Archive for the ‘Salvation’ Category

I took this photo tonight after we suddenly found ourselves in complete darkness. Fairly quickly, we were able to get light from a cell phone, so that we could light this old, oil burning lamp. How in the world did we ever find a flashlight, candles, or matches without our ever present cell phones?

As we sat in the dark, my attention was drawn to this lamp that my husband lit and placed on the mantle. I was reminded of Psalms 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light to my path. Then I recognized a new beauty cast by this light in the dark.

The HOME sign in the background reminds me that this world is not my home. The life that we work so hard for each day is only temporary.  I have a much better home that is yet to come with my heavenly Father who is the light of the world.

On the left, is an old metal cross that reminds me of Jesus and the price that He paid for my salvation, as well as yours.  Salvation that none of us deserves, but is available to all. The Lord is my light and my salvation – Psalms 27:1.

Beside the cross sits an unlit candle. (I’m not sure why my husband didn’t light this candle except that God had a lesson for me to see in this photo.)  That unlit candle reminds me that there are many who don’t know Jesus, and it is important for us to share the light of His love to those around us.

On the right hangs the letter “W” which normally represents our family name; tonight it symbolizes the world – a world that is living in darkness and needs the light of Jesus. In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” – John 8:12. 

Below that letter is a clock which of course represents time. It’s time for us to find peace and hope in the quiet, glow of His presence. It’s time to walk with Him and talk with Him. It’s time to do whatever He’s been calling you to do. And it’s time for us to take time to share His light with others.

Finally, on the left is a burlap sign which says, “Keep calm and pray”.  When your world seems overcome by the darkness, look to the only true Light in the dark, pray, and calmly let His light shine through you.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it – John 1:5. 

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Just Believe

What is your reaction when someone tells you not to be afraid? My first reaction is usually fear and lots of questions. When we were young, my brother and our friend convinced (or maybe I should say coerced) me to ride the new double loop Shock Wave roller coaster at Six Flags. I was filled with fear and questions, but they insisted there was nothing to worry about. After a lot of screaming and even some crying, they had to practically carry me off of it, but I survived!

In Mark 5, Jairus, a synagogue leader, had a young daughter who was very ill and dying (v 23). The synagogue leaders of that time were skeptical of Jesus, but Jairus took a huge leap of faith and went to Jesus for help.

Along the way Jesus stopped when a woman touched his garments hoping to be healed. Jesus immediately recognized that healing power had passed from Him. So He insisted on identifying her, assuring her that she was healed by her faith, and most importantly loving her.

Surely Jairus felt impatient or worried as he waited for Jesus to go to his daughter, but he didn’t react impulsively. He simply waited. While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, news came that Jairus’ daughter had died. But before Jairus could respond with anger or grief, Jesus said, “Be not afraid. Only believe” (Mark 5:36).

Jairus must have had many emotions going through his mind, especially fear and questions. He may have felt that all hope was lost, but Jesus was telling Jairus that He was not finished. They continued on to Jairus’ house where Jesus resurrected the young girl. It is possible His delayed arrival was part of a greater plan. The girl’s resurrection was a much greater miracle than healing her illness, and Jairus’ faith grew as a result of the entire experience.

Jesus knows our problems before they actually occur. He also knows the strength of our faith or lack of faith, but there is no problem we could ever face that is too big. God’s timing is not usually our timing. Sometimes we must wait for answers. When the circumstances of our life seem totally hopeless and God does not seem to be acting, maybe it’s all part of His divine plan.

If life feels like a roller coaster that you never wanted on with double loops of trouble and mountains of unexpected delays, remember Jesus words to Jairus in Mark 5:36 – “Be not afraid. Only believe.” Believe what? Believe that God can. Believe that He does exist. Believe that He is with you. Believe that its never too late. Believe that He is stronger. Believe that He will carry you.

Just as my brother and friend did at Six Flags, God will be with you through the ride, He knows all the dips and loops in your life before they even occur, and He will carry you when you can’t go on.

photo credit: auspices <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26432632@N08/6169711244″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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BRAG BOOK

Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

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This is what the Lord says:  Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these things I delight declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 9:23-24

We are a bragging society.  Television reality shows and game shows provide the opportunity for contestants to show off their knowledge or strength in a very public way.  Others brag about money they may or may not have by purchasing expensive cars and homes.  People brag about what they have and what they have accomplished.  Parents and grandparents brag about their children and love to show off pictures.  Many parents carry little “brag books” to show off pictures of their children and what they have done.  Facebook is the new “brag book” where we can share the fun and exciting things in our lives.

There is nothing wrong with bragging about those we love and sharing the joy they bring to our lives, but the one who loved us enough to die for us accomplished so much more.  Yet many of us are afraid to brag about what He has done for us.  Galatians 6:14 says, “As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  There is nothing any of us could ever accomplish that compares to the kindness, justice, and righteousness of our Lord.  What Christ has done in our lives is an amazing personal experience.  We just need to do some bragging and be willing to share with others the impressions God has left in our lives.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”  (John 3:16).  Many of us learned this verse as a child, and it is the perfect “brag book” to show others how Christ has changed our lives.  Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we may have eternal life, and we need to tell others so that they may also experience salvation.  My challenge for you is to pull out your John 3:16 “Brag Book” and boast of the wonderful things Christ has done in your life, so that others may also experience salvation.

If you don’t already know Christ as your personal Savior, you simply need to pray and:

A – Admit you are a sinner – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of  God” (Romans 3:23)

B – Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

C – Confess your sins and ask Jesus into your heart.  “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

If you just accepted Christ as your Savior, you now have your own John 3:16 “Brag Book”.  Share with someone the first and most important thing Christ has done in your life.


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