Even To The End Of The Age

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Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

This Scripture gives us the assurance of the holy and continuous presence of the living Christ. Our Savior makes sure there is no doubt about it. Christ appears to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. These apostles were the founders of the universal church. Would this small group be able to carry out such a challenging task? To found and expand the church? Not if it depended on their own abilities, but it was possible with the omnipotence of the Master, who said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18) Christ rules His church through His Word and leads it through His Spirit. Our task is merely to contribute towards it. When is Jesus with us, in the church, and in the hearts of His believing children? Our Scripture says “always”! His promise is that He will always be present in our lives with His Spirit and with His grace, an enduring and uninterrupted Presence. 

We know that all days are different: There are sunny days, but also ominous and dark days; there are days when our hearts sing with joy, but also days when our hearts sob with misery and grief. There are days of firm and unshakable faith, but also days of doubt and stumbling, when we need to plead, “Help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) In His supreme wisdom God broke our lives up into pieces that we call days. the days all differ, but Christ promised, “I am with you always!”

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for the promise that you will always be with us now and forever.                        Amen

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

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Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8.pngThen he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on a lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him saying, Lord save us! We’re going to drown! He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?” Even the winds and the waves obey him!”                 Matthew 8:23-27

Violent storms are common on the Sea of Galilee due to the location of the lake. Sudden storms occur with destructive force so that the existing calmness can be transformed into raging storm within minutes. But this story is about far more than the calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It was important to the disciples as well as being important to us today. The incident tells us that wherever in life Jesus Christ is, there the storms of life are calmed.

When the cold, bleak winds of sorrow blow around us, there is calmness in the comforting presence of Jesus. When the hot winds of passion blow, we find security and peace in Jesus’ presence. When gale-force winds of doubt threaten to uproot the foundations of our faith, there is peaceful safety with Jesus Christ. For every storm that shakes the human heart, there is peace with Jesus.

The meaning and lesson of this event illustrate to us that when the storms of life shake our souls, Jesus is there, and in His presence the raging storm turns into peace that no storm can rob us of. 

He came in complete human form to meet a universal need in a way that is adequate for all times and places and is without parallel or substitute.        (H.D.Lewis)

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 

Unexpected Blessings

Psalm 8.png Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!                                                                          Psalm 8

As you read these words written by King David which can be found in the Old Testament, these words rings so true in todays world. Too many times we as humans seem to get pleasure of complain about something or someone, and we love to give ourselves a pity party every now and then. However instead of complaining to someone what if we begin to stop and realize the blessings that God has given to all of mankind. As each day gets shorter because of the winter drawing near I take walks after dark or early in the morning, and I just love to look up to the heavens to see the beautiful canvas that God has created with the stars, it is truly breath taken for all to see. I just stand still looking up and feel the wind upon my face and listen quietly for the voice of my heavenly father, and for me to say Thank You, this is just so beautiful. As I was planting the bulbs for springtime again I think what a blessing for me to see next spring the beautiful colors within each flower and knowing with the dead of the winter it will not be the end but all is asleep waiting for the beginning warmth to burse out in song to our Creator, God Almighty and all the colors will be amazing for us humans to enjoy. When the fall season begins at least for myself I enjoy the apple and pumpkin picking with my children as seeing all the beautiful colors from each and every tree. For many people it is a reminder of the winter coming closer but for me it reminds me of the harvest blessings that God has given to his children.  There are so many wonderful blessings around each of us each and everyday we truly don’t need to look too far to find them.

So on this day that God has given to you look around for his unexpected blessings he has given to you.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

You Can Not Hide From God

Psalm 139.jpgYou have searched me, Lord and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is a light to you. For you created in my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, “God!” How vast is the sum of them! Where I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand–when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent, your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them, I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.                                     (Psalm 139:1-24)

These are wonderful words from the book of Psalm, we can read them many times to realize that we can never run away from God. There is no sin so horrible where his love cannot reach us no matter how are we may try. Jesus is Immanuel which means God is with us, and who is an ever present help in times of trouble. No matter what happens, Jesus is sufficient to provide whatever we need. Jesus is my Rock and Redeemer, the one I need no matter who maybe around me. There have been many times in my life where my pain has been so deep from others, however you Lord understand what I am going thru. When others seems to say things that are untrue, your love blankets me, and I know that I am safe from harm with the everlasting love of Jesus. You know me and you know my heart from within, search me to see if there is anything that should not be within me, so that I can continue to keep you closer to my than my own breath. May I Worship the one True God only the “Great I Am” the one whose love is unchanging from day to day.  My Lord it is better one day in your counts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 85:10) These words from the book of Psalm as also my words Oh Lord! my prayer is that I continue to walk humbly with my God and My redeemer, now and forever.

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Storms

Psalm 107.jpgThen they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and be brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord unfailing love, and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.   Psalm 107:28-32

There are so many times that the storms that we go thru are so very hard, they weight us down with worries, and at times cause emotional pain. Even when we share those problems with someone we called a friend it really doesn’t make us feel any better, all we can seem to say they just don’t understand what you are going thru, and too many times all they can do is simply judge us for any decision we have made. We look up to the heavens and ask God why must I endure these hard times, why can’t life be a little bit more easy to go thru, do you hear me God? do you care or even understand what I am dealing with right now? Once we seem to go thru with being angry at God for any difficult times you need to know that you can laid them all down to God in prayer. Even though there is no relief in sight, your trouble are actually light from an eternal perspective. Your problems feel so heavy because you have given them too much power. Each time you focus on them and forget about Jesus, you empower them a bit more. Jesus wants you and me to put all of our life troubles down long enough to view the vast expanse of Life that is spread out before you, all the way into eternity! Our problems feels like a big wave ready to crash down onto our world, but when we give all of the problems that we are carrying inside of us to Jesus, he calms those storms to give us his peace. The book of Psalm is filled with all the emotions that we seem to go thru each and everyday of our own lives, and once we go thru these difficult emotions we can begin to Praise our Lord thru the storms in our lives, because what I can tell each and everyone who reads these post is that Jesus does care what we go thru, he understands all the emotions we go thru as well, all we need to do is to bring them all to him so that he can calm all the storms we carry in our lives, and we do not need to.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”

Matthew 11:28

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

A Morning Meditation

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God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields
[d] with fire.
 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.                       (Psalm 46)

 

Lord as I read these words from the book of Psalm in which King David wrote many chapters, and I think these words sound a lot like what I am going thru and trying to make sense of it all. You Lord are my refuge and strength, especially when I am hurting deep down and I just want to run and hide, hide from all people.  People  who seems to only want to be my personal judge and jury and the ones that for some reason can not find a kind word to share. I know that you Lord understand my pain and the ache in my heart all I seem to do is feel the tears of sadness running down my face. The tears that each night and morning are on my pillow and wondering when will this pain finally go away.  As I read this chapter in Psalm I stubble on verse ten, when you say Be Still and Know that I am God. You are God, Oh Lord, your are the Great I am, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You know me even better than I know myself, and you knew me long before I was in my mother’s womb.

You have search me, Lord and you know me, you know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where I can flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven you are there, if I make my bed in the depths you are there, You are everywhere Oh Lord, do not leave me or ever forsake me, for I am your child, your daughter and I forever will Praise Your Name.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends