Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalm 1 NKJV)
She always felt like no one understood her. How could they? She never wanted to let anyone in but lately…lately she’s been noticing that people are more like her than she realized. Her whole life has been about pleasing other people. She never wanted to get out of line simply because people don’t notice you if you aren’t out of line. Unfortunately people don’t notice you which can create quite a lonely existence. However it was a life she was comfortable with; a life that was familiar. But did she want her life to be familiar? Comfortable? No and as she allowed her walls to come down her world opened up and she learned that she wasn’t alone.
I’m pretty sure this scenario isn’t unique to me and how I’m feeling. Comfort in itself is not a bad thing. It helps us to get through difficult times and provides a sense of security but when it becomes our whole way of life it can keep us from doing the very thing we’ve always dreamed of doing. We start to make excuses and reasons why we should take the next step forward. I recently read that our dreams are to help someone else but our comfort is to help ourselves. If that is true, and I believe it is, why is it so difficult for us to do the simplest thing which is to live out our dreams? And here’s the thing our dreams aren’t just something for us to think about or envision when we go to sleep at night. Our dreams is the purpose that God Himself has placed within us to further His kingdom. He gave us a command to go into the world and proclaim the gospel. How we do that is different for every one of us and that’s what make us so special. Some of us use the written word. Some of us use paint brushes. Some of us use the spoken word. Some of us use cameras. But all of us use our lives. So dream on dreamers and allow God to show you how beautiful stepping out on faith can be.
Let us learn to place value on each other’s lives. Let us learn to see one another as people and not as something to easily be disposed of. Help us to see our differences as special, honorable and something to be treasured. Teach us to love as You love and give as You give. Help us to grow in compassion and empathy so that when someone is hurting we go to them not in condemnation and judgement but in love and understanding. Help us to know what to say and allow the Holy Spirit to guides us in knowing when to say it. Remind us that if we seek to please You we will do right by others. And most of all Lord, help us to be grateful for every day You give us.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said “if only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said “who touched My clothes?”
But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say ‘who touched Me?’ ”
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing; but the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her “daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace and be healed in your affliction.”
As I’m writing this post I’m thinking about a time when I told one of the girls from church that she would never move in with me. She stayed with me for three summers.
So often when we say never we mean it at the time. And it’s usually in relation to something that we feel we are too good to do. That’s what got Peter in the Bible. He felt he was too good to ever deny Jesus. I mean after all he was one of the original disciples. He was close to Jesus and followed him pretty much from day one. How could he ever deny the man who told him he would be the rock upon which the church would be built? But that’s exactly what he did.
At a time when it was most crucial, the time when Jesus needed him the most, Peter decided to save himself rather than stand by Jesus’s side. I find it funny that Peter felt the need to preserve his reputation while Jesus was preparing to give His life for him. While Jesus was facing a trail inside Peter was facing his own sort of trial outside. He was confronted and asked if he knew Jesus not once but twice. One of those times was by a little girl who wouldn’t seem to imposing but when you are trying to save face anything can become an imposition.
Here’s the thing Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times. What was Peter’s response? Not me, I would never do that. So when he did deny Jesus his heart sank. I can’t really fault Peter because I honestly don’t know how I would respond if my life was on the line. I hope I wouldn’t deny Jesus if faced with a life or death situation but I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that even in our denial Jesus still loves us.
Jesus met with Peter and asked him a simple question three times and gave him a command three times. “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My Lambs. He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes Lord; you know that I love You. He said to him, tend my sheep. He said to him a third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?…And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:11-17
I think Jesus asked this of Peter three times not only to wash out the three times Peter denied Jesus but also to show us that no matter how far we think we’ve gone Jesus goes even further to bring us back to Him.
Today at church the sermon talked about finding real love and in honor of that I thought I’d highlight some scriptures that speak love-love for one another and love for God. Hopefully these passages can help you as you move forward in your relationship with God.
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 NKJV
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16 NKJV
Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:1-2 NKJV
Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19 NKJV
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest grace]; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 Amplified
I was talking to a friend about leaving a legacy and it got me to thinking about what that really means. Webster defines legacy as a gift by will especially of money or other personal property. The legacy is often something that is cherished sometimes more than the people it’s being left to. And if you were to ask most people associate the word legacy with a business but a legacy is much more than that.
The Rev. Billy Graham recently passed away and as I watched his funeral I saw how much he was loved but more importantly I saw how one decision he made has reached far and wide. He lived his entire life with one goal in mind – tell people about Jesus. That’s it. Nothing added to it, nothing taken away from it. And he understood that it wasn’t just about talking the talk, you have to walk the walk.
He was an example of what a Godly man should be and his crusades gave thousands of people the opportunity to give their life to Jesus. The thing that I’ve heard most since his death was that was he was a humble man who loved the word of God. It was more important to him that people know Jesus and not Billy Graham.
So as his legacy continues on in America and throughout the world my prayer is that we as Christians try to remember that our focus shouldn’t be on ourselves but on staying true to our core message – God’s love and Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.