Tag Archives: Believe

Godliness is of Value

godliness value“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive,because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:7-10

Every day we should have situational awareness that our hope is in a living God, no matter what the news tells us or our mood of the day is, we should train ourselves to that hope.

Timothy reminds us that Fidelity (faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support) and Momentum (the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity) in the present life brings us closer to the life to come.

Titanic Tragedy Radios Life Messages To Us Today

 Titanic tragedy radios life messages to us today

“Oh, they built the ship Titanic,
to sail the ocean blue
And they thought they built a ship
that the water couldn’t go through.
But the good Lord raised his hand,
said the ship would never land.
It was sad when the great
ship went down.”
Or so the version went that we sang at Camp Wise, in Chardon, Ohio, in the 1970s, a song that had been sung at summer camps for the previous 50 years, is sung still, and might very well be sung forever.
Exactly 100 years this Sunday, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, taking the lives of 1,500 passengers. With a weekend sure to be dedicated to its memory, the question is: why? Why this shipwreck? What about it so resonates in the public’s mind? The Lusitania, torpedoed in 1915, took 1,198 lives and is a trivia question. Nobody sings about it.
The obvious answer is that the Titanic story has something for everybody. There is luxury and poverty, heroism and cowardice, its midnight iceberg rendezvous a payback for the boast of being “unsinkable.” Movies and books keep the memory alive, as does its presence in the language — almost everybody knows what rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic means.
As the son of a radio operator, who grew up listening to the urgent chirpings of Morse code coming out of the Hammarlund Super Pro radio receiver displayed in his den, the part of the Titanic story that always gets to me is the heroic tale of the Marconi operators, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride.
As the junior radioman — he was just 22 — Bride had the night shift. It was just after midnight, April 15, 1912, and he was telling Phillips to go to bed, when the captain stuck his head into the wireless room.
“We’ve struck an iceberg,” Captain Edward Smith said. “You better get ready to send out a call for assistance.”
Ten minutes later Smith was back, telling them to start calling for help.
Phillips began tapping out “CQD” ­— “CQ” meant “calling all stations” and “D” meant “distress” — as well as the ship’s location and call letters, “MGY.”
“He flashed away at it and we joked while he did so,” Bride recalled. “All of us made light of the disaster.”
Bride told Phillips that here was his opportunity to send an “SOS.”
“It’s the new call and it may be your last chance to send it,” Bride said. “We picked up first the steamship Frankfurt. We gave her our position and said we had struck an iceberg and needed assistance.”
Phillips reached the Cunard liner Carpathia. “Come at once!” he signaled. The liner replied it was 58 miles away and “coming hard.” Phillips told Bride to tell the captain. “I went through an awful mass of people to his cabin,” he later said. “The decks were full of scrambling men and women.”
Over the next two hours, as the ship slowly sank, Phillips kept sending out distress signals, hoping to find a closer ship ­— there was one, but its radio operator had gone to sleep. Bride kept tabs on what was going on outside.
“I went out on deck and looked around. The water was pretty close up to the boat deck. There was a great scramble aft, and how poor Phillips worked through it, I don’t know,” Bride later recalled.
Phillips suggested “with a sort of a laugh” that Bride look out and see if all the people were off in the boats, or if any boats were left. Bride found one collapsible boat left, only because the men were having an “awful time” trying to get it free. Captain Smith returned to the radio shack one last time.
“Men,” the captain said. “You have done your full duty. You can do no more. Abandon your cabin. Now it’s every man for himself.”
“I looked out,” Bride said. “The boat deck was awash. Phillips clung on sending and sending. He clung on for about 10 minutes, or maybe 15 minutes after the captain had released him. The water was then coming into our cabin. He was a brave man. I learned to love him that night and I suddenly felt for him a great reverence to see him standing there sticking to his work while everybody else was raging about.”
Bride returned to the collapsible boat, and was holding onto it when a wave crested over the deck and washed it away. He turned for one last look at the ship, “smoke and sparks were rushing out of her funnel.” Bride lost hold on that boat and had to swim through the icy water to the other boats, as the band played “Autumn” on deck. Hands pulled him into another lifeboat. Phillips perished.
For me, the Titanic radio operator story is a metaphor for life. It signals to us something about duty and perseverance in the face of difficulty. You’re not the captain. You didn’t design the ship. You don’t own it. But you stay at your station, no matter what, tapping out your messages with all the skill you have, as long as you can, until relieved.

Fitting Into God’s Foolishness

1 Corinthians 1:21, Paul gives us an interesting insight into how you and I please God.
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”
God’s methods are astounding.  To bring men and women into His family through the foolishness of preaching!  When people hear the gospel preached and believe it, God is pleased.
Now how is the gospel preached?  Through your life and mine.  Every one of us has been entrusted by God with some gift to communicate the gospel.  Perhaps you have been entrusted by God with unusual wealth.  Or maybe a marvelous singing voice, or the ability to communicate, or perhaps the skill to assimilate facts.
Whatever it is, God has put something in each of us that somehow fits into His great master plan of winning this lost world to Jesus Christ.
God has chosen to use these weak, fallible vessels to share the simple gospel message that the world is separated from Him because of sin.  In His mercy, God reached down to the human race when He sent His own Son, Who willingly gave up His life on the cross and died for our sins.  The price was paid.  God’s eternal justice was satisfied.  And the Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
That is the message our world so desperately needs to hear today!  God is pleased when you share that “foolishness.”  So however God has gifted you, use that gift today to present a living Jesus to our dying world!

Encouraging Leader

God has chosen you to lead the way as an Encouraging Leader.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Now This Explains It

John 17:21-22  “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

If you are going through a solitary way, read John 17, it will explain exactly why you are where you are – Jesus has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or have you some other end for your life? Since you became a disciple you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17. There is one prayer God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus – “that they may be one, even as We are One.” Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans; He does not say – Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset? He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. If we say – “Thy will be done,” we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far off it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jesus has prayed that we may be.

Do You Believe?

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house.

When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ’s feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy.

It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seems him good. To enlarge Martha’s expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil forever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves,

Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought.

When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ’s feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favor with him.