Grace To Trust Him More

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:4 KJV

As some of you know, due to complications from a wisdom tooth extraction I became nearly incapable of singing for the last few weeks. Not being able to get notes out past the vocal chords, suddenly looked like Mount Everest had plopped right in the middle of my path. With nursing home meetings scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, I sent out an emergency plea for help and learned a lesson from friends who jumped in to help. The story of these last seven days is best summed up in three words – Immediately, unexpectedly and miraculously.

Immediately John and Barbara volunteered for the first meeting. John officiates once a month for our meetings at a retirement village and he and Barbara looked excited as they walked in with me to the memory care wing at Sunshine Christian Home. Like the Good Samaritan, they didn’t say they would pray about it, think about it or wait until they could work it into their schedule. They simply came both Thursday and Friday at another facility, sang their best and everyone loved them!

Saturday’s meeting was in the recreation building at John and Barb’s retirement village, but with John leading the meeting and Barbara helping out at an early Thanksgiving meal served to the community, I needed help with singing, but had no one lined up. After the opening scriptures reading and prayer, I came to the front. Then, unexpectedly just as I put the microphone in place, my friend Paula, walked to the front, opened the song book and with a smile began to help lead the singing. Paula didn’t wait to be asked, she simply saw the need and unexpectedly came to help.

Sunday morning as I stood next to my wife in church, lip-synching the songs, I wondered what to do about the service scheduled for 2 PM at an assisted living facility. Normally I would have worried through the message instead of listening, but after seeing God work over the last few days, I figured that God had something in mind, and I didn’t need to know about it! Church ended, we returned home, had lunch and played cards while we enjoyed tea and cookies. When it came time to leave, I wasn’t sure I could sing all the way through a single hymn, but God gave me peace that everything was okay. As I arrived, I got my temperature checked, got coded in and stepped through the doorway to see the nurse with a few of my friends waiting to sing. I began with a big smile telling everyone how glad I was to see them and started strumming a few chords, but no one was more amazed than me, that as I opened my lips to sing, that, miraculously, notes came out of my mouth! Looking back, I must say that God has been both faithful and patient to teach me again this week the lesson that how I needed to Louisa Stead taught us in her hymn

Jesus - Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus – Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more!

This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful to not only be able to sing again but that God has given me family and friends who have prayed with me, encouraged me and come along side to help. What lessons has God been teaching you this week? Why not share a note or two or you own?

Where is Our Treasure?

For where your treasure is. There will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21 KJV

Did you ever wince when your pastor opened his message with this passage, because you expected him to ask for a financial pledge or special offering? Well I confess that I have! But the interesting thing about this passage is that Jesus was not talking about money. In fact, nowhere in scripture can you find Jesus taking up an offering. Instead we find our Lord multiplying bread, transforming water into wine and telling folks to stop worrying about the rat race. No – the treasure Jesus had in mind was the treasure He had when the Bible tells us that, “For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame and is now set down at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 12:2

When considering the subject of consecration, I love the hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be” because it gets very specific about what we are giving God and why. It is far too easy to just say, “I Surrender All” than it is to surrender some specific area that Jesus puts His finger on. Even something as insignificant as an extra five minutes of your time given for a friend may be what He asks from us today. Remember that when all is said and done that Jesus made you and I His treasure when He gave His life for us on the cross. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father enjoying the riches of heaven. What may He be asking of us today? Where is our treasure?

I hope that this little presentation and my rendering of the old hymn may be a blessing to you today as you consider the cross and Jesus who is our greatest treasure in Heaven!