Artwork by Doug Kallerson
From the Chamber of the South
Comes the Whirlwind
Florida is a marvelous state. Its summers are not any hotter than most other places, they just go on and on (and, at times, on) longer than other places. The more difficult part of the summer weather is the humidity, but even that isn’t terrible once you acclimate to it.
On the other hand, while people up north are freezing in long, snowy winters, we are on the beaches or living out our lives in marvelous temps with low humidity and constant sunshine. While their ground is unproductive and their trees are void of leaves, we are coconutting in still-lush surroundings.
We are almost free of the things that many other states must constantly dread – droughts, earthquakes, blizzards, and so on. However, there is one calamity that Floridians joke about in the wintertime and fear its coming during the summer: the hurricane.
But even hurricanes are isolated events, and they have been shown to serve their own purpose in the bigger scheme of things. Because of the incredible devastation they bring, we normally only see their negative effects, but that is looking at God’s world with a myopic view of things.
After every such major event, people leave their classrooms and laboratories and head out to where the hurricanes have hit to study the effects of what occurred on the ecosystem. Scientific findings have shown us that there is a positive effect on the surrounding environment. Where we see carnage, the system that God has set in place finds benefit from these giant whirling storms.
Learning these effects will help us to better understand God’s healing powers that arise from the very storms that bring destruction and death. For example, from PNAS.org, we read one benefit derived from hurricanes –
“Despite the destructive effect of hurricanes on mangrove forests in tropical and subtropical latitudes, hurricanes are major drivers controlling soil fertility gradients in the Florida Everglades mangroves, and therefore represent a positive influence in maintaining observed mangrove spatial distribution and productivity patterns. Hurricane-induced mineral inputs to near-coast mangroves in the Everglades enhance phosphorus (P) concentrations in soils, increase plant P uptake, promote soil elevation gains relative to sea level, and facilitate rapid forest recovery following disturbance. The response of mangroves to large-scale P fertilization from hurricanes may be an important adaptation of neotropical mangroves in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean region to withstand the impacts of both sea-level rise and P limitation.”
Text Verse: God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.
6 For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’;
Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.
7 He seals the hand of every man,
That all men may know His work.
8 The beasts go into dens,
And remain in their lairs.
9 From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind,
And cold from the scattering winds of the north.
10 By the breath of God ice is given,
And the broad waters are frozen.
11 Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds;
He scatters His bright clouds.
12 And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance,
That they may do whatever He commands them
On the face of the whole earth.
13 He causes it to come,
Whether for correction,
Or for His land,
Or for mercy. Job 37:5-13
God is aware of all things. Nothing happens apart from His knowledge, and nothing happens that is apart from His will. For those who understand this, even in our times of greatest trial, distress, sickness, or loss, that is a great and reassuring comfort. It is also something that we can cling to as we live out these lives in days that are uncertain, often confusing, and surely filled with trouble.
Mangroves are where so much life in the bays and coasts of Florida occur. Little creatures make their homes there, fish spawn in them, soil is captured by them, and new lands arise from the waters because of them.
Apparently, God knows when something is needed to help things like mangroves along and He has developed a means of providing that help on a massive scale. That is scary to humans who think we must somehow correct the natural cycle of things because we think we know better than He does.
We already know hurricanes are an expected danger. And yet, we still move onto the coastal islands and along the rivers and flood plains, hoping for the ideal spot to settle down, catch some fish, and show how “in control” of our surroundings we are. We can’t blame God for our choice of home. But that is often the voice that is heard just before, during, and after a hurricane. “Why, O God, did You allow this to happen?”
For my own part, and certainly for those who shared in last week’s events, I can honestly say that a lot of good came from what we might consider bad. Our house sure has a lot more sunshine coming down upon it now. The trees that might have died over the next few years, causing occasional interruptions in the regular routine of life all perished at one time.
Things that were old and no longer of use have been sorted out and eliminated from our lives. Lots of things that just needed to be done are all jammed into one quick event, and then life goes on. As a result, the mangroves have enough phosphorous to go wild for the next number of years, known to God, before He again sends another whirling monster upon our little haven by the Gulf of Mexico to rejuvenate things once again.
But something more than the surrounding natural effects upon the environment has occurred as well, hasn’t it? We have seen the better and worse sides of those we encountered. We have readjusted our priorities, at least temporarily. We have considered our end, at least for a span, so that we can contemplate what is most important. And, hopefully, we have brought the Lord God into more focus in relation to our lives.
Things such as these are indirect consequences of living through a large catastrophe. The wise will take heed and learn. The foolish will try to return to their vapid existence as quickly as possible without a moment of consideration concerning what might be learned and improved upon. The wicked will attempt to cheat others in their time of distress. And so on.
For those who have readjusted and determined to figure out what their lives mean in relation to both God and their eternal state before Him, there is the hope that they will do it right away before normality returns and life goes back to its regular, dull beat of daily tedium.
When that happens, the comfort of routine will steal away their current ponderings about what it all means. Hopefully, they will seek God while He is fresh on their minds and while He may be found. Or it may be that some now realize they need to get closer to the God they already know. That would be a nice bonus after the time of terror. “O God, I haven’t put you first lately. I want to correct that going into the future.”
If this is you, the only way you will really ever do this is by seeking Him out through His word.
God has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is revealed through the word of God.
One cannot intimately know God without knowing and understanding who Jesus Christ is, and we cannot know a thing about Jesus Christ without knowing the word that tells of Him. Therefore, if you are that person who wants to know God, or if you are that person who wants to readjust and get closer to God, you will need to pick up your Bible and start reading it.
And because the Bible is a big and, at times, complicated book, we will be here to help you to learn it and revel in its treasures all your days. This is the ultimate purpose of the Superior Word. Everything else we do is in hopes of meeting that main goal.
As an example, the weekly Prophecy Report we do that seemingly has little value beyond a weekly reminder of how bad things are in the world was started for one reason and for one reason only.
When Mike the Webguy suggested we do it over a decade ago, I told him, “No, I want to focus on the word. I want people in the sermons because they are based on the word.” His response was, “If you do these weekly reports, people will watch your channel and start watching your sermons.”
That was all I needed to hear. We started them that week and we have done them every week since. And he was right. I can’t tell you how many people now read their Bibles every day who first started with clicking on the ear-tickling Prophecy Reports.
The ultimate purpose of sharing the word of God was met, even through these reports. The irony is that many of them who started by watching the reports no longer do so. Instead, they watch the sermons and Bible studies. Mission accomplished!
If we will just look, great things are to be found in His superior word. And so, let us consider that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today, and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Never Alone in the Storm
After Ian passed, many of us here in Florida had a lot of clean-up to do. Some more than others, but I don’t think any of us was spared a bit of backache. Along with that, most had the inconvenience of either no power or no water or maybe both. For some south of us, power will not be restored for many months.
This is life. This is how it is, and it is inconvenient, but it is what we get in a fallen world. The ease of life is overthrown by the calamity of the moment, and we are left wondering when normal will return.
But what is normal anyway? As bad as we may currently have it, what we have – right now in our time of “deprivation” – is actually much more than billions around the world have on the best of their days. We should consider that and thank the Lord for each blessing we do have. With that in mind, I will tell you a story from my own interaction with Ian…
Having driven around Sarasota, I can attest that our property suffered about as much damage as any in town. No complaints, just stating how it is. While Hideko and I sat in the house and heard really big trees split in two and fall around us, and as large branches snapped and bounced off of the roof, I remember thinking, “It will take months to clean this all up.”
I couldn’t imagine how it would all get done. I even thought, “It’s the beginning of October. I will need to tell people I probably won’t be answering emails until as late as November.”
Really, that’s what I was thinking as another and then another tree fell over. Palms are heavy and hard to cut. Those alone would be backbreakers. And several fell over. That was just the start of the mess.
Despite that, when the storm passed and it was quiet enough to drive on the road safely (well, almost), I loaded up the truck and started winding my way around downed trees. First, I went to check on my uncle’s house. It looked ok, but with lots of branches down. They’ll be fine. They can get a crew to take care of things when they return to Florida.
Then I headed up to the mall I take care of. It is my responsibility and so it needed to be tended to before our own home. Several trees were down, one huge light pole was lying in the middle of the road, and lots of massive branches had to be cleared off the parking – both in front and out back.
The light pole was first. It was dangerous to have that in the road. It weighed about 500 pounds, so it took a tad out of me trying to move it, but eventually, the Davidson brothers who grew up with me on the island showed up and we got it out of the way.
As 7-11 is right next to the mall and that is my responsibility too, I got to work getting the small stuff out first, working from north to south. A strong north wind helped expedite that. From there, I removed all the branches in the parking lot and continued on the trees until I ran out of chain oil (don’t forget the chain oil, Charlie!).
While working there, a visit from Sergio helped lighten the morning mood. We were both glad the other was ok. It was by God’s grace that he still has my home address on his driver’s license. Otherwise, he would not have been allowed on the island. After he left, and with the mall at least safe, I headed back home to begin cleaning things up there.
Hideko was up and doing what she could and I started in with the chainsaw, trying to figure out how to organize absolute chaos into a manageable situation, starting at the road and working back the 250 feet to the bay, every inch of which was covered in so much damage that we had to cut a path just to take the dogs out without losing them.
We worked and we worked. After that, we worked some more. Hideko never stopped, from sun up to sun down, and did more physical work than any person I have ever seen – an eighty-five-pound dynamo. What I cut, she dragged, piling it up into a massive pile. This was Thursday.
At the end of the day, four friends from church came by, and we talked on the dock. That was a really special time for me. The property was safe and clear enough to finish the job in the morning. Each of us shared our stories and we were happy that all were ok. Praise God for His tender mercies.
Friday, Hideko had to go back to work and so I first went to the mall at about 6:00 AM and continued clearing the trees that were down but not any threat to public safety. Then, back home to hopefully get most of the big trees and other things I had left from the day before done.
By 5:00 PM Friday, a lot was done. I was out front cleaning the driveway so that Hideko could safely pull in when a silver truck pulled up by the road. I figured it was a line man or something. I was so tired, I couldn’t gather the strength to walk out and offer help; he was on his own.
It is for this point that everything I have said so far has been included. My work schedule is irrelevant, but I needed to lead you to understand how we can miss the important things in life over that which is actually unimportant.
I get myopic in relation to whatever I am doing. If it is sermon typing day, that is all I can think about. If it is Sunday afternoon, I focus on the sermon editing and nothing else. If I am cleaning up debris, that is all I can think about. But there are more than broken branches in life…
Rather than a line man being in the silver truck, a familiar face suddenly peered around the fence – Jim Dwyer. He was a welcome sight and I figured he was there to check up on things. I thought, “Thank God, I have no strength left for any more work. We can talk like the day before.” But no, after a short greeting, he said, “I’ve come to get the sermon for Sunday.”
I was so mentally exhausted that I didn’t even know what he was talking about. After him re-explaining it, I thought, “I don’t even know where it is!” I said, “They’ll have to do without it this week.” He said, “I can just get it off your computer. I’ll copy it and then send it out.”
The prospect of using one more brain cell to think almost made me collapse on the spot, but I said, “Let me finish this, and then we’ll get it.” I didn’t want Hideko to pull in and run over something and pop a tire. Suddenly, I remembered, we don’t have power.
I said to Jim, “They’ll have to do without it; there is no power.” He looked bummed to have come all that way just to be turned away, but I couldn’t think of anything we could do. So, he got in his truck and started to pull away. Just then, my brain fired one small synapse. I pounded on his truck and told him to wait.
I thought I could email it to him from my iPad because I always save sermons by emailing them to myself in case my computer crashes. Then, I realized, no internet, so that won’t work either. I stood there trying to come up with any solution at all so that his trip would not have been in vain.
Finally, I realized that Sergio has all my passwords. He could get the sermon. But I was so tired, I couldn’t remember his name. I think I said, “Jim has access to everything.” Something wasn’t right with that. “The… well, the… Sergio! Sergio can access my things. Email him and have him search for ‘Sermons and devotionals.’ Then he can send you what you need.”
Jim asked, “Is it the most current revision?” I thought, “What is a revision? This guy is just making that up.” True story. Then I remembered what a revision is and said, “Probably not, but it will have to do.”
He seemed happy with that and off he went. Had he asked one more question, I may have had a brain aneurism and died on the spot. I walked to the shower and then that was the end of the day. Hideko and I ate out of cans in the dark and went to bed.
The entire point is that Jim felt it was important enough to get the word into people’s hands that he drove 15 miles through traffic lights that didn’t work and down the island street that was still filled with trees to simply get that sermon for those in the online church to have for Sunday.
But he said something else to me that I could not get out of my head until today. He could see how tired I was and he said, “You know, so many people are praying for you right now.” I was too tired to cry, but that alone changed my perspective on everything else that I did and have done for these past days.
I was so overwhelmed with the responsibilities for the mall, the house, and the church that I never thought about people praying for our strength, knowing that their prayers included Hideko, and – indeed – everyone here at the Superior Word.
People around the world were praying for us as we were facing uncertainty before the storm and uncertainty after it passed. What a thought to consider. And there was more…
To worship and to serve the Lord our God
Eternal fellowship in a land of Delight
On hallowed soil our feet will trod
And the Lord shall always be in our sight
In His light, to walk and also to praise
The Lamb of God who was slain
Illuminated by His ever-glowing rays
No tears, no fear, no sorrow, no pain
Come to the waters and be restored
Drink and receive Grace from the Lord
II. Tender Mercies
While I tell you about the events in this section, I don’t want to use any names, not because I don’t want to recognize people, but because I don’t want to single anyone out and pass over others who also do so much throughout the year to bless the church.
In other words, if I mention anyone, I would have to mention everyone because everyone is a part of this group, whether in Japan or in Arizona, Sarasota or Michigan. If you are a part of this church, you are included in this section by name, by deed, and through hearing this sermon today. So, thank you.
On Saturday, I did something I have not done without a reason for many years. I did not go to the projects. There was still a lot of work to do at the house and – if the power came back on – there would be a lot to do to be ready for church.
Normally, I only miss going to the projects if there is a funeral, a wedding, or a baptism on Saturday. But this clean-up needed to be done and I knew others would be at the projects to fill in. So I got back to work, finally finishing at about 1:00 PM. Amazingly, the power came back on within about twenty minutes of the clean-up being done.
Opening up the emails, there were 214 to sort through, a large number of which were people telling me they were praying for us. I answered each one with a short note so that they would know we were ok and to thank them. Along with that, there were many people who offered to help in any way they could, including financial needs for us or those in the church.
I tried to reassure folks that we were ok, and that I would check with church members to see if there were other needs. The only one I became aware of is that Claudia had some damage to her house, but she was unable to come to church last Sunday. She is being sorted out, and her place will be repaired.
On Sunday, a few people still did not have power, but they still came to church. I was actually amazed that more than a handful of people would come, but people at the Superior Word seem to understand the priority of church. For that, I am grateful. It is a lifeline at all times. How much more of a lifeline when times are difficult?
One tender mercy I saw is that Jay and Joan, who lost power for 11 days after Hurricane Irma, the last hurricane in our area, never lost power during this one. What a blessing for them! We really felt for them during Irma as we all sat in nice air-conditioned houses J.
Another tender mercy of our Lord is that—maybe for the first time in the history of the universe—the last days of September and the first days of October have actually been cool and not so humid. As I sit typing on Monday morning, it is 66 degrees F out.
Instead of suffering through heat, humidity, and exhaustion caused by them, we have been able to put things back together in fall-like weather. The Lord knows how grateful we all are for that.
Also, on Sunday, I learned of another expression of real compassion, not only in prayers and in financial help by those who offered it, but in genuine human care when two guys who attend online drove from Illinois and Maryland just to help out with the clean-up at the house. They brought a generator, chainsaws, and other things. Who could imagine such an offer of mercy!
Someone brought in a cake for the October birthday people, someone brought in an entire bag of avocados, while others brought in love and cheer, hugs and blessings. Every person can do something in a church to bless others, even it if is to pray for those who have needs.
And the sharing in thanks and help does not need to end at the church. We talk about who the heroes of society are. During times of war, we talk about the soldiers who fight to keep those of the nation free.
For those who respect the right to life, religion, and peaceful existence, we may have a civilian leader that is a hero to those causes. When things are prosperous and all is going well, we make false heroes, even idols, of those who are not heroes. Movie stars and sports figures become our heroes when all they are doing is serving themselves and profiting off the masses. Those are not, nor are they ever, heroes.
But think about your own situation right now. Do you have electricity at your home? In Sarasota, people have given up nights of sleep to work restoring power to the homes and businesses in Florida that do not yet have power.
Water, sewer, electric, traffic lights, and so on, all have to be restored. In the past few days, some of these utility workers have had people come up to them and yell at them for not working fast enough.
Instead, they should be thanking them, bringing them something to eat, and encouraging them. How is it that we can’t consider that they are tired, frustrated, and deprived of their own free time and sleep while doing their best to serve others? They may not all be good people, but they are doing a good service. Consider that as you head out to a store or restaurant that is open this week because of their efforts.
As for the church itself, I often get emails about the sermons, the weekly reports, the commentaries, and other things that have been put out. They include compliments and praises that are wholly undeserved. I do my job because it is the job I do.
But these things would not be if someone hadn’t first filmed the sermons, set up a YouTube channel, and posted them there. I didn’t do that and I am unqualified to figure out those things now. Someone, years ago, set up the website for the church.
He has maintained it for eleven years, checking on it every single day, he QC’s everything I type, he converts the sermons into podcasts, and he won’t even tell me his real name or even give me his address so I can send him a thank you in the mail. None of those things would exist if it wasn’t for him.
Others have developed other websites, podcasts, or YouTube channels to promote the church. They don’t ask for anything except permission to do what they do. Some quality check my pitiful grammar and spelling for the daily commentaries and weekly sermons.
One person does a unique painting for every sermon we have done since Exodus. Some help out monetarily, some come early and help clean, others bring food for the church to eat, while others stay after church or Bible class and clean up. Some have prayer groups or fellowship groups that are specifically linked to this church. Some send money to buy pizza or treats for class or church.
Of all of these things, and so many more that I haven’t mentioned, I have never asked for any of those things to be done. Rather, they have asked to do them, all because they love the word, they love the church, and they want to be a part of it. This is the meaning of tender mercies.
I am fortunate if I can find my way to the door or figure out how to turn on a computer. None of these things that we all take for granted would be happening if these wonderful people didn’t come together and want to be a part of what the Superior Word is doing.
I am just grateful that the word is being looked at, that it is being cherished, that it is being read, and that it is being shared. An example of the benefit of people’s help came to my inbox on Monday morning before I started typing these words.
Some months ago, a man in Pakistan emailed me with questions about Jesus and the Trinity. I responded and continue to respond by answering his questions. He and his wife accepted the Lord Jesus and began to email about their faith. He asked for a Bible. A friend in the UK sent him one. He then asked for some money for local Urdu Bibles.
That was sent. When he got the money, he sent us a picture of them holding their Bibles. He told us he wanted to tell others about Jesus, but it is dangerous in Pakistan to do so. There was an internal conflict going on in him concerning what to do. But the witness of the word won out.
He started to tell his neighbors. Some accepted Jesus; more Bibles needed. He then got the idea to invite people to a screening of the Jesus movie. But he would need money for that. He would have to rent a TV, a generator, buy the movie, and so on. Would we help?
I could have just sent the money, but it was Thursday and Sunday was just around the corner. Maybe people would want to participate. I would not want to deprive others of this honor. So on Sunday morning, I asked during the livestream.
I told the people that we would only accept money for that. The first people to respond making up the needed amount would be accepted and anyone else I would tell them not to send anything as the need was met. I didn’t know it at the time, but someone sitting in the church sent the money while I was still speaking.
So when I got home, I had to tell all the people who offered to provide the needed funds that the need had already been met. However, the Lord already knew they had offered, and so their offer, even if not accepted, still counts for what happened. I will read you from the email my now-friend from Pakistan sent, including a picture. All names have been changed –
Regards to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
First of all, my wife [Ruth] and I are very excited to share with you that the recent meeting called “Life Outreach” went very well by the Grace of God. We give praise & honor to God for all the success by His help. We want to thank Brother and Sister [Kermit and Frog] for their support to which made this possible to do the meeting successful. We also want to thank you Brother [Abbott] and Brother [Costello] for your precious prayers for us. We are always encouraged by your love and prayers in Christ.
We share things about the Life Outreach as below:
– I led this meeting by praying the prayer of thanks in beginning
– We invited about 40 people to attend this meeting
– We found 38 people came to attend it
– They were all very happy and enjoyed the meeting
– We showed a part of Jesus movie about “Creation”
– This led the people to learn about how God created the World
– Then we showed another part of the movie about Jesus’ death on Cross
– People were touched by the death of Christ
– We found 3 people were weeping when they saw Jesus hanged on Cross
– 7 people came to believe in Jesus as their personal Lord & Savior
– There were some others who are near to accept Jesus and they need more prayers
– We had very nice time of prayers at the end of the meeting
– We also had wonderful time of taking tea and refreshment at the end of this meeting
– This remained very good time of fellowship to each other
We found some people want to come to attend this meeting again and they want to bring their family friends to enjoy to learn about God, His creation and His Salvation plan. This is very helpful to people understand the whole picture of God’s plan for human.
I had some people who raised questions to learn more at the end of the meeting, and there was good discussion with them.
A man from Hindu background told me that he only believed in Jesus as prophet and never knew that He is son of God. He came to believe in Him and committed his promise to follow true and only one God.
This was very encouraged to us by faith and we rejoiced in the Lord by prayers for the success and His safety. It is how wonderful that God helped 7 people to know Him and they believed in Him, 3 of them secretly believe in Jesus because of fear from their own family.
We are praying for your safety from the Hurricane that’s going on in your area and believe that you are doing well and safe.
From a man and a wife who were fearful to speak about Jesus, to two people who have thrown caution to the wind for the sake of Christ, we have people willing to open their mouths and speak out about the goodness of God toward the people of the world. You can see their photo in the kitchen, proudly holding their Bibles, confident in the salvation of God that is found in our Lord.
Someone had to make this possible. The Lord opened the doors, He provided the way, He placed the burden on people’s hearts, and He is glorified through those who responded. Our Pakistani friend’s words in the middle of his email will need attention –
“We found some people want to come to attend this meeting again and they want to bring their family friends to enjoy to learn about God, His creation and His Salvation plan.”
Surely this means they will want to show this film again. That will require the same help as before. If it fits your budget, and if he asks, I will offer you the opportunity to assist. Thirty-eight people came. Seven accepted the Lord. Maybe we can all talk to thirty-eight people this week in our own circle of life. Maybe we can help this young evangelist in Pakistan to do it for us as well.
Here he is, risking his own life to share the gospel and how did he close? He was thinking of us here in Sarasota – “We are praying for your safety from the Hurricane that’s going on in your area and believe that you are doing well and safe.”
And, indeed, we are. We were inconvenienced for a moment in a world of convenience and prosperity, and we are being prayed for by people that are so poor, they cannot afford a $7 Bible in their own language without compromising their own budget for the month’s expenses. Praise God for His tender mercies.
Heaven’s door is open for all to go through
But it’s guarded with cherub and sword
So, to pass through the gate, this you must do
Follow the gospel and call on the Lord
By faith in His work and by faith alone
Access is granted past heaven’s sword
His blood was shed for your sins to atone
Again, I beg you, call on the Lord
I implore you, call on the Lord
III. A Heart for the Lord
The next time you feel the need to encourage me, I will accept your words. The next time you have the desire to compliment me, please don’t. What you experience each week has very little to do with me. Pray for those who actually make this church run. Pray that the Lord will give them wisdom, skill, ability, and stamina.
Have a heart for the Lord. In all you do, fix your eyes on Him, cherish Him, and remember His cross. We are servants, temporarily granted the honor and privilege of serving the King of the universe until our days are spent.
For those who spend them wisely, they will not only rise to everlasting life, but they will do so to rewards for their faithfulness that they cannot even imagine right now. So stand fast in your faith, persevere in doing good, and be sure it is good that is done by faith in Jesus.
A good deed not done in His name has no lasting meaning. It may benefit for a moment, it may temporarily ease a pain or a sorrow, but it will not be remembered beyond this tearful path we trod each day until we return to dust under our feet.
But a good deed done in Jesus’ name will endure. It will find an eternal reward, and its purpose in this life will surely extend beyond the deed itself. Eyes will hopefully be opened to the Source of what you have done, and the recipient will then find joy in the everlasting arms of the Lord.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9, 10
A hurricane is a difficult thing to get through, but it is also a time when the storm around us will help us to reconsider the storms within us. We have things raging inside that can be calmed by the compassionate hand of the Lord, we have conflicts that can be eased by the knowledge of His word, and we have pressures and burdens that we can cast upon the Lord because He cares for us.
Let us spend our time wisely. Let us endeavor to get into the word of God and find out about Jesus because in finding out about Jesus, we can then find out about the very heart of God. But you must first start with the word. Nothing else can replace this and nothing else will be found as an acceptable substitute.
We are the Superior Word not simply because we happen to be on Superior Avenue, but because we understand that God’s word is superior. It is the light to dispel darkness. It is a place to find hope for the human soul. It is our guide when we are on the right path, and it is the way to get on that path in the first place. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Have a heart for the Lord by having a heart for His word. And in that, you will then have a properly directed heart for how to conduct your lives in accord with His word.
This life is short, your time was set before the first grain of sand came into existence, and God already knows how things will end up for you. But you do not. Hence, it is up to you to find out by first expending yourself for Him. The reward awaits and the reward is Jesus. How much does what He offers matter to you? I encourage you today, have a heart for the Lord.
“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
2 For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:1, 2
Closing Verse: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8, 9
Next Week: Joshua 8:1-20 Jay got a practice week last time, by and by… and yes, he makes it so fun (The Fall of Ai, Part I)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Though the storms of life may rage around you, the Lord is your hiding place and your safe refuge. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.