Jesus At The Temple

Matthew 21.pngJesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, “but you are making it a den of robbers.” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them, But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.                         Matthew 21:12-15

It was Passover week. The Passover was the highlight of the Jewish calendar. People came from all regions and many countries to be present for the celebration. Upon arriving, they were obligated to meet two requirements. First, an animal sacrifice, usually a dove. The dove had to be perfect, without blemish. If you brought a sacrifice from your won source, it would be considered insufficient by the authorities in the temple. So under the guise of keeping the sacrifice pure, the sellers sold doves at their price. Second, the people had to pay a yearly temple tax. During Passover, the tax had to be rendered in local currency. Knowing many foreigners would be in Jerusalem to pay the tax, money changers conveniently set up tables and offered to exchanged the foreign money for local for a modest fee, of course. It is not difficult to see what angered Jesus. Pilgrims journeyed days to see God, to witness the holy, to worship his majesty. But before they were taken into the presence of God, they were taken to the cleaners.

So I often wonder if Christians today take the time on a Sunday morning to just worship God,  one of the ten commandments is this Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy, or are we too busy conducting other business instead of doing what we are called to do. To be able to spend sometime on a Sunday morning worshipping God should be an honor for all, to give thanks for all He has done this past week. In order for all of us to have a walk with our Risen Lord we need to take the time in getting to know the “Great I Am”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Growing Closer to Jesus This Season!

The Season of Lent.png

Lent is a time for self-reflection and deepening one’s relationship with God in Jesus Christ. For many this season leading up to Easter will be weeks of giving up something they enjoy as a sign of contrition for mistakes they have made. Others will spend extra time in devotions and prayer, while a few more will carry a cross or nail in their pocket as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for them and the whole world.

If those practices work for you, wonderful! Others may want to find different ways of observing this holy season. Consider adopting one or more of the following creative uses of the days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

  1. Pray for others you see as you walk to and from throughout your day
  2. Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry.
  3. Participate in a Lent-a-Day-practice and pray each day with your camera in your hand. start praying
  4. Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along life’s journey.
  5. Create a daily quiet time. (this is something I do, I drive my youngest back and forth to school, and when I pick her up I am at her school an hour to spend time alone with God. Read a daily devotional for the season of lent.
  6. Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea, or coffee. Give the money you save to help local folks or those in a different part of the world who are in crisis.
  7. Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it ( maybe even yourself)
  8. Go deeper into your study in the Bible, be a part of a study group, and meditate on the words “I Am” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John
  9. Start a prayer rhythm. Each day of Lent, pray for another person.
  10. Tray and electronic fast, give up tv, face book, tweeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day each week.

 

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

God Is Always Near

Psalm 75We, give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For your wondrous works declare that Your Name is Near.                                                   Psalm 75:1

Don’t ever forget that God is near to you! At times He performs mighty miracles to remind us joust how close He is. But there are many times when we are not so consciously aware of His mighty and righteousness. This prayer address this problem directly. If we feel tempted to question whether God is even aware of our problems, we should begin to praise Him for his might. We should also remind ourselves that God is close to us and we should think of all the times that we have seen His power at work in the world. (the sun, clouds, stars, a newborn baby etc. ) God promised to bring justice to this world, but in His time. While we wait for God to act, we should keep praising him.

When we experience problems in life, it is often extremely difficult to wait on the Lord. The Israelites who were under the yoke of the Roman Empire felt exactly like that. They couldn’t wait for the Messiah to come. After centuries of waiting their hope was fulfilled in the baby who was born in Bethlehem. All that they had to do was wait for His perfect timing.

Whatever situation you might find yourself in today, think of one thing God has done for you recently, and sincerely thank Him for it. Praise Him because He is always near to you and rest assured that you will receive an answer to your prayers.

Jesus Christ is God’s everything for man’s total need  (Richard Halverson)

Are You Willing To Follow?

Matthew 14Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Lord, if it is you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.” Come” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said why did you doubt?”                                             Matthew 14:22-31

As we read these words from the Gospel of Matthew we can see a least two important lessons here. The first one is that Jesus knew how important it was to take time away from his disciples, the crowd and anything else to be alone with God. I truly believe that Jesus is telling us even today, that we need to be alone with God in prayer daily, to remain focus on God’s will for our lives. We at times can get caught up with our daily responsibilities that we don’t have the time to pray, and believe me that is when we become so drain with life and things are overwhelming for us to be able to handle them alone.  And if for some reason you are saying to yourself I don’t know how to pray, or even what to say no need to worry, pray the Lord’s prayer, and when you don’t know what to say the Holy Spirit will speak on your behalf, you only need to remain still. Just think of your prayer life as having a conversation with your friend, you speak and then you remain still and just listen. Many of us don’t have a quiet time, a quiet room where we can bare our souls to God. It’s not about the room, but about the quiet moments we spend alone with God. This is the reason that I choose for my blog almost two years ago “quiet moments with God”, I know how important it truly is for all of us to be able to poor out our soul to God. Charles H. Spurgeon a writer tells us “only the prayer which comes from our heart can get to God’s heart.

The next lesson is when the disciples was in the boat alone and when they all became afraid because of winds Jesus started to walk on the water, and telling them that they do not need to be afraid it was him. Peter wanted it make sure it was the Master that he ask Jesus to be able to come to him and so Peter did. Once Peter realize he was walking on the lake that he became so afraid that be he began to sink. Jesus is asking you and me are we willing to “Follow Him”.  Leave everything behind that you once knew to be able to follow him, it will not be easy but believe me when I tell you is that it will be worth it. We need to seek Jesus and we will find him when we seek him with all of our hearts. He does know the full extend of our weakness, and he realize our weakness. Jesus understands the brokenness within each of us and all around us. At times we can be easily distracted by this world of ours, and he wants us to seek him even through at times it truly can be hard to do so, and more important are you will to follow. This world can never give to any of us what our souls longs for and that is a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are created in God’s image and therefore we long to be with him, and the only way we can at least for now is to follow him, seek him with your heart. Are you willing my friend to follow Jesus Christ “The Great I Am”, he is calling, keep your eyes upon Jesus and don’t look back.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The White Christmas Stocking

15326559_1498968713451506_7971938639799325705_n                                        I  came across this article about the White Christmas Stocking that I felt I wanted to share it with others who came across my blog post.

                                       THE WHITE STOCKING (adapted by Carolyn Cox, Canberra)

‘Twas the night before Christmas as I walked through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The presents had been wrapped and placed under the tree

I paused, tired, excited, and then giggled with glee.

The stockings were hanging and were beautifully filled

No one had been forgotten, though the credit card was billed.

As I looked at the scene with the stockings on the ledge.

I noticed one was empty, the one on the edge.

Where’s the Spirit of Christmas – What have I done?

The children’s stockings are all full, except for this one

It was the stocking intended for the child of Bethlehem.

The White stocking for Jesus that was hung up by them.

Of all the people at Christmas, that might be forgotten

How could I not remember the Fathers Only Begotten?

Only He had been left out of the festivities.

As we planned and prepared all, for our families.

As I pondered, I realized this just was not right!

It was His birth that was being celebrated, after this night

I resolved then and there to remember the Lord

And quickly made changes that were easy to afford.

I hung the white stocking in a special place in our home.

And corrected the atmosphere to provide a more spiritual tone.

On Christmas morning I gathered the family together

And each of us wrote on a special piece of paper,

We gave Jesus a gift which we placed in the stocking.

A sincere change of heart, not there for the mocking.

The white stocking hung in our home as a symbol for us

Of the true meaning of Christmas – the Savior, The Lord Jesus

So take your white stocking and hang it with pride

Remember the Savior, put his gift inside

(The White Stocking found at motivatedmamas.net)

Living with Purpose

Proverbs 19.pngListen to advice and accept discipline and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. What a person desires is unfailing love better to be poor than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, that one rests content, untouched by trouble.             Proverbs 19:20-23

Living on purpose is the only way to really live, everything else is just existing. Most people struggle with different issues one is who am I, do I truly matter, and why was I born for and what is my purpose is. One way to find the answer of your question is to seek God out, spend time with him through his words and in prayer and believe when he is ready he will tell you what your purpose is here on earth. Once you know what God wants you to do, the blessings comes in actually doing it. Our life purpose is to worship Christ with our whole heart, serve him with our shape, fellowship with his family, grow like him in character, and fulfill his mission in the world so he receives glory. My life purpose is to be a member of Christ’s family, a model of his character, a minister of his grace, a messenger of his word, and a magnifier of his glory. My life purpose is to love Christ, grow in Christ, share Christ, and serve Christ through his church. and to lead my family and others to do the same. In other words Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Jesus has commission all of his disciples including you and me, to share his love with others, to walk humbly with our God. To make disciples for his kingdom, my friend we as Christians are all expected to do this how you may ask, by sharing your faith with someone today it is that simply.  We all need to continue to become the hands and feet of Christ while we still live here on earth, when others sees us they truly see the “Great I Am” through all of us and in this way they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends