August 20, 2018

We are blessed here at Kerwin with many good people in leadership positions. We would not be what we are as a church if it were not for these people. Brother Scott Tucker is our bus director. He has worn many hats over the years but one thing is for sure, I have always enjoyed his teaching. This week he sent this quick devotional out to our bus workers, and I thought it was so good that I wanted you to read it as the devotional for today. I did not ask his permission so I guess I will just have to ask his forgiveness. LOL

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE

TO KEEP ME FROM QUITTING

Galatians 6:9 And let us not ne weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Famous verse….we’ve all heard it. But in reality, we have all thought about quitting, throwing in the towel….”I’m done”, I’ve thought before.

I can’t quit – here are some reasons why.

1 – Saints that have gone before me
My grandfather was my ultimate hero. Clint Miller was a great man, a Godly man. Lived a Godly life before everyone
Burtis Hampton, my pal and friend. Faced with serious health issues, did not quit…stayed faithful until the end.
Linus Newsome, my bus ministry hero. Loved God, his family, his church and his pastor right to the end….faithful!
There are more, but, These are all GOOD reasons not to quit, BUT not THE REASON.

2 – Soldiers that serve with me
Joe Myers – What can you say about this great man of God – love him to pieces – he was so faithful to his calling
Daniel Hawtree – What a pastor he has become, has a heart for the people, loves God and preaches the Word like no other!
Bus captains & VBS/junior church workers – What a privilege to serve with such great people.
Jim Fankhauser would hunt me down and shoot me if I quit…LOL.
These are all GOOD reasons not to quit, BUT not THE REASON.

3 – Souls that need to be told about Christ
Oh my, the bus kids through these years – Precious souls for whom Jesus died
People at work, lost and going to hell 100 miles an hour
Family, either lost, or away from God
These are all GOOD reasons not to quit, BUT not THE REASON.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider HIM that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

HERE is the REAL REASON I can’t quit. – JESUS didn’t quit.

4 – Savior that took my punishment, forgave my sin and saved my soul
I’ll bet it was hard being beat with those whips – I’m sure it was hard carrying the cross after the beating – I’m sure when they drove those nails in His hands and feet it was pretty difficult – Hanging on the cross all that time, suffering for YOU and for ME – Not to mention the weight and load of ALL OF THE SIN OF HUMANITY on His shoulders.
I CAN’T QUIT BECAUSE HE DIDN’T QUIT!

Sorry this was so long….woke up early this morning and could not get this off my mind. Brother Scott

August 18, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HAVE VICTORY OVER DEATH

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; …………..9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see! “He will swallow up death in victory”. You and I will never know how difficult that victory was. We will never fully comprehend how much God the Father and God the Son sacrificed and gave for that victory. Every day, people are trying to cheat death and prevent death. Only Jesus was powerful enough to defeat death. He will swallow it.

God will also wipe away tears off all faces. There have been a lot of opinions over the years of what the tears are for, or why they are there. Some say the tears will be there because so many will have to watch their unsaved friends and family being sent to hell. Can you imagine how difficult that will be? Some say they will be tears of joy. Joy from finally seeing our Savior face to face. Some say the tears will be there from an overwhelming realization that we do not deserve God’s grace and mercy. Some have said that those tears are there because we’ll feel so ashamed of how little we did for the Lord, and how often we failed Him. In my humble opinion, it will be all of the above. All I know, whatever the reason that we will have tears in our eyes, God is going to wipe them away.

In that wonderful day, we will praise Him for being “our God”. In this day and time, all kinds of people have all kinds of gods. People worship just about everything now, and people have all sorts of gods. But on this day, we will praise God, not just for being the only God, but for being “our God”. “We have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD.”

The only thing that will be left on this day will be the rejoicing that the Saints of God will enjoy. “We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Of course, you realize that we should already have that attitude and joy every day. I’m reminded of the verse:

* Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

We do not live by sight, we live by faith. That means although this day has not taken place yet, it is as if it has already happened. God has already given the victory. God has already swallowed up death. God has already wiped the tears from our eyes. God has already given us “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Enjoy the victory Today!

August 17, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO DO WONDERFUL THINGS (part 2)

Isaiah 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

We serve a wonderful God. He has been a faithful Father and friend. We serve a God that gives strength to those who cannot give strength to themselves. Our God is a “strength to the poor”, and “strength to the needy”. That means that God does not just help those that have something to offer back. God does not just help those that have resources. God helps those who have nothing, who have no resources, and who have nothing to give back. After all, God really does not need what we have, we need what God has, so our God gives STRENGTH.

Our God also gives SHELTER. He is “a refuge from the storm”. Life brings plenty of storms. There are storms of disappointment, storms of disease, and storms of distress. We could talk all day about storms that we face. God never said that we would not have storms, God just promised that He would give us shelter when they come.

We are also told that God would be a SHADE from the heat. Now storms pop up suddenly in our life, and normally last for a season and then move on. The heat that is spoken of here implies a constant, constraining type of issue. Something that gradually wears you down. This is what this “shadow” is. It is a shade from the heat. It is relief from the baking sun.

As I am sharing each of these, I hope the Holy Spirit is helping you see areas of your life where you can apply these, where you can see through these descriptions what God does for us, which brings us to the last part of this verse. “When the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” These “blasts” are sudden explosions. We have all had those haven’t we? What does the phrase mean, “as a storm against the wall? If you think about it, what happens to a wall when a fierce, exploding storm comes against it? It falls over. You see, God is our STABILITY. If you and I are not careful, the storms that show up in our life can knock us over. It can rattle the very foundation of our lives. God can be our stability. If you’re facing a storm today, or severe heat, or distress of any kind, God can keep your wall standing! I am persuaded that He is able.

August 16, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO DO WONDERFUL THINGS

Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

God the Father is the Lord Jehovah. He is “LORD” which means He was, is, and always will be. He is the self-existent or Eternal one. “Jehovah” is the Jewish national name of God. You see, God is LORD whether we make Him that or not. He is LORD whether we believe that He is or not. He is LORD whether we treat Him like He is or not. However, you and I choose whether or not He will be “my God”. That is a personal decision. God is the great God, Jehovah, Elohim, etc., but is He your God? Let me put it this way; He is God, but you must make Him your God?

I WILL EXALT THEE
This expression is describing the process of glorifying God with our life, or with our actions. This is not so much by what we say with our mouths, but by how we conduct ourselves. How we treat people, and how we act, should exalt the Lord and His kingdom.

I WILL PRAISE THY NAME
This is a verbal praise. This is speaking praise about “thy name”, or the name of God. This means inserting God in every conversation, bringing attention to Him in every situation, and giving glory to His name at every opportunity.

There is a reason to do this by the way. “For Thou hast done wonderful things.” And God sure has, hasn’t He? I don’t know about you, but I have good reasons to exalt the Lord, and ten thousand reasons to praise His Name. We all should take some time today to remember, recall, and reflect on some “wonderful things” that God has done in our life.

Finally, we are reminded that all the counsel and advice and instruction that God has given to us is always faithful and always true. We know God will always be there, and that God will always be able to be trusted. They are “counsels of old”. God has proven Himself, proven His ability, and proven His love.

If God is “thy God” today, exalt Him with your actions, and praise Him with your words. After all, God has done “wonderful things”.

August 15, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

MAKE IT HAPPEN

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

We have two words that we need to consider in order to understand the message of this verse. The first is the word “thought”. The Hebrew meaning of this word is “to devise, to consider, to plan”. God says, ‘what I have planned is going to come to pass’. Let me just say that God has plans and you and I have plans. Sometimes our plans are different than God’s plans. Sometimes we think our plans are better than God’s plans. So, then we have a decision to make. Whose plans are we going to go with?

Samson had his own plans, and he ended up blind and grinding grain in the prison. David had his own plans and he ended up repenting with bitter tears having become a murderer. Jacob had his own plans and ended up running for his life. Abraham had his own plans and ended up producing eternal unrest in the Middle East. What is interesting is that in all of these instances, God eventually did what He had planned anyway. You see, if God has planned, He is going to do it.

This brings us to the second word which is “purposed”. This Hebrew word means, “to determine, to deliberate, to resolve”. This means that if God has planned it, then God will do what it takes to do it, and God will do what it takes to make it last. That is why God says, “so shall it stand”. You and I may choose to go with our plans, but do not be surprised when those plans do not end up right. Do not be surprised when those plans do not last long. God says that what He plans, He does. And what God does, remains strong. You can count on it. It is stable and strong.

Trust me today, God has plans for your life. I am sure that you do also. Just realize that when it is all said and done, God is going to have His way, with or without your cooperation. I encourage you today, go with God’s plan. He will make it happen, and He will make it stand. How do we know? “The LORD of hosts hath sworn”.

August 14, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE YOU REST FROM YOUR SORROW

Isaiah 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow,…..

My wife and I were able to have a conversation tonight with a precious missionary wife who serves in the country of the Philippines. Their ministry serves some of the poorest people in that country. They minister in the city trash dumps and cemeteries. Extremely poor people live in the dumps to try to find food and the cemeteries to find a safe place. It was amazing to hear of their ministry, and yet somewhat heartbreaking because this precious missionary wife just watched her husband go to Heaven just a few months ago. How sobering to see the sadness, loneliness, struggle, and heartbreak of losing your mate and fellow laborer in the ministry. And yet how encouraging to see the joy, victory, hope, and commitment to return to what God has asked her to do.

There is sorrow sometimes in this life.

* Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
* Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

There are wives that have had to say goodbye to their husbands. There are family members that have had to say good bye to loved ones. There are some Christian parents in our state that just lost all three of their children in a house fire. You do not have to look far to find sorrow. But I am here to remind you today that there is a day coming where our sorrow will be no more. In the day of the Lord, we will be given rest from our sorrow. I sometimes seem to miss my loved ones at the strangest times in the most unexpected ways. There is a day approaching when Jesus will return for His Bride, and when that happens, all sorrow is drifted away. Are you struggling with some sorrow? Maybe not every minute or every day, but maybe every week, month, etc. just be encouraged, you will not have to carry that sorrow forever. God can give rest from it.

* Matthew 11: 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.