Call to worship:
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven: “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them, and all that dwell in the earth.”
Wow… what does that even mean?
Pastor Bill, “Give thanks even for the bad things.”
Ha? No way! No thank you! And no how!
Give thanks for even the bad things.
The bad things drag me down and under.
They suck the energy out of my very existence.
Why would I ever give thanks for the bad things that happen in my life?
In our world, for that matter?!
I think you all have done gone and lost your ever-loving minds.
John 8: 31 – 32 – Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Okay. You’ve got my attention but I still don’t see any answers.
(As I would say to my young son’s, “Patience young Padawan.”)
Back in 1973 Pastor Bill had the great honor of spending an hour with Jerald Baker. At the time he probably didn’t think it was an honor. In Pastor’s words, “I was a young guy who knew everything. I knew how to pray. I knew what I was doing standing up here. I sat there listening to this old fool go on and on and on praying for me for an hour! All the while I sat there thinking about all the crazy nonsense this was. And then two days later my life changed forever. I came face to face with Pesos – the truth!”
Jerald Baker changed Pastor Bill’s life profoundly, but Jerald did not do it alone. He did it through the hands of God, lifting his heart and spirit to the Heaven’s for the words that would reach this young man and bring him to the reality that the truth is (to quote Pastor Bill), “Not religion, not denomination, not a building filled with people, but faith in Jesus Christ and a belief in the truth.”
Still no answer… and I am growing rather old waiting to hear why I should embrace the bad with the good.
Did you wake up this morning?
That is good, right?
Did you have a hot shower or cup of coffee?
That is good, right?
Did your car not start?
That is not good, but you still woke up this morning.
Maybe by your car not starting you missed a terrible accident.
Maybe by your car not starting you were home to receive a call you would have otherwise missed and maybe that call came baring good news.
Maybe by your car not starting God wanted you right where you were for just a little longer.
Yes, you can fill in the maybe blanks with lose of job, angry customers, all sorts of negative images.
You decide – follow the light? Or allow the darkness so suffocate your soul?
So, yes, bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Who are we to decide when, how, where? We aren’t but what we can do is give appreciation through the darkness knowing that we will never have to get through it alone, and in that we allow God’s light to be our beacon.
Henceforth, thank you for the struggles as I learn to be a stronger me, a better me, a more faithful servant to Him.
Do I wish them daily? Heck NO!
But they are good for me. They help humble me, and teach me to constantly seek His shining light instead of allowing the darkness to invade upon my shadows.
Pastor Bill, “Breastplate of righteousness, Shield of faith, Loins girded in sword of spirit….”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Pastor Bill, “Link arms and move together as one. Onward Christian soldiers. Your back is always covered when you have pesos.”