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hungry

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (Matthew 15:32-39, NRSV)

Where are we going to find food enough for all of these people?

How long had the disciples been with Jesus?

How many miracles have they witnessed by this point? And yet they still don’t get it.

But would we be any different?

We would question. We would wonder. We wouldn’t understand.

So be hungry for what God as to do and ask how you will get to be a part of His plan, and allow Him to work through you.

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surprise

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46, NRSV)

What is the thing that is the same with the sheep and the goats?

Both groups after hearing what will happen to them and why ask when did these things happen…

They are both surprised they did or did not do those things.

So how can we be sure we will be a sheep?

All of these people are outcasts, hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, in prison. They are people who have no family to care for them and need assistance where ever they can get it.  These are the people Jesus wants us to look after. These are the people who need the love of God shown to them. And by assisting them, we are doing it to Jesus.

So help all, even when you wonder if they need it because that is what God blessed you for. You are blessed to be a blessing.

 

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want

PrintThe LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long. (Psalm 23, NRSV)

Is the Lord really my shepherd?

Because it says, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

And I don’t know about you but I still want.

I want the end to hunger.

I want the end to homelessness.

I want the end to abuse.

Ok and I also want some selfish things.

But if the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want, but I do, so is He?

I think we will always want, that is our human nature, but the Lord is my shepherd and I know that He will always supply all of my needs. So in that I never want.

So is He your shepherd?

 

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Blessed? Really!

170129When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:1-12, NRSV)

These are not the things that I want to be when I think I am blessed.

Poor in money or spirit doesn’t make me blessed.

Mourning doesn’t make me blessed.

Being hungry doesn’t make me blessed.

Being persecuted doesn’t make me blessed.

But like most things Jesus touches, it is turned upside down. Because when the world thinks you are blessed, you have received your reward, but when you are mocked by the world, that is when God lifts you up.

So look for God’s blessing, not the blessing of the world!

 

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The Lord does it

161012Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. “There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and on them he has set the world. “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10, NRSV)

Hanna prayed about all of the things God had done for her. And not only her but God’s people.

You see God raises the lowly.

God lifts up the weighed down.

God fixes the broken.

God feeds the hungry.

God brings the lifeless to life.

We all have reasons to pray and thank God for who He is and what He has done for all of us!

 

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blessed woe

bd911db2003ea8a8cd8bfff0c41d6e46Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:20-26, NRSV)

You are blessed when you are:

poor
hungry
weeping
hated
reviled

And woe to you when you are:

rich
full
laughing
well spoken of

Seems like Jesus got His lists backwards.

How am I blessed if I’m poor, hungry, weeping, hated, and reviled?

Well, you see if you are all the things that you are under woe, you can count on yourself. If you are rich, full, laughing, and well spoken of you can rely on yourself and do not need anyone else. Thus, you will miss the abundant life you will have when you give up what you have a rely on God.

So give up and rely on God and be blessed!

 

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worship I seek

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.  Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:1-10, NRSV)

We do not fast so that people will notice.

We do not fast so God will notice.

We need to do what God needs for us to do in His world:

to loose the bonds of injustice

to undo the thongs of the yoke

to let the oppressed go free

to break every yoke

to share your bread with the hungry

to bring the homeless poor into your house

when you see the naked to cover them

not to hide yourself from your own kin

And when we do all this:

God’s light shall break forth like the dawn

God’s healing shall spring up quickly

God our vindicator shall go before you

and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard

 

 

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