Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mercy and Forgiveness

Recently, our community grieved the death of a fifty year old man who had lost all three of his sons in a car accident. Unknown to his three young teens, the driver who invited them to ride had stolen the car and was fleeing from the police when he wrecked.

The driver lived went to jail. The bereaved father reached out to him and became a mentor and big brother to him.

The story doesn't end there. Many other parents are speaking out how this man inspired them to call on God to be able to forgive, and to live with hope and peace after their child's wrongful death.

I have to remind myself sometimes that not one of us deserves the mercy and kindness that Jesus has shown us.

We have a great high priest,
who has gone into heaven,
and he is Jesus the Son of God....
Jesus understands
every weakness of ours,
because he was tempted
in every way that we are.
But he did not sin!
So whenever we are in need,
we should come bravely
before the throne of our merciful God.
There we will be treated with undeserved kindness,
and we will find help.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Timed Test


Do you remember those times tests? "This is a timed test. When the buzzer sounds, put down your pencil. You don't get a second chance."

God is not like that. He gives us many chances to "pass the test". It's an open book test. We can keep our Bible open and search for the answer. If we still don't get it, we can even look over a friend's shoulder for the answer.

But the day will come when time is up. This question must be answered: Will you put your trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life?

To leave that question blank is to fail the test - to refuse God's priceless gift of love, forgiveness, and eternal life in Heaven with Him.

In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus, "What will it be like when You return?"

Jesus answered, "For as lightning flashes across from east to west, so will the Son of Man’s coming be."

We are seeing signs of the times that Jesus' return is near.

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
Isaiah 55:6

Sunday, August 26, 2012

LIFETIME GUARANTEE

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Message

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 NASB

Do you think about the fact that from the beginning, God knew you would be alive at this time in history, and that He planned to show Himself strong through you? He puts someone on your heart to pray for or visit or help, and then gives you the resources to do it.

We love God because He FIRST loved us!

Show Us your Glory

These are times of daily crises, but also of opportunity to bring in the harvest. In the days ahead, there will only be two kinds of people, those who know forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ, and those who desperately long to know Him.

We can start over today, as fresh and pure as a spotless lamb. We can come to a place where we no longer feel condemned or confused, always trying to figure everything out or understand all God's ways. I can come to a place of close fellowship with God where His love is so irresistable that I immediately say "yes" to whatever He asks me to do.

God is about to bring us into a time of harvest and fruitfulness where we will see more happen for His Kingdom in one hour that we saw previously in a year.

Show us Your Glory, Father. Everything is for Your Glory.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BEEP!

I was teaching first graders, and another teacher loaned me an old "book-on-tape" for the kids to listen to after lunch. She said, "I know you could read the story aloud, but this cassette tape has marvelous voices and sound effects for this seasonal story."

I dutifully put the tape in, and sat at the front of the class, showing the pictures in the book. Whenever it was time to turn the page, the tape would "BEEP" to remind me.

After the story, a very serious little boy came to me and said, "My Mommy doesn't allow me to listen to stories with bad words!"

"Honey," I said, "what did you hear on the tape that you thought was a bad word?"

"I couldn't hear the bad words," he told me. "They were 'BEEPED' out!"

I commend this little one for his wisdom. This was a good reminder for me to listen to, think about, and talk about things that are uplifting.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV