Jesus loves you

 

Sea of GalileeBlessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

Waves spilled into the boat and tossed it like a bobber on a fishing line.

A ghost walking towards the boat!

Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.

Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.

Come.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:23-30

Peter got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. His will? Walk toward Jesus. His eyes fixed on Jesus, he walked on the Sea of Galilee towards His Messiah.

But he turned his eyes onto the storm, and his will changed. His will became,  “survive the storm.”

Peter knew that if Jesus told him to step out of the boat, he would be able to walk to Jesus even though there was a storm and only water was under his feet. So Peter stepped out of what men had built to keep him afloat onto the water. Impossible.

Peter walked with purity of heart. Soren Kierkegaard wrote that purity of heart is “to will one thing.”

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3

In Biblical times, the heart was viewed as the throne of the spirit.

And He [Jesus] said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ Matthew 22:37

One will.

We live in a busy world that requires much of us. There is the family, the career, the church, the friends, the neighbors, the school, the community, the nation, the world. How do we love God with ALL our heart, soul, and mind … one focus, one will?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

God is holy, and anyone who approaches God must be pure in heart. In myself, I’m not pure in heart. I’ve sinned. I’ve not kept God’s commandments, God’s Law.

The Bible tells us that the price of sin is death, Romans 6:23 and that there is no one who does not sin. This death is a physical death and a spiritual death that eternally separates us from God and all that is good and pure, an eternity of darkness and misery that we could never imagine.

Yet, God loved you and me so much that He sent His Son into the world, so that all who would believe in His Son would not suffer this consequence.

Jesus entered the world as a baby, born in poverty and humility. He grew up in a family with brothers and sisters. He learned his earthly father’s trade, carpentry.

In God’s timing, Jesus began His ministry. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, walked on water, calmed the sea, performed other miracles, and taught the multitudes.

The world rejected Jesus. My sin, your sin beat Jesus so badly, that He was unrecognizable as a man. My sin, your sin nailed the Son of God to the cross. Jesus took my sin, your sin upon Himself. Jesus paid the price of your sin, my sin, and the sin of the entire world … past, present, and future.

Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the dead. He showed Himself to His disciples and many others. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, speaking on your behalf, my behalf, and on the behalf of all who believe in Him.

Jesus is the Way to a pure heart … the only Way … and He offers this Way to you and me … His free gift … His everlasting gift. All you and I have to do is accept the gift, trust Him, and let Him begin His good work in you.

Like the Psalmist, tell Jesus,

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

My prayer

Jesus, I have sinned. Thank You that You loved me so much that You became a man, that You paid the price for my sin, that You died on the cross, and that You rose from the dead to advocate for me in heaven. I want to follow You. I want You to be my Savior. Please forgive me of my sins. Make my heart pure. I want to live my life for You. I want to see You. I want to behold You and live with You forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, please let me know in the comment section, and I will pray for you and your new walk with Jesus.

May the Lord richly bless you and keep you.

Imagine mercy in Paris, in the world

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Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7

This weekend, there was an attack upon humanity. This weekend, evil visited Paris, France. This weekend, the world grieves. This weekend, the world needs mercy.

This weekend, Davide Martello loaded his piano on a trailer and drove from Germany to Paris, a 400-mile trek to unload his piano outside the Bataclan theatre and play Imagine by John Lennon. He wanted to give comfort and hope. He wanted to show mercy to grief-stricken people. Below are the words to Imagine.

“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

“Imagine … no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace …

“Imagine all the people sharing all the world …

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

I applaud Martello for his compassion, his mercy.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7

“An eye for distress, a heart of pity, an effort to help, in spite of enmity—that’s mercy.” John Piper

Martello is known for loading his piano ono a trailer and taking it to troubled areas. Mercy.

Jesus showed His mercy through healing all who came to Him, teaching and feeding the masses, and challenging the traditions of the religious leaders.

“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”  Mark 6:34

After His teachings, Jesus fed the crowd. Sheep without a shepherd. Isn’t this the condition of most of our world?

It’s been said that the Isis terrorists want to be part of something larger than themselves. They want to change the world, even at the risk of death.

There are many Christians who are this passionate, many who are in prisons, who are being beaten and killed for their faith. They are making a difference in the world, even at the risk of death.Through their persecutions, their persecutors are recognizing something different about them. Some come to know Jesus. Some become Christians.

Jesus died to pay the price for man’s sin. He was beaten beyond recognition and suffered a horrible death upon the cross … because He is merciful … because He loves you.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

There is hope. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He is our merciful and faithful high priest. He advocates for His followers.

“Therefore He [Jesus] had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

I wish Martello had played Amazing Grace.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

“T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.”

My prayer

Father in heaven, the world is reeling at the evil that just happened. Use this to bring hope to the world, to show the world that Jesus is the world’s Great Shepherd, that He is the only way to peace, the only way to a world imagined with people sharing, people as one, people redeemed. Thank You that Jesus has paid the price for our sins, and He is our advocate in heaven. Thank You for the salvation that You have provided. Thank You for Your mercy.

 

Are you looking into the Gospel like the angels, or are you all in?

Parakeet Peering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:10-12

I’ve always wondered why the angels long to look into the Gospel. This implies that they don’t comprehend the Gospel.  I’m sure that they can recite the Gospel message. The angels who serve God are holy. They have never broken the Law of God.

I have broken the Law of God. I am a sinner. I have stood ashamed before God. I understand my helpless state. Like Paul, I do what I don’t want to do and neglect acting the way I want to act.

The price for sin is death. Separation from God. Hell.

I deserve eternity in hell.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21

From the foundation of the world, Jesus knew that I could not keep the Law. He knew that I could not earn my way to eternity with Him.

From before the creation of the world, Jesus decided that he would pay the price for my sins. For your sins.

That price cost Jesus everything. He shed His glory and entered the world as a baby of poor parents. Forever, Jesus became a man. Jesus roamed this earth for a short season teaching, preaching, healing, and serving.

In darkness He was seized. By firelight, He was denied. In courts, He was illegally tried. In silence, He bore the spittle, beatings, the cursings. In judgment, He was nailed to the cross, pierced through.  In agony, He took on my sins, your sins, my sicknesses, your sicknesses. In relief, He declared “It is finished!”

In hopelessness, His followers buried Jesus.

In victory, Jesus rose from the dead.

In Jesus, the price is paid for my sin, your sin.

In Jesus, I choose to live.

Parakeet in

Are you safe in Him?

My prayer for you:

Father, thank You that we can look into the meaning of the Gospel and understand to a small extent the price You paid to give Your Son to the world, so that we might live eternally with You. Thank You, Jesus, for becoming a man forever and then taking on the world’s sin. You who never knew sin, became sin. Oh, what an eternal price You paid! Thank You. Praise God, Wonderous LOVE!

Lift your heart towards Jesus for warmth, nourishment, healing

Palm TreesMost plants and trees lift their faces towards heaven. They breathe in the warmth and nourishment of the sun.

The Trees of Life and Knowledge of Good and Evil open the Word of God … separation from God follows.

The Tree of Life closes the Word of God … nourishment and healing unite God and man.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; Revelation 22:1-3

Lovingkindness nourishes and heals the uplifted heart!

My prayer for you:

Lord, this is such a busy season. Prompt us to lift our faces towards Jesus and breathe in the warmth, nourishment, and healing of Your dear Son. Thank you for the gift of Jesus to a blind world. Open our eyes that we may see and understand the amazing love that You have for us that You would give Your Son to the world knowing that the world would beat Him and crucify Him. Yet, that was Your plan, so that we could be reconciled to You. Thank You, that those who are Yours are one with Jesus. Lord, Christmas is such an awesome time to remember why Jesus became a man. We love you, Father.

What’s God healing/restoring in your life?

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“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25

During the time of Nero and the great persecution, Peter writes these words to the church. These words give us hope. Jesus died and took a beating so that we could die to sin and live to righteousness, and somehow, that is attached to being healed, or being made whole.

 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Commenting on Matthew 8:17, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES,” Matthew Henry wrote, “for sin is both the cause and the sting of sickness.”

Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, there was no sickness. Disease is a result of the fall.

When I suffered from the pain, the brain fog, and the weakness of fibromyalgia, I examined myself many times to find the great sin that caused my sickness. I also wondered why I did not have enough faith to be healed.

I knew that God still healed. Why wasn’t I healed? It had to be some wrong in me.

Bad things happen to good people, to God’s people.  God was proud of Job’s righteousness. Yet, Satan asked for permission to take everything away from Job—his wealth, his children, even his health—and God allowed it for a season. Job’s troubles were not a result of his sin or his actions. They were a result of evil, Satan.

Job was healed, but not through anything he did and not even through his faith in God. God healed him and increased all that Job had by twofold, in God’s perfect timing.

God healed me in His perfect timing, not by my doing, but by His good pleasure. In my weakness, God showed His strength and has given me a work to do, to point people to Jesus and proclaim that God still heals today!

My prayer for you:

May the Great Healer touch your life and make you whole, bestowing His great and precious promises upon you. May you possess all that God has for you and give God the glory.

Please let us know what God is restoring in your life.