Our Urkle Moments

Steve Urkle was a television character that just couldn’t do anything without causing a disaster for himself and the others around him.

Sometimes as Christians we too have Urkle moments that bring disaster down upon our own heads and upon those around us. It might have been something innocent, or something done in folly, or maybe even outright sin.

The Psalmist wrote about his own folly and how he was afraid that the resulting disaster would cause some big, big problems for other people. He then cried out to God for help, for himself and especially for the others:

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths… I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.

You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from You… may those who hope in You not be disgraced because of me… may those who seek You not be put to shame because of me.”

~ Psalm 69:1-2,5-6

When we have our own Urkle moments, God is gracious to us when we call upon Him for His personally provided and directed help for us and our friends.

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God’s Next Visible Visitation

Does God need to be visible in order for the world to believe Him, love Him, and follow Him?

Old Testament Era Visible Visitation

The Israelites had a partial (though earth shaking) visible and audible manifestation of God on the mountain, and they were scared almost to death.

“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.”

( Exodus‬ ‭19:16-19‬ )

However, even a more muted visibility of God’s presence as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day resting upon the tent of meeting for several decades did not guarantee the faith, love, and obedience of the people.

New Testament Era Visible Visitation

When one of Jesus’ disciples was told that He had been seen alive after having been buried for three days, Thomas insisted that he would not believe it unless he saw and felt Him.

“But Thomas said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'”

( John 20:25 )

A few days later Jesus graciously manifested visibly, audibly, and physically in front of Thomas, using the opportunity to help him in his faith, and to teach us all a lesson.

“Then Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’

Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

( John‬ ‭20:27-29‬ )

Those who have not encountered God in a visible, audible, and physical sense, and yet believe, they are blessed even more.

The Next Big Visible Visitation

The next time that Jesus manifests for the whole world to experience Him, will you already be ready?

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

( ‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:16-17‬ )

If you are waiting for a visible visitation, and like Thomas refuse to believe until… well, consider opting for the greater blessing, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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#PastorsTip

Possess Your Vessel

Throughout scripture the story of humanity is full of their distortions of God’s original designs for enjoying life to its fullest.

One theme in particular is humanity’s distortion of their sexuality. The very first realization that Adam and Eve had after eating of the Tree of Knowledge was in regard to modesty, that they were naked.

Sexuality is a very significant part of life for human beings, it is a God-designed ability and desire to procreate and to enjoy an intimacy between husband and wife that is extremely pleasurable and relationally bonding.

When sin entered into humanity, it damaged the center of their being where desires are cultivated. Many desires and the pursuits for fulfilling those desires flow from a distorted view of the life that God intended for mankind.

In response to the distortions that resulted from the introduction of sin in the garden of Eden, God has provided so much to help bring humanity back together with Him, and to help them live and enjoy life to its fullest.

He has provided the Cross as a sacrifice-payment for a sin-debt that mankind could never pay for themselves. He has provided the resurrected Christ to provide the ultimate hope of eternal life for the forgiven in a sinless environment and with a restored body. He has provided the Scriptures to instruct for victorious and enjoyable life. He has provided the Holy Spirit to provide peace and guidance for living a victorious life.

God has provided all of these things (and more!), not to squelch the enjoyment of life, but to lead humanity back into the life of fullness that He intended for His creation.

In regard to human sexuality (which is a very powerful part of the human body and life, beginning in the teens) God provides clear instruction for all, instruction that will lead to a very fulfilling life with Him:

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”

~ ‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭4:3-8‬

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Micro-Aggression Hyper-Sensitivity

“Micro Aggression” is a new Politically Correct (PC) Doctrine. If a person uses the slightest “insensitive” (as defined by the PC-ers) word or gesture, they are guilty of a Human Rights-like crime.

The doctrine calls for a social reaction and a prosecution-thru-persecution that is on par with anarchy. It also confers on the reactors a self-righteousness that makes almost every act acceptable, as acts perpetrated in pursuit of a higher good.

This kind of social degradation is a fulfillment of a prophetic prediction that Jesus gave in regard to the last days:

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold…”

~ Matthew 24:12

Though many things on earth will get worse and worse before Jesus returns, He nonetheless gives us an encouraging word to not be alarmed:

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

‭‭~ Matthew‬ ‭24:6-8‬

Let us keep God’s love burning as holy flames in our hearts even as the world around us is infected with a heart-frosting virus called wickedness. Let us keep the love-fire burning by continuing as “Men & Women of God, Men & Women of Prayer.”

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