I ran across an example of a RESUME in my studies this week, to preface a biblical study in Psalms:
Resumes of Apostles
To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop
From: Jordan Management Consultants
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.
As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.
It is our staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
BIBLE STUDY – ACTS 14:9-10; Luke 5; Hebrews 11:1, 33:
“He [a crippled man] was listening to Paul as he talked, and [Paul] gazing intently at him and observing that he had FAITH to be healed, Shouted at him, saying, Stand erect on your feet! And he leaped up and walked.”
FAITH IS THE KEY!
Now a “KEY” is used everyday in our lives. We carry a set in our pockets, in purses, on a key-chain attached to a belt-loop–all for the purpose of locking something up or unlocking something to get at or in.
FAITH works on the same principle and it becomes the most important element necessary to grow in our Christian walk.
A. W. Tozer said, “FAITH is the vitamin that makes all we take from the bible digestible.”
–We are SAVED by faith…
–We WALK out our salvation by faith…our Christian walk
–We are of the Household of FAITH…
FAITH is the KEY that unlocks the supernatural realm of our natural existence here on earth. Where you and I are standing right now, in our Christian walk with JESUS, is a direct result of the location and depth of our FAITH.
Our FAITH WALK is a Journey–
I feel sorry for Moses…who spent 40 years wandering in a desert…eating nothing but bread off the ground and occasional bird…and everyday a million people would ask him, “Are we there yet?”
Romans 12:3tells us that each of us has been given a measure of faith…what we do with it and how we use it…is up to us!
Two Things Stand Out About “Faith-people”…
FIRST, they feel good about themselves…they KNOW that they’re the way they are because… GOD made them that way! GOD doesn’t ever make mistakes (fearfully & wonderfully made).
I think most people believe, not what they are that holds them back, but its what they think their not. Let me give you an illustration to clarify my thoughts. Since I live in Dairy Country, milk hauling from the local dairies is an everyday occurrence.
Sometime Living in the “Milky-Way”…INADEQUATE!
2 COWS were grazing in the pasture, when they saw a milk truck pass by. On the side of the truck were the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.” One cow sighed and said to the other cow, “Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”
Do you feel at times, somewhat “inadequate” in showing your FAITH? That there has to be something added to make it really applicable?
FEAR is the EXACT OPPOSITE of FAITH…
FEAR believes the worst–
FAITH believes the absolute best will happen in every situation. What then does FAITH look like, to us and others, as we come in contact with them in our Christian WALK?
In our referenced Scripture, we see a man crippled in his feet since birth. He had never taken a step forward in his life, never ran barefoot through the grass, felt the hot heat of beach sand through his toes. He was just sitting where he had been placed–period!
Have you ever found yourself just sitting, waiting for something to happen–period? FEAR has you paralyzed!
Many times the reason we have so little FAITH is…we are still sitting in the place where GOD put us long ago. We are comfortable in our usual seat in church–it’s where we belong!
GOD requires “LEGS ON YOUR FAITH” –
Legs on our PRAISE…Legs on our PRAYER LIFE. When this happens, we can then move on and on to higher levels.
As a Pastor once said, We need to get up on our feet, move out of our seat and into the street!”
“But, I’m afraid to SHARE my FAITH.”
One man said, “Our Pastor tells us to go out and witness to others weekly.”
Nothing strikes FEAR into Christians more than SHARING their FAITH to complete strangers. In fact, it’s gotten so bad for some, they’ve enrolled in a “Witness Relocation Program.”
The Stranger Who Was Listening…
This man described in Acts 14:9-10, LISTENED intently to the apostle Paul as he spoke and when he fastened his eyes on this crippled man, everything else went out of focus except what he perceived in the stranger’s eyes.
FAITH GETS OUR ATTENTION!
Paul saw expectancy and enthusiasm in the crippled man’s eyes. I love it when I meet someone for the first time, and as we are speaking to one another, I can see their undivided attention, their eyes focusing at me and not looking elsewhere at other distractions.
Paul saw this man running in his spirit–Paul saw a man who was leaping up and down on the inside! Do we really stop and look to see the FAITH in others?
HEALING comes from FAITH in Both Individuals, NOT just one–
EXPAND YOUR PERIMETERS…YOUR COMFORT ZONES, start to think outside of the box. When we limit ourselves, we limit the POWER of GOD!
What we see is not all there is…
What we are is not all we will be…
Where we are is not where we will end up!
THE FAITH OF FOUR GOOD FRIENDS – Luke 5:17-20:
The Pharisees and teachers of the Law had gathered from the surrounding cities. The Bible says that “the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick” (verse 17).
There was an overwhelming crowd surrounding JESUS that day, and it became increasingly difficult for some men to bring their paralyzed friend to be HEALED by JESUS.
Many would simply give up…catch Him the next time He was in the neighborhood…but NOT these four good friends. They decided to look for another way to get close…an opening. They decided to go up on the roof, drop their paralyzed friend right into JESUS’ lap. They put legs on their FAITH.
Scripture says,He saw [their confidence in Him, springing from] their FAITH, He said, Man, your sins are forgiven you!” (verse20).
It seems to me, this man was in such bondage about his past, he couldn’t receive his present. THEREFORE, the believing FAITH that took the action of a few good friends, brought about a Miracle!
Boy, I hope if I need a healing miracle in my life at any given time, I’ll have a few friends like that. Or even better, to be a friend to someone else with unwavering resourcefulness. That’s putting legs on my faith!
So when someone tells you that they are FAITHFUL…or you proclaim to others that you are faithful…how would you explain your FAITHFULNESS?
“The willingness to take risks that requires FAITH in order to producefruit.”
FAITH becomes an unquenchable desire!The Free Dictionary defines the word “unquenchable” as, “Impossible to suppress or destroy”–you just cant get enough of it!
You might say that FAITH looks a lot like a “hail Mary” pass [an American football term] when there is no time remaining on the clock.
FAITH IS DEAD TO DOUBT…
FAITH IS DUMB TO DISCOURAGEMENT…
FAITH IS BLIND TO IMPOSSIBILITIES…
FAITH knows nothing but success in GOD!“FAITH is not believing that GOD CAN, it’s knowing that GOD WILL!”
Hebrews 11:1 says:
NOW FAITH is thee assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] – Amplified Bible.
Breaking the verse down just a bit:
The size of the man or woman is more important than the size of the problem:
“Greater is He that is in me than the problem
that is coming against me.”
FAITH TAKES ACTION!
Hebrews 11:33tells us, that FAITH subdued, FAITH worked, FAITH obtained and, FAITH stopped the mouth of lions.
What does your FAITH look like right now? What are the “lions” in your life?
When you find JESUS, you find the author (creator), finisher (completer) of your FAITH! Christ in you…the hope of glory!
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia tell us what a “muster drill” aboard ship is: “A muster drill (also sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill or a boat drill), is an exercise conducted by the crew of a ship prior to embarking on a voyage. The purpose is to prepare passengers for a safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship. In this MUSTER DRILL, passengers are educated on the use of Life Vest and escape routes from the ship.”
My wife and I have been on two different ships for a vacations in the Caribbean, and yes, the muster drillwas mandatory before leaving the dock. All we wanted to do was to get underway, not stand on an outside deck railing, waiting for instructions, with a life-vest on. I always felt like a kindergartner, standing in line, holding hands with other kindergartners , then going out for RECESS. All I wanted to do was go out on the swing sets or Monkey Bars to play. But somehow, we muddled through the well-meaning information on each trip (some had to “muddle” more than others).
Scripture: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New International Version).
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE WAY:
In today’s world we see overwhelming number of people moving from one position to another at the drop of the hat. When life’s circumstances get a little tough…the water gets “choppy” and we see the white caps from the gale force winds increasing around us; everybody wants to immediately ABANDON SHIP! There are very few who will stay the course and get through the bad times.
More Bad News!
FEAR grips the hearts of the UNSAVED, the heathen, with the release of every bad news article; the Stock Market will crash because of one day of business.
The question is this: Will we, as God’s people, stand for Jesus when everything around us is failing? When jobs fail, when the economy goes under, when sickness strikes, when shortages occur or when storms are on the horizon, will we stand up and be counted as Faithful in Christ?
Habakkuk said, “We’ve got troubles, but I think I’ll just thank God anyhow!” It seems evident to me, the Prophet had been to the “Muster Drill” before. He knew what to do in case of an emergency…when the alarm bell sounded aboard the ship and the Captain gave precise instructions in exactly what to do.
The Captains Instructions Given, but Not Heard and Understood!
And on that day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no FAITH?” (Mark 4:35-40 NAS).
The Captain had already conducted the “muster drill” when evening had come. His instructions to the crew and passengers before stepping one foot in the boat was, “Let us go over to the other side”; the instructions wereperfectly clear–WE ARE GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE…and yet, when trouble came their way in the middle of the journey, they forgot the Captain’s promise; and their lack of understanding, their FAITH, had abandoned them in the midst of the storm.
It seems amazing to me how life plays itself out; one moment everything seems to going so smoothly and then…
Habakkuk Knew that Difficulties Were On the Horizon–
The mention of the fig tree, the grapevine, the olive, the grain, and flocks covers the entire range of agricultural produce on which the nation depended on. It is reasonable to assume the failure of the crops would be due to the Chaldean invasion. Enemy troops not only lived OFF the land, but deliberately destroyed what was left behind.
In these last days, we know that times will become more difficult. We’ve already seen many economic problems and shortages arise causing fear and panic in our society.
When the Scriptures say that in the last days, men’s hearts would be failing forfear, they mean what is said literally. We are truly living in a perilous time this world has ever seen and yet…the worse has yet to come.
Are we going to praise Him when the times get tough for us?
Satan will bring circumstances that will sometimes overwhelm you: [a] Financially – bill piling high [b] in your marriage [c] with your children [d] in the Church [e] in your witness for JESUS.
Will you praise Him when people turn against you?
Habakkuk knew that when God’s judgement fell on Judah, it would also include him. He would not be spared because he was a prophet of God. In fact, he could be treated worse than any other prisoner because of his trying to warn Judah of its coming doom.
It seems people you meet these days, just don’t believe that times could get any harder.
People seem to be sticking their heads in the sand and try to ignore the problems. I want you to know that it can and will get worse! We are living in a dangerous World–just let on Hurricane or Typhoon come, and see how fast the shelves empty.
THE “FAITH BOAT” IS READY TO SAIL:
I was a big fan of the American television series set on a cruise ship. It aired from September 24, 1977, until May 24, 1986. The one-hour sitcom was usually set aboard a Princess Cruises cruise liner nicknamed, The Love Boat. Each episode contained several simultaneous story lines of the passengers on board; people’s romances, their failures, disappointments, etc., and were all played out by guest actors on The Love Boat.
When the world turns on you, will you still praise Jesus?
When your friends won’t have anything to do with you, will you follow the crowd?
When your family won’t have anything to do with you because you are just “to religious”, will you quit and abandon ship?
When the community you live in turns against you, will you want to put one foot on the ship’s guard-rail and bow to political pressure?
Habakkuk Knew the Importance…
Habakkuk knew when it was all said and done, GOD was the only real salvation he had…his life-preserver was secure and tight.
Habakkuk knew that GOD would be his strength:
Vs 19…”and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”
GOD WILL deliver us through every trial, every test, and every circumstance and He will lift us up above the rocky shores.
A Little Deer…
A HIND was a little deer able to climb even the steepest of cliffs, walk through the roughest places, and leap over deep chasms. The HIND lived in the high mountains and cliffs and always stayed above all circumstances that involved people on the ground.
GOD has the POWER to lift you up, right where you are, today. POWER to change your lemons into lemonade and make your tests and trials into greater victories.
A BAR OF STEEL:
A $5 bar of steel cut into ordinary horseshoes is worth $10.
A $5 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350.
The same bar of steel cut into delicate springs for watches becomes worth $250,000.
So the next time you get discouraged at what God is putting you through…you’re about ready to abandon The FAITH Boat…think of that BAROF STEEL.
The “Muster Drill” of Instructions Have Already Been Given!
Have you been in the valley long enough? Are you ready for a change of scenery, perhaps even an Ocean Cruise?
We can dwell above our circumstances and live on a higher plane than the rest of the World. We don’t need to be concerned with those things that threaten to destroy the World. It begins with a spiritual REBIRTH; a “born-again” life experiences that will set you on course.
GOD is our refuge and strength; our High Tower; the Captain of our ship of FAITH. He is our Deliverer and will get us safely to our final destination! So, let’s get aboard the FAITH BOAT and experience the LOVE Cruise of a lifetime!
The infamous line in the movie Network is often used to describe our hectic lives.
How many of us have ever felt the pressures of life? Let’s not fool ourselves. We live in a fallen world surrounded by everyday troubles and stresses.
* A nation in conflict
“I’m at my wit’s end over all this!”
THE APOSTLE PAUL Addresses the Issue – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NIV:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
Looking at this Scripture, we can discover a few applications from it–
#1. You and I are going to have problems.
Here we have Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament and having and facing problems in his life.
— He was shipwrecked 3 times…
— Put in prison multiple times…
— He had many ministry issues…
— He had a “thorn in the flesh…
It doesn’t matter who you are, how spiritually mature or immature, you are going to experience problems and pressures in your life. Just because you come to JESUS, it doesn’t mean that the world and your enemy are going to cut you any slack. In fact, it will probably intensify! And, you might even say to yourself at times…“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Overcoming the Types of Problems and Stresses in Life–Soda Pop Cans and “Jars of Clay”
Paul not only describes the types of problems and stresses we all face, but how to overcome them at the same time.
A. I’m PRESSED but not CRUSHED!
Paul is telling us we are “hard pressed on every side.” This is the PRESSURE OF THE WORLD. But, I am NOT crushed – Why?
TWO ALUMINUM POP CANS – One can is unopened and full of soda pop. The other can is opened and empty.
If I take the FIRST CAN and squeeze with all my might, I can’t crush it. Now, I know that with enough pressure the can will rupture, so bear with me in this.
If I take the EMPTY CAN and apply only a small amount of pressure, it will collapse. I wasn’t able to crush the first can because it isn’t open to the world. SECONDLY, there is something inside.
“He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
ONE CAN collapsed easily–
1.) Was open to the world.
2.) There was nothing on the inside.
How then can we be PRESSED but not CRUSHED?
We make a decision not to open up to the world; to allow Christ Jesus to be our strength.
B. I’M CONFUSED, BUT NOT FREAKING OUT! (verse 8)
The word “PERPLEXED” in the Greek language literally translates “to have no way out; to be at a mental loss.”
Have you ever been confused? Not knowing where to turn or what to do? Yes, we have all dealt with circumstances in life where we thought there was no way out.
So how is it that we can be “at a mental loss” and not FREAK OUT saying, “I’m not going to take this anymore!”?
Same reason as before: IT IS CHRIST WITHIN ME!
Jesus is ALL-KNOWING!
He is OMNISCIENT!
He knows what tomorrow holds!
He is in control.
The reason I’m not freaking out is because I know God is going to work it all out for my good.
“And we know that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the good of those who LOVE GOD and are called according to His purpose of them” (Romans 8:28 NLT–capitalized for emphasis).
God might be working you right now, but He’s working you for your own good. TRUST in His promises.
C. I’m Bloody, Not Broken.
If you get smacked in the nose, it hurts! Your eyes well up with TEARS dealing with real pain.
I remember playing baseball in High School one year, and while in the batter’s box waiting for the pitch, I was struck between the eyes with a fastball. It broke the safety-glasses I was wearing in half. No blood, but suffered two black eyes and plenty of tears from the pain.
In LIFE, we all deal with hurts, wounds and yes, even black eyes. It may come from our PAST or PRESENT situations.
How then, can we deal with our HURTS and still PRESS forward?
Allow Christ to manifest Himself in your life through the Word of God.
Build up RELATIONSHIPS of other brothers and sisters in Christ which helps us through our tough times. Sometimes we just need someone with skin on them to comfort us in a time of need (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
D. I’m Knocked Down, Not Knocked Out!
Yes, sometimes we do get knocked down; hit in the gut by betrayal, death of a loved one, loss of finances…the wind is knock completely out of us as we lie gasping for breath and afraid to get back up on our feet.
FEAR of being hit again can keep you down.
DOUBT can keep you down.
The only person keeping you on the mat…IS YOU!
Why cant the DEVIL keep me down? Because Christ is in me. The devil and every demon in hell couldn’t keep Him down!
“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over ALL the power that the enemy [possesses]; and NOTHING shall in any way harm you” (Luke 10:19 AMP).
HOW CAN I ‘KEEP ON, KEEPING ON’, WITHOUT GETTING MAD AT MY REOCCURRING CIRCUMSTANCES?
It’s coming to the REALIZATION…it’s not about you.
It’s a CHRIST thing.
To be a Christian you need to let JESUS, not you, control your life.
You have to SUBMIT to Him fully–not half way; not kinda, sorta, BUT fully! This allows Him to flow through you. Remember, you’re going to have problems. There’s no escaping it.
I have been BLESSED to be a part of 5 Billy Graham Crusades over my Christian life. I will always remember George Beverly Shea; Canadian born, American gospel singer and hymn composer, who died this past April 2013 at the age of 104. One song in particular he composed and used to sing at the Crusades fits in nicely I think with 2 Corinthians 4:7-12: I’d Rather Have Jesus than…
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
WITHOUT HIM, I CAN BE…
– Freak Out
– Be broken
– Be knocked out
JESUS tells us this:
“And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] ALL things can be (are possible) to him who believes!” (Mark 9:23 AMP).