Tag Archives: Lord

Floating Ax Head

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about one of the miracles that’s recorded in II Kings chapter 6:1-7. It seems that there was a person who was cutting a tree down and the ax head come off of it’s handle and fell into the water and sank out of sight. My first thought is what’s up with the ax head? Second thought is why is it included in the scriptures? Could the ax head be that important? So I started digging to see what I could find.

It seems that Elisha was with what was referred to as the sons of the prophets. They were staying there for the purpose of learning about God and God’s ways from Elisha. They were the students and Elisha was their master or teacher. The number of the students had increased and the place where they were staying had become cramped, too small. So they sought his advice and asked his permission to go to the valley of Jordan and cut some trees to use to build a bigger place for them to stay in. He said to go and he went with them. Then the tree cutting started.

Suddenly one of the men had a problem with his ax. The handle broke and the ax head went into the water and sank out of sight. To make things worse, it was an axe that he had borrowed. That meant that he would have to replace it. (Exodus 22:14) He then called out to Elisha and said master it is gone. Elisha asked where did it fall in and they showed him the spot where it fell. He cut a stick and threw it in where the axe head had gone under and the ax head floated back to the top.

I can see the scene now. Just as he took a big swing back with the ax, the head came off and found the river. His heart probably sank quicker than the ax head as he realized that it was going to cost him to replace it. I’ve been there and done that. Borrow a tool and then it breaks. That puts you in a bad position. Some commentary I read pointed out that this was a picture of what Christ does for us. We owed a sin debt that we couldn’t pay and he paid it for us on the cross. Another I read made the point that when we fail and fall into the mud of this world, God is very capable of lifting us up out of the mud of our failure and restoring us. I like both those thoughts.

But the application that I like draws a comparision for us when we are working with God and problems arise. Sometimes when we are being faithful and we’re working and we’re learning about God, things will go wrong without any warning or without any real cause. We’re trying our best to be what it is that we’re supposed to be and then the enemy throws something at us trying to distract us or trying to slow us down, we can be assured that God is still there and that He will help us. The reason the ax head went down in the river is because it was heavier than the water. That being the case, gravity took over and down it went. But when the man of God acted with faith that God would help, he suspended the law of gravity and made the ax head float. For me, reading about this ax head reminds me that He is in charge of everything, even making iron float which we all know is impossible.

 Not one concern of ours is small,
If we belong to him;
To teach us this, the Lord of all,
Once made the iron swim.

from the borrowed axe by John newton

The verse above is from a song by John Newton. Here’s a link to the rest of the verses.

I hope you have been encouraged in some small way with this post. Have a great day and know that God loves you!

Going Home

A few days ago I was reading in the book of Mark. Chapters 6 and 8 to be exact. As I was reading chapter 6 a few things stood out and gave me some things to ask myself. In the very first verse it says that he went out from there and came to his own country and his disciples followed him. What that means is that he left where he was, and he went home. I got to thinking about going home and what that means. When we go home we feel safe and we can be among people who know us, people who love us and people who would back us up even if everybody else in the whole world was against us, we would still find family and friends that we could count on. It didn’t work like that for Jesus because it says in the second verse that when the Sabbath had come he began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing him were astonished and began asking questions.

 "Where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to him, that such mighty works are performed by his hands! Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?"  So they were offended by him.  Mark 6:2-3

Notice that last line. They were offended by Him. They didn’t stand with Him, they were offended. Instead of being glad that a hometown boy had grown up there and was able to teach the scriptures and perform mighty works, they were questioning His authority to teach. They were also having trouble understanding the mighty works that were performed by His hands. Don’t miss that they seen the mighty works, but all they could do was wonder how it was possible. After all, they knew Him. To them, this was just Jesus, a carpenter. They knew His family and had seen His work as a carpenter. Some may have even watched Him grow as a child into a young man.

In a weird sort of way, they missed who Jesus was (the Messiah) because they thought they knew who Jesus was (the carpenter).

This made me think first about my own attitude towards Jesus. Could it be possible that I’m so comfortable with my knowledge about Jesus that maybe I was missing, or even worse, hindering the works that God wants to do in my life? Over time we can get complacent in our work for God and we even think we can know what God will do in a given situation. We think we know God so well that we can know ahead of time what He’ll do in any situation that comes along in our life. I call this “putting God in a box”. We are comfortable when we do that because God does what we expect. Or we like to think that He does. Like the people in these verses, they were comfortable knowing Jesus as a carpenter, son of Mary, brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon and his sisters who were there with them. But they weren’t comfortable with Jesus being more than they knew. It’s like they were keeping Him in a box, one that they could accept. Remember they questioned what wisdom was given to Him that he could perform such mighty works. One reason I believe that they were offended was because they couldn’t easily explain Him. By the way, it’s never a good idea to put God in a box. You can’t easily explain Him or His ways, so the best thing to do is pray, seek to grow closer and to know Him better.

So far, I have found only one way to know Jesus. That’s through the reading and study of God’s word, prayerfully seeking to know Him and not hinder Him as He works in my life. I can’t rely on what I think I know, I must rely on Jesus.

In Philippians chapter 3 verse 8 Paul says that he counts all things that he has gained as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. Then in verse 10 Paul makes the statement ” that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection”. That’s what I want to know. I want to know Jesus in all His glory, power and His righteousness and Holiness.

Thanks for reading and I hope I’ve provided something for you to think about. Have a great day and know that the creator of this universe wants you to visit Him and have a talk. In fact, He died on the cross in your (and my) place just so that could happen.

Spring 2013 and Easter

This is a post I made in spring 2013. I thought it was worth posting again. Hope you enjoy!

I’m looking out the window at the car lot watching things move as a slight breeze is in the air, little specks of snow are twirling in the air as if they are dancing in rhythm with the breeze, and it’s warm in the office so all in all,  things are good.

Then I have to go outside.

Suddenly, the gentle breeze is fierce and will cut you in two. (seems like) AND the snow specks are like little aggravating insects hitting me in the face. AND, it’s COLD outside!

WOW! Just a few feet difference in my position on earth seem to make a huge difference in how I view and experience things. The breeze didn’t change. The snow specks didn’t change. The temperature didn’t drop suddenly. All that changed was my physical position in relation to the elements around me. And what a huge effect it had on my experience.

That’s the way it is when you become a Christian. Not one thing in the world changes, except you!

This life is full of troubles. Everything from sickness, money problems, job problems, marriage problems, family problems, loneliness, depression, loss of loved ones, etc…… The list could go on and on as it seems that there are almost as many problems as there are people. Life is hard. Jesus said it himself in John 16:33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

I for one am very glad that this verse is recorded in the scriptures. Being a Christian does not mean that problems vanish. Problems are a way of life in this world. Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation. AND He said to be of good cheer, because HE has overcome the world. AND He is willing to help us overcome the world also. Jesus is telling his followers about the Holy Spirit and how he would come to be with them after He is gone. They didn’t understand why Jesus was leaving or where He was going, but Jesus was reassuring them they would not be alone.

When we become a Christian, we also have God’s Holy Spirit living inside us to teach us, comfort us and guide us.

Remember at the beginning of this post how that a small change in my physical position made a huge difference in the way I experienced the things outside? Remember how I said this was like becoming a Christian? Here’s why. The office is a warm place that offers me protection from the cold, the wind, the snow specks, and whatever is outside. It’s a place that I can go to escape all the harsh ugly stuff we call weather. Just a few feet difference in my PHYSICAL position makes the difference. Likewise, just a small step in my SPIRITUAL position makes a huge difference in the way I experience life’s problems. Just like the weather, the problems are still there, but now God’s Holy Spirit is alive in me, comforting me, guiding me and giving me peace. I still have problems, but now experience them in a whole new way. I don’t have an office that I go to, but I have a God that comes to me. He comforts me, gives me peace, uses my problems to glorify Himself and in the end, shares that with me. He’s pretty awesome.

In a few weeks, we will celebrate the death, burial and most importantly resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has overcome all that this world had to offer. And through Jesus Christ, I will also.

 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10

So much has happened and yet nothing happened. That makes sense to me but probably not to you. So here goes. Back in late January we started talking to Gary, a real estate guy that attends our church, about the possibility of selling our home and moving closer to church and family. All told, this move would be around 30 mile closer to Kingsport, Tn. which would accomplish the goal of being closer to church and family. We had discussed this move for years and decided that the time was right to try this. So we put the house on the market and in just two weeks we had a contract.  Not just an offer, but a contract.

We rented a storage building and started to move out. Then we got the phone call that our sale was off. The  buyers couldn’t get their loan. Still ain’t sure how they came to us pre-approved and then changed to un-approved, but it happened. So that’s what I mean when I say so much has happened but yet nothing happened.

Now we don’t know whether to move our stuff back in and then have to move out again when/if our house sells, or just move it back in and forget the whole thing. Really weird but it seems par for the course for me.

There’s another point in time when the phrase “so much has happened and yet nothing happened” could have been uttered by people concerning the life and death of Jesus. The crowds seen Him heal the sick, bring sight to the blind and restore walking to the lame, yet when the time came, they all turned their back on Him and cried “Crucify Him'”. Even his disciples who had followed his every move lost sight of who He truly was and is today. I wonder if maybe one of them, possibly Thomas, could have looked at the cross that day and uttered those words “so much has happened and yet nothing happened” as he thought back over the weeks and months of following Jesus, seeing all the miracles and then watching as Jesus was beaten, and then crucified. I wonder if Thomas was left trying to figure out how Jesus seemed to have so much power, yet was subject to death. No doubt he walked away from the cross that day with his life having been changed by what he had seen both of the miracles and the death of Jesus. He had to have been trying to piece it all together. So much power, and yet they crucified Him on a cross.

For Thomas the wondering ended when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. According to John chapter 20, the disciples were inside with the doors locked when Jesus appeared to them and said “Peace to you” and He showed them his hands and the wound in his side. But Thomas wasn’t with them. They told him about this but he said he would not believe unless he seen it him self. So the next day Jesus appeared to them again. Same way because they were inside, doors locked and Jesus appeared to them. But this time Thomas was there. And Jesus invited Him to “put your finger here and observe my hands, put your hand in my side.”  Thomas knew then that he was the one that was wrong. So much had happened, including the greatest victory that the world had ever seen. Jesus had defeated death. HE alone had wiped out the strong hold that sin had placed on this world.

Many people today do and think the same thing. They don’t know how to balance the power of God with the death of  Jesus on the cross. If only they would look into the purpose and the power of Jesus’ death. They know that Jesus was crucified. They’ve heard all about that. It’s not that big a deal. But can you imagine how Thomas felt when he got the invitation to put his finger here and to place his hand inside Jesus’ side and he experienced the sudden realization that Jesus had defeated death? The invitation is still there today. Seek Him and ask Him and experience Him. It’s your choice.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Answered Prayer

Last week was race week at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is always a pleasure to go visit and meet the race fans and if possible share Jesus with them. It wears me out physically but at the same time, I get to see God at work and be a part of His work.

Then Sunday evening I got to help lead our youngest grandchild to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is now excited and can’t wait until she is “bap-ti-tized” as she says it. Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with a man whom I had never met, about rededicating his life to Jesus. He had suffered a heart attack Friday and is now recovering. My son in law gave my number to his friend after they mentioned that he would like to talk to a preacher about his life and how to “get right with God” as they put it. I called and spoke with him and prayed with him over the phone. Hope to get to meet him sometime soon.

For a while I have been praying for a problem that my family has been going through and at times I have asked God to just let me see him at work so that I know He is there. My faith knows that He is always present, but my human limits try to tell me that it’s all in vain. I believe God answered my prayer this week in the people he set before me to share His word with them. And I count it the highest honor that one could ever receive to be asked by God himself to minister to another.

All praise honor and glory go to Jesus, my Savior and Lord.