I have reached that point in my life that I have to make lists. If I do not write things down, they will not happen. If I am going to the grocery store and there are two things we need I am good. Add a third, and now I need a piece of paper to write a list. There are packing lists for trips and to do lists, so I do not forget something important. Whether we write things down or keep a list on our phone, many of us have lists. I came across this little list a few days ago and want to share it with you. These are six important things to remember.
There was a town that had not seen rain for months, and they decided to all gather to pray. On the appointed day of prayer, the townsfolk all gathered. One young boy brought an umbrella. That is faith. If we are going to pray for something, we are praying because we need whatever we are praying for. Are we ready to receive the answer? Only one brought an umbrella. The boy expected it to rain. That's what they were praying for! In Matthew 8:5-13 we read about a Roman centurion whose slave was sick and dying. He came to Jesus asking for help and Jesus offered to go to the slave. The centurion said he knew Jesus could heal the slave simply by saying the words from where He was. Jesus responded not only with healing but the thought that He hadn't seen such faith in anyone in Israel.
Many of us have had a chance to spend time with little ones. Sometimes we toss them into the air. Other times we hang onto their hands and swing them round and around. And they laugh or say...do it again. Why do they laugh or ask for more? Because they trust that we will not let go, or we will catch them. That is trust. Shortly after the Israelites left Egypt, they found themselves at the shore of the Red Sea. It might have been a nice place to camp but Pharaoh had changed his mind about letting them go and he had sent his army after them. Now Israel was trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army. God commanded Moses to hold his staff out over the sea and the waters parted. The Israelites crossed over on dry ground with walls of water on either side of them. That is trust.
Every night, after a long day we prepare for bed. One of the things we do is set an alarm for the morning. We have absolutely no assurance that we will be alive the next morning, but we set the alarm anyway. That is hope. Hope means God is for us. It means that our past does not have to limit our future. There was a man who lived a solitary life of emotional and spiritual anguish among the tombs. He was naked and he would cut himself with stones. One day Jesus stepped into this man's world and healed him from his affliction. Now the man had hope for the future. Jesus still offers the fragrance of hope to people today.
All of us have plans for tomorrow. Perhaps we are taking a trip. Maybe we are retiring. Family is coming for a visit. We are graduating from school and we have a new job. We are moving across country or across town. But none of us has any knowledge of the future. That is confidence. God has said He will never leave us or forsake us. People will fail us. They make mistakes, break promises and sin against us. We do the same to others. But God will always love us. He will never fail. We can have confidence in that.
When we look at the world around us, we do not see many positives right now. There seems to be more chaos, suffering and disaster than anything else. But people are still getting married and having children. That is love. When we read in 1 Corinthians 13 that love never ends that is the love of God. It is God's love that came to earth as a baby. It is his love for us that taught and healed. It is God's love that hung on a cross paying a debt we cannot pay. Jesus is love.
An old man was wearing a shirt that said, I am not 80 years old. I am 16 with 64 years of experience! It's all in how we look at things. That is attitude. Keep in mind Moses was 80 when God sent him back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of slavery. Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born. John was close to 90 when he experienced the revelation and Methuselah lived to be 969. Age is just a number and we are never too old or too young to serve our Lord. The evil one may try to convince us that we are too old or too young to be useful to God. But if you are still breathing you are capable of serving the Lord. How we serve changes with our age, but we will never be an age where we cannot serve. EVER!
That is my list for today. What is on your list?
In His grip
Pastor Matt W