We are getting BETTER! Growing and improving as believers, families and as a CHURCH. A few days ago, I saw a picture of a list of things we wanted and hoped to get done in the near future as a church. This list was made about seven months ago. PRAISE GOD – many of those items have been accomplished or improved. Some of which are: additional outlets in sanctuary (yes – we passed fire code inspection), parking lot (parking spaces) lines painted, new church banner – sign, church ramp, additional tech team help and newer projector. This year we also started a regular quality church bulletin and revamped newsletter! Thank you to many who have stepped up to help us become BETTER! This past Sunday after morning service, I peeked in the children class and was excited to see many children engaged in learning the WORD – thank you Jackie! God is not done. There is a CLOUD and I am EXPECTING HIM to pour down is BLESSINGS!
To bridge from last week’s devotional to this week’s, I have one funny Caleb story. Normally Sunday afternoon after church and lunch, we put Caleb down for a nap. After I got home, he was done eating. So, I took him to his bed and tucked him in. He looked really tired. I go to another room for a couple minutes when I hear wife, Melissa, and daughter, Katelyn, beginning to shout. I go down stairs and Caleb had gone down and was sitting on the couch. He looked innocent. However, the ladies said he had been trying to get their food and drinks. How he got up that quick, opened his gate and gone downstairs I will never know. Maybe it is another example of his DETERMINATION (playing possum).
This past Sunday we concluded our Sermon Series: “There is FORGIVENESS” with the story of Joseph out of the book of Genesis. God had a great DESTINY and PURPOSE for his LIFE. He would be used to bring deliverance to his family many years later during a time of FAMINE. However, before getting to the PALACE and LIFE being GOOD – or being FANTASTIC, he was thrown into a pit by his brothers, then sold as a possession and then unjustly thrown in prison. Can you IMAGINE? How would we react? What would our attitude be LIKE? Certainly Joseph had some pride issue and was not really smart about telling the dreams to his family. But did he deserve all he went through? What do we do when LIFE is not GOOD? Yes, we all know and have heard the verse that GOD works all things out for GOOD – especially if we are putting our TRUST in HIM. But let’s be honest – it is not easy.
A couple years on Wednesday nights, we had a Bible Study by Max Lucado: Is God GOOD When Life Isn’t? The story of Joseph was the main story Max Lucado used. We often say GOD is good when we receive a financial blessing or a job promotion or things go our way. I certainly have said or even SHOUTED over unexpected funds or a lot smaller bill. Sometimes we may even say GOD is GOOD when we pull up to the mall at Christmas time and get a great parking space. This past Tuesday, I ran an errand and gave up a good parking space at work. Normally it is tough to get a good parking space when returning. But GOD! – this time I came back and found a BETTER parking space. YEP – GOD is GOOD! Or maybe when we are eating a great meal. But is God only good when LIFE IS? What about the times when LIFE HITS hard? Sickness or injury comes our way. Or maybe an unexpected storm. Recently the news was showing tornadoes that unexpectedly hit our area. Maybe it is when we have done the right thing, but still get blamed. Just look when Joseph was accused by Potipher’s wife. He did the right thing and ran from her (temptation). IS GOD still GOOD?
It is amazing that JOSEPH continues to mention GOD to PHARAOH throughout the story in Genesis. We see how GOD allowed trials come Joseph’s way for a GREATER PURPOSE. May we remember that if we are obeying GOD and doing the right thing – HE will TAKE care of Us!
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
I am reminded of the following story:
Dave Dravecky Story
Have you ever wanted something so bad you would give up anything for it? Maybe you wanted that new car and were willing to sacrifice all your savings to get it. Maybe it was a dream home and were willing to work two jobs and sacrifice your family in the process.
Dave Dravecky was a star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants baseball team back in the 1980’s when it was discovered he had a cancerous desmoid tumor on his pitching arm, the left arm.
On October 7, 1988, he underwent surgery, which removed half of the deltoid muscle in his arm and froze the humerus bone in an effort to eliminate all of the cancerous cells. In 1989 he made a comeback, first going to the Minor Leagues to get back in shape and then returning to the Majors.
In his first start with San Francisco, he pitched 8 innings, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals. Five days later he was pitching again. He allowed no hits for 3 innings. In the fifth he felt a tingling in his arm. The next inning was a disaster. He allowed a home run and hit the next batter with a pitch. The first pitch to the third batter, his humerus bone in his left arm snapped so loud it was heard all over the stadium. His bone broke clear through. His season was ended. The doctors eventually discovered a malignant mass in his arm. Two surgeries later and two years after his comeback his left arm had deteriorated considerably. On June 18, 1991, Dravecky’s left arm and shoulder were amputated.
While most people would see this as a tragedy, Dave sees it quite differently. In one of his books he writes, “When I look back over all I’ve learned from other people who have suffered, all I’ve experienced of their love and all God has shown me of his mercy, I think: if I’d continued as a ballplayer and missed that, now that would have been a tragedy.”
At one time or another we have all had disappointments in our lives. It might have been
considered a calamity or even tragedy. It might have been a relationship, a physical situation or a financial issue. It is what we do at these times that is the key to our success. We can simply just give up. Or we can put our faith and trust in God knowing that His ways are above our ways. Then we start again.
Today Dave Dravecky is a motivational speaker delivering messages straight from his own experiences with loss and suffering. He seeks to powerfully inspire others through the encouragement and hope that he has discovered along the way and his faith in God.
I close with these verses:
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
1 Peter 3:13-14 (NIV)
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
I invite you to call or text (803-448-5699) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or speak with me in person for prayer or any questions you may have. I also invite you to join us at New Destiny Community Church for our Sunday Services (10:30 am) or Wednesday Night Bible Study at 7 pm.
Pastor Mike Teeter