We used to sing that song in some of the churches I have attended over the years, but it has been a long, long time since I have heard it. Then today, I started hearing it again - in my mind.
I hope you have had that experience. I was reading the material to be used in our class in the sanctuary tomorrow morning and it came to mind. Preparing for some material to be passed along to the Elders, we had earlier came up with four statements we would use to describe our activities. And it seemed to the others, they were sufficient. However, I heard a different voice. I have been around a long time and it seems to me, we often hear others talk about what needs to be done, but does it get done? I am not a scorekeeper, but this I do know. Whenever I receive a request to act, it gains more emphasis to me if it is accompanied by appropriate scripture.
So, thinking about what we were about to present - those four statements, I wondered if they might be more effectively received if they were accompanied by the appropriate scripture verses. I had no idea of the verses to be used, so I asked for assistance from on high. I must say I was amazed as no sooner had I typed the first verse than the others came to me as if - from on high.
Well, come to think of it, last night as I was offering up my prayers, I recall asking for His assistance.
"You have not, because you ask not," I have heard it said that the Bible teaches that, but I just looked and I could find any such reference. Nevertheless, I believe it is true.
I recall those early days in church when I would overhear such talk, but then whenever I had a problem I would stop to pray and I would ask for His help. It probably helped - on occasion, but as the years moved on, I gave up asking. I never seemed to receive enough answers, probably. I really cannot remember when.
Then, came that day when I was serious about needing God's assistance and asked Him what that word - repent, meant and He responded by reminding me of all the reasons I had to repent. What a glorious day that was. Nineteen days from today, I will be celebrating my fortieth "new birth" day.
That was the day I stopped praying to get out of trouble, or for assistance, or any of the routine things in life that happen merely because we are alive and often, unable to care for ourselves.
Today, and for the past 14,600 previous days, my prayers are primarily, to thank Him for my life and for the others who have made my day all that I have experienced. Prior to that glorious day, I was always wondering why others did not hold the same high regard for me as I had for my own self. Today, it is not because of what I do, but what He has done, through me.
I now have so many friends, I am embarrassed to realize I don't know all of their names. I know I ought to make a record of them when I meet them. But this I do - faithfully, I ask our Father to bless them for having blessed me.
I spent part of this day reviewing some articles I had received in recent days on my computer and most of them were written to blame others for the situations we find ourselves, in our nation and throughout the world. It troubles me that there are so many such people getting themselves involved with worldly matters - over which they have absolutely no control, whereas - if we would only stop to look around, there are so many people who are troubled by the same concerns and are now, fearful of the days ahead. Worse, they believe there is nothing they can do to resolve the problems.
The truth is, there is an answer. The scriptures teach, "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and prey and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and will heal their land." (II Corinthians 7:14)
The Bible was not written to carry to and from the church and be placed where others might see it when they happen to visit our homes; it is our refuge on those days when circumstances threaten us.
It was prepared, hundreds of years ago, so that God's people, that is, you and I, could examine its contents and set our sights on the future, based on the lessons we have learned by studying it,
If you have overlooked its possibilities I will pray now, that you will start this very hour.
Oh yes, if you need counsel, you can always call me at (931) 528-7238