Are You Irritated? Good!

Pearl oysterPastor Tom Kaastra shared a whole new way of looking at the irritations we sometimes have, by pointing us to an example in nature. God reveals Himself to us in the Bible and through nature. That’s why Francis DeSales said, “God has signed all created things. We can trace His footsteps through the natural world.”

So take a look at the oyster. God designed it with a heart, a mouth, a digestive system, a reproductive system, a nervous system, and all other things that allow it to survive. But He also gave it a way to thrive.

The oyster can be irritated by a foreign invasion. But… God has put within the oyster the power to turn an irritation into a valuable pearl!

It is the same for Christians. The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us (see Romans 8:11). That power allows us to see that all things are working together for the good of those who love God (see Romans 8:28-29). As Pastor Tom said it, “God wants to Jesus-size us.”

Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” So God designs irritations on purpose to develop a valuable pearl in our lives that will bring Him glory.

Look at Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt (which ranks in my book as a major irritation!). But look how Joseph saw the pearl God developed—

And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not to be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. (Genesis 45:4-8, emphasis added)

So the next time you’re irritated, remind yourself, “Great! God is making a valuable pearl in my life!”

You can watch the video of Pastor Tom’s message below, and be sure to check out his website for other valuable lessons like this one.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“May the Lord increase your hunger and your thirst to see the face of God. And may He grant your desire through the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.” —John Piper

Chuck Colson said, “It seems that everywhere—from Tennessee to Tokyo—religion is being permeated by a consumerist mentality.” Read more (or take a listen to Chuck’s broadcast) on Gimmie That Hot-Tub Religion.

My friend and mentor, Tom Kaastra, has an amazing new website called The Basics of Life—Help for your spiritual journey. Do yourself a favor, check out the site, and then subscribe so you can receive his wisdom each time he publishes something new.

Ken Davis has some good insights on handling the ups and downs of life.

Dr. Ben Carson sets the record straight on Planned Parenthood’s racist foundation. And Jayme Metztgar explains why abortion is the new slavery, giving three reasons why what Planned Parenthood is doing is morally wrong.

From Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, prenatal services—which have decreased—amount to 18,684 services. Out of the total 10,590,433 services then, pre-natal care accounts for less than 1 percent. For pregnant women who come to Planned Parenthood, 94 percent of them have an abortion. (h/t Live Action)

Where did life originateJ. Warner Wallace asks: Can naturalists [evolutionists] explain where life originated? Great apologetics for those who believe in a Creator or Intelligent Design.

David Wilkerson says there is a command from Jesus that far too many Christians ignore: “The King has told us to bind up the devil and cast him out of the banqueting hall. In short, we’re to rise up and take serious action against satan’s attacks on Christ’s Body.” Read more here.

Sit Walk Stand [re-launch]

Sit Walk StandThis coming Sunday we re-start a series at Calvary Assembly of God which we began last year called Sit Walk Stand: A Study In The Book Of Ephesians.

Why Ephesians? Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who preached 232 sermons on this book to his packed-out church, said, “It is very difficult to speak of Ephesians in a controlled manner because of its greatness. Many have tried to describe it. One writer has described it as the crown and climax of Pauline theology. Another has said that it is the distilled essence of the Christian religion, the most authoritative and most consummate compendium of our holy Christian faith. What language! And it is by no means exaggerated.”

It is my desire that our congregation be as biblically literate as I can encourage and resource them to be. So Tom Kaastra, a 38-year veteran pastor, is going to co-teach with me again this year as we continue our attempt to master this powerful epistle.

The name of our series—Sit Walk Stand—comes from Watchman Nee, who wrote, “Of all Paul’s epistles, it is in Ephesians that we find the highest spiritual truths concerning the Christian life. The letter abounds with spiritual riches, and yet at the same time is intensely practical.”

Please join us this Sunday at 10:30am.

Whether you were with us last year or not, I posted some sermon recaps each week which will help prepare you as we re-launch this series. Click on the links below:

The Journey Begins

Tom KaastraAs Tom Kaastra introduced our study of Ephesians he said, “There is no other book in the Bible that is as exalted in its thought and yet as earthly practical.” Our series is called Sit Walk Stand (three words that Watchman Nee gave to the overview of Ephesians), and Tom shared what those mean.

Sit—(1) to be in a place of authority (Ephesians 2:4-7; Hebrews 1:3); or (2) a rest from work. We sit down to enjoy what Christ has done for us, we don’t work to try to achieve it for ourselves. “God works and then He rests. We are invited to rest and then work” (Watchman Nee). Look at the Creation story: God’s seventh day of rest after working six days was man’s first day of rest before he started working.

Walk—an act of progression modeled by Jesus (Ephesians 4:1-3). A typical rabbi built a synagogue and invited people to come to where he was. Jesus always went to where the people were, and He invites us to follow Him in this walk. We cannot have a “just Jesus and me” mindset. If Peter wanted to walk with Jesus, he had to walk with Matthew too; there are no Lone Ranger followers of Christ.

Stand—firmly in place for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-17). Ephesians deals with our warfare against satan more than any other book in the Bible. Sadly, George Barna reported that 60% of Christians think satan is a only a “force,” not an actual person. Paul uses this word stand as a military term to place our feet in a position ready for action.

ConclusionsConclusions:

  • Keep your head in the clouds resting in the embrace of Jesus, while you are
  • Keeping your feet on the ground walking with others, and
  • Keeping your feet on the ground standing against satan.

Join us next Sunday as we continue our look at this amazing book.

%d bloggers like this: