The curious student would ask, “well, what’s the benefit of that?” You see, God got real personal about us and the universe knew it. He created us in his image and as the angels stood in amazement at God’s affection toward us, Satan hated it.
He thought if He could only get us to transgress God’s law then God would be forced to kill us or cast us away. This is something Satan knows all too well. Formerly Lucifer, he hoped to strike a blow for his cause. What happens in such cases is that your enemies will strike out against the people you love when they can’t get to you. Satan could not do anything with God on any level. So it stands to reason that he would bother us.
When we stumbled in our garden (yes, everyone has their own garden that they were cast out of when they sinned) the angels didn’t even know that the manifold wisdom of God would be known by the church (Eph. 3:10). So in other words, God had a plan for us before the foundation of the world! His plan was perfect and it was hidden from the universe. His plan was John 3:16!
It wasn’t enough to just save us. God had to restore us. Restoration is still a work in progress for us because it’s something we expect God to do for us, but many of us are still holding grudges against a brother or sister because we’re mad. God’s restoration puts us back where we were — with him!
This is symbolized in the story of Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9). Remember, he was the grandson of the former King Saul. He should have been put to death as part of the former royal family, but David not only spared him, but restored him to where he would have been if he was king. David understood restoration.
This concept is ever present in the story of the prodigal son ( Luke 15). His father killed the fattest calf for his youngest son who had returned home from learning the most important lesson of his life.
And finally, this concept is symbolized with the taking of the Lord’s Supper. This divine feast is for believers who are continuing in the faith and are looking forward to the coming of the Lord. Jesus designed this Holy feast and it’s more of a demonstration of his love for us in front of the unseen world. It serves as a reminder to evil as to who we belong to. It’s in the presence of our enemies that God showcases our relationship to him. This is when your big brother tells the bully to “back off or else!” This is God’s celebration for our decision to follow him.
This very important table is another step in the direction of making us fear-free. Our God who promised to provide all of our needs according to his riches in glory does not want us fearful. So instead of being afraid, why don’t we simply remember where we sit in Christ and enjoy the feast!
In 2 Timothy 1:7 the bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of
a sound mind.” I really believe this, but clearly in our society people are afraid. The fear clouds our judgement and makes it difficult for us to make sound decisions. It was never God’s will for us to live in fear. There are things he has done for us mentally, spiritually and physically so that we would not fear. It is my goal and prayer that this little blog post will help us all see fear as a choice, and choose to trust God instead.
There is a lot to be learned from an indepth study of the 23rd Psalm. I have heard this psalm preached a number of different ways and they have all been correct and inspiring, but I have not heard one yet on fear. The 23rd psalm is all about eliminating fear from the mind of the child of God. It was written for us to remember the state the Lord, our shepherd, has left us in.
If we believe that the Lord is really our shepherd and we won’t be lacking in anything as the first verse says, then it’s easy to see that the first four things God does, takes away all of our reasons to fear.
The text says “he makes”, “he leads”, “he restores” and “he leads” again. All that hard work goes to waste if we receive it and still fear. The “still waters” and the “green pastures” speak to our physical needs. The “paths of righteousness” speaks to our spiritual being and I’m sure you need no help with what “restoration” speaks too.
Then the text declares that evil would not be feared because God is with us. And not only is he with us, but his “rod” (discipline) and “staff” (authority) comfort us. If God is for us, who can be against us???
Then this whole idea of setting a table before us is so deep that I will share it as a subject of next weeks blog. The anointing was to prepare us for service and the cup running over is pure blessings. So the way I see it is like this: The Lord as our shepherd is out in front of us. The rod and the staff are to our right and left sides for comfort and protection. The only area left to cover is our backs and you know how God gets our backs don’t you??? God covers our backs with two things which will always be there and he promised to keep us in his family forever. Read it for yourself and sleep well at night!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalms 23:6).
Years ago I would have said that it seems around this time of the year that people loose their minds when it comes to shopping. Now I have to say that all year round there are constant reminders that all sense is not common.
This year in particular it is really difficult to see anyone down on their luck when you go to the malls. People are shopping, but the shopping experience is not jolly. There are lots of attitudes, ignorance, selfishness and foolishness to go around — and that just the store employees. In addition, customers are ungrateful, unruly, liars and theives — and I saw all of this in just two hours at the mall.
I couldn’t help but wonder wht is this all for? Is it all to make someone in a day feel like we should have made them feel all year? Is it our way of trying to buy off someone’s forgiveness instead of just apologizing? Or are we trying to make up for lost time or for not being there or for someone missing?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we spent the entire year helping other people and then used this time of the year thanking folks for it? Imagine if we all had the mission of making a difference in our communities and that the more we made a difference, the less taxes we had to pay. Wouldn’t it be cool if thinking was a requirement and you were given tickets for not thinking in public? I guess the more we live the lesson is the same, all sense ain’t common! I just wish I could have Santa bring this gift to a few folks so that they can have a better New Year!
I’m in love with being a dad,
I give my kids what I wished I had.
They live their little lives and have no clue
I watch them grow up and I’m surprised at what I see,
a son and two daughters who remind me of me.
I get to provide for them, I’d die for them; I love to make a fuss,
I teach them to be responsible and try not to cuss.
With eyes so big and full of joy,
Two heads full of hair and smiles that light up the night,
My daughters are gorgeous and they’re being raised right.
To be their protector and teacher is an honor for me
I learn more from teaching them who they really ought to be.
You put your hands on my babies you will probably get shot!
I love you son, daughter and baby girl too,
I hope you appreciate your dad as much as he appreciates you!
Well, it’s June and that means most kids (and some are already out) are wrapping up another school year. It seems like they just started school and now it’s over. I used to get caught off guard every time school ended for the summer. By off guard I mean every year I would say that I wanted my kids to be active and have a fun, educational summer, but I had no idea of what they would do.
I was so used to seeing kids go wild over the summer! Teachers even prepare to received these little wild ones in the fall. Someone had to put a stop to this!
I decided that it was time for my kids to make good use of the summer and as much as I wanted them to be active and have fun, I also wanted them to not stop learning. I wanted them to have fun learning and stimulate their minds as well as their physical bodies. Here is a list of five things that I have used in the past to accomplish this goal.
Summer bucket list:
1) Visit the library weekly — the library is a fun and inexpensive way to stimulate the mind of your child. This is great for the whole family. The library has a full list of activities to enjoy.
2) Take a field trip with the kids once a month and — dare I say — have them do a report on what they learned. I had to pay my kids for this, but they did learn. We went to museums, festivals and even a concert. These become great conversation pieces at the dinner table.
3) Have your children write a reaction paper to the movies they watch over the summer. They can discuss the movies with you and then put their thoughts down on paper.
4) Teach your children about the wonderful fruits and vegetables that come in season over the summer.
5) Cook with your children so they learn how to be self sufficient and they get hands on learning.
These are my top 5. You can also make sure they are reading books, they have chores to do regularly and you limited their television viewing. Kids tend to watch more TV in the summer than any other time of the year. More than anything else, make it a summer that they can remember. Don’t forget that you are building life long memories.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with a few of them and in no particular order, these are the top 10 things I learned:
1) Wake up with the sun. Too many young folks sleep the day away and are unproductive. Wake up with a purpose and enjoy the sunrise.
2) Read twice as much as you watch TV.
3) Deny yourself and save money.
4) Eat healthy so that you can enjoy your golden years.
5) Get plenty of sleep.
6) Drink plenty of water.
7) Get plenty of exercise.
8) Control your use of technology; don’t let technology control you.
9) Enjoy family.
10) Practice loving everybody.
I wonder what it would be like if we spent 2012 with these 10 suggestions?
They all seem so obvious, but why don’t we do them? Who wants to wait for a degenerative disease to happen before we begin to take care of ourselves.
This age group is far more conservative, morally intellectual, far more cultural and more responsible than the generations after them.
Let’s accept the lessons and the responsibility that follows. If not, we might not have any roses to smell.