Religion

More of thee and less of me

In the coolness of an early morning, I was awakened by my dog, Regis. It was a day called yesterday. 

I sat up in bed and stared at my little schnauzer wagging his tail and licking his lips. I could read his mind, and I knew exactly what he was thinking.  Regis was thinking, “Dear Master Tommy, feed me, feed me!”  

As I rolled out of bed, Regis took his long morning stretch and headed straight toward his breakfast bowl. I was right behind him and I filled his water bowl as well as fed him a healthy portion of chunky Alpo and a milk bone.  

In the quietness of the same morning, I meditated on God’s word according to Joshua 1:8.  These words rose up in my mind; “More of Thee and less of me.” 

For nearly an hour, I thought about the greatness of God, the Creator and Maker of heaven and earth. 

The longer I thought about the vastness of the Lord, the less I thought about me and any problems in my life. It’s amazing what happens when we keep our eyes, heart and mind on the Lord. Oh how quickly the problems dissolve, melt and vanish away. 

As one great preacher proclaims, “You don’t have any problems, all you need is faith in God.”  

C.H. Spurgeon, the prince of preachers once said, “God’s mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time, and then gives great favors and privileges and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of a great God.” I am making this prayer, “More of thee, and less of me,” not only a daily profession, but an hourly confession over my life. I find myself saying oh so often, “I need you Lord more today than yesterday.  Every hour I need you, even every minute of everyday.”  

As believers in Christ, we must daily let go of our old life, selfish ways, doubts and unbeliefs.  

Above all, overcome the fears of life. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind.”Let go and declare, “More of thee and less of me.”  

When I think about God’s goodness, I know that He has loved me with a great love and a never-ending inspiration. 

When I think about the God of more, I think about how He saved me with a great salvation and overwhelmed me with a full and lasting joy.  

Dear Lord, I need you more than my next breath, and I need you more than my next heart-beat.  You are the Potter and I am the clay.  Dear Lord, mold me more and more in thy ways of truth.  More of Thee and less of me; nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. Amen and amen.

— Tommy Meekins

Faith Lift: Defensive Honking

On Monday I spent President’s Day taking an online defensive driving course. The next day I was driving in the right lane going over the Hartman Bridge and a flat bed truck that was riding an 18 wheeler’s tail flaps decided to go around him on the right, right where I was.  

There is no shoulder on the right on the bridge. I commenced to defensive honking. 

I’m grateful that the driver was not deaf. He pulled back behind the 18-wheeler’s mud flaps till there was enough space to go around him on the right.

The course told me to maintain a safe distance not only in front and behind, but also on both sides.  I had a safe distance in front and back, but not on the side.

We are now in a season of Lent remembering the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting, examining his motives, reflecting on his calling and the dangerous days of his public ministry ahead before he even started. In his weakest state, with no track record to bolster his confidence, armed only with the power of the Spirit that descended upon him at his baptism and only the words of encouragement from his Father in heaven and the stories he had heard and read of the prophets before him and the laws he had learned at the synagogue growing up he withstood every trial and temptation from every side, front and back. 

Mark’s description of that experience said that Jesus’ only companionship during those days of temptation was wild beasts and angels.  

Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.”  

I’m glad that the day after my Defensive Driving graduation that Jesus lent one of his angels some time off so I could borrow one for a few seconds of encampment around me when I needed it along with my defensive honking.

— Jim Gill

Don’s Daily Parable: Stop means stop

Stop signs. They’re everywhere, aren’t they? 

Well, almost everywhere. You can almost tell when they are going to add one at some intersection because of accidents becoming more frequent there. Not only that, but it gets increasingly difficult to get through the intersection because of so much traffic.

More and more, I see people running the stop signs, or they will do the “California Stop,” which is just the polite way of saying that they ran it, but they kinda sorta maybe stopped, a little.

If you were to ask them about it, they would say, “Oh, I definitely stopped at it.” 

Truth is, they are so used to blowing through them, they actually believe it when they do it.

Now, if you get stopped by a police officer they may offer a different version of your story. The thing is, they usually see exactly what happened. That’s not to say that they are never wrong, because they can be. The thing is, even though you slowed down almost to a complete stop, it wasn’t a complete stop. You were still rolling, and you must take the sign to its full meaning…STOP! 

Now, if you get down to it, the real purpose of the sign is to get you to stop and look for cars coming, right? So, if you look at it like that, there’s no harm in “rolling” through it, right? 

Wrong, citation breath. 

The law says “STOP,” and that’s what it means.

The Bible is not just a book of dos and don’ts, as some people say, but God has laid down things which He knew would harm us. It’s called sin.

The Bible says He hates sin. He loves us as sinners, but He does not want us to stay in sin. He knows we are human and are not perfect, that’s why there’s forgiveness.

So, when God’s word says, “You shall not…” about something, that’s exactly what He means. Here again, He knows that we are going to do those, “shall nots…”. That is why He wants us to be filled with His Holy Spirit. 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is no sin. So, less of me, more Holy Spirit = less sin.

So, does “stop” mean “stop”? You better hurry up and know it! 

But His grace also means forgiveness. 

God bless you.

— Don Cunningham

Reaping and sowing

“Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7.

 

On occasion I will find a writer who suggest that we all experience life, largely, as we choose to experience it. This very thought is implied whenever we call upon others to take charge of their lives and accept responsibility for their own well being. The underlying implication there is that one’s life unfolds to a very significant degree according to our own decisions and efforts.

While the above political sentiment is very popular, most of people recoil from the idea that when they personally suffer that they somehow brought that about. No one easily accepts that they suffer because they chose to. Therefore many remain mystified as to why they experience unpleasant events, while remaining certain that the unpleasantness of socio-economic disadvantaged is primarily a matter of choice, i.e. bad decisions.

The Bible verse shown above is often quoted to support the idea that evil people will ultimately reap their just reward. Their choice to reject God is a decision to suffer the consequences. However, Paul’s admonition is not logically confined to those he considered evil. He seemingly implies that this principle applies to all lives since he writes it to believers.

Rarely do we consider that if all men must reap what they sow, sowing being a decision or choice, and reaping being the results of those choices, then we can logically conclude that if we experience something, then we chose that experience . If we reap it, then we sowed it.

One can argue that some results/reaping are not the consequence of choices/sowing at all but rather unexplainable misfortune. That may be true, but deciding what happens because of a decision and what happens randomly is difficult.

Whatever the case, the decision behind the sowing to which Paul refers does not have to be a conscious one. It could be a decision we did not even recognize as such.

What is behind or motivates the many behavioral choices we make each day? Some decisions are made consciously after some deliberation. Others are spur of the moment choices arising from individual nature or nurture. These latter type choices are those that remain largely subconscious, not requiring any thought and very difficult to avoid or analyze.

One can conclude that the relationship between personal decisions and life outcomes is fairly complex. Following Paul’s words to any personal conclusion is an exercise in deep thinking, like all Bible study. 

Please visit us at www.sjolanderroadfellowship.com.

— Rick Crotts

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