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Nov. 9, 2020

HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

God asks: “Is My hand shortened at all that

it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?”

Isaiah 50:2

  

On February 1971, a Canadian music group called “Ocean” wrote and introduced a pop-gospel song to the world. It was called:

PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND OF THE MAN FROM GALILEE”

Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water

Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea

Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently

By putting your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee

 The Bible teaches us that as new creations in Christ that it is in our spiritual DNA to co-laborers with Christ in His Kingdom work. This means that Jesus offers His hand of blessing in our time of need, and that we work together with Christ. There is a difference between working “for” and working “with” someone. To work “for” denotes impersonal servitude. To work “with” has with it the essence of partnership, and friendship. The fact that we are called and set apart by God to bear His name is an awesome privilege.  It’s absolutely incredible that God invites us to co-labor with Him. Receiving Christ is only the beginning.  God calls us to join Him in a Kingdom partnership to spread the good news of His grace and freedom made available to all.

 When you place your hand into the hand of Jesus you will find that His hand is a PROVIDING HAND. He generously meets our needs. God brings into our existence more than a possibility. He releases a new previously unrealized option. He changes the impossibility of my problem into the practicality of a new solution. His faith, His hope, His love accomplishes what we cannot. That is called grace. Jesus gives us more that an opportunity; He gives an action. For example, let’s say my local grocery store runs a special price on strawberries. They have created a bargain of an opportunity for me.  But it does me no good unless I have the money, resources, and wherewithal to go get them. If I desire these strawberries, but my truck is broken down, I must ask my wife if she would take me to the store in her vehicle. Only then can I enter the store grab a peck, go to the cashier to pay for them, and then walk out to be picked up by my wife, as I place a luscious fruit between my lips to enjoy it. All that stuff has to take place before I can taste and see that the promise is good.  The grocery store gave me the opportunity; but my partner was the means to make it happen. When you put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee, He makes things happen.

 The hand of Jesus is also a PRAYING HAND. He keeps us in communion with God so as to be empowered for life. When God appoints, He also empowers. He is faithful to provide all that you need, and He will work through you—weaknesses and all. I not only walk with Him, but more importantly I learn from Him how to appreciate the Gifts God has placed in others. And realizing they are just as important and valid as my own. Through prayer we understand that “It is not over until it’s over.”  If God so chooses, He can turn things around for us.  Let me share a true baseball story with you. The date was April 21, 2012. The NY Yankees were playing the Boston Red Sox. The Yanks had a nine-run deficit through five innings. It looked like they were getting smoked. People were leaving the stands shaking their heads. But the champions that they are, this didn't deter them.  In the seventh inning they scored seven runs, in the eighth they scored another seven more, and in the ninth they scored another run. Final score: Yankees 15 –  Boston Red Sox 9. When you put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee, you find  victory in life, even though situations may not change.

 Also, the hand of Jesus is an OPEN HAND. He compassionately cares for, protects, and sustains us. Jesus is alive and still wants to touch the world today. He has chosen to work His character and ministry through the surrendered life of His followers.  That means you and me! The wonder of His Life participates in your life. He lives His will through your surrendered life. It is not about trying harder, doing more, or berating yourself to please God, but it is in resting in the character of God realizing that He grips you more than you grip Him. One Saturday morning I took my young son to McDonalds for a new specialty called a “Happy Meal”. I parked the car and when we got out I grabbed my son’s hand to safely walk across the parking lot. As we got to the entrance door my excited son tripped on the curb and went head over heels. I immediately lifted him up by his arm so that he wouldn’t scrape his knee. He dangled in the air for a moment uncertain of his bearings, but safe in my grip. I set him gently down and admonished him to take it easy. He smile and we went in to eat. When you put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee, you find that His strength becomes your strength; His wellbeing becomes yours.

 And finally, the hand of Jesus is an OUTSTRETCHED HAND. He desires to reach out through you to serve the needs of others. Don’t think that you have nothing to offer, or what you do have is insignificant to offer is or can’t be used!  The whole idea isn’t about what you have, but what you place into the hands of Jesus.  When you place it in God’s hands, expect incredible things to happen! One year my young family took a vacation to Fairfax Virginia. We stayed at a Holiday Inn which had a large swimming pool. It was time to teach my youngest boy, Ben, to swim. He was six years old and afraid of the water. I got into the shallow end and he stood on the edge shivering and shaking with trepidation. I reached out my arms to him and asked him to trust me. He pondered the thought a minute as I repeated the extended hand request.  His love and trust in me overcame his initial fear of the water. He jumped into my arms and we learned how to face float. Two hours later he was swimming like a fish. When you put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee, you find that you can entrust an uncertain future to an all knowing and gracious God.

 The good news is that right now you can put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee. In His hands you are blessed. In His hand you can make peace with your past; you can be secure in the now; and you can look to the future with hopeful confidence.

 As always see you next time and have a great day...