Archive for February, 2011



Eternal life anyone?

JESUS SPEAKING

             Therefore they said to him, “What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe you?  Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 

            Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to world.” 

            Then they said to him, “Lord give us this bread always.” 

            And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6: 30-35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the dessert, after leaving Egypt, the Israelites lacked the two most essential things for survival; food and water.  Yet God, who had led them in to the wilderness made provision for these needs.  Daily, God sent down a strange dew from heaven that settled on the desert floor; they ate the substance and were filled (the Israelites named it ‘manna,’ which means, ‘What is it?’  They didn’t know what it was; later they began to refer to it as ‘the bread from heaven.’  No matter the name, it kept them alive.)  God also miraculously provided water for them out of the rocky dessert ground.  Moses (God’s chosen messenger/prophet) led his people in the wilderness for nearly 40 years.  He became a historical figure revered by the nation of Israel.  During the time of Christ, the people did not fully understand who Jesus was; they mistakenly began to associate him with Moses; as if he were just another messenger (prophet) of God; but Jesus was not a messenger (prophet); he was the message.  The Israelites would have died in the desert if God had not provided them with ‘the bread from heaven;’ similarly everyone who does not accept God’s provision in the form of Jesus Chris (‘the true bread from heaven’) will also die.  God lives eternally and does not associate with the dead; to truly know God, one must also receive eternal life.  Only Jesus Christ can give life to those who are dying.

                Gangrene is a condition that occurs when some large portion of body tissue begins to die and needs to be amputated.  In construction, many people sever fingers and rush to the hospital to have them reattached.  From the time a finger is separated from the body, it begins to die (unless it is reconnected quickly it will become rancid.  Many reattachments fail; the limb begins to rot, and needs to be removed to prevent death from spreading to the rest of the body.  Every human being is a dying limb that has been severed from God.  There is only one way to be reattached to Him.  The dead must be brought to life; the sick must be healed, and new life must flow in to a lifeless Spirit.  Jesus Christ is new life; only through him can we truly be joined to the eternal God.

                How do we get reconnected to the living God?  We must turn to God and accept Jesus Christ as His message to the world.  Only Jesus can quench our thirst; only Jesus can fill us up when nothing else will; only Jesus can make our dead hearts come alive again.  If you feel him calling to you, know that God is reaching out through him.  He loves you, and He wants to spend an eternity with you.  Will you accept his gift, or will you refuse it?  The greatest act of love God has ever given us, is the freedom to choose.  Make your choice; decide for yourself; choose your path; and may that path lead to eternal life.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we so desperately desire new life.  We want to spend an eternity with You.  We believe that Your Son is the message and not just the messenger; and we accept Your invitation.  May we share Your heart and be filled with love and kindness.  Help us to be committed to You and to avoid the things that can lead to death.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.  

Who can you trust?

 

JESUS SPEAKING

                “I am the good Shepherd.  The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep.  So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.  Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10: 11-13.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS   

             With a sea of religions out there, how can anyone know which one is true?  Many people have become so confused they have thrown their hands up in frustration and discontinued their search.  In this scripture Jesus identified the criteria for identifying who could be trusted.  A Shepherd is someone who is charged with protecting and caring for a heard of defenseless sheep; but there are two kinds of Shepherd’s.  Good shepherds care enough for the sheep to give their own lives to protect them.  Evil shepherds are those who care more for themselves than their sheep, and when danger comes they abandon the sheep to save themselves.  Jesus Christ gave his life out of a love for every man, woman and child who has ever lived; he is the only one who can be trusted.

            God’s purity and truth are devoid of selfish motives.  Whenever people see a pastor drive up to church in a 100, 000 car (not characteristic of pastors) some of us may might feel a seed of anger kindled within our hearts, because we know that God’s Son has been misrepresented.  Whenever we hear about a war being fought in God’s name, we may wonder why those who promote the war live in luxury.  When we see someone on television wearing a ten thousand dollar suite, asking for money, it can cause some to see God as some kind of a joke.  When we see the leader of some cult using his position to acquire wives and material wealth from the members, it creates anger in our hearts.  God’s true message comes only from those who have sacrificed their lives for others.  Instead of taking they have given.  None of the so called prophets have ever done anything personal for me, or for you, with the exception of Jesus Christ.  He spent his life serving others, even those considered too dirty to associate with.  He always spoke the truth; he always loved, even those who despised him.  He healed the sick and the lame, and made sinners clean.  He loved children.  He stood up for the weak, and was an enemy to those who sought to use God for their own benefit.  He sought to save life and preserve it rather than taking it by promoting violence and war.  He never pushed anyone away, and gave to the people, rather than taking from them.  His last act was to wash the dirty feet of his disciples.  He wept for the lost.  He was beaten and his beard was pulled from his face in front of his mother.  He was mocked and had his back torn open by a whip.  He was spit on and ridiculed.  He had a crown of thorns thrust upon his head (thorns were 1-3 inches long.)  He carried a cross, and had spikes driven through his hands and feet.  He was raised up in the hot sun, with no water.  The religious leaders stood at the base of the cross and teased him, and his response was, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  Lastly, this was not a fate he had to endure, but one he willingly suffered for everyone, even those who mocked him.  His life was devoid of selfishness to the point of death; and that purity, goodness and sacrifice make Jesus Christ the only true messenger of God.

             It’s difficult to trust people today; it seems as though everyone wants something from us.  Many people will even pretend they care just to get close enough to exploit us for their own purposes.  But in a world full of religions founded by people, who sacrificed very little, one founder stands above the rest; his name is Jesus Christ, and he sacrificed his life so you could live.  Can you trust him today?  He is the only one who as ever loved you with a pure heart?  Will you accept his love and his message as God’s truth today?

             “Heavenly Father, we ask You today that You would allow us all to see the truth.  We pray that You will reveal to us, who is trustworthy, and who is not.  Please reveal to us, who has cared for us and loved us as his own, and who has not.  Lord Father, reveal to us the truth of Your Love, and the truth of Your wisdom in this world around us.  May we all see Your Son and be drawn to do good, in the same way he has done good for us.  Please give us the Spirit of Truth, and let us not be afraid to examine other supposed Sheppard’s as we know only one is worthy.  Father we Love You, and we thank You, and we ask that You would continue to build our faith in Your Son, and bring us closer to You, and to Your Kingdom.  We thank You Father, and we praise You, and we ask all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God Bless all of you! 

Jesus came to create division

JESUS SPEAKING

             “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!  Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth?  I tell you, not at all, but rather division.  For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.  Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Luke 12: 49-53.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus corrected the commonly held belief that he came to bring peace to the earth; his real purpose was to give everyone the opportunity to choose their eternal destination for themselves.  The baptism Jesus underwent on the cross divided the world in two; some have accepted his sacrifice and followed his teaching; still others believe he was just a man, and the cross has no meaning in their lives.  On this earth the strongest of all bonds exist within the family unit.  Loyalty among siblings and between parents and children are supreme; yet not even these sacred relationships could withstand the new order Christ’s sacrifice has produced; the believer’s new supreme allegiance belongs to him, and those who share this allegiance are, ‘The Body of Christ.’

                In Luke Jesus said to a man, “Follow me;” to which the man replied, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  Jesus then said, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you, go and preach the kingdom.”  Then another man came to him and said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  Jesus replied, “No one, having put his hand to plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”  In both instances Jesus was causing turmoil and creating division.  Both men were given the opportunity to choose between allegiance to family, and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  Two choices, two sides, two paths; the choices presented to them are the same choices we face today.

                In our time, the majority of people see Jesus Christ as the ‘prince of peace,’ but not as ‘the sword of God that cuts the world in two.’  Jesus did not come to bring peace to the earth, but to create unity among believers and division between those believers and everyone else.  If you are at peace with the world, how can you be at peace with God?  If we stand in this place as faithful believers, then the world will stand in opposition to us.  Persecution is part of being a believer; we will suffer for our faith, but we are not alone.  We must be strong for each other, and as one body, we can endure, and we can overcome the world through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

             “Lord Heavenly Father we ask that You give us the strength to step out in faith for You.  We desire to be Your followers, so please help us to be different, to be filled with love, and to never be ashamed of the truth.  Lord may our allegiance to You and to Your Son be supreme, and may we never put any relationship ahead of our relationship with You.  Lord, may we eternally stand with You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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