Monthly Archives: May 2015

MEMORIALS OF GOD’S MERCY

Ebenezer

One of the first memorials was built by Samuel (2 Sam. 7:12). It was a huge stone that he named “Ebenezer” which meant, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” He built it after God had intervened in a great battle and given Israel the victory. It was to remind them of God’s mercy.

We need to erect memorials ourselves to remind us of the times when God, in His mercy, has intervened for us. In our personal experience, life has not run on an even keel since last year. There have been disappointments, trials, fears, and sufferings-yet God has been with us in them all. Our lives have been spared from death, from disease, and disaster. Every day we spend in good health is a day to thank God for His mercy.

Some of us have seen God’s mercy in our families. Has the family circle been blessed? Have we seen an increase (a little one)? Have we seen our children come to know the Lord and begin to grow in knowledge and grace? Have we had a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, clothing to wear, and something to eat? Than let us thank God for His mercies.

Economically, it has been a bad year for thousands of people. Money has been tight, and jobs hard to find. In spite of a bad economy, some of us have prospered and we need to thank God for it. Most of us haven’t prospered, but we have held our own—and we thank God for that. Some of us have lost many of the materials things of life which we thought were riches. Now we are discovering true riches, things like God Himself, our families, our friends, and God’s provisions. One tornado victim, being interviewed by a TV reporter while standing before his home which had been turned into a trash pile, said it well. He said, “That’s just stuff. I can replace stuff. My family and I were spared and for that I am thankful!”

As a child of God, we don’t ever have to despair. We have a Father who is rich and very merciful, and He loves each and every one of us. Thank God for His mercy.

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The Good of Trouble: It Teaches Humility

 

humility
“I’m proud I’m humble enough to wash feet,” the lady said at the testimonial service. How mistaken can we be? Anytime we are proud we are humble, we aren’t—we’re just proud.
One of the best things we can learn from trouble is humility. Humility, according to God’s word, is considering others as better than ourselves, or seeing ourselves as God sees us. In our highly competitive society, it is a rare quality. However, it is a quality greatly to be desired:

• To be like Jesus who was humble in heart (Matt. 11:29)

• To receive God’s grace (Prov. 3:34)

• Because God guides the humble (Ps. 25:9)

• Because with humility comes wisdom (Prov. 11:2)

• Because humility comes before honor (Prov. 15:33)

• Because God exalts the humble and humbles the exalted (Matt. 25:12). The way up is down.

• Because humility can open the door to God’s forgiveness and healing. “If my people who are called by name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

PRAYER: O Lord, help us to humble ourselves.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and public speaker. He is president of People for the Christian Way, and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net

GAMBLING: AN OUTRAGEOUS PROPOSAL

cartoon_indo_288254dIt is outrageous that gambling is being considered for legalization in this state. Have our political leaders sunk so low they are willing to use the methods associated with, and dominated by, criminals and organized crime to bring in money? Gambling should be against the law and looked upon as a crime. It has been shown that legalizing gambling does not limit it. On the contrary, organized crime and criminal activity thrive where gambling is legalized.
Gambling corrupts government—the large sums of money generated by gambling are often used to bribe state and local officials, and to put people into office who favor it. A New York Times editorial noted, “Gambling is a business so rich, so fast, so powerful, and perhaps inevitably so unsavory, that it cannot help but undermine government.”
In addition to the corruption, gambling hurts a state’s economy. It takes money that could be invested, loaned, used to start businesses, etc., and puts it in the pockets of multimillionaire owners of gambling establishments.
Not only does it hurt the economy, it hurts the people. It is a reverse Robin Hood, taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. One New York gambling agent said, “Seventy percent of those who gamble with me are poor, Black, or Hispanic.” Two businesses that thrive in gambling areas are pawn shops and quick loan operations.
Gambling can be addictive like drugs and alcohol. There are over 12 million compulsive gamblers in America today, 96% started before they were fourteen years old. Even now, it is growing in popularity among young people. Youth aren’t the only ones affected by gambling. It has a destructive effect the family. It often produces bankruptcy, strife, and divorce.
Gambling is directly opposed to the Judeo-Christian ethic, and is contrary to biblical principles. Gambling promotes materialism—the Bible opposes it. Gambling encourages people to risk what they have in the hope of getting lucky. On the other hand, the Bible teaches honest work, integrity, savings, and benevolence.
Gambling should be vigorously opposed by all people of the Judeo-Christian faith, if for no other reason than the effect it will have on the weaker brother and the community.
If you truly love your state, you will do all you can to keep gambling out, and to unseat those who are advocating its spread.

Robert Wilkerson, DMin, is a writer, minister, and public speaker. He is president of People for the Christian Way and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net.

A MOTHER’S LOVE

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdelene.
-John 19:25 (NIV)

MOTHER'S DAY CLIPART
The thunder boomed, the lightening flashed, and the rain poured relentlessly. In the middle of the storm, a country mother ran to the barn, hitched up a buckboard and rode out into the night. The journey before her was a long and dangerous one.

She was a Civil War mother who had gotten word that her son had been seriously wounded, and was in a military hospital many miles away. Her journey took her across creeks raging with water. Sometimes, it seemed like the mud would defeat her, but on she went. At great danger to herself, she approached the enemy’s lines and using the noise of the storm and the darkness of the night, she slipped through them.

Finally, she found the hospital. It was crowded with cots filled with suffering and dying soldiers. As she made her way between them, she saw her son. He had been blinded in battle. When she got to him, she didn’t say a word. She knelt beside him and reached over gently, putting her hand on his head. Instantly he said, “Mother, I knew you would come! I knew you would come!”

Whether it is Mary standing at the foot of the cross, or a country woman searching for her son, a mother’s love is very much like God’s love. He comes to us when we need Him and He stands by us through thick and thin.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to love as you do. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A mother’s love is akin to God’s.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson, is a minister, writer, and president of People for the Christian Way, from Birmingham, Alabama. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net