Archive | April 2012

A Light Within The Tunnel

Are you going through something right now?  Perhaps some challenges and frustrations  at work or at home?  Are you experiencing any brokenness because you don’t know how to get things under control in your life? Did you get a bad report from the doctor?  Are you about to undergo a major change in your lifestyle? Have you had to deal with the recent death of a loved one? Or did you just come out of a bad relationship?  Do you feel there is darkness all around and there is no light at the end of the tunnel?

Perhaps you are not going through at this present time, but there probably has been a time when you felt something similar to one of the above situations.

If you have had to battle any sickness or disease, who did you call on for your healing?   Have you come close to losing your home or been unemployed for a while and struggled to pay your bills?  Who made a way for you when it seemed like all else had failed?   When depression set in and your thoughts were not His thoughts, how did you make it through? For some, the better question might be, how are you making it through?

 Who do you call on late in the midnight hour? When there is trouble all around, who hears you crying?

Call on Jesus!  Let Him be your light in every dark tunnel.   Trust in the LORD!  Allow Him to lead you through.  He is the One who can lead you through the darkness and bring you to the light.  Whatever your issue or your circumstance,  you can make it through this!  Trust Him and believe that He can work it out for you.  You might feel you are about to break beyond restoration.  You might feel you are all alone, but you are not.   Trust in the Lord,  He is the light while you are in your tunnel.  When you are going through, go to God!

Psalm 91:14-16 (The Message) ” If you hold  on to me for dear life, says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.  I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me.  Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side at bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.  I’ll give you a long life, and give you a long drink of salvation!”

Prayer

Dear LORD,  I am in a tunnel right now.   I trust You to bring me out. LORD, I need you to guide me through this brokenness and to bring me closer to Your light and Your way.  I refuse to give up because my hope is in You.  You are my light while I am in this tunnel; You are my light when I am going through.   Please forgive me of my sins.  Create in me a clean heart.  Even as I go through, I am already victorious because of You.  LORD, I love You and I honor You. In Jesus’ name I pray,  Amen!

Promises

We’ve all heard the old saying “promises were made to be broken”! I am not sure who first coined that phrase but it is obvious they were either on the receiving end of a broken promise or they broke a promise to someone.

If you have had any disappointments in relationships, you might believe this is a true statement.  Remember when you met that special someone, and all appeared to be going well in the relationship?  You tiptoed around as if you were walking on air.  You could finish each other’s sentences and you stayed on the phone just listening to each other breathe.  You promised to  love each other forever.  You promised to be true to each other.   It didn’t matter that you were only 16.  It was a promise! Then came the unexpected break up.  The tears flowed and your heart was broken!  You just knew you would never love like that again.  “Promises were made to be broken”.

Then there are those special friendships where you promise to be friends forever!  Today, the term is BFF (best friends forever). You shared secrets and promised not to tell.  The next thing you know that secret you told was  being broadcast all over town, on the school yard and even at your church.  You learn the hard way that the best kept secret is the one you just don’t tell.  “Promises were made to be broken!”

The word promise is defined as a declaration to do, to give or to arrange something.  A promise can also  be a declaration not to do something. It is a pledge or a vow. And oh, how it hurts when you realize a promise made to you will not be kept or was never intended to be kept!  How could you have been so gullible to believe the promises spoken to you were truthfully spoken?

When I was in my brokenness because of broken promises, I called on Jesus!  I wanted to know why. Why would anyone want to hurt me with false promises? Why would anyone tell me lies and still continue to look me in my face? Why would they not keep their promises to me?  Why?  I can’t tell you that I have ever found the answers to any of my whys.  I just know these were some experiences I had to go through in my life’s journey.

 When you enter into a relationship with the LORD, you will come to know that He will keep His promises.

 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act?   Does he promise and not fulfill?    I have received a command to bless;  he has blessed, and I cannot change it. (Numbers 23:19-20)

He gives us instructions to do right and we can receive what the LORD has promised.

 Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors (Deuteronomy 6:18) 

He can be trusted!

Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:28)

Even in times of trouble, He promises to sustain you.

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. (Psalm 119:116)

If we believe in Him, He promises us eternal life!

For God so loved the world, that HE agave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

And this is what he promised us–eternal life. (1 John 2:25)

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Dear LORD, Thank you for your promises!  Thank you for loving me when promises that were made to me were broken.  Thank you for sustaining me.  Forgive me, LORD, for uttering promises that I did not keep.  LORD, I thank You for being gracious and merciful.  LORD, help me to do right and to live right so that I may continue to receive your great promises in my life.  I thank You for the promises that have already been fulfilled and I thank you for the promises that are yet to be! Dear LORD, I thank you, that even in my brokenness, you were restoring me with your promises.  In the name of Jesus, I say, Amen.

Put The Rocks Down!

“When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him. Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery!” (John 8:3-4)

The woman in the scripture above had been caught in the very act of adultery. Her accusers thought they were taking her to be judged and then stoned to death for her sins!  Back then, that was the law.  She was caught committing adultery and she should be punished according to the law.

This woman’s accusers brought her case before Jesus!  They wanted to hear Him say she was guilty. At first, it appears that He is ignoring them.  When they persist on hearing Him accuse her of being an adulteress,  Jesus simply responds with:

 “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”(John 8:7)

Wow! That is such a powerful statement and it should resonate among us even today. We all have sinned.  Some of us have shameful secrets.  Yet, even in spite of our own messes, we continue to point fingers at others and we are quick to  judge.  We continue to pick up rocks to throw at others.

Put the rocks down!

 We need to be more like Jesus, compassionate and forgiving.  Perhaps, if we take into account our own sins and change our ways, we just might set a positive example to the one who is committing adultery, to the one who is stealing, to the one who is gossiping,  or to the one who is selling drugs. Many of us have experienced at least one moment in our lives where our sins and transgressions have led others to judge us or ridicule us.  This is not a good feeling. So think about how it may make someone feel to know that you are judging them.

Put the rocks down!

Eventually, in the scripture, it tells us that the woman’s accusers left her with Jesus.  Jesus told her that he did not condemn her for her sins.  He told her to “go on your way and from now on sin no more.”  Imagine her joy when she realized she had been set free by the Master!

Sometimes those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ are so quick to judge that we often miss out on bringing a lost soul to Christ.  We often miss out on an opportunity to say He will forgive you for your sins. We miss out on telling them, that we know this because He has forgiven us!   The scribes and the Pharisees missed this opportunity because they were judging her for her sins and they were testing Jesus to see what He was going to do.  But even in her brokenness, she was led to Jesus and He freed her from her accusers and most importantly, He freed her from her sins!

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Dear  Heavenly Father,  forgive me of my sins and transgressions. Thank you for not condemning me even when my accusers did.  LORD, I ask that you use me to be a blessing to someone who is lost in sin.  Please allow me to speak words of love, compassion and understanding to them so that they will have a desire to draw closer to you.  God, if I should attempt to pick up rocks to condemn someone, I ask that you gently remind me that you have forgiven me of my sins and that I should put the rocks down. I thank you for your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ wonderful name, I say Amen!

Are You Carrying The Cross?

“As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23:26 (NIV)

There is an old hymn, “Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone”, that I am reminded of as we approach Resurrection Sunday!  The words to this hymn were written in 1693 by Thomas Shepherd and the song simply says:

 ” Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?

No, there’s a cross for everyone, And there’s a cross for me!

The consecrated cross I’ll bear, till death shall set me free,

And then, go home my crown to wear, For there’s a crown for me.

Upon the crystal pavement, down at Jesus’ pierced feet,

Joyful, I’ll cast my golden crown and His dear name repeat!

O’ precious cross! O glorious crown!

O resurrection day!

Ye, angels, from the stars come down and bear my soul away.”

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Dear LORD, I thank you for Jesus!  I thank you for allowing me to take up the cross and to follow Jesus.  God, bless me this day as I go forward to tell others of what you have done for me.  I thank you that even in my brokenness that I was hidden behind the Cross and you were restoring me.  I thank you that in times when my cross seems heavy, you are making a better way for me.  LORD, I know that as I carry my cross, you will get the glory! I praise you and honor you. Thank you for Jesus! In His mighty name, Amen!

Are You Carrying The Cross?