This morning in my international bible study we talked about how God loves each person individually and the fact that God loves all people means that all people have value to God. We talked about how God is a loving heavenly father who wants us as His children. One of my helpers shared the quote’ “God is our Father so call home”. It was so appropriate because in my class were people from Brazil, China, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam. All of them have family back home and call them on a frequent basis. Calling home means more to them than it does to someone who lives in the same city as their family.
We are here on earth and not in heaven yet, but we can call home anytime and not worry about time zones or waking God up. He wants to hear from us anytime. He is waiting for us to call home. He has invited us to call home so the only question is will we?
It seems like we have had and will have endless foggy days in Lincoln. Anytime there is a prolonged period of cloudy days or foggy days people can feel down or tired or even depressed. During such times we desire sunlight and when we finally have a sunny day it seems that everyone is happy, energetic and in a much better mood.
Jesus is the SON of God. He is the light of the world spiritually. If we feel down. depressed or tired of life, we can come to Jesus to find what we need. He has already given us permission to come to Him. He said- “Come to Me all who are weary and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest.” If we come to Jesus we will find joy, peace, fulfillment, and a new life. If we come to Jesus each day we will find the guidance we need. We need to come into the light of Jesus just as we need the sunlight to cheer up/
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day which causes me to ponder what the church should look like or how it should be. In the bible it says that Jesus tore down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. In the early days of the church that was a big issue due to the church starting among the Jewish people and then spreading out to the world under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I appreciate how Billy Graham used to always say that Jesus belongs to the whole world and to all people. He is the Savior of the world. In fact Jesus would have looked much like other people living around the Mediterranean world. Jesus loves all people equally. It is the fact that Jesus loves all people equally that gives each and every person worth and value. He expects us to treat every one in a way that shows His love.
The church is intended to be a place that all people are loved and no discrimination is practiced. This takes vigilance on our part to examine ourselves to ensure that we do not give way to sin by discriminating against anyone. There is absolutely no place for prejudice or discrimination in the church.
I have been thinking about what Jesus said when He said “when I was hungry you fed me…”. The principle is that when we show compassion to others Jesus considers it as us showing that compassion to Him. For some reason Jesus has chosen to do His work through us, to show His love through us, to care for the needs of others through us. We have another opportunity to show His compassion this time to the people of Haiti through our prayers and donations to relief organizations.
For some the tragedy in Haiti will be another opportunity in a long ling of many times that they have shown the love of Jesus to those in need. For some this may be the first time to do so and hopefully doing so will awaken in them the realization that showing the love and compassion of Jesus to others is an incredible privilege. For all who help out may we stop to remember this truth- We love because He first loved us.
Whenever there is a severe tragedy such as the one in Haiti, it causes me to pray and seek Jesus, but I have to admit I wonder why it had to happen. I do not have answers to such a question that satisfy me in the face of such suffering and I do not really care to try. What I do concentrate on is the as a Christian I am called to show the love and compassion of Jesus to those who are suffering.
One time when Jesus was ministering to the masses of people who followed Him, He stopped and looked at them and according to the bible was filled with compassion for them because He saw them as sheep that were scattered and helpless in need of a shepherd. That is how Jesus feels now for those suffering in Haiti. That is how He feels every time there is a tragedy such as the Tsunami that hit South Asia or the earthquake that hit Haiti.
My privilege as a Christian is to show the love and compassion of Jesus. I say privilege because I have experienced His love and compassion for me personally, so it is a privilege that I can show His love and compassion to others. I cannot go to Haiti. I wish I could. Two things I can do is to pray for the suffering and for those who go to help them and give what I am able to give to efforts to help them. One ministry that I have always been impressed with is Samaritan’s Purse. They do an excellent job of helping those who are suffering in many places in the world while sharing the love of Jesus.
Last year at this time I was wondering what would happen in the year ahead. My Sunday morning international bible study went from an average attendance of 7 to an average of 20, I was able to be wth my father as he died adn went on to be with Jesus, my Saturday reading class went from 5 to an average of 12, I made a lot of new friends, started 3 blogs, youtube account, hi5, orkut and was given a van.
It is the start of a new year and already I have met 2 new friends who have come ot my Sunday morning international bible study, will start a new class at my church this Thursday evening, and look forward to a great year. We never know what will come when we start a new year, but we can always trust in the fact that whatever comes our way, Jesus is there ahead of us and will be with us. He controls the future and has promised to never leave us.
January 6th is my father’s birthday. This year will be the first time he celebrates it in heaven. This is something I never thought I would be able to say with confidence because for many years he did not want to hear anything about Jesus or God from me. We did to have a very good relationship for a long time due to various reasons. I have previously written about how after I expressed forgiveness that we were able to talk about Jesus and pray together.
I was able to with him when he died and comfort him by reading from the bible to him and praying. He was not alone which was important to me. Now he is experiencing the glorious wonders of heaven. He is with Jesus and much better off than we are. I can say this with confidence not based on my father and how he lived his life since that is not what the decision is based on. God decides based on if we accept His son Jesus. It is a free gift God offers to all who will receive His son Jesus.
On New Year’s Eve I did not make any plans. I had thought about going to see some old friends at another church but this year their New Year’s Eve function was at a Dance Hall and cost $25. I am not a good dancer and don’t really care for it at this stage in my life, so I did not plan to go. I was content to stay home and relax, but God had other plans.
I ended up visiting some friends and getting to know them. We spent a lot of time talking about Jesus and took some time to pray. It was a meaningful evening for me. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate New Year’s than to be with some friends who are new to Christianity and encourage them in their faith. I have often found that it is in the unplanned moments when we follow the leading of the Lord that we experience moments full of the Lord’s presence and discover how He wonderfully arranges appointments for us while we are not aware of it.