The Promise of Hope

John 14  If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you and another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. 

John 14:15-18

There is something terribly painful about losing a parent, even of the person was elderly and forgetful. When a second parent dies, the child’s small world of comfort and security that they grew up in is something of the past. These feelings I also had recently, I lost my mom while growing up and this past Christmas season my father as well. It seems so long ago when I was a little girl that I did have a safe and secure place, and everything in life is always changing. Often students who finish their course and leave college feel the same when they say good-bye to teachers and friends as well.

Jesus knew that this was precisely what His disciples would experience at His death. Without Him they would feel lost. like orphaned children. He knew they would be heartbroken. But He would come back again, back from the dead to comfort them and inspire them to accomplish their mission. Tragedy would change to triumph. They would not despair any longer. Their night would be changed into a brighter day. The miracle of Jesus resurrection would change their whole world. And Jesus would be with them again.

If you feel lonely, or if despair makes you feel that life is pointless, or if painful experiences have made you a broken person, think about this promise the Master made. It comes from Jesus Himself. It is as true for you as it ever was for those first disciples. It often seems that the world is without God and one can easily feel rejected. Don’t give in to these feelings. There is greater Presence, whether you sense it or not. Jesus is with you today, tomorrow, and every day of your life. He will hold you tight through all tragedy and trauma that might still await you.

Prayer: Jesus I ask that you all stay close to me for without you it would be impossible to face another day.                           Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Being Grateful

Luke 17.pngFrom the time we are tiny children, our parents are constantly reminding us to have good manners. When you ask for something, what do your parents tell you to say? Please, and when you receive something from someone for you to say Thank You. In the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19 Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into the village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” When he saw the, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests. ” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Were not all then cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

In today’s world leprosy can been controlled with medication, but in the days of our Lord it was incurable and a slow growing and painful disease, and many died from it. It was an infectious and contagious and as a result lepers were shunned and separated from the community into a leper’s colony. Jesus came upon ten men who wanted to be cleansed by him, and under the law of Moses when a person was cleansed of leprosy there was a ritual they followed which included certain sacrifices and showing themselves to the priests. These men did as Jesus had told them to do which was go and seek the priests for a clean bill of health. You see the leprosy was a disease which the Jews supposed to be inflicted for the punishment of some particular sin, and to be, more than other diseases, a mark of God’s displeasure; and therefore Christ, who came to take away sin, and turn away wrath, took particular care to cleanse the lepers that fell in his way. The story of Jesus healing the ten lepers in this chapter appears immediately after a teaching conversation Jesus indicates that obedience to God is not something extra we do to receive his thanks and rewards. Rather, it is our duty to serve him, just like it is a servant’s duty to serve his master. Our pride sometimes twists this truth and tells us that we should expect God to thank us for all we do to serve him. But Jesus teaches here that true faith is total dependence on God and a willingness to unselfishly do His will. This conversation, combined with the story of the ten lepers, puts gratitude in its proper perspective. God is the one deserving of gratitude because of the grace and mercy he freely gives to those of us who do not deserve it. For the benefit of his hears, Jesus pointed out the fact that he cleansed all ten lepers, and not just the one.  We as humans need to understand that all we have in this world is a gift from God and so as the many gifts that he has given us we need to show some thankfulness to the one who as given us all.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Praise the Lord, my soul

Psalm 103.jpgThere are times in our lives when we find it difficult to Praise our Lord, when our pain within the very being of our soul, that is when we find it so difficult. This is when I find that reading the book of Psalm brings me comfort. King David was one of the writers for this book, it is a book that is filled with prayers, many prayers, as well as songs that truly express the full range of human emotion, that we all seem to go thru. It represent personal journals of the different writers and their relationship with God. The thoughts and feelings they express helps people like you and me draw near to the Lord just like they did. I personally have been on a difficult journey in my own life, just trying to understand it all, and how painful this has been and still is, and not having answers of where I am going and just trying to understand it all. As I opened up my Bible and just thinking of what I want to say to God and longing for that deep relationship with him, I came across these words that King David wrote and it reminds me of myself.

Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—-who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed light the eagles. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses; his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever, he does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his love for those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him, for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field, the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul.             (Psalm 103 NIV)

It really doesn’t matter where I am going, or how long it all may take me, all I need to do is simply Trust My Lord day by day.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Crucifixion Cross

crrown of thorns.pngThe Soldiers Mock Jesus                                      (Matthew 27:27-31 NIV)

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus to the place called the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and they took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the Roman Empire. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for salves, those from the provinces under the control, and the lowest type of criminals. It was not to be used for a Roman citizen. This is in accord with the Biblical account of Christ’s death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified (Peter  believed to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified the same position that Christ was) but Paul, a Roman citizen who was to  became a disciple later was beheaded. So although Jesus was completely innocent of all sin, he suffered the most horrible, degrading punishment knows. And yet his agonizing death was not an ordinary death…since he suffered for the sins of the world and turned this apparent defeat into a glorious resurrection that would, hereafter, defeat the power of all sin and death. Indeed, through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in him.

Grace and Peace to you my friends