Archive for the ‘Failure’ Category
The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown
Every child of God knows of a church member that appears to have shutdown. They no longer worship or pray as they did before. They’ve become unfaithful. A change has certainly taken place.
As a pastor and an evangelist, it has been my joy over the years to see people miraculously grow and develop in God. It has also been my heartache and frustration to see some self-destruct and lose their joy, their testimony, their good attitude and their hope of being used of God.
Watching the spiritual decline of a child of God is not an easy thing for one to see. Their choices of wrong friends become the first great influencing factor in their decline. The hearts and souls of their family, friends and the ministry, are made to ache.
“You can’t help those who don’t want help,” is a phrase quickly understood by friends, preachers and teachers. Parents are grieved, spouses are influenced, and children are almost always damaged as a result.
What is the cause? What happened to rob this person of their joy? What happened to rob this person of their respect for the things of God? What happened that would cause the flame of their spiritual fervor to go out?
I think the answer is found in the book of Psalms, Chapter One.
Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Please Notice This Persons Progression Toward A Spiritual Shutdown.
Most would refer to their spiritual life, as their ‘Walk With God.” Too often unassuming and impressionable souls have walked in the Counsel of the Ungodly.
- Who we listen to, always affects what happens to us.
- It’s not long before we become a product of who they are and what they say.
- The counsel of the ungodly will never bring anyone closer to God. Their advice will only bring devastation to spiritual progress.
- If we claim to be spiritually minded, why would we ever seek advice from the Ungodly?
- We must watch whom we walk with and whom we listen to.
2. Standing Still
If we listen to the advice of the Ungodly, then we quickly become the stumbling block that prevents sinners from finding God.
What started out as a Walk, has changed into a Standing still. We become a roadblock of sorts.
The Apostle Paul recognized the powerful influence of the wrong people in our lives. He confronted the issue directly in his letter to the Galatians.
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Paul made it very clear that it is the Who and not the What that gives us the biggest problems in living for God. People, more than Things bring negative influences into our thinking.
3. Sitting (With A Bad Attitude)
I promise you by all that’s holy, that by allowing our Walk to include the Counsel of the Ungodly, our Walk with God is brought to a standstill. What happens next is so sad. We won’t standstill for very long. We’ll soon find a place to sit down. This is the most grievous of the three positions.
If We Sit in The Seat Of The Scornful, We Will Soon Be:
- Critical Of The Church,
- Critical Of It’s Standards,
- Critical Of It’s Preachers
- Critical Of The Saints.
- A Hindrance To Revival.
- Without The Blessings Of God.
- Backslidden In Heart.
- A Negative Influence On All Those Around Us.
The Change Is Subtle At First, Then Very Obvious At The End.
Remember the young man who helped the Apostle Paul for a while? He is first listed as a Fellow laborer, or some one who worked shoulder to shoulder with Paul. In the next mention, he is referred to as an also ran… ‘and Demas.’ Lastly, Paul announces the absence of Demas. Demas had a spiritual shutdown.
1. Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. (Philemon 1:24)
2. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. (Colossians 4:14)
3. For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)
What Are The Chances Of Recovery From A Shutdown?
(How Many Do We Know That Have Changed From Sullen To Joyful?)
I Truly Pray That All Men And Women Will Be Able To Recover Themselves If They Want To!
Paul told Timothy how to deal with these people in the hope they would recognize and admit their wrong doings, and if they did, maybe, just maybe, God would give them repentance.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
God Promises Some Amazing Things Here:
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
1. If we will HUMBLE ourselves,
3. SEEK GOD’S FACE – (Which includes WORSHIP)
4. TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS
5. He will HEAR our prayer. (God will take us off ‘hold’ status and listen to us pray.)
6. He will FORGIVE OUR SINS
7. HEAL OUR LAND – (Bless our finances)
If You Have Experienced Spiritual Shutdown…
You Can Find Restoration And Once Again Experience The Joy Of The Lord!
“If I Were the Devil…”
Paul Harvey, 1965
I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I would have one-third of the real estate and four-fifths of the population , but I wouldn’t be happy until I had the ripest apple on the tree. So I’d set about, however necessary, to take over the United States.
I’d subvert the churches first; I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”
To the youth I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” [our note: I heard this from a humanities instructor when I was in college--a breeding ground for the sowing of wickedness into the minds of those that have to memorize blasphemy in order to pass the course and get out and go past conscience to continue doing what they are told.]
I would convince them that man-made God [our note: in college in a philosophy "class" I was told the lie, "There is no God." That was a lesson in lies.] instead of the other way around.
I would confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is “square.”
In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing [our note: Americans are pleasure-loving people. Some are obese from lack of work meanwhile others pay somebody to mow the grass while they go to the "Fitness Center." The children sit in school all day and then in front of the tv for hours on end in the midst of broken-down toys and eating processed foods full of refined sugar. The children do not work. They have no skills. The body and mind need to be involved in work. We were not made to be idle. A day of productivity is satisfying to both young and old.], that cocktail parties are good for you.
And to the old I would teach to pray after me: “Our Father, who art in Washington…” [our note: America seems to become more communist by the second.]
And then I’d get organized; I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that everything else would appear dull and uninteresting.
I’d threaten television with dirtier movies and vice versa.
I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could; I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction; I’d tranquillize the rest with pills.
If I were the Devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the Devil I’d encourage schools to refine young intellects [our note: the schools disrupt and destroy young intellects and parents look on in horror as their children disintegrate before their very eyes. Parents need to REPENT of the sins and BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and OBEY his word and then they can be saved and rear their children correctly.] but neglect to discipline emotions: let those run wild. Before you know it, you’d have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every school-house door. Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing.
With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to do what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography.
I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get the preachers to say, “She’s right.” Thus, I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the Houses of Congress.
And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys, girls, and church money.
If I were the Devil I would make the symbol of Easter [our note: Easter is a pagan festival] an egg and the symbol of Christmas [our note: "Christmas" is a blasphemy] a bottle.
If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give it to those who want it, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
What’ll you bet that I couldn’t get whole States to promote gambling as the way to get rich?
I would caution against extremes: in hard work, in patriotism, and in moral conduct.
I would convince the youth that marriage is old-fashioned, but swinging is more fun; that what you see on television is the way to be; and thus I could undress you in public and I could lure you into bed where there are diseases for which there is no cure.
Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.
In other words, if I were the Devil, I’d just keep doing what he’s doing.
Can You Pass The Hurt Test?
Dave sat on the bar stool, drinking with some buddies from work. His head was feeling a little light. He drank enough beers to loosen up his tongue, and he began to talk. “If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have a decent church building.
“I mowed the grass every week without ever being paid. I replaced all the broken window panes with money out of my own pocket. I never asked to be reimbursed. I hauled off all the trash, free of charge. I was the self-appointed janitor and maintenance man of the church. I did it for years, willingly and without pay.
“Every evening I would stop by the church when I got off work to see if I needed to fix anything. I’ve kept the church building repaired and I’ve kept it clean for years. No one has ever paid me a dime to do anything. Why, even last summer, instead of taking my family on a vacation, I used the money to buy shingles and I roofed the church by myself. I paid for every dime of it too!
“Then two weeks ago, they had a business meeting. They needed to choose another Trustee. My name never even came up. After all I’ve done, no one seemed to appreciate it enough to mention my name.
“What’s a man got to do to get recognized or be a Trustee over there? It must be politics or something. That’s why I’ve quit going to that church.”
Dave backslid because he couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!
Lynn wrote the Pastor a check to purchase 20 beautiful white folding tables and 160 matching folding chairs for the church fellowship hall.
It brought Lynn much joy to be able to buy these. God had blessed her and she wanted to give something back. The pastor had recognized her gift from the pulpit and the congregation clapped their approval. Lynn smiled.
The tables and chairs were ordered and everyone at the church was excited. These were well made and expensive.
Just before they arrived, Lynn had to be out-of-town for three weeks. When she returned and stopped by the church, she didn’t like where the tables and chairs had been stacked. She especially didn’t like how they had been stacked. Her gift to the church was being treated with carelessness, she thought.
These tables and chairs were not cheap, and if the people of this church didn’t appreciate her sacrifice enough to treat it any better than this, then she just could go to another church.
Lynn moved on because she couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!
The Hurt Test, Part 1 – Insults
The Syrophenician woman stood in front of Jesus. She was breaking custom and protocol and she knew it. The Jews had nothing to do with the likes of her. But she had an emergency. Her daughter had an unclean spirit. Her desperation drove her to see this Jesus everyone talked about.
She crumbled and fell at His feet when she came near. With great urgency she begged Him to heal her daughter.
Jesus looked down upon the woman and said, “It is not proper to give the children’s portion to dogs.”
On other days, if a Jew talked to her like that, she might have had a little something to say back. Today was different. Her daughter’s very life was at stake. There was no one else to turn to. She refused to get upset. She chose not to be offended for being called a dog.
She simply said, “Of a truth Lord, but even the dogs get crumbs that fall from the children’s table.”
Jesus marveled at her and instructed her to go home, telling her that her request had been answered. She went home and found her miracle waiting for her there.
The Syrophenician woman easily passed the Hurt Test. She chose not to be offended because of insults!
The Hurt Test, Part 2 – Rejection
King David was a man after God’s own heart. As the King in Israel, he could build anything he wanted. When David told God that he was planning to build Him a house to worship in, God said, “No.”
God told David that he was a bloody man and that building Him a house of worship wouldn’t be appropriate. The Lord said, “I want your son Solomon to build it for me. Solomon hadn’t even thought of building a Temple. He had exhibited neither burden nor passion to do so up to that point. The desire had originally been only David’s.
Rather than pout or get offended because God had rejected his offer, David helped his son, by supplying him with most of the materials needed to build the Temple. If he couldn’t build the Temple, then he was going to help someone else build it.
David easily passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended by God’s rejection of his service, and His choosing another’s.
Extra Credit Test Questions
- If someone else is asked to sing a special. Can you still worship with them and help them sing?
- If someone else is asked to preach. Can you still say amen and help them preach?
- If someone else is asked to lead. Can you joyfully follow?
The Hurt Test, Part 3 – Loss
Job had everything any man could want. He had a relationship with God. He had a wife and wonderful children. He owned vast herds of cattle, camels and sheep. He was no doubt the wealthiest man in the world.
Then the dark day of disaster dawned upon him. In a matter of hours, he lost his children, his herds and all of his wealth.
The second attack upon him was his health. Boils covered his body. He scratched them with shards of broken pottery.
His friends were sure that he had sinned and this was the judgment of God. His wife suggested he curse God and die.
Job told his wife that she was talking like one of the foolish women. He said that if God lets me die, I am going to die trusting Him. I am going to keep on living for Him like I always have.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended at God because he had lost everything. In the end, God blessed him with double wealth and more children!
Extra Credit Test Questions
- When you lost your job, house, or car, did you also lose your praise too?
- When you were voted out of office or removed from a leadership role, did you show a bad attitude?
The Hurt Test – The Apostle Paul’s Summary
2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2 Corinthians 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2 Corinthians 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Even with a permanent “thorn in his side,” Paul passed The Hurt Test! He ignored his problems and encouraged everyone around him to “Rejoice evermore.” He said it again in the same breath, “Rejoice!” He even had Silas rejoice with him in prison and the Lord delivered them and all the prisoners, too.
Getting Help Passing The Hurt Test
Jesus stood and read from Isaiah 61 in the Synagogue. He sat down, looked at them all and said, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your hearing.”
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Besides bringing salvation and healing, the other ministry of our Lord is to heal all hurts and bind up the broken-hearted. He can help you pass The Hurt Test.
*Notice: All Students Failing To Pass The Hurt Test Will Be Required To Retake The Exam.
*Remember, The Teacher Will Remain Silent During The Testing!
Out Of Context, But Still The Truth
With my Reader’s permission, I am attempting to take a scripture out of context to illustrate a point. Knowing that doing so is dangerous; I will try to be careful. The scripture phrase that caught my attention comes from Psalms ninety-one.
Psa. 91:6… the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
“The Destruction That Wasteth At Noon Day.”
The original meaning of the impending judgment in this verse gets obscured when I think of a secondary application.
The life of a man, I suppose could be loosely classified using three basic stages of life, Youth, Middle Age, and Old Age.
Adults understand that young people can make mistakes. With the maturing process sometimes come tears and maybe even a little heartache. Older folks sometimes look at a young person with problems and tell themselves, “They’ll grow out of it!” Most often, they do. It’s called maturity.
By the time a man is retired, and his hair has fallen out, he is expected to act like he has some sense. As Bill Cosby once quipped, “He’s an old man trying to get into heaven now.”
The middle-aged group, however, is my focus. Society has a term for a guy who ‘acts out’ or does something stupid when he is middle age. They call it a mid-life crisis. Pick up on the word crisis. To me, that crisis can be the ‘destruction that wasteth in the noonday’ of a man’s life.
Of late, I’ve heard way too many stories of such destruction. I understand that all of us go through hormonal changes before we die. It’s no secret. We know about it. We all know about it even before it happens. Even with all the warning signs, some men (occasionally a woman, but mostly men) surrender to their primal urges. They no longer think of family, church or God. All they can focus on is their own desire. They selfishly trade all their family’s future peace and joy for what they imagine is the ultimate pleasure. The forbidden.
Why do some Spirit filled men ignore all the warnings and throw moral caution to the wind. I know some that made it through their youth and remained pure. Then, they messed up when they got older. That’s pure stupidity. Right when you have the most to lose, you throw it away for a fling.
Look again at the faithful bride you were once were head over heals in love with. The one God gave you. You can’t afford to let her walk away! And your children! Man, are you crazy? How do you face your babies when they know you’ve just destroyed their home? What’s going to happen to them? You’ve just brought your own house down on top of yourself. It’s not worth it… ever!
Esau threw away a birthright for just one meal. Heb. 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Don’t do anything stupid. Keep your flesh under subjection. It’s possible or God would not have required it. It’s what normal people do. It’s certainly what Spirit-filled people do. Die out to your carnal lusts. The Apostle Paul told us he did. He said he died daily. If Paul had too, we don’t have an excuse.
Every one has to keep their flesh under subjection and in control. Quit thinking that you are an exception. You’re not. Everyone’s flesh is weak. We all need God’s help. We also need to purpose in our own hearts to be faithful.
I can’t make you be faithful to your wife, sir. Ma’am, I can’t make you be faithful to your husband either. I sure can’t make you love each other. Actually, no one can make you do anything. The price you will pay for your personal pleasure will be greater than you could ever imagine. It will end in disillusion and shame.
There are three scripture verses encouraging men to love their wives.
- The first one explains that she should be loved with all your heart.
- The second scripture admonishes the husband to let go of the past problems in the relationship, and in spite of those hurts, love her!
- The third one commands husbands to love their wife like they love themselves. If you don’t love your wife, then you don’t even love yourself.
Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Col. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Eph. 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Purpose in your heart to protect yourself and protect your family from the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Be the man your wife needs you to be.
Be the man your children believe you to be.
Be the man God has called you to be.
Be a Man!
The Broken Windows Of The Soul
The innocence of our youth is not prepared for the storms of life that happen in the adult world. Our sheltered inner self looks only through shuttered windows. We peer longingly at the outside.
We grow up sequestered and protected by those who love us. They provide for us. Gallant attempts are made by them to prepare us for adulthood.
Our young soul is climate controlled. We live in a private and comfortable world called Peace. Life couldn’t be better. It’s not that we are rich or poor. It’s that we are loved and sheltered.
As we grew older, we see those we know experience joy and sometimes even pain. We watch through the windows of our soul and see their successes and failures. We laugh easily with them. When they cry, we feel sympathy and even cry with them while they hurt. But still we don’t really know how they feel. We’ve lived a sheltered life. We are but young voyeurs gazing at those living life in the big world outside.
With maturity comes the privilege of independence. We merrily launch out on our own. Our hearts are filled with faith and hope. We are thrilled to finally live in the adult world. Yes, we still have our little inner sanctuary. It continues to be our respite from the hubbub. We come home and shut it all out. The windows and shutters are still in place. We are at peace.
Then news of an impending storm headed in our direction frightens us. We prepare the best we can, but we have no experience on preparing for storms. It makes a direct hit where we live. Our worst fears come true. It is fierce and powerful. The thunder is so loud and the lightning strikes too close for comfort. We huddle inside and pray for safety.
The winds of Disappointment loudly howl and the debris of Heartache blows upon the windows of our soul. The outside noise is deafening. A crash is heard. A window is broken. Shards of glass remain around the frame as a stark reminder of what used to be. Two windows are shattered, now a third one. Glass is everywhere. The flying glass cuts everything it touches. Oh how the wind howls!
For the first time, the storm of the outside world has gained access to the inside. The sheltered world of Peace has disappeared, all because of the broken windows of the soul.
Never before have we felt this vulnerable. Winds continue to swirl around the room. Treasured knickknacks and sentimental photos are knocked over. Rain blows violently in with the wind. The carpet and furniture are soaked. The lights go out and stay out. The air conditioning goes off. Desperation takes over.
The contents of the house are at risk. Everything of value must be protected. It is now at the mercies of the elements. The phone is dead. No outside help is immediately available. The temperature is hot and it’s still muggy. Sweat runs profusely. It is impossible to find Comfort. Now what?
After the wind finally settles down, the rain settles in. A few boards are found in the garage to cover up the broken windows. The windows are boarded up from the outside, even though it means getting soaked standing outside in the rain.
The covered windows are now dark. No light comes in from the outside. Looking at the damage done in the rooms, we find pieces of debris that broke our windows.
A chunk or two of Gossip sits by a piece of glass under the window. Splinters of Disappointment are scattered everywhere. A pile of Pain is strewn around the easy chair, staining the carpet. It looks like Failure probably did the most damage, but we can’t be sure until the Adjuster get here.
We busy ourselves trying to mop up and salvage what we can. In our efforts to survive the storm, we realize we tried to block out the noise of the outside world.
With a trash bag of broken things, we head for the backdoor. When we step outside, to our surprise, we see the rain has stopped.
The sun is shining almost apologetically through the clouds. Over there, to the west, is a big beautiful rainbow. It’s over, the storm is over, and God’s promise is still on display. Hope struggles free from the grasp of Fear.
Down the street a few friends and neighbors are seen coming. They saw what the storm did, and they want to help. They have their work clothes on and are carrying some tools with them. With looks of concern that only friends can have, a couple of them run toward the damage. The broken windows of the soul will soon be repaired with hands of love.
The Devil’s Got A Plan
2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
You Are Aware Of His Plan
2Cor. 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
God’s Got a Better Plan
Rom. 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
- 1 Day Plan
- 1 Week Plan
- 1 Month Plan
- 1 Year Plan
- 5 Year Plan
- 10 Year Plan
- 20 Year Plan
- Life Time Plan
He’s Got A Plan To Get You To:
1. Make You Quit Paying Tithes
2. Make You Offended
3. Make You Miss Church
4. Make You Withdraw
5. Fill You With Bitterness
6. Make You Hate Holiness
7. Mess Up Your Marriage
8. Stop Your Worship
9. Make You Immoral
10. Make You Love Money
11. Make You Love Pleasure, MORE…
12. Find You A Sinner Girlfriend…
13. Make You Rebel
14. Make You Move From Your Church
15. Stop Your Prayer Life
What Would It Take To Make You Quit Church?
- To Make You Backslide?
- To Offend You?
- Make You Jealous?
- To Defeat You?
- Make You Sell Your Birthright?
- Make You Throw This Away?
- Make You Willing to Compromise?
- Stop You Paying Your Tithes?
- Put You At Odds With The Pastor?
- Make You Bitter?
What’s Your Chances Of Recovery?
1. From Not Paying Tithes – Not Good
2. From Being Easily Offended – Rare
- (Harder than walled city)
3. Habitually Missing Church – Not Good
4. From Compromise – Rare
5. From Bitterness – Rare
6. From Hating Holiness – Rare
- (When folks lose the revelation of Holiness, the Godhead is next.)
7. From Marriage Problems – Difficult
8. From No Worship – Difficult
9. From Immorality – Difficult
10. From The Love of Money – Rare
- (Easier for camel to go…eye needle)
11. From the Love of Pleasure – Difficult
12. From Sinner Boyfriend/Girlfriend – Difficult
13. From Rebellion -Rare
- (Miriam/Korah 200)
14. From Rejecting Holiness - Rare
15. From No Prayer Life – Difficult
Now, The Big Question:
CAN You Recover? Absolutely!
2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
What Would It Take?
- To Turn You Around?
- Get You On Fire?
- Pray You Through?
- For You To Get The Victory?
- For You To Get Some Convictions?
- Make You Shout?
- Make You Worship?
- Make You Joyful In Jesus?
- Get A Double Portion?
- Keep You Pure?
- Make You Fall In Love With Jesus?
- Make You Pray?
People Can Make Amazing Comebacks:
- Read the Blitz
- Devil tries to Blitz you. Read the play
- The sin which does so easily beset you. (Your Weakest Area)
- You can survive the Blitz that is being played on your soul.
- You may feel you are behind in the game of life, but it’s not over yet.
- Your fans are praying you make a comeback.
Be The Comeback Kid
Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:
Your Only Hope:
- Get Fervent For God
There’s No Such Thing As A Hopeless Cause.
- There’s No Such Thing As A Throw A Way Soul.
- You Can Be Saved. You Just Have To Be Willing To Make The Comeback.
How Bad Do You Want To Make It?
- You CAN Defeat The Devils Plan For Your Life!
- Let The Holy Ghost Help You!
He’s Messed Up! He’s Damaged Goods!
When those words are spoken, the mental picture that is conjured up repulses my mind.
- No one treasures damaged goods.
- No one puts damaged goods on display as a thing of beauty.
- No one collects damaged goods as a hobby.
- No one specifically goes shopping for damaged goods.
- Damaged goods are almost always discarded and thrown away.
- Their valuable is next to nothing.
- The only future for damaged goods are in places like, Salvage Yards, Thrift Stores, City Dumps or maybe even a Yard Sale.
Granted, when I shop for new merchandise or articles of clothing, I never buy ‘seconds’ or ‘imperfects’ off the rack. I also ignore the container with the dent or major scratch sitting on the shelf. I look only for the perfect product.
And there, my Gentle Reader, is how we humans assign damaged goods to its inevitable doom.
Yet the Pastor part of me will never die. The part that always hopes against hope for a soul. That never wants to stop reaching for someone who has made the mistake of his or her life. If peradventure God will grant them repentance.
- What do we do with people when they become damaged goods?
- Do we finish them off?
- Do we keep them at arm’s length?
- Do we discount and destroy all the good they have accomplished?
- Do we cut them off and never call them again?
We only want to use the scriptures about The Potter’s marred and broken vessel when it concerns and benefits us.
I’ve seen too many fail that were never seen again, but I’ve lived long enough to see some exceptions.
There is no such thing as a throw away soul!
It is possible that we are ‘done’ with some folks before God is.
We all have met too many that seem to delight, and get pleasure, in telling the news of other’s moral failures. Why?
Why would anyone delight in passing news like that along?
Whether the news is about a saint or a preacher, I don’t wish to receive it even if there are two or three witnesses. I don’t want it to be true.
- People that enjoy hearing such things normally have bigger problems of their own.
- My mind is repulsed by the news.
- My gut sickens when I hear that someone I know has made a horrible mess of their life.
- When you heard the news, what did you do?
- Were you happy?
- Did you feel inward joy that a conservative brother messed up?
- Did you drop to your knees and pray? If not, why not?
- Did you weep tears for them? If not, why not?
- David did. He wept for his enemy like he would have at his own Mother’s funeral. Psa. 35:14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
- If it was your enemy did you rejoice?
- If you did, I fear you’ve invited the displeasure of God upon yourself.
My Father warned me, when I was a young preacher, to never play Prosecuting Attorney or Private Investigator in the Kingdom of God.
I wish to add a third warning. Never be the Newspaper Publisher either.
Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Let me tell you a short and unknown Bible Story.
Israel had been held in captivity for 70 years. When they returned to their beloved city of Jerusalem, their hearts were crushed with despair. The walls had been broken down and most of the city burned. They had to rebuild the walls immediately. Nehemiah’s burden led the workers.
The enemies and critics of Israel watched and spouted their negative opinions.
Neh. 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
All that was left for Israel to rebuild the glorious walls of Jerusalem were heaps of burnt stones. They dug in the rubbish looking for damaged goods that they could restore.
Even the enemy recognized their dilemma and the futility of the idea. Yet that is exactly what happened.
Workmen picked up the stones one by one. They no doubt did their best to wipe away the stains of fire and dirt. Maybe they even washed them. I don’t know. One by one they cleansed each stone and then applied new mortar and placed them into the wall. The wall of Jerusalem was repaired using damaged stones from rubbish piles.
Neh. 4:7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
Neh. 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh. 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
When they finished rebuilding the walls, a God ‘thing’ happened. God made them all get so happy that the noise of their joy was heard a long ways away.
The walls of Jerusalem that still stand today, were rebuilt with damaged goods. Burnt stones from the rubbish heaps now fit perfectly in place in the wall. It looks beautiful.
When you look at the walls today and take pictures of its grandeur, do you ever stop and think, “That wall was built with damaged goods”?
I didn’t think so.
Of that then do you think the Body of Christ is made up today? If you’re honest, you will have to say that God knows how to use, He knows where to put, and He knows how to restore damaged goods.
Does God ever use damaged goods again? Just ask Him.