Follow Me!

Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”        John 21:21

As Jesus and Peter walked along the beach in conversation about God’s will, Peter turned around and saw his friend John following close behind. Maybe John just wanted to see if Jesus would talk with him also or maybe like a younger sibling he was simply eavesdropping!

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When Peter saw John suddenly the question came to him that often comes to us all: “What about him? Why won’t he have to experience the same things I do? ” Lovingly Jesus turned Peter’s focus back to where it needed to be: “Follow Me!

As Americans we are raised on fairness. We grow up with it in the home, we hear and see it in the media and it is almost written into our DNA! But our God in his grace does much better than being fair with us: He gives us His grace. What a wonderful rest will enter into the DNA of our soul once we settle the matter of His grace and His will. What others will or won’t have to do will fade away and the eyes of our heart will begin to see Jesus clearly as we hear His plain message; “Follow Me!”

Selah!

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Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah    Psalm 3:2-4

Selah: From calah; suspension (of music), i.e. Pause  Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

Though the exact meaning of the Hebrew word from which we derive “Selah” is cloudy, it is generally accepted as a word used to indicate a musical pause in a song. In sheet music is it a mark called a rest.  We pause or rest because it gives greater meaning to what has gone before. Just as in a garden, the spaces between the flowers help define their beauty so also in the word of God. We pause, think about what has been said, then launch out into the next verse.

If today you are under attack follow David’s example. Pause, remember the promises of God, and trust that He has hears your cry! Then, pause again and be grateful that we belong to such a faithful Savior and God! He is our shield, our glory and the lifter of our heads!

The Things Left Behind

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead Philippians 3:13

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Often when we think of this scripture the image that comes to our minds is of leaving behind the hurts, bitterness and disappointments of our past and pressing on to a bright future. But what Paul was leaving behind was not difficulty and disappointment, but rather comfort, respect and success. While what lay ahead of him were, struggles, persecution and death. Yet Paul faced these challenges of his life with courage, hope and compassion for those under his care. He did not sulk in the corner or slink away from the race in shame. Instead of giving up, Paul focused on the finish line.

I hold in my memory banks a scene from long ago when I ran on our high school track team. Though I was not a good runner I determined that I would always cross the finish line. Often I was dead last!  My position in the race and seeming lack of progress were outweighed for me by a single factor: there at the finish line stood my coach, waiting for me and cheering me on. I would pick my head up and look down the track and remember how coach always told us, “Run through the tape not to it!”

So if today your race seems hopeless, and to all outward appearances you are not achieving life’s most important goals, take your eyes off your feet as you run and look ahead.  There at the end of your race, Jesus is watching and cheering you on! Run your race for a goal that lies in heaven, with eternal our coach,Jesus Christ of Nazareth! , He was the one who fired off the starting pistol both at gate and is standing, holding the tape at the finish line!

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

His Eye is On the Sparrow by Civilla Martin