2010-02-04 - Praise with Our Actions
Prov 28:20a A faithful man will abound with blessings, ...
It is very late tonight. I pray God blesses this to your hearts.
The above verse may seem a little out of place today. The world is shuddering from systemic financial woes from foreclosures, to business closing and job losses and the list goes on and on. It will be rare to not know someone who has been impacted by the events of the last few years. I personally have struggled with a very dear friend to save her house. Now it appears that struggle may not succeed. I will not go into the details but the outcome is not certain.
In our closer troubles let's not forget the people in Haiti who are still reeling from a major earthquake that struck weeks ago and will for some time to come.
I want to point out one thing the above verse does not say. It does not say that the faithful man, or woman, will not have adversity in their lives. The one who assumes that every serious problem that affects another is because there is sin in the affected person's life needs to take a step back. We are all sinners saved by grace. This very often gross assumption is the source of a great deal of division and pain in the body of Christ. I would far rather hear someone say to another who is dealing with serious issues, "Is there anything I can do to help?", and listen to the answer. That being followed with, "I'll be praying for you." And be faithful to follow up in prayer. Keep in touch.
In all of this there are still things for which we should be thankful. God is still on the throne of Heaven, and He still knows the intimate details of our lives. He gives us those friends who stick closer than a brother born in a time of trouble. If He guides our paths, he guides the paths of others and makes our paths to cross when we need each other. He are promised that He does hear the prayers of His children - us. His love and salvation are true. He has promised that He never leave or forsake us. He walks with us through every storm of our lives.
We have been saved from the penalty of sin - not by any value or effort of our own - but by the marvelous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He bled and died for us "while we were yet sinners" (Rom 5:8). His love for us held Jesus on the cross. The power of death over us was utterly destroyed by Christ's resurrection on the third day. Those of us will never fear judgement that will determine where we will spend eternity.
The words of the praise hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" is running over and over through my mind. You don't have to look far to find a place to be a blessing today. If we are God's ambassadors, now is the time to fulfill our office. This is a time when individual Christians and churches should be a blessing to the communities in which we live. Many are. Others are trying. Grace has been lavished on us. Let some of it spill over on the person next to you until if flows down the street. I assure you God will keep it coming and it will never run dry.
If you are able - be hands and feet. Use your talents He has given you. Praise God with your actions. Pray without ceasing.
Lord Jesus - bring us together to see to the needs and hurts of your family. Guide us in pouring out the grace we know to the people around us that they would want to know more about You and your love. Keep the blessings You have given us in our minds daily - don't let us lose sight of them in the struggles we will face. Keep Your praise in our hearts and on our lips. Amen.
Grace and Peace,