Hercules, according to legend, grew increasingly irritated by a strange, menacing animal that kept blocking his path. In a fit of anger, he struck the animal with his club, killing it. Yet, as he continued his path, he encountered the same animal, each time larger and more menacing than before. At last, a wise messenger appeared and warned Hercules to stop his furious assault.
How do you respond to those relationships that really "bug" you? How do you respond when others mistreat you? How do you respond when others criticize you or talk about you? How do you respond when others put you down in a meeting or at a social gathering? How do you respond to the person at your work or school who is constantly taking jabs at you?
Years ago, while she was enjoying a transatlantic ocean trip, Billie Burke, the famous actress, noticed that a gentleman at the next table was suffering from a cold. She asked him sympathetically, "Are you uncomfortable?" The man nodded. She said, "I'll tell you just what to do for it. Go back to your stateroom and drink lots of orange juice. Take two aspirins. Cover yourself with all the blankets you can find. Sweat the cold out. I know just what I'm talking about.
This is a follow-up to two messages I gave a few weeks ago entitled, “The Art Of Hearing God” and “Come To the Quiet.” These messages were to encourage everyone to see the importance of a personal “quiet time” with the Lord. I am attaching a “Personal Devotional Worksheet” that I created several years ago that can assist those who are serious about having a regular personal quiet-time.
In my quiet time recently I was reading in Acts 7. The passage gives the account of Stephen's being stoned. Before he was stoned it states that he looked up into the heavens and saw the heavens open and then saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. I believe this paints a picture for us of the Christian life.
I was very impressed recently with the quarterback of the Clemson Tigers. No, it wasn't his playing that most impressed me. It wasn't what he did but what he said. Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback, when interviewed, said, "I put my identity in what Christ says, who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am." Don't miss that last statement in the midst of a profound statement. "...who I know that He says I am." This young man has grasped one of the most critical components for a successful Christian life...and I might add, even a successful life.
It is in Isaiah that we find the most famous of prophecies concerning the Incarnation. Isaiah 7:14 tells us "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Later in chapter 9 we read: "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." The promise of a coming Messiah is clear. Unfortunately, we often fail to see them in their historical context.