…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
The Bible teaches us that God is in three Persons. God is One, but He is manifested in three Persons. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Don’t ask me to explain it—I can’t. It’s impossible for me to explain to you the Holy Trinity. I accept it by faith. God the Father; God the Son, who is equal with the Father in every respect; God the Holy Spirit, who is equal with the Son and with the Father in every respect.
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person. He is never to be referred to as “it.” He is a mighty Person, the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is eternal. The Bible tells us that He is holy. He is referred to in the New Testament alone some 100 times as the Holy Spirit—absolute holiness, absolute purity, absolute righteousness.
The Bible tells us of the work of the Holy Spirit. What does He do? We are told in John 16:8 that He convicts men and women of sin: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Before you can come to Christ you must acknowledge that you are a sinner. You must renounce your sins. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts you of your sin. He makes you feel uncomfortable. He pricks your conscience. He makes you admit that you are a sinner, and then He gives you the strength and the power to turn from your sins.
The Bible teaches that the moment you receive Jesus Christ as Savior, the Spirit of God comes in and gives you new life. For the first time, you begin to live with a capital “L.” There’s a whole new direction to your life because the Spirit of God has given to you the very life of God.
The Bible also teaches us that the Spirit of God produces the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
This cluster of fruit should characterize the life of every Christ-born child of God. We’re to be filled with love, we’re to have joy, we’re to have peace, we’re to have patience, we’re to be gentle and kind, we’re to be filled with goodness, we’re to have faith, we’re to have meekness, and we’re to have temperance. But what do we find? In the average so-called Christian today we find the opposite.
Every person, before coming to Christ, is dominated by one nature—the “old man.” You’re controlled by your ego, your self. The moment you receive Christ as your Savior, that self is put down. Christ is put on the throne in your life, and the Spirit of God dominates your life.
However, self is still there—sometimes hidden, sometimes quiet—waiting for the opportunity and the chance to attack the citadel of your soul and take control again. You have the will as a Christian to yield either to the flesh and live a fleshly, carnal life; or to yield to the Spirit and live a Spirit-filled life.
Which life are you living? Are you living a fleshly, carnal life? Oh, you go to church, but there is no daily walk or fellowship with Christ. There’s not the joy, the buoyancy that you know a Christian should have.
God never meant it to be that way. God meant the Christian life to be on the highest possible plane at all times, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
I cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit by my own strength. I cannot love, I cannot have joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance by myself. I have no power. But this Holy Spirit, who lives in me since I received Christ as my Savior, is the one who gives me the power to love. He gives me the joy. He gives me the peace. He gives me the patience. He bears the fruit in my life.
You say, “I’m a Christian.” Are you? Well, let’s see what kind of fruit you have produced. Is your life filled with immorality? Is it filled with idolatry? That is, do you have more time for other things than you do for God? Is there hatred? Is there wrath? Is there strife? Is there partying? Is there envy? Is there jealousy?
Now regarding the fruit of the Spirit: The first one is love, and this is the heart of it all, because all of them are wrapped up in this one word: love.
There are three words for love in Greek. In English there is only one. But in Greek, eros is sensual love. Philia is love between friends or the love between a man and wife. And there is one word to describe supernatural love, God’s love for us: agape.
Notice God’s love. You and I were sinners. We were enemies of God. We had rebelled against God. We deserved hell. But the Bible says God loved us anyway with an everlasting love, so that He was willing to give His Son to die on the cross for our sins.
When I see Jesus Christ dying there, the nails in His hands, the spikes through His feet, and the crown of thorns on His brow—when I see Christ suffering and dying—I see the love of God outpoured for us.
If Christ were dying for friends it would be one thing; but He was dying for enemies. The moment you give your life to Christ, the Bible teaches that God sheds abroad in your heart that same love—agape love.
There is not a person who has the ability to love that way unless he or she comes to Christ—unless the Holy Spirit has control of their life. You don’t have the power to love. But when men and women turn to God, God gives them agape love—and then they love their neighbors no matter what the color of their skin, no matter what their circumstances.
This is the love that God gives as a gift, and it is produced in the heart by the Holy Spirit who lives there.
Then there’s joy. The summons to rejoice is sounded no less than 70 times in the New Testament. Seventy times in the New Testament it says that Christians should rejoice! Count it all joy, even when you face trials and tribulations and troubles.
There is a vast difference between pleasure and Christian joy. Pleasure depends on circumstances. Many times it requires good health to really enjoy yourself. But Christian joy is completely independent of health or circumstances.
When circumstances are savage, when circumstances are against you, when every modern comfort is withdrawn, there is still the miracle of joy produced by the Holy Spirit who lives within. How many sick people I’ve called on who knew Christ and there was a radiant joy—there was heaven on their faces.
And there is peace. Millions of people would gladly give their right arms to find peace. They would like to have deep, inward, satisfying peace.
You are searching for peace: you long for it. You thought you would find it if you made a lot of money, but you didn’t find it. You thought you would find it if you had sexual experiences, but you didn’t find it.
You thought you would find it if you got drunk, but you didn’t find it. You thought you would find it in getting and accumulating a lot of knowledge, so you got all the degrees you could get, but you didn’t find it. You’ve searched the religions of the world, but you haven’t found it.
There are a thousand ways you’ve turned, trying to find peace, but you haven’t found it. You’ve escaped from reality for a few moments, for a few hours, and then it’s back—the old burden, the old suffering, the old emptiness, the old monotony, the old grind. Give your life to Christ and let Him give you “the peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
As you yield completely to Him as Savior and Lord—when you come to Christ by an act of faith—He gives you the Holy Spirit, who produces the fruit of the Spirit. After the Holy Spirit is in you, you must yield to Him to the extent that He controls your life. Then sin will not rule over you. “He who is in you [the Holy Spirit] is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
You say, “What must I do?” By an act of faith you must receive Christ. You must give Him your total life, your intellect, your emotional life. Your will must be bent to His will—surrender, commit, receive. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Give your life to Him! Don’t let anything keep you back! You may never again be this close to the Kingdom of God.
Understanding is extremely important when it comes to a healthy successful marriage. When you are willing to understand each other, new vision and hope will emerge. You will immediately become energized to work on your marriage, even if it is ripe with trouble. Here is a story that illustrates how everything changes when we understand. How our understanding can effect our willingness to stick to a difficult relationship.
Once there was a boy who lived with his mother and grandfather. His grandfather was not really an elderly man, but he was confined to a wheelchair and had very little use of his arms. His face was badly scarred, and he had a difficult time swallowing his food.
Every day the little boy was assigned the task of going into his grandfather’s room and feeding him lunch. This the little boy did faithfully, but not joyously. It was quite a mess to feed Grandfather.
As the boy grew into adolescence, he became weary of his responsibility. One day he stormed into the kitchen and announced that he had had enough. He told his mother, “From now on, you can feed Grandpa.”
Very patiently his mother turned from her chores, motioned for her son to sit down, and said, “You are a young man now. It is time you know the whole truth about your grandfather.” She continued, “Grandpa has not always been confined to a wheelchair. In fact, he used to be quite an athlete. When you were a baby, however, there was an accident.”
The boy leaned forward in his chair as his mother began to cry.
She said, “There was a fire. Your father was working in the basement, and he thought you were upstairs with me. I thought he was downstairs with you. We both rushed out of the house. Your grandfather found you, wrapped you in a wet blanket, and made a made a mad dash through the flames. He brought you safely to your father and me.
“He was rushed to the emergency room suffering from second-and third-degree burns as well as smoke inhalation. The reason he is the way he is today is because of what he suffered the day he saved your life.”
By this time the boy had tears in his eyes as well. He never knew; his grandfather never told him. And with no conscious effort on his part, his attitude changed. With no further complaints, he picked up his grandfather’s lunch tray and took it to his room.
Once you understand why your husband acts that way, or why your wife thinks that way, it will change how you feel about him or her, though nothing has really changed. Compassion will come with an accompanying perseverance—all because you now understand. I cannot overstate the importance of how everything changes when we understand.
We all go through life hitting some bumps in the road. Sometimes we get a flat tire, sometimes the weather is stormy and dark, but Jesus told us, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The italics are mine.
In Christ Jesus our Lord we will find peace and rest for our souls. The world and the devil will throw you around and try to get you off the path.
In the world we will have tribulation, but take heart, or be of good cheer, Jesus has already won. The victory is already ours. Satan my be pointing a gun at your head and threatening to pull the trigger, but the gun has no bullets. It’s empty just like Satan’s threats are empty. Ha can’t do anything to you.
We don’t operate toward the victory, we operate from the point of victory.
My friend, that makes all the difference in the world.
Live your life in the victory that Jesus Christ has already secured for you on the cross. You are a winner, and Jesus is now your new Master, and He wants to give you peace and rest.
Listen to this short video from Dr. Tony Evans. I pray it will comfort you, no matter what your situation is.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30
Are you weary and heavy with burdens?
Go to Jesus. Take some time away from everything and everyone, and spend some time alone with Him. He’s waiting for you. He wants to lift those burdens from off your shoulder, and He wants to give you His peace. he wants you to lean on Him and rest in His ever lasting arms.
May God help you to do that today.
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The word love has been so tossed around in our world today, that its lost its true meaning. Much like the word, “Christian,” which everyone claims to be, it just doesn’t hold, nor have the same effect on a person when you say, “I love you”. Do you love me?
If we get our meaning of love from Hollywood, you will definitely have the wrong meaning of what love is. People from the movie and cinema world, fall in and out of love so many times, they wouldn’t know love if it hit them in the face like a wet squirrel. To them love is sleeping with the next leading lady of the next movie that I’m in.
Before we discover what love really is, let’s first see what love is not.
Love is not just a feeling that passes over us for a moment and then its gone. Now I’m not saying that love doesn’t have it’s feelings, because it most certainly does. Who doesn’t know and get excited when you experience those warm fuzzy love feelings. It’s all part of falling in love.
Those feelings are never more real and present then when you first meet that very special person. There is something different about this person that you’ve never felt from anyone else before. You not only see them as the most beautiful person in the world, but you do feel that chemical reaction taking place deep down inside.
Notice how many times I said the word felt and feel, because at this very early stage in the love game there are a lot of feelings and emotions that are going on. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re truly in love, nor that this is the right person for you, because all of these kinds of encounters start the same way. It’s what you do in the next few steps that will determine if you have a future with this person or not.
Now what the world and Hollywood teach you do at this point, is jump into bed with this person and have sex. This will determine as to whether you will be happy with them, and if they are the right fit for you. Sex is the means of measure that they take to see if they are really in love. If it’s good sex than they are right for me and, let’s get married. How many marriages, using this philosophy, last in Hollywood today.
Sex and the physical part of a love relationship should never be the determining factor, nor the measuring stick, to see if you’re in love. It should always be LAST thing on the list. Sex is not love.
Once you’ve met someone who you find attractive, sit down with them and talk. Yes, I said talk and listen. Discover who they are, what they like and, what they don’t like. Learn about who this very attractive and intriguing person really is. This is the stage where love’s foundation really starts to form. If you sit and talk for three or four hours and it feels like you’ve only been there for about thirty minutes, you just might be onto something good.
When you find and start to connect with a person on this level, friendship is formed, and that is the solid foundation that love is built on. Do you enjoy being with them? Do you enjoy talking and listening to them? Do you share many of the same things? Now this doesn’t mean that you are going to agree on everything , but you agree on lots more than you disagree on.
The physical part comes in stages. You have to earn the permission of the other person to advance into these physical stages, if you don’t, than you could derail the whole process.
You start by earning the right to even look into the person’s eyes. Think about the level of intensity that this means. There is something physically alluring and intimate when you look deep into someones eyes. If you were to go to the mall and stare at a total stranger, see what kind of results that will bring you. (I don’t advise you to do this)
Next stage is holding hands. After that it’s putting your arm around a person’s waist, and then a very strong bear hold, these are all a part of the physical process that will give you and your partner the strong solid foundation that real love is built on. The kind of love and respect that real love needs to germinate and grow into a strong solid tree, that will last a lifetime for you and the rest of your whole family, that you and your partner will be making together, this is the whole process of falling in love.
If any of these steps are skipped or passed over, there will be consequences to pay. Now don’t fret if you’ve already messed up during this process, who hasn’t? Remember its a process. We all make mistakes and do the wrong thing, but isn’t it wonderful that we have a savior that’s full of mercy and compassion, His love for all of us is new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
I wanted to set these very important steps for all of you to see, whether you are just starting this process or maybe you’ve been in it for quite sometime now. It’s never to late to make corrections and changes that will enhance your relationship.
Love is not just a feeling, it’s a commitment. Once you’ve gone through this process and you’ve married that very special someone, this process doesn’t stop or end. It’s up to you to continue to fan the flames of the passion and the feelings that you started out with.
This is where so many people fail, and why so many marriages end in divorce. We just quit at this point and the other person starts to feel unloved and unwanted. The connection disappears and the long talks that used to last for hours don’t last but one or two minutes, and it’s usually just a set of instructions for something that you want them to do for you.
Have you ever felt unloved? Have you ever lost that person that you so enjoyed being a part of, and now their gone? You’re not alone my friend, because God has felt that very same thing. He knows what you’re going through.
During one of the worst times that Jesus was going through, all of his friends that loved him and had sworn their alligence to him, all ran away and left Him alone. Peter, who was one of His closest friends, even denied that he knew Him. But something took place that would affect Peter and his relationship with Jesus.
Right after Peter denies knowing Jesus, for the third time, Jesus and Peter’s eyes find each other. Remember what I was saying about the intimacy of looking into someones eyes means…listen to what God says about this encounter with Peter.
“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me three times. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62
The word, looked upon, means to “fix your gaze upon”. Jesus locked His eyes with Peter and He looked right deep down inside Peter, with His eyes. He knew what was in Peters heart and He knew what Peter’s real intentions were. As you can see, looking into someone’s eyes has a very deep intimate meaning to Jesus.
It affected Peter so much, that he went out and wept bitterly. The word bitterly means violently. In other words Peter went out and he cried uncontrollably and violently.
Even though everyone ran away and left Jesus all alone, to go through this terrible time… alone, He never stopped loving His disciples. He loved them right to the end.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end“. John 13:1
Jesus, who is the true measure and meaning of what real love is, loved His disciples and He loves you and me right up to the end, that means always and forever. His love never stops.
Now, after all this, Jesus meets up with Peter and the disciples, on the shore, after He was resurrected back from the dead, and He asked Peter a very pointed question. Peter, do you love me?
“This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:14-17
Everyone wants to be loved. It’s the one thing that we as humans, need and have to have, is love. We can’t survive without it. You know what… God wants it too. God wants your love and devotion also. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” If you do Peter than feed My lambs.
Love is not only a commitment but it also is an action word. It will always bring you into action. Just like when you fell in love with your spouse and you talked to them, you spent time with them, and you couldn’t stop thinking about them, because that’s what love drives you to do…take action. It should never stop!
Feelings will come and go, feelings will rise and fall, but real love will never fail…real love will continue to grow and it will last forever. God is real love and He loves us with His real love, but we have left Him, and He feels unloved like He did with Peter.
Did Peter love Jesus, yes he did and Jesus knew that, but there was a teaching period that was going on between Jesus and Peter.
How about you? Do you know what real love is? Has your relationship with your spouse been based on the principles and foundation of the truth of love and the author and creator, who is love…Jesus Christ Himself?
My prayer is that you do. Remember that it’s never to late. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to get the total view of what real love is all about.
May God bless you in your endeavor to find and build on the true foundation of love.
Trust is a very fragile flower. It can take years to build and yet in just one short moment of indiscretion can all come tumbling down, and there is nothing you can say or do to change it. Have any of you been there? I think all of us have at one point or another.
The main ingredient in any solid relationship is trust. Without trust there really is no relationship. You see, trust sets a relationship apart from all the others.
A young man who is going to college or out making his path in the world, sees and dates other young women. He’s just looking around not really for anything in particular, he’s just having fun making his way in the world, getting his direction as to where he wants to go…but then it happens.
Of all the people he’s enjoying and having a good time with there is this one that stands out from the crowd. He’s attracted to her and she is to him, and most important of all, they enjoy each others company.
They spend hours on end just talking and learning about each other. Every single detail comes out. They laugh, they cry, and they get to know just what makes the other tick.
This is a place that we don’t usually let other people in, but when someone opens the door to their heart and say’s, “I care about you, I love you, and I trust you to come in and make yourself at home,” that is and should be treated as a very special moment, because something is born at that moment inside the hearts of both of these people. It’s called trust.
If handled the right way, this trust will build into a strong unit and a force that nothing can knock over or penetrate through. There are four pillars that have to be present and born in the right order for all this to take place.
You have to bridge these four pillars together to make a solid unit that you will be able to build on for years to come. These are going to be the foundation pillars of what your relationship, and the relationship of your children and grand-children for generations to come, will be built on. When you think of it that way, you can see how so very important all this is.
Our society today doesn’t hold to these truths anymore, and the selfish, I want what’s best for me, attitude is what is control instead of this process.
The results are very evident… divorce, broken homes, teen suicide, and lots of lonely people who think that sleeping with every women in town, is being open and free, and in reality their heart is cold and empty, and they don’t know the first thing about truth or trust.
There is always the initial attraction that we go through. We may be attracted to a lot of different people, but through the talking period and sharing of truth, you will know if this is the one or not.
Once you have established that this person is willing to open themselves truthfully and honestly to you, this will open up the next bridge to trust that you must cross. Without truth there can never be any trust.
This is where many relationships fail. Truth is not as free flowing in our society today as it once was. People don’t think twice about lying or stretching the truth, but the bottom line is truth and integrity are the only ways to build a solid relationship that will last a lifetime. There is no other way… period.
Jesus said to His disciples in John 8:32, ” you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When you know the truth about anything it does set you free. There is no more doubting or wondering which way to go…when you know the truth. When you know the truth and the solid rock of trust is built you can whether the strongest of storms.
Follow these pillars and you will find that right person that will fit you like a glove, and then continue to build on the truth and trust that you have established, and your marriage will be one that will last a lifetime and one that will be emulated in your family for generations to come.
Love is the greatest power in the universe, and it can also be the most powerful tool, when withheld from someone. Nothing can do more harm and cause more devastation then the power of love.
Loved? Loved. is my 2 word story. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by a 2 word story, I will explain.
On April 16, 2011, the EACH program was set into gear, with the Prayer Walk that was held in downtown Detroit Michigan. 25,000 people from about 500 churches, of all denominations, met in solidarity to pray for the city and pledge one million hours of community service to help those in need and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
EACH stands for Everyone a Chance to Hear. Hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, and part of this program is to come up with your story in just two words. You wear your two words on a t-shirt, button, or a hat, and pray as God will open the doors for people to ask you what those two words means on your shirt, and then you have the invitation to tell them your story of how you met Jesus Christ.
Loved? I was not, as a boy growing up. I was small and not very big, very shy and not assertive at all. I grew up in a home of verbal abuse. I was always told that I couldn’t do anything and that I would just grow up to be a garbage man. If I ever did want to try something, I was told I couldn’t do it because I was to small, or I would break it, or some other reason that my parents had in their arsenal of negative statements.
Words can kill, and I never was involved in any physical abuse, so I don’t know what that’s all about, but I do know that words can hurt and the scares can linger for a life time.
My view of God was some big guy in the heavens just waiting for me to slip up, and he couldn’t wait to bring the hammer down on top of my head. He loved punishment and judgment, and since I couldn’t do anything right, He was having a fun time with me.
Well, needless to say, these things all turned me into other avenues to find validation and love, and they were all the wrong ones. Drugs, alcohol, and women got me in a whole lot of trouble, and there were times, when I look back today, that I should have been dead. I used everyone and I hurt a lot of people.
When I was ten yeas old, I gave my life over to Jesus Christ, while watching a Billy Graham crusade on TV. My mother would always watch him and so we did as well. Something that he said just resonated with me and I got down on my knees before I went to bed, and asked God to come into my life and change me. I meant it with all my heart.
They sent me a copy of the gospel of John and I remember going through it but I don’t think I read it all the way . I never told anyone what I did, and because we were catholic, I never had anyone to talk to about it.
Years later after I was married and my wife was expecting our first son, something happened.
I was working the night shift at one of the big three, and one of my party buddies, was going to day shift. He was my best friend and after being on the day shift for one year, he got bumped back to nights. Well I couldn’t wait for me and him to get back to our party ways.
While he was gone , we used to go all the way up the stairs, to the top of the roof of the building, (a staircase that was only used by the skilled trade guys), to get high. But someone, we didn’t know who, had put a picture of Jesus up there, and we used to use that picture as our code word. When we wanted to get high, we would go up to a guy and say, ” Do you want to go and see the Lord at lunch time?” He would know exactly what we meant.
Well when I say my friend after a year, I took him up to see the Lord. I figured we would start our reunion in the right way. Well, he had other plans.
He told me that he had become a follower of Jesus Christ and that he had put the picture of Jesus up because that’s where him and his other Christians friends, from day shift, would go and have their bible study every day.
He told me all about Jesus dying on a cross to save me from my sins and that He really loved me, and would come into my life and change me.
I got down on my knees again and asked God to come into my life. My friend gave me a bible and I still have that bible sitting in my office.
I think God used my friend to complete what He used Billy Graham to start years before.
I learned that God wasn’t waiting for me to mess up so He could punish me. He punished His son so that I could live. He loved me that much to pay that kind of price, just so I could be free. Nobody has ever loved me like that, and nobody ever can. Only God can do that.
Loved? was the word that I carried around my neck for some twenty years of my life. Now I have replaced it with a new word. Loved. He really does love me and loves me like no one else ever can. Circumstances can change, people can change, and events can change, but His love for me and you will never change.
At His last meal with twelve of His closet friends, right before He went to the cross, He said this to them;
“No one has greater love than this — that one lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends” John 15: 13-14
What’s your 2 word story? Do you have a 2 word story?
I don’t know how many of you are married but if you are married or you may be planning a wedding, you remember that there is a lot of preparation and planning that goes on to make sure this very special day goes on without a hitch.
God is planning a wedding and He is preparing for a marriage feast. Now when God puts things into motion, I guarantee that they will go on without a hitch. There won’t be any last minute complications that will throw His plans off.
The greatest romance novel is the Bible. If we go back to the beginning, the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings, we see God talking to someone when He said,
“Then God said, “Let us make
humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.”
God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
There is a very distinct difference that we bear from all the rest of God’s creation. We bear the image of God Himself. We are image bearers for God as we walk in this world.
You see, God made the world for us and He made us for Himself. We bear His image because we belong to Him. I’ve had so many people come up to me and say, “you look just like your father.” Well we can say that about all of us, because we bear His image. Now Satan comes along.
“Now the serpent was more shrewd
than any of the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard;
but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’ ” Genesis 3:1-5
Satan comes along and he challenges God’s love for Adam and Eve. He tells her that God is holding back on you. He’s not telling you the truth. How can He love you if He would do this to you? I won’t do this to you. I will give you everything. You can trust me. Come with me, and Adam and Eve ate from the tree and plunged all humanity into sin.
That tree was kind of like a wedding ring. We were betrothed to God and we ran off with another lover…Satan. Sin is a rupture in the love-relationship between God and us. The ability to love God well and love others well came undone.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the orchard.
But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”Genesis 3:8-9
God was the first missionary looking for the lost. Did He know where Adam and Eve were? Yes He knew. He knows where you and I are today my friends. This is the whole theme of the Bible. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand the rest of the Bible. God lost something and He wants it back!
“And I will put hostility between you and the woman
and between your offspring and her offspring;
her offspring will attack your head,
and you will attack her offspring’s heel.” Genesis 3:15
God became the first prophet and made the first promise that He would fight to win back our love.
“The LORD God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
“The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
God becomes the first priest to offer a great sacrifice to remove the sin problem. God could as easily walked away and said, “you’ve run off with another lover, I will go make me a new one. I don’t need you. You’ve made your choice.” He didn’t do that. He told Satan, “You’ve stolen from Me what was mine and I will win her back.”
“You were bought with a price.” 1 Corinthians 7:23
“Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
There is going to be a great wedding feast that God is preparing for His bride. You can read all about at the end of the book of Revelation. He has already paid the price, He has already bought us back from the Evil One, and now His offer goes out to everyone.
Are you getting yourself ready for the wedding day? Are you inviting your friends, family, and everyone you know to this great celebration?
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” Revelation 21:1-3
Whenever we are traveling in an area were we’ve never been before, we usually have a map that we follow. I remember back in the day, taking that long road journey called the family vacation, and my wife following the map that we had and telling me the next road I would have to turn on. We had planned ever road and stop with a marker, so there was no way we were ever going to get lost.
Now I have a terrible sense of direction. All you have to do is turn me around in a circle and I would get lost, and I am no different than any other man when it comes to asking for directions. I don’t know why, but it’s a part a the male species to never want to admit that we are lost and we need directions. I guess it just hits at our pride; you know, the man, the head of the family, the one who protects and provides…..is lost! Just a hard thing for us guys to swallow. Thank God for GPS.
We joke about this, but when it comes to following your life map, the life map that God has laid out for you, we all have a hard time admitting that we might need some direction, and sometimes we just get lost and need some very definite help. When it comes to this, all of us, male and female fall very short on admitting these things.
When the bible talks about the offense of the gospel, why would the gospel be offensive to anyone? The gospel is the good news of God. The way is now open for anyone who wants to, can now come to God and receive forgiveness for all their sins, everything that they have done to offend God. That’s what our sins are, an offensive front against God. He will wipe the slate clean, and give you a brand new life map, that He has laid out specifically just for you. He has promised to be your guide and help you to through your life map.
Why would this be offensive to us? Because I don’t like asking for directions. It makes me feel like I’m not in control. It makes me feel inferior, less of a person, like I don’t know what I’m doing. It means that I have to swallow my pride and admit that I’m lost and I don’t know the right way to go. That’s never been an easy thing for me to do, and maybe that’s never been an easy thing for you to do also, but that’s what is needed to do.
Just like my wife is telling me, as we drive endless hours looking for that road we can’t find, “why don’t you stop and ask for directions?” God is saying the same thing to you and me; “When are you going to admit that you’ve lost your way, and come to Me for directions. I’ve got the life map that I made just for you and you won’t be alone, because I’ll walk you through it.” That’s a promise from God to you and me. Listen to what He says;
“Now, this is what the LORD says,
the one who created you,
and formed you:
“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you.
I call you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm you.” Isaiah 43: 1-2
I want to close with something King David said to his son Solomon before he passed the throne of kingship to him;
“When David’s time to die approached, he charged his son Solomon, saying. “I’m about to go the way of all the earth, but you – be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths He shows you: Follow the life map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, His course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go.” 1 Kings 2: 1-3 from “The Message”
It’s never to late to ask for directions, and it’s OK to do so, because all of us get lost. God has a life map for you, and He will walk with you through it and even show you where all the signposts are. All you have to do is stop whatever you’re doing and ask Him for directions. He just waiting to hear from you.
“God came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
The world rests uneasy.
Just a few weeks ago, artillery shells from North Korea sailed across the Yellow Sea and struck a South Korean island, killing four and injuring 18. Shortly afterward, the U.S. announced it was holding joint military exercises with South Korea and dispatched an aircraft carrier to the volatile region.
Within days of that incident, hundreds of thousands of confidential cables from U.S. diplomatic sources were published, revealing the backstage drama and tension of seeking to maintain peace and security in an increasingly unstable world.
The cables highlighted the growing concern over the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. Blunt remarks from several prominent leaders in the Middle East and Israel warned of the menace posed by a nuclear Iran, with one Arab leader referring to Iran’s president as “Hitler.”
This month, South Sudan will hold a referendum to decide whether to become an independent nation. If that happens, it will no longer be under the rule of the Muslim-dominated North. Many expect conflict to break out again, resuming the violence of two decades of civil war that killed more than 2 million civilians in the South.
None of this should surprise anyone who follows Christ and has a biblical worldview informed by the Scriptures. The Bible says that the heart of man is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and from that depraved heart flows unending greed, lust, and desire for power. Mankind is lost in sin, alienated from God, at enmity with Him and with each other.
Jesus told us that while wars and natural disasters have always characterized this present evil age, these symptoms will increase at an alarming rate as the Second Coming of the Messiah draws near (Matthew 24).
However, none but the Father in Heaven knows when that will occur. Until that time, we are to be busy proclaiming and sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
While the world relentlessly and unsuccessfully pursues political and economic solutions to our problems, followers of Christ are to be busy sowing the seeds of the Gospel found only through faith and repentance in Him. Lasting peace and security will only come when the King returns and sets up His Kingdom.
At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we will be busy proclaiming that Gospel of the Kingdom around the world in this new year, starting in Haiti this month, followed by Liberia, the Philippines, Lithuania, India, Canada and the United States.
As the world sinks into increasing depravity, violence and turmoil, nothing is more critical than growing our roots deep into a stable faith in Jesus Christ, and making Him known to those around us. And be encouraged that as the world grows darker, the light of the Gospel shines ever brighter.
“In this world you will have tribulation,” Jesus said, but we can be of good cheer, for He added, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version.
As I look around at the state of the union, our country and the world, I’m not encouraged about the future. Many people feel the same way today. There are not a lot of happy smiling faces around anymore.
Watch the news, and all you see is story after story of the disintegration of our culture. Violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and corporate scandals fill the headlines everyday. Lawlessness and immorality are running rampant right in front of our eyes every where you look.
Want to see the direction we are headed, just take a look at the entertainment industry. That’s always a good meter to read if you want to see where we are going. Vulgarity, nudity, unwholesome innuendos, are what our movies, music, and television are consumed with. It’s almost a race to see who can out do the others for higher ratings. There is no public embarrassment or outrage as they continue to push the boundaries of normal decency further and further out. People have become numb as we spiral further and further down this deadly road.
We have a president and an administration, that’s more liberal then any other in our history. They were dealt a severe blow in the last elections, but the long road we are on is by no means any closer to the end. Many are wondering what new laws are coming that will harm our security, our freedoms, and the sanctity of life and marriage. Especially Christians, who have a growing concern of vocal government hostility, that my hamper the way we worship and our ability to teach and preach the truth of the scriptures publicly.
Mix all these things together and add the “Christian Church” that is trying so desperately to be like the world, and it isn’t hard to see the many unanswered questions that we face today.
One question I hear a lot is, “where is God in all that is happening today?” Is His plans for our country, and for His people, being defused or sidetracked somehow?
That’s a question everyone has had in his heart and mind, weather you want to admit it or not. It’s easy to wonder that, with all this wickedness and immoral conduct taking place all around us, where God is? We are all concerned about the future for our children, and grand children, and what’s it going to be like for them?
You will never find the answer, or any source of truth, in the media or the many talk shows that are on the air. The answer is from God in His Word.
First, God is on the throne. Not a single molecule escapes His notice or operates outside of His immediate control. Despite the way things are going, He remains unchanging, immovable, and supremely in control. This is not some wishful thinking, or some pious platitude – it’s an anchor of truth we can’t rehearse enough.
Quit standing on the premises and start standing on the promises. God’s promises for His people have not changed and they will never change.
Our relationship with Him is irrevocable. This is true for us and every generation of believers that follow us.
Finally, God’s Word is not silent about what He is doing among sinful nations. The Bible offers clear, detailed insight into how He actively accomplishes His sovereign will through the worst expressions of natural depravity. Despite all this, scripture leaves no question about who is in control and what the ultimate outcome will be. God is always moving and working everything toward His ends and to achieve His means.
This should give every child of God, amazing security and comfort in grasping this truth. I pray it does for you.
If you would like to become a child of God, and you’re not really sure what that is and how it happens, click the picture below. We’re all prying for you.
“The Love of God” is an old hymn sung by “Mercy Me” Enjoy and be blessed.
This is an old hymn, that you don’t hear very much anymore in church. I just had to print it out here for you. Read the verses and take in the message of the song. There is a little side note at the end, about the song, that I didn’t know.
As you read the lyrics, think about the extreme love that God lavishly pours out on you and me every moment of every day of our lives. This incredible love can never really be understood be the unregenerate heart and mind. We can only begin to come to the very fringe of understanding God’s great love for us, as He comes into our lives and starts to change us to be more like Him. It is this great love of God, that even starts to take this tremendous task of changing your heart and mine, as His gracious gift to you and me.
Verse 3 was penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an insame asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were discovered when they laid him in his coffin.
Here is a link to the song with the words right in front of your eyes to read along. Be blessed
As I was getting ready for an appointment that I had this morning, I thought I would help my wife out as she was getting ready for work. I had some extra time, so I made her lunch and then went back to getting myself ready. I saw she was in a little rush so I told her that I would start her car for her and get it warmed up before she had to leave. The temperature was twenty degrees that morning, as we live in Michigan, and the winters can get cold.
As I was finishing brushing my teeth, I saw her getting her keys and running out into the cold to start her car. I yelled out, “honey, I will do that for you”, she said back to me as she ran by, “I need it done now”.
I was hurt. I thought to myself, she doesn’t believe me when I said that I would start her car and it would be all warmed up for her, before she had to leave. She didn’t trust me to handle that one simple little task. Have I ever let her down before? Well, yes, I guess I have at times, but not with something as simple as this was. I had already made her lunch and got the coffee ready this morning.
Then it hit. God was tapping me on the shoulder and He said to me, “Brian, that is an all to familiar scene with Me. How many times has you done that exact thing to Me.” I thought, ” you’re exactly right God, as You always are.”
How many times have I read in God’s Word, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Do I believe Him? Do I really trust what He says to be true? Has He ever let me down before? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it will show up in the way I live and respond to the circumstances in life.
When I respond to God as my wife responded to me, that really shows that I don’t trust Him. By my actions, I’m calling Him a liar. I’m saying that He can’t be trusted completely, and that’s what Satan did to Eve. He called into light the validity and truthfulness of God’s Word.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
When God says He’s got your back, that should take that burden away. I shouldn’t worry about that anymore. That’s the whole purpose of trusting someone. When I told my wife, I was going to start her car and have it all warmed up and ready to go, she should have said, thank you. That is something that I don’t have to worry about anymore. You have lifted that burden off of me and have taken it upon yourself. I can now move forward with one less task to carry, but she didn’t do that. Like I do with God, she continued to worry and carry that burden herself.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 You see, love is an action word. God just doesn’t say He loves us, He showed His love for all humanity, by dying on a cross for your sins and mine.
“but He made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:7-8
There is every reason my wife doesn’t totally trust me. I have let her down and have not always come through like I promised I would, but thank God, He is not like us. God is the One who is faithful, not you and me. He always comes through and He will never let us down. We need to quit standing on the premises and start standing on the promises.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
“casting all your anxiety onto Him,” because it matters to Him concerning you.” 1Peter 5:7
“Faithful is the One calling you, who also will perform it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 5:35
He is faithful and true, and yes, we can trust Him completely for everything in this life and the next.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” Revelation 19:11
Ah, the Christmas season. I love this time of year. My favorite time of year. I don’t know what it is but have you noticed that this time of year always invokes different modes and feelings in people. It always seems to bring out the best in people, even if it’s only one time of the year. They’re more charitable, giving and helpful. More people are willing to open up the pocketbook and help out in things that they normally wouldn’t do any other time of the year. I guess that’s one reason why I love Christmas so much.
But why are people so bright cheerful, and giving at this time of year? Why right now? Our economy is not doing well. and people are struggling to make ends meet. It’s just a tough time to be in the giving mood.
I saw a Christmas special the other night, and it was a special rebroadcast of “The Walton’s”. Remember that program? They had all the cast members, much older of course, and they were talking about making and doing the scenes from that special.
The time was during World War ll, and the Walton’s had kind of adopted these two young British kids, who had been separated from their parents during the bombing by the Germans. They were staying with them for awhile, and it showed all the adjusting and making do with what they had, while they were there. The one thing that really grabbed me, was how they didn’t hardly have anything, but they always had something to give to someone else, who had none. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Giving and sharing with those that don’t have anything?
I don’t know if your grand-parents or aunts and uncles, who lived during the great depression, are still around, but you might find it very interesting to ask them to recall some of those times. Maybe share some of their stories with you at this Christmas time.
Those people really struggled financially. Many of them had to move in with other family members and everybody did their part. My wife and I had one of our children and their kids, move in with us for awhile. It was not easy and their big adjustments that had to be taken by all, but we did it to help each other out. Many people are having to do that today.
You see, when times get tough, the tough get going. Something magical happens. You can either go one of two ways. You either sink or swim, but everybody has to be on the same page. Coming together is the only way anyone will make it, and it is a time when you will learn a lot about yourself. All the talk won’t be worth a hill of beans, it’s the actions that will show what your really made of.
It wasn’t just about meeting the physical needs of everyone, there were also feelings and emotions that were riding very high. Imagine having ten to twelve people living in a three bedroom house. Tight quarters and no place to go where you could be by yourself. Everyone had to carry around a lot more patience, understanding, and compassion. You had to learn that your needs were not always going to be first. Could we learn some of that today, and you know, we maybe heading for that again.
It’s easy to be benevolent when I just have to do it for three or four weeks out of the year, but lets see how I do for the next three or four years. We just may be heading for that, and some people are already there now.
Maybe we can learn something more this Christmas then just having a little bit more Christmas cheer. I mean do I really need five TV’s in my house? Is it really all that important for me to get the new IPad, when I already have two computers? There are people living on the street that don’t know where their next meal will come from. Their children are cold and hungry. These are not drunks or drug addicts, they are people with college educations, that had very good jobs and made a very good living. It’s all gone now. Can I give up something so I can help them?
There is a reason that Christmas is spelled with a capital C. It stands for Christ. His name is part of the word Christmas. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me. He had nothing. No job, no home, no gold and silver, no IPad’s that He could sell and give, all He had was a perfect sinless life to offer for your ransom and mine.
You see, the reason you and I will taste death, is because of our sin. The penalty for that sin, is death. All of humanity was plunged into Satan’s prison, because of the disobedience of our parents, Adam and Eve, that’s why only a perfect unblemished life could be offered as a payment for our ransom.
One thing that Satan never thought would happen, is that God Himself, would come down to this murky sin filled planet, and pay that ransom, and win our freedom back from Satan.
God came down to this earth in the form of a man, and that man’s name was Jesus Christ, who’s birth we celebrate on Christmas. Maybe that’s why people do good around Christmas because God initiated it by the giving of Himself for you and me.
I don’t care what religion you are, how or even if you celebrate Christmas, weather you say, “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”, it doesn’t change the facts of the real story of Christmas. It’s not about a little baby in a manger, but a risen savior, who opened the way to God for you and me. All we have to do…is walk in it.
That’s why Christmas is spelled with a capital C.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever should believe in Him, would not perish, but have ever-lasting life.” John 3:16
For some of you, these are very memorable words from a song that was released, by the BeeGees, back in 1968. They may bring back memories of romance, or of a love that didn’t happen. Words have that affect on us. Words are very powerful. They can conjure up memories, weather good or bad. They can also be very destructive.
Words are a way of communication. I think a thought or an in idea in my mind. I sit down, like I am doing right now, and put into words the thoughts or ideas that I want to communicate to you into these words. You read them and you now know a little bit more about whom I am and what I’m thinking, by the words that I just expressed. Words are one way of expressing to others who we are.
Words are not the only way of expressing ourselves to others. Art is another way. Acting, on a stage or through a motion picture, is another form of expression. The art of Mime is another way of expressing me.Through a series of actions; the mime paints a picture through a story to his viewers. All these are different ways for us to convey our feelings and thoughts to others.
But when you come down to the bare nuts and bolts of it, its through the vehicle of words that we are trying to say something.
How do the blind communicate when they have never seen? How do the deaf communicate when they have never heard a sound in their life? How do people, who can’t speak your language, communicate with you? Without words, it becomes very difficult to speak my thoughts to you.
Even the Creator Himself, could not communicate with us, until He became a man and had to enter our world, before we would ever begin to understand the message He was trying to convey to us. We can see His creative hand in the beauty of nature, the sun, moon and the stars, but we can never really truly understand someone until we here the words that they speak.
In the gospel according to John, chapter one and verse one, it says. “In the beginning was the word” The meaning of “word” is; to collect, to put words side by side, to speak. God spoke this world into existence. God’s words were powerful, but we did not understand Him. So He came into our world to talk to us. John 1:14 says; “The word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The living word of God was made flesh. He came into our world as a man, and that man’s name was Jesus Christ. “Dwelt among us”; means to pitch His tent. For all you campers out there, God pitched a tent down here on this earth for a short time and for a specific purpose; “He dwelt among us”
The point of all this is to show how important our words are. If God put so much emphasis on getting His word out to us, how much should we put into practicing the right words that we speak to each other.
Our words can speak truth and life into people or they can speak destruction and death. What is worse, physical or verbal abuse? They are both extremely bad and equally harmful.
The other side of speaking and communicating with our words is to express no words and shut down all communication. That is very bad also. This is something that I still struggle with to this day. It was something that I saw practiced in my home, when I was growing up, all the time. If I didn’t like what I saw or didn’t get what I wanted, I would go into the silent mode. No communication until you come on my terms. This is also very destructive.
There can be so much said about this topic, and I could go on and on, but lets bring this in for a landing.
Communication is a lost art today. We travel at such break neck speeds, we don’t have the time to sit down and share our thoughts and ideas, with others. Unless it’s for business or getting something that I want. Our thoughts and ideas are what makes us unique. It’s who you are.
Share your self through your words with that special person in your life. Your wife, husband, children, aunt, uncle, or very dear friend. Let them also share their words with you. That means you have to shut everything else down and go into listen mode. Not an easy thing to do today.
Better yet, find a person who doesn’t have anyone else to share their words with. Sit down and let them share. I know, it might not be easy. They may talk about things that you don’t really find interesting, but don’t forget….they will also listen to you as well.
After all; it’s only words….. And words are all I have….to take your heart away.
The four year old little boy walked about the forest of long legs as he looked up. He was carrying his favorite toy truck in hopes that he could find someone to play with him. ” Mommy, would you play with me? Not now, mommy is busy. Go outside and play. You have to get out of the kitchen. You are just in the way.” The little boy just took his truck and walked out into the garage, where his dad was.
His dad was busy getting chairs set up for the big party.” Daddy would you play trucks with me? The Father looked down and said, Not now son. I’m real busy getting ready for the big party tonight. Maybe some other time.” The little boy walked away, sat down on the grass and started to play by himself.
The neighborhood was all a buzz over the party, that took place once every year. Everyone was their and having a great time, when someone asked, “Where is Jimmy?” No on knew and wasn’t really that concerned at the moment. The party was just getting into full swing.
One of the neighbors realized that they had forgotten something and ran back to their house. As they were walking into their own backyard, they noticed something at the next door neighbors house. They were on vacation so they were not at the party. Something was in the pool. He went to take a closer look, and there was little Jimmy’s lifeless body floating in the neighbors pool, his toy truck at the bottom.
Everyone in this world cannot survive without love and and the security that someone really cares about me. Had any of a number of people on that day, just taken a minute from there hectic pace and their own self-centeredness, the outcome may have been very different.
Is it any wonder that our world has grown so cold and we have become so disengaged from one another? Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives are moving through life at break neck speed and we aren’t taking the time to get to know one another. Before you know it, that person is gone, and we never took the time to tell them how much we appreciated them, and how much we loved them.
All little Jimmy wanted was someone to reach down into his world, and get down to his level, and spend a little bit of time with him. To touch him and say that you mean something to me Jimmy. I care about you. What you do does matter to me. It would have meant a whole lot to him just as it would mean a whole lot to someone that you may know today.
Is there someone that you have neglected? Have you been so busy that you can’t remember how long it’s been since you got down on the floor with kids? When was the last time you curled up on the couch with your spouse and made some popcorn and watched a movie? Or maybe gave aunt Sylvia a call and see how shes doing?
I remember an old commercial by a phone company, from way back. The slogan was, “Reach out and touch someone”. Sounds like a good idea today as well.
The other night was a very emotionally draining and fearful evening to say the least for me and my family.
My wife and I were coming home from a nice meal that we enjoyed together, when she received a call from my sister-in-law. She was crying so hard that my wife had a hard time understanding what she was saying, but it was obvious that something was very wrong.
My nephew had just stormed out of their house. He said he was leaving. He had packed some things in a bag and ran out the door. Words were exchanged, and he was gone.
My brother was getting ready to go to work, when he noticed that his handgun was missing. (My brother is in law enforcement) He looked frantically for the weapon, but was unable to locate it any where. He asked his wife if she had seen it. She said no….. They both stopped and looked at each other….You don’t think….Yes….Paul had taken the weapon with him.
Paul had just graduated from college. He has an engineering degree. He is a very handsome young man. Out going and into many different organizations that reach out into the community to help those who are less fortunate than him. Cancer, teens against suicide, just to name a few. “He had everything going for him.” How many times have you heard that one before?
One thing happened to him that would rock his entire world. The girl that he had dated for four years, and whom he wanted to marry, left him for another guy. This just happened about two months prior to this.
Paul kept all this inside. No one knew he was planning to ask this girl to marry him. He had a ring all in place. Although his parents were never on the same page as he was concerning his relationship with this girl, he wasn’t going to let their views stop him from going forward and asking for her hand in marriage. She ended all that when she walked out of the relationship.
My sister-in-law said he was acting a little strange. Not talking to anyone. Staying in his room. But he is a reserved person when things are on his mind. His girl friend was very much on his mind at this moment. Because his parents really didn’t like her, they saw this as a good thing, but Paul saw it totally different.
My wife and I rushed over to their house. We prayed together and consoled with them as the hours ticked by.
Right after we had prayed with them, a neighbor lady came done the street and dropped off a note with the story of the prodigal son. It is not unusual for her to do this. She does this often, but she didn’t know what was going on. She never knocked on the door, she just dropped the note on the porch and left. I don’t know if you know the story, but in the end, the son comes home.
That gave us a little bit of hope. Were you telling us God through this lady, that Paul would be coming home?
Frantically everyone was leaving messages on Paul phone. “Where are you”, they were asking. “Please come home.” ” We love you”, but there was never no connections made.
Finally an email message sent to his sister….. It said that he had his life all planned out. Get a good job. Marry the women that he loved. Instead he was looking at thousands of dollars in student loans. No job, and especially the girl that would put everything together was gone forever. But the hardest thing of all was the fact that his parents never thought to ask him how he was doing. Because he wasn’t doing well at all. He was distraught. He hadn’t eaten in days. He wasn’t talking to no one. Staying locked up in his room, and nobody cared. Paul was definitely at a crossroad. Now what do I do?
What is my life? At the end of the message, he said he decided to end it all. He was going to take his life with the weapon that he had taken from his father’s desk. He said his good-byes and his love, and then silence. The whole house was silent with the exception of the wales of morning coming from people.
I said in my heart to God, this can’t end like this. This young man doesn’t know you Lord. I grabbed my wife and we went into the bathroom together where we would not be disturbed. We both held each other and we cried out to God. “Lord, don’t let this happen. Let this all work out to Paul coming to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and savor.” Save him from what Satan is trying to do.”
My brother was using all his law enforcement connections to find his son. Ten minutes after my wife and I prayed we got the word that Paul was found at a Holiday Inn. He had checked into a room and was within minutes of taking his life with his fathers gun when the police arrived. God heard and answered our prayer.
Today Paul is under going treatment for his depression and will be released soon from the hospital.
“If you, O LORD, were to keep track of sins,
O Lord, who could stand before you?
But you are willing to forgive,
so that you might be honored.” Psalm 130:3-4
When we think of love, we think of a feeling or an emotion, and love is certainly both of these, but love is an action word also. It takes an action or a movement on our part to express love. In this sense, love is the greatest power in the universe. I, Brian Gosur, will attempt to give my explanation.
There are thousands upon thousands of stories of love. Books and movies that have moved us to tears because of the great demonstrations of love that we have witnessed or experienced in our lives. Simply telling a story of love and the experience of others in this powerful emotion, can melt the hardest heart into a flood of tears and feelings that can move mountains.
Two people just meet on a random everyday meeting that thousands of others experience everyday, but this one between these two people is different from all the others. This one meeting has an element that the others don’t have. Love is doing it’s work. Their eyes meet and conversation is started. Words are hard to find. They stumble across a very confusing sea of letters and vowels trying to sound very sure and confident in who they are, but something is going on that they just don’t understand.
A friend starts to notice that they are acting very peculiar lately. Their minds drift back to that random meeting constantly. They keep rehearsing the conversation over and over again. At first they act as nothing is wrong, but their thoughts keep going back to that one random meeting. Almost hounding them now, they even go back to the place of meeting, hoping to get another glimpse of this haunting individual, that they can’t stop thinking about. You think, what would be the chances of meeting them again? But wait…..sure enough…..their she is! You go over to where she is and try to act as if you are just walking by and she calls to you, and without any hesitation, you suddenly turn her way, dropping all the stuff you are carrying, making a total fool of yourself you say, ” Oh hello. What a coincidence meeting you here again.” Don’t worry, it was probably no coincidence on her part either.
What caused this great happening to occur again? Love, the greatest power in the universe.
I know that there are chemical reactions and science can prove all these activities that go on in the human body once this love power hits us, and causes us to do very strange things, but what I would like to focus on is the very power of love it self. I do not pretend this to be any scientific research of love at all.
When I first met my wife, about ninety percent of my thoughts and actions centered around her. I could think of nothing else. Learning every detail about her was top priority for me. One of my best friends noticed it right away. I didn’t get together with my guy friends as much any more, because I was spending all my time with her. I talked about her all the time. My father said that he noticed his grocery bill being less every week, because I was never home to eat anymore. What is love, that it can grab hold of someone, alter his actions so that no one recognizes him anymore. He turns into someone else.
Some wise advice that I heard long ago, and I would like to pass it onto you. “Don’t marry the person you can live with, marry the person you can’t live without.”
Then there is the other side of love. As much as it can bring change and pleasure to those who use it wisely, putting it into the hands of someone who is selfish and looking to always get the upper hand in everything and everyone, it can be used as a very destructive force that can destroy lives and damage hearts forever.
Take our same couple who met on that one random meeting. They fall in love and get married and their lives can only ride the waves of feelings and emotion for so long. You see, feelings and emotions go up and down all the time. If I rely on them, I will be always in love on day and out of love the other.
Love is a delicate flower that has to be nurtured and taken very good care of. It can not be something that you feel and catch and then put it in a cage, and once in awhile you through in some crumbs to feed it. If you do that, I can assure you, love will die. It is not if, it is when. It will surly die. The same thing that brought you into love has to continue for it to survive.
We will change as we grow older and we are changing as individuals all the time. Many romances that began when they were young and in high school, I guarantee will change as time goes by, because people change. You have to grow and nurture your love for each other as well.
Whatever you give your time to is what you love the most in your life. The guy that spends all his money and time on the golf course is in love with golf. If he is not including his wife in this hobby of his, or indulging in one of hers also, I guarantee you, golf will split them apart. They may stay together and go through the motions, but the love that sparked all this to happen in the beginning will be gone.
Be individuals but be a couple also. Grow together, not apart. What you did when you couldn’t get her out of your mind all those times, continue to do now. I have a friend that is doing everything the right way. Him and his wife still go out on dates. He still buys her flowers for no reason. They share things together. They don’t let kids and grand kids or work or hobbies keep them apart. Keep things in their proper perspective.
There is a thing that God put into your hearts or it maybe that He’s just started it with you. Keep it alive. That one circle began with you two. Don’t let anyone or anything come into that circle. God made it for you two only. Their are other circles that include your children and external family. They are very important also, but the one that started it all, you and her, is elusive territory. No one can come in unless they have special permission.
I hope that I could shed a glimmer of light on a subject that has been talked about and researched for eons of years. I believe that to fully understand love, the greatest power in the universe, we have to understand the originator of love. He demonstrated and gave the greatest gift of all to all of us. I know that this won’t be for everyone, but to those whose hearts are burning right now, and you feel that twinge deep in your souls. Reach out and take this gift of love. It was made especially for you.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever would believe in Him, would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16