“No Matter What, I’ll Be There For You.”

earthquake

Psalm 12:1 – “Help Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.”

2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

Paul says that “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 3:3)  One of the names for Jesus is “the faithful.” (Revelation 3:14).  It is amazing that God remains so faithful to us… when the quality of our faithfulness is often so lacking.

Case in point, the rubble we sometime find our lives in.  We know things run smoother when we stay in the Word, pray and have fellowship with other believers… but we don’t always stick to the plan.  And in the aftermath of selfish choices, the ground beneath us starts to quake.  And we are buried by an avalanche of consequences and yet… still.. God seeks us out and desires to put us on solid ground. (Psalm 40:1-3)

It was the faithfulness of God that caused Him to search for us in the first place.  He the shepherd faithfully searched for the missing lamb, the woman faithfully seeking the missing coin… and gracious Father joyfully welcoming the lost son home.  (Luke 15)

Randy Alcorn, in his book If God is Good, shared this story of a faithful father:

“In 1988, an Armenian earthquake killed forty-five thousand.  In the chaos one man made his way to his son’s school, only to find nothing but rubble.  Other parents stumbled around dazed and weeping, calling out their children’s names.  But this father ran to the back corner of the building where his son’s classroom once was, and began digging.

To everyone else, it seemed hopeless.  How could his son have survived?  But this father had promised he would always be there for his boy, so he heaved rocks and dug, calling for his son by name:  “Armand!”

Well-meaning parents and bystanders tried to pull him out of the rubble.  “It’s too late!”  “They’re dead!”  “There’s nothing you can do!”  The fire chief tried to pull him away saying, “Fires and explosions are happening everywhere.  You’re in danger.  Go home!”  Finally, the police came and said, “You’re in shock.  You’re endangering others.  Go home.  We’ll handle it!”

But the man continued to dig, hour after hour—eight hours, then twelve, twenty-four, thirty six hours.  Finally, in the thirty-eighth hour of digging—a day and a half after everyone told him to give up hope—he called his son’s name again, pulled back a big rock, and heard his son’s voice.

“Armand!” the father screamed.

From under the rocks came the words, “Dad?  I told them!  I told the other kids that if you were still alive, you’d save me!”

The father helped his son and thirteen other children climb out of the rubble.  When the building had collapsed, the children survived in a tentlike pocket.  The father lovingly carried his son home to his mother.  When the townspeople praised Armand’s father for saving the children, he simply explained, “I promised my son, ‘No matter what, I’ll be there for you!”  (If God is Good, pp. 89-90.)

God is more faithful than even this very human father.  We often bring the house down upon ourselves… but even then He seeks to clear the rubble.

Praise Him that he never gives up on you.  He has a plan for you and is faithful to carry it out in your life.  Seek to model His faithfulness…  Say to your spouse, kids and to your neighbor… “No matter what, I’ll be there for you!”  Bring this quality back to the human race!

Did I Make the Team?

phone ringingPick Up the PhoneGod‘s Call on Your Life

(Part One of Five)

Philippians 3:13 & Luke 7:30

A few Sundays ago I began my sermon with an illustration regarding the NFL draft.  I started by saying that the story I was going to share would probably only reach the men that morning.  Then I asked who was following the draft.  5 women and no men raised their hands.  Go figure!

A story on Yahoo! Sports caught my eye that weekend:  “E.J. Manuel says he didn’t share the rest of the football world’s surprise when the Buffalo Bills made him the first and only quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night. The Florida State signal caller was in on the secret that the Bills coveted him highly and the two sides officially became a pair when the team selected him with the No. 16 pick after trading back from the eighth slot earlier in the night.   Manuel was taken offguard earlier in the night, however, when someone accidentally dialed a wrong number and gave him a slight rush of excitement over the possibility of top 5 money.

E.J. Manuel said his green room hotline phone rang at pick 3. He got excited, then the voice asked if they could talk to Dion Jordan.”

 That had to be a rude disappointment.

It reminds me of when my boys were involved in sports.  After a couple of days or sometimes weeks of practice, they would wait all day by the phone to see if they made the team.  It was a tense time for them… and us!

Some of you are like that athlete in the green room or one of my sons.  You have been waiting ever so long for that phone to ring… for it to provide the answer to your future.  You want to say:  “God, could you help me out here.  I feel like I’m pick #167 or something.  Am I even wanted?  Will I get picked at all?”saints logo

Well first let me say:  Relax, you made the team!  You were picked the day you accepted Christ!  He gave you a new team (the Saints), a jersey (a robe of white) and a team motto:  “If God be for us!  Who can possible be against us?”

But maybe you are more interested in the specifics… What position will you play on the team?  What areas should you be training?  When will you get a chance to score for the kingdom?

I want to start this series with a pair of my favorite verses regarding calling.   The first of these is at the end of Paul’s mini-testimony in Philippians, chapter three.  “…I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”  There was a reason God had picked him for the team and Paul was in hot pursuit of that reason.  Are you?

The other verse is more an observation by Luke, than a complete thought.  In talking about the adversaries of Jesus in his Gospel, he write:  “But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves…” (Luke 7:30)

Putting these two thoughts together I come up with two principles:  1) God has a purpose for your life that He wants each of us to pursue.  (i.e. You made the team!) and  2)  You can either accept or reject that calling.

Who God calls as a higher pick than you should be of no consequence.  Just pick up the phone and get your assignment.  That could be Him calling right now!