We Are God’s Answer

by Herschel on February 26, 2013

Sometimes, when I’m looking for a fresh perspective on what God is saying to me through His Word, it helps to read a different version of the Bible. Recently, I’ve been reading the gospel of Matthew in The Message. At the end of Chapter 9, a story begins about Jesus going through the countryside preaching and healing, and then there’s the famous verse about Jesus having compassion on the masses because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The chapter ends with Jesus telling his disciples to pray that the Lord will send out workers into the harvest field.

Chapter 10 continues the story; “The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives…” Jesus answered their prayer to send workers into the harvest field by sending them! I had read that passage of scripture many times, but it had never been presented in that way, that Jesus used them to answer to their own prayer! It really struck me that we can be God’s answer to prayer! Think of how many times God has answered your prayer by sending another person to help or encourage you. You can be that answer in someone else’s life.

Years ago, a popular song went, “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him there’s no other; Jesus is the way.” Truly, Jesus is the answer, but we are the vessels, the vehicles, the conduits through which He sends His answers to prayer. What an exciting privilege it is to be used by God as His answers to a lost and lonely world that needs our care.

When we are God’s answers to prayer, the Holy Spirit working through us to meet the needs around us in meaningful ways, that’s when we’re really going to feel the true fulfillment of serving the Lord. Ask God to give you a vision of how you could be His answer to someone’s prayer this week in your family, in your community, or at your workplace and see how empowering, rewarding, and life-changing it will be for everyone involved!

HH

{ 0 comments }

Staying Fresh in the Flow of Fulfillment

by Herschel on July 18, 2013

Jordan River

Jordan River flowing into the Sea of Galilee

My dad recently passed away. He was a “pack-rat” who kept everything from 50-year-old bank statements to hundreds of little bars of “hotel” soap. Now I have to clean all that old stuff out of his house. By contrast, my wife likes to get rid of things. Each spring, we go through our stuff to see what we can give away. It helps keep our home (and our lives) from becoming too cluttered, musty and dusty (and it feels good to give things away, too!).

Giving is one way to stay fresh in the flow of fulfillment in Christ. God has promised to bless us if we’ll share what He’s given us. We hoard our treasures because we don’t really trust His promises related to giving (Luke 6:38). According to financial counselor and author, Ron Blue, generous, enthusiastic givers are the happiest people in the world.

In the “Parable of the Talents” (Matt. 25:14-30), those who take risks and invest the blessings and gifts entrusted to them receive dividends and rewards, while the one who hides and protects his talent will ultimately lose it. We’re not supposed to hoard the blessings God gives us, but to invest them in eternal things and “lay up treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-21). [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Indestructible

by Herschel on July 18, 2013

Albert Bisbee: Child on a Rocking Horse, ca. 1855

Photo by Albert Bisbee: Child on a Rocking Horse, ca. 1855

When we were kids, my sister destroyed three “guaranteed unbreakable” rocking horses. She rode them like they were exercise machines for toddlers until they just wore out and fell apart. After the third one, my mom was too embarrassed to ask the store to replace it. I “googled” for products advertised as unbreakable and got 5.3 million results in .6 seconds. We’ve all heard the TV ads boasting of products that are supposedly unbreakable or that have a “lifetime guarantee”.

Unbreakable

Product claims to be unbreakable.

How many of those things do you think are really unbreakable no matter what? How many of the companies that have offered lifetime guarantees are even still in existence? We’ve probably all been disappointed by such claims. What about the passengers on the Titanic? It was advertised as “unsinkable”, and yet it sank on its maiden voyage.

The Bible uses the word “indestructible” to describe the life of Jesus. He is our High Priest and Mediator with our heavenly Father forever “according to the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:14-17). [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Background Noise

June 26, 2013

There’s a commercial out now for a phone that reduces background noise so you’re better able to hear whomever you’re talking to – what a great idea! We also need something to cut down on the background noise in our lives that distracts us from clearly hearing the voice of God. A cacophony of sounds […]

Read the full article →

Hunted

April 16, 2013

Once I watched a documentary on lions on the Serengeti Plain in Africa. In one part, the lions were hunting wildebeests. Wildebeests move across the plain in a herd, grazing together for protection. The lions didn’t attack the herd head-on, probably because wildebeests have long, sharp horns. The pride of lions followed closely behind, stalking […]

Read the full article →

Ready, Aim, Fire!

February 26, 2013

Dropping your first child off at college can be a traumatic event for parents (especially for Mom!). You ask yourself, “Is he ready? Will he be able to handle it?” You find yourself praying a little more often and a little harder than before. Last August, my wife and I took our son to Florida […]

Read the full article →

The Rewards of Pleasing God

February 26, 2013

  Eric Liddell was a 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist who became a missionary to China. In the movie Chariots of Fire, which chronicles his running career, his sister accuses him of letting his running become a higher priority than his work for the mission. He replies, “I believe God made me for a purpose: for […]

Read the full article →

The Power of Paradox

February 26, 2013

At Christmas time, I think about God’s paradoxical intention in which He chose to be incarnated as a helpless baby. Randy Pope once preached a sermon series entitled, “Worlds Turned Upside Down,” which told how Jesus’ coming radically changed people’s lives (and still does).  His coming challenges the status quo by confronting us with several […]

Read the full article →

The Need for Fathers

February 26, 2013

 Recently, I went to a picnic where I met a young boy about 6 years old who’s being raised by his grandmother. He and I immediately “clicked” (maybe that’s because I have two sons of my own), and he wanted to play and “rough-house” and be silly – by the way, that’s what I’m good […]

Read the full article →

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

February 26, 2013

My sister has lived in New York City for many years. I enjoy visiting her. Last spring, our family had the opportunity to travel to New York and see a Broadway musical. It was an exuberant celebration of life, full of singing, dancing and colorful costumes. The whole family was thoroughly exhilarated by it, and we left the […]

Read the full article →

Putting Together the Puzzle of Life

February 26, 2013

  One Christmas, my wife gave me a “master” puzzle with no picture on the box to go by, just a title for the completed scene. I was eager to see the finished product. Sometimes life is puzzling; we’re anxious to see what our finished product will look like. There’s a description in scripture, but […]

Read the full article →