Summary: We do not deserve anything from God except for His wrath and punishment . . . BUT BECAUSE of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sin - it is by His grace we have been saved!
The last two weeks, I have talked about how much God has blessed this nation; giving America more blessings than any other nation in the history of the world – including Israel.
And I talked about how we now have a responsibility to do what we can to keep these blessings flowing for our children and our children’s children. We must realize that with every blessing comes a duty; a duty to keep those blessings. And this does not just apply to our nation, but it also applies to each one of us on an individual basis.
Today, I want to talk about how, as Christians, we receive personal blessings from the Lord. One of the best blessings I have ever received in the world, is the blessing of having Diana as my wife.
She is in Florida this week. Her father is not in the best of health, and we decided it would be a good time for her to visit with him. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t confess that I really miss her. I miss her being here to make sure I am sticking to my doctors orders, but what I miss most of all is just her presence. She is a part of me, and when I look around our home and know she is gone, I know that part of me is gone, too.
In the past, I have gone traveling with her. I like that a lot better! Once, we went back to Ohio and stayed with one of her aunts. While we were there, we had the awesome opportunity to teach her aunt about the Lord’s Supper, and how powerful that can be in a Christian’s life.
And we have encountered many wonderful and different things throughout the years. On another occasion, we went to Ohio to visit family and friends. We both grew up there, so we still know people back there. And while we were there the last time, we met a woman at a local Christian bookstore in a place called Coshocton, Ohio. It turns out she went to school with Diana and remembered her.
Now, I will probably get in trouble for this, but we able to attend Diana’s 35th high school reunion and saw more of her high school friends. And because we took the time to rest, we were restored. And through this restoration, God touched our hearts even more. He also led us to some mighty interesting places.
One of the places we went to was also one of the most unique things I had ever seen. It was out in the country, on a bare hillside near Warsaw, Ohio. Way up on top of this beautiful hill was a round tent. We drove up the gravel path to get to it and found that the tent was about 150’ across and about 45’ or so high.
The roof and the walls were made from very heavy vinyl, supported by huge metal beams, and sat on a round concrete floor that had water pipes in it to keep it warm during the winter. The tent had six sets of doors around it, and over each door was a symbol of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. We entered through the Easter Gate.
We talked to the owner, a Reverend Paris. He said it is a place of prayer that is free to everyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. People come to pray; to sing praises; to hold group meetings and to hold church services. The place is so incredible I do not have the words to describe it properly.
Reverend Paris was given a vision in the mid 1990’s. He built a big house in Kentucky for prayer, and was then given a vision to do it again in Ohio using a tent. He and his team had a vision, or a calling from God, and they recognized that as a calling from God, and their faith in God allowed them to step out in blind faith, following God just as surely as Abraham did, and that faith allowed them to be successful.
They knew what they were supposed to do and they did it. I wonder how many people today ask God what their purpose is, and then refuse to follow when God shows them. Reverend Paris has proven the words to the song; ‘Lead me, Lord, I will follow.’
We already have everything we need to be great successes in God’s kingdom, but most of us are rendered incapable of doing such because we do are not aware that we have them! We have at our command, the entire blessings of the Almighty’s power, and we don’t even know it.
During the Great Depression, there was a man named Yates who ran a sheep farm in Texas. Times were very hard, and he was quickly going under. Things got so bad that he finally had to go on welfare just to feed his wife and children.