Meet Jesus: Positive Answers ..GSJ12

When we come to Him and His Father, there is never rejection.

Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9: Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10: Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

NO?: Ever feared you would get a no from someone?  Fear of rejection is a strong influencer on us.  Psychologists and communications trainers will quickly tell you that people fear to speak in public, to a group.

Rejection is not something Jesus will do.  When we come to Him and His Father, there is never rejection.  He took our rejection for all time and offers us pure acceptance.  Ask and it will be give to you.  Seek and you will find.  Knock and it shall be opened unto you.  Jesus is an open door.

Quietness: Sally’s quiet way put a new mood on the situation, but not enough to cool it.  The tension between Jake and Greg was enormous.  She surely did not understand it.  It was her dream to see if Greg’s open position at work would be a good fit for Jake.  Now all the opportunities seemed to be frying in the hot grease of dissension.   This hallway was steaming hotter than the parking lot asphalt in summer. Why had she invited Jake to come to church?  How could that have been God’s plan in prayer?  If this was how He answered, “Yes” to prayer, she was confused.  Then Greg spoke peace.

 “Hey, Jake.  I don’t know how I’ve gotten along without you so many years.  We used to be such good friends.  I guess, I just got caught up in life and changes and an hundred other things.  It sure is good to see you again.  Maybe, we can get a cup of coffee and catch up in the next few weeks?”

 Jake immediately relaxed.  It was as if someone had turned on a box fan.  His face relaxed.  His muscles relaxed.  He even smiled.

ACT!  Think of a question from someone on which you have put off the answer.  Get the answer for them quickly and get it to them.  Help them past a little thought of rejection.

PRAY!  Father, I am so blessed to be in You.  You are an encourager, blessor, giver, and always positive influence in my life.  My life in You is pleasant beyond imagination.  Thank You, Father for being a positive answer to life’s tough questions.

 This devotion is #12 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

Advertisements

Meet Jesus: Wisdom At Large …GSJ11

wisemenHaving wisdom in the setting of the disinterested is pensive and tough.

Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 Broad Applications: Having wisdom in a setting where everyone agrees is simple.  Having wisdom in the presence of enemies may be tense, but can be negotiated.  Having wisdom in the setting of the disinterested is pensive and tough.  Jesus had all.

Here he shares with us precious insight into those going about their business looking for “stuff”.  Our tendency is to assume those around us are for us or against us or neutral.  There is no neutral.  If they are neither for nor against, they are against.  The undecided will destroy the good works of God, when left to their own devices.  Some pearls, some wisdom, and some truths are best left in the bag until in the presence of those who will receive them and value them.  Everything is not meant to be shared.

Greg Goofs: Sally stepped up quickly to greet Jake.  She could feel the tension in the hallway.  Greg was rapidly engaged in encouraging Jake to go with him to class.  Jake was anything but ready to go with Greg and his wife.  Jake’s wife was flustered and ready to go back out the door.  The kids had already seen some friends and scrambled into the kid’s church area with them.  What a scene!

 “What do you mean, you are glad I came here to find Christ?”  Jake was angry, frustrated, and humiliated all at once.  How dare Greg say such a thing in front of his wife?  It felt demeaning.  It felt like he was being accused of avoiding responsibilities.  This was one bad way to launch a Sunday church visit with friends.

  This devotion is #11 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  Share a precious truth God has shown you with someone who loves God.

PRAY!  Father of truth and light, guide me today.  Help me to have the wisdom of Jesus in all my dealings.  Help me to share Your pearls with those that are listening.  There are so many hungry to hear about You.  Teach me discretion and sound wisdom in all I do and share.  Show me the truths that are for all, the truths that are for those close to you, and the truths that need the specific guidance of Your Holy Spirit to share.

Meet Jesus: Bright Eye ..GSJ8

brighteyeHe saw it, and acted on it. He spoke healing.

Matthew 6:22: The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23: but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Dark Notes: Darkness represents what we need not even know. Light is the path of Jesus. Light keeps us focused on the right path. Jesus looked to the light. It wasn’t that He did not see the darkness. He saw it, and acted on it. He spoke healing. He spoke life. He spoke light. He spoke the presence of His Father. When our eyes are filtered by darkness, we see darkness darkly. That is a great darkness. When our eyes are filtered by light, we see darkness in the light. We see clearly.

Tunnel Light: Greg was ready to pray now.  As he had mulled over his own ineffectiveness and mistakes at work, repentance fill his heart.  He truly wanted to do the right thing by his staff and made that commitment to himself and God.  Over the week, he had called in different co-workers and apologized and recommitted to what they needed.  Now, he was ready to pray.  His prayer took on a violent note.  It was decisive and declarative.  He began to speak solutions into place at work.  He began to declare that God was on his side and would provide the right person.  He began to rebuke confusion and conflict and dissension that had been in the workplace.  His prayer surprised him.  His confidence that God was in it was strengthened.  Light was appearing in his tunnel.

This devotion is #8 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Look with light on your day today. Can you see good in a dark moment? Can you see Jesus in a good moment.

PRAY! Light of life, Father of light, open my eyes with understanding. Help my eyes to let in light to my soul. So much in this world is full of darkness, I need Your light. I need you to open for me a lighted eye that I might see the good You are doing around me. Open for me a lighted eye that I might see Jesus active in my life and those around me. Help me see the good and the positive and block out darkness from entering in with my eye lighted at all times.

Meet Jesus: Heart For Heaven …GSJ7

treasureJesus’ heart is His Father’s heart. His treasure was the will of His Father.

Matthew 6:19:Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal 20: but lay for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Treasure House: The treasure of our heart is the treasure of our thought and word and action. Jesus’ heart was always toward heaven. His Father’s house was His continual concern. His Father’s house is still His continual concern. The gathering of men and women together into His body is about filling His Father’s table. Jesus is focused on fulfilling the heart of His Father. Jesus’ heart is His Father’s heart. His treasure was the will of His Father.

Mulled Jake: Jake mulled over his options.  The pain of continuing wrong choices plagued his quiet thoughts.  There just seemed to be no release from the pain of his mistakes.  Just then, the phone beeped.  It was Sally.  She wanted to know if he and his family would like to attend church Sunday morning with her family.  She went on rambling about praying for him all week.  He wasn’t sure he believed she would really do that.  It was a long pause as he thought over how to say no.

This devotion is #7 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Does the Father have a specific will for you?  Do you know it?  Do you know His heart for you?  Pursue filling His house.  Invite someone today to join you the next time you are going to a gathering of believers.

PRAY! Precious Father of life and love. I want to fill Your house with others. I want my treasure to fill up Your house. Your house is my heart. My heart is to fill up the table of blessing in Your house that You as Father would have more sons and daughters. Focus me. Help me to see Your specific will for my life and action. Help me to think of You and Your house, Your heaven first above all.

Meet Jesus: Fastened ….GSJ6

fastenerJesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

Matthew 6:16: And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18: that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Fast is Slow: Jesus’ fast was always one of dealing between Him and the Father. It goes along with the old English definition of suffering. To suffer means to allow, quietly. For Jesus it was incredibly important that your dealings with the Father not be public until it was absolutely necessary. Our challenge is to be quiet about the sufferings in our lives, especially the chosen ones. Jesus is fastened to the idea that our service is to God first in private and men second in private when necessary.

 Sally’s Commitment: Sally was committed to seeing her friend blessed.  Life had been cruel to Jake.  Sure, he had made plenty of mistakes.  That was not the point.  He needed a breakthrough in his relationships and his finances.  He needed to get on solid ground to start over.  She was committed to pray for his breakthrough.  For a week, she took time every day to listen to God for Jake and pray blessing over his life.  Jake was on his way to a new life in Christ through Sally’s prayer and fastened commitment.

This devotion is #6 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! Start a fast. Maybe just one day. Stay away from whatever food group you love the most. Do it just to draw closer to God.

PRAY! Faithful Father, in Jesus I have all the strength necessary to fast His way. I repent of being more concerned about public recognition than that for which I have fasted. Allow me Father to continue to grow strong in you. Fasten me to Your presence. Fasten in me the concept that it is Your worship that is important. It is Your recognition by me that is important.

Meet Jesus: Us Too …GSJ5

domeNo body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Do Me Like Jesus: Funny thing about Jesus, what His Father does, He does.  What He does, He expects us to do.  So He expects us to do like His Father.  An old song sings, “Can’t nobody do me like Jesus.  Can’t nobody do me like the Lord.”  That is true.  No body treats me as good and forgiving as He does.  And He expects me to do the same for others.

Team: Leadership was all about example to Greg.  Over and over he mulled on the characteristics he needed on the team for the new member.  They did not need to have a lot of experience leading others.  It was more important that they had experience leading themselves.  How had they handled life?  How had they advanced their skills?  How had they overlooked others’ problems in light of their own?  Could they handle rejection of ideas without personalizing?  Could they give examples of having to just accept offenses and get the job done?  

 Those thoughts pushed into his mind and challenged him in his own life.   How had he been doing in being gracious to his co-workers?  What about his family?  What about his friends?  Again, he went to prayer as he realized he was holding some things against other managers.  He needed to get those settled and forgiven in his heart before he brought on a new team member.  Otherwise, his angst would overflow onto the team.

This devotion is #5 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT! What did God forgive you of yesterday?  Who needs your forgiveness?  Write it off!  Quit looking for payback.  Set them free.  Don’t even ask them to say, “I’m sorry.”

PRAY!  Father, my hide is so tough.  I like to do things my way.  When I am honest, I know I would just like to do what I like to do.  Help me forgive and forget.  Help me not hold anything “against” another person.  Help me be like You.   Show me something to forgive today.  Help me take a burr out from under my saddle and get free.

Meet Jesus: Cleary Eyed …GSJ10

He wants us to have the dust out of our eyes so we can see clearly.

Matthew 7:5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 Home Front: Mind the home front first.  Jesus is repetitive on this point.  Taking care of ourselves is His focus for us.

Windy: This area I live in has a constant wind blowing.  Sometimes the wind is 5 miles an hour.  Sometimes the wind is 25 miles an hour.  Always it is blowing dust and particles up into the air and eyes.  That can leave you bleary-eyed.  I keep a bottle of saline solution in my desk against those days when I catch something in the walk from the parking lot to the office.  It helps clear out any particle that blew in.  Even the smallest particle of dust can cause my vision to be clouded.

Clear: How can you focus when you are bleary-eyed?  Jesus wants us to be cleary-eyed.  He wants us to have the dust out of our eyes so we can see clearly.

Greg’s Hobnob: Greg’s feelings of joy were not echoed by Jake.  Greg was happy to see an old friend coming to his church.  Jake was not happy.  He and Greg had been friend’s years before.  Then Greg started hobnobbing with some do-gooders and would have nothing to do with him.  Those were painful memories for Jake.  Those emotions washed up on the shore of his mind as he walked.  Funny, how something from that long ago still affected him.  He was getting angry.  His wife was looking at him oddly wondering what was going on and what was getting ready to happen.  This is how he looked when he came home drinking.

This devotion is #10 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  Get some particle out.  Want is going on in your life that needs washed out?  Is someone else’s particle in your eye and you just need to be looking elsewhere?

PRAY! Father, help me be cleary-eyed.  Help me to tend to my business with You instead of worrying about others.  Surely, they have enough dust of their own.  Surely I need to keep my eyes clear.  Help me stay out of other’s activities in judgement.  Sufficient for me are the issues to which I need to tend.