A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC
Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine
How often we hear folks say things like: "Why did God allow this to happen?" or "Where was God while this was going on?".
God Himself has given us an answer to those questions and the millions more like them, His answer is: Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9 ACP/KJV)
So what does it mean? I know the words, but how do we put it in perspective today? How do we put it in some kind of context that we can understand today? I think I have the answer to that.
Let me tell you a story about a young man, not so young now, but he was young during the beginning of the Vietnam era. This young man had joined the USMC in the early 60's, his father had served with many of the men this young man would met in his one and only tour of duty. One of the men his father had served with back in world war two was at that time a Gunnery Sargent, another was a Colonel. Many times, in off duty hours, the young Lieutenant, the Gunny and the Colonel would get together and chat, both of the older men took the young Lieutenant under their wings.
All three served together in Vietnam in 1964, the Colonel commanded the battalion, the Gunny was the company Gunnery Sgt. in the same company the young Lieutenant served as a platoon leader. One day the battalion came under attack, the Colonel ordered the Lieutenant to the rear position in a swamp. The Lieutenant was told to take his men and go to the rear, to hold a small chunk of ground in the midst of a swamp. The Lieutenant and his men did as ordered, the rest of the battalion fought a long and hard fight, suffering many casualties, the young Lieutenant and his men never saw a person to even fire at, the only thing they killed that day was a zillion mosquitos and a rather large snake.
Years later around the year 2000, a middle aged man met an old acquaintance on the street, he looked and said, "Colonel?" the older man turned around and after a few moments, a look of recognition came over his face and he called this middle-aged man by name. Both hugged and shed a tear or two. A bit alter as they sipped their coffee and continued to reminisce, the younger of the two, who now knew that the older man had retired, not a s a Colonel, but as a Lieutenant General, said: "General, do you remember that day back in Nam when you sent me and my men to the rear into that swamp safe and secure behind the battle?"
The General said "Yes."
"Why General, why did you send me an my guys back, was it to protect me for my dad's sake? Or did you think that maybe I wasn't up to the job?"
The General smiled, looked at the young man and said, "No son, it was because that was our rear, it was a miserable place to be, and I had to have someone there that I could trust. I knew that you and your men would hold that position. I knew that you and your men would die fighting before you let anyone through that swamp to attack our rear. Son it was not to protect you, it was because you were the best I had, you were the one I could trust."
Just as that young Lieutenant saw only the small part he had to play in that battle so long ago, so do we, at times, only seem to see the small, and to our minds, insignificant part God has chosen for us to play in the great battle for souls being fought by the Lord God of Creation and satan the evil one.
And while Paul did an excellent job in explaining that all parts are important, in doing so, he left many of us still trying to figure out why God has sent us to the middle of a mosquito infested swamp with not a soul in sight.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, "Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body" is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, "Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body" is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.
And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, "I have no need of thee" nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you".
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-26 ACP/KJV)
God has given you your role to play, your part to fulfil, your swamp to keep guard over, not because He doesn't trust you, not because He doesn't think you can't do more, but because He knows He can trust you to keep the swamp He has assigned you to, against the enemy. Now, the question is, what are you doing with your swamp?
When you stand before God, will you, like the young lieutenant hear: ".. son,... I had to have someone there that I could trust. ... Son it was not to protect you, it was because you were the best I had, you were the one I could trust." Or will God say to you: "Why didn't you hold the swamp? Why did you let the enemy through?"
Everyone is doing something, they are either holding the swamp God has given them to hold or they are off getting coffee and grumping about being in the swamp instead of leading a regiment. Not all have been called to preach, but all have been called to tithe. Not all have been called to be missionaries, but all have been called to financially support those who have been called. Not all have been... Well I think you are stating to get the picture, so, are you ready and willing to hold your part of the swamp? Don't wait for an e-mail from God, none of us got that, just step out in faith and do something. Find your swamp and hold it.
Sha'al shalowm Yruwshalaim.
Never ever forget this: There aint no purgatory!
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The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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