A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

A couple of things happen once you accept the living water that Jesus offers…  first, you no longer feel thirsty – the void has been filled and second, you just have this overwhelming need to go tell somebody about what you’ve found!  That’s just what happens.

Mrs. Clopp was the sweetest little lady and the wife of our pastor at the time.  I have no idea why my dad had his camera in church that day – but I love that I have this picture.  This reminds me of the time when the Lord washed my sins away and I started a new life with Him.  That Sunday evening I was baptized…  I know – again with the WATER!  Our salvation and baptism only happens because of God’s grace through Christ – and the blood that Christ shed on the cross at Calvary.  What a great thought to ponder on this Good Friday!  God loves us so much – I hope you know Him too.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think my love of rain stems from this experience.  It usually rains on my birthday, and I’ve been known to go outside and dance in it.  Water is so cleansing and everything smells so clean, fresh and new after a gentle rain.  I know that the water is symbolism, but it represents a very real work that happens inside.

No matter what happens in my life, how much I fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  I have this time to revisit.  God was there – I was there.  Life gets messy sometimes and I am so far from perfect, believe me, but I know there is forgiveness waiting from the Lord as I move forward.  I could have let things make me bitter in life, but I chose to learn the lessons and let them make me better.

Dance in the Living Water that comes from God.  Remember that you may fall or fail or get into sticky situations…  but your GOD will never fail you – ever!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Yesterday we talked a bit about faith.  Today I want to continue with this portions of Scripture and talk about baptism, which is an outward expression of an inward work done by God’s Holy Spirit when we’re saved.  My baptism was sort of funny – my pastor was a sweetheart, but he was even shorter than me when I was 13 years old – and I’m short!  I remember having some fear that he wasn’t going to be able to get me back up out of the water.

Now…  you have to understand – I have a horrible fear of water.  I know it’s irrational – but when I was about 7 years old, my dad decided that I was going to learn to swim – and he got tired of trying to teach me – so one afternoon he threw me in the deep end and thought I was going to figure it out.  I didn’t.  I sunk like a stone!

So, knowing that this slight built, short man was going to be in charge of keeping me from drowning…  well – it left me less than confident.  I know Brother Clopp (yes, that’s his real name) had probably done hundreds of baptisms – and I wasn’t going to back out because I knew that if I did drown, I’d be okay – I mean…  I was saved, so…

I know some would recommend that I just skip it – saying that God would understand.  I just felt like I had to be baptized.  It must be an important step because even Christ felt He should be baptized.  It must matter – and most  people understand the significance – when you go under the water you are symbolically ridding yourself of your old life – your old self is gone – and as you come out of the water, you are a new person – and I can’t explain it – but that’s really how it feels!  It’s like you are clean and forgiven and life will never be the same.

I’m so very thankful that whosoever means me too!  Believe on the name of Christ and you’ll be saved.

We’re washed and covered with Christ – then there’s water baptism…  an outward symbol representing the inward work.  🙂

 

 

MARK 3:31 ON 3/31

MARK 3 31 ON 3 31

WALKING

I’ve been thinking about family lately.  Holidays make us remember good times with family, don’t they?  Those memories become treasures and more precious as time goes by.  But who was Jesus’ family?

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.  – Mark 3:31

If we go on to read through verse 35, we are reminded of the importance of family.  It’s such a confidence booster to know you have these folks in your corner, ready to help you heal after a bout in the real world.  To have family is a real blessing, especially if you are surrounded with supportive people who love you no matter what.

Husbands and wives who stand together against all odds.  Parents who truly love and support their children, and children who know how to honor and cherish their parents.

The traditional family unit is becoming increasingly rare.  Couples who live together before marriage or divorce after marriage, often leaving innocent children in the middle.  What kind of example does that set for children?  They don’t believe that love can last for a lifetime between two people and end up very skeptical about relationships in their own lives.  They also wonder if, since mom and dad no longer love each other, if they stopped loving them.

It may seem like a hopeless situation, but there is a family where love and support is available to everyone and relationships won’t end.  In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus lets His earthly family know about His “true family”.  Of course, his physical family was His mother Mary, step-father Joseph, brothers James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and His sisters.  Not that He did not value His physical family and care for them, but He considered His true family those who follow His real Father.

Remember, even at the age of 12 Jesus knew Who His real Father was.  He let His physical parents know that He had to be about His Father’s business.  He knew His real Father was God.

His disciples were part of Jesus’ family because they worked alongside Him and sought to do the Father’s will.  In the 7th chapter of Matthew we are reminded that whoever does the will of the Father are in turn recognized by Him.  In the 11th chapter of Luke we are told that they are the ones who are truly blessed.

So, the family Jesus treasured most was His spiritual family.  A spiritual family acknowledges God as our Father.  He listens to our prayers, provides every need throughout our life and beyond, and forgives our sins.  God also delivers us from temptation when we ask Him to do so.  Christians get to call Jesus “brother” and we are many times referred to as “brethren” in Scripture.

We depend on God’s Holy Spirit to protect and defend us.  He makes intercession for us and keeps us out of harm’s way.

Could you imagine what it would be like to plan a family reunion for the family of God?  How many should we plan for?  Um…  well…  lol.  There are so many of us!  So many congregations, all with their own theology but with the same basic belief that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, raised as a human, yet He was always the Son of God, part of the Holy Trinity.  He healed the sick, raised the dead, performed miracles.  God sent Jesus to suffer and die for the sins of the world.

We have family in heaven and will be reunited with them one day.  Physical family ties are severed at death, but Jesus’ spiritual family looks forward to an eternal inheritance.  This family will endure through eternity!

The true family of Jesus does not suffer from divorce or death.  Because of God’s wonderful love, Jesus was sent to atone for the sins of the world.  If you believe with your heart, you are a part of this large family.

My physical family is so small, but the larger family – the family of God, is loving and supportive.  I pray that you have received Christ through faith and baptism.  This spiritual family will last forever.  🙂