Posts Tagged ‘life’

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you, and that we may be rescued from wicked and evil people; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5, NRSV)

We give thanks for all of our brothers and sisters because we were all brought up from the same place, out of sin, by the grace of God.

Remember what you have learned and show the love that God has given you. For we were once dead, but have been made alive by the grace of God. And know that God will comfort you and strengthen you in every good work until His mission is complete. His new robe will help to protect you from the evil one and keep you covered in Him. Embrace your life in Christ!

Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” And Ezra said: “You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. (Nehemiah 9:5-6, NRSV)

God created all and gave life to all.

We think that our life is something we can make for ourselves, but we actually don’t start to live until we realize that everything we have has been given to us by God, and in that, we are freed to give as God gave to us. And in that freedom and giving, you will find life beyond imagination.

So don’t confuse a living with a life!

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old. After they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:5-31, NRSV)

Peter tells those gathered that all of this has happened because of Jesus Christ the cornerstone, the foundation of our faith.

The person whom the elders and people of God arrested and tried and crucified, He has become the foundation for the faith. And through Him, many things are done, and God receives glory!

So the leaders pondered because they knew that Peter and John were not educated men, but they spoke with great wisdom and power.  And when the leaders advised them not to teach or preach about Jesus, they said they had to, because that is what God had told them to do.

Do we base our life on that cornerstone and share with that kind of veracity?

Jesus gave us that faith, let us base our lives on him!

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God. But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy. Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—his name is the LORD—be exultant before him. Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land. O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, So the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel.  Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad; you restored your heritage when it languished; your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. (Psalm 68:1-10, NRSV)

Sometimes it is hard to find joy in life.

Sometimes it is where we least expect it.

If we are in Christ and have God as a part of our lives, then joy is always there.

Just like here in these peppers. Joy!

Because God is for us, it doesn’t matter who or what is against us. We can always have joy.

Because God is our champion. He is our protector. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

So we can always find joy in Him!

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.  Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.  And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11, NRSV)

Being humble is not something that comes easy for most of us.

And I don’t mean not being proud or arrogant about what we have done. Most of us are humble in this way. I mean in the second definition according to Merriam-Webster online.  This definition is: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. We find it hard to offer ourselves to God.

But if we are to live our life to the fullest, that is to give it up and allow God to have control.

To have life we must lose it.

To be free we must submit to God.

And after we accept God’s control, we will see the life He has for us and it will be so much better than anything we could have imagined.

So give it up and humble yourself before God.

Show us!

Posted: 2017/05/14 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Easter
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. (John 14:1-14, NRSV)

Show us the father and we will be satisfied…

Really? Sometimes I am really glad that disciples didn’t get it because it always gives me hope that I’ll be ok.

Jesus has shown us the heart of the Father through all of His actions.

Through His love for all humanity, Jesus has shown us the Father.

So follow what Jesus says in, “I am the way, the truth, the life.”

Live His way, by loving all.

Live the truth, by showing God’s heart in love.

Live the life, but giving up yours and taking what Jesus has for you.

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:1-10, NRSV)

This picture shows what many think is the way sheepfolds were in Jesus day, 3 complete walls, and a 4th with a hole. And the shepherd would be the gate to keep the sheep in and other animals out.

But notice in out text that it doesn’t say the shepherd keeps other sheep out, but that the sheep of a shepherd know his voice and they follow him. When the shepherd goes into the sheepfold and calls his sheep, the follow him. They follow Him out.

And that is where Jesus is calling us, out. It isn’t about keeping us safe in the sheepfold, or the confines of our worship spaces. It is about us going out. Having life abundant and sharing that with the world!

So don’t see the gate as a way to keep bad things from you, but as a way to the world that the shepherd is calling you to go to, to share the life He has given you and show them He can do the same for them!