Thursday, May 28, 2020

Beyond Understanding

MAY is National Brain Tumor Awareness month! Celebrating my nephew, Thomas! July 2011, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, sent immediately to Duke Children's hospital, underwent surgery and weeks of radiation treatments. Eight years later, Thomas remains cancer free! He is an Eagle Scout, 2020 High School Honor graduate, and will attend college this fall. To God be the glory! Go GRAY in MAY!       

To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith – 
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Corinthians 1:9 NKJV

God is sovereign, all-powerful! This attribute of God’s character escapes our full understanding but becomes the truth a faithful follower accepts. Our loyalty to Christ reveals itself by our faith in God. When things fall apart, when circumstances become difficult, when we can no longer see God’s purpose – we have a tendency to doubt, blame, and criticize. This eroding of personal faith affects our spiritual health and witness. Our faith must stay grounded in the faithfulness of God, not in our ability to understand the situation.

In our faithfulness to God, perseverance must continue, as well as loyal devotion with Christ as the “object of our faith”. Especially when we do not comprehend, trusting in a faithful God brings the soul true hope and provides rest in fellowship with Christ. On this journey there are many unexpected roads that lead to despair, wind through darkness, or pass over mountains, and God always goes before us. Our continued faithfulness in God “in every circumstance” finds its greatest purpose in allowing God to work through us.

El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty – renew Your gift of my faith. Reach through me to others that need to know of Your power. Let my story be: Great is Your faithfulness to me, in every situation. –dho

Focus Point: Our faith must stay grounded in the faithfulness of God, not in our ability to understand the situation.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Shout Hosanna!



. . . the large crowd . . . heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, [and with] branches of the palm trees, went out to meet Him and began to shout, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD. John 12:12-13 NASB




Hosanna, an expression of joy and praise for deliverance granted or anticipated, is the crowd's chant as Jesus rides into Jerusalem. Hosanna is the word that means "Praise God and His Messiah, we are saved." The Disciples and other followers still think that the Messiah will be an earthly king; the week's events will soon reveal their confusion. If we had been standing along side of the road, waving our palm branches, shouting Hosanna!, where would we have been standing by the week's end?

Even believers, the very ones of us who profess the truths about Christ, discover places that merge with doubt and confusion. We find our prayers answered in ways that differ from our hopes. We meet circumstances face to face and waiver. We keep seeking more from the world but really are needing more of the Messiah. 

Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in the working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in the acts of worship - a different kind of "sacrifice" - that takes place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.Hebrews 13:15-16 The Message
Our sacrifice of praise ~
When we stand along side of the road today, as everyday people pass our way, let's shout Hosanna! and mean it! ~dho

Thursday, May 14, 2020

True Light





When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also His tunic. But the tunic was seamless woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture [Ps.22:18] . . . John 19:23-24 ESV

Rev. David Carroll, the pastor at St. Matthew's UMC in Madison, MS, preached a sermon on "The Tunic and Dice" and used this phrase in describing the soldiers . . . and us when we choose the world's view of indifference instead of turning our eyes to Jesus, the crucified and risen Savior: "The soldiers were . . . trading the True for the trivial." We gamble and barter with other's hearts every day, ignoring need and remaining self-focused. Let's go beyond the trivial and seek the True Light!

Our sacrifice of praise ~
Let your daily witness to the world be one that trades the trivial things of this world for Jesus - the True! ~ dho 

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Give Glory to the Father



When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You. John 17:1 Amplified Bible


The 17th Chapter of John is a well-known prayer that Jesus prayed before His crucifixion. Many times in the New Testament we are given examples of Jesus praying, examples He set for us, teaching us how to communicate with God. If Jesus needed to spend time in prayer, certainly we have an even greater need. E.M. Bounds wrote these words in his book on "Prayer":

What mystery that the Son of God should be under the law of prayer . . . How strange that the blessings that came to Him were impregnated and purchased by prayer.

Our sacrifice of praise ~
Like Jesus, pray that your life gives glory and honor to the Father. ~dho