Posts Tagged ‘side’

A Samaritan Sermon

October 16th, 2009 No comments

Luke 10:25-37

Sometimes I wonder if God shakes His head in dismay.  As He observes our attempts to be good Christians there have to be times of divine discouragement.  We seem to learn rules and ritual more rapidly than right behavior.  As I read the following account shared by one of my online students I actually felt sorry for God.  A divine tear must have fallen on His royal robes as he watched this man in his attempt to be a responsible Christian leader.  Read and weep with God.

“When I first came to Christ, I was a real legalist.  Things had to be done a certain way or you were going to hell.  I did not give anybody any slack.  I not really interested in help serve people.  I just want to tell the truth of the Gospel and not really move to much farther beyond that.  That was until I had a unique experience happen to me in college.  When I was in college, I accepted Christ and got involved in the local Student Union.  After I was there for a few months, I volunteered to lead a Bible Study on Campus.  One day I was running late, so I grabbed my materials and ran up the hill to the building where the Bible Study was being held.  As I approached the top of the hill, A homeless man started toward me.  When I saw him, I moved to the other side of the street.  So he moved to the other side of the street.  I switched sides a few time, but he always followed me.  In my mind I said, “I do not have time for this.  I am late.  Maybe I can give him a few bucks and he will leave me alone.  So as I approached him, I pulled a few dollars out and handed it to him.  As he took the money, he grabbed my hand.  He would not let it go.  He said’ “Before you go, I have a quick question to ask you”.  I thought, “Ok here comes this guy’s sob story.”  He asked me “Do you know Christ?”  My heart sank.  He said’ “I see college kids go by all the time and I wonder if they know Jesus.”  At that moment I felt 2 inches tall.  Here I was going to teach a Bible Study about Christ and missed an opportunity to minister to someone else.  As we talked, he told me that it was hard to share with people because he did not have a bible.  I had some with me so I gave him one.  I walked away changed that day. “

Now it is time for us to pray.  Can we be changed like this young man?  Can we understand and order our priorities so that they follow God’s plan rather than our preconceived notion of what it means to please God?

by Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News

A God with Folded Arms

July 21st, 2009 No comments

Psa 74:10-11

Today’s local news is no different that yesterday’s news. It was no different last week, last month, or last year. It is depressing. An Independence, MO second grade teacher iss accused of smoking marijuana at the school where he is employed. A gunman robs a bank. A man is shot while sitting at a stop light waiting for his turn to go about his business. Police find a young father dead on the streets of Kansas City, MO. It seems never to change, never to let up. The news has no intention to turn from its evil way.

Laying the newspaper aside the heartache becomes more acute. Questions flood the mind. “Lord, how long?” “Lord, don’t you care?” “Lord, where were you when the little girl was raped?” “Lord, did you turn your head when the elderly lady was beaten and then locked in her room by her grandson?” “Lord, why won’t you do anything?” “Lord, the mountains around may abound with your chariots but are we really on the losing side?”

Auschwitz cries from the past, “God, where were you?” Warsaw moans out of the pages of holocaust history, “God, we need your help. Why don’t you answer?”

Local police raid, Qilin Mountain Villa in the suburb of Uramqi City, Xijiang Autonomous Region, where some Christians are having a Bible training program held by a Korean pastor from America. The pastor is dragged away to prison. A muslin sheikh converts to Christianity and then is placed in an Egyptian jail charged with “insulting Islam.” China sentences a crippled house church leader to two years in prison on charges of “illegal business practices” after he prints and distributes Bibles for other Christians “free of charge”. Eritrean security police torture two Christians to death, two days after arresting them for holding a religious service in a private home south of Asmara. “That’s what is in the news, Lord. Where were you when all of this was taking place?”

The Psalmist cried out in anguish, “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?” (Psalm 74:10) One calamity steps on the heels of that which just preceded it. Trouble trips over trials in its eagerness to bring us to despair. The Psalmist continues, “Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.” (Psalm 74:11) “Lord, you have a reputation to preserve. People of the past have said that you arm is mighty to deliver. Why do you stand half-turned as if you are uninterested in our trouble? Why do you stand with your arms crossed as if you don’t want to get involved?”

There are times when we feel helpless, hopeless, and hapless. It may seem that God has gone on a vacation and has not left a phone number where He can be reached. It seems, at times as if He has moved and has not left a forwarding address.

The same Psalmist who wrote during the dark night of his soul saw the other side of the picture on another occasion. He writes to encourage us in Psalm 37 when he says, “1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” We are told to Trust (3), Delight (4), Commit our way (5), and Rest in the Lord (7), knowing that His arms are not folded in disinterest. He is at work in our behalf! The Psalmist assures us that he knows from experience that even when the night is the darkest the Lord is there. Even when the clatter of the enemy’s armor can be heard on every side, God is at our side. In the end, we can be sure that all has not been done in vain. “17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.” (Selected portions from Psalm 37)

by Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: News