Those Who Thirst

John 4b.pngWhen a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food) The Samaritan woman said to him. “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.”) Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that ask you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. Sir, the woman said, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and livestock?” Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirsty again. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.                     John 4:7-14

Many of us are like the woman at the well. When we read or hear about the Living Water that Christ gives, it is like a foreign language, because we don’t know Jesus personally. We all have treasured memories of the past in our hearts. Perhaps our parents were devout and religious, but the world has sucked us in. There’s so much pressure, so many cares and worries. The world becomes appealing and we have gradually become estranged from God. And are we at peace? No, we always thirst for something higher and better. With fondness we remember how our parents used to read the Bible, prayed together and attended church. Our memories make it seem like we were close to the gates of heaven. What a privilege to have such precious memories. Do you also sometimes think of earlier times and yearn for a better life? Draw often and draw much from the deep and holy well of the memories of your youth. It refreshes and invigorates-even if it also brings shame because we have strayed so far from the Lord of our youth. But we must know that we will not gain eternal life by doing this. Vague memories can never give us what the living Christ wants to give us through His Holy Spirit. Stand up and make the change!

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Forgiving Yourself And Others

Hebrews 10.pngThis letter to the Hebrews went to Christians in danger of slipping back into Judaism because of persecution. It interprets the Old Testament, explaining many Jewish practices as symbols that prepared the way for Christ. It stresses that Christ was from God and is higher than angles. Moses, Joshua, and any priest or sacrifice. As we read in Hebrews 6:15-18 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Then he adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

In the book of Matthew 18:21-35 one of Jesus’ disciples named Peter ask Jesus a simple question, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me. haven’t we all asked this question at least once? Then for some reason Peter answers his own question seven times? But Jesus’ answer was seventy times seven, you mean then 470 times?  In other words there is no limit on how many times that we should forgive one another. I am sure that there is some who are reading this is saying to themselves, do you realized what so and so did to me, and you want me to forgive them (NEVER) Jesus then told a parable of the servant forgiven a great debt who has ask for mercy from his master for the great debt, and so the master showed great compassion on the servant and forgave him all that he owe. However, this same servant did not show compassion on others who had owe him money. This parable teaches that lesson which runs through all the New Testament that a man or woman must forgive to be forgiven. If we do not show compassion on others and forgive them when they for what ever reason sin against us how do we expect God to do the same when we do sin, and believe me we all do plenty of that day in and day out. Another important lessons is this to learn to forgive yourself as well, God knows you are not perfect and if He can forgive you, you must learn to forgive yourself. When as children we learn the Lord’s pray in Sunday School in that pray the word trespassers or debts, the word F-O-R-G-I-V-E means just that, forgive someone and yourself.  Jesus already paid the price for our sins when he died on the cross, and we are forgiving. Praise His Name we are!

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Giving Thanks

1 Chronicles 16.pngLet the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior, gather is and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”                                                       1 Chronicles 16:31-36

Every time you and I take the time to thank the Lord, we acknowledge that he is our Lord and Provider. And every time you receive with thanksgiving, we demonstrate our kinship with God.  Yet even thro we are his children and we know we are suppose to give thanks in all circumstances, sometimes our words ring hollow. We can say them without feeling the least bit thankful. It’s especially hard for either you or me to be grateful in the midst of a difficult time in our lives, when everything seems to be going wrong. God knows what goes on in our hearts far better than we do. He knows when we feel thankful, and when we don’t. However, God can also see in the depths of our heart, a desire to please him by offering thanks even when we truly don’t feel like it. When we struggle to be grateful, we need to stop and remember who he is God, our Creator, and the “Great I Am”, and he is the author of our lives and of our faith. We are utterly dependent on him for everything, including our next breath. Every good gift comes from above. When we thank God during a difficult day or a period in our lives, we are assuming the proper stance for a child of God. If we persevere in this thankfulness, resisting the temptation to grumble, we can find joy and peace in the midst of our struggles.

 

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

Seek God Always

1 Chronicles 16.jpgGive praise to the Lord, proclaim his name, make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him, tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord your God; his judgments in all the earth.

(1 Chronicles 16:8-14)

The book of 1 Chronicles which is from the Old Testament and opens with the most genealogical record in the Bible, and then adds many incidents from the life of David. It was written for the exiles who had return to Israel after the Babylonian captivity. It’s purpose was to remind them they were from the royal line of David and that they were God’s chosen people.

Did you know that you and I are God’s chosen people, isn’t that amazing to hear, that you are not a nobody you are someone that God has already chosen even long before you were born or hear about who God is!  This is what we as Methodist call Prevenient Grace: the Grace that comes to us before we know God-the porch before we enter into a house. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go.  As I was read and meditating on this book from the Old Testament it is telling us to seek God’s face always, not only when a need arise and we need God at that very moment in time, but to always seek God’s face. To sing your praises to God and God alone, not an human because they are never worthy of anyone praises. Remember what he has done for us. You maybe saying to yourself, what has God done for me, let me go ahead and tell you my friend. God loves us so much he sent his one and only son Jesus into this world to die for the sins of all mankind (John 3:16) Everyone good and perfect gift that you have ever receive has come from God: such as food, clothing, housing, job, family, friends and the list truly goes on for all of us. Let us remember that God has never and I mean never broken a promise to his children, I can’t say that for us, we have all broken many promises that we have made to God over the years. In spite that we continue to sin against one another and God doesn’t stop God from loving us, because he truly knows our hearts. Once you have accept his son Jesus Christ as your personal Savior forever I can tell you that Never will He leave you, nor Never will He forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus has already taken the first step long before you were born to die for you because of your sins, won’t you take the next step and ask him into your heart forever, and believe me when I tell you that you will never regret of become a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus

Thank you for dying on the cross for all my sins and loving me even when I have not  love myself. I ask you into my heart to live forever, help me to become the person that you has design me to be.

In Jesus Name I Pray

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

There is Hope in God

Psalm 33.jpgWe wait in hope for the Lord, he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.                            (Psalm 33:20-22)

Oh God you are the Great I AM! For I put my hope in you and not just man or woman in this world. For you can turn something that was meant for evil and now it is good. Your master plan brings victory out of apparent defeat. For I look around in this world, a world that you have created to be good and we have turn it into a world that has so much pain. At times we feel so defeated with life itself, and our pain has become so deep within our souls. But Lord I know that you can bring beauty out of ashes of lost dreams, and you can bring pure joy out of our sorrows and pain. I believe that you are able to create beauty out of our brokenness and our struggles, for nothing is Impossible for God. You are the Great Physician, the Great Healer of everything in this world and we come to you with all of our pain. Lord we have been disappointment by others more time than we can ever count because we put our trust in them and not You, help us to always come to you first with these struggles of ours. We give you all of our sadness and our problems also, restore them to bring glory to your kingdom. Help us to have a closer walk with you not just every so often but have a walk with you each day, to be able to bring us pure joy here on earth.  Through the difficulties that we have in this world, I rejoice that you are always present with me, and I do not go thru this journey of mine alone. You are able to help me to cope with the pain I see all around me, and help me to trust in you more each day. When my day seems to become so overwhelming for me, help me to begin to Praise You and Worship you, for when I do my problems and struggles in my life is not important any more, just you Lord, My Lord and My Savior

Grace and Peace to You My Friends