One of my favorite stories is told in a book called “Believe in the God who Believes in You.” Robert Schuller tells about spending the week with a guide in Russia. The lady was an atheist. Bob prayed “What can I say to her?” Here’s what he said happened:
“My words came out without a forethought… I said “I have good news for you.” “Well?” She looked at me; she waited.
“God loves you,” I said. “even if you don’t believe it. And God believes in you even if you don’t believe in Him.”
Wow! That’s so powerful. Even when we don’t believe in Him. Even when we don’t know about Him. Even if we are being just plain stubborn… God believes in us.
It’s just a fact. Because our God is Good.
Nehemiah was an amazing man of God. He had a big yes going on in his life. He knew how awesome God is. He understood loyalty. He was humble at the core, seeking to get God’s work done. Like Nehemiah, we have come back to God. He has put us back in right standing with Himself. Now we get it.
May we be a mighty prayer warrior like Nehemiah. May we do God’s work and restore His people.
“I said, ‘God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you. ‘We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’” Nehemiah 1:5-9 MSG
- Nehemiah’s Story (thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com)
- Day 3 | Let us therefore repent before the Lord (mormonapologeticstudies.org)
- Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Nehemiah 8:5-6 (panoramicviews.wordpress.com)
- Gen. 23; Matt. 22; Neh. 12; Acts 22 (66books.wordpress.com)
Because of what Jesus did, we can walk right up to God. We don’t even have to hesitate. We can just go right in to His presence and the place where His absolute perfection radiates completely. Jesus made the way clear. It was by His blood and His sacrifice. Nothing I could do to make it happen. This is His new plan for us. He has a whole new strategy for how we can be with Him and His awesome love.
So … let’s do it. Let us believe and be confident that we are in fact presentable. We don’t have to be ashamed at all. We are clean inside and out. Let’s get a firm grip on the promises that keep us moving in to His way. Has He ever not kept His word?
In fact, let’s get creative in how we can encourage love and helping each other out. Let’s be really inventive coming up with entirely new ways to show it. The Big Day is coming. Let’s get ready for it.
May we spur each other on. May we help each other out every time we get a chance.
Jesus will not be molded into someone who makes me feel comfortable. I must be absolutely devoted to Him. I must mold myself to do what he wants.
God has been talking to me a long time. I can go way back. Dr. Pirtle spoke the word of God that lead me to Jesus. Jay Fesperman led me into a disciplined life in God. Bob Mumford challenged me to submit to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Derek Prince helped me see how fully I am redeemed. Most recently, Bill Johnson has shown the way to how good God is. Jack Graham shows the way to the goodness of fellowship. Sally Fesperman on how intercession is the way to Gods absolute perfection. On and on it goes. His word right out of the mouths of those I know.
It is a long line of men and women who have addressed me in different ways. And it started way before me. Thousands of years going back to the beginning, the word has come to me through those who went before me. And there were those who proceeded Jesus. In the scheme of things, that wasn’t that long ago. Jesus word holds true today coming to me directly.
It was through Jesus (and the word He spoke) that God created everything that we know as the world and the universe. He created it and it will all be His in the end. It will all belong to Jesus for sure. Jesus absolutely perfectly mirrors God. Everything God is is stamped into who Jesus is now. Because God spoke it to begin with. He is now holding it all together today by the same word He spoke so long ago. He has such powerful words. Oh my goodness, His word blasts forward to make it all happen.
- The Power of Words: Colossians 4:2-18 (ising4god.com)
- “Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it.” ~~Jesus (mww1954.wordpress.com)
- Imitating Jesus (wordsaver.wordpress.com)
- Generosity is not how much we give, but how much does it cost us (junjunfaithbook.com)
We are people with hope. Jesus has won the day. He is guarding our hearts.
We have someone guarding our heart. It is Jesus the Messiah. Now that is some good news. ~~Michael Wilson
- Frustrated? Discouraged? How You Can Change Our Culture (mywarminghouse.com)
- The Challenge of the Kingdom (Part 3) (readingacts.wordpress.com)
This says so much. And I think St. Augustine knew something about this. God wants us to love him like we love no one else. That is the main thing about the main thing. Do we long for Him?
May my whole existence long for You. Every minute of every day.
“The whole life of the good Christian,” said Augustine, “is a holy longing.”
Great story from Max Lucado. We never know how our faith in Jesus will pay off. Even when it makes us look foolish.
by Max Lucado
I’m writing to say thanks. I wish I could thank you personally, but I don’t know where you are. I wish I could call you, but I don’t know your name. If I knew your appearance, I’d look for you, but your face is fuzzy in my memory. But I’ll never forget what you did.
There you were, leaning against your pickup in the West Texas oil field. An engineer of some sort. A supervisor on the job. Your khakis and clean shirt set you apart from us roustabouts. In the oil field pecking order, we were at the bottom. You were the boss. We were the workers. You read the blueprints. We dug the ditches. You inspected the pipe. We laid it. You ate with the bosses in the shed. We ate with each other in the shade.
Except that day.
I remember wondering why you did it.
We weren’t much to look at. What wasn’t sweaty was oily. Faces burnt from the sun; skin black from the grease. Didn’t bother me, though. I was there only for the summer. A high-school boy earning good money laying pipe.
We weren’t much to listen to, either. Our language was sandpaper coarse. After lunch, we’d light the cigarettes and begin the jokes. Someone always had a deck of cards with lacy-clad girls on the back. For thirty minutes in the heat of the day, the oil patch became Las Vegas—replete with foul language, dirty stories, blackjack, and barstools that doubled as lunch pails.
In the middle of such a game, you approached us. I thought you had a job for us that couldn’t wait another few minutes. Like the others, I groaned when I saw you coming.
You were nervous. You shifted your weight from one leg to the other as you began to speak.
“Uh, fellows,” you started.
We turned and looked up at you.
“I, uh, I just wanted, uh, to invite … “
You were way out of your comfort zone. I had no idea what you might be about to say, but I knew that it had nothing to do with work.
“I just wanted to tell you that, uh, our church is having a service tonight and, uh … “
“What?” I couldn’t believe it. “He’s talking church? Out here? With us?”
“I wanted to invite any of you to come along.”
Silence. Screaming silence.
Several guys stared at the dirt. A few shot glances at the others. Snickers rose just inches from the surface.
“Well, that’s it. Uh, if any of you want to go … uh, let me know.”
After you turned and left, we turned and laughed. We called you “reverend,” “preacher,” and “the pope.” We poked fun at each other, daring one another to go. You became the butt of the day’s jokes.
I’m sure you knew that. I’m sure you went back to your truck knowing the only good you’d done was to make a good fool out of yourself. If that’s what you thought, then you were wrong.
That’s the reason for this letter.
Some five years later, a college sophomore was struggling with a decision. He had drifted from the faith given to him by his parents. He wanted to come back. He wanted to come home. But the price was high. His friends might laugh. His habits would have to change. His reputation would have to be overcome.
Could he do it? Did he have the courage?
That’s when I thought of you. As I sat in my dorm room late one night, looking for the guts to do what I knew was right, I thought of you.
I thought of how your love for God had been greater than your love for your reputation.
I thought of how your obedience had been greater than your common sense.
I remembered how you had cared more about making disciples than about making a good first impression. And when I thought of you, your memory became my motivation.
So I came home.
I’ve told your story dozens of times to thousands of people. Each time the reaction is the same: The audience becomes a sea of smiles, and heads bob in understanding. Some smile because they think of the “clean-shirted engineers” in their lives. They remember the neighbor who brought the cake, the aunt who wrote the letter, the teacher who listened …
Others smile because they have done what you did. And they, too, wonder if their “lunchtime loyalty” was worth the effort.
You wondered that. What you did that day wasn’t much. And I’m sure you walked away that day thinking that your efforts had been wasted.
So I’m writing to say thanks. Thanks for the example. Thanks for the courage. Thanks for giving your lunch to God. He did something with it; it became the Bread of Life for me.
"Then He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." - Mark 2:27
Jesus explained to all who questioned Him about picking some heads of grain as they walked on the Sabbath. He let them know that the purpose of the Sabbath was made to provide rest for man, rather than man being made for rest.
Who missed God’s goal? Somebody did and it will help me if i can blame them. That can be the assumption. I am wounded. I am hurt. I suffer. I want to blame someone. Surely someone messed up. Who, we ask?
But Jesus doesn’t allow this. God has something He wants to do. He brought healing and salvation into our fallen world. He loves us. He is good. He doesn’t do evil.
When Jesus and the disciples were on the road one day, they came upon a man who had been blind since birth. “Rabbi, who missed God’s goal, this man or his parents?” they asked him. “Neither this man nor his parents messed up,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” And with that, Jesus spat on the ground, made some mud to place on the man’s eyes, and healed him. John 9
- sunday 10/22/12 – “I was blind, but now I see…” (sciojournal.wordpress.com)
Stop and think about that.
God has a plan. He has a plan for us. He has had His eye on us. Looking to do great things in and through us.
God has a “master plan” for how everything works together to bring His ultimate designs together. He is God. This is the way he works. He isn’t into “one offs”. It all works together for achieving what He has had in mind all this time.
“Long before we first heard of the Messiah and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” ~Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:12 The Message)
What am I living for?
These are essential questions. Questions that we want answers for. And so we have good news. In Jesus, the Messiah, we find the answers to these questions. He makes it all clear to us. We are living for God. It is our mission to love Him like we love nothing else. Our focus is on what He wants today. He wants us to love everyone we meet or know. Friends, enemies, strangers. We are to love them all.
It’s in the Messiah that we find out who we are and what we are living for. (Ephesians 1:11 The Message)
- The Concept of the Church in Ephesians (mgriffinrobert.com)
- THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL REVEALED – Barry Boucher (barryboucher.typepad.com)
- “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (richardangulo.wordpress.com)
- Getting into Philippians 1:1-5 (radiqx.com)
- Do You Know This About Jesus Christ, Salvation & the Kingdom of Heaven? (justmureithi.wordpress.com)
Now here is some great advise from the Apostle Paul. He knew what he was talking about. This is how he lived his life in Jesus. Even when in prison for telling about the Good News of GOD, he would celebrate.
When we celebrate GOD, our focus is on Him and not us. May seem straight forward but much of conversation with God is about us, not Him. That is not the way it should be.
Celebrating God gets us focused on what He wants. That is the way it should be. I should do it all day long. From the time I wake up in bed till the time I fall asleep at night.
Celebrate God all day, every day. (Philippians 4:4 The Message)
Is that what God has in mind for us? Yes it is. Is that our blessing to others? Yes, it should be.
May everything good from God our Father be yours! (Colossians 1:2 The Message)
So I have to suffer a little. It is no big deal. Some days are hard. But there is no comparison between today’s challenges and the good times that are coming. In fact, I should be anxious for what is coming next. I can hardly wait. I am eager for what is going to be revealed in us who are His children.
All of creation waits with eager anticipation at our revealing. It is not all clear now but it will be soon.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:18-19
Life is restful in Jesus!! In Him is real rest not temporary relief.
I can just take it easy when I am a partner with Him. He has won the victory. He has defeated death. He is sitting right next to His Father with everything taken care of and in order. Or I can try to work hard and do it my way.
So he beckons me with that wonderful smile on His face. He say, “Hey Mike, come over here. Sit down with me. Why don’t you quit working so hard? Why are you so worried? I will give you rest. Just sit here with me. How does that sound?”
It sounds wonderful!! Thank you so VERY much!!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28