Has God Ever?

Has God ever cried?  He did at Bethany (John 11:35)

Has God ever cooked breakfast? He did on the sea shore. (John 21:9)

Has God ever gone to a party?  He did at Cana. (John 2:2)

Has God ever washed feet? He did in the upper room. (John 13:5)

Has God ever scolded slow learners? He did on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:25)

Has God ever defended sinners? He did at the temple. (John 8:10)

Has God ever had dinner with sinners? He did with Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:7)

Has God ever physically attacked sin? He did in the temple.(John 2:15)

Has God ever been tired? He was in Samaria. (John 4:6)

Has God ever gone hiking? He did in Galilee. (Mark 1:35)

Has God ever been hungry? He was in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:2)

Has God ever told anyone to mind their own business? He did Peter. (John 21:22)

Has God ever led a parade? He did in Jerusalem. (Mark 11:7-11)

Has God ever been thirsty? He was on the cross (John 19:28)

Has God ever gone sailing? He did on the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 9:11)

Jesus is fully God and fully man. He understands our humanity because He experienced it.

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My Provision and Protection

Because Jesus is my protector and provider I will always have all I need.

He provides me with food and shelter. When I am discouraged and frightened He calms and comforts me.

He shows me how to behave in ways that honor Him.

Even in the scariest of times I am not afraid of Satan because Jesus has the power to keep me safe.

He provides times of celebration for me and my family. I can’t even count all the ways He blesses me.

I know such love will continue throughout all my life and I will be with Him in heaven forever.

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In Luke 6:31 Jesus gave us the guiding standard for living a life that pleases Him. If we expand the principle He expressed we will smile at others the way we would like to be smiled at, listen to others the way we would like to be listened to, share with others the way we would like others to share with us, talk to others the way we would like others to talk to us, visit with others the way we would like them to visit with us, encourage others the way we would like them to encourage us, and love others the way we would like for them to love us.

God’s Twitter

It seems that for many of God’s children Twitter has replaced prayer,  Facebook has taken the place of time in the prayer closet and cell phone contact is more to be desired than intimacy with Him.

The attraction of social networking comes from the fact that we all want to feel needed and need to feel wanted. We are comforted when we feel (accurately or not) that someone is interested in what we like, where we go and what we do.

We want to “reach out and touch” across the nation or around the world. Our sense of worth is enhanced if we have lots of “friends.” We value the fact that at any time from anywhere we can express our feelings, fears and victories to people who are significant to us.

As children of God we have access to an intimate relationship with Him that provides all this and more. We can contact Him across all space any time from anywhere.

Such privilege and power is called “prayer.” It is a 24-7, no limit, instantly received Tweet to the best friend we can ever have.

Our spiritual Facebook network includes the Friend who loves us like a brother. This love causes Him want to solve our problems and only He has the power and wisdom to do so.

If our need for earthly relationships is greater that our need for God, we will miss the joy, peace and power that Jesus died to provide us.

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No matter what I have or don’t have, no one can ever take away my most important possessions – my relationship with God and my membership in His family.

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I must never allow learning and thinking about God to replace talking and listening to Him.

God’s Active Love

God’s love for us is, and always has been, more than emotion. His love is so great that He had to put it into action to give us a demonstration so bold and decisive we could never doubt it or ignore it. That demonstration was, of course, the gift and death of His son.

What if God had said “I love you, and when you get your life cleaned up I’ll adopt you and allow you into my kingdom,” but had not sent Jesus?

OR

“I love you and I’m sorry you are hurting. Hang in there. Be sure to call me if I can be of any help,” but had not sent Jesus?

OR

“I love you and I understand your fears. Just remember that I’m in control of your future. I’ll always be close by if you need me,” but had not sent Jesus?

Such platitudes are well meaning, but we need much more. Without the gift of Jesus as proof of God’s love our religion would be empty and ineffective in helping us deal with the trials of life. As his children and representatives on earth, we must help others by going beyond words and demonstrating our love to those who are hurting. Just as our Father shows His love for us, we must show our love for others.

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Sometimes I think God does not solve the problems of those I am praying for until I am ready to be used by Him as part of the solution. God frequently says “Don’t just sit there and pray. Pray, then get up and DO what I lead you to do.”

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I John 4:21 says “He who loves God must love his brother also.” If I do not love others, especially other Christians, my love for God is stunted and limited. How do I know I love them? I want to help them.

Faith Tested

God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and he would have done so if the angel had not stopped him. (Genesis 22:1-13)

Jesus told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give away all the money. He refused. (Matthew 19:16-22)

God did not want Isaac’s death and I am sure He did not want the young man to become a pauper. If he would have started the process of divestment God would have somehow stopped him. Both the sacrifice of life and the sale of goods were designed to determine the degree of faith held by each man. God was seeking a willingness to obey rather than poverty or death.

Abraham passed his test and during his trip back to his family he had the satisfaction of knowing he had pleased God. The young man failed his test and he walked away because his quest for eternal life was going to cost him more than he was willing to pay.

I was saved as a young child more than seventy years ago. My decision at that time cost me very little. The subsequent years of sanctification and discipleship have posed much more difficult questions. All too often I have joined the rich young man and walked away from what Jesus wanted of me. My daily prayer is that I will learn the lessons the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me and be instantly obedient.

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God’s love is practical. It finds specific, helpful things we as his children can do for others. I have discovered that sometimes those things need to be done for people I don’t even know. Sometimes they are designed to be done for people I don’t like. Other times they are intended for people who do not like me. But every time I ask God about them He tells me to “Quit asking and start doing.”

What Scares Us?

On the evening of the first Easter the disciples huddled in a closed room and bolted the door to keep out the world. The were afraid of those on the outside, so they used locks to protect those on the inside.

Today we Christians, out of fear, hide behind the doors, walls, choir robes and Sunday school literature of our churches. We preach, praise, sing and pray, but we are still afraid.

Just what is it that frightens us?

We are afraid of losing the approval of the leaders of our church. We fear openly opposing the sins of some of the influential people who attend regularly and contribute generously. We don’t want to face the possibility that some of our deacons or teachers or singers might leave and start attending another church.

We fear the opinions of other Christians. We don’t want to do anything that might cause our friends in the church to think we are going overboard in our loyalty to Jesus. We don’t want to introduce or join a ministry that might upset those who make our small groups so enjoyable.  Sometimes we fear the disapproval of other Christians more than the criticism of a lost world.

We fear dedicating ourselves to any ministry that might interfere with the time we have available for family and friends. Giving up our independence so we can serve others is frightening.

We fear new ideas about how to worship. New songs and musical styles call for change and change is intimidating. We are not sure just what might ultimately develop if we leave our comfort zone.

So we close and lock our attitudes, just as the disciples locked the upper room. We live in fear of anything that might challenge us to examine ourselves and our relationship to God. Jesus said “God is the one you must fear…” (Luke 12:5) He also said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works…” (Matthew 5:16). We must not let our fear dim our light!

Bit & Pieces, Odds & Ends – 8

The blessings God has for me today may be delayed until I share the ones He gave me yesterday.

Jesus loves me so much that He became like me so I can become like Him.

Fear provides faith an opportunity to grow.

When God evaluates my behavior He is easy to please and impossible to satisfy.

Passionless people pray powerless prayers.

Stillness is a part of worship. If we will be quiet while we worship, God will hear us.

I must be aware of the needs of others before I can show them I care about those needs.

Faith should say to God “I will try to do the impossible and accept the uncomfortable.”

If I say “Jesus, I give you all my life to use as you want” I should also  say “Satan, you cannot use any of my life any time for any thing.”

Self-pity is a sin because it is based on the concept that God is not doing as good a job of taking care of me as He should be.

If there’s anyone in this world that I don’t love, I am disobeying Jesus… And disobedience is sin.

God came to us – Immanuel – so we will not be afraid to go to Him.