LOVE THAT HEALS…

Flower heart
Heart in Nature (Source: Norma Rivera

1 Corinthians 13:13 (New Living Translation) – Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

Love cares, nurtures, and heals; lovers die so the loved may live; mothers – fathers give everything so that daughters – sons can grow and be all they can be; lovers delight in one another, inspire one another, melt and meld into one another…

…God [Yahweh] is love. (1 John 4:8)

Are you hurting, lonely, defeated, bitter, angry, sick, oppressed, suppressed, depressed, vengeful, hopeless? Reach out to Yahweh, the God who cares, who nurtures, who will lift you up, heal your hurt, set you free from the chains that bind and oppress your soul. Reach out to Yahweh, the God who is able to turn your sorrows into joy.

Its a beautiful world, but many a times it is a hard, cold, and punishing place; you just can’t make the journey through alone. Let Yahweh, the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9) help. In quiet prayer, with humility, ask for help, and Yahweh, God who is love, WILL respond with a love that heals you – spirit, soul, and body.

Loving God, I can’t go it alone, help me, heal me, in Jesus name, Amen!    

 

 

THE BEST INVESTMENT EVER!

File:George Vince's Cross.jpg
Cross at Hut Point, Ross Island, erected in February 1904 by the British Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04, in memory of George Vince, a member of the expedition, who died in the vicinity (Wikimedia)

 

Luke 17:20-21 (New Living Translation)

…the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

 

Luke 17:20-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Some Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom would come. He answered, “God’s kingdom isn’t something you can see. There is no use saying, ‘Look! Here it is’ or ‘Look! There it is.’ God’s kingdom is here with you.”

 

If a person in England went to bed in their home and woke up the next morning under the Eiffel Tower hearing everyone speaking French, they might wonder how they got there, but they would believe they were in France. If that person woke up by the Statue of Liberty, they would believe they were in the United States. We are can tell where we are by the observable signs and images around us.

This is the mindset of the Pharisees when they come to Jesus to ask him ‘when will the Kingdom of God come?’ What should they look for to know that the Kingdom of God has come? Perhaps a giant golden throne would drop from the sky in Bethlehem; or a mighty brand new shiny Temple would suddenly appear in Jerusalem.

The Pharisees were seeking for an amazing extraordinary observable symbol that would tell them the Kingdom of God had come. Jesus makes it clear, this will not happen. The Kingdom of God is not represented in a thing, a building, or a flag. The Kingdom of God is represented only by a person, Jesus, and he is already with them.

Jesus is King of the Kingdom of God; his feet touched the earth; his blood spilled on the earth; and he has taken it as his own. Jesus has been growing his Kingdom to cover the earth one person at a time, with patience over thousands of years; when he is satisfied with the number of followers, he will shut down all rival kingdoms.

Get to know Jesus and the values of his Kingdom, through studying the  Bible; it will turn out to be the best investment EVER for your future!        

THE TWO GREAT AGENDA TO PRAYER…

 

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Praying Hands in Switzerland (Source: Theo Lauber Wikimedia)

Luke 11:1-4 (New International Version)

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ”

 

The apostles had witnessed the many miracles of Jesus, and seen how their own preaching also yielded miracles when Jesus sent them out. They knew the common prayers learnt in the synagogue; however, they were now convinced that to have the type of power Jesus had, they have to be able to pray like him.

So they come to Jesus to ask to be taught the secret to effective prayer; his response reveals the two great agenda to prayer.

FIRST, prayer should be about God’s agenda – your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 New International Version)

SECONDLY, prayer should also be about laying down our physical and spiritual needs, and shortcomings, before God on a daily basis, for divine provision.

Effective solution to all the problems in the world, and the problems we face in our individual lives, is when there is direct rule of heaven over the earth, a time when there will be NO greed – selfishness – wickedness – lawlessness, NO pain – death – sorrows. This is what God’s agenda is about and should be our first prayer point always.

May we always pray like Jesus teaches us to pray, so our prayers can be perfectly in line with God’s will, and effective in meeting our needs, Amen!    

TO REIGN AND LEAD WITH GOOD SENSE

Symbol of wisdom
Symbol of Wisdom, Utrecht, Netherlands (Source: Wikimedia)

 

Genesis 1:26-28 (New Living Translation)

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. THEY WILL REIGN over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 

 

While to reign is to rule over things, people and places, to reign also implies to govern – which means to manage the affairs of a thing, people and place, guided by reasoned principles and laws. Where rulers obey and enforce the laws, there will be justice and peace, where rulers are lawless, there will injustice and conflict.

To reign sensibly over fish in the sea, birds in the sky, and animals on land, is to manage them in line with the laws of nature. If we were to capture all animals on land, transport and release them in the middle of the ocean, it is likely they will all die.

To reign, rule, and lead sensibly, requires understanding the conditions under which things and people we manage would be the best they are created to be. To reign with good sense, we must be lifelong learners, with God as our first teacher.

May we have the humility to be lifelong learners, in order to reign with good sense, in our homes, work places, community, government, and in the Church, Amen!

THE STUPENDOUSLY AWESOME GOD!

Brown The Thinking Man Brass Curio by Handecor
The thinking man (Image credit: Pepperfry)

Proverbs 9:10 (from multiple translations)

New Living Translation – Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

New International Version – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Contemporary English Version – Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of wisdom. To have understanding, you must know the Holy God.

Good News Translation – To be wise you must first have reverence for the LORD. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding.

Aramaic Bible – The beginning of wisdom is the awe of Lord Jehovah and the knowledge of the Righteous Ones is understanding;

This passage from the Bible is hugely popular especially in children’s and youth meetings organized by Churches all around the world. While the Bible strongly teaches that God delights in showing love and so we should come to him with our troubles, sorrows and pains, we should do this with respect, reverence, and awe.

Jehovah is much more greater than anyone or thing we will ever get to know or come across in this life; and much much more powerful than our minds will ever fully understand. In every way, Jehovah is so STUPENDOUSLY AWESOME, to make us shake and tremble with respect, reverence, and awe when we come to him. 

To be guided by this understanding of God’s awesomeness, is key to walking in humility, making good decisions and choices as to how we live our lives every day in this world. This is why King Solomon writes in Proverbs that the fear, reverence, and great respect for God is the beginning or foundation of wisdom in this life!    

YAHWEH, THE GOD WHO DELIGHTS IN SHOWING LOVE…

Loving father and child (Source:  Black Culture)

Micah 7:18 (New Living Translation) 

Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.

 

As a child, I had the impression that the books of the Prophets were difficult to understand and their messages were full of doom and destruction. As an adult I now see clearly that the books of the Prophets teach about justice, reveal the loving and merciful character of God, and give hope to everyone who study them.

Yes, the Prophets warned of God’s punishment on evildoers like in Micah 7:2-4 – “godly people have all disappeared… Officials and judges alike demand bribes… people with influence get what they want… they scheme to twist justice… But your judgment day… Your time of punishment is here…”

However, their preaching never ended on the theme of judgement, they always called for repentance, and ended their message on the point that God is loving and merciful, very eager to forgive, and very eager to once again bless the people. We see this message even in the book of Jonah, who was sent to the pagan Assyrian Empire.

In this day, when so many nations seem to be experiencing judgement for injustices and other prevailing evils in society, it is a time for us all to first acknowledge, and then pray sincerely for forgiveness for the evils in our society, community, villages, neighborhoods, work places, families, homes, and our individual lives.

Yahweh, the God who delights in showing unfailing love, will hear us, and turn things around in a positive way for our nations and families, Amen!

LORD, HELP US!

Penitent sinner

Joel 1:19-20 (New Living Translation)

LORD, help us!

The fire has consumed the wilderness pastures, and flames have burned up all the trees. Even the wild animals cry out to you because the streams have dried up, and fire has consumed the wilderness pastures.

 

The book of Joel (11 minutes to listen to here https://goo.gl/EkH5Qs), in Chapter 1 opens with a record of a frightening locust invasion that devastated Judah. Four kinds of locusts (cutting, swarming, hopping and stripping locusts) had passed through the land and left the people and their animals starving to death.

Joel notes that in all their history Judah had never experienced such a calamity. He starts Chapter 2 by telling the people that even more terrifying devastation is coming, and it is being brought on them by God as judgement for the injustices and wickedness of the people. The nation’s troubles were as a result of the nation’s evil ways.

However, in the narratives of devastation in Chapters 1 and 2, Joel makes it known that if the people collectively cry out to God for help, for deliverance, in sincere repentance of heart, with prayers and fasting, led by their religious leaders, God will listen, roll back the devastation and fully restore the nation to peace and prosperity.

Today, nations, great and small, are unstable and failing; we see starvation, sufferings, death. Joel shows us how Judah suffered when godlessness and selfishness kicked out godliness, righteousness, and fairness. Joel also teach us that God is ready to turn things around when we cry to him for help.

In these times of troubles, lets draw even closer to God individually and collectively; lets cry out everyday for our nations, with a repentant heart “Lord, help us!”

 

Image: Penitent sinner rend your heart – Joel 2:13 (Source: balandin.net)