Posts tagged ‘faithfulness’

October 4, 2012

Questions about Psalm 100

by pastortimfowler

psalm 100 1 microphone 1440x900

Psalm 100
1 Shout happily to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Serve the LORD cheerfully. Come into his presence with a joyful song.
3 Realize that the LORD alone is God. He made us, and we are his. We are his people and the sheep in his care.
4 Enter his gates with a song of thanksgiving. Come into his courtyards with a song of praise. Give thanks to him; praise his name.
5 The LORD is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.

What if everyone who claims to know God took this Psalm as serious as it was meant to be taken? What if we only did it this Sunday? Would what you do be any different? What if you walked into church and as soon as the worship service started you began to shout as if you were the happiest person on the whole planet? Do you think that anyone would notice? Do you think that anyone would care? Do you think that you might be asked to calm down? Do you think that someone beside you might shout too? Will we ever know?
What if you served the Lord cheerfully this Sunday? What if you took on whatever role was needed and smiled like a mule eating briars? What if you greeted every guest and every member as if they were they were a rock star? What if you welcomed everyone with a joyful song as you walked into the church? Would people think you were crazy? Would anyone come back the next week? Would others smile and start singing with you? Will we ever know?
What if we acted as if God were the God that He says that He is? What if we acted as if He was the King of the universe and the Lord of our lives? Would anything be different this Sunday? Would anyone notice? What if you ate the spiritual food and drank the spiritual water like a sheep eats the grass and drinks from the stream when the shepherd leads them? Would there be any complaining about what you ate? What if you acted as if all of your well-being depended on God alone and you were not in control at all? Would it change anything that happens this Sunday? Will we ever know?
What if you thanked everyone and thanked God for everyone you saw this Sunday at church? What if the minute you walked through the door you cried out “thank you God for letting me walk through the doors of your church? What if you started singing before the band ever started playing? What if you sang in the vestibule as everyone else walked in. What if you thanked God for every person that walked in the door, and for the door, and for the life that let you walk through it? Would it make a difference Sunday? Will we ever know?
What if everything that happened Sunday you considered good, even if you didn’t like it, because you know who the Lord is and that He is good? What if you acted as if the mercy of God was much more precious to you than the clothes you wear or the building you are in? What if you acted like you knew that same mercy was available every minute of the day this Sunday? What if you acted like you knew that God is truth and His faithfulness was precious and that your children and their children would know it by the way you acted this Sunday? Would it make a difference in the way church went? Would people see God in a different light than any other Sunday? Will we ever know?

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September 18, 2012

Miraculas Faith

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62533788@N02/7846245072/

When was the last time you saw a miracle? For Christians, we talk about miracles all the time and do get a chance to see them. For the most part we see people healed who have no explanation, situations that seem hopeless, all of a sudden become blessings, or that relationship that was over is now mended. In our church we have seen babies born who were said would not be and a foot that was scheduled to be amputated due to diabetes suddenly turn pink and healthy, and we have seen our share of just totally unexplainable stuff that we give God credit for. But those things seem to, over time, fade in the level of excitement and we all but forget about them until someone like me brings them up as a reminder.
God is all-powerful and does do those type of miracles and more. But that is not what He wants us to focus on. From the beginning of time God has shown His miracle-working power and it has never held the people’s attention much longer than it took for the next problem to come up. But God did not and does not stop doing the impossible, only because He loves us and, I think there is part of it that goes without saying, if you could do those type things, you just would. What God wants us to focus on is His words. What God says should be as good to those who believe in Him as the miracles we give Him credit for. But trusting in God’s word is tough for us because some of what He says goes against our egos and our own desire to be rebellious.
One of the greatest miracles I have ever had happen to me was in my finances. We had begun to trust God’s word and what it says about giving, particularly tithing or giving 10% of our income. It wasn’t long after that time that we experienced a severe reduction in income. The first thought was to cut back on giving and pay our bills, but we remembered God’s instructions to believers about giving from the first of what we made and we decide to act in faith. If we did what God says do, then He has to honor what He says. Without going into a long story of details, let me just say that our finances were blessed. A miracle, I believe so, but most importantly, it was done because of faith in God’s word and His faithfulness to keep His word. I can tell you several other stories of how faithfulness on our behalf was honored by God acting like God and doing what we could not explain. Some may say that these are not true miracles but rather coincidences and I will only say that God is in control of those too.
My point is this. God has no obligation to do miracles as a reward for our good behavior nor does He have to do them to prove that He exists. God wants a relationship with people and miracles don’t make relationships stronger, trust does. God cannot be proven into existence. He has and always will exist. His miracles in the past did not bring people flocking to Him, His faithfulness did. And that relationship based on faith or trust is what opens the way for Him to do those mind-blowing things that we can’t explain. But if God never did another miracle, would you still trust Him? I would.
I would because I find nothing that He has ever said to be proven wrong. I find plenty that I don’t understand, but nothing wrong. I would because whenever God has said something and I acted on it, the results were exactly what His word says they would be. My marriage is stronger because I follow His guidelines for marriage. My friendships are stronger because I follow His guidelines for friendships. My children all turned out fine (Yes, I know that is open for debate if you know them), because we tried to raise them on God’s guidelines. My church is growing like crazy because we did away with all the bylaws and man’s laws and just started to following the Bible.
The biggest reason for my faith in God’s word is because week after week I see people who are hurting and messed up and just plain weird, decide to trust God for salvation and forgiveness and they in turn bring their friends who eventually have the same experience and so on. I know where I came from. I was not good enough for God to love me, I was so messed up that I was certain that there was no way He could love me, but He did anyway. He forgave me, accepted me, and was patient as I learned to trust Him through the years.
Truly the most miraculous thing about God is faith. If you haven’t seen a miracle, take a step of faith and trust God to forgive you. If you have seen a miracle, don’t forget about it, but look at how often the little things He promises never fail you and build on those. What God does for us is miraculous, but it is all an act of miraculous faith.

November 2, 2011

I Want To Be Great!

by pastortimfowler

King David was said to be a man after God’s heart. He did not start out as a king, in fact, he was a shepherd from a pretty normal family. When God chose him to be king, the only thing that he had going for him was that he trusted God and was a faithful shepherd. He was the kind of shepherd that did not mind the lonely nights and days and the dangers of wolves and lions. But he was not considered the strongest or bravest and wasn’t even the oldest of Jesse’s sons.
So why would God pick someone like that? We often look at great leaders as coming from a great bloodline and given everything from the finest schools to the finest training for taking over the leading role. The Bible says that God does not look at the outside and what we have to offer, but rather He looks on the inside, to what our heart has to offer, mainly faithfulness. And this shepherd boy from humble beginnings was that, faithful.
The history of David tells us that even after he was anointed king, there was a good bit of time before he actually took the throne. He spent much time ministering to an evil king that was trying to kill him. He remained faithful to whom God had put in place as a leader and even served him as the chief musician. During this time he gained the friendship and respect of the king’s son and many others who watched as the king tried to kill him.
David eventually fled to hide from the kings armies who were sent to kill him and many people followed him into hiding until the time was right to take on the battle at hand. Those who followed David were not the leaders of society, but many of them outcasts and fugitives. It was this group of rejected people who God used to defeat the king’s army and move David to the throne.
Once David became king, he never forgot those who helped him get there. He built a kingdom that was strong and one where the people respected the leader. God honored this and allowed the kingdom to expand and become the most powerful of its time. But then the riches and fame offered overwhelming temptation and David fell to it. He committed adultery and even murder to try to cover his sins. He became a miserable man, yet this did not change him from being known as a man after God’s heart. No, not right then, this title came early, before he was king, but God ensured that it stick throughout history. How?
If you read through the Psalms, you will see a time of writings that came from David, a broken man. One that realized that his sin was not just against an innocent woman and man, but most of all against a holy God that loved him. His misery and morning are poured out into these Psalms in a desperate cry for salvation and forgiveness and that is what seeks God’s heart.
God does not want the holy and righteous, because there are none. He seeks those who need to be forgiven because they have sinned and that includes all of us. When we fail, God does not want to punish us, but rather forgive and restore us, just as He did with David. I believe David wanted forgiveness more than any man ever has, and that is why he was known as a man after God’s heart. David knew God intimately and desired that closeness, especially once he realized he had lost it. When he cried out to God for help and sought forgiveness, God forgave him fully. He will do that for us too.
You don’t have to come from money or power or have a name that all know in order to be special in the eyes of God. All you need to do is humble yourself like David did and let God lift you up to greatness. Just don’t forget that the greatness God gives rarely looks like the greatness man claims. God, through Jesus Christ, can make you a child of the King and great in the Kingdom of God.

August 19, 2011

A Job Well Done

by pastortimfowler

The other day I talked with someone about why they need to stay on their job. It was hard to believe that they were even considering quitting a job in this economy. They wanted to quit because they did not like anything about the job. The people were difficult to work with, the pay was lousy, the job was difficult, and the hours were unpredictable. That has to be tough, but is there a positive twist you can put on it?
First, from the standpoint of the economy, we could all probably give an account of someone we know that does not have a job and can’t find one. Few places are hiring and those who are have so many applicants that they can be very picky over who they hire. Many people are looking for any job, and that means employers can set the highest of standards. Add to that the number of people who are applying for these few jobs and it is tough. Quitting a job now is a recipe for even harder times if you do not have another job to transfer into.
Second, let me share a biblical point of view. This will be fun, so read on.
God gave you that job. Rejoice and be glad in it. He said that He would meet our needs not our wants. Perhaps God wants us to show faithfulness in the small things before He gives us the big things. The workplace today needs to see what a good work ethic is. It would be a great witness, to those who don’t believe, to see a Christian work hard and honor those in authority. People need to hear and see that our actions match up. They need to see that we believe that good things come from God and a job of any type right now is a good thing.
Sometimes we forget that the strongest witness we can give to others is in our workplace. Another time is when we are going through a struggle. Combine the two and there is a real opportunity to let our faith shine. We live in a world that promotes a victim mind-set. People really believe that life should be fair and I have never found that to be true. The only two things that are fair in life is the fact that we all face judgement, the same judgement, for our sins and God through Jesus Christ forgives us, any of us, if we ask. Other than that, fairness is only equal to the opportunity that is in front of us not the results of it. If fairness is what was important, it would only be fair that a blind man could drive a car on our interstates and I could be a brain surgeon even though I know nothing about it. I mean, it just isn’t fair that I don’t get to do what I want, is it?
I believe that God puts us in various situations to see if we remember to honor Him in all things, not just the stuff we think is good. Difficult work means a chance to test our perseverance. Those people who are so hard to work with may need to see Jesus in you. You may be that only example of Jesus that they will see. Low pay means a chance to practice good stewardship and faith that God will provide. Unpredictable hours mean a chance to be ready to share our faith in season and out of season.
Let me leave you with this example of someone who had a tough job, with tough people to work with, unreasonable hours, and their pay sucked. His name is Jesus.
He was hired to work with fishermen and tax collectors. He left Heaven to work on earth during a tougher time that we know now. He was on call 24/7 and never got the pay that He deserved. No matter how hard He tried, people turned on Him and ended up firing Him from His job in a most cruel way. All the time He never quit, never gave up, and never stopped honoring God. In return, many were saved, He is the example for all to follow, and God said, “A job well done!”