Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rejected And Forsaken

Rejected and Forsaken

We have examples in the scripture where people feel, and truly are, rejected or persecuted, yet can find comfort in their relationship with the Lord God, even though their world is caving in.

1. Psalm 27:10
When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.

Father and mother are the last ones on earth that would ever forsake a person, in a normal functional family.  This is an extreme case of rejection.

2. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;

This describes total disaster - nothing left at all.  Yet will I rejoice in the Lord.

3. Acts 16:16-28
Paul and Silas were falsely accused of making trouble in Philippi.  They were then beaten, resulting in bloody stripes and locked up in an inner prison (which we would call a dungeon).
So we have here two who were severely abused both in the court of public opinion and bodily.

However, the story goes on:
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

We have here an illustration of two men that knew and demonstrated that they still had access to the throne of grace, to the presence of the LORD God, no matter what the circumstance was.

So no matter what the circumstances, whether they be relational distress or loss, bodily harm, or even total disaster, we still have our connection to Father God.  We can still enter into His presence, into the Holy of Holies, and rejoice in Father's love, grace, and mercy for us.

We are blessed beyond measure.

But on the cross, Jesus could not do this.  As it says in Psalm 22:1
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  See also Matthew 27:46.  Jesus, on the cross, was cursed beyond measure.  And He did this willingly!  What love He had, and has, for us.  Amazing!

We are blessed beyond measure.  There is no place for us here to feel sorry for ourselves and enter into self pity.

Larry Carroll

All scripture referenced is NKJV.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Able To Teach

First Timothy 3:2 says:
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; (NKJV)

"Able to teach"  So how did Jesus model it?

Matthew 7:28:
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
Mark 1:22:
And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
Luke 4:32:
and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority
Luke 24:32
Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?
(all ESV)

Well, we can see Jesus' teaching did much more than just transfer information or knowledge.  Now knowledge is good, but inspiration is... well, better.  Knowledge is a tool we need, but inspiration gives us energy.

Knowledge builds the mind, and if it is the mind of Christ, that's wonderful.  However, the mind of Christ within us depends foundationally on the inspiration we receive in our hearts.

So, I believe that in the description of a true bishop in I Timothy 3, the ability to teach includes the ability to inspire.

Larry Carroll

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Looking Forward To My 50th Wedding Anniversary

It's 2015 and I'm looking forward to my 50th wedding anniversary this year, September 18th.

September 18th is also the wedding anniversary of my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Donald who were married over 70 years. They were married exactly 30 years before Helen and I were married.

Knowing this, one of my goals has been, and still is, to reach 70 years in my marriage, too, as they did. And why not?

And why not you, if you married early in life? Why not?

Larry Carroll