Archive for August, 2020

Moving Mountains

JESUS SPEAKING

   “Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11: 20-24.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Mountains are large immovable obstacles; they are symbols of durability and permanence.  A million bulldozers and ten thousand sticks of dynamite would barely put a dent in even the smallest mountain range.  No amount of human effort, nor quantity of resources can make a mountain move.  And yet Jesus has taught us that through faith in God, a mountain can be picked up and cast into the sea.  Unwavering faith in God’s power is expressed in prayer.  When faced with something we cannot accomplish, we must turn to God; asking Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

    Some time ago I was speaking with an elderly friend of mine.  For many years he and his wife had been pestering their kids to begin having children; they were quite anxious to become grandparents.  As the years went by and their faith in God grew, they gave up on their efforts, and instead began praying and asking God for grandchildren; which He soon provided in abundance.  Their numerous years of dissatisfaction were products of their misplaced faith.  When they took the faith they had in themselves and placed it in God, the mountain that had separated them from the desires of their hearts had finally been removed.

   Today there are many things in our lives that seem to be permanent fixtures; there are numerous obstacles that we, through our own efforts, have been powerless to overcome.  Too often we place faith in ourselves rather than in God.  We need only turn to Him through prayer and seek His power.  Bring your struggles to the Lord; let Him accomplish what you cannot, and you will experience a very real miracle in your life.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today and we ask for the faith to move mountains.  We desire to see You accomplish the impossible.  We admit that, apart from You we are weak and have no hope; but with You Lord, nothing is impossible.  Fill our hearts with genuine faith. We thank You in advance for what You are going to do in our hearts and in our lives.  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!

Shining Brightly

JESUS SPEAKING

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it provides light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mathew 5: 14 – 16.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     It is impossible for a Christian to journey through life unrecognized. To remain hidden is to fail to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose. As genuine believers we are called to be different; to stand out; to be set apart; to love where there is no love; to serve in the midst of selfishness; to faithfully encourage others; to nurture the sick; to care for the needy; to fill the hearts and minds of many with great hope and joy. Authentic faith inevitably produces an abundance of good works. As disciples we are set apart; we are a light glowing in a dark world; we are instruments that point toward the one true and everlasting Father.
    Of all the planets and stars that glow in the night sky, one of the brightest is the North Star (also known as Polaris.) Resting in a sea of other stars it outshines most of its neighbors. Additionally, every other star in the northern hemisphere travels across the sky; Polaris however, remains fixed; a characteristic that once proved useful to ancient mariners who sought to navigate the open oceans. The North Star’s brightness and stability makes it easy to recognize; a heavenly body that is not readily confused with the thousands of dimmer objects surrounding it.
     Like the North Star, the believer is often the brightest and most stable object in the lives of those around them. In a sea of unbelievers, the followers of Jesus Christ stand out; they are unique. Filled with compassion, charity, and peace, they are easily recognized. They orient others as well, by pointing them toward God (who is the source of all love, justice, and mercy.) If you have received the salvation of the Lord, then you too are different. Never seek to remain hidden, but rather, let the light of Christ shine through you; that others may see your good works and know that there is a God who loves them.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to be different. We yearn to be more loving, more caring, and more giving. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and help us to shine brightly. May others see our good works and be drawn to You; our loving Creator and Everlasting Father. We love You Lord, 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 Second Mile

JESUS SPEAKING

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to everyone who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Mathew 5: verse 38 – 42.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    In the first century A.D. the Roman army occupied the Holy Land.  As conquerors they were afforded certain privileges.  One legal provision gave every Roman soldier the right to compel any Jewish citizen to carry their equipment for up too, but not in excess of, one mile.  Jesus used this commonly understood law to impress upon His followers the importance of serving others in abundance.  When a soldier asked them to carry a load one mile, Jesus instructed them to carry it two miles.  Simply put, accomplishing the bare minimum proves little; instead, the genuine love of God is made manifest when we exceed the demands, requests, and expectations of others.

    A number of years ago, a very influential Pastor named Chuck Smith went to be with the Lord.  He was 86 years old and had been battling cancer for some time.  When initially diagnosed, he began a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.  These treatments coupled with his age, made him unsteady on his feet.  I was asked to accompany him to and from his daily radio program to prevent him from falling. Once the program had ended, we would get into his golf cart and head back to the church office.  On the way he would drive around the campus picking up garbage; he would also stop to talk to anyone in need.  One day a woman approached him in tears.  She explained that her marriage was suffering and that she had left messages with another pastor concerning counseling; however he had never returned her calls.  Pastor Chuck lovingly encouraged and comforted the woman; he then told her to speak to his secretary about setting up a counseling appointment with him later that week.  I was amazed that a man in his 80’s with lung cancer, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy was still out-serving many youthful, strong, and seemingly healthy on staff pastors.

    Like Pastor Chuck, Jesus has called all of His children to go the second mile; we must love others in abundance; we must give to one another more than is needed or required; we must serve our fellows with great intensity, sincerity, and passion.  Through our actions, others can and will come to know the mercy and love of God.  If we are obedient and continue to give glory and honor to the Lord, we will come to know the blessings of unending joy and everlasting peace.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, may we go the second mile.  May we serve and love others in abundance.  Use us to reveal Your love to the world.  Increase our faith and fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might accomplish Your will in this place, and bring honor to Your sacred Name.  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!


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