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Do You Believe?

25 Mar

Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is just around the bend. Some are planning to serve special meals, while others are purchasing special clothes and baskets for children. But how do you really feel about Easter?

It’s ok to be honest with yourself. Do you believe that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose again on the third day?

After Jesus rose from the grave, he appeared to the disciples. He showed them His hands and His sides. The disciples were glad that they were blessed to see Jesus alive again!

However, a disciple by the name of Thomas, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus’ visitation took place. When Thomas later arrived on the scene, the disciples told him about their time time with Jesus. Thomas said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”” John‬ ‭20:25‬ ‭NKJV‬

Imagine the shock the disciples felt. Here was their very own bother, doubting that what they said was true about Jesus. Thomas was courageous. Some of us might have doubted too and not spoken up, but Thomas was honest. Thomas was in need of a personal experience.

Eight days later Jesus appeared in the place where the disciples were assembled. It was as though He came just for Thomas. “Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Just as Jesus reappeared for Thomas, He can do the same for you. You may not see Him physically walk through your door. He may even use another person to speak to you. While reading the Bible, you may sense His presence. Sometimes Jesus ministers to us through songs. He knows how to meet you where you are in a personal way.

This Easter, don’t let your doubt dissuade you from having a personal resurrection experience. Yes Jesus died for you. Yes Jesus wants you to know Him and experience abundant, eternal life. Yes Jesus loves you. Confess how you feel about Him, and ask Jesus to meet you where you are.

Thomas and the disciples believed because they saw Jesus and touched his hands and his side. Blessed are you and I, and we, who have not seen the physical manifestation of Jesus, and yet have believed!

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Free Food & Drinks!

26 Jul

Day in and day out routines can leave us feeling dry. Caring for family, paying bills, commuting to work, and work itself, can all be draining factors.  Sometimes we become so exhausted until we’re running on empty.

When we don’t take the time needed to replenish ourselves, we are no longer able to give our best, or even be our best. Our entire attitude can become tense and irritable as we maneuver through life on dry air.

But there is a place that we can go to be refreshed. A place where money is not needed, yet huger and thirst are required to enter. In this place, we are filled to the overflow to thrive, not just survive! 

Just where can we find this secret place (Psalm 91:1).  Some call it their quiet time, while others call it meditation. The name, matters not as much as the action of getting away with The One who refreshes, Jesus Christ (John 14:4).

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ invites us – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

The only food and drink that truly satisfy are  found only in Jesus who is the Way, The truth and the Life (John 14:6).  Come and cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1Peter 5:7).  Get away to that secret place! Read the Bible and allow it to speak to you. Pray, sing unto the Lord.  Or just come and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Come and be satisfied. The food and drinks are on the house!

Hidden Life?

12 Jul
Although you may be a Christian, have you ever felt that
your life was missing something grand? Does your whole 
being cry out for more? Have you sensed that there is 
some unique thing that you should be doing that escapes
you?

In the stillness of a "must be more moment", I 
sensed a whisper that said "hidden with Christ" (Colossians
3:3) But what does that really mean? Did God hide the very 
thing that He sent His Son Jesus to die for; this thing called
life. Jesus said, "I came that you might have life, and have 
it more abundantly" (John 10:10). So if Jesus not only 
came that we might have life, and He even died so that we 
might have life, why is life hidden?

As Matthew Henry's commentary states "It is hid with Christ; 
not hid from us only, in point of secrecy, but hid for us, 
denoting security. The life of a Christian is hid with Christ".
Our lives are hidden, or secure with Christ.

But the question goes back to, how can we actually 
allow that abundant life that is hidden with Christ to 
be felt, experienced and expressed daily?  

Jesus Christ, the one with whom our lives are hidden, said 
that we are to "Love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, 
soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves"
(Luke 10:27).  

While this may not be the entire answer to our 
question of more, going back to the two greatest
commandments on which the whole law rests is 
a very good place to start in finding the "more"
that our hearts long for.

Love more! Focus upon seeking the Lord and loving
Him, as well as loving those people that have 
been placed within your circumference more. As we follow
these two commandments, we open our lives to
greater possiblities of abundant living for and with
Jesus Christ, with whom our lives are hidden and secure!

Occupy Until I Come!

7 May

In Luke19 verse 11-27, we find Jesus sharing a parable which at first, may appear to be about servants investing money for their ruler. However, upon closely examining the scriptures, we find that the ruler actually told the servants to “occupy (trade) until I come”. Based upon the fact that the word occupy, as it is used in this text means to “trade”, it is understood that the servants were to do business for their ruler during His temporary absence. 
The ruler entrusts each person with the same amount of money and goes away. In the ruler’s absence, one man earns ten times the amount that he was given, while another earns five times the amount he was given. Sadly, in fear, which may have included laziness, or lack of motivation, the third man hid his money instead of investing it. Upon hearing this news, the ruler furiously took the money that he had entrusted to this servant, and gave it to the servant who was most profitable.
As Christians, we too are to occupy (trade) with what what we’ve been given by diligently investing our resources and talents on earth until Jesus comes back. In light of this fact, ask yourself, am I occupied with my Lord’s business, or preoccupied with my own? Am I afraid to use my talents, fearing that I am inadequate? Am I holding on to all of my resources and using them to plan for my own future? 
Look around friends. The world is in desperate need of your voice, your story of how Jesus has made your life complete. The world is crying out for real love, like the all surpassing love that you have found in Jesus. Someone, maybe your neighbor, needs your helping hand. And those talents that you’ve been blessed with were meant to bless others.  Let’s boldly be about our Lord’s business by making an eternal impact on others and occupy until He comes! The rewards of being a faithful steward are both in, and out of this world!

A New Look at Family

20 Jun
We now have more single parent headed households than ever. 
These households are in need of support from other family 
members to help carry the load. But how can the support gap
be filled when many families now live miles away from 
grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins? We can begin to 
fill the gap by taking a new look at "family".

Although many of us don't have the luxury of living near a 
host of relatives, we have been blessed with people who do, 
and have done for us, more than we can ask. Who are the 
people that have been there for you and for your children? 
Has your neighbor blessed you consistently in some way?  
Do you have friends that are there for you even before you 
can ask them for help? And what about your single 
parent friends whom you help from time to time? Have you 
thought about the fact that you might consider these 
people as a part of your family?

In Matthew 12:50, Jesus defined family in a unique way. 
He said that whoever does the will of His Father, the 
same is His brother, His sister, and His mother  
Jesus was not disowning His blood relatives (John 19:26). 
Instead, He also embraced those as family who are related 
to Him through a common bond. 

Perhaps it's time for you to re-define your family. 
Instead of being frustrated or down about the family 
that you don't have, begin to celebrate and value the 
family members that you do have. Psalm 68: 6 tells us 
that God places the solitary (lonely) in family. Where 
has he placed you? Today is a good day to take a new 
look at family.


 

Are You Walking on Water?

31 May

 

After Jesus performed the miracle of feeding five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread, He instructed his disciples to cross before Him to the other side by ship. Suddenly the winds began to rage, causing the disciples to become frightened. In the midst of the waves, the disciples saw someone walking on the sea towards them and began to cry out. They presumed that that the figure walking towards them was a spirit.

Jesus immediately responded to their fear,”be of good cheer, it’s Me, don’t be afraid”.  Peter said, Lord if it’s You, bid me to come to You on the water.  Jesus replied “come “. Peter came down out of the ship and walked on the water towards Jesus. And as you who are familiar with this text know, Peter looked at the wind, became frightened, began to sink, and cried out, “Lord save me”.  Jesus immediately stretched out His hand, caught Peter and said to him “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt”?

Please notice that as Jesus approached the disciples He said to them be of good cheer, it’s Me, don’t be afraid. While the other disciples remained quiet, Peter courageously said, if it’s You Lord, let me do what You’re doing (let me walk on water).  Jesus was in no way threatened nor angered by Peter’s request. In fact, based upon the response Jesus made when Peter began to sink, (“Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt”?) it’s obvious that Jesus was disappointed by the fact that Peter’s walk upon the water was so brief.

You see, Jesus desires that all of His disciples, walk on water, that we continuously take steps toward greatness. Sometimes we do step out of our boats, our comfort zones and begin to walk on water. When the winds begin to blow, we can allow our eyes to become focused upon the winds instead of remaining fixed upon Jesus.  Like Peter, we then become frightened, sink into worry and doubt, and finally cry out to Jesus, “Lord save me”. If we would dare but look to Jesus in faith, we can confidently expect that He will empower us to continuously walk on water causing others to see Jesus through us!

Before Leaving earth, Jesus said that we, you and I, we’re going to do greater things than He did.  How can these great things take place if sometimes we’re to afraid to even get out of the boat? Certainly, Jesus will help you if you’re trusting Him, whether you get out of the boat or not.  He is faithful, and He can not deny His faithfulness.  But oh what adventures, what miracles we will see, not only in our lives but in the world if we would but get out of our boats and walk on the water.

Have you been waiting for a miracle? Your miracle may just be waiting for you.  Don’t be afraid to take that next step.  Those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. What are the thoughts and decisions in life that frighten you the most right now? Are you living up to your full potential? Do you have a dream that you’re afraid to act on?  Just imagine this, if Peter had continued to walk on the water, maybe the other disciples would have dared to get up and try it too.  What’s holding you back? YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS….  Overcome your fear with faith in Jesus. GET OUT OF THAT Boat and walk on water!

Still Believe!

28 May

Still Believe!.