Fog

fogMany early mornings on Dauphin Island, I’ve walked out on the deck to find the entire area enveloped in fog. At times the fog is so thick that it obscures the familiar landmarks from view. Because of limited visibility, driving can be hazardous. Traffic on the waterways can be especially risky.  However, all along the coastline from Mobile to Bayou La Batre, people are familiar with the coastal fog and used to dealing with it.

I am not an expert on fog, but let me share a few things I do know. I know with heavy fog, you can walk through it, talk through it, throw a rock through it, but you can’t see through it. It can conceal things that are right before us.  On Dauphin, I am accustomed to looking across the bay and seeing the bridge that connects the Island to the mainland. When heavy fog comes in, it is impossible to see this vital lifeline connector. Even though I know the causeway and bridge are still there, being able to see them is really comforting.

There are events in our personal lives that may obscure our view of things that are eternal. Because of spiritual fog, we can lose contact with our lifeline that is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 13:12a (Message): “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist”.  Just like a fog that covers the bay, however, this spiritual fog can be dissolved. We must have faith to believe Jesus is there even though circumstances obstruct our vision. We need to be assured that He loves us and wants to clear the fog. 1 Corinthians 13:12b: “But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us!” 

Has spiritual fog rolled into your life? Is it blocking your view of the Savior? He is there by your side, even if you don’t see Him. Have faith in His presence and love. Call out to Him. Let the SON clear away the fog.

Allow me to paraphrase the lyrics of a popular Johnny Nash recording, “I can see clearly now, the fog is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the thick clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna’ be a bright, bright sunshiny day.”

~ Brother Roy

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The Crowded Way

Follow the crowdTraveling through Johannesburg, South Africa, my daughter recently, we saw an eye-catching sign. It was humorous, but startling. The sign read: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. After a chuckle, the sobering reality of that statement began to sink in.

A plethora of examples could address the theme of ‘crowds’. Both secular and sacred writers often speak to the influence of the crowd.  For brevities sake, I will focus on a few Biblical passages that reference crowds. First, Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14: ”Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” It always seems easier to go along with the crowd than to take an unpopular position. Exodus 23:2 (NKJ) declares, “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil… ” In order to fit in, people are often willing to compromise their moral values. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) warns, “Do not be deceived; bad company ruins morals”.  Wise advice may also be found in Proverbs 24:1 (The Message)“Don’t envy bad people; don’t even want to be around them”. Scripture makes it clear that following the crowd is not a good idea. It usually leads to trouble. 

Secondly, Matthew provides the account of Jesus on trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:15-25).  The passage dramatically illustrates the power of the crowd. “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus (v.20). Pilate said to them, ’What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ? (v.22) They all said to him, “Let him be crucified!  (v.23) Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has he done? But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let him be crucified! (v.23) And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children (v.25).” It was not long afterwards, however, before the very people who shouted for His blood became angry when their participation in Jesus’ death was pointed out to them. The scripture says, “they were filled with indignation” (Acts 5:17-28). They tried to deny the truth and hide from reality of what they had done.

One could build a case from the historical record that for two thousand years trouble and tragedy have befallen the descendants of that group. Through the years, starting with Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem and other murderous moves against the Jews, to the Holocaust, and to present day chaos and conflict in Israel, tragedy and heartache have plagued the Jewish people.

Momentarily, a person may find anonymity and security in the crowd, but in the end each one will stand alone before God at Judgment. Following the crowd will be no excuse. I will be judged individually according to the works I have done.

“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19, KJV)

~ Brother Roy

Why Do You Go to Church?

going to churchI heard an interesting statement the other day. I can’t give proper credit, because I overheard it in a group conversation at a large church in the South. I do, however, think the statement is worth sharing:  People who come to church Sunday morning love the pastor. People who come on Sunday night love the church. People who come on Wednesday night love the Lord.

While we may not agree completely with the statement, it gives food for thought. I heard someone say recently after hearing a young inexperienced preacher, “ If I know when he’s preaching again, I won’t come.”  Perhaps they had missed the point of church attendance. I am under the impression that it is not so much what you can get out of church as it is what you can give to the church. I believe Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). 

People go to church for a variety of reasons. Some may go for the preacher, some for the music, some for the fellowship, etc., but there should be only one main reason for attending church. We should go to worship the Lord. Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23 NKJ).

It is a given fact that believers ought to go to church (Hebrews 10:25). However, the reasons we go to church and the attitude with which we go will determine if it is true worship or a self-serving activity. Why do you go to church?

Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him

~ Brother Roy

Free Will and the Mother Hen

mother henAs boy on the farm, I remember my grandmother raising chickens. She would place a clutch of eggs under a “sittin’ hen” to hatch. Once the chicks had hatched, a vigil started. We kept a watchful eye out for chicken hawks. The hawks seemed to know just when a new brood of chicks had hatched. If the mother hen spotted a hawk, she gave a distinct cluck and all the chicks came running to take shelter under her wings. As the chicks grew and became more independent, once in a while a chick didn’t heed the alarm call. We would find a few feathers, and the chick was gone.

Jesus often used things familiar to the people to whom He spoke, in order to make His point. Luke 13:34 (NKJ) illustrates this principle: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”  Some people are like the little chick mentioned above or like Jerusalem in Jesus’ day – they simply choose to disregard the alarm call to their own detriment.

God created us as creatures of volitional choice – free moral agents. Joshua said to the Hebrew people, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15 NKJ).  The words of the Psalmist acknowledge this belief in Psalm 19:30 (NKJ): I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me”.  Jesus, speaking of Mary, said, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her(Luke 10:42 NKJ).

If we miss salvation and eternal life with Him, it will be by our own choice. He has set before us life or death, but we must chose. The scripture asks the question, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us who heard Him” (Heb. 2:3 NKJ). 

The Hawk of the soul has been sighted. A warning call has been given. Will you choose to gather under His wings?

~ Brother Roy