Archive for May, 2007

Note: I was rummaging through some old papers and I came across the copy of a letter that I wrote to a dear friend some 10 years ago. I would like to share it with you because it may be needful for someone reading it or maybe a friend.  By the way, my friend Bill has a great relationship with the Lord and he is rereading his letter because he receives these daily messages. He has also given me permission to publish this correspondence.

 

Dear Bill,

Thanks for your note. I am glad you understand that I have your best interest at heart and I am not trying to be some super saint who is pure as the driven snow. I think brothers in the Lord should give each other feed back. I would hope that you would minister to me if you see something in my life that would not glorify our Lord. I am open to that, and in fact I would be grateful for it. We cannot always see ourselves as others see us.

     When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can be assured that we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. However, we still have a few years to live out here on planet earth. The question is how are we to live it? Romans 1:17 says that “the just shall live by faith.” You and I are the just because we have been justified by the sacrificial and substitutional death of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:9 tells us “much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Note: you can think of the word justified as “just as sin never happened”.)

     To me, living by faith means we are overcomers receiving the promises of God –redeemed from the curse of the law, redeemed from poverty and redeemed from spiritual death. (Gal. 3:13, Deut. 28) Two things are necessary in order to live this overcoming life.

     The first is FAITH. While all Christians have been given a measure of faith, there are degrees of faith. Romans 4:19 tells us that Abraham was not weak in faith when God promised him a son although he was 100 years old and his wife’s womb was dead. So it is evident to me that there is strong faith and weak faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.(Romans 10:17) If you are not regularly into the Word of God, you are missing the first ingredient of an overcoming life.

     The second ingredient to receiving the promises of God and thus being able to be victorious on this earth is to live the lifestyle God prescribes for you in His word. We can talk that talk, but if we don’t walk that walk, our confessions of faith and prayers will go unheeded. Psalm 66:18 warns us that “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

     Bill, I eagerly ask you to return to your First Love. Get into the Word and spend more time in prayer and start enjoying that overcoming life once again.

Sincerely,

Gene 

 

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“Reach out your hand and take it (the snake) by the tail.” (Exodus 4:4)

COMMENT: If it is not immediately apparent, our Lead Scripture comes from the conversation God was having with Moses at the burning bush in Genesis Chapter 3. The Lord is giving Moses instructions as to how he is to be used to free the Hebrew people. Moses was skeptical about his ability to convince Pharaoh that God really sent him. As you know, one of the miracles God showed Moses involved the rod that he held in his hand. He asked him to cast it to the ground and it turned into a snake! (Exodus 4:3) Then the Lord told our friend to do something that even this city boy knows is a “no no”. Picking up a snake by it’s tail is a sure way of getting it’s fangs buried into your flesh. However, Moses must have had great faith because he followed the divine directions and the snake became a rod again. God’s thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8). We often cannot see the “logic” of the divine direction we receive from God’s Word or from the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Take the advice of that Nike commercial: JUST DO IT!

WISE SAYING: TRUST IN THE LORD IN ALL YOU DO; I’LL GUARANTEE YOU THAT HE’LL SEE YOU THROUGH. (gene mcguire)

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God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)COMMENT: If you are old enough or if you’re a jazz fan, you have probably heard the song “WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?”. We really could have the shortest message ever by just referring you to our Lead Scripture. However, you probably want a fuller explanation, so here goes! The oft-quoted Scripture John 3:16 aptly illustrates God’s kind of love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Three significant characteristics of love are illuminated by this act. Firstly, this love is UNCONDITIONAL; the “whosoever” means that any human being, regardless of his or her race, creed, color, economic status, political persuasion, etc. etc. etc. can be removed from the bondage of Satan and become a child of God. Secondly, God’s love is SACRIFICIAL. Our Father knew that the Law could only be fulfilled by the death of a sinless Man. He sent His own Son, clothed in human flesh, to come into the world to die an ignominious death for mankind. Thirdly, COMPASSION characterizes this glorious deed. God knew that without a Savior all mankind was destined for Hell. It is His desire that all men be saved. (1 Tim. 2: 3, 4)

WISE SAYING: GOD LOVES US JUST THE WAY WE ARE, BUT HE LOVES US TOO MUCH TO ALLOW US TO REMAIN THAT WAY.

“…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…” (Philippians 3:13)

COMMENT: When I read what happened to Lot’s wife, I really felt sorry for her. As you know, when she and the rest of the family were fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the angel instructed them not to look back. Evidently her inquisitive mind got the best of her and she wanted to see the “happenings”. That decision was her downfall as she was turned into a pillar of salt.(Genesis 19:26) The Hebrews in the Wilderness give us another famous episode of “looking back”. In Exodus 16:3 we find the Israelites looking back to Egypt where they “set by pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full.” In the New Testament, Jesus gives us Christians the following warning: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) It’s my opinion that the Lord doesn’t want us to dwell on our old sinful life because we might be lured back into it. The mind is the spiritual battlefield and where the mind goes, the body follows. And let’s face it, sin has pleasure. Moses chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:25) However, I think the only time it would be beneficial to periodically take a glance at that “old man” we used to be would be on the occasions when we give praise to the Lord for how far He has brought us.

WISE SAYING: IF YOU KEEP LOOKING BACK, IT WON’T BE LONG BEFORE YOU’RE GOING BACK.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)COMMENT: I know that all of us have been praying for the people who have been affect by the Tsunami in Asia. We’ve all heard of some miraculous survival stories, but I think the saga of 21-year-old Ari Afrizal tops them all. Ari spent 15 days adrift in the Indian Ocean and lived on coconuts that floated by, tearing them open with his teeth. If I were to be asked to use one word to describe the action of this brave young man, the word would be TENACITY. As Christians we should adopt TENACITY as our byword also. Sometimes it goes against our human instinct to follow the precepts the Bible teaches us. For example, we are commanded to “Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you.(Luke 6:28 ) Don’t pay attention to your emotions, hang in there and let God’s Word have final authority in your life.

WISE SONG LYRICS: “DON’T GET WEARY IN DOING WELL. DON’T SURRENDER IN THE FIGHT. KEEP ON STORMING THE GATES OF HELL. KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT!”

NOTE: I really do get by with a little help from my friends. As you recall, I didn’t know the Spanish translation for the song: “Whatever Will be Will be”. Thanks to Olga Colon I have been enlightened: “Que Sera Sera”.

Gene McGuire

“But the sons of Jacob answered Schchem and Hamor his father, and spoke deceitfully, because he had defiled Diana their sister.”(Genesis 34:13)

COMMENT: Of course, we are talking about the treachery of Jacob’s sons after Diana, their sister, was raped by Shechen, the son of Hamor.The perpetrator asked for her hand in marriage. It was then proposed that not only could Shechen have Diana as his bride, but the two groups could become “one big happy family”. However, the sons of Jacob put forth one condition…all the men in the other group must become circumcised just like them.(Genesis 34:9-17) While the men were in pain and recovering from their surgery, Simeon and Levi killed all the males and plundered the city. It’s said that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. As you know, their father Jacob was quite a con man himself. He tricked his brother Esau out of his birthright and his blessing. (Genesis 25:29-32 and 27:34,35)Those of us who are parents need to be careful about the kind of “spiritual DNA” we pass onto our children. Even if we aren’t parents, we never know what young person is watching us and using us as role models.

WISE SAYING: WISDOM CONSIDERS HOW MY ACTIONS OF TODAY WILL IMPACT MY TOMORROW.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. (Psalm 100:4)

COMMENT: I know you may be a little weary hearing about “the olden days” from me. If that’s so, just think of this message as a brief history lesson. I didn’t start driving a car until I was 19 years old, mainly because we couldn’t afford one until then. You know what? It just dawned upon me that I am celebrating my 50th year behind the wheel! Well, enough of the trivia, let’s cut to the chase. A few decades ago, drivers were very grateful  for courtesies granted them; for instance, every time you’d allow another car to get ahead of you, the other driver would wave a “thank you” (with all their fingers)  and you’d wave back a “you’re welcome”. As the years have passed, I have seen fewer and fewer of those waves when I am courteous to another driver. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t practice good road manners in order to get signs of appreciation, it’s just the right thing to do. The other day I was shocked to see an individual wave a “thank you” when I was courteous to him. I waved back and my eyes because a little misty because it had been such a long time since anyone had responded in that fashion. I then thought about how our Heaven Father might feel when He is continually blessing us with abundance and we often are not cognizant of His unmerited favor and thank Him.  Now if this shoe doesn’t fit you, don’t put it on; but if it does….you know what to do!

WISE SONG LYRICS: “Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks, for He gave us Jesus Christ, His Son.”

NOTE: Several of our subscribers host web sites and I invite you to visit them.

Harry Covert: www.thecovertletter.com

Rev. Kim Hargrove: www.thank-you-lord.com

Chuck and Toni Klughart: www.toniklughart.com  www.iochurch.com  and

              www.servants-of-the-good-shepherd.com