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God Loves You

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God loves you
You have worth – God values you
You are a gift – a gift from God to His world
You are a gift who has gifts – gifts the world needs
Satan is determined not to allow you to be a gift from God
God takes pleasure in you
You bring pleasure to Him
God thinks you are beautiful
God thinks that you are wonderful
You are His masterpiece
You are His treasure
You bring Him joy
‘In whom I am well pleased’ – He said about His Son

That’s why He wants us to love each other
He wants His children to love each other so we feel His love– Jn. 13:35
Only when we realize all of this will we be truly humble

So:
Love what God loves, hate what God hates,
Cry when He cries, rejoice with what gives Him Joy
So you can know the heart of the Father
So you fear to break His heart – the heart of Jesus

God Loves you

Get In the Way of Evil

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“Get in the way of evil”

Jesus got in the way of evil. Jesus got between the abused and the abuser. He is calling us, as His children, to do the same in our age.

This is the battle of the ages. We are warriors in that battle. It is a battle that will be fought all through time. It will end only in eternity. We are the warriors. Some of us will be wounded. Some of us will die. Some of us will give up; but the battle will rage through all of time.

We are fighting along side of Jesus. He is the master and the commander. We fight with our lives and we fight with our deaths. We are the example of truth and love but we are also the Spirit-filled bodies and minds that wield the sword of the Spirit against evil. We get in the way of evil.

It is not kindness to allow evil to destroy lives. It is cowardice. Innocent people need your courage. History is replete with examples of those who fought in this war. Scripture contains examples of those who fought the good fight and those who capitulated. Our weapons are not carnal. Our weapons are Spiritual. Defend the innocent. Get in the way of evil in their lives.

We are fighting the Devil himself and all of his minions. Sometimes the enemy looks horrific. Sometimes gaudy and seductive. No matter; evil is evil and we must get in the way.

God is calling you today to get in the way of evil. ‘Truth is immortal.’ My human life is not. To live is to offer the testimony and the battle to stand with Jesus for truth and against His enemies. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world are mortal enemies. You have to decide which side you are on. If you are not fighting, you have already decided.

Our Christian lives have been very comfortable. William Penn secured the perfect place – a promised land here in North America for us to set down roots and flourish. It has resulted in material wealth and Spiritual poverty. We know all the answers. We are God’s people. Sometime we will be tested just like we were in sixteenth century Europe. What then?

Here we have no continuing city. Apostle Paul said, “I do not consider my life precious to myself.”
Only by seeing and joining the battle of the ages can we be the children of God today. Get in the way of evil, like Jesus did. He will stand with you. He is standing with you. You can stand with Him. His Kingdom of love will win – a kingdom where evil cannot flourish a kingdom where evil is overcome. We are the warriors today.

Engage the battle. There are many fronts. Some evils are subtle. Some are glaringly obvious. All must be fought. John Baptist preached. John Baptist died. You are called to be a warrior for Jesus. You have to go out. You do not have to come back. He will welcome you home when He is finished with you here.

His welcome home will make all the battles worth while. His welcome home will usher you into eternal worship of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Someday every knee will bow. Start today. Stand for truth. Stand in the way of evil. That is the call on our lives today.

“Get in the way of evil”
Val Yoder presented a message by this title at the Reach conference, 2017.
It has been published in Daughters of Promise and SMBI Monitor.
It is available here:

https://christianlearning.org/get-in-the-way-of-evil-4936.html

The Lost Sheep

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The Lost Sheep

I went to school. They taught me classes on counseling.
“Do not get overly involved in people’s lives.
Do not allow co-dependency.
Do not allow enmeshment.
Watch boundaries and so on.”
Good advice; mostly.

Problems immediately arose. What about the pesky little Scriptures that tell me about lostness? The coin that did not know it was lost. The sheep that knew it was lost but had no idea what to do about it. The child who was lost and finally found the way back to the anxious, waiting parent. What about these? Who is Jesus sending out in this day to find these lost ones?

Am I safe enough in my own security in Jesus Christ to relentlessly pursue the lost ones and fearlessly risk my reputation and fortune to bring them close to the heart of the Master?

Granted – Jesus did not drag people into discipleship but neither did He allow them to continue in their dysfunctional lives without knowing how much He cared. He offered and more than offered. He provided answers. He was a teacher, a master, a savior. He used language that was gentle and sometimes not. He got in the way of evil.

Warnings about over-extending myself are needed and appreciated but be careful. I expect to die in the trenches of Holy battle against the unholy foe that almost destroyed me. That is what I plan and will do. As an athlete I was told that if you give all you got, you will collapse at the finish line. How much more should that be true in this battle of the ages for those who are lost – some who know they are lost and some who do not?

I was one of the lost ones. That lostness could have been permanent. God sent people who did not give up on me. They told me God’s truth with the love that I desperately needed. It was a long, painful process. Finally, it began to make sense to me. I am not lost anymore. I am found.

I deal with and attempt to bless many of those who are lost – some who know they are lost and some who are lost and do not know it. Jesus wants all and each of them. There is a great Shepherd of the sheep. The rest of us are under-shepherds. We are just tools in the hands of the Master – tools to be used to bring healing to those who are lost.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a family. A few of us are fathers. Paul said we have many teachers but not many fathers. Jesus said those who do His will are His mother, sister, and brother. In a family we care for each other.

We are also a body. Each member of the body has a special gift to bless the body and keep it healthy. Each member of the body is a gift from God to bless His body.

I have witnessed and experienced and participated in the persistent pursuit of strugglers by Jesus’ under shepherds. It can take a long time for someone who is convinced that they are worth nothing, to be assured that they are of inestimable value to God and to me. Every moment of that investment is worth whatever the cost. Recognizing their autonomy and respecting their boundaries and still investing time and energy in them is when God shows His pleasure to and for and in both of us. Jesus beautifully demonstrated that to the ‘woman at the well’ in John 4.

Some of us know about being lost and being found. If you are one of us, enlist yourself as a helper of and to the Great Shepherd. Jesus is waiting and there are many who need you. Now.

My Heart

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My Heart

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
Be gracious to me and answer me!

Thou hast said, “Seek ye my face.”
My heart says to thee,
“Thy face, LORD, do I seek.”

Psalms 27:7

Life

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The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

I have come that they may have life,
And that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus in John 10:10

God the Holy Spirit – 44

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God the Holy Spirit – 44

II Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The spirit of fear and bondage is not from God. God’s Spirit is the powerful Spirit that brings love that brings sound, healing thoughts and actions.

If you find that fear and bondage are controlling you, those controllers can only be overcome by the Holy Spirit bringing power over that kind of unhealthy thought life. There are many spirits. Some bring fear. God’s Spirit brings power for life – life in the Spirit that produces God’s soundness of life and love.

O Father of Power,
Thank you for the power of your Spirit and your gift of that power that overcomes our human failures and proclivities and sins. Your power lives in us for which we are so very grateful moment by moment and year by year. We trust you to continue that good work which you have begun in us.

Amen

Lost Sheep

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Lost Sheep

We cannot take a personal affront at sheep who make rebellious choices, we can’t harbor resentment at their foolish choices, we can’t be nettled at their backsliding and lagging behind the rest. We can’t allow thoughts of relief when they have left the herd and are no longer our problem.

When Jesus looked at the multitudes, He was “moved with compassion on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad , as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36)

Do we even care about the sheep that are scattered and no longer have a shepherd? Where is our compassion for those who once were part of a flock but because of their own wanderings no longer have a shepherd? Do we say within ourselves, “They are the ones who chose to leave. They know the door is open and they can come back anytime they choose to. It’s their own fault for making these choices. Let them find out how hard it is.”

Why have we closed our hearts to those who do not agree with us on every point? Where is our compassion? Why aren’t our hearts wounded at the loss of even one sheep? Why aren’t we weeping over them as Jesus wept? Why are we so complacent when Jesus was willing to lay down His life for that very one that we have decided is not worth our efforts?

Jesus sought out those wasted lives. He befriended the rebellious, disobedient ones (the publicans and sinners) by sitting and building relationships with them. He broke down the walls built around those in His midst with slightly differing viewpoints (the Samaritans) by not keeping the traditions of His people. His kindness to one Samaritan woman captured the heart of an entire nation!

Why are we content to groom our healthy herd when reaching even one lost individual is what Jesus would rather we do? Do we not care that scattered, hungry, needy sheep will follow false shepherds or have their very life snuffed out by wolves?

~ Simon F