Sage Advice

Some of my fondest memories, and best stories, involve my Papaw. He was a kind, gentle, wise, good, Christian man who served more as a father figure to me than a grandfather.

Back in 1994 I decided to chance careers: quit my job as a manager at a pet store and go into the car sales business. While I made a fair living at my job I wanted the chance to make a better living for my family. My wife was apprehensive, to say the least, but didn’t stop me. In fact, no one was particularly supportive of my career change, I felt very good about the prospect.

I remember telling Papaw about my decision, and his reaction. It was Christmas Eve and we were at the traditional holiday gathering at my grandparents house. Papaw and I were talking about I don’t really remember what when I felt like it was time to tell him about my impending change. He listened patiently while I told him of the new job, the potential I felt it held for me, and the reasons I was sure I’d be good at this position. After I finished it remember him pausing, I could see the cogs turning inside his head as he took it all in, a sight I’d seen many times in my life. When he finally spoke he said something I hadn’t expected: he thought I was right! He told me that I had a good plan, had the skills to do the job, and, even though it wouldn’t be easy, I could succeed at it … if I remembered one thing: “Son,” he said, “if you just treat every feller the way you’d want him to treat you if you were in his shoes you’ll do just fine.” I didn’t realize it at the time, mostly because someone finally thought I was making a good decision, but what he was actually doing was biblically teaching me; he was paraphrasing The Golden RuleLuke 6:31

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

My grandfather lived by what God’s Word teaches. And he advised or taught, if you will, from the precepts of The Word, too, in a way that didn’t come across as high or holy or righteous; his words came as wise, thoughtful, caring, and genuine down to earth. He didn’t say that he was giving me Scripture or quoting the Bible; I know he did this because it was just how he was, genuine, down to earth, and all the rest. And when I finally got it and realized it was Scripture I felt like God got even more glory from Papaw’s simple, easy way of presenting it.

As I went into my new career I applied that sage advice in every “deal” I worked. I actually took it a bit farther, perhaps, and treated each customer how I’d want my Papaw to be treated; I still hold true to this philosophy to this day and it has served me well.

Papaw was right about everything he said that Christmas Eve night. I did prosper in my new career, and lived it most of the time. And I always told folks what and how I came about my way of doing business. And as clueless as I was to it, God got the glory each time. He still does today, too, I just realize it now and am happy to be able to be able to give it to Him.

Where’s Your Closet?

Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

As most of you know, I enjoy doing leather work. There is some thing about it that just allows me to clear my head and all my aggravations just seem to leave. In fact, I often find that as I work on a project I’m able to focus more on the things of God. Perhaps the concentration I put into the project clears out the “cob webs” just enough to allow the Word to really penetrate; I can’t really explain it much clearer than that. But I do know that much of the most profitable meditation time for me comes when I’m tooling a belt, for example.

Jesus set the example for us in His words and deeds: We need to get away from the “multitudes” of life, what ever they may be for each of us, and have alone time with God. Christ often went into the wilderness to pray. I know a preacher that gets some of his best alone time on his riding mower. And I have some of mine at my leather work bench. We are all different, with different situations, likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. But we all need to find our “prayer closet” to get into and away from every one and every thing that might distract us. That intimate time with God is vital, no matter where your’s occurs at, to our spiritual life and walk of faith.

Witnesses

Luke 24:48 …ye are witnesses…

Charles Spurgeon wrote “The lives of some of God’s people fill us with holy astonishment. Strange and marvelous are the ways which God used in their case to find his own”. Being a child of the Living God, we all have an “adoption story”. Though that testimony may not seem all the extraordinary to us, it may well be just the tool that the Lord plans to use in another person’s life to bring the knowledge of their need for a Savior to them. Share how you came to know Christ with someone this week. Then trust Him to use that testimony as He sees fit.

The Choice

A man shared the Gospel with two young ladies.  When he finished he asked the first girl if she would like to pray and receive Jesus as her Savior; she said yes. After they prayed, he then asked the second girl the same question; she replied that she wasn’t ready to make that choice.

That young lady may not have realized it but she had made her choice; to reject Jesus. There’s no middle ground, no gray area in this matter; it’s completely black and white, crystal clear. If your answer to Christ is anything other than yes, you are rejecting Him and saying no to His grace. It can’t be worded much simpler than that.

Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Spurgeon on Luke 6:12

“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”-Luke 6:12

If ever one of woman born might have lived without prayer, it was our spotless, perfect a Lord, and yet none was ever so much in supplication as He! Such was His love to His Father, that He loved much to be in communion with Him: such His love for His people, that He desired to be much in intercession for them.The fact of this eminent prayerfulness of Jesus is a lesson for us-He hath given us an example that we may follow in His steps. The time He chose was admirable, it was the hour of silence, when the crowd would not disturb Him; the time of inaction, when all but Himself had ceased to labour; and the season when slumber made men forget their woes, and cease their applications to Him for relief. While others found rest in sleep, He refreshed Himself with prayer. The place was also well selected. He was alone where none would intrude, where none could observe: thus was He free from Pharisaic ostentation and vulgar interruption. Those dark and silent hills were a fit oratory for the Son of God. Heaven and earth in midnight stillness heard the groans and sighs of the mysterious Being in whom both worlds were blended. The continuance of His pleadings is remarkable; the long watches were not too long; the cold wind did not chill His devotions; the grim darkness did not darken His faith, or loneliness check His importunity. We cannot watch with Him one hour, but He watched for us whole nights. The occasion for this prayer is notable; it was after His enemies had been enraged-prayer was His refuge and solace; it was before He sent forth the twelve apostles-prayer was the gate of His enterprise, the herald of His new work. Should we not learn from Jesus to resort to special prayer when we are under peculiar trial, or contemplate fresh endeavours for the Master’s glory? Lord Jesus, teach us to pray.