Sometimes, I hear the statement “the next best thing”. Before, I thought it to be something a little less than the best thing. However, I interpret it differently now. To me it says, when you get the opportunity the next time, do the best thing. Our best thing is to follow Divine Elohim, the Father in Heaven and His Son our Messiah, in all that we do.
Evil in Every Direction
As I watch the news, the evil is displayed in every direction. Big tech and government bureaucracies that were not elected by us are destroying our beautiful nation from the inside. Lies are dispersed that damage good individuals and institutions. This is not about physical problems but about wars within the spirit. The Apostle Paul said,
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Yes, we are being hit by these spiritual powers from the dark world at every turn. Worried tremendously about the above, I began to seek answers. Knowing that you cannot solve spiritual problems with physical solutions, I began to specifically seek answers as to what I should do next. After speaking with a fellow minister, it became clear. Next time you have the opportunity, do the best thing you can do to perform Divine Elohim’s will.
What is the Next Best Thing?
One of my personal next best things is to put my very heart into my communications with others. There are three levels of fighting spiritual battles, and being a retired Army person, I can place them into military lingo easily:
Strategic- This is like bombing the enemy strongholds. It depletes the enemy’s strength from afar. Ministers, to include myself, should write good quality sermons that go out over the internet and spread the gospel (good news) of our Messiah to the ends of the earth. If we ask the Holy Spirit to guide these bombs of divine inspiration, it places the learning on target better than any bomb sight mankind ever made.
Tactical- Fighting the enemy up close. In war, this includes rifles, pistols, grenades, and even hand to hand combat. This is taking Satan and his demons on in the name of our Messiah to defeat them up close and personal. It is also a personal war within ourselves.
Operational- In war this is beans, bullets, and preserving the fighting strength through medical and surgical care. We are to support those who are fighting both strategically and tactically.
Remember the enemy is strong and always on the prowl:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
The Importance of Each Member:
2 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts forms one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12: 2-19
There are members who give their tithes and offerings to God’s work. There are members who take care of the church building and security systems. There are those who cook wonderful dishes and bring them into church so we can have fellowship and joy while we eat those great foods. There are those who serve as officers to include the president of the board, the vice president, secretary, and treasurer. We have those who preach and teach the gospel, take care of the sound room, and so on. Many, in our church, have multiple roles. Break one link in the chain and the whole process is weakened.
Supporting the Body of Christ:
24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. 1 Corinthians 12:24-26
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we are to care for one another. All of what we do should be to support each other in our church and to help the Ecclesia, the called out ones or the Universal Church of God.
Would it not be wonderful that after the first resurrection we meet somebody who stated: I heard your broadcast and found my way to the Body of Christ after what you said. Remember, all of us placed those words there. All of us fought personal battles to continue to support the works of Yahweh, and all of us supported each other and people we will never meet until after the resurrection.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14.
We may be close to the end and evil may abound, but we must remember- we are to teach all nations:
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19.
Disciples means students, and we are to be students, followers, and teachers for the rest of our lives. In this time of troubles, we are those who work on many very important levels to do the next best things. To pray, witness, take care of others, and place the teachings of God around the world.
Our status as Sabbath keeping Christians is not based on how much wealth we can accumulate or our status in society, but it is based on our honor of God with our lives. In Matthew 25:14-21, we can read: 14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
These talents are not what the world thinks, but all of us want to hear the words in verse 21- “Well done My good and faithful servant.”
To me a talent in today’s vernacular means abilities. Are we able to publicly speak, sing, play a musical instrument, or do something else special?
Yet, we think of talents such as public speaking- the one with the powers of oration or convincing others, the one who can speak so well, would make the best minister. But we can do a study about Moses in Exodus 4:10-16 we read: 10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and [a]slow of tongue.”
Yahweh did not intend at first for Aaron to be the spokesman; He intended Moses to speak. Yet, Moses probably stuttered, but Yahweh informed Moses that He made man’s mouth.
Often, we say I can’t speak like that, or I could never do that, but actually, the talents do not lie on the outside but on the inside. Moses was far greater than I in his life, but He made a mistake here. He looked on the outward and the physical rather than looking on the inside for what Yahweh told him to do and accomplish. In Matthew 25:24-30, we can read about what happened to the man with one talent that did not utilize it: 24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So, you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Mankind says we must have certain abilities before we can perform- only the best should do this or that.
But Yahweh told Moses to go and speak when He knew speaking was not a great ability of Moses.
If we are to make the first resurrection, it will not come from our abilities as mankind sees them, but it will depend on our going and doing as God directed us.
Moses argued with Yahweh, and it made Yahweh angry.
Our country was not based on royalty but on achievement. There was never to be a caste system in this country- even our declaration of independence says- “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Some of the greatest feats of mankind were not done by those that society deemed capable.
My father could not read or write, yet he raised a family and ran a business, never asked for help from the government, owned a nice home and a nice shop with equipment for his business when he died.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were bicycle specialist, yet they built a flyable airplane. Now, we can travel great distances in jet planes.
Beethoven, the famous German composer who lived in the mid to late 1700’s and died in 1826, was deaf and had to use letters to communicate. Yet, he wrote symphonies that influences music even today. There are many others, and if you look on line some of the great inventions or feats done by paraplegics, the elderly, and others you will find how people overcame their handicaps to accomplish great things. Great things are done by those who could easily be dismissed in today’s society.
I think God was trying to tell Moses that greatness comes from within- how we obey God and have faith that he will carry us through.
Some time ago, I heard that a young couple should probably not have children- she has not finished her education and on and on.
Yet, what if that is not God’s plan. We can get wait until everything is just right, or we can step out on faith. So often, like Moses, we talk ourselves out of things because we have problems that we think are not surmountable. But God knows no bounds.
The best things we can do is make sure it is God’s will and then go from there. After all, Abraham and Zachariah- the father of John the Baptist- were told they would have children in their old age.
God made mouths, ears, and hands. Yet, we are full of excuses that say why we cannot achieve.
Maybe, we should try to learn more about what God wants and not about what we can do. God can fix it so we can achieve anything within his will- we just need to find His will and obey.
We have certain things in our home that are unusual, and we also have memories and pictures. I have met people who lost their homes due to fire or weather, and many say the same thing- they miss their pictures- something that cannot be replaced.
I live in a home that is special to me, but I cannot hold onto it forever. Eventually, I will either sell it or pass on leaving it either way to someone else.
I remember staying in an antebellum home in Mississippi for my honeymoon. The home was very old, large, and beautiful, but during the tour, the tour guide talked about all the owners since it was built. The list was long and many lost it due to death while some to not being able to pay taxes; there were various other reasons. The man who owned it was getting married in the elaborate home and was planning the ceremony while Lisa and I stayed there. Yet, he will not be able to keep it forever. Eventually, he will also not be the owner due to death or some other reason.
It is true on earth that we have no permanent home, but for us, this really should not matter. We do have a permanent home with our Messiah. (more…)
There is much bad news currently. Evil seems everywhere we look, but let us just look at our promises from Divine Elohim coming for those who follow Him. We can certainly look at the great blessings to come from our Messiah.
The people who follow the Messiah are simple people who love God, each other, and follow His rules. They will be blessed among all others in the world tomorrow.
When my second parent died, the family bible was given to me. In the middle of our old family bible is a section written in large fancy letters titled “the four gems of the bible”. It lists these gems or jewels as The Ten Commandments, The 23rd Psalm, the Beatitudes, and The Lord’s Prayer. (more…)
In these times, I feel and see anger all around and even inside of me. I can hardly watch the news without yelling at the TV set. The bad times seem to be getting worse, and anger seems to be having a field day with those who watch politicians and liars that are even playing with our lives and livelihoods concerning COVID, the economy, giving our terrorists enemies billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, and other such atrocities. However, anger can be controlled, or it can lead to our own loss and even destruction.
Anger is a feeling of extreme hostility, rage, and wanting to fight back according to the definition in Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus that I own.
Often, it is a response that we have when we are assaulted or wronged either mentally or physically.
The Bible clearly tells us to not get angry and that patience and trust in God is better than anger:
“7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:7-8.
“One Day at A Time”
This Pastor’s corner explores faith verses fear- especially concerning the recent rise in COVID cases.
I remember the radio station KWTX news reporting at 6PM on April 27, 2020 that, and I am paraphrasing, ‘church services can expand their capacity’. Social distance with two chairs between members was one of the rules, and I remember that this could all begin May 1, 2020 in Texas.
Therefore, the 7th Day Congregation Church at Eddy started to institute rules as given by Governor Abbott for eating, drinking, and socializing. That was a year and a half ago. Many freedoms returned, but now, the COVID D variant has increased the epidemic again. We know of a small church that possibly all the members contracted this disease with the Pastor being hospitalized. This is serious, and many live within fear of what might happen. Today, during the reading of the prayer list in church, we heard about a teenager dying of COVID. These, as last year, are fearful times. (more…)