Posts Tagged ‘ Jesus ’

Regrets Holding You Back?

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NRSV

The past is past. It is over and done, gone and forgotten.

….Or is it?

Does what’s in the past actually stay in the past?

What’s in my past stays in my memory. Then, when I least expect it, those memories sometimes pop up, seemingly out of nowhere. So the past is never really gone or forgotten.

MP900396104[1]That’s a good thing, especially when the memory is something I am proud of. Memories of accomplishments, awards and shared family moments all leave me feeling good about myself.

MP900401567[1]But not all memories are pleasant ones. Some of the most painful are those of failures and shortcomings. Those leave me with regrets. When they pop up, I find myself looking back, thinking how I could have behaved differently, responded more lovingly, used more wisdom, or been more patient.

Still, no matter how much I wish I could go back and make changes, I can’t. What I can do is to turn to Jesus Christ, and ask for his forgiving grace. His sacrificial love washes my heart clean, redeems my past, and frees me from the bondage of regret.

Yes, the past is in the past. But the past follows us, and continues to impact how we think, feel and behave. Only Jesus Christ can wipe our slate clean, free us from past regret, and give us new life and a new future.

Today’s video  chronicles some of the regrets many of us carry, and reminds us of the one who came to bear our burdens and set us free. To view the video please click here.

MP900401002[1]Then allow Jesus to heal your past, transform your present and set you on the path to eternal life!

 

Advertisements

Blest!

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV

Fanny Crosby was blind. She wrote the words to the well-known hymn, Blessed Assurance. How could she have felt happy and blest when she couldn’t even see? She thought that she lived in physical darkness so she could bring people out of the darkness, and into the light of Christ’s love.

I am not blind, but I share her conviction that I am richly blest by the light and love of Jesus Christ. That light and love has changed everything for me. Jesus has put the past behind me, and is making everything new!

Join me today in affirming the new life you have in Jesus Christ. Let’s sing with Fanny, and tell the world that we too are happy and blest in Jesus!

Blest

Bridges of Love

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ… Ephesians 4:15 NRSV

MP900447728[1]In response to a recent posting, one reader left a comment that got me thinking. They pointed out that not only should we speak the truth in love, as Paul tell us, we should use love to build a bridge that is strong enough to bear the weight of the truth we are trying to get across.

The image of building a bridge of love is a powerful one. Bridges allow us to cross otherwise impassable chasms. Bridges support us when there is no ground to stand on. Bridges allow us to make connections that would be otherwise impossible.

The problem with bridges are that some of them are not very sturdy. They may be unable to bear the weight of those who try to cross on them.

MP900442723[1]When we have a truth we want to share to help someone, we better be sure there is a strong enough bridge to bear the weight of that truth. Truth is not always light. It can hit us like a ton of bricks. It may also be difficult to bear. Only when carried across a strong bridge of love, will that truth be able to have the desired impact.

That tells me that I don’t want to just speak truth in love. I want to lay a strong foundation of love, support and understanding. Then, when I am ready to speak the truth, the bridge we travel together will hold us and sustain us until we reach the other side.

FaithJesus did that. He laid a foundation of self-sacrificing love that was so deep and strong that the truth he spoke could be heard, accepted and embraced.

This week, why not build bridges of love, so the truth you witness to draws those who listen to God!

Filling Your Day

“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NRSV

MP900177742[1]What will you turn to to fill your day? You have hours and hours to fill. Maybe some will be filled with work and other responsibilities. But what about the rest?

Besides that, what are you going to use to calm your worries and put your concerns to rest? What are you going to turn to fill the holes and hurts inside of you?

Those are the questions asked by today’s video. In a sharp and poignant way, it MP900178066[1]questions whether the things we take in each day really satisfy our hunger and quench the thirst of our souls. Please click here to view the video.

Then turn to Jesus. He’s the only one who gives the water of life!

A True Friend

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NRSV

Now that we live in the Facebook era, I think it is time for someone to ask, what is a friend anyway? What does it mean if someone friends me?

Am I anything more than a name on their list? Do I get a window into the heart and mind of that person, or just a window into their posts and the posts of their other friends? Do I get a place in their life, or just the right to post on their wall? What kind of connection have I really forged?

Social psychologists have tried to understand why some people have tens of thousands of Facebook friends, and others only a few. They have not found any clear answers. But I wonder if Facebook friends are actually friends at all?

I am not interested in arguing the benefits of social networking, which can be many. But I do question whether what Facebook and the other social media web offerings give us is actually what we really want, and so desperately need, in a friend.

In the song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Joseph Scriven tells us there are some unique things Jesus offers those who befriend him. Jesus bears our sin and carries our burdens. He shares our sorrows. He sustains us through trials and temptations. He lifts us when we get discouraged. He knows our every weakness. He is our refuge, our shield, and our source for solace. He offers us a future in glory, where we will enjoy rapture, praise and endless worship.

MP910220956[1]How many friends on Facebook can offer all that? How many friends on Facebook even care much about our real struggles, issues and eternal destiny?

Being popular and connected is nice. But I want, and frankly need, much more. I need a friend who is closer than a brother. I need Jesus. I’m glad he’s friended me. Aren’t you?

What Are You Looking At?

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me.” John 21:22 NRSV

Peter was finishing the most difficult conversation he had ever had with Jesus. Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, Peter pledged his total allegiance to him.MP900049880[1] But, just as his Lord had predicted, Peter fell away at the first sign of trouble. Before the cock crowed, he denied his Lord three times.

Now all that was behind him. Jesus was alive, and had appeared several times to Peter and the other disciples. Everything seemed normal again. But it wasn’t.

There were still unanswered questions. Where was Peter’s allegiance? Jesus wanted to know. He asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Each time Peter answered, “Yes!” Then Jesus gave him his marching orders, and told Peter what the future would hold.

MP900409424[1] Could there be any more intimate and probing experience than to have Jesus looking into your soul, and asking whether you love him? This is the kind of moment when time stands still, and everything else fades into the background.

But that wasn’t true for Peter. As soon as Jesus questioned him, Peter’s eyes began looking around, and his thoughts wandered. His attention was divided. His mind was full of questions, and his heart was tinged with jealousy.

Are you looking around or focusing on Jesus?

Jesus responded, “Follow me.” Peter’s vision was supposed to be focused on one person alone, Jesus Christ. If he was to have any hope of fulfilling the high calling of Christ on his life, then he had to fix his eyes on Jesus and start following. This was no time for wandering eyes. This was no time for jealousy or petty conceit. It was time to change from a focus on men to a focus on Jesus Christ. It was time to take up his cross and follow his Lord. This was the time to behold Jesus in his glory and to step forward in faith!

Follow me.” Those are Jesus’ words to every one of usMP900443145[1] who love him. Of course, in order to follow, we must first fix our eyes on Jesus. Otherwise, as we start following, we will stumble and fall. We must leave everything else behind, and focus on Jesus alone.

Leave everything else behind.

There are no choices here. Jesus doesn’t say, “Follow me when you feel like it.”  He wants us to stop worrying about what others are doing or getting, and put our full focus on him. He wants us to celebrate his action in our lives, and to follow him and him alone. What a high calling!

Why not try leaving all your other distractions behind today, and step out to follow Jesus Christ with single-minded focus. He wants your eyes, your mind, your heart, your hands and your feet. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and go his way today!

Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Your Faith!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you know I love you. You also know my eyes wander, and I sometimes spend more time wondering what you are doing for others than I do on what you are asking of me. Forgive me, and help me to develop a single-minded focus on you. Help me to see you as you really are, and to faithfully do all that you are asking me to do! Amen.

Eyes copy

Healing Scars

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. Isaiah 53:5 NRSV

adhesive bandage on white background I have a few scars. Some are visible reminders of accidents and surgeries. Others are not easily seen, but are reminders of painful or difficult times in my life.

Scars are signs of hurt. They are indicators of pain. All pain comes from some kind of wound. So there’s a story that goes with every scar.

Mountain Crucifix We are not alone in our scars. Jesus was wounded and scarred too. His scars came from a frightening story of betrayal, rejection, suffering and death.

But God wrote a wonderful end to the story of Jesus’ scars. The end of the story transcends the pain and injustice. It tells a story of hope that I need, and I believe you do too.

Dan Stevers has beautifully woven together a story of our scars and those of Jesus. Then he reminds us God’s transforming work that turns suffering and pain into new life, new hope and a reason for joy.

Please click here to view today’s video. Then let your wounds be touched by Jesus’ healing and restoring love!