You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and kept the faith. Now go get that crown of righteousness, which the Lord is waiting to award you. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
"Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."
"That's right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal."
Solo gave this challenge on how we should live.
"Oswald Chambers said, "If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it."
"Think about the degree of restraint or abandon you show in your relationship with Jesus (and with others)." Solo, The Message
Think of who you love hard?
How does the depth of your love for Christ relate to that scenario?
February 24-Adrain Rogers-Love Worth Finding
Is Trusting God a Challenge for You?
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3
This word “trust” is an interesting word. Its root is from the word that means “to lie face down on the ground.”
The idea is that a person is totally helpless. He has been cast down and has nothing to stand upon. Some would say his pins have gone out from underneath him. He has no visible means of support.
That is the place where God wants to bring us—where we have no physical means of support and all we have is God.
As a matter of fact, did you know that God will sometimes knock your feet out from beneath you so that you might learn to trust Him? At that point, faith is no longer an option or a luxury; it is a necessity. To the world your situation looks hopeless, but that is right where God wants to show Himself powerful in your life.
Is there an area in your life today for which you must trust God completely? Perhaps you need some “face time”. . .face down on the ground before the Lord. Bring that issue before Him in total surrender.
"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. Matthew 6:14-15
Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, "He can't talk that way! That's blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins."
Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, "Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, 'I forgive your sins,' or say, 'Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking'? Well, just so it's clear that I'm the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . ." (he looked now at the paraplegic), "Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home." And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, "We've never seen anything like this!"
Where the Lord took me with this was totally different from the questions laid out by Solo. My thoughts were, how many people are willing to come to Jesus for the healing, the blessings, the help, but if you told them you were taking them to have their sins forgiven, they would become defensive, recoil, and pass on the opportunity? Until we see ourselves as sinners in need of a savior, there really is no reason to visit Jesus.
Yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend, who had been hospitalized. My mind began to wander to places it shouldn't. She wasn't answering my text from the past two days. I emailed some prayer warrior friends and confessed the mess I was in. Then I opened the day's Godtube video, which was on sin.
I called out to the Lord and asked him to forgive me for my fretting and growing anxious. The second I did that a text came from her! I don't believe that was a coincidence.
We need to know we are sinful in order to know we need a Savior, who can wipe away our sins.
Here are some of the examples of how simple sacrifices can mean so much to another.
First, I have listed the number of years they have been married. Then W if it is an act of the wife. H if it performed by the husband.
W-I clean the house because I recognize how much my husband appreciates this.
H- My wife appreciates words of affirmation so I compliment her about her character. We have been doing the study on love languages and have found it to be very helpful.
24 Years W-I clean his car inside and out for his birthday. He hates cleaning his car.
26 Years W- I listen to the music that he likes (& I hate) without ever telling him or complaining and travel with him to football games that I have no interest in.
H-I make her coffee every morning and bring it to her before she gets out of bed.
H- I rub her legs, which she says feels so gooooood!
31 Years W- I bake him sour dough bread every week
H- I bring her coffee on Saturday morning, so she can sip it in bed.
32 Years W- He loves to be touched…any touch,…forehead rubbed, arm tickled. He also loves that I laugh at his jokes and affirm him.
H- She loves it when I rub her feet, take walks with her, take her out to breakfast every Saturday morning and pay for her to have her nails done!
33 Years W- I bake him fresh desserts several times a week and watch his favorite sporting events with him. I clean up the trail he leaves of melted ice cream and coffee stains and grounds on the counter, giving thanks that he comes home each day and is here to make those messes. When his office was closer, I would sneak in and write secret notes on his calendar for the upcoming months, like… "Rush home tonight!” Now I try to send cards and emails on a regular basis. I also placed a treasure box on his desk and keep it filled with goodies.
H- She loves to have me rub her feet and back. I watch HGTV with her to make up for all the sporting events she sits through! Years ago, I agreed I would do the dishes after dinner. Lately, she has asked me to read to her from Charles Spurgeon’s Evening by Evening before we fall asleep.
34 Years W- I make homemade biscuits and text the word “tonight” to him!
H- From the wife. He can read my mind and does things before I have to ask. Puts away folded clothes, empty the dishwasher, etc. He also brags on me in front of others.
This brought about a discussion for us. I watch football and old westerns with him and he is great about going to chick flicks and watching the Hallmark channel with me. Thinking back through all the years, we recalled that no matter how far apart we were logistically, and he traveled extensively for 20 years of our marriage, we always talked on the phone at the end of the day. When we think about sacrificial love we keep going to the cross and there is nothing to compare with that.
(This couple has been through years of illness and they are stuck together like glue.)
W-When we plan vacations or romantic getaways, I record our favorite songs to play, while we are away. (Very romantic!)
H- I make her a spinach omelet (her favorite) for breakfast every Sunday morning.
W-We work side by side in business. My husband says that no matter what is happening in our life I find positive and good in every situation and with every person and that helps him stay uplifted.
H- She hates grocery shopping so I do the grocery shopping and always bring her a bouquet of flowers home from the store.
W-I do little chores for him to save him time (acts of service), plus watch his favorite TV shows and movies, even when I don't care for them (quality time) and of course prepare his favorite meal of hot Italian sausage and spaghetti.
H- I bring orange juice and hot coffee each morning to her while still in bed; served with kisses.
W- I keep his office cookie tin filled with sweets he will like.
39 Years W- I call my husband in the middle of the week for a lunch date.
H- I bring her coffee in bed and say I love her.
44 Years W-I’ve been scratching his feet and legs as he watches TV in the evening for 44 years.
H- She appreciates my small gestures of love like emptying the dishwasher without being asked and she will never turn down a back rub.
W-I always say “By the grace of God"--guess my best gift to my honey is constant prayer for him. In our wedding book my dear father wrote this…"The family that prays together and plays together, stays together." Isn't that a good truth!
H- I share in our church experiences and Bible studies together.
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. Robert Frost
Love is a free gift that is fun to give away. Boo Andrews
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
The Sheep and the Goats
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
The Challenge in Solo is this: "As you serve people who are overlooked and ignored, be mindful of the presence of Jesus. See if you can spot him."
How exciting is that!
Good Samaritan- A Bible Lesson on Love
"One of the parables of Jesus was the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. A lawyer came to Jesus and wanted to prove to the Lord that he wasn't a bad person. Jesus told him that he need to love God with all his heart and his neighbors around him. The lawyer wanted to find out exactly who Jesus meant were his neighbors. In response Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
A Jewish man was beaten and left half dead in the street. A priest and a Levite passed by. Though they were Jews too, they chose to leave the man alone thinking that he was not their responsibility. A Samaritan saw the man and offered to nurse him back to health even though the Jews despised the Samaritans. The Samaritan paid for the needed medical care and offered to pay more as necessary.
Though the Jews would not cross the street to help their fellow countryman, a Samaritan realized that all men are his neighbors and showed love and compassion. Jesus told the lawyer that he too should show love to those around him."
Boo Thoughts... I was in Charlotte, waiting to board a SMALL airplane recently. In my company were two Japanese students, who spoke very little English. These two fellows were very nervous, as they inquired about whether their luggage would be on the plane. Standing up from my chair to stretch a bit before boarding, I turned around to the remainder of the waiting area and noticed at least 13 lively, laughing, Muslim students having a grand time. The atmosphere became a little more tense once on board when the stewardess approached four of these students, who were sitting in the emergency exit row. Their comprehension of the questions the flight attendant was asking them left than less than what I would call a level of confidence and comfort in the ability of my fellow passengers to carry out the instructions...written in English on the plane door! The lack of English understanding kept this entire group from quieting down during the attendant's overall instructions to the passengers on safety features. She had to raise her voice over the micro-phone asking them to be quiet for 3 minutes!
Reading the Good Samaritan story has me searching my heart, wondering if I would have gone to their aid or that of the Japanese fellows if they exhibited a need..I think my apprehension would have mainly been because of the language barrier. Earlier I had assisted an older African American woman in the airport, who did not know where to go to wait for the handicap cart to take her to her next flight. I was johnny on the spot with sympathy for her, but would I have been for these younger foreigners. Lord, I hope so. If not...change my heart.
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
"Love is, above all, the gift of oneself".
He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30
David and Jonathan- Bible Story About Friends
"King Saul was jealous of the young man David. This was partially because David was gaining in popularity and partly because God had already told Saul that his kingdom would not continue. Samuel had already anointed David as the next king in 1 Samuel 16 before David killed Goliath in chapter 17.
Saul’s anger toward David mounted with the passing years.
Even though Jonathan knew his father hated David and that David would become the next king of Israel, Jonathan and David became good friends. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18:1, “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
According to 1 Samuel 13 there were only two swords in the kingdom. King Saul owned one and his son Jonathan had the other. When David was preparing to flee from Saul, Jonathan gave his sword to David.
Logically Jonathan would become the next king in Israel, but he knew God’s hand was on David. He chose to help the man whom God had anointed instead of fighting him out of jealousy."
Do you have a dear friend you love? Pray for that person today!