Umbrella Faith

umbrellaOnce, an entire village decided to pray for rain.  On the day of prayer all the villagers gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella. That’s faith on the part of the boy. 

Scripture says; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is the sense that beyond and behind the visible there is an invisible. By faith alone we are sure of eternal things and that they really ARE!

The “things hoped for” are not mere figments of the imagination; their basis is the word of God. By hope we are confident that we shall have them. All Christian hope presupposes faith (Romans 8:25).

The “evidence” or awareness of things not seen is convincing proof to the believer. It is the way the soul is able to see what the eye cannot see. “By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being. So nobody has a good excuse” (Romans 1:19, MSG).

In the age in which we live, everyone wants a scientific explanation, hard data, test results, etc. Most people place little confidence in anything that cannot be empirically validated. The true believer recognizes that there are two worlds, the physical and the spiritual. Of the two, the spiritual is the one that ultimately matters.

“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (2 John 2:17, MSG).

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV)

~ Brother Roy

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Before You Were Born

before-you-were-bornA little boy stared into his mother’s eyes and asked, “How did you know my name was Timmy when I was born?”. That line appeared in a cartoon in our local newspaper. It triggered these thoughts for me. I believe God is ‘omniscient’ – all knowing. He knew me before I was born. God’s word says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16, NLT). How amazing to think that of the several billion people on earth, God knows me. He can call me by name.

The Psalmist states, “He counts the stars. He calls them all by name” (Psalm 147:4).

Wow! Think about it. Scientists estimate there are anywhere from 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. With the aid of the Hubble Telescope that now orbits the earth, scientists have estimated there are over 2 trillion galaxies the size of ours. It is mind numbing to consider that He calls all the stars by name.

Not only does God call the stars by name, but He can call us by name. Scripture has many examples of God calling individual people by their name, starting with Adam (Genesis 3:9), on to Hagar (Genesis 21:17), and then God says to Moses, “I know thee by name(Exodus 33:17). Again and again, the Father calls people by their name.

How wonderful to know that the Lord knows me, knows my name, and loves me. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!(Psalm 139:6).

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

~ Brother Roy

Light: A Powerful Disinfectant

uv-light“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV)

Light is a powerful disinfectant. For more than a hundred years medical science has known of the incredible disinfecting strength of light, especially ultraviolet wavelengths. Bacteria and other bio-contaminates often thrive in an absence of bright light. These infection-causing pathogens yield to the antiseptic power of light.

In our spiritual lives, there is a corresponding or analogous principal. The light of Christ can cleanse us from the sin and contamination we encounter in the world around us. Scripture teaches us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, ESV).  Exposure to the Light that comes from reading God’s word, from listening to gospel preaching, and from fellowship with other believers all act as disinfectants for our souls.

  • “This is the message we have heard from Him, and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses (keeps on cleansing us) from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7, ESV)
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall(Psalm 27:1-2, ESV)

Come to the Light, it’s shining for thee.
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see.
The Light of the world is Jesus.
(Philip Bliss)

~ Brother Roy

Self-Esteem or Delusion

selfieAs I get older, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up with trends, fads, and even vocabulary. I find myself floundering in a sea of jargon like ‘selfies’ and other euphemistic terms for narcissistic traits. So many people seem to find it necessary to constantly take pictures of themselves in various poses and situations then post them on social media. Is it that they have such low self-esteem that this ‘selfie’ stuff artificially boosts their confidence and egos?

As an old timer, I still enjoy the ‘comics’ in my local printed newspaper. This recent cartoon panel featured a radio talk show host responding to a caller in a manner that certainly resonated with me:

delusion self esteem

What a truism this is, “Delusion is the new self-esteem.”

While a selfie taken with a smart phone is a relatively new phenomenon, narcissism is as old as self-absorbed people have been around. How sad! Scripture speaks to this preoccupation with self, ‘For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3, NKJV). The Greek word huperphroneó used here by Paul means to be overly proud, to have high thoughts.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
(Philippians 2:3)

~ Brother Roy