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

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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

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

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