Maybe you never stopped to think that as our world turns our sunset happens at the exact instant a beautiful dawn is breaking somewhere. That is what the apostle Paul is telling his dear friends. While his own life hastened towards a sunset of suffering the dawn of the light of God”s life was beginning in theirs.
God puts that free choice in each of our hands. The tighter we cling to our own life the less chance we will have of setting on fire the torch of faith in others!
So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:12 ESV
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 ESV
Your life may be the only Bible someone else will come across. Live it true to the hope that God has pit inside us and they may stop to read
When we forget our eternal hope in Christ and begin focusing on the things of this world His light shines just a little less to the people around us. But when we sink under the waves, others will be sure to ask us what it felt like walking hand in hand with Jesus when we climb back into the boat!
One of the great questions I have sometimes is not whether God would really forgive me because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. I accept this by faith without fully understanding because the Bible tells me so. What puzzles me more is why an infinitely pure holy and powerful God would care to spend eternity with me. And then I come to this verse and am reminded that while the distance from the North to South poles is fixed (12,430 miles) from East to West there is no measure. That measure”s limit lies beyond the edge of the universe, just like the love and mercy of God!
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted Matthew 5:4 NKJV
Frustration, a sense of failure, and helplessness conspired together this morning till tears flowed briefly down my face. Then God reminded me that my walk with Him is always and only by faith. To draw nearer we each must step outside the safety of our own understanding and onto the waters of trusting in Him alone. There comes a peace knowing that following his footsteps means walking with Him among the billows! There is where I am reminded again that He is the Great Comforter!
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
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.
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
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 14:24
During a recent snow storm our friend’s son told his dad that since God had sent the snow then he would just wait for God to take it away. In the morning I sent the father this short message, “Let your son know that I waited a few hours for God, but finally I had to shovel the snow myself!”
Jesus cannot be hurried or pressed into doing our part. The father in Mark’s gospel story had done all he knew to do. He had asked everyone he could think of for help. Now at last he stood before Jesus and pleaded for help for his son. But Jesus was not concerned only about the problem that this man could see. Jesus was at work, beneath the surface. He tenderly pressed this dad till he touched on the core issue of his struggle. He was willing to sacrifice. He was willing to humbly ask for help. Could he now be brave enough to believe?
It seems almost hard-hearted of Jesus to push this person to his limit, but Jesus saw something within him that he didn’t even know he had. He had faith! Listen closely to his prayer, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” That is a prayer God always answers!
First we believe, and then He gladly helps us with our unbelief. Drawing out this father’s faith is the great miracle. When the miracle of faith drawn out to action in our lives is accomplished there is nothing that God cannot do!
“All things are possible, only believe!” Mark 14:23b