Saturday, December 7, 2019

December 7

For the past several days, I have been preparing for a neighborhood party, decorating, looking through recipes, moving furniture, shopping, cleaning, and so on. I was in my downstairs bathroom this morning, and for some reason I notice my shower curtain, which has been hanging there for more than two years, still has creases, and looks like I just took it out of its packaging!  Why haven’t I noticed this before? I think my senses are on high alert. The party is today, and I’m not taking it down to iron! Hopefully the wrinkle release spray will work. Most people will not even notice the details that I have missed, however, if you invite Jesus into your life, he notices everything! The things you think are minor instances, matter to him. 

The Pharisee that invited Jesus into his home, missed out on properly welcoming him. When Jesus allowed a sinful woman to kiss his feet, and anoint them with oil, the man thought to himself that if this man was a prophet, he should have known who this woman was. Jesus was quick to read his thoughts, and blasted him for not welcoming him as this woman had. She had much to be forgiven of, and was overwhelmed with love for him. Jesus’s lesson in this is that one who is forgiven much, loves much. Pay attention to the importance you place on Jesus in your life. Do you love him enough? We have all been forgiven much, just like this woman.

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Luke 7:47

Friday, December 6, 2019

December 6

From a small child, I can remember always loving art. One time when I was in the first or second grade, I made a cat from clay. My teacher was so impressed that she decided to display it in the office where everyone could see it.

Last night, I went with some of my neighbors to a place where you spend a couple of hours painting. They give you step by step instructions, so by the end of the night, you leave with a painting similar to the instructor’s painting. That’s when you realize that not everyone has the ability to take what they see, and use their hand to re-create it. There is a miscommunication between what the eyes see, and the function of the hand. Minor mistakes made part of the way through, caused some to give up, and their painting looked as though a child had painted it. Others were right on point, and gave their painting a personal touch. 

If you’ve followed Jesus for a long time, your ability to understand his instructions, may be more clear. However, if you are new in your faith, or aren’t cultivating your relationship, you will make mistakes, but rather than give up, ask forgiveness and keep going. Like painting, if you don’t like what you see, grab some white paint, cover it up, and start again. Eventually you will become more proficient, and your hand and eye will begin to coordinate.

But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49

Thursday, December 5, 2019

December 5

My son was two when we found out that his dad had AIDS. We were devastated at the news. We had suspected a problem when he couldn’t get rid of an infection, so we went together, to another town, and we both had the test. It was anguishing waiting, but the news was worse. It was a torturous disease, and he passed away three years later. There was good news in this, because he turned his life over to Jesus, he now resides with him in heaven. There was also a miracle involved; my son and I were spared. There was no caution taken before we found out; we lived a normal life. There was one point where we were in the car together when he was very sick, and he began to have a seizure, and blood was spewing from his mouth! Needless to say, I am overwhelmingly grateful to God for sparing me and my son, and I have never forgotten, and have praised him for this miracle for more than twenty five years!

If God finds it in his heart to spare your life or heal you of an infirmity, it is your duty to make an offering. Jesus healed a leper, and required that he go and make an offering for his cleansing as required by the law of Moses. You, however, must offer God praise and gratitude as payment. Hasn’t he done a miracle in you by cleansing you of all unrighteousness? Go, and pay tribute to God for his mercy by making him an offering of praise, and never let your lips stop glorifying him.

And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”  Luke 5:14

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December 4

One of my favorite portions of scripture is when Jesus stands up in the synagogue and reads from the book of Isaiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:18-19

It was a “mic-drop” moment! He rolled up the scroll and sat down! Then he tells them that scripture has been fulfilled within their hearing. He told them who he was, but all they could say was, “Is not this Joseph's son?” Then, because he chose not to do miracles because of their unbelief, they ran him out of town, and tried to kill him! These were the people in the church! Do we not do this same thing today? As Christians, we must find kindness in our hearts so we avoid treating other believers like this. 

The reason I love this scripture so much is because Jesus isn’t talking about physically setting captives free, or opening the eyes of the blind, though he did; his mission was not about the physical, but the mental, because that’s all you can take with you upon leaving this earth. He wants to set us free from what sin has done to our minds, and see things the way he sees them.

Today, ask Jesus to show you where you are still captive, and to open your eyes where you have been blinded.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

December 3

“Shhhh... Have you heard what they are saying about Jesus and his lineage? I heard that he has a grandmother named Tamar, who disguised herself as a prostitute, and slept with Judah! Then he has a grandmother named Ruth who went onto the threshing floor, where no woman was allowed, to try and seduce Boaz; and his mother was the prostitution Rahab! Not only that, but his grandfather, King David, slept with a married woman, Bathsheba, and killed her husband to cover his mistake; and their son was King Solomon. I don’t know about this Jesus fellow.” 

This is a lesson on gossip. Our King and Savior’s earthly reputation is depicted as a product of both Jew and Greek, and of a family whose character is less than ideal for our sinless sacrifice. When you gossip, you don’t know the plan God has for the person you are speaking of, and whether they will bring about another human who will be a carrier of the message of God. Be careful what you say about one of God’s children, and never let your words trash another human.

This lineage is also found in Luke 3.

and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, Matthew 1:3-6

December 2

Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus when he has always existed? John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” There is something special about our eternal God, walking the earth in the flesh, living among us as a human, and experiencing life as we do. Him living and being, showing us that he understands our emotions of joy and pain, and also experiencing physical pain, which gives him credibility, especially when he laid down his life for us. And then, topping that off by lifting himself up out of the grave! In doing all of this, he never sinned. As humans, we know how hard it is not to sin, but, to have Jesus show us how sinful we are and how separated we are from our Holy God, and to offer to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, is beyond incredible. If you don’t know Jesus, now is the time. You do not want to be found outside of God’s will when he calls his followers to be with him. Imagine not having the Christians around as a moral compass by sharing the truth; chaos would ensue, and you would be in the midst of it. Turn your life over to Jesus today, and let him show you the way; you cannot get into heaven without him!

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

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December 1

What does it mean to dwell in the shelter of the Most High? We had a family dinner as an extension of Thanksgiving. As a special treat my nephew brought his little girl, who is one year old. She is precious, and beautiful; and all I wanted to do was squeeze her! Her Grand-Kat (my sister) wasn’t there, so I got to play grandmother to a little girl for the moment. She enjoyed the company of the family, but kept a close eye on her daddy, and made sure she knew where he was. It made her feel safe to know he was near. There was a minute where she didn’t see him; she is well adjusted around family, and didn’t get upset; but when she finally spotted him, she went running into his arms. Our Daddy, the Father in Heaven, is our place of comfort, a place we can run to in times of trouble, and hide from the cares of the world. We can trust Him to protect us from a very real enemy. If you are having a bad day, remember to make your way into the presence of the Lord; he will cover you, and protect you. Run to Daddy, he’s there with open arms.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1