If you are like me, you probably enjoy reading or looking at magazines. This is especially true if they feature home decorating ideas, recipes, and perhaps a do-it-yourself project or two. I just love trying out the little tips on organization, making the most of small spaces, setting a holiday table, baking braided bread, or how to make a shabby-chick silverware caddy from an old sewing machine drawer; and the pictures, oh, don’t you just love the perfect pictures?
The endless mounds of rubble and debris lined the narrow street of what had once been the site of many of my fondest childhood memories. A visual example of ruin and destruction sprawled in front of me. Hurricane Michael had ravaged my father’s boyhood homeplace, the place we always came “home” too! It seemed unfathomable that it would never look the same again as it had been rendered all but unrecognizable. My heart sank as I sat gazing through the windshield and I couldn’t help but brush away the warm tears that trickled down my cheeks. I commented how grateful I was that my father wasn’t alive to see the nightmare-ish sight in front of me, and that I knew it would have broken his heart.
And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning-The First Day
And God said, Let there be light, and there was light, God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day and the darkness He called night. And there was evening, and there was morning -the first day.
Is there any hope?
Do you feel like your life is consumed by the darkness today? Maybe bitterness or guilt is consuming you, or you are overwhelmed by hopelessness and uncertainty about your tomorrows. Maybe there’s just emptiness or unsettling in your soul as you look out and realize this world offers very little in the way of peace and rest. Or maybe you are just in a place today of questioning God and wondering how you even ended up where you are. You may even think, “is there seriously even any hope in starting again?”
wonderfull and profound lesson
There is a wonderfully profound lesson to be learned even on the very first day of creation. A truth that we can hold fast to as we rest in our Creator. Things always seem the darkest before the dawn!
Pay close attention to the key point in these verses. Watch as the Creator speaks into the darkness and the void in order to display His glory and His goodness. As God separated the day from the night and created the very first day, which came first? Look closely at the order…What do you see?
In the process of being transformed
In creation, the evening (DARKNESS) always comes before the day (LIGHT). There is a very good reason why the Jews still live by this order of the day. Our lives also are in the very process of being transformed and worked out to display His glory, if we will allow our Creator to also separate us out of the darkness into His glorious light. This will only be done by allowing Him to speak His Words, breathe His Spirit, into our lives. Into the darkness of our nights that yearn for the morning. Only then can we move in the natural order that is meant to bring us joy and Him glory and the ability to now live as children of the light. There is the promise of a new day ahead for you!
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the LORD. Live as children of the light. Eph 5:8
Sing praises to the LORD, O
you Hissaints, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping mytarry for the night, but joy comewith the morning. Psalm 30:4-5
Read also: Hope even when
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
What Would Jesus Do?
Sometimes I don’t want to admit that I’m a Christian. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of Jesus. I’m not embarrassed to say He’s my Savior. I just don’t want to be identified with the hateful throngs of people who say they follow Jesus, but espouse hate, judgment and anger towards anyone who thinks differently than them. If you look at any political, social, or ecumenical issue, there’s always an angry group of people, calling themselves Christians, shouting, name-calling and claiming God hates the other side.
Can you imagine Jesus typing nasty comments on social media to someone who disagreed with Him?Kaity
Jesus never once did this, and He was perfect. Can you imagine Jesus typing nasty comments on social media to someone who disagreed with Him? Can you see Him outside of an abortion clinic with signs yelling and hating people inside? No, I imagine Jesus would walk up to those people, sit alongside them, and tell them He loves them. He would invite them to partake of the Living Water just as He did to the woman at the well. He didn’t scold her or judge her. He welcomed her to come walk with Him.
Behind Closed Doors
I have to admit, though I am not publicly berating or shaming others, I do it behind closed doors and in the caverns of my heart. I judge my neighbor, my husband, my friends. I mumble a sarcastic remark about my husband’s shortcomings. I’m impatient with my friends’ flaws. God has been gently teaching me to clothe myself in the fruits of the spirit, instead of acting out of judgment and self righteousness. It’s really hard! It’s my own natural inclination to act like the god of my little world and judge those around me.
“Lord, teach us to be more like You. Show us to show your love and mercy to those around us, instead of acting out in harsh judgment. Help others see the Light and Hope through our words and actions. Let us show a dark world what it means to be a Christian.”
Read also: Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.
The other day I read this quote and it really touched and moved me. The quote read, “Jesus seemed to enjoy the company of the broken more than the debates of the religious”. Well, this is what I’m wanting to discuss today.
God’s love letter
Scripture, the Word, is God’s love letter to all of creation. From Genesis to Revelation the Word of God is revealing Himself to us. It is apparent that all of Scripture is referring to Jesus in His entirety. There was and is no one who knew and understood the Word of God as well as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus understood the Word with such astounding insight. The Word was God and Jesus was God in the flesh. (John 1:1-2)
So, we may be asking ourselves, “What did Jesus do with all this knowledge”? Did He gather all this knowledge to obtain more and more “information” and just fill His mind with facts and history? Or was He trying to impress others and have discussions and debates that showed everyone just how much knowledge He did have? Absolutely not! Jesus allowed the knowledge that God bestowed to Him to deeply penetrate His heart. He cherished the Word. He meditated and prayed. He loved the Word of God and to do the will of God was His only desire. In fact, Jesus used the Word to defeat Satan’s temptations in the desert. Jesus properly used the Word as a defense; a defense that only speaks Truth. It is written that the Word was His sword. Jesus also used the Word when the Pharisees tried to lure
Transformation of heart
Throughout Scripture, we repeatedly see there were many men with tremendous knowledge of the Word of God. However, many of these men did not allow the Word to penetrate deep into their heart and soul and it was obvious that there was no sincere heart transformation. Oh sure, things looked good on the outside and they knew exactly how to tell others to live and what they should and should not do. But, for themselves, the Word just did not apply. This is what Jesus had to say when referring to these men in Matthew 23:2-5 (NLT).
2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.[a] 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.
No matter the cost
Jesus did not have to broadcast how much knowledge He had or do things just to draw attention Himself. No, He willingly,
He welcomed all
During Jesus’ ministry, He was always acceptant of the people that others did not want anything to do with. He welcomed all to follow Him…. no matter their background. For example prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans, and the broken-hearted. Some may wonder why did He do this? Why did He not sit down with all those great theologians and well-known leaders? Jesus came for the broken, “ordinary” people and what some would call the outcasts. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to rescue and reconcile us all back with God, so we could live with Him.
The Pharisee and the tax collector
I think the parable about the prayer of the Pharisee and the tax collector gives us the answer.
Luke 18: 9-13 9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[b]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
We can see here that the Pharisee thought he was a good man; good enough. He apparently saw himself as much better than all the other people around him. He exalted himself and “self” was on the throne of his heart. He believed and trusted his own righteousness. However, the tax collector saw his wretched condition before a Holy God and was undone. He was pleading for Gods mercy on his life and realized that he was in great need of God’s grace and forgiveness. The tax collector showed true Godly sorrow for his sinful life and repented whole-heartedly. Have you confessed your sins and repented to the Lord? He’s waiting for you to come to Him and lay it all down at the cross. Turn from sin and turn to God.
Romans 3: 23-24 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Let your light shine
Let us, therefore, honor the Lord with our lives as a living sacrifice. Let’s devote time each day to spend with Him, engaging with Him in His Word and in prayer. Allow His love and mercy to sink deep in our hearts and pass on that love and mercy to others. Let us not only read His Word but really live it out. Allow the light and love of Jesus to shine through you in such a dark and fallen world. Reach out to the “outcast” and lost souls. They are all around us, seeking and grasping for worldly things that can’t satisfy. Let your light shine! Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb of God.
Read also Be great, be faithful
Did you ever talk with people about faith and the truth of God and they said: ‘What is truth? Something that is true for you, is not necessarily true for me!’ Or: ‘Well, if your beliefs are working for you, if that’s the truth for you… that’s fine, but I see things differently!’ The overall idea seems to be– sometimes even among Christians – that absolute truth of God does not exist; they say truth depends on people and their views; it’s a personal thing, they say.