Echoes From the Campfire

There are times when we must do that which is not ours by personal choice, but made necessary by external circumstances.  These are the tests which prove who we are.  What is our character?  Can we stand and make the tough decisions which will take us into harm’s way and put our lives at risk, or do we cower and make excuses for refusing to do what is required of us?  You have taken the path of hardship and courage.  Your mission will end one day.  Then, you will see the brightness of the future for the man who lives by truth and righteousness.”
              –Lloyd E. Foley  (Spirit of Lone Warrior)

    “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
              –Philippians 2:15(NKJV)
Doctrine!  I’m saying it again–one of the major problems in the church today is that they either do not know the doctrines of God’s Word, or they ignore them.  It is doctrine, the teachings of the Bible, that will get you through the storms, the hard times, the persecutions, yes, and even the viruses of the world.  And, I want to mention that there are all sorts of viruses, not just the COVID.  There are heart viruses, emotional viruses, mental viruses along with the physical type that we are currently seeing.

         β€œIt [doctrine] impacts what we think; it affects our worldview; it determines what we believe is right and wrong; it guides us in life, determines our convictions and standards, and affects all our actions.”
                   –Rick Renner

    Our knowledge of the Bible does affect our worldview, or it should if we are truly practicing what it says.  Our values system, our morals, and our character are all determined by how much we know and study God’s Word.  
    In all that I want to bring to you something from the last part of Matthew.  Jesus is ready to ascend to the Father and He leaves the disciples with these words:

          “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.”
                   –Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)

There are many Christians who question this statement of Jesus.  Oh, maybe not verbally but in their actions and how they face life they do.  Too many are fixed upon “feeling” and they focus on that rather than focus on the reality of it.  Some may wonder where God was when tragedy struck or when the COVID hit their family.  I’ll can easily tell them–He was there, right with them whether they “felt” Him or not.  He is always there!  
    Frances Havergal goes so far as to say that Christians call Him a “liar” by their actions and beliefs.  Here Jesus has declared that He is with us always.  Not sometimes, but always!  The way we act in times of troubles and crises seems to say that Jesus did indeed lie.  We say, “‘No!  He is not with me!’  All you can say is, ‘I don’t sense [feel] His presence.’  Yet He was there with you while you said it.  What must He have thought?” (Havergal)
    I am reminded of the storm that arose upon the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus was sleeping in the boat, while the storm raged and continued to grow in strength.  Even seasoned men of the sea were afraid.  They woke Jesus, and He looked at them disgusted at their lack of faith then calmed the storm.  They had not grasped the truth that He was there, in the midst of the raging storm.
    Going into 2021, get this doctrine, this great truth down in your heart.  Believe it, heed it, understand it, practice it, for no matter what, Jesus is with us “always, even to the end of the age”!