It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the waves were pretty strong on this Gulf coast beach. Usually Gulf coast waves are not very good for surfing since they do not reach a good height. However there were two surfers that were attracted to the beach on this windy day. I watched them as they paddled out and waited for the incoming wave. They were patient until they saw a wave coming and paddled furiously to catch it. When the wave caught up to them they quickly stood up on their board and rode the wave all the way to shore. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy that wave-empowered ride to the shore.
Waiting for and riding the wave is what it is all about in surfing. The same can be said about our service for the Lord. We need to watch for and wait to see what God is already doing. Where do we see evidence of His hand? Where can we feel the wave of His power displayed? When we see God’s wave moving around us or in our church that is when we need to ride it. We can paddle all day expending energy and fighting against obstacles. But seeing what God is already doing and being a part of it makes the ride so much greater. What evangelism strategies are working? What needs are displayed in our community? What people groups has God surrounded us with? What technology is effective in our culture? Paul admitted to the Corinthians: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). Instead of asking the Lord to bless what we are doing we need to do what God is already blessing.
God desires to see the people of our current generation accept His Son as Savior. The gospel is more relevant for a Christless world than it has ever been. God is working, God is moving in our society. Let’s get off those dying waves and open our eyes to partner with God in reaching His world with the gospel of Christ.
Our dog got a drink of water and dribbled some of it on the tile in our kitchen. My dear wife then slipped on the wet tile and fell and broke her hip. She was taken to the hospital and had to have surgery to repair the break. After a week she was released from the hospital and sent home with a walker in order to get around. As she began to heal she got rid of the walker and graduated to a cane. As her strength began to return she no longer needed the cane and began to walk on her own without any help.
There are times in our life when we need help in our walk with the Lord. Perhaps when we began our spiritual journey we need support as we toddle around on our new legs. We need the sure and steady helping hands of a mentor or an older believer to help us in those first steps of our walk with God. In the Bible we see that Paul had a Barnabas and Timothy had Paul to aid in the beginning of their walk.
We also need help with walking when we have a fall. When we slip in our spiritual lives we could very well have a serious break. We need help getting back up and continuing our walk with the Lord. The help we need sometimes comes in the form of a loving rebuke. Like Nathan rebuked David regarding his sin with Bathsheba. As we get up we then need the aid of others to give us another chance. Forgiveness, patience, kindness, and grace are just some of the walking aids that God’s people need to use to help a fellow believer who has fallen.
Another time in our life when we need a spiritual walker is when we have had a major tragedy hit us. When death or disease stalk us, or when financial or family trouble invade our lives it oftentimes knocks us off our feet. We then need the comfort of God’s Word, the love of God’s people and the healing of God’s grace.
Walkers, crutches and canes; let’s be there to help those who need a little help in their walk with the Lord.
It was a difficult time in our country in the late 60’s. The drug culture was exploding, the “God Is Dead” movement was being spread around college campuses and the protests regarding the Vietnam War were at their peak. Songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither were expecting their 3rd child and were worrying about how they would bring up that child in such a tumultuous culture. It was at that time they got the idea for the now popular song: “Because He Lives”. The fact of the resurrection of Christ gave them hope. Part of the lyrics of the song relate to their own situation as stanza 2 tells us: “How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy he gives, but greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because Christ lives”. The hope of the resurrection gave Bill and Gloria the courage to write: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives”.
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:20: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”. Because Jesus is alive we too will live. We are promised an abundant life here and eternal life forever with Him in heaven. Have you ever placed the lyrics of that song up against the painful situations you may be facing in your own life? Have you ever stated, because He lives I can get through the death of my spouse? Can you sing, because He lives I can recover from my broken marriage? How about singing because He lives I can get victory over this powerful sin that has gripped me? And what about, because He lives I can face whatever may happen tomorrow?
This Easter we are reminded once again that Jesus did not stay in the tomb but is fully alive. And our lives right now are worth the living just because He lives.
Hanging in the restaurant window was this sign: “No shirt, No shoes, No service”. This is just one reminder that our society does have certain dress codes in place. Schools, businesses, clubs and social events, are all places where you may find a dress code. If you go on a cruise, if you are involved in a wedding, or if you enter certain restaurants you will have to face a written or unwritten standard for the kind of clothes you are to wear. Some organizations even require a uniform for those who serve with them. You may not agree with the kind of clothes you have to wear or not wear but certain dress codes are here to stay.
Did you know that God has a dress code? Those who are followers of Christ are told there are certain type of behaviors we are not to wear and there are certain character traits that we are to put on. Col. 3:12-14 lists the wardrobe of a well-dressed Christian: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection”. God calls us the elect of God, holy and beloved. We as His special people should represent in a positive way the One who saved us from our sins. We need to act like, speak like and love like true disciples of Jesus. As we begin to put on this spiritual wardrobe we will notice that we are beginning to look more and more like Jesus.
A soldier wears a uniform, a judge wears a robe, and a waitress wears an apron. These are the appropriate attire for their chosen profession. We who have professed faith in Christ are to follow the dress code of Christlikeness. A holy life is the most beautiful garment we could ever wear.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation