Archive for May, 2012

The simple and the intelligent

JESUS SPEAKING

                At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, because it seemed good in Your sight.  All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the son, and the one to whom the son wills to reveal him” (Mathew 11: 25-27.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the Jewish culture, youth was often associated with weakness and stupidity.  So much so, that when a group of Jewish men gathered together, they spoke in order of age; the oldest spoke first and the youngest spoke last.  They believed that with age came wisdom.  Jesus however, corrected this commonly held belief.  Wisdom concerning the messiah and God’s plan of salvation could not be attained through many years of careful study; instead, the truth could only be received as a gift from God.  Those who thought themselves intelligent were blinded by pride and self-reliance; the simple and the ignorant however saw clearly the value of God’s grace and the blessing of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

                Sigmund Freud pioneered what we might consider the modern field of psychology.  In fact today, he is remembered as one of the most intelligent men who has ever lived.  Yet most people don’t know that at one point in his career he promoted cocaine as beneficial for curing many common ailments.  He even encouraged his close acquaintances and compatriots to indulge in its use.  When one of his dear friends became horribly addicted to the drug, he saw the dangers of cocaine and anxiously recalled his previous promotions; he carried the guilt of his friend’s continual drug dependence for the rest of his life.  Some of the most well educated and intelligent people are often the most horribly deceived.

                The truth is a gift from The Lord (it is not something that can be earned.)  Intelligence, although beneficial and extremely useful, can sometimes blind those who trust in it more than God (the intellect frequently remains in opposition to simple faith and practical wisdom.)  God yearns for His children to trust in Him completely.  Those who are simple, unlearned, and unwise, are often the first to see the true value of God’s mercy and grace.  Won’t you receive the gospel today as a little child?  Won’t you believe with your whole heart?  Won’t you allow God to take control of your life?  If you place your faith in Jesus Christ you will come to know the truth; and you will be smarter than the most well educated man, and wiser than the greatest king. 

                “Lord Heavenly Father, may we be as little children.  May we remain simple, and may we completely trust in, and rely upon You.  We pray for those who are intelligent and wise in their own thinking; those who have faith only in the achievements of men.  Reveal the truth to them, that they may come to humbly receive Your mercy and grace.  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.

The real Jesus

JESUS SPEAKING

            And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to him, “Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who is not offended because of me” (Mathew 11: 2-6.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            After baptizing Jesus, John came to believe that Jesus was the messiah they had been waiting for.  He, like so many in Israel believed the Messiah would set them free from their oppressors.  Everyone was waiting for Jesus to usher in an earthly kingdom that would put an end to Roman Rule.  John (who had been imprisoned by Herod) was growing impatient with Jesus and sent messengers to him to ask if he truly was the messiah.  Jesus simply responded by quoting an Old Testament prophecy that stated the messiah would cleanse lepers, heal the blind, raise the dead and preach to the poor.  Jesus wanted John to know he was accomplishing all of these tasks.  The Lord finally addressed John’s impatient heart, saying, “blessed are those who are not offended because of me.”  Jesus had not met John’s expectations; John had expected a conquering messiah, not a messiah that would conquer sin through crucifixion (the lord was encouraging John to accept him as he was.) Many today, like John, have an inaccurate view of Jesus Christ.  Knowing the real Jesus is essential to truly following him.

            Early on in my relationship with God I made the decision that I could no longer call myself a Christian unless I actually knew who Jesus Christ was.  I knew I had to read the bible; I also knew it was going to change and challenge my beliefs.  In my heart, I had an unclear picture of God.  I chose to let go of what I thought I knew in order to grab hold of the truth.  As I read, I began to know God personally and accurately; instead of being disappointed, my heart was lifted up with wonder and amazement.  The real God is far greater than any God I could have ever imagined.

              Do you know Jesus Christ?  Do you know his words, or are you holding on to your own expectations.  Have you invented a Jesus for yourself, or have you come to know the real Jesus?  Read his words, get familiar with his works, his message, his truth, and I promise, you will never be disappointed; instead, you too will find something more amazing than anything you have ever known, and your life will never be the same.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know the real Jesus.  We want to know Your Son and his message.  Implant his words within our hearts and help us to be his disciples, that we might be pleasing to You Father.  Help us to let go of our fear of the truth, and give us a hunger and thirst to know our messiah; your gift to us all.  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.   

The Sons and Daughters of God

JESUS SPEAKING

                “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14: 7.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He is God in human form; he was born of a virgin and walked among men; as God’s only son, he directly reflects the mannerisms and characteristics of our Eternal Father.  He performed all of the works that only God could accomplish; he forgave sins; he healed the sick; he even raised the dead.  Those who desire to see God need look no further than Jesus Christ [Note:  In another portion of scripture, the disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father; Jesus replied, “Those who have seen me, have seen the Father.”]

                Whenever I fly home for Christmas, I spend a great deal of time with my nieces and nephews.  Recently I saw a picture of my Dad as a child; the resemblance between him and my nephew Seth was absolutely astonishing (they looked like twins.)  I am also amazed whenever I hear my little nephew Austin speak; I can hear my sisters voice in every word he utters.  To some degree or another, children are a reflection of their parents.  Physical characteristics and mannerisms are passed down from one generation to another.  Jesus Christ, being God’s Son, is not only similar to his Father, he is an exact reflection of Him.  When Jesus turned a meager meal in to enough to feed five thousand, we saw that God can create something from nothing.  When Jesus calmed a storm, we learned that God controls nature itself.  When he displayed compassion, we discovered that God is compassionate.  Because Jesus lived a sinless life, we are now aware of the sinless nature of God.  Because he did all the works of God, we can confidently call him the ‘Son of God.’

                Today, those who desire to see God need look no further than His Son, Jesus Christ.  Although Jesus is seated at God’s right hand in heaven, he has left his body behind.  His body is the church.  Those who have received the gospel are the sons and daughters of God.  We are called to continue His work in this place.  When others see us, they should see our Father.  We are called to be generous; to be loving; to be compassionate; to be pure, and to be perfect, “Even as [our] heavenly Father is perfect.”  May you submit to the will of God; may you do His works; and may you inherit the eternal riches He has promised to all of His children.

                “Holy Father, we thank You for Your son.  He has taught us so much about You.  We desire to be Your sons and daughters as well.  Strengthen us and give us the power to accomplish Your work in this place.  May others see our good works and glorify Your name.  May we bring honor to You; may our lives be a reflection of Your goodness.  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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