God’s Economy has mystified the world for thousands of years. His providence is beyond our understanding, but the result of His power is written on the pages of history. Follow it with me: Gideon conquers a massive enemy without raising a single sword. His victory is via 300 men with trumpets and torches standing in a circle. Jesus feeds 5000 men, not including women and children, with a single lunch made for a child. Peter pays a debt by fishing for a lone fish that has a shekel lodged in its mouth. A widow gets out of debt by bringing empty vessels into her house and expensive oil appears in one. Mary intervenes at a wedding by telling the servants, “Whatever he says, do it.” To which they simply pour water from one vessel to another with the last pouring being that of refined wine. God’s Economy can take a widow’s mite and pay for a mansion. The children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, but their shoes never wore out. A handful of disciples turned the world upside down with a solitary sermon that began with death and ended with a resurrection. In God’s Economy there are no barriers or limitations.
Little is much. The grain of a mustard seed moves mountains. A rod can part an overflowing Red Sea. Water flows from a rock and manna appears fresh every morning without fail. In God’s Economy the wise become fools and the foolish things amaze the wise. He makes a valley of dried bones become a working army. His resources are unlimited. His strength is immeasurable. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills so He never runs out. He performs the impossible with the smallest portion of our assistance so we cannot take credit. And because all of these things are true, we will not trust in horses or chariots; riches or forces. We will not put our faith in talent or materials. We will put our trust in Him Who cannot fail.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Traditions are often dismissed in light of what might be trending. Modernism now stretches far beyond technological advances. It has invaded the way in which we remember our past and honor our heritage. Thanksgiving Day was once a time to recall the goodness of the Lord in our lives. It was a tradition set forth as a memorial that brought to the forefront the blessing of God among families and friends. Sadly enough it seems that we have succumb to the mode of vogue: that prevailing thought that dominates and details present whims. Yet what has become of our tradition? Is Thanksgiving Day nothing more than football and the commencement of a full shopping season? Have we forgotten that it is He Who has provided all these blessings? We must remember that the message of Thanksgiving speaks to what is wholesome, right and good. In contrast, our worldly society has imposed its own definitions on the very terms which were meant to honor the Lord for what He has done.
Paul wrote that in the last days perilous times would come. He gave a detailed list which included the unthankful. Can you imagine that mixed into the narrative of drunkards and revilers; unnatural affection and deceivers, would be this segment called ‘the unthankful?’ It almost seems trivial compared to the rest of the list, but the Spirit foretold of such an age and we are living in that time.
To be thankful is to see the grace of God on display. If we are thankful we then must recognize the Source of our blessing. Thankfulness in itself is a declaration that there is a God and that indeed He has provided for us all. Thankfulness sets us in a posture of submission to the Highest power, from Whom all blessings flow. It makes us see Him and His provision. Thankful. This is our testimony of praise. It defines our heart and the reason for our worship. We are thankful.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
The Gospel of Mark records the moment. Jarius has a young, twelve year old daughter who is sick unto death. He is desperate to bring Jesus back home with him for the sake of her healing, but in transit Jesus is deterred. By the time they arrive to the house, Jarius’ daughter is dead. The mourners are already there, weeping over her lifeless body. Jesus declares that the girl is not dead, but sleeping and yet the people present know that she is dead. They’ve seen death before; they’ve taken her pulse and because of their assumption they laugh at Jesus. The next line contains these pivotal words; “and when He had put them all out…”
It’s difficult to imagine, but that the greatest of miracles could not occur when the doubter was present. Jesus did not simply come to prove that He was powerful. He came to restore and redeem. There are times when faith has to stand alone without any interference by the unbeliever.
Jesus was not willing to coexist.
He did not make room for a different point of view. He was not into their opinions and thus, “He put them all out.” Paul wrote that Light hath no fellowship with darkness. Light reproves the darkness. Faith and doubt cannot co-mingle. Truth and a lie are in such opposition that before “The Work” can be accomplished, there has to be a cleansing.
When we allow others to speak into our lives we must make sure that they are faith-builders and not doubt-destroyers. The skeptic will always be present, asking questions that present more confusion than clarity. The accuser lurks even among the brethren as Paul often wrote. Yet if the miracle is to occur, we must remove the scorner from our ears. A friend who discourages your faith is not your friend at all. If faith is to prevail, then let there be faith. If truth is to succeed, then let it stand alone.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Health is the subject of a myriad of articles. Human existence centers around food sources and nutrition. In fact, there are daily reports about food issues, diets, and healthier ways to eat. From saccharin to gluten, people are discovering that food is the greatest influence on the quality of life. All of us spend time and money on this most basic need. The common thought is that what you eat determines weight, health, brain activity, and other functions. The old adage is “you are what you eat.” It only stands to reason that if what we put into our body determines the health of our body, then we should be concerned with our habits. This is common sense, but sensible things are not so common any more.
Jeremiah will address the issue in another way concerning our spiritual health: Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:” David said Psa 119 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Just as natural food determines physical health and wellbeing, the consumption of the Scripture produces healthy, spiritual minds and hearts. If we want to be godly then we must learn about God – and that is through the Word. If we want to be free from fear, doubt, confusion, false precepts, and sin, then we must consume His Word. We are what we eat! Daily Bible reading should be as common as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If we read the scripture as often as we eat, our faith would be whole and healthy. Who can know of Him without knowing the only manuscript that speaks of Him? Who can be like Him unless they are familiar with His words; consuming His wisdom; embracing His truth? His words were found and they produced “Joy and Rejoicing.” They are sweeter than honey to my taste.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Psa 63:1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
In the opening description of David’s psalm, this poet-king is caught in a desert, separated from his beloved sanctuary in Jerusalem. Previous psalms declare his great desire to be a servant in the Lord’s house making his current separation a greater burden, but a single phrase in the opening verse of Psalm 63 gives light to David’s personal philosophy. He wrote: “early will I seek thee.” The words speak to both time and timing. The time is clear: in the morning or when you rise. He woke up seeking the hand of the Lord, but the timing might be even more important.
How often do we wait until things get so bad that chaos erupts in our lives like a volcano? How often do we let things fester until the infection spreads into other parts of our spirit and home? And then, after we have exhausted all the human efforts and remedies; all the counsels and conversations with friends, we turn to God. David said, “Early will I seek thee.” It’s timing.
When there is trouble and we are lost, “Early will I seek thee.” Before the things get tangled and confusion overwhelms our minds – “Early will I seek thee.”
The wilderness is common to us all. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble, but seeking the Lord at the first sign of distress is the key to peace and power. Beginning with Him is the pathway to healing. When there is pain in our bodies we seek a doctor. When we are lost, we seek a map or guide – at least we should, but when there are issues in our heart, spirit, or life we tend to wait. The prayer room should be our first stop and our motto should be: Early will I seek thee.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole