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

Using Your Talents

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability;

Matthew 25:15

Jesus was trying to tell His disciples about what the Kingdom of God was like. Jesus knew what the Kingdom was all about. His people were supposed to know about the Kingdom, but they refused to understand. Jesus was about to leave from their presence. No one knew how long He would be gone. Jesus was teaching about delegating responsibility to His disciples as stewards of the Kingdom, to care for the people.

The Parable of the Talents tells us that we have a responsibility to care for God’s Kingdom. In this parable, one of the servants didn’t do anything with what he was given. When the master returned, what the servant was given was taken away from him and given to another. The servant failed to take care of what the master had entrusted to him.

Most of the time, the key point taught about with this parable is just that. Those entrusted with the Kingdom have a responsibility to the Kingdom, and to others, to share God’s Word and expand the Kingdom.

But there is another part of this parable that is sometimes passed over. Each servant was entrusted with a different amount. One was given ten talents, another was given five talents, and the third was given one talent. They were not entrusted with the same number of talents.

The same is true for us. Think about it. God has given each of us our own number of “talents.” Some sing, some play instruments, some preach, some are caregivers, some are teachers, and some are farmers. Each of us is given a different set of gifts from God.  And just like the servants who were given their different number of talents, God gives us each our own set of “talents”; our own set of gifts. We are entrusted with those gifts and have the responsibility to use those gifts to further God’s Kingdom. If we take those gifts, and bury them in the sand (or don’t’ use them to bring God glory), then, just like the one talent of the servant, our gifts will be taken away from us.

So the next time you are asked to share your gifts, whatever they may be, think about why you were given those gifts. Stop complaining about the gifts God didn’t give you. Have faith and believe in what God is doing. We are to be good stewards of the gifts we are given. We are to bless others with those gifts. When we believe and trust in God, and allow Him to use us and the gifts given to us, God will bless us and multiply our gifts.  And when that happens, we are being good stewards of the Kingdom.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 7, 2015

Arriving At Your Destination

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:24

 There was a time when I thought I wanted to be a pilot. For two years, I piloted a small Cessna.  I never went very far, but I did fly into the large airports in Austin and San Antonio. That’s another experience all by itself for another time.

When planning a flight, I took out my maps and drew a line between the small airport on Westhemier and my destination. There were usually two or three key points along the trip that would mark the path. Using my navigation tools, I wrote down the azimuth, or direction, I was to set the plane instruments on in order to fly each of those legs of the trip. And if I followed each of those legs, I would arrive at my destination.

As I piloted the plane on each of those legs, I had to constantly adjust the plane’s heading. The plane would deviate from the flight path because of the winds that were blowing the plane and my inability to hold the plane steady. The plane’s instruments would tell me I was no longer on course. So, using my instrument panel, I would continually adjust the plane’s direction to compensate for those deviations. As long as I relied on my instruments and used them as they were meant to be used, I arrived at my destination.

Life’s journey is that same way. We set out on a certain course, a set direction, and then life comes at us. It pushes us in another direction and we deviate from the course we have set. Sometimes life pushes us backward. Sometimes life pushes us to the ground.

We, too, must make constant adjustments in our journey if we want to reach our destination, especially the destination God has set for us. The enemy sets out to keep us from reaching that destination, throwing all kinds of roadblocks in front of us to force us to change course.

But, just like that instrument panel, we have our own “guidance” system to keep us headed in the right direction – God’s Word. If we know God’s Word, and we use it the way God meant for us to, we have all we need to make life’s adjustments required to stay on course. Whether our friends push us to the “right,” or our jobs push us to the “left,” God’s Word will let us know we are not going the right way. And it’s God’s Word that will allow us to focus on His destination for us, and provide what we need to get back on course.

As long as we are paying attention, those deviations in the plane are usually not disastrous. If we are paying attention, those deviations in our life will not be disastrous. But just like flying a plane, we must constantly be on the alert to make the adjustments in life; the adjustments we must make to arrive at our destination. And we must be sure to use the correct “instruments” to make those adjustments. God’s Word will never lead us astray. It will make sure we arrive at our destination.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

January 24, 2015

Going Fishing!

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:18-19

I enjoy fishing.  I participated in that activity quite frequently when I was much younger, and before the children were born.  My wife will fish, but she needs to catch something quickly.  If she doesn’t start catching fish, she is ready to move on or do something different.

She has always told me that she will fish with me, but if she catches anything, she does not like to take the fish off the hook, and she really doesn’t like to clean fish.

There are things in life that we feel the same way about. We don’t mind doing part of the work, but there are parts of completing the job that we don’t like.  And sometimes, we even refuse to do what is necessary to finish the job.

Peter was a fisherman by trade.  He did everything from start to finish.  And that included getting the boat ready, catching the fish, cleaning the fish, and putting the boat away,

Then Peter met Jesus and his whole life changed.  Jesus told Peter to follow Him, and he wouldn’t be fishing for just fish anymore, but he would fish for men.

One of the keys here is that Jesus wasn’t requiring Peter to do the whole job. Peter was to tell others about Jesus; he was to show others Jesus’ love; he was to point others to Jesus, but then Jesus would finish the job.  Just like a fisherman throws out bait or a lure to attract the fish to the hook, Peter was to show the light and truth of Jesus to “hook” the lost.

One of my good Alabama friends, Jeremy Sheppard, has a song he recorded entitled “I Catch ‘Em, God Cleans ‘Em.” It tells the story of a man who sees a church advertising a fish fry as he drives down the road. He stops to eat, and then a preacher gets up with a message “long on grace, short on religion.” In the song, Jeremy uses the words “I catch ‘em, God’ cleans ‘em. I bait the hook with the love of the Kingdom.”  If we will be obedient to the call of God and show others the love of God, God will take care of the rest.

Unfortunately, we sometimes try to do everything ourselves. When a fisherman cleans fish, he makes a bloody mess. If we were to try to clean each other, it wouldn’t be much better.  We can’t change a heart without cutting a person open.  We can’t change a person’s mind without some serious impact to the body.

So keeping fishing for those who are lost. Remember, all you need to do is your part to “catch ‘em” and God will do His part to “clean ’em!”

 

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

January 17, 2015