From the minister's desk
This month’s lesson will help us greatly if we honestly want to know and understand where we might be in our relationship to God in our everyday lives. Everyone of us has experienced ‘missed opportunities’ in one area or another in our lives. A few questions to ask are; what were they? Did you know? How and why did you miss the opportunities? What did it cost you? What was the result of the missed opportunity? Were there any changes to your approach to opportunities?
After reflecting and realizing the importance of not ‘missing opportunities,’ give serious consideration to the ‘missed opportunities’ in your spiritual life. This is what bible classes are set up for; to give us the insight and instructions God has provided regarding opportunities and how we should value them. In His word we have instructions regarding how we should treat strangers. Heb.13:2… No one has ever knowingly met or seen angels. These are messengers and helpers of God. We read of many accounts of angels appearing to certain people with messages from God, some good and some not so good. If we believe what we read, it should put us on guard and on notice to “be careful how we engage or entertain strangers, for some have entertained angels unaware.”
Since he, she or they are strangers, you may not respond to them in a way pleasing to God. But if we are bible believing and practicing Christians, we will ‘be kind to all people, treat people with love and respect, “be always ready to give an answer of the reason of hope that in you and if it be possible, as much as is in you, live peaceable with all men.” They could’ve been sent to you by God. Don’t miss the opportunity.
We miss opportunities to encourage, edify and exhort one another when we don’t spend time together, won’t attend bible classes, worship or fellowship activities. If God’s word says there are opportunities there, who are we to say there are not? We have been given gifts from the Holy Spirit to be a blessing to one another. 1Cor.12:7
When we miss bible classes we miss opportunities to learn and grow together in Christ. We miss opportunities to sing, making melodies in our hearts unto the Lord while admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. If you are assembled and are not doing as God said with the Spirit of God influencing you, you have missed the opportunity to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
So, in your spiritual life ask, what were they? Did you know? How and why did you miss the opportunities? What did it cost you? What was the result of the missed opportunity? Are there any changes to your approach to these opportunities?
Take advantage of the opportunities afforded you today and be a blessing to God and one another. Give serious attention to this lesson and grow spiritually in Christ.
"Weathering the Storms of Life "
Yesterday our sisters engaged in an excellent and timely topic; “Weathering the Storms.” We are all familiar with the actual storms in life like wind, rain, thunder and lightning, snow, hurricanes, tornados and the like. These are storms man can do nothing about except try to survive or weather them. We may or may not be able to find protective shelter in these storms.
To weather means ‘to bear up against and come safely through, to undergo or endure the actions of the elements.’ We can learn how to do this in all types of storms, even spiritual storms.
Storm- ‘a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction, often accompanied by rain, snow, hail, lightning, etc.’ Then there are the problems we face in life we refer to as storms. ‘To rush angrily at’; to utter or say with angry vehemence and to attack or assault persons, places or things’ also means to storm. Like storms this behavior or action is a disturbance of the normal condition or situation in life.
These storms are often a result of decisions or actions we or someone else have taken. It could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Sometimes it’s a combination of all of these. Here are a few examples of each; Physical- drinking too much alcohol to the point of drunkenness, drinking and driving, eating foods that cause us health problems, any of the many illnesses we may encounter, etc. We can weather these storms by understanding and obeying the scriptures like 1Cor.3:16-17; “Know ye not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” Let work and age deteriorate the body. Don’t eat, drink, smoke or engage in activities that are destructive to the body. Believe and obey the scriptures.
Mental- bipolar, schizophrenias, dementia and stress, etc. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind.” 2Tim.1:7 For living in society, these disorders have medical physicians to treat them and family to love and care for them. In God’s economy, we too must work with, love and care for them among us. But the heavenly and salvation issues are and must be left to God. “Man was created in God’s image and likeness,” and God knows how even the mentally impaired live and think.
Emotional- relationships of all types, worrying about someone who does not care about them-selves, worrying about things and stuff which is temporal more than your soul which is eternal. Storms can make a person emotional to the point their decisions and actions are conducted from emotion rather than clear thinking. Come let’s reason together in the scriptures to better understand how to weather emotional storms.
Spiritual- a lack of faith or trust in God, no relationship or reverence for God, no prayer life, lack of study of the word of God, no interaction with brothers and sisters in Christ, etc. We can do something about all of these if we dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ. We have words of instruction, comfort and encouragement to help us to “weather the storms in our lives.” We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.