I didn’t get to preach Sunday morning because of the icy conditions but I did want to share an outline of what I learned about having contagious peace. All I share comes from meditating on Isaiah 9: 6. God promises us “a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” Understand this and you are on the threshold of peace. This is why I celebrate Advent and Christmas. The coming of Jesus marks the coming of peace and the coming of the sword upon the earth. Every heart, every soul is weighed in the light of the coming of Jesus.
Jesus is the giver of peace and without him we are living outside the rule of peace. “His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” This is where my sermon starts. When we think of what contagious peace is not we are thinking on these four names. When we focus upon what contagious peace is, again we are thinking on these names. Finally, I give you 10 ways we get peace. Make sure all ten apply to you! Click on the pdf Contagious Peace and I look forward to your comments.
Have you ever been at an airport waiting in the terminal for your flight to board? There are others there, too, but all of you are not headed to the same place. If you were, your flight would be overbooked and someone would be left stranded at the terminal or have to stay stuck until a later time. Even when we start out together, we all are not destined to end up in the same place. Some of us have connections to make.
As I waited recently for a flight from Orlando to Atlanta, I heard the boarding call for a flight to Raleigh, North Carolina being made. “We will now begin boarding for your flight to RDU, Raleigh/Durham Airport. All eight passengers for US Airways Flight 752 may now board for our flight to Raleigh. Yes, we only have eight passengers boarding for this flight to Raleigh.” At first, you thought you heard a little sarcasm or irony in this boarding call but by the end of the sentence there was a pleading tone to the agent’s voice, inviting any of the large crowd that was waiting for other flights for other destinations to please come and board their flight. Of course, no one changed their course. We were waiting for our particular boarding call.
It was our particular boarding call for which we were ready to react and move. It was our particular boarding call to which we lined up and got in order. It was that call that mandated the submission of our boarding pass. Our identity, who we were had to match that boarding pass. We were not allowed to get on another flight. Those two things, our identity and where we were being called to go had to match.
This is the same requirement for spiritual travel. The call to serve is a particular call to be on board with God in a given time, in a given place, for a given trip. The good news is we can make all of the miles we travel frequent flyer miles when we are led by the Spirit and move in obedience to the Spirit’s prompting. When the call of God’s Word and Spirit matches our identity with where we need to go and what we need to do, we always are on time for the connections we need to make.
If you want to learn how you can always be on time for the work of God in your life, call Norman (540) 309-1776 and ask him to send you a copy of Moving at the Speed of Grace (only $10.00 + S & H) and get your boarding pass for on-time flight with the God of grace!
I am down in Florida finishing up my training at GKIC’s Fast Implementation Marketing Bootcamp. While I’ve been here the temperature bottomed out at 72 degrees. They tell me when I get home, by Sunday the high for the day will be half that and we will have an ice storm. Whoopee!
No, I mean it. Coming home means I get to see Karen and barring the ice storm (the weather man has been wrong before) I’ll get to preach and worship Sunday with everybody at Laurel Hill.
What has that got to do with you? Well, it just goes to show you, it doesn’t matter how much people forecast storms or how many storms we fear may be on the way, if we have something to look forward to, God’s grace will see us through. Share your comments with me today about what keeps you looking forward!
Yours in grace and peace, Norman Ramsey
PS If you want to know more about how the way of grace always gives us something for which to look forward, click on the link and get a copy of Moving at the Speed of Grace. http://www.amazon.com/Moving-Speed-Grace-Norman-Ramsey/dp/1616635010/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386454195&sr=8-1&keywords=Moving+at+the+Speed+of+Grace
I have been led repeatedly lately to read and meditate on the vision of Isaiah, chapter 1. A word of wisdom that arises from that vision is deal with difficulties when they are small. Repent of sins speedily. Make course corrections sooner rather than later. Kicking the can down the road as the cartoon illustrates eventually hurts more than toes.
As Dave Dee writes in a recent GKIC Insiders Circle post (December 3, 2013) titled, The Real Secret to Getting Ahead, one of the things we must do is “solve problems fast. Everybody experiences problems, conflicts and challenges. The trick is to not let them fester. As soon as you identify a problem, swoop in and resolve it quickly before it becomes a bigger problem.”
Burdens carried over time have a way of bending us and reshaping who we are. Challenges to our character left unchallenged change our character. I’m not talking about being defensive or argumentative but about being plain and honest. Our days of covering up and being dishonest are coming to a close. The question is whether that ending will bring us to a time of open tyranny or a new season of grace and truth.
Pray for me, our ministry, and our nation. I have started a book based on this vision of Isaiah 1. The working title is A Desolate Country. It is a call to the nation to turn back to the Lord. Jim Rohn says, “You cannot change your destination overnight but you can change your direction overnight.” This book is a reminder God is still able to change destinations overnight or even quicker if we turn back to Him.
Our prayer life must become the strongest way we say “Yes” to God’s “YES” in Jesus Christ! Join with me in praying for Waylin Vaughan (22 years old) who just found out he is overcoming lymphoma.
Yesterday, we learned that a contagious hope arises from the future God supplies, the faith the godly share, and the fuel grace gives when it shines in our life. Let your life run wide open on our blessed hope, Jesus Christ!
How do you make a change in your life so that it doesn’t wrench your heart, soul, mind, or strength out of whack? I think we learn from Psalm 46. Reverse engineer the works of God.
1. Find the answer to “How will God be exalted by or through the change?”.
2. Be still and know the Lord as you change. Sometimes we have to stop something before we start something else. Slow it down and break the change into little pieces, then sweep into something different.
3. Let God consume what use to consume you. Burn bridges if they are crosswalks towards failure.
4. Kick out your props. Remove stuff that complicates the change.
5. Burst your bubbles. Don’t expect too much too fast. Be resolute but also be realistic.
6. If you can’t complete the change for the good, do less of what put you in the bad spot you’re in and start over. You’re closer than you were before. Forgive yourself and start again. Before you know it, you will make the change!