The Back Pew - September 2018
Source in part from Gleanings Submitted by: Bert Rice
When preparing for The Back Pew submissions, I often think about what it is I might want to hear or learn. My life has been blessed beyond measure in large part, I believe, because God has al- ways been with my family and me, especially when most needed. I vividly recall when my wife, Deanna, became so very ill when cancer struck her suddenly. I was more devasted than she as she just seemed to take it all in stride. I learned quickly that her faith in God sustained her and that God would do the same for me, and he did!
In this message I refer you to Psalm 32:8.
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way to go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
In this verse, God makes these promises:
“I will instruct you.” The Lord gives us insight and understanding of His Word so we will know how to live our daily lives.
I will “teach you in the way which you should go.” We don’t know what a day holds, but God does, and He will guide us throughout the day.
“I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Every day we make decisions and encounter situations that challenge us because we don’t know what to do. What we need is personal direction from the Lord, and He will be faithful to provide it if we will listen. Because He loves us and wants us to obey His will, God continually gives us counsel through His Holy Spirit who is our internal guide and director.
We must learn to listen to God.
This is a basic lesson for anyone who wants to live a godly life. The Lord doesn’t save us and leave us to do the best we can but desires to communicate with us if we’ll listen.
• Listening to God demands our time and attention. The Holy Spirit who directed and led the apostles is the same one who indwells and guides us. We have been tremendously blessed, yet we often think we’re too busy to listen to Him. Our minds are so crowded with other concerns that we can’t hear Him, but there is nothing more important than heeding His voice and operating under His control. I hope to follow up with a message about listening to the Lord!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
As you look at your life, are you walking in the favor of God? If so, what is the evidence of His favor in your life?
What practices and habits help you listen to the Lord? What hinders you from hearing His voice?
Remembering All in need of prayer: Hurricane Florence and other disaster victims, those needing medical care, suffering loss of a loved one, service members and their families and all other prayer needs to include our Outlaw families and friends.
What can the Chaplain do for me?
My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.
Outlaws Devotional - July 2017
Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
When I entered the U.S. Army in 1960, I quickly learned that getting straight to the point was the norm. Commanders were “old school;” give orders and demand soldiers execute them. In later years, younger military personnel were a “different breed of cat” and required more explanation before the order.
As a young commander, I wasn’t attuned to the fact that the “explanation” I gave might be perceived as blunt, harsh, or critical. My orders were more often than not very straight-forward, even though they contained some explanation. My Father-in-Law made a statement one time when we were hunting on his Florida farm that really hit home with me. He said: “Words are like a bullet shot from a pistol; once you pull the trigger, you can’t take back the bullet.” As my names imply, I have always been earnest and frank! My Father-in-Law’s words stuck with me as I grew older.
Some years ago, I forwarded an email I received criticizing a politician I didn’t support, only to get a return email from an Army buddy. “Good Christians don’t criticize others” he said in his lengthy response, but then he criticized me for criticizing others. I did a great deal of thinking about what he said.
Have you experienced someone that criticizes or disparages someone else in the written or spoken word, seriously or jokingly, knowingly or unknowingly? Just about everywhere we look in today’s society, there is an abundance of hate, offensive statements, Tweets, Facebook posts, TV reports, and newspaper articles that have clearly moved away from being Christ oriented in our words and deeds. This is the right time for all of us to take a step back and really see how our words and deeds are received by others. Maybe we should apply Ephesians 4:29 during this period where our country is trying to find who it is and what it stands for again as a world leader. Just maybe, some things might work better in our personal lives, our church, our community, and our nation.
My Prayer: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Amen.
Submitted by Frank Estes