A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town, their two young sons were in some way involved.
The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a minister in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the minister.
The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The minister agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The minister sat the boy down and asked him sternly, ‘Where is God?’ The boy made no response, so the minister repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the minister raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’
At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’
Mischievous as the boys were, this humorous account of their experience should serve as a reminder to us all. This reminder takes us to Matthew 6:33 where the words of Jesus tell us to, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Let us set our lives in order with this familiar passage.
With all that is going on in our world today, we can be flooded with distractions that can cause us to drift into excessive worry, thus causing us to stumble in our pursuit of seeking God first in all that we read, study, speak and do. So let us decide now to answer the question of “Where is God ?” by seeking Him in the pages of the Word and committing ourselves to live for him no matter what comes our way.
These thoughts shared from the love that I have for this congregation,
There are all kinds of self-help books on the market today. Books like, Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or Eckart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.
But for the Christian, what is our “go-to guide?”
As Christians we have a goal that reaches beyond this life and extends into the realms of heaven itself. And one way to measure our spiritual progress is determined by what we choose to use as our spiritual “go-to guide.” And that “guide” should be our Bibles.
The Bible should be regarded by us as something extremely valuable, and something that we esteem highly.
Whenever a decision needs to be made, we should “go-to” the Bible. When troubles arise we should “go-to” the Bible. When comfort is needed we should “go-to” the Bible. When questions arise we should “go-to” the Bible.
Every deed we do, every decision we make, should all be done according to our “go-to guide” our Bibles. Because when it comes to our spiritual health the Word of God is our “go-to guide.”
Psalm 119:105 (ESV) – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
The Word of God alone shows us where we presently stand in our relationship to God and it also reveals whether we are walking toward God or away from Him. If we find ourselves standing or walking in darkness, are we willing to do whatever it takes to correct it and realign ourselves in the light of His word?
I pray that all of us will make every effort, every day to evaluate our spiritual progress using God’s “go-to guide” for our spiritual health. Because, living Christian lives involves the whole person, – body, soul and spirit!
Grace and peace,
Recently as I sat in the living room floor with my granddaughter, we constructed a house using blocks of different shapes, sizes and colors. It wasn’t your normal house, but having the joy of building it together made it even a greater joy to build and when finished, it was something we were both very happy with. In a similar fashion, we at Parkway Drive have the opportunity of constructing something beautiful for the glory of God. Something made from a unified effort from each of us who claim to be associated with the Parkway Drive congregation. Each of us can be its building blocks or as the Apostle Peter wrote, Living Stones”. (I Peter 2:5) A living stone will be alive, active and doing its part to support the others.
We at Parkway Drive are much like those blocks that my granddaughter and I built with. We are of different colors, different sizes, different ages and from different backgrounds, yet we are of one spirit. (I Cor. 12:13) May we all bring our individual differences together, and in peace and unity, allow the master to build us into something that each of us as well as God can be very happy with.
It’s been said that if you have a penny and I have a penny and if we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent. But if you have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas. Such dialogue is evidence of something beautiful being built by living stones. This is when our thoughts, ideas and goals are always with God at the forefront of our ideas and plans.
So let us be busy with love and joy in our hearts throughout the week, both in our assembled times together and when we are in our individual places. Let us bring our differences together and allow the Master to create with us something beautiful in His sight.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear Jesus speak to us as He did to Peter when he said, “”I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
Excited to serve Him,
Some things are an acquired taste. Coffee is often considered an acquired taste. But the most important taste we should acquire is our taste for God. So I ask you, have you acquired a taste for God? Maybe you don’t think that sounds appropriate but I am not the first to say this:
Psalm 34:8 (ESV)
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
If we are not acquiring a taste for God, we will find ourselves saying what the band U2 said in their song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” I believe whatever they are looking for, can actually be found in God. Only God can give us what we are truly are thirsty for. Many people are just looking in the wrong place. Remember what Jesus told the woman at the well?
John 4:13-15 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Only God can satisfy your thirst, but in another sense the satisfied soul that has truly tasted God is only going to want more. Thirsting for God should be an ongoing process. When one is imbibing on God they discover there are more and more beautiful tastes of God yet to be discovered. This is an ongoing process, with new discoveries with each new taste. It is an everlasting thirst that continually satisfies the soul over and over again.
Grace and peace to you and yours,
I don’t know about you, but often times before pouring milk from the carton, I remove the lid and take a quick sniff to see what it smells like. The smell of the milk will tell me if it will be delightful or disgusting to drink. In a similar fashion, we can usually tell much about the heart of a person by taking a whiff of their attitudes. Attitudes are demonstrated in actions, words, tones and even body language. Our attitudes affect our families, friends, co-workers, enemies and total strangers. Our attitudes will to some extent determine our altitude in life. Our attitudes will even be somewhat of a measurement of our own faith. Our attitudes will go a long way in building new relationships and hanging on to old relationships.
Parkway Drive is blessed with many who are a sweet fragrance because their attitudes are positive, kind, forgiving and loving. But every once in a while even here at Parkway Drive, attitudes sour and like the smell of sour milk, it’s disgusting. Like sour milk, you have to empty it out. When our attitudes grow sour, we must empty them out and refill ourselves with what is good, holy and righteous.
As I write this article I realize that I need to be on guard that my attitude doesn’t go sour and if it does I hope some of you will lovingly point it out with a spirit of gentleness. I also hope you will likewise receive it in the same fashion if someone shares such thoughts with you.
Then we ask ourselves, how do we safeguard ourselves from going sour again? I would recommend finding a perfect example and following it. The only perfect example is that found in Jesus Christ. So may we all spend more time in prayer and in the Word getting to know the one of whom we look to in developing the proper attitude.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20
Love you all Parkway,
This Sunday begins our annual Gospel Meeting and Brent Newton is coming back with a series of lessons based on:
1 Thessalonians 2:12 (ESV)
we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
This is a topic that is important for all of us who desire to grow in our faith and walk in a way that pleases our God, who loves us so much and sacrificed beyond our comprehension to give us the hope of a home with Him in heaven.
John 3:16 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Walking in a worthy manner implies the desire to live our lives in a way that makes God smile with pride. I’m sure God had the same sentiment as that which he told John to write:
3 John 1:4 (ESV)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
It takes some self-examination to realize if we are walking in a worthy manner or not, but it takes more than that. It also means taking action to make every effort to walk according to the expectations of God. God longs to look at his children and smile with pride for those who are “walking in a worthy manner.” Come to our Gospel Meeting at every opportunity you can and listen to Brent Newton bring us some valuable lessons from God’s Word.
Grace and peace,