You Can Go Home!

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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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Holy Spirit

John 16.png    Jesus is preparing his disciples when he is crucified and buried, something that is very difficult for them to hear and understand and Jesus shares about the Advocate to come whom Jesus will send to them and to us from the Father: Read these words of Jesus found in the Gospel of John 16:12-15

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make know to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

That which is revealed comes from God. God is the owner and also the giver of all truth. Truth is not a human being’s discovery; it is a gift of God. It is the truth of God that the Holy Spirit brings us. Truth is not something we can create by means of a process in our minds; it is something already waiting to be discovered; something we accept, and not something we create ourselves. God is behind all truth.

Revelation is to take the things of Jesus and to make known their inherent truth. The greatness of Jesus lies His inexhaustibility. No human being has understood everything Jesus came to say. No human being has uncovered the full meaning of Jesus’ teachings. No human beings knows what they mean to life and to faith; to humanity and to the individual, to the community and to the nation. Revelation is a continuous “opening up” of the meaning and importance of Jesus Christ. Revelation comes to us not from a book or credo, but through a living person. The closer we live to Jesus, the better we get to know him. The more we conform to Him, the more He reveals to us. In order to enjoy His revelation, we must acknowledge His majesty. Submission to, and to knowledge of Jesus, go hand in hand. It is only to the Son of God that God makes His revelation know.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7.png    These are the words from Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew 7:7-12 Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives; and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake? If you, then, through you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Anyone who prays would like to know what kind of God they are praying to. They want to know in what kind of atmosphere their prayers are heard. Do they pray to such a kind-hearted God that He is more willing to give them they are to receive? Jesus was born into a nation that loved prayer and He learnt to cherish prayer. In this part Jesus gives us the Christian principle of prayer.

Jesus’ examples are carefully chosen. Matthew mentions to and Luke adds another one. If children ask for bread, would their father give them a stone? (of course not) If they ask for a fish, would he give them a snake, or a scorpion of they ask for an egg? Small stones on the seashore looked just like small loaves of bread. The snake mentioned here probably refers to an eel that was forbidden food according to Leviticus 11:12 which can be found in the Old Testament. A scorpion looks very much like an egg when it is falling asleep, but it is deadly when it wakes up.

God will never refuse to listen to our prayers, or ridicule them. The lesson here is that God will always hear our prayers, but He will answer them in His way. His way is the way of the perfect wisdom and perfect love. Jesus says we must persevere always because the test of our sincerity lies in this. God will always answer our prayers in the way He sees fit, in wisdom and in love. We must continue praying to God and never stopping. For prayer to a Christian life is just as important as the air we need to breathe each and everyday of our lives. For in prayer we begin to grow closer to God in our daily journey. 

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

 

Without Christ I Am Nothing!

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“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.                                                      John 15:5-8

As you and I read this words from the Gospel of John we come to understand how important it is for us to have a daily walk with Christ. Going through this life we all know of is hard enough alone, but we need to know we don’t have to when we decided to become disciples of Christ. Have you notice how easy it is to lose contact with people you knew earlier and whose friendship really means a lot to you? The years fly by and you don’t know each other’s addresses anymore. Relationship must be treasured and kept. Jesus encourage his disciples ineffective if they weren’t in contact with him at all times. The image of branches that stay attached to the vine was a good representation of what would be expected of them. As far as Jesus was concerned, it was a promise. Jesus was saying, “You make the connected to Me, and I will stay connected to you.” Only in this permanent unity would they find the spiritual ability to bear fruit for him in their work as his witness. You and I also need to stay connect with God. We must make up our minds to stay in Jesus as long as he can provide us with the sources that strengthen our spiritual abilities, and at the same time make us effective in our creative relationship with others. We cannot do it on our own. We must get our spiritual life from Jesus himself. For me as a disciple of Jesus Christ I too must remain in his words daily, as well as continue to be in pray with my heavenly Father. When I do these things then and only then I can serve Christ the best way possible.

Develop a passion for learning, it you do, you will never cease to grow.                        Anthony J. D’Angelo

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Will of God

Matthew 6b.pngAs I continue to share with you the Lord’s prayer which is taken from the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13 “Your kingdom come, your will be done”

This prayer is simultaneously a liberating and a challenging one.  It is liberating because it brings us to believer’s acceptance of God’s perfect will. It challenging because one of the most difficult things for humans is to submit ourselves to God. From the start God has a master plan with His creation-and that includes the life of every person. God wants to carry our His plan, but Satan is always trying to subtly sabotage it. By praying this prayer, we ask no less than the death of our own willfulness and this means surrendering our loves. With this, we surrender ourselves completely to God. We humans suffer from an almost indestructible, strong and eternal self-love and that is why this is a dangerous prayer: It could cost us our lives, Martin Luther claimed that it was a dangerous prayer, because it meant obedience without taking back. Of course, we are sometimes willing to compromise, a part of His will; half a quarter, or, in  a generous moment, we are prepared to give up nine-tenths of our will.

With this prayer, we ask for the strength to be obedient and devoted to God’s will; we ask for the power to resist Satan. Some people do the will of majority; others say they are their own boss and will do as they please. Who can really meet God’s demands? No one! It is impossible for humans. On this broken earth there was One who could do God’s will to perfection: Jesus, the living Christ!  My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent Me, and from finishing His work. (John 4:34)

“The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Lighting of the Christ Candle

Christ Candle.pngTonight which is Christmas Eve we light the center candle which is the Christ Candle. Over the last four weeks as we have journey together through the advent season we have lite the candles of Hope which reminds us that Christ is coming to fulfill God’s promise. The candle of Peace and through Christ we found Peace. The third week was the candle of Joy which reminds us when the Angel’s told the Shepherd the good news of the birth of the Christ child lying in a manger this morning we lite the fourth candle which is the candle of love, as we remember from the Gospel of John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.                                                                                                                               When we look beyond the ornately-adorned Christmas trees and beneath the countless layers of wrapping paper, we are reminded of the true reason we celebrate this time of year. We are reminded of the birth of a promise — a promise that offers to heal the past and light the way for the future and a promise that offers purpose for living. We are reminded of the birth of a Savior who promises eternal hope, joy, peace and good news to the world.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends