Put The BIG ROCKS in First

A while back an expert on the subject of time management was speaking to a group of business students.

After speaking to them for a while, he said, “Okay, it’s time for a quiz.” He set a one-gallon, wide mouthed Mason jar on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, inside the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”

“Really?” he said. Then he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel into the jar & shook it, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them said.

“Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it filled all the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted. Again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour in the water until the jar was filled to the brim.

Then he looked back at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit something more into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What are the big rocks of my life?

They should include these: Each day drawing nearer to God, spending time with Him in prayer, and seeking His guidance for my life through reading His Word.

I must remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or I’ll never get them in at all.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Someone is praying for you and me right now

Jesus goes away into the mountains, the desert, along the seashore, and into the garden in search of quietness to pray.

 Among the crowds he offers prayer and brings healing to the sick, sight to the blind, hope to the forsaken, and life to the dead.

And, now, even in our times, we are required to reclaim the magnificence of prayer.

Sometimes we may think prayer is a weak substitute for strategic action. We may feel prayer is what you do when you can do nothing else.

I am convinced that we can do nothing without prayer.

It is the greatest offering we can share when someone is in pain, desperate or alone.

There is nothing within our grasp that can be achieved without prayer.

 

 Someone somewhere is praying for you and me right now.

 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

We Need Prayer

Whenever and wherever efforts are forged to divide humanity and wage war, we should be driven to declare God’s will.

We are called to remind the powers-that-be that we are divinely ordained to live in peace with justice for all; we are called to be makers of peace.

 In order to have courage to take bold, unpopular positions, we need a well-developed practice of prayer. In order to act appropriately and not just emotionally, we need a clear line of communication with God.

 Prayer makes the difference when disaster is imminent. We are on a collision course with unthinkable consequences.

We need prayer.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Heard a Knock

An old beggar woman ran out of money. She couldn’t pay her rent. She couldn’t pay any of her bills. The landlord had threatened to throw her out if she didn’t soon pay her rent.

She had only a candle to keep her warm. A knock came at her door and she was afraid to answer for fear that it was the landlord coming to kick her out of her humble abode.

She blew out her candle and sat quietly in the dark and waited for the intruder to leave. Two weeks later she found out that the knock on the door was the knock of a friend who had come to bring her enough money to pay her rent and pay her debts.

I wonder how many many times I have heard the gentle knock of the Savior who wants so much to come in and  free me from my burdens  but I have ignored His knocking.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

The Pressure is Off!

God’s New Covenant with us can be summed up in one powerful statement:

It is His irrevocable promise to deliver His people from the dominion of sin – through the power of the Holy Ghost!

            This New Covenant does away with all of my puny efforts to please God through my flesh. It is the end of all my striving to overcome sin, whether through determination, strength, reasoning or any other works of the flesh.

In short, God’s New Covenant takes the pressure off of us – and places it all on Him!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Need To Pray!

Recently I rededicated my life to prayer. It’s not that I haven’t been praying. It’s that I don’t think I have been praying fervently.

It is like I forgot the importance of calling on God…..Worshiping God…..Listening to God….

Jabez prayed for enlarged borders and protection from harm.

Other people in the Bible prayed for deliverance from trouble, deliverance from both poverty and riches, deliverance from the belly of a great fish, daily bread, preservation and sanctification of spirit, soul, and body,the healing of the sick, and the ending of the rain and its beginning again. 

When the disciples prayed, the building around them shook  and an earthquake opened the doors of their prison.

I think that my prayers will make a difference in how God acts in the world!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I WILL SERVE THE LORD

ANYWHERE…     At work…  At Play…  At Church… In the enemies Camp… In physical infirmities… When no one can see me

FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME…Today… Until He comes… one hundred years from now

UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES…  In a great building…In a poor building…With money… Without money…With Friends…Without Friends

Yep, My mind is made up….I WILL SERVE THE LORD!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

It’s Confirmed!

I am a people watcher!

Have you ever noticed the people in an airport? Ever notice the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby? 

The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pacing.  I think its called stand-by because they mostly stand and say “bye”

The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If I knew that in fifteen minutes I would have to stand in judgment before  God and learn my eternal destiny, what would my reaction be?

Would I pace the floor?

 Or, would I be confident that He is going to say,  “Welcome home, child,?”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

“Believing is Seeing.”

    It sounds like a contradiction, but the Bible teaches that faith is visualizing the future in the present. It’s being sure of what you don’t see – It is seeing it in advance. Man says: “Seeing is believing.” God says:  “Believing is seeing.” 

A few years ago, after nine years of pastoring my first church, an evangelist spoke a Word over me . “Your ministry here is done. You have completed your call.” 

Those were not words that I wanted to here. I had birthed that church. It was MY baby. I thought I would never leave. But, I wanted to be obedient. I believed it was God….so I prayed.

I told God, “If You will tell  me where I am going, I will resign and go.” I heard nothing though I continued to tell God the same thing for several months.

Finally, I heard Him speak to me. “Resign, and I will show you where you are going,” He said.

I didn’t like it. I would rather know where I was going. I needed the security of knowing. I wanted to make plans.

I learned about Faith during those months of wanting it my way. I finally relented….did what  God had asked…..and, received an appointment the same day.

“Believing is seeing.” 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

God’s Grace

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.
Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….
“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.
I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Take ‘em home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time..”
“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”
The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field
birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”
“How much?” the pastor asked again. The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other.
I’m really gonna have fun!”
“And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I’ll kill ‘em,” Satan glared proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”
“How much? He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”
Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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