Posts Tagged 'Jesus'



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 sent the 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 in to a deserted place; away from the crowds and the clamor of the ministry.  God desires for his children to have a certain amount of rest.  Rest is an essential part of maintaining 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 uncommon.  Currently, because of technology, the problem has gotten worse; people aren’t just working at the office; they are now working everywhere they go.  Many work while they are driving; some work at the gym; some work from home; some even work while on vacation.  All of this work has caused large numbers of people to neglect their need for rest.

                Jesus Christ recognizes that every human being needs time to relax.  Many of us walk through life without taking time out to recuperate.  Some of us have pushed ourselves too hard.  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 you would only take the time to listen, in those still moments, you would hear the voice of God speaking to your heart, and you would grow strong.

                “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.  In our moments of rest, we ask that You fill us with Your Holy Spirit; speak to our hearts and give us strength and courage to 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 in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Loving Lepers

 

JESUS SPEAKING

            And it happened when he was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.”  Then he put out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.”  Immediately the leprosy left him.  And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded you” (Luke 5: 12-14.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

             Not only does leprosy rot away fingers, toes, ears, and noses, it is also highly contagious.  Those who contracted the disease were removed from their communities and homes, and were required to live in isolation.  When lepers encountered travelers, they were obligated to yell, “Unclean, Unclean,” as a warning to others.  In desperation, a leprous man approached Jesus, and was healed by a single touch.  Knowing the man desired to return to his family, Jesus commanded him to go and show himself to the priest.  [In Jewish culture, the priests diagnosed social diseases like leprosy.  When a person claimed to be healed, they were required to go before the priests for examination.  If they were truly clean they would be allowed to return home.]

             Some time ago while studying in the coffee shop I frequented, I met a man who was troubled.  I introduced myself, and we began talking about his situation.  He had been released from prison two months earlier and no one wanted to rent him a room because of his criminal record.  He had been living in his mother’s car.  He couldn’t find work because he didn’t have a stable residence.  I was moved to share the love of Christ with him, and I invited him to attend a bible study in my home.  I told him his past didn’t matter to me, or to God.  In the eyes of the world, he was as leprous as the man Jesus healed.  The Lord used me to reach out to him, and to touch his sick and hurting soul.  He was able to see that there was a God who loved him.

             Every day, all around us, there are people who are treated like lepers:  drug addicts; criminals; the mentally ill; gang members; and the homeless (to name a few.)  Although the world has turned its back on many, God has not; the outcasts are His children too.  Our task is to bring God’s message to those who have been rejected.  When you encounter the unloved, show them that God loves them.  Find an outcast and talk to them; eat with them; help them; and care for them.  Don’t be afraid, but rejoice; for God has chosen you to be a messenger of peace; to bring His love and mercy to those who need it the most.

             “Lord heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You would give us compassionate hearts.  Use us to touch those who are untouchable.  May our fears be replaced by love.  Provide us with opportunities to care for those who have been rejected.  Give us more of Your Holy Spirit, that we might show sinners the love of a Savior.  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.

Producing much fruit

JESUS SPEAKING

            “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12: 23 – 25.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            Utilizing an agricultural metaphor, Jesus makes reference to His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection.  A single grain of wheat, when planted, can produce hundreds, thousands, and even millions of additional seeds.  Similarly, the Lords’ suffering and agony upon the cross (and ensuing resurrection) has produced much fruit.  His selfless sacrifice has inspired countless conversions, and enabled millions to receive the mercy and grace of God.

            In the 1800’s there resided a little girl from Philadelphia name Hattie Wiatt.  She lived in close proximity to a popular and very crowded Grace Baptist Church.  One day she approached the Church and asked to attend the Sunday school.  Sadly she was told that there was no more room.  Less than two years later, Hattie fell ill and passed away.  A pocket book containing 57 pennies was found underneath her pillow; it was wrapped in a piece of scrap paper; written on the paper was a note that read, “To help build the little temple bigger, so that more children can go to Sunday school.”  She had saved her pennies for 2 years intending to give them as a donation to the church.  The pastor told his congregation of Hattie’s selflessness.  Immediately donations began pouring in until they had collected nearly $250,000 dollars.  Soon the church was seating 3,300 people; the parishioners also chose to build a hospital as well as a university accommodating approximately 1,400 students (today, attendance at Temple University has grown to nearly 28,000.)  Hattie’s sacrifice, although small, has gone on to produce much fruit.

            Like Hattie, we are called to selflessly lay down our lives to “build the little temple bigger.”  To sacrifice our own wants and desires so that others may come to know the love of God.  When we serve our fellows, love our neighbors, and give to those in need, we bear much fruit.  Those who strive to live selflessly will come to know peace; true peace; heavenly peace; eternal peace; “the peace that surpasses all understanding.”

            “Lord Heavenly Father, You are truly an amazing and awesome God.  We desperately desire to be selfless; we yearn to lay down our lives so that others may come to know You.  Help us to enjoy and embrace serving, giving, and loving.  May we produce much fruit and bring many souls into Your everlasting Kingdom.  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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