Power of Truth

It was a warm summer night. The beautiful sky was filled with stars as far as the eye could see. Mary was relaxed in the passenger side starting to doze off, confident that her husband would get them safely to their destination, Myrtle beach, South Carolina. She was already starting to dream of the perfect beaches, fine restaurants and championship golf courses. Then suddenly something started to bother her.

They had made this trip many times and this time things looked a little different. “Tom, this doesn’t seem right. Are you sure we’re going the right way?” Tom patiently replied, “Of course sweetie, just relax and take your nap.” “Tom, I tell you we are going the wrong way where’s that map?” She started looking for the map and Tom just a little more frustrated insisted “You have nothing to worry about. I know where I am going. I am right!” Mary gave up looking and exclaimed “Yeah you’re right. Well I can’t find it anyway.” She made herself comfortable and went off on her nap.

A sudden stop woke Mary up, “We’re there already?” Tom sheepishly answered, “No dear, we’re lost.”

It took a brief stop at a Gas station for directions and a costly 2 hour detour, but Mary and her husband did arrive safely at Myrtle Beach.

What is worse than going the wrong way? Stubbornly insisting your right, while going the wrong way in the middle of the night, on a long trip to South Carolina is definitely worse. What is better than believing your right? Discovering the truth that sets you on the right course and sets you free from a blind belief in deceptions that can only lead to failure and destruction is definitely better.

Jesus tells us that “The truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) He was speaking of the truth that He is the savior that came to sacrifice His life that all could be saved. When we discover the error of our beliefs, what we are left with is the treasure of truth. The truth that Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate price that has been paid so that a world lost in sin could be saved is the greatest truth of all. A multitude throughout history have discovered this great truth, that if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are forgiven from all sin and immediately become part of God’s kingdom forever.

The power of truth continues to work in all our lives, knocking at our hearts and minds. However it is often hindered by our pride. When we are set in our beliefs and guided by misconceptions it can be difficult to see beyond these cherished beliefs. Sometimes we stubbornly argue like Tom, when all along we are headed in the wrong direction.

 

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Tending to others while on the cross

Jesus was beaten, whipped and nailed to a cross. After all Jesus had been through, you would expect him to hang there in His misery crying in pain or casting judgment. Surely we all have the tendency to focus on our own problems and difficulties. We can be rather indifferent to others when we are in the midst of great tragedy and sickness. In truth even the smallest setback can make us a bit self-centered. Some would call this survival instinct. Perhaps we can call it selfishness. But Jesus with His last breath, and little strength, fighting pain, saw the women that had been with Him since childhood and the most faithful disciple He had. He saw their hearts and knew their needs. He saw a mother losing her son and a disciple losing his friend and companion, and knew how to care for their needs. He drew them together with this statement “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27) He knew that one could supply the need of the other.

Jesus still sees our hearts and knows our needs. While hanging on the cross He made the needs of His followers a priority; surely our needs are also His priority. Wait one minute; this was Mary and John! Are we held in the same regard? Actually we are! Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”(Mark 3:35)

Jesus has never be too distracted or busy to tend to our needs. He proved that on the cross. One other note here is that He took care of the needs of two individuals by bringing them together. Often God uses us to satisfy the needs of each other. It is one of the many reasons why we are called to do His will (John 14:23) and tend to those in need (Matthew 31-46). In doing so we do what is best for our lives and all those around us. We also become more like our Savior who was able to tend to the needs of others while in His most difficult time.

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Time for God

“Yeah! Grandpa is here.” Grandpa had traveled many miles to finally reach the home of his only grandchildren, Robby, Luis and Mary. He loved them greatly and was constantly calling to speak to them. But now he had actually come. He was in their home. What a magical day. They all gave grandpa a big hug and then grandpa just collapsed into the sofa. He was so tired from the trip. He began to tell wondrous stories of his journey, through valleys and up mountains. How could he have endured such a journey at his age? He was truly a remarkable man. Now Mary had found her way to the kitchen and was preparing some mighty fine sandwiches for all. While she worked diligently in the kitchen she could just barely hear the stories. She thought “this is not fair at all”. After a couple of minutes she could endure it no more. She stormed into the living room and demanded the boys to help out. For a moment there was silence. Then Grandpa spoke, “My dear why don’t you come here and sit right beside me. Don’t you know I miss you? Everything else can wait.”

Often even the most hardworking among us can get our priorities mixed up. Mary got caught up in her many responsibilities but forgot that this moment was special because grandpa had come.

In the life of Jesus we see similar events unfold when He visits the house of Mary and Martha. (Luke 10:38-42) Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing all that the guest would need. But Mary knew that a visit from Jesus was like nothing else and there would be time for work later. She listened intensely for every word from the Master, but Martha busied herself with other responsibilities. Martha soon was frustrated with her sister and asked Jesus to encourage her sister Mary to help her. Jesus did quite the opposite and defended Mary. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

In our lives we too can occupy ourselves with activities that at the time seem worthy of our attention; possibly work, school or some other responsibility, but the people in our lives should not be forgotten. The times we spend with loved ones are essential and are the memories that we want to make. It is the stuff that makes life worth living. The most important person in our life should be God himself.

Our relationship with him will take time. I am not suggesting we quit our jobs and move into a monastery, but we all need to reach a happy balance, where there is ample time for work, family, friends and most importantly God. Have we all taken some time to pray and read our bible today? Is a visit to our local church part of our schedule this week? The more we put into a relationship the more we will get out of it. Jesus reminds us of the power of our relationship with Him. He said in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

 

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The Messiah has come!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

In the eternal past He saw our suffering. He saw our pain. He saw the helplessness of our existence and knew then that He would have to come. All along he watched as humanity grew further away from God. The devil and his lies replaced the truth and man would find false gods made of stone and wood. Barbaric practices, human sacrifice, torture and enslavement, became common. Then the moment came.

The spirit descended upon Mary and she did conceive. A baby boy like no other in history; for this one descended from the heavens. This child was God himself made flesh for all humanity to see. The shepherds came and worshiped. The wise man traveled from far and brought gifts, while a wretched king hunted for Him.

God’s greatest gift had come and now for those who believe there is no more darkness. Helplessness is replaced with peace and worry with Joy.

He grew among them, but they did not recognize Him. Some thought Him common, the son of a carpenter. While others with anger, said “they saw the devil in Him”. Many more pursued Him for a miracle. Many shouted, “Son of David heal me!” Some, perhaps a few, dared to wonder. “Who is this man, who talks to the wind and it obeys. Who is this man who awakens the dead? Legions of demons tremble before Him. Could He be the Messiah? “

They took him away in secret, in the darkness, without cause. He was innocent. They thought it was their plan; it had been His from the very beginning. He freely gave his life. He shed his blood, drop by drop it fell to the ground, as they whipped him and beat him. They nailed him up high for all to witness and thought him defeated.

Then came Sunday morning, the most glorious morning ever seen. The stone rolled away and out came the “bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16). Death was vanquished and no longer our master. He overcame and the victory is ours. We will live with Him forevermore.

Receive Him as Lord and be saved. He returns and His own anxiously wait. The Messiah will come with crown and sword. He will rule and His kingdom will never end!

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Waiting for a Miracle

He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, John 11:43,44

Lazarus was on his death bed.  He was surrounded by loved ones, his sisters Mary and Martha, and concerned neighbors.  But nobody could do anything for him except send for Jesus.  It’s exactly what we would do! It’s the right thing to do.  When all else fails and we need a miracle we always turn to God. But Jesus didn’t come.  How could the Messiah act like this?  How could He be so inconsiderate? He actually delays and Lazarus dies.

How often we have felt like God is just taking His time.  Letting us suffer, ignoring our call for help.  However, Jesus had not forgotten.  He showed up 4 days later.  Not 4 days late. With Just a few words He raised Lazarus from the grave!  A multitude witnessed the glory of God.  Their faith made whole, strengthened by such a sight, watching a dead man come to life. Many would believe for the first time and be saved.  It was God’s perfect time and God’s perfect plan.

There are times when God wants us to wait. When we wait our faith is tested.   When we wait our trust in God can grow.  It’s God’s way of underlining these great moments in our lives, so that we might never forget. We need this, for we are like the disciples caught in a storm.  After they had seen the dead rise, thousands fed, the blind see and countless other miracles they still doubted. They awoke Jesus in desperation proclaiming, “We perish.”  Jesus awoke and with a few words calmed the storm. (Matthew 8:25,26) They had forgotten who was in their presence.

Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) When we have been waiting a long time, for some much needed relief, it is easy to forget who is in our presence.  It seems like that problem is never going away.  We may feel hopeless, like Mary and Martha.  We feel like Jesus is just taking His sweet time or perhaps has gone on a trip. But we need to remember it’s His time and His will.  He will provide and it will be perfect and glorious. Until then we wait, for something great is just around the corner.  He has heard your cry.  He loves you, is faithful and will act mightily in your life.

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