Peace in Life’s Storms

27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

 

There was a news story lately about a cruise ship that sailed out of port with the idea that they could outrun a storm that was brewing in the open waters.  The ship’s captain didn’t win that race and the passengers were in the ride of their life.

If you saw some of the cell phone videos that made the news, you saw just how violent the storm was. I guess the good news is the ship was built to withstand such a storm, but I wouldn’t want to have to go through a storm like that.  Things on the ship were tossed everywhere. There was certainly no way that the people could sit and eat, much less the wait staff carry trays of food.  Trying to walk on the ship to get anywhere was out of the question.  People were hanging on to anything they could find while trying to stay out of the path of furniture, dishes, and the like sliding all over the place.

But as rough as that ocean was, deep down under the surface of the water it was calm and peaceful.  The sea creatures didn’t know anything about what was going on with the ship and passengers.  All was well deep down.

This world is a rough place.  Life will toss us around just like on the cruise ship, and we struggle to find something just to hold onto.  

Jesus knew the time was quickly coming when He would die and leave His disciples for a while. He knew they would be tossed about by those of the world and even their own minds.  So Jesus left them the best thing He could – His peace.

Jesus had taught them to live in peace.  Now He left the gospel of peace with them to be preached to all of the world.  There was peace in His shed blood as Jesus gave His life to reconcile man back to God.

This was an internal peace that is deep down inside of us.  It is an eternal peace that can never be taken from us.

Jesus came in peace (Luke 2:14).  He lived in peace, and He left His peace with His disciples, and with us.  Through the Holy Spirit we have the Comforter, and if the Holy Spirit is within us, then down deep inside we have a peace that this world can never take from us.  On the surface, things may be rough, but inside of us we have the peace that Jesus gives.

I’m not suggesting you avoid taking a cruise.  Just remember that storms happen, and you might get tossed around a bit.  But keep the peace that Jesus left for all mankind within your heart, and the storms of this earthly life can’t separate you from God’s love and presence in your life.  Happy sailing!

 

© 2016 Charles A. Kalkomey

March 12, 2016

First In Your Life

9 What a man’s heart deviseth his way: But the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

 

Where is Jesus in your life? Is He first? Or just when you need Him?

As you drive down the road of life, is Jesus riding in the trunk of your car? You let Him out on Sunday morning, but as soon as you leave church, you put Him back in the trunk until next Sunday.

Or perhaps Jesus is at least riding in the backseat. But, do you treat Him as simply a “backseat driver” and you view Him more as a series of interruptions as you are trying to live life the way you want to.

Or, maybe you let Jesus ride in the front seat as a passenger you at least talk to. You tell Jesus about what is going on in your life, but your focus is still on the “road of life” as you drive. Regardless of what Jesus says, you are still in charge.

The place we want to be is letting Jesus get behind the wheel and drive. Our trust needs to be in Jesus. He must be the one in control.

Is Jesus first in your Finances?

Is Jesus first in your Interests?

Is Jesus first in your Relationships?

Is Jesus first in your Schedule?

Is Jesus first in your Troubles?

If we can say that Jesus is first in our finances, interests, relationships, schedule and troubles, then we can honestly say that Jesus is in our life. But He still may not be in the right place.

We must always be prayerful about our relationship with Jesus. We must always be positive about the potential that exists in our life with Jesus in control. We are simply stewards of everything that God has and wants us to have.

Proverbs 16:9 is about the heart of someone who is righteous and thinks of the way he or she should go; someone who desires to walk in the right way; someone who is led by the Spirit and the grace of God. If we will be like that, then we won’t make wrong turns; we’ll go safely and surely through all of life’s troubles and difficulties, to His Kingdom and see His Glory.

To do that, we must always have Jesus in the driver’s seat in the “car of our life.” He must be first in everything; first in our life. With Jesus in the driver’s seat we will arrive at the destination God has prepared for us.

Take your hands off the steering wheel and turn it over to Jesus. Be led by the Spirit. You will experience a much better ride.

 

© 2016 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 27, 2016

Promoted By God

23  Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. … 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

Genesis 40:23; 41:40

 

At times in our lives, we experience some cold, hard winters. Things don’t look so good, and we are not sure what the next year, the next month, the next week, or even the next day is going to bring. We wait for the things we are believing in, the things we have faith in, to come just as promised by God.

Those who are dedicated gardeners will soon be getting their seed catalogs for next spring. As they look through the pages of pictures of flowering plants and colorful vegetables, they place their hopes during the cold of winter in those packages of seeds that they will plant in the spring. Their trust is in the quality of those seeds to produce the same flowers and vegetables that they see in the pictures. The seeds are planted, and watered and watched, all in the hope that one day, without announcement, a small green plant pops through the soil and grows into the “promises” shown in those catalogs.

Joseph was doing what he believed was the right thing to do. He was true to God. He believed in all of those seeds of God’s promises that had been planted in his life. Yet, he was thrown into a pit by his own brothers, sold into slavery, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and forgotten. But Joseph never stopped believing in those seeds of God’s promises.

Then, all of sudden, Joseph is called into the presence of Pharaoh. There was a dream to interpret, and God came through again. Without planning, without announcement, Joseph finds himself thrust into the number two position in all of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Spring had finally come! All of those seeds of God’s promises that were planted into Joseph’s spirit suddenly grew into what God had planned for Joseph from before he was born.

We don’t know what the next day will bring. God won’t usually announce what great thing He is going to do next in our lives. The promotion God has coming for us will come when God’s timing is right.

So we must not forget about all of those seeds planted in us by God’s Word. They may still just be “in the ground” waiting for “spring” to arrive. But one day, when we least expect it, that promotion we have been waiting for will come. And, like those plants that started with just a seed, but produced the corn, lettuce, beans, or whatever we planted, we will enjoy the harvest of God’s promises planted in our lives.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

October 18, 2015

No Time To Be A Standing Army

2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

1 Samuel 17:2-3

 Just before we are introduced to Goliath, the scriptures paint a picture of the scene. Israel was gathered by the valley of Elah, and was set in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines were on the mountain on one side of the valley. Both armies were on a mountain side with the valley between them.

But notice what else verse 3 says. The “Philistines stood on a mountain” and “Israel stood on a mountain….” The armies were not engaged in battle. They were both standing around, looking at each other.

Goliath steps forward and taunts Israel. He asks them why they are standing around in battle array (verse 8). For forty days Goliath scared the Israelites, and God’s chosen were dismayed (verse 11).

Sometimes we find ourselves standing around when we should be doing something. There are times when we need to be still and wait on God. But there are also times when we need to act.

We are God’s hands and feet. We are called to action. There is a spiritual battle going on around us, and standing around doesn’t engage the enemy in the fight.

David understood the call to action. And he wasn’t concerned about the fight, because he wasn’t fighting by himself. “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand;… (verse 46).

So David took all that he had into battle – a sling shot and five smooth stones. You see, God can do much if we will bring to Him what we have, no matter how little it may seem to be to us.

Don’t get caught standing around looking “across the valley” at the enemy. There is a time to engage in the fight. And remember, we don’t enter into the battle alone. God is with us. He always has been. He always will be. And He will use just what we have to accomplish His plan. We just need the faith to trust Him, always.

 

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

September 27, 2015

The Navigational System of Commission

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

 Almost no one today has an excuse for getting lost. We have Google Maps, Waze, in-car navigational aids, and we can’t forget Siri. These computerized navigational systems know where we are and will tell us how to get to where we are going.

But back in the days of driving that 1962 Ford Galaxy 500, I didn’t have any of those things. If I wanted to get someplace new, I had to open these paper maps. There was nothing to tell me which highway to take or where to turn except those maps and some road signs. There was nothing to tell me that my destination was 2 hours away, or the roads were blocked ahead. And if I was running late, there was no cell phone to tell anyone. You really had to plan your trips back then.

In life, we try to rely on external “navigational aids” to get us to where we want to go. But there are two problems with that approach.

 

  • We really don’t know where we are going. We don’t have a clear vision of where we are trying to go, much less how to get there. We stay confused and lost. We haven’t committed ourselves to a specific destination or goal. That makes it easier for us to get distracted from the route God wants us to follow. When we really don’t know where we are headed in life, we waste time and effort. Our lack of direction can take us down the wrong road.
  • When we do know where we are going, there are obstacles we find in our path that can turn us away from our destination. The enemy will try to turn us to the left or right. Others will come and attempt to convince us that we are not headed the right way. All of these distractions can divert us down the wrong road.

 

 Our navigational system of commission is wrapped in the Matthew 28:19-20. In Jesus’ own words, we know what we are to be doing and where we are headed. We are called to go and teach all nations, baptizing and teaching all we come in contact with. And we are not alone in this. God is always with us, even unto the end of the world. We don’t need another navigational tool. God is with us. He will tell us which way to go, how long to stay there, and when to move on. He doesn’t give confusing or misleading directions. He knows a lot more than Siri knows.

Our relationship with God requires the fuel of commitment to be able to focus on God and have the strength to do what He has called us to do. It requires the oil of communication to show God’s love to others by the words we speak and what we do. Our relationship with God requires the tune-up of caring to show God’s love by being His hands and feet to care for, encourage and support others. It requires the navigational system of commission to stay on course and get to where God wants us to be.

Perhaps life is not as simple as driving that maroon 1962 Ford Galaxy 500, but having that loving relationship with God can be simple. If we put our trust in Him, believe in His Word, and put His Word into our hearts, He will make sure we will get to where He wants us to be.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 15, 2015

The Things I Heard God Say

17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.

2 Chronicles 20:17 (NKJV)

We are being persecuted for being Christians. We are being attacked by an enemy that is of this world. We feel hopeless. We ask, “Where are you, God?” We begin to put our trust in things, man, and ourselves. We forget what God has done, What He has said, what He has promised. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (Joshua 21:45 NKJV). The battle is not ours to fight! But it is our responsibility to position ourselves where God wants us to be. To watch and see what God is doing; what He is going to do, without fear and dismay. For God is with us always! Whatever happens, remember in what God has said; trust in Him!

 

I may never live to see the sun rise again.

I may never live to fight a battle again to win.

But if this does indeed prove to be my last day,

I will always remember the things I heard God say.

 

“I took care of Joseph in the prison and the pit.

I took care of Elijah when Jezebel threw a fit.

I took care of millions when I heard their cry.

Out of Egypt they came as Pharaoh said good-bye.

 

“I parted the Red Sea when the armies were marching in.

I loved My people after they worshiped the golden calf in sin.

I took out Goliath when he frightened even King Saul.

I gave King Solomon everything. He had it all.

 

“For years My people have turned away from me.

They followed after everything that their eyes could see.

And I walked with those who stayed true in their heart,

For they were the ones from whom my revivals did start.

 

“I took care of sin when I sent the world My Son.

I gave eternal life to all who accept Him as the One

Who came down from Heaven and did defeat the foe.”

And that’s all I need to understand; all I need to know.

 

I may never live to see the sun rise again.

I may never live to fight a battle again to win.

But if this does indeed prove to be my last day,

I will always trust the things I heard God say.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

July 24, 2015

David Copeland

New Life Beginnings Church

Pattison, Texas

Time To Be Bold

13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  Acts 4:13

June 26, 2015. A date this country will not soon forget. The re-writers of history will not let us forget the date. It will take the place of D-Day, the assassination of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, and the landing on the moon. It might even take the place of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863. They won’t let us forget.

When the world begins to call evil good, and good evil, darkness light and light darkness (Isaiah 5:20), it can be discouraging to the church. It can cause a person to think it’s all for naught. Maybe even some begin to ask God, “Where are You? Why did You let this happen?” He didn’t cause it to happen. We let it happen.

But now is the time when we must stand on God’s Word. Can we really forget all that God has done? And what He still has to do? Even in this darkness, can we forget the manger? The Cross? The empty tomb? Now, more than ever, is the time for Christians to be bold. To stand on what God says is right and good, not what man says. Now, more than ever, is the time to let the world see that we know Jesus, we have been with Jesus, and we are with Jesus. And let the world know that Jesus is with us.

 

Are you ready to throw in the towel; declare all hope is lost?

Are you willing to forget all the things that your freedom cost?

Just because the world thinks it knows, for man, what is right?

Do they think they can turn the Light into the darkness of night?

 

Are your really ready to forget about the parting of the Red Sea?

Are you going to turn from your Goliath; from your enemy flee?

Or are you going to keep rebuilding the wall like Nehemiah did?

Look! Don’t you see an abundance of rain like Elijah said?

 

Are you ready to forget the manger where your Savior lay?

Will you forget Lazarus’ new life, even though Jesus did delay?

Are you really willing to forget the Cross standing on that hill?

And what about the empty tomb? Don’t you believe that still?

 

What God has just for you, this world cannot take away.

He is the same yesterday and today, and every new day.

For God has given you the Truth and showed the way to go.

Don’t stop believing in that Truth and in the Word you know.

 

Stand and be bold in the Holy Spirit as you see His Kingdom first.

Jesus is the only source of water that will quench the world’s thirst.

Let God’s Light shine through you and watch the darkness flee.

Let other’s see that you know Jesus, and the Truth will set them free!

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

June 27, 2015

Redeemed Life Temple of Worship

Waller, Texas

The Tune-Up of Caring

20  For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

Philippians 2:20-21

That 1962 Ford Galaxy 500 I have been telling you about was a good-running car.  There was a lot less “stuff” on the car to break, but that didn’t mean I could neglect taking care of the car.  (Did I mention it was maroon?)  I had to change the plugs and points every 15,000 miles or so.  The engines timing had to be checked and reset often.  I had to put in new brake linings and buy new tires.  As long as I cared for the car, it ran like it was designed to run.

When we care for others, it strengthens our relationship with them, and with God.  That’s what Paul was saying about Timothy in Philippians 2.  Paul had no other one around him that would care for the Philippians like Timothy would.  Timothy sought the things of Christ, and not himself.

As we look at this scripture passage, we see two things.

 

  • We need to cultivate a genuine interest in others. Life is not about ourselves, despite how much we try to make it that way. Paul was in a tough situation in Rome. It would have been understandable if he had written and told the Philippians how dire his situation was. He could have asked for them to take up an offering and send it to him quickly. But Paul didn’t do that. Instead, Paul was concerned about them. So he sent Timothy to check on them.

 

Our caring for others doesn’t just stop while we are at church. Perhaps we come across a mother trying to herd children and groceries out of the store and into her car. Maybe she could use a helping hand. Perhaps someone is struggling with grief, and they could use someone to hold their hand and just listen.

 

  • We need to offer sincere encouragement to others. In verse 20, Paul says he doesn’t have anyone else like Timothy, who is a kindred spirit, like-minded. We all have different levels of friendship. There are casual friendships where we know each other’s name, but we really don’t know anything else about them. There are close friendships with those we enjoy being with and share a few more personal things with. Then there are those “same-soul” relationships, which are few in number, if at all. Timothy was not like others, looking after self-interests. Timothy was special, interested in others. He shared in Paul’s concerns. We should be that same way. We need friends like that. Someone who will pick us up when we fall, brush us off, and get us going in the right direction again – encourage us.

 

Our relationship with God is strengthened when we exercise the tune-up of caring. It brings us closer to God because we are not the one who can really help anyone. It is God who heals, consoles, encourages, and lifts His children out of the darkness of humanity. But He needs each of us to be His hands and feet to accomplish that.  And when He uses each of us, we find ourselves a little closer to God than we were before. Our relationship with God becomes deeper and stronger and richer. We need to exercise the tune-up of caring if we want that type of relationship with our heavenly Father.

Next time – the navigational system of Commission.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 15, 2015

 

The Oil Of Communication

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.       Matthew 12:33

 Last time I told you about a 1962 Ford Galaxy 500, maroon of course, that I bought in 1968.  The car was typical for vehicles back then. They were simple to operate and simple to maintain. There was actually room under the hood to work.

In fact, all you really had to do was put fuel in the car, remember to keep the oil level up and change the oil often, tune the car up often (not like the cars today where a tune-up is maybe every 100,000 miles), and know where you were going.  If you did those four things, you were usually able to get to where you wanted to go.

We said that our relationship with God, and our relationship with everyone else, can be looked at in much the same way.  Let’s look at the second of those four things we need to do to develop and grow that relationship.

We need to have the oil of communication. Our words are important.  We need to carefully select the words we say.

In the engine of that Ford Galaxy 500, there were many moving parts.  Those parts constantly rubbed against each other.  Without that engine oil, the friction created by those moving parts would generate so much heat that the engine would eventually stop running.

We interact with many people during the day.  They could be family members, friends, co-workers, and even just a stranger in passing.  There is the potential for our actions “rubbing against” those that we come in contact with.  Without the oil of communication, those interactions can “overheat” and the relationships cease to function, or even exist.

There are three things about our communication that we need to remember that are important to our relationships with others, and with God.

  • Our communication defines who we are. Look at Matthew 12:33. If you look at a tree and see pecans on the branches and laying on the ground, you know that the tree is a pecan tree. You don’t see oranges hanging on a lemon tree. In the same way, the words we say identifies us. Would your words identify you as an encourager or as a complainer? Would they tell people you love God and others, or do you try to cause division? People identify us by the words we say; by the fruit from our lips.
  • Our communication reveals our heart. Look at Matthew 12:34-35. If our hearts are filled with good, then the words we say reflect that. If our hearts are filled with something else, then God and those around us will figure out who we really are quickly. We cannot claim to follow Christ and lie. We cannot claim to follow Christ and spread rumors. We must be sure that our words we say reflect God’s love for us and others.
  • Our speech will be judged. Look at Matthew 12:36-37. The words we say are much better indicators of who we are than anything speeches or writings we produce. We expect that what we say in Church brings honor to God and is beneficial to others. But what we say when we walk out of the Church is a much better indicator of the condition of our hearts. And God, as well as others, will judge us on what we say.

 

The oil of communication will strengthen, will enrich, and deepen our relationship with God.  It will get us through the rough spots, the tight spots, and the times when things try to overheat.  The oil of communication will keep things running smoothly.

Next time – the tune-up of caring.

 © 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 15, 2015

 

The Fuel of Commitment

1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: My soul thirsteth for thee, My flesh longeth for thee, In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Psalm 63:1

 In 1968, I bought a 1962 Ford Galaxy 500, maroon of course.  The car was typical for vehicles back then. They were simple to operate and simple to maintain. There was actually room under the hood to work.

In fact, all you really had to do was put fuel in the car, remember to keep the oil level up and change the oil often, tune the car up often (not like the cars today where a tune-up is maybe every 100,000 miles), and know where you were going.  If you did those four things, you were usually able to get to where you wanted to go.

We can look at our relationship with God, and our relationship with everyone else, in much the same way.  There are four things we need to do to develop and grow that relationship.

First, we need to have the fuel of commitment. To have that deepening relationship with God, we must be committed to God. That takes time and effort. It takes study and prayer. It also means that we must put our complete trust and faith in God. Then we can continue to walk in a growing commitment to God.

There are three things about commitment we need to realize. One, we must have a starting reference point; we must know where we are. In Psalm 63:1, David knew he was in the desert. There was no confusion in his mind as to where he was.  He wasn’t seeing any mirages with running water and palm trees. We can be in a spiritual desert some times and not know it. We assume everything is fine, and it really isn’t. In order to be committed to God, we must know where we are.

Two, we must know God as our resource. Also in Psalm 63:1, David acknowledges God as “my God.” He also knows God is there. We can never find a place away from God (Psalm 139:7-10). David knew God as his only hope and resource. To be committed to God, we must trust God to be our complete and only resource.

Three, we must be resolved to set our hearts on God. Also in Psalm 63:1, David says “early will I seek thee”. He is not referring to early in the morning, but he is stating that he is resolved to seek God as a priority in his life. Seeking God cannot be left to the waning days of our lives, but should be our first priority.

Next – the oil of communication.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey – February 15, 2015