Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't Waste Your Humor

Last night I listened to one of C.J. Mahaney’s messages titled, “Don’t Waste Your Humor.” It benefited me greatly! You can listen to it Here.

The Main Passage of Scripture was, Proverbs 15:13-15:

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”

Here are some notes I jotted down:

-The gift of laughter God has kindly given to us.
-When ones heart is cheerful, life becomes a feast. It is a continual celebration regardless of adverse circumstances.
-Laughter is a celebration of the goodness of God.
-If you look beneath the cheerful heart, you will find a discerning heart, a heart of humility.
-Humor protects our hearts from being weighed down with sorrow.

Point one-Humor generates joy:

Nehemiah 8:10-“Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

-Humor is a means of transferring joy from a sorrowful heart into a glad heart.

Point Two- Humor cultivates humility:

-Laughter is a divine gift to the person that is humble. It helps us realize that we are not the center of attention.
-How often do we laugh each day?
-When we don’t find humor in someone making fun of us, we have a high view of ourselves. Humor and humility are an invaluable help during those moments.
-God uses friends to reveal pride in our lives through humor.
-Humiliations hit with little warning! We need to prepare our hearts for those moments.

Point three- Humor serves others:

-Humor is not to impress others or exult ourselves.

Ephesians 4:29- Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

-The divine use of humor is to edify others. It is ultimately to extend grace to others.
-If we’re going to draw attention to ones deficiencies we need to notice our own.

Point four- Gospel centered humor and laughter:

Psalm 126:2-3- “Then our mouth was filled with laughter; and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘the Lord has done great things for them.’ he has done great things for us; we are glad”


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weep No More

The Lord laid this scripture on my heart during worship this past Sunday. I would like to share it, in hopes that it may encourage you as it did me. Now I would ask you to read these verse slowly and ask the Lord for a vivid picture of what is being discribed in these verses.

Revelation 4

1After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
Revelation 5
1Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" 3And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."
6And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying,
"Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."
11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.
The first verses in Chapter 4 give us a wonderful glimpse of the glory of heaven, all centered around the one who is seated on the throne. In Chapter 5 we get to partake in a puzzling yet magnificent interaction. First we witness the realization that Scrolls, which are the counsels and decree of God, the Will of God, ultimate fellowship with God, are lock up. The Apostle cannot access that which he desires most, for the his heart would be that of the psalmist: "Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long." Inaccessible are the riches of heaven, and he cries out "Who can change this?, Who can break this curse? He can do nothing, helpless, overcome with despair he weeps.
Maybe you feel like this, aware of the graces' but feel like they are sealed up, inaccessible to you, aware of the glory all around you but joyless because of the pain and suffering that surrounds you. Well may you hear louder then the weeping the sweet sweet words of the elder. "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." Behold your Savior, standing before the throne, the Mediator, interceding on your behalf. The Conquering Loin standing as a Lamb who was slain. Remember this picture, a bruised and broken lamb standing alone as Worthy. We can have fellowship with the Father because the our sin has been conquered, and we will partake in all the glory of heaven, where not a tear will fall, and no pain will ever be felt as we worship the one on the throne.