Remembering Father’s Day

 

 

Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”

Proverbs 23:24 “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.”

Sunday is Father’s Day and it’s approach has caused me to think reflectively about  my earthly father, Henry Beecher Chrisp. He was a loving father, but demanded that we behave well, work hard, show respect and not give up easily.  He loved to work with his hands building things and to fish.  Dad loved the outdoors by cultivating flowers, growing a vegetable garden or simply taking a hike or ride through the forest.  He had a deep faith in God.    He showed me God, the Father, through his compassion and love for me.  Dad was always one to love what we did and took pride in our accomplishments.

I hope your own father reminds you of God, the Father,  in some personal way.  I felt blessed and fortunate to have a father who loved me and wanted the best for me.  I know all earthly fathers are not like that.  Fortunately, we all have a perfect Heavenly Father we can look up to and depend upon.  He will always be there for us and promises to never leave us or forsake us.   Thank you Lord.

Have a blessed Father’s Day filled with good memories or activities with your father.

Linda

“The Memory of the Righteous is a blessing”… Semper Fi (forever faithful)

IMG_0825
Normandy cemetery, Normandy, France

For this holiday- Memorial Day- the greeting, “Happy Memorial Day” just does not express the appropriate sentiment.  Memorial Day is a day to remember the sacrifice of soldiers who have died in war.  It began after the Civil war and was originally called ‘Decoration Day’.  It was later extended to honor all fallen soldiers in any war.  Jesus told us in John 15:13  “Greater love has no one than his, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Anyone who joins the military knows they might be called to go to war and fight.  Believing in life, freedom and the independent pursuit of happiness is declared in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights and gives motivation and heart to their call to defend our nation.  It is an honorable calling that is worthy of our acknowledgement and remembrance.  Proverbs 10:7The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
 but the name of the wicked will rot.” 
  Who will you remember today that has answered the call and given their life for their friends?  You and I need to consider ourselves their friends and it is our obligation to their sacrifice that we remember them.  Scripture teaches that remembering will be and is a blessing to us.  Remember both the living and the dead, as both made or are making sacrifices on our behalf.

Will you attend a parade, a breakfast, have a time of prayer, watch a war movie?   Any of these things can be a cause to remember those that have fallen and give thanks for their sacrifice for you and for me.  Have a blessed Memorial Day!  I think that would be the proper greeting and I send it to you!

Linda

IMG_0816Prayer:  Thank you Lord, for those brave men and women who have given their all- their lives- so that I can enjoy the freedoms our country provides.  Help me to be honoring to their memory and sacrifice knowing they laid their lives down for me, someone they did not even know.  Give me an attitude of thankfulness for those Veteran’s that are still living and help me to honor them.  Lord, give our leaders wisdom and a sense of unity in working to preserve that for  which so many have died.  Amen.

P.S. This year we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the “D” day landing at Normandy where so many died, June 6, 1944.   Today, remember their great sacrifice for freedom.

Loving Jesus Requires Faith in Action

Today’s post-resurrection appearance is a continuation of the fishing scene I wrote about in Encountering Jesus brings on May 17, 2019.  When they (Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, John and James and  two other disciples) had followed Jesus’ instructions and cast their nets as He directed, they hauled in a great catch.  Jesus had a welcoming fire waiting on the beach and beckoned them to bring some fish for roasting.   They ate together and then Jesus spoke to Peter.

john 21 15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. ”  John 21:15-17

Jesus had previously had an encounter with Peter where I’m sure they dealt with Peter’s great guilt over his denial.  (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)  Scholars put this first appearance to Peter on Resurrection Sunday where this encounter in Galilee is later.  Here it would seem Jesus is making a point of asking Peter about his proclaimed love for Him.  He asks 3 times, like his denials.  Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him and if he does, then Peter is to show his love for His sheep.  He is to feed or tend to His sheep.  Throughout the gospels sheep have been synonymous with followers and my sheep specifically believers in Jesus.   John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  Jesus is the good shepherd who died for all believers.  John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,”  and John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”   Jesus is asking Peter to demonstrate his love for Him by leading, tending, loving, caring for, guiding, protecting…. those who are believers in Jesus.  He is saying ‘be a good shepherd’ to the flock of believers that come into your life.

Isn’t that what Jesus wants for us too?  As believers, like Peter, we are to look out for others, lead them towards Jesus, care for them, show them kindness and give that ‘cup of cold water’ in His name.  Knowing Jesus, requires us to take up this ‘job’ and love others.  We do it not because we have to but because we love Jesus.  James tells us faith without works is dead (James 2:26 ) and loving and showing Jesus to others is our compelling love Jesuswork for Him.  We do it not out of obligation or for future reward but out of love for our Savior.  Who will you show love to today?  Who will you ‘feed or tend’ in Jesus’ name?

Linda

Is Jesus personal to you?

Several of the post-resurrection appearances were to specific individuals instead of groups.  Jesus met Mary as I wrote about in the blog of May 3, 2019,  but today I want to look at Jesus’ appearance to Peter and James.  The appearance to Peter is mentioned in Peter appearancepassing in Luke 24:34 “saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”  and in 1 Corinthians 15:5 by Paul “and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve”.   The Luke message was delivered to the disciples by the two men who Jesus met on the Road to Emmaus (blog of 4/23/2019).  Here the men referred to Peter as Simon using his old name.   Jesus also referred to Peter by his old name when He told him he would deny Him three time before the rooster crowed. The prediction of the denial is recorded in both Matthew 26 and Mark 14.  The actual denial event is recorded in all 4 gospels, Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18.   Peter was not acting with his new believing nature, clinging to the rock of faith which is Jesus, but with the old, impetuous, doubting nature of unbelieving Simon.  It shows great compassion from our Lord to singularly appear to Peter to forgive and restore him.  Jesus would have known the anguish and guilt Peter was feeling after his denial of Jesus the night before the Crucifixion.  The forgiven Peter went onward, never doubting nor denying his Lord and Savior again.  Jesus personally knows what we need and seeks to be there for each one of us.   What a wonderful, compassionate and loving Savior we serve.

The other post-resurrection appearance that was mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:7 was to James.  Scholars believe this was James the half-brother of Jesus and not one of the other followers named James.  His brother did not believe in Christ before the resurrection, but afterward became a prominent member of the church in Jerusalem, wrote james appearancethe book of James and died a martyr’s death in 62 A.D.  “Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.”  This appearance speaks to me of Jesus’ compassion and love for his earthly family and for those who are lost.  2 Peter 3:9  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”.   He knew James needed to see Him personally to be confronted with his unbelief.  Jesus does that for each one of us as we seek to come to faith and trust in Him.  He is a personal God that loves and cares for each of us.

Jesus personal GodIs Jesus personal to you today?  Do you claim Him as your God and Savior?  Mary did in Luke 1:47 “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”  Thomas did in John 20:28 “ Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” and Paul in Philippians 4:19 “ And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”    Let Him hear your words of declaration today as you thank Him for being your God and Savior.

Linda

Love, where does it come from?

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have love for others. Jesus was very emphatic that as Christians we are to show love for one another. First we are to love God then others. Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Jesus also spoke of loving others in John 15:12, 15 “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” “This is my command:Love each other.”

Why is loving others so important? It shows we strive to be like Jesus. His character and love are perfect and He desires that we grow to reflect Him. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” What is this love supposed to look like? Romans 12:10 gives us direction. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Hebrews 10:24 tells us it is to be a continual thought in our minds, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

Where does this loving and honoring attitude come from? Since Jesus commands it, when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior His spirit indwells us and empowers us for right living! Paul eloquently wrote to the Ephesians in 3:17b-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Being filled with the love of Christ leads us into a life filled with love and good deeds towards others.

Linda

Suggestion: Ask God to send you someone special to love with His love today.

“Stand with me bro” I need you by my side.

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus speaks of His family of faith and calls us His brothers, sisters and Bro and sis familymother in Matthew 12:48-50. ” 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”    Jesus’ earthly family had come looking for Him and this was His reply.   Those who believe in Jesus and strive to follow God’s Word are considered family by Jesus.   What a privileged position this is!  Not only are we linked to Jesus but we share a family position with all believers who know Him as Lord and seek to follow His ways.  

This family bond is something very special.  I have sisters in Christ that I see infrequently as our paths in life have taken different directions.  It is amazing to me that when we meet it is as if we were never apart.  That instant bond is there and we see love, trust and hope in being with each other.  When a brother or sister leaves, it is always with the hope of seeing them again either here on earth or in heaven.  The constancy of the bond of fellowship is always present and binds us in love.

Here are a few scriptures about brothers and sisters in Christ and how we are to work together:  Romans 15:30 “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,”  We are to pray and strive together to do God’s will.    1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  We are to stand together firmly as we work for the Lord with hope.    Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”  We have a shared love in Christ and a desire to stand firmly for Christ.    2 Thessalonians 3:13 “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”   We are to work together to do good in the name of Christ.

What a great comfort and encouragement it is that we have brothers and sisters in faith that we can stand with in our shared love for Christ and work together to accomplish His purposes.

Linda

bro and sis in ChristSuggestionTell one of your brothers or sisters in Christ how you appreciate their prayers on your behalf or how you love standing and working with them or how much you love and appreciate them or how much it means to you to have someone to share in the good work of Jesus or all of the above!  A kind work of appreciation brings glory to God as He works within us.

Dearly Loved, that’s me!

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have the Father’s love.  Knowing you are loved gives power, affirmation, hope and joy.  Knowing you are love by God the Father fills us with confidence, hope, security, and comfort.  Scripture speaks frequently of God’s love for us.  Jesus was talking to the disciples about God’s love and his imminent return to the Father shortly before His death in  John 16:27-28. “For the Father You-are-dearly-loved-facehimself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” Jesus said I am dearly loved by God because of my love for Him God loves that I love Jesus! When you think about one of your  loved ones, aren’t there things you really love about them.  Maybe it is the way they smile, maybe that they always hug you so tightly or say loving things to you for no reason except that they love you.  This little portion of scripture gives us a glimpse into God’s character and love.  He loves us dearly- not a little bit of love but a special love that is close to His heart.  The motivation for this dear love is because I love His son.  Isn’t that like a good Father?  As earthly mothers and fathers, we love the kids that love our kids.  We cherish them and want our kids to associate with them.  Being a good Father, God loves and cherishes us with a special love because we love Jesus.   What a privileged and heart warming thought to ponder today!

I love JesusLinda

Suggestion:  Think about your love for Jesus.  How has He brought you to faith, and provided you with hope, joy, security and comfort.  Know that the things you love about Jesus makes God the Father love you even more.

 

Do you have what it takes to survive Lent?

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a spirit of power, love and self-discipline in my life.  When you begin something new it takes time for your mind, body and spirit to accept your new commitment.  You often doubt you have the resolve to see it through.  However, God’s Word tell us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior and His Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts and minds, we have a new type of power living within us.  2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”   

2 Timothy 1 7Today thank God for the spirit of power He has put within you, for the love you have for yourself and others and the self-discipline to see things through.  We are not to be timid and shy away from difficult commitments but bold and filled with His Holy Spirit to contend with the world and the challenges it presents to us each day.  Take heart from Revelation 21:7 “He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

Linda

Suggestion:  work on your self-discipline today as you continue with the self-denial you chose on Ash Wednesday. Today will be easier than yesterday.  Watch your self-discipline grow daily as we journey through Lent.

Faith, perseverance and blessing all rolled into 1!

james 1 12James 1:12 is one of my favorite promises of blessings God has for me.  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” 

There are several truths embedded in this verseGod rewards steadfastness (perseverance, persistence, stubborn allegiance)There will be trials in life, God is always watching to see how we fare during our life trials, Our reward is eternal in nature and Our faith in God shows Him our love for Him.  The Bible has a lot to say about perseverance and how it builds character. James addresses this earlier in this chapter.  James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  Trying circumstances and people that God brings our way build our character for God and bring joy!    We know that God is omniscient and watches all that we do.  He is there in the nitty-gritty places in life protecting and guiding.  1 Corinthians 10:13 gives us the assurance that His watchful eye is always upon us and He knows what we can bear.  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”    Our reward is eternal in nature and is received through faith in Jesus.  Colossians 3:23-24 puts it this way Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,”  Lastly, our faith shows our love for GodHebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”   But Ephesians 5:2 and John 3:16 remind us that God loved us first. Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

joyce meyer quote 2If you are in the midst of a trial today, take James 1:12 to heart and be assured that Jesus is there with you, God is watching and your stand in faith will bear eternal rewards.

Linda

 

Happy Valentine’s Day with a Thankful Heart

The cynic might say Valentine’s Day is the day for florists, candy and card makers to earn a great deal of money.  I walked into a local supermarket yesterday, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of flowers, cards and candy that were on display.   On the love side, Valentine’s Day is a day when we can express our love for one another freely and not be thought of as sentimental or mushy.  How about God?  How does God express His love for us?   Here john 3 16is a familiar verse that gets right to the heart of God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that who ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For He did not sent his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:16-17  

How much more love could God show towards us than sacrificing His only Son on our behalf?  He loved us that much.   He sent Him so that through faith in Jesus we could be saved and not condemned.  Only sinless Jesus could erase our sin and present us whole and perfectly clean before our Holy God.

valentineWhen you say ‘thank you’ today for a Valentine gift you receive, a card, note, flowers or someone simply saying ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’, think about thanking God too.  Thank Him for sending Jesus.  Thank Him for making a way for your salvation and eternal life with Him.   That is the best Valentine I can think of that is filled with all of God’s love for now throughout eternity.

Blessings on this Valentine’s Day.

Linda