The Solid Rock

This week I received some news that took the wind out of my sail. What I had hoped would take place was changed and because of that my spirit was disheartened. Unwisely, I had put faith in my own plans. The result of my misplaced hope left me heartbroken and discouraged.

What is hope? Hope is an assurance. It is not crossing our fingers and wishing something will take place. Hope is a confident expectation.

Psalm 33:20-22 says, Our soul waits for the Lord; HE is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in HIM, because we trust in HIS holy name. Let YOUR steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in YOU.

In my humanness, I had forgotten where to correctly place my hope.

On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.


Please, I Urge You!

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.

2 Corinthians 5:11a

I remember watching the evangelist Billy Graham’s televised crusades when I was just a little girl. I can almost hear his southern voice pleading and persuading people to repent of their sins and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

It was Billy Graham’s personal love for his Savior that compelled him to preach. He desired everyone to know the grace and mercy he, himself knew. He lived the good news, that there is salvation and forgiveness in Christ Jesus alone.

Like Billy, we also are living examples of the love that God has for sinners. People need to hear. So, let’s tell our families, friends and neighbors our stories of how God changed us through His Son.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

This is incredible news! Jesus, the son of God, took the penalty of our sin on Himself making peace with God on our behalf.

When we understand our own individual need for forgiveness and we put our trust in Jesus the savior, we then become through Jesus the righteousness of God.

So, why wait any longer? Please, I urge you! Wave your white flag and surrender to Jesus. Thank Him for dying on the cross in your place. Ask Him to forgive you for all of your sins and to make you acceptable before God. Doing this will change your life. I know because it has mine.

Blessings Await

My husband is a leader with an ever growing men’s ministry. These men have committed themselves to following Jesus and to each other. It is their desire to minister to as many men as possible, spreading the good news of salvation and reconciliation with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

One of the weekly groups is growing so much it has recently been split into two now meeting at separate locations. This has been difficult for the men. They have made very close knit friendships but need more room for new guys to join. Even though growing the groups is exactly what is suppose to happen, it does not mean it is easy for them.

It is hard to suffer even in small ways. Leaving people behind is a sacrifice. Jesus knows the heartache of leaving behind others. He promised great blessings to those who do leave behind people for the sake of His name.

Jesus said to them… And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:27, 29

What a wonderful promise! Lets pray the men are encouraged by the growth of their groups. Pray they remember Jesus’ promised blessings to those who endure suffering for Him no matter how little that suffering may be.

I pray we all remember this and some day we will all hear the reward that awaits us.

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21

Help Carry Burdens

The other day I overheard a conversation. Two people were discussing how you “just never know what skeletons are in the closets of some people.” What little slander I heard, saddened me because I realized I am guilty of doing the same type of talk. The truth is, we all have skeletons. If we think for even a second we don’t, boy are we deceived.

It does not matter who we are, everyone of us are quick to recognize the weaknesses in others. It’s not the recognizing of someones weakness that’s wrong, it’s what we do with it after that makes all the difference.

God expects us to see and He expects us to respond.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:1-3).

Did you notice that this passage is not about the one who sins. It is a beautiful reminder of how Christ expects His body to respond to those who have buckled under the weight of temptation. We are to respond with a spirit of gentleness, with an attitude that is completely absent of any and all self aggrandizement.

The word restore is a picture of a broken bone carefully being placed back into its correct position. The pain and agony of the break should always be in the thoughts of the “spiritual” one helping with the restoration.

Temptation is an extremely heavy burden for everyone of us. We all experience the weight of it and we all have buckled under that weight.

Jesus is our example to look to. He took temptation head on in the wilderness and met that temptation perfectly. He never buckled. Jesus did not puff up with pride at His perfection, instead He knowing the weight of temptation, recognized our weaknesses and carried our burdens all the way to the cross.

Let’s remember that as the body of Christ we are to fulfill the law of Christ. We are to bear one another’s burdens. The mess involved, the time involved, all of it. In doing so, we imitate the love that our Savior Jesus has for sinners like us and we bring glory to Him.

Fix Our Eyes

My husband recently went through cataract surgery. Even though he wore glasses for years, they never corrected his sight. During surgery the lens inside the eye that had become cloudy was removed and replaced with a new artificial lens. Within hours he was able to see clearly.

Like my husbands eyes that were born with blurred vision, we are all born with hearts that are clouded. Our thoughts and tendencies are muddled by sin. We have the inability to understand (or see) God clearly. Just like my husband needed new lenses to see, we need new hearts that give the ability to see.

This sounds like an impossible problem to correct. How can we have our old heart replaced with a new one? Jesus spoke to this specific issue in a conversation with Nicodemus.

“Jesus answered Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

People are not able to understand God clearly in the condition that we are physically born in. God must give us the heart to see. Jesus called this being born again. How is it possible to be born a second time? Nicodemus asked Jesus this same question.

“Nicodemus said to Jesus,”How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4)

Jesus explained that there are two kinds of life. We receive physical life when we are born the first time and we need a Spirit given eternal life which gives us birth the second time.

“Jesus said, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of The Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’ (John 3:6-7).

Ezekiel wrote that God planned to give people life through The Spirit. God promised to give us a new attitude, a new way of thinking and living.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Only God Himself can perform the heart surgery needed. Our old, for His new. Jesus came to earth to save us. He came to give us the way to see and enter His kingdom. He came so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.

A Wondrous Plan

Are you a planner? Is there a future event that you look forward to? Many of us make plans. We look forward to that day when our long thought out dreams become reality. It is no surprise that people enjoy planning, we are made in the image of God, Who is a planner Himself.

In John, we read a piece of history that is about to unfold the greatest plan ever imagined. Jesus’ perfect earthly life is coming to an end. He has taught His Apostles well. He has given the promise of His coming Holy Spirit and encouraged His disciples with the words “Take heart, I have overcome the world.”

The moment has arrived, the hour has come and the time is now. God is about to accomplish His long awaited plan.

Jesus …lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” John 17:1-2

Imagine! Jesus knowing He will soon endure the cross and go back to the Father, prays for His followers. Not only does He pray for the Apostles, but for you and me as well.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word” (John 17:20).

Somewhere ions ago, before time and space, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit determined a plan for the cross. His incredible love is shown to us by giving Himself for all the people who would believe in Him. What a wondrous plan!

In John 17, Jesus is talking to His Father. He is praying for His Apostles and for us who will believe because of their words.

What is it that Jesus asks the Father for? He prays for our eternal life! What is eternal life? Jesus’ prayer tells us.

“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Below are a few other verses concerning eternal life.

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11).

“Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Feelings Are Fickle

Do you ever find it hard to pray? I find that praying can be extremely hard at times. As a follower of Christ, I wish I could say I always rush to prayer, but sadly that’s just not true.

It’s not always easy for me to sit quietly. My mind wonders to my own to-do list or any number of other distractions. There are interruptions like the telephone, or just people in need of my attention. There are times that I just plain forget to pray. Sometimes, I try to excuse myself by claiming I’m too tired. Most often though, if I don’t pray, it’s because I just don’t feel like it.

I recently read a quote that said, “When we don’t feel like praying is when we most need to pray.” What a simple truth. When I don’t feel like praying, it’s because my attitude is all wrong. It’s because my concerns are on me, and not on the Lord Who can help in every situation.

Feelings are fickle. It doesn’t usually take much before they change. If I think on Jesus and His promises, it’s not long before I’m singing His praise and experiencing joy.