Monthly Archives: April 2010
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”
There was a young boy who was the son of a drifter. This boy worked as a store clerk for a while, but the store failed. He bought a partnership in another store, but it failed also. He ran for legislature and lost both times. He ran for vice-president and lost. He became the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
There was another boy who was called a “slow learner.” A teacher recommended he be withdrawn from school because of his seeming inability. He tried to go to school in Switzerland, but failed the entrance exam. He was fired from three teaching jobs. At age 26 he won the Nobel Prize. He was Albert Einstein.
Here were men who suffered serious setbacks in life, major disappointments, but they perserved to do a great work in their fields. How much more important is it for a child of God to use the ability God has given them?
Yet many times the very things God has given us to use, sit idle on the sidelines. We’ve bought in to the lie that we don’t have much of anything to offer.
If you think what you have to offer is insignificant – tell that to the jawbone in Sampson’s hand.
If you think what you have is too little to share – tell that to the widow who’s oil never ran out.
If you think what you have to offer will be ridiculed – tell that to little David with a slingshot in his hand.
Homework – What’s in your hands? What talent, spiritual gifting, financial ability do you have? Find a way to serve someone else this week.
When life hurts and dreams fade, nothing helps like hope.
Without hope, students get discouraged and drop out of school.
Without hope, athletic teams slump and keep losing.
Without hope, amateur authors will stop writing.
Without hope, addicts return to their habits, married couples decide to divorce, inventors, artists, entertainers, and entrepreneurs lose their creativity.
Without hope, strong Christians struggle to press on.
Hope is not merely a nice option that that helps us temporarily clear a hurdle. It is essential to our survival. It is something that is as important to us as water is to a fish, as vital as electricity is to a light bulb – hope is that basic to life. We cannot stay on the road to our anticipated dreams without it, at least not very far. Many have tried, but none successfully. Without that needed spark of hope, we are doomed to a dark, dismal existence.
But true hope is hard to come by for some. I’ll tell you why: Because it’s only found in God – and a lot of people aren’t looking there. There are some definite Hope-Killers seem to surround or dreams and ideas. But what amazes me is what the Bible has to say about it:
Fatigue – Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue will make cowards of us all.” But Jesus says, “Come to me you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28-20)
Frustration – Have you ever worked and worked, invested time and energy into something, and then stepped back and wondered if your efforts had any significance? Listen to Paul, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give youselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)
Failure – Have you ever failed? Completely given up? Go have a chat with the guy that understands that God is a God of second chances (Jonah 3:1)
Fear – Living life concerned with all the threats and possibilities. Believe God’s promise, “So do not fear, for I am with you…” (Isaiah 41:10)
What is the meaning of Easter? Ask any child: “Easter is Easter Bunnies and Easter Eggs.” Ask any mother: “Easter is new Easter Clothes.” Ask any dad: “Easter is a good Easter Dinner.” Has the true meaning of Easter escaped us?
Easter means Christ is Lord! In Matthew 28:6, than angel at the tomb tells the women who came, “He is not here, for he is risen.” If Easter means anything, it means Jesus Christ is Lord. He has authority over life, death and salvation. The message of Easter is that Jesus is alive. Christ is our living Lord!
To carry the news of the Battle of Waterloo to England, a sailing ship signaled to a man on shore, who relayed the word to another on a hill, and so on across Britain. The first word, “Wellington,” was signaled. The next word, “defeated” was also signaled. And than a fog closed in, and the message halted.
Across England people wept over the message. “Wellington defeated.” Then the fog lifted. The communication continued with two additional words, “the enemy.” Englishmen celebrated the victory!
There was great sorrow when the body of Jesus was carried from the cross to the tomb. The signal seemed to say, “Jesus Christ defeated.” But three days later the fog lifted and the angel announced, “Jesus Christ defeated the enemy.”
“The Christ event,” writes William Hull, “began with life from an empty womb and ended with life from an empty tomb. Empty womb, empty tomb – what is this if not a description of the God who creates things that are, out of things that are not and who can make dead things come to life again.” This is indeed is the meaning of Easter. Christ alive in you!