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A STICK IN THE WATER

 

For centuries God has worked many various things in many different ways through His earthly servants. 2 Kings 6.1-6 records one of His many wonders done by the hand of His servant Elisha.

     While Elisha was with other servants who were cutting timbers to make dwellings for themselves, he came upon one who was “distraught” because the head of a borrowed axe and flew off its handle and landed in a nearby water. This man was seeking help.

     Elisha listened to the man’s complaint, then cut a stick and threw it into the water where the man said the axe head had  sunk. God did the rest. He made the iron float to the surface so the now “happy” man could retrieve it.

     Observe a few things that happened and some which did not upon Elisha finding this man with a problem.

1. Elisha listened to the man’s concerns. He didn’t say “Sorry, I can’t help you” or “that’s your problem, not mine.” He did not ignore the man at all.

2. Elisha did what he could.

3. God did what Elisha could not do.

     What can we take away from these observations?

     We need to remember that God still works through His servants today. So before we find someone who admits he needs spiritual help, we must first equip ourselves to be able to help.

1. We need to listen to determine the individual’s needs. Do not say, “I can’t do anything.” Can you pick up a stick? God has one made of 66 books! Saying, “That’s your problem, not mine,” does not help. It only makes things worse. Ignoring this kind of problem will not make it go away, but it will create another!

2. We need to do what we can under the circumstances.

3. God’s word will do what we cannot do.

     Whether God raises that soul drowned in sin to life again, might just depend upon whether you or I throw a stick into the water.

 

Tom McLane 


DRY BONES

 

A new year brings with it a new opportunity, a new vigor for success, and a new challenge to work in the Kingdom of God. As 2014 comes to a screeching halt, it is now time to take inventory of our stock and see where we could have been more productive, where we were able to find a new challenge or where we might have left one. But to many the challenge has grown cold. As we take stock of our work in 2014 and began to plan for this New Year, let’s remember our purpose and do not allow ourselves to become cold dry bones.

 

In Ezekiel 37:11, the prophet wrote, “Then He said unto me, these bones are the whole house of Israel; Behold they say, our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off from our parts”. The nation of Israel was too often willing to turn their back on God simply because thought they had found a better way. They fell into idolatry and sinfulness simply due to a lack of wisdom and faith; all the while God was there, willing to give them chance after chance. They were dry bones. Ezekiel was led in the Spirit to a valley full of dry bones, where no life had been for many decades. God told him to prophesy and behold the bones began to come together, put on skin and armor and a mighty army stood before him. Then God told the prophet to once again prophesy to the wind and the gained breath in their body. (Ezekiel 37:1-10) Sounds like a story right out of a horror movie, but on the contrary it is AWE inspiring.

 

To see what God can do through man is amazing. Too many times we are like Israel, and feel like we have no purpose. If we leave God out of our lives, we have proven ourselves correct. 

If we will include God and put Him first and foremost, then we can feel invigorated, recharged and ready to stand at a moment’s notice.

 

Please visit 3 very simple verses with me to help us remember we are not alone, we do not have to face life like dry bones.

Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. So, where does our strength come from other can Christ?

Mark 16:15- “ Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The command is to go. But we are not alone, for Jesus will be with us.

Matthew 28:20- “I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” When we say we can’t, we are telling God, “I am nothing but dry bones”. Put your faith to work and allow God to put breath back into your life.

 

 Don Burleson


WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE BEHIND?

 

 

Many people stress the importance of making a Will.  To be able to leave your children and/or grandchildren some material gift is highly regarded in today’s society. Some people have found however that fighting and bickering is more often accomplished than actual benefit.

 

The Christian however is more concerned with the spiritual things that he/she leaves behind. I like to call it, your “Spiritual Legacy”.  There are many people that I knew that left a great legacy. The fruits of the Spirit were evident in their life and they live on after they died. Their acts of faith and kindness are remembered and treasured. Most of these people whom I am remembering were not materially rich at all. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know what their careers were or how they made a living. I do know however they were spiritually rich. I know that they had great character. They worked hard to support families in tough times. They studied their bibles with their families developing good habits and a love for God’s Word. Their bible study developed in them a great knowledge of God’s word that often gave them the appearance of knowledge surpassing their level of formal education. They sometimes were called to fight in wars a long ways from home for long periods of time. When they returned they had gained an attitude of thanksgiving and a perspective of how great “home” really was. They were strong and courageous people who were able and willing to defend God’s truth. They were hospitable and friendly toward others and always had something to give to the less fortunate, when today they would be considered less fortunate. They developed in their children a work ethic that carried with them through school and their careers. due to women and men. They taught their children to respect the elderly and to help the sick. They taught their kids not to be selfish.

They wanted a better life and education for their children and were willing to sacrifice and go without to accomplish that goal. They assembled to worship always. Going to church was a high priority in their life. God was first and everything else followed…..at a distance. If they missed church, people came to look for them because they probably fell down a well or something. They were punctual. They showed the respect.

They were servants and glad to be such as Jesus was their example. They spent time with others for the sake of others, being selfless. They were quiet natured, but spoke boldly in actions. They studied the principles and laws of the bible and lived them out daily. Although passionate about their beliefs, their tempers and mouth were controlled by their wisdom, not their emotions. 

 

The application is simple. What kind of legacy are you building for your children and grandchildren? What foundation have you begun for them to build off of? If the only thing you leave your family when you die is a check, when the money runs out so will your memory.  Psalms 78:5-7

 

 Greg S. Odom 

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