Vol. 29, No. 10 October, 2005
LEARNING FROM THE STORM
By Pastor George Mills
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, (Mt 7:24-27).
We all watched with great compassion and concern as we saw the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. The Gulf coast region suffered such great loss. In fact, some ninety thousand square miles were devastated. Our hearts were touched by all of that loss. We saw families separated. We saw people who were hungry and thirsty. People who just a few hours before were quite comfortable before the storm came. I am grateful that, just as quickly as we could, Yukon Baptist Church responded with a generous offering to help get supplies to the victims of the storm and ensuing flood. Yukon Baptist Church has always been a loving, giving, helping Church. We will continue to pray for these victims, and do whatever we can to help where we can. I am very sorry that Politics entered the scene immediately. Democrats blamed the Republicans, and FEMA. Republicans blamed the Mayor and Governor. And The fight is on. Investigations, and the “blame game” will be on for the next years.
It is hard to react with urgency when your first responder has been devastated. All communications, power, and water supply were down, and no way of transportation through the flooded streets. Yes, we were and are deeply concerned for the victims of that area. But are there lessons to learn? And how about the blame game do we get in on that? Did the storm teach us some things? Yes! Let me just mention a few.
1. We learned that we must be prepared for storms, because storms are coming. I do not believe that the city of New Orleans was prepared for a storm. By “city” I mean the leadership of New Orleans. I quickly learned that the Mayor of New Orleans is a blasphemer. I heard him make his blasphemous remarks on TV and take the Name of our God in vain. I hope that the citizens of New Orleans will remove him from office at the next election. I do not believe that he is fit to be called Mayor. I saw hundreds of buses that could have been used to move folks west and away from the city, but they were just left there, in a parking lot, flooded. I heard that the city of New Orleans has only three boats to patrol the waters there. A City, surrounded by water, with only three boats. I understand that only one of the three boats was in working order. Many things will be brought out in the days ahead, things that will show that the city fathers had no plan for a storm. And the Governor of Louisiana had no idea as to what to do. She had her State’s Police force and National Guard at her command, and wasted hours before she activated these units into service. She too was not prepared for the storm. The Democratic Party has been in control of that State for the last 50 years. I wonder why they have done nothing to make the levee system more solid. Ample notice was given to that area, and many paid no attention to the warnings.
Storms are ahead of each one of us. By “storm,” I mean “Things out of order, things that are upset, things that are not normal, things that will bring trouble and trial to our lives.” Storms are ahead for each of us. Are YOU prepared? Have you built your life upon the Rock, or on sinking sand. Time and time again, God has warned us to be prepared.
2. I believe that we saw the wisdom of building upon a solid foundation. Why would a city be built below sea level that close to a large river, and to the Gulf of Mexico? I know, I have heard, “Its our home, this is where we were born.” Still, that makes no sense. It makes no sense at all to build a city, or a home in a flood zone. And still, people do that very thing.
3. Some evacuated the city as instructed by the officials. Some refused to evacuate. Some had intentions to evacuate, but waited too late. Many who waited too late had made absolutely no preparations. They were left without food or water, and the necessary things for survival. Others had “Hurricane Parties.” Oh, we have seen hurricanes before, so we will just drink and party through this storm, just like we have done before.”
4. Some storms are predictable. God, who created this world, and universe, set various things in place in order to preserve. God put in force weather patterns. Meteorologists have discovered weather patterns and can predict paths of hurricanes, and other weather conditions. Hurricanes, and storms are God”s “vacuum cleaners” to cleanse and purify our planet. Various germs, viruses, and diseases are scattered, and the area is cleansed. Let none of us blame God for this, or other disasters, if we build our home, or our city in the known paths of storms.
Now, what can we learn from this storm? I want to learn from this great storm, and apply these lessons to the building of our Spiritual house, where, and how to build. I could mention many “storms” that we will face. Storms like sickness, accidents, financial failure, family upsets, loss of a job, even death of a loved one. Not to mention the various satanic attacks against the people of God. This most familiar text in Matthew Chapter seven gives us keen understanding. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man which built his house on a rock. And the rain descended, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Lesson #1;
1. BUILD ON A SOLID FOUNDATION. Before a building goes up, there must be that going down to check the location of our building. I well remember the time when I bought three acres out in the country. We bought us a double wide mobile home and set it there with intentions of enjoying “country living.” The original owner of the land had walked with me over the land and assured me that “This land is good land, and it drains well. You will enjoy this place,” he said. I recall as we walked over that land, I saw a small flower growing everywhere. That small flower was a lily. That little flower was trying to tell me something. That little flower was saying, “Hey, look at me. I am a lily. I grow in low places. I need lots of water. This is low land.” I had noticed the lily, but I paid no attention. Well, I built there, and moved there, and everything was fine, until THAT day. A storm came. I had knee deep, water front property. Needless to say, we didn’t stay there long because I neglected the foundation.
I had built my Spiritual house, but oh, what a mess. Wrong street, wrong material, wrong side of town, wrong everything. Is your life like that? I have some good news for you. One day, someone told me about a “Solid Foundation” The Bible says, “That Rock was Christ.” I asked Christ into my life as my Saviour. I accepted His supreme Sacrifice for my sin on His Cross, that He arose from the dead on the third day to be my Eternal High Priest in Heaven. He is my foundation. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 3:11) It is my understanding that New Orleans will build again in that same place. WHY? Man cannot tame the mighty Mississippi River, nor can he change the weather patterns. Build again, but build on a solid foundation. And whoever you may be who is reading this, Build your life on Christ.
From the storm, we learn about a solid foundation.
2. BUILD WITH THE RIGHT MATERIALS. As newsmen scanned the flooded scenes, I could not help but notice that many of the homes that were destroyed were made of wood. It was also noticeable that some of the wood used in the structure of some buildings was not the right size. Two by four lumber was used in some roofs where two by eight lumber should have been used. Now, please do not misunderstand me. I am not finding fault with the buildings of that area Probably most homes were built by modern building codes, but many were not. While we are deeply concerned about everyone who lost their home, I am trying to get us to build our Spiritual home. The right materials we use to build our Spiritual house are simple, but will pass the test of every storm of life. As we build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, let’s think about the walls.
(A) THE WORD OF GOD. (KJV) Accept no substitutes. Accept no watered down, weakened “version” of today. These will not stand the storms of life. But our Bible will. It has been tried and tested. Tested by man, Satan, and the ages. As you study your Bible you will grow stronger and stronger. The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible. I know that He used men to do the writing, but He breathed the Words in man, and man wrote, and God PRESERVED. The Holy Spirit will teach you as you read. No wind of doctrine will be able to blow you off course. Storms have raged against God’s people through the ages. But no storm is a match for the One who is Lord of the storm.
(B) PRAYER. Build you life on Prayer. Pray often. Now that we are saved, we have access to God. No one has any more access than you have. Christ bought access to God for you by His Work on the Cross. “For through Him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”(Eph 2:18) You do not have to go to some earthly priest or preacher, or worker. You do not have to dial some “800” number, or some Prayer “hot-line” Learn to pray. God is waiting to hear YOUR PRAYER. God knows your needs, He is just waiting for you to talk to Him.
(C) CHURCH ATTENDANCE. Find a good, Fundamental, Bible Believing (KJV) Soul Winning Church. Become active. Grow with that Church. The Church must become very important in your life. Fellowship with other believers, and the preaching of the Word of God (KJV) are valuable resources of Spiritual strength and will help each of us to grow and become rooted and grounded in Christ. When the storms of life come, (and they will come) our walls will withstand the wind.
(D) GIVING. Learn to give. Invest your money in God’s Work. New Testament giving is Church giving. DO NOT send your money to some religious broadcast, or telecast, or some religious headquarters, Religious charlatans with gimmicks and gadgets, “how to” books, tapes, lessons and promises of health and healing IF you will send them an offering. Don’t be fooled by all of this. This “stuff” will blow away in the first storm. Build on the Foundation of Christ. Build your walls with these materials that will withstand the storms of life and the test of time.
(E) The Roof over our Spiritual House is God almighty. He is that “Rock in a weary land.” He is that “Shelter in the time of storm.” He is “that Rock that is Higher than I” and under His Wings I am abiding. Your Spiritual House, built on this Foundation, and using these materials will withstand every flood.
3. BUILD WITH ETERNITY IN VIEW AND NOT JUST FOR TODAY. As I look at the flooded city of New Orleans, with all of that sorrow, hurt and loss, my heart is touched. I could not help but shed tears as I watched some children who just needed a drink of water and some shade. Who would not be touched by all of that? Robbers and looters were running wild, profiting from the loss of others. Sometimes a storm will bring out the worst in people. But that city, built in such a low place, built below sea level, built in the path of hurricanes, and built at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River. But, that’s man’s wisdom. I still wonder WHY? There will be other storms. The River will flood again. The area will face something similar in the future. Why not rebuild the city, but build it on HIGHER GROUND? To rebuild where it is will probably look good for TODAY, but TOMORROW is coming, bringing with it more storms.
And you, if you are not saved today, I wonder, WHY NOT? The city had ample warning. They were warned that a severe hurricane was coming. For years they were warned that the levees would not stand a strong hurricane. Warning after warning, still people were satisfied to live in threatening conditions. And the Bible (KJV) has been warning us about the coming storms. The storm clouds of the great tribulation are on the horizon, but man just stays like he is. Man has the idea that he can withstand anything. The future is coming. Are you prepared? You prepare by receiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour. “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” “How do I receive Christ?” The Bible says. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” The Holy Spirit is there, where you are. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. Begin TODAY, to live FOREVER.
For our friends in New Orleans, and in all the area that has been devastated by the storm, let me say that we are with you, we are praying for you, and we will continue to help the way we can. In this message to people across the land, I am only using your situation to challenge mankind to be prepared for TODAY, and for the FUTURE. May God bless you.
THINK ABOUT IT… Both men in our text in Matthew 7 faced the same storm. Being a Christian does not free us from the storms of life. The difference in the storm is Christ.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS..It is no friend to the Christian. The world offers it’s counsel and advice. Listening to the counsel of the ungodly got us into the fix we are in today. “Oh how I love Thy Law. It is my meditation all the day.” (Ps 119:9).
THE SOLID ROCK (Mt 7:24-27)
By Pastor George Mills
The house I built was strong and tall,
It’s walls were firm and stout.
I said that “this will never fall,
It is strong within, and without.”
So strong my house, when winds did blow,
And the rain had no effect,
But then one day I began to know,
There’s something I did neglect.
A storm did come one dreadful day,
There was never such a gale,
I watched the storm take my house away,
I saw my foundation fail.
My house that once did seem so grand,
I took care to build it right,
But I had built on sinking sand,
I saw, that stormy night.
I had built upon the sand,
The wood was just too frail.
My house too weak, it could not stand,
When the winds, they did assail
When I began to build again,
A higher place I found,
A Rock secure, not sinking sand,
A place on higher ground.
With Christ my Saviour in my heart,
To guide my life anew,
He gave to me a bright new start,
He’ll see me safely through.
Foundation sure, and walls of stone,
Safe in every gale,
My hope is now in Christ alone,
My Foundation will not fail.
My Rock is Christ, His Word my guide,
His Peace within my soul,
My refuge sure, where I abide,
While years, and ages roll.
FOR THOSE BEHIND PRISON BARS
By Pastor George Mills
Much of this Ministry is dedicated to reaching men and women in jails, and in prisons. This publication is sent, in bulk, to many correctional facilities. We regularly receive mail from inmates in various prisons. We are so happy when we open a letter to find enclosed one of our Bible Tracts with the back filled in indicating that the sender has received Jesus Christ as Saviour.. We rejoice in that. I do get letters from inmates with questions, and some questions are hard to answer. We take our mail very serious, and try to give a Bible answer to every question, as best we can. Let me share with you some things that I believe will be helpful to you.
1. If you have, by faith alone, asked Christ into your heart, if you believe with all of your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sin, that He was buried, and that He arose from the dead. If you believe that, and have asked Him to save you from the Penalty, and Power of sin, then I can say on the authority of God’s Word that He saved you when you trusted Him. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.”
2.While sin. ALL SIN is forgiven, sometimes we have to reap the results of a sinful life. For instance, If a man drinks alcohol all of his life, and develops liver cancer from all of that alcohol, if he trusts Christ, God saves him, but that does not guarantee him a new liver. Or, if a man loses a leg in an accident while driving drunk, and then he gets saved, God forgives him of his sin, but he does not get a new leg. So, to those in prison today, those of you who have trusted Christ, you have a home in Heaven. Your Heavenly record is clear. But we must reap the results of sin. Trusting Christ does not mean that God will open the prison doors for you
3. While you serve your time there, be an example of a man, or woman who has met Christ. Hold your head up high. Here are some things you can do for yourself.
(A) Learn to read your Bible, (King James Only). If you do not have a Bible, let me know and I will see that you get one. As you develop a systematic study of your Bible, your faith will grow. You will learn about God, about human nature, and about yourself.
(B) Develop a prayer list. Pray for yourself, pray for your loved ones, pray for other inmates there. Pray for this Ministry. God still answers prayer.
(C) Be a good witness for Christ.. Pass out Gospel Tracts. I will be glad to supply tracts for you, if this is OK with the rules where you are. Sometime ago an inmate in Madison Corrections asked me to send him some Gospel Tracts. I sent him some. In just a few days I received one of those Tracts with the back page filled in indicating that this person had received Christ. So there, in prison, an inmate became a soul winner. It happens over and over again.
(D) Use your time wisely. Don’t waste time, Educate yourself. Train yourself. Enroll in a Bible Correspondence course. Leave there more equipped than ever before.
(E) Learn to forgive yourself. Remember, if you have received Christ, God has forgiven you. Many men and women have left prison to live a great life, and do a great work for Christ.
God bless you. I hope that these things will help you. Let me hear about what God is doing in your life. Remember, we serve a Wonderful, Kind, Loving Heavenly Father.
THINK ABOUT IT …Every worth while lesson I ever learned, I learned in the valley of testing and trials.
WANDERING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS?
ANSWERS. “Recently, I lost a dear loved one. My grief is great, and hard to bear. Can you help”
Answer..”God has given us certain emotions meant to stabilize us, or keep us in balance. No emotion should control us, we should control our emotions. Let me give you some “For instances”
WORRY. Worry is a God given emotion. Think of what the world would be like if nobody worried. We say, “don’t worry,” but we worry. We just can’t help it. But worry is not to control us. Any emotion out of control is chaos. Mental wards are filled with people who let worry control. Learn to control worry. “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”(Ph. 4:6-7)
ANGER. What was said about worry can be said about anger. The Bible says, “Be angry and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” (Eph 4:26). Don’t go to bed until this thing is settled.
FEAR. Think of a world where nobody feared. Can you imagine the chaos? Fear, like the things I have mentioned are God given emotions. But none of these things are to control us, they are given for our stability.
One of these days we will live in a world where none of these things will be needed.
GRIEF. Grief is a God given emotion. There is absolutely nothing wrong in grieving over the loss of a loved one. Great men in the Bible grieved at the loss of their mate. I think of the grief of Abraham at the loss of his beloved Sarah. Our Lord wept at the grave of Lazarus. Grieve for awhile, but learn to rest in the promises of God. God will make you smile again. Paul says that you “Sorrow not as others which have no hope.” Some die without Christ. There is no hope there. Let us see what the Bible (KJV) teaches about our loved ones who die in Christ.
(A) They are alive. More alive than ever before. At death, the body goes to the grave, but the person who lived in that body goes on to live with our Lord. (Phil 1:21-23)
(B) They are happy. “In Thy presence is fullness of Joy.”(Ps 16:11).
(C) I do not believe they would trade places with any of us down here.
(D) There will be that glad reunion day. Please read 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Learn to commit these things to the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let the Word of God settle things in your heart. And let the Peace of God reign. Ask your Heavenly Father for Grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:12).
Learn to spell GRIEF like this?
“Dear Lord, tune my heart today. Tune out the world and it’s sounds, and let the lovely song of the Redeemed echo through my being.”
Ever will I sing of Thee,
Thou Blessed Lamb of Calvary,
Mine to sing the whole day long,
Until I sing with Heaven?s throng.
“WHAT MUST I PRAY IN ORDER TO BE SAVED? WHAT WORDS MUST I SAY? “
It is common to see a preacher on TV tell how to pray, or to hear some radio preacher tell his listeners, “Now, say these words,” or “Pray this prayer.” And then lead his listeners with some words to be repeated.
We are NOT saved by praying.
We are NOT saved in saying words, or repeating something.
We ARE saved by receiving Christ. In that,
I mean that we REALIZE our condition, that we are lost sinners .We RECOGNIZE that Christ alone can save us. And we RECEIVE Christ by asking Him into our life, to forgive our sin. God is NOT listening for words, He hears the cry of the REPENTANT heart. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Ro 10:9-10)
God will hear the cry of the REPENTANT heart!