As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/gal.6.10.KJV
Are you a friend to somebody? Do you have many friends that you actually know? Or are you more like me, you have friends that you have known for a long time but life and distance keep you from seeing each other? Many of us are in the same place that I am. We do have friends and have had some for many years but circumstances and distance tend to make the relationship kinda hard to keep alive. Even my relationship with some of my family is tempered by distance and our ability to bridge that distance is tempered by money and time as well.
In many ways, our relationship with Jesus sometimes falls into this same rut. We get caught up in life and our own problems and we push our time with Jesus and His Word to the back of our priority list. Then, sometimes, it gets pushed a little bit more. Then one day we realize that we truly miss our relationship with our Savior and we come back to Him apologizing for being away for so long. Why? Because it was us who moved, Jesus has always been near us. If we are Christians, His Spirit is still there even if we aren’t paying any attention to Him. This happens more often than we would like to admit…to anyone.
Sometimes we get a bit too open with our words and our “opinions” and we hurt each other’s feelings. Sometimes I feel like we do the same thing to Jesus as well, but He forgives us even when we do it more than we should. The best thing that we can remember about friendships is: don’t treat your regular friends like you treat Jesus. Because we take Him for granted all of the time and we should never take our friends for granted. God gave us friends to be there when we need them because until He comes to rule this Earth He isn’t physically here. So our friends are there to be “stand-ins” for Him.
Make sure which friends you have and always treasure their friendship like you would a brother or a sister because in Christ we are all brothers and sisters.
In many ways, we need to study God’s Word to learn from Him how to find a deeper rest in Him. Following the path which David made while he was writing the Psalms, it is easy to find peace in your walk with Him. We are so busy in our lives today, until we get away from God’s Word. Sometimes we begin to feel as if we have moved away from our relationship with Him as well. The important part that we need to remember is that it is we who have moved…not God. He is always near His children and He is always available to us in our problems and in everyday life.
We all need the rest from our busyness that each of us has each and every day. Some of us have more of it than others do, but all of us suffer through it regardless of our vocation or our location. God knows this and He says that He will give us rest in Him, but do we accept that? Do you? Resting in Jesus’ is something that many of us find foreign and hard to do. Christians who have bills to pay, and who doesn’t, find it hard to slow down enough to rest most of the time. We look at all of the beauty around us and we sometimes wish that we could just sit and enjoy God’s creation but then the world intrudes and we move on.
We see the mountains or a beach and think that God was having a good day when He put all of that together. Our lives tend toward busyness so much until it seems that our relationships suffer, even with our own close family. But we should realize that God was having a good day when He formed each of us in the womb too. He put the molecules together which give each of us our unique personality and our abilities. He knows each of us better than any person ever could know us, whether we know Him or not. Jesus told His disciples that God the Father knows when a sparrow falls, so He certainly values each of us more highly than a sparrow. Why? Because we carry His image inside us even if we aren’t Christians.
All of us are made in His Image. Isn’t that amazing? The Creator of the universe, with all of the worlds and stars of all of the galaxies which He placed out there for us to realize that we can’t comprehend it all, knows each baby born on this small ball of earth in this solar system. He even knows the ones which haven’t been born yet! God is more than we can imagine or know fully, but if you know His Son then you will be known fully one day and you will see a little more of Him while you have eternity to learn and grow closer to Him.
I pray that this post finds you in your life when you need to find rest in Him because it is only by resting in Him that we can find true rest for our souls.
I worked alongside my father after my bar mitzvah, when I became a man at 12 years of age. Some days, it was hard work but we managed to keep our shop going for a while. It was hot and dusty work but it was fulfilling, but I knew that I was meant for something more. My dreams and my prayers told me this but I never told anyone until after my father died. Then I told my mother. She did the same thing that she always did and that was to keep those things in her heart and she didn’t tell even my brothers or sisters.
Being the firstborn in the family there is a lot expected of you and nobody knows exactly what to expect most of the time. Particularly from me. My name is Yeshua.
When I found my cousin baptizing people in the Jordan River I knew that I needed to be baptized. He tried to dissuade me from doing so, but I told him that we needed to fulfill all righteousness. So, he consented to do so. When I came up out of the water, I heard my Father’s voice say that He was pleased with me and I felt the Holy Spirit fill my soul. I was still learning at this point, so I went into the wilderness to fast and commune with God for forty days. I didn’t know how bad that would make me feel, but I felt in my Spirit that it needed to be done.
The hunger was almost too much to bear until the fifth day or so, but it became easier from that point on as long as I found a spring to drink from occasionally. When the forty days were up or at least close to being finished I was tempted by Satan with the smell of freshly baked bread at first, then he showed me the Temple and said that I should test God to see if He would send angels to bear me up lest I dash my foot against a stone. Then he tried to tempt Me with the kingdoms of the world and I told him that I would worship God and serve Him only. Then, some angels came and ministered to Me with manna and water.
Then, my work really began.
I walked along the seashore and found some fishermen and I knew I had found most of my disciples. There is yet so much to accomplish and there is little time to finish it all, but with my Father’s help, I will get it done.
We were invited to a wedding in Cana and all of my family and my disciples came along. A couple of hours after we arrived my mother told me that they have run out of wine. I told her that it was not my time to reveal myself but, being my mom she called the servants of the groom and told them to do whatever I told them to do.
There were six pots there which were used to carry water for cleansing according to Jewish custom and they each held about 30 gallons. I told the servants to fill them with water and then draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. They did so and when he tasted it he exclaimed that “Usually a man serves the best wine first and saves the cheap wine for later, but you have saved the best for the end of the feast!” (part 1)(This is my attempt at giving some small look at the life of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, our Savior. Why would I write something like this? Because of people’s conception of His life and, because it is only covered briefly in the gospels, imagination is the only pathway we have to attempt to see some of what is not in the Bible. As long as we don’t add more to His story than that which we can imagine about Him, this is useful and helpful.)
If you only had a week to live, what would you do? Would you travel for that small amount of time or would you enjoy your days with your family and friends?
If I only had a week to live…I would enjoy my family and friends and walk in the woods. I would make sure to tell my neighbors that they meant a lot to me by just being my friends. I would make dinner for each of them if they would allow it or I would try to show some small way that I had appreciated their friendship.
With only a week to live, there really isn’t much you can do that you should’ve been doing before, so why wait until you know that your life is ending? Tell your friends and family how much they mean to you today…NOW! Don’t wait until it is too late because you may not get to tell them at all.
Make sure that your life is a reflection of Jesus even if there aren’t many who see it in you. Those who do see Jesus in your speech or in your life and how you live will notice and God will touch their lives in some small way or maybe even a big way. He can use those seeds which are planted in people’s lives no matter how small they may be or how long they have been planted.
God can water them with His Living Water and His Love and make them sprout in their lives so that they can continue your ministry even after you are gone on to Heaven. All Christians should try to make sure that there are some seeds which are able to be grown by God which are left here by something that you did or something you said. God can use those to make a difference in someone’s life and your eternity will be blessed by it too.
Have you considered that we have never looked at our condition religiously? Our country and its people have never actually thought of Christianity as our religion. Specifically, since our government doesn’t endorse or choose any particular religion for our nation. Our people have many denominations and religions in our country and today we also have many who don’t claim any belief in God or religion.
So have you thought about any of this? Is it possible that we truly need religion? There are so many who commit suicide on a daily basis and we have so many who are struggling with drugs and alcohol on a daily basis too. So…what is the fix or the cure for this emptiness which we seem to be dealing with?
Whether our country as a whole wants to believe it or not, the answer actually is a relationship with Jesus. The empty place in all of our lives which we try to fill with all sorts of things from sex or money or careers and even family is only filled by one Person. Jesus Christ. That is the missing piece of the puzzle which we have been searching for all of our lives!
It isn’t a hard thing to do but in a society which prides itself on its independence, individually and collectively, we don’t want to depend upon any one person whether it is a Savior or even a spouse or a friend. Except when you look at the feeling of hope which He brings into our collective conscience. So why don’t we look to Him for our hope? Why can’t we do this so our country can have more hope?
Hope hasn’t died but to look at the news, you would think it has. Hope is in the Person of Jesus, Love is Jesus and He is Love for all of us because He did love us enough to give His life on the cross to pay the debt which we owed because of our sins. Even those of us where weren’t born when He did this still owe the debt if we haven’t given our hearts to Him.
I pray that those of you reading this will give Jesus a chance in your life. If for no other reason than to fill that empty place and give you hope for eternity and a heart full of gratitude for a Creator Who loves you more than you can imagine. Please, seek Jesus out for your soul and for your eternal hope because it is needed in our country today.
Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan is one which is about being a true neighbor in the likeness of Jesus and His teaching on the subject. So why is it so hard for us, even in the church, to practice and DO this!? Is it because we are too selfish or are we too scared to admit that we can’t do it?! Read this and listen to the wisdom within it:
25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
As Jesus said, “Go and do thou likewise”. This is a command from our Lord and the church should honor and obey this command but we aren’t doing it wholeheartedly. We do things a little at a time. Why? Are we afraid of doing this because it isn’t politically correct? We shouldn’t be worried about this! We should be getting out there and doing the things which our Lord told us to do!
The family down the road who doesn’t have enough food for their children would be happy to get a couple of sacks of good food. The man in your church, who needs someone to visit him because he has lost his wife and is alone again could use some fellowship. There are many in our immediate family who would appreciate a visit or a meal or even a trip to get out of the house once in a while…these are your neighbors so go and do as the Samaritan did and see to their needs whatever they might be.
Son of encouragement. That is what Barnabas was called in the book of Acts, in fact, that is what the name means. His actual name was Joseph and he was from Cyprus. He was very prominent in the early church. Why do I mention him here? Because each of us needs an Encourager. Yes, the Lord is also an Encourager and gives us the encouragement we need through the reading of His Word. So, why do we need another to give us more?
Because we have all encountered setbacks and problems along the way. Sometimes it is because of depression or other things which are “bringing us down” and we need someone to cheer us up. We are so bombarded by updates and news today in this world of 24/7 connected devices until it is hard to make sense of it all. Decompression and relaxation doesn’t happen when we take a vacation anymore. Because we are never disconnected from our phones or our tablets or laptops!
God did not intend for us to live our lives like this every day! Years ago the prediction was that computers would make our lives easier and our work would be less. That didn’t happen at all! Now that we have smartphones, which amount to pocket-sized computers, we are never away from news and work-related content! Even when we are in places where there is limited service we feel as if we are in danger because we can’t contact someone or be contacted.
So a bit of encouragement is needed especially today and particularly now. It keeps us going when the times get a bit choppy with troubles and all of the stress which we have in this world. Just listen to someone who is hurting or in need of a friend, don’t offer advice unless they ask for it. Why do I say this? Because it is very likely that you haven’t been in their shoes before. I know that many of us have had loved ones to die or we have gotten divorced or even lost a job, but some people are going through more than one stressor at a time. So..be gentle.
God is there for all of us and He does comfort us in all of our troubles and situations, but sometimes it just takes a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to lean on or even cry on. Nobody can handle all of life’s troubles without God or someone to support them and just be there when things aren’t going the way they should. Yes, Jesus is nearer than any person could be, but until He is here in the flesh we need a friend at times. Try to be that friend because there will come a time when you need one and if you were never there for someone then who will be there for you?