(1Corinthians KJV) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world
to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world
confound the things which are mighty;
appears that God chooses the least qualified people to represent Him in the
kingdom. Man on the other hand seems to choose the most qualified people to
represent him and the church.
to choose from the bright, the confident, those who are from a good family and
those who present themselves well in public. As a result, most prospective
ministers feel that it is necessary to spend as much time as possible attending
Bible School or seminary...because they feel it is the primary ingredient for
preparing them for the ministry.
important as this training is, it is secondary to the fire of God that
resonates in one’s belly as a result of being forgiven for one’s sins. When one
repents of his sins and experiences forgiveness from God, then there is a
driving force that causes him to shout his experience from the housetops. This
is the purest form of ministry, and as a result it has caused more souls to
come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ than all the other training,
schooling and preparation put together.
is not to minimize the importance of Bible Schools and seminary, but quite the
contrary. I believe we should be perpetual learners, because there is no
premium on ignorance. That is why Paul said that we should study to show ourselves
approved. My intent is to simply put things in the right perspective.
first has the fire of God burning in his belly he really does not have the
“presence” that would cause others to come to Christ...regardless of his
education and preparation.
looks at the qualifications of those listed below it does give hope and
encouragement to the rest of us.
God chose Abraham which was a heathen Iraqi—to ultimately be the father of
promise. He chose Moses, a man who confessed his inability to talk—to lead
several million of His people. He chose Gideon (a man who referred to himself
as the least of the least), to take only three hundred men who lapped like a
dog—to win a miracle battle. God also chose Elijah (the Tisbite who had no
personal confidence), to become a major prophet and who remains an example for
us today. God chose John the Baptist who was as rough as they come—to prepare
the way for Jesus.
likelihood of any of these men being qualified enough to speak in most pulpits
today is zero, yet they were generals in the past. The point is...I wonder if
God chose these men because He knew they would depend on Him entirely. As a
result it would cause a fire in their belly that was needed to accomplish His
The older I
become the more I realize that God has chosen a lot more people like me who
were extremely shy and timid regarding ministry. That does not mean that we
should not study to show ourselves approved as Paul said. It only means that
God chose someone like us to represent Him and our only contribution was the fire in our belly and a thankful
I was so shy
that when I was asked to stand up and give Sunday school announcements to a few
junior boys and girls, I had to sit down and hold my head between my legs
because I was passing out. As a matter of fact I was so timid that the only
thing I could remember when talking to someone was what God had done for me and
about the raging fire that He had put in my belly. As a result of the raging
fire in me, people would get under conviction and sometimes start crying while
in my presence.
I think maybe this is what Paul meant in our text when he said,“But God hath
chosen the foolish things of
the world to confound the wise; and God hath
chosen the weak things
of the world to confound the things which are
I do not
believe that Paul was excluding anyone when he made this statement. Quite the
contrary, I believe the point that Paul was making was that God can use
everyone regardless of their human qualifications.
I thank You that You do not exclude the shy,
the timid, the insecure, the rejected, the uneducated, the women or the poor
from Your ministry. Lord You do not see what we are, You see the dynamo we can
be when we have the raging fire of Your Holy Spirit in our bellies. Thank You
Father for not leaving any of us out.
“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy
prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou
call his name John.”
I have spent a lifetime experiencing the Lord answering my prayers, I am still overwhelmed
by this miracle. The thought of praying for someone to be healed or asking God
to meet my needs—which He does—is phenomenal. Even though I do not understand
exactly how this works in the natural, I know for sure that it does work and so
I shall continue praying.
In the case
of our text we see that a man’s prayer has been heard and that his barren wife will
become pregnant. As a result of his continual prayer, the Lord not only heard
him, but also sent an angel to deliver the message that his prayer had been
Our text has
four points. The first point is that Zacharias and Elisabeth are going to have
a baby. The second point is that the baby’s name shall be called John. The third
point is that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. The forth point is do not
as the four points are I want to
particularly focus on the third point. It is amazing to me how one can talk to
someone who they cannot see and still get a response from them. This was the
case with Zacharias…he prayed and an angel showed up with the answer. The only
condition was that Zacharias believes that his prayer was answered and that he not
this is the same condition that the Lord requires of each of us...that is, to
believe and not doubt.
while I was praying and asking the Lord who He wanted me to pray for, He gave
me an address in a part of town I was not familiar with. He told me to go to
that address because someone was praying for help. I drove to that part of town,
found the address and went and knocked on the front door. A lady came to the front
door and asked if she could help me. I told her that I had just been praying
and the Lord spoke to me and told me to come to this address because someone
was praying for help.
I asked if
she had been praying for help and she said yes. She was very shocked that God
would answer her so fast. She invited me into her home and told me why she had
been praying for help. After I prayed for her and encouraged her that God had
already answered her prayer I left and never went back.
God has as many messengers with the answers to prayers as there are prayers being
prayed. The messengers that God sends may be an angel such as in our text or it
may be a country boy from East Texas like me. It does not matter who brings the
answers as long as the answers come.
I also think
at some time or another most Christians have been used as a messenger sent from
the Lord to someone else who needs help. Does God answer prayers…oh yeah…all
your children as messengers for divine appointments to those in need. I thank You
Lord for your faithfulness in answering our prayers and encouraging us through
the Holy Spirit, or an angel or another brother or sister.
(Psalm 91:11 KJV) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to
keep thee in all thy ways.
The study of angels has
to be one of the most intriguing of all studies. As a matter of fact, if one
wants to draw a crowd, all they have to do is start teaching on angels and the people
will come. I think most folks believe there are angels...even though some may
doubt a little because they have never actually seen an angel. I also believe that
people have seen angels but do not realize it because they do not recognize
them as angels they pass them by.
Angels are a part of the
spirit realm. The spirit realm is actually more real than the natural realm
because it is eternal, whereas the natural realm is not. Angels also operate on
a much higher frequency than humans do and that is why they have to slow down
their frequency to be seen.
It is possible for angels
to materialize when necessary when needed. This was the case in the situation
with Gideon. “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him,
The LORD is with thee, thou
mighty man of valour” (Judges 6:12 KJV)
This angel was sent to
Gideon for encouragement and protection...just as they are sent to us today for
the same reason. Even though Gideon was called by God to fight this battle, he did
not have a lot of personal confidence. The Lord knew this when He called Gideon
and that is why He sent the angel to encourage him.
I find great comfort in
our text where it says, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep
thee in all thy ways.”When God
sends an angel for this kind of assignment that does not necessarily mean that
the angel has to materialize so we can see him every time. The fact is angels
do not have to materialize at all in order to get the job done.
I am sure there are
times in everyone’s life when they feel as if someone was telling them not to do
something…or perhaps they feel someone is telling them to do something. Sometimes
they may even feel that they should not travel a certain familiar way. All of
these could be warnings from an angel and not just one’s own feelings.
Women seem to be more
sensitive than men when it comes to such feelings even though they may think it
is just their intuition. The fact is it could well be an angel speaking into
“Are they not all
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of
salvation?” (Hebrews KJV) Even though I have had many experiences with angels over the
years, I feel I should share the following story as my example for this
Many years ago as a
young minister, I was pastor of a small church in Southeast Texas. One Sunday after the morning service
I put my three small children in our station wagon to head home. I noticed all four
of my tires were almost flat. I had just enough air in the tires to drive
across the street to the service station and put air back in them. I recall
having a strange feeling that this was no accident and that the Lord had
something to do with it. I was not sure why I felt that way until a few minutes
I was only delayed about five minutes before I
headed home. My home was about 45 minutes from the church and I always enjoyed
driving back and forth to church on a small black top road through those
beautiful East Texas piney woods. About five
minutes from the service station where I had filled my tires with air, there
was a train crossing—with no lights or bars for stopping cars in case a train
As I approached the train
crossing I saw that a train had just hit a car about five minutes before I got
there. A man was laying on the ground and his car was totally demolished. I jumped
out of my car and ran to the man who was dying on the ground and started
praying for him, but I was too late…he died.
As I looked back at my
little children in the car, I was overwhelmed by the full knowledge of why I
felt that the Lord had something to do with my almost flat tires back at the
church. I grabbed my children and held them close as I thanked the Lord for
sending an angel when I needed it and did not know it. From that day until this
I have never doubted that an angel of the Lord was sent to protect me and my
children. Also, I have never told this story until now because it was so
intimately personal to me.
Are angels real? More
than you know!
You said in our text, “For
he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”Help all of us Lord to believe and
walk in this scripture and especially in the “all thy ways”part.
(Luke_10:35 KJV) And on the morrow when
he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said
unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I
come again, I will repay thee.
has to be one of the most heart-warming stories in the Bible. Every time I read
it I examine myself to see how I measure up to this ordinary caring man. Just about
the time I think I am doing pretty well, I do something that makes me wonder.
the natural it does not make sense for one to bear such a cost for something he
had nothing to do with. However, this kind man was not only willing to pay the
bill for the stranger’s immediate care, but he was also willing to set up a
line of credit for his future care. His desire was to pay the full price even
before he knew what the full price would be.
am sure many would think, “Why is he doing this? What does he hope to get out
of this?” It is amazing how in the natural we seem to always think in terms of
ulterior motives. In this case there were none…he just cared!
kind of love and care has to come from the supernatural realm and not the
natural realm. I kinda understand how
one can love this much if there is a relationship, however, how can one love
this much when there is not a relationship?
the years I have actually heard two pastors stand and face their congregation
and say, “I don’t care what you think, I just don’t care.” I must admit I was as shocked and stunned as
their congregations. I cannot imagine any loving parent sitting at the dinner
table and making such a statement to their children.
a matter of fact I cannot even imagine how such a thought can even enter one’s
mind, much less come out of one’s mouth. What a contrast between these two
pastors who are supposed to love and care for their sheep and the kind man in
our text who did not even know the one he was helping.
Even if the pastors did not mean for
their words to be as harsh as they sounded, that still does not change
anything. The devil has the right to bind one to their words because he does
not consider what you meant to say, but will use what you actually said. This
of course brings a couple of scriptures to mind which can be sobering as well.
“Death and life are in the power of the
generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew KJV)
am not sure that it is possible to be a true pastor and not care. I am not
implying that the two men do not have a call of God on their lives. I am
suggesting that perhaps their call is not that of pastoring a congregation.
the stranger in our text is an example of how one should love and care for one who
has been beaten up, is bloody, and undesirable, then perhaps all of us should
check out our motives for ministry as well.
Help us to mature past our childish
outbursts in times of personal frustration. Help us to understand that there is
a penalty for such loose words which can and will be held against us. Lord,
help us to be caring like the man in our text.
(Luke KJV) And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten
cleansed but where are the nine?
Being grateful should be the natural response for anyone after having
received a blessing. However, that is not always the case because many walk
away and never say a word when they receive a gift. One may ask, “If you truly
give something away then why do you have to be thanked for it…isn’t the joy of giving
In the case of our text I do not believe the point that Jesus was trying
to make was necessarily that He be thanked. I believe He was simply showing us
what an ungrateful heart really looks like.
The fact is, ungratefulness is rooted in selfishness and selfishness is
rooted in self preservation and self preservation is rooted in mistrust and
mistrust is rooted in jealousy. In other words…I want what you have because I
deserve it more than you do. All of this can be summed up in the word “ungrateful.”
It seems as though folks in this present generation
are less grateful
than folks were in my generation. Perhaps
some of that could be caused
by overindulgent parents.
In our text, Jesus had just
healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Him. This is a clear picture
(at least to me) of the two categories that people seem to fall into, “givers
Being a “taker” does not necessarily mean that one is a bad person…they
are just self centered. A taker expects you to give them your time, but rarely
do they want to give you their time.
My wife is the most generous person I know. She is always ready to
sacrifice her time and money at any hour of the day or night. She is a classic
giver. I remember at one point in time she had a friend who was a classic
taker. A classic taker can spot a classic giver across the room...just like a
lion can spot its prey. As a result, my wife became a life support for this
lady, praying for her night and day, as well as giving her groceries.
There was a time when this lady was wealthy, and she is probably wealthy
again. However, when she got back on her feet she dropped the friendship with
my wife and went on to bigger and better things...as typical takers do. A
typical taker is always one who is climbing up the ladder.
My wife’s friend was like the “healed leapers” who took from Jesus, but did
not go back and thank Him for their healing. Being a taker is a character flaw
that the person does not want to be healed of—because it is their way of controlling
another person. They may even be born again, but they miss out on the character
The statement I am about to make is certainly not an absolute for all of
the poor or the rich, because I personally know many exceptions to this statement.
However, it does seem that the wealthy expect favor and the poor believe they
deserve favor, which means it is hard for one to gain ground with takers such
all of us have more of a takers spirit in us than we realize. Do we
show our un-thankfulness much like the nine
It is far to easy for us to see the wrong
in the nine leapers and criticize them.
Help us Lord not to make the same mistake
and cause others to criticize us.
Perhaps there are times that all of us are
guilty of walking away and not
showing a grateful heart for Your presence
in a church service or having a