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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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A Bad Day Gone Good

Saturday April and I went to Jamie’s house to attempt another garage sale. With her living in Battle Creek, we thought we could make a killing. My last garage sale I did very well, and was hoping to do the same this time. Well, it didn’t exactly go as planned. It rained all day, got all my stuff wet, and only brought me another $27.75. I was tempted to complain, but really, why? If I truly believe God is in charge, then it was up to me to find the good in all of it. So, I did.

1. Four families are going to get several bags of clothes. They hold great sentimental value, so now I may “give them to a good home.” They are worth way more than the 25¢ tag I had on them.

2. We had a nice time fellowshipping with Jamie’s family and watching the Jacob and Isaac play in the rain. Jamie even bought us pizza.

3. I got a great deal on two new bikes for Isaac – bikes I could never have afforded on my own.

4. For three days, while I dried out tons of clothes and bag them up, I’ve enjoyed watching the series “Alias” with my family and working on my blog and yearbook in between loads of laundry.

I can leave the financial stuff to God. He can supply our needs and he doesn’t need me to do it. I proved to Him I was “willing to work for food.” Now He will prove to me He is faithful – as He always does, time after time.

So, the day was not wasted. My efforts were not wasted. Besides, it’s about who we are not what we do. We’re just supposed to be faithful and then let God work out the details.

I picture the conversation in heaven going like this:

Angel: We’ve got another garage sale request. What do you want me to do? They’re asking for a clear, sunny day, but the Christian down the road asked for rain for his crops.

God: Give them rain.

Angel: Rain? With all due respect, I think they really need the money and if I send rain, they won’t sell a thing.

God: Give them rain. They’ll have a good day visiting with their friend, several families will benefit from the clothes that don’t sell, and the Isaac will have a lot of fun. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.

Angel: Of course. You know best. But, won’t this discourage them? They really need grocery money.

God: No, I know these folks, they trust me to take care of them. I’ll just supply their needs some other way. They pray and expect answer A, B or C and I usually give them D. They’re used to it. It’s kind of an inside joke between us.

Angel: OooooK, you know best.

God: Yes I do.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Even rain during your garage sale can be a blessing.


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