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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Speaking in the Light 2/1/2006

By Rick Racela

The players in this artwork that now stood before them had one individual who looked much like any ordinary man while the other character resembled the devil himself.  The scene portrayed the man down to his last piece on the chessboard and the title of the work is called “Checkmate.”
Ken says that one of the two men looking at the painting was an international chess champion and was rather intrigued by what stood before his eyes.  He began to study it profusely.  He actually became so engrossed by it that the other man with him grew impatient and asked him,  “What are you doing?”  He answered, “There is something about this painting that bothers me and I don’t yet know what it is.  You go ahead and wander around and I’ll catch up.” 
He stayed behind and stood staring studying and studying the picture.  His head started nodding and his hands started moving and when his friend got back to him, he shouted, “I’ve got it!”   “What do you have and is it contagious?” the friend tried to make light of what he now considered a much too serious moment.
 But without hesitation, the man continued his sentence with an intense urgency, “We have to locate the artist who painted this painting and tell him either he has to repaint this thing or change its name.  I have determined that there is something very wrong here.”
 “What’s wrong?” his buddy asked.  The man went on, “Well it is called “Checkmate” but the title is not correct.  The artist either has to change the painting or change the name because the king still has one more move.”
Now when Bishop Ken told this story at his church, it would be like my good friend Pastor Thomas Dawson preaching it as his church because when the people heard the news that it wasn’t checkmate yet because the king still has one more move, well they started to make lots of noise communicating their agreement.
 When I shared it at the Lighthouse, I asked my people to at least just nod their heads a bit to show me that they are at least with me.  And just in case you don’t yet know what all the fuss may be about – let me try to translate.
 No, God may not be doing what you want Him to do today, the way you want Him to do it at the time you may want Him to do it in – but the King still has one more move.
A little boy named David was up against a giant named Goliath and David was in trouble.  They tried to put Saul’s armor on him but Saul is a 52 long and David was a 36 short and the kid can’t even handle a sword.
 Goliath and his Philistine cronies are shouting, “Checkmate” but… David knows the King still has one more move and the giant is not such a big man in town anymore.
A man named Moses convinces a nation of oppressed slaves to run away from the most powerful man on earth.  Pharaoh sets out after them and he finds them stuck, standing on the shore with the Red Sea in front of them and some rumbling chariots coming up from the rear and all the Egyptians are singing in unison, “Checkmate” but…the King still has one more move and that afternoon, Pharaoh’s army learns how to do the dead man’s float.
On Good Friday, they tried Jesus and they judged Jesus and they whipped Jesus and they beat Jesus and they mocked Jesus and they scorned Jesus and they hung Jesus on a cross to die and they laid Jesus in a box to rot the way that every human body had rotted since death first entered this sorry dark world.
 And the prince of this world – the devil himself – began shouting “Checkmate” but…God the Father raised His voice and shouted, “Not so fast – not so fast -the King still has one more move,” and Jesus blasted the doors off of death inviting any of us who follow him to never have to settle for an eternity locked in a box again. 
I don’t know what challenge you face today.  Maybe there is stress at work.  Maybe you are in a marriage that is falling apart or has already fallen.  Maybe there is a son or daughter, or somebody that you love who is struggling or estranged from you.
Maybe the financial pressures are mounting.  Maybe you have done the wrong thing or said the wrong thing or made a mistake that feels so big it could never be redeemed – or maybe not.   Maybe things are going pretty well and there is no crisis at all – not yet.  But there will be one day because the last I checked the mortality rate still hovers around 100 percent.
Whatever you face, whether it is today or tomorrow, the promise of Jesus to everyone who puts their trust in Him is this:  “I am going away and I am coming back.”   So when the prince of this world system starts to use his intimidation tactics and gets in your face with the cry of “Checkmate,” you remember that ultimately God holds the paintbrush and the King still has one more move.
Let the Lord move into your life today…
You can hear Pastor Rudy Monday through Friday on South Jersey’s Praise FM- WJPG 88.1 or WJPH 89.9 at both 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. as he hosts Real Life Radio. 

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