Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our World Is in Trouble

We aren't playing at our best these days.  People in whom we should be able to trust are lying to us.

Officials we elect to high public office appear to change courses in mid stream and go against what they promised.

The words “honor” and “trustworthy” have apparently lost their significance in some leadership circles.

Some of our leaders have an apparent blatant disregard for the laws of the land and bend and twist them to their own liking, and we don’t see much recrimination for those breaches of trust.

Our world is in trouble.

Twenty-one Egyptian Christians are abducted and beheaded.  And there are verifiable reports of other such slayings.

The threat of some kind of viral epidemic is ever present.

There is a constant threat of invasion by one or more enemies.

We are faced with school shootings, shopping mall massacres, and the loss of basic rights as citizens of a democratic society.

Our world is in trouble.

The mention of God is absent from our schools, and even prohibited on many fronts.

Public prayers are being silenced. 

Our world is in trouble.

What is a person to do?  Where do we turn to for help?

In John 16:33 we find this promise of hope. 

Christ is speaking.  “I have said it before ... and I’ll say it again so that you will have peace.  In this world you will have troubles.  Be encouraged.  In the end, I overcome the world.”

Christ himself wants to reassure us that He will ultimately win.  And along the way, we will experience His peace. 

And when the end comes … His words resound loud and clear.


What a fine promise that is.

God sees our troubled world and He has a plan.

Take courage!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Looking for Scars

Scars are ugly.  Nobody wants to show them.  As a matter of fact, we go to great lengths to hide our scars. 

We use cosmetic surgery, makeup, bandages, and any other device that is handy to hide scars.

We even mask our emotional scars with a fa├žade, a smile, a new automobile or clothing – anything to disguise what we really are on the inside.  We as a generation of people spend millions of dollars every year in masking our emotional scars.

Now consider this …

When we come before God, He will not be looking for our trophies, our awards and our accolades.  He will look us over for our scars.  Our scars.

And believe me we all have them. 

And why?  Why will God look for our scars?

Our scars are a badge of honor, you see.

In the Bible we find this:

“I have said this before;
in this world
you will have problems. 
Hold on.  Take heart. 
I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33

There is a blooming flower in the seed of this thought.  Do you see it?  It is full of hope and redemption. 

These are the words of Christ himself, and He is as much as saying,

“I’ll love every scar you bear, and every disappointment and hardship you endure.  I LOVE your scars.”

I don’t like to show my scars too often.  They are ugly and sometimes I still suffer with them.  I have pangs of panic over some of my scars.  Yet, on a daily basis I bring them before God.  And He says, “I see your scars and I love you anyway.  You are beautiful to me.”


               Double WOW!

I am reminded of this:

“Cast all your cares on Him
(on Christ), for He cares for you.”
~I Peter 5:7

Got scars?

Bring them to the God big enough to see the beauty on the back side of them.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, February 14, 2015

His Presence and Promise

One of the great tenants of the Christian faith is a belief in the presence of Christ based on the promises in the Holy Bible.

Consider this:
In Joshua 1:9 we find Joshua right after the death of Moses.  He has been second in command for a while now, yet his leadership skills have been virtually unused for Moses was always nearby. 

He is alone.  He is thinking, and perhaps praying, asking God how in the world he, a mere man, second string at best, can lead the thousands of Israelites into the next phase of their journey.  After forty years of wandering in the dessert, they are about to enter the land of promise under the leadership of Joshua. 

He is fearful.  Scared out of his wits is perhaps a more apt analogy. 

Have you been there before?  Have you faced a new territory, a new venture, and your main mentor all of a sudden leaves the scene.

Now you understand Joshua’s plight.

And along comes a strong word from God.  It goes something like this:

“Now listen up Joshua.  Remember what I said to you.  Don’t worry.  Don’t fear.  I, your God, will be with you wherever you go.”

Don’t worry!  Strong words.

Don’t fear!  Even stronger words.  

God assured Joshua of His presence and wrapped it in a memorable promise.

That is one of my all-time favorite verses, for I too have had to find rest and consolation in those very words on more than one occasion.  And it still works today.

God offers you and me his presence.  Sometimes it is a ‘felt’ experience when God’s spirit seems to settle in around us and hover nearby.  At other times His presence is offered through a scripture, a friend, a phone call, a reaffirming hand on our shoulder, and an encouraging word.  His presence shows up in the usual and sometimes the obscure ways.  What matters is this … He shows up. 

HE SHOWS UP!  He is present when we need him.  That deserves a resounding response.  Offer your praise, give thanks, sing a song, shout out loud, clap your hands, kiss your mate … do something to acknowledge the consistent and abiding presence of God himself.

Wow!  I’m sitting in an airport at this moment as I write, and I tell you I feel that same presence of God here in this corner, as the parade of the world passes my table. 

His promise comes not only from the words to Joshua, but in numerous other scriptures.

Draw near.
Peace be still.
I have come that you might have life.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Promises from the heart of God to your heart and mine.

Praise be to God.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stained by Life

Don’t you hate stains?  Just last week we had to toss one of my best dress shirts because of one simple stain the dry cleaner could not remove.  She (our dry-cleaner) said to Carolyn, 

“Tell Michael to quit feeding his shirts.”

Ouch.  That’s funny and sad all in one comment.

And life goes on.

And the stains of life still soil our lives. 

I’m reminded of King David’s story.  Here it is in a nutshell.

David was a strapping young lad.  Some say he was the apple of God’s eye.  He was athletic, likable, and a natural born leader. 

Time passed. 

He became King of Israel.  And he was a good King – perhaps a great King.

And then one fine day a beautiful woman caught his eye – Bathsheba.  She was irresistible as beauties go and King David slept with her and got her pregnant. 

His first thought was to have her husband killed in battle so he and Bathsheba could carry on their love affair.  And that is what he did.

More time passed.

Nathan, a prophet of God, confronted David with his sins and finally David came to his sense.  He saw the ugly stain of sin and wrong deeds and what they had done to him and to his country.  His confession is found in Psalm 51 in the Holy Bible.

His words sounded something like this:

God, the one who is generous in love
Give me great grace.
One who is huge in mercy,
Will you wipe out my horrible record?
Scrub my guilt with all your might.
Soak my sins in your big laundry tub
The stains of my sins scream at me all day long.
They weigh me down.

You see, David got stained by life.  He let his desires get the best of him and he came out scarred and marred. 

He needed a good soaking in the tub of redemption. 

Have you ever felt that way?  I have.

Oh, I doubt many of us have stooped down to adultery and murder, yet the stains of our wayward lives still cling to us.

The stench of awful attitudes, brutal bumbles and fumbles, lies, deceit, a bit of larceny and misdirection, and other dastardly deeds still haunt us.  We need a good cleansing trip to the redemption tub of God almighty.

And so we do. 

And we come to God, bowing down, confessing, repenting, forsaking – all the past, all the bad, all the ugly slices of our lives and we lay that horrible horde on the confessional altar of God.

And in verse 10 we read David’s request of God.  Perhaps we need this gentle reminder today.

Verse 10
Create a clean heart in me, God.
Put a new and right attitude in me.
Please don’t cast me from your presence
And don’t take your spirit away from me.
Allow me to experience once again the joy of your salvation.
God,  give me a willing spirit once again.
(Psalm 51:10 – Paraphrased b PMB)

This is a model prayer for all mankind.  When we battle temptation, when we relapse, when we sin large or small, the stain clings to us.  What we need is a cleansing agent.  That is God.

Let him do the job for which he is best suited.

Please watch this encouraging video.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time