September 28, 2023

Bob Maas
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
Galatians 6:7-8

There are two kinds of trouble everyone has to face. There are the calamities that happen because of natural disasters, evil people, and unforeseen circumstances over which we have no control. And then there is the trouble we get into because of the bad choices we make. Either way, we have to face them and experience the pain associated with the unwanted predicaments.

God told Noah about a problem that was coming and instructed him how to prepare for it. Noah tried to warn the people, but no one believed him. Nevertheless, he continued to build the ark, facing the ridicule and taunting from the people who thought he was crazy. The Bible makes it clear that God will never send a flood to destroy the whole earth. However, there are ominous warnings about the earth as well as the heavens being shaken until the only thing remaining is His Kingdom.

Just as Noah warned the people, my friend, Bob Stewart, warned me about the consequences of continuing to live my way instead of God’s way if I didn’t make some radical changes. The idea of surrendering my life to God was certainly an extreme choice I could make while the thought of living with my addictions to alcohol, gambling, pornography, and tobacco, which were destroying my family, was becoming more real every day.

Looking back, the choice should have been simple, but it wasn’t. Living selfishly was not what I learned from my mom and dad. They sacrificed for their children because they had lived through the Great Depression and didn’t want us to ever experience anything similar. Yet, here I was, putting my family through tremendous anguish and stress so that I could enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. I was sinking deeper and deeper.