Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6, NLT).
In a speech made in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” It seems ironic how closely the words of Peter and Mr. Lincoln mirror the situation we find ourselves in today. We live in a society that no longer feels the need or desire for divine intervention or involvement. We feel as though we are too smart, too advanced, and too capable to need God in our lives. Our national motto has gone from “In God We Trust,” to “In ourselves we trust!” What we really need in our nation today is a little bit, no a lot, of what both Peter and Mr. Lincoln are suggesting. We need a huge dose of humility, and for our own sakes let us hope that it is self-humility and not divine imposed humility. As the Lord spoke to Solomon “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Oh Lord, teach us humility before you find it necessary to humble us!
Greetings In The Name of the Lord:
James 1:2 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual,
”This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
”You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown
off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just
happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for
so long. It was bad for me to do this.”
”No,” his friend replied, “This is good!”
”What do you mean, ’This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”
”If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”