Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Unspeakable Hurt

17 people dead, shot, murdered in a high school on Valentine’s Day in Florida, add that to the many other evils that hurt and destroy the lives of people in our country and around the world. Besides the unspeakable grief with which it shrouds the family members and friends of the victims, it places all caring Americans in the grip of sorrow, and guilt, and confusion, about why such things happen. Those answers, if there are any, will come on investigation, but what can be said to those who carry the hurt and sorrow, at least from the spiritual side of the questions? Here, edited, is a Christian Devotional reading expressing where God is in relation to the tragedy of the individuals left behind, mourning, and hurting. It appears in the devotional book, A Year in the Life: Ministry and Memories ©2017.

March 29
He Will Carry You
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.         Isaiah 63:9

There are so many people who face grave dangers and difficulties in their lives;  their children shot to death at school, toddlers afflicted with dread diseases, persecution for their faith that puts their life and liberty at risk, drunken spouses, desperate poverty, or personal mental illness; just a few among many of the tragedies of life that can break the will, and break a heart, and break a faith. Where is God for these people? Why do they suffer all alone in their dreadful circumstances?

The prophet Isaiah tells us that when Israel, God’s people, was under affliction that He was afflicted with them. He loved them while they were stricken and suffering. He brought them back to Himself and carried them. He carried them all the days of old. He carried them through it all. No matter what they faced He was there with them, and if they desired it, for them.

When people ask “Why? Why me? Why my child? Why my family? Why my emotions? Why my country? Why my church?” Or any of the many “Why?” questions that come up during a season of suffering, the only answer is God knows. Not much comfort humanly speaking, yet there is comfort in knowing that God knows and cares. God is with you in your affliction. He feels for you, His child, He is carrying you. Hug his neck like a toddler in the dark hugs her daddy. God will carry you as long as it takes.

Prayer: You are with us in the furnace, Lord. Help us walk through the fire knowing we are in Your care, and be comforted. In the name of Jesus who suffered for us. Amen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peace To You

Since about 1950 in the little park across from the United Nations building in New York stands  the Isaiah wall. The wall displays an etching in granite of Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Because of this great statement in behalf of peace, the wall has become a consistent gathering place for protests at, and of, the United Nations.

The people of the world want men and nations to take these words to heart and to bring peace to the world. They want terrorists to lay down their arms and live at peace with their neighbors of whatever religion, they want armies to cease crossing the borders of other nations to invade, they want nuclear weapons to be disbanded by all nations so that a threat of total war for the world will be eliminated, and they want so many other things that speak of peace.

These are wonderful thoughts, great desires, delightful dreams for a world of peace in this time when there is no peace. However, these actions may be things that cannot happen on earth without a causal intervention by God. The context of Isaiah’s statement includes the verse before (2:3) which states: And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Plowshares will one day be made of weapons of war, when the peoples and nations of the world seek the one, true, and living God, and learn His ways and walk in them. When they do God will judge among the nations and peace will fill the earth. When that will happen we don’t know, but we do know that the nations of the world are not walking in His ways now, and don’t want His judgment among them. Naturally, they would have to change their ways. Peace comes from seeking the righteousness of God. If you are a true protester for peace in the world seek God and His righteousness. When the world does that, whenever it happens, there will be more plowshares made from swords and other weapons than you can imagine.

Don't forget this part of the Christmas message: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Verse Out Of My Devotional Reading Today

He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul;
but he that despiseth his ways shall die.

Proverbs 19:16

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dr. K's daily devotional book

A Year in the Life Ministry and Memories

is now available on Kindle.

Paper bound copies are available @ online outlets.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Seasonal Devotion

     I came across this wonderful verse in my devotional reading this morning. It summarizes my life.

     For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth (Psalm 70:5).

     I received the Lord Jesus as my personal savior when I was 10 years old. It was through the ministry of my Sunday School teacher, and now more than 6 decades later Jesus remains my hope and my trust. I was a youth and now I’m much older, and the relationship of faith is stronger and better, and my life has been greatly blessed. In the spirit of the Christmas season soon to be upon us I can say, “With faith in Him life is really a wonderful life.”

     I recommend Him to you. God sent His Son Jesus to be God with us, the Savior, who saves us from our sins. The Holy Spirit blesses our living, and guides us in God’s way through the teaching of the Bible.

     This is the happiest way to live life. It is the most comforting way. It is the most joyous way.

     However young you are, I ask you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and find out how good life can be.

     And, let me be one of the first to say to you, Merry Christmas 2017.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Devotional Thought From Deuteronomy

Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess. Deuteronomy 5:33

                Modern Western societies seem to have forgotten how some things work. When God gave life directions to his ancient people he indicated that following his commands (his Word, his instructions, his life-coaching) and, following it means living it out, walking in it, making it a lifestyle, would make things well with you. Society will be safe because all people would be following the same rules; prosperity would be abundant because all folks would be acquiescing to a godly standard of behavior; lives would be lengthy because following God’s rules would eliminate many of the dangers that put human life at risk.

                I think there is a legitimate correlation between right living, as God declares it in the revelation of his word, and the greatness, and peace, and blessing that a society enjoys. Not everyone may follow God’s guidance (they should, I hope they will, they owe it to the rest of us), but if the people of a nation as a whole follow God’s commandments that nation will be blessed, and, of course, all the individuals who are part of it will be blessed as well.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Devotional Thought From Numbers

Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldst say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the suckling child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?     Numbers 11:12

                As a pastor I view Moses’  question as indicating a significant portion of the pastor’s ministry to the people of his congregation and fellowship. Look at the picture of a father with a newborn child. Pastor, view yourself as the father, and carry your parishioners as though they were the new borns. Bear them in your arms, put up with their needs, supply what they cry for, get them to where they are supposed to be.

                Paul says a similar thing: But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth  her children: so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us (1 Thessalonians 2:7,8). We cherish you the nurse (pastor) says to the children. We poured our affection upon you. You know we cared, we loved, we shared the gospel of God.

                My thinking is that the pastor like the loving parent meets the need of the child (parishioner) lovingly; washing, feeding, caring, putting up with, sharing real truth in love.
How great it would be if those putting reviews on the Internet about your church would say, “The people at that church love you, whoever you are, because that’s what their pastor is like.”

                It’s an old saying, I think, sometimes for good, sometimes not, “Like pastor like people.” Pastors with the callings of Moses and Paul will do the church real good.