Posts Tagged "Joel Ericson"

Don’t Worry – Joel Ericson

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Don’t Worry – Joel Ericson

Like anyone, I have my share of worries, and disappointments and I can’t tell you how often I have lain awake in the dark watches of the night working out (or trying to at least) the solution to my issue. I am usually unsuccessful. Through all that wakefulness and frustration and fatigue, I finally come to realize that maybe I’m not as clever as I think I am.  I’m stubborn.   However, as I attempt to “lean on my own understanding”, I have to remind myself that I have a helper who never fails.   Again, I have fallen into the trap so cleverly provided by the enemy.

1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.  Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.  Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.  The dominion belongs to Him forever.

How do I fall into this trap; time after time?

  • Humble yourselves – Humility is not in my nature. The devil knows this.
  • Casting all your care on Him – I think, maybe God is busy, or why should I bother him with this thing? The devil tells me this.
  • Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the devil is prowling around – I’m focused on my problem to the exclusion of my awareness. Yet the devil is aware.
  • Resist him and be firm in the faith – I’m too busy wallowing in my own quagmire. The devil grabs my attention.

Until I remember: “Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.  The dominion belongs to Him forever”; nothing positive happens for me. Fortunately I have established a relationship with the one who has infinite power to sustain me. Sometimes, I wish I could get to it sooner but I am poor and needy. God knows this.

Matthew 6:27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? It’s hard for me to remember sometimes, but God hasn’t failed me yet.
 

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The Lowly – Joel Ericson

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Lowly – Joel Ericson

I get discouraged as a Christian sometimes because sometimes I compare my actions, and faith, and piety with that of others, and in my mind I come up short. Like the golfer that never seems to be able to make par, I am tempted to give up on the game. It’s an extreme attitude and maybe a “little tongue in cheek” but our failure, especially when self-examined tend to divert us from what is right.

It’s a tool: for satan would love for us to wallow in this self-doubt at the expense of fulfilling God’s plan for us. God doesn’t require superstars, or the perfect, or the pious because he can do great things with the ordinary. Take a look at the ones he chose.

Peter, by Jesus’ own declaration, the foundation of the church, denied even knowing Jesus and was gifted with a quick tongue. Thomas was a doubter. James and John had a selfish interest in their own eventual glory. Matthew was a tax collector. We can think of many modern day equivalents that personify his greed. Saul aka Paul, spent his early times delivering misery to Christians.

Can I find traits in each of these giants of the church that when self-examined, will cause me to doubt my worthiness. When examined with my self-absorbed attitude I can find weaknesses and faults from each, living in me, and more. If I think God requires superstars, I’m not one. But God knows us and knows our weaknesses, and in fact seeks them out. God uses ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things.

The Bible says: “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”—1 Corinthians 1:26-29

 “God chose the foolish things of the world; He chose the lowly things …the despised things. Who is that? That’s me in a nutshell. He doesn’t need what I alone am capable of; he wants what I am capable of with his help and direction so I need to forget about my self-deprecating and humble myself to accept his hand.

I’ll continue to do my best and trust God to forgive my failures. My image won’t likely be ensconced in some grand church stained glass window like the disciples, but they were flawed men, just like me, who humbled themselves to God’s guidance and allowed God to achieve great things through them. Who knows but that something that God has done with me may someday bear fruits.

 

 

 

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The Right Thing – Joel Ericson

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Right Thing – Joel Ericson

Off on a business trip some eight years ago I was eating dinner in a family restaurant I cannot recall. As I was finishing up I saw a nice young family come in; a young couple with two small children. By their actions I could see that this was not their usual routine. I could also see the unmistakable signs of distress, as the wife was wearing the head scarf, concealing baldness, and the pallor, a little more pale than the rest told me that she was battling cancer.

I considered them for a long time since I knew what it was like to be in that situation. I wanted to go over to them and offer an encouraging word, or pray over them, or maybe pay for their dinner…or something. Unfortunately while I allowed MY heart to ache a little and whispered a little prayer to MYSELF, I quietly paid my check and moved on. I was soon so convicted by my failure to act that I went back to that restaurant to try to make amends, but they were gone. I have not forgotten that family to this day. Fortunately God has used this to educate me in several ways because as I continue to read scripture; it keeps coming up.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

 There are so many small things I should have done to lighten their burden; just a little but I really did nothing. Appropriately I was saddened and ashamed and have vowed to not make that same kind of mistake.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:34-40

On the Judgment Day I want to be standing on the right… And finally I have tried my best to heed Jesus’ warning:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “  Matthew 6:1-4

This incident did not perfect me. I am still a sinner; too selfish, too forgetful of God’s teachings, to arrogant and unforgiving. By some strange coincidence however, often as I fall into each of these traps, I am reminded of that nice young family in that restaurant and am humbled to know that Jesus bore much greater burdens for my sake and I am once again resolved to learn from my failings.

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