Ministry in a Teapot

Dear Diary,

I love the Victorian Era. If I could, I would still wear the long flowing dresses with puffy sleeves and a hat. I absolutely love hats. They are so elegant! I would have a tea party with my friends and serve tea and crumpets. Sadly, those days are gone, but God still wants us to be hospitable. If you could spend an afternoon with ladies and a teapot what would you talk about? I would talk about the love of God and how great His mercies are, His goodness, and His numerous blessings. I would share how God loves us and forgives us, even when we don’t deserve it. I would talk about God’s everlasting mercies from generation to generation. It is said that Biddy Chambers, Oswald Chambers’ wife, always had a teapot of tea brewing in order to share the love of God with who ever showed up. We can always minister through a teapot and share with friends a time to relax and savor the goodness of God. We are to be “…a lover of hospitality.” (Titus 1:8).

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Grace for Grace

*Each weekly blog is an entry written in my diary on the date and time noted below.

Monday, June 22, 2009     5:10 a.m.

Dear Diary,

As I stand on the edge of a stream and watch the water flow, I see ripple after ripple filling the imprint my shoes have carved out in the sand and gravel. Water fills the crevice and moves on as new water replaces it. The impressions made by my shoes in the sand and gravel are never void of water, but ever filled. This is exactly the way grace is. As one ripple of grace is given and moves on another ripple of grace fills the void. God gives grace for grace, as the stream gives water for water. John 1:16 says, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Grace for grace really means grace instead of grace. As water flows in a stream with a perpetual filling, grace flows from God with a perpetual filling. As water is willing to fill an empty void, God’s grace is willing to fill an empty soul. Grace replacing grace.

Thought for Today: Hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second, God “…giveth more grace.” (James 4:6).

Twice Emptied

*Each weekly blog is an entry from my diary written on the date and time noted below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009  5:30 a.m.

Dear Diary,

When Jesus came to earth as a baby He emptied Himself of His glory which He had with the Father before the foundation of the World. He laid aside His glory to become the incarnate Christ. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). Jesus was born, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14). Then at the transfiguration, Jesus once again was filled with His glory and shone as the sun. Jesus “…was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2).  Jesus’ glory was manifested in His shinning brightness. But then, once again, He had to empty Himself of His glory and face the cross. Jesus was twice emptied – the first time was for a manger, and the second time was for a cross.

Thought for Today: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory before the world was.” (John 17:5). Someday we shall see Him in all His glory.

The Greeks

*Each weekly blog is an entry from my diary written on the date and time noted below.*

Monday, June 8, 2009   1:00 p.m.

Dear Diary,

I’ve been listening to John Chapter 12. It says, “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast.” (John 12:20). They came to Philip and said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” (John 12:21). When Jesus heard that the Greeks (Gentiles) desired to see Him, He said, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” (John 12:23). Once the Gentiles sought Him, He knew that His time had come to be crucified. The Greeks represent the Gentile Church. Christ died for Jew and Gentile alike. In times past, “Salvation [was] of the Jews.” (John 4:22) Only a handful of Gentiles were saved. But now in the time of the Gentiles, God has blinded the Jew’s eyes, for a time, so that the Gentiles could come to Christ. C. I. Scofield says, “He does not receive these Gentiles [the Greeks]. A Christ in the flesh, King of the Jews, could be no proper object of faith to the Gentiles. For Gentiles, the corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.” (p.1132). Therefore, Jesus had to die as a “corn of wheat” so much fruit could come forth. The much fruit is the Gentile Church.

Thought for Today: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24).

God is Good!

Monday, May 4, 2009    6:15 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” This goes back to trusting God no matter what! He is not out to get us. He has our best interest at heart. Will He give us a stone for bread, a serpent for a fish, or an scorpion for an egg? No! He gives us what we need and far above all we could ask or think. I must just believe this in my heart. God is good, and as David said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6). Right now I have cancer on my lip and am facing my 4th surgery. God is good! Marvin has just lost his job due to poor health conditions. God is Good! Bills are mounting up. God is good! None of these things has happened to us except out of the love of God for our sanctification. And I know God will provide. He knows our needs before we ask. We must just trust Him. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:1).

Thought for Today: “No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11).

The Creed of Truth

Friday, April 17, 2009    8:20 p.m.

Dear Diary,

As I was driving home from my bus route I was listening to scripture. I heard I Timothy 3:16. “…God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angles, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (I Timothy 3:16). I call it The Creed of Truth.

  1. “God was manifest in the flesh…” He was manifested by Jesus Christ, the Second in the Trinity. “And the Word as made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14).
  2. “…justified in the Spirit…” “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 2:16).
  3. “…seen of angels…” “…behold angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matthew 4:11).
  4. “…preached unto the Gentiles…” Paul said, “that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” (Ephesians 3:8).
  5. “…believed on in the world…” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
  6. “…received up into glory.” “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9).

To Crush Him

Tuesday, June 2, 2009  4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

When I think of all the evil in the world, even done by some Christians; I say to myself, how could the Lord allow people to do such things and not crush them? Then I am reminded of a sermon I once heard by a quest pastor at our church. He said he wondered about this same question. How could God allow evil to take place in the world? Even when you read the Bible you could ask these questions: How could the Lord allow Abraham to lie and not crush him? How could the Lord allow Jacob’s deceit and not crush him? How could the Lord allow Moses to murder and not crush him? How could the Lord allow David’s adultery and not crush him? The answer is: because when Jesus Christ hung on the cross “…it pleased God to bruise him.” (Isaiah 53:10). The pastor said that in the Greek, the word “bruise” means “to crush him.” All the sins of the world, past and present, were laid upon Jesus on the cross. God took Abraham’s sin, Jacob’s sin, Moses’ sin, David’s sin, and your sin and my sin and laid them upon Jesus and crushed Him. “…and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6).

Crucified with Christ

Sunday, April 12, 2009   Easter Morning

Dear Diary,

In the Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1873-1926), the early Christian’s counted it all joy to be counted worthy to suffer for the Lord, Jesus Christ. The early Church was persecuted from Christ’s day until 333 A. D.  Then, Constantine the Great became saved and stopped the persecution of Christians. He was the first Christian Roman emperor. He lived from 272-337 A. D., and ruled from 306-337 A. D. Constantine merged Christianity with emperor-ship. Today, we are not literally crucified, as were the early Christians; but, we are crucified, as it were, to our sins and die to unrighteousness. Once we have been saved through grace, God resurrects us to a new life. A life of holiness, one with Christ. Then we no longer live in sin, but in Christ. We live in the resurrected power of Christ. Have you had the glorious privilege of being crucified with Christ?

Thought for Today: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).

Stand in Thy Lot

Monday, March 23, 2009  4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I’ve been listening to the Book of Daniel. God showed Daniel the end times. After seeing all that would happen, Daniel asked the Lord, “…what shall be the end of these things?” (Daniel 12:8). The Lord answered Daniel and said, “…Go thy way, Daniel”…and thou shalt “…stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:9 & 13). Each one of us shall stand in our lot at the end of the days. You may ask, “What does this mean?” Matthew Henry says, “Our lot is heaven or hell.” We shall all stand before God either at the Judgment Seat of Christ or at the Great White Throne. Each of us is assigned a lot in one of them. Matthew Henry continued to say, “We must every one of us stand in our lot at the end of the day. In the judgment of the day we must have our allotment according to what we were, and what we did, in our body; [it will be] either, ‘Come, you blessed,’ or ‘Go, you cursed;’ and we must stand forever in that lot” (Matthew Henry Whole Bible Commentary, p. 1156).

Thought for Today: May each of us choose the right lot and hear, “Well done good and faithful servant,…enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).

Encourage Yourself

Monday, March 9, 2009   5:20 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Great Scott! We’re in the twilight zone! We had to change all our clocks yesterday. They had to go forward one hour because of the time change. Well, the alarm didn’t go off. Robot woke us up, but 20 minutes late. Marvin jumped out of bed startled. He walked to the patio door to let Precious out and the ADT alarm went off. I jumped out of bed to turn off the alarm and almost broke my hip. It still hurts. In a daze, Marvin walked out to the kitchen to make coffee, and the jar was empty. Wow! What a morning! Have you ever had a morning like this? I’m sure all of us have. David, too, had a bad morning. He woke up in the wilderness being hunted by Saul. He had no food to eat and his men were ready to stone him. But “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” (I Samuel 30:6). That is what the Lord tells us to do when we are facing trouble. If you wake up in the morning and trouble is in the air, encourage yourself in the LORD, as David did.

Thought for Today: “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7).