Archive for December, 2011
“‘Twas the Night Before Jesus Came”
Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were laid on the shelf without care,
in hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
no one ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And mom in her rocker and baby in her lap,
were watching the late show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there rose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the mater.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the window and threw up the sash.
When what to me wondering eyes should appear,
but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be the day.
The light in His face made me cover my head,
it was Jesus returning just like He said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,
was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name,
when He said, “It’s not here.” My head hung in shame.
The peoples whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready, He rose without a sound,
while the rest were left standing around.
I feel to my knees, but it was too late,
I waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear,
the coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call,
we’ll find that the Bible was true after all.
Dominating the news recently is about Quarterback Tim Tebow and his practice of prayer on the football field, and his praise of God for the grace He has given Quarterback Tebow. Why is this such a big story? Because those that want this to be an issue are hearing the small voice of the Holy Spirit telling them their lives are not right with God.
None of these people say a word about an athlete that curses and screams obscenities into the camera and microphone, yet when an athlete gives God recognition and speaks with grace, it becomes a public discussion. Come to think of it, maybe that is a good thing. We should be taking about the comparison and which one we prefer.
Throughout he last 40 years we’ve heard that word a lot in Political America. Usually its used against another Political Party accusing them of being unrelenting in their ideological position making the passing of certain laws impossible. After some investigation, and giving the opposition Political Party a chance to explain their position, the usual result is that the complaining Political Parties idea of compromise is a total and complete submission to their ideas and ideology.
So what does “compromise” mean? According to Wikipedia, “To compromise is to make a deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demand. In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise, which, depending on context, may be associated with concepts of balance, tolerance. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a “surrender” of objectives, principles, or material, in the process of negotiating an agreement. In human relationships “compromise” is frequently said to be an agreement that no party is happy with, this is because the parties involved often feel that they either gave away too much or that they received too little.”
Years ago when I was in Corporate America, I learned a very valuable lesson about this subject. I cannot recall the man’s name I learned this from, so as to give appropriate recognition. He was a pastor and a member of the Pastoral Association in the city where he served. Other than getting together for lunch once a month, very little else was accomplished, even prayer together was hard. Dealing with pastors from other denominations and their theologies produced a conflict of agreement. As long as that was the situation, nothing could get accomplished for the Kingdom of God in their community. Finding compromise was as difficult as the definition stated above.
After much prayer he came up with an answer which he later shared in a management course I was taking. The answer?; Using a flip chart, he began asking the group to come up with the areas they had in common belief. Here is a list of what they agreed on in order;
- The Word of God is absolute and we are to pattern our lives after its teaching.
- Jesus is the Son of God born of a virgin.
- Jesus lived His life as an example of Godly living.
- Jesus had to die for the sins of the world in order to bring Mankind back to God.
- Jesus rose on the third day and is sitting at the right hand of God making intercession for His church.
- Jesus is coming again very soon to take His church to heaven for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
- Jesus will return to Judge the Earth, with His church, for a thousands years. He will bind up Satan for those thousand years.
- At the end of a thousand years Satan will be released and the Battle of Armageddon will take place. Victorious, Jesus and His church will live eternally in the New Earth and Heaven, while Satan and his followers will be cast into Hell for eternity.
After starting this exercise, they all began to see how much they had in common, how much they were alike, and how much they shared in reaching the lost or the Lord Jesus Christ. They also discovered that they were not in competition with each other, yet didn’t know how to proceed from there. There remained another obstacle, dealing with some of the inflated egos in the group.
With that agreement established, and possessing a plan on dealing with the egos (which was the bases for the management training) forming a plan of action was not difficult. Finding a common ground and humbling ourselves to the task at hand (and caring not for who will get the recognition), positive progress can be made.
There is an old adage, “Whatever you compromise to get, you will eventually loose.” We have all experienced that in our lives. We compromise our values and eventually we regret ever trusting the people we compromised with. Sometimes that compromise is used against us as a time when we were inconsistent with our testimony and then we are labeled a “Hypocrite”, or worse.
A great example is the historical record of the three Hebrew Children that refused to compromise and they did not burn. The Book of Daniel, the third chapter contains their story. After being taken captive and taken to Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were made to serve in the Court of King Nebuchadnezzar.
One day, King Nebuchadnezzar had a statue created in His image to be worshipped by all the people. He made a decree; when you hear the music playing, bow down and worship the image, and if you do not, you will be cast into the furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship anything other than God Himself.
Accusers brought them to King Nebuchadnezzar to have them executed in the furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar gave them another chance to worship. Their response? Daniel 3:16-27; “16 ………….. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’
‘19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisors “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” (NIV)
THEY DID NOT COMPROMISE AND THEY DID NOT BURN. You notice their primary stand was, “Even if rescue was not part of our covenenat with God, we STILL WILL NOT BOW DOWN OR SERVE YOUR GODS”. We need to find men and women who will take that stand in Washington D.C. Men and woman who can establish common ground in Washington, take that “common ground” and fix our national government. In that process, we MUST get rid of al the “Self-Enlarged” egos, and return the government to the people. While we are at it, we need to drive “Socialism” as far from our shores as possible, and those that lie, steal and connive in a determination to reform America into a European type Socialist State.
No it won’t be simple or easy, however, I believe with God’s help and guidance it can be done. Want to join me?