JESUS IS CLOSE


Jesus is close and near to us and he’s closer than sometimes we think. We may not feel his presence because we’re so wrapped up in what we may be going through we fail to realize it. As we go through Jesus is watching us just like he was watching his disciples as they were struggling with the boat oars as they sat in the middle of the lake because of the force of the wind. As Jesus watched them struggle he was going to pass them by which is interesting.

Could it be because even though there was some struggle even in the midst of it they hadn’t panicked? Well out of fear they panicked and cried out and when they did Jesus responded. He responded by getting in the storm right along with them seeing them through their moment of fear, confusion, helplessness, and hopelessness and even though they panicked Jesus never did.

As we go through the many challenges in life sometimes we panic. We panic because what’s right before our eyes may be something we can’t see through or see the outcome. But even when we panic Jesus never does.

Mark 6:47-51(NIV)

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.

48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,

49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

JESUS NEVER PANICS IN ANY SITUATION WE’RE IN. WHY? BECAUSE HE KNOWS THERE’S POWER IN HIS NAME AND HE KNOWS IF THINGS DOESN’T TURN OUT THE WAY WE EXPECTED THEM TO. HE’S STILL SOVEREIGN AND WORTHY OF ALL OUR PRAISE AND IN THE END NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IF WE BELIEVE IN HIM WE’LL BE WITH HIM FOREVER IN ETERNITY AND WHAT CAN COMPARE TO THAT…..NOTHING!!!

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WHEN YOU LOOK INTO THE FACE OF YOUR ENEMY WHO DO YOU SEE


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As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King today and what he stood for there couldn’t be a better song that symbolize what he stood for. In our current state of racial tension and divide and as we embark on a new journey with the inauguration let us remember that Martin Luther King might not have agreed on certain points with the President Elect but one thing we know based off his legacy despite how he may have felt he still would have consider the President Elect a brother and a son of the living God. #takealisten

HOW WE RESPOND TO CONFLICT SAYS A LOT


How we respond when someone insults us not only shows us who they are but more importantly show us who we really are and where our hearts truly stand. In the midst of being insulted Jesus did a couple of things that can only be done in the spirit but in our flesh we want to do the opposite. This is what he did.

1. He didn’t retaliate.
2. When he suffered he didn’t make threats.

The reason he didn’t make threats was because he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He totally trusted in God and not himself understanding that what he was going through was purposeful.

1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

When we are insulted we want to retaliate and when we suffer we want to make threats instead and put our situations and trust into our own hands instead of putting them in the masters hand. We can truly trust that he has a purpose and plan far greater than our own and know that just like Jesus in difficult times we too can tap into the Holy Spirit allowing it to lead us.

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A LIFE LESSON FROM LES MISERABLES


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Forgiveness can really change someone’s life and draw them closer to Christ.

With that I’ve watched Les Miserables twice when it first came out after getting the DVD for my wife because she enjoyed it and I fell a sleep on it both times we watched it. I remember the first time watching it I asked my wife five minutes in will they be singing like this the whole time because I hope not it’s making my head hurt. She said yes and I was like oh no lol and I fell a sleep after 15 minutes in.

Well yesterday I actually watched it seriously with my bride without falling a sleep and just couldn’t stop thinking about the love of Christ and just how one-act of forgiveness can change the world and the story to someone’s life. When Jean Valjean was homeless needing someone to take him in it was the Bishop who took on that burden to cloth, house and feed him. Valjean out desperation took items of value from the Bishop and fled which would cause trust issues, bitterness and unforgiveness. But when Valjean was caught and brought back to the bishop by the police the bishop denied him taking the items even given him more than he had taken.

That one-act of forgiveness changed the course of Valjeans life drawing him closer to Christ and it changed the life of Fantine, Javert and Cosette to include the people Valjean was the Mayor of during his time and it all started with the Bishop displaying the love of Christ through his forgiveness.. I could write more about the love of a mother willing to do anything for their child displayed in Fantine. I could write more about the duty Javert felt like he had to do believing he was doing truly the right thing reminding me of Saul before he became Paul and I could write more about Cosette a girl in desperate need to be loved after losing her mother. I could write more about a group of people wanting and desiring fairness and a better way of life from those who oppressed them. I could write more about a group of wealthy young men who were willing to stand against oppression against the will of their wealthy family. But what speaks to me the most from a story with several stories. Is the Christ like act of forgiveness. Reminding me just how impact full forgiveness can be.

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#Lesmiserablesstorieswithinstories #forgivenesstrulycanbelifechangingfortheforgiverandforgiven

THE FAVOR OF GOD


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Only God can give the type of favor that would cause you to get promoted after refusing to bow down to a King even if it would’ve cost you your life.

Daniel 3:28 (NIV)
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Daniel 3:30 (NIV)
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Abraham in total trust put Issac on the alter and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in total trust went into the fire and God delivered them from death to life…

YOU CAN’T DENY THE IMAGE


When something is made in the image of something else there’s a direct connection. Nothing can change that even if you do not want to accept it. You can attempt to change it or make it over but nothing will change the fact that it was made in the image because below the surface nothing changed.

Genesis 5: 1-2
When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man”.

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JESUS STIRRED THINGS UP BEFORE HE SAID A WORD


When ever the truth (Jesus) went any where he stirred things up. He made those living selfishly or those living outside of his will feel uncomfortable by his presence alone. He also made those that didn’t feel important or valuable feel that they were important and no matter what was going on he cared about them. This was based on the way he lived.

We can clearly see that when Jesus was in the temple turning over tables (stirring things up) because the money changers were turning his house of prayer into a den of robbers, that Jesus still had compassion in the midst of that by taking time out to heal the blind and lame that came to him in the temple. The very same temple he had just over turned the tables in.

Matthew 21:10-14(NIV)

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

We as true followers of Christ should have that same presence that Jesus had. Our presence alone should stir things up when we’re in the presence of those living out side of the will of God not only by our words but more importantly by the way we live. Our presence, actions and the way we live should speak to those that feel helpless and worth less that their important.

Lastly, as believers we should love others like Apostle Paul did to the point that we’re not afraid to ruffle some feathers because it could result in true repentance which brings true deliverance which leads to salvation which leads to no regrets. If we truly love others like we claim to we would say less things like, well it’s not my life so I don’t care what they do.

2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (NIV)

8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—

9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Here’s something to consider.
1. Jesus never by his actions or words condoned that attitude and neither should we.
2. Jesus carried more about others eternal life and resting place instead of their comfortably in their present life.

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