I Did It My Way!

Pastor’s Note: I wrote this a few years ago for the local newspaper where we lived in Globe, Arizona. It is worth publishing on this blog as I have updated some of the Scriptures references. All in all, it is pretty much as it was published in the Religious editorial of the newspaper.

“I did it my way!”

So goes the words to the song that Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley helped to popularize. It’s an enjoyable and entertaining song, and yet, as epitomized by their lives it was more than a song. It became their anthem.

If you are a child of God, with Jesus as your Master, that song should remain just what it is; an entertaining and popular song and nothing more. Yet, as you look around today, you can still see that philosophy at work, and not just in secular worldly circles.

I’m a preacher and a student of human behavior and so I learn by observation as well as experience; with that in mind I will give you an example of what I’m talking about from past experience. Some time ago (in fact years, now) I had an opportunity to pray with some other Christians concerning the possibility of starting an organization that would benefit the community. We prayed quite fervently and sought the Lord for direction and vision and the Lord blessed the leadership with both; confirmed by everyone else involved in those prayers. The organization was thus established with many apparent and obvious miracles paving the way. The vision was also shared with the community with some accompanying promises to garner their support. As we progressed though, as is common in anything that involves the natural order of things, the turmoil and trials of running this large organization changed the very character of the organization into something totally different than the vision that was confirmed to be of the Lord. Many people in the community saw the difference and remembered the promises, and many people, including those that had initially prayed were clearly disheartened, including myself.

What had happened was that God had set a precedent, a goal for what He wanted to accomplish in the initial vision. But as soon as the trials and problems started, instead of leaders hitting their knees and asking the Lord’s advice and direction, the supposed wisdom of man stepped up and said, “Thanks, Lord, I’ll take it from here.” They made that song, “I did it my way” their anthem without even realizing it.

Today that organization is still striving, but that is the point, it is striving, NOT thriving and thus it isn’t what it could be or what it should’ve been. The Lord has told some of us to just stand back and watch. I have learned through life and history that sometimes we learn not just by seeing things done properly, but also by seeing how things are not meant to be done. In a Christian’s life, the end(s) should NEVER justify the means, especially if Christ is truly Lord. Every step we take toward God’s will and goals for our lives, are ordered by Him. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” – Psalm 37:23.

The word ‘order’ in the original Hebrew, means to prepare, establish, to make right. In other words, God establishes or prepares every one of our steps. But look at what it goes on to say, “and He (God) delights in his (man’s) way.” The Hebrew for the word ‘delights’ means, to be pleased, to have favor. When a child of the Most High God follows the steps prepared and established for him by God, the Lord is pleased and has favor with that person. Now I learned years ago in English classes in school, that for every positive statement, you can infer the negative of that statement, and vice-versa. In other words, you can infer that Scripture to say, “if a man does not walk in the steps prepared or established by God, God is not pleased or does not favor that man.” It all boils down to this; if Jesus IS Lord and Master, He is only that if we submit our will totally to Him. He is no longer Master if our will takes precedence over His.

One of the most beloved and well-known passages of scripture is found in Matthew 6:9-13, otherwise known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Almost every Christian recognizes this passage as the perfect pattern for prayer, and one area that Jesus commands and teaches us to pray is stated in verse 10, “Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus tells all of His disciples, past, present, and future that this is how we should pray, and this is what we should strive for. As Christians, if we have an anthem describing our life, and especially that of a Christ-like disciple, let it be this passage of “The Lord’s Prayer” in conjunction with Psalm 37:23.

True success is not achieved by allowing the end(s) to be attained or justified by just any means, but rather it is attained by following the Lord’s perfectly prepared and established steps, thus reaching the goal He has destined for us and therefore having His favor manifested in our lives. To do anything else would be contrary to what the writer of Proverbs states when he wrote, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” – Proverbs 3:5. There is promise in following that Scripture as the writer states in the rest of those verses: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:6-8. Sadly for some, it is way to easy to trust in their own wisdom. That always leads pitfalls in the world that could have been avoided. Looking back over the years, the truth of NOT trusting in the Lord has proven that to sadly be the case. The community was at a greater loss for that.

In the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy was told to follow the yellow brick road in order to reach her target destination. In the Bible, we are told to follow the God established road to our God ordained destination. We don’t see this road with our natural eyes but rather with our spiritual eyes. What, you may ask, comprises our spiritual eyes? Two things; Faith and the Word of God! Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And the Psalmist stated this, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105.

We walk this ordained road by faith and in the knowledge of God’s Word, knowing that God has prepared each and every step, knowing that to do so is for our best as well as for the best of those to whom we may have some influence and especially concerning serving the needs of others. God, our Heavenly Father, will NEVER lead us wrong. I have in my life, determined to follow His paths, wherever He leads and I pray that your choice is the same. While I do that, I will continue to enjoy the song “My Way” as just that, a nice, entertaining song.

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Where I Find God

God is always in my thoughts
morning, noon and night;
Everywhere I look, His wondrous-works
are in my sight.

Who can watch a sunrise,
see a flower or a tree,
And not feel close to Jesus
when He gave them to you and me.

The moon and honour-guard of stars,
a rainbow in the sky,
Are precious art, signed by a King,
so we know that He’s close-by.

I see, hear, feel and touch
His love that of me is a part.
Where else can I always find Him?
In the centre of my heart.

© Joan Adams Burchell (2004) – Along Poetry Road – Used with permission.
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In God We Trust

Samuel Thompson wrote:

I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don’t agree with Darwin, but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what’s the big deal? It’s not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They’re just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game. “But it’s a Christian prayer,” some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. And we are in the Bible Belt. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.

And I wouldn’t be offended. It wouldn’t bother me one bit. When in Rome . . .

“But what about the atheists?” is another argument. What about them?

Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We’re not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that’s asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of earplugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer. Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don’t think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world’s foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us.

And if that last sentence offends you, well . . . too bad.

The silent majority has been silent too long … it’s time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don’t care what they want . . . it is time the majority rules!

It’s time we tell them, you don’t have to pray, you don’t have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don’t have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right. But by golly you are no longer going to take our rights away . . . we are fighting back . . .and we WILL WIN! After all, the God you have the right to denounce is on our side!

God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him . . .

God bless America, despite all her faults. still the greatest nation of all . . .

God bless our servicemen who are fighting to protect our right to pray and to worship God . . .

May this year be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.

Keep looking up . . .

In God WE Trust.

Some Additional Thoughts:

The words “In God We Trust” are the National Motto of the United States of America. These words were written in 1812 by Francis Scott Key and are in the 4th stanza of the National Anthem.

In 1864 Congress instructed the U.S. Mint to add the words “In God We Trust” over the shield of the two cent coin. During the bloodshed of the Civil War people looked to God to end the fighting, and the words “In God We Trust” were a comforting reminder to many people that God is in charge.

Soon after the motto was added to Gold and Silver coins. It appeared on the 5 cent coin for a while. Since 1938 the motto has appeared on all U.S. minted coins.

In 1957 the motto started appearing on paper money. It should be a reminder to all of us that we were blessed to be born in a Christian nation.

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Weep Over Sin!

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – James 4:4-10

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Faith Is Light In The Darkest Storm

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Who Has Seen The Wind?

Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high-speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, and hurricane. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth. The two main causes of large-scale atmospheric circulation are the differential heating between the equator and the poles, and the rotation of the planet (Coriolis effect). Within the tropics, thermal low circulations over terrain and high plateaus can drive monsoon circulations. In coastal areas the sea breeze/land breeze cycle can define local winds; in areas that have variable terrain, mountain and valley breezes can dominate local winds.

In human civilization, the concept of wind has been explored in mythology, influenced the events of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, and provided a power source for mechanical work, electricity and recreation. Wind powers the voyages of sailing ships across Earth’s oceans. Hot air balloons use the wind to take short trips, and powered flight uses it to increase lift and reduce fuel consumption. Areas of wind shear caused by various weather phenomena can lead to dangerous situations for aircraft. When winds become strong, trees and human-made structures are damaged or destroyed.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind

Wind. Breezes, movement, invisible, yet evident.

The last few months I have been thinking a lot about it, mainly in a spiritual way. Sitting in my living room on our couch, I have a perfect view out through our sliding doors at the neighbors various trees behind our house and looking out the front picture window, a beautiful, unobstructed view at the trees across the street from us.

Living in Delta, Colorado, a small, predominantly farming and agricultural community, I had no idea of the amount of wind we have witnessed over the years. Coming from a mountainous area of central Arizona, it was a big change and yet the wind has always fascinated me and captured my imagination. I guess in retrospect it is no surprise that I would think of the spiritual implications of what we really don’t see.

My wife, Sue, and I have talked a lot about the similarities between the natural phenomenon and the unseen spiritual world. She reminded me of a poem her grandmother used to recite to her when she, my wife, was just a little girl and she has never forgotten it. Over the years, the lyrics changed ever so slightly from the original, but it was easy to find the author of this simple yet profound poem while searching on the internet. The following is the original:

Author: Christina Rossetti (1830–1894) This poem is in the public domain.


As I said, there is something fascinating to me about it. Most people really don’t give it much thought but rather, for the most part, take it for granted, unless of course they live in Tornado Alley or in one of the Hurricane Corridors. But then, these areas are the extremes. For the most part, people who experience this necessary natural phenomenon, recognize it as a mild breeze, subtle and at times gentle upon their personages. Only rarely does it get gusty enough to draw attention to itself, but then in most cases it can’t be ignored.

Last night, I slept very little as I was thinking very much on this phenomenon. True, I had been praying, communing with the Lord and thinking about this as it has filled my mind for a while now. This morning upon waking, sure enough, outside the bedroom window, I could see the wind rustling through the neighbor’s trees and even as I sit writing this, looking out my office window, I see the effects of the wind going by.

Some of those trees out back remind me so much of schools of silver fish as they group together in the ocean and sway and move with the currents of the ocean. The leaves on some of the trees in the yards behind us, look a lot like that, swaying and moving with the currents of the wind.

But still, all we see is the effects. We don’t actually SEE the wind itself. Of course, science can explain that away due to the fact that the wind is comprised of the varying gases that comprise the earth’s natural atmosphere. You can’t SEE the gases, but they can be measured and quantified, but mainly due to their effects. These invisible forces react to those natural things that we CAN see, all around us.

Can you imagine, what early man must have thought when viewing the influence and results of the invisible wind on nature around him? No wonder the wind had such an impact on mythology, at least until scientific reason could finally explain it sufficiently. To me it all goes along with the course of history, man’s ability to grow in knowledge and Biblical prophecy that explains that man would find answers to some of his most concerning questions.

If you read Daniel 12:4 like many do, you can see that in the end-times, the last days, the angel told Daniel that knowledge would be on the increase. But when you read it in the context that it is meant, it IS stating a fact about the very end-times of mankind’s history, but also that before those times knowledge WILL be steadily increasing. This coincides with the truth of history as well as the prophetic, for as we are living in the last days now (as all signs point too) you can see that while knowledge has been steadily increasing, it is actually increasing at a rapidly exponential rate!

In this, I truly love the Apostle Paul’s teachings, for he makes things so clear concerning the spiritual, that unseen realm that many believe in and a few truly KNOW to be the only true reality!

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

Paul is saying that those things that have an affect on us, influence us, are only momentary in the scheme of eternal reality. Just like the wind rustling through the leaves of a tree, causing leaves and seeds to fall and scatter, the invisible unseen wind is doing a natural work to insure the species of tree continues to flourish. This was God Almighty’s doing, this was/is the Creator’s work, to insure that life continues. The wind could be considered a light affliction in the sense that the standing tree loses some of what makes it so glorious, yet in that process, that glory and majesty continues to propagate in other areas that haven’t been touched by the original tree’s splendor.

Remember what the Beloved Apostle John wrote, one of my favorite verses:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24.

God’s Spirit is unseen. But His Spirit, His Power is real, it is TRUTH, it can be measured, it can be quantified. Despite how atheists and doubters try to convince themselves and others that God doesn’t exist; like the wind, invisible to the seeing eye, God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit influences those things around you that you CAN see. The RESULTS of His Presence can be seen and felt and it is only those who CHOOSE spiritual blindness that deny that fact. These same people, these doubters would deny the reality of the wind if they could!

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” – Romans 1:18-21.

For the wrath of God is REVEALED, it is seen, it has an effect on those who are unrighteous. Why and How? Because what IS known of God is demonstrated, it is shown, revealed IN them directly!! Paul goes on to emphatically state that since the beginning of Creation, God, Who is Spirit, His Character, His Attributes, His Nature, HIS VERY PERSONALITY are clearly seen. Notice, not MAY be seen, but rather CLEARLY seen. Man is without excuse, no matter how he tries to spin the doubt of God’s existence, because man HAD known God and the only reason he chooses now to be blind and foolish, is because of his own futile thinking and understanding and because they refused to honor and glorify God as Father and Creator!!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8.

Do NOT lean on your own understanding! The very thing the wisest man in the world wrote to not do, is what mankind in general has chosen to do, and thus they wonder why they can’t recognize the invisible God when His affects are influencing everything around them that their eyes CAN see!! Lord forgive us and heal and open our blinded eyes that we might recognize the TRUTH that is ever present in front of us!

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1.

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” – Romans 8:24-25.

Here is a thought, from the Living Words of Jesus, Himself;

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” – John 3:8-12.

Jesus used a very practical example for this great teacher, Nicodemus, even back then. He shows a direct correlation, between the unseen wind and it’s results and compares it directly to the unseen Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Father! Even during this time in history, this analogy should have been as clear as could be and especially to a renowned teacher as Nicodemus. But notice verse 12, a statement that I have to reiterate in the face of doubters and unbelievers everywhere; “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”

I am at a point in my life, in my journey, my walk with the Lord, where I do not need proof of His existence. Experience and life have taught me every step of the way, that my Heavenly Father exists and that Christ Jesus, the Son was not just a historical figure. God is Spirit; like the wind, He is unseen and invisible and especially to our natural eyes, but Jesus has assured us that when we see Him, Christ Jesus in His glorified body, we WILL see the Father.

“Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” – John 10:25-30.

“Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” – John 14:8-11.

I long for that day; not because of unbelief or desiring more proof, but rather knowing at that time, the natural will no longer have a hold on me and I will no longer be seeing only with natural eyes, but will being seeing my Lord, my King, my Redeemer with eyes no longer clouded by a veil, or by the fog of the carnal that still binds us all to this temporary portion of the eternal reality. When I step over that threshold, when I am able to walk through that door, then and only then will I be truly alive and ever one with the Lord! What a glorious day that will be!

For now, I watch the influence of the wind upon those things around us. In the spiritual, I sit still in the presence of His Spirit and at times feel the gentle breeze and warmth of His presence upon my being. Some may call it the “still small voice,” but I choose to identify as that subtle breeze blowing through my spirit. Just like the wind, it’s influence causes movement and a stirring within me.

There have been times and I believe there are times coming when the movement of the Spirit upon God’s children won’t be so gentle and subtle. I believe like strong gusts, it will shake us to our core, awakening the spirit deep within us, a call to attention as it were. I believe we will recognize not just the force behind that spiritual gust, but also walk in the power of it. Just like in early history when sailors felt the breezes quicken and lowered their sails to catch the full force of the wind and used it to propel them. So it will be with God’s children in a time that is coming quickly upon us.

When that time is recognized, the doubters, the naysayers will feel the force of that spiritual wind and they will either ride along with it or be blown over by it. Their excuses, there darkened and futile minds will no longer have a place to hide for they, in the force of that spiritual gale will be without excuse. The time is coming and it may even now be dawning right now.

The Holy Spirit has given us tools, gifts as it were and the main one for every child of God is discernment. It is like a meteorologist’s barometer, but it is a spiritual instrument. It is time God’s children start watching the signs, for a strong movement of spiritual proportions is about to take place. What a time in the history of mankind to be living!

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

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Why and How You Pray For California

I wanted to reblog this because of the teaching on prayer AND the practical lesson that can/will effect us all if we “bury our heads in the sand” concerning California. We all have friends or family who live there so this should effect each and every one of us and especially those who love this country.

Mario Murillo Ministries

You may be sitting on the beach in Florida. You may be prepping your property for winter in Maine. You may be fighting traffic in Chicago. The furthest thing from your mind is to pray for California.

Nevertheless, California looms over you and those you love like the sword of Damocles. The seething progressives who run this state zealously seek to overthrow the United States and the Judeo-Christian ethic. Doubt this to your own peril.

And make no mistake about their power to overthrow our nation. Modern times have never seen anything like California. It is the fifth largest economy in the world.  It has only one political party. It is dominated by a handful of billionaires who bitterly despise your values. They are demonically unified. They have a plan to force their agenda on you, and the means to carry it out.

Don’t believe the blather about California wanting…

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The Revelation Part 5 – Daniel Amos

Things under the charismatic leadership of the Anti-Christ will appear to be just perfect at the very beginning and especially when it comes to buying and selling, using the mark in the head or the hand. It will seem to be the answer to many of societies woes. But judgement will come suddenly for the idolatry of commercialism that controls the lives of so many.

Revelation 18:11-21, “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.

“The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! ‘For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'”

“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.”

The Revelation (1977, 1986) Daniel Amos, featuring narration by Pastor Chuck Smith:
Part 5: “Better”

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Adversity – Beneficial

Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”

2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

Adversity, Our Friend

A queen bee lays each egg in a six-sided cell filled with pollen and honey that will nourish the unborn offspring. She then seals the top with wax. Twenty-one days later, its food supply exhausted, the newborn wrestles, squirms, and strains to break the wax seal and emerge alive. The opening it makes in exiting is so narrow that it rubs off the membrane covering the wings, enabling it to fly. Should the wax seal be opened prematurely, the bee will emerge without a struggle – unable to fly since the membrane remains on the wings. It is soon stung to death by other bees.

Don’t we invariably view adversities as obstacles? Instead, they are often like the opening torn by the exertion of the bee: the means to growth. They can uncover resources, develop strengths, and stimulate tenacity we would not otherwise have. They can bring us a joy equal to their distress. As John Bunyan wrote, “They can appear as the lion to Samson: roaring and gnashing; but, when subdued, full of honey.”

God wisely designed a specific struggle to give the common bee new life. We can trust Him to provide for each of us the struggles best suited to bring us rewards, not penalties. If we obey him even when it is difficult, we will grow and stretch. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, “Do we want to walk, or fly?”

Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Applicable Quotations

God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them. — Aughey

He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity. Heaven prepares good men with crosses. — Johnson

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and Adversity is not without comforts and hopes. — Bacon

Gold is tried in fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. — Seneca

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God’s Medicine: Affliction – J.C. Ryle

John Charles Ryle (May 10, 1816 – June 10, 1900) was an evangelical Anglican clergyman and first Bishop of Liverpool. He was renowned for his powerful preaching and extensive tracts.

Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly.

Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ. Thousands at the last day, will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” (Psalm 119:71).

J.C. Ryle Website: https://www.theopedia.com/john-charles-ryle
J.C. Ryle Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JCRyleQuotes/

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