Black Ice

Black Ice1 Corinthians 10:12 – “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”. 

The winters in Kentucky can be very unpredictable. Because of this fact, I turned on the weather channel on a for quick report before heading out the door. It was cold, but there was no overnight snow, for which I was thankful. I walked to the car and lifted up the door handle. I guess the slight shift in weight was all it took! My feet shot out from under me and in the blink of an eye I was on the ground. Black Ice.

Black ice can form when a light rain falls on pavement that’s colder than 32 degrees, or when roads are wet and the temperature plummets toward freezing. Black ice refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent allowing black asphalt roadways or the surface below to be seen through it—hence the term “black ice”.

From this situation, I want to draw a life lesson. While I heard the broadcast warning of black ice, I didn’t really listen. Looking at the pavement beside my car, I didn’t really see the ice. Jesus spoke to this issue in Matthew 13:14. Quoting Isaiah, He said, “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand. And seeing you will see and not perceive.” That was me! I just didn’t pay careful attention to what I heard and saw.

I have had experiences in my spiritual life which parallel the black ice situation. By the Lord’s mercy, I have been alerted to potentially dangerous conditions. Sometimes the words of caution come from a small voice inside, other times from a sermon or advice from a Christian friend. Most often, the counsel comes from scripture. That makes morning devotions especially helpful before rushing out to face the day. However, if the gracious cautions of the Lord are not utilized, we suffer the consequences.

The question is not so much, is the Lord speaking, but are we truly listening. You’ve heard it said, “There are none so blind as those that will not see”. Contrary to common belief, this is not a quote from the Bible. It’s a proverbial English saying, that echoes the truth of scripture. The words are worth remembering. The Lord’s cautions are of no avail if we will not see. However, for believers who walk in His light, Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes for they shall see, and your ears for they hear” (Matt. 13:16 NKJ). 

Watch out for Black Ice!

~ Brother Roy

Are You Too Busy?

sorry_were_too_busy_graphic1The parables in scripture hold a special place in my spiritual development. While we usually think of parables in connection with the teaching of Jesus, there are other parables in scripture that can also inform the spirit. One in particular, found in I Kings, has spoken to me in a compelling manner.  “So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes. And as the king passed, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a soldier turned and brought a man to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if by any means he is missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” The king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” Then he hurried to take the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets.  And he said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall be for his life, and your people for his people” (1 Kings 20:38-43 ESV). 

The phrase I want to call to attention to is, “And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone”. Being busy and doing the task assigned to us can be miles apart. Too many religious folks equate being busy in the church with doing the will of the Lord. No so!  Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord’, have we not prophesized in Your Name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJ). 

Our charge is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. His will must be our highest priority – anything less is just ‘busyness’. Charles Swindoll says, “We are often so caught up in our activities that we tend to worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship.” Even as the man in the parable lost his life by being too busy to keep his primary charge, so we can lose our souls while all the time being busy doing “stuff”, even religious “stuff”.

Prayer: Lord Help Me Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing!
May I Never Be So Busy That I Fail To Do Your Will. 

~ Brother Roy

Back to the Future

back to the futureThe movie ‘Back To The Future’ was a blockbuster movie of a generation ago. It still has a following and resurfaces in the media from time to time. The title of the movie jogged my thinking as 2015 passed into 2016. I have a strategy for the New Year – it is called the ‘Back to the Future’ approach.

Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, a scholar well-versed in Old Testament Hebrew, spoke to a gathering of which I was a part. He related insights about the Hebrew mindset concerning the future. He shared that there was an ancient Hebrew concept that a person walks backward into the future. A person is not able to see the future, but can clearly see the past. A rearview look at God’s faithfulness in days past can give a person confidence to move into the future. Because He has always been faithful, we have no reason to think He will not be faithful tomorrow.

There are numerous scriptures that could be mentioned to encourage us to look at what God has done in the past as a guide to the future. Allow me to share just a few:

  • Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2)
  • Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced. (1 Chronicles 16:12)
  • Remember his marvelous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.  (Psalm 105:5)

The beloved hymn ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ by Thomas Chisholm gives us great confidence to move into the future:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions – they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow –
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hands hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Prayer For The New Year: Lord, as I move into the future that I cannot see, help me to clearly see that Your presence has always been with me in the past. I will then confidently move into tomorrow trusting You.

~Brother Roy