw me do what I and most people normally do; I panned around the restaurant to see what it looked like; checking out the seating availability, and with the world like it is, doing a quick security scan as well. Sometimes I see people that I know, and I'll give a quick "heeeey, how you doing?!". But I didn't see anyone I knew yesterday. So I proceeded to the line, ordered my food and sat at my usual window seat. Then while I was eating and checking facebook (of course) on my ipad, I glanced back around the restaurant and noticed a man and a woman sitting at a table on the other side, and realized it was someone I know through work. It dawned on me that they were already sitting at the table when I first walked in and did my surveillance scan. Father, in reviewing the video tape in my head, I then remembered that when I scanned that part of the restaurant I looked right at them and they at me. The video was a little fuzzy there, so I don't remember if they waved at me, but I know I certainly didn't wave at them. I realized that I had looked at them but I didn't see them.
Well of course Lord I was then thinking about what they may have been thinking about me. I was sure they were thinking 'wow, he looked right at us and didn't even speak', or 'I waved at him and he looked right at me and didn't even wave'. Well Lord, I thought about it for a moment, but went on back to eating my meal. The thought did linger on how sometimes my mind can be so preoccupied that I can look right at someone or something and not really even seem them. Not a big deal I suppose, but I hope it doesn't happen that often.
Lord, this is my point in saying all of this to You in my prayer. Though I didn't get or take the chance to apologize for not seeing those folks, I do want to acknowledge that I allow my mind to get so tangled up with thoughts and to-do's that I can look right at You and never see You. Sometimes good things will happen or problems will work out and I look right at it and never thank You for the blessing. Sometimes I can be reading Your word, and my eyes are scanning the pages but I never see the truth You are trying to reveal. Sometimes I can be in church and going through the motions of worship but never really see Your glory.
I don't want to miss You Lord. I don't want to be like the keeper of the inn in Bethlehem who saw the baby but didn't see Jesus. Or the religious leaders of that time who saw a trouble-maker and tradition-breaker, but didn't see Jesus. Or the Roman guards who saw a convicted criminal to hang on a cross, but didn't see Jesus. Father, if I'm looking, I want to be seeing. So I pray that You will help me not miss You in the every day details of my life. Before I got saved, I spent 27 years looking right past You, and I don't want to waste another look.
Lord, You're too awesome to miss. I love You. In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I Can't But God Can!

My Morning Prayer...
Good morning Lord. Thank You for another day. Our recent rains were needed, but today's sunshine is wanted. Thank You for giving us both.
You know Lord, when I was a kid, I used to say that if I could be any kind of animal, I would want to be a horse. I don't know much about them, and never rode one, but they are among the most beautiful creatures of Your creation. But I think if I had to choose now, it would be an eagle. Not only are they also very beautiful, but they have two very impressive abilities that I think would come in handy, and that's to fly high and to see far.
What brought that to mind was recently I was reading something interesting about an eagle in a sermon, that I found out was not totally accurate. It was an illustration that said an eagle will fly into a storm so that it can use the contrary winds to lift it high above the clouds out of harms way. That sounds good, but I had to do some fact checking. From all I read from experts on eagle behavior, it doesn't appear that's a factual behavior for an eagle to display. But what is probably accurate is that every once in a while, an eagle will get caught in a storm, not fly into it. And when it does, it simply opens its wings to catch all the updraft of the wind currents to lift it above the storm. But the reason that an eagle rarely gets caught in a storm, is because when in flight it can see so far, that an approaching cloud is easy to spot, and hence it can prepare by taking shelter. That is pretty awesome. Your creation Lord!
But Father...I'm not an eagle, and I can't fly high nor can I see far. So I do often get caught in the storms of life. But God I am grateful that for every "I can't", there is a "You can!". I can't see very far ahead of me..but You can. I can't tell when there will be sunshine and when there will be rain...but You can. I can't lift myself up above the storms of life..but You can. So Father, I will do what You told me to do in Jeremiah 40:31..I will wait upon You Lord so that I can mount up on wings like an eagle, and I know when I do I will run and not faint and I will walk and not grow weary..no matter how bad or how long the storm.
Lord thank You for being my everything. I love You. in Jesus name. Amen!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why Walk to Walmart When You Can Drive?

Ok, here's a little mental exercise for you this morning. Think about where your favorite Walmart is. Come on, I know some people say they hate Walmart but we all have to go there sometimes. I mean where else can you get your oil changed and a dozen eggs at the same place? Ok, so think about where it is. Now, estimate how far it is from where you live. Got it? Now figure out how long it would take you to walk there from your house. The average person takes about 15 minutes to walk a mile. So multiply that distance by 15. Got it? Now compare that to how long it takes you to drive to Walmart from your house. Is there a big difference? Probably so unless you're a professional speed walker and your car only runs on only two cylinders.
What is it that makes the difference? I know we burned some gray matter on that math, so I'll tell you. It's power! No matter how strong and fit and muscular your legs might be, they just can't compare to the power that's in the engine of your car. And you realize that every day without thinking about it. So unless you live next door to Walmart or you don't have a ride, whenever you need to go, you rely on the power that is available to you in your car. I mean no need to waste that time and energy when all of that power is available to you, right? My point exactly!
Even us who love God and have been walking with Him for years some how forget the power that is available to us through Him. Day after day we face problems and perils, trials and tribulations, and mostly while trying to rely on our own power. We try to figure it out ourselves or try to handle it on our own. Rarely reading the word to see what God says or praying to Him for His help. Then we get defeated and outdone and say things like "I can't make it" or "I can't take it". And the reality is, that's totally true..if we're relying on our own two legs, we can't make, we can't take it. But why walk to Walmart when we can drive? Why rely on our own limited power when God has all the power.
Jeremiah said in chapter 32, verse 17 of the book that bears his name "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."

So what's it gonna be? Are you going to keep on trying to walk through this life on your own power, or are you gonna believe in Jesus and ride with God?