Archive for June, 2020

Rest is Important

JESUS SPEAKING

     Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.  And he said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”  For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  So they departed in the boat by themselves” (Mark 6: 30-32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     Jesus had sent His apostles out on a short missionary trip.  They were commanded to heal the sick, to cast out demons, and to preach the gospel throughout the land of Israel.  They returned with a good report; under His authority they were able to perform many miracles.  The crowds however, had not permitted them much rest.  The Lord saw that they had been wearied by the long hours, and needed to relax.  In turn, He led His disciples into a deserted place; away from the crowds and the clamor of the ministry.  God desires for each of His children to experience a certain amount of rest.  Rest is an essential component of maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

     Nowhere in the world is work more highly esteemed than in the United States of America.  Many put their careers ahead of their families, their friends, and sadly, even their God.  Seventy hour work weeks at the office are not unheard of.  Currently, because of technology, the problem has gotten worse; people aren’t just working at the office anymore; they are now working everywhere they go.  Some will work while they are driving; some work at the gym; some work from home; many even work while on vacation.  All of this work has caused large numbers of people to neglect their need for rest and relaxation.

     Jesus Christ recognizes that every human being needs time to rest.  Many of us walk through life without taking time out to recuperate.  Some of us have pushed ourselves too hard.  Amidst the chaos, we need to remember that rest is essential, and that relaxation is a gift from the Lord.  Take time out to fellowship with God one on one; relax and allow your mind, body, and spirit to regenerate.  Give God a portion of your day; a time of peace and quiet reflection.  If we would only take the time to listen, in those still moments, we would hear the voice of God speaking to our hearts, and we would grow stronger.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to rest and to take time out to fellowship with You; when we neglect our need for relaxation, speak to our hearts and help us to find the time to pursue peace. During these moments of rest, fill us with Your Holy Spirit; speak to our hearts and give us strength and courage; that we may continue doing Your work in this place.  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!

Being a Peacemaker

JESUS SPEAKING

  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God!” (Mathew 5: 9)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The world is full of conflict. Yet in the midst of the hostility, God’s children are called to promote peace. The Lord Himself is a peacemaker; He detests war and abhors senseless aggression. Many who share His heart also share His mission; to bring harmony where there is hatred and tranquility where there is contempt. Those who choose to make peace will inherit the eternal blessings offered to the ‘Sons and daughters of God.’ (Note: Still we must always speak the gospel truth; which may create discord.)
    As the story goes, in the 4th century A.D., a monk named Telemachus felt God calling him to go to Rome. He packed his meager possessions and set out for the great city. Upon arriving, the streets were bustling with excitement. When he asked why everyone was so energized, he was told that the gladiators would soon be fighting to the death in the coliseum. Horrified that men would be killing one another for sport, he headed for the stadium. After entering the complex, he pushed through the crowds and hopped a fence; making his way to the center of the arena. As he stood between the two gladiators, he shouted, “In the name of Christ, stop.” The crowd began yelling, “Run him through, Run him through!” A gladiator abruptly approached; striking the monk in the stomach with the back of his sword. Although Telemachus fell to the ground, he soon recovered. Once again, he placed himself between the two-armed men and shouted, “In the name of Christ, stop.” The other gladiator suddenly approached him and plunged his sword through the monk’s belly. Telemachus plummeted to the ground and began bleeding out. Before dying, he was able to utter one last statement; “In the name of Christ, stop.” A hush came over the crowd. A single spectator rose up from his seat and left; followed by another; and another. Within minutes everyone had left the coliseum. That day marked the last gladiatorial contest in Roman history.
  No matter the consequence, the people of God are called to be peacemakers. When others fall silent, we must speak up. Where there is discord, we ought to bring unity; where there is conflict, we must promote peace. In so doing we will be called ‘The children of God;’ and we will know the eternal blessings reserved for those who remain faithfully obedient.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, we long for obedience; may we share the desires of Your heart. May we love others as You have loved others. Use us to continually promote peace and to end conflict. Give us the courage and the strength to speak up when others remain silent; may we be Your sons and daughters; and may we experience the blessings of genuine obedience. 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 Meaning of Life

JESUS SPEAKING

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:  “Father, the hour has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may bring glory to You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they also may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17: 1-4.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus performed many miracles; He presented the gospel, He healed the sick; He brought hope to the hopeless; He even raised the dead; yet despite his many profound acts, His suffering was his greatest work.  The single most prolific event in human history was, and always will be the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; for God glorified his Son by lifting him up upon the cross (high enough for the whole world to see.)  The cross is a love letter from God to mankind; it is an invitation to know the almighty creator. Every human being desires to know their true purpose; Jesus has taught us that we were created to know and love God. Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God.”  Unless one accepts the blood of Christ, they will never be complete; they will never experience peace; they will never know their true purpose.

For many years I was an atheist/agnostic.  I rejected the bible and the idea that there was a loving God.  In turn, I sought to discover the truth through learning; I studied philosophy, physics, and cosmology.  I read the works of great thinkers; people who were renowned for their supposed wisdom.  I yearned to know the meaning of life; why was I here; what was my purpose?  Despite diligently seeking the truth, I never found it.  Those intelligent men I idolized were great at asking interesting questions, but miserable at providing any meaningful answers.  When I finally accepted Jesus Christ, my many years of searching were over; at last, I had discovered the truth.  I had all of the answers to every question I could ever ask.  I understood that I was created to bring pleasure to God; to serve Him, to love Him, and to be loved by Him.  For the first time in my life I began to know peace. 

The meaning of life is to love God, and to be loved by Him.  The sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross is God’s gift to every human being; it is His invitation to experience fulfillment.  Stop searching and embrace your true purpose.  Accept Christ’s work of redemption and you will know peace; love God and He will love you; give yourself to the Lord and you will finally be complete.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your sacrifice and we accept it; may we live in eternal fellowship with You; may we know true peace and may we fulfill our intended purpose; may we always be pleasing to You; may we create joy in Your heart; and may we feel the awesome power of Your love and Mercy.  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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