John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Jesus called Himself the way, the truth, and the life. These were not plural, but notice that he added that there was no other way or truth or life to get to the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
We know that He was called light as well. But, I can't stop comparing these three characteristics of God's nature to the three keys to Spirituality highlighted by Paul in the love chapter. And, don't forget to notice where the LOVE chapter is in the New Testament... it's sandwiched in the middle of a bunch of doctrinal issues and the Spiritual gifts. After you have paused for a moment to listen to the aged old man insist that he is going to show you the best way to be Spiritual, with a wave of his arm, then we will skip right through the chapter to the last word on love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Here we see the three keys a Christian should strive for: faith, hope, and love... if we want to be so Spiritual. I see a correlation between the two sets of three. I believe a case can be made to match them up. We could do that here and now on the spot. But, I want you to make the match yourself. I've made mine. And, I have posted it on another of my websites for you to take a peek at... once you've done your homework. It's over on a new page of Go-Minister that I am working up as a resource for unlocking our gifts and talents. After you compare your thoughts to mine, feel free to comment, tweet, email, or inbox me your thoughts, and what you make of the two verses together as interlocking puzzle pieces. My choices can be found at http://www.go-minister.com/puzzling-gifts.html Be sure to check back on that page soon to see how the resource is going, and email me any contribution ideas you have, as always. God bless you!
Tonight, I am praying for some of the needs I have received messages about, from the feedback line and emails. The Podcast is available on the podcast page at: http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ or on the player below.
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Have you seen Jesus lately? He's easy to find. Jesus is somewhere among the weak, the poor, and the broken. And, Jesus is within you. These two places are the best places to start your search. Look for those who need Jesus. There you will find a chance to fill that need, and there you will find you are giving to Jesus Himself, for He said that when you do for the least, you do it for Him. Matthew 25:45 I'm not talking about salvation at all. I'm talking about finding the way to Jesus' heart.
"I am a worship leader,” he states. “That is what I do. I’ve been on staff at churches and I’ve been a pastor, but mainly I’ve operated as a worship leader. I’ll be honest…it worried me when worship music began to run to the top of the Christian music charts. It seemed that worship started to become a part of the industry with the center of attention on the artist. But worship has nothing to do with a person. Worship is anything that brings pleasure to the heart of God, and if we really want to please the heart of God, it probably has very little to do with the songs that we sing. Worship is more about ministering to the lost, the least, the downtrodden, the broken, the marginalized people of society; the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the imprisoned, the sick. It was a revelation to me that I could be close to the heart of God if I ministered to the poor. The song, ‘Among the Poor,’ flows out of that revelation.”" -Jeremy Riddle (source: http://www.vineyardmusic.com/vm/content/jeremy-riddle )
While you look for those with needs, look to yourself, and the way you treat your own body. Though this is often overlooked as unimportant, our bodies are the temple of God. If we abuse our own body with drugs, or alcohol, take the life within us lightly, for example, we are defacing the temple of God. Yes, it's like destroying a church... the house of God's Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19
Beyond the way we treat the poor and our own body, the heart of God can be found in our worship of Jesus. John 12:8 Jesus said that we have the poor with us always to do good for, and to feed. But, when we worship Him, and praise Him, when we speak to Him in prayer, that's the way to His heart. But, we'll never get that far if we don't take concern for our own body and the poor and weak among us. So, when we find Jesus, are we ready to lavish our praise on Him?
The story behind the four women who were at the foot of the cross as Jesus died, in it's beautiful correlation to Mothers everywhere is told as a prequel to "Mother's Day."
Tonight's Podcast and more notes and info about the Four Women Beneath the Cross is available at: http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ or, you can listen on the player below.
I am the "wise women" of the wandering Jews who spun ornate curtains for the temple.
I am the daughters of Israel, who were hired as cooks and bakers in the palace of the king.
I am the young widow Ruth, harvesting crops to support myself and my mother-in-law.
I am Huldah the Prophetess. Though my husband had a good job as a tailor, I also worked outside our home as a college professor, which provided us, among other things, room and board at the college. My devoutness earned me the respect of priests, who consulted with me about God's will.
I am Lydia, a businesswoman with an eye for a "good thing." I recognized at once the truth of the gospel message an Asian missionary brought across the Aegean Sea to Philippi. I became the first convert in Europe, supported the ministry, and founded the first church in my home.
I am all these women. I am a career mom.
These women found me, respectively in Exodus 35:25-26, I Samuel 8:13, Ruth 2:7, II Kings 22:14, and Acts 16:14. I wasn't looking for them. I was just going to church, dealing with my reality as a single mom, and feeling the burn of the then stereotypical lack of acceptance the church had for working women. Notice even the term "working woman" has its own negative connotations. 8/ I felt like I was damned if I didn't work, and damned if I did, so to speak. I was doing "the right thing" and being told I was wrong by well meaning people. But, I continued to read my Bible, and understood that God does not see things as we do. Fortunately, today many people are laying aside those stereotypes, and most men admit their biggest fear about their wives working is that their wives will quit. :) The economy has a way of cleaning or clogging our ethics it seems.
But, I felt so bad about not being the image projected of the "Pentecostal Woman," a picture I looked nothing like, that one Mother's Day morning I found myself dreading going to church. I just knew the Pastor would preach about that Proverbs 31 Woman again. I couldn't stand her...she was so darn perfect. I would have liked to get my hands around her neck. But, this Pastor was a true man of God. He had his ears to Heaven's throne. And, of course, God knew my heart. I drug myself to church, to hear what a lousy woman I was again, to find a very different message about the P31 Woman. I was astounded as he went through the chapter, showing how she worked outside the home, bought and sold property with her own money, AND was a pride to her family. I was shocked to see she was a woman like me...not like that old lady on the magazine sitting in her garden, wiling away her days in the house while her husband worked.
Proverbs 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She has a monetary value put on her worth. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. He doesn't have to take a second job, but is relieved to come home to a woman who will be a true helpmate. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She is a Home Builder. She builds up instead of tearing down her family. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She makes investments in textiles, and makes a profit on handspun goods. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She goes shopping and orders online to get a good deal :) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She gets up before daylight and puts a roast in the crockpot so dinner will be ready when she gets home from work. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She bought and sold property with her own money...smart enough to know real estate value. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Maybe she pumped weights and kept herself in shape at the gym because she knew that was important :) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She stayed up late because she knew a lot of people were counting on her. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She had her own paycheck and wasn't stingy, but gave to the poor. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She knew where to buy the best clothes and materials. Second rate wasn't good enough for her family. She dressed them with care because she was a provider, and cost was no object when it came to her loved ones. I love this part! Go shopping ladies, it's in the Bible! She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. She dresses nicely and is not afraid to look good for her man. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. The men who work with her husband respect him for having this woman and her husband is proud that this smart, beautiful lady is his wife. How lucky he is to have her. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. She has her goods in stores all over town. Her merchandise is a household name. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. People listen when she speaks, and she speaks kindly to all. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. The most important quality she possesses is that she fears God. All the other things named can be taken away, but her faith in God will keep her through all circumstances. Then, even if her career, her husband, her children, her money is taken, she knows she will still be praiseworthy. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. Give her her paycheck and let her enjoy the fruit of her labor all her life, because she works for it.
This Mother's Day, I hope all of you know what you are worth as Mothers. Happy Mother's Day woman! And, if your children get tired of being told what to do, remind them that Jesus did too, but in the end, even God did what His Mom told Him to do. :)
John 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
*I featured this blog by the same name 1 year ago on the night before Mother's Day. I thought it was worth sharing again.
Jesus died praying. Doesn’t Easter make you feel a connection with eternity?! Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the spirit. There seems to be a preoccupation with knowing the cause of one’s future death, in some groups. In the end, it is not the cause of death that matters, but the purpose or reason for which you lived and died.
"So the main question is not, Which humans brought about the death of Jesus but,
What did the death of Jesus bring about for humans - including Jews and Muslims
and Buddhists and Hindus and nonreligious secularists - and all people everywhere?
When it is all said and done, the most crucial question is: Why?
Why did Christ suffer and die? Not why in the sense of cause,
but why in the sense of purpose?"-John Piper
Yes, Jesus arose with a question... John 20:15 Jesus said unto her, Woman, why do you weep? whom do you seek? She, supposing him to be the gardener, said unto him, Sir, if you have borne him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.
My question for you is...
What do you see here? Do you see dead, frozen, lifeless trees? Do you see Winter? Why are you sad? Why do you weep?
I see life, sunrises, and Spring. I see this tree in all that it has been in the past, because I know that is what it will be again in the future. This is, in essence, the spirit of Easter… resurrection, an anastomosis performed by God on a yearly basis.
Good Friday has come and gone, while I have napped. I have felt the effects of some sort of bug after eating lunch today, and slept for awhile. Pray for me to feel better so I can go to church on Easter Sunday.I hear we are expecting a sunny day Saturday. Hmmm? We will see...
Our weakness reminds us of the strength and power of God. My latest podcast episode is ready at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ and on the player below. I read in a variety of versions; KJV, NKJV, NIV, and the Living Bible. For a complete transcript of Scripture references, see the Podcast Page.
Where is there room enough inside me for God? How can I call God to me if He is already here? Where could I go in the universe so that God could leave where He is and come to live inside me? Where could I call God to, when I am already in God? Since God fills Heaven and Earth, do they hold all of Him? Or does He run over? Where does the overflow go? Do greater things hold more of God and smaller things hold less? I simplified the questions of St. Augustine, who lived seventeen hundred years ago in the 4th Century, from his classic work, The Confessions of St. Augustine. So, these are not new questions, but rather questions even philosophers consider.
God is so big that He fills the universe! He is bigger than Earth. He is bigger than our Solar System. He is bigger than our Milky Way Galaxy and bigger than even a cluster of galaxies. Francis Chan, the author of Crazy Love, talks about what he calls "the awe factor of God" in this three minute video.
A half-breed woman asked much the same questions of Jesus. "Where do I have to go to find God?" Jesus' answer was that God is a Spirit being. He is not contained in one place alone, but He is everywhere and obtainable by all...even those unaccepted by society. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
On a more personal level, is God big enough to handle your problems? Is He larger than the grand scheme of your dreams? Can He guide the course of your career and the steps of your children simultaneously? Has it ever occurred to you that God is bigger than your budget, and when there's too much month left at the end of the money, there is still more of God's divine provision? Does He see in the dark, and in your heart? Can He hold you in your failures and in your triumphs?
In Matthew 6:5-13 Jesus talks about how to pray, "When you pray." His requests are simple and sums up the needs of man; God's will, our daily bread, a two-way forgiveness, and deliverance from evil. You can say all you need to say to God in a 25 second prayer. The problem is most of our prayers are too short. They never get to the beginning. Jesus' prayer began with faith..."Our Father who is in heaven..." Wow! He is our Dad and He is in Heaven! How lucky can we be?! We have an audience with the God of the universe and He is related to us. Talk about nepotism! Nepotism is defined as "favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit." That sums up our position, doesn't it?
What ever it is you need, whether you are unemployed, sick, scared, or need comfort in a loss you have suffered, when you pray... start with our Father who is in heaven. You will end up with more than you ever dreamed.
Mount Everest is about 5 1/2 miles above sea level, and very few have climbed on foot, only the brave and highly skilled. Many died trying. Mankind has only dug about 7 1/2 miles into the Earth, about the distance across town. The hole lies underneath the tower enclosing Kola's drill. The drill spent twenty-four years reaching that depth, and its progress was finally halted in 1994. The Russian researchers were surprised at how quickly the temperatures rose as the borehole deepened, which is the factor that ultimately halted the project's progress. At that depth researchers had estimated that they would encounter rocks at 212°F, but the actual temperature was about 356°F, so drilling stopped on the SG-3 branch. If the hole had reached the initial goal of 15,000 meters, temperatures would have reached a projected 572°F.
Somewhere within this 13 mile span, we lives an average of 70 years; 5 1/2 miles under and 7 1/2 miles above our potential. Life is indeed limited. And here we live, never more than 6 feet away from death. This is all that separates man from death, six feet of soil.
I don't imagine we can rightly call the 70 year lifespan life, when it is so close to death, and exists in the eclipsical shadow of eternity. No, the opposite of death is eternal life, which man has longed for since time began. Life, much like truth and the right way or path is a philosophical quality that has been pursued by every religion and philosophy. So, when Jesus came calling Himself the the way, truth, and life, He was claiming to be everything for which man was searching. John 14:6 "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me."
You know how far you are from death already. How far are you from life at this very moment? What exactly is it that it would take for you to be truly alive? Just how far are you from eternal life? Two phonemes. Two syllables. You see, the distance is not in feet because Jesus came down from Heaven to Earth, was buried in the Earth, and rose to Heaven again. He traveled the distance, so we can find life here and now in Him. How far is life? The mere two inches your tongue would move to call out His name in prayer. How far away is my Mother? As far as my cellphone. How far away is Life? As far as His name...Jesus.
I enjoyed our church Harvest Festival tonight, with a bonfire, band, puppets, hotdogs, and hayride... and lots of costumed children. Many people came early to cook hotdogs, build a bonfire, and to set up for the band and puppets. I'm sleepy now, but full of words as usual. God still speaks to and through tired souls. The gift and the giver are accepted as one. You are your greatest gift and your gift is before you.
And a great multitude followed him,
because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
And Jesus went up into a mountain,
and there he sat with his disciples.
And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him,
he said unto Philip, Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
And this he said to test him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him,
Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them,
that every one of them may take a little.
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto him,
There is a lad here,
who has five barley loaves,
and two small fishes:
but what are they among so many????????????????????????????
I wonder if the disciples wore those plastic food service gloves? No, I don't imagine they were approved by the Health Department to serve food. I'm sure no one was checking out their most current health rating score. No, the proof was in the pudding... And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles. A hungry multitude will follow you if Jesus is feeding them.
There were people who were concerned with whether or not the disciples washed their hands before they ate. Matthew 15:1-2 It appears Jesus didn't sit the boy or the disciples down to wash their hands before serving the multitudes. No, Jesus just wanted to know what they had in their hands to offer of service for the King. "
Exodus 4:1-2 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not
believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD has not
appeared unto you. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in your hand? And he
said, A rod.
God uses those who are willing. A good church is the same way, and this is one thing in particular I like about my church. But, it isn't always like that. Just ask yourself, would a prostitute or a member of a bike gang feel comfortable looking for Jesus in your church?
Proverbs 18:16 A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before
Yes, there is room in God's house for all. We are all fit for service in the Kingdom: rich and poor, wise and simple. We all wear the robes of righteousness and belonging placed on our shoulders by our Father when He accepted us back into the household and placed His ring on our fingers, and served us the feast. We are family of the King, and of value to the Father of us all. Matthew 18:3-6 talks about children in particular. If a child wants to serve God, then our job is to lead Him forward to place his gift in the hand of the Master. Jesus once responded to the critical Pharisees that they worshipped with lip service, but their hearts needed a GPS...God Positioning Satellite. They didn't know how to worship with their hearts, which were far from God. Is your heart in the right place? :)