Ever since we started the renovations at our place in the country, it has always been a treat to go sit on the back porch and soak in the beauty of the Texas countryside. I can sit out there in the morning and listen to the birds awakening with the dawn and then enjoy the croaking of what must be ten thousand frogs and crickets in the evening. It is peaceful, quiet, and still – the way I long for my heart to be in the midst of the chaos of life. And it is in those quiet moments – when I am "still and know that He is God" – that God speaks to me and calms the storm within. That is what I want to share with you in these posts. I want to share my view from the back porch. Some of my posts will reflect a few of the things I have learned in my journey through life. Some will simply be statements of what I see in our culture and how we as Christians should respond. I teach a Bible study class each week to an extremely eclectic group of adults and some of the posts and videos I share will be taken from those lessons. I have no delusions of profundity but rather I hope to cause you to think, to laugh, to ponder anew your life as Christ would have you live it. Furthermore, I hope this will be a conversation and not just a monologue. I would love to hear your thoughts, hopes, fears and anything else you would feel comfortable sharing with me. It's wonderful to relax here on the back porch enjoying the view, so pour yourself some coffee (or the beverage of your choosing) and let's talk.
I read this article and listened to this man play “Something About That Name’ and immediately thought of Isaiah 61:1-4. This message was given to the people of Israel but it is a Messianic prophecy that Jesus used as His first “sermon” so the proclamation is the same for all believers. Thank you, Jordan Baize, for reminding us of this truth.
1“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,Because the Lord has anointed MeTo preach good tidings to the poor;He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,To proclaim liberty to the captives,And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,And the day of vengeance of our God;To comfort all who mourn,
3To console those who mourn in Zion,To give them beauty for ashes,The oil of joy for mourning,The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;That they may be called trees of righteousness,The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
4And they shall rebuild the old ruins,They shall raise up the former desolations,And they shall repair the ruined cities,The desolations of many generations.”
As I was reading Psalm 46 this morning I was reminded of all disasters around the world which appear on my daily newsfeed – floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, droughts – and the list goes on and on. I do not wish to engage in any arguments over what is man-made and what is natural when it comes to disasters. What I saw this morning in Psalm 46 is simply that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, whatever the cause.
We tend to fret and worry over the disasters that may or may not come our way when what we should do is trust God no matter what lies on the horizon. We can perhaps do some things to mitigate the effects of nature’s force but ultimately we must trust God before, during, and after the storm. Verse 10 of Psalm 46 tells us to be still and know that He is God and that He will be exalted in all the earth. If nothing else, surely the magnitude of a hurricane the size of the Gulf of Mexico or an earthquake that rocks the very ground of several states should remind us of how big God is and how small we are in comparison.
So while we in our human impotence try to determine what we should do in the face of disaster, we should first and foremost seek God in his omnipotence and trust him over and above anything that our finite minds can conceive.
1God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 6The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
10Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
11The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalm 46 (NKJV)
Twitter – From the Back Porch @ nationalfast Website – FromTheBackPorch.org Facebook – From the Back Porch in Texas YouTube – From the Back Porch