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Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Let’s go!

“Let’s go, so we can die with him.”

This line sounds like an action adventure thriller.  It’s buried in a story about a friend receiving a message concerning a sick loved one.  For the friend to travel to visit his sick friend would be dangerous, because people in that area want to kill him.  What are we missing?

Thomas…said to the other disciples, “Come on.  Let’s go, so we can die with him.”  John 11:16 CEV

Thomas, a follower of Jesus, most well-known for his doubt, is voluntarily going with Jesus into dangerous enemy territory and encourages his friends to go as well.

Jesus received a message that his friend, Lazarus is sick.  He knows what will happen to Lazarus.  His disciples don’t.

Enter sickness of a friend.

After two days, Jesus gathers his disciples and tells them that they are going to Judea.  The disciples question Jesus’ decision to venture into a place where people desire to stone him.  Why would Jesus want to go where people want to harm him?

Enter the possibility of death for Jesus and his followers.

Jesus has to speak clearly to his disciples and tell them that Lazarus is dead.

Death has struck.

Jesus addresses his disciples with these words, “Lazarus is dead!  I am glad I wasn’t there, because now you will have a chance to put your faith in me.  Let’s go to him.”

That little 5 letter word is what trips us up every time – faith.  Put your faith in Jesus.  The questions with faith begin with what we hope won’t happen.  The disciples’ focus probably isn’t on Lazarus or his circumstances when Jesus challenges them.

Thomas is the first to respond.

Thomas…said to the other disciples, “Come on.  Let’s go, so we can die with him.”  John 11:16 CEV

It is what it is.

Right?

Jesus is leading the way.

Death permeates this story.

Yes, we know that there is more to the story,

John 11:17-45.

Faith.  Do we say “It is what it is”

or do we put our faith in Jesus?

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Steve Jobs died yesterday.  He made his “ding” in the world (one of his quotes).  It was interesting to watch Facebook posts and see the comments made about Steve Jobs whether they were in appreciation for his contribution to the digital world, prayers for his family, or people who had no idea who Steve Jobs was.

Who are the people who have changed the world?  How?

Do we acknowledge their contribution or even know of their contribution?

Is history important to our understanding of life?

Who are the people who have changed your world?  How?

Do we show appreciation to those who have altered our personal world?

What about the people who have changed our world in ways that may not be positive?

How do we process their contributions in our lives?

Can we look in the rearview mirror and acknowledge the growth in our lives beyond the hurt at a point in time?

Whose worlds have we altered?  How?

“All that matters is your faith that makes you love others.” (Galatians 5:6 CEV)

How are you doing at loving others?

Remember:  you are changing their world.

It can be an “. . . or is it kind” of moment

as we demonstrate our faith by loving others.

Yes, it will definitely make you peculiar.

And you will be changed…

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Shine, David Crowder Band

 

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Delight in Wise Words

What you say goes, God,

and stays, as permanent as the heavens.

Your truth never goes out of fashion;

it’s as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.

Your Word and truth are dependable as ever;

that’s what you ordered–you set the earth going.

If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so,

I would have given up when the hard times came.

But I’ll never forget the advice you gave me;

you saved my life with those wise words.

Save me!  I’m all yours.

I look high and low for your words of wisdom.

The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me,

but I’m only concerned with your plans for me.

I see the limits to everything human,

but the horizons can’t contain your commands!

Psalm 119:89-96 The Message

Who are you listening to?

What are you listening to?

Whose wisdom are you delighting in?

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“When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.”

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say. “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow.”
— Maya Angelou

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Jesus stopped and ordered the man (blind beggar calling for mercy) to be brought to him.  When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Luke 18:40-41

We should be asking people, “What do you want Jesus to do for you?”

Somehow Christians have adopted the mindset of what can the church or the pastor or whoever do for me.  When we ask, what do you want Jesus to do for you, everything changes.

Who will ask Jesus

to adjust the temperature,

to change the music so that I can sing my favorites to him,

to adjust the volume of the music,

to preach on specific topics

to eliminate or add specific music instruments

to keep the children quiet

to make those people “do it right”

to tell people to dress “more appropriately”

to tell the pastor his sermons are too long, too short, to shallow . . .

to tell someone that they are not welcome at church

What do you want Jesus to do for you today?

He’s asking the question.

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Who do you say I am?

Once when Jesus was praying in private and

his disciples were with him,

he asked them,

“Who do the crowds say I am?”

They replied,

“Some say John the Baptist;

others say Elijah;

and still others,

that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

“But what about you?” Jesus asked.

“Who do you say I am?”

Luke 9:18-20

Hmmmm . . . What about you?  Have you answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?”  You and I can’t rely on the crowds’ answer.  The crowd has a lot of answers.  They may or may not be the “right” answer.

You and I have to reconcile in our lives who Jesus is.

It changes everything in your life and mine.

So who is Jesus?

Do you have an answer?

And yes, no answer is an answer.

Take some time today to ponder who you say Jesus is.

You answer this question in a million ways as you live and breathe each day.


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