In my study of the bible today, I was struck by one comment out of the book of John, It was that the sheep in the fields know the voice of their Shepard and they run from the voice of a stranger. I spend quite a bit of time in the word and I think I know the voice of God and I am able to discern what he is saying but I also know that Satan is really good at fooling us. This scares me because I am human and know I have been fooled daily by Satan before.
So what can I do to be able to recognize when the voice is real or false? Two things, one is to ask God for the ability to discern but more importantly, the other is to become familiar with God’s word. The more I read his word, the more I will be able to recognize right from wrong. That comes with time and practice. I try to make time everyday but sometimes I don’t.
So my prayer for today is that the Lord will give me the hunger to read and study his word. Not just study to pass a test but to be able to pass “life’s tests”. I pray that he give me discernment so that I may be able to recognize a counterfeit Jesus. I pray that he continue to remind me of the meaning of Holy week and that I may be prepared for his coming again.
This marks the week before Easter. As I read my bible I am sad for Jesus because he knows what he is put on this earth to do and he is troubled. Anyone can relate to doing something that they do not want to do, but this was much greater than that. He had to die. There was not other solution. I can not imagine what was going through his head. If it was me, I would be looking for someone to take my place or begging my father to please stop this, this must not happen. But Jesus was Jesus and he knew that he needed to do exactly as God had wanted. He had walked the earth, lived the life of a sinless man and he was the light to the dark world for a time. He was preparing his disciples for the event yet I bet they could not even get hold of the big picture.
But that last time with his disciples was sweet. He humbly washes the feet of his disciples and share the last meal that he eats before he dies. If I put myself in the seat of one the disciples, I think that I would be moved to tears that this man, my Savior, was washing my feet. And I was about to partake in the last supper. I would find it hard to eat or drink because of the sadness I was feeling. It would be to much to bear.
So now, I reflect on this and I pray that my heart feels exactly what the disciples felt that
night . This sets the scene for the week for me.
Easter is a wonderful time of the year to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ. It’s a great time to share with your children that Jesus was treated unfairly, misjudged and died for our sins. The story of Easter is powerful.
It’s important not to let the easter bunny get in the way of true meaning of the season. I love the movie the passion of the Christ and it does not matter how many times you see it, you are moved to tears.
So how do you teach your children about it’s meaning? Sit down and read the story to them. You can make the story age appropriate. It is absolutely a must that they understand that Jesus was condemned unfairly, suffered , was killed by crucifixion, and three days later he rose again. This is the most important fact of the bible because if it was not for his death, we would not be forgiven of our sins and we would live a life in hell.
I pray that the Lord prepares your hearts for Easter and that you take the time to reflect on the importance of this holiday.
One of my favorite times of the year is spring. I love it because trees blossom and sprout new leaves, flowers begin to bud, animals begin having babies. New life is evident. There is always something beautiful about new life and new beginnings.
When we accept Jesus into our lives we also take on new life. The old you, the one that has made mistakes has a chance to start over with a clean slate. The sin has been washed away by the blood of Christ. We have the opportunity to ask God for a clean slate daily if needed through confession of sin and repentance. I can say that I do everyday because I am a sinner. As long as I try to make changes in my everyday living by reading the bible, praying and applying what I am taught at church and in bible study, I am becoming more and more like Jesus.
There is a common misconception by outsiders of the Christian religions that think that christians are hypocrites if they do not lead a sinless life. There are those christians out there who have become more hung up on looking good on the outside that they fail to take care of the heart matters. They live the right way to other christians but live another way on other days. These are the pretending christians and they are hypocrites. I believe that it is our duties to educate people about what our roles as christians are and that we are not perfect. That we fall short everyday. God sees our hearts and he knows how we feel about those times when we sin.
I work hard to keep me heart softened to God’s convictions and to change my life. I look forward to the day when I am called home by my creator and it will be on that day that I will be the perfect Christian.
Until then, choose new life everyday by asking for forgiveness.
I Just got done reading a blog about ways to safeguard yourself and your computer from hackers who live there lives just to get a piece of your information. It sickens me to think of the things we have to worry about today that we did not have to worry about 20 years ago. It also amazes me that people actually go through such great length to worm their way into your personal computer. They should be using that energy on bettering our world and making it a better place to live.
I guess life is not like it was back in the days were you could literally leave your front door unlocked or leave your keys in your car. That really scares me. What is it that we are doing different? Why are people so bad that you can’t even go and enjoy a few moments of time in a coffee shop to read your email with out fearing that someone is waiting to make you there next victim.
I would like to think that there are good people still that you can trust. Are there?
I am so thankful that I have a God that I can trust with every part of my life. I can tell him my feelings, my fears and he know the things that hold me back from living life to the fullest. I know that I can go to him when I am having a less than perfect day, or even having an exhilarating day that brings great joy.
I on the other hand know that there is a devil out there that is waiting to pounce on his next victim. Without my love for God and all the power his spirit gives me to take each day on, I could be his victim. I don’t want to be and that is why I do my best to protect myself and my family from Satan. Every day I choose to put on my armor of God and take up my sword to fight him.
I do that and I want people to know that I would fight their fight too if needed. I want my brothers and sisters in Christ to be safe. So today, I take up my sword and pray that God will protect each and everyone from the hackers in our lives.
John 15:1-17 Tells of the parable of the vine and the branches. It is said that Christ is the vine and God is the gardener who cares for the branches. We are said to be the branches.
As any good gardener would do, he would evaluate what branches are taking away from other branches by stealing water and other minerals that are essential to their growth. Sucker branches are quick growing and draw away nutrients and water so that they may grow at a quick pace yet they do not bear fruit. They just drain what is essential for the other fruiting branches to grow. So, diligently the gardener will prune away those unneeded branches. Fruitful branches are the believers in Christ’s community who by their living and union of Christ produce fruit. Those who become unproductive by turning their back from following Christ after making a superficial commitment will be separated from the vine.
Jesus makes a distinction between two types of pruning:1) complete removal and separation or 2) trimming back or shortening. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. The fruit will be larger and more sustainable.
Sometimes, we need to look at our lives and ask God to help us see areas that need his pruning. Sometimes, we need just to be cut back so that discipline can help strengthen our character and other times, a branch may need to be completely removed. Some branches can be be so damaged that the rest of the vine can get infected and weakened. People who do not bear fruit or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers will be cut off totally of his live giving powers.
Either way, pruning is needed for our growth and development. Jesus says that the only good way to live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like branches attached to a vine and I desire to do that. Each day it is a commitment and an honor to do so.