disappointment.jpg (620×363)Disappointment – the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. We have all been there; things don’t turn out like we expect them to. The disciples of Jesus Christ were not exempt from disappointment. In Luke 24, we read the story of two disciples just following  Christ’s crucifixion. They expected Jesus to be their deliverer. Listen to the discouragement in their voices; verse 21 “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” 

There is no way to avoid disappointment, it is the reality of life. Yet, I see parents trying their best to keep their children from it. They give them just about everything they want. But they are only delaying the fact of what we all must face. It is better to teach them how to handle disappointment at an early age; not how to avoid it.

You only fail when you don’t try again. You’re not disappointed in what it is. You’re disappointed in what you thought it would be. 

OOPS!

We have all heard the saying “To err is human” In today’s world you might finish that saying with…

  • “…but to really foul things up you need a computer.”
  • “… But to admit it is superhuman.”
  • “…But to blame someone else is politics”

All of us have made mistakes; most are not serious fortunately. (My wife constantly tells me my tie does not my shirt.) Some mistakes are dangerous like the U. S. Department of Defense sending live anthrax virus to nine states.  And at least 4,000 serious surgical mistakes to place annually in the US. A relative of mine told me she was once mistakenly given oxycontin by her pharmacist.

But the greatest mistake that billions of people make is what (or who) they trust with their eternal destiny. Almost every religion believes in life after death. And almost every religion believes THEY know the way to achieve it. But the Bible clearly tells us that only by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior are we assured of eternal life. John 3:16; John 6:47; John 10:28;

This one mistake you cannot afford to make . Matthew 16:26 You cannot go back and correct it. No one wants to say OOPS when it comes to their soul.

I Love It When…

Years ago there was a television program that aired called The A-TeamThe team leader, Hannibal Smith, had a famous quote that he always said sometime during the program. “I love it when a plan comes together.”

As I was reading my Bible,the Book of Esther to be exact, that quote came back to me. I could not fail to notice how God brought His plan together. Follow how intricate God’s plan was:

  1. Esther, a captive Jew, was ‘chosen’ to be the new Queen of Persia.
  2. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, just ‘over heard’ a plot to assassinate the King and saves his life.
  3. One of the princes in the kingdom was Haman. Haman hated Mordecai and devised a plan to eliminate him.
  4. One night the king could not sleep. [Does God cause insomnia?] He asked that someone read to him about the recent events in the kingdom. He was reminded that Mordecai stopped a plot to kill the king.
  5. Mordecai is honored = Haman is outraged.
  6. Haman devises a plan to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom, including Queen Esther. (You will have to read the Book of Esther for details.
  7. Mordecai sees God’s plan in all this and says, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14  {aka “I love it when a plan comes together.”

God knows the end from the beginning. He is never caught by surprise. His plan and will is always best.

Are You Ready?

The Boy Scout’s Motto is Be Prepared. Since I never was a Boy Scout, I am not sure what I am supposed to be prepared for. Being prepared for the unexpected could be never racking. Be prepared for…an earthquake? fire? Collision with a comet? Alien invasion?  A visit from your “favorite” relative? And of course the best preparation advice from your mom, “Always wear clean underwear in case you have an accident and have to go to the hospital.”  Not sure about the logic behind that advice.

But being prepared is not bad advice. Several times in the Bible it tells us we should be prepared. These verses immediately come to my mind:

  • Amos 4:12 “…Prepare to meet your God...” I must have heard hundreds of sermons by evangelists trying to scare me into forsaking my sins before God called me into account for my sinful behavior. I am NOT saying they were wrong. We DO need to prepare to face God but preparation to “meet God” goes a lot further than judgement.

a] I think we would be amiss by not meeting with God in preparation for our day. Daily time with God is time well spent.

b] Sunday morning worship would be more meaningful, if we only took time to prepare to meet Him.

  • 1 Peter 3:15 “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… This does not mean you have to be a walking Bible Commentary with ALL the answers but to be ready to tell why your relationship with Jesus Christ gives you hope and makes a difference in your life?

ARE YOU PREPARED?

Your Enemy

Most of us would like to think that most people like us. Some of us will go to extremes to make sure people like us. But we all know it is impossible to be liked by everyone. We often forget that we are citizens of two worlds. Phil. 3:20 We must not forget that “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey but we spiritual beings on a human journey.” {Steve Covey} As spiritual beings, we must we aware that there is an enemy that not only dislikes you but is committed to your destruction.  1 Peter 5:8 Of course, I am referring to Satan.
One of my favorite television shows is Criminal Minds. Each week a team of FBI profilers tries to solve crimes by “profiling” the perpetrator. The dictionary defines a profilers as  “someone with psychological training who assists police investigations by identifying likely characteristics of the the perpetrator of a particular crime.”
By now, you are probably asking yourself “Where is he going with line of thought?” [Glad you asked!] Two thousand years ago a Chinese military expert wrote The Art of War. “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Good advice.
The Apostle Paul wrote “So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” 2 Cor. 2:11 In the next few blogs, I want us to be ‘familiar’ with his evil schemes.

What Did You Say?

Several years ago, I had to finally admit that I was becoming “audio challenged.” aka hard of hearing. Today, I wear two hearing aids, most of the time. When I am not wearing them around the house and my wife says something to me, it is sometimes hilarious and at other times embarrassing. The old adage is true. Some once said, “I know what I said but I don’t know what you heard.” Those are the times my wife accuses me of “selective hearing”, that is only hearing what I want to hear. [I am not admitting anything].

In the New Testament, Jesus once said,If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” Mark 4:23. When you first read that, our natural response is “Ah, yeah! How else am I to hear?” But the original word “to hear” in that culture meant to obey. Like the parent who told his teenage son to take out the trash and his son had not done so. The father may say, “Did you hear me?” since there was to response from his son.

I am afraid that people today are just as guilty as the people of Jesus’ day. We too sometimes have “selective hearing” when we do not want to obey Him. Sometimes we may not truly understand what He is trying to convey to us. John 16:18 but I think that is the exception to the rule.

Is Jesus speaking to you but you do not have “ears to hear?” Ask Him to give you an obedient spirit.

Getting Used To The Dark

We have all experienced a time in our lives when we have had to spend the night in a place that is unfamiliar to us. You may have spent the night in a motel. Or you maybe you were visiting friends and spent the night in their guest room.Then it comes time to turn off the light. The instant the light vanishes, you are engulfed in darkness. But if you wait for a few minutes, you will become accustomed to the dark. You become more comfortable with your surroundings.

When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we are made new. 2 Cor. 5:17 The old life passes away and the new begins. God takes away our old desires and replaces them with new ones. But God’s Word warns us, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. [Proverbs 4:23] We are constantly being bombarded with sensual advertisements. Movies that we would not go to the theater to see, we now rent and watch them at home. Places that we were once uncomfortable in, no longer bother us. “We’re living in the closing chapter of an age dominated by the prince and powers of darkness. And men do love darkness rather than light. (Vance Havner) 

Sin that we would never dream of committing, we now watch for entertainment. Practicing homosexuals are ordained to the ministry. Same sex marriages, have the blessings of some denominations. The church has become insensitive to sin. The church needs to return to living a life of holiness.

Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20