Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS THAT WAY

   Because THIS life is THAT way


 

 

 

 

1Jo 2:14-17 NKJV

 

“14  I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. 15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

 

 

The Journey of faith is a war. It is a war of what you see and what you know. It is a war of flesh versus spirit. It is a war of good over evil. I have found that every day of my life presents a new opportunity to face an aspect of myself that I continually challenge to follow God rather than follow my instincts or my intellect.  The choice to follow God is indeed just that...it is a choice. Many in the world today place God in the same box they also place their problems when in fact, God is the answer to their problems.

 

Your faith can never be lumped in with the inconveniences of life, but instead, must be among the first responders when facing the hurdles of our day to day existence. There is a peace in knowing that there is someone bigger than you in every situation you face. There is a comfort in having a God who is a holy God whose heart is ever toward you and never against you.

 

You see when I was a kid, there were places called gas stations and they sold fuel for your car, soft drinks for your thirst, a clean restroom for your convenience and maps. These gas stations had maps...free....wonderful...maps.  And these free gas station maps could get you from New York to L.A. They could navigate you through the streets of a big city or help you find the world’s biggest ball of string in Cawker City, Kansas. Jesus is our free map. But so many will not stop to receive his navigation. They just drive on fueled by pride and famished by the heat of this life. We need God’s direction...we need Jesus...Because THIS life...is THAT way.

 

 

 

Hold on to the cross till the cross has hold of you
 

I Corinthians 1:18-21 NKJV


“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
 
If you ever owned a “rabbit’s foot”, then you are a victim of superstition. It’s funny how some things in this life are considered innocent superstition and other things are considered compulsive behavior. We live in a time when the single icon of hope is becoming unfashionable. The cross of Christ is our hope and our salvation.  You can no more call the cross a religious relic than you can call a lifeboat nautical decoration.

I don’t know about you...but I consider the cross my lifeboat. I will hold on until it has hold of me. Until I feel the arms of God wrap around me in a calming embrace, I will hold on to the knowledge that Jesus died and rose again, for me.

 

Don't stop believing no matter what your head tells you.

 

Romans 8:5-8 NKJV

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
 Most of the things that have gotten me into trouble in this life have come straight out of my head. You see the head contains the intellect. The head retains the knowledge. Lies do not start in your heart...they emanate from your head.  A lie is the mechanism that goes into action trying to cover something the heart knows was wrong. Fortunately, God wired these two entities together and if you listen closely, their interplay can be quite entertaining.

The carnal mind is the first thing that says “give up the ship”. The carnal mind is the culprit when hopelessness sets in. The carnal mind is the thing that tells you to quit. It goes to work convincing your heart that all is lost.  In Mark 5 (35) amidst the news that a ruler from the synagogue was there to seek Jesus for his daughter who had died....Jesus remarked “Only Believe.” He went on to the ruler’s house and raised the young girl from the very grip of death. That wasn’t done with the head, but with the power of faith.


Faith is the substance of things hoped for

Reality is the shrapnel of its own aftermath.

 

Hebrews 11:1-3 NKJV

 



“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

 

We have so much faith in the tangible...the concrete. I recently had an epiphany. (I hate that word) I realized that you can only announce something “new” one time. After that people get really irritated with you. Imagine someone who comes to you and says, Let’s go have lunch! I know a great little place...we can take my new car! The second time you invade their airspace about your “new” car, they will wince. The third or fourth time...they may throw something at you...either physically or verbally. Something is only new ONCE. That holds true for everything in all of creation except for God’s mercy...it is NEW every morning.

The things brought about by faith are the things in this life that count. Faith produces substance. The things produced by this world can be destroyed, ended by natural causes. We just crossed the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina yesterday.  I’m kind of sick of hearing about it, honestly. There’s nothing new there. However, we were here on the ground within hours after it came through. I learned a new level of destruction. The whole place looked like a nuclear bomb went off. As we would drive the streets and highways on either side, there were continuous ten foot piles of the debris of people’s lives mixed with fallen pine trees and mangled building materials. You would see children’s toys and loved pieces of furniture and housewares. There would be dad’s comfy recliner and mom’s decorations from the kitchen. You would see the most intimate artifacts of a family shoved to the side of the road waiting for a dump truck to haul it away.

When you trust in the toys of this life, the clock to its end is ticking. When your heart is set on faith, there is a continual source of miracles waiting to happen. Whenever God brings me something new...it is not its own reward. It is simply the reminder that my God has something on the way even newer.  Don’t give up. Never say never...trust in God. Don’t count on this life...because THIS life...is THAT way. 

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