Echoes From the Campfire

One lives with trouble.  There is no need to think about a time without it, for it is always here.  A man grows strong by standing against the wind, and eternal peace would bring no happiness.  Man needs strife of some kind, something to struggle against.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Brionne)

    “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
              –John 4:23 (NKJV)
         “Neither drouth, nor rain, nor blizzard disturbs the joy-juice in this ol’ gizzard!”

You can add to that, liberalism, politics, riots, and other such stupidities and sundry things.
    It is not that I am not concerned, for I am very concerned about the state of this nation and the citizens of this country.  I am very concerned about the state of the church, and those who attend (or don’t attend).  However, those things are not going to wreck and destroy my joy, peace, and happiness.  We should be concerned about our nation and the times in which we live, but not to the point that the enemy is able to bring fear, dread, depression, and despair into our lives.
    There is a very often-quoted, yet misused verse in Jeremiah.  The thoughts of the Lord are of peace and not evil and to give us a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).  But read the whole chapter.  Do not take the verse out of context.  God’s thoughts are positive for Jeremiah and the nation of Israel, but first they had to spend time in captivity, time as slaves in Babylon.  The chapter tells us that we must seek Him, and when He is found He will bring them out of captivity.
    In these troublesome times, and they are troubling, there are some things that we are to do, that we MUST do.  No matter what happens in these times.  No matter what actions the extreme left takes against the church and believers there are some requisites for us.  

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
              –Matthew 5:13-16(NKJV)

You live in this place, shall I say, “in the now.”  You are here, January 2021, and this is where God expects you to live and operate, and function.  First, by being flavorful to those around you.  In the classroom, in the workplace, as you travel, to those you meet in the marketplace, in stores, at restaurants.  They should be able to “taste” and know that you are there and that you are a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, don’t act like them, don’t look like them, don’t talk like them, be separate and be flavorful.
    Second, don’t hide your light!  The Holy Spirit should be seen burning in you.  You are to be a warning as a lighthouse.  You are to be a beacon, to show the way.  You are to shine so that others have hope, and can look at your light and thus find the way.  You are no good if you hide the light that is within you.  In these times, how much more do those near you need a light to show them the way.
    There is one other Scripture I would leave with you today to ponder.  Contemplate it for it is one of those “hard” verses in the Bible.  I point you to Matthew 10:34:

         “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.  I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (NKJV).

We live in a time when there is much fear, terror, and turmoil on the earth.  A time of pestilence, a time of hatred, a time of division.  Yet, in this recognize that this is the place and time where God has placed you.  Don’t compromise with the enemy, don’t be complacent, don’t fret or fear for your heavenly Father cares for you.  He will provide for you, He knows your thoughts and you next step.  This is the time and place in which He has placed you–love in it for the Lord!