How Long Does It Take to Come Back Into
the Presence of the Lord?
“Do not be anxious about anything…………”
Happy New Year! I pray this will be the year that many of you will know at a deeper level what it means to be “in” Christ and to have Him operate through your life (John 5:30; John 15:5; Matthew 11:28-30; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:1-3).
Some of you might have been expecting a story about Artemis 1 Launch or the amazing chameleon and what do you get……. a photo of a banged-up 2015 Ford Explorer. What the heck! The condensed story is this: It’s New Year’s Eve……. Jane and I were returning home from having a late lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We are in the far left travel lane and a Chrysler 300 appears from the right out of nowhere, so I cut the wheel to the left to prevent a direct hit in her driver’s side door, but physics took over and BAM 💥. Her front bumper caught the side of my car and the rest is history.
Everybody gets in accidents, so what’s my point? Seconds before the crash, my wife and I were discussing a prayer that she had shared with me from her devotional, “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers (and her husband Warren). Both were Navigators serving in Singapore in the ‘70s. Here is the prayer that Jane and I were discussing:
DAY 18 (See attached PDF)
Father, I’m so delighted that You are both loving and sovereign, and that You cause all things to work together for good to those who love You, to those who are called according to Your purpose. So I thank You for each disturbing or humbling situation in my life, for each breaking or cleansing process You are allowing, for each problem or hindrance, for each thing that triggers in me anxiety or anger or pain. And I thank You in advance for each disappointment, each demanding duty, each pressure, each interruption that may arise in the coming hours and days.
In spite of what I think or feel when I get my eyes off You, I choose not to resist my trials as intruders, but to welcome them as friends.
Thank You that each difficulty is an opportunity to see You work… that in Your time You will bring me out to a place of abundance. I rejoice that You plan to enrich and beautify me through each problem, each conflict, each struggle… that through them You expose my weaknesses and needs, my hidden sins, my self-centeredness (and especially my self-reliance and pride). Thank You that You use trials to humble me and perfect my faith and produce in me the quality of endurance… that they prepare the soil of my heart for the fresh new growth in godliness that You and I both long to see in me… and that my momentary troubles are producing for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, as I keep my eyes focused on You. I’m grateful that You look beyond my superficial desire for a trouble-free life; instead, You fulfill my deep-down desire to glorify You, enjoy Your warm fellowship, and become more like Your Son.
Here are the scripture readings by paragraph:
- Romans 8:28-29; 1 Peter 1:6-7
- James 1:2-4, Phillips
- Psalm 68:-8-12; 138:7-8; Job 23:10; Deut 8:2-3, 16-17; 2 Cor 4:17-18; John 12:27-28
As mentioned, we were discussing that prayer and BAM 💥
God’s Timing was amazing! The cool thing about all this, was my conversation with the young gal that we hit (by the way, everyone is fine and no airbags were deployed….. how about that? We are so grateful!). The young girl (Nicole) was heading to church. While the police were completing the report, we had a nice conversation and I gave her a Steps To Peace With God. I explained to her that I also gave one to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant with the Million Dollar Gospel of John. I asked her for her email address and sent her a note with the above prayer. This was her reply:
Wow this prayer was so encouraging and edifying. After this incident I feel like something changed in my heart and just made me want to go even more in for Jesus. It was disappointing for this to happen on the last day of the year , I really wasn’t expecting it but we can’t let anything stop us from serving God and advancing his kingdom. The Bible says to not let the cares of this world get in the way and keep our lamps burning for Him. Even if we don’t understand we can trust him. I’m so grateful we crossed paths. I will be praying for you and your wife in Jesus name. You both are in God’s hands. If there is anything you both need my family and I will be here. If you need prayer for anything else please let me know and my class would love to pray for it. If you guys are interested in coming to our church or vise verse that would be cool 🙂 Thank you again for the prayer. I will be praying for you both a lot.
I thought you might be encouraged by all this. With this and the other correspondence I have had with Nicole, it seems apparent, this young girl truly loves Jesus!
Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest. GO!………” (Luke 10:2-3a)
Until the nets are full……..
Men: At the beginning of my Friday letter, I wrote:
How Long Does It Take to Come Back Into
the Presence of the Lord?
Years ago there was a group of us sales guys on a call with Walt Henrichsen and he said to us, “Men, if your largest client called and said his best friend from college was in town, mega successful and wealthy, and is very interested in doing business with you! But you have to get over to my office right away because he’s headed for Asia on his private jet and he only does business with people he meets personally. Fortunately you are only 15 minutes away and you race out the door. While on the freeway, smoke starts pouring out from under your hood. You pull over, pop the hood and you blew a water pump. You race to find your cell phone, but in the rush, you left it behind.” Then Walt said this, “Men, here’s the question……. how long does it take for you to come back into the presence of the Lord? 15 minutes or do you tell everyone that will listen to your story for the next 3 months about the biggest fish that got away?”
We better have two critical Biblical truths firmly planted in our mind: 1) God is in Control and 2) He is Good ( See Day 11 in the Blue Book)
What I just mentioned can also apply to Damar Hamlin, the Sinaloa Cartel, the VOM article below, the Ukraine, etc, etc.
Day 4 below is also a good one to apply……..
By Whose Definition Is God Good? Day 4 – Red Book
Serving God in the Marketplace Day 7 – Red Book
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
¹ Genesis 2:7
² Cf. Matthew 5-7
³ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Men, don’t miss reading this article and pass it to a friend……
Is Your Path Narrow Enough?
“For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1)
“God never promises that we can live the Christian life without suffering”
God Is Present When His People Suffer…..
By R.C. Sproul
YouTube (2 Minutes)
In the Lion’s Den
Men: Here is a short article to keep us “sober-minded.” Sometimes we forget what our brothers and sisters are going through for their faith in Jesus. Don’t count on the secular news media to let you know what’s really going on……….
Excerpt from the article:
A pastor from Mocimboa da Praia recalled how the Islamists had surrounded the city, trapping everyone inside, and then begun killing indiscriminately. Those who tried to flee by car were burned alive in their vehicles. “We felt like chickens going into a lion’s den,” the pastor said. “I saw mountains of dead bodies everywhere.”
Was The Pope a Catholic?
Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022)
Men: If interested, I thought this was a well written article.
(From the article)
Never one to presume on God’s mercy, Benedict also wrote that when he encountered the Lord, “I will plead with him to have leniency towards my wretchedness.”
And that’s where I think the problem lies. You see, pleading with God for leniency when we face him is not the gospel. That’s not good news…… Not in God’s leniency, but in the sufficiency of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on my behalf.
I grabbed this quote and put it on a photo I took last night after the rain…….
Keep looking up men!