Here Am I, Send Me!

 

Isaiah 6.png

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple, Above him were seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the world earth is full of his glory. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. I am ruined. For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this as touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, Se”nd Me!”                                Isaiah 6:1-8

These words are written by the prophet Isaiah. Although some prophets predicted future events their primary role was to call God’s people back to him. The most eloquent of the prophets, Isaiah, analyzed the failures of all nations, around him and pointed to a future Messiah who would bring peace to the nation and to the earth. After the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, he meet with the eleven disciples in Galilee, and told them what he expect them to do. “All authority is heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 18-19. This is know as the Great Commission in the Gospel.

For anyone who personal knows me, you know that I have been on a journey in becoming a license local Pastor through the United Methodist Church. I can truly tell you and honestly say to you it has been a difficult one as well as a filling one, during these last few years, and yet I still have so much to learn. At times I have question God more than once, Lord, are you sure you have the right person for this job, one would think to say God knows what he is doing even when I do not. I have been bless to serve in churches while their own Pastor is away and even a few months while one was on sabbatical. I once was told by a Pastor as long as I have a willing heart God is able to use me, and he has at that. I have spent many hours in prayer and search the scriptures to try to understand what God’s will for my life is, and many times these words from the book of Isaiah comes to my mind, “Here AM I Lord, Send Me. Today before our service began someone had given me something in which he had written for me, as well as another young man on the same journey. As I read these words it once again confirm what God has called me to do.    

JerryJerry 3  I may never know the person or persons I have touch along my journey, I ask our Lord to use me to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to all who wants to know. What I can share with any and all who reads these words that I write down on my blog, you are God’s most precious gift and He loves you, simply because you are His Child. God sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ into this world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast.             (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Eileen

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Compassion

Matthew 11.png    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-29

Through these words written in the Gospel of Matthew, Christ speaks to people who are desperate in their search for God, trying hard to live a good life. Jesus’ invitation is meant for those who have become tired in their search for God and have been driven to despair. He invites those who have to shoulder heavy burdens in their search for the truth to come to Him. The Greeks believed it was hard to find God and when you did, it was difficult to tell anyone about Him. Zophar ask Job, “Can you solve the mysteries of God?” Can you discover everything about the Almighty? (Job 11:7)

The only way to get to know God is to focus on Jesus. The religion of the orthodox Jews was a heavy burden to them ( Matthew 23:4) It was a matter of endless rules and regulations, which weighed heavily on them in all spheres of life. The life Jesus gives us is not a burden that weighs us down, but a life that is specially made to suite each of us.

Christ’s yoke is put on our shoulders with love, and love makes even the heavies load light. When we think of the love of God, when we know that our “burden” is to love God, to love our fellow humans, then the burden becomes a song. The burden given with love is carried with love and therefore it is always light.

John Baillie a Scottish Theologian and Minister wrote “Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens, Give me a willing hear to bear the burden of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord.

Prayer: Loving Father God, thank you that your burden never becomes too heavy for your children.                         Amen

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

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 

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

Always Near

Matthew 28These words from the book of Matthew are comforting words that Jesus tells his disciples before he ascending into heaven “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” One of the most glorious truths of the gospel is that the living Christ, who became human for our sakes, is and always stays with each believer. How comforting this is to know, especially when our hearts are filled with sadness we cannot explain. Even if some of us struggle to experience this Jesus as a reality in our lives, He is with us whenever we might be-where we get to know Him better, when we praise and worship Him, even where we try to break through our doubts and uncertainties. He tells us wherever we may go, even in our moments of deepest doubts. We know, however, that when we grab hold of this gracious offer, we will have to break with all our sins. We cannot live in Christ’s presence on our own conditions. The only way we can experience and enjoy His presence is when we obey His will. Without the living Christ as your Savior, you don’t dare to venture into the unknown future. But when He is King of your life, He is always present. And through His Spirit you become increasingly aware of Jesus’ presence with every step you take into the future. A.W, Tozer a well known Christian Preacher, Author, and Spiritual Mentor says this: We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our soul, closer than our most secret thought. In other words their is nothing that anyone can truly hide from God because God is all knowing, and he knows our hearts and our secret thoughts.

Prayer: I praise and thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are always there for me. You will never leave me or forsake me, and I thank you for that. Help me to have a closer walk with you each and everyday of my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Being The Hands & Feet of Christ

Matthew 25.pngThe words of Jesus taken from the Gospel of Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did fro one of the least of these brother and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

For the last many weeks we have seen so much horrible things happen on the news each day, from hurricanes, wildfire, earthquake, and even deadly shootings and many will say where is God when we need him? Take a good look around my friends and you can see him everywhere. After any tragedy that we see around us we can also see many people being the hands and feet of Christ, during and after hurricanes and even today you still can see many people helping the ones that are in need, neighbors helping neighbors, and even strangers helping someone they do not even know. After the earthquake we can also see the same others thinking of someone else long before they think of themselves. During the shooting in Las Vegas we have heard so many different stories of strangers coming to the aide of someone they don’t even know and even some sacrificing their own lives to save another and through this horrible acts of one man you can see the love of Christ pouring out among one another. Strangers standing in line to give blood, others handing food out to those same people as they wait.  When any of us see someone in need we are called to act to help someone else. Christ lives in each of us and when we become the hands and feet of Christ we become more like him in many ways. There are so many ways if we just think for a moment we are able to help someone such as helping at your food pantry, giving the clothes you no longer want or need to a complete stranger, many places during the cold months have a coat drive, or collect hats and gloves for children. At Christmas time the Marines do a drive called Toys for Tots, donate food to a church during the holidays and anytime through out the year. What about a animal shelter God wants us to also help his animals by giving anyway we possible can. How about visiting a neighbor who may live alone, or a nursing home where many residents never get any visitor. God gives us many ways for us to become his hands and feet by doing his work here on earth. And thru it all just a simple hug to another who is hurting so deeply is something they really need at that time. In the book of Romans 12:13 the Apostle Paul tells us Share with the Lord’s people who are in need . Practice hospitality.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends