Examples of misfits in the Bible

by The Mad Preacher

When I think that God can’t use a screw-up like me I remember this:thousand-times-i-have-failed-195

Adam and Eve would not admit personal blame for their sin. Adam accused Eve and Eve accused the Serpent. (Genesis 3:12)

Eve, the first woman, was easily deceived and couldn’t control her appetite. (Genesis 3:6)

Noah, the last righteous man on earth at the time, was found drunk and sleeping in the nude. (Genesis 9:20-21)

Abraham, the forefather of the faithful, out of fear let other men have their way with his wife on two different occasions. (Genesis 12 and 20)

Sarah, the most gorgeous woman by popular opinion, told her husband to sleep with another woman and then hated her when he did it. (Genesis 16)

Lot offered his two young daughters to a gang of rapists. (Genesis 19)

Job, the epitome of faith, had to deal with a nagging wife. (Job 2:9)

Isaac, who was nearly killed by his father, talked his wife into concealing their marriage. (Genesis 26)

Rebekah was a manipulative wife. (Genesis 27)

Jacob, who wrestled with God, was a big liar. (Genesis 25, 27, 30)

Rachel was a thief who stole her father’s property before running off with her husband. (Genesis 31:19)

Reuben, the pride and firstborn of his dad, Jacob, had an affair with his father’s mistress. (Genesis 35:21)

Moses was the first man to break the Ten Commandments. In rage he threw the tablets down breaking them into little pieces. (Exodus 2, 32:19; Numbers 20:11)

Aaron, the first High Priest who witnessed the power of God through the 10 plagues that devastated Egypt, made an idol for God’s chosen people to worship while Moses was away. (Exodus 32)

Miriam, the songwriter and Moses’ sister, was hungry for power and plotted with Aaron against Moses. (Numbers 12)

Samson, the strongest man who ever lived was literally blinded by love. He became entangled with an adulterous woman whom he allowed to emasculate him. He ended up a blinded prisoner of his enemies and eventually ended his own life. (Judges 16)

Saul, the first king of Israel, lost his marbles. He was apparently psychotic and had manic bursts of anger. He attempted repeatedly murder. He had bouts with deep depression and paranoia. He died in the mist of defeat by falling on his own sward. (1 Samuel 16, 18, 19, 31)

David, the great king and psalmist, committed adultery with one of his closest friend’s wife and then had him murdered to cover it up. (2 Samuel 11)

Solomon, the wisest man in the world, had sex with 1,000’s of women. (1 Kings 11) He was also one of the wealthiest men in the world. Yet in later life he concluded that “Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1)

Hosea struggled with the pain of having an unfaithful wife who prostituted herself. This prophet, even as they spoke for God, struggled with impurity, depression, unfaithful spouses, broken families and overwhelming feelings of inadequacies. (Hosea Chapters 1) [1]

Finally, the great Apostle Paul faced a brutal struggle temptation. He said, “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t.” (Romans 7:18) [2]

So the next you feel like you’re not good enough for God’s use think about these great men and women of God. Despite all their failings God still used them to shake the foundations of the world and he will the same with you.

[1] Inspired by an article from Sermon Central written by Ron Forseth (https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/ron-forseth-20+-messed-up-bible-heroes-and-what-we-can-learn-from-them-1613#  Copyright © 2003-2017 | Outreach, Inc.) On 8-28-17. I did some rewriting and added some of my own insights.

[2] The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Turning the Big Seven-0!

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

—This is the hard Copy of the YouTube video—

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12[1])

Well, another baby boomer turned 70 this month— yours truly. I’m officially an old cheese-cutter. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, I’m one 70_year_old_birthday_gift_ideas_black_capof about 330 baby boomers that turn 70 every hour. I don’t remember what time I was born. I was a bet young at the moment and couldn’t tell time.

“The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.” — Old Irish Saying

However, I’m not the only boomer hitting the big seven-o. This year people like President Donald Trump, President George W. Bush, alone with Dolly Parton, Diane Keaton, Suzanne Somers [Suzanne Somers?! No way! Not Chrissie!], Reggie Jackson, Cher, Jimmy Buffett and Rocky himself—Sylvester Stallone turn that corner in life’s road. Also turning 70 this year is Al Pacino, Ringo Starr, Chuck Norris, Tina Turner, Nick Nolte, James Caan and little ol’ me.   There’s a new book out entitled, 70 Things to Do When You Turn 70. I thought about reading it but I don’t think I’ll have enough to time complete all 70 things by the time the Lord calls me home. Besides, it sounds like too much work. I guess us    70-ish folks can all be encouraged when we hear that according to a new study 70 is now the new 50. [Or is the other way around?]

What do I think about turning 70, you may ask? Well since you asked, I don’t feel any differently than I did last August 25th. It’s hard to tell. It’s a new experience for me. I’ve never been this old before. I suppose a better question is, “What have I learned in the past 70 years?”

One of the great paradoxes of getting older is this; The more I learn the less I know. You see, getting order does not necessarily mean getting wiser. One sign that you are getting wiser is that you immediately grasp the meaning when I say, “The more I learn the less I know”.

What have I learned? Let me hit some high points.

I learned early on that Jesus is real; that he willingly chose to come to this planet and that he willingly gave up his life to give us a new life filled live purpose and hope. I learned that immeasurable blessings are ours if we repent and surrender our lives to him.

I’ve learned that God actually loves me, yes… me! And His love is steadfast and unshakable.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his  Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

I’ve learned that God is good and he’s good all the time. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [and remember GK] that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” If God is good that means whatever happens he is lovingly commandeering the events in my life, good or bad, and turning them to my benefit.

In the past when something unpleasant happened to me I would say, “Here we go again!” However, over the years, as I got closer to God and my faith in him deepened, I developed a revised version of that expression. When hard times come I now say, “Well… here we grow again.”

Next, I’ve learned that real love has legs on it. The sad truth is that not everyone who says they love you actually does. There’s a big difference between saying you love someone and showing it every day, in every way, through thick and thin, that you do love them.

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17a)

I’ve learned the importance of kindness! It seems to be a rare commodity these days. Yet, it’s one of the main characteristics of a true Christian. No one was kinder than Jesus when he was on this planet. The Apostle Peter said of Jesus that he “went around doing good…” (Acts 10:38)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

I’ve learned that treating people with respect and kindness costs you nothing but gains much. A joke for a waiter or waitress along with a healthy tip expresses more of the kindness and love of Jesus than a Christian tract and no tip ever will.

“He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.” (Proverbs 22:11)

I’ve learned that true friends are a precious gift from God and should be greatly treasured. We should not let a day go by without expressing our love and appreciation to them.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)

I’ve learned that a real friend has no hidden agenda. He loves me, prays for me, and wants what best from me.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” (Proverbs 27:6)

I’m learned early in my life that not everyone likes me and that some actually hate me. I know that’s hard to swallow considering how loveable I am but true nonetheless. This is especially true for followers of Christ. We’re not part of this world’s twisted sin-sick system. Consequently, many hate us because we love Christ. However, the flip-side of the coin is that a vast worldwide family of true Christians loves us because we love Christ.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” — Jesus (Matthew 5:11-12)

I’ve learned that people, even Christians, are fallible and that I should be patient with them and hope that they will be patient with me.

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

I’ve learned that God is not religious. Jesus did not come to this planet to start a new religion called “Christianity”. No, God is not religious. He’s relational! Jesus came to break the bonds of sin and religion and opened the door for us to approach God directly. Consequently, anyone through Jesus can have a personal relationship with Father God.

“You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” — Jesus (John 15:14-15)

I’ve learned that life is less stressful when you discover how to make adjustments. Life is not fair is a big understatement. You don’t always get what you want and things don’t always go the way you want. So, we learn to pray for wisdom so that we can tell the deference between the different potholes on life’s highway. Ask God to help you to recognize the potholes you can personally fill from the ones that only God can fill. In addition, ask him to help you to learn to accept the fact that some potholes will never be filled. That’s just life.

I’ve learned that God has no plan “B”. The Sovereign Lord doesn’t need another plan to fall back on. When life sucker punchers me, God’s not pacing back and forth in front of his Throne, wringing his hands, wondering what to do. God’s not surprised by anything. In fact, nothing happens in my life until it first filters through the permissive will of God. Therefore, even the woefully painful things that happen to me are commandeered by my loving Lord to be used toward my best interest.

I’ve learned that laughter is the best medicine for stress and sorrow; that the joy of the Lord often burst out in hilarity. I remember one time when I was facing unbearable turmoil.  My heart was breaking and confusion was abounding. So to fight off the despair I was facing, I played the Russ Taff song entitled “I still Believe”.

I wanna give out
I wanna give in
This is our crime
This is our sin

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And through the grief

Through the lies
And through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars

I still believe[2]

I put it on repeat and, after about the fifth time of the song playing, I soon began to burst forth in unabated praise! I was singing at the top of my voice and dancing before the Lord. Soon, I found myself laughing so hard that I ended up rolling on the floor. The painful situation hadn’t changed, but my spirit was strengthened to the point that I could better deal with it.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)

This is a short list of all the things I’ve learned in the past 70 years. Of course I leaned so much more than what I shared with you. What have you learn in your life? Let me know.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated all scripture references come from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] I still Believe Words and music by Michael Been and J. Goodwin 1986 Neeb/Tarka Music/Ascap, Tileface Music (BMI)

A Lesson from Pancakes

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14 NIV)

boycake

Six-year-old David decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents some pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon. He pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister. To his dismay, it slipped from his hands spilling all over the floor. Undaunted, he scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his small hands. He mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar. He was leaving a floury trail on the floor which, by now, had a few tracks left by his kitten.

David was covered with flour and getting more and more frustrated. He desperately wanted to do something special for Mom and Dad, but things were not working out like he had planned. In addition, he didn’t know what to do next. Should he put it all in the oven or put it on the stove. As a matter of fact, he didn’t know how the stove worked!

As he was pondering all this, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. One of his kittens was in the bowl, front paws buried in dough, lapping up the watery mix. Panicking, he reached over the counter to push her away. The open egg carton was sitting precariously close to the edge of the counter. His elbow bumped the carton.  Eggs began to plunge to the floor, like paratroopers pouring out the door of their aircraft. Crack! Splat! Splat! Crack! He watched in frozen horror as each egg plunged to its messy death.

He quickly crawled down from the chair and frantically tried to clean up this monumental mess. Suddenly, his feet went out from under him as he slipped on the egg-slick floor. He sat there; his pajamas covered with a white, sticky mess and felt the sting of tears welling in his eyes. Just then, he saw his dad standing in the kitchen door. Tears began to flow freely from David’s eyes. The shame and embarrassment he felt seemed overwhelming. All he wanted was to do something special, something good for his parents, but all he managed to do was make a dreadful mess.

David was sure he would get a terrible scolding to match the terrible mess he had made of Mom’s kitchen. His dad must have been furious! David might even get a spanking. However, Dad just stood there for a moment watching his son sitting there in the midst of the doughy chaos. He walked through the mess, picked up his grief-stricken son, buried his frail little body in his arms and just held him for a while, loving on him! He didn’t care that his own pajamas were now white and sticky. All he cared about was David, the son he treasured. All that mattered to him was comforting his little boy.

That’s how God feels about us. Often, we try to do something good in life, something special, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we hurt someone we love. We lose a job or maybe even our health.

Then we sit there in the midst of faded hopes and broken dreams with tears stinging our eyes and think, “What’s the use? I’ve tried so hard to do the right thing. I’ve tried to make something special out of my marriage, my home, my career…my life. But all I did was make a big mess! God must be furious with me. I’m in for a terrible scolding.”

That’s when God picks us up, wraps us in his big arms, holding our tear-stained face to his chest and comforts us. He assures us that nothing has changed. God still loves us and forgives us, no matter how big the mess. He reminds us that there’s no mess too big for him to handle. God knows our hearts. He knows our sincerity and, furthermore, God knows that messes we make come as a result of us trying.

Just because you might make a mess don’t stop trying to make pancakes for God or for others. Sooner or later, you’ll start getting it right. And then…you’ll be glad you tried.

My misdeeds
All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They’re not a pretty sight to see
But they’re wiped away
By a mighty wave
A mighty wave, mighty wave

They’re all behind you
They’ll never find you
They’re on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten
They’re on the bottom
Of the ocean floor *

* Ocean Floor by Audio Adrenaline from their album entitled Lift. 2003 Forefront / Emd

The Great Cosmic Blackboard

by The Mad Preacher

*This is the hard copy to my latest YouTube video.

“All warfare is based on deception.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As a believer the most important thing in life is to focus on making Jesus the Lord over every part of our life. What this means is that He is Sovereign Lord over our past, our present and even our future. Satan would have you forget that. He wants to gain a foothold in your life. So, in an effort to do this, he will try to distract you from this all-important truth. He uses the problems that life offers in hopes to deceive us into putting our eyes on them rather than on Christ. If he can do that he has accomplished his task of eliminating us as a threat to his kingdom.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the          throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

 If Satan can get you to focus on your past, he can make you miss out on your future.

The past can’t hurt a real born again Christian. As far as the believer is concerned, the past is covered by the blood of Jesus. In the eyes of God all our sins and failures are completely erased when we embrace Jesus as our Lord. Because of this fact, God doesn’t concern Himself with our past. He’s much more interested in our future. God is much more concerned with what we will do than He is in what we’ve done. That’s why Romans 8:1-2 can boldly declare, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” In the original Greek this passage is literally saying. “Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… ” [1]

The reason for this wonderful truth is simple. When Jesus died on the cross he took all of our condemnation, or judgment, on Himself. Therefore, now, there’s nothing left with which to accuse us. In God’s eyes every born again believer’s sins are wiped out—gone forever!

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

It’s as if all of the sins of your life were written on a great cosmic blackboard. Every sin, every lie, every willful decision, every wrong done to others was written across the board in bold letters. However, when we came to Jesus, God wiped the board clean! When you repented and made Him the Lord of your life all of the sins you ever did, including the sins that you will do, were wiped away. Why is this true of our future sins? Because God destroyed your blackboard! No one can write any accusation on it ever again!

 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  (Romans 8:33-35)

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

“The reason that the Devil keeps bringing up your past is because, now, your deeds are covered by the blood of Jesus. So, the Devil can’t get any new material on you.” — D.W. Mayfield [2]

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)

That’s why we are clean before God. Who can accuse someone whom The Supreme Judge has pardoned? Romans 8:33 says, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” You may not be clean in man’s eyes. There are those who may have to pay a debt to society. But in the eyes of Jesus, to whom we will all give an account, you are as clean and as pure as a brand new baby.

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”  (Isaiah 44:22)

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)

 You have been justified by Christ’s death on the cross. He took the rap for you once and for all. Jesus gladly received your sentence. He took your place on death row and paid the penalty for everything you ever did wrong. Furthermore, Jesus made a way for you to obtain forgiveness for everything you will do wrong in the future. WOW! Praise God for His grace and mercy!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

 The word justified, put simply, means just-if-I’d never sinned. You are spotless in God’s eyes because you, by faith, received the sacrificial work of Jesus’ death on the cross. You trusted Him as your Lord and Savior. You gave Jesus your sins and He gave you His righteousness. Good trade, huh?

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 Now righteousness, or right standing, is what God sees, my friend, when He looks at his follower. He sees someone “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and GodsBigEraserblameless”—one who is “the righteousness of God.” Imagine that!

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 transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:4-10)

True peace will come when we lay hold of this truth; God doesn’t look at our condition, flawed and sinful. He looks at our position, one who is “the righteousness of God seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. He sees, “one who is seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t look at what you are or who you were in the world. He looks at who you are in Christ. So, the next time you start feeling like your life is wasted and there’s no hope for you, remember to look at your position—not your condition. View yourself as God sees you.

Listen to the heart of God for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Cling to that promise, my friend, and never let it go. God is nowhere near being through with you! The Devil would have you believe otherwise, but…hey, we know what a liar he is, right?

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

He loves to hear the angels as they sing, “Holy, holy is the Lamb.”
Heaven’s choirs in harmony lift up praises to the great I Am
But He lifts His hands for silence when the weakest saved by grace begins to sing
And a million angels listen as a newborn soul sings, “I have been redeemed.”

It’s not just melodies and harmonies that catches His attention
It’s not just clever lines and phrases that causes Him to stop and listen
But when any heart set free, washed and bought by Calvary, begins to sing

It’s His favorite Song Of All [3]

[1] The New Testament; An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest. © Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1961

[2] My dear friend of many years, Doug Mayfield, is now with the Lord. He said this to me in a correspondence he sent me at a time that I was facing a great trial in my life.

[3] Favorite Song Of All ¾ recorded by Phillips, Craig & Dean on their album of the same name. Star Song ©1992 Dawn Trader Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

Patience

“The devil can’t push your buttons if they’re all disconnected. He’ll keep pushing them as long as they work. Have a duck’s back mentally. Let stuff flow off of you like water off a duck’s back. Satan doesn’t have the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore, he has no patience. He’ll give up pushing your buttons after a while when he see that they’re disconnected and no longer work.” —The Mad Preacher