Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself; is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
May 2016 - GraceAndWorks
As I told you all last week, my Dad was a stickler for getting the work done. However he was also always in for a good joke or some awesome horseplay. The one thing that he would not stand for was fiction (Telling non truths). No matter how hard one tried to get away with something, Dad would always find the truth. There was this one time my sister had gotten home later than she was supposed to and she told Dad that she had had a flat tire and was sticking by her story. Until—-Dad said, “Lets get in the pickup and you can show me where it happened.” That was the end telling fiction that night!! Turns out she had gotten into a pillow fight and lost track of time. Sure would have been easier to tell the truth to start with. Then there was this time when I was shooting my 22 rifle at the rain gauge on a fence post and as bad of a shot as I was, I hit the gauge!! Dad started questioning me about the shooting of the gauge. I think it went by for 2 or three days and I was sticking to my story that I did not do the shooting. Until—–Dad said, “I’m taking the bullet and have a ballistics test done on it.” That was the end of that fiction!!! Turns out I was the one doing the shooting. Sure would have been easier to tell the truth to start with.
The truth of the matter, I WAS rained out!! It was a Saturday, I was about 18 years of age and I wanted to quit early Saturday afternoon and Dad had said NO!! Remember he always wanted the work done before play time. He was sending me to a field to work that was 30 miles from home and about a 40 minute drive. Needless to say I was not a happy camper when I left home that morning to go to work. I got to the field and started tilling the ground, must have been about 8 AM. I started right then talking to God about making it rain and there was not a cloud in the sky. Noon came, ate lunch, fueled the tractor and greased the machinery–still no clouds!! Well, about 2 PM the sky opened up and just flat drenched me. YAY!! I could go home early. I got about a half a mile from the field, and I’m telling you, everything was dry as a bone. When I got home, here was Dad. “What are doing home?” he said. I told him I had been rained out. He looked at the sky and not one cloud, “hadn’t been any all day,” he said. Yep, you guessed it. He said, “get in the pickup and we’re going to go see.” Not a cloud in the sky and no rain had fallen–until about a half mile from the field and the road was complete mud. Dad said, “Well I’ll be…” and turned around and went home. By now it’s about 5 PM, so much for getting to quit early.
God is a lot like my Dad. He has a sense of humor and will let us get by with many things. However He won’t tolerate fiction from us. You can’t tell Him you didn’t do it—He knows everything. Just like Dad!! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just like my Dad was. Couldn’t fool Dad and can’t fool God. Guess it will be Fact NOT Fiction.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to others. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. Do not be furious, O Lord, nor remember iniquity forever; Indeed please look–we all are Your people.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”
Let the peoples praise you, O God; Let all the peoples praise you. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
It must have been around 1960 because we were still living on the farm. I was 10 or 11 years of age. My Dad was strict on getting work done. We always got up at 6 AM and usually quit around 6 PM. He had a plan and knew about how much could be done in a day. When the work was done, we could have some fun or do what we wanted. This story is about what happened one Saturday. Dad was working another field away from home and he had left me in charge of taking care of irrigating the alfalfa field. It was a fairly large field and was flat. We irrigated out of ditches, which is called flood irrigation. The water would come from the underground pump and flow through the ditch to the field. We would set canvasses in the ditch to stop the water and irrigate the field. When that part of the field had enough water, we would set another canvass further down the ditch and pull the one that we had been using.
Saturday afternoon there was a bus leaving from our small town to a larger town with a swimming pool. Dad had told me I could go, but, the water had to be set before I left and had to be reset when I got home. Well, everything was going fine through the morning. About 1:00 now and time to set a canvass and go swimming. I pulled the canvass that I was using and sent the water to the canvass down the ditch that I had set. To set a canvass, you had to take a shovel and poke the edges in the ground and then pack dirt all around the edges so it would hold when the water hit it. I was just hoping the canvass would hold because sometimes they didn’t and would have to be reset while the water was running down the ditch. Yeah–you guessed it–it DID NOT hold. Remember I’m only about 10 years old and now I have to fight the moving water and try to reset the canvass and get done quick enough to go swimming. The harder I worked the worse it got. FINALLY I got it reset and all was good, except, it was now too late to go swimming–the bus had already left. Disappointment set in. Then as I thought about what had happened, I knew Dad would be proud of me because the work was getting done. We’ll go swimming another day!!
God is strict about getting His work done also. He has so much planned for each one of us before we can go home. 12 years ago I had a heart attack and if it weren’t for God and the Doctors, I would not be here today. My conclusion was that I still had more of God’s work to do before I could be called Home. Today I do some preaching, teach adult Bible class 1 quarter per year, take care of this web site and individual teaching and consulting as needed. At 68 years of age I do what I can so when God says I have done enough, He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant you have earned the crown of life”, and he will call me Home with Him. Are you doing your share? And, is God be happy with what you are doing?
God’s work first and then it’s time to play!!
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their goodness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of man witnesses.
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.