Here Am I :: By Nathele Graham

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

Have you ever seen someone who needs help but for one reason or another you just didn’t do anything? Maybe you’ve seen a woman with two kids in the car parked on the side of the road with a flat tire. Did you offer to help or did you think the next guy will stop and help her?

Maybe s there’s a man sitting in the pew ahead of you who needs someone to mow his lawn until his broken leg heals, but you have other plans, and you think he can pay someone to help him. Many people need help but it seems as if there are few people willing to say to God “Here am I; send me.”

If you’re a Christian you should listen for the urging of the Holy Spirit and then willingly help when you can. Everyone needs help from time to time and if you listen carefully for the still small voice of the Lord, you just might be the answer to someone’s prayer.

“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” (Isaiah 25:1, 4)

Not long ago, the little town near to me was hit by a bad storm. Some say it was a tornado and others say it was straight winds with spiral down drafts. Whatever name is put to it, there was much property damage. My daughter and I were in town when the tornado sirens went off and we were blessed to be safe through the wind, rain, and hail.

When it was over and we were able to travel the eight miles to our home, we were very thankful that although golf ball sized hail was reported not far from us, our house was not damaged.

After a bit we decided to go back to town to see how bad the damage had been. The first thing we noticed was that there was no electricity. Although it was daylight it was eerie to see all the businesses dark and none were open. As we drove around we marveled at how large trees had fallen but most had just missed a house or car.

A few homes had a tree or branches across the roof and the First Baptist Church had their gym fold in half and most of the roof on their entire building was gone, but this storm could have done much more damage. Thank God there were no injuries or deaths.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

As we drove we wondered how long the electricity would be off and stores reopened. Then I remembered the little ice cream shop. Of all the businesses in town, the inventory of Scoop’s Ice Cream would all melt away without electricity. The storm happened on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and the owners had stocked up on extra ice cream because of the holiday.

The man and wife who own the shop are a lovely Christian couple who aren’t ashamed of their faith. Christian music plays in the shop and Scripture adorns their walls:

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

God placed it on my heart to stop and see if we could help. My thought was to take some of their ice cream home to my freezer and at least save some of it. That’s when God took over. I was willing to help a fellow Christian and God led the way. Since the electricity had been off for a while the ice cream was softening and the eight miles to my house would have been too far for it to be out of the freezer.

Then I remembered that I have a generator. Would it help? My daughter (Mandi), the owner (Dave), and two of the workers went to get the generator and try. As chance would have it (chance or the providence of God? I say God), Mandi had just filled our 5 gallon gas can so she could mow the lawn. This was a blessing since the gas stations were all closed.

When they got back with the generator we all had great expectations, but when Dave pulled the starter cord it wouldn’t start. The generator had been sitting unused for five years, so it just didn’t want to start. He pulled, and pulled, and pulled some more. He adjusted knobs and sprayed some WD-40 on it, but it just couldn’t get going.

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed: but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.” (Luke 8:16)

The sun went down and it was getting dark, so Dave brought out a lantern. This light shining in the darkness was a beacon to a couple of young men driving by. They saw the light and came to see if Dave and Shelly needed help. These young men were more than willing to do what they could.

They pulled the cord, fiddled with the knobs, but still it wouldn’t start. Then, another man driving by saw the light and came to see if he could help and he parked so his headlights would shine exactly where they were the most help. This was fast becoming an all out effort to help Dave and Shelly.

The man who came last had some spray that was exactly what was needed to loosen the sluggish parts and allow the motor to start running. Praise God! The generator started and Dave quickly hooked it up to a freezer.

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach to gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

The next morning (Sunday), most people were surveying the damage to their property and cleaning up debris. I attend worship outside of town and our pastor and his wife live 30 miles away in another town. That morning they came with bottles of water, urns of coffee,  bagels, and cream cheese. He said, “Today we aren’t going to church, we are being the church.”

Sunday school time was spent driving around the streets and handing out food and water where needed. Our last stop was at Scoop’s Ice Cream shop where a very tired but happy Dave and Shelly, were still running the generator. They had spent the rest of the night hooking the generator on one freezer then moving it to the next.

This was the only business in town that didn’t lose any food. A few hours later the electricity came back on and customers were lined up wanting for ice cream. Dave and Shelly were ready.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

It’s a privilege for God to allow us to be a part of His care for His children. As I reflect back on that day I smile and feel real joy because of the part I played in helping fellow Christians in need. God used me for His glory, but I was one small spoke in a much larger wheel. My generator would have been useless without the gas Mandi had bought.

The men who saw the light willingly came to help and without them the generator and gas would have done nothing. Each and every Christian is given an opportunity to serve God by serving others. When you see someone in need, do what you can to help. One day it could be you who is in great need ,and God will whisper to someone to come to your aid.

Will they listen or will they ignore God’s voice and assume someone else will help?

God’s work is accomplished by those who are willing to help. Are you willing? Are you listening for the Holy Spirit to direct you?

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original Scripture is “theopneustos” (God breathed).

 

Double Minded :: By Ron Graham

“A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways,” (James 1:8).

In the scope of what James is referring to in the verse above, we find that a man who is double minded is as unsettled as a wave of the sea driven by the wind.

Double minded in the Greek is “dipsychos” meaning “divided in interest” or “two-souled.” It can also mean wavering, uncertain, doubting. Unstable in the Greek is “akatastatos” signifying unrestrained, unruliness, restlessness, unsettled, and disorderly. A double minded person, being unstable, is someone who, no matter what he hears can’t make up his mind as to what is true and what is false or knows the truth but does not take a stand.

A double minded man isn’t fully grounded in any particular doctrinal idea, but is tempted by a melting pot of them all. He can be, and will be tossed around by any change that comes along. Certainly anyone who falls into this category isn’t fit to serve God as a pastor, teacher, evangelist or leader in Christ’s Church. Christians who’ve allowed themselves to be led or pushed into all different types of strange doctrines because of their inability to recognize the truth of God’s Word, are most assuredly “double minded.”

Christians in this day and age seem to be willing to fall for anything as long as it feels good or feels right. Our feelings and our senses are not to be trusted. We need to lean on the inerrant Word of God for our refuge. Strange teachings which are completely unbiblical appeal to those who aren’t familiar with Scriptures.

I keep harping on this trend which is subtly creeping into our Christian lives and is not going away any time soon. The appeal of these grossly false teachings is getting bigger and stronger all the time. These falsehoods are becoming so main stream that they have taken on a life of their own.

Followers of false teachers aren’t hypnotized and they aren’t forced in any way to believe in these falsehoods. I find it difficult to believe that Christians who are well versed in the Scriptures would ever allow themselves to be so completely deceived. If a Christian has not studied the Bible, he can only blame himself for being unable to discern the truth from a lie, which is what the enemy is counting on.

Double minded people are those who say one thing and do another. The men and women who lead in the arena of unbiblical teachings are double minded. They have an agenda and it has little to do with God. It may sound good, even good enough to believe. Christians who follow these quacks and adhere to their teachings are being led into a life that is unstable, and as we read in the verse above they are “unstable in all their ways.”

I have written before about the believer’s foundation which is Jesus the Christ. The Foundation of the Church is being replaced by false doctrines taught by teachers who are deceived, and those listening to them are allowing the word of Man to supplant the Word of God. False teachers abound but that would not be the case if we would study our Bibles.

These charlatans come and go, and now and then they have such an attractive but deceptive message that they are able to cut out a niche for themselves from within the seemingly huge pool of gullible Christians who are wandering around waiting for someone to grab them and feed them with whatever lies sound the best.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

Let me put it in terms everyone can understand. If I was to say to you that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Rome, Italy, would you believe me? Of course not. And why not? Because there are still people alive today who saw the assassination take place in Dallas, Texas. That historical event is recorded in books for all to read.

On the other hand if we aren’t familiar with what the history books have recorded about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and someone tells us JFK was shot with a bow and arrow for example, we might believe that falsehood since we have no knowledge of the event other than what we were just told, and if we don’t go to the history books for ourselves then we will certainly believe a lie.

The same is true with the Word of God. If we have little or no knowledge pertaining to the truth of God’s Word, then we can easily be deceived. The whole idea behind these false teachings is that those who teach them know many Christians don’t—or won’t, study their Bibles and so the fields are ripe for the harvesting.

I believe the inerrant Word of God is God-breathed. I believe it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Some of the readers of this commentary may recognize the above words as coming from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, but many others will not have a clue they came from the Bible and they are the ones who run the risk of being led astray by false teachers.

Suppose you were in a Bible class and the class leader was teaching from the Gospel of John and made the claim that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a God. Should someone in the class stand up and correct the teacher? Would anyone in the class even realize the mistake the Bible teacher made? Was that teacher being deceptive in the subtle change of the first verse of John’s Gospel?

Perhaps the students didn’t hear the mistake. Or maybe no one in the class has a clue as to what the first verse in John’s Gospel says. The latter seems to be the case. Perhaps you noticed I haven’t pointed out the mistake I’ve alluded to. Anyone who has studied the Bible will immediately catch the mistake.

I’ve heard Bible teachers say, “If it’s not in the Bible, and if Jesus didn’t talk about it, or if it wasn’t taught by any of the Apostles, then don’t believe it.” That my brethren is great advice. But if we have no idea whether or not Jesus or the Apostles spoke about a certain subject then it’s a moot point and we will be deceived. This goes for everyone on the face of this planet.

If you don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word, then you have already been deceived. If you are following someone who says “Don’t worry about reading the Bible, it’s too hard to comprehend for simple lay people, just listen to me and I’ll tell you what the Bible says,” then you are even more greatly deceived because you belong to a cult.

We believers in Christ have a sure word, a truth that can’t be disputed or denied. The Word of God is ours to read; to become fully versed in the Holy Bible is something to aspire to. We aren’t to take Man’s word for what the Bible says, or doesn’t say.

As we are told in Acts 17:11, the Bereans accepted the Word with all diligence but searched the Scriptures daily to make sure what they were being taught was truly from God. In other , they were not double minded, they were single minded when it came to searching the Scriptures.

Double minded evangelists use lying signs and wonders, trickery, magic, mysticism, babble, doctrines of devils, some proclaiming a pseudo Christ without love. Or double minded men can be popular teachers that have a following and teach their own ideas instead of the truth of God’s Word. They are unstable in all their ways. Satanism comes in many forms. Some blatantly worship Satan, and others are unconsciously or subtly doing so. Only those who have studied their Bibles and know God’s truth can stand against this abomination.

“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2).

Many of these false teachers actually have an agenda. They are putting materialism before God. Materialism is their god. Are Christians to be taught by someone who places another god, a false god, before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Jesus Christ is God. If we put anything before Jesus after asking Him into our lives then we are double minded with a divided interest.

How then can we keep from being deceived by all the false claims floating around out there? We must be constantly in His Word. Read it, learn it, and memorize all the Scripture verses you can, relying on the whole council of God.

Take a pocket sized Bible with you everywhere you go. How in God’s name can Christians be so deceived by these charlatans who are so far off base when it comes to God’s Word? Are they checking their brains at the door of these great halls and walking in completely unarmed? That’s exactly what Satan is depending on.

Christians from all over the country and from all walks of life are drawn to these so-called evangelistic revivals. Satan is depending on the fact that they’ve left behind their only source of protection—God’s Word.

My brethren, the end is near; even now we are at a precipice as we hold fast and stand firm on our faith. We must rely on the Word of God to keep us from falling into the great abyss which is Satan’s domain (temptations and lies). Satan will become more and more determined to push all his agendas, and pigheaded (unstudied) Christians are no stumbling block for him.

He will use whatever means he has at his disposal to make it seem as though God’s Word is being taught, and all the time he’s satanically encouraging falsehoods to be taught, teachings that at times will seem biblical but are in all actuality contrary to God’s Word.

We should always proclaim the true and correct Word of God. We must be ready to denounce falsehoods as they spring forth like a flood. Allow God to empower you through His Word so you will be fully equipped with the armor of God. As we are told in Ephesians 6, only by being clothed with God’s armor can we then stand firm.

Standing firm on the promises of God should be our good pleasure. Allowing sleight of hand to permeate our lives will be our disgrace.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham