A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.  We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.  There are may in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.  The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality.  There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”  – Mother Teresa, (A Simple Path:  Mother Teresa)

If the love of the Lord reigns supreme in our lives…  it can’t help but show in our lives and flow in our attitudes and actions.  Is His love perfected in you?  Only Christ can love perfectly, as we know – but making it a priority to love like He does is important.

The other day I heard my husband knocking on our front door with a sense of urgency.  I was confused because the door was obviously unlocked, so why was he asking me to let him in?  I grabbed the door knob and pulled…  to no avail.  The door was stuck!  No matter what I did, the door would not open.  Once he came in the house through the garage door, he started working on the door with graphite.

Just as the graphite fixed the front door so it would work properly again…  God’s love perfected in our hearts, minds and lives is what shows a lost and dying world the Savior – and that the love they desperately seek in all the wrong places can be found – in Christ.  As Mother Teresa reminds us…  people are lonely, desperate and feel hopeless much of the time.

If we stay connected with God in the way we should – and make an effort to connect with others with the graphite that is God’s perfect love…  what a difference we can make in this hungry world.  Without that graphite, the door of your heart can get stuck and the world doesn’t see the love of God in you.  As Christians, we need to show folks where love – real love – God’s love – His eternal hope, peace, and presence – can be found… at the foot of the cross.

We all have a heart hunger – and some look for the love they need in the wrong places.  I won’t review all the ways people seek love in this world…  but there is a cross-shaped hole in every heart, and that place can only be filled with this one piece of the puzzle.  The cross-shaped piece, shown to the world by one who shares with His perfect love.

The cross of Christ reminds us that Jesus showed perfect love to all of us.  His perfect love in our hearts and minds is what helps us to show true compassion for one another.  Instead of hammering a brother or sister, try expressing your point of view with love and kindness.  My mom used to say you get more flies with honey…  that’s not from the Bible – well, it’s not a direct quote from there anyway – but it’s a good precept to keep in mind.  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOn the third day ‘fore Christmas we will pray for Wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace!  Whew…  I had to take a breath about halfway into that – how about you?TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASPardon me if I refer to my mom too much, but she’s my frame of reference (let’s face it, I had a lifetime of mom-isms, didn’t I???)  Mom used to tell me that wisdom from God comes with a free Holy Ghost filter – that’s the filter that many in the world today brag about NOT having…  sadly.  Did you ever think you’d live to see the day when people would brag about just talking off the cuff with no filter???  I know, me neither.  😦

 

Do you ever think that poor decision-making can lead to poor circumstance outcome?  I know people don’t want us to link the two, but I think that if God is leading in your life, your life will be better than if He isn’t.  He will either be LORD OF ALL – or He won’t be LORD AT ALL.  God helps us make wise decisions if we ask for His help.  He’s never going to forsake His own.  If you belong to Him, lift up your head because you will be helped.

The Magi were called Wise Men.  Why did God want the most wise on earth to visit the Christ Child?  Wise Men – and also the most poor and most uneducated – the Shepherds.  I believe it’s because Christ came for EVERYONE – wise, unwise, educated, uneducated, rich, poor, young, old…  there are literally NO barriers – and no excuses – why anyone should not consider the Christ Child at Christmas.

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIMHow should you seek Him?  There is no cut-and-dried method, but here’s what I would suggest.  Find a Bible.  If you don’t have a Bible, there are online resources you can use.  My favorite is https://www.biblegateway.com/    

I like it because there is a verse of the day.  If you want some encouragement to light up your day, subscribe!  Pray for wisdom from God and begin reading His Holy Word.  He will help you – trust me!  🙂 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOh boy…  fasten your seatbelt – it’s going to be a bumpy ride…  because today we are praying for PATIENCE.  Hey…  don’t complain to me – it’s Lucinda’s poem!  I’ve always heard that you should never pray for patience because you will surely get tested on…  PATIENCE.  Sigh.  So…

On this fourth day ‘fore Christmas we will pray for patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace.  TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

I suppose praying for patience with each other is a very important part of preparing for Christmas.  Most of us are uneasy about the prayer “fall-out” that occurs, but we’ll survive that with God’s help, won’t we?  It’s our hope to come out shining like gold.  We should at least learn a lesson along the way.ONE DOORThis is our belief…  and we know that not everyone shares it.  When it comes to patience, it is tested sorely when we encounter a non-believer.  We just love God so much and believe so strongly in Christ and want others to believe too – when that doesn’t happen, our level of patience – or tolerance is stretched.  We need to learn how to back away slowly and pray for people when they refuse Christ – for whatever reason.

We need to remember that it’s not our job to save everyone.  We need to share – but it’s not our job to change hearts.  Pray and leave it alone.  God will do His job in His time.  Don’t take it as a failure.  Trust that God will work with the seed you’ve planted – and be patient with the non-believer.  We don’t know where they’re coming from, but we know that God knows where they’re coming from.  Just pray and let God do the rest.  Practice patience with others and pray for it without ceasing.  🙂

HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

HEBREWS 10 16 & 17 ON 10 16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love.