In 1886, a revival with D.L. Moody was taking place in Brockton, Massachusetts. Under conviction and compelled to testify, a young man stood up and said, “I am not quite sure…. But I am going to trust, and I am going to obey!” This phrase made a deep impression on a preacher by the name of John Sammis. Sammis, once a businessman, had accepted the Lord and surrendered his life to preach the Gospel. John Sammis, by 1887 had penned these words; “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” This simple song is still sung today, and in many ways encapsulates the Christian life and duty… simply trust (faith) and obey (act in faith).
“Take what you can’t do and put it in God’s hands. Then watch Him take your “can’t” and turn it into something He can.” - Renee Swope
“God loves to use weak people to accomplish His great work.” - Travis Myers
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” - 1 Corinthians 1:27-39
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” - Galatians 1:10
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” - Acts. 5:29
Taking a stand for God can be a daunting task. If we are honest with ourselves we want to “fit in”. No one inherently likes going against the flow and being peculiar. Yet this is precisely what God has called us to. This World system and direction is opposed to Christ and Truth. To take a stand for Christ, is to stand against the norm of this world. I can vividly recall occasions in my life when I took a stand for the Gospel. Honestly, at the time it was uncomfortable, and yet I look back and always see God used it for my benefit and bringing glory to His name.
“The best inheritance a father can leave his children is a good example.” - John Walter Bratton
Throughout the years, I have received many gifts from my father. As a child, I looked forward to Christmas and birthdays, at which I would receive the toy or trinket I had been wishing for most. Even to this day my father has bequeathed to me more than his fair share of benevolent gifts. Although I have received many monetary gifts from my dad, the greatest gifts cost only pennies.
“The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect.”― Jim Elliot
As I look back, I can see the specific will of God unfolding in every stage of my life. From my teen years, through Bible College, as a youth pastor, and now as a pastor, God has been directing every step of the way. I can honestly say along with others, that I would have been terrified had God shown me everything when He called me.
“What interests me so much about the characters of the Bible is that they make mistakes but God uses them anyway, in important ways. Nobody’s perfect, but God can even use our imperfection.” - Fred Rogers
One of the most unfathomable aspects of God is His ability to use fallen man to accomplish His purposes. Even a life that is moral and outstanding, is still full of sin, disobedience, and failure. These attributes are just part of our very nature. Yet in the midst of our failures, God’s grace is actively at work making us usable for His Glory.
“Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success” - Rick Pitino
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” - Harry S. Truman
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor Frankl
In modern history, there is not a stain of inhumanness like that of the Holocaust. Millions were killed by the Nazi’s in their attempt to create a “perfect” world. In the midst of the horrors of the concentration camps, there were some determined survivors. One such survivor was a intelligent man named Viktor Fankl. Although, we could identify many individuals who overcame much and came out better, this man encapsulates the power of right thinking. Viktor had a revelation while in Auschwitz; though his captors held every power over him, they could not take his will, his volition, his inner freedom. He had a choice to allow them to own him, or to be free on the inside.
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” - Harold Coffin
“If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” - Charley Reese
We live in a highly competitive society which likes to compare everyone and everything against everyone and everything else. As maturity sets in, many understand that worth is not found in the perceptions and opinions of others, but in acceptance by God alone. Unfortunately, for every person who finds completeness in Christ, there are dozens more who squabble about for recognition from everything else. This is abundantly clear in social media, where self-worth is based on the number of “likes” and “comments” a person receives.