Posts Tagged ‘love’

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31, NRSV)

God does not need us.

He does not need us to make dwelling places for Him.

He does not need us to serve Him.

He created everything, including us.

Paul looks around Athens and discovers what theAthenians need to hear and he tells them.

He looks at their context and talks to them in ideas and concepts they will understand.

That is how the message of God is received by others. By us understanding who they are and us speaking to them in concepts and ideas they understand.

Here is a cute cartoon about this:

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”  Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36, NRSV)

If the biggest smallest word in the English language!

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” If you continue means they were listening to and following His words. That is a question for some. But do we continue to listen and follow the words Jesus is saying to us?

They questioned even the statement of being set free, because they are descendants of Abraham, and therefore are a part of God’s chosen people, but have they forgotten this little place called Eygpt? And the years the Israelite people spent there in slavery? Never been slaves to anyone? Really?

But it isn’t about being a slave to a master who is human, could be, but more than that it is about us living a life that is freed from all worries and concerns. It is about us finding joy in the darkness because we are connected to Jesus.

It is about hearing His calling and following. It is about abiding in His word and allowing Him to abide in us.

The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
The hope of the righteous ends in gladness,
but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
The way of the LORD is a stronghold for the upright,
but destruction for evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
(Proverbs 10:27-32, NRSV)

When we follow the path that God has set before us it may not be smooth. It may not be easy. It might go up and down and over some pretty hard terrain. But it is the easy path for sure.

The way of the Lord is a stronghold for life and in that way, we will not be removed and will be accepted because of God.

So walk in His way, and know He is always with you.

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.

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.  I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken. I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. I will provide for them a splendid vegetation so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations. They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 34:20-31, NRSV)

Since the rulers of Israel had fallen away from God, God interveined.

That is good news, God does not leave His people to flounder out of the water like a fish gasping for air, trying to get back into the water forever.

God will intervene and help His people when they stray too far and long from Him.

He will bring His leaders, those who fill cling to Him to lead His people.

Follow after God and know He is always there, walking side by side with you.

Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet “in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.” But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. (Hebrews 10:35-11:2, NRSV)

Faith is knowing that what we can’t see is for real. It is not shrinking back when the going gets tough, but it is walking faithfully knowing the things we can not yet see will be there. That the promises made to us are real. And that everything He said is true.

That is faith. Take a step and know He is with you!

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:19-31, NRSV)

When it was evening that day…

So if you read the first 18 verses of John 20 you will see what day it is. The day Jesus rose from the dead. Mary Magdelene was at the tomb and told the disciples what had happened, Peter and John went to see and went home. Then later that night the 10 disciples are locked in a room. Judas is dead, and Thomas is nowhere to be found. He is out while the others cower in fear. But when the 10 do see Thomas they tell him what happened and he wants nothing more than what the 10 got. To see the wounds. Becuase they did not acknowledge Jesus until He showed them His hands and His side.

But when Thomas sees Jesus, Jesus tells him to put his finger in His hands and his hand in His side, but he doesn’t. He simply proclaims, “My Lord and my God!”

But does he have to see Him to believe He rose from the dead?

Because as they great line from the Santa Clause goes, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”

Jesu because we see something doesn’t mean it is real or true. I have seen a lot of magic tricks, David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Did it actually disappear? I don’t believe it did, it was an optical illusion.

And I’ve never seen Jesus or God, but I believe they are always there for me.

So don’t be unbelieving, but believe!