An Eye Witness’s Joy–1 John 1 Part 1

We sometimes forget that the New Testament was written by the guys that hung out with Jesus.  Their accounts were given and their encouragement shared because they were there and saw God on earth.  It had to be amazing to walk with Jesus every day.  To see the miracles, to hear the messages and to watch the sacrifice–left an indelible mark on the men he chose.  John, his beloved disciple stood by him to the end and through the resurrection.  He adopted Mary.

When we read this word, we are able to enjoy the first hand account of God’s love for us.  We should be changed when we hide the news of his amazing life and grace in our hearts.  He was the Lord God–He brought us life and light and a future. We should never doubt his impact on our lives and the lives of all who know him. We need to take hold of the amazing view we get of God through those that went before.  Thanks Lord for showing us who you are!

God Bless You

 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,[a] whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy

Confession With Passion–2 Peter 1 Final

Peter’s confession is unrivaled in passion and in credibility.  Here, he is writing to the church–soon before being hung upside down on a cross, letting them know this is a passion he gained through eye witness experience.  This same Peter–that denied Christ the night of his arrest.  The Peter that told God he did not like his cooking on a roof in Joppa.  The Peter that avoided the barbeque when Paul and kosher Christians showed up to meet with Gentile Christians–now is telling what he saw and heard that would convince anyone of the deity of Christ!

We are the same. We can go from fear to Fanatic by simply clinging to the truth of Christ as it has been shown in our lives.  We have all seen and experienced the difference the relationship has brought in our lives.  We have done great things and we have failed–but, no matter what we can stand before others and passionately tell them What a difference he has made in our lives.  We simply need to remember and cling to the countless times he has intervened on  our behalf.

We need not be afraid–He loves us as we are and knows us as the frail children that we sadly remain.  We simply need to also know him for the mighty God he is and follow him accordingly!

God Bless You

For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life,[e] 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[f] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines[g] in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,[h] 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Life Ain’t Fair Esther 3 part 3

There are times when we see life unfold and are positive that “life ain’t fair.”  Haman got his feelings hurt and he in turn sentenced the captives from Israel to death.  When we see things like that occur, it causes us to question God and his love for us.  Truth is, we see only a few pixels of a grand marquee.  We will never understand God’s plan for our lives and the lives of those we interact with, and yet his plan always moves forward.

In our lives, we have to cling to the idea that God really does have a plan and we are an integral part of it. We do not have to understand the plan we simply have to trust that God will bring it to pass.  He promises to protect and provide for his kids—We simply have to walk and trust that even when life ain’t fair, that he will.  Help me, Lord to trust your plan and humbly follow you.

God Bless You

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents[b] of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

Esther 2 part 1 A Queen is Chosen

We can never be sure how God will execute his plan in our lives.  Esther was an orphan captive in Susa, and because of the Queen’s behavior, she was being introduced to royalty. Her attitude of submission and humility she found favor with all the people she came into contact with.  God’s plan and our obedience  will provide us the ability to see God at his finest.  Esther began a journey that would save her life and her people.  Help Me Lord to submit to your leadership and see your plan at work.

God Bless You

Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. 2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it…as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.

God is Light–How Beautifully Revealing

Let’s face it wintertime in Wisconsin means it gets dark early.  I mean at 4:30! What a challenge to endure dark evenings for months on end.  We do not enjoy dark.  We find ways to occupy us during the dark time, but few truly enjoy darkness as a retreat. We were made in God’s image. God is light and gives light.  When we are in a lighted place we are less tense, less afraid and less alone. As we look to understand who God is, we need to understand he is light.  His presence warms and enlightens.  He brings clarity and vision.  He uncovers the lost and hidden.  He grants joy in times where darkness would otherwise deflate and depress.sunsky

 

We need to come into his light.  We also need to relax in the clarity it brings. His light often exposes imperfections in us.  That is OK.  That is the only way we can correct them. But his light also exposes the beauty and wonder that is life and is YOU.  He brightens and turns the journey into an amazing journey. When we finally grasp and embrace the beauty of God and his light, then we can move forward in confidence and peace–even on treacherous grounds.  Help me, Lord to recognize, embrace and walk in the light that is you, and that you have provided.

 God Bless You

Genesis 1:3&14-15

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light

14. And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

Psalm 118:27
The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”