Category Archives: Chaplin Rob

The Path To Joy

In Your presence is fullness of Joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!— Psalm 16:11

Throughout Scripture, we see how God used men and women in the corridors of power to influence leaders. Daniel was taken along with other Israelites into the captivity of Babylon, but he had great influence on King Nebuchadnezzar.

We know that Joseph had great influence on the Pharaoh. And Esther, because of her influence with King Ahasuerus, was able to save her entire nation.

As believers we should be asking, “Lord, where do you want me to be?” He may put you in a corridor of power. Or, He might have you laboring in relative obscurity. Wherever you are, you need to use your influence for His glory. Ask yourself, “Am I going to enjoy life in my own way, or am I going to employ my life serving God and others?” Serving the Lord is the most joyful thing you can do.

The psalmist David wrote, “In [His] presence is fullness of joy; at [His] right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV). Those of us who serve the Lord have discovered a secret. Jesus said it very clearly: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NKJV).

Another way to translate blessed is “happy.” If you want to be a happy person, then be a giving person. If you want to be an unhappy person, then be a selfish person. If you want to be happy, then be generous. If you want to be miserable, then be stingy.

Be generous with everything God gives you. Be generous with your time. Be generous with your money. Be generous with whatever is at your disposal.

Are you going to enjoy your life or employ your life? If you employ your life for the glory of God, then you will enjoy your life as never before.

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Storm Preparation

For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. —Matthew 5:45

Have you ever been out and about when an unexpected storm hit? When I was a kid living in Hawaii, storms would come out of nowhere. Then as suddenly as the storm began, it would stop and the sun would come out again.

Some storms are big, even scary. We remember Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, Hurricane Michael. Storms can wreak havoc in our lives.

There are other kinds of storms we deal with in life, like a difficult or broken relationship, a financial crisis, legal problems, health problems, or conflicts at work. Storms will come into our lives, and once we accept that basic truth, it makes life a bit easier.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are going through a crisis, and those who are going to go through a crisis. If you’re between storms, enjoy it, because one will come your way soon enough.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of two men who built houses. One house was built on a faulty foundation of sand, while the other was built on a good foundation of stone. Jesus said of the house with the good foundation, “And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25 NKJV).

Notice Jesus said, “And the rain descended”—not if, but and. The rain will come. The Bible says that God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45 NKJV).

We don’t control our lives, as hard as we may try. But we can control what we’ll do and how we’ll respond when the storms come.

Chaplin Rob

Confidence in the Captain

“So take courage! For I believe God.”—Acts 27:25

These are not the words of a person in denial. Nor are they the words of someone who’s out of touch with reality. They were spoken by the apostle Paul . . . on a ship . . . in the worst part of a storm . . . without any tangible hope.

That is faith. We exercise it when things are unraveling around us and we say, “God is in control. I know He will get me through this, and I know that He’s faithful.” Nonbelievers don’t get that at all. They don’t understand the faith that a child of God can have under difficult circumstances.

Paul was confident because he knew that God was the Master of his circumstances and the Captain of that ship. He knew that God was in control.

In Luke’s Gospel, we read about a time when Jesus told Simon Peter to launch out into the deep for a catch of fish. They already had been fishing for hours and caught nothing. But Peter said, “Master, we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again” (Luke 5:5 NLT).

Then the Bible says, “And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!” (verse 6 NLT).

Here is the question: Will you let Jesus be the Captain of your boat? Maybe it’s smooth sailing right now and things are good. Even so, there might be a storm in your future—and it might be a strong one. You might as well get ready for it. And you can take heart in knowing that you will not be alone. You belong to the Lord, and He will see you through every storm.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Perseverance | Staying the Course

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. – Hebrews 12:1

If you’re a Christian, God has already transformed your heart. But He also wants you to enter life in him like an athlete enters com¬petition. That’s why the Bible, more than once, likens the Christian life to a race. Our faith in Christ motivates us to run it, and His power provides the strength to finish despite the many times we all stumble along the way. This illustration of a race refers to races where the runner would strip off his tunic and robe so he could run without any hindrance. If someone tried to compete in his robes, he would get tangled up and wouldn’t have a chance at winning. God wants you to finish the race of life well.

Set aside the distractions and the sins that entangle you. Pace yourself. Exert yourself. And remember, many have run and finished before you. They’re that “huge crowd of witnesses” Hebrews 12:1 speaks about, and they’re cheering you on!

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Blessings

Chaplain Rob

Storm Weary

The devotional below is from my pastor friend Greg Dawson. He wrote this devotional this morning and I wanted to share it with you because it is powerful. My friend Greg is a pastor in west Tennessee who lost a child at a very young age. His story and trust in God is so powerful I wanted to share it with you.

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.—Matthew 14:26

“Lifeguards know there is danger in saving someone who is drowning, because people panic. More than one lifeguard has lost his or her life from being drowned by the person they were trying to save. It’s one of the reasons lifeguards use flotation devices. They’re for drowning people to hold on to.

I think sometimes the Lord waits until we’ve exhausted our resources before He comes through. As the disciples battled a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus came to them at the last moment, but when the time was just right, walking on the sea.

Perhaps Jesus walked to them on the water to show His disciples that the very things they feared—the wind and the waves—were only a staircase for Him to reach them.

The disciples, however, didn’t know it was Jesus, and they cried out in terror. Why didn’t they recognize Him? I believe it’s because they weren’t looking for Him. God is there, but often we don’t see Him because we aren’t looking for Him. And we never will know Jesus as deeply as we can until He comes to us in the midst of a storm in our lives.

Someone once asked me what the most spiritual moment of my life was, the moment when I sensed God’s presence more tangibly than any other time. That moment was right after my son Christopher died. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but that is when God manifested His presence to me in such a tangible way. My wife and my son Jonathan have told me it was the same for them.

God came to us in a way that was unique, carrying us through. He gave us what we needed when we needed it. And He will do the same for you.”  – Pastor Greg Dawson

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Roots and Wings

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16

We all need two basic things in life. The first is stability to be grounded and secure individuals. Only then can you be relationally healthy. The second is the vision and encouragement to discern and develop your unique gifts and aptitudes. Then you can recognize, pursue, and fulfill your calling. In simple terms, you need roots, and you need wings.

Today I want to focus on the latter—the wings. We all want to be discerning so that we can develop God’s design for our lives. But be prepared . . . it takes time and energy. It takes time to connect with God; to read and study His word, to pray, to talk to God and to listen to God, and connect with other people.

As you connect with God and connect with others, you will see God’s will for your life. It’s when you actively pursue life and pursue God . . . that you’ll see God’s will revealed. Don’t wait for it, move ahead and see it happen.

No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley. – Seneca the Younger

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Take Responsibility

Much is required from those to whom much is given. – Luke 12:48b

Sometimes taking responsibility for our lives means completing unfinished business. Some of us may have left a trail of broken laws and relationships–things that need addressing before moving on. Others may be burdened by debts that inhibit spiritual pursuits. Before moving forward spiritually, we’ll need to take responsibility for wrongs done in the past.

A new life in Christ doesn’t excuse past obligations or erase the ongoing consequences of past sins. When the apostle Paul was in prison he led a runaway slave named Onesimus to Christ. But then Paul sent him back to his master–even though Onesimus faced a possible death penalty for his offense! Paul sent a letter back with the fugitive saying that if Onesimus had caused any harm or stolen anything that Paul would pay for it. Paul recognized that even though Onesimus was now a Christian, and forgiven of his sins, he needed to address the wrongs he’s committed in the past.

Likewise, before you can move ahead, you must face the unfinished business of your past. This may include facing up to some cowardly behavior, crooked schemes, or quick-fix solutions to difficult problems that just didn’t work. While you can be certain that God will meet you where you are, He calls you to take responsibility for whatever sins may have brought you to whatever circumstances you’re presently in. Once you accept ownership of your past, God will help you move ahead. But He’ll do it His way, not yours.

Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Wolves in the Dark

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

When Lord Mountbatten, a British naval commander, was five years old, he disliked sleeping in the dark. He confided in his father that his concern wasn’t the dark itself, but rather the wolves inhabiting the darkness. His father tried to assure him that there weren’t wolves in their house, but his boy responded, ‘I daresay there aren’t. But I think there are.’

Aren’t we good at conjuring up beasts? Even though our brains know there aren’t wolves in the attic or monsters under the bed, we still lie awake with our fingers and toes tucked beneath the blankets.

Friend, God doesn’t intend for you to live a life of fear. Like a protective father, He is there to comfort and assure us that we are not alone. Chase the wolves from your darkness. God will help you. It might be as simple as a prayer, or it might entail the help of a pastor or a professional counselor. Take a step toward chasing your wolves away today.

Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God; and so there’s no room left for worry thoughts. – Howard Chandler Christy

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Putting Faith Into Action

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. —Hebrews 11:1–2

If nothing else were said about you, let it be said, “That is a man of God” or “That is a woman of God.” I can’t think of a higher compliment.

Moses is described in the Bible as “the man of God” (Deuteronomy 33:1 NKJV). He was a flawed man, yes. But he also was a man of God.

Initially, Moses didn’t want to do what God called him to do. He was reluctant. But God had put His hand on Moses from the time he was a baby. His story is almost like a fairy tale, except it’s true. We know how God providentially protected baby Moses in his waterproof basket as he floated down the Nile. And almost as though on cue, the daughter of Pharaoh heard Moses cry, walked over, and saw the beautiful baby. Her maternal instincts kicked in, and she adopted Moses as her own.

Moses had everything he could want, but he knew it wasn’t what God wanted for him. Hebrews 11:24–25 tells us, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (NKJV). Moses made the right choices in life.

Moses was a world changer, and the key characteristic of a world changer can be summed up in one word: faith. Hebrews 11 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (verse 1 NKJV). Faith is like a muscle. It needs to be used. If we neglect it, it will atrophy. It has to be in constant use. It comes down to this: Use it or lose it. Moses put faith into action, and we need to do the same.

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Christ the Lord

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”—Luke 2:10–11

The angel began that wonderful announcement to the shepherds with, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. . . .” Maybe you are suffering today. You might find yourself wondering, Where is the joy? But what is the joy about? Is it about an opportunity to go shopping? Is the message of Christmas “Let it snow?” No, it is, “Let us worship.”

The angels’ visit to the shepherds became the first Christmas celebration. It’s as though Heaven and earth were celebrating it together, as though a portal to glory had been opened up. These shepherds saw the supernatural world, the heavenly world. On that first Christmas, there was a big celebration in Heaven and on earth over the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We have a Savior: “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). That is the most important thing. We have a Savior who came to save us from the power and penalty of sin. Whatever you are going through in life, remember this: you have a Savior. He has put your sins as far away from you as the east is from the west.

Christ means “anointed one.” Another word for that is Messiah. Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to send His Son as the Messiah. This is a simple reminder that God keeps His promises. God said that He would send a Messiah, and the Messiah came.

Lord means that we have a sovereign God who is in control of our lives.

So set aside the things you have become preoccupied with and remember that you have a Savior. You have a Lord. You have a Christ. And you have His promises.

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob