You Can Go Home!

Luke 15.png

In the Gospel of Luke Jesus talks to his disciples about the Parable of the Lost Son: read these words of Jesus: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, Father give me my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

                                                                                  Luke 15:11-20

We might as well say it again, that it is never easy to get up and tackle the journey back to the Father’s house. People will make it difficult for you. Like the Prodigal Son, church-goers and others will make you feel unwelcome. there will be those who will remind you of your sinfulness. Even a preacher may say hurtful things at times. But one thing is certain: you don’t ever have to doubt the Father’s warm welcome. So carry on walking and head straight home back to God.

And so we see the lost son coming over the last hill, heart pounding. Only one refrain repeats itself: I’m going home! Then he reaches the last rise, and there he see the father’s house in all its glory. He is crying unashamedly now. And then, is it possible? he sees his father, and his is coming to meet him! Do you know that the last rise in the road? Golgotha! That’s what they call that hill. “The Father is coming to meet me,” you say. “But I see a cross standing there. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that every one who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) Come, let us kneel before the Father in amazement. Let us thank God for the wonder of being able to go home. For there is nothing my friend that can ever separate you from the love of God through Jesus Christ the son, so hold you head high ever through we are sinners you and I are sons and daughter of the Most High King Jesus Christ, welcome home!

Dear Lord Jesus

Thank you for always welcoming us home to you with such love and compassion and with open arms. In spite of the many sins we have done you never stop loving your children. 

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

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I Will Testify Your Love

Isaiah 54.pngThough the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet God’s unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor his covenant of peace be removed. Nothing on earth seems enduring or immovable as huge, majestic mountains. When you stand on their heights breathing in the glorious air, you can almost smell eternity. Yet God’s love and peace are even more enduring than the greatest mountain on earth!

Think deeply of God’s unfailing love. One of the meanings of “unfailing” is inexhaustible. No matter how needy you are or how many times you fail him, his supply of love for you will never run low. Another meaning of “unfailing” is constant. God does not love you more on days when you perform well, nor do he love you less when you fail miserably. God’s love is more persistent, invariable, and steadfast than you can comprehend. Open your heart to received this gift in full measure.

 

I come to your Holy sanctuary, as I bend down on my knees my Lord, to ashamed at first  to look upon your face for great and worthy of my Praise are you. As I begin to center myself on your Holiness the world around me becomes dim, and I don’t see or hear anything but long to hear your voice upon my heart. My tears of joy run downs my face as I lift up my eyes upon your face with all of it’s glory, so much for me to understand or comprehend, as I seek your face. My soul Praise the Lord all my life, I will praise the Lord all my life, and tells others his love for all of his children. I will shout it from the mountain top for all to hear and I will continue to testify his love. I will not put my trust in any human being who simply cannot save me from my sins. How good it is to sing praises to you God, how pleasant and fitting to praise you.

Who is this Lord in which I seek all the days of my life. The Lord builds up Jerusalem, he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limits. The Lord sustains the humble but cast wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.

 

You had chosen me my Lord long before I had decided to follow you all the days of my life, and you never gave up on me. When others decided to forsake me and give up on me, you stood right by my side and your love never fail me. How can I remain silent any longer, I cannot Lord, for others need to know about your great love that you have for all of your children.  You who are brokenhearted, you who are lonely, the dying ones, the ones who have such anger within your soul, the ones who loss all hope in this world, I say Come, Come to the Lord and bow down before His throne, His love for you is and will always be unshakable for his children, for He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1.pngPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so we also share in our comfort.                            2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Often, shortly after we have been through a difficult situation in our own life, we have found comfort, we meet someone who has to handle a similar situation. It is God who leads us to these people because the comfort that we offer is sincere and they know that we have wrestled with a similar experience ourselves.

In this letter in Corinthians from the Apostle Paul, Paul praises God for using the church of Corinth to “give the same comfort God has given us” What would it take for you to proclaim God as your helper and Deliverer? What would it take for you to look to God alone for the solution to your problems? When you find yourselves or an acquaintance in a difficult situation, approach God’s throne of grace in prayer. Declare boldly to God that you trust in Him alone to deliver you.

In prayer and with gratitude, consider all the ways in which God has comforted you in times of affliction and tell God that you are willing to let Him use you to bring comfort to others.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the comfort you have given me in the past as well as the comfort you will give to me in the future, help me to comfort others in return.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friend

Reflecting God’s Love

Proverbs 27.pngTherefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothes yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.                                                 Colossians 3:12-17

The Apostle Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote to the church in Colossae. False teachers were coaching the Colossians to worship angels, and follow special rules and ceremonies. Paul corrected this thinking through his letter, stressing that faith in Christ is sufficient for salvation and that nothing needs to be added to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

As we read these word today from Colossians I begin to think the reflection that you would see over a lake. One of green trees, and a beautiful sky with clouds, these and others are a reflection of God’s beautiful creation. But it also make me think and perhaps you as well, the Bible teaches us how to live by the example of Jesus Christ, He loved the poor, reached out to the sick, and forgave those who hurt him, even when he hung on the cross his words were “Father Forgive them” I ask myself why is it so hard to live like Jesus. Perhaps my soul becomes stress out in the heat of the moment, and instead of taking a moment to breathe in God’s grace and then breathe out praises, I just begin at times lashing out and not taking the time to stop and think.  When I stumble along my faith journey I try to remember to stop ask God for help, and the best way is just to stop and pray, simply talking with God. When I take the focus off of myself and turn to Jesus I see that my own way of thinking can be wrong and he will guide me back on course. And overtime my own reflection will be the reflection within my heart as I become more like Jesus.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Father And I Are One

John 10.pngAgain his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which  of these do you stone me?” We are not stoning you for any good work, ” they replied but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God. Jesus answered them, “is it not written in your law, ” I have said you are gods” If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came and Scripture cannot be set aside–what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why, then do you accuse me of blasphemy, because I said, “I am God’s Son?” Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even through you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.                 John 10:31-38

For most people, it’s what others do not say, that counts. When Jesus spoke He spoke with authority, but when the people asked Him who He was, He pointed them to the things He did. he asked them to take not of His deeds. These deeds were acts of compassion, healing and miracles. Jesus was far more than simply a traveling Teacher who spoke about God and His kingdom. Jesus didn’t perform miracles because He wanted to impress people. everything He did was God’s deeds. Christ was God’s man in action.

You and I are also called to do more than just talk. As a disciple of Christ you must be were the action is. Make no mistakes: it is good to talk about God and for God, but it is better more powerful and more impressive to do deeds that prove you are a God-directed person. Deeds done with compassion and kind-heartedness reflect Jesus deeds. Charity that cost you something is the way in which Christians disciples prove that they are God’s people in action. Don’t let your religion stagnate; do something and become a doer of the Word and not just an idle hearer, fooling yourself.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Fourth Sunday In Advent

love.pngOn our journey to Christmas we have lit the candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy on our Advent Wreath. We relight them now to remind us of the hope that Christ will come again, bringing everlasting peace and joy. This is the fourth Sunday of Advent so we light the last candle of Love. To a world of empires and despots, war and greed, grief and apathy, we proclaim that love is strong enough to overcome all evil and that compassion is more powerful than fear. The angel Gabriel reassured Mary “nothing will be impossible with God”. The power of love is the power to overcome what we think is impossible. Love tells us God doesn’t want our excuses for why we dare not try, but our faithfulness to do. As we light the candle of Love, we remember that God so loves this world that he sent his only son, Jesus to save us. We do so in honor of those who have shown us how to love even when doing so is not convenient or sensible. We remember those who show us that compassion–unconditional love–is central to a Christian’s life.

Let us pray:

All loving God, break into our world and our hearts again. Magnify your love in us until it overflows to our neighbors. Renew our faith to relive the wonder of your love. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you that we may shine the light of your compassionate love. Come, God of Love. Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1a.jpgThe Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians the following letter to the church in Corinth to tell them how pleased he was that the people were sorry for the way they had acted and that they were now trying to live the way God wanted them to. He also defended himself against the accusations, being made by false teachers. Paul tells us in Chapter 1-3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. It we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

For the last many days we have watch on our TV, laptop, phone about the hurricane victims, as well as some having families in that area. As we watch it all unfold we see how many people are helping, neighbor helping neighbor, a stranger helping another stranger, it doesn’t matter who it is to help them, all are willing to except the help, it doesn’t matter, their race, skin color, religion or anything else just the help. Isn’t this the way God always expect his children to act and not with all the hatred that some many people seem to have. All of us are created by the same God, who is the Father of compassion and the God who comforts all of his children. It would be a beautiful sight to see if that all of his children can act this way all the time, and not just during a crisis.  One of the best thing any of us can do is to pray for others, pray for their strength to endure all of this, also pray for peace, Jesus tells us Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) You maybe thinking to yourself, that is easy to say, and I know how hard that it can be for us at times, this is why we need to have a closer walk with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Because during theses difficult times in our lives we can depend on him as well as our scripture reading and more important our prayer life with God. Going thru my own valleys in life the different scriptures comes to my mind to give me the peace I need at that moment, and I also cried out to God, are you listening to me, and the words to the poem:       Footprint in the Sand,

One night I dreamed…
I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, Other times there was one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed That during the low periods of my life, When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, That if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life There has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen Only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”
—Mary Stevenson

During this time God is carrying His children

Grace and Peace to You My Friends