…. LOVE, JESUS

As I read the following words this morning, I was reminded of a T-shirt I had long ago.  On it, was a parchment note, attached by three rusty nails.  It simply read:

“I’ve gone to see My Father.  We’re building you a beautiful house.  So get ready, because I’ll be back soon to get you!  Love, Jesus

Take a look….

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” -John 14: 1-3 (KJV)

ARE YOU READY TO MEET HIM?  ARE YOU PREPARED TO GO?

Anita

 

 

IT’S A PROMISE YOU CAN COUNT ON!

‘”Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.  Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.” -Lamentations 2:19 (NKJV)

Here it is…Sunday morning.  Upon arising, I found myself praying for my children, my grand children, and my great grand babies.  Some of them KNOW the Lord in a personal way and serve Him.  ….Some do not.  My heart was sad because I want more for them…I pray for an abundant life for them now, and in the here-after!  I don’t want them to miss heaven!

Then I read the above verse in Lamentations.  I had never noticed this verse before.  It was a comfort to me!

If you have children that have strayed…take them before the Lord.  Lift your hands in praise to Him for what He is going to do in their lives.  HE promised that if we brought them up right, they would return….  “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it…” -Proverbs 22:6

As parents, this should be our prayer everyday for our children!  Go before the face of the Lord in prayer…pour out your heart to Him like water.  Then lift your hands to Him in praise and trust Him for what He has PROMISED to do in their lives!

Anita

TWICE MINE…

There once lived a young boy named David.  His grandfather and him were very close, and spent much time together.  Grandfather was an excellent wood-carver and made many toys for the local children.  Small sailboats were his speciality.  He introduced the art of wood carving to his grandson, David at the age of nine.

One day, David was playing with his small boat in a nearby stream.  He loved his boat…it was the first of many that he’d made.  He sat on the bank and watched it float down stream.  As it floated lazily down the trickle of water, David laid back on the cool grass and watched the clouds go by.  He must have dozed off in the warm sun, for when he awoke, he discovered that his boat was nowhere to be found.  He searched everywhere, but to no avail!

David was very sad indeed that his boat was lost!  Grandfather tried to comfort him by saying, “You can always carve another….”  David knew he could, for he’d made many boats, and they were all precious to him…but it wouldn’t be the same!  He wanted the boat he’d lost!

While meandering through town one day, he saw his boat in the window of a second-hand store.  He knew the owner of the shop, so rushed in hoping to get his boat back.  The owner explained that he wanted ten dollars for the boat.  This troubled David, for he only had two dollars in his piggy bank.  David asked the owner to wait, while he tried to find the rest of the money.   The owner told him he could not hold the boat, nor wait for David to find the money to buy it back.  He said,  “The first person that comes in with ten dollars will be the owner of the boat

David worked for days, trying to get the rest of the money, and he prayed every night that the boat would still be there when he had the full price needed.   He did all kinds of odd jobs for the towns folk.  Finally the day came!  He had the ten dollars!  David ran to the store, and was delighted to find the boat still in the window!  He flung open the door, and put the money in the owners hands.   He cradled the boat lovingly to his chest and said, “You’re twice mine!  I made you…and now I bought you!”

This is how it was with us.  Jesus made us…we were his.  But, one day, we got lost in the rough waters of life, and were unable to find our way back.  The devil picked us up and put us on display to the highest bidder….  Then Jesus found us.  The devil named his price for our redemption.  It would be the ultimate sacrifice…but Jesus decided we were worth it, so He paid the price by dying on the Cross for our sins, and He bought us back!  We’re twice His!  He made us…and then He bought us!

Are you lost on the waters of life?  Jesus is searching for you!    Don’t let His sacrifice be in vain!  He believed you were worth the price!  Call on Him now!

Anita

Tell them who you ARE…

I was watching something on TV the other day.  It was a story of a girl who had been a prostitute many years before, but decided to turn her life around.  She was on the straight and narrow for quite some time…but then someone from her past recognized her.  He said, “OH!  I remember YOU!  You were quite the party girl….  You’re the one that used to work the streets, picking up john’s….  Yeah!  I remember YOU!”  Of course he made his comments in front of her new church-going friends….

Has that ever happened to you?  Has someone you used to hang out with ever brought up your ‘shady’ past in front of others?  Were they quick to remind you of all the dirty, ugly things you USED to do?  I know it’s happened to me a few times!

That’s Condemnation, folks!  Condemnation is one of the devil’s cohorts.  He comes around to discourage you, and humiliate you so you’ll give up and go back to your old life.  But Jesus said in Romans chapter 8, verse 1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ”

It also says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy….” -Psalm 107:2

So, next time someone begins to remind you of your past…tell them who you ARE!  It doesn’t matter who you were anymore because Jesus has changed you and you are now a new creation in Him!

Anita

JUDAS: COMPLEX/CONFUSING EVEN 2,000 YEARS LATER

Here’s one from Lee Pierce.  Take a look… -anita

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Judas: Complex/Confusing Even 2,000 Years Later

 

Judas Iscariot is as well-known as almost any other character in the Bible short of Jesus Himself. In reading through John 13:2-11, I found myself thinking about Judas and how and why he might have done what he did and how he might feel about the outcome.

 

Judas, son of Simon of Iscariot [John 6:71], has become synonymous with the idea of ultimate betrayal. What a legacy! But so much about him has been confusing and somewhat contradictory. For example, Judas is said by Peter to have used the money from betraying Jesus to buy a field [Acts 1:18]. Peter then says, as Judas was walking in that field, he “fell headlong…and his bowels gushed out.” In Matthew’s gospel, however, the apostle relates that Judas felt remorse, tried to return the 30 pieces of silver, and ends it all by hanging himself. That sounds like a discrepancy but, at very least, Judas is clearly dead. I can’t begin to reconcile the differences in the description of Judas’ death, but I don’t wish to get hung up on the issue. I believe in biblical inerrancy and even C.S. Lewis said he opposed the fact “that every statement in Scripture must be historical truth.”

 

Some other facts about Judas bother me more so. Jesus saw fit to choose Judas as one of the original 12, yet early in His public ministry, Jesus foretold of Judas’ betrayal [6:70] and called Judas “a devil.” Whole scholarly discussions have arisen on this point. Did Jesus force or direct Judas in some way to do his evil deed, they posit? Was free will set aside here? Did Jesus simply know of Judas’ evil tendencies and allowed Judas to become part of the Passion experience? In Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Tabletalk discussion of John 13, the author notes, regarding verse 2, that while Satan “inspired” Judas to betray Jesus, “Judas was no passive actor forced to hand Jesus over to the authorities. He was an eager conspirator in our Savior’s death.”

 

Some scholars have proposed that Judas was unhappy with Jesus for not being the conquering hero that liberated Israel from the Romans, and so betrayed Him to the priests and Romans. Later, after seeing the unfolding of events that led to Jesus’ death on the Cross, Judas felt great remorse and killed himself. Mt 27:3-4 notes that Judas, in his remorse, called himself a sinner “by betraying innocent blood.”

 

It seems clear that Jesus knew Judas would have a role in His Passion and would do so “that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” [Jn 17:12] [Jn 6:64] So while Judas is a part of the plan by which Jesus dies to effect salvation, “The consequence of this…is that Judas’s actions come to be seen as necessary and unavoidable, yet leading to condemnation,” as one scholar has put it. In Matthew 26:20-25, Jesus says “woe to that man…by whom [He] is betrayed.” The Lord even says it would be better if Judas had never been born!

 

At some level, I find myself feeling badly for Judas and highly conflicted about him. I hate him at one level for causing the death of the Lord I love. Yet, the Bible is clear that Jesus had to die as a propitiation for sin. Whether Judas had evil tendencies (that’s not different from all of us in some way) and the devil could use those for his own purposes, Judas still felt remorse at the outcome of his plot. He knew Jesus possessed great power, even over death and all of nature, and maybe Judas hoped that, once Jesus was confronted by the authorities, He would rise up in that power and overcome Roman rule and free Israel.

 

In the end, Judas was, and is, despised and hated. What a sad end for a man who had direct access to God the Son and who had the privilege of seeing Jesus alive and at work in this world!

Lee Pierce

 

YOU SAY…GOD SAYS…

The following piece was submitted by my dear friend, Nicole Shapiro back in 2015.  This is really good!  Take a look… -anita

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You say…. God says…. Scripture….

I can’ figure it out. I will direct your steps. Prov. 3:5,6
I’m so tired. I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28-30
It’s impossible. All things are possible. Luke 18:27
Nobody loves me. I love you. John 3:16
I can’t forgive myself. I forgive you. Rom. 8:1
It’s not worth it. It will be worth it. Rom.8:28
I’m not smart enough. I will give you wisdom. 1 Cor. 1:30
I’m not able. I am able. 2 Cor.9:8
I can’t go on. My grace is sufficient. 2 Cor. 12:9
I can’t do it. You can do all things. Phill. 4:13
I can’t manage. I will supply all your needs. Phill.4:19
I’m afraid. I have not given you fear. 2 Tim. 1:7
I feel all alone. I will never leave you. Heb.13:5

Nicole Shapiro

WORDS ENDING IN “essed”

The following is from one of my new favorite blog sites called, New hope for Dry Bones.  This is really good!  Take a look…. -anita

Sometimes I am stressed, depressed, oppressed, obsessed or some other kind of thing that does or doesn’t end in “essed”. But I think those things are usually more of a state of mind rather than the reality of being blessed. In my case I fail to see the blessed part of my life when those other things are taking over my brain.

In reality, I am always blessed.  I just choose not to believe it.

To allow those things in my life, I have to literally push some of God and his blessings aside. Being stressed and worried, I have to take back some of the faith I place in God. To wallow in depression, I have to toss out some of the joy God gives me.

Sometimes it isn’t a conscious decision to push aside God and enjoy some of the everyday troubles that once ruled my life. Sometimes those old so-called friends sneak their way in, elbowing and squeezing through my good thoughts, through a crack in my thinking process. They find the places I haven’t given over completely to God and push in a little at a time.

The next thing I know, I am sitting at my desk taking an inventory of everything that God isn’t getting done for me not realizing that I have slowly, but surely, taken control again. My control is pretty chaotic and usually ends in insanity. I don’t want that.

God and his influence on my life, no matter how full of him I may think I am, is not a static state of being. It is a flowing presence. It fills the voids and moves me. I can’t be happy with a fill-up now and then and expect to not have a struggle with my old self now and then. Without a constant baptism, my new self gets dry and crusty and I start to age spiritually.

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

Most of my enemies live in my brain. They drag me down and try to destroy me from within. I have to do a lot of calling on the Lord. Those fellows I mentioned at the beginning of this essay have beaten every single thing I have ever thrown at them. Only God has stood on their necks and made them cry “uncle”. He truly is my rock, my fortress, my savior.

I need to live in a constant state of calling, seeking his filling and moving in me to rinse me clean of all the garbage that tries to undermine me every day. Turning to anything or anyone or anywhere else is futile and foolish.

Mike Ridenour

New Hope for Dry Bones

God, IN you!

At times, we of the lower middle class look at those more financially fortunate than ourselves, and envy what they have.

We wish our house was larger, our car newer, our bank account more substantial.  Even Christians find themselves always wishing for more.  It is a malady of the human spirit.  We never seem to be satisfied!

Now, for the person who has not yet found Jesus, this desire for more is understood.  God has placed in us all a void, a spot that only His presence can fill.  That’s why you see so many well-to-do folks still using their riches to search for something more to make them happy.  One house won’t suffice…they must have vacation homes all over the world; a fishing boat just don’t cut it…they want a yacht; a reliable car is not enough…it must be a Ferrari, or the like so they can boast at having the most expensive.  They throw parties and invite folks they hardly are acquainted with, and call them “friends.”

Some Christian folks that have found Jesus do the same but on a much smaller scale.  They try to “keep us with the Jones’ “…bigger house…newer car…4,000 Face Book “friends”….  Forgetting that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and is not just ‘with them’, but that He LIVES IN them!

Most people in this life have addictions…even Christians.  It could be a drinking problem, anxiety, depression, loneliness, fear, unforgiveness, gluttony, …and the list goes on; the only difference between the Christian and the unsaved man, is that the Christian has Jesus living IN him, and therefore has access to the power of God to help him overcome these addictions!  We are children of God, and have all the resources of God Almighty living IN us!

Next time your desires get out of control, and you begin to envy what others have…remember WHO lives IN you!  Then ask them if they have a Million in their account like you do….

Anita

 

TODAY IS THE DAY!

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME”

If you are lost and are trying to find your way, come to Jesus!

If you are searching for the truth, come to Jesus!

If you want a more joyous and abundant life, come to Jesus!

You will find all of those things and gain a home in Heaven besides!  Don’t wait!  Come today…

Anita

A STRONG TOWER…

The verse for the day…

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and are safe.” -Proverbs 18:10

Some people see the word, ‘righteous’, and think that means you are without sin, which, to a point you are…your Spirit man is without sin if you KNOW Jesus as your person Lord and Savior because you have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb.  However, your flesh still sins from time to time.

But Jesus said that if we call on the name of the Lord, He is our strong tower and we are safe when and if we run to Him!

Here’s a little poem that explains it very well.  Take a look…

Though there are dangers untold and stern 

Confronting me in the way,

Willingly still would I go, nor turn,

But trust Thee for grace each day.”

Do you need a safe place to be?  Then run to the Lord for He IS a strong tower of refuge and safety!

Anita