Never Underestimate the Power of God

power of GodGod created the world from nothing (Genesis 1:1); parted the Red Sea and allowed His people to pass through unharmed (Exodus 14:19-22); caused the walls of Jericho to fall down (Joshua 6:20-21); enabled David to kill Goliath (I Samuel 17:45-49); took care of Daniel while he was in the lions den (Daniel 6:22); cared for Jeremiah while he was in a dungeon (Jeremiah 38:7-13); watched over Paul and Silas while they were imprisoned (Acts 16:25-28) and raised Lazarus from the dead (John 17:44).

What do you have going on in your life right now that God cannot handle?  Then let him!

Rod Halliburton

A Gallant Goodbye

cropped-bible-medium.jpgNero, the fifth emperor of Rome, ruled the Roman Empire from A.D. 54-68. The year following Paul’s release from prison, probably A.D. 64, a great fire consumed more than half the city of Rome. The fire burned fiercely for six days, then slowly burned for three more days. Although it was never proven for certain, many people believe Nero started the fire, and then placed the blame on Christians. It was after this fire that Paul was imprisoned a second time. Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy while in prison, awaiting his death. Notice Paul’s words in II Timothy 4:6-8: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

What enabled Paul to face death with such confidence? First, Paul stated he had fought a good fight. The fact that Paul called the Christian life a fight indicates there is a conflict that is taking place. There is a conflict between right and wrong, good and evil. Also consider Ephesians 6:10-13 and I Peter 5:8.

The second reason Paul was able to face death with confidence was he had finished his course. Paul is drawing a parallel between the Christian life and an athletic event. Paul lived the Christian life with endurance, persevering to the end. Also notice I Corinthians 9:24-27 and Galatians 6:9.

The third reason Paul was able to face death with confidence was he had kept the faith. Paul is not referring to his personal faith, but rather the faith, the system of the gospel and all those teachings included therein. Other scriptures also refer to the gospel as the faith. Consider Acts 6:7 and Romans 1:5. After his conversion, Paul devoted his life to defending the gospel of Christ.

Rod Halliburton

 

God Will Leave the Light on For You

PorchLightMotel 6, a hotel franchise with over a thousand locations, may be best known for its series of commercials with National Public Radio personality Tom Bodett, who closed every ad with the line “We’ll Leave the Light On For You.”  The phrase simply means, “You are always welcome here.”

Can we also say that God will “leave the light on for us?”  As illustrated by the father in Luke 15:20, God is always ready to welcome back one who has gone astray but longs to return.  Someone might think, “Oh no!  God would never take me back after what I’ve done!”  Friends, I disagree with that sentiment just as strongly as I can!

When the prodigal returned, his father did not give him a stern rebuke.  He did not greet him with a good “tongue lashing.”  Not at all!  The father welcomed him back with open arms.  His attitude was “let us eat and be merry.”

And so it is with our heavenly Father.  He is always ready to welcome us back with open arms.  God will leave the light on for us!

Rod Halliburton

How Will You Be Remembered?

“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had hDorcaseard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive” (Acts 9:36-41).

It’s not difficult to see what Peter saw when he was brought into the upper room.  Dorcas’ lifeless body was lying in the room, quiet and still.  No doubt the room was crowded – the text tells us that all the widows stood by Peter.  The room was filled, not only with the sight of Dorcas’ friends mourning her passing, but with the sounds of their weeping.  Can you hear the tears as they run down their cheeks?

The room was also filled with the sight of Dorcas’ good works.  Coats and garments that Dorcas had made.  No doubt they were beautiful!  Look at the skill demonstrated in the stitching!  What a wonderful choice of colors!

Verse thirty-six tells us Dorcas was full of good works and almsdeeds.  The New American Standard Bibles reads “this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did.”  Did you notice?  Abounding!  Kindness!  Charity!  Continually!

This was no ordinary clothing.  I don’t want to read anything into the text that’s not there, but I believe much of Dorcas’ acts of kindness and charity was the clothing she made.  These were not garments Dorcas had made for herself.  Dorcas must have made these garments for others who needed them!  Dorcas not only loved to sew, she loved to sew for others!  She loved to serve others!  Did her sewing involve labor?  Oh yes, a labor of love!

When Dorcas died, her friends remembered her for her abundant kindness, love, and service to others!  How will people remember you?

Rod Halliburton