A Man and His Cap – A Spiritual Lesson?

               
It’s been a good day with an early morning yard work project before a trip to town. A quick stop at Kenny’s Real Italian Water Ice for a flavorful cool drink, then some shopping before early dinner. 


The man decided to wear his slightly new but unused cap. Styling and profiling while out about town! Time for dinner before heading home. Pleasant conversation while enjoying each other’s company. The perfect gentleman naturally takes his hat off while out dining with his love, the flower of his heart. 

So you know what happened. Upon his arrival home, he realized he left his hat at the restaurant. He could have dismissed the whole matter but he didn’t. A quick call to the restaurant but no sign of the hat from the staff. A few hours later a second call was made just in case. Still the staff said no sight of the cap. 

The wife used to work as a waitress and knew cleaning under the booths and table are done at closing so she decided a call the next day might be in order. Just after the noon hour a third call was placed. No sighting this time except for someone saying they thought the manager found a cap and placed it in his office but no one knew where in the office he put it. Call back after four when the manager would be there. 

Shortly after five a fourth call was made. In short, they had the cap. The man went by there and re-claimed his cap. All was well. 

Now why share such an experience? The man and his cap taught me a spiritual lesson. It seems God reminded the man how he should be as tenacious and persistent in re-claiming souls back to God. How active are we about getting that lost soul to come back to Jesus? Certainly that lost soul is more important than a hat!

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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Unquestionable Discovery: An Easter Message

John 20:1-10

John was writing an historical account. John was not interested in giving insurmountable evidence for the resurrection. 

  1. John was interested in giving the evidence that immediately lead him to understand and believe. 
  2. John was interested in giving enough evidence to lead anyone to immediate belief — if a person is willing to believe. 

John’s record of Jesus’ resurrection is a strong historical account of the event. To an honest, objective, and good heart, the evidence is convincing. 

We must remember that God through inspiration has not formulated the Scriptures to prove anything. God proclaims in Scripture the He is (exists), that He is love, and that He has shown love supremely by sending His own Son to save a lost and dying world. 

What God wants from us is love and belief, love for the Lord Jesus Christ and belief in the supreme power of of loving God. This is just the point of the resurrection account. We are to believe because we love even as Mary and John loved. 

I. The unsealed tomb. 20:1-2 

  1. Mary visited the tomb early, when it was still dark. Matthew actually says it was ‘the end of the Sabbath,’ meaning between 3-6 am. Jesus rose before dawn, before the sun arose on Sunday morning. Significant to the early Christian believers, so significant that they broke away from the common division of the week which began with the Sabbath or Saturday. They began to count their days beginning with Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2) Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday means that He had been in the grave for three days just as He said. His resurrection from the dead was a triumph, a conquest over death. Death reigns no more. Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week , Sunday morning. In the grave on the Sabbath, unable to observe the laws governing the great season of the Passover and the Sabbath. He was dead to the law and its observances. In Christ’s death believers become dead to the law. 
  2. Mary saw the stone rolled away. Strong evidence for the resurrection. 
  3. Mary ran to Peter. Shows Peter was still the accepted leader. In spite of the likely rumored account of his cowardice denial of Jesus. Peter had repented and set himself to resume his task. Mary revealed an unquestioning love. They have taken the Lord. 
  4. Mary is a supreme example of someone who loves and believes. She was one of the last to leave Jesus at the cross, one of the first to attend the tomb, and one who still called Him Lord. 

II. The unoccupied tomb. 20:3-6 

They discovered the empty tomb and the linen clothes. They “went forth” to the tomb. John outran Peter. 

John stopped at the tombs entrance and glanced in. He noticed the linen. Peter actually entered the tomb. He too, noticed the linen clothes. 

If the body had been removed by the authorities or stolen by someone, the linen would have been taken with the body or left in a disheveled mess, thrown someplace on the floor. 

If a man wishes to discover the empty tomb, he must get up and ‘go forth‘ to look at it. He must investigate, then he will see. Getting up and going forth is the only way a man can ever discover the Risen Lord. 

III. The undisturbed linen. 20:7-10 

Two significant points. 

1. Note the linen clothes. Suddenly it dawned on John and Peter that the linen clothes were undisturbed. The Greek word ‘wrapped together’ (entetuligmenon) is the verb which is used for actually winding the linens around a body for burial. The Greek word is saying is the linens were ‘still in their fold’, wrapped just like they would be wrapped around a body–as if the body had just evaporated. They were not disheveled or disarranged. Four things: 

  • It would be impossible to extract a body from its wrapping and leave them in good order. 
  • The wrappings would have been taken with the body if the body had been moved. 
  • The wrappings would have been disheveled and disarranged and scattered if thieves had ransacked the tomb. 
  • The wrappings could never be placed in the exact spot on the rock slab where the body lay. Yet this is how they were lying according to the Greek text. It was this that led John to immediate belief. 

2. Note John’s immediate belief. 

  • John did not believe because of the insurmountable evidence, but because he loved Jesus. 
  • Seeing the linen clothes penetrated John’s mind and he remembers Jesus’ prophecy that He would rise again. John realized wHt had happened and believed. 
  • This is the point of his account of the linen clothes and of the way the account is presented. This is also the point of the resurrection account. 

A loving God wants love–a heart full of love. He wants a person to simply believe. He wants a person to simply believe that God is (exists) and that God is a rewarder of them that love Him.  

Believe in the resurrection not because of evidence but because of your love for God.

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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Interruptions: sub-title She Touched Me!

My brother broke my leg. Well, he aided and abetted in the incident. It happened in this fashion. We were staying at my sister’s house. There was a circle driveway in front of her home. My brother and I decided it would be fun to race each other on our ‘chopper’ bicycles. 

My brother had taken the front forks off old bikes and added a pair to his and to my bike. We looked like we were racing Harley Davidson choppers! 

We made our laps around the circle driveway in front of several homes. I was on his tracks with my front tire kissing his rear tire. We went to round a sharp turn when I made my move. I ducked to the inside bringing my front tire along his back tire. I was taking the lead on the most important lap, the last lap! 

That’s when it happened. The front forks, which my brother had installed on his bike broke loose sending his wheel off in one direction and me plowing into the ground. I hit my brakes so as not to run over my brother and hurt him. I crashed hard. My leg under the bike. 

Just at that moment visitors coming out of the house hollered asking, ‘you all right?’ Before I could answer my dad said sure they are! That was about three thirty in the afternoon. I got to the house where I was able to elevate my leg. 

The pain did not let up. About eleven thirty that night I went to the emergency room for them to look at my leg. I was hurting. I sat there in a wheel chair waiting my turn. The nurse was coming to get me to take me back for diagnosis and treatment when she stopped in her tracks. She turned and walked away. 

I was mystified. What’s the deal? Turns out my injury was interrupted and the pain prolonged because a police officer feel down and scraped his knee. Really? A scraped knee interrupts a leg broken in three places? Apparently so. 

Interruptions. We all deal with them from time to time. They come in various forms. Jesus dealt with one which is recorded in Mark’s gospel chapter five. You and I can learn from His interruption. 

The woman who touched God. 

Mark 5:21-34

21) “When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 

22) One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 

23) and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” 

24) And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 

25) A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 

26) and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse- 

27) after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 

28) For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 

29) Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 

30) Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 

31) And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” 

32) And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 

33) But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 

34) And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”” Mark 5:21-34 NASB 

Do intrusions bother you? Jesus was dealing with Jarius when the woman with the issue of blood interrupted the occasion. 

I. The Intrusion of a certain woman. 25-26

Issue of blood. 12 years. 

An ongoing hemorrhage. 

Suffered many things from many doctors.

Jesus, her last resort.

Why wait? Maybe didn’t know about Jesus? Maybe He became convenient? Maybe someone told her what Jesus did for them?

Perhaps penniless. 

Her cost? A display of faith. Stepping out in front of the religious leaders, the doctors, and the naysayers!

II. The Implication of Believing faith. 27-29

Recognizes the Source of healing. 28

Stimulation to action. 

No action-no faith.

III. The Interest of Jesus. 30-34

Touch of faith

Disciples growing in their understanding of Jesus

Woman fell at Jesus’ feet

Jesus calls her daughter

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Another perspective 

After viewing the post below, I quickly jotted down some thoughts. I’m not a fan of Joel Osteen and this is not about him. It’s about the remarks made before getting to mentioning him. 

It is his view about Hell as motivation which caused me to jot down a few notes. Here are mine. 

HELL IS A REAL PLACE WITH ACTUAL FLAMES: Agree. Luke 16:19-31,  

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NASB 

1. The number one reason why anyone should ever want to be saved can be summed up in one word – Hell. This is an opinion. It is not scripturally based. My opinion? Salvation b/c of God’s love. 

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 NASB 

“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”” Mark 8:34-38 NASB 

2. Because of Hell, Jesus went to the cross and made a payment to set you free if you would only take it. It was not b/c of hell. The motivation for Jesus Christ going to the cross was love. John 3:16! 

John 10-10b – I have come that you might have life and it more abundantly.  

3. Because of Hell, God commands believers to take the message of salvation to a lost and dying world.  It is not b/c of of hell. Matthew 28:18-20. The Great Commission.  

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 KJV 

4. What sends you to Hell? Unpaid sin in your life. The only sin which sends a person to hell is their own decision to refuse Jesus Christ as their Savior

That my brothers and sisters is the unpardonable sin. Rejecting the Holy Spirit. ALL OTHER SIN IS A BY-PRODUCT 

Look at it like this. It is against the law to not wear a seatbelt. yet many people do it. A common result is being ejected from the car whenever a bad wreck takes place. Speed may have paid a factor. Alcohol or drugs may have paid a factor. The intoxicated state, being ejected are by-products of the decision to drive unlawfully. No seatbelt, drugs, and being thrown from the car. All by-products of a selfish decision. 

Until next time

Hoss

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Blessings

You’ve heard the expression, ‘Can’t see the forest for the trees.’ What does it mean? It’s an expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole. 
If you were to word it in a spiritual way one might say, ‘can’t see the blessings for the burdens.’ It is our challenge as God fearing Christian people to not get so lost in the burdens that we don’t see the blessings. 
Why do I say this? It is because we all experience trials, troubles and tribulations! Our lives are filled with so much stuff clothed in troubles we can’t see the gifts God sends our way. 
It’s been said you can look down every aisle and on every pew of the church and there you will find someone going through their trials, their tribulations, and their temptations. 
Psalm 84 describes the journey of a lone person experiencing the trials and troubles of life. 
“Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings.” Psalms 84:6 NASB
I. Blessed in His House. 1-4

“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.” Psalms 84:1-4 NASB
Amiable = lovely=dear (1)

Fainteth=yearn=pine=to long for (2). It was a loud cry for the House of the Lord. 

House=home=place of pleasant hospitality. (3)

Blessed=happy (4)
Why is he blessed in the house? He found Shelter
II. Blessed in his Heart. 5-8

“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.” Psalms 84:5-8 NASB
Happy takes on a new direction in verse (5). This passage moves from shelter to strength. 

Baca=weeping=they make it a place of springs. The tears of those who have gone on before have found a resting place where their tears have created a spring of refreshing. (6)

Baca=Balsam trees/Aspens. 

Strength to strength=faith to faith. The exercise of our faith produces more faith. (7)

God may choose to send the rain. Refreshing rain for a lonely pilgrim. (8)
Why is he blesses in his heart? He found Strength.
III. Blessed in His Haven. 9-11

“Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalms 84:9-11 NASB
The pilgrim calls attention to a new focus – the anointed (9)

This pilgrim is anointed and declares his desire to be in church! (10)

Sun/shield=all that is positive/protective (11)

No good thing withheld=all good and perfect gifts comes down from the Father of light.
Why is he blessed in the haven? He found a Sanctuary!
IV. Blessed in His Holiness. 12

“O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalms 84:12 NASB
Why is he blessed in the holiness? He found the Savior!

It is our challenge as God fearing Christian people to not get so lost in the burdens that we don’t see the blessings. 

Until next time,

Hoss

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A Real Challenge

“It is our challenge as God fearing Christian people to not get so lost in the burdens that we don’t see the blessings.”  W. M. Jones

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I Can’t Count The Times

I’be seen on television and have heard of the times when a person would be walking down the street in a state of deep reflection when they turn to go up the steps into the building. 

They would go into a church and wander into the sanctuary. Maybe take a seat in one of the pews. Nothing really said. Not a whole lot done. Yet much was accomplished. 

Many times I, as a pastor, would go into the church alone and reflect. I did this often. Questions filled the air as I spoke to God. Tonight is one of those times when, if I were a pastor, I’d go to the church. I’d find some solitude and a place of refuge. I would seek answers in the quiet of the room. Commune with God. This is one big reason the church worship center ought to be a sanctuary and not an auditorium. 

I read once where Christians were accused of using God like a crutch. Truth be told, I do. Just like the time I broke my leg in three places, I needed and I used crutches to lift me up. Likewise, when my heart is broke or heavy, I go to God to sustain and lift me. If any should regard that as a crutch then so be it. 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-4‬ ‭NASB‬‬ http://bible.com/100/psa.91.1-4.nasb 

 
Until next time,

Hoss

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