Friday, February 2, 2018

God’s Sacrificial Love

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Paul makes a very important point in this verse. He highlights a point that we often take for granted. God shows His love for us. He does this every hour, every day, every month, and every year.    

Whatever the circumstance we find ourselves or our families are in, God reminds us of His love by directing our attention to the Cross.

God gave His Son. He did this without regard to how we may not appreciate His action. He did it for our ultimate benefit: that we would one day be able to enter heaven and live with Jesus.

We have been, and still are, sinners. We were sinners when He chose to carry out His plan for Jesus. At that time, the disciples didn’t understand the events that unfolded before them.  Present day, we don’t always understand what happens right before us. The disciples learned from the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Christ.

As we see things unfold in our world today, may we look at them through the eyes of Christ and learn from these events the lessons we need to incorporate into our lives.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

God’s Everlasting Love

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31: 3b (ESV)
Our Father God gives us three very important messages in these 16 words. Let’s explore what these messages mean.

The first thing He tells us is that He loves us. Do we realize what all that entails? God looks at us with eyes of love. No matter what we may have done, He always looks at us and sees us in the light of love. He may be disappointed by our behavior but He still loves us.

The second thing He communicates to us is that His love for us never ends. Said another way, His love for us has no end. He loves us because He made us. I remember a dear friend asking her Wednesday night children’s class, “Does God love. . .” and then she mentioned some people who had done some horrific crimes against society. Then, she answered her question to them. “Yes, God loves them because He made them like He made you.” Sometimes, when I hear of a dastardly act done by someone, I have to remember that God made him or her and loves that person just as much as He loves me.

The third message that God gives us here is that He is faithful because of the fact that He made us.  He tells us several times in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us.  I remember a love song from the 1960’s entitled, “The Twelfth of Never” The last line of the song states, “I will love you until the twelfth of never . . . and that’s a long, long time.” 

God doesn’t quantify or limit how long He loves His children. He says he loves them forever. That tells me he will ALWAYS love us, His children.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Amazed At God's Presence

Yesterday, at church, I discovered a friend of mine was ill. She had been diagnosed with mononucleosis. She is a young looking middle-aged woman. I was concerned due to her age; I had never heard of someone her age having this ailment.

I did some research and learned that anyone who has the Epstein-Barr virus in their system should not have mono again. However, if a person comes down with it again, it is due to a compromised auto-immune system.

Auto-immune diseases include the arthritis family and fibromyalgia. Dealing with various forms of arthritis and fibromyalgia myself, I actually wonder how many auto-immune diseases a person can actually have. (This would have saved me from back-tracking to the restaurants along the way between home and the agent’s office.) I found myself apologizing to God for making such a crazy mistake.

After I finished up at the insurance agent’s, I went to the bank and took care of that business. I decided to go to the Chinese restaurant to the north, near to the insurance office.

As I opened the inner door to the restaurant, I saw my friend’s husband. We greeted each other and I inquired about my friend’s condition. We talked a short while and I excused myself to go order my lunch. When I received my order, I approached him again and told him to “be blessed.” And departed the building.

After I ate my lunch, I called one of my close friends who happens to be a cousin to the lady who is ill. I related what I had found in research and what I found out during this ‘chance’ encounter which we decided was God-ordained.

Yes, I believe that God ordains the times we experience meeting someone ‘by chance’, especially when we pray about a need and then we ‘happen’ to see someone who can help us understand what we have concerns about.
1.   God was in my day: He allowed me to sleep in, although that wasn’t my plan.

2.   God directed me to get busy and do the paperwork to get ready for my outing to the insurance agency and to the bank.

3.   God guided me to the Chinese restaurant to get my lunch. (I actually thought about getting Chicken Mc Nuggets both they could have caused me problems.)

4.   God allowed me to see my friend’s husband. He confirmed what I was thinking about his wife’s condition.

We sang the following hymn at church yesterday. It speaks of God being with us and accepting us as we are. I can truly say that I do stand amazed at His presence with me.

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 ...