Saturday, December 12, 2020

December 12

I had a dream that I was eating dinner with people I didn’t know. The conversation wasn’t going well, so I decided to share the truth about Jesus with them. In the dream, I spoke loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, but the people at my table rejected the message; however, a person that overheard the conversation accepted Jesus. 

Rejection hurts. Imagine giving your child everything they want, loving them with all your heart, only to have them reject you, turn their back, and laugh in your face. Imagine how God feels. The message of the cross is harsh, and when someone wants to go their own way and do everything that feels good to them, they are probably at odds with its truth. No matter how harsh the message seems, we must continue to get the word out. You will be rejected just as Jesus was. Take a chance, and don’t take the outcome personally.

But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Luke 10:11-12

Friday, December 11, 2020

December 11

God’s Word is comforting because he cares about you; that’s why you turn to it when you are feeling insecure or hopeless. 

My neighbor has a new Labrador puppy. She is sweet and loving, but she’s still a puppy. When my neighbor leaves to go to school, the puppy cries for her, howling and whimpering; it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. My heart breaks, and all I want to do is comfort her, but I can’t because walls and doors block my way. 

Jesus sent his disciples into towns before him to preach and prepare the people for his arrival. Their job was probably to help soften the message they were about to hear, open doors, and tear down walls that might block them from being consoled by his message. 

He’s coming back and has sent us into the world to prepare the people of today; only now we must give them the entire message because his return will bring distress on those who don’t believe. People need to know Jesus for a soothing message like we receive through the scriptures. You can hear their cries, just listen to the news for a few minutes; it’s heartbreaking.

Don’t worry about the puppy; she’s just spoiled and settles down after a bit of time passes. 

Do your best to open doors and break down walls standing between others and Jesus; he has sent us out before his return to help save the lost and bring a comforting message.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. Luke 10:1

FYI - the King James Version says 70. Half of the transcripts say 70, and half say 72; don’t get too caught up in the number, it’s the message that’s important right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

December 10

A couple of days ago, my husband mentioned that he would like to live in a high rise. That’s something I’ve never thought about but seems interesting. We only have a short time on this earth, so if you have a way of living out your interest, you should try it. This morning, before I jumped into God’s word, I got caught up in looking at skyline condos. I’m not saying we’re going to do something like that, but it’s fun to look and dream. 

Do you ever feel anxious and unsettled? It’s not a bad thing. There's a good reason for it; it’s your position as a Christ-follower. Though you may feel happy and joyful, there is still a longing for more. That longing will never quail while living apart from Jesus; though he is always with us in our hearts, we still long for his physical presence, and we continue to search for it while here on earth. 

Jesus told us in his Word that there is a price for following him; he has no place to lay his head. Your feelings of being unsettled may be because you’ve left all your hindrances and burdens behind and are carrying your cross. Leaving everything behind to follow Jesus is what makes you fit for the kingdom.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

December 9

The restrictions put in place due to the pandemic have been quite aggravating. However, I’ve had one experience that made the regulations quite pleasant. My daughter and I, along with my grandsons, decided to continue our tradition of going to the H.B. Plant Museum, Victorian Christmas Stroll. This year we had to buy our tickets in advance and show up at the appointed time. Little did we know that we would have the whole museum to ourselves except a few volunteers. Wandering through the halls, taking in a past era, and reminiscing about what it would have been like to live in those days, was a great way to spend the afternoon. The best part was that it was the children’s first time there, and we got to experience it with fresh eyes. Traditions are great, but new experiences are even better, especially seeing it through a child's eyes. 

I understand why Jesus told us to come to him as children; their hearts are full of wonder; children question everything! Why this? Why that? How come? If you don’t examine why you follow certain traditions, you are bound to repeat past mistakes. Do yourself a favor and ask why, especially when it comes to church practices and rules. Know the reason and find out if it’s backed up biblically, but go a step further if you’re given a verse and make sure it’s in context, which is something you should do for every verse you hear or see. Many people are led astray by a verse taken out of context or a restriction placed without sound doctrine backing it. Question everything and never lose your sense of wonder when it comes to the things of God.

and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

December 8

Jesus came into the Gerasenes region, healed the man with Legions of demons, and the people drove him out. Just like today's pharmaceutical industry, they didn’t like people being healed of their infirmaries because it causes them to be good citizens, and it keeps them from pocketing billions. In the biblical instance, the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs who ran off the cliff; income lost! 

Then there were the people of Galilee who were like today’s Christians, who welcomed Jesus with open arms and were ready to hear his message of life and love. They were so excited to be near him that they pressed in close, so close that when the woman with the issue of blood touched the edge of his garment, he felt power leave him; no one knew she was the one. She wasn’t supposed to be among the people because her illness kept her separated from others because of Mosaic law. For years she spent money on doctors with no relief, and in an instant, she received healing because of her faith in Jesus. 

When Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, the profits went over the cliff. When he healed the woman, the doctors profiting from her also lost their income. These instances give us a clear picture of why so many people hate Christians; it’s about profit and loss.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. Luke 8:43-44

Monday, December 7, 2020

December 7

We are eternal beings; maybe not in our body after it dies, but our spirit lives on. Once God awakens us at conception, we live forever. Some of us will live in our bodies until a ripe old age, and others will go into eternity as youngsters. Our bodies are like a lit candle; it burns for a while, but when it’s flame is blown out, it becomes cold. As humans, our flame burns on after our time is up, and depending upon the decisions we make while alive in the body, we live in eternity, whether it is heaven or hell. 

When Jairus’s daughter was on her death bed, he came to Jesus and begged for him to go to his home and heal her, but before he could make it to her, she died. Jesus told the people around her that she was not dead; they laughed at him, knowing full well she was dead. Jesus was not wrong, nor was he kidding; there was no life in her body, but her spirit was alive. He brought both her spirit and body back together, and she lived on in her body. 

My friends, do not be fearful of death; you will live on. It will be like taking a vacation, and your companion for the trip is Jesus. You will return home again, but enjoy the journey until it’s time to return with Jesus as ruler. 

And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. Luke 8:55

Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 6

Demon possession is real and is mentioned often in the Bible. The most famous story is about the man who lived among the tombs and was overtaken by Legions, a whole pack of demons who disable the man to the point that he ran around naked. We see this type of behavior today; those possessed may not run around naked, but they certainly show their emotions outwardly, where it’s easy to see that they are deranged.

Satan doesn’t hide in a closet anymore; he’s right out there for all to see and is flaunted by those who follow him. Jesus healed the man in the story but sent the demons into the pigs as they asked him, but the pigs drowned in the lake after running off a cliff. It doesn’t say where the demons went after that, but I guess that they ended up where they had asked him not to send them, the abyss, which is a prison for fallen spirits. 

I know of people who have filled themselves up with so much of Jesus that the evil spirits that were overtaking them are slowly disappearing one by one, and the freedom they feel is evident by their trust in God. This naked, insane man came into his right mind, sat at the feet of Jesus, filling himself with good, rather than obsessing over evil. If we set our minds on things above rather than the things of this world, our minds would be free, and the enemy couldn’t live there anymore.

Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Luke 8:35

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7