“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.“ Hebrews 13:8 NIV
Aren’t you glad we serve a consistent King? He loves us every day and he always cares. His mercies are new every morning. He promises to take care of our needs today. He tells us not to worry about tomorrow because he’s got that taken care of too. He is so good. His biggest concern is that we love. Love him and love others. To let people know he loves them no matter where they are at in their lives. When Jesus was alive on earth he was definitely one to be admired and liked. He never met anyone that he did not care about. It did not matter if they were male or female., rich or poor, black or white, Jew or Gentile. He even knew prostitutes, murderers, and thieves, but he treated everyone with love and respect. He may have put the proud and arrogant in their place but he did it out of love knowing where their lives were heading to death. He only did those things he saw his father doing so we know by seeing him we got a glimpse of God. God and Jesus both care the same. They’ve had a plan in motion from the very beginning to bring us together. There is nothing as good as family spending time together. They are always with us in this world, because this world can be a scary place. But they have made a way for us to be together forever in a perfect place where there will be no more pain. It will be perfect. We will be a family and all know each other. Everyone will be accepted and loved. Murder, hate,and wickedness will be gone. Jesus gave up his life just for us, it wasn’t easy but he saw the end from the beginning and knew it was all worth it. We are not perfect, that is not why he called us. He wanted us to be like our father and they help us to be. On our own we are just filthy rags but with his help we are jewels. He helps us be his hands and feet. Touching lives each day of people who don’t know him.
Do you know this great King?
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
How much God does love us. Every day as I set out to write I seek God’s will for what to write about. So yesterday I felt led to write about his great love for us and how much he has done for us. I felt so overwhelmed by his goodness and just couldn’t come up with the words to express my feelings. Some days I just don’t have it. I can’t write and feel inadequate. But after spending time seeking him and remembering that it isn’t me that has any power to get it done, I relax. Our God loves us and we can see this through his words. In the very beginning he had a perfect plan to shower us with everything good and give us a perfect life with himself to share it. He made our amazing universe. Billions of stars and billions of galaxies. He doesn’t do things part way but in great abundance. A world that could sustain us and keep us safe and happy, but one that we could never get bored with. We could spend forever discovering it’s beauty and greatness. He made a garden that was more beautiful than any since. And he made man in his own image with everything needed to make us mighty and wise. It was very good to a perfect God. There was nothing evil. He also gave us free will to chose and we let that control us. We wanted what was good but let ourselves get in the way of what was great. “For no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 God still wanted man after he was banished from the garden and he had to make a way for us to be together again. His own son would come to earth as a poor helpless baby, giving up his place in glory. He would live a perfect life and freely give his life to be killed in a horrible way, just to save us. We did not deserve it, and we could never earn it. We were bought at such an exorbitant price and that price was God’s very own son. Now we could be free. Our salvation made it possible for God to see us as perfect again. We would no longer die but live with him in perfection forever. No, everything he does is to help us become perfect. He is in no hurry, but patiently and lovingly he will continue to work on us. We were never created for a mediocre life but a very good and awesome life. To be all that we can be. We have to sacrifice our desires for the one who knows better than us, what we really need. We need to love sacrificially. Loving God, our neighbor and even those we don’t want to love. Those that might not deserve it,. The more we give, the more he gives. It’s a win win situation.
How many want to be all you can be?
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 NIV
Who wants to be disciplined? Nobody, but it is important. The other day someone told me how as a young kid they had stolen fireworks and when dad found out he showed them the stars all right. They were spanked so hard that they never did that again. But discipline is so that we learn to do right and to be safe. Our parents love us so much and they really want the very best for us. They don’t want to see us hurting ourselves in a life of crime or getting blown up. Our parents may not be perfect but they are doing the best they can with their limited knowledge. God, though, is all knowing. He has lovingly formed us with all we need to become all we can be. He is all knowing and knows our every thought and how we will behave. He also knows just what it will take to have a wonderful, full life. It was him who made us how we are so he knows our needs better than we do. He has promised to make all that happens to us work for our good. If he is always looking out for us he will never tell us to do something wrong, for us. If we want a full life we should listen to him and follow his commands. They are not there to hinder us but to help us be our best. God wants us free, happy, loved, respected, and successful. It may not be exactly what we want but it will make us happy. I am his creation and he knows best and following his design and what works best only makes me run better. I have done it both ways, my way, messing things up badly. I’ve done it his way, boy does that work better. Even doing it my way he didn’t reprimand me but kept loving me. He understands that the world is not perfect and neither are we. We may want to do good but we will never do it perfectly. We are all sinners saved by the grace of God. He will forgive us. He just hates to see us doing things that will not help us but only hurt us. Now I try to live like Jesus would. He wanted to be just like his dad and I do too. Each day I look into his mirror and see if I look more like him. Where do I need to work? I need more unconditional love for less than perfect people. I’m sure I’ll be a work in progress for some time but I can see improvement and that makes me happy.
Do you want to live a full life?
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:10 NIV
God loved us, each and every one of us. At any given point in time that would be several billion people for many years. The God who created this wonderful planet and everything on it. He thought of each and every one of us, before even time began, and he loved each of us with a perfect love. It doesn’t matter if you ever return that love or not. He still loves you. He is the great creator and the creator of love. Propitiation means being reconciled with God. I have been redeemed and nothing can separate me from the perfect love of my father. No one or nothing can ever love us like God. No one is perfect but God. We will all fail to love perfectly because we are not perfect. When men separate themselves from God, thinking that they are better or all they need, they are missing out on the greatest life has to offer. Saying, basically, I don’t need it. The mercy and grace my father has for us, as well as the hope for eternal life, forever perfect life, is not to be missed out on. I can wake every morning with a joy that is unbelievable but it is mine through his great love for me, his daughter. I never ever want to lose that. I have listened to so many people talk about their endeavors for that perfect life without God. There is so much striving and turmoil after perfection. Happiness isn’t really an option. It’s just making sure you are better off than the next guy. Having more on your own is supposed to make you the winner. It doesn’t matter that it might never make you happy. So many people go through life this way and it is so sad. I don’t care if I have the most toys when I die. I don’t even care if I have toys. I can have nothing but the love of my Heavenly Father and a life with him forever. That’s all I want. I have learned during my time at this nursing home that our earthly bodies are failing. We can not know for sure that we will always be in the race for success. But all I need to do is keep his commandments and love him all I can and all others too. That is simple to me because he gives me all the help I need. In myself I can’t do it, but with God all things are possible. This makes me happy. When someone asks how my day is going?, I just smile and think of all I have. I may be wrong but I don’t care. It works so great for me Gods way. I have a future and a hope that will carry me through anything. When I face my final days here on earth I have an eternal faith that God is waiting for me at the end with dessert. His Glory.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23 NIV
God is looking at the heart. What we truly are and think is deep inside of us. Where no one but God can see. We can come across one way on our outward positioning but what’s in the heart is the true person. God has called us to love all others better than ourselves. He has told us that whatever it takes, we should be at peace with all men. That’s tough! It takes a lot of patience to get along with even the best people. It doesn’t take much to get under our skin. To rub us the wrong way. There’s no way in and of ourselves. God has to open our eyes to the way he loves others. He loves with so much passion no matter what people look or act like. He looks deeper to the lonely scared child that wants to be accepted and loved. This person is his. He wants us to be there for others. Brothers and sisters there making it together. This is more important than offerings of things. Money, time, and devotion come in second place to people. That’s why he has called us to take care of widows and orphans, sick, hungry and those that can’t help themselves. We may be their only hope. God can do all things but he uses us. He has given us the privilege of being apart of his bigger plan. When he was on earth all manner of sick, both physical and mental, came to him, their only hope for help. They didn’t know if he could or would help but they had to try. And Jesus had compassion. He saw there very soul and every hurt they had and loved them so. That is why he doesn’t like sin. Because it hurts his beloved children. Those that he greatly cares about. Things like adultery, murder and stealing. All commands affect others well-being or loving God and honoring him. Love covers our every action. If we just love the way he calls us to love we will have it all down. We can not change the way others act, try as we may. Their behavior is between them and God. But if we just take a big breath and ask God for help we can be the best we can be. You never know how your actions will greatly affect those around you.
Will you see others through Gods eyes of love and compassion?
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV
What is Jesus trying to tell us? We know that we need to grow. We can’t stay babies forever. But what Jesus is saying refers to the attitude of our hearts. Something that is very important to God but nonsense to man. Let’s look at a child. They completely trust their parents. To feed them whenever they are hungry, and change them whenever they are wet. Do whatever it takes to keep them safe and comfortable. They know their parents love them no matter what. They are quite comfortable saying just how they feel. There is nothing they can’t ask for. They may not get everything they want , but it won’t hurt to ask. They look up to their parents. They are everything in their eyes. They assume they can do anything. All power is theirs. My dad is better than your dad. They say it and mean it. These are things that God is. God wants us to feel that way about him. We need to get to know God so that we know what and who he is. Once we get to know him we see how capable he is. He is the master of perfect love. No one can love like God does. Everyone will let us down at one time or another. A parent may miss your big day because they have to work. But God is always there. He is always proud of you when you try. Because he loves unconditionally. A parent can get upset when you get bad grades or act up. God just wants to bless you. And he will bless you. He is working on your behalf every minute. He is not wanting you to be rich or famous. But to be the best you can be. To love others and to be loved by others. He is more interested with what you do with your money then how much you have. His power is enough. He can and will meet your needs. Nothing is impossible if you believe. He wants you to come to him confidently. He will honor this. He is a big deal, and he loves it when you see this. Look at all he has made for us. This is a diverse planet and has so much to see of his handiwork. Such cute and unique animals and plants. It does not matter what the weather is right now because it’s always changing. Seasons come and go, so it’s always a great day to love the Lord for all he is.
Won’t you praise him for his excellent greatness?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Love is God and love is perfect because God is perfect. How far do we fall short in this area? I know I try very hard to show love but cannot help but think bad thoughts when someone does or says something I don’t like or that isn’t correct. I live in a nursing home so most people just can’t help the way they act. They don’t always remember things either. But no one is perfect but God. He is the inventor and creator of pure love and that is how he loves everyone. I know he has shown me such perfect complete love. He once told me he loved me like his son David and David was a man after Gods heart. But he loves everyone that way, unconditionally. Not just me, but everyone, everywhere, each and every day for thousands of years. Now that’s billions. We’re all his favorites. I watched a show last night about different women who overcame hard pasts to become courageous women of God. It was that overpowering great love of God that accepts us right where we are and showers us with love that we could never get anywhere else. But a love that is so strong that it can completely transform lives. A love that you can trust so much and want so much to be like. I don’t know if you have ever been a parent but there is no greater love than for that little life you helped bring into the world. As your child grows it just grows deeper. You would die for that life. Don’t mess with one of my kids or you will pay. A mother is like a bear protecting her cubs. With a fierce love. Our God’s love can not be equaled. Just look at the awesome world he gave us. The many different wonders we can only begin to explore. I know when I was married my husband felt safe if he never had to leave this country. I’ve missed so much. The fact that he let his one and only son go through so much at the hands of humans. Just so we could spend forever with him in paradise. It was the only way but what love. Lately I have been so blessed financially. I have very minimal money for disability so I am very cautious in my spending. My supplies like shampoo and soap just keep multiplying and I have used it for months. Or I will get a gift of something I really need. I wanted to buy a baby gift for a friend and I found out I had a large credit in my account so everything I needed was free. God always amazes me how all my needs are met. I am not the only one. I hear others tell me how he miraculously helped them and I get all choked up. Man he must be busy. I wish everyone could know the love I have found.
Have you felt that love?
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 NIV
Once we have accepted Christ as our savior we are just beginning. We are no longer powerless and weak. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts and will be with us always. He is there to help us and to guide us. With his help you can do anything. You should join a good church, start reading the Bible, and pray regularly. These all help us get to know the God we serve. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We are no longer to live as we used to. We have been set free from the disease of sin. We now need to be like our Lord. There is no excuse because he lives in us to help us change. Do you want to go to heaven to see the Lord one day? This is a matter of life or death. You want to grow your relationship. Any relationship takes work. Spending time getting to know Christ and his characteristics. When you get to know him you will want to keep his commands. While you are keeping his commands you will grow character and you will see fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Faithfulness. If we don’t have fruit then we really aren’t changed. We’re still dead sinners. If there is no fruit then are we really saved? So many people say they are Christians but there is no fruit in there lives. Zero. But Christian means follower of Christ. Christ taught us to love and do good or show fruit. So to be a Christian you need to love and bear fruit. No fruit, no Jesus. It’s plain and simple. So do all you can to genuinely love others. Helping them in all their needs and encouraging them to be better people. This kind of fruit keeps growing in us and then in others. It never ends. Don’t be like the Pharisees. They knew the law and even made up some of their own but did not know Christ personally. They were not followers but wanted to be followed for who they were. They did not keep many of the laws themselves. They certainly did not love the less fortunate like Jesus did. He came to serve and they were too good to serve. A real servant serves not just those they like but serves those that can’t give anything in return. That’s true service.
Do you want to have fruit in your life?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them, then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23 NIV
God is looking at the heart. What we truly are and think is deep inside of us. Where no one but God can see. We can come across one way on our outward positioning, but what’s in our hearts is the true person. God has called us to love all people better than ourselves. He has told us that whatever it takes, we should be at peace with all men. That’s tough! It takes a lot of patience to get along with even the best of people. It doesn’t take much to get under our skin. To rub us the wrong way. There is no way in and of ourselves. God has to open our eyes to the way he loves others. He loves with such passion no matter what someone looks or acts like. He looks deeper to the lonely scared child that just wants to be loved and accepted. This person is his. He wants us to be there for others. Brothers and sisters making it together. This is more important than offering things. Money, time, devotion come in second place to people. That is why he has called us to care for widows and orphans, sick and hungry, and those who can’t take care of themselves. We may be their only hope. God can do all things but he uses us. He has given us a privilege to be apart of his bigger plan. When he was on earth all manner of sick, both mental and physical, came to him, their only hope for help. They didn’t know if he could or would help but they had to try. And ,Jesus had compassion. He saw their very soul and every hurt they had and he loved them so. That is why he doesn’t like sin. Because they hurt his beloved children. Those that he greatly cares about. Things like adultery, murder, stealing. All commands affect others wellbeing or loving and honoring God. Love covers over every action. If we just love the way he tells us to do we will have it down. We can not change the way others act, try as we may. Their behavior is between them and God. But if we just take a deep breath and ask God for help we can be the best we can be. You never know how your actions will greatly affect others around you.
Will you see others through God’s eyes of compassion?
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it.” Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
I’ve heard it said many times, “just follow your heart.” Is that really good advice? The heart can be wrong. Remember we are fallen, sinful people. Our hearts are only as good as the stuff we put in them. Out of the heart the mouth speaks and it’s not all good. Maybe you were raised by an abusive alcoholic and knew hate. Or you have been belittled as a child and bullied. To the point that you hate yourself and don’t feel love or that you could ever love. Maybe you are tormented by thoughts of suicide. No hope and tired of hurting. No we can not understand everyone’s heart because we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. But God can. He knows everyone and everything they’ve done and been through. He still loves them very much. They matter to him and he doesn’t want to see them hurting . If we seek to do the will of God he can and will show us how to help. The most important thing I have learned from the church I go to is to help people, especially the marginalized. Find a need and fill it. In doing that you are doing what Christ would do if he was here on earth. We are his hands and feet. He knows who needs help and he will show that to someone who cares. People need so many things. Food, a safe and warm bed, clothes for their family, a friend, sometimes it’s more complicated if the are addicted or homeless. But there are always ways to help them. Jesus is in the business of meeting needs. He wants us to be the same way. He also wants us to fuel our hearts with all good things to help us have good hearts. Things like praying, reading the Bible, and other positive and uplifting things like singing praises and listening to good music. Or watching good movies and programs. If the stuff getting into our hearts is good and wholesome, our hearts will be also. Have a desire to love others. Be deliberate in what you do and say. You can make a big difference in the world around you. You can make an impact.
What can you do or say to help?