Friday, August 2, 2013

Truth of God's Word to us!

The 'Reflections on Repentance' I sent out today has been a particularly challenging one to me.  On one hand, God is a God of grace and love.  There can be no denying that.
    But for us to dismiss the need and responsibility our Lord has put on us to be about His kingdom work in our lives, and to the lost of this world is a grave omission on our part.  Far too many of us look past the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 24 and 25 and go on believing that God will save us even if we go about living our lives on our own terms.  Yet, as I look at these teachings, we betray our Lord and ourselves by thinking this way.  For the unfaithful and unprepared, there is a notable end, and it is not one we will be happy with!
    This all seems to come down to the age old question so many wrestle with: Is God a God of grace and love and we are saved only by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, or do we have to work to gain our salvation?  As I read scripture for what God is wanting me to learn and understand, I believe the answer is 'Yes' and 'Yes' to both questions.
    'Yes,' we are saved, completely, irrevocably saved by God's love and grace poured out for us on the cross of Jesus Christ!  Without that finished work, there is no hope for salvation for mankind.  None at all!
    'Yes,' we are created for good works.  All the teachings of Jesus and His apostles clearly support this.
    A few years ago, I wrote of a 1953 Corvette, the only one still around of the first 5 made as prototypes.  The Lord showed me a very important lesson in that car while I stood admiring it.  The owner had restored it meticulously with all original parts.  It is a beautiful car, and a very valuable one.  But it has been made into a museum piece, trailer-ed from one car show to another for people's admiration.   It never gets driven.  And that is what it was designed for.
    Like that '53 Corvette, we too are created and designed to be driven, to be used of our Lord for His kingdom work.  We are to be multipliers and disciplers, always working to add to our Lord's kingdom.  Our Lord Jesus makes it clear that He finds great joy when His people, called by His name, join Him in the work of His kingdom. 
    The works we do, do not save us.  Yet, at the same time, we enter into the joy of our Lord when He finds us doing them.  Trust me, there can be no greater feeling in our lives when we know He is pleased!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Lord's Peace!

    Yesterday was frustrating for me.  The details are not important.  But what is important is what happened at one point in the afternoon.
    As I was walking out to the car after one of my appointments, I found myself in prayer.  I often pray as I go about my day, but on this occasion, I had an overwhelming sense of peace in the midst of my frustrations.  I wasn't even praying about anything specific, it was just that I was looking to our Lord and wanting to spend time with Him.  Even in the busyness of my day, I wanted His presence.  Despite my circumstances, I had peace.
    Do you spend time with Him even when you are extremely busy?
    It is one of the reasons the Lord led me back in 1999 to begin publishing the 'Daily Chew' devotions, now titled, 'Reflections on Repentance.'  Initially it was to encourage and put scripture in front of friends and family through another media.  It grew over the years quite a bit.
    But it's overarching mission was to encourage others in their own walk with the Lord, even when sometimes the articles were convicting.
    Enough said!  Now go off and spend time with Him.  Hear Him!  He alone is worthy to be praised!
Soli Deo gloria!
Kevin Haislip

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunday, I experienced a most memorable evening with a fellow believer. In the early 1980's (33 years ago), my wife and I helped to co-lead the high school group at our church.  It was a great group, and most of the students that attended were themselves strong Christians, daily seeking the Lord and His leading in their lives.  Sunday evening, one of the members of that group from some 32 or 33 years ago flew into Dallas on a job, and he and I got together for dinner and spent quite a long time catching up.  To be fair, we have stayed in touch very loosely through the years by email as I sent out the 'Daily Chews' and they send out Christian and other issue related emails.  But we hadn't seen or talked much for probably at least 20 years.
     We talked about our families and careers.  And we spent most of the evening talking about what the Lord had done in each others lives.  Where two or three are gathered...   well the Lord showed up in a big way.
     Four of the youth in that group 32 years ago coupled together and married.  Kyle and his wife Dawn were two of them, and the stories of what God has done in their lives are rich and a great blessing to any who hear them.
     Which leads me to my point. At different times in my life, I have had the opportunity to visit with someone who goes way back in my past.  But it is a huge blessing to see how God has worked in one's life whom you knew way back when.  Fellowship is centered on the testimonies of our Lord.
     John wrote in Revelations 12:11, "And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
     Lest we ever forget, consider this day the events of your life and what God did in you and taught you.  Tell these testimonies often, for they are the riches of our lives.   KRH

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yesterday, I was speaking with a brother who is also an excellent writer and evangelist.  He expressed something that I too have been feeling the last 2 or 3 years: a weariness of soul.  He finds he does not have the energy and passion he used to have toward reaching out to others, or writing like he did.  Yet he still acknowledges a driven desire to reach those who do not know Jesus.
   Most of us recognize we live in very dark and uncertain times.  The society around us continues to degrade into a self-centered and even violent character and the things that even a few decades ago were considered good and wholesome are now called evil and are hated. 
   Added to that are fear-mongers who prophesy death to our way of life. They admonish us to follow them, to protect our wealth, to lay aside great quantities of food and purchase weapons to protect ourselves against those who will do us harm. The fear they espouse however is contagious and spreads rapidly. It kills our ability to trust God, to walk in joy and peace, and to tell others of His mercies and love.
   We cannot add even a single breath to our lives beyond that which God has already numbered. Yet if we should find ourselves even alone and naked, Jesus will still tell us to 'Fear Not!' and to 'Trust Him!'
   The mere fact that we can trust Him though all about us fails should give us tremendous hope and joy!  For my family and I, and my brother, though we are weary of all that is happening around us, we are also strengthened by the power of His Word and the Joy of our Salvation.
   It will not be our church that saves us.  It will not be our friends and family, or our wealth and stores laid up. Jesus is our salvation and the only one that gives peace and joy.  KRH