Tag Archive | Christ

True Brother

I never cease to be amazed by the Word of God.              

The Holy Bible.

Each and every time I read it, I learn something new.

Even if I have read the same story ten times,

Something new will always shine through.

Since school began, our church has been studying the parables in the book of Luke.

-In case you don’t know, parables are just stories, told to make a point-

I can’t even say how many times I’ve read those stories.

What I can tell you is that this time around,

A couple of things stood out to me in a different way.

I would like to share them with you here.

The first parable Jesus tells us about in Luke 15,

is about sheep.

This parable is about one hundred sheep.

                Actually, it is about one sheep.

Here’s the way the story unfolds;

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The second parable in Luke 15 is about a coin, and it goes like this;

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The third and final parable in Luke 15 is about a prodigal son. 

A run-a-way.

Jesus tells it like this;

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

I’ll start with the last one first.

As I said before, I have heard this story many, many times.

I have heard it preached as “The Prodigal Son”.

The son ran away and it seems like he had to do that to understand how good he really already had it.

I have heard it taught as “The Running Father”.

The father was so overwhelmed with joy at his sons return, that he ran to meet him.  (Very undignified, by the way, for a Jewish man in stately robes!)

I have heard it presented as “The Jealous Son”.

The older son stayed home and worked for his father, but had a pretty bad attitude about it, and was royally upset that his run-a-way brother got the party.

This time, the story was told very differently.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have come up with it myself.

This time it was taught as “The Missing Older Brother”.

Who was this missing older brother? 

He was the one telling the story.

He was Jesus.

If we have trusted Jesus, then He is our older brother.

He is our Brother, because when we are rescued by God,

Then we become His children.

Brothers and sisters of Christ.

*In the parable of the coin, the woman rejoiced with her friends because she found it again.

*In the parable of the sheep, the shepherd rejoiced because what was once lost was found.

*In the parable of the prodigal son, there was a great party and celebration because of the sons return.

*In our own parable, there is rejoicing in heaven when we choose to follow Jesus, when we choose to become His family.

Please note; in the coin story, the woman lit a lamp to help to find her coin, and rejoiced with her friends when she found it.

Please note; in the sheep story, the shepherd went to retrieve his lost sheep, then returned to the flock of ninety-nine.

In the story of the run-a-way son,

The son had to choose to come home.

I never noticed that before, so it made me ask why?

The answer was so simple; I didn’t know how I missed it.

He (God) chose us from the beginning.

We must choose Him.

We must choose to make our home with Him.

We must choose to be His family.

If He made us be His family, then we would be like robots.

He wants us to choose Him, so that we can be happy with our choice. 

We want a Significant Encounter with Him.

He does not want to keep us as slaves with Him against our will.

That makes the choosing so much more important, really significant.

And the celebration in heaven and on earth much bigger and better!

Have you chosen Him today?

Have you encountered Him yet?

If you have – We all rejoice!

                If you have not but would like to,

                                Please click on the “Rescue” tab on the

Top of this page.

Oh and, Welcome to the family!  We celebrate you this day!

Your Value

 

What do you value?

What is your treasure?

In the hallway of the school my second grade granddaughter attends, there is a sign. 

I pass it on Thursdays as I go to help in her classroom.

It says this;

“The most valuable things in the world aren’t things”.

What a truth, simply stated.

Our relationships with God and people should carry more value than anything else we could ever have or do.

I have a friend who raised her children to consider what she calls “The preciousness of others”.

I had never heard that phrase before, nor had I ever considered any remotely like that.

“The preciousness of others”.  Selah.  Stop and think of that.

Isn’t that the very thing that the world we live in does not do? 

Isn’t that the very thing that each of us has a longing for?

To be of value to someone.

To be a treasure to someone.

To be precious.

I never sensed that growing up.

I know that I am not alone in that.

Quite the opposite actually.

It’s not a very exclusive club.

The club of the undervalued, the un-treasured, the un-precious.

Look around.  We see it everywhere.

The importance of our personal comfort outweighs the importance of helping others along who just need a hand or a kind word. 

It’s true. Helping others can be way uncomfortable.

The importance of having the latest gadget outweighs the importance of living with less and loving our families more.  

They don’t want more gadgets.  They want us.  They want to know that they matter.

The importance convenience outweighs the value of giving and nurturing new life. 

This has left our hearts so confused that there is almost no hope left in them.

But someone gave up His comfort, so that we could be valued.

That same Someone loves us with His whole heart. 

In fact, He treasures us above all creation.

We were created to be precious in His sight.

All the things that our hearts so long for, those are the reasons He came.

He came to speak truth to us in the midst of our confusion.

The lie we have believed in;

The lie of comfort.

The lie of dying with the best toys.

The lie that we don’t matter.

He came to refute those lies with the truth.

 

Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so.

 Little ones to Him belong;  They are weak, but He is strong.

 Chorus:

 Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!

 Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know, As He loved so long ago,

 Taking children on His knee,  Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

 Chorus

 Jesus loves me when I’m good,  When I do the things I should,

 Jesus loves me when I’m bad,  Though it makes Him very sad.

 Chorus

 Jesus loves me still today, Walking with me on my way,

 Wanting as a friend to give Light and love to all who live.

 Chorus

 Jesus loves me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide;

 He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in.

 Chorus

 Jesus loves me! Loves me still Tho’ I’m very weak and ill;

 That I might from sin be free Bled and died upon the tree.

 Chorus

 Jesus loves me! He will stay Close beside me all the way;

 Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee.

 Chorus

 

Little ones.  Weak ones. Sick ones.  We ones. 

Walking by our side.

When we’re good.  When we’re bad. 

He came for that.  He came for us.

We are valued by Him.

We are treasured by Him.

We are precious in His sight.

 

If you have a relationship with Jesus, remember no matter what, your value is always in Him.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus yet, then please click on the “Rescue” tab above.

You’ll find all you need right there on that page.

He loves you.

He’s waiting.   

 

A Word For Christians

SO.  You’ve got the fire insurance. Your forever home will be Heaven.

“But I thought that everything would change when I met Christ.

Nothing’s changed.

In fact, it’s gotten worse!”

Psalm 13:1-2 (NIV)  How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day has sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Even the most notable Christian leaders of our time have experienced the same thing. 

It does not matter who you are. 

Well known or unknown, weak or strong, rich or poor.

It doesn’t matter where you are. 

In a house or in a hut, on a boat or in a plane, in a big city or the smallest of towns.

It doesn’t matter whether you are well-educated or not educated at all. 

The same thing is common for all of the types listed above.

Things can get worse after receiving Christ. 

“Why?” you ask.

Simply put, you now have an enemy. 

 He would like to destroy the potential you gained by saying “Yes” to Jesus.

If you have not said “Yes” to Jesus , please see the “Rescue” tab on this blog.

Why would I want to say “Yes” if this is what is going to happen? 

We’ll look at that shortly.

In the following scriptures, you will read what God says about

you and your struggle.     

Romans 8:37-39 (NASB)  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can separate us from His love.  What can separate us from the love of God?

Nothing.  No thing.  This love is shown to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So how can we ever stand up against this enemy of our souls? 

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NASB) Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13-15 (CEV)  So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.  Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor.  Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.

 

OK.  How do I do this?

 

Read God’s word.  He sent this love letter/road map to guide us in our days here on this earth.  It is …. The Truth.  If we read it, we will know what He thinks about all the things that concern us.

Repent.  What does that mean?  The easiest way I’ve ever heard it said is this way.  Recognize your wrong doing, and turn around and go the other way.  A change of   direction.  God’s word is full of directions for this change.                          Righteousness begins here. 

Be obedient.  Submit your will to God (not as in door mat submit, but as in I love You God submit) Reading His word will show us how He thinks. The first thing we’ll notice is that what He thinks and what the world we live in thinks are very much opposite.  This is why this new life with Christ can be so difficult.  His word never promises it will be easy, it does promise however that it will be worth it.         Strength comes from obedience.

Be intentional.  You’ll have to choose to be intentional.  The enemy of your soul won’t like it one bit.  He’ll distract you at every turn.  You’ll need to choose again and again.  As you choose though, you will see that the choosing becomes easier.           We are beginning to be ready, the gospel shoes are beginning to fit. 

Receive God’s peace.  God’s word gives us peace in our heart.  No matter what goes on in our daily lives, the peace of God lives in our hearts.  When we are in the center of His will for us, He will fully provide for us, no matter how things look.   This means that even in extreme circumstances, we can be at peace.

So here we are, regarding to your question about saying “Yes” to Jesus.

Isn’t it a most amazing idea to have a peaceful heart in the middle of, well …. everything?

Right?

Good Girls Don’t …..



Good girls don’t….
 
 But you do.”

I’ll never forget those words as long as I live.

What kind of words are those to speak to a girl who is barely a teenager?

Scripture tells us that words have the power to bring either life or death.

Well those words spoken to me during that time, used their power to bring death.

This bio-dad of mine spoke words of death over me, his own flesh and blood.

Did he know? Did he care? That really doesn’t matter now.

The fruit of death simmered next to my heart,

rotten to my soul for the first half of my life.

Those words burned on my insides,

and confirmed that I was indeed worthless.

Their poison had soaked into the very fabric of my being.

I had no idea what God said in His word about me at the time,

so I simply acted out what I knew to be true.

I became a “Bad Girl”.

The words bio-dad said about “good” girls continued to simmer on the inside.

Proverbs 18:21   (NIV) The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

As a young mom I wondered that there must be a way to protect my children from the same mind numbing shame.

Not that they would be abused,

But I felt that somehow my “uncleanness” would somehow get on them.

It became ever important for me to find out how to keep them safe from the same fate.

 

What would I do with the words spoken to me?  Could the power of those words be changed?

As a young Christian, I learned that change was possible.

 

(Please see the Rescue page on this blog if you do not know Christ)

 

I found I needed God’s point of view on the matter.

Then, after reading the verses 500 times,

I read them again, and this time, they went straight to my heart.

They told me what God Himself thought about those words of evil spoken over me.

Here’s what they said;

John 6:63 (NIV)  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you

They are full of the Spirit and life.

Could it be that what God thought of me was the exact opposite of bio-dads words?

It was certainly worth a try.

So I put my trust in Him.

Over and over and over.

Those old thoughts were sticky and hard to get rid of.

Persistence and believing what God said now began to rule the life I was living.

It was a new life, a life of truth.

My history held no surprise for Him,

And God only needed for me to acknowledge HIS thoughts to begin healing.

 

Psalms 139:13 – 16 (NASB) 13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

You will read these last verses probably more than any others on this blog.

These words are true.

These words are life.

These words are what God thinks.

The real truth is, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says!

He knew you before you ever were, and made you special, for a real reason, for His glory,

and believe it or not, a real relationship with Him!

So please consider writing these verses on a card and keeping them handy.

 

Read. Recite. Repeat.