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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Sometimes we use the word friend in a general way to mean people with whom we work or with whom we spend time. Perhaps the better word to use is co-workers, or acquaintances.

 

A friend is someone much closer to us. Someone with whom we have shared some of the most significant, defining moments in our life. A friend does not always agree with us. In fact, a true friend confronts us when what we’re doing is wrong or harmful to us or others.

 

Jesus, the Lord and Master, related to His disciples as His closest friends.

 

Solomon wrote, “Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family” Proverbs 18:24 (CEV). That’s why Jesus is such a different friend. He walks with us, loves us, helps us walk on the right path and even carries us when we’re too tired to walk ourselves.

 

What a Friend we have in Jesus! He is your best and closest friend. He loves you unconditionally, even when you turn your back on Him. Accept His friendship today!

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We use them every day. We have keys that open the door of the house, or the office, or the car. Keys that lock important items or documents behind secure doors. We even have electronic keys – we call them “passwords.”

 

Jesus told His disciples, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 (NKJV).

 

The keys to which Jesus is referring is the gospel of salvation. We have the information to share with others that will enable them to access the same resources for eternity that we have. The key Jesus was talking about is prayer. I love the words in that small, special book, Steps to Christ, “prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? (SC p.93–95).

 

Use prayer and the gospel to open heaven’s storehouse to your family.

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In his famous book, “What’s so Amazing About Grace?” Philip Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace’s life-changing power. Grace does not excuse sin, says Yancey, but it treasures the sinner. True grace is shocking, scandalous. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racist, the child abuser. Grace loves today’s addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus’ day.

 

Someone taught us that “Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, while mercy is not getting what we do deserve.” Justice exacts a penalty, but grace reaches out to us.

 

How often we have been the recipients of harmful words or actions from those closest to us. We may carry the painful scars they have left. We could resent them or even hate them, to our own detriment. But grace, without excusing the abuser, grants us freedom from the bondage of negative feelings toward them. Grace is the heritage we have received from God, “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy” Psalm 145:8 (NKJV).

 

Let grace abound in your family.

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“In him [that is, in Jesus] you …were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)

 

Paul is referring to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit. As the earthly ministry of Jesus was coming to an end, and He prepared to return to the side of His Father in heaven, Jesus wanted to make sure His disciples were not left all alone to do the work He commissioned them to do. That’s why Jesus promised we would have a companion, One like Him, as our constant guide and helper.

 

It must have been a terribly scary thing for the disciples to think that with Jesus gone they would be left to fend for themselves. It’s just as scary for us today to think that we can navigate the troubled waters of life by ourselves. Knowing those fears, Jesus said – I promise you, this is my solemn word to you, I will be with you always!

 

How encouraging, to think that I always have the Holy Spirit with me and my family. Jesus promised, and He always keeps His Promises.

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A miscarriage is the loss of a life while in the womb. We have experienced this pain personally twice when our dreams and hopes were dashed when in that moment we realized we would never hold our baby, or see it grow.

 

Experiencing a miscarriage is not uncommon. There are numerous reasons given by medical professionals why life was not sustained, but no reason seems to satisfy this ache and longing in your heart when it happens to you.

 

The psalmist wrote, “With your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.” Psalm 139:16 (CEV)

 

God knows us, even before birth! In those dark moments, as we grieved our losses, we took comfort in knowing that Jesus saw, Jesus knew, and surely, Jesus must have shed a tear along with us. He was right there beside us in that hospital room.  If you have experienced this grief, this loss, please know that Jesus is right there with you and He will see you through!

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Storms can often be scary, especially for young children. And, the sound of the rain beating against the window panes or the sudden, loud clap of thunder can startle even older people. We look at each other for a sign of reassurance.

 

I can imagine what it must have been like when the water on the Sea of Galilee was rocking the boat in which Jesus and His disciples were. When a storm breaks and we’re home, at least we’re on solid ground, safe within the four walls and roof of our residence. But on a small boat, being rocked by the waves, the wind howling, the rain soaking them all, it must have been terrifying to all…except for Jesus. “He made the storm stop and the sea be quiet” Psalm 107:29 (CEV)

 

The storms of life can be scary too and today’s word -“Storm,” -reminds us that Jesus can calm the storms in our life. It is scary trying to navigate troubled waters, but Jesus never leaves us to traverse that ocean alone.

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Family life is like a long, winding road…it’s never a straight, short one. And if you have gone on a road trip with your family, the journey can be very exciting, but it can also be very stressful.

 

I remember as a young boy riding in back of my dad’s four-wheel-drive Toyota, which he used for his work as a tractor salesman, but which also served as the family car. It was exciting when he would hit big puddles of water or drive through muddy roads, wondering if we would get stuck. I especially loved watching my father put the car in four-wheel-drive mode, and maneuver it deftly out of that dark brown mud trap.

 

After His resurrection, Jesus walked with two of His disciples and explained to them the meaning of the prophecies about his death and resurrection, and afterwards they said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” Luke 24:32 (CEV)

 

Make Jesus your constant companion along the road of life.

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As parents we have been entrusted with a very special responsibility, one that we cannot delegate to others.  We are called to be the disciple-makers of our children. We have been called to guide, teach, and train our children to become fully engaged, fully devoted disciples of the Master, Jesus Christ.

 

The apostle Paul wrote, “Parents, don’t be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (CEV) The bible doesn’t tell parents to pay someone else to do this especial ministry; it is theirs to do. Granted, we can’t do it all alone. With the help of dedicated pastors and church school teachers, and by providing our children with a wholesome atmosphere, we can help them develop a strong relationship with Jesus. In fact, a forever friendship with Him.

 

Think about it. Education is important, extra curricular activities are helpful, many other things you will expose your children to may add to their lifetime experience, but nothing will replace your example of love and daily living.

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Two blind men had come to Jesus and asked Him to have pity on them and heal them. “Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Matthew 20:34 (NKJV)

 

Pity, compassion, or sorrow for someone’s misfortune… that’s what it means to have sympathy. You feel bad for them. It saddens you to see their condition.

 

In the family, sympathy is a very important part of life. When your son has worked very hard and has saved money to buy a car, but the car is stolen just after a few weeks, it breaks your heart. Or when your daughter has her first break up, it hurts you to see her hurting.

 

Maybe your wife was just told she will not be able to have children, or your husband has been passed over for that promotion he was hoping to get…again, you feel bad for them. You wish there was something you could do to help them feel better. Your feelings for the pain they are experiencing is what we call sympathy. Sympathy is a sign you care, a sign that you love them.

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Jesus asked the question, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (NKJV). When we read those words, we often think it applies to our relationship with other people, outside our home – our neighbor. But doesn’t it apply to those closest to us? Why is it that we seem to notice the faults and shortcomings of our spouse, our parents, our children, before we recognize, and accept, that we have just as many faults, if not more?

 

What does mercy look like in the family? Mercy is being tolerant, knowing that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, experience and knowledge. Mercy is forgiving the other members of the family knowing we also need their forgiveness. Mercy means being patiently kind to those closest to us because “charity begins at home.”

 

Look for the good in others, forgive them for their shortcomings, love them in spite of their faults. Make the words of Jude the mission statement for your family, “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2 (NRSV)

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