Stay or Run Away

Psalm 55.pngMy heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me, horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be a rest. I will flee far away and stay in the desert, I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”  Psalm 55:4-8

The way in which one deals with problems will reveal much about one’s Christian character. The psalmist here point to two methods people use to deal with their problems. There is “flight” in which you try to escape or evade your problems. Then there is the “stand steadfast and trust the Lord” method in which we deal with our problems and overcome them in the name of the Lord.

Jonah started by running away, God sent him to Nineveh, at Joppa, he then brought his ticket for a voyage by boat to Tarshish, situated far away from his responsibilities. (Jonah Chapter 1 Old testament) But Jonah never reached Tarshish. There is no place on earth where we can escape our problems completely. Instead of solving his problems, Jonah only multiplied them. Once cannot escape from yourself, your responsibilities or your problems. When Jonah eventually chose the path of obedience and went to Nineveh to carry out his task, the Lord supported him with strength and he worked miracles in the name of the Lord

At one time or another we all face the temptation of trying to run away from our own problems or to sidestep our responsibilities. Even Jesus was confronted by temptation in the desert. However, He accepted God’s will for His life and did what He had to do. It we are obedient and faithful, if we trust God completely, He will support and help us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Jesus Calls Us

 

Matthew 4   As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come, follow me, “ Jesus said, “ and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.                     Matthew 4:18-22

I wonder how many of us if Jesus was still on earth and he ask us to follow him would we drop everything at that very moment and do it? In the book of Matthew it talks about the beginning of Jesus public ministry. John the Baptist had been put to death; and Jesus had withdrawn to Galilee, not because afraid of Herod Antipas, who had put John to death, but because he had a different vision of the future. There was agitation all over Judea for a king, for someone to avenge John’s death. Jesus’ vision of the kingdom was one of nonviolence. He was not interested in revenge not even for the death of his cousin and friend but for peace. 

For Matthew, this scripture was enough to justify Galilee, rather than Jerusalem, as the center of Jesus’ ministry. It is a call for a response to God’s action. God is making a new world. Get a new sense of direction and purpose and become part of that new world. Repentance is not only about remorse, but, more important, about a change of direction.

The contrast of light and darkness is a familiar theme in describing this life direction. Jesus, in fulfillment of the Scriptures, has ushered in an age in which the repentant will move toward the realm of light, and ways from darkness, the shadow of death. The light had dawned because Jesus has arrived. Jesus issued his called to discipleship, knowing the culture, heritage, and economic status of these fisherman. He asked them to leave what they knew and were comfortable with, to come and embrace a new lifestyle with different values and goals. 

What is Jesus asking us to do? Jesus is issuing a similar call to modern, would-be disciples. We come from diverse cultures,. different worldviews, and different places on the socio-economic ladder. We, like the disciples of old, are also called to leave the comfort and predictability as we enter a life of service to God. 

The call of fisherman to become disciples is significant, because it is the beginning of the church. Jesus took the initiative, he sought out these men in the midst of their work. The call was both a command and promise. The command was to follow him. The promise was to become “fishers of people”

Peter as well as Andrew, James and John left everything and everyone to follow Jesus. He issued a powerful appeal that made disciples. And it made a real difference in their lives. How do we become disciples of Jesus Christ? It is not a great mystery. We simply follow him, Jesus calls some us to adventure of serving in the mission field in a foreign land. Others are called to adventure close to home, serving God’s people through service organizations and schools, through food pantry, legal assistance, volunteering and voting, offering prayer and healing. There are so many ways for God’s people to follow Jesus into the adventure of serving. Where do you hear, God is calling you to join Jesus in the adventure of being his disciples? What row is yours to plant? What need in your church, or community, or in the wider world cries out to your heart? How will you respond to Jesus when he says “COME AND FOLLOW ME”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

Passion

Luke 24.png

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along? They stool still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas asked him. “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem  who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” What things? he asked. About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. He was  prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of the women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told is that they had seen a vision of angles, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus. He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if they were going father. But they urged him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Were not our hearts burning within while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?                               Luke:24:13-32

When we begin to read the scriptures over time God open our hearts, mind, and eyes to his word. It is truly amazing to come to understand how much we are truly love by our creator. There have been times in my life that someone ask me what my passion is, and that is my faith in Christ. When I serve Christ is someway through ministry it is wonderful to share with others how much God loves you, and their is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor death, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

As I spend some part of my day everyday with God I come to realize that through the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet God unfailing love for you and me will not be shaken nor his covenant of peace be removed. Nothing on earth seems as enduring or immovable as huge, majestic mountains. When you stand on their heights breathing in that air, you can almost smell eternity. Yet God’s love and Peace are even more enduring than the greatest mountain on earth! Regardless of the sins of my past or any sins in my future his love and grace for me is incredible to even understand. Think deeply about God’s unfailing love for his children. One of the meanings of unfailing is inexhaustible. No matter how needy we are or how many times we may fail God, his supply of his love will never run low. Another meaning of unfailing is constant. God does not love us more on the days that we perform well, nor does he loves us less when we may fail miserable. God’s love is more persistent, invariable and steadfast that we can comprehend. Open your hearts to received this amazing gift in full measure, and through his wonderful gift to me my passion is to serve him everyday in ministry to love and serve him and others.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Heart of Worship

 

Romans 6.pngIn the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourselves to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.      Romans 6:11-14

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant imagines of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. In today’s world we are taught early in our lives to never give up, or never give in. so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is every thing (like in sports), surrendering is just unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying and surrendering. But to surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. WE give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, “because he first loved us”. True worship bringing God pleasure–happens when you give yourselves completely to God.  Offering yourselves to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things, consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, God wants all of you, not just part of you, he wants all of you. Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to dear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego. You were designed to worship God, and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this. So give it all to God, your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid, nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything. I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Do Not Be Anxious!

Anxious.pngRejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.                                           (Philippians 4:4-7)

Being anxious at any point of our lives is what we do, and we all seem to do it really well too. We as humans are worry about so many things in our lives each and everyday, we are worry (anxious) about our jobs, family, illness, debt, money, death, relationship, and so much more. If we only take the words of Jesus seriously of not to worry, because by worrying it will not add to our lives. When things begin to happen in life we all need to take it all to God in prayer, and share it with him. He already knows everything of what is going on however he wants you and me to Trust him, and I mean truly trust him.  The book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul, a follower of or Lord Jesus Christ. These letters was written to the church at Philippi, ranked among Paul’s favorite. This friendly and personal letter stresses that joy can be found in any situation. Paul delivers his own testimony on the meaning of his present life, encourages, his readers, and instructs them on living in harmony with others, and in obedience to God.  One of the reason to study God’s word it allows the human mind to remember it, as well as our hearts, and when things become anxious for us the words of God comes flowing their our hearts and minds, like streams of water. And once this begins to happen we will begin to calm ourselves down within our soul and turn everything over to God, to just but it all in the hands of God and simply trust Him and Him alone. During those times for me I at times begin to sing a song, Rejoice in Lord, to just focus not on my problems anymore but my focus will turn to Jesus instead. During the times I am overwhelm I sing the song “I am Holding On to You ” Listen Below”

 

A New Heart

Ezekiel 36.pngI will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.                     Ezekiel 36:26

Therefore if any person is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!                                                     2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Jesus tells us to come just as we are with all of our short comings, and he will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within you and me. He is aware of the many little different things that may changes the beauty of our hearts. He wants us to Trust him to do what we are unable to do, remove the stony bits one by one. Do not expect this work in you or me to be painless. Heart surgery is serious, and it always involves pain. Many of the hard things you have experienced were, unknown to him. Jesus skillful operations on our heart. When we go through those very difficult times we need to look up to him with a smile and thank him for the renewal that he is working within us. This act of faith does not instantly stop you or me from suffering, but it does lend meaning to our pain. Marvel at the wonder of being a new creation grafted into Jesus–the Messiah. You and me are forever set free from the condemning law of sin and death. I can rejoice in this glorious truth even while I am suffering because I am not alone. Since God our Creator of all that is, and has made me in his image, I have a wealth of creative powers within me. I need to strive to look at my situation from a fresh perspective, eager to collaborate with Christ as he is making those necessary changes within me and even you. Through God the Lord of the universe, he desire to work in partnership with us. As we say yes to this sacred adventure, I know that in time I will become the person that God have design me to be as I continue to Praise the “Great I Am”

 

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

God’s Holy Whispers

1 Kings 19.pngAnd the word of the Lord came to him. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too. The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.                    (1 Kings 19:9b-12)

God is the Creator of the Universe, yet he choose to make His humble home in our hearts. It is there you know him most intimately, it is there God speaks to you and me in holy whispers. He knows this is more than we can even imagine, that someone so great and majestic would choose to live in someone so small and even so sinful. It is even so hard for me to imagine you Lord living within my heart, it is something at times that I struggle with to understand. Yet in spite of my short comings and regardless of me being a sinner you choose to dwell within my heart. It is times like this Lord in the quiet of the morning or perhaps in the evening that my spirit longs to be with just you. It is during these times my spirit hungry to hear your voice in guiding me to understand the “Great I Am”.  You are living in my heart because you deeply desire intimacy with me and I with you. I know that I am weak, and easily distracted by so many things in this world. Yet I want you to help me to hear your gentle whispers in my heart. I need to be still and very quite during these times to feel your presence, to Be Still and Know that I Am God (Psalm 46:10)

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends