To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
One of the most Christian families I know raised three girls to love Jesus. How? The second daughter asked her mom, at age 5, in front of another mom, "Why is that man on a letter + ?" Abundant life happened from a very amazing and embarrassing moment.
Remember the Exodus. God was providing a way forward. The LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind. Any wind that directed could have picked them up and delivered them to their destination.
So what is Jesus, who could have lived in palaces telling us about Abundant Life?
Cherish where He places you. Love God. Trust God. Do His calling. His Will is a hope and a future. Trust God for the abrupt changes. Let the process be given time.
I went to my Bible Study last night and we discussed how to love each other. And taking care of a lot of ill and ailing relatives. This is a calling. Creating a Hope and a Future. The hope of interesting young adults in Jesus as life journey begins. God says if we truly abide in His Will, His Word, ask Him to move mountains.
The most impressive messages of changes lives comes from living life as it is - with new perspective. Changed hearts. Allowing for the fact that some hearts will not change and still having joy and hope.
My Grandmother Anita did huge outreach and education in her Church. Her life was quiet and got quieter as she aged. Her vim did not dim. And she was poor - leading one family member to say she was unblessed. However Grandmother knew to her bones she was blessed. And grateful and happy.
Look at Corrie Ten Boom. She was not going to convert the Nazi's to Jesus. And still - she endured with perseverance and courage until life met her with no family and only a clock shop. Corrie Ten Boom taught the world what Abundant Life is.
Ray Stedman put these two stories together:
Many of you remember from World War II the story of Jacob De Shazer, one of the members of Colossians. Doolittle's crew who bombed Tokyo early in World War II. He was captured by the Japanese and put in prison. He hated his Japanese captors and was so violent and vicious that his captors feared him because he himself feared nothing they did to him. They kept him in solitary confinement because of the hatred with which he lashed out against them. But in a remarkable way he obtained a copy of the Bible, and began to read it through. Reading through that book, in the loneliness of his cell, he came to realize the life that is in Jesus Christ. There came an amazing change over this man. His hatred of the Japanese changed completely. He began to love his captors and to show love toward them, and they were utterly astonished by what had happened to him. Instead of burning with wrath, resentment, and viciousness against them, he became the most docile of prisoners, eagerly cooperating with his captors, and praying for them.
Eventually, the story of his change of heart was written up in a little tract, and, after the war, it fell into the hands of a young Japanese, Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, the man who led the air raid against Pearl Harbor, and who gave the command to drop the bombs on that fateful day of December 7. Mitsuo Fuchida was a hero in Japan after the war because of that exploit and others, but his own heart was empty. Somehow he read the tract that told the story of De Shazer's amazing change of heart. He was arrested by the story and puzzled by it. From somewhere he obtained a New Testament and began to read it with growing interest and amazement. At last he came to the story of the crucifixion. When he read the Lord's words from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), his heart broke. He realized that this One who could love his enemies and pray for those who persecuted him and despitefully used him, was manifesting a quality of life that no natural human being could possibly show. Mitsuo Fuchida became a Christian. Some of you may remember that he gave his testimony in the early days of Peninsula Bible Church, while we still met at the Community Center. Now he is an evangelist going up and down Japan telling forth the story of a love that can change human hearts.
Both of these stories are of Jesus. Corrie came home and thrived with a bankrupt start. And the prisoner changed his prison. So much so a hater was filled with love. And evangelized the Nation.
Sometimes life does not offer spectacular change for internal change. People grouse and fuss. Because life offers us a storm that it offered - the day before. And we offer to be a harbor. Where safety dwells. A much desired harbor of comfort. Giving security giving security. Whatever the journey brings, Love is dwelling and will be here tomorrow. Where the hearth brings comfort not just in giving, but being given grace to as well. The steady durability of the Light, brings the best knowledge our life matters to those we love. How fortunate to give this harbor. How Good of Father God to help us to be light bringers to the people we love. Giving us the steady glow of His Love Earnest, Dependable, Enduring within us.
We give what God has given us.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
John is the disciple who called upon Jesus to call fire down. And later understood the heart of Father God who gave up his Son. Unbelievable. Undeniable.
1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The face on Rembrandt's painting. The Father. The Father is the Son.
God could have given Jesus anything.
Father God allowed Jesus to face the most harsh circumstance in life. To know there is Hope still. And as all these people faced a wall - something changed.
Light was found for all of these people - in the dark.
All of these people encountered the (Thee) unimaginable.
And found this in Jesus Christ.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And where did God, Father God, place this light found in the concentration camp, in the Japanese solitary, and in the defeated warrior?
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
How will we sustain our Life and Light?
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Ok, we have said before that Jesus is the Light within mankind. Salvation is a gift. We reflect in our lives. We know what we know what we know what God does for us.
But look at the examples of Abundant Life. That would seem to be, work with what you have, to the best of pleasing God, Reach out.
Our Father, You have given us Your Word in Acts 1:
May our words pray with Jesus and come home to our own hearts with great power.
Help us to take honest, genuine assessment and ask for Your Grace and Forgiveness of our flaws and sin, calling on the Name of Jesus Christ. Let's invite the Holy Spirit again with all love and sincerity. When we abide in His Words, we are going to live, move and have our being knowing His Promises are not just for us, our children, but for all who are far off. A generation unborn. The far side of the earth, for all whom the Lord our Father God will call.
May we realize ~ we are to be salt. Light. Grant us wisdom as a fire within us - to reply as Jesus did, to the need the Holy Spirit perceives. to us that we may let that life show. Let us respond to the feelings You well up within us from Your Holy Spirit, to the impulses to be kind, to be courteous. To be in bold reproof bringing us to Jesus. Make us able to educate. Make us quick, Lord, to respond to these. We ask in the Highest name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who loved us with that kind of love, Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †