The only promises that matter are promises kept. God’s promises to us are called great and precious. These promises include, joy peace and eternal life. But these promises have their greatest fulfillment not in blessings but in a person. That promise is the person of the Holy Spirit.
He is, in the words of the hymn, in the garden where Jesus is waiting.” He is already waiting to find us when we open the gate to go in.
And being assembled together with them He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the Promise of the Father “which,” He said “you have heard from Me Acts 1:4
As we drove down a side road in Amish country we stopped at a small farm stand. There a sweet red haired girl of about 6 was watching her mother’s shoo-fly pie, fresh baked cookies, and chow-chow. She told us her name was Martha. “Well I’ve got some good news for you Martha.” I said. “The Bible says that Jesus loved Martha!” I told her and we both laughed.
I picked out some cookies and paid for them and she put them into a bag then waved and smiled as we drove off. Remembering that moment today I wondered how many kinds of people that Jesus loved. There is an election just one week away and our debate has become heated and angry. We hear it on television, see it in our neighborhoods, and sadly even in our churches. Below is a list of people Jesus loves. It makes me wonder if we can make a list of people we are ready to love for Him.
He loved Mary Marta and Lazarus
He loved His disciples to the end
He loved the rich young ruler
He loved his sheep and died for them
He loved tax collectors and sinners
He loved a woman caught in adultery
He loved His enemies and forgave
He loves all of us and our neighbors
Who will we tell that Jesus still loves today?
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Today I have small confession to make. I love to write but I hate to edit! I still remember the editing of Sister Mary Friel in my Child Psychology class. If she found a single error on our daily writing assignment she would give it a big red check mark and return our paper with a provisional F. If we corrected and resubmitted our work by the following class our grade would be redone: if not the failing grade became ours!
This method led me to carefully inspect my work. I checked for spelling errors, footnote placement and grammatical nuance. Seeing the large red slashes across my writing bruised my ego but it trained me to become a better writer.
I love the quote from Hebrew about Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith. However Jesus also wants to become the Senior editor of our hearts. He is waiting for us to submit our plans for final revisions to Him. If this morning we put our plans on His desk, He promises to lovingly correct us and help us turn in an A paper for the day!
Father before I begin this morning, I confess to you my inability to write a single line without your editorial assistance. Help me to be honest with others. Correct my easy tendency to self-serving motivations. Teach me how to use words as a healing balm not a knife of sarcasm that cuts with a smile. Help me to remember that the only article worth publishing today is the Good News of Salvation and hope through the cross. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen