The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you Philippians 4:9
Do you have anyone you follow as an example? Throughout the Bible we see how God gives his people examples to follow. Some are obvious like the twelve disciples following Jesus. Some are more subtle, like Ruth following the faith of her mother-in-law Naomi even though Naomi was going through tough times. Maybe someone has seemed to be an example in your life, then they turned out to be a fraud. If that has happened, try remembering that just because you have tasted something bitter doesn’t mean that nothing can ever be sweet.again.
In my own life the best example I had was my Dad. While I was growing up (especially as a teen-ager) I disregarded my Dad’s example. If I thought anything at all about the kind of life he was living I figured that he was nothing like I wanted to be. Dad seemed so meek and quiet, not bold as I imagined great men to be. Dad rarely pushed his opinion on others, while I was busy blabbing for all the world my high ideals. But as I grew older, got married and began trying to be a father myself there was no one who stood by me to help out like my Dad. He was a man who was deeply loved by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. All of Dad’s neighbors remembered him as a kind and thoughtful man. Year by year the tide washed away my own bold self-confidence and left behind a gentle reliance on God. Now when I look into life’s mirror, the reflection startles me because I have become in so many ways like my father.. He left an example without sermons or lectures. He left me an inheritance that I treasure above all the earthly reminders that still lie scattered about his family home. By what I saw in him, I received a glimpse of the God of peace and a hope in the Rock of Ages.
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand Edward Mote 1834
But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble Psalm 59:16
In the morning we need tot remember who brought us through the night!
Grace =Not because we deserved it;-not because we planned well – not because we did anything better than anyone else; but because He chose on Calvary to give us His mercy.
Up every mountain climb and down every dark valley path He is faithful!
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
On the farthest horizon of our human understanding we can just make out the faint outline of God’s amazing love. Paul explains to us four windows through which God’s love looks out. It is the same love but as we pass from window to window the vastness of God’s horizon spreads out till we can no longer see its limits
Window #1 Love Bears all things. We are fond of saying “I can do all things” without knowing that the first of those things is to bear the cross and follow Him. Love carries its cross all the way to the end of the road
Window #2 Love Believes all things: But the bearing that Jesus did of His cross was not in doubt, nor complaining. He went to Calvary, just as he had said because He believed in the will and the work of His Father.
Window #3 Love Hopes all things: Sometimes that hope is against all hope a hope that cries out “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” and still never dies.
Window #4 Love Endures all things: At the final hour Jesus carried God’s love to the end of His life and then he breathed his spirit. into the Father’s hands
Through love’s four windows we first look in to see Jesus’ love for us,but once we come in to receive it we can look out and see the world through the eyes of God!
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us Romans 12:3
It’s not how big our ideas seem to others or how important we think we are that matters. What really matters at the end of life will be what God will think about how we have used the gifts He has entrusted to us. When I was a teen-ager I helped on a farm for a while. We had pigs to slop, cows to milk, chickens to feed and even a couple of goats for a short time. Of all the animals we had on that tiny farm the ones I liked the least were the geese.
Our cow could be ornery on any given day, and the pigs were just plain stubborn (You might lead sheep but not pigs!). The chickens were not too bright and needed constant protection from the dog, the local raccoon and each other. But the geese, well they were pretty sure that they were better than any of the other animals that they shared the farm with.
Whenever I approached to feed them they would stick out their necks and hiss and flap their wings in a phony show of courage. In reality if I began to chase them they would turn tail and run as fast as their webbed feet could carry them (Farm geese don’t fly much) But no matter how much they hissed, flapped or ran they never really convinced anyone else of their importance.
I know that they Bible tells us we have more value than they birds of the air, but there have been some times when we have all acted a lot like those pompous geese. We put on a great show of bravery and self-importance but in the face of real trouble we forget our faith and run for the hills.
God tells us to humble ourselves and start out each day remembering exactly who we are and who we are not. No one is more important than anyone else on God’s farm. We are all loved by Him and given a particular job to do. The gifts we are given and even the opportunities to use them are given by the Lord.
God has made you special…but not any more special than anyone else! Remembering that is the true key to finding the will of God for our life.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2
Of course no one will capture on film the appearance of God’s Holy city but in small moments, in the blink of an eye we can begin to imagine…
Looking for a city, where we’ll never die,
There the sainted millions, never say good-by,
There we’ll meet our Savior, and our loved ones too,
Come O Holy Spirit, all our hopes renew. John Starnes