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549. Are We There Yet?

“One of the neighborhood mothers,” Stan began, “organized a field trip for the children in the neighborhood.”

“Where to?” I asked.

“Gawkins’ Dairy, out on the road to Winston,” Stan replied.

“When are they going?”

“We went yesterday,” Stan said.

“We?”

“Yeah,” he replied, “I was a chaperone.  I got to drive the van-load of excited children.”

“How did it go?”

“Fabulous,” he said.  “They had a lot of fun, going, being there, and coming back.  As you can imagine, we had only gone a few blocks from home when they started asking, ‘Are we there yet?’”

“Life is like that in a lot of ways,” I replied.  “Always wondering if we are there yet, regardless of the destination.”

“You’re right, my friend,” Stan responded.  “I think the apostle Peter was writing about that at the beginning of his second letter, but he was writing to me about a spiritual destination in my walk with God.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Peter goes through the steps we are to follow to reach the destination of manifesting Christian love,” Stan replied.

Continuing, he said, “There are a number of steps that Peter addresses.  We will talk about each one at a different time, but here I want to focus on what he wrote about the end destination of Christian love.”

“And,” Stan added, “it’s essential for my faith walk with God to ask continually, ‘Am I there yet?  Am I manifesting Christian love in every aspect of my being?’”

“What if the answer is that you are not?” I asked.

“Time to find out why,” Stan replied.  “After all, the first-listed fruit of the Spirit is love.  If I am not manifesting Christian love as Peter writes, there is something missing.  And that ‘something’ is usually easy to identify.  Failure to get self out of the way.”

“Just like the first step in discipleship,” I responded.  “Deny self.”

“And let Christian love flow like a river!”

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. . . and in your brotherly kindness, Christian love.  2 Peter 1:7.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for loving me.  Thank you for so loving the world that you gave Jesus for all who believe to have life eternally with you when it is time.  Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit, whose first-listed fruit is love, to live within me so that I will manifest Christian love in every aspect of my being.  I confess that too often I do not manifest that love because I choose to manifest something else.  Please, Father, forgive me.  And please help me in being open to truly manifest all of the love you have for me to demonstrate to a watching world, so that they will know I am a disciple.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Christian love in every aspect of your life is the destination.  Where are you in that journey?  What will it look like to “have arrived’?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

550. Growing Or Shrinking?

“At one point,” Stan began, “we talked about the difference between getting older and maturing as a Christian.”

“We did,” I responded.  “Just because I’m getting older does not mean I’m getting more mature.” [See Posting Number 500, “More Mature Or Just Older?]

“Exactly,” Stan responded.  Continuing, he said, “Earlier this morning, I saw that the apostle Peter, in his second letter, was saying the same thing to me, but using different words.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Right at the end of his second letter,” Stan replied, “Peter encouraged me to grow  in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.”

“So?”

“To me,” Stan said, “that means that I’m to be growing, not shrinking.  And if I’m not growing in my relationship with God in and through Christ, I think I am, by definition, shrinking.  Going in the wrong direction in my faith walk.”

“Do you really think that’s true?” I responded.  “That if you are not growing you have to be shrinking?”

“I do,” he said.  “And I have all of the evidence I need by just looking at myself.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Should be plural,” Stan said with a smile.  ‘Ways’, not ‘Way’!”

Continuing, he added, “Throughout my Christian life, there have been numerous times when, for whatever reasons, I have chosen to not grow in my relationship with God.  I have chosen to not go any further, thinking I have gone far enough.”

“Then what?” I replied.

“Shrinkage!” Stan exclaimed.  “If I am not growing in my relationship with God, I’m shrinking”

“Isn’t there a middle ground?” I asked.  “Can’t you just be sitting still, neither going forward nor going backwards?  Kind of like idling in neutral?”

“Not for me,” Stan replied.  “I am to be growing or I will be shrinking.  No middle ground.  And I think that’s what the apostle Peter was writing to me in his second letter.  Grow!”

Concluding, he added, “And I have to remind myself constantly what Jesus said about eternal life, that it is knowing Him and God the Father.  Peter’s admonition is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus.  To me, that is what my faith walk is to be all about.”

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Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 3:18.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.  John 17:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you have provided me with the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time.  Thank you, too, that you want and allow me to pursue knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity.  I confess that too often I do not grow in the knowledge you have for me.  I do not grow because I choose to not grow and, thereby, begin to shrink in my knowledge.  Please, Father, forgive that foolishness.  And please help me in following every step of your lead in growing, truly growing, in all of the knowledge of you and your Son as long as you keep me on this side of eternity.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in His name.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Growing or shrinking in your relationship with God?  In neutral? What does it look like to be continually growing closer in an ever-deepening relationship with God?  What does it take for that to happen?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

551. What To Do With The Doubters In Your Life

“I have a next-door neighbor,” I began, “who is a nonbeliever.  I have been talking to him for a long time about God, faith, and Christianity.  No results.  I’ve just about had it with him.”

“Ready to give up?” Stan asked.

“I am,” I said.  “It’s like ‘What’s the use?’  He’s a doubter who will probably never change.”

“Don’t!” Stan said.

“Don’t what?” I responded.

“Give up,” he replied.  “Don’t give up on him.  Remember that the results of our faithfulness are not up to us.  They are up to God.”

Continuing, he said, “Jude addressed this very point near the end of his short letter.  In addition, I have plenty of personal evidence of what can happen when a person doesn’t give up.”

“How so?” I responded.

“In the first place,” Stan said, “Jude wrote that I am to have mercy on those who may be doubters.”

“Mercy?  Why mercy?” I asked.

“That’s what it says,” Stan replied.  “As well, and this is the second point, that’s what God showed me, you, and all of us by providing salvation through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.”

“All I have to do,” he continued, “is look to see where I would be without God’s mercy.  Not a pretty sight!  No assurance of spending eternity with God when it’s time.  And no opportunity to get to know the Father and the Son on this side of eternity.  My loss.”

“And,” he added, “I just have to look at the people who showed mercy to me.  I was a big-time doubter, but God brought people into my life who didn’t give up on me.  They not only didn’t give up, they prayed and they showed mercy by not rejecting me because of my doubting unbelief.”

“I know where I would be if those people had not come beside me and shown me mercy.  Again, not a pretty picture!”

“Well,” I responded, “when you put it like that, I can see what it is I’m supposed to do.  Show the same mercy I have been shown.”

“Amen, my friend.  Sometimes tough to remember, and sometimes tough to do, but hang in there.”

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And have mercy on some, who are doubting.  Jude 22.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your love, grace, and mercy that provided the way for me to have the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time.  Thank you for the people you brought into my life of doubting.  Thank you they did not give up on me because I was a doubter.  They stayed with me, showing mercy.  They helped me to see the truth and to overcome my doubting.  I am eternally thankful.  I confess that too often I become impatient with those who continue to doubt.  I fail to show them the mercy you intend.  Please forgive me.  And please help me in following every step of your lead in showing your every mercy to every doubter, knowing that the results of my obedience are not up to me.  Help me to show all of the mercy you have shown me.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Where would you be without God’s mercy?  Are there people in your life who need to be shown God’s mercy through you?  What would it look like for you to show that mercy?  What if you don’t?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

552. Praying In Front Of Others — The Long And The Short Of It

“I had an interesting experience at church yesterday,” I said to Stan.

“What happened?”

“Well,” I replied, “the pastor gave a great message.  But it was at the end of the service when the interesting part occurred.  One of the elders of the church gave the benediction and it was the longest prayer I have ever heard.”

“How long?” Stan asked.

“Didn’t time it,” I said, “but it was really long.  It was like the fellow had the stage and didn’t want to get off.”

“Been there, heard that,” Stan replied.

Continuing, he said, “I have heard many great prayers.  Some so great I almost applauded.”

“Well,” I responded, “I can tell you I mentally applauded when the fellow was finally done yesterday, but it was because he was finished.”

“Who do you think he was addressing with his prayer?” Stan asked.  “Was it God or was it the congregation?”

“Seems like it was more to the congregation,” I replied.

“I think that’s always a danger,” Stan replied.  “At least for me.”

“How so?” I asked.

“If I am not careful when I pray before other people,” Stan responded, “there is a natural tendency to try to impress the people with the eloquence or the sincerity of my words.  It can be like I’m praying to them, the people, rather than to the Lord God Almighty.  It can be like I’m seeking their approval, rather than coming before God without any regard for anyone else this side of heaven who may be listening.”

“Is there a way to avoid that?” I asked.

“For me,” Stan replied, “whenever I am to pray in front of any other people, I always pray a quick silent prayer to God before I begin to speak.”

“What prayer?” I asked.

“That what I say will be a prayer between me and God, without any regard for anyone else who may hear.  That my words are for God alone.  Just between Him and me.  Not for any audience, except the audience of the One.”

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer, both privately and publicly.  I ask for your leading in all of my prayers so that I pray only in accordance with your will.  I ask that especially whenever I am to pray before others.  I ask for your help with those prayers so that I consider you as the only one to whom I am praying, that my focus will be on you alone.  Please help me in not trying to impress anyone on this side of eternity with anything I may say in my prayers. I confess that there have been times when the focus of my prayers has not been on you, but on the other people who may hear them.  Please forgive me.  And please lead me so that all of my prayers will truly be acceptable to you and to you alone.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Praying before others can be difficult.  Do you sometimes find yourself thinking more about the people listening, than you do about God listening?  What does it look and sound like to pray only for God’s listening ear?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

553. It’s None Of Your Business — Or Is It?

“When I was first beginning my faith walk,” Stan began, “ I met once a week with my mentor, just about the way you and I get together.  One day he said something to me that really set me off.”

“What was that all about, if you don’t mind my asking,” I replied.

“He said something to me, something he had observed about an attitude, that struck a nerve and caused me to accuse him of being judgmental.  In essence, I told him to mind his own business.”

“How did that go over?” I asked.

“I was real upset,” Stan replied.  “He was not.  He just very gently asked me to think about what he had said.  He suggested that I spend time with God praying about the specific thing and to be open to what I might hear from God.”

Continuing, he added, “And the thing that really made a difference was that the whole conversation took just a couple of minutes and was not confrontational.  My mentor just had a gentle suggestion.”

“Did you follow that suggestion?” I asked.

“I did,” Stan replied.  “I was reluctant at first because I was feeling so defensive about what he had said.  But I spent time each day during the week before we got together again.  I prayed and asked God to open me to see the matter, not from my perspective, but from God’s.”

“Did anything come of it?” I asked.

“Big time!” Stan replied.  “The first day I was still feeling that my mentor was just being judgmental, but each day, as I got deeper into giving it all to God and being open to what He was saying, it became clearer and clearer that what my mentor said was correct.”

Continuing, he added, “I did have a rotten attitude that needed to be changed.  By the next week when I got together again with my mentor, I could hardly wait to thank him for what he had observed and that he had the courage to tell me.”

“So,” I said, “it was kind of transformational for you.”

“Not only kind of,” Stan said with a smile, “it totally changed that particular attitude.  As well, it took me into a deeper prayer life with God, asking Him to show me anything and everything about my life that He wanted to change into the likeness of His Son.”

“Did God do that?” I asked.

“He did and He does,” Stan replied.  “And it all started because one person was willing to tell another something he saw as blocking the way on the path from conversion to transformation.”

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My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.  James 5:19, 20.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of those who are willing to step forward and help others on their walk from conversion to transformation.  I confess that too often I am reluctant to say anything to another for fear of being thought and called judgmental.  Please forgive me for hiding behind that and for listening to the voice of Satan who wants to convince me not to be concerned about the spiritual health of another person.  Please help me in following every step of your lead in knowing when and how to encourage others to turn everything in their lives to you for your input.  Please help them to be open to what you have to say.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  The line between being judgmental and being discerning can be confusing.  God wants to use discernment for His purposes.  Satan wants to use your fear of being called judgmental for his purposes.  Do you care enough about what God thinks to want to help another turn from going in the wrong direction?  Prayer is the key.

Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

554. The Value Of Private Instruction

“I was talking with a neighbor last night,” Stan began.  “He said his daughter wants to start playing golf and was wondering if I had any recommendations for how she might get started.”

“Did you?” I asked.

“Several things came to mind,” Stan replied, “but I only passed on the one that I think is the most important.  That she start with some private lessons with a good instructor.”

“So as to not develop bad habits, but to learn the basics of set-up, good swing, and all of that?” I asked.

“Exactly,” Stan responded.  “I didn’t have any private instruction when I first started.  For me, it was definitely the wrong way to begin. I developed a lot of bad habits.”

Continuing, he added, “While he certainly wasn’t writing about golf, Mark’s gospel records that Jesus did something similar, and in what He did there is an important lesson for my faith walk with God.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Mark records that Jesus explained everything privately to His disciples.”

“And what’s important about that for me,” Stan continued, “is that God has given me the Holy Spirit like a private instructor.  The Holy Spirit is in me to teach, lead, counsel, and all sorts of things that will help in my walk with God.”

“But,” he concluded, “it’s just like everything else; if I don’t consult the instructor, if I don’t listen to the instructor,  and if I don’t take to heart the instructions that are given, what’s the point of having the instructor.”

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He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.  Mark 4:34.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 4:30.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for giving me the Holy Spirit who is in me to help, counsel, guide, and instruct me in the way you have for me to live while I wait to step into eternity to be in your eternal presence.  I confess that too often I do not listen to His voice of help, guidance, and instruction.  Please forgive me of all of that foolishness.  And please, Father, lead and help me to follow in being totally open to all you have for me in developing an ever-deepening relationship with you through the instruction and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Private instruction on just about any subject is valuable.  Private instruction from the Holy Spirit is priceless.  Why would anyone not take advantage of all the Holy Spirit has in the way of help, guidance, and instruction?  Are you taking full advantage of all of that private instruction? If not, why?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

555. Moral Excellence: Don’t Let The Supply Chain Break Down

“I went to Big Box Wholesale Club again yesterday,” Stan began, “and I suffered a major disappointment.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“They were out of those fabulous big apple pies that I love so much,” he responded.

“How could they be out of them?” I replied.  “They are so good, I would think they would have plenty to meet the demand.”

“Well,” Stan said, “I asked one of the employees about that.  Her response was that one of the suppliers of the apples had a problem.  The supply chain broke and they couldn’t deliver apples to Big Box.  It’s hard to make apple pies without apples.”

“Big disappointment, indeed,” I replied.

“Not all was lost, however,” Stan said.  “I got everything else I needed, plus the Holy Spirit showed me a valuable lesson.”

“About apples and apple pies?” I asked.

“No,” Stan said, “about supplies and about not allowing the Holy Spirit’s supply chain to break down.”

“Holy Spirit’s supply chain?  Supply of what?”

“Moral excellence,” Stan replied.  “The apostle Peter wrote that to me in the beginning of his second letter.”

Continuing, he said, “Peter specifically wrote that, in my faith, I am to supply moral excellence.  And to me that means that I have to rely on the Holy Spirit.  I can’t supply it on my own.”

“No,” he added, “the Holy Spirit, with emphasis on ‘Holy’, is the source of all I need in order to have moral excellence.  I am to allow Him to supply it, and I am to keep the supply chain open at all times by getting my own self-efforts out of the way and allow Him to do what He is in me to do.”

Concluding, Stan said, “While the fruit of the Holy Spirit does not include apples, it does include everything else I need.  As well, His supply is unlimited.  Why would I be so foolish as to not rely on that supply chain?”

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Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, . . . 2 Peter 1:5.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you supply everything I need.  Everything in the sense of being allowed to spend eternity with you when it is time, as well as all I need on this side of eternity while you keep me here.  Thank you for the provision of the Holy Spirit who is that source.  I confess that too often I fail to seek His supply of all I need to be and to do what you intend.  Please forgive my foolishness in allowing the Holy Spirit’s supply to go unused while I choose to not seek His provision.  And please, Father, help me to follow your lead in seeking, claiming, receiving, and embracing every aspect of the Holy Spirit’s supply of all I need to pursue moral excellence.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  If moral excellence is the goal, what does it look like?  Is it attainable on our own?  What gets in the way?  How do we remove those things that are in the way?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com. 

556. Be Sure To Use The Hand Sanitizer

“Just about everywhere I go,” Stan began, “there is a dispenser of hand sanitizer.”

“Really important to keep your hands clean,” I replied.  “Best way to keep healthy.  I wash mine all of the time and I use as much hand sanitizer as I can.”

“And don’t touch your face!” Stan added.

Continuing, he said, “Every time I see and use one of those dispensers of hand sanitizers, I am reminded of how much the Bible has to say about having clean hands.”

“The Bible talks about that?” I asked.

“Sure does,” Stan replied.  “In both the Old and the New Testaments there is mention of the importance of coming before God with clean hands in the sense of cleansing myself of all sin and unrighteousness.”

“After all,” he continued, “God is holy and righteous.  He has granted me the righteousness of Christ Jesus for when it is time for me to board the train and to step into eternity.  I will be able to stand before God as fully righteous because I have accepted the finished work of Jesus on the cross.”

“In addition, God has gifted me with the Holy Spirit to help, guard, and guide me in the way of living on this side of eternity with clean hands while I wait for the train.  Note that it is the Holy Spirit, with the emphasis on ‘Holy’!  As I surrender to Him, He is fully capable of helping me live with clean hands and a pure heart.”

Concluding, Stan said, “The hand sanitizer helps keep my hands clean, but it only works if I use it.  Same thing with my relationship with God though Christ by the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It won’t get deeper and closer all by itself; I have to choose to have clean hands for it to happen.”

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Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.  Cease to do evil.  Isaiah 1:16.

Nevertheless the righteous shall hold to his way, and he who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.  Job 17:9

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8.

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Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that I will be able to stand before you in eternity as fully righteous and clean because of my acceptance of the finished work of Christ Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection.  Thank you, too, for the presence of the Holy Spirit in me to help, guide, and guard me in the way of living on this side of eternity with clean hands and a pure heart.  I confess that too often I choose not to have clean hands because I choose to go my way rather than your way.  Please forgive me.  And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so that I truly want to have clean hands in every aspect of my being.  Not only want to have, but actually have.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Keeping your hands clean is an essential way to keep physically healthy.  The same is true to be spiritually healthy.  What does it look like to have the clean hands God wants?  Are your hands clean?  Dirty?  A little dirty?  What to do?  

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

557. The Shepherd’s Question Mark

“I was talking with one of my neighbors last night,” Stan began, “about his faith walk.  How he got started and how he progressed.”

“Find out anything?” I asked.

“I did,” Stan replied.  “And it always amazes me how many different ways God has for drawing people to Him in an ever-deepening relationship.”

“I gather that your neighbor had a story to tell,” I said.  “What was it?”

“His story was not unlike mine,” Stan replied.  “He described himself as having been a ‘nominal Christian’.  He had his ticket to glory, but that was about the extent of his relationship with God.  As I said, not unlike me!”

“So, was there something that changed for him?” I asked.

“There was,” Stan replied.  “A funeral service.  A friend of his died.  At the funeral service, the twenty-third Psalm was printed in what was handed out for the order of the service.  My neighbor said that while he was waiting for the service to start, he read the first verse over and over.”

“The part about the Lord being the shepherd?” I asked.

“Exactly,” Stan replied.  “My neighbor said it was clearly God speaking to him through that verse.  He said it was like God asking him, ‘Am I your shepherd?’  The man admitted that for the first time he had to confront that question.  His answer was ‘No’, and it changed forever his faith walk.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“He said he went home after the service,” Stan responded, “and spent several hours talking with God about His role as the Shepherd.”

Continuing, he added, “The man said he had no doubt that Jesus was his Savior in that he knew where he is going when it is time for his funeral service, but he did not know Him as Lord and Shepherd for the time remaining on this side of eternity.”

“He was probably sorry that his friend died,” I replied, “but I bet he was really thankful for the funeral service.”

“That’s exactly what he said,” Stan replied.  “He said his life on this side of eternity has never been the same since that day.  God opened him to a life-changing truth in one verse, by turning it into a question!”

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The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  Psalm 23:1.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of everything I need for both sides of eternity.  Life eternally in your presence when it is time by my acceptance of your salvation through Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  Included in your every provision is the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus ever more deeply on this side of eternity.  Thank you for all of the truths you have for me if I will only be open to see and to hear.  I confess that too often I am not open because I choose not to be open.  Please forgive me.  And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead, wherever and however it may occur, to be totally open to all you have for me for the relationship you want and intend.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers  before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Think on this:  Is the Lord your Shepherd?  If not, why? What would it look like for Him to fill that role in every aspect of your life?  

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

558. Praising Or Grumbling — It’s A Matter Of Perspective

“Stan,” I said to him one morning, “you seem to usually have something good to say about most everything.  You seem to be kind of full of praise most of the time.”

“I have a lot for which to offer praise,’ he responded.

“Such as?” I asked.

“I know where I was, which was totally separated from God.”

“And,” he continued, “I know where I am now, in an ever-deepening relationship with God for whatever He has for me to be and to do on this side of eternity.”

“Furthermore,” Stan added, “I know where I’m going when my time on this side of eternity is over.  Going to get on the train to glory.  My time of doing and being while waiting for the train will be over, and I will be in the eternal presence of God!”

“In addition,” he continued, “all I have to do is look to see every provision I have that comes from God.  When I take the time to look, there is no way for me to allow grumbling and complaining to replace the praise that is to be flowing from me to God.”

“Well,” I responded, “when you put it like that, I guess you do have a lot of reasons to be filled with praise.”

“It’s more than a guess, my friend,” Stan replied.  “It’s a sure thing.  There is no way for me not to be filled with praise if I will only keep my eyes on all God has provided, and is providing, for me on both sides of eternity.”

Concluding, he said, “Who wouldn’t or couldn’t be filled with praise?”

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O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee.  I will give thanks to Thy name; for Thou hast worked wonders, plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness.  Isaiah 25:1.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for all of the reasons I have to praise you.  You have given me the assurance of spending eternity with you when my time here is finished.  You have given me the opportunity to know you and your Son on this side of eternity, all through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I confess that too often I do not praise you as I should because I choose to not focus on the reasons I have to praise you.  I prefer to complain and grumble. Please forgive me.  And please, Father, help me in following every step as you lead me in praising you just as you intend.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Is it easy or hard for you to offer praise to God?  Do you sometimes think there is nothing to praise Him about?  If so, do you need to think again?  If you had a life filled with praise of God for His every provision, what would that look like?  

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.