For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Expectation. Boundaries. Angles of Victory and Defeat. Life rarely rests in one angle. But in Jesus Christ - the Victory is - Ours.
The first time I painted a portrait and a frame. I was told I did well. And then the additional comment was - it needed a fence. Don't we all need fences.
Now if you were God and you went - Oh, the places you'd go.
'This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it;
I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it;
it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar.
Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.
24 All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
" 'I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.' "
God goes like the Wind. Where He wants to go - He exists. Our boundaries are in HIS hands.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us,[and not we ourselves] and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Jesus said Abundant Life.
We think of all the hardship and we say - that's a Saint. Maybe we need to really think of the Joy. The Joy of the Lord is our Strength! Centenarians believe in every situation - God is going to eventually work this out. And ... they are correct. Faith might be mocked, yet the joy is the Faithful- whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
God loves us so much He continually brings more Life into the world. It's almost like exactly the way the Scriptures repeat.
Another circle - The carpenter didn’t build the Temple. He is in Our Temple. We create lives where we Give Him our day. Or with sincere apology we say - help my Temple to be more joyful and loving to You.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
We all have exactly two choices. To Do His Will with Verve. Or to go darkly.
In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis says:
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is ...with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind...which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously.... And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner.
We are immortal creatures, destined to live eternally, resurrected. An existence with Jesus Christ. Or destined to successfully have avoided God.
Jesus told us what the New Covenant deal truly is -
Jonah cast lots to get out of his mission - but Jesus said:
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
What would God say to us about Evangelism? HE would say - HE paid the Price. Jesus paid the Price. He would remind us - One must be called to be Chosen of Him. God called us to be Salt and Light. Like a potato chip. We all know one potato chip is almost impossible to not want more. Jesus was asked about Salvation upon leaving the tail end of His Ministry. Down from Transfiguration Joy, He was greeted by failed disciples and a father crying out he had faith - but needed more. Jesus did not castigate the father's love - He urged Him to fast and pray. Jesus reached out willingly to give - even when pressed. Jesus did not break a bruised reed. Jesus is Our Hero. Jesus Loves Each One of Us. All who call upon God - Will Be Saved.
Preach the Gospel - if you have to - Use Words.
Humility is an important factor. Creating the teachable moment is planting the seeds of what you believe. Speak up. God is for us. In a Huge Way, Truth, Life. People don't care so much what you know - they care that you Love. Does the Bible ever say life is a test? All the time. See Psalm 11. See trial and error and try again throughout Scripture. Faith calls us. Go forward.
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Give us the Day, Father GOD - and Let Your Will be done. In Jesus we pray. Help us - this - and each day - to be a blessing to You. We pray You take our lives - to let them be for Your Glory. Asking You to Equip us, Guide us, Lead us for Your namesake and in Your Glory. Strengthen and Establish Your Plan in our lives. Blessed are You, Lord Father God, for bringing us Salvation in Jesus. - Amen !