LUKE 6:22 ON 6/22

TL LUKE 6 22 ON 6 22

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  – Luke 6:22

Does it bother you to be excluded from the “popular” group?  Do you think co-workers or others in your class hate you, or at the very least misunderstand you?  Well – me too, but I want to encourage you and let you know that God is blessing you while the world turns its back on you.

When we trust Christ and accept His gospel, it means there is an automatic target painted on our backs.  We have to  keep the eternal perspective in mind and remember that God’s blessings on our lives is forever and the acceptance or rejection of other people – well, it’s temporary and means little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Really – sometimes when we are excluded from some activities – it’s nothing that we need to be engaged in to begin with.  God really does protect His children from harm and keeps us safe.  We have to lean more on Christ when we are feeling especially left out.  By the same token, we need to pray that God will provide a safe haven with like-minded friends where we can feel accepted and loved.

Why is church so important?  It’s almost like a support group of sorts, where we are not seen as the world often sees us.  Finding a group of believers where you can feel comfortable and at ease to speak your thoughts and beliefs means so much to Christians.

While we are not to spend all of our time hidden inside the church building with like-minded brothers and sisters, it’s good to have a soft place to land after we’ve done our best to share the good news of Christ with a world that does not even almost understand what we’re talking about.

At times, we will be hated and rejected in this world simply for what we believe.  We profess, preach, teach and believe the full gospel of Christ from beginning to end.  Our Messiah came in the flesh and was the Son of God according to His divine nature, yet the son of man according to His human nature.

He walked the earth doing miracles – doing good.  He suffered, bled and died on a cruel cross as the Lamb of God – the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of every man on earth.  By the power of God He arose from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left us a helper known as the Holy Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit helps us navigate this life and do what God would have us do.

One day God the Father will instruct Jesus to come back to earth to take those who love and trust Him to heaven to live forevermore.

MEET GOD AT THE DOOR

God blesses His children – even when others make fun of us, reject us, and intentionally hurt us because of our faith.  It’s my prayer that you will notice less of the temporary hurt and look beyond to the eternal blessing from your Heavenly Father.  🙂

 

 

 

 

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GOOD FRIDAY

TL GOOD FRIDAY

How did we go from waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna – to this???

You know, usually when I hear a phrase used several times in the span of a few days, it more than likely means that the LORD wants me to use it in my writing.

In the past few days I have heard the phrase “YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE” used on separate occasions in completely different venues.

It really does seem that if someone jumps off a cliff, others are, unfortunately, bound to follow.  People can be with you and stand behind you and say they will be there until the bitter end…  until they aren’t.

Now, I’m not trying to say that any of this took Christ by surprise – I mean, there’s a reason he rode into the city on a donkey instead of a pretty white horse.  He knew what was coming – all of it – every painful bit of it.

Remember His plea to the Father at the Garden of Gethsemane?  That is the most heart wrenching prayer, evidenced by the sweat drops of blood.  The human side – the side that felt pain and emotion…  He was not wanting to endure it – understandably.  The divine part understood the plan and understood that fallen man needed a perfect sacrifice to atone for their sins.  But understanding it and going through with it…  you have to admit – is two completely different things.

Man was in serious trouble, but God is good.  He sent Jesus to the world – as a tiny baby.  He was part human and part divine because His Father is God Almighty.  Jesus the divine understood instinctively what His mission was.  Jesus the human struggled – just as any of us would have.  Don’t say you wouldn’t.

Why did Jesus go through with it – Jesus the human side, that is?  Because He loves us so much He willingly gave His life – don’t tell me anyone took it – He willingly sacrificed His life on a painful, unbelievably painful road…  for everyone.  For me and for you.

I don’t understand how anyone can dismiss that or ignore it.  I heard Bill Mahr say that all religion is stupid and they hand you a problem and then tell you how to solve it.

Well…  we were all born with a big problem – it’s called sin.  And no, nobody’s perfect – but Jesus was, and it is His sacrifice on Calvary’s cruel cross that allows us to have a relationship with God – through Christ, God’s Son.

God refuses to give up, and we who are enlisted to be fellow-workers with God know that the only reason we continue is that death did not have the last word; that Good Friday was not the end of the story.  – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

For today I have the freedom to talk about it.  For today my religious freedom is protected – I think.  I’m sure we will all find out when our religious freedoms are not protected.  I sure hope we Christians wake up soon and begin to defend this thing called religious freedom – or it could be too late – hmm…  then what?

Christians have walked down the “live and let live” road – and that’s okay to a certain extent.  But we’re at a crossroads now.  If we keep standing still, we’re gonna get flattened.  I want to keep my first amendment right that affords me religious freedom.  It’s being whittled away – wow – whittled…  there’s an old farm word.  Yep, just a little ol’ farm girl from Kansas – hoping the rest of the Christians in the world wake up soon.

The best way to be missed when you’re gone is to stand for something when you’re here.  – Seth Godin

Because…  YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE…  it’s not COOL to want religious freedom these days – but guess what?  I’m not going to jump off that cliff with the rest of the crowd.

I want to be free to talk about Jesus in the United States of America, don’t you?  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (12)

I spent most of the day rummaging around estate sales yesterday!  If I can find some unusual item or collectible that looks lonely and forgotten in a corner, it’s my duty to rescue it and take it home where I can then nurse it back to health with love and care.

Each sale has its own unique ambience.  When you walk in the door you immediately get a sense of whether these things were taken care of and worth taking a look at, or used, abused and ultimately thrown aside when no longer needed.

If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better.  – Kristin Chenoweth

There were two sales that represent each of these scenarios.  The first was a collector’s paradise – filled with little treasures at every turn.  The second was filled with items that were obviously well used, a little abused and may not have many more miles left in them.

The odd thing I noticed was at the second sale.  It seemed every other item I saw had a large sign on it that said AS IS.  The price did not reflect the fact that there was a flaw or damage to the item.  There was a flawless price on flawed merchandise.  As I said, we expect to strike bargains, and the buyers expect us to bargain with them.

What of this sign – AS IS???  I know without a doubt that this physical body of mine has that sign on it – and maybe yours does too.  Does my soul have a sign hanging on it too?  Were any of us born without flaws of character and needing redemption?  No.  We have an AS IS sign on our souls too.

Why were we worth redeeming?  Have you ever asked yourself why God sent Jesus to save us?  Why didn’t He just let the flood wipe everything out?  He had a deep-down faith in His creation – that we would seek a relationship with Him.

He saw the AS IS sign on us but sent His only Son, Jesus, to suffer and die on Calvary’s cross.  Then rise again on the 3rd day.  We are not stuck in Saturday, weeping and mourning in our sorry state.  Once we accept Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, we are free and redeemed, washed clean by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.

Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.  – Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord while He may be found.  He loves you so much He was willing to pay full price for you – AS IS.  He purchased your soul and wants to lovingly care for you throughout your life – and beyond.

I PRAYED FOR YOU

photo courtesy of S.G. Lutz

I’m going to take this thought a step further and submit that we should all look for the AS IS sign on each other?  I’m not suggesting that we prejudge anyone, but that we cut each other more slack.  I’m not suggesting that we whitewash over sin either; however, I would remind us that it’s not our job to change anyone.  That can only be accomplished by God’s Holy Spirit.  Here’s a great idea – let’s pray for one another, that our hearts and minds would be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit!  Doesn’t that sound like a winner???  🙂