The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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     At a Sunday morning prayer breakfast, an old farmer was asked by the pastor to say the blessing before the meal. The farmer began, “Lord, I hate buttermilk!” The pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where the farmer was going. The farmer continued, “And Lord, I really hate lard.” Now the pastor was worried, but the farmer prayed on, “And another thing Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw flour.” The pastor was about to interrupt the farmer but he could tell that the prayer was almost over. The farmer concluded with these words:
“But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em, I do so love those fresh biscuits! So, Lord, when things come up that we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what you are saying to us, just help us to relax and wait till You are done fixin’ and probably the outcome will be better than biscuits.”
     Writing to the church at Rome, the apostle Paul declared, “And we know that in all things God works together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). According to this verse, God is working things together for good in and through all of the challenges and storms of life including the disappointments, disruptions, and difficulties delivered to our doorstep courtesy of the novel coronavirus. While I realize that folks want a return to normalcy (defined in most cases as the way things were prior to the outset of COVID-19), I would encourage all of us to recognize that returning to the past (in many respects) is likely going to occur only through a trip down memory lane and not in actual practice. Against the backdrop of that strong possibility, I would further challenge and encourage all of us to take a few moments each day to:

(1) Contemplate. Contemplate the Majesty of God. Read Isaiah 6 periodically and see God high and lifted up. Sing “Majesty, worship His majesty. Unto Jesus, be all glory, honor and praise.” Contemplate the Message of God. He loves you! Read and recite John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 often. Contemplate the Presence of God. He is a “very present help in time of need” (Psalm 46:1) and “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6, Josh. 1:6, Heb. 13:5). God is present! He is on His throne

(2) Evaluate. Evaluate your Identity. Jesus said, “They will know that you are my disciples by your love” (John 13:35). Evaluate your Priority by “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Evaluate your Ministry. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:29) and “…As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31, KJV).

(3) Imitate. Paul said, “Be imitators of God”” (Eph. 5:1). How? Imitate Christ in your Actions which means, in part, to do good to others even as “Jesus went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).  Imitate Jesus Christ in your Attitude (Philippians 2:5-8). Imitate Jesus Christ in your Activities. While Jesus was involved in many meaningful activities that blessed and benefitted others [healing, teaching, feeding, etc.), perhaps his most important activity was praying to the Father (John 17; Luke 5:15 & 6:12; Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35, etc.). Are you talking to God and listening to Him daily? (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6).

(4) Anticipate. Anticipate Renewal. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV). Anticipate Resources “And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NASB). Anticipate Relationships. ”A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Prov. 17:17, NIV) or, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need (Prov. 17:17, NLT).

(5) Celebrate. Celebrate each Moment. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring–what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes” (James 4:14, CSB). Caroline Sandell-Berg wrote, “Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.” Celebrate “Mercy that endureth forever” (Psalm 100). Celebrate the Mansion promised and prepared for you in Glory (John 14) as you one day will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23)!

     I do not believe that God is through working on, in, and through me. I do not believe that God is through working on, in, and through each of you. I do not believe that God is through working on, in, and through each and every church affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention! And, when we relax and wait upon the Lord to get done fixin’ everything He has in store for you, for me, and for each church, I am convinced that the outcome will be better than biscuits!