Thursday, June 25, 2009

If You Don't Know the Real Problem - How Can You Solve the Problem?

What’s the Problem?
By Barbara Henderson
The engine in Ed’s car was missing. It was an older model with spark plugs instead of injectors. Still, it usually got good gas mileage, and until recently it ran quite well. He kept it clean and polished, and in a garage every night. He even parked in a parking garage at work, so there was no sun damage to the interior of the vehicle. The tires were always replaced at half tread. Over all, it had been a very dependable car that had a classic look about it.
Then, the trouble began. The engine began to miss.
Ed immediately took the car to a repair shop that was reported to do good work. He didn’t check to see if they did work that was actually necessary. Ed’s vehicle was diagnosed as having a burnt valve. A valve job was scheduled, finished in a moderate amount of time, and paid for on Ed’s credit card. The engine still missed.
Ed tried another repair shop. The engine was diagnosed as having a flat lobe on the cam shaft. That definitely could cause a miss, and with the new valve job, the mechanic was certain that a new cam shaft would solve the problem. However, when the cam shaft was replaced and Ed paid the bill, the engine still missed. One cylinder clearly was not hitting
Ed tried another auto repair shop. The mechanic there just happened to have a set of spark plug wires and spark plugs that fit the engine perfectly. He quickly put the wires and plugs on and even gave Ed a discount since the wires and spark plugs had been in his inventory a long time. He was just happy to get his money back. Ed wasn’t that happy as he drove away. The engine was still missing. Ed decided that it was just time to get another car. The situation was hopeless. He started driving toward a new car dealer, hoping that a nice vehicle would be on sale for a good price.
Ed had read that to get the best trade in on a vehicle little details like having the gas tank about ¾ full mattered. It gave the illusion of a car that was light on fuel use. So, Ed stopped in at the first gas station he passed. The gas station attendant commented on the miss he had heard in Ed’s engine as he drove into the station. Ed told his story of what he had spent on the car trying to get rid of the engine miss. The attendant asked Ed to pull over under the shade tree at the corner of the station parking lot. He said there might be one more thing he could check. Ed thought it was useless, but he decided to let the man at least listen to the engine.
The attendant listened intently to the engine. His ears picked up the miss. He identified the cylinder in question. He pulled the spark plug from that cylinder. He set the gap on the spark plug to the appropriate measurement for that car, and stuck it back in the engine. The engine miss vanished. As they say in the auto repair business, the engine purred like a kitten. Ed’s story ended happily, and he drove his car for many more years.
Ed had a real problem. It was obvious that the engine was missing, but exactly ‘why’ the engine was missing was not clear. The problem was prolonged by improper diagnosis and treatment of the problem. All Ed really needed was a spark plug. When the REAL problem was diagnosed and addressed, the problem was quickly solved.
On a much grander scale, the world also has a real problem. There is war and conflict around the world. The most well known ‘hot spot’ is the Middle East, where the Moslems and the Jews make headline news daily in one way or another. The problem is being made worse by improper diagnosis and treatment. It is costing the world a lot of lives, time, money, and frustration.
The world recognizes that there is a real problem.
The conflict between Islam and Israel is impacting the entire world. Everyone is involved whether they like it or not.

On the one hand:
Islam and Arabs want to eradicate Israel from the face of the planet.
They claim Israel has no right to be in their territory, and that in fact, Israel and the Jews have no right to be anywhere.
They want them drowned in the sea.
The world has responded to this problem by smiling at Israel and calling them friends and allies, while demanding that Israel:
Give up land for peace
Accept continued assaults on the people of Israel
Allow Israelis to be verbally insulted globally
Excuse the Moslems of the area called Palestine for all their hatred and attempts at murder of the Jews as thought the Jews deserve to be killed and Moslems deserve the right to kill them
Excuse and ignore the eviction of Jews from their homes in Moslem nations
Ignore the theft of Jewish property in the countries from which they were evicted
Make ALL concessions in the pursuit of peace, while the Moslems are required to do nothing
Give up the city of Jerusalem to the illegitimate claims of the Moslems
And I am sure you can think of many more things the world wants from the Jews in order to bring about peace in the Middle East.
World leaders have claimed credit for establishing the state of Israel in the first place. They have not acknowledged that God Himself had determined that the nation of Israel would rise again. I suppose world leaders are thinking that since they are the creators of the nation of Israel, they are justified in destroying Israel by demanding Israeli policies that will lead to the destruction of Israel.
The world is like all the mechanics that Ed let attempt to repair his car.
The leaders of the world have not properly diagnosed the problem.
They have looked for expensive and complicated solutions when that is not what is needed.
They have looked for manmade solutions instead of looking to God for help and direction.
They have sought solutions that would magnify their own image in the ‘peace process’.
They have sought to leave a lasting legacy to their own achievements.
They have not listened to what the Lord God Almighty has to say about Israel and Jerusalem.
They have chosen Israel as the scapegoat. Most world leaders blame Israel for at least 99% of the conflict.
They have not defined the real problem.
The REAL PROBLEM is rebellion against the God of the Bible.
Peace in the Middle East will come when the world bows it knee and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The individual has no power to hasten the day of the Lord.
However - there are at least three important things that the individual CAN do in order make the situation more tolerable.
The individual does have power to bow their own knees and confess Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The individual does have power to pray for individuals to make peace with Jesus Christ. World peace, peace in the Middle East, and peace in Jerusalem cannot come about while hearts are at war with God.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. This is, at least in part, praying for salvation of the lost, and for the Kingdom of Christ to come.
When the city of peace is ruled over by the Prince of Peace, peace will exist in the hearts of all individuals and throughout the globe.
So, the real problem is simply that Jesus Christ is not Lord in the lives of all the people of the earth.
Conversion by force is not acceptable to Christ.
However, all believers should tell others that Jesus Saves;
AND, live their own lives according to the teachings of Christ.

To do these things indicates:
You understand the REAL problem
You are doing your part to bring peace to the heart of all those who are willing to hear the truth.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How Hard Would it be to Walk Where Jesus Walks?

I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked
By Barbara Henderson

I walked today where Jesus walked, and I have never even been to Israel.

Ok, maybe I didn’t really walk today where Jesus walked. But figuratively speaking I walked where Jesus walked. Well maybe not exactly where He walked today, because I had a pretty good day. But, I think maybe I have at least taken a few baby steps down the path Jesus walked.

Jesus walked in truth. I know the truth of Christ and make an effort to walk in His truth.

Jesus walked in temptation. I have walked in temptation. It seems it is mostly the temptation to worry and fret about things I can’t do anything about. Jesus didn’t sin by falling into temptation. I can’t say the same thing. I sin all the time, even though I try not to. Most days I probably sin at least five times before breakfast. And, that is on the days I have an early breakfast. Anyway, on second thought, Jesus was tempted by the devil in person. I know I have been protected from a confrontation with Satan, and probably from his more powerful henchmen. Maybe I didn’t walk where Jesus walked when it comes to temptation after all.

Jesus walked in sorrow. I have been to ‘sorrow’. I did not like it all, and I hope to never walk there again. It is unpleasant , and well, sorrowful. But, in the case of my grandparents, dad, and sister, I know I will see them in heaven because they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every day, Jesus faces loving people who choose to die in their sins. Maybe I haven’t exactly walked where He walked in sorrow.

Jesus walked in disappointment. His best friends forsook Him. The multitudes of followers forsook Him when the going got tough. I have had friends who let me down, but never like He did. Maybe I haven’t walked where Jesus walked in disappointment after all.

Jesus walked in poverty. He gave up the riches and glory of heaven and became poor. I am sort of poor now. Well, not homeless exactly, but I do live in a camper. It is pretty comfortable, and very near to the people I love the most. And, I do have a place to lay my head at night. Christ did not, so I haven’t exactly walked where Christ walked when it comes to housing either.

Jesus walked in pain. I don’t think it felt very good when He was nailed to the cross. I have had migraine headaches and emergency gall bladder surgery. Since I didn’t have insurance, I didn’t want to go to the hospital with the gall bladder right away. I was in a lot of pain for several days. My stomach cramped so bad I wound up with a bruise the size of my entire stomach. The doctor said he had never seen anything like it. It was painful, but I am sure it couldn’t be compared to walking where Jesus walked in the amount of pain suffered.

Jesus walked in self restraint. I do that all the time. I restrain myself from things like the third donut, the really neat jacket that is only on sale 20% off instead of 30%, and things like that. I also refrain myself from telling off people who really need. However, Christ restrained Himself from ‘poofing’ the things that would have made His life so much easier. He could have turned a stone into a nice gated horse with a padded saddle. Christ showed restrain even in miracles. He could have turned the five loaves and fishes into a feast of the fatted calves. OK, once again, I have to admit, maybe I haven’t walked where Jesus walked in the matter of self restraint either.

Jesus walked in unselfishness. I am an unselfish person. I love to give to my family, and I am happy to change my plans in order to fit the needs of family and friends. Of course, there are limits. If I am in the middle of a fatigue episode, or headache, or something really important, then I am willing to take time for myself. Jesus on the other hand, walked out of his way to see the woman of Samaria. He went in the heat of the day because He knew that was when she would be there. I can’t take the heat, really. I would have had to meet her there at night. And walking would have been a problem, even though I actually love to walk. The thing is, I can’t walk far without shoes designed specifically for walking. I don’t know what kind of shoes Jesus had, but they probably did not support His arches properly. Now, that may not be my fault, but in all honesty, I would still have to stay that I really haven’t walked where Jesus walked in unselfishness.

Jesus is generous. So am I. I love to give. Of course, I didn’t give up the things Jesus gave up. I had no throne, no wealth, nor honor, no glory, no unlimited movement through time and space. I have given up a few things like the years ago there was money for a new front door that I gave to the missionary. OK, I only gave half the money. Eventually I did get the new door. I give money to missionaries, but it honestly doesn’t change my life much. I don’t know. What do you think? Have I walked where Jesus walked when it comes to generosity or not?

Jesus loved His enemies. I love my enemies in that I don’t want them to go to hell. Mostly, I just want them to stay out of my face and leave me alone. I honestly do want them to be saved and spend eternity in heaven. I don’t want to be their neighbor when we all get there though. If they repent, Christ will let them in heaven, and treat them the same as if they had loved Him from the beginning. Upon reflection, it appears that I am having at least a slight problem in loving my enemies like Jesus loved His enemies.

You know, I am not that certain that I have actually walked where Jesus walked. It is really a lot harder than I thought it would be.

What about you?
Have you walked where Jesus walked?
Have you even tried?
Are you willing to try?

Why not meet with Jesus and talk to Him about it. He doesn’t want you to suffer all the trials that He suffered. In fact, in the beginning, He didn’t plan for any of us to suffer at all. Adam and Eve were created perfect and placed in a perfect world. After sin, Christ set out to restore fellowship with mankind through His personal sacrifice. Christ just wants you to follow Him. He wants to be your guide throughout all the days of your life. If you follow your guide, then you will be walking daily where Jesus walks.