Friday, May 18, 2018

Jesus’ Baptism



And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;  and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 (ESV)

In re-reading Max Lucado’s book, 3:16 I came across a section I don’t remember delving into before. Each day for 40 days he takes his readers into a part of Jesus’ life.

The thoughts on Jesus’ baptism intrigued me.

Baptism wasn’t a new practice. It was a required rite for any Gentile to become a Jew. (1)

John thought he should be baptized by Jesus; not the other way around. However, Jesus did get baptized because He was fully human at that point. 

Jesus underwent baptism for us, you and me. This was a prelude to his going to the cross. A friend at church puts it this way: “We owed a debt we can’t pay. He paid a debt He didn’t owe.” 

Do we look at baptism in the right way or have we watered it down? Do we look at it as a sign of an inward life-changing experience or do we look at it as just joining another group?  We who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord should communicate the seriousness of this step in the walk with Christ to those who wish to enter into the Christian life.



1.         Max Lucado, 3:16, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, © 2007 page 150

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Listen




He who has an ear, let him listen. Revelation 2:6, 11 (ESV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.Revelation 2:17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22 (ESV)

Do you remember your parents saying, “You are not listening!” I do. It was when I was in trouble and they were trying to talk to me about my misbehaving.

I have noticed that in our world today, we have certain people who seem to think they have a say-so in what we believe in our lives. I have felt they were not listening to wise counsel from God.

One recent evening, I read God’s letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor. I also read scriptures that address an issue that faces us. The next morning, my devotional reading for Sunday school was on the word “Listen.” The scripture the author used was Revelation 3:6, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, I really got excited. I re-read the letters to the churches.
    
One point the author, Mr. Hudson, makes is that listening and obedience always go together. My take on this whole exercise is that we have to listen to the LORD and do as He directs us. For me, I need to apply this to my dealings with those around me and with my family as well as those to whom I try to assist in their walk with Jesus.

The name of the devotional book we are studying is Pauses for Pentecost written by Trevor Hudson. It is published by Upper Room Books. The word Listen is the focus for day 39.
                  


Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: The Road Home/ Beverly Lewis

Cover Art
Bethany House Publishing Group

Pages: 313
Publisher: Bethany House

I became acquainted with Beverly Lewis’ writings when I worked as a library assistant. I always enjoyed reading her work and tried to anticipate what would happen next in each of her tales.

The Road Home did not disappoint me. From first meeting Lena Rose Schwartz and her siblings, Beverly Lewis engulfed me into the story.

Lena and her siblings had a tragedy befall them that caused the ten of them a lot of grief. Lena had to leave them, hoping to return to them in a short while.

Beverly Lewis allows Lena to grow during her time in a strange place. The other people in the story give Lena the space to grow through helping some of the ‘aged’ people in the community to which she was sent.

This is a book that I could not put down for very long. I had to see how Lena Rose would do in various roles in which she found herself. She missed her family and her home community terribly. However, she was able to touch lives in her ‘new’ community.

I would recommend this author and her books to anyone who likes to read Christian fiction, Amish stories, or stories that have romance in them.

I was given a free copy of this book, The Road Home, by Bethany House Publishers. All they asked me to do was to give an honest review.


   

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us

scpeanutgallery.com  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...