In God’s Time

April 13, 2015

Acts 12:25, 13:5, 13
And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled [their] ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
5When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
13From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.

In God’s Time

Many a young person has been caught up in the zeal of the Lord and desired to go into ministry. One thing that many don’t realize at first is that to be a true minister of God is it is not man or education that truly prepares you. Certainly God can and does us these in the process, but what any of us who desire to be in the service of the Lord must realize is God’s order and not man’s. It is really God who raises up a man or woman for His work. It is He who trains them through most often humble beginnings. It is He that anoints them for their calling and it is He that test their hearts before He sets them in a place of authority and ministry. For many of you who are excited to serve God, we are not always ready when we think we are. Such is the case with John Mark.
John Mark was the son of Mary and we first hear about him when Peter is locked in jail in Jerusalem. Herod had pretty much chalked Peter in to be the next martyr after having put to death James. We read the account of the angel coming into the prison and setting Peter free. Peter then goes to the house of Mary. Acts 12:12 says, “And when he had considered [the thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” We gather from this introduction that Mark had some strong Christian influences and roots. He gets his first shot at getting on the big name ministry team of Paul and Barnabas, and so we see him embarking on his first missionary trip in Acts 12: 25. Then over in Acts 13:5 it affirms that John is there with them as an apprentice and helper, but by verse 13 we see John leaving them and returning to Jerusalem. What happened? The word doesn’t give us much in the way of details, but it becomes obvious in Acts 15:37-40 that Paul was not impressed by Mark and wanted no more part in his going with them again. Apparently Mark wasn’t as ready and able as He thought. Maybe he couldn’t take it and went home, but Barnabas was one that did see the potential and continued to believe in Mark even after he apparently failed the first journey. Later we see that Paul has softened his position concerning Mark in 2 Timothy 4:11 when he remarks, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”
The message we can learn from Mark’s life is that ministry and service to God comes through a preparation of God. Sometimes we may fail to meet our own expectations or the expectation of those we are working with. Fortunately Mark didn’t just quit and fortunately he had men who still believed in Him and helped him to come into his place of ministry and service. Mark was also known to be Mark the Evangelist and later wrote one of the first gospels, the gospel of Mark, thought to have been largely narrated and influenced by Peter.
When we look over the lives of many of God’s great people we see them coming up against times of apparent failure, shortcoming, trials and tribulation. What we come to realize is that this is really God’s school of preparation. We may know that God has anointed us and given us a passion in some area of ministry, but what we have to be careful of is that we allow Him to establish and place us in that ministry in His time and His way. That often means that we may feel passed over, put aside or not really valued. All of the time it is searching our true heart and motives, to see if there would be any unclean, impure or selfish motive on our part. When we can truly be okay with whatever and whenever the Lord wants to use us, then we are getting much closer to being where He wants us. Love always wants God’s best first and our best last.
Moses was 80 when he started his ministry. David was anointed as young teen, but didn’t become king until he was 30. The word tells us not to despise the day of small things. It is in those days that our hearts and lives are being prepared for greater ministry. We must first prove ourselves faithful in the little before we can be faithful over much. Don’t be discouraged if your life and ministry isn’t where you want it to be. Remember God is in control, not you and not man.

Blessings,
#kent

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Clarity in the Mist

December 13, 2012

James 4:13-17
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Clarity in the Mist

Like a foggy mist before the autumn trees,
It mutes the colors that I should clearly see.
As I look down the path of life and destiny,
I can only fully walk in what is revealed in front of me.

Why presumptuous mind do you rush to plan my way?
How do you know what will even happen in this day?
It is boastful and arrogant for me to declare my steps,
Only as God wills my life, so why should I worry or fret?

I will walk with You, oh Lord, day by day,
I will trust in You to order my steps and ways,
My plans must always be subject to Your mind and will.
As I walk in faith Your Spirit leads me into the real.

Even a sower sows his seed on various ground,
Your seed in me depends upon the conditions found.
The more I yield my heart to listen and pray,
The more clearly I will see how You order my life and day.
Kent Stuck

Blessings,
kent

Be Content

November 16, 2012

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Be Content

The Lord was showing me something in the weather that pertains to our lives. We often think we want more of what we don’t have. With covetousness, the more we have the more that we want. Wealth and earthly provision is like the elements that come down from the heaven. When the earth is thirsty and dry, it needs rain. Often the best rain is a slow soaking rain that gives the earth time to absorb and take it in. If we need rain and get a huge down pour, we get more than we needed and it causes as much or more destruction than we had in our lack.
God brings the rain that we need in His season and His ways. Sometimes it might seem scarce and have long stretches in between, but as sure as He is God, it will come. Should we think that God cares any less for our earthen vessels? We see similar seasons in our lives; times of abundance and sometimes lack. The earth doesn’t fret over whether it will rain or not, but it learns to adapt to the season and the state that is in. The earth has yet to not have a seed time and harvest. Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” …
God has never intended that we should be consumed with the love of money, wealth, power or fame. Our truest state of contentment is when we are walking in faith and trust in Him. That is not dictated by our bank account, our promotion or lack of it, our popularity or position or any other circumstance. Even Job makes the statement as tribulation rains down upon him, “shall I receive good at the hand of God and not evil?” Jesus says that God rains on the just and the unjust alike. We are a heavenly people waking and living in an earthly state. While in this state we are subject to the laws and the state of affairs that happen in our natural world.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus was an overcomer. He overcame His natural circumstances by His faith and obedience to the Father. Likewise, He has told us that we also are overcomers and you can’t be an overcomer unless you have something to overcome. We might visualize overcoming as emptying hospitals of the sick, raising the dead, bringing great deliverance and saving the nations. You may think, “I am not overcomer because I have so many trials, problems, sicknesses or bills that I may question if God even still remembers me.” The truth is, that is exactly what you are if you are keeping your eyes upon Jesus and continuing to walk in faith and trust in Him. Sure you are not seeing great miracle in and through your life. In fact, your physical state may be testifying against God being in your life, but before an overcomer can manifest into the fruitfulness and fullness of the seed within them, they first must be as the seed that is hidden in the ground and dies. You are the caterpillar that has ceased to devour and partake of this earth. You entered into your cocoon stage where you are hidden and dormant. As far as the outside world is concerned, you might as well be dead. But wait……….
You not dead, you are in a state of transformation, changing from the earthly to the heavenly state of being. There may well be no fanfare or outward evidence. When, in due season, you emerge from that difficult state of faith and obedience in the face of multiple difficulties, you shall spread your wings and fly, whether in this world or that to come. You will no longer be bound to earth but when you touch earth it will be for the purpose of perpetuating and cross-pollinating the life of God in Christ Jesus. When Job emerged from his season of tribulation, through his faithfulness, he came into a double portion of all of the greatness and riches that he had before.
Let us not set our affections upon the things of this world, for they are soon to perish and pass away. Let us, with diligence and faithfulness, pursue Christ, which is our life, our peace and our power to overcome in this world.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” — God

Blessings,
kent

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