Thanks for Nothing

It occurs to me that “nothing”, is a very important factor in the Christian life. That may sound strange, but it is true. You see the essence of “nothing” plays an important part in our worship of Jesus. We even sing about it in church when we sing; “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

There is a lot of nothing in the Bible that reveals the Amazing Grace of God’s love. Starting with the fact that in eternity there are only two destinations. One is Heaven the other is Hell. You’ve done nothing to deserve a home in heaven and nothing you can do will rescue you from hell. The only hope you have is based on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness. If you have eternal life it is because of nothing you have done and everything that Jesus is.

A question is asked in Romans 8, “What can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, hardship, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or death? No, in all these things we have complete victory! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from His love: not death nor life, nor angels nor other heavenly powers, nothing in the present nor the future, nothing in the world above nor the world below — there is absolutely nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The greatest nothing of all was found that Sunday morning when the ladies went to the tomb to anoint the dead body of Jesus. The stone was rolled away and when they looked inside, they saw Nothing! He was not there. He is alive! He has defeated death, hell, and the grave. Nothing could hold Him down. Nothing can rise against Him and prosper. Nothing is more powerful than God and nothing is more beautiful than His Majesty. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. Nothing is as solid as my Jesus.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Email-pavementendsministry@gmail.com

No Longer Frustrated

I love woodworking but I am not an expert. As a matter of fact I cannot saw a straight line and I seldom measure the same way twice. Recently while working in my shop, I was building a chest and trying to do it perfectly. However, no matter how hard I tried I could not cut the boards correctly. They were either to short, to long, crooked or the angles were wrong. I was getting frustrated.

Then I stopped talking to the wood, and had a stern conversation with myself. I told myself, “ You are doing this because you enjoy it. If you are not enjoying why are you doing it?” With that thought in mind, I decided to just relax and not try so hard.

From then on everything seemed to go smoother. Yes, I still make mistakes. Cuts are often crooked and angles are sometimes wrong. Really my work is full of imperfections. But I no longer stress about it. I choose to let the imperfections be part of the character and beauty of the work. No longer do I concern myself with what others might say. I simply do what I do for the joy of doing it.

Recently my daily Bible reading had me in Numbers chapter 28. As I read, I thought about how frustrated the people must have been as they tried to please God. They had laws to keep that they could never keep. So they had to make many sacrifices to atone for the laws they constantly broke. They were imperfect people trying to be perfect. They lived their lives trying to please God. But they never could no matter how hard they tried.

For many people worshiping God is frustrating and no fun. If this is you, then stop trying so hard. Relax, rest in God. Love Him with all your heart, soul, might and mind. I thank God there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ. The Spirit of life is in Jesus and He has set us free from the laws we cannot keep. In the past we tried to please God, but we are imperfect and cannot. So let us stop trying to please God and simply love Him with the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Then we will no longer be frustrated.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

Email-pavementendsministry@gmail.com

This Old House

This Old House

On April 16,1978 Deborah and I were married. On that day, by God’s Grace the two of us became one . In 1979 we purchased a house and it has been our home every since . In this house we have laughed and cried, we have fought and made up, we have celebrated and mourned. This is were we live. In this house we raised our family and every inch of it is coated with memories. It is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.

This house greatly reflects our personalities. We are familiar with all the creaks and pops and every crack in the walls. There is contentment to be found in its every flaw and we want no more comfortable place than is our house. But if it is taken from us tonite and if tomorrow we are homeless we will still have each other because what God has joined together nothing can put asunder. You see this house is our home, but it is not us, it is not our marriage.

All over this land there are buildings that people call churches. Some are beautiful brick and mortar structures while others look more like metal warehouses. In these buildings church members have laughed and cried, they have fought and made up and they have celebrated and they have mourned. In these buildings the family of God has grown and they are filled with memories. But if all these buildings were destroyed today and we had no place to gather, we would still gather and we would still worship God. These buildings are not the church, they are not our salvation.

The church is the bride of Christ, Jesus is the bridegroom . He loves the church and He gave His life for her. But when Jesus said,” I will build my Church” He was not talking about brick and mortar. No, He was talking about us. Those of us who are His followers, we are His bride, we are His church. We have been chosen by God to be precious, living stones in the spiritual house that Jesus is building.

One day all these buildings that people call churches will rot and burn, they were never meant to be permanent. However The church that is the bride of Christ is built on a firm foundation and will never fail. Christ loves the church and gave Himself for us, He has sanctified and cleanse us and one day we will be presented to Him as a glorious church, holy and without blemish.

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends

Worship

Children, loud and boisterous, running and jumping, they laugh loudly and giggle uncontrollably. Somebody needs to tell them to be quiet they are getting on my nerves. They are marking up the walls and scratching the floor and one of them just spilled his juice on the pew cushion. 

And yet the best clue we have as to what kind of worship style Jesus prefers is found in Mark 10:13–16;  Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13–16)

            We are sending the children out of the room and telling them to be quiet because we are trying to worship, but Jesus is saying, “Hey leave them alone”!  Do you want to know what worship in heaven is like?  Then watch the little children. They crawl all over Jesus. They laugh, they giggle and Jesus tickles them so they will laugh some more. When they get tired, they sit in his lap and cuddle with Him.

            Maybe, just maybe, we can get it through our thick heads that worship is not for our sake. Worship is for God’s pleasure. That is what He tells us in Psalms 149:2-4, Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people.”   

            Let’s learn to worship with joy, laughter and even dancing. Then when we get tired we can climb up unto His lap, lean back and rest in our Savior’s arms. 

Douglas & Deborah Huff

From Down Where The Pavement Ends