Remember the Words

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

When our boys were small, my wife, would often say to them, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” She did that because she knew that the difference between them hearing and really listening. Just like millions of other boys before them, our sons were hoping she would just finish what she was saying so that they could get back to what they were doing. But Nancy, bless her heart, was way ahead of them because she knew something they didn’t. She had been a kid once and had tried the same thing! She knew that until they looked her in the eyes, that their minds were too busy to pay attention.

In that same way, when Paul was giving his final instructions to the leaders of the church he wants them to listen and focus on the words of Jesus. Note that Paul does not say, remember me, nor does he tell them to travel to holy places or keep special artifacts. He knew that the only thing that would carry them through difficult times and give life to the growing church was the words of Jesus Christ. But what is it about those words of Jesus that makes them so powerful?

If we go back to the book Psalms, King David tells us that He loves God’s words because they are the sweetest thing in life. They are not dry and tasteless like fast food. They are the gourmet delights of heaven! How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Secondly, the words of Jesus are important because they are different than the billions of words that have been spoken, printed or recorded in the memories of computers. The words of Jesus are more than just ink on a page or a digital fingerprint on hard drive because they have spiritual meaning and life giving power -the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63. We will only understand them if as my wife told our sons, we look Jesus in the eyes as He is talking to us.

Last of all the words of Jesus are eternal and unchanging. We can count on them every day of our lives. That same persistence that Nancy used when she made the boys look at her as she was talking, she also put into practice when she checked if they had done what she had told them. “Mom can we go out and play?” they would ask. Her answer was always the same, “Did you clean your room like I said?’ One day Jesus is coming back and He will not ask us how many times we have been to church or how much we gave to the poor. What Jesus will ask is if we have kept the words that He gave us

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Luke 21:33

The words of Jesus are sweeter than honey. The words of Jesus give us power and life. The words of Jesus Christ will remain standing when heaven and earth will pass away. What better reason could we have than that to remember his words today?

Step by Step into 21

From milking the cows to following the light of God’s word into 2021; this week’s video shares memories and encouragement for our New Year. Songs included today are God Leads His Dear Children Along and Higher Ground. After all we have been through in 2020 I pray God to help all of us step into 2021 with greater faith and hope for all He has in store in the year ahead.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The Pathway to the Barn

Thy word is lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

When I was a teenager I lived for a few years on a farm in Southern Missouri. Each of us had our own chores and mine was to milk the cow. It would have been far easier to run across the road to the milk barn when it was light out, but in order to be ready to leave for work on time, I needed to get out of my nice warm bed and get started by 4:45. If the moon was full, it wasn’t hard to see and I could easily pick my way up the familiar path. But on dark moonless mornings, though I knew the way by heart, I needed the beam from my flashlight to find where to place my feet for each step.

Now fifty years later, I am still getting up long before daybreak but the pathway of 2021 feels far darker than any of those walks to the barn. Our own family’s issues, the ever changing national health crisis along with my own personal struggles loom on the horizon feeling like the shadows of a massive mountain range. Fears and doubts, decisions and demands lie waiting to be confronted, decided and met full on. But there is hope because God has given us a promise that He will light the path. We may not see well enough to run ahead, but His word will show us the way to take the next step. Then, even more amazingly He adds the even greater promise that He will not only light our path but that He will walk with us on it ,step by step, all the way to the barn.

God bless you each of you and Happy New Year. May you find the next step that He has reserved for you in this year that lies ahead!