Thursday, March 24, 2011
Hope: It whispers liberty to the slave, freedom to the captive, health to the sick, home to the wandering, friends to the forsaken, peace to the troubled, supplies to the needy, bread to the hungry, strength to the weak, rest to the weary, life to the dying. It has sunshine in its eye, encouragement on its tongue, and inspiration in its hand.
Eternal Hope! Hope gilds the future. Hope cheers and rouses the soul. The man who carries the lantern in a dark night can have friends all around him, walking safely by the help of its rays, and not be defrauded. So he who has the God-given light of hope in his breast can help on many others in this worlds darkness, not to his own loss, but to their precious gain.
Hope is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, that will steady our frail back, while sailing over the ocean of life, and that will enable us to out ride the storms of time-a hope that reaches from earth to heaven. This hope is based on faith in the immaculate redeemer, and keeps our earthly hopes from running riot into forbidden paths. The cable of this hope cannot be sundered until death cuts the Gordian knot and lets the prisoner go free. To live without it, is blind infatuation- to die without it, eternal ruin. (Quotes from the book "The Royal path of Life" by T.L Haines 1876 from the chapter on "Hope")
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I have been on a mission learning to see people through the eyes of Jesus. Through prayer and study of God's Word as well as some research on different personality types God has help to unfold some very interesting personality profiles (I might add that there is a lot out there that needs a spiritual filter as to sift through the garbage though). The Lord has shown me that for the true "Christians" the real person/personality will be who that person is in Christ and who He created them to be. For example let's take a look at the person of Peter. Peter comes across as a boisterous prideful man who is so brave and strong and willing to fight no matter the cost. He's a big talker, and the first to say "let me take care of that, I can handle it." I'm sure Peter's personality was very annoying to some back in the day and that many looked at him as an obnoxious character. But just as there were Peter's then, there are Peter personalities today. But... take a look at this, Jesus chose that boisterous Peter to be one of His disciples, why would Jesus choose such a person you might ask, because, Jesus knew who Peter truly was and who he was created to be, and He knew that if Peter vented his personality in the right direction for the right purpose he would be a power house for the cause of Christ. See how Jesus seen Peter, that is how we need to start seeing ourselves and others. Take a look at each of the twelve, they all have unique personalities that when surrendered to the purpose and will of God they turned the world upside down. And if you look closely into the personality of each you will no doubt see yourself in one or more of them.
Years ago I read a book that was a required read for a Bible class I was taking, it was a book about the twelve Disciples and why Jesus chose them to follow Him. It was one of those books that made a huge impact on my life. As I read the book I found myself becoming very acquainted with each Disciple and how I could see myself in some of them as well as others that I knew, and because of that book I began to understand that just as Jesus called Disciples then, He is calling Disciples today saying, "Come follow Me" rise up and be who you have been created to be. The Bible says that in Him we live and move and have our being, so why not embrace that and stop allowing the enemy, or others critical views, or even your own negative thoughts stop you from being the person that God says you are.
Jesus asked His Disciples, "Who do men say that I the Son of man am?" And they answered and said, some say that you are John the Baptist, others say that you are Elias, and some say that you are Jeremiah or one of the Prophets. Jesus said unto the Disciples, But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus answered Peter and said to him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. That boisterous confident Peter stepped right up didn't he? Do you know who your Father/Creator is, have you proclaimed as Peter who Jesus truly is? Did you notice that when Peter said who Jesus was, Jesus replied back and told Peter who he was by saying he was blessed for the Father had told Him this. When thinking of another, have you taken the time to ask the Father how He might see that person? Knowing who Jesus truly is by revelation of the Father is the first step in knowing who you are in Christ as well as seeing who others are. It takes a Spiritual eye instead of a fleshly one to unfold beautiful truths into the Spiritual nature of a persons heart and soul, and at this point is when you will begin to see that person differently. We can be very critical and even deceive ourselves when viewing with the fleshly eye. Until we can see with the Spiritual eye we will never behold the true heart of the person in Christ and will always find it difficult to accept them, as well as step up, step out and move forward in Christ for ourselves. Sure... we will mess up and falter and find ourselves operating in the flesh at times, but should that cause us to stop and move backwards, No! for grace says repent, learn from it and continue moving forward. Stop beating yourself up and or others and rise above the flesh. May the flesh come under submission to the Spirit. Let that be your prayer.
May we all think upon these things and know who we are in Christ Jesus and begin looking at others through His eyes and be strengthened in the power of the risen Savior. Arise anew my friend and be the person who God created you to be. Be forewarned though that as the flesh decreases and God increases in you, you may be misunderstood and even hated by some who have yet to see with a spiritual eye, but remember it is not you they hate but Christ Jesus. Which is truly sad, for He only loved them to the utmost, and though it causes Him to weep, know that He loves you and He rejoices over you for stepping up and walking out who you are in Him. Know this my friend, that once you understand how much the Lord truly loves you it will strengthen you in His Spirit, and not being loved or accepted by others will not matter to you as much.