Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (June 19, 2023)

Do you ever feel like you just don’t fit in? Have you ever wondered why you don’t identify with the multitudes who seem to be right at home with all the goings-on in this world? The reason for this is simple, Child of God: you are NOT at home! As Abraham and the patriarchs, we are strangers in a strange land. Please consider the following article, written by Elder Buddy Abernathy, entitled “I’m a Stranger Here Below.” I believe you’ll identify with his sentiments, for they are Bible sentiments! May God bless you.

Elder Chris McCool


By Elder Buddy Abernathy (March 12, 2020)

“I am a stranger here below, and what I am ‘tis hard to know, I am so vile, so prone to sin, I fear that I’m not born again.”

I rejoice in believing that salvation is by grace. I love Jesus because I am a hopeless case apart from his unconditional love (1 John 4:19). Many of God’s children in Bible times had the same experience. Therefore, I have hope. My hope is the same hope that Paul expressed, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Tit 1:2 KJV). My hope of heaven is solely rooted in the promise of God. I have no confidence in the flesh (Php. 3:3). However, knowing this is not, as some would suggest, an incentive to do evil (Rom. 5:20 – 6:2, Tit. 2:11-12 & Gal. 5:1, 13).

If you often struggle with doubts and fears, consider the experience of God’s children in Bible times. You are not alone. You’re not a unique case, “Once they were mourning here below, and wet their couch with tears: they wrestled hard, as we do now, with sins, and doubts, and fears.” (from the hymn, “Give Me The Wings Of Faith”, written by Isaac Watts).

JOB was viewed by others as a man that “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” But notice how he viewed himself: “I abhor [myself] and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6 KJV)

ISAIAH WROTE: “…Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa 6:5 KJV)

JEREMIAH WROTE: “…My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: … This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.” (Lam 3:18, 21-23 KJV)

GOD SPOKE THROUGH ZEPHANIAH: “I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.” (Zep 3:12 KJV)

JESUS SAID: “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn:  for they shall be comforted. … Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mat 5:3-4, 6 KJV)


“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. … I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! (NOT WAS) who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Rom 7:18- 19, 21-25 KJV).

“Unto me, who am (NOT WAS) less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” (Eph 3:8 KJV)

“This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am (NOT WAS) chief.” (1Ti 1:15 KJV)

I’m comforted when I realize that my struggles with doubts and fears are no different than the experiences of God’s children in ages past. Physical pain can only be felt by those with physical (natural) life. Likewise, spiritual pain can only be felt by those who possess spiritual life. The struggles experienced by Job, Jeremiah, and Paul were evidences of spiritual life because “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Co 2:14 KJV). How does the “natural man” get spiritual life, i.e. how is he born again? Paul wrote, “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Eph 2:1 KJV). I don’t have spiritual life because I asked for it. I have it because God freely bestowed it. He “quickened” me, i.e. gave me spiritual life when I was spiritually dead. He didn’t knock on my heart and ask to come in, He “sent forth the Spirit of his Son into my heart, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6 KJV). The person who mourns over their sins is born of the Spirit. The crying comes after God sends His spirit into (not unto) their heart.

I fail in many ways despite my desire to do better. I need to try harder to live a Christian life. But thanks be to God that “…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39 KJV)