Joy-Filled Grace

Psalm 16.pngYou will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasure of living with You forever.                                  Psalm 16:11

Our lives here on earth change constantly; new engaged in new experience and circumstances every day. We learn and grow  and move on. Sometimes there is a lot of sweat and hard labor, but little beauty and rest. Although we enjoy a measure of  success we also often taste failure, disappointment and pain. We mostly find human joy in relationships with friends. But even those are simply a mixture of highs and lows; they come and go, When we are happy and all smiles, when love is strong and warm, we wish that things could go on like that forever. But all earthly joy fades.

there is, however, one joy that is steady and eternal, and that is the presence of God. Many people shy away from God because they fear that He will make their joy disappear. They have the feeling that He will not approve of their lifestyles or that he will be shocked by their faults and the horrors of their sins. He does not, however, do that. But in striving after those temporary earthly pleasures they walk past the ingle greatest joy their is in life to know God and to live close to Him.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him faithfully, you will know that He does not in any way destroy earthly pleasures; He makes them richer and deeper. He adds a joy that does not fade with the passing years, a personal, tender and life-enriching friendship with Him! What is more, this joy is only the beginning of an even greater joy when this life comes to an end.

 

We man think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.                           C.S. Lewis

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Being Grateful

Luke 17.pngFrom the time we are tiny children, our parents are constantly reminding us to have good manners. When you ask for something, what do your parents tell you to say? Please, and when you receive something from someone for you to say Thank You. In the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19 Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into the village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” When he saw the, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests. ” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Were not all then cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

In today’s world leprosy can been controlled with medication, but in the days of our Lord it was incurable and a slow growing and painful disease, and many died from it. It was an infectious and contagious and as a result lepers were shunned and separated from the community into a leper’s colony. Jesus came upon ten men who wanted to be cleansed by him, and under the law of Moses when a person was cleansed of leprosy there was a ritual they followed which included certain sacrifices and showing themselves to the priests. These men did as Jesus had told them to do which was go and seek the priests for a clean bill of health. You see the leprosy was a disease which the Jews supposed to be inflicted for the punishment of some particular sin, and to be, more than other diseases, a mark of God’s displeasure; and therefore Christ, who came to take away sin, and turn away wrath, took particular care to cleanse the lepers that fell in his way. The story of Jesus healing the ten lepers in this chapter appears immediately after a teaching conversation Jesus indicates that obedience to God is not something extra we do to receive his thanks and rewards. Rather, it is our duty to serve him, just like it is a servant’s duty to serve his master. Our pride sometimes twists this truth and tells us that we should expect God to thank us for all we do to serve him. But Jesus teaches here that true faith is total dependence on God and a willingness to unselfishly do His will. This conversation, combined with the story of the ten lepers, puts gratitude in its proper perspective. God is the one deserving of gratitude because of the grace and mercy he freely gives to those of us who do not deserve it. For the benefit of his hears, Jesus pointed out the fact that he cleansed all ten lepers, and not just the one.  We as humans need to understand that all we have in this world is a gift from God and so as the many gifts that he has given us we need to show some thankfulness to the one who as given us all.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends