This is an amazing, but true story.
Anthony Burgess was 40 when he learned that he had only one year to live. He had a brain tumor that would kill him within a year. He know he had a battle on his hands. He was completely broke at the time, and he didn’t have anything to leave behind for his wife, Lynne, soon to be a window.
Burgess had never been a professional novelist in the past, but he always knew the potential was inside him to be a writer. So, for the sole purpose of leaving royalties behind for his wife, he put a piece of paper into a typewriter and began writing. He had no certainty that he would even be published, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
“It was January of 1960,” he said, “and according to the prognosis, I had a winter and spring and…
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“Although the miracles of Jesus were special, being signs of his Messiahship and anticipations of his perfect kingdom when all nature will be subject to him, we have no liberty to place limits on the power of the living Creator today. We reject both the skepticism which denies miracles and the presumption which demands them, both the timidity which shrinks from the fullness of the Spirit and the triumphalism which shrinks from the weakness in which Christ’s power is made perfect.” ~Francis Frangipane
This post comes from a young man that you might want to consider following. I thought this one was especially good.
I think we do ourselves a disservice by ignoring the details in a Bible story and just jumping to the ‘point’ or the message or the truth of the tale. The purpose of the story is always important but the details revealed in Scripture are not merely inserted to make the reader feel like they are a part of the story. Or to help flesh out characters or location. Details in Scripture are recorded with purpose. Sometimes details are shared to open the door to reveal additional truth, a truth that agrees or coincides with the larger truth of Scripture. Too often these truths are lost, and I think that this is detrimental to the church and their well-being.
Why don’t we mine for these truths? Why not give these small gems the time and effort they deserve? Take for example the story of Jesus walking on the water.
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Of all the articles I’ve read about Victoria Osteen’s recent comments, “just do it for your own self”, Matt Walsh nails it. Among other things, he’s the only one that talks about how Christians are “shocked” by what she says. It is “shocking” only in the sense that she is not more subtle in saying something that is completely contradictory to what the bible says. What Mrs. Osteen does is articulate clearly what they have been teaching for decades at Lakewood. And news flash! It’s not Christianity. But if you read your bible you already know that. The people sitting in their audience and watching by television and internet don’t want Christianity. They want what the Osteen’s are serving up weekly.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 2 Thes. 2:3
What we are seeing taking place before our very eyes is the “falling away” that the bible speaks of. It happens before the return of Christ. It is the apostate church we read of in Revelation chapter 3. The question is, are you being deceived? How would you know? What are you doing to make sure you are not one of those that will someday hear our Lord say, “I never knew you”?
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matt. 7:21 – 23
Here is the link to Matt Walsh’s blog post. It’s a little lengthy but it’s worth reading.
Do you ever wonder what God is up to in your life? I know I certainly do at times. Things are just not going the way you expected? The way you had hoped? Prayers have gone unanswered? Like Mary and Martha’s situation recorded in John 11, has God delayed coming to your rescue?
The second verse of a song by Casting Crowns called Praise You In This Storm precisely echos my heart at times.
I was sure by now You would have reached down and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day. But once again, I say Amen, and it’s still raining.
What do we do when God delays? How do we deal with it day after day? Even year after year?
Verse 5 says “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” And then the very next verse says “So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Verse 6 is perplexing at first! He loved Martha and Mary and then He waited two more days?? It is precisely because He loved them that Jesus waited. He waited until Lazarus had been dead four days before arriving at their house. Jesus wanted to do something much greater than heal Lazarus. He wanted to raise him from the dead. He wanted to raise him after four days!
The sisters had seen Jesus heal the sick and knew He had brought the dead back to life again. But He had not raised anyone from the dead who had been buried. By the fourth day their hope of Lazarus living again would have been sealed up tight in the tomb with him. Martha and Mary would learn that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that He has authority even over death.
Verse 4 tells us another reason for His delay. “…for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
There is a principal here that we can hold onto when we find ourselves in a similar situation.
God’s delays are always for His glory and always for our good.
“Nor has eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Is. 64:4)
We can trust in the Lord during those times when it is hard to understand what He is doing. Hardships we face can make us bitter or make us better. So, how do we make sure we are made better? The same way we do every aspect of the Christian life – surrender.
Peace is found in surrender. Surrender to Him in the situation and declare to the Lord, “My life is yours to do with as you please… for Your glory. Have Your way in me.”
Have you experienced a time in your life when you realized God’s delay was for your good and His glory?