Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

  

“John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.'” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭9:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

On May 29, 2015, Tavin Terrell Price was fatally shot in front of his mother as they were headed to a beach near Los Angeles. According to KTLA 5 News, LAPD arrested 3 men and a woman as suspects in the murder. Their reasoning for the brutal slaying of the 19-year-old mentally challenged man? Because he wore red shoes, the apparent sign of a rival gang. Red shoes…

It’s never an enjoyable experience to be treated badly because you’re not a part of a certain crowd or believe like some group. Even Jesus had to correct His disciples for falling into the trap of excluding people. Jesus, however, was the opposite, desiring for all to come to the Master’s Table and belong. 

Take time today to make sure you aren’t prejudiced in your own thinking. While we may pride ourselves for being color blind, we often fail because we withhold our friendship because someone is from another denomination or religion. Let God’s love help you to build bridges, not burn them all down! There’s room at the table! You are loved today! 

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“Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud.” (Matthew‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Many, many years ago, a guy named Luigi da Porto wrote a story about a tragically fated romance. Later, Italian writer Matteo Bandello released a novella based on da Porto’s story. This version inspired Pierre Boaistuau to write a poem regarding tragic love. Then in line with these guys, Arthur Brooke published a narrative poem in the same line of thought but his would not be the last. For his poem, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, would later inspire one more guy who would render the final telling of the tale, which was none other than William Shakespeare and his dramatic production, Romeo and Juliet!

Most of the modern world has heard of Shakespeare and his classical story, but we seldom realize all the hands of inspiration that made it happen. The same is with the life of Jesus. The text from Matthew is but a clip from a rather boring bit of genealogy. Upon closer inspection, however, you realize that these guys were important because they were Jesus’ many-great grandfathers on Joseph’s side! While seemingly insignificant, their story is necessary so that a righteous and good man would marry a pregnant teenage girl and help raise the Savior of the world!

You and your life story matters! While seeming pale and paltry, your life enriches those around you. Allow God to use you to create greater love stories in the world! You are loved! 

  

“Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

It is an epidemic that has been spreading around the world. MILLIONS are caught in its clutches. It is costing people some $600k a day. It is creating health issues, loss of jobs, and even the UK has reportedly seen rehabilitation centers open up new wings to bring needed treatment to give people their lives back! What is this infernal presence that’s taking over the world and ruining lives?! It’s nothing other than that sinister ploy called… (spooky music intro inserted here)Candy Crush!

We’ve all seen people’s lives devastated because of life-controlling issues and addictions. While some seem worth the outrage, the simple or petty things, like social media or video games, still cause not only significant damage in personal lives, but spiritually too! Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Just as Jesus made sure He was moving towards His life purpose (crucifixion) while He lived among us, so we must do the same thing. Play time and hobbies are good stress relievers, but if it is keeping us from our life objectives (to know Him and make Him known), then the enjoyable has become an enemy. Live your purpose, not your pleasures! Eternities hang in the balance! You are loved! 

  

  

“And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities…provided for Him from their substance.” (Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭2-3‬ NKJV)

As a fire chaplain, I once responded to a call with our department to a house in our community for a non-emergency assistance need. As I stopped by later to follow up with the family, they exclaimed how grateful they were for the much needed help. Although they were of very modest means, they wanted to do something to show their appreciation for our firemen. So, with boxes of chocolates and homemade goodies, our guys were blessed by these for doing the job our department was called to do!

The Bible speaks of a group of women that Jesus helped, having compassion on and delivering them from demonic issues, possibly possession, and restoring them to a better life. In gratitude, though they were also of modest means, they served Jesus with whatever they had: a bit of money, food preparation, camp cleaning, laundry… They gave of themselves which enabled Jesus and His disciples to focus on the ministry which would impact even more lives. Every bit helped.

Like the women that followed Jesus, we all have reasons to be grateful to the Lord. These reasons should compel us naturally to somehow serve Him in return. Don’t look at what you don’t have or can’t do, but start with what you got and who you are! You’re greatest gifts and talents are already in your grasp! It will all make a difference and be appreciated! You are loved today! Be a servant! 

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NIV)

During the Civil War, a Union private was being court-martialed for sleeping at his post, resulting in a sentence of death. According to the Great American History group, President Lincoln heard of it and resolved to pardon the soldier. He immediately had it drafted and sent.

On the day of execution, the President wasn’t sure that his order had been processed since there was no reply. So he personally had his carriage take him through the heat and dust to the camp 10 miles away to make sure the soldier was spared! I’m pretty sure that man never forgot where his rescue came from!

Know today that Jesus did the same for you, coming to your rescue at just the right time. Not only does He deliver us from Hell, but also from the daily struggles we encounter. We don’t deserve it, but I gladly receive it! Celebrate your Savior! You are loved! 

  

…For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah‬ ‭8‬:‭10‬ NKJV)

“Susan” was an incredible woman. She had already outlived two husbands and one of her children. She had every reason to give up in her late season of life. Yet, every Sunday, she was in my church, worshipping with a smile and participating in what activities she could.  The joy she found in Christ gave her daily strength. 

In Nehemiah’s day, he was having to teach Israel the very lesson we need to achieve today: Move beyond fleeting happiness to a grounded joy! Israel had been on an emotional rollercoaster of emotions, up one minute and down the next. The high of returning from captivity to the low of tedious rebuilding; the up from having a Deliverer come to rebuild to the down of being threatened with terroristic violence. As they hit another low by hearing how they had failed God through sin, Nehemiah had to help them get past unstable emotions to a place of stability found only through a consistent walk with God. 

If you are living to find happiness, then you’ll find life to be one continual frustration after another. Susan got it when she found her joy in God and not in emotion. And as God blessed her with another loving man, she found an unexpected 11th hour blessing from the God of her joy! You are loved today! Live on it! 

  

There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” (John‬ ‭16‬:‭12‬ NLT)

According to Examiner.com, after a trauma occurs, the first few weeks are usually spent in a “fog,” doing all the necessary actions of life in robotic fashion, while the mind is far away.  During this time and in the following months, you may begin to notice lapses in memory—not only where you put the keys, but finding the apples in the freezer or the bread on the living room table. In time, you will process things again and become normal once more. 

Jesus knew the difficulties His followers were about to encounter. He had just finished quite a lengthy discussion with them of last minute teaching. Once He was arrested, He knew they would go into Trauma Mode, and forget a lot of it. So instead, He relied on a continued involvement in their lives after His death. 

God knows you can only handle so much of life’s downpours. So He gives you what you need to make it through each day. But when things are good, take extra time to absorb His presence. You’ll need it soon enough! You are loved today!