Archive for June, 2019

God’s Enduring Love

JESUS SPEAKING

       “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search diligently until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I lost!’  Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15: 8 – 10.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

       The greatest question one can ever ask is, “Does God love me?”  The answer expressed in this parable is Yes.  Every character in a parable has a corresponding real-life counterpart.  The woman who lost her coin represents God and the coins represent all faithful believers.  The lost coin represents those who have wandered away from God (Men and women who unknowingly subject themselves to painful and destructive experiences.)  God desperately seeks after those who are estranged (sparing not his only Son, to reveal His love for the lost.)  Despite the Lord’s long and arduous attempts at reconciliation, He is often painfully denied.  For those who truly understand the depths of His love, it becomes clear why there is such a joyful celebration in heaven when a single sinner repents; The Creator has once again found a lost son or daughter; someone precious and unique; someone who is completely irreplaceable; someone He will cherish for all eternity.

       The Old Testament book of Hosea is a glimpse into God’s enduring love for those who do not love Him.  Nearly 800 years before Jesus was born, God commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman (a woman who was adulterous and unfaithful.)  Hosea was instructed to continually seek after her, and to continually forgive her for her indiscretions; in turn, he lived a tormented life; constantly loving a woman who did not love him (possibly going so far as to even raise a child he did not Father.)  The book of Hosea is a record of his heartache.  God used Hosea’s experience as a real-life illustration; an illustration of His relationship with mankind.  The Lord has sought after and loved even the worst sinners throughout history; yet most have returned his love with disbelief, hatred, contempt, and idolatry (worshipping other Gods.)  God’s heart aches for the lost; those who call Him Father, share in that same heartache.

       Like Hosea who never stopped seeking after his wife, God continues to search for the lost.  He stops at nothing; He spares no expense; He never falters; never grows weary; never takes a day off.  Even today, in coffee shops, in places of employment, in homes, and in public, His message of love and reconciliation are being preached.  As people continue to give their lives back to God, heaven is erupting in celebration.  Will you carry God’s message?  Will you seek after the lost?  Will you do the work of God?  Will you tell others that there is a God who desperately loves them; a God who waits for them; a God who can heal them; a God who will give them true life?  You too will experience rejection and heartache; but you will also experience true joy when you witness a sinner receive salvation.

       “Lord Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your love.  We thank You for constantly seeking the lost.  May we be reconciled to You today; help us to experience the joy You are so freely offering.  May we reach out to others; may we be instruments of Your love; may we too, lovingly seek those who are lost.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The Light of the Eyes

JESUS SPEAKING

       “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.  The light of the body is the eye.  Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then, your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole thing will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light” (Luke 11:  33-36.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

       Most ancient lamps were round, hollow clay containers filled with oil.  One end of the wick was plunged into the oil; the protruding end was then lit.  Although the visible wick seemed to be the source of the light, it was not; the true source was the oil hidden within the lamp.  Every human being is a lamp; a vessel; a hollow container that is meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Much like the flaming wick, the light from within a man, pours out of his eyes.  Those who observe the radiance of Christ are drawn to it.  God’s greatest desire is for others to receive His Holy Spirit; that they too might be transformed and become vessels of His light.

       As a new Christian, I remember interacting with some believers’ whose eyes were unique; looking into them was like staring into crystal clear water; there were no waves; there was no turmoil either; just a supernatural purity and peace.  On the contrary, some people’s eyes were filled with darkness.  I once knew a man who was engaging in perverse and despicable sins; his eyes were dull and covered in a yellowish film; his hair was greasy and thick; the skin on his face was also quite drab.  Still, his condition wasn’t biological; it was spiritual.  As he began to grow closer to God, that yellowish film began to fade away; his eyes started to clear up; and his face grew warmer and more alive.

       Today, many are overflowing with the Spirit of God, while others are wandering around in darkness.  How can non-believers be filled, and believers grow closer to the Lord?  They can ask God every day for more of His Holy Spirit.  They can take the time to pray and to speak with God.  Reading the bible is another act that produces faithfulness.  We can also practice the teachings of Christ, which will increase our spiritual growth.  With every act of selflessness, charity, outreach, and love, we will grow closer to God.  As the Lord continues to fill us, others will see something different in our eyes.  They will observe a peace, clarity, purity, and a genuine hope that only the children of God possess.  May God fill you with His Holy Spirit, and may you be a light to others in this dark world.

       “Lord Heavenly Father, you are an awesome and mighty God; full of grace, peace, and mercy.  Push the darkness out of our hearts and fill us with Your light.  Help our eyes to be a beacon of hope to others; that we might draw the lost to Yourself and Your Son.  May our eyes reveal all of Your glory, and all of Your goodness.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”

Professing Christ

JESUS SPEAKING

    “Therefore, whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in Heaven.  But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mathew 10: 32-33.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    This pronouncement is clearly self-explanatory.  Public profession of Jesus Christ is an absolute necessity.  If we deny him before men, he will deny us before our Father in Heaven.  Most people today are not interested in making Christ a part of their public lives, let alone their private lives.  It seems that modern social norms have made it politically correct to leave Jesus Christ out of whole sectors of our society; like work, school, sports, and even recreation.  Some consider it inappropriate and even rude to bring him into places like coffee shops, grocery stores, banks, movie theatres, diners; etc.

    As we venture through our day, it isn’t hard to see that almost everyone is carrying some outward message along with them; perhaps it’s what they wear; maybe a shirt with a rock band’s name on it, or business name, or brand name.  Whatever it is, they are professing something about themselves, and about who they are and what they stand for.  If you listen to people talking in a crowded room, you’ll hear all kinds of conversations.  You might hear a person talking about something they love and enjoy; like working out, or shopping, or school, or some political candidate.  As Christians, we must realize that our actions, our behaviors, and even our clothing can be a means of expressing our faith in Christ.

    As Christians, we shouldn’t be shy about what we enjoy, what drives us, and who we love.  Others may not like what they hear, but if they are offended, they aren’t offended with us, but with God.  Don’t be shy, don’t be scared, and don’t be timid.  Profess him when he leads you, and make sure it is done in love.  You never know when God wants to use you to speak about the gospel message.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You help us to be bold in sharing the gospel in accordance with Your will.  Give us a desire to make You a part of every area of our lives.  We also ask that You remove any fears that we might have, and give us courage, and strength, and faith; and especially, give us love for those who are lost and don’t know Your Son.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Knowing God

JESUS SPEAKING

      “O righteous Father!  The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent me.  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17: 25-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

      In this scripture, Jesus is finishing his prayer for the disciples prior to being crucified.  He reveals to us that most people don’t know God, but that Jesus does know God; and that all who believe in him will know God also.  Jesus faithfully delivered a message from the Master of all creation; and that message is a message of love.  Through him, we can know that God is our Father, and that he loves us and yearns to have a relationship with us.

      Today there are so many religions, with so many different beliefs and ideas about who, or what God is.  Some religions have claimed God has asked them to kill, some claim God hasn’t asked them to do much of anything.  However, Jesus has shown us that the one true God has commanded us to love.  God did not set the universe in motion and then walk away, leaving us with confusion and uncertainty; we can now know the true meaning of our existence.  God has always been reaching out to us; sending us messengers to speak on His behalf.  At last He has sent us Jesus Christ.  If we want to have a relationship with a Heavenly Father, it begins with knowing His son.  May we all desire to enter into a loving relationship with God.

      “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You would speak to our hearts concerning Your Son.  Help our souls to be open to receiving Your love, that we might also show that love to others.  Testify to us of the truth of Your messenger, and give us Your Holy Spirit, that we might be able to fellowship with You always.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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