Robert Read's Thoughts

A Leading Question

Isaiah 48:12-17

12 “Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.

14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken and called him;
I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16 Draw near to me, hear this:
from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I have been there.”
And now the Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit.

17 Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go. (ESV)

No one typically thinks of football players as world-class scientists or theologians, but successful quarterbacks and wide receivers must have a grasp of physics and no small degree of faith. Consider, for example, a “long bomb” pass. The quarterback must instantly process distance, wind, weight of the ball, trajectory, and the speed of his receiver – all while 300-pound defenders are bearing down on him. When the ball leaves his hand, there is often no receiver within 40 yards of the spot at which he’s aiming. The receiver, meanwhile, is running a predetermined route to a particular location, trusting that when he gets there, the ball will arrive.

Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

Psalm 119:35

That’s how it is in the game plan of life. God directs you in certain ways to certain places. There may seem to be nothing there, no reason to go. But understand this: He is leading you. Even if you can’t see the outcome, follow the route anyway.

Do you have the degree of faith required to go where He directs? Today, as we embark on a new year and a new decade, ask God to give you greater trust as you set the example of faithfulness for others, including determined prayer for all those on our prayer list and those on our hearts and minds. The result, Scripture promises, will be delightful.

Happy New Year!

 

Posted by Robert Read with 3 Comments

Overcomers

Romans 8:26-37

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (ESV)

Dr. Martin Luther King in his final sermon delivered in Memphis, on April 23, 1968 recited the words from the hymn “We Shall Overcome.” Days later, that song was sung by over 50,000 attendees at his funeral after his assassination. Dr. King knew and wanted to teach others that no matter the difficulty, you can have peace in the midst of it because God struggles with you – and because of that, you shall overcome.

In John 16:33 Jesus says, in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

In fact, the Bible reminds believers again and again they are overcomers. Romans 8:37 says you are more than conquerors. First John 2:13 says you have overcome the evil one. First John 4:4 says you overcome because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Revelation 3:5 says, 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.’ Revelation 2:11 tells us, 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'

Some of you may be going through a personal trial today that feels overwhelming, or you may know someone that is. I can tell you this, no matter what your trouble there is always someone with much worse circumstances. I complain almost daily that my feet hurt, and just today found out a dear friend is in the hospital and about to lose his foot.

There is turmoil across our country right now, and the world may cause you to feel discouraged. No, the world will cause you to feel discouraged. Jesus says in the world we will have tribulation. If we stopped right there that verse alone would be discouraging, but for us, for those that know and follow Jesus Christ, and trust in Him, we read the next verse. “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 Follow the instructions of Christ in today’s verse and take heart! Be of good courage, and pray for His peace for yourself, for the nation, and for our leaders. Pray with confidence…knowing He has overcome the world and will help you do the same…to His glory!

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Regifting

Tis the season of giving, and in this day and age we often hear the term regifting. So what is regifting -

Regifting or regiving is the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else, sometimes in the guise of a new gift.

Is it okay to regift? Some say it’s rude, others say it’s okay as long as you follow certain rules when regifting, such as never regift something to the person that gave it to you. This one of course should be obvious to us. You should not regift family gifts and regift sooner than later before you forget who gave it to you in the first place. There is one gift that is always appropriate to regift.

Jesus said in John 4:14, “whoever drinks of the water 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 Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:23, “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you,” So, Paul was regifting what the Lord Jesus had given him. This regifting is always appropriate and never unethical. As a matter of fact, it is expected of us to regift what the Lord has given to us… His mercy and grace. If you have received the gift of “living water” let it well up and spill out onto everyone you come in contact with! Especially during this the season of giving, give the gift that never stops giving, the gift of eternal life!

Posted by Robert Read

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