Jesus’ Calling You!

 

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Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, and not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

You need to follow Jesus one step at a time. That is all he requires of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through the space-time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As Jesus’ helps you get back on your feet, you tell him how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Your path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There my be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If you allow Jesus to lead the way, he will equip you thoroughly for the strenuous cliffs. He will give his angles charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways. Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying His presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Jesus to open up the way before you.

Jesus is renewing your mind. When your thoughts flow freely, they tend to move towards your problems. Your focus gets snagged on a given problem, circling around and around, it attempts to gain your entire life. Your energy is drained away from other matters through this negative focus. Worst of all, you lose sight of Christ. A renewed mind in his presence is what you need. Train your mind to seek him in every moment, every situation. Sometimes you can find him in your surroundings: a lifting birdsong, a loved one’s smile, golden sunlight. At other times, you must draw inward to find him. Jesus is always present in your spirit. Seek his face, speak to him, and he will light up your mind and your heart.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

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Lasting Joy

John 16b 


Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I  will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.        John 16:20-22

There will be fullness of knowledge, the day Jesus is talking about. Jesus says to His disciples, “At times you won’t need to ask Me for anything” (John 16:23) There are always unanswered questions and unsolved problems in life. We must walk this path of life by faith, and not be seeing. We must accept the things we cannot understand. We are only able to grasp a fragment of the truth about God, but when Christ comes again, there will be complete knowledge. If we walk with Christ, the questions will disappear and the time of answers will dawn.

There will also be a new relationship with God. When God really knows us, we can ask him anything, we know that the door to God is open and that he has a heart of love. Jesus says that in this relationship we will be able t ask God for anything. If a child loves his father, he knows very well that his father sometimes says no, because a father’s knowledge and a father’s love knows best. We can become so intimate with God that we may go to him with everything, as long as we end with, “Let your will be done.” this new relationship with God is made possible through Jesus. It is because of who Jesus is and what Jesus did that our joy is complete and indestructible. Everything we have comes to us through Jesus. It is his name that we ask and receive, in his name that we approach God and are welcome.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

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Jesus is preparing his disciples for when is to die and leave them behind, read his words from the Gospel of John 14:23-27  “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 

When we die, we leave everything we own behind. But we also leave behind memories, traditions, experiences and relationships. Sometimes there are small gifts, treasures and photos.

Jesus had no possessions to leave behind. But he had other things that would never spoil and were more precious than anything else. One of them was peace. When conflict was rife outside the Upper Room; while violence was being planned; when death was knocking at the door, Jesus gave them peace.

This was the peace created by complete trust in the presence of God. It was absolute faith in His omnipotence and the acceptance of His holy will. It was also Christ’s own peace. By this gift of peace, He gave them something of himself. He knew they would be confronted with danger, opposition, suffering and even death. They would need peace more than anything else.

Open up your heart now to receive Jesus’ gift. Like the disciples, you probably need them more than anything else. If you are grappling with problems, confusion, opposition, resistance, ridicule, temptation, loneliness, pain or suffering, cling with all your might to this gift that Jesus gave his disciples. Allow his peace to calm your anger. Allow his peace to take over prejudices, your doubts and your grievances. Let it take over your entire attitude, your speech and your relationships. And whenever possible, give this peace away to someone else. The more of it you give away, the more it grows inside of you.

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

Love Is Indispensable

1 Corinthians 13.pngIf I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountain, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always preservers.

Love never fails. But when there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.                                                        1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Apostle Paul wrote this very practical book to address the problems of the tumultuous church in Corinth, and to give instructions on marriages, disputes, immorality, public worship and lawsuits. These practical lessons are appropriate words of wisdom for Christians still today. I choose this chapter for Valentine’s Day because it speaks to me on the kind of love Christ has for us. The very name Jesus use to address you and me is beloved, it tell us us how dearly that He loves us.  Jesus showed you and me the full extent of his love by enduring humiliation, torture, and even death for us on a cross. No greater love that this is possible, or even conceivable. We may have tucked into our memory many experiences of his unparalleled love. Jesus wants us to dwell on those memories. Enjoy them over and over again! This practice will help convince your doubting heart that Jesus extraordinary love is really yours, every nanosecond of this life and throughout eternity. When you abide in Jesus, you also abide in his love, for God is love. As you live close to him, communing with him more and more. Jesus living presence permeates your entire being. This empowers you to trust in his unfailing love, secure in the salvation that He won for us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

We Must Be Different

Matthew 15 These are the words of Jesus according to the Gospel of John, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.                    Matthew 15:18-19

If you live in a community that is saturated with the Christian faith it’s not easy to imagine a condition where there is a marked difference between the regular community and Christianity. But it does happen in many places.

The Christian community was a small minority where John recalled Jesus’ prophetic words in this Scripture verse. there was a marked difference between the small minority of Christians and the world that loathed them. 

William Temple wrote in Readings in John’s Gospel: Are we not of this world? It is not so that our origin or character is in agreement?” Yes, only too often. But this is not the distinguishing and functional factor that makes us different when we become Christ’s followers. “You are no longer part of the world, I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. The phrase “the world” is repeated, but with a difference. Linked to the verb “chose”, it no longer represents origin and growth, but a place of separation, and consequently segregation. This is in part where the hate of the world felt. The world dislikes Christians. It begrudges them their new character, it is tortured by the new character and furious about their joy in Christ. Can the world notice that the difference in your life because you are a Christian? not always. 

You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension, and discipline are taken out of your life.               (James G. Bilkey)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8.pngThen he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on a lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him saying, Lord save us! We’re going to drown! He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?” Even the winds and the waves obey him!”                 Matthew 8:23-27

Violent storms are common on the Sea of Galilee due to the location of the lake. Sudden storms occur with destructive force so that the existing calmness can be transformed into raging storm within minutes. But this story is about far more than the calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It was important to the disciples as well as being important to us today. The incident tells us that wherever in life Jesus Christ is, there the storms of life are calmed.

When the cold, bleak winds of sorrow blow around us, there is calmness in the comforting presence of Jesus. When the hot winds of passion blow, we find security and peace in Jesus’ presence. When gale-force winds of doubt threaten to uproot the foundations of our faith, there is peaceful safety with Jesus Christ. For every storm that shakes the human heart, there is peace with Jesus.

The meaning and lesson of this event illustrate to us that when the storms of life shake our souls, Jesus is there, and in His presence the raging storm turns into peace that no storm can rob us of. 

He came in complete human form to meet a universal need in a way that is adequate for all times and places and is without parallel or substitute.        (H.D.Lewis)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

God’s Love

Romans 5.pngTherefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.                                                        Romans 5:1-5

People all around the world can testify of their love for Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, they bear witness to their love and faith in Jesus Christ, who died on a cross over two thousand years ago. They are convinced that He is alive today. How is this possible? They never even saw that He is alive today. His earthly ministry lasted about three years and even the reports on that are rather fragmentary.

The secret of His unique attraction does not live in one or other theological formula or religious organization, regardless of how important these things may be in the right context. But He promised to grant His Spirit to everyone who accepts Him and confesses His rule. Through the ages He has kept His promises. He said that His Spirit would live in every person who loves Him and who serves Him. Countless followers of this century believe that this experience with the living Christ is valid and true for our time.

If you want to sit on the sideline, remember that Christ can convert your life. A new, unparalleled strength will take possession of your spirit. It will enable you to do those things that are pleasing to God. This change in your life and this new strength will assure you of Christ’s presence in your life. If you have the Spirit of Christ you will know the reality of His holy presence. Love for Him will radiate your heart and your life.

Through our feelings come and go, God’s love for is does not,     by C.S.Lewis

Grace and Peace to You My Friends