Message No: 1 Correcting a Distorted View of God
Let me ask you a question right up front today.
Have you ever encountered something that left you with a distorted view of your Heavenly Father?
Naomi returned to Bethlehem saying, "The Almighty has dealt bitterly with me."
It seemed that she blamed God for all of her misfortunes.
James 1:13, "Say not when you are tempted, 'I am tempted of God,' for God cannot be tempted by evil, neither does He tempt any man."
Do not allow the enemy to use your problems to leave you with a false image of God. I understand that He doesn't wink at sin and that He is a God of justice. He judges sin and we all know that, but remember, too, that it is not His will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.
Consider all that Job endured.
He lost health and wealth and three friends began to accuse and challenge his integrity. His wife said, "Curse God and die." This was spoken from a burdened heart with a distorted view of God. She had lost the same children that her husband had lost. Her house was gone, too.
It all left her with a less-than-perfect image of her creator. But Job had a different opinion. He seemed to know this; "If I can curse God and die, then I can bless God and live."
My troubles in life do not alter who God is. God does not change with the wind. He is faithful and consistent.
Scripture states that in Him, "There is no variableness, nor shadow of turning," James 1:17.
He is God on the mountain and in the valley. He is God in the storm and the sunshine.
Trust His consistency. He won't let you down.
Message No: 2 Destiny That Can't Be Destroyed
I'm glad my Heavenly Father has a vantage point that is so much greater than mine. From where He sits, He always knows the end from the beginning. That's particularly true when it comes to my destiny, as it was with Naomi in the story of Ruth from the Bible.
Even in her old age, Naomi was destined to be a part of a kingdom connection that she could not even begin to imagine. Her destiny was to help bring Ruth into the life of Boaz and, as a result, produce a child that would be connected all the way to the throne of David.
Upon the birth of Ruth's new baby, the neighbor women brought the child to Naomi for nurturing and care.
By her own admission, Naomi was beyond her natural ability and too old to give the baby what he needed. However, when a future generation linked to a coming Messiah was brought to her, God resurrected her ability to do all she was challenged to do.
Part of the destiny of a Christian is to nurture future generations that will welcome a coming King. We do that with our testimony, our music and teaching, and even our daily walk.
Don't let Moab destroy your destiny. Come out of the wilderness and refuse to allow the residue and remnants of where you've been to mark you for the rest of your life.
You are who the Father says you are.
Even the three Hebrew children came out of the fire without the smell of smoke upon them.
Mother Circumstance must never be allowed to tag you with a name that negatively marks your future.
The Father's name on your life is the only name that matters and He says that you are"blessed and highly favored."
Message No:3 The Foundations of Life
In 1989, as I watched the World Series from the comfort of my home, I noticed unusual movement on the screen. An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale was shaking San Francisco. Fifty-two people were tragically killed as overpasses and bridges crumbled. The damage was enormous.
In February 2010, an earthquake of 7.0 on the Richter Scale left Haiti in the ruins of devastation. Nearly 300,000 precious people were killed. From the president's palace to the most humble of homes, little was spared. There was only a fraction of a point of difference on the Richter Scale, yet so many more died and the destruction seemed massive in comparison. One place was hugely damaged, while one was totally devastated.
What made the difference?
The difference in damage and devastation is found in one word: foundation.
Because of economy, regulations, engineering - you name it - the standards in one location over the other as it related to foundations, made all the difference in life and death.
Knowing the proximity of fault lines helped the engineers determine the time and money that went into the foundation a structure was to be built upon.
It seems that fault lines abound everywhere beneath the surface of life.
Emotional fault lines.
Relational fault lines.
Financial fault lines.
They sprawl everywhere beneath the surface of all we hold dear.
David encountered all of these and more while fleeing for his life on one occasion. He contemplated his circumstances, surmised his place in life, and asked this question in Psalm 11:3, "If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?"
Being a carpenter, Jesus knew about foundations. He related a meaningful parable about two home builders. One built on a foundation, while the other built only on the sand. The storm came and went and only the house with the foundation under it stood firm.
Two powerful principles are contained in this parable.
First of all, storms do come. It's never a matter of "if," but "when." But, the greatest lesson of all is that the rock is stronger than the storm.
Let the winds blow and the rains fall. When it's all said and done, you will discover the foundation you're built upon on will "weather" the storm.
Isaiah 28:16, "Behold, I lay in Zion a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation."
What are you built upon today? I hope you can sing with confidence the words of the old hymn...
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.