Things we Leave Behind

 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.

Matthew 25:13-14 ESV

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One day all of us will take a journey. We will finish our final 24 hours on this planet and go to stand before the Lord. On an earthly journey there are some things we need to do to get ready. We might need to draw money from the bank, pack our suitcases and fill up the car with gas. In our preparations whether we know it or not we are making two decisions: what will we take with us and what will we leave behind.

In the same way we need to prepare for our heavenly departure. Jesus told us to be watchful because we cannot know the day of His return. For some that will be the day He splits the skies and descends from the clouds and for others it will be the moment in God’s calendar when we depart to be with Him. Whichever way we meet Him there are some things we must do today to get ready.

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First into your suitcase be sure to pack faith. Faith is God’s first gift and – Without faith it is impossible to please Him… Hebrews 11:6 But to travel with your faith you will discover that fear is taking up so much space inside your bag that one must be left behind.

 

Next we must be sure to find a place for hope. Hope is the gift that God gives us after faith and it gives us strength to keep going through all the weary miles of life. But to find room for hope we have to allow God to unpack our shame and leave it at the foot of the cross. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts … Romans 5:5

 

Last always remember to never leave love behind. The entire reason for our journey is not because God needs more servants to get stuff done in heaven, but because He wants children on whom He can lavish His amazing love forever! So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love 1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Saturday Morning Confessions

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And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:2

Because I find it hard in a social forum like this to be transparent I rarely share my personal struggles. It relish safety as in the words of Paul Simon’s song, “I am a rock I am an island And a rock feels no pain.” But to pull the curtain back just a bit this morning I thought maybe someone else may benefit from my struggle this year to write.

About the beginning of 2017 I decided to write a full year of devotional readings. I confess that while it seemed a little daunting I figured that I could scoot through the work fairly easily. “After all” I told myself, “short devotional writing is what I have done for a long time.” While January – March did indeed fly by pretty rapidly I discovered some things about myself and about writing that I thought might be an encouragement to others.

Writing well is a lot of hard work! Not to mention leg cramps from hours at the key board and the frustration of trying to format material that insists on slipping out from under my control!

I am not really a professional writer in the way that a some in my family and a few of the readers of my blog are. I do have a degree in English but it feels like I just don’t get it, in a lot of ways and others seem to race ahead of me in accomplishing things I haven’t even thought of.

Everything of eternal worth must be learned first at the feet of Jesus. Filling pages with words, even words that people enjoy reading doesn’t accomplish anything if they don’t flow from the heart of God.

God loves me and is pleased with my best for Him even if it is not highly successful in the eyes of others. Twenty five years ago God asked me a question concerning my nursing home ministry, “Would you do it for one?” It felt like a light switched on in a dark room and I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror.  Just what was the reason that God had sent me? Was it so people would praise me or think I was a pretty nice guy? Or did my heart join with the love of Jesus Christ for forgotten and abandoned people, one by one left alone wishing that someone could sit and spend a little time at their side?

So whether you are struggling to put words on a page, leading a small group or trying to get through to your kids, take a deep breath and sit down for a minute. Now relax, close your eyes if it helps and remember. One day Jesus Christ visited one single man by the pool of Bethesda. To this day no one knows his name but He was not forgotten by the master and neither are we. Few people may ever know your name but Jesus does. Now open your eyes, stand back up and get back in the fight! God loves what you do whatever the results when you do it all for Him; if only just for one

 

God’s Master Plan

Our hope in Jesus Christ through every difficulty is that He works all things together for good. Sometimes God’s master plan is that our sufferings today will be the seed of His grace in the lives of others tomorrow. And in everything it will always be forever for our good!

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose    Romans 8:28

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How Big God is Your God?

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Jesus isn’t sitting on His throne hoping for a nice flowery formal prayer. If you have just a small faith in a big God don’t be afraid to pray. Jesus is waiting at for us at His throne of grace. Our God is big enough to move any mountain with faith smaller than a tiny seed!  KIMG1199

Whatsoever You Ask

One of my favorite books on prayer is a tiny volume named “The Kneeling Christian” It is written by an unknown Christian however I strongly suspect that Andrew Murray was the author simply judging by its content and style. What a blessing and motivation to prayer this little book has been in my life. Today is 2017 we no less need prayer than when this book was first published more than a century ago. Our churches have full pews but often empty altars. We laugh and sing but who weeps with our Savior and tarries in prayer for the urgent needs all around us? The good news is that there is still a time for prayer. There is still an open door to God’s throne of grace. Jesus is listening and waiting if only we will begin to earnestly pray. This week our Iris burst into full bloom. All year I wait for that day when its petals open and give out their fragrance. In the same way God sees our life as a garden and waits for our prayers to unfold as the full expression of our faith and trust in Him!

"
 God "wondered that there was no intercessor" (Isa. lix. 16)--"none to
   interpose" (R.V., marg.). But this was in the days of long ago, before
   the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ "full of grace and truth"--before
   the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, full of grace and power, "helping
   our infirmity," "Himself making intercession for us" and in us (Rom.
   viii. 26). Yes, and before the truly amazing promises of our Savior
   regarding prayer; before men knew very much about prayer; in the days
   when sacrifices for their sins loomed larger in their eyes than
   supplication for other sinners.

   Oh, how great must be God's wonder today! For how few there are among
   us who know what prevailing prayer really is!"

 excerpt from chapter one "The Kneeling Christian author unknown
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