Tuesday, August 23, 2016

by Rev. Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. Every day with Jesus, I love Him more and more. Jesus saves and keeps me and He's the One I'm waiting for. Every day with Jesus is sweeter that the day before!
    More and more, I find myself singing the old hymns and humming the Bible choruses we sang as children. Unfortunately, many little children today do not have the same opportunity to learn the things of God because of parent's neglect and the church's failure to teach them.
    J. Edgar Hoover, former Director of the F.B.I. stated: “Children that are brought up in Sunday school are seldom brought up in Court.”
    Jesus Christ said: “...Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it.
    “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose His own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8: 34-37)
                                      A REAL WORLD OUT THERE!
    This life doesn't offer many free lunches or instant successes. Our sojourn on Planet Earth is mostly a series of trials, errors and hard work!
     Often success only comes on the heels of disappointment and failure. We live in a real world, with very few born into instant money, privilege and position.
    For most of us, it's a day to day "bump and grind" existence, with only a minuscule chance of winning a Loto 649 and living the fantasy life projected on TV commercials.
But hard work has never hurt anyone and a little strain, stress and sweat is really quite healthy. The old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again", is good advice indeed!
    Abraham Lincoln ran for public office several times and was defeated. He did not give up however, and finally was elected President of the USA and became renowned as one of America's greatest leaders.
   Theologian, Dr. Kenneth Taylor sought in vain for a publisher to print his new paraphrase of the Holy Bible. He organized Tyndale House Publishers and has sold more than 35 million copies of the 'Living Bible'.
   Science fiction writer, Frank Herbert who authored the galactic epic, 'Dune', was turned down by 20 publishers before his manuscript was finally accepted. His run-away-book has sold over 12 million copies.
   If we turn our mistakes and failures into stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, the experiences we go through are reversed from negative to positive!
    But if we take the low road of complaining, sulking and blaming people, it becomes a long term aggravation that eats like a cancer. The Bible says, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he". Here's a poem that reinforces that truth:


"If you think you're beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost;
For out in the world you find
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can."

    St. Paul stated emphatically, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me". (Phil. 4:13). And Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believes". (Mark 9:23)
    We must come to God, in simple faith, believing that Christ's victory over Satan, death and Hell has purchased our freedom!
     Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened". (Matt. 7:7-8)
     Four things that most people are vitally concerned about are:
PEACE OF MIND. This comes through the knowledge of salvation, with the forgiveness of sins and the removing of guilt. Jesus said, "My peace I give unto you". (John 14:27)
PROTECTION OF ONE'S HOME & FAMILY. The Bible says, "There shall no evil befall you and no plague shall come nigh unto your dwelling". (Ps. 91:10). The angels of God protect His people.
SECURITY OF ONE'S JOB. The Bible tells us not to be concerned about tomorrow for He shall bless us with abundance. If we put Him first, He has promised to prosper and bless the work of our hands. (Luke 6:38; Matt. 6:33)
CONTINUED GOOD HEALTH. When Jesus died on the cross, He purchased our healing for the Bible states, "He was wounded for our transgressions...and with His stripes we are healed". (Is. 53:5; Matt. 8:16-17)
    The Bible says: “TRUST in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. DELIGHT thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. COMMIT thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. REST in the Lord and wait patiently for Him...” (Ps. 37: 3-7)
    The key is in not giving up. We must make our request to God, seek His Word for an answer and keep knocking until we receive. That's real faith!
     Here's a beautiful poem that I hope will inspire you!

I've dreamed many dreams that never came true
I've seen them vanish at dawn
But enough of my dreams have come true, thank God
To make me want to dream on!

I've prayed many prayers when no answer came
Though I waited patiently and long
But answers have come to enough of my prayers, thank God
To make me want to pray on!

I've trusted many a friend who failed me
And left me to weep all alone
But enough of my friends have been true blue, thank God
To make me want to trust on!

I've sown many seeds that fell by the way
For the birds of the air to feed on
But I've held enough golden sheaves in my hands, thank God
To make me want to sow on!

I've drunk of the cup of disappointment and pain
I've gone even days without song
But I've sipped enough nectar from the roses of life, thank God
To make me want to live on!

Here's a sobering little poem which tells the true story of life:


Charming childhood,
teachable teens,
tender twenties,
tireless thirties,
fiery forties,
forceful fifties,
serious sixties,
sacred seventies,
aching eighties,
shortening breath,
death, sod, God!

Let us never lose faith in Jesus Christ, for only He is able to give real meaning to life and death! Amen.