Friday, February 21, 2014

No Greater Love


“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.
 You are my friends if you do what I command
 I no longer call you servants, because a servant doesn’t know his master’s business.
 Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from my Father
I have made known to you.” John 15:13, 15 (NIV)

This scripture tells us that there is no love stronger than the Lord’s love for us. He shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus spoke to the disciples and told them, “I now call you friends.”
In our world, today, when we call someone a friend it means we have a relationship with them. When Jesus used the word to describe that relationship with us, it becomes more special. He has shared something with us; we have obeyed Him. He honors us when he calls us ‘friend’.

In today’s world, we have a relaxed meaning of the word ‘friend’; relationships are more casual and less long term. Our teenagers have the term “best friend forever’ (BFF.) But how long does ‘forever’ last? Those in this generation want one of their relationships to be permanent. But, alas, certain issues cause these desired relationships to languish. One moves away, one gets married and the other stays single for a while, they might find something that causes them not to accept the other’s way of thinking. 

But, with Jesus’ saying he calls us friend we have a stronger bond, when we obey Him.

Graphic: solid

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obedience Equals Love


“’As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father’s command and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.’”
John 15:9-12 (NIV)

Jesus puts it very plainly, when we obey His commands, we show our love for Him. He also tells us that His Father loves us just like He loves His Son.

God’s love stays with us during the times of illness—personal or of a family member, financial hardship, loss of a loved one and its aftermath.

There is something unique about an earthly parent’s love for a child. That unusual quality is magnified many times over when we describe the love God has for Jesus and the Lord, for His children.

When God sees us living for Him, doing His Will, and following His guidance, He smiles. When this happens, we receive a joy that surmounts anything we will ever know.

Song: Such Love


Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: The Question That Never Goes Away, Why


By Philip Yancey

Mr. Yancey discusses the always present question when things go wrong. When he was a year old, he lost his father to Polio. His first book, entitled Where Is God When It Hurts?” dealt with the grief and pain of times when God allowed suffering into the lives of His children.
In his latest book The Question That Never Goes Away, he visits three areas of the world where disaster prevailed. He discusses the tragedy of the earthquake/tsunami and the aftermath. He relates what he saw in the bloodbath of the Balkans some 30 years after the civil war there. He then writes about his experience of going to Newtown, Connecticut and speaking to those who lost children in Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Clive Calver, someone with whom Philip had worked some time ago, called him to come to Newtown and speak on his first book Where Is God When it Hurts? Mr. Calver served as a minister in a church just outside the town limits of Newtown. Several of the church members were teachers at that school. Philip Yancey asked for prayers from a group of close friends to pray for him as he spoke at “the toughest speaking assignment” he ever had.
This book is not an ‘easy read’. It is a necessary read for Christian counselors, first responders, pastors, and dedicated prayer warriors,

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through its BookSneeze program. All I was asked to do was read it and give an impartial review.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...