Spiritual Lessons Learned while Behind the Lawn Mower

Sometimes, because I had other things I wanted to do; I would increase the forward speed of the mower. This would not allow the blade sufficient time to do a good cut. Looking back, I see places missed and tough grass uncut. When I match the ability of the blade to the speed of the mower I get, (to use an old phrase from pioneer days) a “more harmonious outcome.”

How many times do we get less than satisfactory results from God because we try to force him into “my time-frame?”

“They that wait upon the Lord shall–,” (Isaiah 40:31). God’s timing is always perfect. Learn to move in it.

Another lesson I have learned is concerning evil. Our yard has a boundary of weeds, about 80%. It is natural to pull away from the weeds. When I leave a space from the weeds I find the space soon becomes weed also. The weeds never cease to grow and push against the lawn. I have found that I must push back the weeds each time a mow.

Consider weeds as an example of evil and sin.The principle is the same. If we do not push back sin and evil from our life, it will soon take over our life. Push back evil with your good works. Worship when you don’t feel like it. When tempted, take a proverbial cold shower of prayer and praise, and then do something positive for the Lord.

The devil is constantly challenging your rightousness. If you  don’t push back the fences of evil your life will soon become a weed patch of sin.

 

 

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Idle-logy

Psalm 115:4-8

In the town where I grew up there was a man who built houses. Notice-I didn’t say he was a carpenter. These were cheap houses in the poor part of town. It was said of this man that he didn’t use a level or a tape measure. But he built cheap houses for poor people.

On the other hand, I have known of those who had every tool ever made. These were neatly hung in a shop but never used. Which is more ridiculous? To make the most of the limited ability you have to work with, or to have all the equipment and ability, but do nothing with it? the illogic of this situation would be that the one with the ability would likely be critical of the one who is limited. Henceforth, they accomplish nothing. They are idlers building idols.

While we battle idolatry in a different way in today’s society it is still regarded as evil. The idols we have today are the treasures we own. Call them anything you want, but if they come between God and you they are idols.

As worthless and disgustingly evil idol worship is, I wonder how God feels about those who are steeped in IDLE-ology? They have all the equipment but are doing nothing with it. Others who are less equipped are giving themselves to building the Kingdom of God.

Don’t judge the mote (piece of sawdust) in my eye, until you have removed the beam (2×4) from your own eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

Instructions Enclosed

Have you ever bought something in a box that says “Instructions enclosed”? BEWARE! The reason they didn’t put it together was because they didn’t know how. So they hired a lawyer in Timbuctoo to write a set of instructions–and No!…He didn’t know how to put it together either.

We bought a new “Whisper Quiet Bionnaire Humidifier” for our home. It came with an eight page instruction book—that must have been written by that aforementioned layer from Timbuctoo. I finally figured out that if you push the button with the circle and line almost going through it–the thing would turn on. Whisper Quiet? Even I, with my notorious bad hearing could hear its roar.

It is now a year later, it sits in our living room waiting to be regenerated, saved, or carried out. That button has lost its relationship with the power source.

While trying to follow such instructions have you ever become so frustrated you wished–or in reality, screamed somebody would help you?

The Salvation package that Jesus purchased at Calvary comes with complete instructions, the Bible. It is filled with understandable directions for a living a Holy Life. It has illustrations and examples of who did and how to, and what the results would be.

But best of all the Spirit of the instructor attaches to your heart, so in times of life’s frustrations he is always there to help.

The Frail Nature of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 uses two very tangible words to describe faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” I confess I have never seen faith. I have seen the results and the effect of faith. Faith is like a mist or a vapor. In itself it is frail.

As such it is critical that faith be constantly renewed. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing  by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Our ears should be ever in tune with God’s word.

Not only does faith need to be reaffirmed on a regular basis, it also must be exercised. Jude tells us that faith must be contended for (vs 3), and that we build it up praying in the Holy Ghost (vs 20).

Jesus compared faith to a grain of mustard seed. Tiny in origin and grows until it becomes a tree (shrub) which birds can rest in. (Matthew 13:31-32). Faith though frail in origin when growing and working can produce great results.

We need faith to overcome tests, trials, and temptations. These negative things try our faith. For that reason we must renew and build up our faith on a regular basis.

Peter tells us that we must add to our faith (II Peter 1:5-10). James confirms this by saying, “faith without works”, will die being alone, (James 2:17,20,26) and “by works was faith made perfect,” (complete), (vs 22).

A wimpy christian can become a hero of faith. Hear the Word! Contend for the faith! Build it up by Spirit praying! Add to it works of righteousness and you become a super hero for the Lord.

P.S. If you are depending on a believeism “i.e.”, an I all I have to do to be saved is believe.” as your means for Salvation, you are at great risk. Faith alone is frail!

Tranquility in a Cave

In southern Illinois, we lived in the middle of Shawnee National Forest. A place we discovered shortly after moving there was Burden Falls, a small stream flowing down a valley spilled over into a canyon. The walls of the canyon were 50 or 60 feet high and led away in both directions for maybe a mile. There were trails you could climb down into the canyon and hike along the bluffs.

Our son Jeff had been working away from home for several weeks. It was the first separation for our family. So, when he came home for the weekend, it was special time. How do we celebrate? Someone suggested we go to Burden Falls.

When we arrived the sky which had been overcast began to drizzle rain. But we were determined. We climbed down to the floor of of the canyon. We were laughing and having a good time in spite go the rain. When it started raining harder we sought shelter. We found a small wind cave and there we were gathered as a family.

It was no palace, but it was dry and secure. As we sat in this dull gray cave, where the floor was carpeted by dead leaves that had blown in, it was FAMILY TIME. We were safe and secure, and we were together.

How often do we allow  the things we desire to become more important than what we have?

We were together and we were secure. On the other side of the mountain, World War III could have been raging. The weather in the canyon had become that stormy. But in the cave we were safe and we were together.

A man, and his wife, and their family in a God made place of security. It doesn’t get any better that that!!

Revival

Revival! Thank you Bro. Seals for solid preaching. Jesus was here each evening ready to bless all who came seeking him. Each service was a time of receiving for those who responded to God’s presence.

I did an article recently, titled “Holy Heroes”, based on the “roll call” of Hebrews 11. I remind you that they were not “Heroes” because they served God when the sun was shining and everything was their favorite. They were heroes because they battled the odds and adversities. They were faithful because they were one with God at the sacrifice of their personal comforts.

We pressed our way in spite of sickness and oppositions. We were blessed with visitors who said they were impressed and expect to return. Did you ever consider that if a visitor is impressed with the service and you are not; that there might be something wrong with your spirit (ATTITUDE).

Fair weather worshippers have never made God’s roll call of Holy Heroes. They were so acknowledged because they served God when the weather was stormy. The atmosphere was in a turmoil; it was out of their comfort zone. It was not on their list of favorites. They fought for THE CAUSE.

Kudos, to those who came anyway- In spite of feeling. In spite of opposition. Also, to those who faithfully supported the revival with your presence, your finances, your prayers, and your worship.

Kudos, to our great guest, Bro. Seals. We hope he will return. Thanks to Bro. and Sis. Seals for being sensitive to God’s Spirit.

There is a Cross for You…

An old, old hymn asks the question, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone, and all the world go free?” It then responds with, “No, there’s a cross for everyone, and a cross for me!”

We celebrate at this time the Cross of Calvary and the resurrection of Christ, as our Savior. We as sinners deserved to die “for the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23), but Jesus bore our cross and died in our place.

On the long climb up Golgotha weary and weak Jesus fell beneath the cross. From the crowd, Simon of Cyrene was selected to bear the cross the rest of the way. Would you have considered that an honor, would you have been chosen?

We are admonished to “Take up our cross and follow Jesus.” The cross we bear is a living cross, not an “Old rugged cross.” It is a cross of contentment and joy because it is not an instrument of death. Jesus finished that in Calvary and came forth victorious over death, hell, and the grave.

Our cross is a living cross! A life of peace for we know that when we die we go to a better place, the best place is Heaven! Jesus is calling today, “Take up thy cross and follow me!”